Wow! What an amazing monthly update we were treated to in February from GMT Games. There wasn’t necessarily vast quantities of new offerings on the P500 but the game that was offered has caused a renewed excitement in me. The new offering was a COIN Series game (I don’t think you should have any doubt regarding my feelings toward the COIN Series) and there also was a surprise announcement about a game that I have had on my P500 list for a year. In case you have been living under a rock, were out of town on vacation or your internet service was down, here is a link to the February Update email from GMT Games: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/-GMT-Update–February-21–2017-New-P500–Production-Update–More-.html?soid=1103480314715&aid=e-Ki_jtS_9U

So, without further ado, onto the gaming goodness.

Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947

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As you know, I love the COIN Series and own all but Volume I (Andean Abyss) and Volume II (Cuba Libre). I also have Colonial Twilight on my P500 list and my partner Alexander has Pendragon on his.  So when I saw this announcement for Volume IX Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 designed by Bruce Mansfield, my head literally exploded with excitement. This edition of the COIN Series takes its first steps into a game system that is not focused on warfare (traditionally battles have been a major focus on Commands and Special Activities) alone as a means to gain independence, and in fact, has an entire faction that is Nonviolent (NV), but that still uses the familiar multi-faction, asymmetrical, card-assisted system found in earlier titles. Other features include:

  • Gandhi as the game’s sole leader piece.
  • Nonviolent operations and special activities.
  • Nonviolent activists that are always active, but generally immune from Raj actions until engaged in protests (or caught up in post-terror reprisals).
  • Protests that erode support but leave activists vulnerable to arrest by Raj forces.
  • A Hindu-Muslim Unity track that measures tensions between these two communities, affecting resources, operations, and victory.
  • A British Rule track that reflects shifts in colonial policy in response to events on the map, from resolve to restraint, affecting the cost of several actions.
  • British Viceroys who come and go with each passing campaign and have their own unique effects on each faction.
  • An out-of-play jail space that holds nonviolent forces arrested during martial law. Pieces can be kept in jail over several campaigns, but at a cost to the Raj.
  • Independent Princely States that are never controlled by any faction, yet offer a haven for violent and nonviolent insurgents alike.
  • Short and medium-length scenarios that allow for the study of different periods of the struggle against British rule in India.
  • Support for solitaire, 2-player, 3-player, and 4-player games.

I am most interested in the methods used to wage a different kind of war, that of passive resistance. I know that there are options for terror and assassination but definitely want to try my hand at trying to gain independence without big open battles. I am also intrigued by the Raj’s tactics and how they can keep protestors jailed as a means of limiting the power and reach of the NV faction. I have reached out to designer Bruce Mansfield and he has agreed to an interview so look for that over the next month.

Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation 1517-1555 500th Anniversary Edition

here-i-stand-500th-anniversaryI have had Here I Stand on my P500 list since mid-2016 and am absolutely jazzed about the announcement that it will be given a Deluxe treatment with a 500th Anniversary Edition. The reason for this Deluxe Treatment you might ask? Well, with October 31, 2017 being the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses, Ed Beach and his team have created a series of enhancements to the original game that transform this reprint into a “Deluxe” 500th Anniversary treatment. Recently, GMT has done several Deluxe treatments to already printed games including several that I own such as 1846: The Race for the Midwest and Conquest of Paradise and I will say that Deluxe is really deluxe as they added upgraded components, a mounted map board, some upgraded rules and variants, etc.

The enhancements planned for Here I Stand include the following items:

  • 6 brand new cards added to the deck, including Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Rough Wooing, and Imperial Coronation.
  • Revisions to over 15 existing cards including Copernicus, Master of Italy, and Machiavelli to allow for more exciting in-game play and additional possibilities for diplomatic deals.
  • A new Chateau construction table is now used to resolve France’s Patron of the Arts home card plays.
  • Several Virgin Queen rule updates are incorporated back into Here I Stand, affecting minor power activation, piracy, space trading, and foreign wars.

For those of you who already have a P500 order in for the Reprint Edition of Here I Stand like me, your order counts and you will just be getting an upgraded version of the game for the same P500 price. The really great offer from GMT is that if you are considering ordering the Deluxe game, you will get the same pricing as the previous reprint version. Talk about a deal! If I hadn’t already committed, I would definitely be ordering it now.

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 February 22nd. 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 January 27th.

