Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Song of Blades and Heroes



One of my oldest Net friends, Italian artist Andrea Sfiligoi, is having success with a games rules book called Song of Blades and Heroes. He has promised to write a short article for this blog about his unexpected webtrepreneur success.
Wiki article. Review. Blog.

I don't know from games, so Andrea had to explain to me that it is one of the type of games played on a big realistic toy landscape with miniature game figures. (Or, I guess, just a tabletop.) He created the rules/story and wrote the book, and I guess it's played with pre-existing board/figures. Oh, and he illustrated it too, he's an excellent artist, both in fine art and in the commercial realm.

5 comments:

Andrea said...

Thanks! You are really a good journalist, you managed to write competently about something you don't know, without the usual mistakes that the press does (confusing this stuff with computer games or card games is the most common).

Alex said...

Do we really need another game system?

I am now curious, the image looks very sword and sorcery, and I typically lean to SF based, but I am always up for something new.

A quick look at the wiki makes it sound appealing. Simplified rules, I like that. I typically play a stripped down Warhammer 40K with the kids (and have used a subset of GURPS lite with them, but that's an RPG) and it is still too much at times. That is why HeroClix seemed like the way to go.
Mind you, having read the grandpappy of them all "Little Wars" by H.G. Wells, I can see why a more complex system is favourable.

A read of the comments on the store page is very encouraging, and $5 for the PDF, it's an easy decision to buy.

Now to pop over to Hasslefree and get some 28mm figures. ( I like their poledancer and harem girl, but Paladin Tiriel is my favourite

Ganesha Games said...

Alex,
the reason for the game's success is that it found a niche and took the time and space restraints of modern gamers in consideration. In wargaming circles, when someone protests because a ruleset is too complicated or too expensive or needing too many miniatures or too much space, the old timers generally reply "if you are not intelligent enough for these rules it's not the author's fault". I'm not joking, this happens all the time. So for me accessibility, ease of play and being able to conclude a meaningful game in under one hour were basic design criteria.

Another reason was the price, at this entry level price nobody objects that he's buying "just" a pdf, and most game designers put up their games for free.People download free games but rarely invest the time to learn them, to paint the figures etc. I think that "cheap" has a better perceived value than "free" so I chose a "cheap" cover price, and gave more realistic pricing to the supplements.

Joe Dick said...

the old timers generally reply "if you are not intelligent enough for these rules it's not the author's fault".

That kind of mindset is the reason I generally avoid these games. Too many Comic Book Guy types.

Alex said...

Sadly all the gaming shops this side of The Bay have closed down one by one. I still buy the occasional Warhammer 40k squad, but I buy more for the modelling/painting than the play, and I have to listen to lectures by Comic Book Guys telling that my carefully picked selection of mean looking Kroot aren't worth the plastic they are molded from on the gaming table.

They geeks have a holier than thou attitude of OCD which will engage the geek minded, and send the rest of for refuge in our collection of Milton Bradly board games, teetering between Clue and Risk as the only safe option.

I continue to applaud simplified gaming. I'm smart*, my kids are smart, but we don't have more than an hour to invest in gaming, so this is for us.

I agree cheap lends more credence than free, but I confess I have walked away from bought stuff as much as from free.

Oh, for those who want a jump start on figures, Cardboard Heroes. Just like the ones we used to get with cereal box games.


*smart enough for gaming.