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

Monday, January 31, 2011

What's going on in my Lab

After a quite long period without posting (real-life job and other small problems kept me away from the blog) I just wanted to quickly describe what I'm doing right now on the GAMING side...

1) SDS Large Battles: going on with playtesting. The game works well, I'm just not satisfied with the Brigade and Divisional Morale rules. I know the result I want to achieve, but the mechanics are still to be refined...

2) Drums & Shakos Battalion level: this is something I've been thinking over since when 61-65 was released. If I succeed in creating these rules, players can go from squad fighting to large engagements with the same core rules. I wrote some basics, thinking in 15mm terms. A French battalion could be something around 24 bases (with 3 miniatures each), with single Company Commanders and the Chef de Battaillon with his Command Group.... More about this (I hope) soon.

3) Simple Campaign rules with no Referee. This is a game designed to play a Campaign in 3-4 sessions in double-blind. Battles are fought on the miniatures table, but the real focus is on the Strategic Management of your forces. First playtest of the Alpha version last week: great fun!

Please give me your opinions and as usual... stay tuned!

Friday, January 21, 2011

An interview with Marco (Italian SDS Champion)

Pushed by some interest perceived from this blog and private emails, I asked Marco Gasbarri (Italian SDS and FIW Champion) to briefly describe his style of play and strategy.
Here is what he wrote:

"Squad composition is surely the most important thing, and should be carefully planned according to your playing style. Being an aggressive player, I usually prefer Elite squads.
An example could be the following (Italian) squad I often use:

1 Italian Infantry Officer (54), 1 Italian drummer (16), 5 Italian Guard Velites (165) and 3 French Young Guards (165) for a Total of 400 points

Every turn I try to activate the Young Guards first (and that should not be a problem considering their Q) trying to keep them in cover, better if in a wood.
Then, I move forward the group of Velites, using any possible cover and keeping them always in command. The Officer must always be screened by the drummer.
After a couple of turns, I move the Young Guards in the area where the enemy Command group is deployed: the idea i sto engage the enemy in a cl
ose firefight with the Velites (C3), thus allowing the Young Guards to attack the enemy Officer or Standard Bearer.

When the YG attack, never let them alone, but follow them closely with the rest of the soldiers. Otherwise they would probably be killed in no time. This all out attack may expose your Officer, but it is a risk you have to take. A squad like this can win also without a Leader, but only if the enemy has been previously weakened.

Wrapping up:

Use cover
Protect your Officer
When you decide to attack, do it with all available soldiers
Enemy Officer and Standard Bearer are your priority targets
and – clearly – keep your musket loaded!

Good dice to everybody! Marco Gasbarri

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pics from Carpi Tournament

As promised, here are some pics from sunday's Tournament in Carpi. It was held within the CON GiocaCarpi and above you can see a view of the hall from our table.
First round of the Tourney: Antonio from Pavia (left) and Andrea from Firenze (right) in the early stages of their battle.
Those two strange-looking guys are Roberto from La Spezia (left, you have seen many of his painting works in this blog) and Alessandro from Arezzo.
Fourth round: Roberto (left) and Maurizio from Pavia (Maurizio is the European DBA Champion) immediately after deploying their troops.
Prize time: 3rd classified Max Salvagnini from Firenze. (the "red" guy with the microphone is me).
2nd: Alessandro Salini from Arezzo (the 2 guys behind the glass are looking at us like we were Aliens...)
The WAU: (Winner As Usual) Marco Gasbarri from Arezzo.
2010 SDS Italian and FIW Champion, Marco started this new year with another victory. We are thinking to give him some money NOT to take part, or maybe a 2000 points handicap.....
Behind me the Ganesha Table with (extreme right) a pile of freshly printed copies of 61-65 in italian ;-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Carpi Tournament Results

It was quite a Tour de Force yesterday for the Tournament in Carpi: wake up at 5:00 AM, 4 hours drive in the fog and we arrived in Carpi just in time. After the competition, back in the car for another 4 hours drive and home at 9:00 PM.
The Tournament was hosted by the CON "Gioca Carpi" and there were at least 3 other competitions ongoing (WH40K, Blood Bowl, Schutzengruppe). We had just 10 players this time, but considering the season - and the weather - that was ok I guess. Tourney started a bit late but we were able to close it on time (as usual at 5.00 PM).

