Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

HORSIES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Shields & Swords Ancients, The Grass Crown

HORSIES (by Tom Russell)

Last year I wrote at some length about the elephants in The Grass Crown, and teased a future blog-thing about how this led me to rethink how the game modeled horsies. This is that blog-thing. I will freely admit that I didn’t quite know what to do with the horses in With It Or On It. They were just kind of awkwardly there, mobile but not in a way that really posed any kind of threat to a line of hoplites with their big ol’ shields and pointy, pointy spears. Now, this was arguably accurate, in that cavalry – particularly...


SHARE COUNT (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags Dual Gauge, game design

SHARE COUNT (by Tom Russell)

Because my train-and-stock games tend to put a great emphasis on stock value versus cash on hand, and because the opportunity to buy stocks can be rare – London & Northwestern, The Soo Line, and Dual Gauge limit each player to a single new share between each operating round – it stands to reason that the player with the most shares in the best companies has a stronger chance of winning, and that getting ahead in the “share count” gives you an advantage. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that: in order to have the cash to buy...


VARIABLE VP IN NICAEA (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags game design, Nicaea

VARIABLE VP IN NICAEA (by Tom Russell)

My big end of year game for 2021 (assuming it comes together) is Nicaea, about the First Council of the same. The short version is that it’s a sort of stock-holding game, only instead of investing in companies you’re arguing for one side or the other of a theological position. For example, some players might stake the claim that Christ is homoousion (of the same substance as the Father) and others that Christ is homoiousian (of a similar, but not identical, substance). Players “buy” “shares” of that position, and when the issue is settled, the side with the majority of...


INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS

INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS

I’ve often mentioned that I don’t really start working on a game – on the cobbling together of rules and components – until I have a clear and coherent image in my head of what that game looks like and what I want it to do and to express. Then, I keep working on it until it resembles that picture in my brain; that’s how I know it’s done. This doesn’t mean that that picture can’t change and shift during the process. Nor does it mean that I stay committed to an idea or mechanic when it’s clearly not working....


STICKS & DISCS & BLOCKS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags game design

STICKS & DISCS & BLOCKS (by Tom Russell)

  Table Battles was Richard Berg’s fault. His game Dynasty required some rectangular wooden pieces to represent the great wall and grand canal, and to get a decent price on those pieces from our German supplier, we needed to get an awful lot of them – more than we could ever need for Richard’s game. So we got a few different colors and I tried to come up with a game that could use the excess, and that was Table Battles.   At the time, I figured a handful of folks would enjoy it, maybe I’d get to do an...