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

Friday, December 30, 2011

DS LB English version

Andrea is working on the pagesetting of the English version, and we should release it in the next few days....

I take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Wealthy year 2012 full of gaming and... Victories!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers of this blog, and a quick update: we should be able to release the pdf english version of Drums and shakos Large Battles within the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SDS Tournament Rules translated

I just finished the translation of the Tournament Rules for Song of Drums & Shakos.
The current version (3.0) comes from 2 years of gaming here in Italy and over 200 games played.
A word of warning: the game plays differently in Tournament due to these rules.
Every player needs 2 squads, one from the French pool and one from the Allied pool. Only historically consistent clashes are allowed. Squad composition has some constraints, originating from few killer squads that appeared during the 2010 Italian National Championship.
The rules are based on 4 rounds swiss style tourneys and the pairing off is regulated so that you always play against a historical enemy.
Organizers are kindly requested to contact me if they need some support.
The rules will be edited shortly and then will be available in some form (pdf download from the Gamesha website?). I'll let you know...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SDS in New Zealand

For those of you that who are not members of the Song of Blades Yahoo group, I'm happy to announce that during the 2012 Battlecry convention, Auckland NZ Feb 18 - 19, there will be a SDS demo table run by Robert.
Quite a bit far from here, but God knows how much I'd like to be there....
Leave a comment or drop me an email if you want to know more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's retry

The first small print run of DS LB went wrong. The book is nice but there was a mistake in the pages order. Second print run today, we could have some copies in the evening...
Let's keep fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First printed copies of DS LB

This evening I'll see the first printed copie of DS LB, straight from the printshop.
Very excited about that...

Editing of the English version is ongoing, and we hope to have a first draft very soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nuovo Forum in Italiano su SDS (ed altro)

Rispondendo alle diverse richieste che mi sono giunte recentemente per un Forum su SDS in italiano, ho deciso di creare un gruppo yahoo apposito.
Ho diramato già qualche invito, ma chiedo a tutti voi di postare un commento qui se vi volete iscrivere, oppure potete iscrivervi direttamente: cercate tra i Gruppi Yahoo


Cerco anche volontari amministratori che mi possano coadiuvare nel compito.
Il forum dovrebbe servire per far circolare meglio le informazioni sul gioco (in realtà SUI GIOCHI dato che riguarderà tutti i miei giochi Ganesha), condividere battle report, foto di miniature e quant'altro....

In response to several requests I received recently for an Italian language forum about SDS and other historical Ganesha Games, I created a yahoo group in italian. Interested players can post a comment here or drop me an email...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Drums & Shakos Large Battles out during week-end

The Italian version of Drums & Shakos Large Battles will be available in pdf during the week end. English version is going for editing and proofreading right now and hopefully will be available the week before Christmas.
42 pages in full color, with 4 scenarios included, ready-to-play Divisions of the 6 Major Countries, and an Appendix to play your Battle up to multi-Corps level.
More than 3 years of work, hundred of playtest hours, to give you a brand new set of rules for a different gaming experience. Innovative system of combat and Victory determination, where every single inch of battleground counts.
Hope you'll enjoy it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

DS LB update

The Italian version is at the finishing state of pagesetting (Andrea is doing a great job), and I am completing the draft of the English translation (4 pages left). Today we have another meeting for deciding the final details, and I hope to have the (Italian) printed version and pdf for Christmas.
English version should follow, but editing and proofreading could take some time.

Drums and Shakos Large Battles will be the first full color historical game by Ganesha (with an ink saving pdf version) and many of my miniatures will be displayed in the pictures. It required some 3 years of work and is by far the longest project I ever made.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

100 !!!

100 Followers reached.
I'm proud and sincerely grateful to all of you...


Flashing Steel at Magna con Phersu

While waiting for the pics of the SDS Tournament and of my demo table of Drums & Shakos Large Battles, here are a couple of pics I made. Above and below, two (dark, sorry) images of the demo table Andrea set up, presenting his new Flashing Steel game rules.

