Archive for the ‘ boardgames ’ Category

Lucca Comics & Games: last call!

Lucca Comics and Games (October 28th to November 1st, Lucca, Italy) is one of the major geek-cons in the world, covering anything from comics, manga, action figures, anime, undressed girls (cosplay), RPGs, miniature wargaming, gothic lolitas, modelling, junk food, medieval arts, videogames, cardgames, aikido, boardgames, and so on.

I will be with the Ganesha Games crew (Andrea Sfiligoi and Sergio Laliscia) in the Historical Island wargaming area. There will be demo tables of Flashing Steel (pirates and privateers fighting over treasure on a beach), Mighty Monsters (monsters fighting on Monster Island as a volcano erupts), and Drums and Shakos – Large Battles (an army-level Napoleonic scenario played in 15mm scale). I will demo Zen Garden, the world’s smallest wargame (a small, handmade, play-right-out-of the box, super-condensed version of Ganesha’s core rules, played with 10mm samurai which I will sell only at conventions).

If I find a wi-fi point there will be some twit. See you here after the show with a full report and ton of photos!!! I hope I survive!!!!!


GiocaRoma 2011

At last, my report on GiocaRoma 2011, the boardgame convention of Rome. I repeat myself: I like these events build by gamers for gamers. There were tournaments, boardgames presentations, wargames, vendors, free toy library with people who explain rules and follow you during the first turn. All inside a sporting centre near the underground, with pool and tennis camps. We don’t use the pool, usual clients did. There is a restaurant inside with low prices (water + potatoes + pizza = 6€) and a bar. The sad thing is that there was a misunderstood and the restaurant owners don’t know about the event so ice creams and other food disappeared too soon. And GiocaRoma is always very hot, so ice creams were a necessary resource!!!

This is the free toy library before the assault, early in the morning…

Over 1000 registered visitors, but hardcore gamers were less. Among boardgame players there are even women, a factor unknown by wargamers. And a lot of women are brides of other gamers. So here we aren’t only among bald and fat men as usual.

An interview for tv to Bao (an African game) promoter. He runs an international tournament and the diffusion of the game for beneficence purposes.
The orange dress of the interviewer was very pretty, indeed. Look at the shoes, she is moving like a child…

These are the cups for tournaments played in GiocaRoma.

During the first day I presented Zen Garden. Read the other post to know more about it. When I will find the time I show more on it.

Here you can see a Miles Glorious‘ delegation playing with Zen Garden.

And here other players. On the right Sinclair from Ratio Ludica, on the left Lorenzo from Zerloon Place. Their comments were enthusiasts!

And now some words about games we tried on Sunday. Carson City is an interesting game. Someone say that it is a sort of Caylus without too many mental calculations, with a far west flavour and some dices to add fun. Well, if you don’t know Caylus, I can say that this Carson City is about a placement mechanism of meeples with added a terrain where you can buy land and put buildings to have revenues. And if you want the same resource, placing your meeple (who resemble a cowboy) on it where just where another gamer placed his, then there is a duel! More fun than Pillars of the Earth! So, a great far west game!

It was a long time that I wanted to try Letters from Whitechapel because of the setting in actual Banglatown. The map is gorgeous. The game is a more complicated version of the old Scotland Yard. Fun, but not so intriguing as the box and the map. For a night with friends and a smart guy as the fugitive. I was not so smart so the play ended before than I expected.

Ventura is an Italian game distributed by Fantasy Flight Games. It is a classic game with a map, some armies around and your zone of control where you take your money to built armies. But this time all is packed in the age of mercenary armies in Italy, the age of condottieri. The new thing is that you can built the map adding terrain hexagons with specific values. So, it is a great-grandchildren beautiful variant of Risiko in a great setting. Some material are of the highest quality, others are not. However some rules are weak, so he urges some tweaks, as hidden composition of armies. I think I play again with this game because Paolo bought it.

We give another try to 7 Wonders. I like it, but Paolo tell us it is only a card game with a high price. I hope Francesca buy it.

While I was involved with Zen Garden, Paolo run an exhibition game of MEKA, still in beta form. This time in a desert setting instead of the urban one. Zakus are always the best mechas around…

Our friend Di Bartolo showed his Napoleonic game, almost ready to be published. The best terrain and painted miniatures of the event.

