The HMS Board of Directors has authorized the posting of all the remaining Total War charts. The first one (the front of the Unit Identification Chart – UIC) is appended below. Additional charts will follow every 3-4 days until we get last of printing back and start to ship the game. There will be some explanatory commentary about the new/changed (from previous Europa games) material on each chart as part of each post.
Below are two .pdf files, one showing the front of the UIC (how all the ratings on the counters and markers are laid out), and a separate file (an extract from the Axis and Soviet OBs) showing the unit colors used on the various counters in the game. The first thing you will probably notice is that the point size on this chart is lower than on previous charts. This was necessary if we were to keep this as a single chart size for Total War. For the equivalent Grand Europa chart this single side will expand to two sides, as there are many more ground unit types, air/naval unit types/codes, and special markers for the entire series than there are for Total War.
Other changes include: 1) a more detailed explanation of support status indicators, size designations, and fragile unit indicators; 2) A new arrangement of the various air/naval unit types into various “categories” as they are used in the rules, 3) a number of new air/naval unit codes
(Ex: P for Paradrop Expertise denoting transports trained to make air drops); and 4) a number of new marker types (disruption markers, limited mobility markers, admin move/strat rail markers, etc.).
As we close in on last bit necessary to finally ship Total War, here’s another piece of the starting OB for your perusal. The .pdf link below shows the Soviet Conditional Reinforcement events that govern how the initial Soviet Unreliable Baltic Units and Soviet Disorganized Fortifications work.
June 22, 1941. Operation Barbarossa began as Axis armies crossed the border and attacked Soviet forces. Total War, the latest (and very late to ship) Europa game to simulate Barbarossa, should be in the mail late next month. We had thought long ago that a June 22 date would be the ideal to begin mailing the game. Several print starts with the new charts and one booklet have shown that we had additional work to do for the printers. While this should not take a lot of additional time, medical issues have delayed the the printing and shipping.
Arthur has never been very keen about admitting any medical issues and only spoke about problems after he felt they had passed. In this case, the problems where not going to pass without treatment. We have now arranged for medical treatment to begin shortly and are assured that he will be fine once the procedures are complete. Initial examinations have also shown that he put off new glasses for far too many years and he will be sporting two new pair of lenses. Arthur has never had medical insurance and refused all but the most serious treatment. That has changed with the help of many of his friends. We both apologize for this delay and will let you know when he is back on-line.
One of the issues that the company has had for some years before we purchased it, was the obsolescence of our computer software. A good deal of experience with mainframe software issues led me to believe that we should not try to change horses (necessary systems) in the middle of a game (or stream). After we believed that the printers were set to go with the game, Arthur convinced me we could begin that replacement process. We now have that software (Adobe Creative Suite ) and a modest, but adquate Mac hardware upgrade largely in place. I was correct about its possible impact if we had still been working on game but the upgrade is now almost complete.
Using the new and sometimes complex software in the future will wait for A Winter War II. At least Arthur will be able to read the screens from farther than 5 inches. While it in no way makes up for the late shipment date, we will start to display samples of the game again. We displayed a new Terrain Effects Chart before. After receiving input from two customers, four of our volunteers and a close review by both Arthur and myself, we ended up with just short of thirty small changes to that chart. You can see the new and final TEC by clicking on the link below.
We have met with the printer’s staff three times over the weekend and today. I believe that we have resolved the issues of immediate concern. They now understand that Arthur and I are the only individuals who can approve a print run. We will be doing several samples and reformatting they have requested. They will be generating proof copies in at least two styles and will begin printing the first of many game charts as schedule fillers, early next week. They will give us a new print schedule for the more expensive rules and OB booklets late next week.
Appended below is another extract from the Soviet OB – this one covering how all the terms used in the OB work. Next up will be the Total War charts.