Sergio's blog: hints, ideas, pictures and news about SDS (and more) from the author

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sharpe and his Rifles

Once again, Filippo surprises me with a wonderful painting job and a conversion. Above and below, Lt. Sharpe leading his men forward...
Sgt. Patrick Harper (below). Filippo made it converting from some plastic models (Perry, I guess), adding his curly hair, the chevrons on the right arm and the multi-barrelled gun.
He just picked up the shako of a French Voltigeur, and he's showing it to his Lieutenant.
The full "movie" squad: Hagman; Harris, Perkins, Harper and Sharpe.
"King George commands and we obey, over the hills and far away..........."

Friday, December 24, 2010


A selection of pics sent by Filippo from Florence. This is his brand new squad of Neapolitans Velites of the Guard, all 28mm Steve Barber Models. Above, two Velites (front/rear view).
The Guard Velites NCO in his resplendant uniform (Murat really liked this kind of uniforms). All facings are amaranth, a color that the King was very fond of....
The Drummer...
The Officer, with a picture of a wonderful 54 mm that Filippo took as a painting guide.
And finally the whole Guard Velites Squad. As usual, great job Filo!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SDS Big Battle tonight

The "castle" is almost finished, and this evening the Battle shall begin!
I must say I enjoyed myself very much in building the house. There is still some work to be done, but I like the result. I'll have to adapt some rules for this particular scenario, and set some kind of victory conditions. Anyway, it will be an opportunity to meet before Christmas (we should be around 7 people) and drink some Spumante while eating Panettone.
I'll take note of everything and possibly make a Scenario out of it. Stay tuned for pics and a battle rep !

Monday, December 20, 2010

Building time

Together with my friends we decided to stage a SDS Big Battle for thursday, dec. 23rd in my lab.
It will be a participation scenario, loosely based on the French attack at Hougoumont, where a couple of players will play with the British inside a big house/castle and all others will command one or more French squads, trying to break through. As the attack will be very difficult due to heavy cover of the defender, there will be virtually no limit to the number of French squads attacking, but just 2-3 at a time. In this way people can come, take command of a squad, play 1-2 hours and then go, or keep playing...

For this reason I started building a BIG house (actually half of it, so that it is possible to move figures inside) with all the scratch material I have in the Lab. There will be also a high wall surrounding a part of the house corner (like in Hougoumont) from where the defenders will shoot at the approaching enemies. More about about this (and pics) soon...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pics from MAG CON (Texas)

As I announced in a previous post, in the first week-end of December the MAG CON Convention took place near Houston, TX and SDS was played in a couple of tables. Above and below 2 pics of Dale's hand-made wooden soldiers ( in a classic French Vs. British scenario.
A close-up of the French squad, with a British Cavalryman. Dale uses scratch materials (the muskets are toothpicks!) to create his wonderful 42mm soldiers.
Another scenario was made using Kelly's 28mm miniatures (from Willy's blog -
British Rifles of the 95th take possession of some ruins. Many thanks to Dale, Kelly and Willy for their work and pics!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm back

...from a business trip that lasted a day more than expected. I was blocked in Paris by a snow storm that forced all passengers to spend one night in airport, and only yesterday I managed to come back via Madrid, but only very late in the evening.
I apologize to all people writing emails to me in these three days as I could answer just this morning or late yesterday night.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pics of a great wargaming saturday (2)

More pics from yesterday's game chez Alessandro. In the previous 2 posts the description of the battle...
Some unexpected event took place (from left, me, Fabio and Max).
Max explaining to us his "Cavalry up and down" tactics, while I open a bottle (Alessandro on the right).A close view on the French advance on the right. Pics from Andrea.
See the following two post for more..

Pics of a great wargaming saturday (1)

Here they are! Thanks to Filippo for sending them, and in particular for the last 2 pics :))
Above, the initial setup of the British Forces (with a Dutch-Belgian unit added).
Three French squads (Marco's) advancing on the left: the first in line with a couple of skirmishers in front, followed by a double line and a column. The Officer carefully watches the deployment of his troops.
A Scottish squad in double line checking the advance of a French squad in line (and 2 Rifles going for cover behind a fence in front of the house).
A full view of the battlefield. It was a 120x180cm table, with some wooded areas and some buildings. And, beer, plastic glasses and the big panettone cake were not part of the terrain :)
Another view of the British right during the early stages of the game. Max is shuffling activation cards..
On a last, desperate and unsuccessful effort to save the day, French Dragoons charge a reduced British squad. The redcoats will break, but a point-blank volley from the other squad on the right will then rout the eroic Dragoons...
And finally.... the interlude I told you about in my previous post.... Nothing to add, really nice job Filippo! (the contest was won by the British Officer, and the epilogue was as follows :)

