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

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...


BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 1 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 1 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

The first game in the Shields & Swords II series, The Grunwald Swords, sold fairly well and was well-received. A number of very kind folks have said some very kind things about it, which encouraged other very kind folks to give it a try. It helps that the subject was, if not exactly popular, then it wasn't exactly obscure, either. The particulars of the battle also make for a rather dynamic gaming situation. (Some folks find the game very hard to win as the Teutonic Player, and while the game does lean towards the Allies - as does the history...


BUILDING THE HOUSE OF NORMANDY (by Tom Russell)

BUILDING THE HOUSE OF NORMANDY (by Tom Russell)

The second game in the Shields & Swords II series is House of Normandy, a “quad” containing four battles of the twelfth century. The first question a prospective purchaser would have is, why does this exist? Even among middle ages aficionados, there’s not a huge demand for games on this specific period. None of the battles are famous, nor really the commanders who took part; this is after William conquered, but before Richard became lion-hearted, a bit of history that bridges the gaps between two more interesting eras and as a result is often skimmed past. So, what gives? USS...