  1. 1989: Dawn of Freedom – 164 [+12 orders] – Another slow month. Why is this game moving so slowly? I have heard and read that it is amazing! And there are not many copies at all out there on the market. Please help me move this one along. There was a really cool picture in the monthly update in regards to this game.
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    A picture of the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban playing 1989: Dawn of Freedom. He holds a Power Struggle card from the game with a picture of himself as a student in 1989. Picture taken from the GMT Games monthly update email!
     
  2. Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation 1517-1555 – 575 [+116 orders, made the cut!] I love anything about the Reformation! Holy War anyone? Also assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017. Thanks to the new announcement, this game has made the cut! Awesome.
  3. Space Empires 4x – 317 [+17 orders] 4x games are awesome and I love a good Sci-Fi themed game! Also assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017. I might look at ordering its expansions as well.
  4. The Hunters – 520 [+70 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! No tentative shipping date assigned yet.
  5. Navajo Wars – 321 [+10 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 having recently released, and lots of pictures showing up on Twitter, I expect that this one might gain some momentum over the next few months.
  6. The Last Hundred Yards – 509 [+31 orders, made the cut!] 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 in November! Made the cut this month, congrats to Mike and his team!
  7. Hitler’s Reich – 647 [+20 orders, made the cut!] WWII Card Driven Game that plays in under 2 hours. Read my interview with designer Mark McLaughlin that was posted in December. Has been assigned a tentative shipping date of 3Q 2017.
  8. Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 – 1,283 [+32 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 June 2017!
  9. Bayonets & Tomahawks – 598 [+14 orders, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! I was actually watching Last of the Mohicans the other day and thought to myself, it would be nice to have this game already so I can play! No tentative shipping date assigned yet.
  10. Holland 44′ – 1,114 [+28 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.
  11. Imperial Struggle – 1,798 [+65 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of 4Q 2017! I have reached out to designer Ananda Gupta for an interview but it may not happen until after March.
  12. Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars – 1,218 [+71 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 late March 2017! Read my interview with Mark Herman about Pericles!
  13. Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 1,088 [+69 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 co-designer Volko Ruhnke was posted in October. No tentative shipping date set as of yet.
  14. The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 1,026 [+203 orders, made the cut!] – I now own an Eastern Front game but this one is THE quintessentially respected volume! It will be mine. No tentative shipping date set as of yet.
  15. Cataclysm A Second World War – 650 [+12 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! No tentative shipping date set as of yet.
  16. Roads to Leningrad – 96 [+10 orders] – This game is medium complexity and has high suitability for solitaire. Also, this is the 2nd edition and they are fixing some of the rules, updating the map and player aides (full color) and also there are 528 counters! I love counters and this game has 528. Read my interview with designer Vance von Borries. Thanks for your kind words about our interview Vance in the monthly update email.
  17. SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 861 [+98, made the cut!] I love a good Sci-Fi themed game and this one looks great. I also really enjoy John Butterfield’s designs.  I have reached out to him for an interview and he is considering it at this point. No tentative shipping date assigned as of yet.
  18. Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 351 [+36] Tank on tank combat in World War II for up to 8 players! Panzers, T34’s, what more could you want in a game. I need to reach out to Mike Bertucelli to request an interview.
  19. Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 345 [+167] A fantastic looking abstracted game of civilization building in the Mediterranean designed  by Mark McLaughlin and Christopher Vorder Bruegge. This game is sure to be a winner! Read my interview with Mark McLaughlin and Christopher Vorder Bruegge.
  20. Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 560 [after only 2 days…made the cut!]

I only ordered one new game this month on the P500 bringing my total to 20! I still have my eye on several of the other recent new offerings (including Golden Gate Park and Red Storm) as well as others that have been on the list for a while (Absolute War! The Attack on Russia 1941-1944). 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 may need to start selling my plasma to pay for all these games as 8 of them will be done and shipped to me by the end of year!

gmt-monthly-update-shoutoutI also wanted to personally thank Gene Billingsley with GMT Games for the great shout-out that he gave our blog in the recent monthly update! We are so grateful for their assistance in our effort to get our blog content out to as many readers as possible.  We average about 1,100 views per day normally but when this hit the world on Tuesday, we jumped to 2,500 plus for 2 days straight and we are easily going to eclipse our monthly goal of 40,000 views for February. It also means a lot to us to get some confirmation that what we are putting out there is being well received.  Gene even called us “talented gamers” and we appreciate that. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for how we can improve our site, our content or have ideas for things you would like for us to do (you will notice we have recently done more video reviews!), please let me know.  Thanks for reading!

-Grant