The results just confirmed what happened in 2010: Arezzo caput mundi with first and second place, and 2010 SDS Italian Champion Marco Gasbarri won again (his score is now almost incredible: 19 W and 1 L), followed by Alessandro Salini (also from Arezzo) and Max Salvagnini (from Firenze). More about this (with pics) soon....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Last call for Tournament in Carpi (sunday)

The first 2011 SDS Tourney will take place next sunday in Carpi (Modena), within the CON Gioca Carpi. All players interested in taking part should send me an e-mail to me: we still have some places left. As for last year, the formula will be the usual 4 rounds swiss style, and there will be prizes for the winner, second and third classified. Participation fee is 7 euro.
We'll play with Tournament Rules version 2.3.3, which seem to be the one I'll keep as official from now on (with the exception of minor details). Tournament will start at 10:00 and everything should be over around 5:00 PM, as usual.
SDS Tournaments are valid for the FIW (Italian Wargames Federation) Championship, and we are very proud that last year's SDS Champion (Marco Gasbarri) also won the Italian FIW title.

For info on the Convention (italian language only, I fear...)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pics from SDS Big Battle

As promised, here are the pics of the second (and last) session of our Big Battle for the Castle, loosely inspired to the attack at Hougoumont. For this purpose, I scratch built a big house (above) and we used all the French and British 28mm we have. Unfortunately, I have lost the pics from the 1st session...
The early moves: a couple of heroic Frenchmen succeed in breaking the big gate, but a sort of execution squad is waiting for them just behind, and they are mowed down....
I did not take part continuously to the battle, so from time to time I took pictures of the situation: above, a squad with 2 ladders lead by a mounted officer tries to reinforce the soldiers already on the wall.
The same from another point of view. Brits inside have all discharged weapons, but they will be able to repulse the French attack soon.
Some views from the inside of the house. I enjoyed myself very much building all furniture (here a bookshelf, an armchair and a picture on the wall :)
The different floors were connected by stairs (above, on the extreme right) and all windows had glasses (plastic sheet) that the soldiers had to break in order to fire through.
The dining room with a fireplace, table and chairs, store cupboard and a picture (and 2 Rifles ready for fire).
Finally, the bedroom (the bed's sheets are made of real tissue...). Who won? That has not been determined exactly. However, the British still had the control of the Castle and - even if they sustained a number of losses - they could have still resisted some turns.
The French launched some 14 squads to the assault, and more than half of them were eliminated (in game terms). The main purpose of the meeting was to enjoy ourselves, trying a big assault and using my "new house"...
The whole group after the end of the Battle: from left Andrea, Vera, Marco, Paolo, Antonio and Marco (Carlo just behind the house, on his knees)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Second SDS Big Battle session

2011 gaming activity will start tomorrow evening with the second part of the SDS Big Battle we started before Christmas. We took some pictures of the first session, but they got lost in the warp somewhere (surely I did something wrong)...
During the first session, the French attack at the Palace was quite costly in term of losses, but squad after squad are coming up through the woods and one of them (my Grenadiers) reached the wall on the left side of the Palace, putting 2 ladders in place. Isolated French soldiers reached the big gate, and are now struck there trying to break it, but I think they'll need the help of the 4 Sappers that are still inside the woods with the French Commander.
During the week end I should be able to post the conclusion of this battle and some pics...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

I wish all readers of this blog a 2011 full of health, success and a lot of gaming.
This will be the year for further increasing the GG Historical product line with new games at skirmish level (up to 15 figures), company level (up to 100 figures) and bigger...... :)
I hope you'll follow us as you did since the very beginning.
Thank you for your support