Crimelife 3 version 0.3 is now ready for download!

Finally the third version of the game is now up. With lots of changes.
Check out the official site HERE for more details or go directly to the Download page.

Ideas from Wii Development Day

When our network met near the beginning of the project, we looked at a large range of Wii games and did mind maps of all the possibilities that they had. Above is a gallery of all of these ideas. Free free to use these ideas, email us any good ideas you have and we'll add them. - Click to download them.

NEWS - Scottish education secretary backs 'brain training'

"There is disagreement about the benefits of the games
Education Secretary Michael Russell has said computer games can play a key role in encouraging children's learning."

- Click the link below for more

New Link

I added a new link, I was sadly remiss in not adding it earlier; the Yahoo group Sci-Fi Concepts And Designs. Hosted by the talented JBR; John Bear Ross

Description: This group is a forum for discussion, feedback, and showing off futuristic designs and prototypes made by professional and amateur artists, digital and otherwise. "Hands-on" Artists, 3D Artists, and vendors of prototyping services, CAD/CAM/CNC, and other aspects of production are welcome to post.

Also invited are those of you out there who are interested in turning visions of the future not just into pretty pictures, but models you can hold in your hot little hands.

This is where I and many talented digital artists and sculptors discuss sci-fi and computer aided design for the gaming industry.

Drop in and say hello.

Some work for MERCS

John Bear Ross was stacked with work and very graciously referred his client to me to have some work done.

I recently had the opportunity to work with Tom, Keith and Brian over at MERCS They make stellar miniatures for you 28mm sci-fi fans.
The art they supplied made my job a breeze, as I could see from the highlighting what the curve and angle of each component was meant to be in the design process.

K-12 On-Line Conference 2009: Computer Games in the Classroom

Click here for an interesting look at How Guitar Hero was used as a Primary to Secondary Transition project in schools in Scotland.

Interesting stuff.

Wii and PE Part 3 - Power Up to Year 6

This week I continued the work that had started in Year 3 by attempting to use the Wii in PE this week with my year 6 class. Our normal hall PE slot was unable to happen due to end of year Christmas concerts, so I planned ahead.

The session plan was simple to split the class into 4 teams, each team would have a current Wii player and the rest working on a multi skills activity. I gave each team a piece of equipment and told them to use it while the other player was up at the console. So we had bean bags, tennis balls, net balls etc.. Children in their teams choose what they did with teh equipment. You can see this in the video below.

I wanted to make sure that all the children where being active in someway.

Check out the video to see what happened.

Did it go well?

The children enjoyed themselves and for the most part the children where being active. The children's comments where that they wanted to do more activities on the wii other than running, they wanted more space and score the teams as they are working.

Space was an issue when this was done in year 3, my classroom is bigger, but not as big as others in the school. The suggestion of the hall is an idea, but if you have the hall, should be using the Wii?

My only issue was that some children would stop their multi skills work and watch the race over doing their activity. It was understandable since they wanted to cheer on their team member, in the video you can see this happening now and again, but you can also see children still working. With more exposure i think more children will remain on task more.

What I really enjoyed was a member of my class winning a race over other children in the class, she'd never played the game before and came first, you can see how pleased she is in the video.

Would I do this again? YES. What this space - Wii Fit next?

MayesPark Primary- Recent use of Mario Kart ( Wii) and DS in class.

During the recent Eid celebrations, we had a day where maths sets in year 6 were not practical. To keep the day engaging and enjoyable for those who did attend, we held two maths sessions using Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii. We were again focusing on creating data to calculate averages e.g. mean, mode and median. During the first session we had children in a two player challenge creating data by recording their placement scores at the end of the race. This was repeated several times to create the data for all children to calculate the averages. Whilst all children enjoyed watching the races, I did not feel that all were as engaged as they could be even though it was quite a small group.

The second session was much more succesful. I had children in teams of three lined up. As soon as the passed over the finish line at the end of thier lap, they passed the controller onto the child behind and went to record their end of lap position on the board. This moved much quicker as all children were only doing one lap each and created much more data. Whilst the children playing were watching thier team mates, I had the DS's out on the tables for the others. They were using Brain Training and used the daily training tasks. This way all were engaged at all times. The quick change overs keep the interest levels much higher and generated more data which enhanced the calculations required for the averages at the end of the session.

