Archive for the ‘ drums and shakos ’ Category

Ludica Roma is here!

At this moment I would be in Ludica Roma, a wargame, boardgame and videogame convention here in the Rome Fair (it is not precisely Rome, the Fair is in the middle of nowhere outside the city). Indeed, I wanted to demonstrate Zen Garden and Mighty Monsters at the Ganesha Games stand for three days, but Andrea is blocked by snow among mountains with a car not suitable to it. He have to come from Terni and it is a long way to here. So sad. I’m here stuck with my camping backpack ready with a lot of copies of Zen Garden, miniatures for a quick SSS playtest, food and water. At this moment we don’t know what to do. The fair is for 3 days, snow in Rome it is not falling now, maybe we will see something for afternoon or night.

On these pages you will read the report of what we will do. Andrea is thinking to travel by train tomorrow. We will be present without big scenarios because of this. We want to present for the first time in its definitive form my wargame Zen Garden, maybe the smallest wargame in the world. Sergio of Drums and Shakos fame cannot be present with his new game because of a flu.

We will survive snowing? If yes, a large selection of boardgames are offered to public to play with them together a volunteer demonstrator for free. All Roman wargame clubs are in the fair (thanks to me!). It is cold, the fair is in the middle of nowhere, but we are a lot of people who wants to play, so if you are around come and give a try to our games. We will be here, I hope!


Drums and Shakos Large Battle

I was almost forgetting that in the last days was out the last creation of Sergio, even in English edition. Here you can find some reviews: (English review) (Italian review)

I saw the development of the ruleset almost from the start and playtested it. You can find on my blog old posts about this. Last Saturday we met again in Terni at Sergio’s home for another playtest session. Under here there is the initial stages of development of a new game. You have to wait a couple of years to see it, so be patient!

Together with Andrea we tested the rules for Song of Spear and Shield about chariots and elephants. We made plans for next conventions and works too.

In the meantime we were visited by Bandini that painted my Roman army for Anticamente. In the next days, when I will end to doing things for Zen Garden, I put them on the bases.


Saturday, another day in Terni to meet Ganesha Games team. More mindstorming than playtesting this time. Here in the kitchen with Diego and a tisane for our fatigued throats after hours of speaking.

A preview from iPad about the frontispiece design of Drums & Shakos Large Battle. Full color for these rules. Three years in the working, such a great effort for Sergio. This day he woke up at 4 in the morning to end the English translation of the rules. Italian version ready for Christmas, we hope. The English one a little after.

Another project in the making from Sergio at its initial stages. Seven Years…

Reinforcements from painting service. Sergio is enlisting troops, drums of war are rolling.

Samurai Robots Battle Royale first fight! We are trying to make this new ruleset full compatible with Mighty Monsters so you can play robots against monsters, but this will be a totally new set of rules. As a matter of fact, during the first battle we changed the method to inflict wounds. Another playtest maybe in Rome the next Sunday with my Patlabor gashapons. I have to build quickly some buildings in Patlabor scale.

In the afternoon Railroad Tycoon to play together with something different than playtesting. I won. My adversaries couldn’t do anything to stop me!

Our board had weird colours for blue, violet and red, so Sergio fixed it at the end. And the last photo is about me in the main Sergio’s wargame room…


Magna Con Phersu 2011: Ganesha Games

Perugia is in Umbria, the same region of Terni that is also know as the city of Ganesha Games. So it was easy to them to arrive in the game convention Magna Con Phersu. Me and Diego, with the special guest Nunzio, were from Rome, far 2 hours by car from Perugia. Here you can see the Ganesha Games area in the first morning.

Flashing Steel is presented with a special setting that utilise Ainsty Casting ships and new boarding rules for a Flashing Steel future supplement. No sails because models arrived only few days before the convention so there wasn’t time to make them.

Another setting. Here the wonderful vineyard made by Sergio. He prefers red wine because he made purple grapes. After I saw this beauty I discovered that I need a vineyard for my miniatures too… My surname comes from the name of grapes!

Drums & Shakos Large Battles is in the final translation and layout stages. You will have it for the beginning of the new year for sure. Here another demonstration table without rules to show to people in a definitive book form. And another game with Diego who wanted to try the latest tweaks.

We are waited in Terni for testing other new rules and rulesets, among these a game about space vessels and another one about giant robots… And in the middle of this we have to test Song of Spear and Shield for its release… Instead the game about post-apocalypse for Lead Adventure miniatures is tested locally in ALT club of Terni.


Lucca 2011: ganesha games show

A view of Historical Island. The Clan Conan space is at the end. Ganesha Games area is very large. Lava erupts from the volcano at the Andrea’s desk.

My Zen Garden in the fair. You can see the new materials at the work.

A playing preview of Swatters, the new game with 15mm aliens vs humans. Almost completed, it will see the light in a few months.

Flashing Steel on the table! Look at the wonderful sea, waves seems real. Some games were setted with this new ruleset. Pity, it was available only in English, so none could buy it, because Italian version is waited in the following weeks.

Sergio was very very tired due to work, but he could show his new Large Battle Drums and Shakos. A real success. His terrain was awesome, there was even a perfect vineyard.

He could explain the basic mechanics of the game with the throw of some dices to put spice in this. Some people wanted to buy it but you have to wait some weeks again. The book is in the editing phase.

