Archive for the ‘ ferrum et gloria ’ Category

New playtests in Terni

The day before the annual appointment with Hellana, the national wargame convention in Agliana, me and Diego went to Terni to visit Sergio Laliscia (Song of Drums and Shakos) and Andrea Sfiligoi (Ganesha boss). We did this visit to take some miniatures from Sergio for the demonstration game of the day after and to make some playtest for the new Ganesha games in development. We slept in Andrea’s house at night, so Sunday we could go very early to Agliana with a single car.

On the table the initial stages of a new big Andrea’s project. It is still secret so I cannot say more. You can only know that some miniatures are involved… ha ha ha : )
Sadly I felt asleep during the brainstorm and the playtest phase while some ideas were showed and tested for the first time. It was after lunch, so sand were in my eyes. I will playtest the game in the future because I have got some particular skills specifically for this game from my university studies.

A crucial moment! The new version (the forth!) of my Ferrum et Gloria gladiator game for Ganesha Games is tested in the hands of Andrea. Here you can see my portable cardboard arena and a fight of 3 thraeces versus 3 myrmillones. Every figure has got a card with the specific moves. There were 6 cards because every figure had different weapons and combat style: in the ancient times there were 4 different types for thraeces and 5 types for myrmillones. Some counters reminded the state of the figures. The wounds system is similar to the Mighty Monsters one. Three coloured dice are used for activations, fatigue, wounds, save rolls and fight. The play is more elaborate than SBH: here you have only few gladiators and the hype is on the fight with specific weapons. I don’t want to say more, I can’t explain the game here. You will see the development of the game in the following months, even on the bar on the right of this blog.

I was worried that something went bad because Andrea was judging my work and he is severe and the game have to like to him. All fine! Andrea played my game and suggested some things. Here while he was using his ipad to take some photos for an immediate posting on facebook during the play.

These mock up cards are the prototype of the SBH card game. I like the cards in this form, basic but charming. Sergio spoked about it very well. Andrea only explain us the principles of it but we hadn’t the time to play it. Next time…


Arena by Dwarven Forge

Some time ago I found this photo along the web in a place that now I forgot…


A monstrous arena from hell! A dream! A huge delicacy made of sweat, polystyrene and resin. I remember that some guy spoke about Dwarven Forge, but I cannot found it on their catalogue, so it can be a limited edition set or old item. Think about it with a velarium and spectators: more beautiful than what you can see now. I want something like this one!!! But I cannot afford a thing like this one. Sad. Very sad.

In the meantime I passed my days working, but this weekend I will be in Terni for some playtesting of Ganesha’s games and in Agliana for the annual wargame convention. So I will have something new on the game fields to show you.


Hetairoi arena

Last time we see a gladiator arena with a drawn background as scene, here there is the same principle, a scene + an area for the fight. But this one is a scene with modelling skills of high class quality. It is so beautiful! And you can play without the need of step over tiers. The ground is so obstacles free and easy to storage and transport. When you want to add more style, you can add the scene. It is very well done, little in dimensions and tiers, there are not walls, but it has the right colours and proportions. The final touch is the velarium on the podium.

If you want to know more and watch more photos, you can read directly the blog of the man who realised this beauty: hetairoiwargames


To tread the boards

In these days I was little lazy about taking photos with my camera, and I suffered a interruption of my ADSL connection for 8 days. So I didn’t produce posts with the same rhythm of the past times, even if I have got a lot of new painted miniatures and the realisation of Ferrum et Gloria run very well. I defined the core rules and me and Diego tested them. Sunday I had even a visit from Paolo who now is living in Swiss. We playtested Ferrum et Gloria and played a game with the boardgame Ventura. Sorry, no photos, you can hope for better days. A now we can speak about the “Arena project” with the presentation of other people projects, like this one.

A huge arena is a problem about space and modelling. The action of the play is what is inside the arena, usually a hole with a flat and dull surface. So why spend a lot of time, energies and modelling skills for something around the play, for the boundaries of the hole?
A solution could be a scene, simple and cheap, to create the feeling of the situation. It’s as a theatre, a scene where your fighters can tread the boards.

This man (you can read more here) drawn a portion of the arena with some audience on it. He assumed that the focus of the eye will always be on the miniatures, so not many people was drawn, or all was a matter of heads. Instead he tried to give the individuals some character and animation.

He mounted the finished artwork on 3 millimetre foam board, then glued that to one 5 millimetre rectangular base section with an inside curve cut into it, giving the shape and stand for the model, with a prospective touch too.


