Archive for January, 2013

100 dices and a gunfight

January is not the best time of the year for a trip to Terni. But we wanted to meet Sergio after some months. We were busy with fairs and tournaments so now was the time for a new visit at the Sergio’s war-rooms.

Exactly at the end of the year, when people were thinking about New Year’s Eve parties, Sergio put on paper his new game. It is called “100 dices”. It is a hex-based game system and it is built to reproduce a horse & musket battle. Its engine could be adapted to other periods too.

The main idea is to give 100 dices to players. Every time a player use a dice he throw it away. Well, however there are lots of other things more! The rules are very simple, fast to play, easy to remind. Something to play in a couple of hour or less. We played on a small board composed by 10×8 MDF hexes. It is even a low-cost way to play and an introductory game to wargames newbies. It can be a great game!

The sad thing were my dices. I had the average result of 2 or 3 during all the battle. Pretty frustrating. It is difficult to realise a real playtest when one side is systematically under a low-dice-spell. Every action I did were a failure. I appreciate the game but another time please give me the 100 dices with the 6 side…

Another playtest, this time for Andrea. The game is called “Gunfight at Hell Creek” and it is a spaghetti western scenario realised with the famous Song of Blade and Heroes engine and something more. Born as an extravaganza, it is in a very fast development process. Maybe it will be ready in the first part of this year.

We played a rough version of the game with our Legio Palatina mates during the Christmas club reunion. Now some tweaks were done and the game was better, more fluid. We had some problems with the high weapons power and the scenario rules, but playtest are made for this, to find problems and adopt solutions. On the ground some little houses, fresh from the producer. Next time we will have more houses and western stuff around for a better play.

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Today Carnevale begins

Today is the first day of Carnevale. In Italy we have a lot of famous celebrations about this festive part of the year, even in Rome. I think that the Venetian one is the most renowned. Inspired by the Carnevale game and Freebooter miniatures I thought about a new game about Venetian masks and little soldiers. I call it “Mercoledì delle Ceneri”, the day after the end of Carnevale. I’m still in a preparing phase, I will be ready with this project only next year, just for the 2014 Carnevale. In the meantime this is my first miniature still under painting process by Lorenzo Zerloon. Until Martedì Grasso more posts about Carnevale will be proposed on this blog…

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DS very LB

The game that I won without be in the place, without be in the same city. Well, all this is a little unusual, but it could be. Sergio, Drums & Shako author, thought about a very large battle for his Drums Shakos Large Battle. It was the 12th of December, and this is a chronicle from far.

Three gaming tables, six players and two coordinators for faction, one master. At the coordinators were referred the duty to plan the battle, to supply troop reinforcements, to order strategies to players. And they couldn’t see the tables. So a fog of war occluded the real development of the battle. Moreover messages between coordinators and players, commander-in-chief and generals, were slowed and confused. To add fog of war, the players had various shapes instead of real miniatures to concealing troops at the enemy. Stratagems and surprises were planned by Sergio along the battle. I played as French coordinator, so I had a map of the terrain and could refer to it to give orders. In those days I had an allergic rash so I couldn’t go to Terni. Thanks to Sergio I could play through mobile telephone and emails.

Often what you plan is not what you realise. We had more people than we planned, nine players for the tables. But at most they didn’t remind the rules so well and play turns took too much time. So the battle was stopped before the natural end of the conflict. The communicating system between me and generals lacked due to not strictly rules about my role. I planned the battle but I couldn’t intervene in it. But my faction won. All lessons for another time and another very large battle. We are thinking how to play it better another time.

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A blog for Flashing Steel

Only a brief note to communicate the creation of a new blog dedicated to the Flashing Steel rules published by Ganesha Games. If you like pirates, musketeers, sword and gun action, these rules are for you. So go to: http://flashingsteel.wordpress.com/

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Annual Legio Palatina reunion

Christmas is the time of the year when Luca come from London to meet his old mates here in Rome. His wife is a writer for the Roma guide by Lonely Planet so all the family is here for the copy edit of the new annual edition. So we have got Luca, while Narciso come from Canino. Hence we can organise a Legio Palatina reunion year after year, even if Maurizio is missing while Paolo is in Switzerland with his pregnant wife. Our club still lives for a day.

This time we have got two new full members: Gabriel and Jack. Their father is teaching them the wargame basis for future glory on the game boards. But they still have some confusion. Gabriel displayed some 15mm single based modern troops with flamethrowers in our mini Large Battle SDS in 28mm scale. Smaller but more deadly indeed.

Diego opened his house for the first time ever! It could be perfect headquarters for our club, but he wants to preserve it for something less important. As you can see, it is along a railway. This fascinate me in some way.

Andrea was with us from the morning. We playtested again Song of Spear and Shield with Diego. Later we did a collective visit to the local wargame store, now only few blocks from Diego’s house. And after a lunch with pasta, the afternoon with the kids, SDLB and snacks, the evening with some ugly reality shows about Yankee food while we were waiting that Luca consigned the kids to their mother in another part of the city, we ate the annual dinner based on pizza and beer.

To digest we playtested a new game from Ganesha based on western films. Four players, two sides. My dices were so bad that I did nothing at all! At least the others had fun with the game.

The classic reunion photo. So we can see photo after photo the passage of the years, but even the fact that we are always here together year after year!

