Archive for the ‘ lead and plastic people ’ Category

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…


GiocaRoma 2011

At last, my report on GiocaRoma 2011, the boardgame convention of Rome. I repeat myself: I like these events build by gamers for gamers. There were tournaments, boardgames presentations, wargames, vendors, free toy library with people who explain rules and follow you during the first turn. All inside a sporting centre near the underground, with pool and tennis camps. We don’t use the pool, usual clients did. There is a restaurant inside with low prices (water + potatoes + pizza = 6€) and a bar. The sad thing is that there was a misunderstood and the restaurant owners don’t know about the event so ice creams and other food disappeared too soon. And GiocaRoma is always very hot, so ice creams were a necessary resource!!!

This is the free toy library before the assault, early in the morning…

Over 1000 registered visitors, but hardcore gamers were less. Among boardgame players there are even women, a factor unknown by wargamers. And a lot of women are brides of other gamers. So here we aren’t only among bald and fat men as usual.

An interview for tv to Bao (an African game) promoter. He runs an international tournament and the diffusion of the game for beneficence purposes.
The orange dress of the interviewer was very pretty, indeed. Look at the shoes, she is moving like a child…

These are the cups for tournaments played in GiocaRoma.

During the first day I presented Zen Garden. Read the other post to know more about it. When I will find the time I show more on it.

Here you can see a Miles Glorious‘ delegation playing with Zen Garden.

And here other players. On the right Sinclair from Ratio Ludica, on the left Lorenzo from Zerloon Place. Their comments were enthusiasts!

And now some words about games we tried on Sunday. Carson City is an interesting game. Someone say that it is a sort of Caylus without too many mental calculations, with a far west flavour and some dices to add fun. Well, if you don’t know Caylus, I can say that this Carson City is about a placement mechanism of meeples with added a terrain where you can buy land and put buildings to have revenues. And if you want the same resource, placing your meeple (who resemble a cowboy) on it where just where another gamer placed his, then there is a duel! More fun than Pillars of the Earth! So, a great far west game!

It was a long time that I wanted to try Letters from Whitechapel because of the setting in actual Banglatown. The map is gorgeous. The game is a more complicated version of the old Scotland Yard. Fun, but not so intriguing as the box and the map. For a night with friends and a smart guy as the fugitive. I was not so smart so the play ended before than I expected.

Ventura is an Italian game distributed by Fantasy Flight Games. It is a classic game with a map, some armies around and your zone of control where you take your money to built armies. But this time all is packed in the age of mercenary armies in Italy, the age of condottieri. The new thing is that you can built the map adding terrain hexagons with specific values. So, it is a great-grandchildren beautiful variant of Risiko in a great setting. Some material are of the highest quality, others are not. However some rules are weak, so he urges some tweaks, as hidden composition of armies. I think I play again with this game because Paolo bought it.

We give another try to 7 Wonders. I like it, but Paolo tell us it is only a card game with a high price. I hope Francesca buy it.

While I was involved with Zen Garden, Paolo run an exhibition game of MEKA, still in beta form. This time in a desert setting instead of the urban one. Zakus are always the best mechas around…

Our friend Di Bartolo showed his Napoleonic game, almost ready to be published. The best terrain and painted miniatures of the event.

Subbuteo football club. For football fans only. I’m not in this category, but I like stubbornness of Subbuteo fans from ’70s!

There was Miniature Mania, a painting service from Perugia. I take some pictures. I like the weird effect of miniatures at twilight!!!

I didn’t buy anything, but there were gracious games and related stuff. Another time. The hard true is that I buy things but I haven’t the time to play with them! Sad, sad, very sad. At the end I remained only with these tickets. They were for the lottery. 1000 tickets for 10 prizes (a holiday during Modenacon 2012 + 9 boardgames), so I bought 11 tickets for 11€, 1 to 100 to have something. I only had the pleasure to give away little money for 2 days of fun. Thank you GiocaRoma!


Lo Papa vero: aftermath

Well, I still fell tired about those two days in Canino. And I have to prepare myself to upcoming GiocaRoma that is next weekend. And I run two jobs too. I haven’t time for all this… So, only fast posts about the past event!

The prizes, small coups but great glory. And a bottle of oil from Canino trees, a high quality oil.

