The other side of the Con

The Chaosbunker had a historic moment at CONflict Rheinland, where Dennis and I each gave demo games for the first time. In my case, it was the historical game Mortal Gods.

My first event on the other side of the demo table was a good experience. I think that has to do with the fact that I went into the demo day with a good concept and I want to share it. This article is therefore very text-heavy - you've been warned.

What should be shown?

Before I even actively made the first preparations for the demo, I had a few basic thoughts about the game itself. Every game has a few characteristics that will distinguish it from others and that should be reflected in a qualitative way. I came up with the following points:

  • Historical setting, Greece
  • Simple mechanics, yet strategic
  • Easily accessible and available


It was clear to me that I had to show a credible historical context in the demo. Mortal Gods is set in the Peloponnesian War, which I solved by painting the armies differently. One side represented the city-state of Thebes (allied with Sparta), the other Plataiai (allied with Athens). This served history well enough.

Mortal Gods - Thebans for demo games Mortal Gods demo project – Plataians

In general, you can paint ancient Greeks however you like, because there was no uniform back then. In the spirit of the demo, however, I gave both armies a uniform main color.


The units can be roughly divided into three categories: heroes, melee warriors and ranged units.

These are equipped with different degrees of armor, which is reflected in the number of defense dice. This was my approach to explaining the mechanics, as it involves strategically important decisions:

  • The slingers are lightly armored and therefore have no natural armor roll in combat. To protect themselves, they must use up their action, which in turn introduces a strategic element into the game, as they can no longer use their action in any other way.
  • The warriors have medium armor. They can either defend themselves with their action or leave it to fate and use their natural armor from a die.
  • The hero is equipped with heavy armor, which gives him a natural armor of two dice, but does not make him invulnerable. In addition, with five attacks, the hero is a real monster of a fighter. This created the feel of a sandal movie, where heroes really stand out. However, this follows the high-risk-high-reward principle. When the hero dies, the game is immediately lost - if not... by Zeus!!!

Taking only the bare minimum of troops to cover basic mechanics is always a good decision. It keeps the game in a good flow and at the same time you don't have to know too many rules right away. Nothing takes up more time than having to look up the rules all the time.

Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024


Good games are easy to learn and difficult to master - they also don't need a lot of material to get started. This also applies to a smooth demo. In terms of play, the game should challenge the demo participant a little, but not too much - this also creates positive tension, which turns the gaming experience into a positive one.

The limitation on the scope of rules also meant that I only used troops and rules that are already available in the core box. So if a demo participant asks what he needs to play, the answer is also pleasingly simple. A core box covers most of the game material and as a consumer you don't have to search around for too long.

How do I get a fellow player to the demo table?

I talked to Robert, alias Wolpertinger Miniatures, about this question for a long time. He has a very simple definition: “It has to look cool”.

  • The most obvious argument that has probably drawn us all into the hobby is the visual presentation. So the demo table has to look inviting. In my case, I'm not there yet, because I only have a small amount of Greek-looking terrain so next time I'd like to set up a bit more.

It is also worth investing a little more effort here, because the minis are quickly removed from the table, but the terrain pieces remain in place for the entire match.

Also make sure that the minis are always within easy reach and that you are not stressed by the fact that terrain pieces could tip over all the time.

  • Personally, I also think it's important that the demo table looks comfortable. In other words, regardless of whether it's a large or small table, when I'm playing I want to have the opportunity to sit down and relax and that there are enough game accessories for two players. This also avoids long searches and passing back and forth gaming utensils. As soon as the rules become more complicated, a reference card is also very useful.

Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024

Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024

Of course, even more is possible here. Personally, I would also like to make the tabletop itself three-dimensional. However, due to time constraints, I only ordered a 60x60cm mat, as the event took place much faster than I could finish it. Booth design is also an issue for larger conventions, but as I don't have much experience in this area yet, I can only describe my ideal vision:

  • Apart from the table, I would like to have a screen as a backdrop, completely in black and with a Chaosbunker logo at the top. The rest of the surface should then be decorated with pictures of the games currently being presented, so that you can see a few impressions as you walk past.
  • A lockable display case would also be great to show some better painted minis and the core box and its contents. This would give potential players a direct impression of what they are getting into in the future and where the journey could take them.

Duration and complexity of the demo

I have already briefly touched on the time factor, but this can be summarized quite quickly with the saying “brevity is the soul of wit”. The aim is to give as many short and crisp demo rounds as possible, so the scenarios and the playing field should be adapted to a shorter playing time.

  • This ultimately led to my decision to play the demo on a 2x2 field. The recommended playing field size is 3x3, but scaling down or up is easy in my opinion.
  • I also specified the setup zone to make the game quicker and easier. The starting areas were divided in half in relation to the entire playing field. Simplification was also the recipe for the scenarios, although I still built in a small random factor when choosing the scenario and let participants roll dice for it.

Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024

1-2 The prize

No matter how much blood is shed, how many lives are lost and what hardships must be endured, nothing else matters but to seize the prize.

Place an objective at the centre oft he table top. A warrior ending its movement in base-to-base contact with the objective may pick it up. The objective moves with the warrior from that point onward. The warrior can drop the objective at any time. The objective is dropped if the warrior carrying it is dispatched or removed from a group. If dropped the opponent places the objective within 1” of the fallen warrior. The players whose warrior is carrying the objective at the end of the second round wins the encounter.


3-4 Behind enemy lines

You must advance into the enemy’s territory and capture their heartlands. But beware! The enemy means to do the same to you!

Both players roll a six-sided dice; starting with the player who threw the highest number, both players take turns to set up one objective each anywhere in their territory. All objectives must be more than 6” away from the edge of the table top.

A player secures immediate victoryif they control both objectives when the third and final Omen marker is drawn in any turn.


5-6 Kill the traitor

Whether they carry significant orders or maps, the traitor must be slain, and their voice choked into silence.

At the start of the first round and before determining who will take the first turn, each player lets their opponent know which warrior their traitor is. The warrior chosen cannot be the Lochagos and must already be set up on the table top. The first player to slay their opponent’s traitor wins the encounter.

  • You should always make sure to adjust scenarios as needed. For example, I realized that only one demo had reached the third round and on the smaller field there wasn't enough room for the model carrying the mission objective in the scenario “The prize” to escape. So I reduced the number of rounds to victory from five to two in the course of the demo games, which immediately made the game more interesting.

This also applies to all other situations that may arise during a demo. As a general rule, fun always comes first.



For the first time that I gave demo rounds, it went pretty well. However, the environment at CONflict is rather relaxed, as it is a closed event by invitation. However, since I was already able to win over a few enthusiastic new players, I have already been asked to give a demo day at Games 'n Dice in Düsseldorf and will also present Mortal Gods at the Rhein Main Multiversum.

Further events are already planned for the coming year in the form of Szenario and AdArma.

The feedback for the way the demo was given was good across the board, for which I am particularly grateful to the demo participants. Huscho made sure that it took me less than five minutes to start my first demo game, while Thomas made sure to take me to a game where I was just about to pack up.

Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024 Internal CONflict Rheinland 2024

See you next time and hopefully not only here while you're reading this article, but also at the demo table!


Greeting from the Chaosbunker


Posted by Dino

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