Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Demo games for Wargames shows and no ass cracks, Cavalier 2012 part 2.

As I said yesterday the Rejects will be putting on a demo game at Broadside 2012 and we got a lot of advice from other gamers at the Cavalier 2012 show and some nice pictures, we're also getting polo shirts with our logo and names on them for the professional mercenary look (lots of XXXL's then)......

....we also want to be approachable (some of us will need lessons), know what we're talking about, have handouts, presentable (more about that down the page), good demo game eye candy terrain and figures and maybe even smiling (more lessons), it's about wargaming and making friends I hope and if you want to take a picture you can with maybe a sign saying that please do, BigLee said he got some smart ass comments from one table about the flash on his camera interrupting their game?

If you have any advice and have done this yourself please leave a comment as we're bloody amateurs and maybe out of our depth!

More pictures from Cavalier 2012....

This  WW2 game was from the Crawley Wargames Club and a more helpful bunch of guys you couldn't find, plenty of advice about the boards they use, figures, handouts and etiquette.....

This is a good idea and as Ray said he'e stealing it like all his ideas.....




Steve 1 (standing) and Steve 2 (apologies Steve 2 for back of head shot) but one thing he said about a demo game that stuck was appearance and ass cracks, nobody wants to approach a table and see 6 or 7 builders ass cracks and nobody willing to talk to them...... 

Ray posed for this.......

This was "The Storming of the Alamo", 6th of March 1836 from the Loughton Strike Force and this is the other type of demo game I believe which is played enthusiastically from beginning of the show until the end....






I went back several hours later and the action was getting tense as the walls had been reached.......there seemed to be a casualty figure for every single casualty caused!



One last thing and a favour, a friend of mine and Ray's has started a blog about modelling and wargaming, early stages and I will help him tweak things but he could do with a few followers over at Vinnies World, I'll make sure he follows back......:D

62 comments:

  1. I think you are spot on regarding accessibilty and openess when demoing game; if done badly, this can often break the whole experience and ruin the effort put in to stage the thing in the first place.
    Good luck I'm sure you will do great, only sorry i can't attend!
    Regards,
    Monty

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  2. Nice!

    Does anyone know why the Alamo is so popular lately? I have seen Alamo games (or game reports) from 4 different clubs at shows all over the world over the past 5 month and it is not like it is an anniversary year.

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  3. For a demo game, my suggestion would be to always have a spare person to talk to anyone who shows an interest in the game. This means that the players can keep the game moving and the "spare" can tell people what's going on, what rules are being used, what's happening in a particular phase of the game, what figures are being used, etc.

    If you're demoing something which is fun, and rather quick to explain, get the person showing an interest to roll a dice or otherwise contribute. In New Zealand, we don't tend to run demo games at conventions that visitors can just drop into, though I understand that these sorts of games are more common in the US and UK. If we, as gamers, want to encourage more people to take up our hobby, we have to show that it isn't all rivet counting and flame wars, but there's also rolling dice, pushing toy soldiers around and having a laugh with your mates.

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  4. Dear Angry. I too found those two clubs very approachable and with good looking games. They are both thinking and talking about Broadside attendance as well. One thing I noticed about Cavalier this year was that there was very little to tell you about the club who's table you were sranding at, a few books at the table end on the subject maybe if you were lucky but most often I had to ask.Just a thought for you up to you where you take it.

    My second point would be work out if it's participation or demonstration before you even start. Younger players tend to want to sit and play and Old foggies like me want to buy things and dip in and out of watching games without commitment.

    My Third point would be if a demonstration game know the rules it looks very bad if you see people "arguing" over a rule interprettion while demoing a game.

    There are more guidelines for good games, but those are my bugbears.... oh and unpainted figures is deffinitly a no no!

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  5. I see Ray has zackerly disease, his face looks exzackerly like his ass....

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  6. Definitely no to builder's bottoms - say no to crack! Some things I'd look for: simple rules, giving each player at least two units so they can have a meaningful part in the game, good handouts,a sense of humour. I have a mate who usually brings a stock of silly hats to give players in his games, which tend to be fairly lighthearted. I second what Clint said about having a chap detailed to talk to players, kind of like the WalMart greeter, so the guy running the game isn't too burdened.
    In Canada we tend not to have many clubs like the UK. Over here I wish more games at regional events had handouts identifying who the presenters of the games are, where they are, when they meet, etc.

