Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

WARGAMING AND POINT OF VIEW (by Tom Russell)

WARGAMING AND POINT OF VIEW (by Tom Russell)

Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus, Roman senator and historian, born sometime in the 50's AD (numerous dates to choose from depending on where you look), sits outside the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna. On a recent episode of the 1 Player Podcast, they discussed wargames in general, and my solitaire design Agricola, Master of Britain in particular. One of the gents on the program mentioned that pretty much everything we know about Agricola's life and campaigns comes to us from Tacitus, his son-in-law. We know very little about the indigenous peoples of Britain during the same period - only what...


RUSSIAN VICTORIES AT INKERMAN (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags board games, Crimea, Crimean War, gameplay, Tom Russell, wargame

RUSSIAN VICTORIES AT INKERMAN (by Tom Russell)

"A panoramic view of Inkerman", 1854, William Simpson. One of the most interesting things about the Battle of Inkerman is that what should have been a Russian slam-dunk (sneak attack, dense fog negating the long-range of the Allied Minié Rifle, not to mention what was originally a five-to-one advantage in numbers) turned into a decisive, humiliating, lopsided defeat. The mechanisms that power Blood in the Fog are designed to recreate the factors that led to that lopsided Allied victory. That doesn't mean that the Russians can't win, however. It's harder for them to do so, and I would advocate that...


THE OPT-POP DIARIES, PART 1 (by Tom Russell)

THE OPT-POP DIARIES, PART 1 (by Tom Russell)

"Cicero Denounces Catiline", 1888, Cesare Maccari. This is possibly Maccari's most famous work. This fresco for Palazzo Madama in Rome, which had recently become the seat of the new Italian Senate, depicts Cicero's Oratio in Catilinam Prima in Senatu Habita, his first speech denouncing Catiline in the Roman Senate which drove Catiline from the city in 63 BC. Note the lone, sulky Heathcliff-type on the right - the man Cicero harangues - Catiline. Ancient Rome is an endlessly fascinating topic, though I’ll admit that for a long time, I was primarily fascinated with the early Imperial period, the two-hundred plus...


COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL: BLOOD IN THE FOG (by Tom Russell)

People who don't know us well don't realize how utterly I depend on Mary, and how utterly hopeless I would be without her. It's not just that she keeps me centered, or focused, or that she brings out the best in me, though she does indeed do all of those things. It's not just that she keeps me safe from harm as I wander, Magoo-like, oblivious to the world around me and lacking anything resembling common sense. Though she does that too. Really, there are a thousand-thousand ways she makes my world go 'round, but the thing I'm talking about...


NOTES ON "TEUTONS!" PART 3 (OF 3): BLITZKRIEG: FRANCE 1940 (by Lou Coatney)

Mary Russell

Tags 1940, France, German invasion of France, Lou Coatney, wargame, WWII

NOTES ON "TEUTONS!" PART 3 (OF 3): BLITZKRIEG: FRANCE 1940 (by Lou Coatney)

I used the France 1914 map and baseline infantry strengths for my following game, Blitzkrieg! The Attack on the West, 1940 - in Teutons!, given the new, simpler title Blitzkrieg: France 1940.  The difference in this 1940 game is the advent of massed armor groups and airpower, and the dramatically different pace of events demonstrates the difference in outcome of the German offensives in the respective world wars. The teaching/learning value of playing the two games in tandem - the simpler, introductory France 1914 first, of course - is considerable. German invasion of Poland In May of 1940, another European...