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dammazkron



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 44
Location: Southport, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:40 pm
Post subject: Demo Games
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Salute has kicked my arse into getting my wargaming buddies (there must be all of 4) into AoA again.

I need to run some demo games, to save fannying about with other people's models I'm thinking of using two pre-made armies from models I have. Thinking of doing a simple scenario of either Goblins/Beastmen vs. Barons, with the Barons trying to defend a village from the raiders.

I want the games to flow as smoothly as possible, with a good mix of troops on each side (different kinds of infantry, missile troops, cavalry, some characters, monsters etc.) the aim being to show a dynamic game using all different miniatures but still flowing relatively quickly.

Questions I have are:
Army Composition - how many points per side?
Troops & Monsters - what to use for what armies, to keep it comfortable enough for the long-time WFB players, but different enough for the people sick of GW games?

Would a list of models I currently have available make things easier?

My overall aim is to create a spark of innovation and interest for the people I'm demonstrating it to, like what seeing the HUGE AoA table at Salute did for me, but on a smaller (think budget) scale...

Any help appreciated Very Happy
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Zinkala



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 473

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:50 pm
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I know Rocket Toad and some of the others there have a lot more experience doing demos than I do. Still over the last couple of years Iíve gone to a few conventions and done some in store demos for AoA. Hereís my thoughts.

Army Composition - how many points per side?

When introducing AoA to my friends we started small and added things as we learned. I figured out that about 3,000 points was a good starting level. It gives you a fair sized core army that can be expanded upon easily. We went for mostly a variety troops with a small smattering of characters and war machines, leaving out magic and anything that looked complex. Just by adding in wizards and some cheap monsters and bulking up the units a bit you can quickly increase your core up to 4,000 points.

When doing demos for strangers I brought 2 balanced 4,000 point armies. I wasnít real picky about points limits as I went for unit sizes that looked nice and were close. In a demo not many people will notice if youíre 10-20 points over the 4,000. I tried to include different things to show how they worked in AoA so I tried to made sure I had some of every type while not skipping on the core troops.

Troops & Monsters

I prefer less expensive monsters and more troops for demos and games in general. While I donít mind big monsters I have to have good sized units of ordinary guys and that works good in AoA compared to some games. Hereís my two demo armies.

Goblins
27 spearmen 378 vp
27 polearms 351 vp
20 hobgoblins with spears 454 vp
3 x 12 goblin bowmen 756 vp
10 spider riders 350 vp
6 ogres 204 vp
1 giant scorpion 74 vp
1 king 184 vp
2 nobles 180 vp
1 shaman 328 vp
1 hobgoblin hero 170 vp
1 light catapult 166 vp
2 ballistae 422 vp
Total vp 4017

I put a noble in each of the spears and pikes and the hobgoblin hero in the hobgoblin unit. I let the players decide where to throw the king and the shaman. This army is made from the BFSP goblins plus some other things I had lying around for years. Iíve got enough minis to add another 1-2,000 points easy enough but just havenít got them painted.

High Elves
2 x 20 pikemen 24 960
14 sunblades 26 364
2 x 10 longbowmen 46 920
9 cavalry with lance 37 333
10 noble cavalry 47 470
1 multiballistae 166 vp
1 lord on elf steed 231 vp
1 wizard 343 vp
2 champion 242 vp
Total vp 4029

I have the lord in the cavalry unit, wizards and champs in the playerís choice of pikes or sunblades. Elves are so expensive points wise that I have trouble making units the size I like and still being able to field anything but troops. Iíd like to add a monster of some sort but hate cutting down on anything else. So this is how they get used most often. I could easily add another 2,000 points of just troops and almost all of them are painted.

I tried to have enough units and terrain out there to make maneuvering interesting without overcrowding things. For terrain I have decent looking trees and hills and I have a nice ruined temple piece for a small center point. Nothing to compare to either of the AoA tables at Salute but nice all the same. Simple is good for demos because you only have so much time to cram in as much info as possible. Don't get tanlged up trying to work out any contentious or complex situations if possible. Keep the game flowing.

Hope this helps. Smile

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dammazkron



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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Location: Southport, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:00 pm
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Hope this helps. Very Happy

Just a bit, yeah Laughing

Ok, so you would suggest aiming for 3,000 to 4,000 points per side? I'll have a look through what I have and post my proposed army lists, but this whole idea is still at a very embryonic stage yet.
I'm not really intending to use other people's miniatures, the plan is to have the terrain already set up fairly and both armies set up. That way if I am showing two people how to play I can give them an army each, or if I am only showing one person (more likely) then I can let them pick which army they want to use.

The two armies I've plumped for are Goblins and Barons of Lyonesse. I intend to print off sheets of each unit and its stats to have with the army too.

Quote:
We went for mostly a variety troops with a small smattering of characters and war machines, leaving out magic and anything that looked complex.