A great wargaming saturday

Yesterday Andrea and me went to Arezzo to meet some friends and to play a company level Napoleonic battle with 61-65 rules. We agreed to bring all French and British miniatures 28mm figures we have and field as many squads we could.
In the end we had 8 infantry and 1 cavalry squad per side, making room for 6 players with 3 squads each. Alessandro, Marco and Andrea played the French side, and Max, Fabio and Filippo played the Brits. We used the Multi player Battle rules of 61-65 and I made some tweaking of the rules to adapt the game for napoleonics.
I started explaining the rules at 12.30 (they are all experienced SDS players) and the game ended with a (tight) British victory at 17.30 (lunch included). As it is usual in these circumstances (and it's a pleasure in my opinion) a lot of chatting and joking went on during the game, including a funny interlude when a Vivandiere entered the game and 2 Officers (one French and 1 British) made a charme contest for her :)
All in all, a 5 hours game with so many forces on the table, lunch and a complete overview of the game are really satisfactory in my opinion, and the game went on without any problem.
Andrea took some pics of the game and as soon as he'll send them to me I'll post them here.
The guys called the game "99-15" following the pattern we used for 61-65.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

61-65 Italian version available

La versione italiana di 61-65 è disponibile in pdf su
Per le copie stampate bisognerà attendere ancora un paio di settimane.

The Italian version of 61-65 ia available in pdf. Printed copies will be ready in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My 15mm Russian Army

I took the opportunity of the (almost yearly) counting activity to open all the boxes and deploy my Russian Army for parade... Pictures are not so bright (I'm no good at this), but I hope you'll enjoy.
There are figures of many different makes, from Minifigs to Essex to Fantassin and AB. Single soldiers on round bases are my skirmishers (some of them were used to playtest SDS...).
I think I painted just less than 50% of there figures (but I surely rebased them many times :)
A close-up view on some of my line infantry battalions with greatcoat. These are the first painted miniatures I bought, possibly from a friend in Bologna.
OK next time.... Austrians!
Stay tuned.

Italian version almost ready

Andrea is closing the italian version of 61-65.
It should be ready soon...

Andrea sta completando l'edizione italiana di 61-65.
Dovrebbe essere pronta presto...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

61-65 printed available on

Right now, 61-65 is also available as a printed copy on

The pdf is also available on Wargames Vault (where it's n.1 on the Hottest items list) and Saber's Edge.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

61-65 pdf available!!

Finally it's out!

You can buy the pdf at
Printed copies will be available in about a week, and the italian version in few days.

Thank you to Willy and Andrea for the hard (night) work to finish the job.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Max's Cavalry (painted by Tommaso)!

Some pictures I could not resist to post. Real masterpieces IMHO. Above, a Bologna Guard of Honor of the Italian Guard.
A British Light Dragoon a Dragoon and a Royal Horse Guard...
A wonderful French General Fournier....
And finally a Guard Uhlan. Front Rank Miniatures painted by Tommaso Nicosia.

61-65 Cover preview

Here it is.

I think Andrea did a good job.... I like it.
Editing started, and I am finishing the italian text. We would like to release both version at the same time if possible.
It will take some more time, but I hope that - as promised - the game will be available well before Christmas.
Your comments will be highly appreciated.

Swedish Squad for SDS

At last tournament in Perugia, Max brought a Swedish squad as his second choice. We all were very curious about his miniatures and I asked him to send me some pics.
Above is a front view of the infantry, with Officer, NCO, drummer and standard bearer, below a Dragoon wearing the typical blue-yellow colors of Sweden. Miniatures are 25mm Eagle Games.

Infantry from behind (in gray a light infantryman). Miniatures were painted by Tommaso Nicosia. More pics of soldiers painted by Tommaso will follow soon... and thanks to Max!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Over 40.000 page views!

And in less than one year...
Thank you all guys, I'll do my best to keep the blog interesting

Keep following me

Moving forward.....

No sleep at Ganesha Games: 61-65 is just finished and I started working to close the Large Battle project. As I wrote in previous posts, it is a long project I started some 2 years ago, and modified many times before the current version. Above and below, a pic from last friday playtest (sorry pics are a bit dark..): a clash somewhere in Spain just before the Battle of Talavera.

Drums & Shakos Large Battles allows you to command a Division (or more, if you have time and space :) and it's another step forward in Ganesha Historical System. In a few months (DS LB could be released early 2011) Napoleonic Era enthusiasts should be able to play from small skirmishes (SDS) to Divisonal level games, passing through Company level (61-65 adapted): all with a single rules engine.

Command and Control and Combat systems are 100% new and - as far as my 25 years wargaming experience says - innovative. I'm working hard to give players a game that can be played to a conclusion in about 2 hours, still giving all the feel of this wonderful period.
I am very proud of the Combat system (it's like a small movie of the attack), which is divided in Approach and Contact and gives results that are quite rare in other wargames: in DS LB you can win a charge suffering heavy losses, or lose your position but inflicting a lot of damage to the enemy.

Basing is free (and in any case the one we suggest is one of the more common for the period), there is no individual casualty removal, nor caps. As it is common in all Ganesha games, there are really few markers, and game is fast and quite furious: we want things to happen on a Battlefield, and progress from turn to turn be visible. Individual units are Battalions (Infantry), Regiments (Cavalry) and Batteries (Artillery). Skirmishers rules are simple but effective.
Follow this blog, and more details will come....

