sabato 28 luglio 2018

First hunting game with Paleo Diet!

Is hunting great prehistoric beasts your passion? Paleo Diet might be the game for you!

A simple, yet entertaining, game written by Nicholas Wright and published by Ganesha Games which allows you to recreate prehistoric hunting game.
You can chase pacific grazers or aggressive predators, but a successful hunt is always going to be fun!
You can play it both solo and as cooperative. You will always control the human (or hominid) hunters, beasts will react to different stimulation. This of course offers a large solo-gaming feasibility. Activation is based on the three dice system seen in other games from Ganesha Games, but the animals reaction mechanic truly characterizes this game.

Spears, bows and clubs are your main weapons, but fire is what differences beasts from humans. Fire can be used to frighten animals and help driving them away...or towards your companion.

Natural environment could also play a role: cliffs are pretty useful to capture animals. The game is simple, but, at the same time deeply strategic, it will unfold in about 30-45 minutes, and rules for a simple campaign are included.

Here some pictures from the introductive scenario: four hunters (for three players), tries to hunt down an isolated Mammoth. We used Woodland Indians from Warlord Games as hunters, since we are still painting appropriate Neanderthal figures. Anyway the Mammoth managed to run of the table. Our party went home hungry!

just before a stampede!

In the second game we wanted to try out bows, so (lacking bow-armed Indians), we put up a crossover: Vikings in North America found a Mammoth which escaped extinction. They lost one member of the clan, but the Mammoth was hunted down.

Group picture!

lunedì 21 maggio 2018

Anno Domini 1666 Kickstarter

A brief presentation about a Kickstarter project I think it deserves to be funded.

Anno Domini 1666 is a boardgame by Wargamer Games Studio LTD, the same authors of the wargame rules "By Fire and Sword". The boargame is completed by stunning 28mm miniatures (available both in resin and in metal), set in...ok you guess right, 1666AD. The background is the following: at the end of 1665 the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Leopold I dies in Vienna. The struggle for the succession is open. Lot of envoys and pretenders conveys in the city with gangs of soldiers, diplomats and spies, attempting to gain advantage from the situation for their nation...or for themselves.

The mechanics are diceless, using cards to resolve both actions, skills test and combats. Each character has it's own card with stats and special abilities (as seen in Malifaux). The maps are 2D printed on cardboard, even if some 3D items are aivalable (Heroquest could be a good comparison).

Apparently the gameplay won't focus just on straight fighting, but it will involve missions as recovering top secrets documents or similar. Probably some sort of diplomacy will be involved, so resembling an RPG. Some low level magic/sovrannatural feats should be available, leaving the game mostly historical.

I was caught by the figures: 28/32mm realistic proportioned depicting soldiers, heroes and commoners. Polish, Imperials, French, Ottoman and secret guilds are the factions presented, but there is plenty of space for more to join the fight.

I don't know if I will play the game as it is (well, I suppose I will give it at least a try), but I see an huge potential for skirmish like games as En Garde! to reuse the figures (and the boards if you wish).

For sure, Anno Domini 1666 is a project worth to be backed if you have interest in historical tabletop RPG, or historical skirmish wargames of XVII century. You've time until 14th  of June!

sabato 19 maggio 2018

Furioso! - first game

Our first game of Furioso!

This new (published in 2017) ruleset from Alternative Armies (Flintloque), aims to cover the 16th century warfare, a century of swirling mutation between medieval and pike and shotte warfare. Wars of Italy are least for us the most interesting theater covered by the rules, which addresses field battles (a nice variation from all the skirmishes we had recently) and can be played both with 15mm and 28mm figures.

My clubmates had a large collection of 15mm Wars of Italy figures, some dating back to 90's. So we organised a simple battle between Italians and French armies. It ran quite smoothly even if only Luca studied the rules.

The rules looked interesting, particularly the activation system: each unit rolls one die, and adds its movement factor. then the units resolve their activation in decreasing order. The result also dictates the distance the unit must move if you decide to move. If you roll too high, units may become furious and start moving toward the nearest foe. This adds quite a lot of unpredictability to the game and I like games where you are not entirely in control of your units.

Shooting and melee are resolved quite straightly, and I will deal with them in another post.

Another nice addition to the game is the casual choice of generals (which can be quite incompatible, leading to distortion of battle plans, just as in reality), and a lot of prior to battle options, casual events and armies strategies, which we didn't tried last time, but which looks quite fun.

So first impression: rules are quite fast, easy to learn and in about 3 hours can a complete battle. They possess the right amount of period flavor and the lack of control I like in a game. So definitely a nice addition to our club game assets.

domenica 6 maggio 2018

5th of May 1860: the beginning of the Expedition

158 years ago, during the night between the 5th and the 6th of May 1860. Garibaldi and the Thousand volunteer sailed from Quinto, near Genoa, directed to Sicily.

So time for some updates about my Risorgimento project.

I recently started reading Garibaldi, from Osprey Commander series (Command #14). The book gives a good basic introduction of his personal story, mainly dealing with his military deeds, of course. 

Concerning painting: so far I finished 8 garibaldini red shirts, 9 Bourbonic cacciatori (sharpshooters) and one picciotto (Sicilian volunteers joining Garibaldi expedition). Of course pictures will follow, so keep tuned.

Considering the little time I can dedicate to painting I don't think I'll be able to play rebels and patriots at the release date, as stated in a previous post. Nor any other large skirmish game. Additionally, I think that using my painted figures as soon as possible will keep my motivation high, so I started looking for some skirmish (1:1 ratio) rulesets. 