Thats the plan, a nice mix of troops. I'm tempted to include one magic-user per side, because most of the people I am showing have done at least some wargaming and will pick it up reasonably quickly. I'm thinking of printing off (and possibly laminating) some sheets with the lores available to each side, and then when the player picks which one they want to use, just put the others away.
I'm hoping this will mean the players get to see each phase in full and only having one magic-user means that the magic phase won't really dominate the game, nor get over-complicated.

I've seen a lot of people saying to avoid Magic in demo games but I've never really had any problems with the magic system when I've played, I actually find it quite easy to understand.

Quote:
I wasnít real picky about points limits as I went for unit sizes that looked nice and were close. In a demo not many people will notice if youíre 10-20 points over

Duly noted. years of playing against hardened gamers has left me with an almost compulsive desire to *STAY WITHIN THE LIMIT!!!* Rolling Eyes

I also agree with you on the monsters, I want both sides to have them but not for them to dominate. I'm thinking of having a few Trolls for the Goblin side, but not sure what to use for the Barons.

At the moment, I've got to paint up a lot of stuff and also think about what terrain to build/buy/finally get round to painting.... so as I say - this is still very much at an embryonic stage.
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Rocket-Toad
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Joined: 02 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:11 pm
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Zink is right, keep it real simple and they will pick it up easily, or at least easier.
Run the game down to the wire and let them steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

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The Creature Creation Formula is the thing I dont like most about the system. I have never seen anyone think I need another unit of chaff on the table, lets point them up, the CCF tends to create all kind of supermonsters.
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Zinkala



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 12:42 am
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We started at 2,000 points with no magic and to be honest the battles sucked but we did learn the rules a bit. 3,000 is the minimum I saw where you could have a decent game. 1 wizard per side isn't a big deal. We just left it out until we had a few games in to get the basics down. If you understand magic and the rules that helps a lot. We were starting on our own so took tiny baby steps. I did the same as you suggested and have run a couple of demos of 2-4 players with me reffing or more often just me against someone else.

I made sure to have enough copies of the quick play sheets for the players and anybody who might want to watch. If you click on my signature there's some I did in there that have more information than the rulebook version. I also made sheets of the army lists with everything included, warmanchines and monsters. Enough copies for all the players to get a look at both lists. Then I painted and painted and painted some more to have 2 fully painted armies and some terrain. 20+ years of wargaming and my only close to painted army was Eldar for 40k. Embarassed I still don't have anything close to done except the goblins and elves out of 7 fantasy and historical armies Rolling Eyes A spare rulebook is handy too so people can browse while you play but that's kind of expensive when on a budget.

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dammazkron



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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Location: Southport, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:15 pm
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Zinkala wrote:
3,000 is the minimum I saw where you could have a decent game.

In the words of Homer 'those are my sentimonies!'
2,000 is just not enough to get everything I want on the table, and I get the feeling that 4,000 could potentially be too much to paint Wink Laughing

One important thing to remember I think is that pretty much everyone I'm showing this to, or doing it with have done/still do wargaming so picking up rules shouldn't be too much of a problem. Still definitely a lot of work to do, I'm focussing on just getting everything painted at this moment in time. Next on the list is the terrain, then finally all the associated paper based gubbins.

Didn't think to include extra sheets for onlookers though, good thinking Smile

Zinkala wrote:
20+ years of wargaming and my only close to painted army was Eldar for 40k. Embarassed I still don't have anything close to done except the goblins and elves out of 7 fantasy and historical armies Rolling Eyes

We're similar people, it seems. I've not had a fully painted army for years. As my painting ability improves, my speed and enthusiasm wanes....
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Zinkala



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 8:05 pm
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At 2,000 points I think we had 3-4 units each and all we could do was charge straight at eachother. Biggest lesson I learned was not to attack lots hobgoblins straight on with a small unit of elf nobles.

High elves were my first army that I bought when the 4th edition box came out. I bought an army deal somewhere around '93 to make a complete army. I finished painting the minis from back then two years ago so I could do demos. Confused I've got a half painted unit of 25 swordmen, 20 white lions and 9 reaver knights left and I can't seem to make myself work on them lately. I tend to paint one or two test models for each unit, then a unit or two and then want to paint a different army. I love assembling things but while I like painting, it just isn't something I can do continually or quickly. I love my night goblins though. About 10-12 minutes apiece and they look pretty decent. Stinkin elves take about 45 minutes each. Evil or Very Mad I'm bouncing back and forth between the finishing touches on a dwarf spear unit and doing the front rank on all the units for my romans right now.

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dammazkron



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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Location: Southport, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 10:48 pm
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I know - I think we all need goals to aim for, hence why I decided to do this.

Otherwise, like you said, there's a tendency to bounce between projects. I'm painting my Goblins at the moment with a borderline psychotic intensity, but before this I was bouncing between Normans, Eldar and Beastmen, with occasional forays into painting Blood Bowl teams...

Quote:
At 2,000 points I think we had 3-4 units each and all we could do was charge straight at eachother.


