Monday, March 4, 2013

One of Those Updates Where I Lump Stuff Together

In addition to contemplating the death rates in The Ever Expanding Dungeon, I've been working on a couple of other projects, one of which I've mentioned before, and one I haven't (at least not on here).

The first is the Great Northern War project. The Kievski battalion is coming along, albeit slowly.

I haven't been happy with the last few painting session results.

Part of it is my brush - I switched brushes between the last batch and the start of the Kievski unit. The feel is dramatically different than the Army Painter brushes I had been using (which I was trying out to see if they were any better than my usual brush choices).

The bummer is that I have used this brush (well, not this specific brush, but this brand, model and size) before, for my USMC and Japanese infantry last year, so I like them, but it's taking more time than I thought to get used to them again.

The frustration is hindering my enjoyment and I'm tempted to order another set of the Army Painter brushes (they fell apart after the 4th regiment was finished).

The second project is taking a lot of my spare time, and hence the (relative) silence here.

When I was contemplating what I wanted to do in 2013, generally speaking, not hobby focused, I realized that I really wanted to make a dead-tree zine.

This has been something I have wanted to do since I first encountered zines in the mid-90s with titles like Dumpster Diver, Dishwasher and the very well known, incredibly long-running Cometbus.

A feeble attempt was made in 1996, which I had dubbed Bored, but it never saw the light of day because I was bored and the content reflected that, i.e. not very interesting reading for others.

I continued to collect zines and even incorporated them into projects when I was in grad school for my MSLS. The idea of publishing one never died, but I could never figure out just what the focus would be.

Until I stumbled upon the RPG zine renaissance last year and became totally inspired.

So yes, I'll be putting yet another game-related zine out there, hopefully by the end of May.

It will likely have a "punk rock" or "lo-fi" asthetic, cut and paste with scissors and glue, hand bound with dental floss and illustrated crudely, as that's what I like and feel expresses what i want to express, but hopefully the content will appeal to people even if they don't like the way it looks.

As I plan to give it away for free (at least a limited number of copies),  I'm not worried about the effect on sales.

Oh, and Saturday night, I finished painting up the MDF for my new wargaming setup. They might need a second coat, but frankly, I'm too anxious to push some plastic or lead across them to do that!


  1. (note previous comment deleted to correct some errors and silly spelling mistakes.)

    Here are a few links to some photos of some of my GNW figures from some years back:

    As for zines, I was a contributor to "Alarums and Excursions" back in the early 80s (and maybe late 70s, I'm not sure). I'll write something up for you if you want me to.

    -- Jeff

    1. Jeff,

      Thank you for the links! Believe it or not, I first heard of the Great Northern War when I encountered your site not long after I started wargaming. It was your pictures that made me want to some day paint up figures for the conflict.

      I even remember reading the article on painting horses (which I have now saved so I can use it when I get around to painting the horses for my own forces. Like Mr. Schwartz, I hate painting horses.)

      Regarding writing for a zine - that would be great. My first zine is written (and being edited now, before I begin the "old school" layout process with scissors and rubber cement) and is intended to be a one-shot.

      But I already am looking to writing another one.

      I plan to emphasize the dungeon crawl. Anything at all related to that would be greatly appreciated: memories of dungeons explored, thoughts on running them or playing them, random generators, house rules, tips/techniques, small dungeon maps, etc. So feel free to submit something if you're interested!

      I hope to put the first one out by May 1, and I'd love to put the 2nd (the dungeon crawl one) out in June before the Atlanta Zine Fest, but July may be more realistic.


    2. John,

      First, I'm delighted that my GNW posts inspired you.

      As for the 'zine, I'm actually more familiar with GMing social games. I have lots of good ideas about how to be a good GM -- many of which would work for a social group on a crawl but not a solo crawl. My background is in Theatre so I've always emphasized role-play in my adventures.

      For the last year I've been an invalid (cancer surgery, etc.) and I've just finished a six-month course of chemotherapy three weeks ago . . . so I've been pretty out-of-it for a while. I'm still a long ways from recovering my stamina (and my immune system is still compromised from the chemo) so I can't do any social gaming yet.

      Your solo dungeon crawls have intrigued me and I'm going to give it a try. So I've set up a blog for it: -- start at the beginning and work forward to get the setup.

      I have been getting to sort-of do some wargaming the last few months by solo-gaming a mini-campaign between a couple of 16-century "Imagi-Nations" using some ECW rules. The opposing generals are from the opposite sides of Canada (Nova Scotia and British Columbia) and the send me orders for their forces and I play them out. We are now in our third battle:

      By the way, my email address is . . . . . . . please drop me an email so that I've got yours.

      -- Jeff

    3. Jeff,

      FYI, just sent you an email.