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Big news on the Turning Point Simulations Front. I turned in the fully developed version of Mark McLaughlin's game, The Invincible Armada, for editing by the TPS staff and real art by Mark Mahaffey. Players are going to be very happy with this game, as it is low counter density, fast-playing, and can fit on a normal-sized table, even in your kitchen, without taking up more space than a herd of cats. Also, it has the kind of inventive system that we've learned to expect from the designer, and Mark's touch when it comes to events. If you're looking forward to it now, then you have the idea. I developed and played it, and I'm looking forward to the published version.
The coming batch of games from TPS marks the end of my tenure with the company. I developed this one and Paul Rohrbaugh's title on the Vicksburg Campaign, and designed the game on the Austro-Prussian War in Bohemia, to cover Sadowa. That was kind of special for me, as I appear to have had relatives on both sides of the conflict. Also, I liked Paul's Vicksburg game so much that I adapted his system to my design, and was lucky enough to have have as the developer. Finally, that was my first original design in twenty-four years. Now all that remains is for Mark Mahaffey to make it look cool, as he does with every other game.
Much to my regret, as I announced earlier this year, I have had to relinquish the title and workload of staff developer to the able hands of Lembit Tohver. I have two teaching jobs, and I'm also finishing work on my second MA at American Military University. So I just didn't have the time or attention span to do work with TPS the justice that it deserves. Lembit does, and his track record is that of doing it right.
As my workload decreases with the end of my time with TPS and the impending last work on that Masters degree, I will have more time. Besides the occasional nap and full-night's sleep, I plan to work on Line of Departure, and maintain its publication on a regular schedule. In addition, I fully intend to go back to designing on a pace of my own choosing and comfort. This will be helped by the fact that the coming Masters is in military history, concentrating on World War II. So even though I already had a graduate degree, this one in political science from Duquesne University, I think that my research and analytical skills are better than they were five years ago, when I took my first course at AMU. Hopefully that will make me a better designer too.
It has been a good run with TPS, one of the absolutely most ethical companies with which I have had the honor to work. If, down the road, one of my designs ends up in the pages of its sister magazine, Against the Odds, I would be doubly honored.