Surprise! I really wasn’t expecting, nor prepared for, this month’s update from GMT Games. I have been pretty busy lately at work with creating our 2018 Budget and really wasn’t paying that much attention. Usually, around the end of the 2nd week of any month, I start to get a tingling in my legs, signaling that the monthly update is nearing. By the start of that 3rd week, it is a full-on tickle as I know the update is imminent. Usually by that Wednesday, my joints are aching and I can feel it in the air as I know that Gene and Rachel are feverishly working on the update and if it ever gets to late Thursday afternoon and it hasn’t hit the World Wide Web, I am downright jubilant with anticipation. But not this month.
This month, I was taken by surprise. In last month’s update, there were 4 new P500 games offered, and I ordered two of them. I also reached out to 3 of the 4 designers of those new games to see if I could get an interview (Bruno Sinigaglio – A Time for Trumpets, Greg Lauback – Death Valley and Mike Nagel – Saint-Omer to Saint Crispin). You see, the monthly update is a great and fertile ground for our blog as we not only are interested in the games, but do our TPA Designer Interviews, and each month, have new designers to reach out to in order to help bring some greater insight into their games to you, our faithful readers. Most of our interviews log over 1,000 views a piece, and some have exceeded 2,000 views (or is that just Beat Darwin reading them over and over and over again…..???). So, as you can see, we really look forward to these monthly updates.
In case you missed the email, here is a link to the October Monthly Update from GMT Games: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/October-19-GMT-Update–New-P500—a-Reprint–Digital–Production–More-.html?soid=1103480314715&aid=2aLY3ZsjEC0
So, now, on to the news from this month:
1918/1919: Storm in the West from Ted Raicer
I have said it before, but World War I has never been a war that I was really that interested in. I think the main reason for my lack of interest was an incorrect, pre-conceived notion I held that the war was nothing more than a large muddy stalemate with little in the way of excitement such as maneuvering, tactics, etc. I thought the war was simply fought in trenches and was characterized as slow and plodding. I have since found out that my perception was not totally accurate. I also experienced a really well done World War I game from GMT Games. You probably have heard about it. Fields of Despair: France 1914-1918 designed by Kurt Keckley.
With that in mind, when I saw this month’s new P500 offering, and saw that it is another game focused on The Great War, I was immediately interested, but not quite yet hooked. 1918/1919: Storm in the West is designed by one of the greats in the industry who has designed such games as Paths of Glory, 1914: Glory’s End/When Eagles Fight (also both focused on World War I) and The Dark Valley. Storm in the West is a remake of a game published in Command Magazine in 1992. The game covers the last 9 months of World War I and includes Ted’s follow up design Plan 1919. The game includes many elements that help to make the game more playable than a traditional continual slogging trench battle as there are tanks, cavalry and air support. The game features, at least for the 1918 scenario, a vast number of highly trained trench warfare specialists in the form of Stosstruppen. The game is marketed as being simple to play but not simplistic and states that it can be played in one session, which to me usually means 4-5 hours or so. I am definitely interested in this game but have not yet pulled the trigger on it as I want to do some further research. The game is a bargain and comes with 1 1/2 counter sheets and a backprinted 22×34″ map.
If you are interested, here is a link to the game page where you can order 1918/1919: Storm in the West for the special P500 price of $30.00: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-670-19181919-storm-in-the-west.aspx
More 18xx Games on the Way!
In the monthly update, Gene also shared that GMT will be doing more 18xx games in the future, due in part because of requests from fans on social media and the success of their first 18xx game 1846: The Race for the Midwest, which came out late last year. We did a review on 1846 and really enjoyed the game. GMT has not committed to doing a specific number of 18xx games or even what ones they will choose but they have said that “we’ll be able to add a new 18xx game to our P500 list sometime in the coming two months, with one more to follow on the P500 later in the first quarter of 2018. I can also say that the first game up will be a GMT version reprint of a popular game, like we did with 1846.” So there you have it. At least a couple of upcoming 18xx games with the first being added to the P500 over the next few months. I for one think that this is a great move for GMT as typically those that enjoy 18xx also enjoy wargames, so it appears to be a match made in heaven. With GMT’s commitment to doing such high quality and upgraded deluxe editions of games recently (such as their recent efforts with 1846, Conquest of Paradise and 1960), I am sure this will be a successful venture for them and a good for us gamers.
