Keep Calm and Grog On!


Home About Us Article Index Forums Dice GrogShop GH ON FACEBOOK GrogNews
Let Your Grog Flag Fly!

Recent Articles

GARPA 17, 4/26/13

SimCity AAR Part 1, 4/25/13

Announcing MayViation, 4/24/13

Second Look at Wargame AirLand Battle, 4/21/13

First Look at Wargame AirLand Battle 4/19/13

AAR of Dark Age Minis Battle, 4/18/13

Video Review of Zulus on the Ramparts, 4/14/13

GARPA 16, 4/12/13

Crusader Kings II AAR Part 16, 4/11/13

Book Review: Ninja: 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior, 4/10/13

Review of Bioshock INfinite, 4/7/13

Review of XFX PRO650W Core Edition PSU, 4/5/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 13, 4/4/13

Fire with Fire, 3/31/13

GARPA 15, 3/29/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 12, 3/28/13

Wheaton INterview, 3/27/13

March Mayhem Winner, 3/25/13

Warlock Multiplayer AAR, 3/21/13

WWII PTO Alternate Histories, 3/20/13

GARPA 14, 3/15/13

Crusader Kings II AAR, part 15, 3/14/13

Civilization V AAR, part 11, 3/7/13

Prezcon Convention Coverage, 3/2/13

Civilization V AAR, part 10, 3/3/13

Click here for our

FULL Article Index


Screenshot features

Spotlight: DGS Games, The Interview

Dan Pinkham, 1 June 2012

GrogHeads gets a chance to sit down with the guys from DGS Games to chat about their upcoming minis products.

Give us a brief introduction to DGS Games.

DGS Games is located in Kansas City and was incorporated on June 12, 2006 in Missouri. We are a for profit publishing company. Our core business is making fantasy tabletop miniatures and games. We strive to bring the gamer the best possible gaming experience. Our motto is “Where Gamers Rule!”

DGS Games’ key to success is the fact that the entire basis of the company is "gamers", not only are the products for gamers, but the entire company lives and breathes gaming. Additionally, we have a wide array of successful business experience and other practical disciplines in our team.

As a group we've known each other for over 10 years. We've been engaged together in gaming efforts from owning companies, designing products, being members in various national and regional gaming societies and clubs, playtesting for companies, running tournaments, working at conventions, teaching and demonstrating game systems, etc.




Who makes up the team at DGS Games?

Our current team includes.

Jon Becker has over 25 years of gaming experience. Jon’s background is finance and economics with over 24 years in big corporate business. Jon is CFO and Art Director and contributes fiction for a number of the factions in Faelon.

Jon Cleaves has been gaming for over 35 years. JonC is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a background in computer science. JonC holds two masters degrees, one in strategic intelligence, and the second in military art and science. JonC has 20 years of experience as a US Army Military Intelligence officer retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. JonC is our Lead Designer and writer for the World or Faelon and our first release - Freeblades.

Adam Fennema has been gaming for the past 15 years. Adam studied psychology, vocal music and sociology. Adam’s professional background is focused on business solutions and the consumer packaged goods market. Adam handles Convention Planning, and our Web experience, as well as rule design and playtesting.

Matthew Johnson has over 25 years gaming experience. A 4 year veteran of the U.S. Army, Matt’s background includes a master’s degree in German. Matt is our in-house attorney and contributes fiction for Faelon.

Richard Lonski has been gaming for over 30 years. Richard’s background is Business and Communication. Richard handles our Convention presence and ensuring our Sales Booth is top grade, as well as packaging.

Tom Meier has over 35 years of gaming experience. After receiving his degree in corporate finance, Tom served 21 years in the U.S. Army. Tom is our CEO.

Michael Turner has been gaming for over 35 years. Michael is an accomplished freelance miniature figure painter. Michael is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and has a masters degree in adult education. Mike has 20 years military experience and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. Mike is in charge of sculpting, miniature production and order fulfillment. Mike contributes fiction for a number of the factions in Faelon.

What got you into the wargaming hobby?

When shopping at my favorite hobby store for Dungeons & Dragons miniatures as a teenager, I noticed a large table with a desert terrain setting and a castle/fortress in the back of the store. I asked the owner what it was and he explained it was a table for a Khartum war game scenario. He told me the game was to be played the coming Saturday and invited me to attend, or come watch if I couldn’t be there the whole time. I went and watched for a couple of hours and got hooked.

What are your personal wargame favorites?

Well, how do you pick a favorite amongst all seven of us? We gave up, so here are “our” favorites:
Freeblades (of course!), Advanced Squad Leader, American War of Independence, Ogre, Terrible, Swift Sword, Starship Troopers, War of the Ring (old SSI version), LOTR, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warrior, Napoleon’s Battles, Age of Reason, Fire and Fury, Flames of War, Seven Years War, Napoleonic, Starship Combat miniatures, Battlefleet Mars, Empires in Arms, Squad Leader, Star Fleet Battles, Warhammer 40k, Dystopian Wars.

What did you do before starting DGS Games?

We’ve seen a lot of transition from before and after DGS Games, but most of us still have our day jobs… Military Contractor, Lawyer, Sales, Project Management, Army, we’re really from all different walks of life.

Tells us how DGS Games came about.

