Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany

COVER STORY - AGRICOLA, MASTER OF BRITAIN (by Tom Russell)

COVER STORY - AGRICOLA, MASTER OF BRITAIN (by Tom Russell)

My first love was the cinema, and so it's probably no surprise that I have a great deal of affection for, and draw a great deal of inspiration from, great movie posters. I'm a big fan of the Polish school, but my favorites, hands-down, are the work of the legendary Saul Bass. Bass is a hugely influential designer-- so much so that there are lots of posters that are so "Bass-like" that you might think Bass did them. Take, for example, the poster that Jouineau Bourduge did for Kubrick's Barry Lyndon: Really, almost everything I try to do in my...


OPENING MOVES FOR "THE GRUNWALD SWORDS" (by Tom Russell)

OPENING MOVES FOR "THE GRUNWALD SWORDS" (by Tom Russell)

The original monument to the Battle of Grunwald was erected in Kraków for the battle's 500th anniversary. It was destroyed during WWII by the Germans and rebuilt in 1976. Broadly speaking, the Teutonic Player must absolutely protect the camp hexes in his rear at all costs. The Allied Player can win the game immediately if he takes possession of those hexes. The Allied Player's two Polish Wings have the best chance of grabbing it, mostly because they're the ones that are going to stay on the map during the entire game. Naturally, if the Teutonic Player is able to box...


(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART THREE: BEST HOOF FORWARD (by Tom Russell)

(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART THREE: BEST HOOF FORWARD (by Tom Russell)

Death of Ulrich von Jungingen, detail from "The Battle of Grunwald, Jan Matejko, 1878 Way back in 2013, I designed an ACW boxed game themed around the Seven Days Battles at Mark Walker's request. For various reasons it was decided in 2015 to break the game's five battles into five separate games for publication in Tiny Battle's folio line. The first game was the second battle to happen chronologically (Gaines's Mill), the second was the fourth (Glendale & White Oak Swamp), then the third (Savage's Station), then the first (Beaver Dam Creek). The reason why it didn't start with Beaver...


(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART TWO: THE SYSTEM (by Tom Russell)

(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART TWO: THE SYSTEM (by Tom Russell)

"Battle of Grunwald", Jan Matejko, 1878, 426×987cm So, last time I touched on the history of the original Shields & Swords games, how they sold, why the folio series was cancelled, and why it made sense for Mary and I to resurrect it for Hollandspiele as Shields & Swords II. Today, I'm going to explain the mechanics of the system, how it was tweaked by each of the four S&S games, and how S&S II differs from that iteration. The core of the system is that each player has one or more color-coded Wings, with each Wing made up of...


(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART ONE: BIDNESS (by Tom Russell)

(RE)MAKING SHIELDS & SWORDS, PART ONE: BIDNESS (by Tom Russell)