Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

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...


WORMS ON HOOKS (by Tom Russell)

WORMS ON HOOKS (by Tom Russell)

I'm working on a game called Field of the Cloth of Gold, which we intend to release concurrent with the five hundredth anniversary of the historical event that saw the Kings of England and France peacocking at each other about how splendid and magnificent and powerful they were. Folks who might be expecting an intricate treatment of Tudor-era politics are going to be disappointed, as this is probably the closest thing I've ever done to a lightly-themed eurogame. In fact, I've been joking with friends that this is my version of a worker placement point salad game. On the surface,...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: HOW LONG TO PUNISH PLAYERS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags game design, game development

FROM THE ARCHIVES: HOW LONG TO PUNISH PLAYERS (by Tom Russell)

I've designed a lot of different games for a lot of a different player counts on a lot of different subjects. At first glance, my wargames look nothing like my train games - to the point where at least one person didn't realize that the same guy had done them, and even suspected the Tom Russell who does train games as being some kind of pseudonym. But there are certain features that all my games have in common, such as my usual obsessions with tempo, momentum, the need to weaken your own position in order to advance it, feedback loops,...


COVER STORY: AT ALL COSTS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags At All Costs, cover design, Cover Story

COVER STORY: AT ALL COSTS (by Tom Russell)

 Early in 2017, we agreed to publish Tim Taylor's At All Costs, a sequel to their To The Last Man, hoping to release it later that year. As it's now 2020 and we're about a month away from publication, it's taken a bit longer than that. Partially this was about giving Tim the time needed to finalize the design, partially this was about giving us the time we needed to playtest. Our implementation of the game involves printing directly on some specialty wood bits, and so we had to spend some time experimenting with that, in addition to the usual...


FROM THE ARCHIVES: DOUBLING CUBES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags Backgammon, game design

FROM THE ARCHIVES: DOUBLING CUBES (by Tom Russell)

A few years back, I discovered backgammon. Now, of course I had heard of backgammon, and we even had a backgammon set growing up. Apparently it was one of my father's favorite games. That always makes me a little sad. I didn't know my father very well - he always felt distant, and I always felt isolated. He took my brothers fishing (I was squeamish) and went to their wrestling matches (I was a skinny little runt). If I had discovered and fell in love with backgammon before he died, I'd like to think that we'd have that, at least,...