I love surprises and this month in the Monthly Update from GMT Games, after being told last month that there would be no new P500 games offered until after the New Year, we were treated to a real surprise as a new COIN Series game was announced, All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918. For me, this game was an auto buy and I will talk a bit more about it later in the post. But first, I wanted to say something.

As 2017 draws to a close, I am truly amazed with GMT Games and their machine. They simply do things right! Sometimes they make mistakes, but I really appreciate someone that owns up to that mistake and doesn’t try to put the blame on others, but simply fixes it. No fanfare. No hand wringing. No excuses, just solutions. This year, we have seen dozens of new games be published from Hanford, many of them simply amazing experiences that have kept me enthralled in hours of game play and fun with friends. I have already started working on my 2017 Wargames of the Year post, and while it is not yet finished, and I still have a few new wargames to play, I can definitely say that GMT has 4 or 5 strong titles in that list, also currently holding onto the top 2 slots at this point, and I don’t really see that changing…..but enough for now. I don’t want to spoil too much! I just want to finish this introduction by saying THANKS GMT Games! You make me, my group and so many others happy. Keep up the good work.

If you missed the Monthly Update Email, here is a link: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/December-18-GMT-Update–New-COIN-P500–Production-News–More-.html?soid=1103480314715&aid=u7G2ATWcKSU

Onto the news:

New COIN Series Game Added to the P500 – All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918

All Bridges Burning Banner 1

Anytime a new COIN game is announced, there is sure to be lots of furor and excitement generated. People begin to talk about the series and its new directions. Also inevitably, there are those that start to ask if the series is losing its appeal by being watered down after 10 volumes and whether or not we need another COIN. I am not in the latter camp for sure and love to see that the system has evolved and is now encompassing new player counts (such as the 2-player COIN Game Colonial Twilight) as well as looking at more obscure and lesser gamed subjects.

The new COIN offered this month, designed by Vez Arponen who has played COIN for a long time and also has helped with a lot of tweeking work on the solitaire “Bots” for other COIN games as well as other designs, such as Hitler’s Reich which is currently on P500, is a step into the future of the system as it focuses on 1-3 players and uses the struggle during the Finnish Civil War of 1917-1918 as its backdrop. The 3 Factions in the game are the Reds, the White Senate and a non-violent option known as the Social Democratic Faction. The Reds seek to stage a working class revolt and then hold onto their gains, while the White Senate forces seek to reassert control and the non-violent Social Democratic Faction fights for the survival of the moderate left to enact political reform. You may remember that Volume IX Gandhi also has a non-violent faction and I am really interested to see how this works in the COIN system. Also, behind the scenes, the non-player elements of Russia and Germany will interfere in the conflict and provide military resources to the Senate and Reds respectively. The game also uses a newly designed Sequence of Play mechanic that will be a challenge for both veteran and new COIN players and should be the highlight of the design. I really can’t wait to give this game a try and see where this new volume takes us.

I love that the system is now taking into account different player counts. The games have always generally been designed for 1-4, but it is really nice to have different options as when a COIN is designed for 2 or 3 players, it really changes the mechanics and the way you have to play.

If you are interested in learning more about the game or want to go ahead and commit to purchasing the game for the special P500 price of $49.00, here is the link to the game page: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-675-all-bridges-burning-red-revolt-and-white-guard-in-finland-1917-1918.aspx

All Bridges Burning Playtest Photos

Also, if you want to get a little taste of Vez’s style and see examples of some of his previous works in gaming, please check out our series of Guest Blogs posted earlier this year: The Science of the COIN “Bot” Volume I and Hitler’s Reich, or A “Bot” Driving Toward Moscow Volume II.

Fields of Fire 2nd Edition VASSAL Module Now Available

Joel Toppen, you probably know him as the guy who posts amazing 2 minute videos on Twitter as he progresses through solo plays of our favorite games or maybe as the designer of Navajo Wars and Comancheria, has put in some serious work to put together a VASSAL Module for Fields of Fire 2nd Edition. Alexander has played this solitaire only game that takes you into infantry combat in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and really loves it systems and the way the AI works. I would recommend that you check this out as this game is really complicated but very rewarding if you can figure it out.

