It’s all YOUR fault!

Here we have the assault squad finals, created with feedback by all of you.

Changes from the originals:
Widened stance on one of the leg sets.
Ankle armor to better ground the mini
Complete rework of the grenade launcher.
Addition of a squad leader’s sword.
Addition of an optional shield.

Taking feedback and making changes to these, took me in directions I would never have gone by myself. The vote for the grenade launcher was pretty much unanimous, as a lover of auto-feed weapons; the cylinder design was not an avenue I would have ever explored.
The sword design was so close that I needed to make the call, #1 and #2 were tied, so I stayed with what I had. The only acceptation was the addition of a squad commander’s sword to set him apart from his squad.

I would never have mated these with a shield but the folks on Dakka were pretty persistent and I am happy to oblige. This addition raised some interesting problems as the figures were not originally designed for the use of a shield. This meant I needed to affix the shield in such a way that we overcame collision issues with those massive shoulders and the large drum mag on the grenade launcher. I tried to keep the fit to the arm as tight as possible while allowing some play to be able to tilt the shield and overcome those collision issues. I also wanted to provide enough surface contact so we could avoid any pining and just use glue or green-stuff. As an optional piece you can leave it off if that is your preference.
Thank you to all who took the time to weigh in!

Next up will be the changes to the heavy weapons crew and giving those energy weapons a change to deal with that awkward left arm.
Here is the revised assault squad you helped create.

Here is the optional shield

And the squad with shields equipped.

I hope you enjoy the revisions and would like to once again thank all of you for helping to shape these minis.

Back to the Sturmtruppen for a review or three:

This was a write up over at DWARTIST’S . Although he pins his minis, I have not had a need to do so
He also made a neat discovery, the plastic heads form Warlord WWII minis work rather nicely with these figs.

There is also a review over at Resin Addict. He also discusses the figures on his forum, go check them out...
Anton over at Toomuchmetal posted up a review for his Secret of the Third Reich army. You can see some nice shots next to another manufacturers minis.

I should have these up for retail sales near the end of next week; I just need to push up some shopping cart software to the website to get thing rolling.

All the best!

Weekly Progress, Day and Night system for PTD 2, PTD 2 Title Screen CONTEST!

Want to get the legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar! 

Hey guys and gals. Another week of Sam and Dan Games has begun! v6.1.1 of Pokemon Tower Defense is now out! You can get your very own Shadow Lickitung by finding the Mystery Gift Code at the link above. (Yes I know he doesn't know Shadow Rush, but you can relearn them move if you want :) )

 We are working hard to get you guys some entertainment and at the same time thinking about what the next steps are for us. As an small independent game studio (we aren't even an official company yet, but will be this year) the best thing we can do is create new and exciting games. Pokemon Tower Defense is an exciting game but we really can only do so much with it because we didn't create Pokemon. Which is why you will see us focus on Hero Tower Defense once PTD 1 is over. But I realize that most of you here are fans of PTD and I have created over 400 moves which I plan to maximize. So I will also be working on PTD 2 on the side.

Last week I put up a poll about the Day/Night System for PTD 2 (which I explained last blog) and it looks like the winner is a Dynamic Day/Night System! Because that is the winner I wanted to include more details about it.

The Day/Night System will work similar to how it works in the game. Some pokemon or events will only happen at certain times in the game's clock. But unlike the game the clock will not be based around 24 hours or around your device's time. It will be based on your play time on levels. Each complete day might like 2-3 hours, when you first play the game will be in day time and as you play the time will be changing. About half way through the day you will enter night time. So as you can see it's not tied to any specific time zone or your computer's clock.

Last week I also finished the preloader for the game, so instead of seeing a white screen you will see a percentage on screen and I made a cool little race so you have something to be entertained by while you wait. The race is Chikorita vs. Totodile vs. Cyndaquil as you load your game they will move closer to the finish line and who knows maybe they will evolve. This is just a small detail that I hope you can appreciate while you wait for the game to load.

