Archive for the ‘ rules ’ Category

Magister Militum in Canino 2012

A lot of events in these days. So I am behind schedule with my reports. Be patient! This is a brief report about the tenth DBA tournament in Rome, organised by me and my Legio Palatina chaps. Well, the first note is that it wasn’t in Rome but in Canino, a town north of Rome where Narciso lives. The municipal authorities gave us a room and the place is peaceful and a little bucolic.

We went to Canino the day before to find room, tables and seats. We had some troubles, changed three times the place, competed with local Red Cross (!) for tables and seats, but we found what was necessary at last. We bought bottles of prime quality olive oil to give free to participants, and some cheese directly from producers to bring with us at home. And in the meantime we tested our armies at Narciso’s home together with a new entry: Gabriele. Here you can see Diego while he is doing what he likes more: teaching strategy.

The day after, the tournament day, he had 13 participants, an odd number, so I sacrificed myself and I didn’t play. I brushed up the DBA rules only to act as umpire and not as a player and my army fought only in the tests.

While we were playing with little toys, another child was playing with a computer. Bigger children played 4 games, 1 hour and a quarter long, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. The lists were based on the late Roman era.

We were inside a local small museum about archaeological finds in the area, precisely from a destroyed medieval castle and from Vulci, an Etruscan (Roman, later) city in that neighbourhood. More photos than material objects, but the museum is still growing with new donations. While the tournament was playing some people give them 3 coins and a fibula they incidentally found in the garden, 2000 years old things. We have got a lot of history in our country… Here in the photo the president of the Gruppo Archeologico Romano, the Canino section, owners of the rooms.

The lunch moment. Well, two hours are not properly a “moment”, but restaurateurs are a bit slow and it was a little demanding an à la carte three-course meal with side dishes, pizza as bread, wine and coffee. Burp! Sorry…

Our heroes, our duces, got together to elect the magister militum! A beautiful day with challenging rules and great people.


Rufina 2012: my games

More on Rufina convention. This time some photos and words on the game that I played.

Because it was the 8th of September, the day that remind us the escape of king and government during the war, leaving the State and the Army without orders, we played a game with Operation Squad WW2 rules. The setting was pretty basic and a little scratch. We wanted to reproduce a fight of Italians versus Germans. The firsts were desperately trying to save themselves and the Country while Italy was collapsed as nation, the latter were invading the territory while were only a few in a foreign place where their former comrades switched sides for the Allies but without knowing it!

We made some mistakes because it was the fist time we play with these rules. My friend Pippo of Pippo’s Blog fame, fought with a fallschrimjager squad even if he wore a t-shirt with a commie red star on the national flag and the writing “always partisans”! I had got standard Italian troops instead.

After a lot of promises, I organised a demo of my Ferrum et Gloria for Pippo. He wanted to try these rules and in the future he will run a full playtest for me, based on the written text, to understand if all is clear. I hope he will play an entire campaign to tweak the system points and the added rules. Bad lucky dices for me this time, so the test was not so valid to state the full potential of the rules. But Pippo liked it.

Here you can see my new arena, made by Pippo and painted by my father under my direction. Small, portable, elliptical.

Sunday an Anticamente tournament was held in Rufina. The first time with my 10mm Roman legion. And I wore my tourist t-shirt with a big “SPQR”, a real statement of Roman creed! Last time I played with these rules it was almost a year ago. So I had only a lot of good dice result to survive to enemy armies. However I know something about this game: I reached the forth place on eight participants. I had to leave early due to distance, and a fake photo was taken while I receive the cup for the third place because maybe I could reach that place in case a player would lost more pieces. Now I haven’t got the cup but only a photo. Yes, but together with my friend Fabio.


Magister Militum is here

Every year my club organises a DBA tournament for our annual Italian DBA championship dedicated to Dionigi Ioghà, its creator. This one is the tenth year (!) and the theme of the event is the late Roman age, with lists renamed as the armies of the provincial duces (generals). Who win will be nominated Magister Militum (field marshal). I have chose the Dux Armeniae army, Sunday I will know how my forces fight on the battleground.

If you want to know more on this scenario you can go to the mini-website that I created for the event:

Now we are in a new wargame season, the 2012 autumn campaign, so I am very busy and a lot of events are scheduled in the next two months. So you have to wait for my reportage. Coming soon in my wargamer life, coming soon on this blog!


