Leviathan Mortis and Crusader are out to print.

John over at Moddler came back with a great price. I still needed to adjust the scale slightly to get it within my budget. The completed models will stand roughly 9-9.5" tall. John will print it when he gets back from a much needed vacation.

Games Based Learning 2010

Just a post to let everyone know that the network will be represented at the upcomming Games Based Learning Conference. Check out the site for details of what is happening. http://www.gamebasedlearning2010.com/

Dawn and Nic are doing a joint presentation about the network, so be sure to look for a video of this soon. Its on Tuesday morning.

Thanks Everyone for reading.

Oh and BTW what does everyone think of the new logo - skillfully made by Simon White of Cleveland Juniors.

Use of the Wii fit board in P.E lessons.

I have been using the Wii fit board in P.E lessons with my class. I first used it in my classroom, I moved the tables to one side, even though it is quite large it still proved to be too small a space in which to do this activity. I then used the hall that has a larger screen and floor space this worked much better.

I used mainly step, running and boxing programmes. These proved to be very effective as P.E activities. The children were organised so that there would be one person on the Wii balance board and the rest of the class would be completing the same movements, as the person on the board, using their own piece of floor space. I prepared, in advance, a running order for the class, so that where there were oauses during the game, the children could quickly swap who was on the balance board. I found that in one P.E session each child could use the board twice.

The children found the activity to be a great deal of fun and looked forward to the sessions. They did not argue about the use of the board, as they all understood that each child would have the opportunity to use the board. The most popular activity with the children was the step programme. When I use the board again for lessons I will look into putting some other music on when they are stepping after they have got used to the music and exercise on the Wii fit.

The activity gave all the children a really good workout and they all really enjoyed it. All of the children could participate fully at all times and it worked well. The Wii fit enabled some fun, exciting and physical P.E lessons.

Owen Frith

Nightingale Primary School

Use of Wii sports resort for chronological writing.

I have been using Wii sports resort to aid the class with their writing of non-chronological reports and this has shown some great results. We have been using the island fly over to get a better view of the island its views, attractions, activities and also places to eat and stay.

I chose different children to be the pilot on the trip around the island they would swap when directed to do so by me or if they crash the plane. The island fly over would only be the first ten minutes of the lesson just enough time to get a general feel for the area. The children that were not being the pilots would be making notes on what they see. As you fly around the area you can go over information points that give you more information on an area.

The children all produced reports on what the island had to offer. The children really enjoyed the activity and produced some very detailed work. They first wrote it in rough and then used desktop publishing programmes to produce leaflets to attract people to the island. The activity did not only improve their non- chronological report writing (which was very detailed and gave a lot of information on the island) but also improved their persuasive writing, also their ability to write for an audience.

I also used the Wii in their class assembly to show case the children work this was watched by an Ofsted inspector. After the assembly I got some very positive feedback from the inspector in relation to the use of the Wii in the assembly and in literacy. He was impressed with its use and also brought out points about bringing in the issue of sustainability through wind farms on Wii sports resort.

Playing with Zbrush - Ogre Beetle

Jon asked if I could make a large bug. This strays a bit from the tanks and hard surface models, so I wanted to stretch my Zbrush wings and give it a shot. I'm still not sure how to deal with components and fit but I'm sure I'll find out :)

Zoo Escape

File Size: 4.01 Mb(zip) , 5.01 Mb(uncompressed)
GM Version: GM8
Screen Resolution: 480x272
Allow Fullscreen: No
Date Updated: 25-2-10

Here is my second entry for the YoYogames Competition 05.

More screenshots: Screen03, Screen04, Screen05

Gameplay Trailer:

Desription: Help the little animals to escape from the zoo. Start with the little tiger and collect all the fruits to unlock the gate for the next level. Each animal has it's own unique ability. Rescue more animals to help you on your way. Avoid the guards and don't let them find you.
- 25 challenging levels
- Complete all the levels to unlock a Minigame
- 5 animals to save
- Zoopedia with animal information from National Geographic
All the game graphics have been made by me using only d3d code for the models and Gimp for the textures and all the 2d stuff.

Also available on the iPhone App Store!


SuperLongName.com (mirror)

It doesn't need to be new games!

Recently as part of my writing boosters in year 6 I chose to use an older game to inspire some descriptive writing. Another World is a game that first came out in 1991, I remember playing on the SNES. We watched the intro and played a little of the notoriously hard first level and then wrote or descriptions. The children where engaged and I got some really nice writing out of my group. A few children even stayed behind at the end to finish the level.

Check out the video to see the intro to the game.

Isle of Fob continues

Kermit the Hermit on his trusty steed 'Miss Piggy'.

From the Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit....

....Following his uncle's death at the Battle of Ghazzan, Baldwin de Chernobyl was duly, and with right ceremony, crowned King of Fob on the 8th day of August the Year of Our Lord 1111......

........the Hashishmendids were sorely vexed by their unwarranted defeat at Ghazzan. Seeing the Franks in some turmoil after the battle the firey and unpredictable Mohamed Emir of Ali sought to gain capital from it. Rather than march south to besiege the capital of the Franks [Lampron] he about faced his army and went northwards to the county of Ghazzan......

.....In Ghazzan, Montisgarde de Troimilland collected together every man capable of bearing arms, myself included, and took the field. The army marched some miles from the town in order to block Mohamed [Emir of Ali] at the Fords of Tulac. It was here, to great rejoicing, that the army was joined and greatly increased in number by Prince Omar Sharif and his Armenian followers.......


The Forces of the Franks: (SP3, 21 units, 1 battlefield posture card.)
Montisgard de Troimilland: 1 small unit of knights, 2 units of Frankish sailors.
Laurance d'Olivier: 2 units of foot sergeants, 1 unit of levy spearmen, 1 armed mob, 2 civilian bands.
Gerrard d'Edpardieu: 1 small unit of Hospitaller knights, 1 small unit of secular knights, 1 small unit of Hospitaller brother sergeants, 1 unit of secular sergeants.
Omar Sharrif's Armenians: 1 unit of knights, 2 units of light cavalry, 2 units of spearmen, 1 unit of foot bows.

The Forces of the Hashishmendid Seljuks: (SP2, 16 units, 2 battlefield posture cards.)
Mohamed [Emir of Ali]: 1 unit of Ghulams, 1 small unit of Ghulams, 2 units of Seljuk horse archers, 1 unit of Arab askari.
Abu Hamsah: 2 units of ghazis, 1 unit of mutattawia, 2 units of arab foot bows, 1 camel caravan.
Yassah Arrafat: 2 units of Turcoman horse archers, 2 units of Bedouin.

......The Franks, in four divisions, deployed themselves above the Fords of Tulac on two spurs and in the valley between. The right hand spur was smaller than the other but was steep and rocky. This position of honour was given over to Omar Sharrif and his bands of dour and sturdy Armenians.......

......The left hand spur was low and undulating and it was here that Laurance d'Olivier with foot sergeants and the rabble of Ghazzan [Kermit was here] had command. In the valley Montisgarde deployed his main strength, the Hospitallers [commanded by Gerrard d'Epardieu] in the van and Montisgarde in a rearward that formed a reserve..........

.....On the following day arrived the Hashishmendids. Mohammed [Emir of Ali] sought with his smaller force to bring what might he had against the right hand wing of the Franks. Here he posted himself at the head of his Seljuks whilst Abu Hamsah, a man sworn to the Jihad, fell in beside him with may of his wilder followers.........

On his own right Mohammed [Emir of Ali] posted his trusty lieutenant Yassah Arrafat with the bulk of his tribal auxiliary cavalry........

........the fight would chiefly fall on our [Franks] right and the forces of Omar Shariff. I led many in prayer to God that this heretic would today have Our Lord's Blessing.........

Out for quote

We hit a milestone today. I just sent the Leviathan out for quote. If everything works out $$ wise it will be printed in the next few weeks and then its on to clean up and molds.

I'm sure it wont be cheap; I have the paramedics on speed dial in case I need them :)

You can see the number of components, I will sprue many of these together for the production kit. I wanted to give this model the ability to be customized and posed, hence the great many parts.

The first release will be the Mortis and the Crusader, others to follow.

