Archive for 2014

More things in December

Holidays are an heavy duty so less news on the blog. However I promised to myself that this year I had to spend less time on the blog because I need time to write rules for Ferrum et Gloria. Well, this year I published 86 posts instead of 88. Target achieved…
Some brief news. In a month I visited my fiancée, spent a lot of money in a couple of fairs in Rome (books and food), walked around a lot, ate like a pig during Christmas, worked at my bureaucratic job, wrote an article for Dadi & Piombo about gladiators (out in April). And I took this photo at another playtest for Song of Spear and Shield. The rules are still blurred as this photo. Every time Andrea is not happy enough with the rules, but even this time he think that he found the right way. Instead for my photos I’m thinking about a new camera at the start of 2015.



Do you remember where I took this photo? I was in the Ancient History museum in Trieste this May. And this is a bas relief with Pontiarii.

While we are preparing the English translation for Ferrum et Gloria, something new is on the arena sands. I’m laying down and playtesting new kinds of gladiators for the second book. This time I have better player sheets and rules summaries from the book. More stylish and handy than notes made with simple wordprocessing.

Pontiarii is a peculiar combat set between retiarii and contraretiarii utilising a bridge. Who hold the bridge win the fight. You can throw stones from the top of the bridge. And all is more three-dimensional because gladiators can fight from top to down or from down to top. And the bridge is a peculiar terrain. A lot of situations that were clarified during the test.

In the same session we had a combat between velites. Other situations, other rules. And more things to play with gladiators.


Stone walls by Stronghold

Mainly I speak about gladiators and fairs. This time I want to show something about other wargame stuff of mine: resin stone walls. The best around.

The attention to painting soldiers have to be employed for terrain too. Instead terrain in wargames is subsidiary to miniatures, so soldiers usually fight on a flat surface, green coloured. Some small trees simulate woods, broken houses are randomly scattered around. We have to invest our time and money on terrain. The only complication is the space required to store terrain, less flexible than the necessary space to store miniatures. I’m still building my city for wargames. Space is what I need. Rather than large buildings I dedicated my attention to walls, that are a vertical obstacle on the battleground. I chose those ones by Stronghold, a small Germany company.

A friend of mine brought me these colours with earth tones. They are pastels with watercolour feature. I and my father draw every stone of the walls with a random effect. The result look a bit too heavy as contrast.

Then I washed all with my personal magic wash paint, obtained by acrylic wax for parquet, matt acrylic paint and chestnut ink. Due to watercolour feature, the coloured dusts melted. Moreover the paint amalgam them with surface. So the contrast was attenuate. Every stone has its characteristic tone, but all look realistic.

A photo with a RSI Folgore soldier with his camouflage uniform. You can look at painted walls and their available variants: a destroyed wall with broken and deformed railing; a gate with moving doors with a curved shape. However this railing with upper points is awesome. And absolutely not boring.

I like these walls so much that I bought a long circuit of them. Their modular system allow walls to be composed in various ways. I’m sure that they are a nice touch to my battleground. And now I stored them inside a old rigid plastic case for video beta tapes. It’s not this on the photo, it’s a very compact box.
If you want similar walls go to Stronghold shop.


DBA Terni 2014

The last tournament of the year. DBA, as usual. In Terni, again. This time I chose the army list only after a look at the theme. No brush up of rules too. I picked up a list with more knights than other ones. And nothing more. Incidentally it was the Papal one, so I chose to combat with the colours of Rome. As usual. A bloody tournament! First game: I lose 3 vs 4, with the last throw of the dice to decide who between I and Mr. Gasbarri could win. Second game: I drew 4 vs 4, fighting until the end of legal time, even if I could win. Third game: I won 5 vs 4 with my general dead, and the last turn with 3 dead of mine. Forth game: I won 4 vs 1, a result obtained after the first impact of armies. I reached the forth place, so no cup but maybe a record for body count in a tournament.
The next year we are thinking to play with 2.2 edition again because we don’t know very well the 3 edition still. And maybe the 2.2 is more engaging. However in 2015 I wish to dedicate my free time to Ferrum et Gloria, so I don’t know if DBA will be a priority again in my activities as player.


Song of Drums & Tomahawks

The boom of a flintlock musket, a cloud of acrid black powder, and the drumming of feet as they rush towards the fallen foe. A knife is unsheathed, and with a few quick movements, the enemy’s bloody scalp is ripped free. Warfare in the Eastern Woodlands of America was one of raids, ambushes and sudden violent encounters. These are the skirmishes that Song of Drums and Tomahawks seeks to recreate. The French & Indian War is the most well-known conflict of this period, but these rules cover from the time of the European arrival until the mid-1800s. Players will generally control less than a dozen figures in multiplayer games, perhaps more in one-on-one contests. The fast-paced play, the tense decision making using simple, easy-to-learn rules, will lead to many fun and gripping games.

This book includes:
•All rules needed to play.
•Historical background detailing the Native American tribes and their Europeans foes (and sometimes allies).
•A map showing the locations of the major Native American tribes.
•Timeline covering the major and minor wars from European arrival in North America until the 2nd Seminole War.
•Army lists for the Native Americans, as well as the French & British.
•Complete list of Traits to individualize your troops and reflect the various fighting styles of tribal warriors, European soldiers, or frontiersmen.
•Suggestions on how to set up games and scenarios.
•Detailed description of warfare in this period.