The scenario was a pirate boarding action, while a corsair ship was loading some goods from a wharf. The wonderful ships are from Ainsty Casting. A lot of people tried (and liked) the game and its specific features (such as the Swashbuckling rule). For more information, visit the Ganesha Games website (click on the link on the right).

Last 2011 SDS Tournament results

Last sunday the last SDS tournament for 2011 was held during the CON Magna con Phersu in Perugia, and here are the final standings:

1. Filippo Simoncini Firenze (BRAVO PIPPO!!)
2. Marco Gasbarri Arezzo
3. Alessandro Salini Arezzo
4. David Casagrande Arezzo
5. Max Salvagnini Firenze
6. Alessio Bozza Perugia
7. Stefano Alano Perugia
8. Roberto Bagna La Spezia
9. Claudio Bartolucci Viterbo
10. Sandro Mariani Roma

Being the last tourney, we have also the final standings of the National SDS Championship, which is as follows:
1. Marco Gasbarri points 51 SDS National Champion
2. Alessandro Salini points 40
3. Maurizio Cisotto points 28
... followed by about 20 other players.

My congratulations to Marco, who won the second title in a row and a special thanks to all SDS players who took part in the 6 Tournament held this year.
As already announced, I won't personally organize tournament anymore (maybe just one in my hometown) leaving the organization to individual clubs. If your club is interested, please send me a request and a proposed date/period and I will answer immediately.
The 2012 calendar should be ready for end of january 2012 at the latest, so your requests should come to my within this year.
Pics of the event will follow....

Friday, November 11, 2011

SDS Tournament Update

Everything is ready for the last 2011 Tournament of SDS in Perugia.
The tourney will crown the Italian Champion for the current year: the competition is between Marco Gasbarri (42 points) and Alessandro Salini (34 points) both from Arezzo, as the third in line is too many points behind (Maurizio Cisotto, 28 points).
Alessandro will have - however - a hard nut to crack: he should win (12 points) and hope that Marco won't get at least 4 points...
There is still place for some other participants, just drop me an e-mail if you want to be in ( as usual).

During the MAGNA CON PHERSU convention I will also demo Drums & Shakos Large Battle, my new, Divisional level game whose premiere was in Lucca Games 2 weeks ago.

All gamers in Central Italy should not miss the opportunity to visit this convention which is growing year after year in Perugia. The location is also new: this year we'll be hosted by the "Città della Domenica" which was the first amusement park in Italy as far as I know (I remember going there with my family when I was a child - many, many years ago :).

Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 last SDS Tournament in Perugia

The Tournament will take place on sunday november 20th within the CON Magna con Phersu in Perugia. As usual, it will be on four rounds swiss style, with ruleset 3.0 and we'll start at 9.30 AM.
The "double 6" rule and the Territory Control rules will be in effect.
Participation fee 7 euro as usual.
For any information please contact me by e-mail (

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back from Lucca Games

Hello everybody,

back from Lucca (and after a terrible working week), here are some pics of my demo table of Drums & Shakos Large Battle and .... a special visit to Ganesha Games space.
Five days of chaotic convention, 160.000 visitors and serious troubles for eating, moving, talking and even going to the toilet, make me think that maybe this was my last participation as a guest to this oversized convention. Anyway, I received many friends and players to my table, explained the rules to many gamers, and the feedback is really positive. The new combat system and victory conditions were appreciated for their uniqueness and - even I could not play an entire battle due to time and space (and confusion) restrictions - all the people who stopped by went away waiting for the release of DS LB.
And this should happen very soon for the italian version (end of november) and immediately after for the english one. I was very proud of my new trees (you can see some of them above) and of my new roads and cultivated fields. All hand made before the con :)
And (below) here is the Special Guest who came to visit us: a "real" Prussian Leib Hussar with his wonderful costume!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leaving for Lucca Games 2011

Tomorrow morning at about 5 o'clock.....
The scenario for the World Premiere of Drums & Shakos Large Battle is ready: a British Division will face a French Division somewhere in Spain.
It will be the "first time ever" of my new, hand-made trees and my new hedges (as seen in Colors Newbury...).
I'll bring along my brand new video camera.... who knows?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Large Battle update

Rules................. finished.
Army lists for pick-up games........... finished.
I have to choose some Scenarios (from the many playtest sessions we made) and then translate everything.
I'll be ready to present the Italian version at Lucca Games at the end of this week (oct. 28/nov.1st).

