Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

BUILDING SUPPLY LINES, PART 1 of 2 (by Tom Russell)

BUILDING SUPPLY LINES, PART 1 of 2 (by Tom Russell)

Supply Lines of the American Revolution: The Northern Theater, 1775-1777: the only thing longer than its title is the time I've spent working on it. I started working on the game about seven years ago. As a result, the story behind the game, its genesis, and its evolution is something I remember only hazily, like the words to Greensleeves, or what I had for breakfast this morning. But here goes. So, seven years ago, I had exactly zero published games to my name. At that time, I was mostly playing and designing Euro-style games. I had dipped my toe into...


A SHORT HISTORY OF THE 1775 INVASION OF CANADA, WRITTEN BY A CANADIAN. (by Brian Train)

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE 1775 INVASION OF CANADA, WRITTEN BY A CANADIAN. (by Brian Train)

Brian posted the following as a comment on our recent piece on historical incentives. We thought that, like David S. Pumpkins, it was its own thing, so we asked Brian's permission to share it as a separate post, and he kindly agreed. “Boneheaded in hindsight” – there’s the money quote. I don’t like idiot rules any more than you do – I’m perfectly capable of doing new stupid things all by myself – but there needs to be some array of mechanisms and incentives to impel players to do things that are foolish now, but were done then for a...


AUTHORIAL VOICE IN RULES WRITING (by Tom Russell)

AUTHORIAL VOICE IN RULES WRITING (by Tom Russell)

At this point, I've written the rules for over twenty-five published games that I've designed. I've also rewritten, with Mary's help, the rules for about a half-dozen other games by other designers. So, at this point, writing rules is second nature to me; it's easy-peasy. It didn't always used to be that way, of course, but like I said, I've done this something like thirty-plus times, and after the first dozen games or so, I simply had to get better at it. The other thing is that over time I became much more confident in writing the rules my own...


DESIGNER'S REMARKS ON THE LITTLE WAR (by Brian Train)

DESIGNER'S REMARKS ON THE LITTLE WAR (by Brian Train)

Okay, here is a game on the short but spirited border war between Slovakia and Hungary that happened in March 1939! How long have you been waiting for this one? And what the heck happened anyway?  Territorial changes of Slovakia: land ceded to Hungary before (red) and after (blue) the war (Wikipedia) Well, it’s kind of complicated. After Germany annexed the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in September 1938, other parts of that country started to fall away. In October Carpathian Ruthenia and Slovakia declared their autonomy within Czechoslovakia, and Poland took the Zaolzie (Teschen) region. The following month large strips...


HISTORICAL INCENTIVES IN WARGAME DESIGN (by Tom Russell)

HISTORICAL INCENTIVES IN WARGAME DESIGN (by Tom Russell)

Military history is not only the story of greatness, of inspired leadership, of singular genius, and masterful campaigns, but also of folly, failure, and disaster. There are plenty of moments throughout history where you just have to wonder, "what the heck were they thinking?" A new & correct map of the trading part of the West Indies : including the seat of war between Gr. Britain and Spain : likewise the British Empire in America, with the French and Spanish settlements adjacent thereto : adorn'd with prospects of ye most considerable towns, ports, harbours &c. therein contained from the latest & best observations...