Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Broken Contract Kickstarter

Restraint Drone plucking a Breaker helplessly out of a rioting mob. 

Right now there is a Kickstarter running for the Broken Contract Miniature Starter Set. This set is part of a passion project I've been working on for the last year and a half. Broken Contract is a miniature adventure game. It is equal parts boardgame, miniature wargame, and RPG. It tries to capture the excitement of an action-adventure movie in game form without getting too cerebral. The goal is for the players (2-8) to immerse themselves in the characters and events as they unfold. It uses an extensive list of actions with simple D6 rolls to perform them to allow for everything from leaping chasms to diving under closing doors without elaborate abstraction interfering with your mental image of the events.

The game's story set in a dystopian future where workers are simply resources to be exploited. From time to time, workers rise up and lash out against their corporate masters. The year is 2308AD and mankind has spread to the stars in search of new resources. Corporations have supplanted nations, and all of humanity is tethered in some degree to them. Broken Contract, for now, is focusing on one such corporation, FerrumSky. On the far off planet of Hathor we meet a cast of characters bound to FerrumSky in the iron mines of Orin Settlement. 

Four of the Characters from the Kickstarter. Officer Hickley, Adesi Haddonis, Nells Turnbull, and Trest.

This Kickstarter is trying to raise money to manufacture that introductory cast of characters, and it has succeeded in meeting the initial funding goal which is FANTASTIC! Still, we're trying to push it even further so that we can fund a bunch of terrifying, oppressive, flying drones, because why kind of dystopian future would it be without things like Surveillance Drones, Sonic Disruptor Drones, Gas Drones, Terrorwave Drones. and Restraint Drones? Yes. I have Drone dreams, and we need help making them a reality. Check out the Kickstarter and think about giving us a boost toward that dream.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Scenery for Sale! Lovingly Crafted Scenery Here!

Some things have come up and I need money quickly so I'm going to try and purge my scenery collection for virtual cash. Some of these pieces have been with me for as many as 10+ years. Some of them were documented originally on my old blog, Redemptors of Golinar, when I moved to Chicago in 2006. But here I sit in my new home of Milwaukee and I need cash for a multitude of bills, so they have to go.

Small Shanty: This shack was built for an Ork themed shanty town when I first moved to Chicago in 2006. Plasticard, rock, sand, and something out of the inside of an old computer. $25.00.

Storage Tank: Built in Buffalo, NY in 2002 or 2004, I'm not sure exactly when, but this piece has seen many battles over the years. CD-R spindle, Plastruct, brass tubing, card, and a Leman Russ handle. The foamcore base was added in early 2009. $35.00

Chimney Stack: Built around 2006, this piece is built out of foamcore, cardstock, sand, and a fax paper tube. $25.00

Shanty Garage/Mek Workshop: This piece combines an "Ork tent" with little workshop off of the back. The piece features an Imperial Guard dozer blade, Citadel barrel, some off brand modular piping/ladder, Plastruct, sintra, corrugated cardboard, sand, and even paper towel soaked in glue. $40.00.

The Great Pinnacle: This piece stands just under 16" high in truly epic grandeur. I love this piece even if its a pain to store. Its actually large enough that a Stompa could use it for cover. It was built in Chicago in early 2009. I even found the blogpost from when I "finished it." I actually later went back and added weathering powders when I got them in like 2012.  Foamcore, foam insulation, sand, and a lot of spackling. $35.00

Gateway Spires: One of my favorite types of pieces to build are the pieces of scenery that create a pathway. I love the visual of it. Anyway, the taller of the two spires stands 10". Built in early 2009 in Chicago out of foamcore, foam insulation, sand, and spackling. $25.00

Mid Spire: This spire is a little smaller, still coming in at 11" tall. It features two mated foam spires on a built up base. Built in Chicago in early 2009. Foamcore, foam insulation, sand, and spackling. $20.00

The Pinnacles Set: Buy the whole Pinnacles set for $75.00 so they don't have to be separated from their friends.

Desert Scrub Forest: The scrub forest. Natural broom bristles, foamcore, foam insulation, sand, and spackling. $25.00 if you want to pick some things up. Prices do not include postage.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Zombicide: Rue Morgue in Milwaukee

In December two "big" things took place. The first thing that took place was that my girlfriend's copy of Zombicide: Rue Morgue came in the mail (Epic! I know.) The second thing was that my girlfriend and I moved to Milwaukee.

