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Concerns with lack of interest

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#1
America

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I'm a bit concerned about the overall lack of interest this game has garnered over the past year. 

 

Attendance at store championships in my region declined overall. It appears that attendance fell in other parts of the country as well. 

 

How do you guys feel about the overall interest in the game? I feel I can always do more to get more people to play, but like Lando and everybody else, I have my own problems (working, social activities, family, cats) that prohibit me from doing more than simply participating in events. 

 

There is also the issue of stores not promoting the game. I understand where they are coming from. If a store owner has a finite amount of time, he would be a FOOL to spend his time and resources promoting SWLCG while there are easier ways to divest people from their money, i.e. running 434 Magic events. 

 

At GAMA, FFG announced they were starting a judge program. I hope this is similar to Decipher's squadron member/Rider of Rohan program. There wasn't really a super strong singles market for Decipher games, but Decipher found a way to get stores to promote local play by starting a volunteer program that created an incentive for volunteers to run local events and foster relationships with stores to make sure there was a local scene. Store owners simply can't be bothered to promote the game, so it would behoove FFG to find a way to create a program that promotes local play that involves volunteers who are passionate about the game as opposed to providing prize kits that find their way on eBay. 

 

Additionally, aside from the prize kits, there is no incentive to play at stores. If FFG implemented an ELO rating system, that would spark some interest to play. A tournament locator on FFG's site would also be a nice tool to have.  

 

I understand we're not living in the 90s anymore and we're not playing Decipher Star Wars, but if FFG just implemented the tactics Decipher employed 20 years ago of promoting local interest by creating a judge program/volunteer corp, implementing a rating system, and creating a tournament scheduling program for their website, then I feel there could  be more interest in this game.

 

 


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#2
TheEmpireBringsSexyBack

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Yes.  It's so frustrating thinking about how well decipher handled their organized play compared to ffg's efforts.  I understand the companies' situations are totally different - most of decipher's profit came from swccg whereas swlcg is probably just a drop in the bucket for ffg - but you still wish ffg would try just a lil.

 

for a suggestion, and another thing decipher was doing 20 years ago, how about a web database with tourney and game/league night dates?  i.e. I enter in a state, or city, or zip code, or whatever, and out pops a list of upcoming things in the area.  that's how I started playing swccg beyond the kitchen table; randomly checked decipher's webpage for my city andsaw there was a tourney in town in a couple of days.  right now, for swlcg, if I want search for tourneys, I have to hope someone posted a thread about it here or on ffg's forum.  heck, here we don't even have a dedicated tourney forum, so unless you constantly bump it, your tourney quickly gets buried by podcast and spoiler threads and falls off the first page


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#3
Scottie

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I actually have noticed a increase in interest from last year particularly an increase in excitement for the current set as opposed to the last one. Perhaps that is due to the new keyword or simply Echoes coming at an absolute low.

I completely agree that FFG is behind the times in thier promotion, of not just this, but all of the games. Even thier flagship X-wing or Netrunner. There is no incentive from FFG to be that person organizing and running things. At best you get a playmate if you run an SC? Great...

There is especially no incentive to sit out and run a Regional. The result? Regionals with a lower TO standard then the SC.
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#4
SeeThreebilbo

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Honestly, I'd be more upset, too, but there are no players or stores in my area, period. Closest place is an hour away.

 

The only litmus test I have is the forums here, really. They seem active enough, but I don't see many new people.

 

The good news is that I see the game for sale at Barnes and Noble whenever I get into town. That's a good place to hopefully pick up some casual people, at least.

 

I hope that play/attendance can pick back up again elsewhere, though!



#5
TheEmpireBringsSexyBack

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i wish ffg copied decipher's squadron member program that America mentioned.  for those unfamiliar with it, decipher chose folks across the country, required them to run some number of tourneys every month (it was at least one, possibly more), and rewarded them by giving them free boosters boxes of every set on release.  it was really ingenious when you think about it.  the cost for decipher to give away a couple booster boxes (from there production run of thousands or millions) was miniscule to them, but to the volunteer, it represented saving real money (a couple hundred a year).  the volunteer now had a bunch of new (free) cards they most likely wanted to try out, so they would be enthusiastic to run tourneys and/or game nights.  and of course, if those tourneys brought new players into the game, or kept current players from leaving, then the stuff decipher gave away to the volunteer, paid for itself with all those other folks buying stuff normally.

 

it didn't always work out, of course.  sometimes, despite someone's best efforts, things just didn't catch on in an area, so you'd have to say thanks for your efforts, but were going to have to let you go.  occasionally you would here of someone abusing the program, i.e. faking things to get free cards, and you'd have to kick those clowns out.  but overall it was probably the driving force that built swccg into the second or third largest card game in the late 90s.

