Archive for May, 2013

Dadi.Com 2013: the report

At last! I’m so busy these days that I couldn’t write about this great convention. Here we go.

San Marino is a small republic inside Italy. It dominates a fortified mountain so with natural and artificial defences they obtained a form of independence along centuries. Moreover it is only a mountain, a not so important land to conquer. It was ever used as free port, so its existence was a safeguard to balance of power and economical interests in the area.

Today San Marino is a tourist trap inside real medieval walls and houses. Very beautiful indeed. You can find tourists shops, stamps and money minted only for collectors, an amazing view, some fake museums (wax museum, curiosity museum, torture museum, vampires museum,…), weapons sold almost freely, castles, money recycling in local banks, Russian female shopping assistants. However it is worth a visit.

Under the main city there is a luxury hotel where our games convention was held. Huge spaces and great treatment. I never stayed in a place so beautiful. It is too much for our wargamers habits!!! Because we were out of season, we pay for this hotel an extreme bargain price. A paradise…

The convention was held in a two storey hall. In the photo you can see less than a half storey, so think about the rest! There is a cinema inside too. At the first floor we had the boardgame convention, at the second floor the wargame section. Dadi.Com is a convention funded by Lorenzo Sartori in Crema, his city at the north of Italy, but since 2011 it is held inside another convention in San Marino, because of higher money necessity to run it in the original place. More images on Dadi & Piombo website. And these are the pages on the convention Dadi.Com, while these ones are for the San Marino Game Convention.

The location was great but the public was scarce. San Marino is out of main routes, moreover the economical crisis cut trips of wargaming people. We had the place, we had Italian vendors, we had 2 UK and 1 German vendors, we had great wargame tables. But we had only some local visitors and too few grognards too. So we had fun but there weren’t the numbers to foster this convention. This was my first time in San Marino, I like it very much, but other people said me about the loss in participation.

I’m in a hurry so I can’t describe everything that I saw in this trip in San Marino inside this two day convention. I can only briefly speak about what I loved of it.

Manorhouse is an Italian maker of buildings. Here a rather passable scene made by their products…

The big game was this Peach Orchard wargame. I’m not into ACW but the spectacle was great.

Instead here we are in Castelfidardo 1860, an Italian affair…

What I like most was this game by Bizio, an house rules version of Starfight by Beer & Pretzel Games. I found this game very easy to understand and with interesting play mechanisms. No sheet necessity, all is done with dices! Brilliant rules, a smooth mastering by Bizio, a lot of fun. A space (naval) game with the right ideas to play it speedily. A must have! Look at the miniatures: they were made by a friend of Bizio with every kind of materials.

My battle against Diego. I lead a Klingon vessel against a Federation ship. My vessel was weaker than that feeble human scum warship but my heroic aptitude win the day!

Follow the next week…


1/6 Gladiators: Kaustic Plastik

I have got an outrageous backlog about work as web designer, homework, game designer and tester for Ganesha Games. More, I have a main daily job and the last weekend I visited Turin for three days. So my Dadi.Com reports is delayed again. However I prepared before another 1/6 action figure review, so here it is…

Kaustic Plastik are 1/6 action figure producers based here in Rome. I suppose they had a past experience about WWII action figures, when they released a Italian soldiers range. Their pieces are a little cheaper than rivals. Good as historical accuracy but some details look not so perfect because of fault manufacture design for some proportions, like you can see for the leather sleeve, the long neck or the large vests. But the overall and historical look is pretty good.

A retiarius with the Totti’s face, the captain of the Roma football team. I’m not a football fan, so it is awful to me. I would buy another head as substitute…

This thraex has got a real bronze helm! The better thraex around in 1/6 format.

Well, at this moment I don’t know more 1/6 gladiator figures. These are almost limited edition for collectors at high prices but with finer details than a 28mm miniature cannot give. To accomplish my dream of a game with 12″ action figures I should choose a fighter couple. The support to keep them standing can be utilised as a base, following Ferrum et Gloria rule principles. But my rules aren’t thought to this scale and the possibility to add details that are spontaneous to give to a fight with these enormous “miniatures”, would lead to the adoption, and the creation, of an entirely new rule system. What will I do? I don’t know, now I’m only dreaming about it.


1/6 Gladiators: ACI Toys

While I’m recovering from convention, selecting photos to show that event, I retake the 1/6 gladiator action toys reviews. ACI Toys wants to create a full gladiator range. At the moment we have got a myrmillo, a dimachaereus and a provocator, but more are on arrival. You can go to their website to follow their production.

What can I say? Almost perfect. With the right muscle body too. The only fault is the metallic sleeve with the articulation at the elbow, build according to a wrong concept. To have the needed flexibility at the elbow they wore leather plates. But this is a common fault.

According to me, this is the most beautiful gladiator 1/6 action figure. What I like most is the colour choices, perfect! Do you want to find a flaw? The sword is too long and the shield was a little smaller, egg-shaped and with a reinforcement on the end.

Another gladiator inspired by a famous tv show. If as myrmillo and provocator the result is really great, as dimachaereus we have got a fantasy puppet. The swords are right, the shin guards too, but the armour is absurd. Well, if you are a follower of a Hollywood soap-opera with sex and violence that claim to represent Roman times, you can think that is beautiful. I don’t think so. This is sold as an expansion kit, only head and armour.

