San Marcos Board Gamers More fun than you can shake a meeple at

4Jan/170

Thursday Night Gaming at Cephas House!

Posted by Chris Aylott

Cephas House

The San Marcos Board Gamers have a new venue! On Thursday, January 12, we start weekly meetups at Cephas House, a community center run by the City of San Marcos. Our official time is from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and we have a little wiggle room for long games.

18Jul/160

Mare Nostrum: Empires Review

Posted by Chris Aylott

Mare Nostrum is back! It took about a year from the initial Kickstarter announcement, but copies landed in backers hands this summer and we're played it our our June and July meetups. So how does the Academy Games edition of this grail game stand up?

18Sep/150

Busy September!

Posted by Chris Aylott

September

Earlier this year, I asked what the group should be doing more of. Based on our September events, it looks like the answer is: lots!

We're halfway through the month we've had plenty of meet-ups, including special game nights devoted to Settlers of Catan and chess. There's even momentum building up for gatherings built around Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder roleplaying games.

The Hungry Gamer deserves a lot of credit for this activity. They've been proactive about organizing a variety of game nights, and their efforts have paid off. Hopefully this partnership will continue to benefit both local gamers and their mission of selling delicious sandwiches.

More September Fun

We've also got our monthly library meet-up chugging along, and we did our first Playtest Prototypes meet-up at the end of August. This playtest was a big help to me and another local designer, and it looks like there's interest in doing more.

We've also gotten a opportunity to playtest an upcoming game from two of the hobby's hottest designers. We'll be focusing on this game during our September playtest session and running some special sessions over the next few weeks.

Finally, I'm looking into the Envoy program. This marketing program partners with publishers, retailers, and game groups to set up game demonstrations. If the program is as good as it looks, then it could be a fun way to explore new games from some of the medium-sized publishers in the hobby.

Overall, September is looking like a great month. Let's keep the fun rolling throughout the fall!

22Jun/150

Molecular Review

Posted by Chris Aylott

Our game group had a fun opportunity at yesterday's meetup. We got to play Molecular, a new chemistry-themed game that will be launching on Kickstarter on June 28. So... did we form a strong chemical bond with it, or is it a little too free radical?

15Jun/150

Who Wants to Get Molecular?

Posted by Chris Aylott

A few weeks ago, I wondered what new things we could get up to as a group. Well, how about spending some of our next meetup playing and reviewing a new, unpublished game called Molecular before it even hits Kickstarter?

11Jun/150

Mare Nostrum Returns!

Posted by Chris Aylott

The "short civilization game" is one of the Holy Grails of board game design, and designer Serge Laget took a pretty good shot at it twelve years ago with Mare Nostrum. His take on taking over the Mediterranean got a fair bit of play in its time, but it's been out of print for years and very hard to find.

Well-regarded game? Long out of print? Old copies being offered for nearly $200 on eBay? This sounds like a job for Kickstarter.

5Jun/150

How to Suggest a Meetup

Posted by Chris Aylott

Some of our members have been asking how to start up some new events such as roleplaying games. This is great! Our organizers are busy with work, kids, and other lamentable aspects of real life, so none of us gets to put together as many events as we would like. Here's how to suggest a meetup for the group.

29May/150

200 Members! What’s Next?

Posted by Chris Aylott

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I've been traveling around and doing some consulting for the last few months. I didn't have a lot of time to write blogs or manage the group, but it seemed to get along just fine without me. We're now at 200 members and growing, so the question is, "What's next?"

There's a strong argument for just going along the way we have gone, whether we have 200 members or more. Right now, our minimal organization is low stress for everyone. We get together every couple of weeks, we play some games. Since the whole point of games is to relax and have fun, that's a pretty good mission.

It's also worth noting that we're not exactly living in a gaming desert. Austin has had a lively scene since before our group started, and it remains busy with several groups and a board game cafe. Since we got rolling, other groups like the New Braunfels Board Gamers have helped us fill the local play niche, and gamer-driven businesses like Childs' Play and the Hungry Gamer have popped up. We've got it pretty good.

King of Tokyo atour January library meetup.

King of Tokyo at our January library meetup.

Good Enough?

That said, I remain a little concerned about sustainability and longevity. 200 members is a great milestone, but in practice less than 10% of the people who signed up for the group turn up at meetups.

Some of that is the nature of the Meetup beast, as well as the reality that we're busy people with limited windows for gaming. But it makes the group a little fragile. A few people moving out of town could easily drop turnout to the point where it's hard to get together at all.

There's also the matter of outreach. 200 members on the Meetup group means that we've done a great job of attracting interest through the Internet, but we're not so good at bringing new people in off the street. A few people have checked us out, and some of them have sat down and tried a game, but very few of them have turned up for a second meeting. I'd like to see more happening there.

In the end, I'm not sure what the next step is. There are a few things I'd like to see: more specialized events like a Day of Diplomacy or a living card game get-together, more outreach events that bring in new or younger players, maybe even an all-day event or mini-convention. But I don't know what the route from here to there is yet, and I would be very excited to hear some suggestions.

25Nov/140

A new place to game in Seguin!

Posted by Sarah Childs

childs play final

I know a few of the San Marcos Gamers group have told me they are from Seguin and they felt there was no place out there to get together and play games.  Well, that all looks like it's going to change with the opening of the new comic shop, Black Forest Comics

2Nov/140

October Meetups and Memberships

Posted by Chris Aylott

Last month wasn't so great for blog posts, but it was a winner for October meetups and memberships!