Also PTD 2 will have a nice little intro scene that Joel, my brother,  made. Joel will also be helping make the intro and ending cutscenes for all the levels which will help make them more interesting and detailed. It will also help me complete more since I will have my hands busy with HTD.

Speaking of intro scenes, just like PTD I'm holding a competition for the actual title screen of the game, this time they can't have their own animated intro (since the game will already have an animation to start) but can have animated elements. So no rolling pokeball and pikachu coming out of it but you can have the rollovers or animations in the page itself. For now just put the same elements that the current game has on there. (Start, Options, Feedback, the Mystery Code, Pokemon Tower Defense 2, a Sam Game, and tell us how to make it better) Post these on our forum so other users can comment and give you feedback. The prize will be all 3 SHINY LEGENDARY DOGS! Which won't be available until PTD 2 comes out later this year. Like I said don't email me your entries, post them on the forum. This contest will run for at least a month so you will have time to make them special. Show me what you got!

We are also talking about our third game which is the Creatures Universe game (Project ANPO), you can read more about it here. As the weeks go by I will be talking more about the ideas I have for it on the blog so look forward to that.

This week in PTD we will have a new Story level, new TMs, a new Mystery Gift, new level cap, along with some other bug fixes. I will also put some of my pokemon up for trade, got any special request for what pokemon I should put up for trade? Let me know in the comments. Also let me know which TMs you would like to see this week in the comments. (TMs with moves that are already in the game will be more likely to be added this week)

PTD First Look for v6.2 by GraphicForce!

PTD 1 Progress:

Story Level (100%) - Pallet Town Training
  • Intro (100%)
  • Layout (100%)
  • Waves (100%)
  • Ending (100%)
Mystery Gift Pokemon (100%) - This is for Monday! MissingNo. The Glitch Pokemon!
  • Implement in Saving Code (100%)
  • Stats (100%)
  • Graphics (100%)
  • Moves (100%)
Added Toxic to the Pokemon Center's Move List (100%)
New TMs (100%)
  • Hydro Pump (100%) - Being available to more pokemon.
  • Bulldoze (100%)
  • X-Scissor (100%)
  • Fury Cutter (100%) 
  • Sludge Wave (100%)
  • Psyshock (100%)
Level Cap Increase (100%) - Level cap to 95
  • Implement in game (100%)
  • Implement in Saving Code (100%)
  • Implement in Trading Center (100%)

PTD 2 Progress:

Temporary Title Screen (0%) - The final one will be from the contest winner, but I will make a placeholder one for now.
Options Menu (0%) - Adding some more options here, like a logout, and more.

HTD Progress:
Click here to see my HTD progress for this week.

That's all for today! As always let me know what you think! If you have any question about PTD, beating a level or how to get a particular pokemon head to our forums, many people there will be happy to help you. If you have account problems send me an email for everything else leave me a comment below!

I love you guys!

After receiving some great feedback here and on Dakka-Dakka, the general consensus, (two or more mentions of the same issue) so far seems to be.

Make for easy weapon swaps:

Will do…. I will make a few blank arms without weapons.

Make all three helmets available as options for each figure:

Yep, all three will be included with each mini, for both heavy weapon and assault minis.

Energy heavy weapons need to be supported by free arm:

I will rework this, I agree the left arm needs something to do 

Some issues with the size or design of the shoulder pads:

I probably won’t make huge changes to these, it’s a design decision that defines the minis silhouette but I think they could use some tweaking to make the minis less top heavy while maintaining a heavily armored look.

Need to re-design the sword to more medieval two handed sword look:

Easy fix… will do. I will show an option and you can give a thumbs up or down.

Need to redesign the auto-grenade launcher to be more interesting:

Agree, but I’m completely uninspired here…. If you have examples of what you would like to see or a direction for me to take these in please speak up. (More input please) I will show an option and you can give a thumbs up or down. 

