Archive for 2012

TB Line exclusive 10mm preview !

Again and again on Hellana, where I could see a preview of the new 10mm miniature set from TB Line about armies for Punic Wars. This time was the turn of hoplites from Italy, useful for both the sides, the good and right one (Roma) and the bad one (Chartage). So you will have an army with Italian vests, different from the three orders army typical of Republican Romans or the Greeks.

Here you can see the general of the army. It is so good that I couldn’t keep my enthusiasm. It is part of a command with a bearer and a horn player. The army is not still complete. That day the sculptor (Cosimo Auricchio) presented to Fabio, my friend and owner of TB Line, the fresh fusions of the cavalry of this army. The hoplites are still under sculpting. Cosimo is very very slow with sculpting, but the results are great!

I wanted to emphasize the beauty of this little metal piece, putting it in comparison with other things as an attach or my fingers, because if you see it only on a screen, you can think it is a very good 28mm piece. Instead it is only 1cm high! It is a real miniature! The painting is great too. The eyes and the hands of the painter are phenomenal. These photos are take with my mobile camera (it is a Samsung GT-S8500 Wave) in free hand mode with natural light inside a gym…

The last photo is for the scenario at Hellana by TB Line, a horde of Mongols versus Rus. It think it was the best table at the convention. They were playing Anticamente rules. Obviously with 10mm miniatures.


Hellana 2012: Ganesha stand

Again about Agliana, but this time for the Ganesha stand. As you have read before, me and Diego slept in Terni. The morning after we left at the 6 with Andrea, with a stop to say hello to other players from Terni who were leaving in another car with a table for Ganesha. Then to the motorway in Orte where Narciso was waiting for us. That night we returned to Orte for a dinner with him in a Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurant with fake Japanese and Wok credentials. A stop in Terni, and Rome at midnight.

At the convention we brought with us a pirate scenario, a quite compact one because we couldn’t take the galleons. I ran my Zen Garden game. This was the second time that I could sell it in its definitive form. I gave a free copy to some friends of mine that helped me in various things: Pippo, Bizio and Fabio. Instead “the principal playtester” of Drums and Shakos Large Battle was dedicated to a demonstration table of the game, because Sergio, the author, was busy with work in office even in Sunday. We had more attention on this Napoleonic ruleset than other games. People generally had scarce attention to tables, everyone were too much involved in his things to discover other things. Maybe in the first half of May, at convention in San Marino, we will have more opportunities to show our games. At that time I will organise a playtest of Ferrum et Gloria. I want to show the basic rules to my Italian friends, to start a full playtest campaign for the game.


Hellana 2012: a report

We were here as every year since 2004. Hellana is the wargame annual appointment for Centre and South Italy. It is not so big, it is situated inside a school gym, but it is our convention, and we love it.

We are in the middle of nowhere, a village along the road from Firenze to sea, where you can find Lucca, Pisa and Viareggio: the upper side of Tuscany. It is amazing as from this bunch of houses some people organise their convention that calls people from various parts of Italy.

The main event is a interesting bring & buy space. This year I find an old magazine with crucial articles on Italian paratroopers in WWII, especially for the evolution of cartridge vests called “samurai”. I own one of them, a reproduction that I use in paratrooper reenactment. Among other things, miniatures and books, but I had just spent too much money on Vallejo colours, forex bases and miniatures for a special project for the next year to be published on Ganesha Games’s Free Hack.

Some tables were intriguing but you cannot find realisation out of normal because clubs don’t challenge each other to produce the outstanding table. They only want to show their usual games. Instead TB Line with Fabio Farneti bring home always some convention price because he is a perfectionist and he build perfect tables for 10mm miniatures with his friends.

Another event in Hellana is the DBA tournament and the Wings of War contest. In the last years I didn’t play DBA here because I want to try something new and chatting with people, free from four DBA turns that engage all the day. And the last year, me, Paolo and Andrea, re-invented Song of Spear and Shield during a experimental demonstration game.

In Hellana 2004 we found snow in Agliana. This year the weather was fantastic, so we found only this Russian scenario in snow.

I put the photos not in a strictly order bounded to the report. There were various tables and vendors, people played with their games and someone viewed the work of other people. We had fun and in a next post I will show the Ganesha stand. I close here with the more “vertical” game of the day.


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…


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.


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.