Here a brief summary of those I've taken into account so far. Bear in mind that only Smooth and rifle has a specific list of the period and that I just read most these rules.

I played a couple of turns at Salute last month. The game flows well and require just half a dozen figures. Every figure is a character, and uses his own cards for stats. These are available IIRC for Peninsula game at the moment.
Cons: too much unique characters, I don't own a copy (my bad).

Songs of drum and shakos
This skirmish game by Sergio Laliscia of Ganesha Games, is set during Napoleonic wars, but can easily be adapted to 1860. My favorite so far (by instinct, I confess).
Pros: nice activation system, needs about 12 figures per side.

Smooth and rifle
Written by Lorenzo Sartori (Impetus and Dadi e Piombo) aims to cover the black powder period skirmishes. There is a bit of emphasis on squad action (quite strange since if I calculated correctly you field about about one dozen figures per side). Overall seems quite a nice ruleset, well laid and complete. It deserves a proper reading.

Legends of the high sea
The popular pirate age ruleset from Warhammer Historical, out of production, but I luckily own a copy and have played it several time (in the appropriate setting, i.e. in the Caribbean).
Pros: solid basic mechanics, I already know the rules
Cons: completely different theme, so I'd have to draw some list (minor issues) and most missions would feel...weird. Plus I'm not particularly fond of the complete IGOUGO separation of turns.

So it's time for some reflection (usually while I'm painting), keep tuned!

sabato 21 aprile 2018

Salute 2018

This year I went to Salute for the first time in my life, totally worth it!

I regret only the luggage limit, which prevented me from spending even more money in lead, resin and mdf purchasing!

I mainly bought more figures by Gringo40s for my Italian Risorgimento project, mainly Naepolitan artillery and Nino Bixio, eventually! Gerard, the owner, released at Salute a new range of Piedmontese infantry for Italian Wars of Indipendence, you can see them here
Then I decided with my travel mates to dive into the street of Rome, purchasing the Blood of the Aventine Gangs of Rome starter set, great value for the money, and a really interesting setting.
To conclude...a certain blue box appeared, the TARDIS, from Warlord "Into the time vortex" range, inspired to the British TV show Doctor Who. Likely to be spotted on every table of every period. After all, it's a time machine!

Now time for some pictures of the tables we admired at Salute 2018!

The druid

Feudal Japanese action!

One of my favourite: Garibaldi in Siciliy with Sharp Practice 2

1918-2018 the theme was Great War

Blood red skies involving aircraft carrier, amazing!

Crusades with Sword and spears
Pirate boarding!
ACW action with Black Powder, the fort is impressive!

Cool use of leds and mirrors

To conclude a couple of pictures of Battle of Stäket, by Dalauppror, using Pikeman's Lament to recreate Russian invasion of Sweden in 1719, one of the nicest tables and one of the few I followed some actions.

domenica 1 aprile 2018

New project: Rebels and Patriots

Recently Dalauppror announced a new ruleset from Osprey Wargames based on the same mechanics of Lion Rampant, by Dan Mersey: "Rebels and Patriots", going to be released early 2019. The rules will adress the wars in North America from about American War of Indipendence to American Civil War at a large skirmish level, as Lion Rampant, Pikeman's Lament or TMWWBK. The temporal span covered by Rebels and Patriots is about 110 years. During this period some major changes in both technology and tactics occurred, but I believe Dan and Michel will be able to abstract a good Horse and Musket ruleset.

I'm not particularly keen on American Warfare, but considering the level of abraction of these rules, I'll definitively give them a try for Italian Wars of Indipendence (Risorgimento), since there was plenty of small clashes and few big battles.

I recently started collecting figures for that period, specifically Garibaldi's campaign of 1860 in Sicily, so expect more updates on this project in the next months! For the first time in my short wargamer's career, I aim to be able to play with a new ruleset at release day one!

giovedì 29 marzo 2018

Mounted longbowmen in Lion Rampant

Recently a friend of mine asked some rules for dismounting troops in Lion Rampant, since in the original rules this option was not included, I wrote some.

The Grand Chevauchee, by Peter Dannis

I'm thinking mainly about HYW mounted longbowmen. Probably they represented the wealthier fraction of commoners (yeomen) hired for campaigns in France during the HYW. They could afford better equipment (bucklers, falchions and some armours) and even an horse. Usually only nobilty and their retinue could afford war horses, so those used by mounted longbowmen would be more probably second class horses. There are no records of any mounted combat, nor mounted shooting. even considering medieval chroniclers uninterested in tactical minutiae, it seems just weird, since no tradition of mounted archery was recorded in England in that period among that social class.  
A plausible role for mounted longbowmen is to act as a mobile reserve and allowing quick deployment during a battle or during a campaign, reaching a strong position in which they dug in to fight on foot.

Back to Lion Rampant now! The following upgrade can be purchased by archers and crossbowmen. Replace some or all the figures with mounted models or mounts and horse keepers.

I found this picture surfing the net, judging from the layout should come from some Osprey book

New upgrade: additional mounts @1 point
Purchase additional mounts, gaining some extra movement capabilities. 
On a move order (5+) a mounted unit can move up to 10".
On a dismount order (6+) the models are replaced by the same number of appropriate figures on foot.
Mounted unit cannot charge nor shoot. If contacted by an enemy unit, the models are immediately dismounted. Unit can never remount.

Miniatures suggested
1st Corps produces nice mounted longbowmen for HYW, Casting room and Perry Miniatures for later periods (WotR and early Renaissance).