Five foot arena

After Zen Garden work I’m back on Ferrum et Gloria, my old project for a ruleset about Gladiators. This time is the fourth attempt to built something very easy, fast and with a strong adherence to historical situations. Diego is helping me with playtesting and ideas. I’ll keep you informed about what is happing.

And now a revamp of the “arena” series, camps for your gladiators. Bigger is better. This is the believe of U.S. people. A giant country hasn’t space problems, so them have huge constructions when smaller proportions are more functional. Indeed, this must be true even for wargame conventions, as you can see here. This one is the arena presented by Vul-Con, a madness 5 foots wide. Gladiators are in 90mm scale, Chinese plastic soldiers that in Rome you can find in souvenir shops that sells them to tourists. You can understand the real dimensions of the arena only with the men behind it. They aren’t dwarf, it isn’t an optical trick, is the arena that is big! Look at chairs too! And in the photo there is a hippodrome too… more than 20 foots long… A real madness!
In wargame conventions you have to show something that can emerge from the wideness of the show, because a DBA terrain is invisible among those spaces and other scenarios. But this thing is decisively unreal, however is a great view. I envy them! A day I could do the same but with 12 inch gladiators…

More here:


Ludica Roma Feb 2012: wargame clubs

Again on Ludica. Friday and Saturday viewed scarce public presence but Sunday the people arrived even if many were stopped from crazy disposition by our unreal mayor. But the hall is huge like a hangar for aeroplanes that even a lot of people seems a small group. If you organise the same inside a smaller place, it could be felt like a success with an overwhelming crowd, while in this hangar all is scattered as you can understand viewing the photo above.

Ludica in Rome, a convention about games parachuted from Milan without a clear awareness of what Rome is. Add the snow. The result? Almost a disaster.
It was clear that this was a first edition so it cannot be perfect and a lot of problems were waited, but there was too much ingenuousness in the building of the convention. Beside this, goodwill and sincere people involved in the operation show promise for a better second edition in October this year (even if it will be dangerously positioned only two weeks before the bigger comics and games convention of Italy, more than 150000 people…).

Leaving organisation problems, I wish to speak about some things of the wargame area, a part that I helped to bring to life because I was the person that created the contacts with the Roman realities. Among other things there were slotcars (with beautiful girls to cure the stand), boardgames (a lot of them), Star Wars reenactors (“the fist of Vader” Legion), videogames (but with a low profile due to small care from producers like Nintendo) and bayblades (59 children in a competition the day of the snow!), an exhibition on old traditional games (do you know “lippa”?). But I haven’t got any interesting photos, so I speak only about wargame clubs that was present at the convention.

On the photos above you can find the beautiful scenario made by ARSM club, a Viking raid full playable mounted on real terrain! A great realisation for one of the scarce moments that ARSM come out from their humid cellar.

And this is a Napoleonic battle in Portugal by Le Grenadier. If you want to see more delicacies of this type go to

Another club from Rome is Miles Gloriosus. It was present with this large participation game about chariot racings in Roman times, but there was even a game based on samurai in Japan. In the middle of the convention there was a Shako II tournament too. Well, I hope in a better and safer Ludica in October, with a larger wargame presence.


Playmobil Arena

If you don’t have the time to build your personal arena, if you have the money to buy it, if you think that resin is a bad idea, you can always buy a ready made arena of coloured plastic. You can buy a Playmobil arena.

On this blog I find this arena used for 28mm gladiators. The aspect is good and the proportions are reasonable too. Its cross section dimension is 33 inches. And it comes from a garage sale, so it was more cheap to him. After its usage by children, now it can be used by children with an adult aspect.

It is sold at about 150 US$. You can looking for it on e-Bay, Amazon or you can buy direct from Playmobil. They have got an e-commerce website and this article is still available. I look on the UK localisation and this is the address for the item.


Playing cards: gladiators

I had got for the 2010 Christmas these playing cards based on gladiators. Well illustrated (even if retiarii didn’t fight against thraeces, and other inaccuracies), they are part of a series of publications by Lo Scarabeo. They are specialised in thematic playing cards for collectors and tarots. You can find their products here. So while I’m playing with traditional games with cards, I can say I’m playing with gladiators… Well, I don’t know poker, so it is better to play with miniatures instead. And with my Ferrum et Gloria indeed!
Under here you can recognise Charon, the Etruscan god of the underworld with his peculiar hammer (on the header of this blog there is my Charon miniature!), and the “game” with Phersu that I showed in another post.