Notes on growing a gaming group dice

Note: in December 2005 I moved from Austin to Poland. So RussCon as described here came to an end, after almost 8 years!

RussCon is the most successful long-lived boardgame group I've ever experienced. I've hosted it weekly at my house since January 1998. On any given Wednesday, roughly half the attendees are folks who show up almost every time, and half are people who might only show up every few months or only once a year. As of March 2000, over 100 people have come to RussCon, and about 75 are currently on the email list. Over 240 distinct game titles have been played. On any given night, there are typically about 16 people, and often 4 games are played in parallel.

The name "RussCon" was suggested early on by attendees.

We also have a ratings system (more info on that to appear later) which adds to the character of the group. The highest ranked player each week (aka The Devil) gets to sit at the dining table next week and pick the games played there. There is only the one table, so additional games are played on the carpeted floor. (This has dissuaded a couple people with knee or back problems from returning.)

If you are interested in starting a gaming group, here are some factors I believe have contributed to the success & character of RussCon. Your mileage may vary.

I think the 2 most important & universally applicable factors are:

Back up to RussCon