Building an In-Person Godtear Community
It’s time to build a local Godtear community, and you look like just the Champion to do so.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How much work does it take? What do I get out of this work?” Simple answers: It takes effort, true, but only as much as you want to put in! What you get out of it is more games of Godtear! How awesome is that? I know. It’s awesome!
1 First you’ll need to find a place to play. Hopefully you’ve got a Friendly Local Game Store that carries Godtear and has tablespace to play games on. If you do, then you’re ready to step up to the next paragraph. If you don’t, or the FLGS lacks the Friendly part, then it’s time to find a space. Godtear product can be purchased online, so that’s not gonna be an issue, but finding a place where you can play games for 2-3 hours without being disturbed or disturbing others is tough. Try to find someplace that is public, but not outside. A community center or library or even a willing community member’s house can provide a good start when building your community.
2 Now that you have a place to play, it’s time to figure out who’s going to be the Cornerstone player. This player takes on the responsibility of running the regular events and organizing play space. I’m presuming, Champion, that since you’re reading this article that the Cornerstone player is you.
The Cornerstone player needs to be consistent. Figure out when and where you can play regularly, and commit to that. Show up to the FLGS at that time ready for games. Be ready to run demo games to bring new players in, or regular games to show just how much fun your community has with Godtear.
3 Now that you have a regular meet-up, get on the calendar. If your store has a calendar on which they list their events, get on that asap, possibly even before showing up. Even if only one person finds your event through the FLGS online or in-person calendar, it will be better for everyone. Another good reason to coordinate with your FLGS is that they know their playspace. Some places are packed on Friday night with Magic the Gathering players, some places don’t even run that game. Coordinating with the store will help you both out in building a community.
In addition to whatever online calendar you can get on through the FLGS, market your community online. Post in local online groups, post in the discord, let people know where you are and what your community is doing so that they understand how much fun Godtear is.
4 Build a rapport with the store. Even if it’s just with the employee who works the counter when you’re playing Godtear, you’ll want to build a professional relationship. Knowing their name and seeing them every week makes them more likely to recommend the game you’re playing. I should know, I worked at an FLGS for half a decade.
Store employees notice what games are being played, and store managers notice what sells in the store. The better your community behaves and grows, the more likely the employees are to sell it to new players. The more your FLGS sells Godtear, the more likely they are to restock it. Which leads to my next point.
5 Encourage people who play at the store to buy at the store. We all know it’s generally cheaper to purchase expansions online, but playspace is pricey and it's supported by sales. If the store can sell Godtear products at non-clearance prices, then you can enjoy the playspace.
6 Be polite. Every person who swings by your table to check out the game is a potential opponent/community-member. Greet them warmly and be willing to interrupt your game to show them courtesy.
As the Cornerstone player, you’ll be the face of your community. People will walk up to a table and ask, “what’s this?” and your community members will likely send them your way to hear the whole spiel. This is good. You’re probably the player with the most experience with the game, the most time poured into the community, and the most practiced and enticing pitch to bring the person in as a player and community member.
7 Be friendly. Don’t just crush everyone who sits down for a demo game or is playing their newly bought crews for the first time. Explain how and why you're making the moves you are. Learn what they are playing the game for and encourage them in that. Your behavior as the Cornerstone player shapes the community you build; for the better or worse.
8 Be excited. “This is Godtear! A post fantasy-apocalypse world where the tears of dead gods fall upon the shattered plains of the world. These are Champions trying to gain the powers of the tears and become gods themselves. I’m Jeff, and this is Sam. We’re here every Tuesday. Feel free to watch and ask questions. If you want to follow along, here’s our flier that we printed out with a one page summary of the rules!”
9 Don’t get discouraged. Players will come and go. New, shiny games will tempt them away from your game and your community. But, for those who stay, there is Godtear. I feel that being able to get in regular games of Godtear every week is extremely rewarding. The best nights are the nights where multiple full games are running at once and you’re manning a demo board waiting for your next community member to sit down across from you. There will be nights where you sit your demo table for 3 hours with no bites, but it’ll all be worth it when you get your community running through its first Longshanks tournament.
10 Finally, keep playing so long as it’s fun. I've seen multiple communities crash and burn because the Cornerstone player got toxic after burning themselves out. If you need to take a break from the game, then do so. Appoint someone else to coordinate with the store and play something else for a bit until you get the itch to come back.
“Wait, what was that about a one page rules document?”
Yeah, some community members managed to compress most of the rulebook into a single page! You can get a copy here!
We divided the page into seven sections: how to win, how to set up, what the colors mean, what each unit/card can do, what is unique about Champions, what is unique about Followers, what is unique about Banners. Then we chopped up the back side of the rulebook and pasted it onto the back sheet, along with some reference sites for players to peruse. This is meant to be printed double sided onto the page with the rules document.
Finally, the current 6 scenarios are listed out on the 3rd page, which you only need 1 copy of per table.
I recommend printing out about a dozen of these single page rules/fliers and keeping them with your Godtear stuff so that you always have one to give away to anyone who shows interest in the game. Be sure to change the bolded red text on the back to match your own group’s cadence, location, and playing time.
There you go, Champion. Some guidance on how to build up your local community. Note that this is what works for me, and that you may need to tweak some concepts here and there to fit your community’s particular situation and needs.
Looking forward to seeing your community grow!
Jeff “Gearbox” Mitchell