Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

SLUGFESTS

Mary Russell

Tags game design, Table Battles

SLUGFESTS

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...


STACKS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags tactical games

STACKS (by Tom Russell)

One of the worst gaming experiences I ever had was when Mary and I (long before Hollandspiele) got roped into playtesting a tactical game. And by tactical I don't mean a game where the decisions are largely tactical in nature - in many ways, granular right-now immediate decisions are kinda my whole thing - but rather tactical as in one of those games about small units fighting over possession of a single building or hilltop, the sorts of games with complicated LOS rules and op-fire and everything else that comes with it. Such games are very much not in my...


LUCK OF THE DRAW (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags gameplay

LUCK OF THE DRAW (by Tom Russell)

To some degree, almost all of my games are about controlling the balance - about pushing the system until it works in your favor, and preventing your opponent from doing the same. Deadlock-as-decision-space, yadda-yadda-yadda - I've done this song and dance before, and sure, when you've got to write roughly a hundred blog-things a year, you do find yourself returning to the same wells more than once. What I want to talk about today however is one aspect of this - about the state of the balance at the start of the game. It's very seldom in these sorts of...


PARTY TIME (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags gameplay, This Guilty Land

PARTY TIME (by Tom Russell)

In This Guilty Land, Justice alone scores end-game VP for Support - each Justice marker scores one point. The more Compromise markers you can flip, the better. Using an Organization card to form a political party will flip half of the aligned Compromise markers to their Justice or Oppression side (depending on who is playing the card), and will exchange the other half with Compromise markers belonging to your opponent. On top of that, the acting player will score points equal to their Organizational Capacity. Together (action VP plus end-game) this can result in a huge swing, potentially transforming a...


CYBORG MOM (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags business

CYBORG MOM (by Tom Russell)

We're a small company, and that's by design. Being small and somewhat marginal allows us to take creative risks without risking our financial well-being. While we've grown our business over the last two-plus years, adding titles to our catalogue, adding components such as cards and wood bits to our games, and winning over new customers, we've also been careful to try and control that growth, and to stay small.  Partially this is because we've seen countless other examples of small businesses that got too big too quickly, and then collapsed as the things that made it work as a small-and-scrappy...