There are a couple of comments that reference them feeling like CAD models or stiff or what I call wooden. Simply meaning, that they lack life and movement or individuality. I must agree to some extent that this is true. It’s a side effect of making what I call a troop choice model rather than a character model. 
I can pose these as dramatically as any hand sculptor but the nature of making a multi-part, posable mini to represent a mass troop means that there is a certain amount of generic feel to them. I could make these as dynamic as a character figure but then you would have sixty minis that all look over posed, like a space ninja attack. I would also need to charge a bit more for each mini because I would not be able to swap parts from one mini to another, so every mini would be an individual print. This would likely quadruple the cost for each print and mold.
Keep in mind that the ability to pose these will gives you the freedom to make them more dramatic if you choose, and it also keeps a line of twenty from looking like clones. Making accessory packs will allow me and you to add bits, pouches, etc. that will also humanize the minis.

I don’t mind doing dramatic character models if you don’t mind paying the price the market is charging for them.

Overall, so much great feedback, thank you!

First changes up for review:
Reading the posts here and on Dakka, there have been a few mentions of shoulder pads and the foot size. I don’t want oversized clown feet but there was a great suggestion for an overshoe or ankle armor that I think worked out well.

I widened the stance, added ankle armor and made some very slight tweaks to the shoulders. My desire was to ground the mini a bit and deal with some top heavy issues.

Which grenade launcher do you like for the assault troops?
 1 2 or 3?

Next up, the sword.... which do you prefer?

Please let me know what you think, nothing is set in stone so if I make changes that you don’t like, just say so :)
All the best!

Feedback from the Kickstarter project and a review of the minis.

Overall the feedback has been great. Comments like, "The best casts I have ever seen" and "The quality and design is excellent. It’s not often I get metal figures of this quality, nor ones that look relatively effortless to prepare for painting."

Don’t get me wrong, there have been issues... the wrong left arms were sprued on tabs with the right arms.... I have replacement lefts in transit to me right now and will have those out to the Kickstarters ASAP. Overall I am very happy with them and it seems that despite the error with the arms, so are my customers.

One of my customers, a very talented painter posted up a review.  DWARTIST’S PAINTING BLOG

A big thank you, to my customers for all their support and understanding.

Acer Tablets At Nightingale

The Android devices have move on and in order to combat some of the issues that the last school found with app deployment we have now purchased a new content management system.

This is made by

This company does also produce its own tablets, but you can by just the software for £30 per device, which we have done.

I have been spending time this week getting them correctly configured. The software allows you to switch between profiles for different year groups, making the tablets more flexible - it also has the effect of locking down parts of the device which I know the last school has to find a solution to as well or the children started installing apps.

Next week I hope to get the devices in class and use them to capture some of the world book day work we will be doing.

Nic Hughes

Spanish Scutarii Finished!

At long last I've managed to find the energy to paint the bulk of the remaining Spanish. Initially I was planning on having 14 scutarii units, each on 4 stands; each unit comprising 24 figs . However, in almost every game we have played we have chosen to deploy scutarii in units of 6 stands. 56 stands does not divide by 6. I thought about it for a while, looked at what figures I had, and then decided to stretch an extra unit out of them.

With the 24 stands (each with 6 figs) I already have these 197 figures add another 36 stands - for a much more useful total of 60 stands. Of course, 19 stands only have 5 figures each on them, but as 6 stand units deploy in a double rank this does not detract too much; the 5 figure stands are at the back.

Anyway here are the newly painted scutarii. There are now 341 scutarii. There are 439 Spanish figures painted. There are only 40 caetratii, plus command stand figures, still to paint.

The figures are all Renegade. They were painted in enamels on a black undercoat. They were painted in 4 batches with each batch having a limited mix of shield colours. The whole lot were mixed before basing on 4mm ply wood bases (60mm x 60mm). I'll finish the basing when all the Spanish are finished. 

