Summary: The players who had already experienced Hull Breach were excited to get back into the action and help me initiate our friends who had never played before. As an enthusiastic BOTG player, I may have overhyped their strategic abilities, since poor Kenny was constantly harassed; becoming the 1st player to fall, drowned at last in Xeros ships.
As the newer commanders grew more confident and learned the ropes, the more experienced ones attempted to initiate battles, drawing the newcomers out. This tactic backfired on Michael, when he found himself with naught but his station, some marines, and a few wings of fighters. Joseph and his Colonists decided to strike while the iron was hot, and managed to finish off the hated RDF with reasonable losses.
Meanwhile, I had been biding my time and trying to build a strong, well-equipped fleet before launching a full scale assault. Unfortunately, that made the remaining players prioritize my destruction, and send all their interceptors and tactic cards to hinder my movements. While Jason and the STG giggled in the background, amassing a fleet too large for anyone to face directly, my own forces were whittled down during an attack on Xeros that went horribly wrong, and any ships I had left were almost powerless when the STG came to finish me off.
Kyle, to his credit, quickly grasped the concepts of play and used Xeros' production capabilities to their full effect. When he managed to add the mighty Phoenix to his fleet, he thought that he was ready to deal with the Tax Gate once and for all. However, his eagerness to eliminate his foe caused him to forget Xeros' weakness: lack of marines. After a devastating volley phase, Kyle could only groan in frustration as Jason's troops stole his precious flagship in plain view. While he stayed and fought bravely, destroying both his and Jason's fleets, he was unable to complete his objective. Worse still, he was nearly defenseless when the Colonists came calling one turn later. A Pioneer militia company swiftly put him out of his misery.
Last, but least, the STG never recovered from their epic battle with Xeros. Jason's luck seemed to have run out, as he did not manage to draw any more ships to defend his beleaguered station. The stalwart Colonists had weathered everything thrown at them, and with no other commanders left in the game, they were ready to tell the tax collectors exactly where to shove their repossession notices and reporting forms. With his station still scarred from the battle with Xeros and no fleet to speak of, Jason surrendered, and Joseph claimed victory in the name of the Deep Space Colonists.
With tutorials interspersed with gameplay, the whole demo went from 3:00pm to 12:30am. Banter, trash talk, and the scent of pizza flowed freely, and a great time was had by all. The guys are definitely looking forward to me hosting another demo, and Joseph and Kyle have expressed interest in purchasing the game, online if necessary. There was particular interest in testing their might against Azathoth, which I am gleefully looking forward to hosting. We shall see how confident they feel when they are staring down an elder god...