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Subject: BGG Wargame Designer of the Month: Andrea Angiolino rss

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Hunga Dunga
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December's Wargame Designer of the Month is Signor Andrea Angiolino. He has designed over 100 games, his most popular being Wings of War: Famous Aces.

S. Angiolino started wargaming in primary school, inventing a ruleset to fight with Airfix and Atlantic plastic soldiers on the floor. Distances in palms and fingers, hits scored tossing coins. Later the rules evolved to centimeters and dice, and in 1980 he played his first real wargame matches joining the Roman club Little Wars. Here he also discovered the joys of hexes and carboard counteres.

In 1985 he published his first simulation, Cacciatori di Viverne (Wyverns' hunters), a fantasy air combat game designed for the Warhammer wargame multiplayer campaign he refereed to his friends.



S. Angiolino has agreed to spend some time wth us over a nice bottle of red wine to talk about wargames. Please give him a warm, BGG Wargame Subdomain welcome!
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Roger Hobden
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Congratulations mister Angiolino !

Wings of War: Famous Aces is a very pleasant game that I enjoy very much !
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Andrea Angiolino
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Thanks a lot! That was the first edition of a game I am quite fond of. Now it is called Wings of Glory and from pure cards it moved to miniatures. After several pioneers, here on BGG too, started playing with homemade minis.

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Trevor Dow
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Congratulations Andrea. It would be designer of the decade if I had my way. Your games and ideas have inspired so many of us to push our own boundaries further. Thanks mate for all your hard work. Trevor
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Trevor Dow
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Andrea what's currently sitting on your workbench seeking your attention?
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Andrea Angiolino
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Thanks a lot to you. Your game mats ranks at the top among the homemade accessories that a publisher will never be able to match.



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Trevor Dow
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Ewan Hoosami wrote:
Andrea what's currently sitting on your workbench seeking your attention?

Wings of Glory has two lines at the moment, WW1 and WW2.

For WW1 I am just finishing the specifications for the reprint of some famed planes already appeared as Wings of War: Miniatures: the Albatros D.III, that will also be featured all in red for the famed Baron, and the Nieuport 17 that will also sport Ferrari's prancing horse at his very first appearence as Baracca's personal insigna (but Escadrlle Lafayette will also be represented). Together with them a couple of two-seaters, R.E.8 and Ufag C.I. As it uses in last series, they will feature additional cards with specific rules and weapon variants for the plane, and with ace cards and skill cards for the crews.

I am also testing Wings of Glory: Tripods & Triplanes, an additional set coming next year that adds the tripods for H.G. Well's War of the Worlds, to be faced by our best WW1 aces.

I am also polishing a scenario and campaign set, that will allow to variate scenarios of all kinds, make a points system official and allow to link as many game sessions as you want in a campaign giving life to pilots and taking into account their evolution, their experience and alas their wounds, captures and kills.

For WW2 we just sent into production a new starter set dedicated to Battle of Britain, featuring two Spitfire Mk.I against two Bf.109E (one of them can be used as a Jabo, a fighter-bomber, in some of the seven historical scenarios included). The new thing is that planes will come in "Squadron Packs" featuring decals so that you can buy multiple miniature and finish them as different planes of the same squadron: Spitfire, Bf.109E, Hurricane and Stuka will all be available in this way. February is the date when they will hit the shelves.

For Sails of Glory, while a third series of ship is hitting the shelves, we are working on the fourth one and polishing a set of cards with skills for captains and crews, together with several cards featuring the most famed captains of the Napoleonic era. Other things are on the workbench but it is a bit too early to speak about them. All I can say is that with my co-designer Andrea Mainini we are devoting our attention to other periods of the Age of Sails too.

I am also toying with the idea of starship combat, with a specific ruleset that will not look just as a xerox copy of Wings of Glory - I want it to feel like real space. But too early for speaking about this too.

Outside of wargaming I am publishing a family boardgame aimed to kids that will be shown at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in January, releasing a book about history of games and one about games without materials (both in Italian) next Spring, telling the history of famed games and toys at the Italian radio broadcast Wikiradio, writing games about actuality on the Italian weekly magazine Origami, and preparing games for the Roman luna park Luneur. I'd also have one or two more prototypes to polish... but with a low priority. No time to get bored...
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Trevor Dow
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Wow! It looks looks like your next quarter is going to be a busy one Andrea. I must say I'm looking forward to having Martian Tripods stride across my terrain boards under the guns of Camels and Dr1's.
The Battle of Britain set is a welcome instalment to Wings of Glory. A return back to "The Dawn of War" days.

