I went out to Strategies yesterday to run some demo games of AE Bounty. I managed to run two full six turns games and showed off the book, talked up the game and had some fun helping the players through the games.
The scenario I cooked up had a Mercenary team trying to get their patron across the table to a landing pad and allow him to escape off planet. The various groups that he owed money to hired a team of Bounty Hunters to capture him.
I cheated somewhat creating the teams to make them a bit more fun. For instance the Mercs had a Psi Cannon despite not having a Mentalist and the Merc team was given another upgrade that, in the end, they didn’t need.
In order to simplify the game I also didn’t use the Dirty Tricks or Secondary Objectives. These items were discussed though as part of the after action debriefing.
I wanted to show people that they could easily adapt any existing figures to the game and so the Mercs were played with some of my Urban War Viridian figures and the Bounty Hunters were all GW Space Marines. All of them were given the Medium Armour Gear choice to reflect the armour on the figures.
Game 1 ended in a Mercenary win. The Bounty Hunter player forgot his scenario objective for the first part of the game and only remembered it as the Merc player started Sprinting the Merchant towards the Landing Pad.
Game 2 was a draw. The Bounty Hunter player last a unit early due to some precise Marksmen fire but then managed to chew through the Mercenaries trying to get to the Merchant. The Merchant spent the last two turns fleeing before the Bounty Hunter managed to make the Mercs rout off the table. Sadly due to the lowered movement from the Medium Armour the Bounty Hunters were unable to catch the Merchant and the game ended in a draw.
The Mercs had to rely on Suppression, the Psi Cannon and the Sniper to try to keep the Bounty Hunters pinned down as they had very little ability to actually kill the Bounty Hunters due to their armour. The Sniper could have had a bigger impact but neither player was able to roll well for damage even with the added Aim bonus.
The Bounty Hunters were able to take down Mercs at will but in the second game Suppression really started to have an impact and it may have lead to the draw as once the Mercs routed from the field they Bounty Hunters were in no position to grab the merchant.
Both games were fun and despite the forces weren’t one-sided. Bounty is an odd game to demo. Most of the rules in the game are for things you do prior to playing and so the game itself is a solid but basic ruleset and the demo itself doesn’t really focus on the real fun of the game.
I’ll have to think about how to try to bring some of those elements into future demos.