Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — Table Battles

FROM THE ARCHIVE: SLUGFESTS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Table Battles

FROM THE ARCHIVE: SLUGFESTS (by Tom Russell)

One problem that became apparent after the release of Table Battles is that when players made poor decisions or did not properly work toward force preservation, the game would degenerate into an exhausted slugfest, a bunch of piddling little one- or two-stick formations limping along as the morale cubes passed back and forth, neither side achieving a definitive advantage. Over the course of the two expansions, I made the morale splits much more asymmetric and fragile as a way to "protect" the game against bad play. If losing just one formation would lose you the game, you'd be less likely...


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...


PHARSALUS AND INKERMAN (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design, Table Battles

PHARSALUS AND INKERMAN (by Tom Russell)

Recently someone asked me if I was going to be doing a blog-thing about the design process for the Pharsalus and Inkerman scenarios in Table Battles Second Edition. I said maybe, though I didn't have any immediate plans to do that. Well, it's Thursday afternoon, I need a blog-thing for Friday and haven't written one yet, I'm drawing a blank on what to write about, and so here we are. Let's start with the overall purpose of these two scenarios. From a business perspective, they were added to provide an additional incentive for early adopters to purchase the Second Edition...


TWEAKING TB (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags game design, Table Battles

TWEAKING TB (by Tom Russell)

As I've written about before, I generally don't revise my games after they've been published. It's not that I think my games are unimpeachable pinnacles of design; it's that I have new games to work on, and would rather spend my time on those. I learn from every game and its reception, and I'd rather apply that knowledge forward than backward.  There were a number of lessons I've taken from the Table Battles base game, and those lessons have been applied forward as the series has continued to evolve. For example, the Bombard action has essentially disappeared from the expansions,...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: SOME VERY QUICK THOUGHTS ON FORCED JUMPS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game development, gameplay, Table Battles

FROM THE ARCHIVES: SOME VERY QUICK THOUGHTS ON FORCED JUMPS (by Tom Russell)

When it comes to traditional abstract games, Chess is arguably the King (and Queen, and Bishop, and Rook). Only Go rivals it for popularity and fanaticism. Backgammon is older than both of them, and I actually find it more dynamic than Chess, but it hardly has the same following or the same kind of serious attention afforded to it. Only hardcore abstract enthusiasts have time for oddities like Nine Men's Morris or Fox and Geese, and even children get bored with Tic-Tac-Toe pretty rapidly.  And then there's Draughts (or Checkers). Draughts gets a bad rap. At least in the case...