L’Art de la Guerre

A photo of me with a Brancaleone t-shirt and a beard with too many white hairs. And a copy of “L’Art de la Guerre”, a rulebook from France that allows you to fight battles ranging from early Antiquity (3000 BC) to the end of the Middle-ages (1500 AD). It reminds something like DBA, isn’t it?

I and Diego were invited to Salini’s house in Arezzo for trying these rules during a Summer Saturday. The goal was to spread something new to revamp tournaments because after 13 years we are a little tired of DBA. And DBA 3.0 is not what we wished to resolve rules cryptology, geometric problems and to have combat results as historical ones. It is just another DBA with its problems, but with more game speed. Moreover this speed is not adding fun and history but delusion. I’m too busy with my things to study and play the new DBA. So, no more tournament for me since the DBA 3.0 was used for tournaments here in Italy.

I played two matches, a large one and a smaller one, to familiarise with rules. I didn’t understand all but I learned some lessons. There are various troop types and different values for what happen. A good thing are the demoralisation counters that add attrition to the play. Movement is simpler and linear than DBA, so you could play it even with a grid creating some modifications in the rules. My only regret is that you use almost a line for your army, but deep is partially simulated with attrition and not-so-free movement. You can consider it as a sort of Field of Glory more easy to manage and big as a standard DBA, or double DBA or triple DBA. It is not a revolutionary rulebook but a solid one where common and present rule concepts are in a better way. And I want to say that it wins for “best clear lay out for rules” category!

Salini is a very lucky man because he has, together with a beautiful family, a large space for his hobby that can host a mini-tournament. It is like a wargaming club, because he has availability of friends that play there. And they adopted these rules for usual gaming and maybe a tournament circuit. Instead, inside my bizarre mind, I’m thinking to melt “To the Strongest!” with “L’Art de la Guerre”, and a touch of Ganesha Games things, as my house rules for ancient times…
You can find the rulebook here: http://www.artdelaguerre.fr

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Holidays in Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio

Summer is time of holidays. And if you want a budget holiday you can go to Terni to visit your friend Andrea that needs some holidays too. So we travelled in a few days in a lot of towns, small towns and villages around Terni. This is the photographic report.

Perugia

In the first couple of days we went to Hydracon, a boardgame convention around Perugia held in a luxury hotel. No swimming pool use for games, pity. I played 5 games of Fortebraccio, and I lost all of them.

Bevagna

The last day of Mercato delle Gaite, when during a couple of weeks this town turns into a medieval town with various markets, celebrations, games, stages.






Labro

A gem all made of stones on top of the hill. A fairy village with a castle. Its calm is unreal, but all is real.






Piediluco

A lake, a small town, a past tourist vocation, the centre for agnostic rowing in Italy.


Castel Fiorentino

An Etruscan city, then a medieval city with its castle and a tower built over the ancient acropolis. And a view on the valley.




Cortona

Another Etruscan city, larger than the other one. In the local museum a great special exposition on Etruscan writing. A collection of all available Etruscan inscriptions around. Pieces that you can view on books were all concentrated here. A must see!




Castiglione del Lago

Along our road we arrived to Trasimeno Lake. Yes, that Trasimeno Lake. A hill on marshes with another Etruscan city, after a walled medieval city with its castle, after again no more marshes but only the lake. Now a pleasant tourist place. Dinner with lake view.
If you remember in a past post there was a pennant from here. If you can’t notice it, the photo is that with the girls…




Rocca Albornoz di Narni

This castle was built when on Papal coat of arms were put two keys. Over Narni. To control the city, the road, the State.



Poggio di Otricoli

Another castle, but this one is in ruins. Around a village where there is a medieval festival every year. Otherwise a bunch of small houses.

Calvi dell’Umbria

The name is something as “bald people from Umbria”. It was lunch time, it was hot, so none was around. Andrea was the only available balding person from Umbria. I’m from Lazio…



Otricoli

More hot, more hunger. No restaurants. We leave.

Otriculum

Along the road we find a bar to eat something. Surprisingly it was outside the archaeological city of Otriculum. Wrong weather (full Summer) and wrong time (two and half in the afternoon) to visit it without dying for the hot. So only a view from the bar. And this satellite photo of the local arena, with plantation inside.

Civita Castellana

It was late so we didn’t visit the castle built on a ravine. However there was this beautiful church with some marble pieces added.



Then the train for Rome, with a late in the travel almost equal to the time needed. And so these were my Summer holidays for the 2016. Maybe next year we will visit other towns in Terni surroundings.

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Plywood arena

How to build a very simple arena? If you have got some tools for woodworking, you can use them to cut some straight sections made of solid wood and plywood. The result is not pretty elliptical like an arena, but you have got 4 walls, and this could be enough to set your gladiatorial fight. The guy that made it think that these walls can be useful to recreate a fort or a fortified city. Add some paint and some external decoration made of cardboard and you can set various games inside it. It is how to build a cinematography set. To know more go here.

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And now they are 47

One more year! On the way for half a century. But I feel (almost) so young. However, let’s celebrate!

