Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

ALL THE YOUNG DUDES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1

ALL THE YOUNG DUDES (by Tom Russell)

I had been designing board games for three years or so before one of them finally saw the light of day.  During that period, there were about a dozen games that never made it past the first playtest, maybe another dozen that I spent weeks and months testing and developing only to abandon them, and about a dozen that I pitched fruitlessly to publishers (though two or three of these would finally see the light of day years later). And of all those games, I had one that got published, at the tail-end of 2012. The next year, I had...


BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 1 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

BATTLES ON THE ICE DESIGNER'S NOTES PART 1 OF 2 (by Tom Russell)

The first game in the Shields & Swords II series, The Grunwald Swords, sold fairly well and was well-received. A number of very kind folks have said some very kind things about it, which encouraged other very kind folks to give it a try. It helps that the subject was, if not exactly popular, then it wasn't exactly obscure, either. The particulars of the battle also make for a rather dynamic gaming situation. (Some folks find the game very hard to win as the Teutonic Player, and while the game does lean towards the Allies - as does the history...


HORSE & MUSKET PART 3 (by Sean Chick)

HORSE & MUSKET PART 3 (by Sean Chick)

I wish to conclude this by discussing the long path taken to creating Horse & Musket. The origins of the game stem from my love for linear musket combat and my work on Hold the Line: Frederick’s War. That game came out from some simple fan made scenarios I crafted for Hold the Line based on the War of the Austrian Succession. The scenarios were popular enough to gain the attention of Worthington, who after much deliberation, decided to create both Frederick’s War and its expansion, Highland Charge. For a time Worthington was interested in creating a game based on...


THE OPT-POP DIARIES PART 6 OF 5 (by Tom Russell)

THE OPT-POP DIARIES PART 6 OF 5 (by Tom Russell)

So, a few folks have asked, in various corners of the internet, why Optimates et Populares is a two-player game, instead of something that sits four or five, as you might typically see in other political games. I never really seriously considered designing it as a multiplayer game, and there are in retrospect a few reasons for that, so I thought I'd dig into 'em a bit here. From the start, the game was about poisonous, hyper-partisan deadlock. You have two well-defined sides in direct conflict with diametrically-opposed and mutually-exclusive goals, unwilling and unable to give an inch. Scoring points...


HORSE & MUSKET PART 2 (by Sean Chick)

HORSE & MUSKET PART 2 (by Sean Chick)

  Scenarios are good and well, but one has to decide what rules to include and what kind of units to simulate. I wanted to avoid a boilerplate feeling where each nation plays the same relatively. After all, this period saw French tactical dominance whittled away by Dutch and British tactical innovations in both volley fire and thinner formations. Sweden, after a brief period of stunning military success, saw a stunning decline in power and military expertise, eclipsed by the rising states of Russia and Prussia. Bayonet charges were rare but coming into prominence. Artillery was mostly heavy and hard...