Do you have plans to release other iconic Battle of Britain combatants in the future? Aircraft like Heinkel He 111's or new additions to the line like Dornier Do17's and Junkers Ju88's?
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There are already some planes in the range that can be used for the Battle of Britain: He.111 (definitely needing a reprint), Bf.110, Bristol Beaufighter, Fiat Cr.42. Marginally, the Gloster Gladiator too. But both Do.17 and Ju.88 are important add to the mix, and are under developement. Just do not ask me about timing - I can not really give any plausible date for new products until they are well into the final stages of production.
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For all those buddying game designers out there, are you able to give us any insight into how the Andrea Angiolino design process works? How or where do you get your inspiration for new ideas?
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Complimenti Andrea!

I like your games, I still own a copy of Cacciatori di viverne
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Andrea, congratulations and thanks for all your hard work. Could you make some examples on games on actuality you wrote/are writing for Origami?
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I will later answer about inspiration - it deserves a long and well tought answer.
Origami is a weekly newspaper with a theme: Obama, India, suburbs, art market, walls in the world... Whatever. I do a little puzzle in theme. In the issue about Obama, a funny quote of his about his relationships with the press, as an encription to decypher. In the issue about India, the titles of eight novels set there cut in half and mixed, with some funny effects, to be rebuilt by the reader. In the issue about history, several dates and curious events mixed to match. And so on. For a few moments of fun that can also start some toughts in the mind of the reader/player...
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The Origami issue about taking part to political life of your Country: seven quotes, can you match them with their authors?

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Salvatore Vasta
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Congratulations!

Sal
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Hungadunga wrote:



    This image will be on the back of my van by the first. I've had a D.VII magnet there for the last year or two, but this will be a nice change. Sorry for the copyright infringement.



    I run "Wings of Glory Nights" at the local Strategic Gaming club and in my local game store, and we always just have a great time playing. Fathers and sons, even had a girl of 8 sitting in with us after we started this last time. She refused to play but her eyes were big and round when I showed her the pink D.VII. I'll betcha she plays next time!

    Your work is pulling kids off of video games and getting them into social settings in my part of the world Andrea. That means you're winning the good fight.

             S.

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A very fine pick this month. Andrea's Wings games are fantastic to play and a pure joy to have out on the table. Congratulations!
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Michael McFall
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My regards Sir!
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Sagrilarus wrote:
    I run "Wings of Glory Nights" at the local Strategic Gaming club and in my local game store, and we always just have a great time playing. Fathers and sons, even had a girl of 8 sitting in with us after we started this last time. She refused to play but her eyes were big and round when I showed her the pink D.VII. I'll betcha she plays next time!

Thanks a lot for your kind words - and enjoy your new magnet!

Actually, this battle report of yours about playing with your children is one of the best I ever read. Ever!

An Annotated Three Player Session -- Me, My Daughter, My Son
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Ewan Hoosami wrote:
For all those buddying game designers out there, are you able to give us any insight into how the Andrea Angiolino design process works? How or where do you get your inspiration for new ideas?

It can work in several ways. I was fond of "cantautori", Italian singers who wrote their songs themselves. I even interviewed several of them. A classical question for them was: "Do you start writing your songs from the text or from the music?" It can be both.

The same can be for games. Sometimes I start from the mechanics. "What if I give a single piece to be moved by everybody instead than a piece each?" Here we have a mechanic. While I develop it I also ask myself what that piece can be. Maybe Pinocchio, or raging Roland? Let's say it's Ulysses. So players are the Gods bringing him around the Mediterranean... here we have the setting, and a framework on which to fine-tune the rules.

Other times I start from the setting. Wings of War started from my passion for air combat. I loved Leonardi's Ace of Aces and I wondered if it could be possible to do something as elegant and simple like it, but more easily scalable to a higher number of players and more flexible to feature any kind of air mission. And that game was born. With the additional idea not to give up to detail to make things easier, but to have game materials dealing with differences between planes and subtle rules. I call it "hidden complexity" - differences in speed and maneuvrability between planes are not erased for easiness' sake nor declined into rules, different point allowances, tables and charts as in a simulation from the '70s and '80s, but handled through different maneuvre decks. So that the players can learn how to play in two minutes, and still have planes that behave and feel very different from each other.
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A well-deserved recognition for a designer who is ever-present on site to answer questions, post images and provide historical of the flying warriors of WWI and WWII.
Knowledgeable, talented, friendly, and modest as can be. That's Andrea.

