Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

COMBAT CHALLENGES IN THE GRASS CROWN (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, The Grass Crown

COMBAT CHALLENGES IN THE GRASS CROWN (by Amabel Holland)

Last week I broke down some of the considerations players will face during the early maneuver stage of a scenario in The Grass Crown. Today, we're going to focus on what happens once the two armies are finally in contact. Just as in With It Or On It, an attack will inflict an Exhaustion result on the attacker or the defender or both, but these results can be resolved by shifting the hit onto an adjacent Fresh Unit in that Wing. It's only when there are no eligible Fresh Units around that an Exhausted Unit will be Eliminated – or...


MANEUVER CHALLENGES IN THE GRASS CROWN (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design, The Grass Crown

MANEUVER CHALLENGES IN THE GRASS CROWN (by Amabel Holland)

A battle in my new game The Grass Crown unfolds in two distinct stages – one focused on maneuver, and one focused on combat. Each has its own challenges and tensions. I'll talk about the combat next week; this week, we're on the move, baby. As you might expect, the maneuver stage begins with the two armies some distance apart from one another, and is about what happens when you close that distance. Ideally, by the time the two armies come into contact – ushering in the combat stage of the battle – your line will be largely intact, and...


TWO WORD GAMES (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design

TWO WORD GAMES (by Amabel Holland)

We go to thrift stores fairly often. Ostensibly, I'm there to look for clothes. Goodness knows I need more than the three outfits I've managed to cobble together. So I look at the blouses, the cardigans, the hats, looking for something that (a) is appealing and (b) is in my size. So far, I haven't actually managed to find anything that ticks off both of those boxes, but hope springs eternal. I've yet to leave any of these stores with any additions to my wardrobe, but I have left with new additions to our board game shelf. This is a...


FIRST LOOK AT REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, Republic of Virtue

FIRST LOOK AT REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE (by Amabel Holland)

Folks really dug last year's holiday freebie Reign of Witches, so when I began working on this year's game, I decided right from the start to build upon its foundations. You buy cards from a market, play them into your tableau to compete for three kinds of points,  and expend coins to activate their special abilities. But I wasn't about to make the second verse same as the first (a little bit louder, and a little bit worse), porting over the same mechanism with a new theme and new card powers. One of the core ways the game would differentiate...


SHARED INCENTIVES IN NICAEA (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 4 Tags game design, Nicaea

SHARED INCENTIVES IN NICAEA (by Amabel Holland)

Nicaea is a shared incentive game, but an unusual one. In most shared incentive games, you evaluate a potential move – a potential entanglement – based on a combination of board state and player positions. If I'm playing a train game, and a company has set itself up for a big payout, but is a few dollars short of building the track it needs to clinch the deal, there's an incentive, based on board state, for me to nab a share, pumping some extra moolah into its treasury and giving it the push it needs. But if another player stands...