Birthday Battle

Once again it was the time of my birthday! Now they are forty-three. My mate Diego had his birthday the day before, so I tried to create a birthday event with miniatures for both of us together with our friends. The choice for the location was Terni, our adoptive city as regard to the miniatures. This is the picture of the participants. You may notice that Andrea Ganesha is sponsoring a vintage box of D&D miniatures that he found at Sergio’s home. A little pirate instead taught us Blood Bowl secrets.

A big surprise for us was a prototype test for a new rule engine by Sergio, the man behind the revolutionary Large Battle Drums and Shakos. It was only the basic engine without historical and terrain features, and it just worked very well! It is a game based on area movement and presence, driven by cards and a fighting style adapted from the LBDS dices. It can be develop for various periods. It is very great! An entire family of rulesets can be generate from this engine. The only problem is that wargamers are not fit with the concept of areas, they think that this is not for wargames but boardgames.

The latter half of the day was with Blood Bowl, a game that I tried a lot of years ago when the first edition was out in the eighties. At that time we haven’t got the miniatures but die cut cards on plastic bases and Games Workshop was only a creative company from Nottingham. My friend bought the expansion too. We didn’t understand the rules very well, we hadn’t experience with games, I don’t didn’t speak English, so we put the two boxes in an angle and forgot that fantasy football field. Now after ten years with DBA we want to find something new (!!!) and we are interested in Blood Bowl. I made my first game after 25 years and I liked it. The beautiful football stadium is made by Sergio and will be present at the next convention in Terni “ALT si gioca” in October, when a BB tournament will be held.

The day went very well, we had fun, we celebrate our birthdays. Sergio cooked the Bulgarian national dish, a fresh mixture of yogurt, cucumbers and herbs. Cheese and a rice salad as side dishes. In the evening we ate a great “piadina”, even if Diego suffer from Bulgarian “counterattacks”. I feel happy : )


I’m following the Anticamente ruleset since its initial development. I read the raw rules in Word format and I won the first Italian championship in 2010. Fabio, the man behind Anticamente, is a good mate and he borrow armies to play at tournaments. I was waiting for the realise of a Roman army, so when the pieces were ready, I bought them. They are beautiful 10mm pieces, too small for my father’s eyes (I wish to remember you that my official painter is my father). So I have them made ​​paint by a friend of mine who lives in Terni: he needs money to pay for drugs, namely more little friends made of lead.

I asked for a “wargame” painting style because I can’t claim to have fabulous miniatures: they are so small (really small indeed, in the first line of the photo the miniature seems a 28mm one, but it is smaller, it is only 1cm high!) and detailed that for large amounts that you have to lose your eyes to paint them. Best is the sense of mass that these troops can give. And the distance form the table where you play to your head is such that you can hardly see the details. We are not speaking about 54mm… Indeed, if you want to see these pieces in a perfect state you have to see the website of the producer: TBLine.

To store my miniatures I choose to adapt some Betacam SP L boxes that I found, but you can use VHS plastic boxes too. I put a steel sheet on the inner surface of the box and a magnetic base to miniatures based on forex squares. For cavalry I had a problem with lances (too high), so I had to built a magnetised frame structure to store that type of miniatures. I have a lot of empty space to put some Italic reinforcements. In the next Autumn we will have a couple of Anticamente tournaments, so I’m ready with my troops!


Giocaperugia 2012

In Italy there are a lot of boardgames (at most) conventions with the suffix Gioca- (play) and then the name of the city. So we have even this GiocaPerugia on the hill next Perugia and site of Città della Domenica. I spoke some months ago about Magna Con Phersu and this amusement park on this and this post. Now this GiocaPerugia was a bigger convention and this is the dedicated website.

The other time we were in Winter so the park was close. This new trip to it was a chance to visit it. The place is really huge, a paradise for children but something else for other people. It is a park for families built too much years ago, so it shows his age, as these decorations designed as beautiful statues that must recall various places in the world. Ugliness in the middle of typically Mediterranean late spring vegetation. A matter of style aged too soon. Among other things you can find a mock castle, a mock missile, a mock Indian encampment and blue shirts fort, some buffaloes, some exotic goats, some horses and a cow. You understand, it is not so beautiful, but in some ways educational and with the morbid fascination of vintage amusement parks. Well, inside a pavilion there was enough space for GiocaPerugia too.

