Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

REINFORCEMENTS (by Tom Russell)

REINFORCEMENTS (by Tom Russell)

Blucher at Waterloo, the French at Inkerman, the Eagles at the Black Gate: nothing turns the tide quite so dramatically as the timely arrival of reinforcements. There are some battles (and, depending on the decisiveness of the battle, some wars) that would have went very differently if said reinforcements arrived later, or sooner, or not at all. But reinforcements can pose a problem when it comes time to simulate those battles with cardboard squares and a paper map. If, for example, so-and-so arrived at such-and-such a time, which in game terms corresponds to Turn 6, then I know and you...


COVER STORY: HORSE & MUSKET (by Tom Russell)

COVER STORY: HORSE & MUSKET (by Tom Russell)

When we took over Horse & Musket: Dawn of an Era, it had a sort of cover already, which designer Sean Chick used to advertise it on BGG. It's a very nice painting, and one that evokes the period - in fact, we used it on the cover of the rulebook - but wasn't really our style; we're not "nice painting on the cover" sort of publishers. We don't mind incorporating period artwork or photos into our box cover designs, and we do that more often than not; we just don't want to let that artwork do all the heavy...


CHARLEMAGNE SESSION REPORT (by Tom Russell)

CHARLEMAGNE SESSION REPORT (by Tom Russell)

I almost won today.  Like Agricola, Master of Britain, Charlemagne, Master of Europe (CMOE for short) requires that players hit a certain VP threshold to progress to the next turn. CMOE is a longer game, and there are more opportunities to score VP, and so as you'd expect the VP thresholds are higher. To win Agricola, you needed 75 VP at the end of the game. By contrast, in CMOE 75 VP is a turn threshold slightly over half-way through the game; the final threshold, at the end of Turn 12, is 135 VP. Which is doable. I know it's...


ENGAGEMENT (by Tom Russell)

ENGAGEMENT (by Tom Russell)

Running a wargames company can be hard work. It'd be great if all you had to do was publish great games, and then folks would buy them, but of course that isn't quite that simple. Folks need to know that the game exists, and they need to know that the game is great. The million dollar question is, how do you let them know that? A lot of our time and effort is spent grappling with this question, and occasionally we'll do a bit of "opposition research": we'll poke around and see what other wargames companies are up to. I...


THE OPT-POP DIARIES, PART 5 (by Tom Russell)

THE OPT-POP DIARIES, PART 5 (by Tom Russell)

So, over the last four entries in this series, I looked at some of the core ideas behind Optimates et Populares, as well as how I approached some of the design problems inherent in the topic. This time around, I'm going to look at each of the game's ten actions and how they work together. These actions are divided into three categories: Senate Actions, People of Rome Actions, and Law Actions. Restored Curia Julia, meeting house of the Roman senate Senate Actions Half of the game's Actions allow you to gain support for your ideology within the Senate. Support of...