Updated: Sep 26, 2021
Frank Chadwick’s ETO: Gestating an Elephant By Alan Emrich
For this update series, we must preface with:
Our focus remains vigilantly on “the larger picture” of combined ETO volume games. One of our Prime Directives for this project’s development is that, when you play multiple volume games together, they integrate as seamlessly as possible.
You will see screenshots of our playtest components and from the Vassal playtest kits throughout this article.
Briefly, About Frank Chadwick’s ETO
Frank Chadwick’s ETO is:
Which combine into a grand scope wargame of WWII in Europe
The scale is
o 30 miles per hex (with Iceland in the top-left and the Persian Gulf in the lower-right corner of the combined map's area)
o 7.5 – 15 days per turn
o Most ground units are Corps (with a few Division breakdowns and Army buildup units)
The game features a simple play sequence (evolved from the classic introductory wargame, Battle for Moscow)
o Special Movement
o Regular Movement
The core game is very much a clever, modern hex-and-counter Panzer Pusher
It includes an intuitive economic model featuring Seasonal income and per-turn expenditures (primarily used for on-map replacements and building/rebuilding from the force pool)
There are discreet Air and Naval units and systems optimized to support the “Panzer Pusher” nature of the game’s primary focus
It is card assisted in that each Month you select a card or two from your deck to add to your hand and decide when to unleash their narrative events. It is not card-driven in that you do not shuffle your deck and receive random cards that “make the game go;” Instead, you build a hand/strategy to create an important on-map operation, shore up your economy, or military base, conduct political endeavors, etc.
Design and Development Philosophy
Developer Lance McMillan (L), vassal guy Ken Keller (C), and designer Frank Chadwick (R) playtest the Italian invasion of Greece 1940-41.
The philosophies that legendary game designer Frank Chadwick has inculcated to the team are:
Historical accuracy is the departure point for everything