Preview of all ten heavy trooper miniatures

Some of these you have seen, others are new. This is a preview of the complete line of Eisenkern heavy troopers, with some poorly written fluff :)

I would like to encourage you to leave comments about these miniatures; this may be the last chance for changes or revisions. Anything you love, hate, or feel you would like to see.... please speak up.

I will be starting another Kickstarter project to attempt to gain funding for these miniatures. I hope to see you there and will post here and on many of the gaming news sites when this becomes available.

Here is the full squad of heavy weapons.

The heavy trooper is encased in a protective layer of armor that simply shrugs off most small arms fire. On its surface, a thin layer of IRC (Iron ring carbon atoms) provides an immense level of protection. The similarity to their large cousins the Leviathans is striking. Augmented by the same mechanical musculature of the Leviathan, the armor provides vastly improved physical strength and resilience. All of this advanced technology would be nothing without the highly trained and determined soldier that wears this armor. Only the most skilled and aggressive soldiers are recruited to the ranks of the Eisen-J├Ąger. All heavy troopers wear a badge of distinction, a white tunic with a black cross, harkening back to the medieval Teutonic order of knights.

Here we have one of the head swap options… Each mini will come with all three heads. The standard heavy trooper, the assault trooper and the M42 German style seen here.

This is the Grendel siege gun.

Stretching the capabilities of the power armor to move such a sizable piece, this cannon fires a fin stabilized, rocket propelled round. An initial underpowered charge launches the round from the cannon. Once the round has cleared the barrel the rocket propellant ignites and hurls the round down range.

This allows for a substantially reduced recoil transfer to the trooper, as the initial charge is only strong enough to expel the warhead thirty meters. The minimum safe distance if there is a malfunction and the rocket does not ignite. Far from accurate, the cannon is most often used for indirect fire against large fortifications. More often than not, this weapon is assigned to an assault squad as a “door opener” for the assault troops.

This is the H.E.L cannon (High Energy Laser).

Energy weapons in the Iron Core Universe are inefficient, requiring large amounts of power from iron core reactors. The size of such a reactor is far beyond what one would consider man portable. The H.E.L. cannon are mated to an advanced capacitor that stores the energy needed to power this device. This has the disadvantage of providing a limited power supply and a limited number of shots before the capacitor runs dry. The trooper would then need to plug his capacitor into a suitable energy supply to recharge.

This is the Nova Cannon.

The Nova cannon is a plasma weapon. It superheats a small ball of matter to the point of becoming energy and accelerates the ball of plasma down the barrel through the use of electromagnetic coils that line the inner barrel. A devastating weapon that suffers from the same limited number of shots as is cousin the H.E.L cannon. The Nova cannon derives its name from the intense light emitted by the plasma ball, the energy thrown out is so powerful and of such a broad spectrum of visible light that it will often  burn the retinas of unprotected eyes.

This is the quad mount.

Four MG-42 variants, that have been mounted two on each arm. Particularly effective against soft skin targets and often used as air defense. This trooper’s main job is to suppress enemy units and limit the opposition’s ability to move freely.

This is the light anti-tank gun.

A 60mm low velocity round is fired from this short barreled cannon. Insufficient for use against heavily armored vehicles, its main purpose is to target and destroy other heavily armored troopers and light skinned vehicles.

Here we have the assault squad.

Armed with a power sword, a device that project a thin layer of energy along the length of its blade, it is more than capable of dealing with light armored vehicles and other heavily armored troops. Each member of an assault squad also carries a fully automatic grenade launcher. The recoil from this weapon is substantial, but the power armor makes control of this weapon a non-issue. Assault troopers are expected to go where angels fear to tread, without hesitation they will charge into action and through force of will, face any obstacle.
Assault trooper will have auto grenade launcher you can glue to the fig.

All the best!


Hero Tower Defense Thursday: Day 27 - HTD Pre-Alpha v0.008 Release! Skill Selection Screen! New Artist, Bill!

Want to get the legendary dogs? Shiny Mew? or any other shiny pokemon in the game? Adopt them today using SnD coins! Click here for more info.

Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

Welcome to Hero Tower Defense Thursday!

HTD Logo

Go here to read Day 26 of Hero Tower Defense Thursday.

Alright we're back! For this release the main attraction is the Skills Selection Screen. This screen does just what it's name implies, it lets you select skills for each of your heroes. The graphics for the menus and everything are still just placeholders while Kevin works on the actual graphics and some features of this screen are still missing but are in the works.

The heroes still come with their standard skills but you can customize them however you like. All you have to do is drag and drop skills from the skills menu into the active skill slots at the bottom middle. You can swap active skills by dragging them onto each other and remove them by dragging them out of their active skill slots.

The skills still follow the same rules as before where they will do their skills in order of priority based on the skill slot position they are in, start with the Native skill which you can't move or change yet. So right now your character will always set the highest priority on the Native Skill first (up to 3 stacks on the enemy) and then skill slot 1, then 2, etc. If a higher priority skill is on cooldown they will automatically skip it and check for the next highest priority skill, and so on till there is an available skill to use. In other words, your heroes will keep busy with the skills you've given them.

There have also been some graphic bugs that were fixed along with giving the male some hair and a cloak to wear. You may also notice that each of screens basically look completely different from each other. Don't worry, it will all become more unified as Kevin finishes the graphics for them which he is currently working on.

On that note, we have brought on another artist to help with HTD. So let's welcome Bill to the team! He will be helping us push graphics along a bit faster and is looking forward to designing some creatures and effects especially along with doing animation in general. Kevin will be helping him out so the graphical style stays consistent and everything moves along smoothly.

I'd also just like to mention again that there is a HTD wiki page that has been created by our fans! It can be found here:

Big thanks to everyone who has been contributing! We've also added the wiki to the Fan Links/FAQ tab.

What's New:

-Added Skill Selection Screen

-Added Human Male Hair: Swagger Shag

-Added Human Male Cloak

-Fixed various graphical bugs

In the Works:

  • Design
    • Skill Behavior Screen (100%)
    • Profiles Screen (100%)
    • Inventory Screen (50%)
  • Graphics
    • Party Selection Screen Graphics (100%)
    • Water Skill: Soak (Native) (75%)
    • Water Skill: Aqua Strike (T1 Physical) (75%)
    • Water Skill: Water Pistol (T1 Magical) (75%)
  • Audio
    • Sound Effects: Water Spell (100%)
    • Sound Effects: Male Hit (100%)
    • Sound Effects: Female Hit (100%)
    • Sound Effects: Male Death (100%)
    • Sound Effects: Female Death (100%)
  • Programming
    • User Profile (100%) - Being able to save your settings, you can use your same PTD log in

Also check out Kevin's blog, KXN @ HTD for HTD concept art, art related works in progress, and more!

Leave any questions, ideas, suggestions, bugs, and any other feedback in the comments! Thanks!


The Battle of Nemausus - Full Report

"Scipio ordered the attack at once. The legionaries went forward with confidence and fought with great determination. His cavalry, of which he was woefully short, were swept away like autumn leaves in a gale. His infantry, seeing their doom, were forced to withdraw, with heavy loss, before they were surrounded and destroyed. Scipio was badly wounded by a sling shot in the encounter: He had taken control of the 2nd legion after its senior officers were killed in the cruel fight."

The Roman legions advance.

Roman cavalry advance on Numidian cavalry under a hail of javelins.