Genuine cheese as medal for the first squad!

We are so generous that we give away a bottle of oil to all participants!!! We kept this as a surprise. So everyone had something to bring home. And we distributed holy cards too!

My matches went not so well. Two win, two loss. I always made the terrain so I put coast to limit manoeuvring for a more direct approach. But I had very bad dices against my strongest opponents, instead lucky dices against my weakest opponents. So not great story, fast play and results.

The wide hall was offered by Municipality of Canino. We only paid for chairs and tables. However it was hot, as September is.

A great dinner on a terrace. And a lot of chats. But I felt bad with my stomach so I eat not so much. The evening before I only eat a half coconut, and for dinner two small packs of homogenised fruit with bread.

And this is my camp, an idea took from Brancaleone films.

Next year there will be a new tournament organised by us. But it is so early to think about it…


SSS & Large Battle SDS (again!)

Another holiday in Terni! Me and Diego again. Our train left the station at 7.43. You get up early in the morning for these little pieces of lead. I could say that my summer holidays this year are in Terni…

As you can see, there is another improvement in the Large Battle SDS playtest rules: the cover is in full colour. Well, there are even other modifications, the morale rules are better focused and very simple, some little developments are on the ground, some personalisations of the armies are tested. This time was tested a scenario for the book, a strange fight between minor nations.
These rules are a long time investment for Sergio, and Diego is very involved in their definition. I think that they are better every time that I see them, but more things are to be tested. They have to be perfect…

While musketeers was echoing in the room where Diego and Sergio played, me and Andrea were involved in some small fights for Song of Spear and Shield. We wanted to test some situations as hoplites warfare, light chariots and heavy chariots. Some ideas were tested, something was good, something was not so good. Chariots are a hard challenge to put them in a game. More work have to be done, but the core rules are fixed. Next time we want some pachyderms and more chariots.

In spare time after this session, me and Andrea playtested his alpha versions of a sci-fi game with voracious aliens. And I showed my new iPad2 to Andrea to have some indications on its functions. A frozen train left me at the station around the 22.30.


Happy Birthday to me

42 years! They are so many! I’m feeling a bit old, but I believe I am still young too. I play with little soldiers, so I’m young, am I?

This time I hadn’t real big parties, only a little one (4 people) on Saturday night in a pizzeria, but on Sunday I made a holiday in Canino with my wargame chaps. I’ll speak about it in another post. With parents and sister I’ll have to wait until the 13th…

Birthday is time of gifts too. Here the list. Thanks to donors 🙂

From Paolo a Zaku, my favourite mecha!
From Narciso and Diego two books: a real chronicle about a soldier that fight colonial wars, two world wars, a war against oblivion of the fallen comrades; an osprey about anti tank warfare.
From all wargame friends, fresh breath in form of encapsulated mint.

From some my female colleagues this swimwear.

From Farina, Vincenzo and his fiancé Marina, Eugenio and Serena this 8 pack of Samnites (I’m enlisting troops for Song of Spear and Shield).
And more from them this mug…


Reggimento Folgore (Roma 1944) at 1/6

The third piece of my 12 inches soldier collection. Another Italian paratrooper of WWII. This one is the last of the Folgore incarnations. In the latest months of war, the paratroopers was reorganised under the Airforce autority, so the uniforms are blue-grey.

My father was in Airforce, I served in Airforce, so my first uniform as reneactor was an Airforce one. Here you can see me this year on the south extreme of the Nettuno front.

Under the camouflage there is the classic paratrooper, and then RSI, uniform without collar, more practical than other cuts. Collar badges are the newer ones, handmade by me. I changed a lot of things on this piece because I want a particular uniform, like mine.

This samurai is the economic and lighter version. Only 5 magazines against 12 magazines of the other version. I have got a real samurai of this kind, with real magazines with bullets, but all is deactivated, they now are only pieces of metal. Mine is a little different, it is a modern reproduction with modern measures, longer because now we are more tall and big than 65 years ago. It is difficult to find old uniforms that fits well, only bigger sizes are good. And my samurai is too much green, I have to put it on sun to decolourise it.

Here you can see a comparative view of the two kind of samurai.