In the night Narciso and Andrea slept in Diego’s house. Because they are two famous long-winded people, they fell asleep very late. In the late morning we visited IKEA to buy some stuff: assorted for Narciso, two bookshelves to put inside the miniature closet for Andrea, some Zen Garden bases for me.

Then me and Andrea made another playtest to the western game. On my Christmas red tablecloth. This time I had only good dices and Andrea the bad ones. I can say that they are some interesting concepts in the game but there are lots of things to do before it can be full playable. Something for late 2013 or 2014 because there are so many new rules that have to be published by Andrea this year, and the next.

The 2012 passed away, the begin of 2013 was still with a holidays atmosphere, Luca was almost leaving for London, so we setted another reunion, even if shorter. This time Diego and Narciso were playtesting Ferrum et Gloria with some tweaks about thraeces and andabatae.

Another club photo before of another pizza and beer dinner. Maybe I will see Luca in London for Salute. Maybe we will be here another time 12 months more later.

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+Libri +Liberi 2012

Every year there is in Rome this fair about books. It is based on small publishers. It is the opportunity to know and buy something different from the usual, that is something that you cannot find in mainstream bookstores. So you have obscure publishers, whodunit specialised ones, archaeological ones, and extreme left and right ones. Oh, there is space for cooking, travel and poetry books too.

All this is inside a strange building from fascist era, a congress palace conceived for the universal exposition of 1942, that was build in the ’50s instead. Cold new-classical rationalism. A little freezing those days because the temperature was below the zero. And with the economic crisis in Italy the fair was less crowded than usual. The name of the fair is “more book more freedom”. But now we have “less books and less freedom”.

This time we hadn’t the usual space for publisher from Sardegna. The crisis. We had more space for ebooks, but Berlusconi – the owner of the biggest publishing and distribution companies – don’t want them, so this market is pretty close and non influential. I bought just a couple of book for me and some to give for Christmas. This was the time for a book on Etruscan origins and another one on military strategy. More to read while I’m going to the job place.

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Pabogel 2012

After two years Pabogel is in Rome again! Two pavilions in the nowhere land of the Fair of Rome. The entry was restricted only to professional food operators, but I have got a special card to get to every fair. The main food typologies were pizza, fried, croissants, ice creams, coffee. It is all very interesting…

This fair is the opportunity to eat great food for free. A competition about pizza was held in the fair, so you could eat pizzas from master chefs. Or you eat it or we throw it away. I sacrifice myself and eat as pizza as possible to my stomach.

Traditional pizza is cooked in wood stove. So this company is selling electric ovens disguised as wood stoves. Tree stumps are furnished to camouflage the truth! With the wood stove the taste is different, more bitter, and the consistency is harder, but pizza made with electric oven is good the same. The real difference are ingredients and leavening with natural rising agents. Often these are the weak part in a pizza, not the oven!

Various fresh croissants and strudels, ready for the oven. They were selling machines to industrially produce them. So the frozen product is sold to vendors that cook it as their homemade product.

The great revelation: the crisps machine! So we can understand as they are made! They were even selling an automatic crisps machine for movable vending stands. From the potato to the hot crisps in your hands.

We know this Kanon coffee from Naples only because they are present in the fair. Every time they promote themselves with the use of gorgeous South-Americans stand assistants. Another reason to go to fairs is to watch female stand assistants. The only remark is that for a food fair you expect rubicund female cooks, a sign of good appetite, while here you could see only slim girl with bare thighs. I appreciate them for sure, but they are a sign of anorexia indeed.

I still have got some posts about 2012 events like this one. So I’m late about my things but I want to show all to you. After these kind of posts more arenas and little soldiers.

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Happy new year!

In this moment of the year we count the passed years and think to future years. This is also the moment to set our projects for the new year. Here I only speak on things related to this hobby even if there are other (and sometimes more important) things in my mind…

Let’s start with the projects of the past year:

-Ferrum et Gloria:
to complete the rules.
Undone!
It is a four year old project now! I have got the arena, I have got the miniatures, I have got the rules. Now I have to write them on paper and publish them in 2013!!!

-Flyton:
building of the city and playing with it.
Undone!
Flyton is empty. The viaduct is still missing. I hope I build the city this year. In MDF I suppose. I write exactly these words the last year.

-Big battle with ancients:
rules for a large skirmish with ancients
Undone!
We work a lot on Song of Spear and Shield but we transformed it in something with a littler scale.

-Street demonstration:
cops against angry people, with my rules.
Undone!
Too much to do. Another time, maybe another life.

-Temple:
an Etruscan temple as scene for Song of Spear and Shield.
Undone!
It is only a matter of space. Where can I put a temple inside my little house? I don’t know, but I want it.

-Song of Void and Stars:
the naval game set among stars.
Undone!
Still in playtest. Maybe an aborted project.

It seems as a defeat but this is only part of my dreams. In the meantime I have got lots of new painted miniatures, I fought at tournaments (one cup and half this year), I visited military museums, I participated to conventions as vendor and demonstration staff, I helped so much Ludica Roma to see the light, I developed Ferrum et Gloria, I realised a beautiful war-board-game called Zen Garden, I ran lots of playtesting for Ganesha Games so much that some games are now even my games, I had fun with this hobby.

New projects for the future from my sick mind to add to the old projects:

-Mercoledì delle Ceneri:
I like the Carnevale game but I want to create something different using Song engine. Late in 2013.

-Blog:
I have to stop to do all this work on the blog. Less posts, more play, more writing, more life.

See you here along all this new year! Happy new year!

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