As the name 2ndCityWarzone might imply, this blog was born of gamers in Chicago. Originally, there were several of us who regularly blogged. Then the herd thinned further and further as interests and responsibilities changed, and in some cases people moved away. I've kept the torch going the longest and here I am, typing a post for 2ndCityWarzone while sitting in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee in our new place. I'd love to see some of the old guard in Chicago pick the torch back up again so I feel more like a guest blogger than a poser, but I don't have faith that will happen.

One of the first things to get unpacked and set up were my display cases and miniatures, because that's important; in part to make sure everything survived the journey. There were a couple of repair jobs necessary after the move, but nothing significant.

Since getting to Milwaukee I've had the pleasure of getting the grand gaming tour from my old boss at Next Dimension Games, Nate. He's shown me every cool gaming store, hobby store, and comic book store that sells games in pretty much all the nearby suburbs. It was very nice of him to do that and I can't thank him enough.

With the big move I haven't done a lot of gaming. I went back to Chicago once and met with some of my Broken Contract play testers to try out a new demo scenario and just hang out - but that's been it for gaming. I did get my first Broken Contract casts in the mail, so that was very exciting for me.

These models are Officer Hickley, Trest the Gen-Mod, and Talla Kellerman the Technician.

I'm working on painting them now - slowly but surely.

Officer Hickley with some paint on him. He's like 1/3 complete... Unless I change him completely, of course.

I still have a ways to go, but he's coming along. I've also been working on a ton of scenery for the game and have been doing a whole series on it on the Broken Contract design blog.

Model's eye view from within my futuristic "FerrumSky Iron Mine" terrain board.

Long story short, I really want to change my lack of game playing here in Milwaukee, so I created an event on to try and meet some new people here in Riverwest who might be into gaming. To that end, I'm hosting Zombicide: Rue Morgue at Fuel Cafe this Wednesday night at 7PM. If you're from the Milwaukee area and follow this blog, or just stumbled across this post on BoLS blog feed, feel free to come out and play some Zombicide. I'm really looking forward to playing some games, meeting some people, and playing the new game. The changes are subtle but interesting and Zombicide is always a good time. Hopefully people come out.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Now Accepting Commission Scenery Work

Top quality detailing on a Skyshield Landing Pad I did for Next Dimension Games in Chicago. It now resides with the Brohammer Gaming Club in Chicago.

I am currently accepting commission terrain work. Nothing brings our beloved hobby to life like beautiful scenery to play on. I've been building and painting scenery for a long time dating back to my old gaming store Adventures Unleashed in Buffalo, NY during the mid 90's and working for GW in the early 2000's at GW#108 in Buffalo.

I can quickly take the resin and plastic terrain you've been collecting for ages and turn it into gorgeous table top scenery. 

Over the years my scenery and terrain painting skills have adorned Transit Station and Jester's Cap (now Two Kings) in Buffalo, NY, Next Dimension Games in Chicago, AdeptiCon's 40K Warzone Tournament, and photo quality scenery for box art used by Hyacinth Games/Wreck-Age.

I'll gladly combine kits to give more personality to your terrain. This Cities of Death building was based with GW Moonscape Crater to give the appearance it took a direct missile hit.

More GW scenery painted for Next Dimension Games. 40K Ammo Crates on a Realm of Battle board.

Hyacinth Games has commissioned me to paint most of their resin terrain for photo use.

The resin tents and campfire were quickly and affordably painted for Hyacinth Games.

You'll get more for your dollar by having me paint the terrain you already own, but I can building something custom completely from the ground up.

Custom urban arch built as a centerpiece for my home Cities of Death board. This piece has been used in the 40K Warzone Tournament at AdeptiCon in 2013 and 2014.

4'x4' trench board built specifically for the 40K Warzone Tournament at AdeptiCon. It is currently available for sale.

I can do everything from quick game play ready to photo ready depending on your needs and budget. Contact me here:

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity Changed My Life

When I was in 3rd grade I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons by my cousins, Mike and Phil. They had gotten the Basic Set for Christmas and at the yearly family holiday gathering one of them ran my brother and I through an encounter from Keep on the Borderlands. My brother enjoyed it, but I quickly became obsessed. I was 8 years old and I had found my 2nd love (my first love was music, which I had already fallen for thanks to the band KISS).