Subbuteo football club. For football fans only. I’m not in this category, but I like stubbornness of Subbuteo fans from ’70s!

There was Miniature Mania, a painting service from Perugia. I take some pictures. I like the weird effect of miniatures at twilight!!!

I didn’t buy anything, but there were gracious games and related stuff. Another time. The hard true is that I buy things but I haven’t the time to play with them! Sad, sad, very sad. At the end I remained only with these tickets. They were for the lottery. 1000 tickets for 10 prizes (a holiday during Modenacon 2012 + 9 boardgames), so I bought 11 tickets for 11€, 1 to 100 to have something. I only had the pleasure to give away little money for 2 days of fun. Thank you GiocaRoma!


Play Modena 2011: second day

More reviews and report of this second day.

The Great Fire of London 1666

If you love London you will love this game! Graphically you have wood houses and cones of fire, on a board with a detailed map of London in 1666. You have to arson houses owned by your opponents and stop the fire in the areas near your houses. But the fire is so unstoppable and you don’t know which houses others own! A great game for a bastard play. He he he! We bought it!
More here

Le Havre

Do you want a more complicated Agricola? Do you want resources that running down and anxiety? Put all those things in a new game and you will have a German naval docks game. Too heavy for me!
More here


The theme is out of the context, but the game is great. An original form of positioning you pieces in areas. Very strategical but simple, fun and with possibility to gamble against your opponents. Maybe we will buy it.
More here

More from the fair!

In the meantime there were a bunch of 3d wargames tournaments, among them the DBA.

Here you can see Di Bartolo’s Napoleonic demonstrative game.

Saturday there was a SDS tournament. During the fair there were demonstrative tables with Ganesha Games’s rules, and Sergio and Andrea.

Among other tables there were a lot about WH40k with huge scenarios and tons of miniatures.

I don’t understand what you can play in this scale with big cannons that fire infighting! Throw a bunch of dices to calculate wounds to big toys? This is a game for 2mm and not for 28mm… Stupid and a waste of money on overpriced models.

Lego is a serious thing and it is not only for children…

Laser sword learning course.


Play Modena 2011: first day

Gates opened at 9.00 in the morning. We were there! The Modena Fair is where this convention is held. This is the occasion to test a lot of games supported by volunteers that show the rules. You have to choice an empty table with a boardgame and can start to play. When we are in three or two is more simple to set something, while when you are alone you can jump where there are people who are setting the game.
Some quick review…

NBA All Stars

A game about basket. I prefer the free time with cheerleaders, but I have to give it a try because Diego was a ex-player in his school days. Well, there is the feel of basket and you can do some play with strategies. But it is only for fans. Diego spread that this game was fantastic so two friends bought it too. Now they can create a league…
More here

Battles of Westeros

A friend told us about this game, a better version of Colour and Strategies system, he said. We never played with that system so were curious about this game. Diego is a fan of the books that inspired the theme. I’m disgusted by it instead, because I’m a fan of historical essays! The test went on with delusion. Why play with a boardgame so simple and predetermined and with ugly plastic soldiers when we are used to play with various 3d wargames and beautiful painted soldiers? Rejected!
More here


Each one has a culture to develop using prayers to Greek gods. It is a game about positioning your alias. The first time I saw this system was in “the Pillars of the Earth”. I understand well all the rules and what you must to do to win. As you can see I win the game with a lot of points. It’s a beautiful game with a good theme, even if there are only 10 gods when the great gods were 12.
More here

War of Wonders

A card game! I tried Magic when appeared at the start, and I said: “a card game is without feel, too much complicated, you have to collect cards to win, and so I think it is without future”. At that time I worked in a game store…
This is a game with two decks: one for Axis and one for Allied. It is about superhumans in WWII, like Marvel’s Invaders. The set is complete, no more cards to buy. I tried it, I liked the theme and the mechanics, I bought it!
More here

7 Wonders

The game of the year, it seems. Well, I don’t think so, but it is a great game with good graphics. It is based on a deck of 7 cards. You can choice one card and pass the others to the player on your left, and so on. This is do three times in the play. Every card have its permanent effect that built your points. Simple and quick, but if you know the cards you can built a complex strategy. Fun.
More here


