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Second Saturday Scrum Club

Est. Dec. 2017 / Scrum Hall in Silver Spring, Md.  
Motto: Voluptas supra victoriam!

The Second Saturday Scrum Club was born of my desire to establish a regular gathering with a group of fellow miniatures gamers of a certain disposition. Below are the core members and a bit about each of us. We also maintain an unofficial auxiliary of like-minded folks with similar gaming proclivities who we invite for role-playing and miniatures games, when time and seating allows.

Joe Procopio is the founder of the Second Saturday Scrum Club. He went into a deep gaming freeze after an adolescence mildly obsessed with role playing games, only to re-emerge in middle age to discover the joys of miniatures gaming. His gaming blog is Scrum in Miniature (, and he launched a small miniatures company named Above the Fray Miniatures in 2018. His other passion is Picture This Press (, a publishing venture that preserves the work of under-appreciated illustrators and comic artists from earlier in the 20th century.

John Sears has been rolling dice for decades and painting figures for even longer. While he loves role playing and board games, miniature wargames combine his passion for modeling, research, crafting, and gaming, which have proved irresistible to him. He documents his projects on his blog, and hopes to release a long gestating set of game rules in 2019.

Jared Smith has been gaming since he was six, and plans to keep doing so forever. His Cthulhu Mythos RPG magazine, Bayt al Azif, can be found at He also publishes comic books as Retrofit Comics ( and sells comic books at Big Planet Comics (

Rich McKee has been running a persistent Stonehell game across several groups and many conventions for almost 10 years. He intends to destroy the dungeon this year and move on to something else.

Zach Howard entered the dungeon in 1982 with a copy of the original 1977 D&D Basic Set, now known as “Holmes Basic” after its editor, J. Eric Holmes. Since 2011 he has blogged at the Zenopus Archives ( about Holmes Basic and the early history of D&D. In recent years Zach has contributed material to the gaming zines Dungeon Crawl, Fantastic! Exciting! Imaginative!, and Bayt al Azif, and the book Tales of Peril, a collection of Holmes’ D&D-based fiction published by Black Blade Publishing.

Walt O’Hara is a charter member of the Second Saturday Scrum Club. As a callow youth he was introduced to a relatively unheard of pastime that was still very new—role playing games, which became one of his fixations. Later, he started his long involvement with skirmish and naval games. His gaming blog is the Third Point of Singularity, and his audio blog is Airy Persiflage on Podbean.

Steve B. began wargaming when he first got little plastic army men and has been exploring dungeons since there were just three little books to tell you how to do it. He loves gaming because it fosters creativity, builds cooperation, and challenges critical thinking skills. He has been helping other kids become gamers for over 20 years in an effort to repay those that got him into gaming.

French the Unnamed Gamer is willing to play just about anything as long as someone else is running it.

Josh O'Connor won two ENnies in 2015 for Best Monster/Adversary and Best Cover for "Terrors of the Secret War," published by Modiphius Entertainment. He is also the creator and host of Tankard Talk, which produces professional-quality, interactive videos about the tabletop games industry for Twitch and YouTube.

Club Combat Photographer

Ellen Levy has been photographing our games from the first Scrum Club meeting onward, providing most of the photos to be found scattered throughout this blog's various posts. More of her lovely work can be found on Instagram at EllenProLevy.

The Club's Extracurricular Activities

Within a few short months of its existence, the Second Saturday Scrum Club decided to organize and launch a small local convention it titled, oddly enough, Scrum Con, equally split between miniatures games (the club's focus) and role-playing games (something everybody in the club also loves). The inaugural Scrum Con was held in College Park, Maryland on Feb. 16, 2019. It was a rousing success, selling out of tickets a week ahead of time. The Scrum Club intends to make Scrum Con an annual event, filling a niche in the Wash., DC-area convention gaming scene.

A read through our bios above demonstrates that we're a fairly industrious bunch, so it seems only fitting that we'd be tempted to add another extracurricular activity to our monthly game gathering. Launched in May 2019, Scrum Club TV will include post-game discussions, convention field reports, and perhaps the occasional interview with game designers, artists, and miniatures sculptors.


Well-thumbed posts

Chainmail: Battle of Emridy Meadows

In my imagination, Chainmail has always been that shadowy precursor to Dungeons & Dragons that I was both intrigued by yet leery of. I loved the idea of a game involving mass battles in a fantasy setting akin to those depicted in the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I also had a sense that Chainmail, released in 1971 a mere year after I was born, was likely a clunky wargame that would be too frustrating to bother mastering. It also didn't help that my first inkling of its existence was around 1980 or so when I could never dream of amassing the miniature armies needed to play out these massive conflicts. No, back then I was pretty sure Chainmail was the province of grizzled old grognards who had started wargaming before I was even born.

