Great questions. With lengthy, although prolly not surprising, answers from out of my direction.
I have not made a secret of how I try to recruit new players. For the people I am in a position to perhaps recruit, the full game is much to complex, and takes too long to explain/experience in a single sitting.
I've had great success in teaching them with a broader, even simpler(?) variant of "Warp Speed", which I called, "Impulse Speed". I've mentioned it where I could around the forum, to create awareness.
I wrote an extensive article on the full Impulse Speed rules, its card pool choices and design background; however on the one hand it's not completely finished yet (but I did send a trial version in, some months ago); and on the other hand, there seems to be a lack of interest in yet another format of the game.
In Impulse Speed's defense, it differs less
from the full format than Warp Speed does.
In the CC's defense, I was
invited to send it in again recently; but lack of time, my perfectionist tendencies, and a general/public lack of positive response have kept me from doing so. (Which might be fine -- no hard feelings; it might just mean that, aside from our
local experience, there is not
such a need across the community. It's just that... I can't imagine that to be true; I can only imagine that having more specialized/smaller tools, would bring in more
people from "the fringes of CCG-interested masses".)
To reiterate(?) my practical results:
I did get some 20 people to (re)try the game over the past 5 years. I've seen in a handful of cases, that it was very good to be able to fall back to the real beginnings / basics of the game.
What I've seen is that some people whom I actually tried to teach 1e with simple but full-game decks (i.e., pre-Impulse Speed-development), were actually relieved and more excited/receptive to play the game again (i.e., retry learning), with the smaller and even simpler Impulse decks, while they could hardly be coaxed to try the full game again because of its complexity.
These are people who are certainly not unsmart; but have less time, energy and/or patience to start at full steam; which to me raises the question: how many of those people do we let slip through the cracks by not having even simpler decks than the -- certainly ingenious! -- Coming Of Age starters? Even, if only as a secondary option?
Also, the focus has shifted to include casual play a bit
more. However, that could be greatly enhanced. Not everybody wants or needs an official standing, or likes to join tournaments. Still, having people casually play/perpetuate/sponsor/promote the game increases chances that some of those people -- or others -- eventually do
There were plans to include achievements and/or other benefits for casual play. I've been enthusiastic about that, and may be able to coax some of my players into that system while not outright able to get them into OP. But there has not been a lot of movement on that front, which I personally regret.
On the other hand: yes, I'm very much aware that I might
be operating on the fringes of where this community wants to be, myself. So yes, I do understand that precious and voluntary resources are distributed wisely. I just answer the questions, in the hope that it may be for the Greater Good Of The Game.
So -- TL;DR
-- my answers are:
- More diverse options and tools, e.g. different formats / deck / spaceline sizes might help teachers to choose more fitting materials.
- Even more rewards / incentives for casual / "kitchen table" gameplay.
In answer to your other question (gifts
As holiday/seasonal gifts, I got some finacial support for some cards I bought, over the past couple of years. Among them were Barclay UR, Saavik, E'prise-A, Miral, ...
Cards which I may not have bought for myself even when I still could
but that I loved to have.