Run an enticing demo or intro game

So you want to expand your playerbase, and find some opponents? The best way to encourage more players is to play demonstration games with them, let them experience the game at its best and decide if it is right for them. Generally you would try to pitch to players already familiar with other wargames – at a store, club catering to mini gamers, or the sidelines of a convention. You can set a table with beautiful terrain and play a regular opponent, or just hang around painting and strike up a conversation or offer games to passersby.

Why Play Warcaster?

You want your opening pitch – what makes Warcaster different. The key draws of the game are 

  • Dynamic Gameplay: The reinforcement system and objectives create a dynamic battlefield where forces flow and interact rather than just standing and fighting. This keeps the game lively, preventing losses from a single bad trade. It is also a unique mechanic to minis games that makes it feel like a Real Time Strategy computer game: like Starcraft.
  • Exciting Plays: Encourage aggressive gameplay with thrilling maneuvers and strategic decisions that keep the adrenaline pumping.
  • Simple Yet Deep: Warcaster offers a straightforward game structure with layers of complexity. Arc allocation, Cyphers, summoning models, and other systems interconnect, providing depth to every decision.
  • Sci-Fi Setting: Set in a sci-fi universe loosely connected to War Machine, Warcaster provides an intriguing alternative for players familiar with other Privateer Press games.

What you need to do to run a good demo

  • Enthusiastic Presentation: Display the game with enthusiasm, making it inviting and exciting for newcomers.
  • Painted Models: While not requiring professional paint jobs, showcase two demo forces with appealing colors and bases to highlight the visual appeal of the miniatures.
  • Game Experience: Focus on providing a positive gaming experience rather than showing off the most competitive game. Let them feel the rush of executing well-thought-out plans. Ideally the new player to will win – take super aggressive positions and spread your attacks to avoid killing anything important: and show them how to punish you for it.
  • Model Knowledge: Be well-versed in the models’ cards, enabling you to play both sides of the game and demonstrate cool tricks. You don’t need to be perfectly accurate, but be confident (do your best guess or show them how to check the card, the newbie isn’t marking you on perfect knowledge of weird interactions)
  • Keep the ‘turn order’ card next to the newbie for quick rule references, ensuring a smooth learning experience.


Generally, you would lend the opponent a demo force of yours for an intro game. If your opponent has a particular faction or model they want to play, do what you can to include it. The below is a guide. 

Start with a Command box and a hero, add another solo, for 5 or 6 units +1 hero.

  • The command box has a good mix of models and gives a useful starting point.
  • Give the warjack a focus on melee and a big impressive shoulder cannon. You want to show off the movement and getting to the thick of things, not blasting everything away from range. Some examples and what they show off
    • Scourge with Force Rod, Hollowphage and Killer Cortex. (Slams, corrosion, damage potential and free movements)
    • Firebrand with Jack Hunter, Fusion Glaive, Shield, Harbinger (a few fun spike effects, simple to apply to opponent warjacks)
    • Dusk Wolf with Fighter, Blazer, 2x Ripper (huge number of melee attacks, big fire gun)
    • Daemon with Eidelon, Starfire Array, Phase Trajectile Cannon, Plasma Blade (LOS ignoring gun, a good defensive ability against ballistics, show off arcanum module, fire melee attack)
  • A hero should be someone relatively simple but with some cool combat abilities. Some fun ones are Phaethon, Jax Redblade, Axel for Hire, Artemis Fang, Justicar Voss, Astreus. For yourself, feel free to use a more passive hero (eg Raxis), throw them further forward – let the new player hunt them.
  • The extra solo lets you balance out the mix of solos and others. This is a good way to allow extra combos, for example Marchers Engineer, ISA Automech or Empyrean Factotum for reactivations & repairs. For AC, it is a good way to emphasize their love of combat solos, so the Vassal Boss has a fun run-and-gun movement and can give sidestep support to other vassals. 

If you think the person would love heavies or vehicles, they are also a cool addition. But be wary of overloading the first game.


A simple skirmish scenario is best – you want some objectives but not overwhelm people with decisions. Something like Boiling Point would be a good start, or even just 1 objective in the centre of board.

You also don’t need to play the full game – one option is to lay both player’s cyphers on the table, and play 2 pulse rounds

  1. Pulse Round 1: You suggest most of their moves – tell them how to get the most of each turn. When you first move a model, tell them to refer to their model’s speed and how to place the rest of the unit. When someone makes the first attack refer to the model’s attack stat and weapon pow, and how that translates to the dice, and any relevant special rules. You can use more shorthand in future, but it is good to use the first times to explain how things work.
  2. Pulse Round 2: let them try to think a bit more. You can still guide them, but if theý’re getting the hang of it, let them try some stuff on their own.


You want to show off the game rules in a way that gives people the best experience possible.

  • A big draw of this game is combos between Cyphers and strong activations. Some examples are using Arcane Synthesis on a Warjack then firing all their weapons full throttle. Ascension Catalyst (Fly and +2speed), Kinetic Accelerator (hit everything in melee range), or Momentum Calibrator (Slams opponents hit) to get warjacks into combat and swinging everywhere, or reiteration Algorithm on a unit to shoot twice. Point out these opportunities, and even try to give them some closely grouped targets near their warjacks to let it happen.
  • Cool heroes are the faces of the factions – in many cases literally the only models with exposed faces. Let hero models be true heroes, earn their glory in Cyriss.
  • Set ‘challenges’ with good solutions. Put a warjack right in front of their weaver, and get them to pull all their arc to the rack and blast it with a big fury. This move is just plain cool with fistfulls of dice.
  • In general, let the new player use the most of their model’s abilities to destroy stuff. 

After the game

You can finish the game at any time, “quit while you’re ahead”. If they’ve seen it all and seem keen there’s no need to push all the way through the second pulse round. They might be tired seeing so much, and it lets you talk through with them then get another demo in.

Discuss the game with them a bit more. You don’t need to make it a hard sell, but if they seemed interested in the game you want them to know what to do next

  • let them know where they can buy the models in your area, or online stores if nobody stocks Warcaster. Suggest they buy a command group to start with, or other suggestions based on the game (you can lead them towards a sample skirmish force, eg based on their favourite faction guide).
  • Say when and where you usually play.
  • If you have a local game group (Facebook group, Discord, email chain), invite them to it to organise games.

If they do show up to a follow up session, keep supporting them and offering a game. It can be scary, and might take them a few sessions before they feel confident to be playing pickup games, or having enough models to play ‘full size’. Make sure they have an opponent to get through those first games. In time, you may have gained a new player.


If you want to build your opponent base, you will need a way to get new players interested, and an exciting demo game is the best way to do it. As a challenge: if you have a regular game buddy, try to each give one demo game and see if you can double your community 🙂 If you are trying to get a group, start at another game club or store and offer a series of demo games to passers-by.

Some more hints on enticing players to play and build a community

Some tips for first time players on what they need to start

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