This session was summed up by one of my children who parting comment was " Can we do this again soon? I normally don't like maths Miss, but today was fun and I learnt loads. I know I can do averages now."

On a slightly different note I thought I might add my children's thoughts about our recent purchase of 6 Nintendo DSs. They are being used daily during maths using Brain Training but we have also recently started using them during Guided Reading sessions ( just in my class). I have purchased My Word Coach and Spellbound. I have a very large percentage of EAL leaners in my class and finding ways to develop thier vocabulary and spelling has always been a challenge. A different group of 6 children use the DS every day and the response has been very positive. The children so far seem to enjoy My Word Coach more as it gives them the opportunity to learn (and understand) a wider range of vocab ( a current class literacy target) and it also is quite quick to adapt to thier level of need. We have only had these titles for a short time and I look foward to blogging more about thier use and impact.

Year 6 Mayespark Primary

Modeler needed for help on Crimelife 3

Because this project is really huge there are a few things that I will need some help. I need a graphics artist that will help me with the 3d models of the vehicles in game.
The next version of the game will have some new cars modeled by me. However I need someone from the gmc forums that can make more low poly cars for the game.

For more details check out the post in my CL3 site HERE.

Cleveland Junior at the Olympic Games

This our first post on here but definitely not the last.

We have being using the Wii and Mario and Sonic at the Olympics in a similar way to Nic Hughes at Nightingales. The children have used it as a contextual hub for learning for unit 6C1 in maths. They used the game to get real raw data as opposed to the usual boring 'counting the number of cars that go down the street' scenario, which has no real context.
They then input this data into Excel. Using this data the children worked out the mean, mode, median and range. Then by using the mean running time for each character they made a bar chart, which went up in decimals.

It was a really good couple of lessons as many areas of maths were covered such as data handing, decimal numbers, rounding and labelling graphs.

In year 5 the same game was used for spreadsheets and databases. I am sure you will agree this is a step on from 'organising a party on a budget' or a 'planets database'.

The children really enjoyed the lessons and got a lot out of it, as it gave them real world contexts... that and they had a chance to play the Wii in a meaningful and fun way!

The children put the raw data into an Excel spreadsheet and worked out the mean using a calculator

Using the Mean from the characters' run time, children made a detailed bar graph, in decimals.

Anjum and Simon
Cleveland Junior

Punic Wars - The final inventory

The project, except for 6 units of Numidian cavalry, has now been delivered. I have sorted every thing out into the proper sized bags and done an inventory. I've already painted 20 units (all Romans - pictures to follow) and will soon (new year) be painting some enemy for them to fight. If I can keep the pace I will finish the project with 4 months to spare. Given that the Romans are probably the most complex figures overall I feel quite confident.
So what does the project, things having been finalised at last, look like? Well here is the inventory:
Romans and Allies:
Velites: 10 units of 12.
Hastati: 8 units of 24.
Principes: 8 units of 24.
Triarii: 8 units of 12.
Cavalry: 8 units of 8.
Command: 7 command stands.
Total units: 42.
Total figures: 640 plus command.
Warband: 15 units of 24.
Skirmishers: 8 units of 12.
Cavalry: 8 units of 8.
Command: 5 command stands.
Total units: 31.
Total figures: 520 plus command.
Scutarii: 15 units of 24.
Catrati: 6 units of 12.
Cavalry: 6 units of 8.
Command: 4 command stands.
Total units: 27.
Total figures: 480 plus command..
Libyan phalanx: 8 units of 24.
Skirmishers: 9 units of 12 (includes Balearic slingers).
Numidian cavalry: 9 units of 8.
Carthaginian cavalry: 1 unit of 8.
Elephants: 8 stands (each comprises 1 elephant, crew and integral skirmishers - those with towers (x4) have 6 men, those without (x4) have 4 men, plus the elephant, on each stand).
Command: 4 command stands.
Total units: 31.
Total figures: 428 plus commands.
Total units: 126.
Total Figures: 2116 plus command.
Now, that's a lot of 28mm painting to do before November 2011!
Hopefully, I will be able to re-fight Trebia, at half the size it will eventually be (half the Romans having been painted), by the end of April. This is my next project target.

