Hey guys, I’m Joel, or Pizzarony, or ShoppedYourPost, depending on where you might know me from. In this post, I will take you through the in’s and out’s of starting and maintaining your own local Dice Masters scene. We’ll start with some topics like how to find a good store, and how to find other players, and then we’ll move on to some more growth aspects, from there.
Before we actually get going, if you already are in a local scene, maybe this can help you make sure your group is healthy. Or maybe it can spark some new ideas, for you to use in your group. Whether you currently run a scene, as the primary tournament organizer, or you’re just a player, I hope you’ll find something useful.
Let’s just jump right in, shall we?
Scout the scenes around the world.
It’s extremely important to look around. There are numerous places on the web, that are hosting Dice Masters discussion and content. A lot of these places already have information on different local scenes throughout the world. If you’ve come across neat pictures, from what seems like a fun event, look a little further into it. See where the event was held. See who ran it. Ask them for some more information on the event. I’m willing to bet 99.99% of all tournament organizers would be more than willing to share their event information with you. When looking around at all of these different events, and scenes, hopefully you’ll start picking up some different ideas for your future events. Now, you won’t exactly be able to just copy their ideas right away and see the number of participants that they do. Understand that it takes a little bit of time to get to that point, and that’s why we’re here, to help you start or maintain your scene.
One more VERY important thing to do, is to make sure there isn’t already a scene going in your area. You might have a hard time starting your own scene, in town, if there already is one. To do this, head over to the WizKids Info Network, and search for stores near you.
Choose a location for your scene.
After you get a good list of ideas, you’ll need to look at where you want to get your scene going. If you already have a store that you frequent, and they don’t have a regular Dice Masters scene, ask the owners, or managers about it. Maybe they just haven’t had anyone looking to take the bull by the horns. Maybe they’ve had a couple of people also ask about Dice Masters, but those people may not have wanted to be the go-to guy/gal for running events. Most stores, unless they are literally packed every single day and night of the week (which isn’t many), will be okay with you starting up events. I would highly recommend setting up a weekly or bi-weekly schedule with the store. Even though all players might not be able to make it to each event, having a set day of the week, each week, will let players always know when they can show up and play, without having to get on the store’s website to look through their calendar, or where ever else they might need to look. Just have a set day. At our local store, we’ve chosen Saturday at 11:00 am (or 12:00 pm if it’s a bigger event).
Find other players to join you.
Once you’ve gotten approval from the store that you’d like to play at, the next step is finding other Dice Masters players. This might be the toughest step. Sometimes, it might feel like you just can’t find a soul to play with. And don’t get down on yourself, if that’s the case. Everyone could already be playing at a different store, locally, that you haven’t heard of. Hopefully, though, you searched for “Dice Masters in [YOURCITYHERE]” on Google, or for stores in your city, on the WizKids Info Network. Assuming you’ve done that, and haven’t found anything, take your search one step further out to the State level. You might stumble across a Facebook group for your state, or a Reddit post from someone looking for players in their state. Also, search for the nearest major metropolitan area. Sometimes, you’ll find players that go to events miles and miles away, just because there isn’t anything at their local store.
After looking for existing players, you’ll need to move on to finding new players. I’m sure your local store has some sort of Magic: The Gathering tournament scene, which means there are competitive CCG players in town, but also look around at other games or events going on. There are going to be other tabletop gamers out there, but maybe they haven’t heard of Dice Masters. Or it’s possible that they’ve heard of it, but just never thought to give it a try. This all kind of ties into our next point…
Organize free demo days.
Let’s face it. No one wants to drop a few hundred dollars into a game, only to find out that they don’t like it. Now, I’m not saying every new player has to drop that amount of cash, but in order to have what most of us would consider a decent sized collection, they’ll need to have spent at least a couple hundred dollars, between boosters, starters, playmats, dice bags, etc. A free demo day might just be your best way to get people into the game. If you’ve got a decent stack of extra cards and dice laying around the house, bring them in. Maybe pre-build a few teams from your extras, and be ready to give them out to new players, to get them hooked. Often times, players will demo new games, and forget all about it a couple of weeks later. But if you have something that they can take with them, when they leave, they’ll definitely stumble back across it. And hopefully they’ll have good memories of the demo day with you!
