Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

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Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Dukayn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:17 am

I've been considering demoing MFZ to our local tabletop boardgame group recently, and that got me thinking back to the Demo Rules that were posted by CADMonkey quoting Vincent. A quick search was able to find them just fine, but I figure with MFZ still fairly new and first-timers and demo-runners still being quite the norm around here, it wouldn't hurt to have them in an easily-found place.

So, here they are:

lumpley wrote:One objective in the middle of the battlefield. Everybody gets two frames, one soldier and one hand to hand or one soldier and one artillery, nothing weird. I set the frames up myself in appropriate places on the battlefield, by eyeball*. Some in cover, some out. It's important that everybody has a frame at 5-6 away from the objective, but nobody has one closer.

Because everybody's sides are equal, everything on the board is worth 5 points to everybody, so I just say that: "in the full game, things are worth different points to different players, but here, everything's worth 5 points. You each have 2 frames so you each have 10 points. If you lose a frame, you lose 5 points. If you grab the objective, you gain 5 points."

Set the doomsday clock to 3. Expect to play 2 turns. "When the doomsday clock hits zero, whoever has the most points wins."

Since everybody's sides are equal, nobody has initiative. "In the full game, initiative depends on how many points you have, and maybe we'll see that next turn, but since everybody's equal, we'll just start on the dealer's left and go around."

If you're quick with the rules, this is a 15- or 20-minute demo for 3 players, maybe a 30-minute demo for 5. If somebody's not getting the rules, I try to just talk them clearly through the decisions their dice are asking them to make. "First choose your target. Now gather your dice: you get [these]. Roll 'em! Okay, now you need a defense number. Choose a blue or a white. Perfect. Now, do you want to move first, then attack, or attack first, then move? Great. Here's what we do..."

* Basically in roughly equilateral triangles whose sides are the length of direct fire range. Some of the triangles include the objective as a corner point, some don't. The idea is to put every frame at a moment of decision, and an easy way to do it is to put them just within direct fire range from an enemy or a goal. 
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby schoon » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:30 am

Thanks for Sticky-ing this.

It's great info for anyone who wants to demo or promote the game,
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby jugglervr » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:48 am

I found these rules to be good, but we set the doomsday clock to 5 so players could get experience with what it means to turn it down themselves. Roughly the same number of turns, but one little piece of info that will be less confusing later.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Dukayn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:36 am

jugglervr wrote: we set the doomsday clock to 5 so players could get experience with what it means to turn it down themselves.

Yeah I was thinking 5 would be better.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Minion » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:17 pm

We played a variant of this for my first game, mostly because I misremembered Vincent's rules!

Doomsday clock was set to 5. Two frames a side as usual -- we had one soldier and one close combat versus one soldier and one artillery -- and one station. Rather than having the station start neutral, it started under the control of one of the players. We proceeded with deployment (point frame, etc) and then play as usual. The points were a bit wonky, strictly speaking, but the benefit I can see to this system is that it gives you the experience of having one player on the offensive, and the other on the defensive.

Of course, I don't have a lot of experience playing the regular game (none at all, in fact!), but this cut down version worked super well for us. I was the offensive player, and when the doomsday clock hit zero (3 turns), I was a matter of inches from claiming the station, and victory.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby mraichelson » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:59 pm

I think in the google hangout MittenNinja or Shades Corvid (sorry, my brain gets a bit swiss cheese a bunch of the time) talked about doing sort of a two-stage version of demos for new people: Something that would start out with "one frame each" to get the hang of the basic mechanics of dice rolling for a couple rounds. Then if people still were interested they could cut over to another round more like the first post in here with 2-3 frames evenly matched with one or two objectives on a shortened timeline.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some table space at an upcoming local event and wanted to do some demos there, just trying to spitball what might work out the best.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby MittenNinja » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:55 pm

mraichelson wrote:I think in the google hangout MittenNinja or Shades Corvid (sorry, my brain gets a bit swiss cheese a bunch of the time) talked about doing sort of a two-stage version of demos for new people: Something that would start out with "one frame each" to get the hang of the basic mechanics of dice rolling for a couple rounds. Then if people still were interested they could cut over to another round more like the first post in here with 2-3 frames evenly matched with one or two objectives on a shortened timeline.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some table space at an upcoming local event and wanted to do some demos there, just trying to spitball what might work out the best.

