Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

PLAYING WITH MYSELF (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design, game play, solitaire

PLAYING WITH MYSELF (by Tom Russell)

Like many folks these last few weeks, a lot of my recent gaming has been solitaire. This isn't all that unusual for me: I tend to spend a fair amount of time playtesting things solo to ensure that they are mechanically sound before I inflict them on other human beings. (That's a lesson I quickly learned in my salad days after a particularly disastrous playtest which ended with all my testers regarding me with a disconcerting and piteous mixture of bug-eyed horror and strained, polite smiles.) That's probably my primary reason for playing games solitaire - as part of my...


THE GAME PLAYS YOU (Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design

THE GAME PLAYS YOU (Tom Russell)

It doesn't really bother me when people slag on my games. My games are often somewhat experimental and can be abrasive, so I can't expect everyone to dig them. Honestly, I'm surprised whenever a game does resonate with a larger audience. As long as the people who like the game like it, I don't really care about the folks that don't - and our production model gives me that luxury. That's not to say that I ignore the bad notices; quite the contrary! Negative feedback forces me to question my work - gives me useful doubts. This, in turn, helps...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: OLD FRIENDS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: OLD FRIENDS (by Tom Russell)

In November of 2017, I wrapped up development on the second game in our Shot & Shell Battle Series, a treatment of the Battle of the Alma River in the Crimean War. The Heights of Alma would be my second bite at that particular apple, it having served as the subject of my first published game, 2012's Blood on the Alma. That development process started by getting my debut game back on the table. I hadn't played it in over four years, and remembered bits of it only dimly. As I started to push the counters around the map, I...


SCENARIO NOTES: FLEURUS 1690 (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, scenario design, Table Battles

SCENARIO NOTES: FLEURUS 1690 (by Tom Russell)

I'm working on this year's Table Battles expansion, The Grand Alliance, which covers battles drawn from the Nine Years War and the War of the Spanish Succession. Among them is the Battle of Fleurus. This is the 1690 Battle of Fleurus, naturally, not the 1622 or 1794 or 1815 - though that does remind me that tucked back in the old noggin is the idea to do a Table Battles expansion called "Battles of X", where every scenario is a different battle from a different time period, but all of them have the same name. Anyway. The cool thing about...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: ORBATS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, orbats, order of battle

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ORBATS (by Tom Russell)

I've been designing wargames for a while now. Back in my salad days - during which time I was actually a lot more carnivorous than I am today in my non-salad days - I was a little obsessed with obtaining an accurate order of battle, and more than a little terrified that I was going to botch it. I assumed that I would make some seemingly small mistake - a misplaced regiment here, an imagined brigade there - and that my design's ability to function as a simulation would be fatally compromised. This panic was only helped along by the...