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Thursday, August 29, 2013

On Rangers and Battle Groups and Marketing

Jean Sexton writes:

One of the reasons that ADB, Inc. wanted me in Amarillo was so that I could really do the marketing that I had been dabbling in for the past few years. Steve Cole has been managing it for years, but his time is better spent on designing games and providing the creative direction and energy the company needs. With his guidance and mentoring, I should be able to grow into the job.

One of the first parts of Marketing that Steve gave me were the Star Fleet Rangers. These had been written about in Captain's Log#22, published in the spring of 2001. The idea was (and is) that the Rangers would go to conventions, gaming stores, war game clubs, and similar venues and demonstrate our games there. The event would be used to expose new people to the games and expand the player base. It would also let the local Ranger "grow his own" opponents. The Ranger program drifted with us acknowledging anyone who reported a demo, but no real push to expand the program.

I've got the time to organize the database of Rangers, coordinate their rewards with Leanna, and eventually link Rangers to upcoming conventions. I have time to chat with the Rangers and better understand their needs and concerns. With Simone's help, we are giving the Ranger pages a facelift. We should be getting the resources for the Rangers both updated and more organized.

How can you help? Join the  newly re-energized Rangers. Then reach out to your community and run demos. Sometimes local libraries have game nights. Some local colleges have a gaming club. Local cons and game stores may enjoy having you promote a (new-to-them) game. It's an exciting time to be a Ranger.

The next project we are taking on will be promoting battle groups. Steve and I wanted to tackle this earlier, but we found it would have to be another "Jean project." Battle groups will let us expand our playtesting across a wider player base. We'll be sending people on Starlist to contact nearby battle groups. With any luck,each battle group will be able to provide a home base for at least one Ranger.

What can you do? Look at your local play group. Are you interested in playtesting and willing to take the time to send in reports? Do you want to create playable scenarios? Or do you just like hanging out and playing SFU games? If the answer to any of those questions is "yes," then hold yourself in readiness. By the time the next issue of Captain's Log comes out we'll have procedures in place for setting up your battle group's online presence. We hope that you are as excited as we are.

What does this have to do with marketing? No, it isn't trying to get you to buy the next cool module. It is about encouraging you to have fun. My philosophy is that people having fun share their enthusiasm. Shared enthusiasm means more people will have fun. The gaming industry is all about people having fun. People having fun make the world better and that makes me happy. And if happy people want to expand their knowledge base by buying our books, that is just gravy!

So stay alert for more exciting news from ADB, Inc. Consider becoming part of it. Help us grow this great family of games.