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International Team
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Description Edit | History

Italian company created in about 1979, which produced many different genres of board games, ranging from the simplest family games to the more complex wargames. The company closed in the late 1988.

The most important persons behind International Team (a.k.a. IT) were Marco Donadoni, Renzo Angelosanto and Enea Riboldi.
M. Donadoni designed several games and is still a game designer. You can find some news about his latest activities here: MAD
Enea Riboldi was the illustrator of most of the International Team wargames, creating wonderful unforgettable covers and pictures.
Probably, the most famous game created by International Team are VII Legio and Zargo's Lords.

A very cool site, managed by a french fan of the International Team can be found here.

International Team has been very important for italian (and european) players in the years 1980-1990, since in those years reading instructions in English was not a common practice. Instead of translating existing games, available only in English, IT had the idea to create new games, including instructions in Italian, English, French and German.

The graphic design was always ahead in those years, featuring stylish illustrations, mainly due to the work of Enea Riboldi.

The main merit of the International Team was the production of cool large maps where to place very nice counters. Compared with the other products of the years 1980-1990, the counters and maps can be considered very high quality products. Probably for this reason many fans and collectors still look (and buy) IT's wargames.

The main flaw often attributed to International Team is about the rules. There were some errors in the rules handout, especially in the translated versions. Comparing different translations (Italian, English, French and German) leaded often to contraddictions, and this issue made difficult to play the game for not-italian players. Another issue concern some original choices about the game design and the game mechanics: this issue is described below.

Some notes about IT wargames game mechanics

Opinions about the wargames created by IT depends by the prospective of the player. Players preferring complex games, which emulates reality using a "characterized design" (e.g. a cavalry will charge only the lates 100-200 meters, hence rules should reflect this) often think about the IT's wargames as "too much simple". However, even players supporting this opinion usually admit that the great advantage of IT wargames was the possibility to easy the new players to move the first steps in the wargames universe, by offering a new simpler approach.

Fans and lovers of IT wargames have a different opinion: these wargames were not "simple", but emulated reality using a "not characterized design", which provided a very good emulation of historical battles. For instance, giving a bonus to a cavalry due the the distance of the charge (a common IT game mechanic) could be not realistic when looking ad the single fight, but contributed to generate a realistic final outcome of the battle. In other words, the IT approach aimed to reach this goal: having a simple set of rules, a very accurate precence of units on the fields, and a overall set of game mechanics allowing to emulate the historical situation. For instance (as every well-designed wargame) if both players played an IT wargame choosing the same strategy options of the historical battle, the final outcome would result very close to the actual historical one.

Such "simplified approach" encouraged european players for about 10 years to adopt (and learn) all the basic concepts about strategy and tactics. This analysis suggest that the design introduced by IT was innovative and inspired by some abstract game theory concepts, rather than focusing on emulating the single event mechanic. For this reason many people still consider IT as the first and best wargames company in Italian's history of wargames creation.

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