Thursday, February 13, 2020

Been a long time

Hi Everyone!

My apologies for the lack of posts. I know, the death-knell of any blog trying to get noticed.

By a quick glance, my last post, in June 2019, was 8 months ago. In that time, Sara's latest chemo regimen (starting in April and usually ending in 6 months by protocol) ran out of gas. While her marker has not been improving over the last few months, it does seem to be holding steady.

While the docs are of multiple minds about how well the marker indicates actual growth (nicely phrased by the pros between "it might" and "it might not"), its current water-level is well above the "you have cancer" line (no shit, Sherlock). We can't assume "all the cancer cells are dead" as she showed up for her surgery in 2017 with values _far_ lower than this and we hopefully suggested to the nurse "Maybe we killed it" and after a snort got the answer "No, you didn't." The surgery demonstrated that the tumor was not only alive, but more extensive than they expected from other scans. What it is now, we have no clue, except that I have been told that getting a scan now serves no purpose, since the treatment won't change as a result. So, we keep plugging with the over-extended chemo protocol (being applied because she is Stage IV and the protocol waives the 6 month limit if it "seems" to be doing something. The doc has been good about altering the components and their amounts to reduce the worst side effects.

For myself, I started September with a micro-stroke classified as a TIA. This created nausea, vertigo, and sweating the likes of which I didn't think was humanly possible. That was Friday. By that night I went into and then AMA discharged myself to go home.

Stupid is as stupid does, Sir.

One TV show and a whole lot of stomach emptying later (one of their direct warning signs), I was back in the ER. This time, they ran every test imaginable while the symptoms disappeared completely and released me Sunday morning. Haven't had a problem since.

Game-wise, The SCS title Iron Curtain was finished and sent in for pre-order (coming soon to an MMP website near you) and testing is making good progress on BCS Panzer's Last Stand. I finished redoing the counter art for that game and am making rapid progress on the next OCS game Third Winter. The LoB Wilderness game (No Turning Back) is getting slow intermittent attention.

I am working diligently on the v2.0 BCS rules so they are fully ready to go out the door with PLS. Getting there.


PS—The Log in to comment section still isn't working well. If you get through, fine, you might end up posting as "anonymous" but I have yet to be able to respond to any comments. The blog site I'm using ( might be the problem, so if you know of a better site to use (from personal experience please), let me know... preferably by email to


  1. Hi Dean.

    I'm sorry to hear that things are going the way they are. You and Sara are always in my thoughts, although we barely know one another. I hope things get better for you.

    On the gaming front, it looks like you are a busy boy. Keep it up.

    Steve Newhouse

  2. "For myself, I started September with a micro-stroke classified as a TIA."

    This is awful news, Dean. I'm really glad to hear you're doing alright now, but take care of yourself and know there are a lot of us out here thinking of you.


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  4. Dean,
    I'm Mark Owens.
    It seems like long ago and far away now that I attended HomerCons and enjoyed the company and hostpitality of you, Sara, and the rest of your family.
    I've not been playing much of anything these days and disconnected somewhat from my "The Gamers" interests of the past. Yet I do recall the good times and Joy shared.
    The news of Sara's condition comes as a shock as I just discovered "Dean's Corner". Hearing of your TIA comes also as a horrible surprise.
    Please let Sara know that my wife, son, and I will be rooting for her to keep the cancer at bay despite the Stage IV and even push it into a retreat.
    For you, I have my own Life Experience to relate.
    My wife suffered what the doctors called a TIA, collapsing with a blackout at a fast-food restaurant and rushed to the hospital.
    At the hospital, though, they found no 'injury' (fissures, cellular loss) as a result of the TIA. They did find her heart enlarged. They discharged her with an airy wave of the hand to go see a cardiologist. The cardiologist didn't find anything out of the ordinary and just suggested some low level of exercise.
    A year or two later, my lovely wife began having minor blackouts. After a short stay at the hospital when they had her on a heart monitor, she saw another cardiologist who apparently didn't even review the hospital records and put her on a monitor. Instead of a week on the monitor, all it took was one day. She needed a pacemaker. We got a second opinion from another (and better, non-lying...that's another story) Cardiologist who specialized in Pacemakers. He shared the monitor values he'd recorded. It wasn't just the big interruptions that caused the blackouts. My wife's heartbeat was pausing far more frequently. Only the 'big pauses' caused the blackouts. She got a pacemaker successfully installed.
    For you, maybe it wasn't a TIA that caused the issue. If they found no actual 'stroke' issues on examinations, it maybe something that's "Else", possibly, as with my wife, 'heart block' that's causing an issue.
    For Sara, my wife, who's the medical researcher in our household, swears by Mastic Gum. Please have Sara start taking Mastic Gum. It's an anti-cancer agent that my wife would swear on having also fought off breast cancer. Friends of ours have also managed to slow and even stop cancer effects.
    It's available commercially over-the-counter.
    if you have any questions, please email me at

