Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — Westphalia

DON'T ROLL DOUBLES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Westphalia

DON'T ROLL DOUBLES (by Tom Russell)

The big idea behind Westphalia is that while y'all are negotiating to end the war, y'all are still clobbering each other, because success on the battlefield makes it easier to get what you want in those talks. This meant the game needed to have a bifurcated structure, one that alternated Diplomacy Phases and Military Phases - carrots and sticks. You would think that a designer with over three dozen wargames to his credit wouldn't have any problem with the stick part of that equation, but it's actually the thing that gave me the most trouble. And until the military stuff...


DEBT IN WESTPHALIA (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 3 Tags game design, Westphalia

DEBT IN WESTPHALIA (by Tom Russell)

One line early in my Westphalia teach always gets a laugh, and it's this one: There is no money in this game, only Debt, and you don't want it but you only ever seem to get more of it. Sometimes, but not always, I get a second laugh when I explain that Prestige reduces the rate at which the interest on your Debt accumulates, "kinda like a credit score". (Sometimes the laugh is tinged with a streak of bitter recognition - what better way to get away from thinking about my mortgage and my student loans and the fact that...


A WAY IN (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Westphalia

A WAY IN (by Tom Russell)

I don't begin serious work on a game until I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want it to be. Then I keep working on it until it resembles that picture; that's how I know it's done. This means however that there is often a lengthy period between concluding primary research and beginning to actually put the thing together while I wait for my brain to make connections and bring the thing into focus. Sometimes it's weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Sometimes it's a slow, gradual, and subtle process, this idea here tying into that one...


SO LONG, BEER GEORGE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, Westphalia

SO LONG, BEER GEORGE (by Tom Russell)

One of the projects I've got in my hamper is my multiplayer negotiation game on the Peace of Westphalia. The short version is that these various political entities are trying to disentangle themselves from a costly and ruinous war, but they're trying to do so in a way that's advantageous to them - and so, as the negotiations drag on for months and years, they are still campaigning, angling for a decisive battle or a territorial gain that will strengthen their bargaining position (and, when they've suffered a loss, dragging their feet diplomatically in hopes they'll be able to reverse...


7P (by Tom Russell)

7P (by Tom Russell)

Years ago I wanted to do a big, complicated game about the Thirty Years War, and spent some time immersing myself in the topic. I eventually decided that my ambitions far outpaced my abilities, and chose somewhat lower-hanging fruit instead, which has worked out pretty well for me. But still the topic fascinates me, and from time to time I've circled back and dipped my toe in those waters, only to jump right back out. "The Ratification of the Treaty of M√ľnster, 15 May 1648", Gerard Terborch, 1848, oil on copper. But the last time I did it, I became...