61-65 latest news n.3

I am proud to announce that 61-65 is finished.
Andrea added the artwork and now is working on the cover - while text goes out for editing.
I really like the layout, fonts and illustrations and I hope you'll enjoy it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A new feature

I have added a new feature to the blog: an SDS scheduled Tournament list.
It is on the left sidebar, below the games' covers. I hope it will be useful for those players looking for a quick update (instead of searching through the blog for a date).

March-April 2011: 3 weeks of fire

A lot is happening in the Italian wargames world.
In three weeks, from march 20 to april 3, 2001 three important events will take place: sunday, march 20th there will be an SDS Tournament in Milan, organised by XI LEGIO club, saturday and sunday march 26-27th in Modena the Convention PLAY2011 will be held (18000 visitors in last year's first edition) and within it the "Wargames Olympics" competition. Finally on april 3rd there will be the Con HELLANA in Agliana, where SDS was awarded the "Best of Show" prize two years ago.

Tournament in Milan
At last we succeeded. The friends of XI Legio were able to reserve the hall for the first SDS Tourney to be held in Milan. This is a great occasion for all player for the North of Italy to take part in a SDS tournament. More details will follow about this, in the meantime thanks to Stefano for the efforts in organizing the event.

The Convention was lauched last year with an astonishing success of visitors. It is an "all about gaming" event, with Boardgames, CCG, RPG and of course wargaming.
It is co-organised by the club Treemme from Modena and by the Tana del Goblin (Goblin's Lair) and this is a warranty for a great gaming experience.
Within the Con, the organisers are staging the Wargames Olympics: tournaments of many games with gold, silver and bronze medals for the participants.
SDS will be one of them. International participation is warmly welcome, and I encourage all readers of this blog to ask me question if interested in participating.

The week after (april 3rd) there will be the one-day show in Agliana Con (Pistoia, Tuscany) , where Ganesha games will have its demo table as the last 2 years. There will be no SDS tournament at Hellana (that's too much for me too :) but the event is a sort of tradition in the italian wargame community since many years as it focuses ONLY on wargaming.

Feel free to ask me any question about the events and - as usual - stay tuned.

61-65 update

OK, the game is ready for editing.
I hope you'll like it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

61-65 latest news n.2

Also included a chapter for playing ACW at SDS level (5 to 20 figures)....

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

61-65 latest news

The game is finished and translated, we are playtesting the 3 scenarios that will be included in the book. I've added optional rules for cavalry and artillery, and "Sgt. O'Reilly says" (some basic hints on play coming from the FAQ I've received during the demos I did).
Next steps will be adding art (Andrea is already working on this), have it edited and then.... we'll release it. I'm doing my best to have it out around mid-december.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last 2010 Tournament results

Yesterday in Perugia took place the fourth (and last) SDS tourney for 2010.
I should receive many pics soon, in the meantime here are the results for the first positions:
1. Marco Gasbarri Arezzo 2189
2. Alessandro Salini Arezzo 2112
3. Filippo Simoncini Firenze 1903
4. Andrea Tognozzi Firenze 1570
5. Roberto Bagna LaSpezia 1436

So Marco won the Grand Slam (4 tourney, 4 victories) but he lost the 4th match against Filippo, so his final score in this Championship is 15/1 (won/lost).
Final position for the whole Championship are:

1. Marco Gasbarri Arezzo 48 pts.
2. Carlo Bandini Terni 18 pts.
3. Filippo Simoncini Firenze 16 pts.
4. Alessandro Salini Arezzo 15 pts.

The tournament was held within the Con "Magna con Phersu", and I want to thank Stefano Giombini - the organizer - for the help and additional prizes offered.
Stay tuned for 2011 Tournament schedule!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rifles, Rifles, Rifles!

Above, a pic of my Rifles squad (Royal Americans). These are miniatures I bought painted and based (that's why they have square 2cm bases..).
Two views of part of Filippo's new Rifle squad (more pieces are coming..): Officer, NCO, Bugler and 2 Riflemen (Harris? Hagman?). Filippo is converting some miniatures to represent Sharpe and Sgt. Harper.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nap Coy level at Lucca Games

As promised, here are some pictures of the wonderful table made by Stefano Palandri at Lucca Games. It was a very useful playtesting for my "61-65" company level rules applied to napoleonic. Above, Stefano crossing the bridge with his French attackers.
The French approaching the village, with skirmishers in front. Two British squads and some Spanish Guerrillas try to stop the French advance. The terrain (hand painted by Baueda - ) was really beautiful: a 180x240 cm. flocked-tissue representing typical dry, spanish landscape.
A view of the village. Stefano did really a good job and the buildings are astonishing (Grand Manner). Scale is 28mm.
British reinforcements (with a Rifleman in front and a Sergeant behind) advancing into the streets of the village. Stefano correctly based his soldiers on 2,5x2,5 cm. square bases, so that formations could be kept easily.
The fight in the village goes on, while some French cavalry (Dragoons) crosses the bridge ...

A close-up on the Spanish Guerrillas (Front Rank) trying to stop the French onslaught.
And finally a close-up on French grenadiers (Perry) in supported line formation. Note also the nice flock and grass on the bases. Great job Stefano!!