I’m involved in Ganesha Games’ Song of Spear and Shield development, so I found a day off to go to Terni for a playtest of the latest version of the game. We had an urgency because three days after there will was the convention Dadi.com in San Marino (the free and little State inside Italy, beside with City of Vatican; Monte Carlo instead is for a few km inside French territory), the emigrated version of the biggest wargame convention of Italy, originally located in Crema and directed by Lorenzo Sartori.
After the playtest of Agliana a lot of things were developed, and in the right direction I think. If I was sceptical about the idea of cd trackers for light troops, now I’m sure that they work finely. Now I’m happy with the game mechanics, even if Andrea has still to do a lot of work. We played a extenuate game at the last man standing, to prove situations that we could forgot to think about. Always Romans against barbarian from the North. I’m on the Roman side, obviously! We made some rule changes and now, when I have metabolised this long day, I’m thinking about other upgrades. I’m waiting to hear Andrea on skype for a discussion about these adjustments. In the meantime there will be the playtest in San Marino and other feedback on the game. Maybe in June I could find time for another trip to Terni…
The playtest was in refurbished Andrea’s house. If you want to see more photos of our battle you can go here
This time Sergio was at home and only Andrea came to Hellana. Hellana is a convention only for players of historical wargames so Ganesha’s fantasy rulesets were not so appreciated here. I asked about a game with Song of Spear and Shield and Andrea satisfied me. It’s time that a skirmish game for ancients see the light because there are around a lot of beautiful 28mm that you cannot use with DBX or other games where you have to simulate an entire battle. Thousands of men reduced to formations of 28mms in tens is not the right look of a battle. Sometimes you want something smaller, a fight with only a part of troops. So you can even buy not an entire army but only the pieces that you want.
We set a game but something didn’t work. I have my ideas of what a fight with ancients is so I wanted to play in another way. All is too much simple for the period but complicated for some mechanics. There is the need of counters and this is bad. The mix of concepts from “Song of Blades and Heroes” with “Song of Drums and Shakos” and “’61-’65″ doesn’t work. We couldn’t think about the scale to give to the game, how you can put in battle array your historical troops. No solution.
I was a hard playtester this time because I like ancient history very much. And I want a great game and not a watered to humans version of “Song of Blades and Heroes” with spear and shields. Andrea was very dubious after my remarks. Another game was set but with other people. They have fun with what I refuse.
Me and Paolo were walking around without a game to play, Andrea was free so we tried another game. And this time we put forward a lot of ideas. We change the mechanics, the overlap modifiers, how a man can die, how fight, how calculate morale status, how to regroup, how command troops. A lot of things! Now it was entirely another game. Andrea must prove it to test it. And we want to play again with this new version but with a lot of troops involved!
Obliviously no release date yet!