Wii and PE Part 2

This week I spoke again to Ben Hawkins about his recent work with the Nintendo Wii with PE and Literacy at Nightingale Primary School.

Below is a video explaining what he did.

Click here for previous post.

Leviathan Crusader and Mortis update

I'm currently working on a project with a NDA so I cannot discuss it until he does a reveal... To fill the lack of posts I thought I would put up some updated pics of my Leviathan Crusader and Leviathan Mortis. You can see the upper leg and engine details that were not rendered in the last pics I posted.

When I get the chance I will model some extra armor for the Crusader as this mech will be heavily armored and slower than its brother Mortis. The weapon load out for each is different but these pics only have the Crusaders weapons as I need to get right back to my clients project.

Infinite War Review by GMVision

I just saw this:

What a great review. Too bad my name is not spelled correctly. But a big thanks to the GMVision Team. :)

Some weapons for Comfy Chair Mechs....

Bob wanted to up size some weapons for his Wolf and Spider Mechs, he sent me some sketches and what I had hoped would be a quick project turned out to take a bit of time. Bob has always been very patient and gracious and even with the unexpected delay he did not break stride. These went off to the printer tonight and I cant wait to see these mounted and ready for combat. You can see the wonderfull mechs these fit on over at John Bear Ross's blog page.

Marignano and Piquet part 2

We left the battle at the end of turn 1 with the French (left) wondering where their next initiative pips were going to come from. The Swiss (right) were, having won most of the initiative, poised to assault the French main position.

At the end of turn one the Swiss add two milling around cards to there deck (1 for the retreating advance guard and 1 because the central pike block has lost a unit worth of stands). Both side shuffle their decks. The Swiss deal out 2 cards sight unseen.
I will continue with the description of the next turn using the format of turn 1, but I will give the abbreviation code again.
IP: Initiative pips.
OC: Opportunity chip.
MP: Morale point.

20 IP to play for:
S18 Vs F16 = S 2 IP
Infantry in open – move retreating advance guard (1IP). They are classed as ‘left the table’ due to their position relative to the enemy (umpires call) and will not spend IP for further retreats.

18 IP to play for:
F7 Vs S2 = F 5 IP
Courage, Missile reload – shoot a unit of Gascon crossbowmen (1 IP) at the left hand Swiss pike block advancing on the French right D10 Vs D6, causing 5 hits and a stand loss (1MP) . Buy back 2 OC (2IP).

13 IP to play for:
F16 Vs S10 = F 6 IP
Open reload card showing - reload the crossbows that just shot (1 IP) shoot and reload another (2IP) Vs the same target D10 Vs D6 no effect. Shoot and reload another unit of Gascon crossbow (2IP) Vs the Swiss pike block advancing on the French left D10 Vs D6 no effect. Buy back the last OC (1IP).
7 IP to play for:
S 18 Vs F 14 = S 4 IP
Infantry in the open showing – Swiss move their right and central pike blocks into contact with the ditch (2IP). French shoot their light guns Vs the Pike moving onto their left D12 Vs D6 for NO EFFECT!!! (1 OC). All of the front line French guns are now unloaded. Major Morale – pass, Artillery Reload.

3 IP to play for:
S 13 Vs F7 = S 3 IP.
Move in difficult terrain – the Swiss pike blocks on the right and in the centre cross the ditch. Two units of Gascon crossbows shoot (2 OC) at the one moving against their left 2x D10 Vs D6 causing 2 stands loss (2 MP). The French challenge the morale (1MP) of the pike block for losses due to fire D8 Vs D12+4, the score is 6 each. This is a fail for the Swiss and will mean they have to fall back over the ditch disordered, however this is a morale challenge so they can re-roll Vs the 6 for the cost of 1MP – they re-roll and pass (1MP). The two offending crossbow units are in contact with the pike block, wisely they choose to evade disordered.

20 IP to play for:
S13 Vs F9 = S 4 IP
Move the remaining pike block over the ditch (1IP) on the open difficult terrain card forcing the facing crossbow to evade disordered, but one fails to outpace the Swiss and is contacted as it turns D12+4 Vs D4 and is destroyed (4 MP). Cavalry move in open, Courage! – the Swiss use this to challenge the morale of the French pike and the battery on the French left D12 Vs D12+3 and D12 Vs D8. Both fail and go disordered; they are formed units (not skirmishers) so this costs each 1 MP.

