Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Italia Mia

In the interest of expanding my experience, I have just started a Renaissance gaming blog  on 6sided.  I understand it is the wordpress engine.  I will give it a while before I post a review since, like any software, it will take a bit of getting used to first.

It features my efforts at painting 28mm so good for a hoot anyway.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who made these lads?

These are 28mm Renaissance figures - arquebussier in close barbutte, I believe nominally Italian.

What I do not remember is who made them.  I think I bought them in 2005 or 2006.  Codes on the bottom are (left to right) 142, 143, 144, 146, 148, and 149.

Any ideas?  Click for a close-up.

Update: Identified by some kind posters on TMP.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Toward a test game: Proof of concept platform

For me, I find that ideas evolve best when I can experiment with their implications immediately.  I am starting the production of a map against which I can experiment with low-level AI agents to which basic military operations can be delegated.

The map at right shows the key portion of the French frontier in 1870.  I will start by working up data from the red square and use it to test initial ideas; then work up to the green before extending the concept (if all works well) to include enough of France, Germany and their neighbors to make a political as well as a military game possible.

There are plenty of good data online,.  Google Earth and Google Maps (and others) are well known.  For raw GIS data, there are truly computer-readable alternatives.  Note also that while rail, canal, and metaled roads impact transportation routes, the backbone of the low-level grid should be constant enough to make most of the data re-usable from the 18th century to now.

The map will not be directly (at least initially) a cartographic product.  Instead, it will of course be a graph.  Graph theory is good fun (and one of the few bits of math I learned at school for fun and have never forgotten), and there are lots of algorithms and analysis tools available to work with them.

For initial visualization I will probably use a tool like GraphViz, which draws graphs based on textual descriptions.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Choices for an "alpha test" game

I think I will get far more done in the context of a trial game than I would thinking abstractly.  My first thought on a test game is the "Imperial Phase" of the Franco-Prussian war.  It is
  • geographically confined, 
  • fast paced, 
  • has many potential actors, 
  • can be expanded into a wider game
  • does not need a naval component
  • a topic I already have a grip on
  • involves areas that I am likely to use for future campaigns.
Indeed, I could start with the area around Metz and the  few days around the battles of Mars-la-Tour, then expand it.

Other choices would be specific campaigns from one of the Silesian wars; but they have widely dispersed but strongly interconnected factors in play.