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Showing the game KISS or more tactical?

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Next week I plan make some demo for my friends.

Player with who I will play like tactical aproach. This will be our first game, but I wonder about showing more tactical depth.

I know that with first game I should keep it simple, but I my friend likes to have a challenge so I want to get him one;)

I wonder about:

1) use objective cards

2) choose more complicated scenario as Capture the Station

3) getting him a more challenge race

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Have they already tried a spartan system before? If not, then keep it simple - battleship, cruiser squad, frigate squad each, 4' x 4' board, a few asteroids and go kill each other. Aim is not to show off the minute but the overall feel and flow of the game to newcomers to let them see if they like the game mechanics.

If they have played a spartan game before, then, yes, play a scenario, maybe even add a carrier so they can try SRS, and include the battle log.

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Demo and Intro - Keep it simple IMHO.

It plays pretty different to non spartan games - The exploding 6 mechanic itself can take a little bit to get your head around with the dice pools, linking fire etc.
A LOT of the tactical gameplay is from movement, terrain, activation order and target priority. - . But it needs to be based on a solid foundation in those things. . .

We had the battle for valhalla set initially - And just playing a couple of the smaller games in there really helped learn those rules before we advanced, AND because they didint take too long, you could fit in 2 or three of them , and swap sides if you wanted.

 

If the game goes well you will naturally talk about all the other cool stuff MARS and effects that you can do in the future... And what other races can bring to the table.
BUT its the core mechanics of the game that will decide wether you want to get invested or not.


In my opinion a game with everything in it to start would take far too long and be too confusing to be particularly enjoyable in the first instance.

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I'm a huge fan of using pauper fleets (390 MFV) to introduce people to the game. It's a way to play using all the rules but still keep the game small and manageable for a new player since you can usually only field 1 or 2 tricky units at a time and you have so few activations you can really keep things moving.

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Have they already tried a spartan system before? If not, then keep it simple - battleship, cruiser squad, frigate squad each, 4' x 4' board, a few asteroids and go kill each other. Aim is not to show off the minute but the overall feel and flow of the game to newcomers to let them see if they like the game mechanics.

 

This is sound advice. You could even think of simplifying it even further and remove TACs, MARs etc... from the first game. The small intoduction booklet that was included in Valhalla did that and imho it worked quite well.

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Definately avoid TACs and MARs. I would avoid Cloaking Shields as well. Also, use the Border Class scenario for set-up.

Demos should be as simple as possible, and focus on the game fundamentals. You speak to the nuances, and only show that in subsequent demos.

Hopefully someone demonstrating FSA at Adepticon can tell you how they did it.

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Definately avoid TACs and MARs. I would avoid Cloaking Shields as well. Also, use the Border Class scenario for set-up.

this meas that Rethloza should not be used, without stealth and cloak the battle will be unequal.

So what race shoul I use instead? Directorate and Aquans?

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I ran a FSA demo yesterday, and can share my approach. So I didn't know that I would be doing a demo when I turned up to the club, but we had odd numbers at the start and Benis, a new chap, who keen to try out wargames. I used my Terrans, while he took someone else's Relthosa. I set up a normal table Gas Clouds, Asteroid Fields, 25% - and we each used a Frigate and Cruiser squadron from the patrol fleets.

I went through the Relthosa cruiser statline with him, explaining how the dice worked, linking, what turn limit 1 meant, etc. We didn't use Mines, Wings or Sector Shielding during the game, nor TAC cards, unit upgrades, and battlelog, but otherwise it was full rules. He seemed reasonably happy with the game once I explained all of the cruiser's stats to him, and so we rolled for initiative and began deploying.

This format meant that he got a full explanation of the game, and got to use a pair of squadrons (light and capital). Cloaking didn't seem to phase him too much, since I had made sure to include it in my initial explanation of the dice mechanic and linked fire. He actually won, thanks to perfect timing on use of his cloaking devices, allowing him to cripple my Teutons. Movement was definitely one thing that I had to explain a few times, mainly just stuff like measuring from front of base to front of base, how to use the ruler, etc. Benis was totally new to wargames though, so not hugely surprising on that front. I would definitely recommend lewving Tier one ships out, since they have so many guns and s much linking that they will both slow the game down and add a lot more maths than you might want for a demo, while not adding much in the way of rules demonstration over a Cruiser.

Hope this helps!

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personally i think i would go with scenario 1) in Battle for Valhalla it's simple and a very good intro. to the game. it isn't overly complacated and you can get the machanics down fast. that would be my choice 

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personally i think i would go with scenario 1) in Battle for Valhalla it's simple and a very good intro. to the game. it isn't overly complacated and you can get the machanics down fast. that would be my choice

Does Protues Prime have a similar mission?

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What I have done sometimes is run a small game engagement with just 2 cruisers and a frigate squadron each to explain the basic rules. That can be played through in a half hour or less. Once they have the feel for that, you can do a starter fleet battle of 500 points or so with an actual Tier 1 vessel.