16 IP to play for:
S14 Vs F2 = S 12 IP
The other flanking pike block test the two unit of crossbows facing it (2 IP) D12 Vs D6, 1 passes and the other, already disordered, is doubly disordered and routs. Artillery move card – the artillery moves up (1 IP), Uncontrolled Charge! – all three pike blocks fail their control test and, as the enemy are in reach, charge to contact (3IP).

The central pike block melees the guns D12+6 Vs D4, both guns are overrun (2 milling around cards, 4 MP).

The left wing pike block crashes into the French pike block D12+4 Vs D12 resulting in a 9 all tie – the Swiss have the higher morale rating so win by default. The French pike block goes disordered, it is already disordered, but it is a big unit so loses a stand instead (1MP).

The left hand pike block only contacts two units of disordered crossbow armed skirmishers which choose to evade (routed) rather than face annihilation.
4 IP to play for:
F9 Vs S5 = F 4 IP
Deployment – the Black Bands of Gueldres (a block 82 Landsknecht figures) deploys out of Ziuido and forms up outside of the town – Timely. Artillery reload, Buy back 1 OC.

20 IP to play for:
F19 Vs S1 = F 18 IP - Voila!
Cavalry move in open – French move 2 router (2 IP). Bourbon’s central Gendarme unit moves into contact with the central Swiss pike block. His left wing Gendarmes wheel and move to threaten the pike block there (2 IP total for the command group). Francis advances his retinue to add to the threat to the same pike block, whilst the Gendarmes on the extreme right of his main ward advance to cover the French pike block (1 IP total for the command group). No melee takes place because that requires a melee resolution card.

Leader Check – Flourange moves to join his his Stradiots and rallies them from rout (2 IP 1 MP). Infantry move in the open – move manoeuvre two units of Gascon crossbowmen 45 degrees (2 IP) to bring them into shooting arc (2 IP). Leader Check, Heroic Moment, Move in Difficult – move four routers (3 IP).

Melee resolution – 1 mandatory IP to resolve ongoing melee between French and Swiss pike blocks – D10 Vs D12+3, unbelievably the French win causing a stand loss to the Swiss (1 MP). The French challenge the Swiss morale D8 Vs D12=3 but the Swiss pass. The French must use a further 1 IP to resolve the contact between French Gendarmerie and Swiss pike blocks. Firstly the Bourbon’s central Gendarmes D12+1 Vs D12+3 – both score a maximum 12 and as both have the same morale rating (fanatic) it goes to the initiator. The French challenge morale (1MP) but the Swiss pass.

Melee Resolution,

2 IP to play for:
F12 Vs S9 = F 2 IP
The French must resolve the tw0 ongoing melees. French pike Vs Swiss pike D10 Vs D12+3, the French lose 2 stands (2 MP) and the Swiss challenge their morale (1 MP) and the French fail and are pushed back in disorder, they are so already so lose another stand (2 MP). The French pike block is now substantially weakened and no longer counts as a big unit. The push back pushes them into the French Gendarmes to their rear and both are disordered (2MP and a further stand loss to the pike). Bourbon’s Gendarmes and the central Swiss pike – D12 Vs D12+3, no stand loss but the French lose and not being a big unit are automatically pushed back onto the Landsknechts. The Landsknechts are disordered (1MP). The Gendarmes are doubly disordered and rout (2MP).

20 IP to play for:
F8 Vs S6 = F 2 IP
The French are losing. They must kill more Swiss so shoot the Gascon Crossbowmen into the flank and rear of the central and left Swiss pike blocks. D12 Vs D6, the one on the right takes two stand losses (2 MP).
18 IP to play for:
S12 Vs F10 = S 2 IP
Infantry move in open – the right wing pike charges into Francis’ Gendarmes.
Heroic moment.

16 IP to play for:
F20 Vs S20 = tied initiative die rolls – the turn is over.

The French won 37 initiative, the Swiss won 27. The French lost 19 MP the Swiss lost 6, before the cards are shuffled for the next turn. Both sides are running low on MP so the next turn should be decisive. Can the Swiss keep up the momentum or can the French stop the onrushing pike columns.