I remember borrowing the Basic Set from my cousins and trying to DM my Mom through Keep on the Borderlands, mercilessly killing all her characters with kobolds. (Sorry mom, thanks for your patience!) I have so many memories from ages 8 and up that relate to gaming. My mom taking me to Walden Books for my first set of polyhedral dice. My mom taking me to the Greenhaven Library where I'd take out their Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monster Manual, and Deities and Demigods over and over again until my mom bought me my own. But one of my early moments of independence was riding my bike to 7-11 and buying my first Advanced D and D module, A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity. (Yes, at 7-11. It was a different time back then!)

Everyone from that era only seems to talk of the father of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax. But I had my own hero - David 'Zeb' Cook. A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity left an indelible mark with its orc guardians, aspis drones, and giant sundew that I think you had to kill with casks of wine? All I know is that David 'Zeb' Cook's name has been forever burned into my brain. X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, and the Escape from New York board game were all in my collection. When all of my friends wanted to be astronauts or firemen when they grew up, I said I wanted to be a game designer for TSR when I grew up, like David 'Zeb' Cook.

Over the years I thought about things I would like to add to games like Crossbows and Catapults or even Monopoly (before there were 100 versions of Monopoly) and of course, I created all sorts of my own dungeon adventures for ADandD. By the end of my teens I owned a huge collection of ADandD books, modules and Dragon Magazines, and had finally started collecting games like Battletech and Car Wars. But I wasn't strictly an indoor kid. In high school, gaming was interspersed with laser tag, hacky sack, skateboarding, and eventually, playing music.

In 1994 I was singing in a straight edge hardcore punk band called Halfmast, playing ADandD when I wasn't practicing or playing shows, and had just opened a gaming store with my gaming group called Adventures Unleashed. In 1992 or 1993 I had started submitting articles to Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine because I still had it in my mind that I was going to be a game designer. In 1994, I made my first real accomplishment towards those ends, I had an article I had written published in Dragon Magazine #210 as part of their Arcane Lore series.

Somewhere around then, my focus changed slightly in terms of gaming. We started carrying Warhammer at Adventures Unleashed and my interest in role-playing quickly vanished. I played Warhammer Fantasy Battle first, and then Warhammer 40K, but they weren't the real game changers. In 1995 GW released Necromunda and it turned my gaming interests upside down. Like with ADandD I was obsessed. I spent hours painting, converting, building terrain, and writing my own scenarios. Now though, I was submitting them to Citadel Journal. I even got an acceptance letter for an article that never made it into print, but Citadel Journal was going through a lot of format changes then so I could see how I'd fall through the cracks. Regardless, now, instead of working for TSR, I wanted to work for GW.

In the summer of 1996 Halfmast broke up and I immersed myself more in Adventures Unleashed, doing lots of painting, gaming, and running gaming events. In 1997 we were having trouble keeping ourselves on the payroll and one of us was going to have to find a "real" job. It was around then that I saw an ad in White Dwarf that GW was hiring Trade Sales people. I sent a resume, scored an interview, and drove all the way from Buffalo, NY to Baltimore, MD to interview. I was so nervous I was shaking as John Matthews and another guy asked me completely reasonable questions and I stammered my way through answering them. It was bad. Really bad. But I had brought a bunch of my painted models and even some scratch built work. I didn't get that job, but they forwarded my name to the guy hiring new retail staff members, a guy by the name of Sean Forbes.

I received a series of calls from Sean because it just so happened they were expanding into Buffalo, NY. He eventually scheduled an interview for me with a guy named Brenden Terrill. I still remember sitting in the Walden Galleria food court in Cheektowaga, NY that afternoon, with this smug, sometimes serious, sometimes grinning guy sitting across from me asking me why I wanted to work for GW. I confessed, "I really just want to get my foot in the door so that I can eventually get involved in game design." He chuckled to himself and said, "You remind me a lot of me when I came to Games Workshop. You're hired."