Exactly - can't show the real joy of AoA with such a small game. I've had a look through what I have in terms of miniatures, and purely from what I own, here is my initial 3,000 points list for Goblins contains:

Hobgoblin Hero on Wolf - 188
Goblin Shaman - 313
20 Spearmen - 280
20 Spearmen - 280
10 Archers - 210
10 Archers - 210
5 Dervishes - 165 (very tempted to remove these, bloody sweep is too complex)
5 Wolfrider Archers* - 145
5 Wolfrider Archers* - 145
10 Wolf Cavalry* - 280
2 Ballista - 422
3 Trolls - 186
3 Minotaurs - 177

Total: 3001

*these are slightly different to the Wolfriders and Scouts in the original list, to represent what I've actually got as models. They're all CCF'd and everything. I'm going to have printed army lists (eventually) so players need not know those aren't from the basic list.

Obviously the army list isn't set - thats just me seeing what I could do with the models I have available. For the Barons I'm inevitably going to have to invest in some more models Sad
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Zinkala



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:44 am
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I use spider riders in my demos because I still haven't painted my wolfriders. I call them an example of using the CCF to adapt the lists to your collection Smile One thing I did with my lists was try to make the units relatively close in points if I could. I figured that would keep any one unit from overpowering all the competition. I really need to get some more giant scorpion minis. He's the nastiest looking thing in the army but is only as tough as 3 goblins. He does draw a lot of attention from the enemy even though he's kind of useless.

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Sukhe_Bator



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:49 am
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Would it also be possible to try and tweak the unit sizes to help emphasize the differences between AoA and other well known fantasy games out there....?

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Shelfunit



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:08 am
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In a couple of months the "other" game will probably also be going "bigger is better" in relation to unit size... Easier to promote the balence the game has - which is far more important with the "other" system being as chronically weak in this area as it is...

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dammazkron



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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:41 am
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Do we think bigger units then? I realise there are quite a few small units in that list - mainly due to models available to me at present...

If people with more experience want to suggest lists then feel free - I'm using Barons and Goblins.

EDIT: Sacked off a few things and I should be able to field this list with minimal buying of figures:

Hobgoblin Hero on Wolf 188
Goblin Shaman 313
30 Goblin Spearmen 420
30 Goblin Spearmen 420
10 Goblin Archers 210
10 Goblin Archers 210
10 Wolf Cavalry* 280
10 Wolfrider Archers* 290
4 Trolls 248
2 Ballista 422
Total - 3001

Less units but the ones there are larger.

I've had to get all CCF on the Barons too, as the models I had (mixture of Foundry & Gripping Beast Normans) didn't quite fit the troop choices in the original list. I still haven't been able to get that list to 3,000pts based on what I have - need suggestions (and companies) for monsters and artillery.
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Sukhe_Bator



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:51 am
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It is probably difficult to visually look different enough from other rule sets out there in a demo game, but I was thinking in terms of trying to avoid the obvious usual unit sizes promoted in other rules. Not so easy now there is more convergence of ideas.
One of the members of the other forum had an interesting idea for 'big units'. Adopt Skirmish order as you advance then form into Raf before a charge. Not sure of the game mechanics and timing would have to be good but potentially a way of lessening incoming missile fire and seemingly a viable tactic for adoption horde-like troops such as Orcs and Goblins. Perhaps visually expressing the tactical flexibility of AoA is the way forward...

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Zinkala



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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 1:10 pm
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The biggest visual difference I have in my demos is that I tend to have more 7 x 3 or 4 units than 5 wide x as many ranks as I can get. IMO you're better off having more smaller units than a few big ones for a demo. The ability to manouever in AoA is a bonus. In Warhammer too often games play out as a charge up the middle because it's all you have time for in 6 turns. But then your second list still has a decent amount of units too.

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dammazkron



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:21 pm
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howdy folks - still here, just had a mad 2nd half of last year with a new job which meant working 5 or 6 nights every week.
I've been slowly getting on with this among other projects and now have the final army lists prepared (because I'm running out of money to spend on new minis).

I decided to go with a more attacking feel for the Gobbos, and a more defensive feel for the Barons, as the scenario I am aiming for is the Barons gathering an army to defend their outlying villages against the Goblin invasion force.
Lists are as follows:

Goblins
Hobgoblin Hero on Wolf
Goblin Shaman
30 Spearmen
30 Spearmen
10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Wolf Cavalry
5 Wolf Archers
5 Wolf Archers
4 Trolls
2 Ballista

Barons
Lord
Champion
2 x Wizards
20 Heavy Infantry w/spears & shields
15 Heavy Infantry w/spears & shields (Lord's Unit)
17 Light Infantry w/spears & shields (Champ's Unit)
12 Medium Cavalry w/lances & shields
10 Longbowmen
10 Longbowmen
8 Scouts w/crossbows

So, there are a few things in there that aren't in the regular list but I've been hard at work with the CCF and I've managed to get stuff to match the mini's I have more closely.
Pics of mini's to follow...
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