Demo in a suitcase

Traditionally Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy runs a game at the major shows we attend (Salute and Crisis). Last Saturday saw Crisis 2015 in Antwerp. We decided to run several games of my new Black Ops game for the public. My thanks to my boss Jasper for allowing me to show off the game and do a little self-publicity.  

A close up of the board.

When I first planned the demo, I realised that it would all have to fit into a single suitcase for my flight over. This would not be an easy task, as I had seven 4Ground buildings and would need two dozen models plus vehicles for it to work. The biggest challenge was the terrain surface for the table itself. Terrain boards would be too bulky. I decided that instead I’d need to choose a flexible mat or cloth and so opted to get a Cigar Box Battles mat. These are flexible and fold up easily so they’ll fit around the other parts of the luggage. I brought two but one was all I needed to cover the table. 

The surface of the CB Mat.

The most space however would be taken up by the 4Ground buildings. I’d converted two of them, giving one a tower (see my previous blog). I did think for a second about wrapping these loose in the suitcase but this would have been a disaster. Instead I opted to carefully wrap each building and place it in a ‘Really Useful Box’. Another advantage of this was I could place any spare ‘scatter’ and flock I had inside the buildings or in the gaps in the boxes, so every bit of the box would be used. The models themselves were in a converted box file with foam inserts cut to fit, but placing this at the bottom of the suitcase proved to be a mistake. No damage, but the box became a little flattened! To complete the scene I had some palm trees from Unfeasibly and some extra trees and scatter terrain which my boss Jasper kindly lent me. Finally there was dice to fit in and two copies of the rules I’d need to take with me.

It almost all fits! Note flat box at bottom…

The demo was designed as a three way game, where two rescue teams (one American, one Russian) were after the same hostage being held by insurgents (or ‘freedom fighters’). Both the insurgents and one of the rescue teams wanted the hostage alive while (just to add a bit of fun) the final team’s mission was to silence the hostage.

Players at Crisis 2015.

We had three great games with typically two players per team. There were copies of Black Ops at Crisis, but I heard they very quickly sold out. I’ll probably be next taking the demo to Poldercon 2016.  

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