We have just finalised the primary contents of Barbarossa as noted below. I will not be providing a list of individual At Starts as I like a wee surprise for you all when you open the game box!
All Map, Counter and OB art with the exception of the Western Allied OB and the At Start OBs are complete and finalised. Minor pre-release tweaks will be done to handle any issues cast up from the OB revisions. Currently this means changing 8 counters, adding 12 items to the maps. This is not significant time wise, unlike the OB fixes which take considerable time.
175 pages covering all you need to play TSWW. Modifications to the system in Day of Infamy are included – this being the new “base rules set” for the game system. Major FAQ fixes added to the rules to correct misapprehensions and heavily tested by various players to ensure they work well.
Western Allied OB.
All naval operations in the Barbarossa area from the Western Allies provided a never before done OB for the Arctic Naval War. All naval operations against major targets on the Norwegian Coast. Approx 60 pages, 3 columns. This remains “to be confirmed” as we are finalising the document. According to the proofing team (many of whom are clients) this is the most spectacular OB they have ever seen – even surpassing the German one.
All Soviet forces deployed west of the Central Asian zone (some of these forces are provided for play purposes). 84 pages in 3 columns. This in our view is the most detailed OB yet done for the Soviet union, including named units, various sub forces and the like to get players the real thing. With assistance from within Russia, without which the Red Air Force could not have been done to a high standard, we believe this is an excellent effort.
The most complete German Order of Battle ever done, including every asset we could positively identify as being in the East. The Ostheer has been handled to battery or company level in many instances to get this as close to “right” as is humanly possible. The DKM and Lw are fully detailed for the first time ever in an East Front game to the best of our knowledge. Covering 107 pages the OB file is in the opinion of those clients who have been proofing it is a new start for the history of WW2 at the operational scale. Whilst I think it is very good I am not sure on that!
Axis Minor Nations.
Dealing with Finland, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, this details both national forces where applicable and those assets deployed to the eastern front. Covering 43 pages the finalised document has been further tweaked by experts in the Italian and Romanian armed forces of the period, who are from those nations and have access to local data sets not usually available to game development teams. This OB has multiple options and handles various other potential operations. Over 43 pages this is the best that can be done with the sources available and is according to our local experts, exceptional.
With 23 scenarios, and modules, including a variety of learning and introductory ones, this is the largest set of such that we are aware of in a single box. We have also commenced development of a further 20 odd modules – all based on the convoy war plus are considering further major East Front modules as time permits dealing with things such as the Soviet operations around Kharkov in 1942 and 1943. We had hoped to have more of these in the box – but space and time are at a premium! Even so, we have 124 pages of 3 column type built into some of the most fascinating modules we have so far developed. Taken from original sources, and high quality histories we feel that these are as good as we can manage given the immense effort expended on the game itself.
Front of Box art is complete, with two separate covers. We will be requesting client preferences commencing 14th September.
Back of Box art is complete, except proofing and minor modifications to properly illustrate contents. This is a matter of hours work at most.
These are complete in draft format but are subject to last minute update in light of any issues found during the finalisation of the game.
28 counter sheets, with the forces involved from June 1941 to June 1943. With 7840 counters, this in some ways is the biggest game we have done. Every sheet is fully proofed, and with 8 exceptions is now print ready.
18 15 mile to the hexes, 2 75 mile to hex strategic maps, all are in final draft. Minor map fixes (adding in orphan weather zone names) are required but they are fully print ready otherwise.
2 x D10 dice – probably blue and red as usual but perhaps Red and Yellow and black and white. This decision is minor and not as yet confirmed. Dice are available at short notice from our suppliers.
I trust that this indicates the immense amount of work done in the past year to complete one of the biggest games ever released by any game company, and most certainly is a record development schedule for a game of this scale, only made possible by the immense research effort undertaken over the previous 10 years behind the scenes as we released multiple games dealing with other theatres. Vying with Fire in the East/Scorched Earth, Barbarossa is the largest operational simulation dealing with the Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War to date and draws upon the expertise of many specialist researchers, as well as the normal company team. We believe we have an excellent product which will, in the words of General Norman Schwartzkopf “shock and awe” the people!
The game is scheduled for release to press in 7 days time – but this may slip due to the necessity to complete the Western Allied OB fix and the At Start fix. Both are vital to get the game as good as it can be prior to release.
I hope this lets you all know how close the game is! Lots done – a bit more to do…