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2019-09-20 ETO Development Diary

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

A Funny Thing Happened at ConsimWorld 2019

We certainly hope you are enjoying Thunder in the East (TITE) and, judging by the feedback we have received, you have managed to play it both as it hit your game table and via Vassal's virtual game table. Outstanding!

TMS playtesting with Frank Chadwick
Daniel Duldig and designer Frank Chadwick discuss the Italian Campaign in a TMS playtest game at CSWX 2019.

When we released TITE in early 2019, we knew it was going to be the first title in the new Frank Chadwick's ETO series -- but getting it published and out the door meant that we wrapped it up as more of a "stand alone" title with "hooks" which we planned to flesh out for complete integration with the ETO series writ large "down the road." After all, we have now come a long way with the second game in this series, The Middle Sea (TMS), and hoped to wrap it up in the same way (as a stand alone game with "hooks").

However, by the end of ConsimWorld 2019, where we set up and playtested the critical first few turns of TMS' fourteen scenarios(!), the team presented the notion that perhaps that was the wrong way to go. Upon further reflection and after much discussion, we will not be wrapping up TMS expeditiously as a stand alone title with hooks. Instead, it will be as the first "integrated" ETO title where everything about it retrofits with everything previously published.

What that means is we are not creating a separate TMS rules book (for example), but the first ETO rules book for both TITE and TMS, whether you play them together or play either separately. The non TMS-specific components are all currently being "ETO-ized" with a development focus on components that fit within the framework of The Big Picture and are not so narrowly tailored to just that one game in the series.

After integrating the TITE-specific rules into the formerly TMS rule book to create the fist true set of ETO rules, some sentences were subtly rebuilt to show their placement in a broader timeline. For example, the Soviet Early War ("Mystery Mech") units are still removed from play when they leave the map, but that only occurs after the USSR is at war with Germany. It won't make a bean's worth of difference in TITE, but if you start and ETO and war breaks out between these two titans at a different time, we want that contingency covered.

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