ETO Dev Diary 2019-9-15: Taking a Minor Stance

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

The “ETO-izing” of Small Nation Commitment Levels and Home Armies


When playing Thunder in the East, most players understand that Hungary has a Home Army, but few have played the Bagration scenario and seen it activated into play. Likewise, as we playtest The Middle Sea, little happens with Bulgaria with its domesticated Home Army. Thinking to the future, how do get historical stances for every Small Nation’s participation from Spain to Finland “right?”


What we needed was a set of National Commitment rules that would cover most cases and leave as few exceptions for specific nations and circumstances as possible. In this Dev Diary update, let us introduce you to these now-defined building blocks. Brothers and sisters, please turn in your rules hymnal to number 533.0…


The following is based on the ETO rules for all games in the series currently in development and occasionally updated here.


[553.0] National Commitment

In Frank Chadwick’s ETO there are levels of a nation’s commitment to the war: Fully Active, Limited Active (i.e., keeping a Home Army), Pro-Faction and Neutral.

Changes in National Commitment can occur as the result of certain cards, gameplay, and turn-mandated events. Note that a change in alignment (i.e., defection) often causes a change in its commitment as well.


[553.1] Fully Active Nations:

Fully Active nations and territories are completely committed to their Faction’s cause. Nations that have had war declared on them are always Fully Active nations. Fully Active nations share these characteristics:

  • Full Transit Rights: All of its Faction’s forces may enter, deploy in, extend ZOCs from, fly over, and trace Ranges and LoCs through it (if not prevented by other rules).

  • Free Force Deployment: Its entire armed forces can operate outside of its Rightful Territory (553.4).

  • Full Economic Contribution: It contributes all of its EP and FP production (544.0) each Season if its Resource hex can trace an LoC to that Faction’s Large nation’s Capital City hex (i.e., London, Berlin, or Moscow) at that time (542.4).

  • Full Manpower Contribution: It gains its nation’s PPs each Season (544.0).

[553.1.1] Thunder in the East: In TITE, Active nations include Germany, Italy, Romania (becoming a Fully Active nation on the second turn of Operation Barbarossa), Slovakia, and the USSR.

Yes, Slovakia! They’re commitment to the Axis war effort is coming in this series’ future. Their Force Pool consists of a single 2nd Line Infantry Corps unit, but it does have the advantage of breaking down into Divisions. They also contribute their own 1/2 PP per Season to maintain their forces.


Coming to the ETO system, the wholly-carved Axis Small nation, Slovakia. Note the Corps unit's break down Divisions.

[553.1.2] The Middle Sea: In TMS, Active nations include Germany, Italy, Egypt, and the British Mandate (Palestine and Trans-Jordan).


[553.2] Limited Active Nations: