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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Second poll closed

We have the results of the second poll, and even if the percentages are quite split, they show you want (more) ready made squads and some Scenarios (both at 9%). I have my homework to do :)
As I wrote answering a couple of comments, I did not allow multiple answers as I really wanted you to specify what you'd like to see MORE in this blog, and you guys gave your response.
Thank you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beta test Tournament Rules

Song of Drums & Shakos will be one of the Games valid for the Italian FIW Champion title (FIW is the Italian Wargame Federation)! So I speeded up writing the rules and saturday in Firenze a group of 6-7 players will test the beta version of the Tournament rules.
As soon as I'll have their comments, I'll write a post on the matter.
I am very proud about this, expecially because many people playing SDS here in Italy are new to napoleonic wargaming.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My French Army (15mm)

I just finished to rearrange and count my 15mm nap collection (7000 figures are at hand :).
Here is my french army, commanded by the Emperor himself and followed by the Imperial Guard.
58 Infantry Battalions, 24 Cavalry Regiments and it still looks.... small to me. No doubt, I must be affected by the "Lead Syndrome" many of us have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New poll launched

It's at the bottom of the blog... let me have your opinions so that I can trim my posts according to what you prefer :)
Thank you for voting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

4000 page views, thank you guys!

More than 4000 page views in 3 weeks: no words can express my satisfaction.
Thank you all guys, and keep following this blog :)

First poll closed

OK we have the results of the first poll. The question was about the "next" historical game level you'd like to see published by Ganesha, and the possible answers were:
- Company Level (each player has a company, i.e. about 40-50 individual soldiers)
- Brigade Level (you play with a Brigade made of several Battalions)
- Division Level (you play with a Division made of 2-5 Brigades)
- Corps Level (you play with a Corps made of 2-4 Divisions)

The results are quite straightforward: Company 50%, Brigade 20%, Division 14%, Corps 15%.
Half of you would like the next historical Ganesha game to be a Company level game. Being SDS a pure skirmish game with few soldiers, this is not surprising: jumping to Brigade, Division, or Corps level requires a totally different approach, from the scale used (probably smaller then 28mm for the quantity of miniatures needed) to miniatures basing. Going up the game levels, some details are lost, while more complexity is added to the Command and Control rules, formations and the like. Indeed, you can't play a Corps level game with few miniatures... :)
However, what we are committed to design is a game system that - given a common set of core rules - will allow you to play anything from SDS to Leipzig... and we are nearer than you could expect to do it :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Poll and Tournament rules

My first Poll is about to expire (you can still vote for few hours) and I must say it gave a strong input from this blog's readers. I'll post my considerations here as soon as it is over :)

As you maybe know, the first SDS Tournament was organized in Pau (France) last year and another one will be organized next april (if I remember correctly). As I am receiving more and more requests from Italy (2 tourneys are planned for next spring), I decided to write down a brief document with tournament rules. Just slight changes from one-off games, and a *less random* table set up procedure.
More about this when the doc is ready.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pics, pics, pics

After a busy week end, here are some pics, as I promised...

First, my British Rifles Squad defending some precious supplies....

Then a Prussian Freikorps squad, cautiously moving down a road in the middle of a wood.

And finally, a Prussian Jaeger squad, firing against an invisible enemy.
I did not paint these miniatures: I bought the Rifle squad from E-Bay, and the 2 Prussian squads at in Crema (the Con where we presented More Drums & Shakos in pre-release in early december).
Hope you like them (and find some inspiration for your next squad.... :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dismounting rule (beta version:)

The following rule is still in playtesting.

Single models: it takes 1 action to dismount. The horse is considered to run away immediately. From that moment on, the soldier fights as an infantryman.

Groups: a group of cavalrymen can dismount only with a Group Order given by a Leader, and 1 of them must act as a horse holder.

As a result of the group order, the player spends 2 actions and places the dismounted troopers in front of the horses and the horse holder in contact with the horses. Dismounted model can then move away freely, while the horse holder cannot move.

If the horse holder is wounded, killed, engaged in hand to hand combat, or if it fails a Morale check, the horses flee immediately.
ing is also a result of a Group Order given by a Leader. Spending 2 actions the player gets the reverse result, i.e. all troopers mounted and in base contact. If there are more horses than troopers, the excess horses flee. A horse can never be targeted by enemy attacks (close combat or ranged).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Rifles, to me!!"

Yesterday I received my British Rifle squad, 12 pro-painted models in green. I'll post some pics soon. They have square bases but as you know this is not a problem in SDS (all my miniatures are on round bases). So I built up my Rifle Squad, and here it is...
1 Officer, 1 Musician, 4 Riflemen, 1 Chosen Man, 1 Chosen Man Hero. Total points 399.
Nasty squad... I chose to have a hero in it (it's not the Officer as you could have imagined ;-) and I decided for the Chosen man because I want to aim most of my shots, (or move and snipe my opponent's commanders from 1M). All the squad activates at 2+ if in command and can stay away from the enemy thanks to the Rifle range. Be careful about reloading, and remember that your Elan Special Rule does not work for Morale test...
"King George commands and we obey..... over the hills and far away..."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Viva Espana!

1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Standard bearer, 1 drummer, 8 Line Infantrymen, 5 Partisans with musket, 1 Priest with musket. Total points 398

A basic Spanish squad, not so easy to deploy and manage effectively, but if you do, a very hard nut to crack. Your Officer has a reduced command range, but you have an NCO and (for the Partisans) a Priest: use them to keep going. Time is against you as in the long run disciplined and motivated foes (French, generally) should prevail, but you have the number in your favour. 18 soldiers mean a test after 10 losses so be aggressive!
Be careful with your Priest: being a Civilian, if your losses are high you risk to find your Partisans without their (spiritual) guide.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SDS clarifications (1)

Wooded Areas and shooting (page 14)

A model inside a wood and not in contact with its internal edge cannot shoot nor be shot, unless the target is also inside the same wood and within 1S. This fire is at -1 for cover.

A model inside a wood but in contact with its internal edge can shoot outside, and be shot with the cover modifier (-1).

A model partially in a wood (i.e. with its base touching the wood, but also touching clear terrain) can shoot and be shot normally.

A can shoot at E if they are within 1S, and the reverse is also true. Both have -1 for cover.

A cannot shoot at D, nor it can be shot by D.

B can shoot at F or G normally, and can be shot by both with the -1 cover modifier.

C is not considered in the wood, and can be shot normally (by G for example), without the cover modifier.

Bavarian Squad

1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Drummer, 1 Standard Bearer, 4 Line Infantrymen, 2 Light Coy, 1 Chevau Legère, 1 Schuetzen. Total 398 points.

As first ready made squad from More Drums & Shakos to be published here, I chose the Bavarians. This is a standard squad, well balanced, with a couple of aces in your sleeve: the Schuetzen and the Chevau Legère. Use them wisely (remember that the rifle shoots at 2L with the same modifier of +2) and they could decide the fight in your favour.
For the rest, keep an eye on your Green Line Infantrymen and - as usual - move the Flag in a central position as soon as you can.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New combat system

I'm extensively playtesting my new combat system (distant shooting and close combat) and it seems to run very smoothly. It is better suited for *groups* of soldiers and it implies little or no math (Andrea loves it :). It keeps the Quality and Combat system of all Ganesha Games up to now, with most (if not all) of the Special Rules you already know. It seems fast, fun and decisive and I'm trying to keep modifiers as low as possible, while preserving those which give the flavour of the portrayed period .
Once you have worked out the modifiers (all dice +/-) players roll the dice ONCE, and get the whole "movie" of the combat: winner/loser, casualties, retreats and pursuits.
It allows winning with (heavy) losses - quite rare in other games I'd say - and swift counter-actions by determined troops.
Some more trimming and I'll be ready.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What is this??? (2)

Other activities going on in the lab.....

An old ruined house in the foreground, a stone wall all around and a small wood just behind.

There's a bend in a muddy road in the lower right corner, and some bushes here and there.

Oh, and also a pit in front of the ruins.

The same scene from behind the wood.
Here the pit is more visibile, as a steep slope right to its side...

And finally, an aerial view of the area, showing the star-shaped stone wall....

But... wait!

What is that yellow square with a red question mark on it?

It seems out of place in this pics.

Did you notice anything else? :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pictures from the past

I found these old pics in a forgotten folder... it is a micro-Leipzig battle we set up in march 2009 during the Con "Fumetterni".

The battle was an open participation game with a simple set of rules I wrote for that occasion. People passing by could stop for a while and move a Corps, have some shooting and then leave :)

Many people did...

We tried also to explain what kind of battle it was and gave some information on simple sources (I had a couple of Osprey there, as can be seen from the first pic). The gaming table was not very nice, but it was enough to attract the attention of visitors (it was a Comics con) as there were a lot of miniatures and buildings.
(Yes, some of them are from Waterloo, but they did not know :)
It was fun.


Almost 100 votes for the poll in less than 48 hours. This is a great - and quite unexpected - result...
Thank you guys for your participation and... let me have your comments also.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First poll launched!

Look at the bottom of the page: my first poll is about the "next" game level you would like to play.
Let me hear your voice, and vote! :))

French Light Infantry

Here's a pic from James. These are remarkable plastic 25mm Hat, and they are wonderfully painted...
Great work James, and let us know how they behave in combat!

Drums, Shakos and.... snow in Arezzo!

Today Andrea and me went to Arezzo to play SDS with our friends from Tuscany: it was a very nice experience, and 2 of them knew the rules almost better than me :)
Thanks to Alessandro, Marco, Filippo and Max for a great day!
P.S. snow was NOT our fault...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pics from Stibix

Stibix just sent me some pics from a bitter fight between spanish partisans and the french: here are some of them.

French Dragoons approach the enemy.

The playing table (actually 2 of them!). Nice work Stef, thank you and keep playing!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What is this??? (1)

Something's going on in my lab..... what could it be?