Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game design

T-REX (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags Dinosaur Table Battles, Dinosaurs, game design

T-REX (by Tom Russell)

Later this month, we're going to be releasing Dinosaur Table Battles. I can't even begin to count how many emails I've gotten from people these last couple years asking when the game will be released. I've even gotten a number of physical letters demanding its immediate release in the mail via our PO Box. Oddly, the return address on the envelopes matched our home address, and the letters themselves seemed to be in Mary's handwriting, but they were all signed "This definitely isn't Mary, but I think you should give her a foot rub right away", so it will just...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: ASSUMPTIONS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, rules writing

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ASSUMPTIONS (by Tom Russell)

If you're reading this, you probably know how movement factors work. You move the unit from hex to hex (or square to square, or area to area, or whatever to whatever), expending a certain number of movement points for each hex entered. I'm going to assume that if you know that, you also know that a unit cannot exceed its movement factor, unless the rules make some kind of exception (for example, that the unit can always move one hex during a Movement Phase, even if it doesn't actually have sufficient MPs to enter that one hex). So, serious question...


PLAYING DEFENSE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags game design, gameplay

PLAYING DEFENSE (by Tom Russell)

A major selling point of a fair number of wargames is that both players get to be the attacker. I'm speaking in the overall strategic or operational sense, the roles the players are assuming, rather than the fact that on each player's combat phase, they are the attacker and their opponent the defender. I'm talking about the grand, sweeping maneuvers, the bold plans, the desperate gambles: the attacker, dynamic, lurching ever-forward. Whereas the defender is pulling back - trading ground for time, plugging holes in the line, and taking their lumps. Advance versus retreat, action versus reaction, energy versus inertia....


BROWN SHARES AND STATIONS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags Dual Gauge, game design

BROWN SHARES AND STATIONS (by Tom Russell)

I remember a game of Francis Tresham's 1830 that I played several years ago. More specifically, I remember one moment from that game. I don't remember how I got there, and I have only a dim recollection of what happened next. I don't even remember what company it was, I only remember that its share value was deep in the brown - ten, twenty, thirty dollars a share, something like that. I had all ten shares - brown means not only doesn't it count toward my cert limit, but I can have more than 60% and I could buy multiple...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: FAIR (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game development

FROM THE ARCHIVES: FAIR (by Tom Russell)

A couple weeks ago someone asked me about a set-up rule in one of my games, the rule being designed to confer to one side or the other a slight advantage at the beginning of the game. And this person was wondering why that was. Just as easily, the game could be set-up so as to confer no advantage to either side. Wouldn't that be more fair?  And yes, it would be, but I had no interest in the thing ever being "fair". Partially this is because exploiting or overcoming that advantage is what gives the first turn or two...