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I've been tracking news for Thunder in the East for some time.
I call myself newbie in wargaming, because I just played a few of PC game called TOAW only, years ago.
After reading this interview, I really wonder if this is a game series for me or not
Is it solo-able?
Does it comprises all land, sea, and air battles? Plus economic engines?
As a new wargamer, you might want to seek out something more manageable than a game the size of THUNDER IN THE EAST.
It can be played solo easily enough (a monthly card selection has only limited "surprise" built into it), and it does cover land, air, an economics (the naval part will debut in the next game, THE MIDDLE SEA).
Is it solo-able? Yes. It's not a solo game by design, but it does not include secret or hidden decisions which make it impossible to play both sides in rotation against each other (as, for example, in a double blind game).
Does it comprise all land, sea, and air battles? Yes. In Thunder in the East the naval p[art of the war is greatly abstracted (because it did not play a huge role in the outcome of the campaign in the East), but in other theaters naval actions are more prominent.
Economic Engines? Yes, although in Thunder in the East the Axis economic system is abbreviated (since much of their production is for off-map use and almost all of their resources are off-map). The complete Soviet economic system is included, though.