Archive for July, 2016

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:


Holidays in Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio

Summer is time of holidays. And if you want a budget holiday you can go to Terni to visit your friend Andrea that needs some holidays too. So we travelled in a few days in a lot of towns, small towns and villages around Terni. This is the photographic report.


In the first couple of days we went to Hydracon, a boardgame convention around Perugia held in a luxury hotel. No swimming pool use for games, pity. I played 5 games of Fortebraccio, and I lost all of them.


The last day of Mercato delle Gaite, when during a couple of weeks this town turns into a medieval town with various markets, celebrations, games, stages.


A gem all made of stones on top of the hill. A fairy village with a castle. Its calm is unreal, but all is real.


A lake, a small town, a past tourist vocation, the centre for agnostic rowing in Italy.

Castel Fiorentino

An Etruscan city, then a medieval city with its castle and a tower built over the ancient acropolis. And a view on the valley.


Another Etruscan city, larger than the other one. In the local museum a great special exposition on Etruscan writing. A collection of all available Etruscan inscriptions around. Pieces that you can view on books were all concentrated here. A must see!

Castiglione del Lago

Along our road we arrived to Trasimeno Lake. Yes, that Trasimeno Lake. A hill on marshes with another Etruscan city, after a walled medieval city with its castle, after again no more marshes but only the lake. Now a pleasant tourist place. Dinner with lake view.
If you remember in a past post there was a pennant from here. If you can’t notice it, the photo is that with the girls…

Rocca Albornoz di Narni

This castle was built when on Papal coat of arms were put two keys. Over Narni. To control the city, the road, the State.

Poggio di Otricoli

Another castle, but this one is in ruins. Around a village where there is a medieval festival every year. Otherwise a bunch of small houses.

Calvi dell’Umbria

The name is something as “bald people from Umbria”. It was lunch time, it was hot, so none was around. Andrea was the only available balding person from Umbria. I’m from Lazio…


More hot, more hunger. No restaurants. We leave.


Along the road we find a bar to eat something. Surprisingly it was outside the archaeological city of Otriculum. Wrong weather (full Summer) and wrong time (two and half in the afternoon) to visit it without dying for the hot. So only a view from the bar. And this satellite photo of the local arena, with plantation inside.

Civita Castellana

It was late so we didn’t visit the castle built on a ravine. However there was this beautiful church with some marble pieces added.

Then the train for Rome, with a late in the travel almost equal to the time needed. And so these were my Summer holidays for the 2016. Maybe next year we will visit other towns in Terni surroundings.


Plywood arena

How to build a very simple arena? If you have got some tools for woodworking, you can use them to cut some straight sections made of solid wood and plywood. The result is not pretty elliptical like an arena, but you have got 4 walls, and this could be enough to set your gladiatorial fight. The guy that made it think that these walls can be useful to recreate a fort or a fortified city. Add some paint and some external decoration made of cardboard and you can set various games inside it. It is how to build a cinematography set. To know more go here.


And now they are 47

One more year! On the way for half a century. But I feel (almost) so young. However, let’s celebrate!