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Memento Mori comic

If you think that 1/6 action figures are expensive and that building a scenario for them is something impossible due to space issues, you don’t know the Memento Mori web comic. It is a Roman story made of photos of customised action figures, a lot of them. So you can call it photo story book instead of comic book. It is still in development, even if in the last times I think that new work lacks. However we are speaking of 223 pages at the present. With a cast of 95 figures and lots of extras. Think to the effort, economic and artistic to realise it. Epic!

Read the story of these people made of plastic but with human passions, free on the web on Memento Mori web site.

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Latest from Ganesha Games

Ganesha Games releases are at a hectic pace, always more rules are produced that you can lose something. So here some news on the latest productions by GG.

4 Against Darkness is a huge hit with lots of supplements to upgrade your characters. Future books will expand character progression and focus on other types of adventures. All character types in 4AD will progress up to 20th and more level, and there will be more versatile classes. There will be the use of polyhedral dice, one die step per book.

Deeper Dungeons will have rules for expert characters (levels 6 to 9) who will use a D8 for their rolls. Adventures will focus on the exploration of lower level of dungeons, inhabited by more dangerous monsters. Characters are given a list of skills they can gain instead of levelling up.

Four Against the Wild will have rules for veteran characters (levels 10 to 14) who will use a D10 for their rolls. Adventures will focus on outdoor exploration of uncharted wilderness using a hex-based, sandbox terrain and quest generation system. The terrain generation system will work also for lower levels.

Legends of Norindaal will have rules for legendary characters (levels 15 to 20) who will use a D12 for their rolls. Adventures will focus on building strongholds, setting up thieves and wizards’ guilds, gaining political power, waging wars and defending one’s land from invading armies.

Among the Immortals will let characters become immortals and mingle with the many Gods of Norindaal. Characters will use a D20 for their rolls. Level will be reset at 1 but on a whole new tier. In this setting, searching for treasure means collecting bits of divine power that let characters affect reality. The party will explore different dimensions and defend their homeworld from extra dimensional invasions.

And more books are planned with this engine. I’m thinking about one too. In the near future we will have an Arthurian variant, in the less near future we will have a sci-fi variant.

However now we have got two new books: Dark Waters and The Three Rings! Play with them if you want to see more 4AD books.

The first card game by GG is called Fortebraccio. You use your cards to field an army of 12 cards with different kinds of troops on three lines. It was commissioned as a commemorative game for a 600 years ago battle in Perugia. I spoke about it in past posts on the blog when I playtested it:
Cards and comics
Legio Palatina reunion
I suppose that English version will be out before the end of the year.

More on the development of Faustus Furius. My translation is almost ready, so we have to wait only the editing and the illustrator work. The new Ben Hur flick will be out in August. I think that you could race with your chariots at that date.

And keep your money ready for the long announced OGAM supplement in the coming weeks. But this is another story…

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Frank Cho and Milo Manara

Milo Manara is a great comic book artist that draws beautiful and sexy women. When Marvel commissioned a cover for Spider Woman comic, he drew the character as he is used to do. Then social justice warriors, who get offended by anything and everything, honked against this cover. In the name of political correctness they claimed that it is offensive for women. Someone claimed with a specious justification that the cover was to throw away because of incorrect anatomical pose, as if comic characters are like real people and not idealisation of them. Even Renaissance Italian artists took anatomic licenses to better represent people, situations or sentiments.

After this lobbist pressure, Marvel courageously dropped the cover. A sad day.

Some time ago we had conservative bigots, now we have radical left bigots. These modern heirs of Wertham want to impose their view only for personal power, taking vantage of social themes only to judge other people in the name of their imaginary moral purity and emotional sensitivity.

Frank Cho is another great comic book artist. In the struggle against the abuse of political correctness he drew some covers in the same way of Milo Manara’s Spider Woman cover. A razz to censorship.






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Ferrum in progress

Do you remember Ferrum et Gloria? This blog was born as a way to promote this game development. More than 5 years and half ago. In the meantime the blog became a sort of diary of my passions. And in the meantime, with lots of efforts, the first part of the rules was out for Lucca Comics & Games 2014. I’m still involved with the second part. It is not a matter of laziness. I really have got no time to write the rules. It is a long process but it is not impossible. But I’m blocked by work and life. Moreover I bought a new home and the refurbishment is like building a pyramid. It is only 40mq big. Calling it big it is almost a joke, indeed. But the construction work was so full of stress that it absorbed a lot of time, a lot of life. I want to finish what I started. I want to complete my gladiatorial rules. I thought almost all, but I must still playtest something and write on screen the words that explain the rules in a easy and plain way.
Where I am now?

The real name for Ferrum et Gloria 2 is Ferrum et Honor. I defined rules for shooters, dwarves, females, left-handed people, weather, terrain. Now I’m playtesting some things for horsemen, chariots, beasts. Then there will be some other issues but the core of the book is full developed. I wrote half of it too. Only a matter of time. Then the editing phase and next year the effort to produce the English edition. So I wish to release the 2nd Italian book for Lucca C&G 2016 (October), but I expect that it will be realistically realised for Hellana 2017 (March).

In the meantime I’m contributing to the development of a new game, Faustus Furius by Nicholas Wright. It is about chariot races and you can read it in English for late June or July. My Italian edition will be available around September. They are not gladiators but something similar. I hope you will enjoy it. It is only a matter of free time.

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