We had a large room and some space outside, a lot of available tables, some vendors, some games ready to play, but we hadn’t an essential element: there were not enough people. Perugia is a city full of young people, there is an international university that attracts them, so it was desirable a large participation because part of them surely know boardgames, cosplay, wargames and what is related to them. So, what’s the matter? I don’t know, maybe lack of advertisement? I don’t have the answer.

Inside GiocaPerugia a Blood Bowl tournament was organised, and some friends of mine was fighting on the green grounds with chainsaws and dirty hits. Blood Bowl is the new sensation (!) among people who plays DBA (more !!!). I tried the game when the first edition was hot off the press but maybe at that time something was a little confusing and we didn’t play it so much. Instead nowadays I’m thinking to compose a couple of teams. I like the idea of making an unique team using a few miniatures with a specific theme. I’m collecting gorgeous babes pieces to create an Amazon team, and I’m thinking to some snowmen for a more frozen set. I met some people from Rome and maybe (thanks to me) in Ludica in November we will have a tournament with 50 people.

The great thing about GiocaPerugia were two displays in the open where we talked with Cesarian Roman reenactors and with practitioners of historical fencing. They are very enthusiastic people and we learn a lot from who directly experienced weapons, armours and ancient fighting techniques. It is thrilling to touch the concrete stuff on which you only read about in books. Maybe in the future we will collaborate with these people. I leave here their websites:
Legio I Taurus
Sala d’Arme Achille Marozzo


Tests for DBA in Rome 2012

A couple of Sundays ago we received a visit from our friend Paolo who is now living in Switzerland. So we had the opportunity to set two DBA games to test a tournament list proposal for the next DBA event in Rome.

Since 2004 we are a 6 men club devoted to DBA tournaments at most, with some great results in 2006. But life reserves obstacles to players: Luca now lives in London, Narciso returned to his little town near Viterbo, Maurizio is missing with wife and two little children in an obscure somewhere in Rome, and now Paolo is feeding himself only with chocolate and cheese. But we are still involved in Italian DBA circuit, so even this year we are organising the Rome annual tournament. We have almost lost the enthusiasm for doing it because after exactly ten years of DBA events we wish something different. But a lot of friends are from the DBA circuit so tournaments are the pretext to meet them.

For this year I thought to something very different than usual: a choice of each of a kind of the DBA troops (Kn, Cv, Lh,…), until to 12 pieces. The only fixed troop was Cv as general. We tried this scenario that afternoon. It worked and it is a heavy duty for players because you have to manage your troops very well. But at the end we choose to do things in a more orthodox way: people could not find this of their taste even for the unreal historical feel of the thing. And DBA is a historical game, you know, if you can conceive a historical meaning in the usual line formation of DBA armies…

For the refinement gentleman I show you the Paolo’s personal measure instrument for DBA paces, a elegant compass used for maps. Paolo is a geographer, do you know it? And he now has got an iPad to shoot photos.
Well, the evening ended as usual, with pizza and beer in a near restaurant. Only few days after I received the invitation for his wedding during this August. We are projecting the upcoming trip to the land of clocks with birds inside…


TB Line exclusive 10mm preview !

Again and again on Hellana, where I could see a preview of the new 10mm miniature set from TB Line about armies for Punic Wars. This time was the turn of hoplites from Italy, useful for both the sides, the good and right one (Roma) and the bad one (Chartage). So you will have an army with Italian vests, different from the three orders army typical of Republican Romans or the Greeks.

Here you can see the general of the army. It is so good that I couldn’t keep my enthusiasm. It is part of a command with a bearer and a horn player. The army is not still complete. That day the sculptor (Cosimo Auricchio) presented to Fabio, my friend and owner of TB Line, the fresh fusions of the cavalry of this army. The hoplites are still under sculpting. Cosimo is very very slow with sculpting, but the results are great!

I wanted to emphasize the beauty of this little metal piece, putting it in comparison with other things as an attach or my fingers, because if you see it only on a screen, you can think it is a very good 28mm piece. Instead it is only 1cm high! It is a real miniature! The painting is great too. The eyes and the hands of the painter are phenomenal. These photos are take with my mobile camera (it is a Samsung GT-S8500 Wave) in free hand mode with natural light inside a gym…

The last photo is for the scenario at Hellana by TB Line, a horde of Mongols versus Rus. It think it was the best table at the convention. They were playing Anticamente rules. Obviously with 10mm miniatures.