Try to keep in contact with the folks you meet at your demo day. Ask if they’re on Facebook, or grab their email. What I do, personally, is try to talk about our local Facebook group. That way, the new players don’t necessarily have to add me as a friend on Facebook, or give me any personal information at all, but they can still join the group and communicate with me, and the others, about upcoming events, or rule questions, or whatever else us Dice Masters players talk about.
Transition to some actual paid events.
You’re getting there! If you’ve successfully found a few others to play with, you’re definitely ready to begin trying some actual paid events. Now, each store is different, but I would guess that a $3-5 entry fee, for a constructed event, is the norm. At our local store, 100% of those entry fees go back out the players, by way of prize packs or store credit. Another popular format, right now, is Rainbow Draft. For drafts, stores will either do $12, with no prizes, or $15, and $3 of it going towards prizes (again, in the form of packs or store credit).
For constructed events, try not to do the same exact constructed event, time after time. Your players will get bored, and the few that have “all the good cards” will always win. This discourages newer players, and players who prefer to play more casually, from playing more often at your events. Unlimited constructed seems to be the main competitive format, right now, so again, try not to always do unlimited constructed.
Here’s a short list of constructed events you can rotate through:
- Marvel Only
- DC Only
- D&D Only
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Only
- Heroes Only (No D&D/YGO)
- One Energy
- One Color Dice (All dice have to be the same color)
- Two-Hued Feud (Choose two colors, only using dice of those colors)
- Poker Hand (Each energy type is a suit, and the first player of each match is decided by who has the best poker hand)
- One Affiliation (Choose one affiliation, all characters/actions must be from that affiliation)
- Ladies Night (All characters must be women)
- Pauper (Common/Uncommon cards only)
- Commons (Common cards only)
- 2-3 Cost Cards Only
- 4+ Cost Cards Only
- and I’m sure MANY more you can come up with!
That’s just a start. Use your imagination. Come up with something else creative.
I tend to enjoy the team building just as much as I do the playing, so I’m sure your players will, too.
Maintain the Status Quo
So you’ve got a good number of players coming back, to each event. Now what do you do when you’re a year or so into it and players are getting burned out? You don’t give up! Players will move away, players will get new job schedules, and players will just lose interest. It happens. Don’t forget the lessons you’ve previously learned, here, though. Go back to one of the first few steps, and work on adding new players in.
Everyone wants to feel wanted. Make sure you’re individually, and perhaps publicly, reaching out to the players in your group, about events, and just life in general. I would highly recommend using Facebook Groups for this. It’s extremely easy to throw information about your events on the group, and you can tag your players, asking them if they’re coming.
As a Tournament Organizer, you’re probably going to be playing and watching a LOT of Dice Masters. Your skill will increase. You’ll win events, and that’s great! But it’s also not that great. Keep in mind, if you’re always winning events, the others aren’t. And as much as winning is enjoyable, if your players stop coming because of it, you won’t get to enjoy it much longer, as you’ll have no one to play against. Remember your #1 job is to be a Tournament Organizer. If you feel like you’ve been winning a lot, maybe take a different approach to your next team build. Try out that whacky combo you’ve always thought about. Or maybe if there’s an odd number of players, sit out that tournament, so everyone gets to play each round.
My hope is that EVERY Dice Masters player could learn something from this post. I know it was a little lengthy, and I apologize for taking up a good chunk of your time. If you ever have any questions about tournament organizing, or perhaps about running a Pro Dice Circuit event, I can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, personal message on Reddit (/u/ShoppedYourPost), or by personal message on The Reserve Pool (username: Pizzarony).
Thanks for reading,