#FABDad – Strength in Numbers!


Welcome to our fourth installment in the #FABdad series! Today’s article will be on a topic near and dear to all of us:

Being Part Of The Community!

Flesh and Blood is unlike any other trading card game I’ve ever played. Other games support making friends and interacting with other players, of course, but FAB is the only game that pushes community interaction as a core tenet of its model.

The heart and soul of the game resides in the local game stores, but the game doesn’t just stop at the shop’s front door. The more invested I’ve become, the more I’ve realized that the FAB community also extends to social media and the content creation platforms as well!

Our local game stores are the bedrock of who we collectively are. Without them, we almost certainly wouldn’t even have a game to talk about.

James White, the creator of Flesh and Blood, has said that the experience of bringing people together to play at their local game store is core to his vision for the game. We are meant to play FAB in the flesh, and face to face. But there’s more to being part of this game than what exists inside the brick and mortar.

My own experience coming into Flesh and Blood really hammered home for me how different this community is. I was a kid when I first played Pokemon, a teen when I played Yu-gi-oh, a young man when I really started on my journey with Magic: the Gathering, and I have friends that made those transitions with me through the years.

Bringing my own tribe along, I never had an issue of feeling like an outsider at a game store until I started picking up cards again as an adult after a life-forced break. I remember my first few events coming back into Magic, not knowing anyone at a weekly event other than my brother and having to push through my social anxiety to talk to people and try to build a connection. I didn’t have the rest of my old crew with me, and it had been years since I’d really played. So I was nervous. It took several weeks of coming regularly to really feel welcomed into that playgroup, and even then it honestly felt more superficial than inclusive.

That Was Magic Though, What About FAB?

FAB was an entirely different experience. I was at one of the weekly Magic events after having talked to my brother about seeing Flesh and Blood more online and watching as the game was growing when we made the decision to try it out. We decided to buy a couple of blitz decks and managed to get one of the Rhinar Vs Dorinthea Classic Battles boxes with some store credit I had built up.

We taught ourselves the rules with the help of YouTube, and when we walked into a store for our first Armory, we were warmly greeted by the other players that had come for the event. Shout out to my buddy Daniel Sanmiguel who was the first face in Flesh and Blood that I met and was an amazing ambassador of the game. He and the other regulars took my brother and me under their wings to fix the mistakes we’d made by trying to interpret the rules on our own and welcomed us with open arms. We felt like we belonged from the first moments of being there and at the end of the night, as new players often are, we were showered with promos and bulk cards from everyone’s prize packs (I remember getting a Shitty Xmas Present and thinking it was the greatest card name I’d ever seen).

From that point I was hooked, and have been a constant face at my local events ever since. I quickly realized that I wanted to engage with these people more than just once or twice a week while playing though!

Before I went to my first Armory, I had checked in with my shop’s Discord server to see when we would be able to play. That first night I was invited to several more servers and was told that a lot of local events were discussed on social media platforms like Facebook, Discord, and Twitter. I’d never messed with Twitter much, but I’ve had a Discord and Facebook profile for a while (for the memes), and through those I was able to keep my finger on the pulse of local events.

I Don’t Have Time To Be Active On Social Media. It Seems Like More Trouble Than It’s Worth To Me. So What’s The Point?

Social media has become an extension of the Flesh and Blood experience for me now. Even when life gets in the way of me making it to my local shop, I still feel connected to the friends I’ve made. If you haven’t tried Discord, you really should. A lot of hobby shops have their own server to coordinate with customers and mine have their own section for the Flesh and Blood players. A few servers I’d suggest checking out are TCG Talk’s server, The Card Guyz, and the official FAB server that’s “lovingly” referred to as “The Purple Discord” because of the profile image.

Social media also provided me with an easy way to buy multiple cards from a single source. I have made the largest portion of my FAB singles purchases from the Facebook group “Flesh and Blood TCG Marketplace NA.” I prefer dealing with one of the traders there to most traditional sites because communication is easier, the prices are often lower, and if I order 20 cards for a deck they all come in one package (having more than one package in the mail at a time really does a number on my anxiety).

It wasn’t until the last few weeks that I’ve realized how awesome the Twitter community for Flesh and Blood is also. When I went to Baltimore for the Calling, I met a lot of great people from all over the planet (Tall Timmy, I’m looking at you!) I probably have more than 30 selfies on my phone with different content creators from the trip and it seems like all of them are active on Twitter. The more I engage with the platform, the more I feel like part of the worldwide Flesh and Blood collective. Even if you don’t plan on posting to it, having a profile is worthwhile just to keep track of the latest gossip at the shop and official announcements from Legend Story Studios. It’s especially worthwhile during preview seasons.

Keeping A Profile With The Notifications Turned Off Doesn’t Sound Too Bad I Suppose. There’s Another Way To Be Involved Online, Isn’t There?

Why, yes, of course there is! I’ve written about the benefits of consuming Flesh and Blood content before, so I’ll try not to repeat myself here. But there seems to be a trend recently where creators are doing more live content and engaging with people in their streams. Doing live streams provides another opportunity for viewers to come together and talk about our favorite TCG as a collective, and I’m all for it. These chats often attract the best and brightest stars of the competitive scene to discuss FAB philosophy with the streamer, and for a try hard #FABdad like myself, being able to sit at the feet of masters and absorb knowledge is another step closer to emulating their results.

I haven’t seen many of our content creators on the Twitch platform yet, but we do have a few, like OeilOphidia, who have been hosting streams of larger events in the European scene, and KnightTimeFAB, who traditionally does Guardian hero game play streams (if you’re interested in Guardians, KnightTime is a very strong player and his streams are well done).

Thanks for tuning in this week! What are your favorite aspects of the Flesh and Blood community? Are you a part of the social media zeitgeist? Do you think you might give FAB Twitter a try? As always, I’m on Discord and Twitter as DracoHominis87, so feel free to let me know!

Donnie is an enthusiastic nerd and family man who grew up playing TCGs, starting when Pokemon cards were the hottest thing on the playground. After playing Yu-gi-oh and then Magic the Gathering for years, he found Flesh and Blood in December of '22, sold all of his other pretty cardboard rectangles, and dived into FAB head first where he discovered a deep love for go-wide strategies involving the use of Ninja cards. Be Like Water is his current favorite card, because he gets to do a terrible Bruce Lee impression every time it's played. (Much to the annoyance of his brother who hears it a lot.) Donnie has been married to his lovely wife since Halloween 2008 and has two beautiful daughters that he couldn't be more proud of.