Who are you people, anyway?

Hollandspiele was founded by Mary Holland-Russell and her husband Tom Russell to publish interesting and unusual "wargames and weirdgames". Hollandspiele is our full-time job, and that's every bit as much fun as it sounds.

Mary Holland-Russell, Games Commander

Mary handles the day-to-day operations of Hollandspiele, customer service, layouts, editing, social media, and talking about dinosaurs. Before founding Hollandspiele, Mary oversaw production and development of fifteen other wargames for another publisher.

Tom Russell, Chief Bottle Washer

Tom designs some of the games for Hollandspiele, handles most of the box covers and counters, and drinks Mary's water.

The Mary & Tom Show (weeklyish) podcast, usually ten or fifteen minutes in duration, in which we talk about our games, dinosaurs, and Tom's attempts to drink Mary's water.

Are you a Dutch or German company?

Nope, we are based in the United States, in the Detroit area. The name Hollandspiele is derived from Mary's last name, and also because we thought it would be funny if the name made it sound like we were a company from Europe. That's probably a gag that has diminishing returns, but that's never stopped us before.

Why can't I find your games on store shelves?

We publish games in the most expensive and least efficient way possible - print on demand. That means that when someone orders a game, we tell our printer to make it and send it to them. This greatly reduces our financial risk and allows us to publish weird games with impunity. This also cuts us out of any kind of traditional distribution network.

So, how do I get your games?

If you're in Europe, Second Chance Games in the United Kingdom is the exclusive source of Hollandspiele titles. We do not deal with any other retailers in Europe and the UK, and we no longer ship games to customers in Europe and the UK ourselves.

If you're anywhere else in the world, including the United States, you can get the games right here, from our online store. Note however that shipping outside the United States can be quite expensive, and you'll be subject to the usual customs and taxes that are collected in your country.

Can I print-and-play your games?

We do offer print-and-play versions of all our titles, exclusively through Wargame Vault. We don't make very much money there to be honest - it's the boxed games that let us do this full-time - but we still pay the same royalty to our designers regardless of the format.

Where's my order?

When you order one of our products, we send the order over to our manufacturer, Blue Panther. Your game(s) will typically be printed and assembled within two to three weeks. It could also be as short as a couple of days; it's all going to depend on the volume of orders at that time. Please be patient, and if you have any questions or concerns, please email Mary at hollandspiele at gmail dot com.

What's that smell?

Our counters are manufactured with a UV printing process. This process does not utilize any solvents or toxic chemicals, but does have an odor. Usually this odor is slight but sometimes it does not dry completely or becomes concentrated during shipping. We are working to refine the process with the goal of eliminating the odor as much as possible.

Leaving the game bits out to air - particularly in sunlight - for a day or two will usually cause it to dissipate. You can also place dryer sheets in the box with the components to reduce the smell.

What are your submission guidelines?

We're happy to look at new and interesting games from designers both established and brand new. We publish a wide variety of games on any number of different topics; our catalogue is diverse and eclectic. At the same time, that doesn't mean that every game is a good fit for Hollandspiele. Most of our games aren't terribly components-intensive and have fairly streamlined rules - so we're probably not a great fit for your bits-heavy economics simulation or your hyper-detailed monster wargame. Our games can also be quite weird at times - so we're not going to want to look at vanilla traditional hex-and-counter games.

We want games with something different - an innovation, an idiosyncrasy, a point-of-view. Give us the game that only you could design. We're not particularly interested in:

  • Euro-style games.
  • State of Siege style solitaire games.
  • Sell sheets. Do not send us sell sheets. They tell us nothing about you and nothing about your game.

Now, beyond the question of, is my game a good fit for Hollandspiele?, there is also the question of is Hollandspiele a good fit for my game?

We are a small company without traditional distribution that most people have never heard of. Our marketing is largely done by word-of-mouth by a small but passionate (and growing) customer base. We're not going to get anywhere near the same number of sales as larger companies nor are we going to have euro-style production values. For a lot of games and designers, Hollandspiele might not be the best choice.

The upside of course is that we're more likely to be interested in a game that other publishers find to be unmarketable; we're able to take creative risks. We are also respectful of the designer's vision and intellectual property. We never purchase a game from a designer outright, but license the game for a three year period. Designers are paid a per-copy royalty of at least $3 on a quarterly basis.