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As has been my custom over the past several months, when the monthly update email comes from GMT Games, I write up a summary of the new games and the status of my personal list. I look  over the email, salivating at the new P500 offerings, attempt futilely to resist the muse-like calling of the new P500 games and get new updated information on the Tentative Production Schedule to feed my addiction.  Several months ago I wrote a blog post on the amazing P500 system from GMT Games and how I feel about this blessing and curse in my life! I handled the update much better this month than I have in the recent past (see my August update post…yikes!) but still succumbed to the temptation…and added 3 new P500 games to my ever growing list! This month featured 6 new games so only adding two of the new ones (as well as one I have been watching for a while now), is a victory in my mind and believe me, I need each little victory in my battle, no matter how small it might seem! With yesterday’s update email, I have added the following three games to my list:

Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion designed by Andrew and Volko Ruhnke –  https://www.gmtgames.com/p-603-ariovistus-a-falling-sky-expansion.aspx

The Russian Campaign designed by John Edwards – https://www.gmtgames.com/p-591-the-russian-campaign-designer-signature-edition.aspx

Cataclysm A Second World War designed by William Terdoslavich and Scott Muldoon –  https://www.gmtgames.com/p-519-cataclysm.aspx

This now has brought my total outstanding ordered P500 games to date to 17 (was 18 but Cactus Airforce was removed from the list in July)!

You might be asking yourself, why does Grant have so many games on P500 and why can’t he control himself? Well, let me tell you why I just had to add each of these 3 great games to my list.

Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion

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I am a huge fan of the COIN Series of games and own A Distant Plain, Fire in the Lake, Liberty or Death and Falling Sky and have Colonial Twilight on P500. I believe that the COIN Series is a fantastically designed hybrid wargame system that deals with various conflicts in a unique way that allows us players to immerse ourselves in the struggle creating an amazingly authentic and rich gaming experience. This gaming experience provides us a glimpse, albeit a small one, into the struggle depicted and we can learn from the experience and deepen our understanding of history and the events that had shaped mankind! (for more reasons see Why I love the COIN Series)  I purchased Falling Sky this April and have immensely enjoyed playing it with my group. This first foray into antiquity in the series, is a breath of fresh air and adds many new mechanics, pieces and Commands and Special Activities (see my Preview of Falling Sky). So, why do I have interest in the expansion Ariovistus? The expansion takes us back a little earlier in the struggle for Gaul and adds an additional playable faction in the Germans, you know, the black pieces with the cool crossed hand axes embossed on them! This greatly excites me as I can see many interesting games and a changed approach for Caesar to deal with this new barbarian threat!  They also are upgrading the rather flimsy Available Forces player boards, which I mentioned as a concern of mine in my Preview.  All in all, this is an exciting expansion that will only make a great game even better!

The Russian Campaign

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I love World War II and last month ordered Holland ’44 Operation Market Garden.  When this beauty was added this month, it was an auto buy for me as I don’t own a World War II game covering the Eastern Front.  I have looked at several and do have No Retreat: The Russian Front on P500 but in this game I see a simpler more respected take on one of the quintessential invasions of the war. The Russian Campaign is universally acclaimed as one of the most venerable and widely-recognized games ever published on the subject and has been under redesign for the past year or so and is more than just repackaging a great game. The designer has spent considerable time on researching more modern thinking on the battles and has made changes that are sure to increase the playability and realism of the conflict. I also am drawn to it as it is said that it will be a fairly simple game to pick up for new players and I need a good ramp up to this monumental part of the history of World War II.

