Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

DESIGNING THE AGRICOLA GAME, PART 2 of 2: THE BATTLE SYSTEM (by Tom Russell)

DESIGNING THE AGRICOLA GAME, PART 2 of 2: THE BATTLE SYSTEM (by Tom Russell)

Last week, I discussed the long, stumbling process by which Agricola, Master of Britain was transformed into a solitaire game, and got into some detail about how and why the central cup adjustment mechanism works the way it does. Almost as central as, and spinning out of, that same mechanism is the game’s army-building and battle system. It likewise underwent a dramatic transformation as the game was transformed from two-player contest to solitaire design, though a couple of key elements remained the same. What’s strange is that, perhaps more than anything else, it was these aspects of the original two-player...


HIGHFALUTIN THOUGHTS ON TIME AND SPACE (by Tom Russell)

HIGHFALUTIN THOUGHTS ON TIME AND SPACE (by Tom Russell)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how time and space create meaning. That probably sounds really highfalutin, but it’s actually really simple, and boils down to the fact that differences in time and in space can profoundly alter your experience of something. To start with time, and an obvious example: I’ve been married for twelve years and some change, and that’s a lot different than being married for six. Affection and esteem are deeper; the happiness we share is happier, and our sorrows more heartbreaking. All other things being equal, or at the very least set aside, there’s a...


"DO WE HAVE ANY HEXIDECIMAL GAMES?" (by Tom Russell)

"DO WE HAVE ANY HEXIDECIMAL GAMES?" (by Tom Russell)

RIW recently moved into a new storefront (their old shop having been burnt to a crisp by the restaurant next door), which is less claustrophobic and brighter, but sadly lacks pics, so here is their logo. Before we discovered our Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), RIW Hobbies in Livonia, we went to The Other Game Store. The Other Game Store was paradise if you were into minis, but rubbish if you were into board games, having a shelf dedicated to Munchkin, and another shelf where they squeezed in everything else, "everything else" being only the most popular of Euro-style games....


DESIGNING THE AGRICOLA GAME, PART 1 of 2: IS THERE A GAME HERE? (by Tom Russell)

DESIGNING THE AGRICOLA GAME, PART 1 of 2: IS THERE A GAME HERE? (by Tom Russell)

Some designs come together very quickly (my Irish Gauge or my Shields & Swords II series); some are basically sound right from the start, but need a lot more tweaking and finesse (Von Moltke’s Triumph was one of these); some you struggle with for years, convinced you have something but not entirely sure how to actually turn it into a playable game. Agricola, Master of Britain was one of those. I began working on it in 2011, as a two-player game. One player naturally controlled the Legions under Agricola, taking actions to suppress rebellion and build up civilization. Every action...


ADVENTURES IN INTERNATIONAL FINANCE (by Mary & Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

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ADVENTURES IN INTERNATIONAL FINANCE (by Mary & Tom Russell)

Probably the most hotly-anticipated title in our opening line-up is Cole Wehrle's An Infamous Traffic. Certainly, we're very eager to bring Mr. Wehrle's design to the public, and are putting steps into place to ensure we'll be able to keep up with the demand as much as humanly possible. Photo of what The Precious might look like. These fake precious were found on Amazon for $1.95 + $3.82 shipping for a total of 10. Yes, only 10, not the nice little pile as seen in the photo. Part of keeping up with that demand is to make sure we have...