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Advice on demo games

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My local club is running a couple of open days over the next couple of weekends, and I'm beginning to think that it might be be perfect opportunity to try to get DW going here in Auckland. Unfortunately, I haven't received my Kickstarter yet, so I'll be working purely on what I have already - and luckily that's quite a bit. 

I've got a few pieces of terrain, a blue sheet for the table, the old 2.0 books, a tablet loaded with pictures of battlegroups and the 2.5 rules. I'm thinking my forces will be Prussian v Russian - Eider, 3 xUhlan, 4x Arnimus vs Borodino, 3xSuvrov 4xNovgorod, on a 4' x 4' board (everything is painted except the Uhlans, which are very close to being done, and will probably be completed Saturday for Sunday).

I suppose my question is - can you guys provide any advice on how to really make an impact? The club is very big on 40k, so I expect to be out played in that respect, but any tips or tricks regardless?

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One thing that I experienced when I demo'ed some games, was that people are more often than not, interested in the background and fluff.

Models may be cool and game play solid, but without a compelling background to hold all of that together interest can fade real fast. (Granted I demo'ed the game at an anime-con so random folks with brightly colored hair might not be a proper target market lol)

As your club is heavy on 40k, any interested parties would probably be used to over the top personas and the immense scale of things. It would be hard for the DW background to match that as its a totally different kettle of fish, this was a challenge I face as SG didn't release that much fluff material back then. I am hoping that the upcoming Nation Books will address those issues.

Game play wise, I suppose a parallel can be drawn to "steampunk Battlefleet Gothic" if it helps understanding. Some of the comments and questions I took were:

1) Wow the models are so cool, how much do they cost?

2) Where can I buy them?

3) How many factions are there and how do they play?

4) How long does a game last?

5) How balanced is the game? Are there any OP stuff?

5) So whats the story about <faction X>


Best of luck!

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Have your best and most interesting models on display, but your choice of forces seems good.  If you have another DW player  game with them could  show off the other elements like boarding, aerial and subs operations. It should be easy to have demo players either join in  your game or you could stop your game and coach them after the hook is set. The models are where Spartan DW shines in my book.

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I guess the first question is what is the nature of the event? Bring in new people to the club or show club members what is going on.

Well with a new edition of 40k it's hard to say how things will look on that side. But the company and ruleset has a lot of issues and anyone that steps foot in a game club likely knows some of those. The "well it sucks less than it did a few years ago" defense leaves a lot of openings.  One issues with all tabletop games is cost. The low cost of entry for DW is a very solid point and a well known problem with 40k. You can get a decent size army for less than a 40k player will pay just in books.

Show off the models and diversity (that half the armies in the game aren't pallette swaps of the posterboy).

One thing that always bothered me about 40k is how it was "sci-fi" but other than a few names it really plays like a low tech infantry warfare game. DW, as alternate *history*, plays in a more modern and futuristic manner. It makes more sense.

In the end the most important part though will be to know the game and show off the best parts.

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Fluff wise the best would be to show any of the Spartan operation books.  Hurricane Season, earth and steel, operation siccorro and pasific storm.  These book for the 40k player would be similar to the imperial Armour books Forgeword produces. Now time may be of the essence however the Pasific Storm book is available here in the forums area which can be downloaded and converted into a book.

the other thing is to show off all the backgrounds for each nation in 2.5 with a few examples of the models (wether in a picture or as models).  

Either way many gamers will enjoy looking at the game and may try a simple demonstration.  A quick game of a cruiser squadron and a frigate squad will demonstrate the basic movement, fire arcs, hit modifiers some generators and defence ability.  Best thing with Spartan is the exploding 6 mechanic and how it changes the game.  The idea of being able to take out something with a lucky shot or defending a vessel with a similar result.

if you need any further assistance I can mail some brochures across to you from Aus which should not take to long.

Edited by Ozysturn
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