Wargame figure calculator Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 

A Excel spreadsheet to help you order figures when the figures come in multiple (eg 30 x 10mm figures in a bag, box of 10 Space Marines).  Break each unit down into its composition ‘types’ – adjust the ‘Ordered’ column until the ‘Total Units’ amount reads the same, then it calculates the cost.


Red or Black – What a load of crap Sunday, Sep 4 2011 

Ant and Dec’s latest vehicle is “Red or Black” – a ‘game’ (in the loosest sense of the word) show that has just started on ITV in Britain.  It definately suffers from “LOOK AT THIS – THIS IS AWESOME!”  Hint- No it isn’t.

Take 256 audience members, and have them guess red or black in a series of contests that are 50/50 between the ‘red’ option and the ‘black’ (although the need to lose exactly half every time means those at the back of the queue get no choice).  The last contestent then guesses Red or Black on a giant proto roulette wheel to win “ONE MILLION POUNDS”!  There is no skill – each challenge is as close to 50/50 as the producers can get (One show included jousting on top of cars, tightrope walker race, top golfers Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood trying to hit a gong in a lake, and picking a place at a table set for 32. Each had a hidden jelly/jello, and on the word they all lifted the cloches to reveal if it was red or black). 

Yet each round is turned into an Olympian contest – the winning colour jelly was revealed by the colour of the table top.  The cloth was removed by ATTACHING IT TO A MOTORBIKE AND PULLING! AWESOME!  Cue interviews with tearful members of the losing half, people upset at being knocked out in round two – you’d think they had just lost their life savings, and then asking the survivors what their strategy is in the next round.  And do these epic contests take place in a normal studio? NO, THIS IS AWESOME, so it starts in Wembley arena (USians – think Madison Square Gardens) before the remaining 128 are bussed to a Stately Home for games in the grounds. 

This all takes an hour, to whittle down from 256 to 8.  That is 5 rounds.  There is then a half hour break while they show another programme, then we return for THE GRAND FINALE!!1!11 (more…)

Napoleonic Casualty Calculator Thursday, Sep 1 2011 

Following a discussion of 2 line vs 3 line on TMP, I wrote a spreadsheet to calculate the difference.  You can set the number of men in each battalion, including the split between the front 2 firing ranks of a French battalion, and those in reserve who fill gaps, as well as the assumed accuracy that will cause a wound severe enough to put a man out of battle.

It is fairly crude on maths, as it makes a number of assumptions:

  1. Kill rate as a % stays constant.
  2. Those filling gaps do so before the next volley
  3. A straight 1 on 1 firefight
  4. Wounds are cause simultaneously – ie it calculates hits before subtracting wounds.  If you want one side to fire first, reduce the strength of the other to start.

The way it calculates the remaining men in the 3 rank bn is by applying all casualties to the 3rd rank (non firers).  When this reaches zero it subtract the overkill from the firing ranks (well it adds the negative number).

Casualty calculator

Excel 97 version

Excel 97 version