Every month, we wait with baited breath for an email to hit our inboxes from GMT Games. This email, known as the monthly update, always carries with it updates on the production of games that we may or may not have backed on their glorious P500 program, updates on designs that have not yet “Made the Cut” with the required 500 orders and also a list of delicious and intriguing new games being offered. Sometimes those new offerings are few but once in a while you get a month that is like an avalanche of gaming goodness! That was the case in November, with 7 new games being offered on P500. When I read the monthly email update, I could feel my head beginning to explode as my brain was trying desperately to process this influx of new information, with the beautiful new banners designed by Rachel Billingsley and topics as varied as the sands of the sea. I thought to myself, how is it possible for GMT to continually release great looking games each and every month? One answer that came to me is that they have great relationships with some of the best designers in the industry, as you will see in a few moments!
So, with November’s update email, I have added the following games to my P500 list:
SpaceCorp: 2025-2300 AD designed by John Butterfield – https://www.gmtgames.com/p-613-spacecorp.aspx
Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs designed by Mike Bertucelli – https://www.gmtgames.com/p-615-tank-duel-enemy-in-the-crosshairs.aspx
This now has brought my total outstanding ordered P500 games to date to 20 (was 21 but Cactus Airforce was removed from the list in July)!
I will now help you understand why I had to order these two new games this month with a brief look at why I thought they looked interesting:
SpaceCorp: 2025-2300 AD
First off, let me say that I love John Butterfield’s designs! He has designed several games that I instantly fell in love with for their beauty, simplicity, yet true representation of what the struggles depicted must have been like. I am referring to D-Day at Tarawa and D-Day at Omaha Beach, both solitaire only games from Decision Games. SpaceCorp is a type of space odyssey where each player is looking to explore and settle the cosmos over three distinct eras. The first era, called Mariners, covers exploration and development out to Mars. The second era, called Planeteers, players settle the outer solar system and finally in the third era, called Starfarers, players send missions to nearby star systems and establish interstellar colonies. Each of these three eras is played on its own board, which sounds really cool and unique. I also love Sci Fi themed games and really like 4x games. This game is unique as it will have a well established solitaire rules system (remember that Butterfield has designed several really good and engaging solitaire games) and the mechanics are sure to be interesting involving exploration, colonization, research and as in any good 4x game, a little bit of combat and pirating! You can also play only one of the eras, taking about an hour, or play the whole game including all three eras and consuming about 3 hours.
Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs
In September, I published an interview with Harold Buchanan, who at that time was working with Mike Bertucelli on Tank Duel. From that interview, my interest was piqued and I have been waiting for it to be added to the P500 to jump on it. I love World War II and have several hex and counter games based on various battles but do not yet own a World War II tank based game. Well, here it is and I ordered it immediately! Tank Duel is a card-based game for 2 to 8 players that depicts tank-to-tank warfare on the Eastern Front of World War II in the mid 1940’s. The game is fast playing and is played with players issuing battle commands using cards. This amazing tank card below shows the various elements and information that must be tracked during gameplay including damage to the tank, the health of each crew member, their morale and experience level as well as range and terrain. I cant wait to try and push back the might Tiger and Panzer tanks from the Russian steppes with T-34’s. That will be an experience to remember!
Conclusion and Summary of my P500 Orders
I would like to wrap this post up with a summary of where my 20 P500 games stand as of November 21st. 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 October 21st.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom – 139 [+3 orders] – A slow month. Why is this game moving so slowly? I have heard and read that it is amazing!
- Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power – 614 [+73 orders, made the cut!] I was charged for this game on November 9th and it has shipped but I still don’t have my copy. My first “block game” and did I mention it was nominated for the BGG War Game of the Year in 2015? This will come off my list once received.
- Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation – 398 [+17 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!
- Space Empires 4x – 270 [+13 orders] 4x games are awesome and I love a good Sci-Fi themed game! Also assigned a tentative shipping date of 2Q 2017. I might look at ordering its expansions as well.
- The Hunters – 388 [+17 orders] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats!
- Navajo Wars – 286 [+18 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. With Comancheria releasing soon, and lots of pictures showing up on Twitter, I expect that this one might gain some momentum over the next few months.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 417 [+25 orders] A WWII tactical game that exhibits the actions and reactions of real troops from initiative, to communication and other factors. Yes, please! Read my interview with designer Mike Denson that was posted last month!
- Hitler’s Reich – 571 [+8 orders, made the cut!] WWII Card Driven Game that plays in under 2 hours. I have sent questions to designer Mark McLaughlin for an interview. My guess is it will be posted in December.
- Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 – 1,179 [+26 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!
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 524 [+45 orders, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! Also congrats to him on B&T making the cut!
- Holland 44′ – 927 [+65 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! Read my interview with designer Mark Simonitch about Holland ’44.
- Imperial Struggle – 1,544 [+101 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017! I have reached out to designer Ananda Gupta for an interview but it may not happen until January.
- No Retreat: The Russian Front – 478 [+12 orders] – I have desperately wanted an Eastern Front WWII game and this one fits the bill! Tentative shipping date of late November! I will hopefully be charged this week. This will come off my list once received.
- Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars – 1,013 [+57 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! Read my interview with Mark Herman about Pericles!
- Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 810 [+121 orders, made the cut!] – I love Falling Sky and when this one was offered, it didn’t take me long to order it! A 5th playable faction and some new upgraded components for the base game. My interview with c0-designer Volko Ruhnke was posted last month.
- The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 823 [+119 orders, made the cut!] – I still don’t own an Eastern Front game and this one is THE quintessentially respected volume! It will be mine.
- Cataclysm A Second World War – 612 [+2 orders, made the cut!] – I am very interested in this sandbox style game of World War II that starts in 1933 and where anything can happen including French tanks rolling into Berlin? Read my interview with Scott Muldoon and Bill Terdoslavich about Cataclysm!
- Roads to Leningrad – 79 [+6 orders] – This game is medium complexity and has high suitability for solitaire. Also, this is the 2nd edition and they are fixing some rules problems, updating the map and player aides (full color) and also there are 528 counters! I love counters and this game has 528. I have reached out to designer Vance von Borries for an interview and hope to be posting it near the end of the year.
- SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 316
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 158
I only ordered two new games this month on the P500! With 7 new games offered, and for me to only jump on 2, that is self restraint! I still have my eye on several of the other new offerings (including Golden Gate Park and Red Storm) as well as others that have been on the list for a while. Please consider helping me out by P500’ing one or all of these great games on my list! 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!
I managed to hold it to only one this time – the Caesar in Gaul expansion. Space Corp looks very tempting, however.
I had a blast playing Tank Duel at the San Diego Historical Gaming Convention a couple of weekends ago. Looking forward to the production version of this.
For me, Space Corp seems interesting but I already pre-ordered High Frontier so I wonder how they will compare?
The other game that sounded interesting in the p500 announcement this month is actually an expansion to Wing Leader that introduces campaign scenarios.