  5. Dean,
    Game-wise, I find myself with little gaming time and even less gaming dollars.
    I really enjoy the "Line of Battle" rules although I haven't been able to support the MMP-The Gamers by getting any new titles.
    If I had the dollars, I think my first go-to would be the BCS series.
    Since the days when I first played Vance von Borries "Air Assault on Crete/Invasion of Malta"( Avalon Hill), I found the battalion level of formations fascinating and 'fun'.
    Battalions are at a level where the units still have an 'identity' as infantry, armor, and artillery but also adding a level where these have to be coordinated to provide proper combined arms.
    Because of this long term interest in battalion level of battles and your deft handling of game systems, my first purchases would likely be in the BCS line.
    I would enjoy completing my TCS series with the most recent releases. I wish TCS could have a re-issued "Bloody 110".
    Were funds to become available, I would also like to buy into the "Line of Battle" series entries. It was only with "This Terrible Sound" that I bought for subject matter did I realize the regimental level Civil War could be handled with command rules and a better view of the tactical battle that didn't have the delightfully excruciating historical detail and exactitude of the short-lived Command Perspectives' "War of Rebellion" series and avoiding the terribly ahistorical "Terrible Swift Sword" and its terrible progeny.
    For now, at least, I have to enjoy the Gamers properties I already have and look forward to the day when my son is well and truly off on his own independent path to have more funds for 'hobby' purposes.
    Please keep up the good work as I'm glad MMP-The Gamers seems to be thriving, especially with your ability now, aside from heatlh issues, to be able to focus on design and development.

  6. Just this evening my friends and I played Circus Minimus and loved it; what a great game and a great time.

  7. Hi Dean:

    Long time since we visited; all my fault--"dropped out of sight" for many years--"Parenting" took its toll! Have three kids now (30, 20, 13); spent 10 years as a Cubmaster/Scoutmaster, and coaching/refereeing/playing Soccer.

    Here's a "blurb" I just posted on BGG: Twentieth offering in what has become (IMHO) the Premier hex & counter wargame system--the Operational Combat Series (OCS). Full Disclosure--I was heavily involved with the Series Rules re-write which became OCS Version 2.0, and I enjoyed playing the Series at various Game Conventions (including "Homercon" a couple of times).
    Indeed, I played a very memorable (and enjoyable) multi-player game of "GBII" at Homercon shortly after it came out, and while work on Case Blue was on-going.
    A few years later I "dropped out of sight" from gaming, as work and family commitments eliminated my "hobby time"--including an enormous investment in "parenting-time"!--including Scouts, and Coaching/Refereeing/Playing Soccer.
    For a while I tried to keep the gaming spirit alive with massive solo games of GBII, and later DAKII going in my basement rec room . . . !
    In the past couple of years, my parenting duties have become less time-consuming (my son has graduated from HS!, my youngest is now in 8th Grade), allowing me to "retire" from Scouting and Soccer--and thereby facilitating a "Return to Gaming"!
    "The Third Winter" is a very impressive offering; the whole Campaign is best suited to Convention or Game Club play, but one can still enjoy the several smaller scenarios.
    The Series has continued to evolve (and been greatly improved)--now up to v. 4.3 Series Rules, and new (better!) map & counter standards.
    The continued evolution of the OCS System is a testament to its flexibility and popularity, and to the Designer's (Dean Essig)'s commitment to improving this system as much as possible.
    Indeed, the "basics" of the System have not changed significantly since its inception, but instead have been refined and "fine-tuned".
    All of the OCS games are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    Sorry to hear about the health issues in your family, etc.

    Trying to get back into Gaming--still have limited free time--but much more than I have had for the past 20 years . . !

    Take care, old friend!

    Best regard,

    Roger D. Hyman