 

i think it would be cool if ffg tried to copy this.  an lcg is obviously different from a ccg, but i think it could be made to work.  recruit volunteers from across the country.  require them to run swlcg tourneys at least once every month (maybe more).  require them to advertise their tourneys, and make them go to the store or wherever for the day even if they don't expect anyone to show up, just in case they do.  and then reward them by giving them all the force packs in the current cycle for free when they release.  after a certain amount of time, evaluate how things are going and make volunteer changes as necessary.


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#6
Wrath87

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Its had a drop but I think/hope this is going to be a turning of the tide this year. The game is really starting to hit its stride and there's a new movie coming out. Players pushing the game gets the most people. Make some flyers for the store saying when you play and have a beginners night once a month. There are going to be people seeing the new movie and getting interested in star wars again. Having people there ready to show them how it plays and make them one of us would be great.

Or the movie could bomb and the world raises up to kill any and everything related to star wars... either way it'll be exciting.

Our group buys the game night kits off the store and runs the league ourselves.
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#7
SeeThreebilbo

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i wish ffg copied decipher's squadron member program that America mentioned.  for those unfamiliar with it, decipher chose folks across the country, required them to run some number of tourneys every month (it was at least one, possibly more), and rewarded them by giving them free boosters boxes of every set on release.  it was really ingenious when you think about it.  the cost for decipher to give away a couple booster boxes (from there production run of thousands or millions) was miniscule to them, but to the volunteer, it represented saving real money (a couple hundred a year).  the volunteer now had a bunch of new (free) cards they most likely wanted to try out, so they would be enthusiastic to run tourneys and/or game nights.  and of course, if those tourneys brought new players into the game, or kept current players from leaving, then the stuff decipher gave away to the volunteer, paid for itself with all those other folks buying stuff normally.

 

it didn't always work out, of course.  sometimes, despite someone's best efforts, things just didn't catch on in an area, so you'd have to say thanks for your efforts, but were going to have to let you go.  occasionally you would here of someone abusing the program, i.e. faking things to get free cards, and you'd have to kick those clowns out.  but overall it was probably the driving force that built swccg into the second or third largest card game in the late 90s.

 

i think it would be cool if ffg tried to copy this.  an lcg is obviously different from a ccg, but i think it could be made to work.  recruit volunteers from across the country.  require them to run swlcg tourneys at least once every month (maybe more).  require them to advertise their tourneys, and make them go to the store or wherever for the day even if they don't expect anyone to show up, just in case they do.  and then reward them by giving them all the force packs in the current cycle for free when they release.  after a certain amount of time, evaluate how things are going and make volunteer changes as necessary.

 

That sounds like a really nice system. I agree that corruption might sneak in every once in a while, but overall I think getting so many free cards is an excellent incentive. It really does save money. I'm happy to buy SWLCG at its excellent price, of course, but I'm not hypocritical enough to turn down free cards. Or I wouldn't be if I were in a position to host something.

 

Its had a drop but I think/hope this is going to be a turning of the tide this year. The game is really starting to hit its stride and there's a new movie coming out. Players pushing the game gets the most people. Make some flyers for the store saying when you play and have a beginners night once a month. There are going to be people seeing the new movie and getting interested in star wars again. Having people there ready to show them how it plays and make them one of us would be great.

Or the movie could bomb and the world raises up to kill any and everything related to star wars... either way it'll be exciting.

Our group buys the game night kits off the store and runs the league ourselves.

 

Haha, that's certainly one way of putting it. Exciting times indeed.

 

And good on you! You guys have great initiative. You're Jabba's kind of scum for sure.



#8
America

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Its had a drop but I think/hope this is going to be a turning of the tide this year. The game is really starting to hit its stride and there's a new movie coming out. Players pushing the game gets the most people. Make some flyers for the store saying when you play and have a beginners night once a month. There are going to be people seeing the new movie and getting interested in star wars again. Having people there ready to show them how it plays and make them one of us would be great.


I, like many others in different areas, have tried running demos/organizing events only to have little to no turnout. I could have been more persistent, but at what cost?

Why am I going to do FFG's and the store's job for free when I can use that time for my own personal enjoyment. I know it sounds selfish, but I don't have the free time i used to have as a younger adult. I'm at the point now that if I have a Saturday afternoon that's free from work and family requirements, there are a ton of activities competing for my time and I feel I need to make the most out of it.

There are those out there that likely do have the free time, and if they can score some sick promos or free product for helping FFG, then they could be a real driving force for local play and local product sales.
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#9
SeeThreebilbo

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I, like many others in different areas, have tried running demos/organizing events only to have little to no turnout. I could have been more persistent, but at what cost?

Why am I going to do FFG's and the store's job for free when I can use that time for my own personal enjoyment. I know it sounds selfish, but I don't have the free time i used to have as a younger adult. I'm at the point now that if I have a Saturday afternoon that's free from work and family requirements, there are a ton of activities competing for my time and I feel I need to make the most out of it.