Arezzo Tournament results

Here are the results of yesterday's Tournament in Arezzo.
This was the first official SDS Tournament with the new (3.0) rules, already tested during the Tuscany Open Day some time ago. Even if I was not there, Marco said there were no problems and they finished as usual around 5.30 PM.
1° Salini Alessandro 2081 pts
2° Gasbarri Marco 2046 pts
3° Tognozzi Andrea 907 pts
4° Frosini Simone 871 pts
5° Bartolucci Carlo 710 pts
6° Bagna Roberto 536 pts
7° Simoncini Filippo 522 pts
8° Gasbarri Giovanni 227 pts

Next (and last) 2011 tourney in Perugia during the Convention MAGNA CON PHERSU next november 20th.
For the title of Italian Champion, the struggle is now restricted to Marco Gasbarri (2010 Winner) and Alessandro Salini from the same Club (Compagnia della Chimera from Arezzo).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am almost there.... (DS LB)

One chapter to write, one to be finished....
Next playest of the Very Large Battle (3 Corps per side) tomorrow evening.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flashing Steel released!

The new Ganesha Skirmish Game of Swashbuckling Adventures is now available in pdf format.
For more info (and to buy it) go to:

then click on Pirates/Musketeers link on the left of the page...


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An update on Drums & Shakos Large Battles

My silence did not mean I was not progressing with the game......
In fact, I'm devoting all my evenings (and weekends) to finish DS LB, and I must say I'm really close.
I can therefore anticipate that - in the Appendix - there will be rules and conversion tables to play DSLB (where you play with a Division per side) at Army level (multi-Corps).
Hope this is good news for many of you.
When DS LB will be released (very soon I promise), you'll be able to play napoleonics from squad (SDS) to Army level, with the same core rules (or engine).

For your information , next versions in the pipeline are Battalion level SDS and Seven Years War at Corps level, this last game probably with a brand new engine....

Any comment will be highly appreciated

Monday, September 19, 2011

DS LB playtest last saturday

This time Diego and Massimo came from Rome with another friend (Federico), and we all played a fictional Scenario set in the Peninsula: British and Portuguese Vs. French. Federico had never played a "Song" game before so he started from zero - and this was a good challenge for the rules. We explained the rules to him before starting, and he was given the Portuguese Brigade, Diego played with the British Brigade + Reserve, while on the opposite side Massimo and me played with a French Brigade each. Above, the battlefield as seen from the French side.
The Allies deployed first along a line of hills, then we deployed our Division which had the order to attack the enemy position and clear the hills. An easy task, considering the superiority in numbers of the French forces.... Above: Massimo's first brigade after our first initiative (turn) with the Portuguese Brigade just in front.
The other side of the battlefield with my Brigade attacking the hill defended by the British Brigade. As you can see, there is no supporting Artillery (my battery was silenced by the effective fire of the Royal Artillery) and I had to pay dearly for this lack...
A nice picture (thanks Massimo!) of our Reserve battery, just unlimbered to cover at least a part of the battlefront in he centre.
Diego adjusting his defence line just behind the slope (very British) recalling a Battalion of Guards from the Reserve and limbering up his artillery in danger, waiting for my unfortunate attack on the right wing.
The "All or nothing" moment: while a Battalion of Lègére attacks and almost breaks the British first line (far right), the French Battalion in the centre does not move, and the one on the left (foreground) falls back a bit due to artillery fire. My attack faltering, and having reached the Divisional Breakpoint, the battle was over and we were defeated.
Total playing time was slightly over 4 hours, but with a full explanation of the rules to Federico (above, right). No major hurdles remain, just small details which are in my opinion not so important to re-write something. The whole system, combat rules and modifiers are quickly learnt even by players totally new to the game (as was Federico) and we never looked at the QRS during the game. That's very encouragung from my point of view....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DS Large Battles (last?) playtest next saturday