On the Carthaginian left the elephants are repelled, but replaced in the attack by veteran Spanish infantry.
On the right the Carthaginians launch their Spanish cavalry and elephants against the oncoming Romans.
The Roman cavalry are swept away in short order.
On the right, elephants are again given short shrift by the Roman infantry. 
The fight becomes one of infantry Vs infantry, but the Spanish cavalry threaten the flanks and rear. 
The Roman cavalry is defeated by the Numidians and the Roman right is similarly threatened.
The infantry battle heats up before..... 
...the Romans, with their flanking cavalry defeated (and at 2 morale chips), break off and start to withdraw.
The bulk of the 1st legion, harassed by Spanish cavalry, manages to withdraw largely intact.
The battle is ended.
Post Battle:
The battle lasted just over two full turns. We decided to call it a 5 'Hannibal: R Vs C' battle card duration battle. As the Romans had managed to withdraw with one legion, and its defeated cavalry had not been pursued off table, we decided it was a 0 adjustment victory for the Carthaginians. Both sides rolled on the losses table and the Romans withdrew to Massilia. Carthage losses = 1 CU. Roman losses 4 CU.

The Battle of Nemausus

Several people have asked, elsewhere, how we will accurately transpose board CU to the table and back. The answer, I'm afraid, is much less precise than many would imagine. Peter and I have decided to fight a 'miniatures' 2nd Punic War campaign; we are not fighting a Hannibal R Vs C board game with just the battles transposed; rather, we are just using the board game to deal with map movement, politics and other events, and to generate the battles. Consequently, an accurate mathematical equation is not required. Our approach is far more 'kriegspiel' in nature. Peter and I are competitive, but we are able to play a campaign wearing two hats - we are both a player and an umpire. We rarely argue anything other than 'cases'. We also know that a losing anecdote is often as funny as hell!

I would also like to introduce a little known contemporary author to you (see end of post). Scrotivius (origin unknown) wrote extensively on this campaign. That he lived in Rome is not doubted, but his sympathies are far less certain. From time to time I will quote his words.

 We will, of course, be using Ager Proelii rules to determine the overall outcome (win / loss) of the battles.

Army Characterisation cards for the Romans:
46 army morale chips.
Look Sir! Army Morale card.
Wild card.
Aggressive. Melee, Up 1 card.
Carthaginian Army Characterisation cards:
86 army morale chips.
By Saturn! card

Roman deployment is typical: A standard consular army deployment of legions in the centre with cavalry on the wings. Peter and I do not hold with three quarters of the cavalry being on one (left) wing. As a third of the allies were detailed off as extraordinarii, we believe it is just as likely that these formed up with the 'Romans' - as most allies had been colonised by the Romans, they may actually have been so - equalling up the deployment exactly. I have no direct evidence that this is true or was ever done; I just find it hard to believe that a comparable 25% to 75% wing deployment is not mentioned when it comes to Hannibal's deployments - he seems to have deployed roughly 50% - 50%.

The Roman centre. Comprising the meat grinder - 2 legions with their ala in triple acies formation(Ager Proelii style).

Historically, a consular army had a frontage of about one mile.
Another shot of the centre from the front. Velites, Hastati, Principes, Triarii.

P. Scipio can be seen giving encouragement from the rear.
A cavalry wing. In this case the right, comprising Roman equites and the extraordinarii.

The Carthaginians have deployed their army, comprising African and Iberian troops only (the Gauls in these parts are not too friendly!), with an infantry centre and two equal cavalry wings. Spanish infantry are deployed to take the brunt of the fighting, whilst the deployment of Libyan spearmen and elephants has the look of 'Trebbia' about it. Hannibal has chosen to put all of his Numidian cavalry on the left and his Spanish cavalry on the right.

Spanish cavalry outnumber their Roman counterparts by 2 : 1.

Elephants and Lybyan spearmen. 
The Spanish infantry. The shield markers denote 'solliferrum at the ready'. 
A mirror of the right except for Numidian instead of Spanish cavalry.

Command quality, and the disparity of morale chips, may be the key to this battle. The Romans rolled low command quality rolls and have two D10 and two D8 command group officers. The Carthaginians rolled high and have three D12 and one D10 command group commanders.

Scrotivius wrote: "On the morning of the battle Publius encouraged his troops with brave words and vows not to let the despoiler of Sagentum pass. Hannibal, for his part, stood before his troops and merely raised the skirt of his tunic, winked and smiled: The roar of the Carthaginians echoed across the Alps."

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