Even after my gaming rebirth decades later in 2016, I was fine with letting the dim past remain so, and was more than content during my first couple of years back in the hobby exploring rules of a more recent vintage and manageable scale…

Lost Art of D&D: Alex Nuckols

Artist Alex Nuckols made what disappointingly ended up being a minor yet still evocative contribution to the visual history of D&D with a series of paintings he was commissioned to produce for a school supply company named St. Regis. It seems he painted nearly a dozen pieces that graced the covers of D&D-themed notebooks, folders, and three-ring binders in 1980-81. As a D&D-obsessed kid of 10-11 years old at the time, I owned three or four of these and have never parted with them. 

Here are some examples I found online. I’ve always regretted that Nuckols didn’t produce work for any actual gaming material released by TSR (or any game company) because to this day I think he captured the gritty feel and texture of how I imagined these fantasy worlds in my mind’s eye. He was certainly a more accomplished artist than many of those who ended up in the stable as staff at TSR at the time. Artistically, his compositions are always compelling and typically eschew the over-heroic pose…

All Together Now: 'Sellswords & Spellslingers' and the Pleasures of Cooperative Gaming

I've always enjoyed a good competitive match as much as the next guy, whether it was sports in high school or video games (HALO, etc.) in my thirties. But regardless of the game, I've always been partial to team play, and the best cooperative games put all of the focus on succeeding as a team. That's one of the reasons I was enthusiastic about getting Andrea Sfiligoi's latest release, Sellswords & Spellslingers (Ganesha Games), on the table for this month's Second Saturday Scrum Club gathering.

Last year I had organized a Halloween game (recap) to beta-test Sfiligoi's Run From the Dead, which is built atop the same cooperative mechanics as Sellswords. I was surprised when I discovered these rules were re-skinned for the fantasy genre and released last December ahead of Run From the Dead. Hopefully, the zombie apocalypse version of the rules is not too far behind because I definitely think Run From the Dead is the best tabletop miniatures rule set I've …

Historicon 2019: New Digs, Epic Games

Historicon is turning into one of the highlights of my summer. I've developed some fond friendships over the past three years of attending and feel like I'm beginning to be more a part of a community and less a neophyte or spectator. It was at the first Historicon I attended in 2017 that I met future fellow Scrum Clubbers Walt O'Hara and Steve Braun, and the circle of gaming friends has expanded significantly from there to include great guys like Ivor Evans, Miles Reidy, Jeff Allen, Joe Bloch, Eric Schlegel, and a bunch of the HAWKs gaming group (Don, Duncan, Buck, Chris, Greg, Bill, et al.).

The two hour trip up to Lancaster Friday morning made for a lovely drive with the convertible's top down and Spotify blaring out a summer tunes mix. I had found a great Airbnb condo five blocks from the convention, but I decided to go straight to Historicon without checking in (which finally happened a bone-weary dozen hours later and well after midnight).

I spent most of that fi…

Scrum Con 2020: A Leap Forward!

Scrum Con 2020 was held last weekend in Silver Spring, Maryland on Leap Day, which seems fitting in that the convention itself took quite a jump forward from 2019: More than double the number of games, more than double the number of attendees, double the number of convention t-shirt designs, and three times the space.

And we sold the show out again! 

We had about 215 registered attendees and filled almost 275 seats in the 35 games we offered over the course of the day. We had folks come from some distance to attend, including Philadelphia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and other exotic locales that I'm sure I'm forgetting. As always, we organize the convention as an equal split between miniatures games and role-playing games, and I was pleased to see even more attendees this year sign up for one of each type.

We're admittedly small as far as these things go, but I think the quality of the experience we offer is a cut above, and we put a lot of effort into everything from the pri…

Striking Back Against COVID-19: Free Conan Scenarios for 'Sellswords & Spellslingers'

Long-time readers of the blog will remember the adaptation of "Beyond the Black River" I started working on in the spring of 2018 for the Sellswords & Spellslingers rules. I ran it for the first time at Historicon 2018, and have now run it at several conventions and game days since.

Sellswords & Spellslingers is designed for solo and co-op play, so to do my bit in helping the game community in its fight against boredom during these isolating pandemic days, I've decided to gather and organize all of the material I developed for my convention scenarios and make it freely available as a download via this blog. At the link further down is a 68-page PDF file with all of my player aids and notes.
Of all of the major solo/co-op miniatures rules that have been released in the past few years, Sellswords & Spellslingers is hands down the best if unfortunately not the most widely known or used. I highly encourage you to buy a copy of the rules, if you haven’t already, a…