Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

OPT-POP DIARIES PART 4 (by Tom Russell)

OPT-POP DIARIES PART 4 (by Tom Russell)

One aspect of Optimates et Populares I've been dancing around and deferring for later discussion in this series of articles is the Dictator, and there's a reason for that: the Dictator was the part of the game that gave me the most trouble. It was the one thing that I just couldn't seem to get to work, the one outstanding design challenge that I was still trying to solve. You would think, from the usage of past tense and the fact that I'm dedicating an article to it that I had found my solution. But, in fact, my "solution" was...


SO NOW I'M A COLLECTOR APPARENTLY (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags Avalon Hill, board games, collecting, the collector, Tom Russell, wargame

SO NOW I'M A COLLECTOR APPARENTLY (by Tom Russell)

Years ago, I was reading James Dunnigan's Complete Wargames Handbook, and I came across a passage that I thought was so ridiculous, I had to read it out loud to share it with Mary: "Reading" games rather than playing them is quite common. Always has been. Many gamers "collect" games. They buy them, but never play them. This does not mean that they are not used. Quite often, the hobbyist will spend several hours with the game. The usual procedure is to lay out the map, examine the pieces, read the rules and scenarios and perhaps place the pieces on...


ON THE JOYS, FRUSTRATIONS, AND POSSIBILITIES OF FREE SET-UP (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags board games, free setup, Plan 1919, tanks, Tom Russell, wargame, WWI

ON THE JOYS, FRUSTRATIONS, AND POSSIBILITIES OF FREE SET-UP (by Tom Russell)

The other day, the inestimable Robert Peter Bottos - he of BottosCon fame - commented on a Facebook post we had made about our upcoming release Plan 1919. Our post was as follows: Many of our wargames give the player a lot of leeway in setting up their forces, and Plan 1919 is no exception. The Germans set up on one side of the line, and the Allies on the other, and a solid set-up is really crucial. Each side has well over a hundred units (155 for the Germans and 226 for the allies, to be precise) of different...


DESIGNING PLAN 1919 (by John Gorkowski)

DESIGNING PLAN 1919 (by John Gorkowski)

Major General John Frederick Charles "Boney" Fuller, (1878 – 1966) a senior British Army officer, military historian, and strategist, was an early theorist of modern armored warfare and the author of "Plan 1919". When Hollandspiele asked me to design a game covering JFC Fuller’s Plan 1919, I had to peer deep into my foggy memory of this might-have-been campaign. Luckily, I found a great web site that shared Fuller’s plan verbatim. Here are some telling excerpts (with the British use of s in certain words such as “disorganised” converted to a “proper” American z such as in “disorganized”). The Influence...


THE OPT-POP DIARIES PT. 3 (by Tom Russell)

THE OPT-POP DIARIES PT. 3 (by Tom Russell)

The primary currency in my Optimates et Populares design is Political Will (PW), with each action you take or attempt costing some amount of it. Small things cost less PW and big things cost more PW. This is a familiar concept for most gamers, which goes by various names: Operations Points, Action Points, Resource Points, etc. Usually you get these points in games randomly by playing cards, or you earn them by controlling certain areas on a map. It's a necessary abstraction that simulates not so much the actual choices made by leaders and commanders - Lincoln didn't fret over...