Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — The Grass Crown

ELEPHANTRY MY DEAR WATSON (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Shields & Swords Ancients, The Grass Crown

ELEPHANTRY MY DEAR WATSON (by Tom Russell)

Early on during the design of With It Or On It, the first game in our Shields & Swords Ancients line, I decided that this series, unlike its medieval predecessor, would not have a single be-all end-all rulebook. This makes sense of course because the new series would be covering a much longer period of time, and feature more diverse fighting styles and technologies. I wish I could say that in my infinite wargame designer wisdom that I looked at the scope of the thing and that this approach was immediately self-evident. But, no, I only really decided on this...


FIRST LOOK AT THE GRASS CROWN (by Tom Russell)

FIRST LOOK AT THE GRASS CROWN (by Tom Russell)

The core idea of With It Or On It, the first game in our Shields & Swords Ancients line, was to create a simplified model that could capture the essential nature of hoplite warfare - the advantages, the disadvantages, and most importantly, the feel. Each individual counter is only as strong and as resilient as the counters adjacent to it, leading one gamer to dub the game's model "the hoplite buddy system". Winning a battle is a matter of putting pressure on the line, pushing at it, until you force it to weaken, to crack, and to collapse. I knew...