This piece is ready to fight in Castel di Decima, the 4th June of 1944, a few kilometres under Rome, just before the Allied occupation of the city. A bunch of men stopped a Sherman column with the use of panzerfausts and heroism. They had to slow down the run towards Rome after the front collapse after the capture of Montecassino, so Germans could lose touch and recreate a front.

Sunday the 5th of June, this year, was celebrated a remember of the fallen ones of the defence of Rome. You can see some friends of mine historically dressed. Here the report of the day:

This is the memorial tablet for this episode in the cemetery of Rome.

Back to vinyl. You can see German equipment as panzerfaust and bombs. There is even a Beretta pistol and the paratrooper dagger. Without his dagger a paratrooper is naked!

A picture from the rear. This mode to put the MAB on the shoulder is the correct one because is more stable. I learned this with the real MAB, the Italian machine gun made by Beretta.

The three paratroopers that guards one library of mine. Folgore viewed in its incarnations: Africa, Army, Airforce.


Nembo (Nettuno 1944) at 1/6

Another beautiful piece of plastic with cloth over. In 1/6 scale. This is the second piece of my collection. An Italian paratrooper collection, inspired by my friend who was a paratrooper in the army and that brought me in the reneactor thing.

After El Alamein battle and the heroic defeat of Folgore, the Italian Army wanted to recreate this elite combat group. While drilling went on, the Savoia royal family betrayed Mussolini’s regime and suddenly, the 8th of September 1943, the King and the Italian hierarchy betrayed one’s country, fled in the hands of Allies leaving with no orders our entire Army, that surrendered to Germany Army. So two States were created, one in the north and one in the south of Italy, the former with Mussolini, the latter with monarchists.

This piece represent a Nembo paratrooper, RSI Army. You can see his dress with camouflage, the first camouflage issued on regular basis to troops in the world. This kind of mimetic colours will be used in Italian Army until recent years. Now we use a great new scheme, the “vegetata” one, that seems digital but it is a design, with a net wire on the cloth, invisible to human eyes, to blind digital spotters. Sometimes Italians do it better.

He wears a “samurai”, the bodice to transport magazines for MAB. A paratrooper has to transport independently a large amount of munitions, because he is very mobile, on enemy ground and without the possibility to supply himself. This samurai is the larger one, with the possibility to transport 12 (!) magazines and 6 bombs.

Nembo fought in Nettuno area, stopping for months the Allied forces on the beaches under Rome together with a larger number of German troops. A lot of scholars never speak about Italians in war because they think that our soldiers they were only a bunch of cowards that cry for mummy. They are racists and idiots. Italian soldiers were great in war, and paratroopers were among the best, but highest rank generals were shit, they lost the war, not the Italian soldier!

The uniform is grey-green, the particular colour that identify the Italian Army. His collar badges are with gladi, the RSI military symbol that replace the stars, the military Savoia symbol.

The 12 inches is a Dragon limited piece create for a convention. I modified it with the samurai and other minor things. I throw away the box, but real collectors never put a model outside his box…

It is dedicated to Nino Arena who fought on Anzio-Nettuno front. After he became a writer on military matters, especially on RSI topics. Here I photographed him two years ago during a conference held for the commemoration of the paratroopers fight in Castel Decima in 1944. You can see that the face is the same, even if there are some years between the two aspects…


Folgore (El Alamein 1942) at 1/6

This is my Folgore action figure. When I projected the figure I was thinking to replicate something of the desert, the thirst, the effort of will of these men while they were stopping the British Empire offensive against them.

Here you can see the collar badges with the star. The helmet is with its Italian camouflage. There is a binocular too.

The pose is with the Fucile Mitragliatore Breda Modello 30. It was the standard light machine gun of the Italian Army during WWII. Upper the plastic 1/6 version, under the real one.

I have got one of these light machine guns in my arms. For a “light” it was pretty “heavy”, more than 10 kg of steel. People fired it even while it was in their hands. It was a matter of life or death, so it was like a plume.

On the back I put two canteens. The water, when they could have it, was transported in fuel drums, with fuel remains inside.

A sad thing. My doll was without feet. There was a problem with what I bought, and my father resolve it with new feet, hand crafted from a piece of wood. They are inside the boots so none can see it but the stability of the action figure is improved.