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Warwick

Magic in demo?

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My last bout of demo lists had no magic. They were 300 points, and very fast games. I've talked to a new game shop in town about running a few demos. Is 500 points too big for a demo? Should I include magic in each list to give the new player a glimpse into everything? What size of army did you learn on?

As for me, I learned on 1K armies, playing both sides for three games. I had six armies under my belt before going to fight in public. I believe in a "jump right in" style of learning. Hit me with everything. I'm a slow learner, so we better get started early. That's how I might want to demo, too.

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You might consider having a 250 pt and a 500 pt list for each army. If the players are absolute noobies, use the 250 pt list first to teach basic mechanics without any frills like magic or ranged and minimal SA's. If the players seem to be experienced gamers, jump right to the 500 pt lists.

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I was about to say that I rarely use magic in demos, but I've realized that isn't true. The way I demo the game to the largest number of people is via Dungeon Crawl events at conventions. I give them a 500 point team of 4 models that covers every major facet of the game - melee, ranged, and magic. I spend about 10 minutes teaching people a "lite" version of the rules, then we start playing and learn the rest on the fly. Honestly, it seems to work pretty well. ::):

 

~v

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I think people can handle it. All of my demos quickly reached a point where I was just watching. I could walk away. Add in magic and I need another ten minutes or less to talk about it. And some people simply adore hurling magic at the enemy. I'll do it!

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Actually I love using magic in demos, as well as ranged.

I feel that the two main things that helps Warlord stand out from the other games is the initiative system and the combat system itself. And if you do a demo that only has 1-2 troops (or at least 1-2 initiative cards for each player) and does not show off the combat system (both the idea of offensive/defensive swings as well as the fight/shoot/cast synergies) then it really doesnt show the demoer the "shiny" parts of Warlord.

 

On that note, I tried 250 for a bit, and I have tried 500.. But, I have found that my best demo lists come out around 300-325. If I did not include magic then 250 works fine. But, again I like adding magic and ranged.

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...doesnt show the demoer the "shiny" parts of Warlord...

 

Actually, Warwick would be the demoer. The person learning to play is the demoee. Just sayin'. :devil:

 

::P:

 

:lol:

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You might consider having a 250 pt and a 500 pt list for each army. If the players are absolute noobies, use the 250 pt list first to teach basic mechanics without any frills like magic or ranged and minimal SA's. If the players seem to be experienced gamers, jump right to the 500 pt lists.

This.

 

Warlord's magic system really isn't all that complicated. On top of that, you have a wide range of casters to choose from. You don't need to start with the Witch Queen, you can have some simple caster with only one or two tomes tops.

 

I think that magic is a big option bucket in this game. A caster can help an army handle a wide variety of opponents, and that's part of the fun of the game! A good number of wargame players play more than one wargame, and the big question is "why should I pick up this new one?" And if all you demo is 200 or 300 points of basic warriors led by the lowest point sergeant, well... The game is pretty simple and those players are turned away.

 

My thinking has been changing on this topic for a little while now, but currently I am an advocate for higher point games - but with lower model counts. Don't use the most basic soldier you can, pick something awesome! Crimson Knights, Bear Riders, stuff like that. So maybe you land around 400-500 points, you've got an awesome "showcase" leader and one or two kick butt soldiers, a low-powered caster, and a cheap solo (I'm not opposed to using a separate quality soldier as a solo in these cases, as it doesn't really break the game but helps you show off the initiative system better without jacking up the cost - some factions just do not have cheap solos. Here's a sample list:

 

Dwarves - 400 points

Troop 1

Freya Fangbreaker

Ivar Silverfist

Warrior x 3

Halberdier x 2

Piercer

Berserker

Troop 2

Bear Rider

 

Obviously the bear rider is not a solo (used to be!!), but it's an awesome and large model that can be an eyecatcher, and it's strong enough to function as a solo. If a player really bites of course you explain to him that you used the bear as a solo for demo purposes, etc...

 

I like the above list because it's fairly small - 10 models really isn't too big - and it really shows off all that the game and all that the Dwarves have to offer. Tough melee monster types, magic, ranged, high DV vs high MAV approaches, it's all there. As for the specific faction, you can highlight that the Dwarves are not prolific in their magic, and Ivar is the poster boy for "I basically do one thing well." You show off the shieldmaiden/warrior front line backed with Halberdiers which is a Dwarven defensive staple, and you've also got the shock troopers with the Bear and Berserker, and you're showing off the Piercer, one of the stronger Dwarven models. I don't really know how somebody could NOT fall in love with the Dwarves after playing this list in a demo, but hey... that might just be me right?

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I would disagree with using four different types of grunt for a demo. I find it to confusing for a new player to try and figure out what models represent which troop type. The fewer troop types the better. If you have built the army yourself, you automatically know what everything is. For a guy who is new to the game, lots of variety might be cool, but it can be very confusing.

 

I don't have a problem with using the bear as a solo. I agree that it is very cool and would be a great draw for curious people.

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Let's be realistic here people. How many of you have given a demo to someone that has never ever ever played a wargame of SOME kind before in their life?

 

**Insert Jeopardy theme here**

 

That's what I thought. :devil: How many times have you gone into a traditional game store and seen people throwing down with like every Warmachine model they own? Or trying to recreate the Battle of X from WWII in Flames of War (thus having lots of minis)? Or fielding some massive Warhammer Fantasy army (that totals like 1,000 points :lol)? Face it, most players like having lots of models on the table. I admit that Warlord usually doesn't have massive amounts of models on the table, but if you demo a 1,000 point army, then you can definitely have all of the elements of the game in play, with multiple init cards per side, and most likely there are around 40 models on the table. An experienced wargamer from some other genre is not going to be put off by 40 models on the table. They'll pick it up just fine with no issues.

 

Unless you are actively going to new game stores all of the time, the people at the same game store you frequent often will most likely have seen you play a regular game of Warlord in the past and know that you are doing something different with this itty bitty version of Warlord. I have found that larger games will show how complex Warlord can be. Warlord is easy learn but difficult to master. ::):

 

/soapbox/

How many people has everyone recruited in the past, say, 3 months? I don't care about people that only played a couple of times. I'm talking about people that are now believers and are actively acquiring their faction of choice and getting them painted up etc. These are true recruits. If you are getting any sort of decent numbers, are you pushing the Savage North factions only or are you trying use Core Rulebook factions as well? Without having that rulebook to sell as well, it makes it look like Reaper isn't "staying with the times" and makes things difficult for us.

 

"Is this Savage North book the only book?"

 

"No, it isn't. There is also a core rulebook with even more factions available."

 

"Do they have it for sale here too?"

 

"No, it is out of stock and Reaper hasn't reprinted it yet."

 

See how lame that is? That doesn't help our cause much either. :down:

/off soapbox/

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Let's be realistic here people. How many of you have given a demo to someone that has never ever ever played a wargame of SOME kind before in their life?

Actually, when those demos are at a con, the percentage is fairly high. On a given day at the FLGS? Not so much. Just sayin'.

 

~v

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Let's be realistic here people. How many of you have given a demo to someone that has never ever ever played a wargame of SOME kind before in their life?

Actually, when those demos are at a con, the percentage is fairly high. On a given day at the FLGS? Not so much. Just sayin'.

 

~v

 

Consider where I live. How often do you think a con comes to town? Just sayin'. :devil: So, yeah, pretty much any demo we give is at a game store. ^_^

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Consider where I live.

Where you live is hardly my fault. :lol: Really though, I only do one con a year here *in* Houston. Everything else I have to travel some distance to get to.

 

~v

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