Monday 25 July 2022

The Beholder

Sometimes all it takes is a little push, so when my eldest son said he needed a monster for his D&D club (an at school activity) to chase a bunch of newbies (giving them a head start at 5th Level) around a dungeon - he asked would I paint the Beholder that had been lurking primed and shaded on the shelf for over a year, it was enough of a prod (see below, the paint went from pot to brush to figure and before you know it, my mojo was back):  

Not someone or something I would want to meet any day down a dungeon! The Whizzkids model is much more animated and scary than the previous one I painted.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Thursday 21 July 2022

3D Printer - Model Satellite Construction

When you are designing a game and cannot find suitable models in the shops and cardboard counters will just not do, fear not 3D printing can come to your rescue (see below, need a satellite, know a friend with a 3D printer, ask them for a favour):

Paint it red and spy on the Americans (see below, a Sweeping Satellite counter checking out what the US are doing in South America): 

Satellite production line started (see below, there is a little patience required in teh "fiddle" of small parts slipping from my chunky fingers despite my opposed thumbs): 

Global coverage of satellite scans is increasing (see below, the typical game turn will require between three and five model counters to represent geographical areas scanned): 

For every Red model there is a reciprocal Blue (see below, the black line represents the satellite track and the circles locations to scan): 

The satellites had to fight for their space on the painting tray but were righteous and victorious in the end (see below, despite teh curing of teh super glue required): 

Ready to go to the show (see below, eight Red versus eight Blue):

All I need to add now is some yellow (China), green (Commercial) and white (NASA) satellites.

Monday 18 July 2022

KCL Wargaming Presentation: Valid and Meaningful Assessment of Wargames (YouTube)

The first of the Wargaming Network's 2021-2022 public lecture series, 'Valid and Meaningful Assessment of Wargames,' featuring the research of Kate Kuehn, is now live on the
 Wargaming Network's YouTube channel

Wargames offer a promising avenue for analyzing the quality of plans or decisions as well as for developing and assessing player or team capabilities. Within a military education context, wargames can reproduce authentic, complex environments that facilitate application and integration of critical 21st century learning skills like creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. At the same time, these dynamic environments pose a challenge for traditional measurement approaches, evidenced by numerous critiques of simulation-based learning, games-based learning, and wargaming assessment practices. Purposeful integration of assessment into wargaming design is essential to demonstrating the value of wargaming for individuals and institutions. This lecture will highlight key principles of sound and meaningful assessment within wargaming contexts, synthesizing literature from measurement and gaming disciplines. The discussion will also integrate lessons from a case study that examined assessment challenges and practices of a U.S. military education program that is rapidly expanding these activities in its curriculum. The findings highlighted key mechanisms and opportunities to “bake assessment in” to wargame design and facilitation. The presentation seeks to offer a guide for practitioners who are seeking to implement valid and meaningful assessment of learning that can be adapted to their own wargaming practices. 

Kate Kuehn is the Director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning at Marine Corps University (MCU). In addition to managing the University’s institutional effectiveness process, she supports the evaluation of all MCU professional military education programs and directorates. Kate has spent 12 years working on evaluation and assessment of military education programs, providing advice on the design of learning assessments at the classroom, program, and institutional level. She is a member of the Military Education Assessment Advisory Group and has frequently served on military accreditation teams. Her research focuses on assessment and performance evaluation in complex contexts. More specifically, she is currently focused on assessment in team-based simulated learning environments. Kate has an MA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a BA from the College of William and Mary. She is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development with specializations in education research methodology and educational psychology. Her dissertation proposes an assessment framework for collaborative, ill-structured games, and examines its application to educational wargaming practice. 

Watch Kate Kuehn's presentation and the audience Q&A now at the Wargaming Network's YouTube channel, and we look forward to your participation in the upcoming 2022-2023 public lecture series. 

Sunday 17 July 2022

WD's COW 2022 at Shrivenham

To give you a better insight into the event I can do no better than direct you to some excellent bloggers (see below, fellow WD'ers who are also far quicker than me on the keyboard): 

Blog Reports: 

As you can see there was a fabulous array of games to be had plus you could get up close to some dark armoured denizens (see below, an evil looking T72, not recommended if you are either claustrophobic or like like a sense of "Health and Safety" in your working environment): 

The whole event was scarily brilliant!

Saturday 16 July 2022

Summer Read: SPQR by Mary Beard

My latest summer read (or rather listen to, at odd moments of the day such as dog walking and driving in the car) was Mary Beard's SPQR as background material for an unexpected wargame project with a friend who is taking up the hobby late in life. I spied Command and Colours in his games cupboard (I do know him as an active RPG fan) which led to a few leading questions and he revealed all. Then from board games he independently took the plunge into 6mm Baccus Late Republican Rome. I clearly have some catching up to do. Ancient Rome was an area I always wanted to dig deeper into, I have sated my Greek knowledge with books and extended DBA armies, but have only tinkered at Rome. I spied Mary Beard's SPQR book on his shelf and thought that a good supplement to by Osprey's Enemies of Rome compendium (see below, narrated by a voice actor but good nevertheless): 

Boy these Romans are a funny lot, indeed what constituted being Roman seemed a flexible definition in itself. Background done, it is time to move onto some physical armies. I am aiming at some Spanish (Numantines) and Pontics to fight my friends Late Republican Romans. We have ducked the Punic Wars for the moment, but doubtless we will come back to them in teh future.