Monthly Archives: July 2014

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part XXVII

The Prosciutto still hasn’t spoiled, as part 27 drops on your lap.

As always, click image to enlarge

In Part 26 Benvenuto’s brothers laid claim to his County and Ducal titles and split the di Parma family with a civil war. Robbed of a proper army by jealous, back stabbing vassals Benvenuto had to negotiate with the brothers as opposed to bringing about their destruction, fortunately part of the settlement involved the imprisonment of both brothers. Salerno’s prison held four schemers. In this part, what to do with the schemers, and revenge on an old foe.



Locked in a dungeon it would be hard for Buonconte to escape any plot to kill him. Benvenuto concocts a plan and contacts his supporters

GrogHeads Interviews Mark H. Walker

Jim Zabek & Mark Walker, 30 July 2014

GH: Hi Mark. It’s been a while since we last chatted. A lot of events have transpired since then, not the least of which is your latest book, Desert Moon. Can you tell us how you took your first novel, A Craving for Blood, and updated it to Desert Moon?

Mark: It’s been completely re-edited. Both a copy and structural edit. Additionally I rewrote passages that I didn’t like, and deleted others. The basic story remains the same–the enslaved people of a planet fight against overwhelming might with ancient military hardware. Ancient being Abrams tanks and their ilk. Additionally, I felt that the new cover and title better fit the novel. Finally, it’s great to expose the vast Kindle Direct Publishing audience to the book.


Of course, writing novels isn’t the only thing you’ve done. After successfully launching a game publishing company, Lock n Load, and running it for several years, you turned around and sold it. Can you tell us more about that decision?

It was part financial and part total-freaking-burnout. I’m proud of the fact that between June of 2006 and March of 2013, I was able to not only make and produce some pretty damn good products, but also support a family of five with those products. But I grew tired of living on the financial edge, and even more tired of working seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Make no mistake, I understand how lucky I was. It’s a dream job, but I was ready to move on.

Tuesday Screenshot – Rome II Total War

A Tuesday Screenshot in motion!

Click to enlarge



A bad day in Rome
Is still miles better than a
Good day at a desk


Share your screenshots here >>

GrogHeads Interviews Heather Brown of Proving Ground Games

With an Origins Award-winning game already on the market, Proving Ground Games is getting ready to branch out with a Kickstarter campaign for a more traditional board game.  Heather Brown, business manager and game designer for Proving Ground, was kind enough to give us a few moments to talk about 1740, and the launch of their Kickstarter campaign.



So 1740 appears to be a pretty wide change of direction for the company that just won the award for Best Historical Minis game at Origins. What’s the thought process behind 1740 and how did become the “next game out the door” for you guys?

1740 has been in the back of my head for years. We went with Fields of Fire first because we had a well-tested set of beta rules from the 90s that just needed updating and tweaking. Books are less expensive and easier to publish, so we wanted our first foray into game production to be something that we knew we could get off the ground.

Now that we have that experience behind us, we’re poised to launch additional projects with a much better handle on the process. 1740 is a departure from Fields of Fire, but it still falls within our core game development philosophy. Our mission statement, if you will, is to produce games that are historical, accurate, fun to play, and easy to learn. 1740 fits that to a tee.

As far as why 1740 and not something else? I’ve loved 18th Century history since I was a girl. I grew up reenacting and actually my husband Mark and I met at a reenactment. One of my favorite books in high school was Outlander. It’s the story of a woman from 1945 being thrust back into Scotland in the 18th C. That kind of thing resonates with a reenactor. When I met Mark, he was portraying a Scottish loyalist regiment in the Revolution. So, 1740 brings together a lot of my passions into one place.

GrogHeads Reviews Paper Sorceror

Review by Avery Abernethy,  25 July 2014

                Paper Sorcerer is a turn-based, small party, role-playing game.  Released by Runaway Games after a successful Kickstarter proposal, Paper Sorcerer harkens back to the early days of RPGs such as the early Wizardry, Ultima, and Gold Box D&D dungeons like Pool of Radiance or Eye of the Beholder.  This review is based on my completion of the game after approximately eighteen hours of play on a newish Falcon Northwest personal computer.  My copy of Paper Sorcerer was purchased from on sale for $3.99.  The download was fast and the installation was smooth.

Paper Sorcerer has one of the most creative background stories that I have encountered.  Your main character is an evil sorcerer who has been banished into a book by a party of four good characters.  The book is your prison.  It is also the prison of a host of other evil types.  But a limited number of “good” heroes have also entered the book to keep all of the bad guys from magically breaking the bindings of the book and earning freedom in an unsuspecting world.  The background story is largely told in a short animated sequence at the start of the game and reinforced with minimal background information learned as you explore the dungeon.