More weapons for MERCS

MERCS has a new release coming. I worked on the Kem Var weapons for them last time and was fortunate enough to work on this release of the FCC weapons as well. These have been sent in for final approval.

You can see the art Keith provided and my 3d models based on his designs. You may note the barrels look a bit large; keep in mind they are just under 1mm thick and any thinner they would be likely to snap.

Great and very talented guys with wonderful minis.  http://www.mercsminis.com/

Campaign Rules for Ager Sanguinis

At Vapnartak (York wargames show) I had a conversation with Andrew Hubback of Miniature Wargames magazine. He asked me about the possibility of more articles. Following this, I had a conversation with Brent Oman (of Piquet Inc.) regarding the publication of a set of rules governing Ager Sanguinis campaigns.

With all of my ducks lined up, I am now in position to announce that a set of rules called "Isle of Fob" will be published this summer as part of Miniature Wargame magazine's Ager Sanguinis series; bringing the series to 4 articles.

The campaign rules will allow players to create and fight campaigns using Ager Sanguinis rules for the table-top battles. For those without the time to make maps and set up their own campaign scenario the rules include the set up for the Isle of Fob campaign that Perter J. and I are currently fighting. Although the rules were written for Ager Sanguinis campaigns, and I make no apology for that, the campaign system could be used for any period, and using any table-top rules to resolve battles, with a little adaption. The mechanics allow for large or small figure collections to be used without a change in the rules; though I would suggest a minimum of a dozen units a side for some force variability.

Isle of Fob uses a combination of mechanics. These were devised by me, or adapted by me from Theatre of War by Brent Oman. A deck of sequence cards from Ager Sanguinis master rules is essential - though these are listed in Isle of Fob and could be made without a further purchase.

As a preview, here is the map for Isle of Fob. When the rules are published they will come with this map but, for those who want a electronic copy for 'quality' enlargement and printing, I will be happy to email you one (once the rules are published and you buy a copy - I'll ask for a password). Please do not email me now.

Ager Sanguninis rules are currently available as a bundle:

The Battle of Ghazzan - the conclusion

The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit continue.....

.....the Emir, gallantly rousing what remained of his host, launched a most vigorous attack against the centre of the Franks. They came on with such speed that there was nought the Franks could do (note the 18" move of the Seljuk infantry - they rolled a triple move on their march card)........

Only the Hospitallers could match their audacity; and it was they who stemmed the flow by carving a way into the maddened throng until, surrounded and outmatched in numbers, they were killed to the last.......

.....Now the King [Chernobyl] was far from what remained of his army. He sought, with his sword in hand, to cut a way through. At first the impetus of his charge carried him onward, but then, woe worth the day, he fell, and his knights were scattered........

........As the sun dimmed and nightfall began to fall, only the Frankish pedites, which had been posted to the Mount of Pines, and until now had viewed the battle from its safety, watched the plain before them fill with soldiers of the Seljuks. Stubbornly, they elected to stay to see what the morrow would bring.........
This battle was, when the victory points had been worked out a very, very, close run thing. Using the campaign post battle victory system:

Franks starting morale: 19.
Seljuk starting morale: 31.
Sub total: Franks +12.
Franks finishing morale: 0.
Seljuk finishing morale: 2 (2 morale points, the Franks having none, were ceded to the Seljuks at the very end of the game).
Sub total: Seljuks +2
Final morale sub total: Franks +10
Franks objective points: 2
Seljuk objective points: 10.
Sub total: Seljuks +8.
Final total: Franks +2.
A very marginal win for the Franks!!!!
The Franks and Seljuks lost 2 army strength points each (army die Vs 4 rolls), both were vexed and the Seljuks fell back to their arsenal at Eschiva.

.........and in the morrow, Praise be to God, the Seljuks were gone...........

Next week it is back to the map campaign. The Seljuks, with their National Will Point total at a very low level, are in deep doo-doo.

The plan

Now that I am nearing the completion of stage one - working towards a first battle - I have to plan out my painting schedule for the rest of the project. I have 20 months to paint and base about 1600 figures.

At the end of stage 1 I will have painted figures for: The Battle of Trebia at half scale. Note that not all of the figures get used - I paint in quite big batches for speed.