GMT’s Commitment to Content Creators
I just want to take this moment to thank GMT for their undying commitment to us content creators who work hard to share our experience and knowledge of their great games, as well as other fine publishers, with the gaming community.
In the monthly update, they gave a shout out to us at The Players’ Aid, as well as a few others in Katie’s Game Corner and the Board Game Meeple Lady. I follow both these fine content creators on social media and enjoy reading their takes on the great GMT Games that we all know and love. I have always said that GMT is a company that gets it. From the way that they communicate, in these monthly updates as well as through social media, the fact that they share content creators posts on their various outlets and that they allow access to their InsideGMT blog, where we have had 3 separate posts appear over the past 2 years. Just a great company that really gets how to interact with us gamers and has definitely created a community that plays games together. Thank you Gene and Rachel! Keep up the good work.
Conclusion and Summary of my P500 Orders
As I always do, I will now wrap this post up with a summary of where my 25 P500 games stand as of October 20th. 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 September 22nd.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 228 [+5 orders] – Another slow month. I don’t know why. I have heard and read that this game is amazing and with the popularity of CDGs, this is another quality offering! Also, there are not many affordable copies at all out there on the market. Please help me move this one along.
- Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation 1517-1555 – 1,353 [+119 orders, made the cut!] I love anything about the Reformation! Holy War anyone? This game began shipping last week but I still don’t have my copy. Can’t wait to play this one!
- The Hunters 3rd Printing – 721 [+13 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! Assigned a tentative shipping date of Later in 2018. Ugh!
- Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 401 [+11 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 Comanchería. I am eagerly awaiting this game as I have simply fallen in love with Comanchería.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 586 [+8 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! Assigned tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018”. Boo! I actually received a call from the designer last week and he has asked if we would play a few scenarios and give him our thoughts. I said yes and am excited for the opportunity!
- Hitler’s Reich – 804 [+17 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 2016. Has been assigned a tentative shipping date of 1st Quarter 2018, pushed back from December 2017. That is the wrong direction!
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 671 [+1 order, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! Assigned a tentative shipping date of 2nd quarter 2018.
- Imperial Struggle – 2,112 [+61 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of later in 2018 so there must be some struggles ongoing with the design! I have reached out to designer Ananda Gupta for an interview but I need to follow up with him. Ananda?
- Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 1,354 [+6 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 2016. Tentative shipping date of 2nd quarter 2018 as a part of the COINFest. Still a ways off! They are looking for playtesters for the game and Volko Ruhnke posted the following message last month: “We are looking for a few willing play testers who know Falling Sky and would like to try out Ariovistus. You would need to be willing to assemble a test kit to augment your Falling Sky set with added cards, forces pieces, markers, and charts. If interested, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!” If interested, give him a shout!
- The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 1,252 [+10 orders, made the cut!] – I now own an Eastern Front game (No Retreat! The Russian Front) but this one is THE quintessentially respected volume! It will be mine. Tentative shipping date of 2nd Quarter 2018 set at this point, which is earlier than it has stated in the past so that is progress!
- Cataclysm A Second World War – 753 [+14 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 designers Scott Muldoon and Bill Terdoslavich about Cataclysm! Tentative shipping date of 1st Quarter 2018 set at this point. On another interesting note, the game has gone in a slightly different direction as they have now designed not only the game covering Europe but also in the Pacific.
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 148 [+0 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. Game was saved from P500 purgatory earlier this year! Thanks for all who ordered. But, it appears this one might be headed in the wrong direction now as there were no orders this month.
- SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 1,276 [+20 orders, made the cut!] I love a good Sci-Fi themed game and this one looks great. I also really enjoy John Butterfield’s designs. Read my interview with John for some great insight into the game and the design process. Tentative shipping date of 2nd Quarter 2018 assigned.
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 610 [+11 orders, made the cut!] 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 have reached out to designer Mike Bertucelli and he is working on my interview. Tentative shipping date has been assigned as later in 2018.
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 870 [+48 orders, made the cut!] 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. Assigned a tentative shipping date of 2nd Quarter 2018. Mark is currently doing a series on InsideGMT about the various factions and I would recommend you read those as he done one for the Carthaginians ( http://www.insidegmt.com/?p=17705 ) and the Gauls ( http://www.insidegmt.com/?p=17745 )
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,143 [+20 orders, after only 2 days…made the cut!] – I love the COIN Series of games and this one includes a Non-Violent faction, in a wargame. I have got to see this in action! Read our interview with designer Bruce Mansfield. No tentative shipping date assigned as of yet.
- France ’40 2nd Printing – 144 [+22 orders] – Reprint of a great looking game on the initial push of the Germans into France during World War II and it is designed by Mark Simonitch.
- Andean Abyss: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Columbia 2nd Printing – 484 [+12 orders] – I love the COIN Series and have finally added this one to my list as it nears the required 500 orders. I cannot wait to play the first game in the series to see how the system has evolved from the beginning. Assigned a tentative shipping date of 2nd quarter 2018 as part of the COINFest.
- A World at War 3rd Printing – 93 [+6 orders] – A monster wargame for sure but it is one that I have wanted in my collection for a while now. When it was offered in April as a reprint, I was sucked into its tractor beam and had no choice but to order it! Curiously assigned a tentative shipping date of 1st Quarter 2018.
- Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 425 [+24 orders] – Ted Raicer’s fantastic Card Driven Game set in World War I, but this version will be deluxe, which means shiny and new. I had to add this classic to my list in April. When a game is on its 6th Printing, what does that say about it?
- Ardennes ’44 Reprint – 615 [+25 orders, made the cut!] – I added this game to my list in late May as I have always wanted a good game on the Battle of the Bulge and have heard that this one fits that bill. Mark Simonitch designs are always good and this one actually looks great! Assigned a tentative shipping date of later in 2018. But, now with A Time for Trumpets, should I still get both? Yes.
- Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 – 647 [+11 orders, made the cut!] Here is my interview with Mark Herman. I love Herman designs and this game looks to be a quick and easy play that has a lot of strategy and depth to it. The game has been assigned a tentative shipping date of 1st Quarter 2018.
- Plains Indian Wars – 204 [+18 orders] – A great game that looks at the inevitable wars between the expanding United States and the proud Native American tribes of the west. Read our interview on the game with John Poniske.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 574 [+416 orders, made the cut!] – A monster wargame covering the Battle of the Bulge (5 maps and 1,600 counters). This design seems to take many familiar elements from other designs and adds some new shiny things to spice it up. I’m really interested to see the different colors used for the various formation/HQs as this one purports to include the entire rainbow. Congrats to Bruno on making the cut so quickly. I am working on reaching out to him for interview.
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 509 [+208 orders, made the cut!] – I love the gallantry and the tactics used by Stonewall Jackson and in this game you get to re-enact all of his major victories in the Shenandoah Valley of 1862 and 1864. I have reached out to designer Greg Lauback for an interview.
I ended up ordering no new games this month on the P500, which is a rare thing for me and I would consider that a solid victory for my wallet and budget. It doesn’t mean that the new P500 offering isn’t any good, but it just means that I want to do a little more research before pulling the trigger. I still have my eye on several of the other more 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 will 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 really, REALLY want The Hunters.
Hi Grant – I put a designer update in this one, but I would say the major reason for the slip was the feeling in expanded playtesting that Imperial Struggle felt too symmetric. I made a bunch of changes to address that, and the reception at GMT’s Weekend in the Warehouse was very positive, so I’m pretty confident the game’s nearly there.
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Awesome. Do you think you can revisit my interview questions?
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