Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

NOTES ON "TEUTONS!" PART 1 (OF 3): FRANCE 1870 (by Lou Coatney)

NOTES ON "TEUTONS!" PART 1 (OF 3): FRANCE 1870 (by Lou Coatney)

In the first of three blog posts about our new three-in-one release Teutons!: Assaults on the West, 1870-1940, designer Lou Coatney talks about the title, and the history behind the "France 1870" game, as well as offering some play advice for the same. Next time, we'll be diving into the 1914 game. Germanic Thing (governing assembly), drawn after the depiction in a relief of the Column of Marcus Aurelius, 193 CE. The title, Teutons!, has piqued interest. I chose it to evoke the ancestral - from Roman times on - image of hordes of blonde barbarians pouring en masse from their...


COUNTERFACTUAL: TEUTONS (by Tom Russell)

COUNTERFACTUAL: TEUTONS (by Tom Russell)

Teutons!: Assaults on the West, 1870-1940 collects three Lou Coatney designs (one each about the Franco-Prussian War and the two World Wars) in a single package. The major aim of the counter design was to clearly differentiate the counters for each game from each other, while maintaining a consistent style. Usually when you have multiple games in a set, or multiple battles each with its own set of counters, they're differentiated by some kind of small letter code or symbol printed on the counter. I'm not a big fan of that, actually, and wanted to find a more overt way...


NOTES ON WHITE MOUNTAIN (by Tom Russell)

NOTES ON WHITE MOUNTAIN (by Tom Russell)

"Schlacht am Weißen Berg", 1620, Pieters Snayers. Imperial-Spanish forces under Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly won a decisive victory at White Mountain in November 1620. When Mary and I first started serious discussions about Hollandspiele a little over a year ago, one of the many little ideas we kicked around was doing a little freebie game that we'd give away as part of our December Holiday Sale. People like getting free stuff, after all, and we thought it might serve as some slight additional incentive for people to purchase multiple games as part of the sale. Once we launched the...


COVER STORY: TEUTONS! (by Tom Russell)

COVER STORY: TEUTONS! (by Tom Russell)

Hex grids. Column shifts. Odds ratios. Zones of control. These are the essential, primordial building blocks of commercial wargaming, invented whole cloth – much like the hobby itself – by Charles S. Roberts and his Avalon Hill Game Company. Many gamers grew up playing the Avalon Hill titles before graduating to more sophisticated simulations. Since the hobby had already started to collapse when I was born, and had started to rebound and grow in new and interesting directions by the time I was aware that it even existed, I didn’t have that experience. My first wargames weren’t Avalon Hill boxed...


STRONG SOMEWHERE, WEAK SOMEWHERE (by Tom Russell)

STRONG SOMEWHERE, WEAK SOMEWHERE (by Tom Russell)

A partial section of a rough prototype map Designers, stop me if you've heard this one before: you create a new game after lots of immersive research. You have a solid set of mechanics that have been designed specifically to represent that historical conflict. You make up a rough map (in my case, using Photoshop) and a set of counters (in my case, scrawling on some sticker paper), and you sit down at the table to give it a spin. You don't expect everything to work - almost nothing ever does the first time around - but you're hoping that...