Rogue Robot Red Table Demo

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Rogue Robot Red Table Demo

Postby Red_Robot » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:36 pm

June 16th I was invited to run a few demo games at one of Duluth's main gaming store/venues, Rogue Robot. This was pretty exciting for me since it was follow-up for many of the contacts I had made the week before at Berserkon. I arrived early and started setting up. I was offered one of the huge wargaming tables that was dominated by terrain from a popular imperial-theocratic-hegemonies-in-space game, but I opted for one of the shiny, lacquered red tables just inside the door. Because...shiny.

At the appointed hour, a small crowd arrived and started to mingle. People had brought along buckets of bricks, and were enthusiastically sharing details on games played the last week. Some started showing off their frames like a car rally, and the crowd started to grow. People were lured away from their card games to gawk and ask questions about the fine points of strategy within MFZ. Finally I got a few curious onlookers to sit down for a quick demo, while about twice as many people ringed the table to watch.

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We set up for standard demo rules: Duo frame squads with a single neutral station set up at mid table. The Doomsday Clock was set to 5. We were stocked, locked and ready for fast forward.

Adam - Demo Team White
    Soldier Scrambler: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W
    Soldier Scrambler: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W

ImageDemo Team - White by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

Braden - Demo Team Blue
    APEx-10 Soldier: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W
    APEx-10 Soldier: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W

ImageDemo Team - Red by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

Zach - Demo Team Grey
    Chub Soldier: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W
    Conscript Soldier: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W

ImageDemo Team - Grey by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

Carl- Demo Team Blue
    Commissar Soldier: d6Rd d6Rd - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W
    Camelspider: d6Rh d6Rh - d6B - d6Y - d6G - d6W - d6W - d8G

ImageDemo Team - Blue by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

Round 1
The first round was a bit tentative as we explored the concepts of tactical order versus combat order, and how dice work. There wasn't a lot of strategy at this point. It was mostly the standard aggression of "this-guy-is-close-so-I'll-shoot-him." White shot at Blue, and Blue shot back. Red shot at Grey, and Grey shot back. The table got to see the difference between shooting and stabbing when the Blue Team melee frame chomped on one of the White scramblers, but by the end of the round there were no destroyed frames just injuries.

Next I picked up the Doomsday Clock and showed it around, and we got into the finer points of the unpredictable nature of time and how it affects strategy in the game. The Clock ticked down one for the end of the round, then players ticked it down twice more, leaving us at 2 for the start of Round 2.

ImageWhite vs. Blue by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

ImageRed vs. Grey by Red_Robot_XIII, on Flickr

Round 2
No significant casualties or tactical victories last round, so turn order remained the same. Now the players were starting to see that combat means decisions about limited resources. Frames don't have hit points, but take damage in systems, so even one point of damage means dwindling options. Players also started to recognize that the person closest to you isn't necessarily your immediate threat. White skirmished with Blue, and Blue started pushing towards the central station and a lead in points. This made the other players take notice and dash for the station as well. This lead to a run-and-gun game between Red and Grey. By the end of the round, White had lost a scrambler, but no one could lay claim to the neutral station.

The Doomsday Clock ticked down one for the end of the round, and one of our players opted to tick it down again. The demo game was over.

Final Scores
White: 5
Red: 10
Grey: 10
Blue: 10

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Final scores were quite inconsequential, however. The important part was people were made familiar with the mechanics of the game and had fun while they were doing it. By this time I am feeling more comfortable running demos and the games are running more quickly and smoothly. I still don't think I'm quite down under the 30 minute mark yet, though.

The demo game under our belt, we made plans for a full fledged game quick to follow. Breaks were taken to procure libations and soon we would return to the red table for a more protracted battle.
When the Weepers first came through the gate, we didn't know why. We only knew that they were angry.
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