Cataclysm A Second World War

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Yet another title added to my growing collection of World War II games (if you read my Best 3 Games with…World War II post earlier this month, that list is sure to change over the next year!) as I continue to look at, research and ultimately decide which games on the P500 are worthy of my hard earned money.  I have been following this one for quite some time and once it neared its P500 goal, I decided that it was a good bet and ordered it! I also read designer William Terdoslavich’s Inside GMT Article titled “History Never Repeats Itself When Playing Cataclysm”(http://www.insidegmt.com/?p=12431) that convinced me that this novel and new take on the World War II conflict in Cataclysm A Second World War was interesting.  I have always asked myself questions such as “What would have happened if the D-Day invasion failed? Or if Dunkirk swung in the favor of the Germans?, or what if Operation Barbarrossa had a late winter and German tanks were able to roll into Moscow?  This type of sandbox alternate history simulation, played out through blind unit chit draws, is interesting to me and will be sure to make for some very interesting and unconventional rewrites of history as we know it!  I also am very intrigued by the focus of the game on political wrangling and the attempt at convincing nations to enter your fold as a partner. I love World War II games that don’t focus solely on the outcome of dice rolls, force superiority or the outcome of major battles to win, but love ones that look at and take into account economy, sociology and political will.  Cataclysm is sure to fill this void for me and be a great addition to my collection.

Conclusion and Summary of my P500 Orders

I would like to wrap this post up with a summary of where my 17 P500 games stand as of September 17th. I routinely check the status of each of my games and also will show the change in orders as compared to the last time I wrote them down on August 19th.

  1. 1989: Dawn of Freedom – 123 [+10 orders] – Good progress over the last 30 days or so but why is this game moving so slowly? I have heard and read that it is amazing!
  2. Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power – 495 [+37 orders, nearly made the cut!] Great growth over the last 30 days and we have a tentative shipping date of Mid-Late November! My first “block game” and did I mention it was nominated for the BGG War Game of the Year in 2015?
  3. Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation – 374 [+9 orders] I love anything about the Reformation! Holy War anyone? Also assigned a tentative shipping date of 2Q 2017. I can wait as I will have many new games to play before then!
  4. Space Empires 4x – 233 [+22 orders] 4x games are awesome and I love a good Sci-Fi themed game! Also assigned a tentative shipping date of 2Q 2017.
  5. The Hunters – 332 [+27 orders] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats!
  6. Navajo Wars – 244 [+8 orders] I love stories and games about Native Americans.  When I was a kid I read dozens of history books on Native Americans. Read my interview with Joel Toppen about Navajo Wars and Comancheria.
  7. The Last Hundred Yards – 352 [+42 orders] A WWII tactical game that exhibits the actions and reactions of real troops from initiative, to communication and other factors. Yes, please! Look for my interview with designer Mike Denson in a few weeks!
  8. Hitler’s Reich – 546 [+21 orders, made the cut!] WWII Card Driven Game that plays in under 2 hours.
  9. Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 – 1,121 [+31 orders, made the cut!] I love the COIN Series of games and Brian Train is an amazing designer. Read my 3 part interview with him on CT. (Part I, Part II & Part III). Assigned a tentative shipping date of 2Q 2017!
  10. Bayonets & Tomahawks – 405 [+115 orders] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Look for my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue later this month!
  11. Holland 44′ – 706 [+221 orders, made the cut!] – Airborne paratroopers over the fields of Holland. Plus, Mark Simonitch can surely design a great game – see The U.S. Civil War. Assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017!
  12. Imperial Struggle – 1,283 [+357 orders, made the cut in 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017!
  13. No Retreat: The Russian Front – 437 [+11 orders] – I have desperately wanted an Eastern Front WWII game and this one fits the bill! Tentative shipping date of Mid-Late November!
  14. Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars – 887 [+29 orders, made the cut!] – I love any game designed by the great Mark Herman and have loved playing his other recent game Churchill and this will be sure to impress as well. Assigned a tentative shipping date of March 2017!
  15. Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 377
  16. The Russian Campaign – 220
  17. Cataclysm A Second World War – 563 [made the cut!]

As I ordered these 3 great games yesterday, 2 of which were new offerings on P500 this week, I feel as if I have made some progress!  Not in my battle with the P500, but progress in my continual quest to acquire amazing games that tell the stories of history through their great mechanics and structure.  Please consider helping me out by P500’ing one or all of these great games! You will be helping me personally as I can get to play these great games sooner and you also will be helping out GMT Games, who has given us all such great joy with their creations!

-Grant