World without end

Today we played with Trivial Pursuit and Visual Game, classic games to play during parties with unprofessional players, but some days ago, during Christmas shopping time, we found time for an afternoon with boardgames. This time was “World without end” turn. The explanation of the rules by my friends was more complex than the game, so I found some elements only playing it and I had a bad performance. It is the following of the “Pillars of the Earth”, and the graphic remind it. Here you are in a successive moment respect the construction of the cathedral, now you are building the city. The mechanics are different but there is a touch of the first title. There is interaction with the other players, but it is not so great. What can I say? Well, it is a fun game, easy to play even if you cannot plan a lot in advance so there isn’t a strategy to apply but all is a bit casual, or at least I tried this. Interesting game, but probably not the best game around. I want to play it another time with more conscience.

Here Paolo and Franci in Christmas version with my gifts.


Fabrik Manager + Senji

The 14th I played a boardgame session with my chaps Paolo and Francesca. It was a lot of time that Franci wanted to play something at her house but I had too many tournaments and conventions. We had the classical game afternoon fuelled by popcorns, 500gr of crisps, cocacola and pizza (for dinner).

fabrik manager

I enjoyed my game with Fabrik Manager. It is a German game with an original industrial set. You must manager a factory and you win if you have more money than others after the last turn. I’m very good with games where there is to save money! Well, this game is very interesting, everyone has a platform that is his factory and you must progress with the production. You must buy resources to produce goods in a better and bigger way, and these tiles are chose with a strategy by the players.

fabrik manager senji

After the building of production in factories we set a game with Senji in feudal Japan. It is a sort of better Risiko with diplomacy and trade driven by cards. A sandglass beat the time to this phase so you haven’t too much empty time for the exchange of cards between players.


I think this game is better with more than 3 people, 5 people maybe is the best, but I fear the game flux slow a bit with more than 3 players. However it has some countermeasure to bring the Risiko concept inside a better set with more calibrated rules and other strategies to win besides mindless and endless war. Throw away Risiko and play Senji!


I win the two games with secure victories. I understand quickly what to do to win. Easy but not stupid games, and overall a happy afternoon.

More on them:


In Lucca we tried (and bought) this boardgame wrote by two young Italians. It is about the management of teams of gladiators. The fights are decided by series of throw of dices (fun and with a good feel of gladiator style, indeed), but the interesting part is about the interaction with the other players to cheat the fight and to compete to set a spectacle in arenas around the Roman world. It is a simple game complicated by the possibility of interact with the others, to compose temporary alliances and treason to set your spectacle in the best way. Playable only with four players, for 2 or 3 people is lame. Game’s historical feel of the art is very good. Nice box with good materials, but I changed quickly the D10 dices inside with two with Roman numbers!

lucca 2010

Here their website:


Lucca 2010: games

Here we go! The place for games was enormous, only it could be a full convention. I passed two days inside it and I can say that I haven’t saw it entirely. A long queue to enter, even with the rain. So heavy that sometimes inside you cannot hear the voices of other people.

lucca 2010

A lot of game stands with the Giochi Uniti one as the biggest. You could play a new game with a master that explained the rules. I think that were almost 20 tables for Giochi Uniti, and a lot of other tables for other game editors.

lucca 2010

lucca 2010

Olympus was decreed like the best game of the show. It is a game made by Italians. It is about the development of your polis through prayers to Greek gods! I want to play it!

lucca 2010

Another game that I want to try is this one about the fire that destroyed London. It is a game where you can direct the fire against the proprieties of your rivals to save yours. A good opportunity to know more about London and to have less friends!

lucca 2010

And this one is a boardgame with miniatures, chtulhuian I suppose. Well sculpted pieces indeed. I want to give a chance to this game to enter in my house. I must know more about it!

lucca 2010

lucca 2010

In the same glass showcase I found this preview of the new wave of Wing of War planes from WWII. Italian fighters at last! And a new expansion with bombers of WWII. I like Wings of War, I have the WWI one, but I think that the scale is wrong for WWII dogfight. They are too big. The only good thing is they are very beautiful and they are prepainted.

lucca 2010

A participation game was set with this Circus Maximus in cardboard and 1:32 miniatures. A good look! Throw the dice and see the result, this is the spirit of this type of games, and people have fun with a simple game. But when I saw chariots that run among gladiators, well, I wanted to vomit. All right, it is all for the fun, but please…

lucca 2010