Crimelife 3 official website is now open!

Visit it here:

Since Crimelife 3 is one of my best projects I decided to make it's own website. There you will find all the latest information, screenshots, videos about the game and it's progress in development so far.

Why I like Piquet and how it is played.

Classic Piquet, pronounced P – K after the French card game is either loved or loathed. The loathing is generally down to one of three reasons:

First, because you are never in total control of your units when you feel you should be, or rather when other rules allow you to be; but Piquet is not a battalion commander game – you, the general, send your units along their merry way, then hope they can do what’s right at the right time.

Second, because players new to Piquet find the 'dynamic theory of motion and action in a flexible time construct' difficult to get their heads around (I'm going to use that line when out to dinner with non-wargamers). This is because there is no rigid move sequence, things happen within the bound of a turn in a random manner – some players like the comfort blanket of knowing exactly what units can do, like covering a specific distance, so they can, chess like, plan well ahead; but Piquet, like war, does not allow this luxury (see Clauswitz’s theory of friction in war).

Third, because there are times when the enemy is doing everything and you can do nothing much about it (I believe, in modern military parlance, that this is known as 'operating within the enemy’s loop'); Classic Piquet is a game about winning the initiative, initiative allows you to do things, and there are times when you don’t win any, sometimes at all, for long periods of the game.

Personally, these are the reasons I like Piquet. Piquet games are more tense and exciting than any other wargames I have ever played.

To illustrate how Piquet works I will go through a couple of turns of The Battle of Marignano scenario, which I am fighting solo; card by card, dice by dice. But before I start, there are a few things you should know.

Piquet initiative is always won by rolling off D20s, one per side, with the higher die result getting the difference in the rolls as initiative pips. Piquet initiative comes in phases of 20. The amount of initiative a player wins is deducted from what’s left in the phase until the 20 are exhausted. [See picture above showing the Piquet initiative tracking clock]. Initiative is used to turn cards from the sequence deck and act upon them. There are also a small number of opportunity initiative pips (2 – 4, called opportunity chips)) that can be stored by the player, mainly for shooting, during the other side’s initiative - they cost an initiative pip to buy back after use.

A turn of Piquet is governed by a deck of sequence cards. The sequence deck contains cards for movement, combat and command. Each deck is usually 24 – 30 cards strong. Armies have different decks reflecting their ability – good armies have good decks, rubbish armies have rubbish decks stuffed with ‘Milling Around’ (do nothing) cards. Every card costs an initiative pip to turn. Actions can be taken on cards for a pip per command (group of units) or unit (most combats cost a pip each). One type of card, ‘Reload’ cards, need a bit of explanation. It costs a pip to shoot a loaded unit, then a pip ‘reload’ a unit on a ‘Reload’ card. In my opinion the use of the word reload gives the wrong impression; the game assumes that a lot of firing is going on when units are in range – being loaded gives you the chance to actually resolve the effect of shooting. A Piquet turn ends when the deck is exhausted by one of the players (or on equal D20 initiative rolls). [The above picture shows some typical Sequence Deck card types].

Units: Like most wargames units have move distances and combat factors. Formation and type govern the former, weapons and training the latter. Combat factors for shooting, melee and morale are expressed as die types (ranging through D4, D6, D8, D10 and D12); a unit of mercenary crossbows, for example, would be D10 for shooting, D6 for melee and D6 for morale. Most Piquet units count as four stands strong with equal frontage – skirmish unit stands count as having 2 hits each, others three hits each. I allow no tally of ‘hanging hits’ to be kept from one card to another (house rule).

Dice: Combat factors are adjusted by tactical situation using fairly typical combat tables, but these change die type; a D6 adjusted Up2, for example, makes the D6 a D10 (two die types bigger); a D10 adjusted Down1 becomes a D8 (one type smaller). On reaching D12, any more Ups are simply added to the result as digits but the maximum result is 12; a D12+4 rolling 4 is 8; a D12+4 rolling a 10 is only 12 . Lastly, all commanders have a base die of D20 with Downs taking it down through the die types and Ups adding to the result. All die are rolled Vs another die to obtain results. Shooting die are always rolled Vs D6, Melees are resolved by rolling melee die Vs melee die, and in most other situations the required die is rolled Vs D8. In the blow by blow account of the following battle I will only give the final die types used in each situation (so I can’t get picked up on missing factors and save time writing!).

