Ryan shows up in lots of my session reports because he's the most constant figure at Santa Clarita Boardgamer sessions. He and his wife Erin host most of our game nights. With that in mind, this show was intended to be about the "care & feeding" of local game groups: how to start one up and keep it going strong. That's pretty much what was recorded, though it also rambled through some fun history of our game group in particular. You probably learn as much about me through this conversation with Ryan as you do in my Boardgaming Biography show (way back in show #13 on June 4).
In the show we talk about the awkward but necessary step of screening new people who might come to your private game group. SCBer Greg Pettit let me share this private email thread between he and I way back when. It led to a phone call that was a little awkward, too, but could be made easier through the more personal communication. Greg joined the group right after. Maybe when I get him on the show I can ask him for his memories of this exchange. (I'm going to talk Greg into an All About show featuring Euphrat & Tigris . . . it's just a matter of time!)
Greg Pettit wrote:
I found your website through BoardgameGeeks, and was hoping for some more information. I just moved to Glendale from Houston, TX and I'm already missing my old game group. If you guys are still getting together, I would like to know when and where (if new players are welcome). Thanks.
From: Mark Johnson
To: Greg Pettit
Subject: Re: Santa Clarita Boardgamers
Greg, we still haven't found a permanent new location for the Santa ClaritaBoardgamers. In the meantime, we're getting together at my house every other week. The next time will be this coming Wednesday, March 13. Here aresome things you should know about us. We play multiplayer strategy games (so-called "German games") like Settlers of Catan, Bohnanza, or Carcassonne almost exclusively. Although I myself play wargames or CCGs on occasion, that isn't what we play when we all gettogether for game nights. Likewise, no RPGs. The focus is on fun first, competition and skillful play second. While my kids are awake (till 9:00 or so), there's a need to keep a lid on any foul language. Oh, and no smoking.
If that seems like a lot of rules, understand that it's simply to keep gamenight enjoyable for the *group.* We're having fun now, and want to keep itthat way, even as we increase our number. New people are welcome, but if there's any friction, that person won't be invited back. You know, this sort of conversation works a lot better in person than over email, so please give me a call. My home number is xxx-xxxx. Hope to hear from you!
Greg Pettit wrote:
That all sounds great, just like the group I hosted back in Houston. I'm familiar with all the German games (they're just about all I played backhome), but I donated all of them to my friends before I left, so I won't beable to bring any. How many people do you usually have?
I don't want to disturb the dynamic, and I'm already a little nervous/shy about just showing up. I guess I'll call to sort of introduce myself once I've figured out if I can make it. Thanks for the info.
This show was a lot of fun for Ryan and I to record, as you can hear.
P.S. I'll have to scan a 6 card from David & Goliath (1st edition) sometime later... :-)
Ryan Wheeler's BGG profile
Boardgamegeek's Gamerfinder and Gamer Database
Santa Clarita Boardgamers' basic web page
My old Tri-Valley Boardgamers archived web page
The call I put out on rec.games.board to start TVB (August '96)