Next saturday Diego, Massimo and another friend from Rome will come to Terni for a (last?) playtest of Drums and Shakos Large Battles.
If everything goes smoothly, I hope to start translating the rules into English (this time I wrote in Italian) and start collecting images and pics immediately afterwards.
Pics and comments on monday..... :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back from UK

I had an exciting week-end in Newbury (UK) attending the 2-days Convention "Colours": a sort of Paradise for all wargamers, and a Nightmare for all wargamers' wallets...
Waiting for some pictures of the event (Antonio was the Official photographer), below you can see a very well known site: being there we could not resist and shortly visited Stonehenge. It was really a mystic experience.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Colours and 70K!!

I'll be at Colours (Newbury) next week-end and it will be my pleasure to meet anyone passing by.
A two days full immersion in games is what I need now, and I'm curious to see one of the biggest Conventions in the UK.

70.000 page views is another important milestone for the blog, and I want to thank all of you!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

DS LB playtest session in Rome

Last week Diego and Massimo met at Diego's Club for another playtest of DS Large Battles. Diego brought his plastic 20mm (Bavarians Vs. Prussians) and prepared a scenario, adding some special rules (the Bavarians had to defend a Depot which was worth 1 point for the overall Victory). He also adjusted the battalions size according to their frontage in cm.: he used 3 bases for the Bavarians and 4 for the Prussians to reflect their number. This is accounted for in the rules, and shows - I think -their flexibility. Above the battlefield at start from the Prussian side.
A close-up on the Bavarian Dragoons charging a Landwehr battalion. As I said, Diego elected to have all Prussian battalions as "Big" (4 bases in his arrangement) and also to have cavalry regiments made of 3 bases, for a question of frontage.
A view from the Prussian right of the battlefield: you can see the 3-bases-Bavarian battalions (with skirmishers deployed in front) and the 4-bases-Prussians, all in line formation (with the exception of the Prussians on the left side which are in attack column). The markers on the table are for the Disorder level. And.... oops! one of the Prussian battalions seems to have advanced too much....
Having repulsed the Bavarian attack, the Prussians try to bring some artillery up for the counterstroke, supported by Landwehr cavalry (Lancers). The frontage of artillery batteries in DSLB should be twice an infantry base and I like to put 2 guns and 3-5 crew on each base for visual effect. Diego has his Prussian artillery with a single gun, but the frontage is correct, so it's OK.
The hill on the opposite site of the battlefield, from the Bavarian position. The Prussians are trying to climb up to attack, but only one battalion (right) succeeded in negotiating the slope. In this pic, you can see the Bavarian artillery battery based as I like (i.e. 2 guns, same frontage). The Bavarian ChevauLegere are in reserve, ready to fill gaps.
The Battle ended with a Bavarian victory, and Massimo (above) commanding the Prussian was defeated. (Note the poster on the wall behind him....).
Diego - who won with his Bavarians - made a great job building the scenario and hosting the playtest in his Club. Even more important, he sent me several pages of hints and questions that will be useful for the final trimming of the rules.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm back!

