Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ORBATS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, orbats, order of battle

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ORBATS (by Tom Russell)

I've been designing wargames for a while now. Back in my salad days - during which time I was actually a lot more carnivorous than I am today in my non-salad days - I was a little obsessed with obtaining an accurate order of battle, and more than a little terrified that I was going to botch it. I assumed that I would make some seemingly small mistake - a misplaced regiment here, an imagined brigade there - and that my design's ability to function as a simulation would be fatally compromised. This panic was only helped along by the...


A BATTLE, ON THE ICE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Horse & Musket

A BATTLE, ON THE ICE (by Tom Russell)

Every year we do a Horse & Musket Annual, a collection of twenty new scenarios drawn from the periods covered by the box games published up until that time. Last month, we just released the second, and earlier this month we put out the call for entries for next year's. The first time, series designer Sean Chick and developer Doug Miller asked me if I wanted in on the action, and I said I would try to come up with something, but I ultimately failed to do so. It was the same story for year two, and I was determined...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: ODDS AND ENDS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags Combat Results Table, CRTs, game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ODDS AND ENDS (by Tom Russell)

I have used an odds-based CRT in two of my wargame designs, and the second one only counts if you consider Napgammon a wargame. The eternal and interminable question of what is a real wargame very much aside, one might wonder why that is: do I dislike odds-based CRTs or something? Well, no; I actually rather like them. I've played and enjoyed a number of games that trot out this oldest and warhorsiest of old warhorses. Heck, Mary and I have published such games.  So, no, I've got no beef with comparing the strength of the attacker to that of...


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...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: PRIMING GAMES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: PRIMING GAMES (by Tom Russell)

Five or six years ago, there was a discussion thread on Board Game Geek about a train game, and somebody said something along the lines of, "You don't win the game by making the most money; you win the game by having more money than the other players." At first blush that might seem like it's the same thing, but the meat of it is that the game wasn't about generating a return on your investment, or socking away insane amounts of cash; it was about bleeding the other players dry, using your money as a weapon. In the same...