Here is a link to the Module: Fields of Fire, 2nd Ed. VASSAL Module

Conclusion and Summary of my P500 Orders

I don’t know if you really care about this list, but as I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my 26 P500 games stand as of December 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 November 20th.

  1. 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 241 [+8 orders] – Another slow month. At this pace, the game might be reprinted in 2089! 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. Believe me, I have checked!. Please help me move this one along.
  2. The Hunters 3rd Printing – 769 [+14 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! Assigned a tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018”. Ugh! I have also had my eye on the follow-up to this game The Hunted but have yet to pull the trigger on that one.
  3. Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 407 [+2 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.
  4. The Last Hundred Yards – 590 [-7 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 2016! Assigned tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018”. Boo! I actually received a call from the designer last month and he has asked if we would play a few scenarios and give him our thoughts. We have received the game and looked it over but still haven’t had a chance to play it. I apologize Mike! We will get to it around the Christmas break….promise!
  5. Hitler’s Reich – 800 [+1 order, 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 April 2018, pushed back from 1st Quarter 2018. So I will have to wait just a bit longer! This is a game that will make my Most Anticipated Wargames of 2018 coming out in January.
  6. Bayonets & Tomahawks – 682 [+6 orders, 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.
  7. Imperial Struggle – 2,206 [+26 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 and we just haven’t been able to get connected. Soon I am sure!
  8. Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 1,378 [+14 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 2 months ago: “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 volkojill@cox.net.  Thanks!” If interested, give him a shout!
  9. The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 1,271 [+2 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!
  10. Cataclysm A Second World War – 780 [+15 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 March 2018 set at this point. Here are a look at the two maps from the game:
    Cataclysm Europe MapThe European Map
    Cataclysm Pacific MapThe Pacific Map

  11. Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 150 [-2 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 actually negative orders this month.
  12. SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 1,334 [+30 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.
  13. Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 630 [+9 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”.
  14. Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 968 [+26 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 has finished entries on the Carthaginians, Gauls, Egyptians, and Trojans, amongst others.
  15. Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,185 [+21 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. Tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018” assigned.

    Gandhi Playtest
    A nice picture of a playtest in progress from the designer Bruce Mansfield. Great looking game!
  16. France ’40 2nd Printing – 154 [+2 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.
  17. Andean Abyss: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Columbia 2nd Printing – 513 [+10 orders, made the cut!] – I love the COIN Series and have finally added this one to my list as it has neared 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.
  18. A World at War 3rd Printing – 108 [+5 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 March 2018. I’m going to be honest, I am beginning to waiver on this one. The reason is that it is a monster and I don’t know that I have time in my life for a monster right now. I’ll get back to you!
  19. Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 498 [+35 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? So very close to making the cut! In the Monthly Update, Gene actually said they were working to get this printed and shipped in June 2018, so that is some good news. I really want to experience this classic game!
  20. Ardennes ’44 Reprint – 661 [+8 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.
  21. Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 – 690 [+13 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 March 2018 and has recently been finished and sent off to the printer. Here also is a look at a final map for the game as well as some finalized cards by Mark Simonitch and Charlie Kibler:Fort Sumter MapFort Sumter Cards
  22. Plains Indian Wars – 237 [+14 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.
  23. A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 637 [+12 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 an interview with Bruno that should be posted in January sometime. Assigned a tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018”.
  24. Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 595 [+15 orders, made the cut!] – I love the gallantry and the tactics used by Stonewall Jackson during the American Civil War 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. Assigned a tentative shipping date of “Later in 2018”.
  25. Combat Commander Resistance 2nd Printing – 31 orders [+1 order] – I love Combat Commander and cannot wait to be able to include partisans into my OoBs and have some unorthodox fun with them.
  26. All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 467 orders – Here is a link to an InsideGMT article that posted recently describing the game: https://t.co/TPCssBT76U I plan to reach out to Vez to see if he would be interested in doing one of our patented designer interviews.

All Bridges Burning Banner 2

I did add one new game to my P500 list this month with the new COIN game. I just couldn’t help myself. I am a really big fan of COIN and really love the games that I own in the series (I own Volumes III-VII with Volume VIII Pendragon on its way). I also 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!