Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — Shields & Swords

FROM THE ARCHIVES: UNCERTAIN TROOP QUALITY IN GREAT HEATHEN ARMY (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Shields & Swords

FROM THE ARCHIVES: UNCERTAIN TROOP QUALITY IN GREAT HEATHEN ARMY (by Tom Russell)

Our standard 5/8" countersheet has room for 176 little squares, and when I'm cobbling together my counter manifest for a game, I generally contrive to get as near to that number as I can without going over (unless the game is going to use a half-sheet, in which case the magic number is 88). Such was the case when I was putting together Battles on the Ice, the third game in our Shields & Swords II series. I began with a rough idea of the types of units each side would have, in what proportion, and the total number of...


LAZINESS AS MOTIVATOR (by Tom Russell)

LAZINESS AS MOTIVATOR (by Tom Russell)

The Shot & Shell Battle Series originated because I had designed three previous games that had somewhat similar rulesets but at different scales, with different combat procedures and different ZOC rules and different activation mechanisms (an I-go-U-go for this one, chit pull for that one, activation roll for this guy over here). I couldn't really call those three previous games a "series", because for me as a gamer the appeal of a series is that you only need to learn the rules once, then you're off to the races. Having to learn each game separately, and if you happen to...


S & S ANCIENTS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags Ancients, S&S Ancients, Shields & Swords

S & S ANCIENTS (by Tom Russell)

Shields & Swords Ancients is something I've been planning to do for a very, very long time - since before we started Hollandspiele, really - but which I've only gotten around to in the last while. Part of this is that I've had a few games that were critical and commercial successes (Supply Lines, Table Battles, Agricola) and so I prioritized more games along those lines (The Southern Strategy, the TB expansions, and Charlemagne, respectively) as well as idiosyncratic stuff like This Guilty Land and Westphalia. The S&S II series is something I enjoy, but it's far from being my...


BATTLES OF GRUNWALD (by Ania Ziolkowska)

BATTLES OF GRUNWALD (by Ania Ziolkowska)

(Note from Hollandspiele: The Grunwald Swords was our second game, and the first in the Shields & Swords II series. The map artist, Ania B. Ziolkowska, is from Poland, where the battle has a great deal of significance. In this piece, Ania talks about the battle, its ramifications, and its use by both Poland and Germany as a propaganda tool. All photos and screenshot by Ania Ziolkowska.) On 15 July 1410 Polish-Lithuanian forces fought against the Teutonic Order in the Battle of Grunwald (also known as the First Battle of Tannenberg). It happens that tomorrow marks the 607th anniversary of...


BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 2 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 2 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

Last time I talked about the goals we had in mind for our third game in the Shields & Swords II series, as well as the design of the Peipus scenario. This time, I'm going to talk about the second half of the game: the Battle of Karuse. The times as they were in 1260, ten years prior to the Battle of Karuse. Karuse is much more obscure than Peipus. Peipus is, after all, the victory that made Alexander Nevsky a Saint in the Orthodox Church, and the battle that was immortalized by Eisenstein's rousing 1938 film, and Prokofiev's score...