Back in October 2005, Jon Cleaves approached our local Kansas City gaming group about starting our own game company together. We wanted to try our hand at solving all the long term problems gamers suffer with and produce games that put the gamer first.




What "long term problems" does DGS Games see "gamers suffer with?"

Three major areas that DGS thinks players suffer with are: 1) having models become obsolete, 2) systems with unbalanced forces, and 3) lack of game support – particularly in answering questions about game play.

 Sustaining Models.  Once we sell a model, we plan to always have a place in our games for it.  We might make a new version you like better down the road, but we won’t take one out of our games.  Our members have experienced the pain of buying a model, and painting and taking care of it, only to have a company take the model out of the system so it can no longer be used.  We don’t want to do that to our customers.

 Unbalanced forces.  We’ve experienced that as some game systems have expanded, the later fielded forces sometimes are more powerful than earlier fielded forces as rules have changed, or new game items are introduced.  This in effect punishes the players that got into the systems early, and often their recourse is to have to buy an entire newer release to retain their fun factor or competitiveness in tourney play.  DGS wants to avoid this and therefore we playtest all of our planned factions together with the intent that no one faction is more powerful than the others and that recently published factions are not more powerful than existing ones.  Put another way, we are currently playtesting all the factions listed in our rulebook right now, so that they are balanced when we release them into the world. 

 Game support through Responsive game designers.  We feel It’s the designer’s job to answer questions about their game, and if necessary the company’s job to address problems with the rules or system.  These are not things that are the player’s responsibility.  A player shouldn’t have to come up with work-arounds or rules changes to play our games.

Your first game is a fantasy skirmish game called Freeblades. What can you tell us about it?

Freeblades is basically a competitive adventure. The typical situation has two adventuring bands in competition over the same adventure objective, whether that be a lost treasure or the hunting of a great beast or resisting a demon invasion. Players lead freebands of between 6 and 18 models representing the Freeblades that make up those bands. Games last about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the size of the game. Freebands contain a leader, a caster or magic, 1-4 other heroes and a number of followers.

Along with Freeblades, do you have some other games in the works?

DGS Games is working on a RPG called Brightsword. We are also working on a larger battle sized game called Blademaster. All these games operate with our Tiered Dice system and will be fully integrated and upward and downward compatible with each other.

The DGS Games website states, “All three games will be fully compatible, using the same core rules and figures. Players will be able to move seamlessly between skirmish, battle and roleplaying!” Can you elaborate on this concept?

The simplest way to put it is that the three games (BrightSword, Freeblades, and Blademaster) will all work together and build off the same core. For me, what this means is more flexibility as a GM. I have a common ruleset that I can do everything from individual characters in a roleplaying session, to larger battles in the form of Freeblades and all the way out to a war sized event with Blademaster. The seamless nature between the games will open doors that typically took a lot of work to make happen. It’ll give GMs more tools to keep their players guessing, and it’ll give players the chance to dream big.

Another nice thing is that you can use this to speed up a game. 36 models in a roleplaying battle means you’re looking at hours of that one fight. Flip it into Freeblades and it’s all wrapped up in less than 2 hours!

All these games are set in the world of ‘Faelon.’ What can you tell us about this setting?

Faelon is a world where magic is uncommon but not unheard of or mythical. Religion and politics drive the core interactions between the factions and around the edges strange creatures and bizarre locales provide plenty of adventure stories. Against this setting, “demons”, creatures from an alternate “spirit” world closely tied to Faelon, are always trying to cross over and make trouble.

I understand you also produce miniatures to compliment these game systems. Why 32mm figures instead of a more widespread scale such as 28mm?

True scale 32 gives us the flexibility to be able to use our figs alongside 28mm heroics and still fit with them, while also providing players with a true scale figure. Players will not see oversized weapons and armor that require defying the laws of physics in their wielding. Our choice of scale reflects our desire to produce a miniature that is as close to lifelike in its proportions as possible and still visibly attractive on the table top.




Beyond the current rule set and miniatures you produce what else do you envision for DGS Games?

How do you answer a question like that when you’re surrounded by imaginative, innovative people like we have here? Ideas pop up all the time ranging from expanding the system to other genres to video games, from books to boardgames, the ideas are endless. Who knows where we’ll see Faelon’s story being expanded, but we definitely envision a lot!

When you are not working on projects for DGS Games what do you do for fun?

We’re a mixed group here for sure. A lot of non-DGS time is spent with the families who put up with us spending so much time on DGS. From there we branch out into rock climbing, running campaigns, playing other games at our local stores, painting, dating for those of us missing the family, and lately there’s been increasingly more common discussions about paintball…

Thank you guys for your time and we at Grogheads are looking forward to seeing your products released. For more information on DGS Games and their products make sure and check out their website.


More coming soon from DGS Games as we continue our spotlight on them.


Chat about DGS Games in our forums here!

Please support the folks that support GrogHeads
Forums | Articles | About Us | Terms & Conditions | GrogNews
Copyright ©2012-2019, Grogheads, LLC. All rights reserved in the United States and throughout the world. All other products and copyrights mentioned on Grogheads, LLC are the property of their respective companies, and Grogheads, LLC makes no claim thereto.

GrogDice - Refresh the screen to roll a new set!

Or go here to roll a LOT of dice