Mighty Monsters, here presented in the Italian version and called Mega Mostri, results as a big hit in the heart of audience who reminds the lost sagas of Godzilla and its enemies.

Andrea presented the game with a volcano scenario and a lot of gashapon to show what we are speaking about. Children were attracted by these little figurines, adults were amazed finding their monster hero from younger time at work. And some child know the videogame of Godzilla and could name the monsters.

Scarred for life with Godzilla name!!! He is a hardcore Godzilla collector. However some people buy the ruleset ONLY because it is about kaiju, they don’t play wargames, they wanted Godzilla! I sign even an autograph on a copy, because I participated in the creation of the game!

Some happy customers playing with Mighty Monsters. Have fun with kaiju! And in the future you will have fights with giant robots from Japan too!!! Mazingaaa!!!!! And I have got a Patlabor large gashapon set to play a scenario with robots against a monster, as in Patlabor 3!


Another day with SDS LB

Another day in Terni, another day with Song of Drums and Shakos Large Battles (maybe in the final version the name will be without “Song”). The train left Roma station at 7.48 in the morning. This time Federico from Rome was with us. He is a veteran of Napoleonic battles. Our guest is Sergio as usual, with his game, his kindness and a powerful pasta with red and green pesto, red and green as Terni’s coat of arms.

I resulted in a very bad performance. I act as an amateur. I went straight ahead but enemy cavalry was not so convinced to permit this to me. It is true that in this manner we could destroy it because was alone in the field and under fire from our forces. At the end I put my soldiers at the will of my partner in the game, Sergio himself. But Sergio wrong move was that he didn’t develop early the reserves, especially the artillery.

As I thought, this is not the last version of SDS LB (from now DSLB). Other tweaks have to be do. Nothing so big, but something to improve the game in some situations. Linear games are even a bit complicated by geometric messes, and we don’t want a game for land surveyors.

Maybe we could see the complete game at the end of the year…


Try this (SDS LB) at home

Some weeks ago, in the middle of August, during a hot evening, me and Diego tried in a private session the last release of Song of Drums and Shakos Large Battle. As I said before, Diego is very involved in the Sergio’s project, so he wanted to taste some of the rules to understand if all is smooth and fine. He set a scenario and adapted his 1/72 miniatures to the game. And he introduced some different composition of the armies to create peculiar forces, a variation to the more aseptic battalions that we used before for the tests.

I’m not an expert of Napoleonic warfare, but now I know some of the basics, so I moved my pieces with skilfulness, or almost I believe it. At the start I strike very hard, and glory was at hand. But in the following turns, a hill slowed my paces and I couldn’t give the final punch to the enemy on my left flank. Maybe the rule for hills are not good, because to climb them you must spend two activations only for movement. So I had too many turn overs. And to this followed a general change of situation on my throws: it meant a drawback and after defeat.

Another test and a list of observations to Sergio. Tomorrow we will have another playtesting day in Terni. Sergio tell us that this is the last test for the rules. I don’t believe him…


Swatters + MM + SDS LB

Another day in Terni, another day in Sergio’s house, another day of testing of Ganesha Games’ rules. This time was the 7th of August and the staff were: me, Diego “Legio Palatina”, Sergio “SDS”, Andrea “Ganesha”, Gasbarri “Italian champion of all miniature wargame tournaments”, Salini “Chimera”. So we had two gamers from Rome, two from Arezzo and two from Terni.

After a debate on who from Arezzo works as a apothecary (don’t mind, it is a inner joke), we started a game with Song of Drums and Shakos Large Battle. Every time I think it is in the final state of the testing, every time I found something new in the rules. Well, you can’t say we didn’t try this ruleset before its publication! We are testing it since a couple of years. What can I say? I confirm all my impressions. This time the game was faster because Sergio wants to close a game in a 2 hours and half, because he is tired of longer games that you cannot end in a evening. So you have a more deadly play, but with realistic results. I would prefer a slower and less compress view of the game, but frankly 2 hours and half are enough for a game, so now SDS LB is still better.

In the middle of the play we made a pause for lunch. At the restart I left SDS LB (my place was taken by Sergio and they made another game too, with a long debate after) for a game with Mighty Monsters. I aided Andrea in its development and founded some key ideas about the mechanism of the game. They were a lot of months that I didn’t play with these small versions of Godzilla and foes. We made some little adjustments and tried some terrain effects. It is almost ready for betatesting to external playtesters, but still we have to try it putting Japanese Defence Forces in the pit.

At the end I tried for the second time the new game of Andrea, Swatters (not the definitive name), a sci-fi game about voracious aliens and terrestrial garrisons (I talked about it in the 17th of July post). Andrea is very involved in its development because of the new form of the play. It is a game with easy rules and with a immediate visual recognition of the troops statistics and wounds using the miniatures and their position inside circular trays (made from old CDs). I think that especially this game it’s very easy to play without reading the rules before, because you have all what you need just on the table. I suggested to use trays made from mini-Cds, but now you can find only mini-DVDs, and Andrea is stockpiling them to play a very large battle. Using 15mm, the Ganesha’s distance sticks, a bunch of dices to add probability factors to your fighting results, and mini-DVDs as trays, you can have your sci-fi battle.