Another dimachaereus, with the same name (?), always from Spartacus. The axes are purely fictional, but the helm is great, a real thraex helm! The shin protectors are not decorated but they better because they are really realistic. Give him a sword and a shield, so you can have a thraex. Still at preproduction phase, it will be out towards the end of the year.


Upcoming: “Dadi.Com 2013”

The next weekend is time, the 13th edition of the southern Europe’s foremost wargame show. It is held in San Marino, an enclave State inside Italy. This is the first time that I will participate in this location. I’ll run Ferrum et Gloria and Zen Garden demonstration tables. Andrea from Ganesha Games will be with me and his new Of Gods And Mortals. San Marino is far from Rome, so I will be involved with this trip from Friday to Monday. On these pages a report as soon as possible, even if I think I will pretty tired after this holiday.


Roman armours in museum

Post number 300! A morning in one of the museums of Rome. This one is a little underrated because we have so many archaeological remains that waste them. I visited it when I was a child. It is the Museo delle Mura (wall museum), built inside a city door of the late Roman walls. This is now called Porta San Sebastiano, and it is the door where start the Via Appia from Rome.

The opportunity to visit it was a temporary exhibition about Roman armours and helms. The materials are supplied by Archeos, an almost local reenactment and research group. So we haven’t real archaeological pieces but reproductions. It is good to see these things in a natural size shape to understand better what you can see only on books or monuments. My only remark is on some realisation are not so exact, as late Roman helm or other things for gladiators. But these are particulars. Enjoy the spectacle indeed.

Classical imperial helms and lorica segmentata.

Late Romans are a historical period not so represented in actual iconography. Trajan times are used as standard for all the Roman history. But what we generally know about Trajan is his column, while we have evidences about something different even for his epoch.

An armour for commanders. Vitreous materials could be used instead of gems for the helm. A way to save…

The kind of standard dress for foot soldiers. But this one is for a high rank soldier. Watch the crest and the richness of the vest.

On the left a secutor armour. I love this close helm. Near an arbelas, the weapon of the scissor.
On the right a middle Roman armour with a chest protector composed of rhomboidal plates.

The classical duel: on the left a myrmillo, on the right a thraex! In the middle, myself.

Some short graeves, a parmula, a sice supina and a falx.

A highly decorated myrmillo helm. Someone claim that this kind of helms were used only during the pompa magna, the presentation of gladiators to public before the fight. But if they are build to be used for a fight, then they were used for fights. None build a strong helm only for a parade. It is so simple. This is the helm of a champion.


La storia per gioco

I’m so tired and replete! Sunday I was in Canino (VT) for a wargame convention organised by Narciso, my wargame club mate who lives there. The opportunity was a countryside festival about asparagus. The municipal authorities gave us a building in the town centre to place our tables. So some demonstration games ran all the day.

The Napoleonic rules by Di Bartolo in a mastered battle. Only for grognards.

The Clan Conan of LuccaGames fame was there. Romans versus late Macedonians with easy rules: Battle of Cynoscephalae (364 BC).

The best demonstration table. Diego has got a real feeling for children. So he took Song of Blade and Heroes, mastered and simplified the rules to baby level, and a lot of fun were spread.

Vlad the Impaler always by Clan Conan. Playable by common men.

Another preview for Of Gods And Mortals. In these days I’m studying the rules to build a new mythological pantheon expansion.

This is a demonstration game season. So I was there with my Ferrum et Gloria. Now I’m writing the rules, at last! In this phase I’m editing all the game mechanics to add more fluency to the play and to clarify some situations. The goal is to have the published version in the late 2013.

Narciso is an artist too. His first attempt to make something about miniature sculpting: two 75mm gladiators that he sculpted with Milliput and realised with resin. I think that they are great! Remember, his first attempt…

And now, back to the countryside festival. Part of the long historical parade. Sorry, I didn’t captured the feeling of the thing, it was better than what you can see here. There were three horses too. Canino is a little town, so it is a big effort to have a lot of people with medieval costumes.

Asparagus, oil and artichokes, sold at bargain prices, especially the asparaguses, something like one euro for one bundle! This place has got an agricultural vocation, and they are famous for high quality oil and early production of asparagus.

All wargamers together for the lunch. And a multi courses menu exclusively based on asparagus recipes: with oil and vinegar, with pasta and fish, with potatoes and meat, with calamari, au gratin. Two hours and half for this duty. The ladies around the table (girlfriends, Andrea’s mother and Di Bartolo’s wife) went in the morning to visit an ancient Longobard stronghold in the surroundings, in a trip leaded by Narciso among tuff rocks and high grass. Narciso is the chap with sideburns.

In the main square of the town, the traditional Guinness omelet with asparagus, the topic moment of the festival. An eggs massacre for the joy of people.

And here a close-up on my slice of omelet. A great day, fun with friends and some dices rolled around. Later, after the greetings to the wargamers, we reorganised the place and the materials. After we take the dinner with some Narciso’s friends, again asparagus, but on pizza this time.