There are those out there that likely do have the free time, and if they can score some sick promos or free product for helping FFG, then they could be a real driving force for local play and local product sales.

 

You make a perfectly valid point. You shouldn't feel guilty at all.



#10
ZackyMidnight

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I've noticed an increase in my area as well. 



#11
Skelton

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I'd love to see an increase in our playerbase but find it very unlikely as our store no longer promote SW events. It's a shame as the game feels like it's in a fantastic place right now.

#12
yankeefan1355

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The game is dead at my local store.  There's a tournament every 3rd Saturday scheduled and nobody showed up this last time.  Compare that to warhammer where there are players that drive up from 80 miles away and Netrunner this next saturday where they'll be a lot of players participatincg, SW just isn't generating the interest that it once did.

 

When I talk to LCG players about why they don't play SW, the #1 complaint is the objective system, followed by the inconsistant reliability of new cards arrriving at stores.  With Conquest, Netrunner, and Doomtown players know that expansion packs will arrive on schedule for the most part and there's a good balance in the game design. 

 

Also, there's a good balance, especialy in Conquest right now, that gives players a lot of options that fit different play styles that tends to attract more players.



#13
Skelton

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We had 1 player turn up for our Conquest tournament. I personally find the game unbalanced and somewhat dull. It feels very simple to me.

A lot of people dislike the objective style of deckbuilding and I was of the same mind a while ago. These days I really like it as it isn't as simple as I once thought.

#14
yankeefan1355

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Every place is different.  Conquest is actually one of the most balanced games right now.  It's very strategic and tactically sound.  I don't think that I've seen you post on the Conquest forum but if you look at the tournament results posted every faction is represented and played.  It's not like SW where it's mainly Jedi and Sith.

 

Mylesf, personally, am getting very tired of the objective system.  I used to like it at first but over time it's annoying because I don't use half the cards that I buy.

 

I probably use about 25-33 percent of the objectives available.



#15
Wrath87

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I feel if they cut out the objective system edge battles wouldn't run as well. Giving players choice over how many cards with which edge pips would lead to a game that I think would be a lot harder to balance.

 

I don't find conquest very balanced at the moment. Run as many 2 cost (or lower) drops as you can. win command and the loser can't come back by turn 3. no point in running more than 2 cost 5 units and anything over that you'll hardly get into play. feels like who can spam the most onto the field wins but each to their own.

 

America you should only do those things if you want to + have the time and energy which is hard for a lot of people at the moment. If you have something that you find more worth while and fun go do that.

 

I don't even flyer drop atm but I will a month or 2 before the movie comes out and keep in touch with the flgs to see how many people are interested so I can work out whether or not its worth my time. Hell I'm crazy enough to be checking out pricing to print off my own playmats and tokens so I can run a tournament with more prize support for a similar entry cost. But I don't do it for ffg. I pay them my tax once a month when a cycles running. I do it cause I love playing this game. Its fast, brutal and cut throat and I love it so I want more people to vs. If your going to go to effort let it be only because you want to do the effort. Don't do it for some silly reason like helping out ffg. They want to increase their player base and sales they can do it themselves. They're a company and its their job.


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#16
Skelton

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I'm hoping the new movies will help push the game a little more. Fingers crossed.

 

Have to agree with you Wrath87. You pretty much summed up my opinion of Conquest right there. It's not a bad game but nor is it a good one. Having resources and card draw determined by board presence is generally a bad idea. It promotes a snowball method of play and Conquest proves that. Most games are won or lost by the end of the first or second turn due to the Command struggle. I dunno, it just doesn't do it for me personally but then we can't all like the same things after all.

 

What I liked about the objective style of deckbuilding at first was that I found it was simple. Then as I played the game more, I realised that this wasn't the case at all and I tend to spend ages weighing up which sets are better for my deck whenever I build one. I like that, it feels different to the other games I play but still requires some tough decisions.


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#17
Wrath87

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I agree Skelton. It is getting better but so few games are neck and neck the whole way through and there isn't really a comeback swing you can have in star wars with either side coming out of nowhere for the win or like netrunner with the runner hitting just the right agendas on the last turn or the corp flat-lining the runner when they're on 6 points.



#18
Skelton

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I love that about Star Wars. Sometimes you just don't see it coming until it's too late. Sneaky victories are the best!


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#19
stevepop

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With Conquest, Netrunner, and Doomtown players know that expansion packs will arrive on schedule for the most part and there's a good balance in the game design.

While still far more popular than the other LCG's Netrunner's sides and factions are not well balanced.


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#20
TheEmpireBringsSexyBack

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Complaining about the objective system is silly (and kinda derailing this thread) IMO.  if your local scene hates the objective system, no one is stopping you from coming up with your own rules for playing the game pod-less, and then holding all your local tourneys/league nights using those rules.  the pod system is not going away, so it's like complaining about getting mana screwed in magic the gathering.  it happens, and you either deal with it or playing something else because wizards is not going to change their game.


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