Friday, 23 December 2011

Demo Games for 2012

Morning all,

Over the last few days I've had some emails from The Spartans Wargames Society in St. Helens, who are responsible for running the Phalanx show ( which we attended with our first demo game for the club.

Now, I really enjoyed spending the day running a demo game, rather than playing in a tournament. Last year we ran an apocalypse game loosely based on the 2nd War for Armageddon (since it features Orks, Guard and pretty much every Blood Angels special character that Sanguinius had models for!). 

We got a lot of good feedback and comments from people, especially for my Mr Potato Head Stompa, but one of the main problems I had was the amount of set up and clean up time afterwards. It was an extremely impressive sight to have two 10K armies face off against one another, however. You can read and see some pictures of the demo game here to see what we took and how it looked.

Now then... I've recently recieved some mails planning for Phalanx 2012 and asking if we would like to book to run another demo game. Me personally, I'd definitely like to do one again but I'm asking around for what ideas people would have.

The problem with running a 10k Apocalypse game, was that whilst it looked fantastic on the table, there wasn't much interactivity from passers by (we tried to rectify this by having a Kill Team game on a smaller table next to the main game) and as I've said before, it took a LOT of set up time and transport between cars.

So yeah... Here's some ideas I have. I'd like to try and make a decision by the end of January, since most will require buying some bits, building some scenery and painting time - which by that point, there'll be 3 MAWS babies around and there won't be too much time left to get stuff done.

1. Apocalypse - Famous 40K Battle

This is a quick solution option since we already have most of the scenery, know the rules well enough and there's plenty of background info to go off of. I've not got many ideas I can think of, other than the Armageddon scenarios, or maybe branch out a bit.

I don't know anyone at the club who has actual Sisters of Battle models, but the massacre at Sanctuary 101, where the Necrons first re-emerged, would be nice.

Or what about the final stand of the Squats against the Tyranids? Or keeping in the Tyranid theme, you've got Malantai and the birth of the Doom when the Eldar there were destroyed... Or even Macragge?

Urien Rakarth's double cross of the Tau, when his "payment" from the Tau was Fire Warriors he secretly turned into Wracks and Grotesques?

2. Smaller Scale 40K
Here I'm thinking there's a couple of options:

We could run a Planetary Empires campaign on Black Reach, where we start the day with the contents of the boxset, play 500pts(ish) games and each win counts as a territory for each player.

This could also be expanded to multiple Combat Patrol armies and get a mini-campaign weekend on the go, battling for a planet in the 40k universe.

Another idea is Kill Teams with event cards, try and ramp up the narrative aspect and allow for cool cinematic things, like jumping off buildings (Dangerous Terrain test, for every floor you jump, -1 on the roll) and other such things.

3. 40k Last Stand
If you've not played Dawn of War 2, play it and play the Last Stand mode. 3 players control a hero each and take on waves of increasingly difficult enemies.

I thought this would be cool to run and see who can get furthest through the waves. We'd have to come up with a list of waves and bring all the relevant models for if someone were to get that far, but I think it'd be pretty fun to try and build a replica of the board from DOW2.

4. Zombies
Everyone loves Zombies. We've played a game at the club with some Zombie survivor rules, and I'd like to do a lot more work on that to make it work better and flow more freely.

The main idea I'd like to do is based on Left4Dead and a tile generated map. I can remember when I played Lord of the Rings there was a scenario where Frodo and Sam were travelling through the Sewers of Osgilliath and each time they left a tile, you rolled to see what the next tile was and if there would be enemies or items in it. This'd be cool to do with Left 4 Dead using some cork floor tiles to mark out a Map or city.

Thing we'd need:
- City scenery
- Survivor models
- Lots of Zombies.

5. Alien v Predator
Back when I was in college, I started writing up some AvP rules and never got very far with them. A couple of days ago, I made a start working on some fresh ones and if there's interest, could work on them enough to get a Demo game going.

The plan would be that there's a lot of emphasis on the facing of a model and suspense / terror factor. There'd be 3 playable groups in the game, each with their own objectives during the game. Maybe even adapt this to be able to play solo, or have the third faction able to work on it's own (so Marines v Predators, with the Aliens as hazards).

Things we'd need:
- Some sci fi lab terrain
- Converted Aliens
- Marines and Predators from casting company.

6. Batman
Like Zombies, everyone loves (or should love) Batman and I've been playing Arkham City recently and thinking about the Predator stealth sections of the game and whether this would make a cool Dungeon crawler stealth based game.

We could expand it to have several playable characters for however many people plan to join in. Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, etc. Each could have a few of their own cool unique abilities. Basically, it's all just an excuse for me to read, play and watch more Batman stuff...

I've seen Heroclix stuff, but I'm thinking more of making / tweaking my own rules for it and being able to expand it with what I want to add at the time.

Things we'd need:
- An environment (scenery or tiles)
- Heroclix Batman and Hero miniatures
- Generic Goon models.

7. Halo
Halo is pretty similar to 40k in terms of sci fi shooter, but what I'd think of doing here is smaller scale, respawns and more video game style modes like Capture the Flag, Juggernaut, etc.

There'd be 2 factions, your UNSC and Covenant teams. Each would have basic marines and Grunts, then a Spartan and an Elite per team. I'd imagine it functioning similarly to Warmachine in a way, with the Spartans and Elites issuing orders to the lesser figures, keeping in closer range stops them from running away when outnumbered, etc.

Completing certain objectives could reward the teams with things like the Covenant being able to call in a Hunter, UNSC could bring in a group of ODST troopers, Air support from Banshees and Pelicans and whatnot.

Things we'd need:
- A Map
- Converted UNSC miniatures
- Converted Covenant miniatures

8. Metal Gear Solid
The last idea I've got is similar to the Batman one, with a Metal Gear Solid theme - mostly because I want a reason to convert a Solid Snake miniature.

Again, heavy emphasis on stealth, takedowns but with rules for gunfights and gadgets.

Things we'd need:
- Map / Scenery
- Converted Solid Snake
- Genome Soldiers


So, what do you guys think? Any suggestions or feedback on my ideas? Any ideas of your own to chip in with?

Hopefully we can get a plan together over the few weeks and decide what we're doing for 2012 demo games at shows!



  1. dude, they are some awesome ideas for a demo, me personally im up for the maccrage re-enactment, anything to get my nids on the table, other than that i've been painting up my salamanders, they featured in the armageddeon wars. For any of the zombie games ive got loads of them from my vampire counts army, it just means painting them. I wouldnt mind playing an AVP style game, again my nids could be used, what about using a painted eldar avatar for the predator? if not then its converstion time. I've got a painted planetary empire board if needed too.

  2. Space crusade / hulk style kill team mission, either game tiles or custom scenery board.... Run a variety of missions through the day with players controlling forces like Eldar, Guard, Marines, Tau, Kommandos against forces like Nids / stealers, Guard (loyalist or trator), orks, chaos marines....

    Do like th ideas though. Think if you want to go for larger game - I you've been to Games Day or a local GW intro game - you can use the majority of the battle as 'scenic' piece and demo to ppl a small section of it.

  3. I think if we do a demo game we should keep it simple. Use the 40k rules (maybe some adaptation for scenario), and maybe have some homebrew rule packs lay around for people to look at (or take if you make enough) so they can see the ideas our club (you) come up with. Famous battles are always a good idea because people usually have some understanding of them, and it makes it a bit more cinematic. Smaller games are a good idea to get people involved, and I like taffeh's idea of using the big battle as scenic surrounding for a small demo game.