Each army is dealt a number of special morale cards (from the ‘Army Characterisation Deck’) at the beginning of the game. These cards express the army’s willingness to fight (expressed in morale chips) and any ‘on the day’ bonuses that the army has. Morale chips are lost for stand loss and adverse morale results; they are spent to rally. This is where I will start. [The picture above shows some typical Army Characterisation Deck cards].

……….Oh, one thing more before I do, Classic Piquet describes itself as a tool box. That is, it is there to be used to give structure to games but it is not the last word – Bible fashion. So, if you are familiar with Classic Piquet and the Band of Brothers 2 supplement, and you see things that you don’t recognise – don’t worry, I’ve had the Piquet spanner out. [I’m happy to post you my house rule changes on request].


Swiss: 7 cards total: Five morale chip cards 9, 7, 4, 4, 3 for a total of 27 morale chips. Two characterisation cards; 1 extra melee resolution sequence card, cavalry Up1 in melee.

France: 9 cards total: Six morale chip cards 10, 9, 7, 6, 2, 2 for a total of 36 morale chips. Three characterisation cards; 1 extra heroic moment sequence card, Up2 for cavalry rallies and assertion, Up1 for infantry morale challenges.


20 initiative pips [IP] to play for. Swiss roll d20 for initiative scoring 16, France rolls d20 and scores 4, Swiss win 12 IP- the difference between 16 and 4.
Infantry move in the open card - 4 pips spent to move all Swiss command groups. Deployment card, Artillery move card, Artillery reload card, Cavalry move in the open card - 1 pip to move Sforza's cavalry / artillery command. Move in difficult terrain card, Leader check card.

The Swiss have used all 12 pips to turn and act on 7 cards. You will note that 5 cards were turned without action, most were useless but as you play Piquet you learn to ignore some cards that don't fit in with your plan. OK, now you've got the format I will now dispense with the word 'card' and add some abreviation to speed my writing.
IP = Impetus Pip
OC = Opportunity Chip
MP = Morale point

Initiative rolls: F14 Vs S6 = F 8IP - economic rolling as there were only 8 left in the phase to play for.
Courage, Infantry maneuvre, Leader check, Deployment - 1 IP to start deploying the Black bands through Ziuido, Infantry move in open, Move in difficult terrain.

20IP to play for: S20 Vs F4 = S 16IP.

Melee Resolution (nothing in contact so can't use!), Uncontrolled charge - Swiss test, fail, and their advance guard and left pike block charge the skirmish cavalry facing them. The skirmish cavalry evade spending two opportunity chips [OC] - the French only have one OC left now - to shoot before they do so. The Stradiots roll D8 Vs D6, the mounted xbow roll D6 Vs D6 but both have no effect - the cavalry evades disordered [pic above]. Melee resolution, Infantry in the open - Swiss spend 4 pips and advance their units forcing the remaining forward mtd xbow unit to evade disordered - it does not shoot because the french only have 1 OC and they are saving that for emergencies! Melee resolution, Missile reload - the left hand Swiss pike block is in range of the Stradiots and shoots and reloads, D4 Vs D6 causing 2 hits, the Stradiots take a stand loss and lose 1 morale point. Cavalry move in open - Sforza's command moves.

4IP to roll for: F14 Vs S7 = F 4IP (only four left in phase).

The french immediately buy back 2 OC for 2IP. Light cavalry move - The Stradiots use this card to advance fire and retire for 1 IP Vs their Swiss tormentors D10 Vs D6 causing 4 hits - the Swiss pike block loses a stand and 1 MP. (Light cavalry move card only applies to Stradiots)

20IP to play for: F11 Vs S10 = F 1IP.
Artillery reload.

