In the Zone

Deadzone that is.  The 2nd edition is out with new models, and the older models are all being repackaged (four of the factions are currently out (Enforcers, Forge Fathers, Asterians, Veer-myn) with two more coming at the end of this month (Marauders & Rebs), leaving only one hanging (that being, of course, the Plague) for August.

cover art
It is not unusual for Mantic to request that Pathfinders try to schedule demos for the new releases, to help to drum up interest in the games.  I've been a bit slack at that, as often when they ask us to do this you still can't get the game anywhere.

Well they asked us to run demos in July, and the Hobby Shop got in a couple of copies of the new version of the game, so I took the first Saturday in July to set up a couple of boards and run demos.

Of course, was I ready to run a 'real' demo of the game?  No, not really.  I had painted up some enforcers and plague when the 1st edition came out, as well as some Marauders when we tried to have a league (that unfortunately did not take off).  I had gotten all my assembled scenery painted - but most of that was simple spray, a little details and stipling.  Painting up strike teams is a bit more.

I wanted to do this right - and since I had just spent $25 to get a laminator for my kings of war reference sheets, why not do the same here.  It took me the better part of an evening to do all the cut/paste work to make up the strike team sheets by taking the unit entries from the book (along with fighting with my 10 year old color ink jet scanner / printer), as well as printing out the reference sheet at the back of the book (backed by the command dice reference).

Forge Father demo team straight out of the book
I have three sets of command dice - they come six dice to a set - and you will never need more than 5 in the game so far (you can increase a models tactician skill once in a campaign - and then you would need six).  So I needed 4 or 5 dice each - and to be safe that would be 20 (4 players, 5 dice), but I only have 18.  So a couple of old Mantic splat dice will have to do as well - easy enough to number the command dice reference.  I have enough terrain for two mats (and plenty of mats, especially if I want to use the Mars Attacks! ones I have).

So finished all of this Tuesday night.  And the demos aren't until Saturday.  And then there are things like my actual day job, and it is the end of the month so need to spend a couple of hours paying bills, and the dogs insist on being fed and going out for walks every single night, and I can't completely ignore the wife either (she only tolerates it so much).  Plus admitting I'm old enough that I actually need to sleep every night.   So maybe two hours a night and I have three nights . . .

Wednesday was spent putting the remaining models I needed together (with the kickstarter, plus having gotten all the starters and boosters from 1st edition I had plenty of models), putting sand on the bases (painted grey for an urban rubble feel) and priming everything that wasn't already.

Thursday was working on the factions to knock them out.  The first four were done and good to go.

Friday was feeling a bit desperate as I had the hardest ones left.
  • Maruaders - just needed to finish the basing, quick and easy.
  • Plague - I had painted the entire starter, so they are ready to go.

  • Enforcers - five models - of course the demo list from the book is using three models that aren't painted, but I at least have them put together.  The paint scheme for them is very simple - black undercoat, grey on some of the armor, metal weapons, a little bit of color and they are knocked out.
  • Asterians - these are also all assembled.  Cyphers, armor, sky razor - dry brush metal over black undercoat and almost completed.  Add a little spot color on them (green, as opposed to the red for the Enforcers, plus some pale blue for weapons) - very quickly knocked out.

  • Forge Fathers - only four needed, and these are all assembled.  Blue pants, khaki shirts, then tin bits for the dark metal armor, and drybrush metal on the weapons.  Boots, gloves and a wash to finish them up on Friday night.

  • Veer-myn.  I don't like the list that is all stalkers and crawlers (even though I had already put some of them (and a couple of progenitors) together - so I went ahead and added a night terror with spitter (though since I only have the one model, I won't be gluing on the spitter).  Of course none of was not put together yet.  Lots of yellow here for their hazmat suits, plus brown for fur and metal weapons and bits.  
  • Rebs.  I was most worried about these - it is the largest strike team with 8 models (though the Teraton was painted by a friend of mine quite a while ago) - they are all basically individuals, so not one simple scheme.  Plus I only had 2 troopers - so used the pathfinder sprue to make a 3rd (with the cloak, pistol and knife).  With the commander (which I wasn't using - wanted the hide in shadows from the yndij) being a female version of Capt. Tight Pants (Mel) from Firefly - do them all as browncoats.  Or at least the humans. Syphr loader is blue and both the yndij and zee are done with a dark reddish flesh color.

Luckily the weather was simply beautiful so I was able to take them all out and spray them with a dull coat to erase the shine from the wash.  The veer-myn and the new reb all needed magnetized, which was quick and simple - and all seven strike teams are in the bin ready to go (leaving the bin open to let the last of the paint set up - since you can still smell the spray a bit).

Then on Saturday I set up for the demos at the Hobby Shop, my  FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store). I was a little surprised that they did not have any of the rulebooks or command dice - but it turns out those sold Friday.

A couple of tables - one for games, one for the strike teams
I set up two mats with terrain, ready to play.  
Table set up with newer terrain and the 2nd edition mat

Older Terrain and the 1st edition battle mat
and put out all the (now painted) strike teams, along with the roster sheets
Strike Teams ready for players to pick
The demos were a little disappointing due to simply not having many.  I ended up only having two demo games during the four hours I was there.  The first was two brothers - playing plague vs. enforcers.  They were 40K players, but really liked the speed of the game.  They kept looking at options - which factions to start with, and the book, and dice, and terrain - until I showed them that the starter box had everything they needed to play and ALL the army lists (they were very impressed with that). They ended up buying the new 2nd edition box set and a 1st edition starter box of plague - enough to get all three factions started and expand all the strike teams to at least 150 points if not more.

My other demo was a mother and her five year old daughter.  Unfortunately the game did not hold the daughter's interest - which was good because that little girl rolled like a demon!  They played plague, and I did the Forge Fathers - and my luck finally gave out as they gave me a sound thrashing (they won with 13 victory points to my 6).

So a little disappointing in the turnout, but the demos did go well.  Know that everything is painted, I can do them much easier, so I'll look to trying another local store in a couple of weeks.

Because it is all fun and games . . .