Archive for the ‘ fictional worlds ’ Category

Lucca C&G 2012: gundam

Gundam anime started a new kind of Japan giant robots genre. I am a Gundam addict and I like a lot these mechas. I think that in Japan the Gundam modelling is not a hobby, it is a cult. As every year, an Italian vendor of the Gunplay circuit set out some displays with his Gundam models. It is like a army museum…

Zaku design is the perfect mecha design. These old style mobile suit are just classics.

MS-09R Rick Dom, the original concept of bulk Zeon mobile suits. The others born from here.

A winged model. Under all these things there is a Cyclops mobile suit

Later Zeon mobile suit with the German helmet style head. Great!

Variations. That one on the left is weird but tasty. The other one is a sniper.

Slimmer models are by Earth federation. This one has got huge fuel tanks.

Less fictional and more military mobile suits by Earth Federation.

A samurai Gundam. It come from Japan…


Mad Daleks

Tonight the new Dr Who season 33 (!) will be aired. And to start with a bang we will have a bunch of mad (!) Daleks on rampage: “Asylum of the Daleks”. Well, “asylum” is something different from “invasion”, “masterplan”, “victory”, “revelation”, “return”, “resurrection”,… To celebrate the event I’m thinking to buy some Daleks for my collection. I have some Renegade Daleks and Imperial Daleks in 28mm scale, but now I’m looking for something bigger. Sad fact: this is the last season with the cute Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) but will be presented Clara Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman), a new cute companion. But Amy is the cutest companion ever.


Lego Colosseum

I play with Lego since I was five years old. This shaped my way of thinking: everything needs order, a place in the flow of events, is part of a structure, and so on. For example, I refer to Lego bricks when I think about code blocks in programming. Or I think the simple lines of that blocks as the basic principles for interior design (yes, I like IKEA too). When I visited Legoland in Billund, I fulfilled a dream from my times as child. Moreover I like the minifigs and I think that they could be great miniature soldiers if they cost less, because they are fun, it is easy to change weapons and it is smooth to put them as dead on the ground. And buildings made of Lego bricks are ideal for damages done during the play. I have got only 6 minifig gladiators as miniatures for my wargames, I wish more.

If you are a Lego modeller you are interested in building new and interesting things. Ryan McNaught has thought to build a Lego Colosseum, a huge arena made of bricks white marble coloured. It is only a half of the entire ring, and as a quarter with the ancient look and the other quarter with the nowadays look. It is G-R-E-A-T. The elliptical form is a challenge to reproduce it by standard rectangular bricks. The real aspect of the current Colosseum is more dark red than white, but the ruins are well done. I would prefer an entire arena at the times of Emperor Traianus, but I can say that it is already enough so!

Inside and outside are recreated some fun sketches to set the mood and liven up the model. Outside there are more things to view, with the modern part made of fake legionaries, illegal sellers of soft drinks, tourists and the Pope-mobile (!) with Emperor Palpatine as Pope Ratzinger (!!!) because they are almost twins in appearance. Only a question. I liked the Meta Sudans and the Arcus Constantini, but where is the real Colosseum, namely the Emperor Nero statue, outside the Amphitheatrum Flavium? He has forgotten it.

On this Flickr page you can find more Lego Colosseum photos by its designer:


Gundam Café

If you like Gundam you can think to go to Japan to have some coffee in the Gundam Café. Have you understand? Yeah, a place where you can sit and talk with friends, surrounded by the epic deeds of giants robots manned by soldiers. It is a bit far, but it is the Gundam Café!

The video shows a nice place, a little weird, but with an appeal on anime fans. If you look better, you can find that this place is not so nice, it is only a café with a LCD showing a Gundam video on rotation, a couple of glass cases with some plastic models out of the box, a cappuccino with a Haro sketch made of chocolate on the top (instead of the usual and more romantic heart), and some dishes with an uninviting appearance (toasted bread with oil and herbs and tomato sauce as side, and so on…) but with very little Gundam decorations. They could do something more. Viewing this longer videos you can better understand the topic.

A theme restaurant built on a license so strong, but weak on the realisation. I can save to myself the trip to Japan. The best customised thing is the loo, where you can have a private Gundam experience. Last note: the loo is Federation for men and Zeon for women. Look here.

Men (Federation)

Women (Zeon)


Five days playtest marathon in Terni

What do you do in your holidays? Sun, rest, sex, shopping? Well, I passed 5 days in Terni at Andrea’s home to playtest 5 new games. I thought that this could be a little boring but time flowed speedily. Absurdly I am relaxed with a lot of sleep and had some trips around looking for food and to visit the weapon museum, GiocaPerugia and Carsulae, as I said before in other posts. And now a short chronicle of the playtests.