Yeah that was me. I did this in a Con setting as there were a number of people who wanted to get an idea of what the game was like but only had a couple of minutes to stick around. Seemed to work pretty well, and about half of them ended up spending more time at the table than they first anticipated.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Z0mb13 Phrog » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:39 pm

Simplified demo rules! Brilliant! Maybe I can build some interest around here now!
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby cedricms » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:00 pm

I really like this thread, and since more and more people are organizing demos, I thought I could put together an infographic/poster to summarize the demo rules for beginners. Here's a first draft (I'm open to feedback ;) ) in an infographic format for web viewing (but once everybody is satisfied with the content, I'll rework it for different printing formats) :

http://www.cedric.maria-sube.com/img/projects/mfz/SimpleDemoRules/MFZ_SimpleDemoRules_1.jpg

One thing where I not too sure is the hand to hand frame. I don't know if it reads off well on first glance. Another thing I think I'll do for the printable versions is to add representations of the frames systems' in part 1.
Last edited by cedricms on Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby jugglervr » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:31 pm

cedricms wrote:One thing where I not too sure is the hand to hand frame. I don't know if it reads off well on first glance. Another thing I think I'll do for the printable versions is to add representations of the frames systems' in part 1.


give the silhouette a big axe. ;)

Also, no round timer, just play 20 minutes and call it?

What I found was that a 5-round doomsday die was very good for a 3-player demo; we ran about 35 minutes when everyone was paying attention.
a 4-player demo was a bit unwieldy; it was a hutch-fest right at the center flag, and the 5 round timer was a little weird, too, though I fail to remember why.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:55 pm

Don't ever ditch doomsday. It makes defensive play untenable and makes everyone hang back.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby gamjuven » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:12 am

Question: When you demo a game and you have 2 frames per player, I know you said you use a soldier and one other frame. Are those other frames d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Ra or d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Rh ? Or are they more specialized and having 2 weapon systems?
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Mantisking » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:32 am

gamjuven wrote:Question: When you demo a game and you have 2 frames per player, I know you said you use a soldier and one other frame. Are those other frames d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Ra or d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Rh ? Or are they more specialized and having 2 weapon systems?

Having one team that's HtH d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6G d6Y d6W d6W and another that's Artillery d6Ra d6Ra d6B d6G d6Y d6W d6W will allow the players to experience all the ranges of combat. Which is good for a demo game.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Batzorig » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:48 am

gamjuven wrote:Question: When you demo a game and you have 2 frames per player, I know you said you use a soldier and one other frame. Are those other frames d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Ra or d6W d6W d6Y d6B d6G d6Rh ? Or are they more specialized and having 2 weapon systems?

I ran a couple demos for my friends, and gave the specialist frames 2 of their weapon system of choice. First of all, this gave the guys access to d8 attack dice, which I think adds a coolness factor to a quick intro game(We use d6s for basically everything, but your cannons/swords are so strong you get a bigger die than anything else, whoaaa), and also starts people thinking about frame customization and trade-offs (Yeah, that d8 was cool, but without a defense system, see how hard it is to keep a solid defense number up?).

However, the guys I play with have all done wargaming before, so I wasn't afraid to introduce as many concepts as comfortably fit in the demo game. Less experienced players could get tripped up by such specialized frames (having no defense system and getting torn apart first turn because they didn't know how tough or fragile they were).
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Hackjob » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:21 pm

First off- thanks Vincent for making these (and the Mechaton) rules! Second- thanks Dukayn for making this thread!

I finally got around to demoing MF0 yesterday evening at my LFGS during board game night. It went pretty well, and these abbreviated rules work great! There was a lot of wait...what?..Really? But only a few players, however I think I generated some good buzz, and am going to try again next week. I set the DDC at 5, and I think it worked well to give the players a feel for how you can control the game length without actually making the game longer. Example; in the two games I played (4 players and 3 players) the player controlling the objective ticked the DDC down whenever possible, making the games 3 turns long. I also had the teams set as Soldier/Artillerist, and Soldier/Melee, and let the players choose based on looks/tactical preference.

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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby cedricms » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:10 am

Last edited by cedricms on Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby cedricms » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:40 am

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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby jugglervr » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:11 am

I'd suggest the 5 round doomsday on the top face of a d12 and the 15-20 min inside a clock, maybe with the 12:00 - 12:20 section shaded
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby cedricms » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:16 am

jugglervr wrote:I'd suggest the 5 round doomsday on the top face of a d12 and the 15-20 min inside a clock, maybe with the 12:00 - 12:20 section shaded

Indeed, that should be more understandable and leaves room to explain how longer games work ;).
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Re: Simple Demo Rules - by Vincent (lumpley)

Postby Dukayn » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:08 am

Yeah that'd work nicely. With your permission I'll use this as a reference card at my demo when it's done :)
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