Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

ON PUBLISHING THE BIG PUSH (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags Big Push, game publishing

ON PUBLISHING THE BIG PUSH (by Amabel Holland)

Every turn, you start with this massive hand of cards – fifteen, twenty, twenty-five. So many cards, so many possibilities. You get this huge pile of cards and it feels like with those cards, you can do anything. Never mind that the person sitting across from you also has a huge pile of cards, never mind that they also feel like they can do anything. Never mind, in fact, that the decks are perfectly symmetrical – never mind that you're evenly matched. This time, this turn, you're going to use your huge pile of cards to break their line. Some...


ON PUBLISHING AT ALL COSTS! (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 6 Tags At All Costs, game publishing, Tim Taylor

ON PUBLISHING AT ALL COSTS! (by Amabel Holland)

We signed At All Costs!: The Great War in the East in early 2017. At that point, we hadn't really found our niche or our audience, and were figuring that large and somewhat detailed games would be our bread and butter. Being that At All Costs! was the long-awaited sequel to a reasonably popular card-driven game, it seemed like it would be right up our alley. By the time we brought it to market nearly four years later, we had a clearer idea of who we were and what we were about, and it was pretty clear that At All...


BATTLES IN SIEGE OF MANTUA (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags game design, Siege of Mantua

BATTLES IN SIEGE OF MANTUA (by Amabel Holland)

One of the ideas at the core of Siege of Mantua is its bifurcated structure: maneuver at an operational scale, in which you strive to come to grips with the enemy, giving way to tactical battles. It requires two complementary but distinct skillsets. It also of course runs the danger of feeling like two different games, so it was important that I integrate them as much as possible – that the operational sets the parameters for the tactical, and the results of the tactical have consequences for the operational – making them distinct, yes, but also impossible to separate from...


PRACTICAL PROBLEMS: MANEUVER MODEL (by Amabel Holland)

PRACTICAL PROBLEMS: MANEUVER MODEL (by Amabel Holland)

I had a problem: I needed a compelling maneuver model that ticked off a lot of boxes but remained dirt simple. The game in question is my very first block game, Siege of Mantua, which takes as its subject the various Austrian attempts to relieve said siege, and how they were thoroughly trounced by this snot-nosed kid named Bonaparte. Specifically, I wanted the game's movement mechanics to account for (1) the efficacy of flanking attacks and the difficulty of coordinating converging columns, (2) the speed of smaller forces and the cumbersomeness of larger ones, (3) the advantages of interior lines,...


MORE DINOSAURS PLEASE (by Amabel Holland)

Mary Russell

Comments 2 Tags Dinosaur Table Battles, game design

MORE DINOSAURS PLEASE (by Amabel Holland)

Before Dinosaur Table Battles was published – before I had even finished development – I knew there would be an expansion. It's not because I knew the game would sell well enough to merit an expansion, though I had a good feeling about it of course. And it's not because I felt like I had a lot more to say, or that I had some content I had reserved for that purpose. No, I knew there would be an expansion because Mary told me there would be one. So it shall be written, so it shall be done. Just not...