Sunday, 24 June 2012

Demo Games - Teach 'em or Crush 'em?

On Tuesday, I helped Gaz run an intro game of Dystopian Wars at the club.  We just used our starter fleets, minus the bombers, with some random scenery.  Only one other person was actually playing (he was expecting more,) but c'est la vie.  It was an enjoyable evenings gaming, lasting only two turns, but taking some time to explain the nuances and strategies as well as the rules.

The last time I ran a full intro game was when we were away at the DW tournament in April.  At that time, I thought it best to "go easy" on the new guy, and played in such a way that not only would he get to experience most of the common situations (different guns, aircraft, collisions, boarding etc,) but also get an easy win.  Afterwards, I hear grumblings that, for whatever reason, he didn't like the free win.  It couldn't have been too bad, as he bought a starter fleet from one of the traders there.  Oh, btw, I let him win against a random fleet I made up on the spot, my tournament Empire of the Blazing Sun list is still undefeated!

Now I don't believe you wanted to do that. . .

This time, when I took over at the start of turn 2, I decided to play with the view "the burned hand teaches best" and punished a poor move by sinking the opposing flagship.  However, I left worrying that this had been a bit rude.  We'd introduced the mechanics and given a generous amount of advice, but should I have also given the easy win?  I certainly don't play wargames to win,  far from it in fact, and I don't know any others to whom winning is the most important thing in a game.  So does it follow that a new player would feel better about a game if they get an early win in?

Anyway, Corrado, hopefully you enjoyed Dystopian Wars - next time, try and keep your Battleship less exposed!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, you pose an excellent question. I agree you want to go easy in an intro game. Its about teaching the mechanics and if the new guy wins, so much the better. Then the training wheels come off. Especially if the guy was complaining about the win. ;-)