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  7. Great coverage.

    Only things I can state if I were to go to a convention like this, would be to know the purpose of the demo.

    Are you looking to recruit members to your club, to promote the sale of a product, or to get more people involved in a specific gaming type. Or is it just to show off what your club is doing and how you are doing it, which is just as fascinating as it might give ideas to other clubs or members on how they can improve or bolster their own gaming group.

    Have to second the points about information about the game, the club that held it, and what the genre is all about though. Helps to make those passing by take a bit of notice if the "walmart greeter" is not available to give them some info.

    Good luck at Broadside, and hope its a smashing success!

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    1. Thanks for that and you're right about the reason behind the demo game...

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  8. So much win in these posts. I wish I had the money to do this for my own.

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  9. Your photos of the models and displays from the shows are great! Excellent stuff!

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  10. yikes, just yikes... you guess what i am yikes about.

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  11. More great pics. Those are some really well-done models.

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  12. Fantastic set up, have fun guys.

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  13. lovely colours on these, Lurk, and I Don't mean the ass, that one needs some tanning :)

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  14. As you know, I have no experience whatsoever in any of this, but as you should expect I have advice for you anyway. Smile Angry. If you start practicing in the mirror twice a day, by game time, why it'll feel natural. And if you manage to smile, and one of you gamers out there catch this guy on camera doing it, I'll pay money for that photo.

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    1. Fran doesn't smile, unless he's given a potato and it doesn't matter if its cooked either!

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    2. Or if he sees a pic of Pamela Sue Anderson in a bikini!

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    3. Potatoes? Those are my favorite veg as well. There's so many things that can be made with them and they are nummy.

      Now, onto Miss Anderson in a bikini. Is she holding a bowl of mash? Maybe some chips, as you call them? Or is she potato-free?

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  15. Some good feedback here and from the clubs we met at Cavalier. Here's my twopennethworth...
    - Information - I like to see tables clearly labelled and identified so when I look back through my photo's its easier to remember who was what.
    - Handouts - Nothing too huge but an a5 sheet with a brief description is always useful.
    - Communication - If you're running a demo playing the game actually isn't as important as talking to visitors. Don't ignore people, don't get grumpy because they ask a question when you're trying to play and don't make them feel uncomfortable when they want to take photo's... its a demo after all.

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  16. nice setup, following for more !

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  17. If everybody was determined to be the greeters and not just one as the walmart greeter it could be the best game at the show, for that reason.

    Already has the top blog, so it should be that way. Just heard walmart is the number one employer in the US followed by G4S as the number two. The only thing is I would suggest Ray go back to the horizontal stripes, it was better than the vertical.

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  18. Me and Ray work for G4S.....really!

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  19. Is that really Ray's ass crack? Oh my gosh. I asked for knees, not cracks. Lololololol

    Thank you for the morning laugh.

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    Replies
    1. No, its not my bum Whisk, mine would be a little more hairy and a quite a bit bigger!!!

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    2. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      Thanks for the clarification.

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  20. My Eyes!!! Actually, I see worse than that everyday. :) I've never demo'ed a game but I thought the advice you got was sound. I think you guys will do great with your demo, anyway.

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  21. That looks like a wonderful set up and very colorful too. I just knew there would be an ass crack, at least it could have rhymed..lol

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  22. hey buddy! Crack kills! lol.

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  23. I hope Ray's not ready to fir off a missile. Game Over!!!

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  24. Cute ones. Will check vinnes blog soon. Did t know that ray is a plumber too. Pro plagiariser is hard work rite.juz kidding.

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  25. It's fun to have fun! Glad you fellas had a lot of fun!!

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  26. Hello, Fran.
    Last year, my Club played a pair of demonstration games in a local convention, an small affair but with a lot of newcomers. We presented a WW II and AWI tables and those two days I learned this:
    1.- Forget the game; you are not there to play, but to talk, smile, talk, etc. (and talk).
    2.- Be very, very pantience with all those neophites. They don´t know you have painted the figures, the terrain elements are fragile and expensives...
    3.- If someone is near you for more than five minutes, looking the units, the tables, the dices, etc., give him a commission in your Army.
    4.- Carpe Diem. It is very nice to present other our dark "rituals". Some of them are really interested and there are many interesting people waiting only a gesture to become a wargamer.
    5.- Water. If you are going to be communicative, have water near you...

    Excuse me for this long comment, please.