 

I would still skip SRS, TAC cards, and terrain though. MARs will need to be included because many of the ships don't work well without them. As much as I love them, I would avoid using Relthoza as one of the starter sets unless you're playing them yourself. Relthoza are very tricky, and you want to teach a new player how to swim, not drown him in the ocean! Of the core six, Terran and Dindrenzi are probably the easiest to get the hang of. Aquans wouldn't be too bad if you don't specialize in mine-layers, but Sorylians would be kind of an uphill battle at a point value that doesn't allow them to run their extra-large squadrons. I can't speak for Directorate sin hardly anyone plays them in my area, but if they can make a viable fleet without relying too much on cyberwarfare they would probably work too. Of the alliance races, any of them with a full complement of ship classes probably wouldn't be too bad. RSN is just Dindrenzi Lite, and Ba'Kash are Relthoza Lite, so they would probably work. I'm not familiar enough with the rest of the races to really register an opinion, but I suspect a couple of them would be viable choices. 

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What I have done sometimes is run a small game engagement with just 2 cruisers and a frigate squadron each to explain the basic rules. That can be played through in a half hour or less. Once they have the feel for that, you can do a starter fleet battle of 500 points or so with an actual Tier 1 vessel.

 

I would still skip SRS, TAC cards, and terrain though. MARs will need to be included because many of the ships don't work well without them. As much as I love them, I would avoid using Relthoza as one of the starter sets unless you're playing them yourself. Relthoza are very tricky, and you want to teach a new player how to swim, not drown him in the ocean! Of the core six, Terran and Dindrenzi are probably the easiest to get the hang of. Aquans wouldn't be too bad if you don't specialize in mine-layers, but Sorylians would be kind of an uphill battle at a point value that doesn't allow them to run their extra-large squadrons. I can't speak for Directorate sin hardly anyone plays them in my area, but if they can make a viable fleet without relying too much on cyberwarfare they would probably work too. Of the alliance races, any of them with a full complement of ship classes probably wouldn't be too bad. RSN is just Dindrenzi Lite, and Ba'Kash are Relthoza Lite, so they would probably work. I'm not familiar enough with the rest of the races to really register an opinion, but I suspect a couple of them would be viable choices. 

 

I think it's important to use terrain it's one of the unique aspects of FSA.

 

I really disagree about Sorylians in low point games though.  The War log and my personal experience seem to show that in very low point games Sorylian resilience is a major asset.

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I agree that a small game of one or two squads, no tacs or battle logs is the way to go. I do think that mars are alright, depending on the player.

I think directorate are a tough starter fleet since their battle ship is tricky. Easy to learn shooting with bacause of turrets but harder to learn, since it doesn't quite stack against terrans, aquans, or dindrenzi.

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I plan using Mar and some terrain (1 nebula, 1 asteroid field, 1 planetoid), I probalby short describe my friend 2 races (Terrans and Aquan) and let him choose. As Rethloza player I will probalby play with them.

Also using "flush move" is good idea.

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I demo at least once or twice a week in the shop and it used to be more at one point and we've grown a strong FSA base so HOPEFULLY - I do it right.

 

1 or 2 Cruisers

 

3 or 4 Frigates

 

Keep it VERY simple and focus on:

 

Movement - the key to FSA in my opinion but probably the area that can slow folks down the most. Important things - ships have to move at least half distance, turn limits etc.

 

Firing Solutions - this doesn't slow folks down but it does cause probably the most confusion initially because most systems either use totals or just one shot per model etc. I find using dice to present a visual aid helps the most. I.E Put the dice on the table for each ship and go over how it works with splitting it up etc. In fact, I still use this method in my games sometimes (oops!)

 

Don't play a complex scenario. Kill each other.

 

Don't use TACs but I find MARS don't complicate things too much, but then I always demo Terrans / Dindrenzi as standard so there isn't a huge amount.

 

Reinforce the points about movement is key, picking the right targets, picking activations etc. People often LOVE the fact movement is actually tactical again as certain wargames sort of lost that feel when you can leave an army static on one side of the table all game and just shoot.

 

Exploding dice - really hammer home the key point of this mechanic - ANYONE can take on ANYONE! It gives a fair chance for everything and there are very little instances of getting "tabled". It generally results in really close games that go down to the wire and certain results can be hilarious or disastrous but you never feel too much on the back foot. 

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personally i think i would go with scenario 1) in Battle for Valhalla it's simple and a very good intro. to the game. it isn't overly complacated and you can get the machanics down fast. that would be my choice 

 

 

I like that suggestion. 

 

I definitely like to keep things as simple as possible for a demo scenario. Once players have the very most basic mechanics down, you can show them all of the options and details.

 

I would go so far as to say that I try to keep most MARs and alternate ordnance (like gravity weapons or cyberwarfare) out of it. Players have to pick up a lot to play. The Return of the Overseers box actually does a pretty good job of staging this kind of stuff in across it's little mini campaign.

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