19 IP to play for: S13 Vs F2 = S 11IP.

Melee resolution (still nothing in contact!), Heroic moment, Cavalry maneuvre - heroic moment cards can change the next card if there is a good reason to back it up; the Swiss decide to use the heroic moment to change the Cavalry maneuvre card into a Cavalry move in open card for the cavalry only, citing the presence of Sforza as a good reason, the cavalry move into contact with the Mtd xbow (1IP) and as they are light cavalry declare an automatic melee unless they evade. As the French have their artillery reload showing, and given their lack of initiative thus far in the game, they decide not to evade - the Mtd xbow are already disordered and require an OC to evade without becoming doubly disordered (= rout) - thus 'saving their powder. In the resulting melee D12+3 Vs D4 the Mtd xbow are destroyed for 3 MP loss. Sforza's cavalry go disordered (fought a melee) and out of command (the artillery and cavalry can no longer move together as a group). Melee resolution (damn, last one), Infantry maneuvre, Heroic moment, Move in difficult terrain - I allow pike blocks of good mercenary stock, and not having taken casualties (stand loss), to move in the open on this card, the Swiss move their centre and right hand blocks forward for 2 pips.

8IP to play for: S16 F7 = S 8IP - the French are feeling desperate - as their lack of initiative begins to tell the tension builds.

Courage - The Swiss are fearsome units, anything within a move of them can be morale challenged for a pip or chip, and the Stradiots and Mtd xbow are within reach! D12 Vs D6 and D12 Vs D4 respectively. The Stradiots fail (dice roll beaten) and are doubly disordered and rout (Swiss gain 2IP), amazingly, the mounted crossbow, either fearless or clueless, stand! Infantry move in open - 4 IP to move the swiss forward, the advance guard gets to the ditch in front of the artillery - the French have simply got to use 2 OC to shoot - BOOM! BOOM! go the guns D12 Vs D6 twice for 9 hits and 3 stands killed and 3MP lost. The French having done such good work press their advantage by using a morale chip to test the morale of the Swiss; three stands to fire means they are rolling a D12, after factoring everything up the Swiss are rolling a D6. The French roll double the Swiss roll - the Swiss advance guard are routed; except of course they are Swiss so retreat disordered facing the enemy instead (lose 1 MP) until they are rallied (special rule for Swiss!) causing the following pike block to incline to the left. But the Swiss do lose 2 IP for the technical rout of a major unit and must add a milling around card at the end of the turn. Leader check - but out of pips!

NOTE: Oh yes indeed, as you lose units and leaders, skirmish units don't count, you add milling around cards (do nothing cards) to your sequence deck at the end of the turn, shuffle the deck then, face down, discard an equal number of cards before the start of the turn. You've got it - even if you win all of the initiative you might have dealt out every card you need and be left with a deck of milling around. Bloody amazing - Bloody exciting - Innit'!)

20IP to play for. F15 Vs S12 = F 3IP.
The French have an open artillery reload card showing that they have not used - the Swiss can't believe it - reload the guns for 2IP. Buy back 1 OC.

17IP to play for: S3 Vs F2 = S 1IP. The French can't even beat a 3.
Open leadership card showing try and rally the advance guard for 1IP plus 1 morale point, D20 Vs D8 - FAIL!!!!!

16IP to play for: S2 Vs F1 = S 1P. The French can't believe this!
Infantry in the open.

15IP to play for: S15 Vs F14 = S 1IP. What's happening!
The Swiss must retreat their 'technical router' for 1IP on the unused Infantry in the open card.

14IP to play for: S18 Vs F14 = S 4IP. The French are spitting garlic!

3IP used to advance the remaining Swiss units. This forces the remaining French Mtd xbow unit to evade without OC aid, it goes doubly disordered and routs. But the French have reloaded their guns and the Swiss are within point blank range. BOOM! BOOM! go the guns for 2 OC, D12=2 Vs D6 twice. This kills four stands of the central pike block, the French morale challenge it D12 Vs D12+2 and force it back disordered (in effect the front ranks were pummelled and slowed it up). The Swiss lose 5MP. Major Morale check card - D4 Vs D12 - pass.

10IP to play for: S9 Vs F 4 = S 5IP. Now the French are crying!

Cavalry move in open - Sforza wheels his men-at-arms 45 degrees and advances to the ditch (called a move maneuvre) for 2 pips. Heroic moment - the Swiss pike block on the left shoots heroically at the French foot crossbows beyond the ditch gaining an aditional Up1 for the heroic card (elegantly simple) D8 Vs D6 and kill a stand (French lose 1 MP) and morale challenge them D6 Vs D6 to no effect (Swiss use 1 MP). No cards left - for a final IP the Swiss close the turn.