Brenden had a lot of faith in me and reassured me that it was okay to buy my first (and only) new car, that my job was secure. In 8 months he had moved on to another new GW store and left me to manage GW108. Things were exciting and fun for a while. Then working for GW started to grind us both down. In late 1999 I started a new band called No Time Left. It felt great to be playing music again, it was such a different world than running demo games for a company that expected us to live and breath gaming 24/7 whether we wanted to or not. I remember reaching the point where I wanted to leave GW but I had those new car payments to deal with. Brenden and I left GW within a few weeks of each other in 2001, and I only had 1 car payment left. I was free. A few months later I went on my first coast to coast tour of the US with my band No Time Left.

Over the years I dodged back and forth between music and gaming as my focus, but they've always been right here with me. The desire to design games has never left me. Two years ago I fell in love with a project my friends were working on called Wreck-Age, the post-apocalyptic RPG and miniature skirmish game. I helped a lot with play testing, helped iron out some kinks in the rules, and introduced some small concepts. I left a very small mark on the game but that experience filled me with excitement, even if I felt compelled to step away from Hyacinth Games. I wanted to strike out on my own. Here was something I loved, that fulfilled my urge to create, but that I could continue doing when I was old and grey, because no one wants to see a washed up punk rocker play in front of a bunch of kids after a certain point. Those years aren't here yet, but they're coming, and I know that.

Gaming has done so much for me as a person. Its the one social outlet I have that doesn't make me feel awkward and weird as soon as the game is set up. When I was young it helped shape my education and kept me reading and learning. The education system here in the US doesn't work well for a young anti-social, anti-establishment kid. Even today, when I gather with my punk friends, what do we do? Crack out a game. Table top games bring people together while they challenge our minds. I want to contribute to that. I want to turn some kid's world upside down. I want to design some kid's Slave Pits of the Undercity.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Just Over a Week Away!

Broken Contract worker revolt scene by Geng Gendall

On September 1st I'll be launching the Kickstarter for Broken Contract, the sci-fi western themed miniature board game I've been working on for almost a year now. This week will be a flurry of activity as I try and get everything as it should be for the best results. I have a bunch of art and 3D sculpts, but I still have to make the Kickstarter video, re-run all of my numbers again, and do a photo shoot with my mock up game pieces which are still in the process of being designed. So much to do!

Breakers by Geng Gendall

In the meantime, enjoy all of the art, check out the Broken Contract Design Blog, Like Broken Contract on Facebook, and if you run across any Broken Contract posts on BoLS GameWire, DakkaDakka, Warseer, or BoLS Lounge drop a comment. If there is some place you go to for your forum or blog based gaming fix that I haven't mentioned, by all means start a thread or make a post. Every bit of public support helps very much!

Prods by Geng Gendall

I'm still putting the finishing touches on the Broken Contract Kickstarter page, but if you want to take a first glimpse at it you are welcome to. People who follow 2ndCityWarzone are the first people to see it outside of my immediate friends, so check it out. Remember, I haven't made the video yet - that's the first thing people comment on the page needing. Believe me, I know. :)

Officer Naria Anlika 3D sculpt by Tim Barry

Here's the most recent sculpt I got from Tim Barry. I think he's doing a great job. If you didn't know he did the sculpts for Aetherium

Over this next week is the best time to get your feedback in, make suggestions, and let me know if you would like to help out in some way. I'll take any help I can get. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Big Things Afoot

Tents by me. I'm not sure about the figs. Box design by Anton Zaleski.

Last update I showed off some tents and a campfire that I painted for Wreck-Age which were painted up to be used in their box art. Well here it is! I think they came out pretty well.

This pic shows the back side of 2 of the tents.They aren't as detailed without the beat up salvaged road signs but I still really like them.

Anton did mention having me do a series of other scenery kits for them but I'm not sure I'll have time with gearing up to Kickstart my own game - Broken Contract. This week I got my second 3D render from sculptor Tim Barry. Its a Breaker - a contracted miner who has raised his tool in revolt. 

3D sculpt by Tim Barry based on Geng Gendall art.
And a week before that I got this concept sketch from Sam Alcarez for a Breaker mechanic:

Breaker concept art by Sam Alcarez

Things are really coming together. I haven't been able to touch my Orks still and I regretfully cancelled my last 2 attempted gaming nights but at least the game itself is coming along,

Thanks for reading!