Still not 100% combat ready, but I'm here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leaving for vacation

Tomorrow I'll leave for a week vacation to Greece.
A week of reading, sea and sun in a small island (11x4 Km!) is just what I needed.
Wherever you are, keep playing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More pics from last playtest session

The French attack on the Spanish left Brigade: a Battalion of Rgt. Hibernia (right) and one of the Walloon Guards (left) under heavy attack from French Line and Light Infantry. Both Artillery batteries support the fight. The wooden blocks are the only markers on the table: they represent Disorder level (0 to 3) and are color coded - green, yellow, red,.... dead.
A view from the Spanish line: Artillery firing at long range to repel the French attack. The limber is just behind the 2 guns representing the Battery, Spanish infantry is deployed in line.
A Peasant Militia battalion in march column is hold in reserve with a Battalion of Voluntarios: they will see little action in battle. Their Militia status does not allow them to deploy in line, nor to form square. The Spanish CinC (right) is giving orders.
Just about to start the battle: Diego (left) and Alessandro (right) commanded the French Division, Marco (extreme right) did the same for the Spaniards, first with Massimo (taking the pic) and then with me. The table is a standard 120x180cm.
My Spanish brigade deployed before the fight: 2 line Regts in line (and my - still limbered - battery in the middle) with 1 Militia and 1 line Battalions in reserve (march column). Our classic 3 measurement sticks (long, medium and short) are ready for use. The Brigadier is in the middle of the formation, with his Rating written in the small adhesive white clip under the base.
A view of the French 1st Bde during the early stages of the battle. The Light (Legere) Regt. on the left is deployed in Attack Column, with its 2 Skirmishers deployed. The Line Battalion behind is in March Column, and the single Skirmish is not deployed. The 3 activation dice where in French flag colors :)
I played with the right Brigade in the second battle and made a big mistake allowing the French attackers (a Veteran Brigade well commanded by an "Active" general) to come uphill without too much interference. Once they were uphill, my Brigade was cut in pieces before a charge of my Pavia Dragoons could stop them. The Battle was almost lost at that time, and during our initiative we could only hope to come to a draw in order to drag play on... but we did not succeed and the French won.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A tight gaming day

Yesterday, Marco, Alessandro, Diego and Massimo came to visit me for a playtest of DS Large Battles. It was a nice occasion to meet the guys from Arezzo again, after so many SDS Tournaments during the past 2 years. While Diego and Massimo can be considered expert players of the game (Diego is my main playtester and his contribution has always been very valuable for me), Alessandro and Marco actually never played this game, even if they are very good SDS players (Marco won last year Italian Championship). Above, French 2nd Brigate deployed for battle.
I prepared a scenario set in Spain in 1809, where a bigger Spanish division had to face a Veteran French Division somewhere in north-eastern part of the Country. The number of troops was voluntarily unbalanced, but - as can be expected - the Leadership of the Spanish Division was poor and their big reserve difficult to employ. Above, you can see the Spanish 1st Brigade, with a first line made of a Line Battalion and a Battalion of Reg. Hibernia (Irish) and a second line made of 2 Battalions of Walloon Guards. A gun battery is deployed in the centre.
We played 1 battle in the morning and 1 in the afternoon (2 and 3 hours respectively) trying out some small variants of the rules to trim the playing time. Both times the Spaniards lost, but the second time it was a very close thing.....

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Poll is closed

Thanks to all readers (32) who voted.

The poll shows without any doubt that a playing time from 1.5 to 3 hours is what the readers of this blog prefer (68%).
15% can play up to 4 hours and just 12% more than that.
1 voter have very limited time (1 hour).

Therefore, for my Large Battle game I think we are exactly on target (2,5 to 3 hours).
I am happy about this also because I launched a thread on TMP asking more or less the same question. It came out that many players (mostly American) have few opportunities to play, but when they do they prefer to play for 4-5 hours and they have space enough also to leave a battle for a following session.
Any comments are welcome...

More books

Ordered (and received)

P. Hofschroerer's - Waterloo 1815: a German Victory
P. Hofschroerer's - Battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny
J. Gills' - 1809 Thunder on the Danube vol.2 (to complete the trilogy)

After finishing Lieven's Russia against Napoleon, I started reading The Spanish Ulcer by D. Gates. Just a couple of chapters read, very interesting........

The more I read, the more I want to depict somehow the last 2-5 days before a battle, with a sort of pre-battle sequence.....

