As a brand new WarCor and someone who’s been growing Infinity communities for four years, I know how hard it can be. Sometimes it can feel like you’re rowing a boat up stream with a paddle. Other times it can feel like you’re trying to steer a rowboat through a tsunami with nothing more than your hands. It can be a tough job!
There are five categories of strengths to help foster your very own Infinity community: game materials, personality, store support, knowledge, and a sense of comradery.
It’s not just good enough for you to play and have enough materials for yourself, you need enough for at least one other person. You will also need terrain, obviously. If you want some stuff cheap and easier, you can use papercraft, foam-board, recycleables, or any plain objects you have lying around. Sure, the bigger and better the terrain, the more enticing it is, but let people learn to love the game for the rules and models first. Don’t lure them with seductive terrain.
Enough models for two players is a great idea too, preferably of different factions. If you want to foster an Infinity community by yourself, be prepared to buy a second faction. New players don’t always want to buy models and then play (which is very rarely the case), so you need to provide them with models to play with. You could use paper stand-ins or another company’s models, but that doesn’t look too good.
You’ll also need a whole lot of tokens, templates, and tape measures (or whatever you prefer for measuring). If you want to buy some nice acrylic tokens, more power to you. However, if you want to go on the cheap side, you can print the tokens off, buy some clear plastic pieces and glue the paper tokens onto them. You can also glue the paper tokens onto a standard model base and call it good too. You can even print out templates as well, just make sure you print them out in their original size. Sometimes the computer might automatically shrink the thing you’re trying to print to make sure it fits on the paper properly. Tell it that’s a bad idea and don’t encourage autonomous thinking.
You have to have a personality, if you want to lead. I’m not saying you need to be all sunshine and rainbows, but there are a few things you need to do. You need to be inviting, presentable (to a modest degree, you don’t need a suit and tie), and you need to be polite. The more inviting and welcoming you look, the more comfortable people feel around you and the more they want to learn about the game from you. Remember, you’re a salesperson who’s trying to get people interested in the game and get them to trust you. If you aren’t doing your best salesperson act, then you should study up.
Once you’ve established that repertoire and you have players, you still need to be inviting and fun. No one really wants to have a group leader that’s a bit of a stickler and no one really wants to have a group leader who can’t take anything seriously. Approach the situation with some happy medium and ALWAYS be respectful, polite, and just (when it’s needed).
Probably the easiest step to go through, but the hardest to actually start. You need to find a store who’s willing to support you, Infinity and your community. Yes, you can run a group out of your own house, but you need a store for Infinity stock and sometimes space. Back to ‘Personality’, have a good personality when you meet with the store. Work on your best salesperson act and sell the game to them. Run them through a demo, explain to them some essential products, and help them understand why Infinity’s great. They really love when you show them the beautiful models and terrain. Aesthetics and personality can do a lot of talking for you. So can a sweet profit, make sure you explain that to them too.
Sure, you might not understand every hacking program or know what every special rule does off the top of your head, but the basics? You have to understand those. Study the quick-start rules and learn the basic stuff, that’s all you really need before you try to foster your own community. Luckily for you, you have the internet and the Wiki to supplement what you don’t know. Make sure any new players know this too.
Understand the stats of a unit profile, how the Orders mechanic works, how face-to-face and normal rolls work, etc. As I said, the basics are the important stuff here. If you can run through Operation: Icestorm or Red Veil (or any other similar starter pack match ups), then you’re good to go.
Sense of Comradery
The most important part to growing a community is comradery. Huh, who would have thought?
Listen to what your players want and listen to all of them. Sure, you can’t make everyone happy, but you definitely can make a majority of them happy. You might always have that one grumpy player who’s never happy, but, as the leader of the group, it’s your job to hear them out, always. If you ignore one person and one viewpoint, then that sends a bad message to the rest of the group and can easily start to divide your community. No one wants a divided community.
Schedule events that people are interested in and can attend. Don’t always do ITS Tournaments if your players don’t really like ITS. In fact, don’t always schedule ITS events anyway. Infinity is a diverse and expansive rule-set with a plethora of game modes. Try doing a narrative event sometime, maybe even run a campaign (that can use ITS missions). Try your hand at a TAG Deathmatch or even a Hacker Brawl. Again, ask your players want they’re interested in and do your best to accommodate that. Also ask them when would be best to host events and do your best to accommodate everyone.
If you have a large influx of newer players, then make sure you host some events for them too. Maybe some low points tournaments, training days, etc. There are a lot of things you can do to help new players feel welcomed and appreciated. The worse thing you can do is ignore the fact they don’t understand the game too well and start throwing them into complicated events against seasoned players. They will quickly lose interest in the group and the game.
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About The Author
Kyle Randolph's the name and Infinity's the game! I've been playing wargames since 2006 and I've been playing Infinity since 2013. I started with Ariadna, only using Kazaks, but now I've expanded my collection to include more than 8 different armies. Find my complete bio in the "About the Authors" section as well as a link to my personal blog, all about Infinity, for a double whammy of awesome!