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Subject: Releasing Next Week rss

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Tom Russell
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The game will be available to order from Hollandspiele (hollandspiele.com) next week. We're aiming for September 1, but if all the stars align, we might start taking orders on August 30 or 31st. That's for physical, boxed copies of the game. MSRP is $30 USD, but we're selling it for $25 for the first couple of weeks.

Those of you who are into the whole print and play thing, we're actually going to be releasing that version a few days ahead of schedule, via our friends at Wargame Vault. I'll probably post a link here when that happens. That version is $12 USD.

I have a copy of the series rulebook that's pending approval in the files section. We're also doing a series of five articles on the Hollandspiele blog about the "Shields & Swords II" series as a whole, as well as about The Grunwald Swords. The first of those posts, about the box cover, is up now: https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-a...

Other posts are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then the following Monday.

Edit: Here's a post where we discuss it from a business perspective: https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-a...

"Shields & Swords II" has some important differences from "Shields & Swords", which makes it incompatible with those games, but the basic meat of the thing is the same:

1 Each player's forces are divided into color-coded Wings.

2 Each player has a set of Command Markers, which are used to issue Commands to those Wings. Command Markers are double-sided; for example, the "Combat" Command has the "Withdraw" Command on its back, which means that you can't have a wing fight and run away on the same turn, which makes sense.

3 Each unit generally has one stat-- a Combat Class (CC) ranging from A to D. CCs can be modified up and down by certain circumstances.

4 Unit Types, representing discipline and armaments, are cross-referenced to get a DRM. Combat is resolved by rolling a die, applying the DRM, and cross-referencing the result with the attacker's modified Combat Class.

5 There are no leader units, command spans, "run away" checks, or facing. Control-command is represented by the Wing/Commands structure, and a mechanism called Wing Integrity determines if Units flee the field.

If anyone is curious about the game in particular and/or the series in general, I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have.

Right now, though, we have the game set-up on my porch, and it's my turn.
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Tim Koppang
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I'm intrigued! But I also have zero experience with the original Shields & Swords system. For someone like me, is there an overview of what makes this game unique? In other words, given the rules differences you mention, would reading reviews of the previous games in the series be useful or counterproductive?
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Tom Russell
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tckoppang wrote:
I'm intrigued! But I also have zero experience with the original Shields & Swords system. For someone like me, is there an overview of what makes this game unique? In other words, given the rules differences you mention, would reading reviews of the previous games in the series be useful or counterproductive?


They'd be useful, at least to a degree; note that the five things I listed off aren't the differences, but the "basic meat" which is the same. The actual differences are in things like the Suppression mechanic (which actually doesn't come into play in this particular game) and some of the new unit type distinctions, and the D8-based CRT (original was D6-based).

This AAR for Our Royal Bones (the best of the original series) should give you a pretty good feel for how the system works, and if it's your sort of thing:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1572650/our-royal-bones...
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Tim Koppang
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Perfect! Thank you.
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Tom Russell
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We're starting to take orders today:

https://hollandspiele.com/products/the-grunwald-swords
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Spencer Olson
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Hope I was the first order . Can't wait to play, and good luck!
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Ordered! And this is not my usual period of interest, but The Scheldt Campaign came out so nicely I was compelled to get this too. Plus it has Teutonic Knights - awesome dudes.

Hermann
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Tom Russell
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Here's the second article I did about the series, this one centering on the evolution of the system to its "II" iteration:

https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-a...
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Tom Russell
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Here's the third of the three "making-of" pieces, where I talk about Grunwald specifically:

https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-a...

And here, I get into set-ups and opening moves for THE GRUNWALD SWORDS, and explore some of the tensions that make it (IMHO) an unusually replayable middle ages battle game.

https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-a...
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Gary Grunewald
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Just wanted to say thanks. I got my copy this week (only about a week after my order) Completed our first game today. It was with my youngest (17) who isn't a wargamer, but stated that the game was "easy to learn and fast playing" (He won by playing a couple Bonus Moves to rush a couple LH past the left wing and get into the camp). He liked that the combat was quick and did not get bogged down into minutia. I look forward to exploring more S$S II titles in the future. Good Job.
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Tom Russell
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gmrmgrunewald wrote:
Just wanted to say thanks. I got my copy this week (only about a week after my order) Completed our first game today. It was with my youngest (17) who isn't a wargamer, but stated that the game was "easy to learn and fast playing" (He won by playing a couple Bonus Moves to rush a couple LH past the left wing and get into the camp). He liked that the combat was quick and did not get bogged down into minutia. I look forward to exploring more S$S II titles in the future. Good Job.


Thank you so much for sharing, Gary! Not to get too sappy, but I think one of the great things about board games is how they can connect us to one another, and allow us to share an experience with our friends and family. That's one of the main reasons why we publish games, and so we're always glad to hear about experiences like yours.

I always try to design my games with new gamers in mind-- every game can be someone's first, right?-- keeping them short enough and simple enough that they're easy to learn, to teach, and to play. Part of that is me just being selfish; if I make the games too complicated, I'll forget my own rules!
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