4 units of velites (48 figs).
4 units of hastati (96 figs).
4 units of princepes (96 figs).
4 units of triarii (48 figs).
4 units of cavalry (32 figs).

2 units of Libyan spearmen (48 figs).
2 units of Spanish scutarii (48 figs).
4 units of Libyan skirmishers (32 figs) I'll use 2 units.
4 units of Balearic slingers (32 figs) I'll use 1 unit.
4 units of Spanish caetrati (48 figs) I'll use 3 units.
4 units of Gallic warband (88 figs) I'll use 3 for Carthage and 1 for the Rome according to Livy.
4 units of Spanish cavalry (32 figs).
4 units of Gallic cavalry (32 figs).
4 units of Numidian cavalry (32 figs) I'll use 3 units.
2 elephants.

Stage 2: The Battle of Lake Trasimene at half scale will be my target. This will require me to double the Carthaginian force used for Trebia (except elephants) with the extra addition of:
4 units of Gallic warband for 12 units total.
2 units of Gallic cavalry for 10 units total.
Stage 2 will require me to paint 436 figures.

Stage 3: The Battle of Telemon. This is where the end will be coming into sight and whole nations will be finished, in this case Gaul and Rome:
6 units of Gallic warband (for 18 units total).
12 Gallic chariots.
20 units of Romans (double those already painted for 4 legions total).
Stage 3 will require me to paint 464 figures (chariots counting as 1 each).

Stage 4: Spain. Finish the remaining Spanish troops.
11 units of Scutarii
2 units of Caetrati
2 units of Spanish cavalry
Stage 4 will require me to paint 304 figures.

Stage 5: Africa / Spain. Finish the remaining Carthaginians.
4 units of Libyan spearmen.
2 units of Libyan skirmishers.
6 units of Numidian skirmishers.
6 elephants
2 units of Carthaginian cavalry.
2 units of Numidian cavalry.
Stage 5 will require me to paint a mere 198 figures (elephants counting as 1 each).

So that's the plan. I've broken the remaining figures into four 5 month chunks, with the amount of work in each chunk getting less towards the end. I'm bang on schedule so far so I can't foresee any problems. 2200ish figures in just over 2 years.

My next project, The Peninsular War, is already in motion. I'm buying books and doing the reading and research. My library for this project is still quite small (36 books) but it is getting there. I should have read most of them by November 2011. My plan is to make this project, the painting being rather more complex, much less aggressive (I can chew the Punic War project but it is hard to swallow). I plan on only doing 36 - 48 figures a month for this one.

Gaming with Cleveland Junior

Here at Cleveland Junior we have had more success implementing gaming into our curriculum. First off we had our Year 5 pupils using some games that our year 6 pupils created on 2DIY for the BETT show in January. The year 5 pupils were asked to play the games on the blog and then create instruction pages on what the game were about and how to play/beat the game. The pupils commented on the games and gave their ideas on how to improve or change the difficulty of the game.

Once the pupils had created instructions for the 2DIY games they at looked at a new game. We decided to use the first level from a game called ICO on the Playstation 2. We screen recorded the first level so the teachers could play back the video and have the children complete a running commentary about the characters actions, creating a walkthrough. Below is the video we used.

The game starts with a excellent cut scene which you could get some descriptive writing created before the real adventure begins (to jump the cut scene go 7 mins into the video). The boy in the game has a number of actions to carry out such as, walk up the stairs, pull the lever to open a door so he can proceed through to the next area. All this actions are an excellent way to look at instruction writing from a different angle.

In year 3 we have used the Wii to look at our simulations unit. One of the targets we had to hit within the simulations unit was to have an adventure based on an imaginary world. We talked to the children about adventure games they might have played and explained that a lot of what the characters might do in the game we could not do in the real world. The game we used to show this simulation was Zak and Wiki on the Wii. This a great child friendly game its colourful and bright with some interesting characters. The game is set of a treasure island and the aim to find the treasures. The class teachers had the Wii set up in their classrooms and went through the level as a class with the pupils given instructions to the teacher about how they could solve the puzzles. All pupils were fully engaged and talked to each other about what the characters need to simulate to activate levers and doors.

