Archive for the ‘ rules ’ Category

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:


Hellana 2016

A new location, an old convention: Hellana. Here again, year after year. But this time I didn’t bring with me gladiators. Moreover I wasn’t interested in tournaments. So only chatting with people about our lives and little soldiers.

Maybe the new location is a little larger than the old one. More space among tables.

One of the tables. A pause in the war.

Another view on tables. In the crowd a lot of known faces.

Le Granadier and its Napoleonic rules.

People from Macerata. And little people from North Indian Wars.

Flames of War tournament.

DBA 3.0 tournament. Old faces from North clubs involved in DBA. The South clubs now are on L’Art de la Guerre.

Learning table to play with L’Art de la Guerre.

WA.SP. table on WWII. They won a prize for it.

Beautiful trenches for WH40K.

The South and the North at distance.

The best of show scenario. Glamorous vessels here.

Canyons made of bark for a western scenario with Redskins and U.S. forces.

Roman legion stand strongly against cataphracts. In 28mm scale.

Civil war at the end of the Empire. In 1/72 scale. Magna Acies rules by Appius.

Ganesha Games table with Andrea and Miraz.

Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes table in a dungeon scenario.

Cute scenario for Heel Creek, the Ganesha Games’ western rules. Still only in Italian language.

The prize as best participation table for Heel Creek.

Next year another Hellana. I hope I present something new for the event. However this weekend we are going to Modena Play. A longer trip than Hellana one, for an huge convention about boardgames and other kinds of games. See you there!


To the strongest!

I’m looking for rules for my ancient army. I thought to write them by myself but Ferrum et Gloria is still at half of its path so I haven’t enough time. I’m a DBA 2.2 player but I want something more historically based, with formations and troops with more characteristics. Now I found “To the strongest!” by Simon Miller and bought it for 10 quid in pdf version here:

I tried it with my friend Diego, using 15mm bases from my DBA armies collection. On the back of a 60×60 table for DBA I traced a square grid. This because movements are area limited with 4 fronts. With this stratagem all geometric problems are almost eliminated. It is not a boardgame, it is a smart way to concept movement. Because a game with this abstraction level wants regular and compact direction lines. It is not a skirmish, armies had contact on the fronts, so you must go straight towards the enemy! Tricks abusing geometry in rules are not a historical representation. And squares are better than hexagons because gamers abuse hexagons for constant flank attacks.

To produce activations you use poker cards. Various counters are used for disorder, victory points and shoot quantities. It is a game created for convention play, and you can feel it. It needs something more. As gamer designer I understand why some game elements were used. Well, I think that the overall structure is good but there are wrongs (shooting counters, shooting range, bonus by single based figures) and improvements to do (armour value, real veteran experience, formations, troop types, moral, bonus based on cards). When I’ll have time, I rewrite the game using my taste. I have to play a huge Late Roman army for a 28mm civil war. They are waiting too many years…

Next time the Hellana 2016 report!


DBA tournament in Rome

Back to the 26th of September. Still t-shirts around, as DBA, in the 3 edition version. A tournament was held in Rome, the first and maybe the last with this rules version.

We waited for this new edition since a lot of years. Its publication was a thing that never happened. And DBA was lacking interest between players.

Rules modification proposals were around for years. So the new edition displease almost everyone because everyone had his personal ideas how to fix and improve the game. And the new edition was something other than so many people wanted.

It is impossible to create 1000 different rules for 1000 different people. And what was created was not so intriguing to placate unhappiness. Someone found in the rules new inspiration but more people that were dissatisfied now are looking for something else. We played DBA tournaments since 2003, so if people want something different, the new edition, with its usual hermetic language, was the decisive event.

We were in Solo Giochi shop:
And this is the mini-website that I made for the event:

Some western building to play with Torriani rules.

A commission work for a WWII set. Still unpainted.

This incredible set is modular, so new parts could be added. And you can play in sewers and cellars because there is an underground level with parts that are connected too.

Some 28mm minatures painted by the owner of Solo Giochi. He sells them. It think that the ancient ones are really great.

I didn’t play in the tournament. With old edition tournaments I could choose an army (usually a Roman one…) and play without review rules. I hadn’t patience and free time to study new rules. But I wanted to be with my friends at the tournament, so I bring something else with me.

Another try for venationes and an opportunity to show my book to customers that were in the shop. 3 copies sold.

If it could be the last official DBA tournament in Roma however it was not a funeral. We had a lot of fun. DBA is what created our friendship. No more official DBA tournaments here in Rome? We can always play with DBA, play with other games, and meet for our common passion about wargaming. It is not a matter of rules but only of free time.


Hellana 2015: part 1

The Italian wargame convention of the Spring. It is the longest running convention here in Italy. I went the first time in 2004. This year we chose to go the day before, even for the change of the legal hour. It is almost 3/4 hour far from Rome. With this choice we had the opportunity to watch convention set works too. Diego’s car is in its last days, so our travel was offered by “Sua Eccellenza”. The return instead was by Minatore’s car. I took a nap during both travels…

In the evening a dinner with the local club members and vendors. All meat based, not so great for a not-meat, and not-wine, lover like me. Too much money spent, but a common meal with other wargame people is always a good thing. Night in a budget but fine hotel.

And so the convention day. A lot of familiar faces around. Inside a primary school gym, with vendors along the walls and demonstration tables in the middle.

This is the ARSM’s club game. ARSM is the club where Diego plays. Standing you can see “Sua Eccellenza”. With white hair, the other travel companion, a ferrets breeder.

This year is 200th Waterloo anniversary, and this is Waterloo game.

Siege and assault to a Japanese castle.

A year too late for D-Day, but still an enjoyable game.

A great Old West set-up.

Among other tables, this one with a large amount of 28mm miniatures. More tables around, but here I don’t pretend to show a full report.

Other things in Hellana were a FOW tournament and this one with DBA 3.0. This year I don’t play DBA, I haven’t mental energy to do it. However I’m always near to my tournament friends that play it.


DBA 3.0

A taste of water about DBA 3.0. A couple of matches with our friend Attilio from Milan, the man who wrote our Italian commentaries about DBA 2.0. I found various improvements, more realistic troops behaviours, a less chess feel. Maybe some movements are too fast, but this topic have to be worth considering more. I think that there is a more direct approach and less space to tactics variations after the start of the play. Maybe too much. Is this new DBA release better than before? I don’t know. I can say that it is not a slight variation of original rules, it is a new set of rules, a new game. At the moment I’m too busy with other things, so I am not ready to play it in tournaments. Pity.


Centuria tournament

Centuria is a new wargame by Massimo Torriani together with some mates of him. Based on his engine called Operation Squad, they are rules for ancient wargame. You can obtain better informations on it on I tried it at Lucca and some weeks ago a tournament was held here in Rome.

We were inside a school. Some other games were played in other classrooms. This is the vantage to have a school director as wargamer.

I know something about the rules and engine principles but I didn’t participate to the tournament. I followed all the matches, indeed. However I stayed more than 6 hours to meet my wargame friends from Arezzo and Firenze, and from Rome too.

It was even the opportunity to watch beautiful 28mm miniatures. Some old Romans by Perry, some newer by Aventine, some made in plastic by Victrix. I even have got various Romans in my private Army, from various producers and epochs. I like Romans so much! Maybe because I’m Roman…


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.