This is part two of a three-part article, Advice to an Ambassador. Find part one right here.
Four – Selective targeting.
Like any good revolution you can not be successful with out an ever band of growing and willing accomplices to help spread you dream of a Luridian take over. As an ambassador part of your aim should be to build the community, and get more and more people into the game, now this is where you can be smart. One tried and tested method is the scatter gun/ mini gun approach. Get as many people to try it as possible and wait for some people to get hooked. This can work but has the draw back of being rather labour intensive and well like a scatter gun (clue being in the name) a bit hit and miss. However ‘my young apprentice’ there is a another way, a surgical strike delivered with precision and at the right target can be far more effective than one would think! Getting the ‘right’ people on board can be they key to success or failure. So who are these mythical people (as we hear the stirrings of a Howard Shore score)?
- Store owners/ managers/ staff. Okay, okay I know these people are busy and you will have to pick your moment carefully, but lets be honest with ourselves, these people 90% love the stuff they sell. So, if you can get them on board they will help spread the word, they are much more likely to be on board for organised play and to allow events to occur in the store, also it is in their economic interest to see the game do well. The sneakier side to all this is that it drastically cuts down the amount of work you need to do! Keeping enthusiasm for a game going is tough it requires constant attention, which as ambassadors giving your free time is a big ask, however get the store owner to play the game and they do this for you! Everyone is a winner! Seriously the places where I have had most success is when the staff have started playing.
- Key Players. Groups always coalesce around certain individuals, either because of their charm, charisma and personality (no need to swear at them it isn’t their fault), or because other factors such as being very good with us poor supplicants hanging on in the grim hope of a little reflected glory, or indeed that they have money! Whatever the reason these people can be the key to bringing whole rafts of players into the game. Identify them, stalk them (okay okay maybe not that one), beg, bribe or convince them to play and there is a very good chance that they will bring members of their groups with them. Get enough of them and you reach ‘critical mass’ the reaction will become self sustaining and our Spoils group will grow of it’s own accord.
Five – Be able to lose
In my case this piece of advise is an easy one, losing comes very naturally to myself and therefore I have no issues when it happens. Whilst this tale of woe may have raised a smile on your behalf, it does actually disguise quite an important point. Let me explain with a little anecdote, are you sitting comfortably.. then I will begin;
“A long time ago (okay okay it was 3 months ago), in a land far far away (yes, all right my local gaming shop, do you have to detract from all the story telling clichés with your demand for ‘factual accuracy?), the was a competition held! This competition took place on a set day every week far and wide across the land, a place to challenge and be challenged, a place to learn, a place to be involved so the heralds said.
So, wide eyed and innocent a new competitor did approach, clutched within his slightly fearful hands a weapon so new that it’s edges gleamed and odour of cellophane still clung. He found himself in the arena, determined to prove his worth, facing a combatant who’s reputation proceeded them. An experienced warrior, survivor of countless duels, a master of the weapon.
Before his eyes the grizzled veteran made it dance within his hands, moving in ways the young contender could not fathom, then with a cry the battle was on! Within seconds he was crushed, destroyed, annihilated, with out rhyme, reason or understanding he lay at the feet of the all conquering champion, his new weapon hardly used.
His pride crushed, humiliation burning his cheeks a deep crimson he fled from the scene, casting his new weapon aside never to be used again and was never seen at the competition again.”
So, what is the lesson here, why did I tell such a tale of woe and misery? Put simply people like to win, we like it a lot, therefore it is easy to fall for the false lure of the transient glory of victory when demoing the game. The problem is, other people like to win and if you want them to play again letting them win is a sure fire way of them walking away favourably from the demo. However as with all things it is not that simple, because we are ‘false and tricksy’ we do not like to win if we know the other person has ‘let us’, it is insulting and demeaning. So the trick with this point is to play the game well, but make a few errors that give it away. Having said all that, if you give the player a very close game where it comes down to knife edge, one or two influence in it, then players often walk away saying ‘that was awesome’ no matter what the result!!!