A new club which we have just started is the literacy gaming club. We choose 10 year 6 boys who need some improvement in their creative writing running up to the SATS. We decided to use the Wii to get the boys interested in the club and we chose to use New Super Mario Bros Wii. This is quite a recent game and all the boys knew of the game and its characters. The idea is to have the children create fan-fiction stories for other pupils to read. Fan-fiction is all about creating stories using original characters or settings from established work and then writing new adventures for the characters and settings.

The first week was all about looking at the different worlds the characters were set in. With Mario games you have very distinct world environments (9 all together) from the green fields of the Mushroom Kingdom to the terrifying Bowsers Castle. We started off with the boys playing a few levels of the game in a group of 4. The game allows up to 4 player co-operative mode which is great for having them all involved and using team work to complete a level. Whilst for 4 boys were playing the game the others were watching and looking at level and backgrounds and noting down descriptive words about the world. Once we had played different types of worlds/levels we opened up a Worlde and created some world clouds for each level. We will be referencing these word clouds in the next few weeks when we get down to writing our stories. In the next few weeks we will look at more levels, character profiles and scenarios to base their stories on. Will keep an update running on how this new club evolves.

Wordle on Mushroom Kingdom World

Worldle on Bowsers Castle

Thanks for reading

Simon and Anjum – Cleveland Junior School

Isle of Fob - the Battle of Ghazzan

Orders of Battle:

Franks: C-in-C King Chernobyl with 12 units:
1 small unit of knights, 1 small unit of Hospitaller knights, 1 unit of foot sergeants, 1 unit of English sailors, 1 armed mob, 2 units of turcopoles, 1 unit of Armenian cavalry, 2 units of Armenian foot, 1 unit of Arab cavalry, 1 unit of Bedouin.

Hashishmendid Seljuks:
C-in-C Mustapha Camel Emir of Chiossus with 24 units:
3 small units of Ghulam cavalry, 4 units of Seljuk horse archers, 6 units of Turcoman horse archers, 2 units of Arab cavalry, 1 unit of Bedouin cavalry, 2 units of Ghazi infantry, 1 unit of Muttatawia infantry, 1 unit of Turkish infantry, 2 units of Arab foot archers, 2 units of civilians.

From the Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit:

...and Chernobyl saw on the horizon the dust raised by the powerful host of the Seljuk Emir. Fearful of being caught in the open he set his foot to climb the steep slopes of a pine covered hill nearby where they might better withstand the coming onslaught, whilst he, with his cavalry, and right manfully, set himself in the plain.......

.....Mustapha led his troops up to a large abandoned village and there deployed them skillfully. To his left he set his Arabs and ordered they should envelop Chernobyl's line whilst he fixed it with his Turcomans and infantry. He himself, set himself on the right beyond a stream with a powerful reserve.......

.......No sooner had his Arabs begun to take up their position than his Turcomans, whipped into a fever by the rantings of their mullahs, did case their bows and, with wild frenzied cries, charge the Franks with spear and sword. They were punished for their arrogance but their charges did not abate. Time and time again they charged doing great harm but seconded none the less until the last were surrounded, destroyed and scattered. [Out of the 6 units which started, in two command groups, only 2 units were left recovering in the rear. Both commanders were abysmal D8 leaders who managed to roll three consecutive natural 1s on their movement dice, forcing uncontrolled charges).......

......On Mustapha's left, his Arabs deployed out onto the plain. With countless thousands of the enemy still in the field, King Chernobyl, still saw his doom. With a cry of anguish he launched himself and his knights into the fray. Here the battle raged with new intensity, like hammers on the anvil, both, like the metal between, diminishing in equal measure.....

........with his forces growing less, his centre crumbling, and his assured victory now hanging like an Autumn leaf in the wind, Mustapha committed his reserve across the narrow stream.......
.......to be continued.
[This battle is a belter. I had remarked to Peter, before the start, that it would be funny if his fanatic Turcomans rolled any movement die 1s, but three in a row; a 1 in 512 chance of that happening. What seemed like a very sticky wicket had become one to bat on. The attack of the Turcomans had cost Peter 20 morale chips! We will fight this battle to conclusion next week and then continue, if there is time, with the campaign moves. This battle is going to be close run thing.]

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