Wings of War was the game that allowed me to blend two hobbies: model airplane building and gaming. I was terrible at model-making mostly because it was a such a slow process to see a nice-looking end result.

The game allowed for any number of players and with no downtime between turns because everyone planned and executed at the same time. Brilliant!
I've played Wings of War/Glory with so many people and lots of young folk.
After Heroscape, it's the game I've played most with so many different people.


Congratulations, Andrea Angiolino.

I'm a fan for life and am on board for the Tripods vs biplanes version!
Andrea, would you ever consider creating an airplane game featuring the 1930s racers?




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How to say something about Andrea without echoing others BBGers?

Well forget it: my English vocabulary is not enough to do it...

So, first of all, Andrea is a gamer and a gentleman, a friend back from the time of my first game experience in the 80s. His ideas are always worded with the max respect of the other's and I remember a long night travelling back home from a convention talking all the time standing in a stuffed train...a nightmare situation turned in a interesting ideas-swapping night.

My only regret is that, as we live both in Rome, we don't meet as often as we'd like!
I volunteer for a kid game of WoG....my daughter has a incredible luck and maybe she'll have other targets to shoot at!

I'll have a limitless awe and envy for his game designer's talents!

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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
Andrea, would you ever consider creating an airplane game featuring the 1930s racers?

This could be great!

Actually, when we started Wings of War we thought that the system could be great for a whide range of settings - from air war to car rallies, ancient battles between Roman legions and Ghauls to the conquest of space. Our publisher preferred to concentrate on a few lines, but the system influenced several games that went out just after. A few of them are racing games.

When Heinrich Glumpler sent his spaceship racing prototype to would-be publishers in 2004, he warned them that he derived it from Wings of War. Next year, the game has been released as Techno Witches - even if no acknowledgement was deemed necessary by the publisher.

I have been told that a game about a race between dragon riders that came out in the same year was also influenced by Wings of War. I see that influence quite clearly in Regatta.



The measure of success for this game is, in my opinion, in the fact that so many inventive players decided to contribute. It's actually them who did the most amazing things for this system. You can find many of them in the largest Wings of War/Glory community on the web, The Aerodrome, with 4691 registered members:

http://www.wingsofwar.org

They invented optional rules, additional game materials, customized scenarios and even great rethemes. Anything from Harry Potter to King Kong, from Star Wars to Porco Rosso, from Novik's Temeraire to Battlestar Galactica:

Wings of War & Glory - Rethemed

If there is a great idea, there are chances that they already had it and even transformed in into reality. So here user csadn proposes an air race with Dakotas and clipper1801, one of the greatest modelling geniuses in the world, implementes it:

http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/showthread.php?25450-DC-3-R...





There have been nasty moments in the life of this game. The love from fans is what pushed me to never give up and go ahead, knowing that it had the strenght to survive the direst events. And it's a strenght that comes from players. Several of you among them. Than you, my friends!

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lucky luke wrote:
...I volunteer for a kid game of WoG....my daughter has a incredible luck and maybe she'll have other targets to shoot at!...

Thanks for all your kind words!

Well, now my daughter is 8 and starting to fly more often on Wings of Glory mats. We shall organize!

A thing I like a lot is an unusual feature of this system when compared to other wargames, even the lightest ones. It can be detailed enough for wargamers, but at basic level can also involve daughters and sons, wives, parents and grandparents that are usually too less interested in wargames to join a normal simulation game. The theme seems not to keep them away, and colorful planes from WW1 seem to be attractive to them too - even more than WW2 ones or sail ships. As in the great Sagrilarus' report 5 posts above.
This without forgetting that there are many ladies that are just playing the game for the sake of it, not just because they have a wargamer in the family that they want to support in his hobby. And they are damn good in tournaments, too!
Let's take advantage of all that, Luke.

A few cases of lady pilots in this thread:

A Female Opinion: Excellent!

My favorite story being this one:

Greatest wife ever plays WoW during Labor, then gives birth!


(to be continued...)
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