Friday, July 29, 2011

A great reading experience

Just finished to read (I should say devour) Dominic Lieven's "Russia against Napoleon".
A great book: over 400 pages that you cannot stop reading, where the author mixes God's views with worm's views i.e. from ther highly strategical to the single soldier's memories and first hand accounts. Lieven's book shows the Russian Campaign of 1812 (and the following Campaigns of 1813/14) from the Russian point of view, thanks to an enormous amount of sources. The overall picture is therefore much different from what we were accustomed to read about 1812.
The "General Winter's Victory" is much shrinked in Lieven's view and the very detailed analisys of the whole system of recrutiting, victualling and logistics shows how it was Russia - first of all - to win against the bigger Army ever risen until then.
Strongly suggested.
For italian readers: the book has been published in Italy too, but with another title (La tragedia di Napoleone in Russia - Mondadori).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some updates

While the poll is going on (thank you to all who voted), I had some very busy day at work, travelling up and down Italy by car. My gaming table is ready for the (third) battle of Retschow, waiting for an opponent (DS Large Battle). Last friday we had a very nice evening at the club: the guys wanted to play something for "pure fun", so I prepared a scenario set in Haiti 1803, where 3 French squads had to inspect a farmhouse after some rumors spread about rebel kidnapping Monsieur Albaine and his family. When French captain Leroux arrived with his men, they discovered a strange looking man with a round hat who started playing a drum...
Soon after a horde of zombies entered the table from 3 sides, surrounding the French soldiers.
I did not tell my friends about this and - more important - they did not know how to kill the zombies... It was really a lot of fun. For this scenario I made 2 palm trees (you can see them in the above pic) and a "colonial style" farmhouse with a small portico in front.

A pic of the final stage of the battle (above) with hand to hand combat raging in front of the house and near the pumpkin field. We used a mix of rules (SDS and Fear & Faith), but zombies were too few. Next time (this friday) we'll change something.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A new poll!

Well, I've been thinking about a new poll for some weeks now, and here it is.
I kindly ask all of you to vote, as it is very important for me to know.
This poll will be about playing time. In other words, how much does a single of your gaming sessions last.
To vote, scroll this page till the end ...

Please give me your feedback!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Books, books, books....

Just received 5 books I bought:

Russia against Napoleon - Dominic Lieven
The Spanish ulcer - David Gates
With Eagles to Glory - John H. Gill
1809 thunder on the Danube, voll.1 and 3 - John H. Gill

I think I could sell my TV on EBay....

Experimental pictures....

Last week my friend Giuseppe came to my lab for some shooting (with his professional camera), so I prepared a small "scenery" with the resources I have.
Before he came, I made some pics with my smartphone and here is one of them.

Then he made some 100 proof pictures trying the different conditions of light, exposure and focus, and below is one of my favourite pics... (click to enlarge)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Other pics from saturday's game

Three more pics from last saturday playtest with Diego. My gaming room with the prepared scenario of Retschow. Above the Allied side of the table with the Divisions Mueller (Mecklemburg + Prussians) and Gen. Jonkoepping Swedish Division near the village of Ivendorf. Below, the French Division of Gen. Loison, with its first Brigade on the left (near the village of Retschow) and the second Brigade (Lallemand) on the right.
The brown line in the middle of the table is the only "line" remaining visible on the table, but it is not necessary anymore: I've done the greeen-yellow-red stick you can see in the upper side of the pic to measure enemy penetration in your own lines.
Below, a view of the Allied starting positions from the French side.
Gen. von Vegesack Reserve (Prussian Hussars and a Battery) is visible on the centre table edge.