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  27. Well I hope it goes well Angry, you guys seem to know your stuff, they must have thought you did if they gave you a spot, so just keep calm and occasionally check for ass crack.

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  28. I'll echo Juan's comments... you're not there to play, you are there to 'demonstrate' and this where so many display games get it wrong. You go through the motions of playing, you don't argue about the rules, you look like you're having fun with some likeable and friendly people.

    They can find out what you're really like if they join the club... :-D

    You can even 'script' how the game will go to make it more interesting. Don't forget to set up a rota so you can all have a look around the show, have lunch and guard the table.

    Finally, yes. Turn those frowns upside down!

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  29. Seems like you have it pretty much figured out! And go point about the ass cracks! Nothing scares people away faster then hairy man ass!
    Good luck!

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  30. Nice pics. Seems you spent a great time at the event.
    Regards
    Lonewolf

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  31. I like the fact that the butt crack picture is right above the "Storming of the Alamo." The Alamo wouldn't stand a chance against that storm.

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  32. I do quite a lot of demos (its a lot of fun!) and ive found if you keep things simple and running at a good pace, have great looking figs and a stand out table and know the system your playing you cant go far wrong. hope this helps :)

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  33. Thanks for telling about that blog. I'll go check it out soon.

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  34. Agree about the ass cracks, there is nothing more off putting to a punter when approaching a table to met by a pile of hairy arses.

    If you are doing a demo game then to all intents and purposes you can forget "playing" the game. Yes, you'll want to have some activity happening on the table but really you are there to talk about what the game is about, what make the figures are, the rules you use, how you made the terrain and if it's an actual historical battle you are recreating then know your history of the battle.

    Organise yourselves into teams and operate a rota so that you do your bit at the table but still have a fair chance to wander round the show

    Don't get so engrossed in the game that you ignore the punters who have come to look at what you are doing. If they don't engage you in conversation then you ask them if they are interested in the period and get them chatting.

    Don't leave crap on the table. Keep it neat and tidy and free of coke tins, food wrappers, bits of paper etc. It's not even a great idea to have a pile of dice lying about, tape measures or rule sheets and the like. If you have the space, keep that stuff on a separate table. Use dice towers or dice trays when you do have to make a dice roll.

    If you can get some display boards with info about what you are doing, who you are and so on then that can realy add to your demo and of course, if you can, have a hand out about the game and so on.

    Running a game at a show is bloody hard work, I always end up with no voice as I have spoken to so many people during the course of the day and I usually find I'm totally knackered even though I never think I have actually done that much. But it should also be good fun and an enjoyable experience and you should hopefully get a huge kick with being involved in it particularly if it's your toys on display and they are being complimented on by the punters.

    Okay lecture over. Great pics Fran

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  35. Brilliant! And there was I worried about the nudity on my post. ;) More great pictures and, seemingly loads of great advice, how can you fall off?

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  36. How can I not comment on that ass shot? Everything before and after just fade back into that. Unexpected, for sure. I thank you for it*.


    *Catching me off guard in general, not an ass.

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  37. Ray looks like a lovely guy! :D

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  38. Choked up my choco-mallow when I saw that pic of Ray. hahaha, he's a good sport, he is.

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  39. The title specifically says "and no ass cracks". Yet, here I was, with an ass crack right there.

    I have no advice to give. I could try but it'd be terrible since, things.

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  40. I've run quite a few games at conventions and played in many more. A lot of good advice already. Snappy terrain and figures, friendly, happy club members. In addition to what has been said, let me add, talk about not only the battle you are recreating, but the period in general. It's an ACW game, correct? Everyone knows the basics, as the demonstrators, show your stuff. Do some homework if necessary.
    BTW, a potato is not a vegetable.

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  41. Wow so many units!!! That's awesome!!!

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  42. My advice from just a punter point of view, play the bloody game!!!!!

    I hate to see so called demo games that has no action. Been to shows for two days and yet it's hardly changed at all!!!

    Ian

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  43. Dammit you It thought you said NO ass cracks? You tricked me!

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  44. No advice since I never did one myself..Should be fun though. Well, on second thoughts,for most of the demo games I see I wonder why they put it up in the first place. No interest whatsoever to communicate with the visitors. You guys can definitely do better than that

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  45. Isn't that the valley of dead or the moon that you're showing on that specific picture? :-D

    Thanks for sharing Fran!

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.com/

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