Friday, February 12, 2010

Leaving Frankfurt.. reflections #5 Lardfinder and GZGfinder and the great people in this Hobby

Starting a new game/set of rules/period in a city you're new to and will move to can be tricky.

I love this hobby and the people in it, but thank God, or rather Cerf, Kleinrock and Berners-Lee for connecting a lot of people and knowledge together.

I also love Full Thrust as a tonic for someone permanently  scarred by the gravity-well inducing Star Fleet Battles and Starfire (I firmly believe Steve Cole is still getting Kickbacks from timber and paper companies)

So moving to  Frankfurt in Germany from Melbourne, Australia to be with my beloved every winter, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), and eventually moving here after my Degree, I need to stay in touch.

So I cobbled together a lot of free-technology that Google Provides in a handrolled way brought a player location list to life for Toofatlardies and Ground Zero Games.

This idea started as a Boargame Geek thread, but evolved.

This is how the Finder Googlemaps (Lardfinder and GZGfinder) were born:
    (and how you can set one up too!)

  1. Setup a single  googlemail account for each finder..
    I called mine gzgfinder@googlemail.com (Germany had a gmail before Google arrived!)
  2. Setup a private map under a Google account and share it with the people who will co-edit it with you.. start with the map private until you get it rolling, at least that's what I'm doing here.
  3. Get people to help you!
    This is important!There is nothing more annoying and less convincing to people than one person on a crusade; get other people on the bandwagon before you tear off on it.
    The one-man-band effect has produced more burned-out marooned efforts than anything else in history!
  4. Document how things work.  This will give the effort longevity, consistency and clarity.
    I used Google Documents and published the maps and documentation as Google Docs webpages, using Tiny URL.
  5. Pick your target audience, like painting figures, work your colour scheme out first, Identify the mailing lists, forums and Groups that your denizens inhabit.
  6. Configure your Google email account filters to send canned responses to entry submitters, reflect submitted entries to the Map Editors own emails.
  7. Put some effort into contacting list, blog, Forum and Website owners encouraging them to promote it and/or embed/incorporate the map on their sites. Google maps provides a embedded map and a RSS feed to it.
    See the bottom of Timbo's blog for what it can look like.
and now to that military maxim, Men matter Most:

The Good wargaming people I've met corresponded with  in the last 3 months:
  1. Timbo
    is a Bag the Hun player from Bendigo (cf Lardfinder), a BADGA member and only a few km up the road from Dave S. of Model Citizen Miniatures in Kyneton. Tim's been a godsend in getting me into Bag the Hun, I will definately be bending the elbow with a few waters over a game very soon.
  2. Matt
    Matty J. is an ok bloke for a Pom. He's a Frankfurt Spieltrieb member  ad funnily enough he left Frankfurt today for MElbourne for a wedding  with the message: "See you next week on the other side of the planet... its so cool being able to say that!" Matt's been great, his example of a local settling here in Frankfurt has made me feel less of a fish out of water when my time comes to do the same. He introduced me to The Frankfurt Spieltrieb and the Monthly Stammtisch ("open table"/pub night) that his group and their gamers hold, I demoed Full Thrust to Matt and Oliver, also SWMBO and I had dinner at a Frankfurt Burger Joint with Matt and his other 'arf, providing travel tips for the east coast of Oz.
  3. Oliver and the Frankfurt Spieltrieb
    They may have tiny clubrooms but boy they make up for it with enthusiasm and style, their tables are great and when I offered to fudge a GM rinforcement  roll for Oliver during the Full thrust Demo, he said nup and soldiered on, I take my hat off to you Oliver!
  4. Marc W. (AKA Tellus on boardgamegeek.com)
    we met at 0800 one morning (Frankfurt seemingly sleeps in until 1000 on weekends) to say hi and swap boardgames stories before we decided to arrange a game of "A House Divided" and sad to say "cosim" gamers, tabletoppers "tischspielers" and Euro/boardgamers dont mingle under one club roof as they seem to in Oz. Well as Dennis Bloodnok once said: "I'll put an end to all that Rubbish!" Marc is a great guy to game with and I hope to do so by Forum on BGG until I get back here next November. He wants to play Imperium. Yay! and he has a 28mm Foundry Late Imperial Roman Army for DBA which is gorgeous!
  5. TFL
    aka Toofatlardies is a small games company in the UK who appeal to the jaded gamer in me. They write Bag the Hun and belive beer and pies are an essential part of gaming. 'nuff said.
  6. TMP WW2 Aviation Forum
    These guys made me welcme and answered all kinds of silly questions as I found my way around a new period in WW2 aviation. Really Felt Welcome.
  7. Magfor61
    AKA Mike G.took the trouble to reply personally via to a few questions I had on the TMP WW@ forum and simply went the extra mile and he can paint like this, see his gallery
  8. Chuck Hamackruns a Bag the Hun website and went the second mile and further in getting me into the rules
  9. Fat Wally
    As did Kevin (who I'm sure is not at all Fat) and his BTH website
  10. Indy and Beth
    Both long time Full Thrust players, who stepped up to help get  the GZGfinder rolling

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