You can buy it here as pdf or here as paperback.


Lucca C&G 2014: Ganesha Games [part9]

The last part of 9. So, after some aspects of Lucca C&G, now I’m going to speak about our small experience as Ganesha Games.
This year the available space was very small, only a large table divided in three parts. Andrea presented a small set-up with super-heroes for Power Legion. And another one with the same factory scenario but for Harder Than Steel.

Andrea games, in this small space in the huge space of the fair, were almost invisible. So I changed the cloth with the black side. Over, my large arena. Yellow on black, as bees, something more visible.
However in Crazy Factory vendor stand, a better set-up was ready for Harder Than Steel. So some demonstration games were played there. They will sell a custom edition of the rules for their sci-fi universe. They are miniature makers and a full miniature range is in development to be played with these rules. All will be ready for Lucca 2015. We are developing this since Lucca 2013, when we met these people and had the idea to work together. Lucca is even a meeting of creative people to build something new.

Andrea almost lost his voice after only a day. For his dead time I suggested to draw some sketches for upcoming Fighing Fungi miniature kickstarter.
I presented the printed copies of Ferrum et Gloria, my gladiatorial rules. Ready at last! One of the best things that you can live is when people appreciate your work. Here a mother explain to her children what were gladiators.

After 5 days, I and Andrea with official Lucca C&G caps. This is the end of the fair. Another great and good experience. We will remember these moments. Then on the road to home. We reached Terni at the 4 of the morning. Than a brief sleep, the train to Rome, home at the 5 of the afternoon. Ready for the next time.


After the overview of Lucca C&G, now it is time to something more nearer to what we were doing in the fair. This is the wargame area, a drop in the ocean among so many things to see and do. Our macro-area is called Miniature Island. This is a partial view with our stand in the back (note the blue banner on the wall). I took this photo the afternoon of the day before the opening. Stands were still in set-up.

Our friends of Clan Conan were giving the last touches to their 3 scenarios. They are used for free playing with simple rules.

The director of Lucca C&G was involved with the set-up of his miniatures display. The day before of the event, the maker of this 400000 people madness was thinking about his miniatures! Saturday night, the day of 100000 tickets and another 100000 people around for free events, he was together with us for a dinner with wargamers.

This was the game with ancients by Clan Conan. They were using simple rules but the same set-up was utilised for some presentation of the new Centuria rules by Massimo Torriani, the winner of Conan prize 2014.

The Vietnam game. Look to the lady interested to wargames. The other game was about modern combat in Middle East, managed and build by my friend Narciso.

Big participation game with WH40k. The last year they were more vicious, indeed.

Inside Miniature Island there was our area called 3D Authors (Autori 3D): on the right, Massimo Torriani (Centuria) and Valentino Del Castello (Wild West Chronicles); in the half, I (Ferrum et Gloria) and Andrea (Power Legion and Harder Than Steel); on the left, Lorenzo Sartori and Marco Guarnieri (Lords and Servants); on the extreme left, another stand together with us by Gainsworth publishing company.

Italeri model makers, other Lucca comrades of us, on the left of this photo. A young couple watch what we are doing with our little soldiers.

Our area is the opportunity to test wargames by leading wargame authors of Italy. And to chat with them about wargame. It is even the situation to interact with people that don’t attend to wargame conventions and that discover this world for the first time.

Another area of Miniature island is the painters space. You can meet miniature painters that teach their art. Here my friend Luciano Molina.

Nano Nefasto is one of the top painters in Italy. Since last year I’m thinking to spend a lot of money for his art.

A sculpting contest. We are thinking to hiring Paolo Fabiani (on the first photo) for some future Kickstarter project. He is currently working with various miniature companies. Paolo and Nano Nefasto discovered in Lucca that they are working on the same miniatures for an international company: the former sculpt the miniatures, the ladder paint them.

And here one of our convivial dinner after the show, a group of wargamers that like to live their hobby (or work) with other people.


Lucca C&G 2014: Lego [part7]

Nowadays Lego is more common among fairs and modelling conventions. Marketing, films and adult fans made this. We had in Lucca C&G a stand with a free construction zone in Games pavilion and a couple of exhibitions around, with a large area in Family Palace, the ancient palace dedicated by Lucca C&G to children activities.

This year theme was “Star Wars”, or I think it was because you could find a lot related to Star Wars around. However in the fair an entire pavilion was for “Star Wars” with another one only for its reenactors.

Minifigs are ideal for wargame. As this one. Planet of ice battle.

If you are a professional collector you can enlist a full army of Imperial minifigs. Here there are 816 soldiers with some special troops, officials and rebels added.

Ewoks as they were filmed…

And now more Church of Gundam.

Space Shuttle and astronauts. A vintage image due to dismiss.

A slice of Genova city.

A Lego city, from kits and personal creations.

A piece of the huge “Games of Thrones” diorama. Maybe you can play with it, due to the huge availability of minifigs ready for a wargame.