Several months ago I wrote a blog post on the amazing P500 system from GMT Games. That post was very cathartic for me and offered me a forum to express my deep seeded feelings about this wonderful (and terrible!) part of my life. Since that post and any positive progress I had made in my rehabilitation efforts, I have once again relapsed into my former throes of agony (really ecstasy!) each month upon the release of the GMT Games August Monthly Update. When that email comes into my inbox each month, my pulse quickens, my adrenal glands become active, my palms begin to sweat as I am always nervously excited about what new additions might appear on the P500 list. Well, this month was an extremely difficult one as when the Monthly Update email came there had been 3 new games added to the list. Those games are as follows:
Bayonets & Tomahawks, designed by Marc Rodrigue
Holland ’44, designed by Mark Simonitch
Imperial Struggle, designed by Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews
It didn’t take me long to dive headlong into oblivion as I ordered all 3 before I even knew what it was that I had done. This now has brought my total outstanding ordered P500 games to date to 11 (was 12 but Cactus Airforce was removed from the list last month 😢)! I purchased both A Distant Plain: Insurgency in Afghanistan and Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar in April from the P500 list but have not included those in the totals as I have already received them and played them several times each.
Why was I so unable to resist ordering these 3 new games? Well, let me tell you why I’m excited about each one of them.
Bayonets & Tomahawks
Earlier this year, I acquired a copy of Wilderness War by Volko Ruhnke and absolutely loved the game. It’s design was amazing with point to point movement and being a Card Driven Game relied on the use of historically accurate event cards to assist each player in playing out the conflict known as the French & Indian War. Shortly after that I noticed some tweets about the Stack Academie event in Montreal, Canada where I saw pictures of people playing Marc Rodrigue’s design of the French & Indian War called Bayonets & Tomahawks. I also saw that Volko played it there and was impressed by its design. At that time, I would have purchased a copy if it were available so once I saw it offered, I jumped at the chance. I also read the Inside GMT Article by Marc (http://www.insidegmt.com/?p=11733) which settled the question for me and I was convinced the game was right for me and pulled the trigger! I can’t wait for this title to be ready! Yes I already have a French & Indian War game in Wilderness War, but I do like the new take on this game and am interested to see how the integration of naval combat will change the experience. Plus when GMT uses flowery words in their promos like “rich”, “fluid”, etc. to describe the game, how could I resist?
Holland ’44 Operation Market Garden
I absolutely love the World War II era and have played several of the classic games from GMT like Mark Herman’s Empire of the Sun and Chad Jensen’s Combat Commander: Europe and Combat Commander: Mediterranean. But I have never really played a true operational battalion level game. I have longed to own Ardennes ’44 and Normandy ’44 but have not been able to convince myself to buy them. But once I saw Holland ’44 I immediately ordered the game as I have always been fascinated by Holland in World War II and Operation Market Garden. I absolutely love the classic 1977 movie “A Bridge Too Far” and seeing Sir Anthony Hopkins as Lt. Colonel Frost, Gene Hackman as Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski and James Caan as Staff Sergeant Eddie Dohun cemented in my mind’s eye the fantastic conflict that unfolded with the launch of Operation Market Garden in the Dutch towns of Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem. Also seeing that the game is designed by Mark Simonitch helped me to feel comfortable as I own and love The US Civil War. So I added this title to my growing list of P500 games.
I love Twilight Struggle and it holds the top spot on my Top 10 Games of All Time list. So when I saw Imperial Struggle, which is designed by the same team as TS made up of Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews, how could I even resist! This game promises to offer the same tense experience as TS with only the countries involved being Britain and France covering the 100 year period from 1697 to 1789, which ends with my most favorite historical time period of all time, the American Revolution and the French Revolution! This game literally “Made the Cut” on the first day with over 500 orders. I love TS due to the fact that war is a very small part of the game and the game focuses on economic, social and political issues of the time period covering the Cold War and the effects those issues had on the ideological conflict between the world’s 2 great superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Now in Imperial Struggle, we are sure to see the same treatment of the nearly 100 year conflict on a global scale between the 2 great superpowers of that time, the French and British as they struggled for control of the colonies around the world and the high seas. This game will be a similar asymmetrical card driven strategy game that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! I absolutely cannot wait.
Conclusion and Summary of my P500 Orders
I would like to wrap this post up with a summary of where my 11 P500 games stand as of August 19th. I routinely check the status of each of my games (one of the side effects of my condition is thinking that things will greatly change in only 2 or 3 days) and also will show the change in orders as compared to the last time I wrote them down on August 1st.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom – 113 [+4 orders] – Why is this game moving so slowly? It is amazing!
- Cactus Air Force – removed from P500 in July. Really saddened by its removal but I know it will come back and when it does, it will be mine. Solitaire air war over Guadalcanal awaits!
- Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power – 458 [+35 orders] My first “block game” and did I mention it was nominated for the BGG War Game of the Year in 2015?
- Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation – 365 [+13 orders] I love anything about the Reformation! Holy War anyone?
- Space Empires 4x – 211 [+3 orders] 4x games are awesome and I love a good Sci-Fi themed game!
- The Hunters – 305 [+26 orders] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats!
- Navajo Wars – 226 [+3 orders] I love stories and games about Native Americans. When I was a kid I read dozens of history books on Native Americans.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 310 [+27 orders] A WWII tactical game that exhibits the actions and reactions of real troops from initiative, to communication and other factors. Yes, please!
- Hitler’s Reich – 525 [+54 orders] WWII Card Driven Game that plays in under 2 hours.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 290
- Holland 44′ – 485
- Imperial Struggle – 926 [Made the Cut in 1st Day!]
As I ordered these 3 brand new offerings on P500 this week, I must admit that I felt somewhat guilty! Why you might ask? I felt guilty because I knew that other members of my group would be ordering them on P500 right now IF they could and I was simply beating them to the punch. See in our group we generally don’t purchase the same games and try to spread out our buying power so we can experience the maximum number of new games. As you can imagine, this has caused some problems over the years as we argue about who gets to buy what. We also all have fairly lengthy wish lists as well and some days, hope for one of our mates to move away so that we can go ahead and order the games that they owned! So I admit that I have a problem. I couldn’t control myself and simply have blamed my disorder for my actions. It has worked as no one appears to be mad at this point, but I do know that their wish lists got a little bit longer this week! Please consider helping me out by P500’ing one or all of these great games! You will be helping me personally and I need all the help I can get!