Another playtest for DS LB

Last saturday, Diego came from Rome with Massimo for another playtest of Drums & Shakos Large Battles. While we played in my gaming room, Andrea and Massimo did the same in another room with SSS (Song of Spear and Shield). I used again the scenario set up for the previous playtest with Antonio and based on the small battle of Retschow (august 1813, Nothern Germany): a Franco-Danish Division against an Allied Division made of 1 Swedish brigade and a brigade from Mecklemburg. Above, a French Battalion in march column during the early stages of the Battle.
Being the second time I play this scenario I wanted to compare both the outcome and the playing time, as I'm trying to get a game finished in 2,5 hours. Diego already knew the rules, so this was a good possibility to verify my assumptions. Above, march columns of the Allied side, with undeployed skirmishers following their parent battalions.
The Brigade Disruption rule worked well: after some maneuvering, Diego launched his attack (he was playing the French) on my right wing. My Swedish brigade - after a fierce fighting - slowly gave way, and I sent in the Leib-Battalion (in the picture above road marching in column), but to no avail: my losses mounting, I tried to form a second line on a hill, but a fresh "Legere" battalion came out of a wood and hammered my Indelta battalion almost routing it.
That was the end chapter: my Division reached the Break Point and I could do nothing in my subsequent initiative. Playing time was exactly 2.58 hours. Still a bit too much for me, but Diego keeps saying that a game like this is OK in 3 hours or less. If possible, I'd like to play a third time the same scenario (score is now 1:1 between Franco-Danish and Allies) with another minor adjustment that could bring game time down to the 150 minutes I am pursuing....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two DS Large Battles playtest sessions

This evening another playtest session of Drums & Shakos Large Battles will take place in my gaming room. I prepared a scenario loosely based on the (small) battle of Retschow (28 august 1813) and I'll play with my friend Antonio. I like this battle because - notwithstanding the lack of info and the sources that sometimes contradict themselves - there is a wide variety of troops within the 2 opposing Divisions: the French (Loison, from XIII Corps) have some Danish batallions and artillery, and the Allied (von Vegesack) division is made half by Swedes and half by Mecklemburgers, with a Prussian Hussar regiment also involved. We'll play the scenario this evening and again next saturday with Diego and Massimo coming from Rome for the purpose.
With 15-16 units per side, this should be the default scale of a battle for DS LB, with 20 units being the max for 2 players. My aim is to have such a battle over in 2,5 hours.

Stay tuned for the report!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday wargaming in Latina (SYW)

Last saturday my friend Antonio and me went to Latina after an invitation from Gualtiero Grassucci, author of the rules "A la Guerre". Gualtiero and his friend Massimo prepared a wonderful scenario (Bergen, 13 april 1759) and we played the whole morning, learning the rules as we went (we just quickly read them the week before). Above, a pic of the battlefield from the Prussian position.
We went to Latina for different reasons: Antonio - who is starting right now his new range in 6mm AWI and SYW - wanted to see the nice collection of Gualtiero and try the game with the great advantage of the author explaining the rules. My aim was to play a SYW battle with a nice ruleset, and learn how some of the period tactics could be reflected in a game. In the pic above, the wooded hill around Vilbel, on the French left.
I must say we were both very satisfied from the trip. Gualtiero and Massimo were extremely kind to spend one entire morning hosting us, and very patient with our low knowledge of the rules. I played with Gualtiero with the Prussians and Massimo shared his French forces with Antonio. Above, the fortified town of Bergen and the cultivated fields surrounding it attacked by my brave Hanoverians...
In all, a very nice trip. A big thank to Gualtiero and to his "A la Guerre" rules!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

SDS Open Day in Tuscany

A very nice initiative of the Club "Falchi del Mugello" was to organize an Open Day (SDS Tournament not valid for the Italian or FIW Championship) for Tuscany players only. A sort of unofficial Regional Championship to be played in one day (4 rounds as usual). Andrea Tognozzi kindly offered his house garden to host the games AND a Barbecue break for lunch :))
Participants to the Open Day from left: Leo, Andrea, Ale, Max, Giovanni, Marco, Filippo (with his son I guess) and Roberto. Giovanni is Marco's son and gained the second position (after his father) in the tourney: really a good start!
And finally, Andrea's father preparing lunch: I suspect this was the REAL reason for the meeting :) more pics on Filippo and WASP blogs (see links)
Great job guys!!!!