Turn 1 is over. The Swiss must have had the factor of surprise with them. Certainly the initiative was with them, winning 58 pips to a poultry 16. Unusually imbalanced, but damn those Swiss had the French worried. No major damage was done, the Swiss having turned their move in difficult cards before reaching the ditch, but they are poised if the French can't roll better.

This is as far as I can go with this post. I'll try and get turn 2 done over the weekend and the write up shortly afterwards. It's a laborious process, playing solo, taking notes, taking pictures, and then tapping it in.

I hope, if you are unfamiliar with Piquet, that this has whetted your appetite for a set of rules that offers something different. The rules break everthing down into simply resolvable chunks so well, no firing along an entire line just because you can: Oh, the endless dice rolling and combat table fatigues in some games - in Piquet it all means something; because pips are such valuable commodities that they are not to be squandered - this is a game of decisions. For solo gaming you just can't beat it. The tension is killing me! Time for a cigar.

P.S. For some reason I can't spell check this post - sorry for any errors.

Back at it...

I got side tracked by a few things but I'm back at my customers orders and hope to be back in full swing shortly.

Another Code R

Last week, we started our work with Another code R and literacy - so far we have only completed 3 days and will also be working on it all next week. The enthusiasm of the children has been fantastic and the level of talk, questioning, writing and exploring has been impressive!
The picture below shows how used it in class

You can read more about what we did here:

Wii and PE?

Can the Wii be used in a whole class to do PE?

I was really pleased to see this week that some of my ICT Innovators grab hold of the school Wii to try it in class. On our development day we looked at ways that the Wii could be use for exercise and PE, we had ideas, but we weren’t 100% sure about it in a whole class environment.

The PE Coordinator at my school, was interested and said he’d give PE and the Wii a go. So since it was Do Something Different Day, in aid of Children in Need and the weather had rained off outside PE, he had a go.

I helped him set it up in his room and suggested that he use Mario and Sonic at the Olympics since is had a lot of active sporting activities, and to lay them you have to get a lot more active.

The children got changed for PE and then where split into four teams. So very similar when you do team activates where one person does the run and then they tag the next person to go. (Does that have a better name?)

They started with the 100m sprint. So the first child did their race, then the children did a quick swap and the race was repeated and the next person in the team, had a go. This continued till each team member attempted the event and then the event changed. This continued through 2/3 events.

The children had a great time and the teacher said it was a good experience. He was impressed because everyone in the class was able to take part in this, regardless of ability since the controls where easy. Both he and I has a few concerns starting out, we where worried about the down time for others in the group, but in most cases this was very short since the swap was quick and the length of a race is about 30 seconds. The more you do it the quicker that the children would get. Space is an issue and you do need to clear an area to do this best in a classroom.

He was quick to point out that it does not replace a normal PE lesson, which I totally agree with, but it did get the children active in the classroom. The pros far outweighed the cons. I’m eager now to try this with my class the next time, my outside PE lesson gets rained off.

Some New Posts....

Its seems like use of the Wii has exploded a little in our network.

Here are links to posts on:

Mario and Sonic at the Oylmics. - using it for data anaylsis in maths. - Can the Wii be used used in PE?

Another Code R - Keep tuned in for more!

Finally a nice article from Tom Barrett about Console for Classrooms.

Liberty City, It's Over! Whats next? UPDATE!!!
This poster from
Episodes from LC is overlapping a poster found in the Vice City porn studio...
My guess now goes to a new Vice City.
Your thoughts?

GTA4.Net noticed this "ad" in the Episodes from Liberty City instruction manual that, reading between the lines (or around the torn out part, anyway) seems to tease where the series is headed next. And maybe when.

The ad, apparently for a fake movie, declares "Liberty City, It's Over!" implying, naturally, that we're all done here. "Next stop," it says, and that portion appears to be torn out, except for the word "Seagull." I think it looks like the name of a hotel, but who knows.

To the left of that is "Opens March Everywhere," and your guess is as good as mine as to what that means. But Rockstar knows what it's doing here, it's getting people to talk, and we've taken the bait.

My guess about this picture's p
lace is the little skate park from GTA San Andreas:

Or maybe it's a mountain like this:
and I hope it's true. . . who knows?
We have to wait until March for more details.. And I just can't wait!


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