Song of Spear and Shield

We are working on it since a couple of years but we still have got a lot of problems. This test must be the final time to define the rules but we found some inconsistencies in the style of the game. The problem is about armies dimensions and a easy way to resolve individual and group fights. I want a game for more than 100 miniatures versus other 100 miniatures, with military formations and historical variations. At the end we have got two different set of rules, one for skirmish with 20 fighters each side and another one for 100 fighter each side, with a single engine, too big for small fights, too small for big fights. We have to make a choice. For the moment we are thinking to produce a smaller game more in the style of Song of the Blade and Heroes as perspectives. In the future we could try to produce a mass game with the aim to pit buckets of ancients in fight in hoplite formation.

Ferrum et Gloria

Another playtest for my game. A table full of sheets to track movements and rules. It seems a command bridge of a warship! Well, it is just an impression because all is more handleable. This is only the playtest form of the cards needed to play smoothly. All is fine, only some tweaks are needed to the specifications of some gladiatorial types. This time I used my lego gladiators, a 6 figures team with interchangeable weapons and helms. They are very practical for playing away. And lego minifigs are very nice!

One Game About Miniatures

This set of rules for fantasy combat is still in development but Andrea has found the right way and I can say that I like it. The only thing to do is to test all the rules and to balance special powers. This is a project for the late 2013 so it is not a priority at moment. Just to say, we played with pieces that we had at hand because we have not the right miniatures, and the name is fictional. You will hear about it in the future.

Power Legion

Before the tests we celebrated the event hanging on the wall the poster of a film that you know for sure. I played with Ganesha’s superheroes two years ago, if I remember correctly. Andrea had a little neglected it to spend mental resources on other rules. However now it is more fluid. We played two different games to find extreme situations to resolve. Indeed we found that in some situations the fights were not so incisive. The development still run but I think that this year we can read these superheroes rules in the paperback form. And then we will have to wait for a supplement with more superheroes powers because them are too much to fill only a book.

Song Of Blade and Heroes Card Game

We played games at all hours, even at night. This one was tested before launch, two full games. It is very fast and reproduce a Song of Blade and Heroes fight in a card game. It is still in a primitive form but I like the engine. He have to work hard on it to give depth to the game. Ten years ago Andrea was a Magic expert with a fixed column on a game magazine, so it is not so impossible to do it. It is even a production duty not similar to the usual Ganesha’s rulesets, you have to illustrate and print decks of cards. Now Ganesha Games have a lot of games to produce so I don’t know when he will find the time to develop the card game. In addition to those I’ve played in this playtest marathon, there are other rulesets in an advanced phase: Swatters, Apocalypticum, Samurai Robot Battle Royale, Tales of Blades and Heroes rpg manual series, Song of Blade and Heroes II edition, to name those I saw in a semi-definitive form. And before I left we have collected some ideas on what could be published in late 2014…


My name is Pond, Amy Pond

If you haven’t a girl you can always buy one, a plastic one, indeed.

Amy Pond is the cutest Dr. Who’s companion and you have the possibility to have on your desk a fine reproduction of Karen Gillan (the actress) in her stage dress.

Another great toy in 1/6 format (12″ or 30cm high), with a lot of options and gadgets, and a signed limited edition availability too. The price is not so cheap, it is in pre order at only £150 from Big Chief, the producers. If you are a real fan…


Playing cards: the Doctor

I’m a Doctor Who fan. Yeah, I know, it is sci-fi for families, not so innovative,… but it is so British, a tradition as double decker in London, and so I love it. If it runs since 1963 there is a reason. Moreover, I think that Amy Pond is the most cute companion of the Doctor ever. Sad that the next series will be the last with this great girl.

I have got two decks of cards. The former is from Top Trumps series (an easy game based on cards, very popular in the land of Marmite), the latter is a regular poker deck with photos from the first new series of 2005.

Next time I will be in London I have to seek for a Top Trumps deck with classic black and white characters… I need it… Well, I will not be at Salute this year, different from a personal tradition. Maybe I will see London in September-October, but it is not so sure. In the meantime I think I find time for a full Agliana convention report on my blog during this Easter days off. I have a lot of things to show.


Zaku: Ganesha style

In change of a lot of visits to Ganesha Games fighting arena inside Sergio’s home, Andrea came in Rome the past Sunday to a playtest session about Samurai Robot Battle Royale. The last time we tried the rules adopting a Go Nagai perspective, using heroic robots with a lot of fantastic weapons. It was Mazinga Z (aka Mazinger Z, aka Majingā Zetto) versus evil robots. This time I wanted a more military feel, using Patlabor universe mechas. They haven’t weird weapons but only guns and rifles. It is a challenge to write rules that you can adapt to all kind of robot fighting. Maybe it was too early, because I wanted to put in the middle a giant monster (the number XIII, an experimental biologic weapon in the Patlabor anime) using Mighty Monsters rules, to test the compatibility between the two rulesets. Instead we try to adopt the military feel with Gundams and Zakus! I have a big collection of these little gashapons, so it was time to see them fighting in the name of Zeon (I dislike the Federation side…)! Some tweaks were made and all seem fine, but we are still in a initial development stage. But we are on the right way.