Another month, another update. I’ve said it before but I live for them. When the update hits my inbox, it is like a surge of excitement courses through my body as I just know that I am going to be blown away! This month’s update had only one new P500 game being offered, but that is fine with me. It also briefly mentioned the infamous and elusive Annual Sale that I have heard so much about over the past 2 years but have yet to experience myself. I feel that the Annual Sale exists only as an urban legend, that is spoken of in whispered tones in darkened corners. I actually think that I have seen Bigfoot, which is surely a very rare occurrence if you believe that sort of thing, but evidently not as rare as this Annual Sale. I have purchased multiple P500 games since early 2016 and will definitely be interested in buying some games that I have wanted to add to my collection at a reduced sales price. I jest here as I know that GMT Games has been working hard on new systems and processes and that they have had to put something on the back burner in order to continue with making great games. That was the Annual Sale but there is now light at the end of the tunnel! I may get to yet experience it.
If you missed the Monthly Update email, here is a link: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/April-24-Update-from-GMT-Games–New-P500–Reprints–Production–More–.html?soid=1103480314715&aid=7_y1LPND4aw
Onto the news for the month!
From designer Jerry White (Enemy Coast Ahead: The Dambuster Raidand Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid), Atlantic Chase simulates the naval campaigns fought in the North Atlantic between the surface fleets of the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine between 1939 and 1942. It utilizes a system of trajectories to model the fog of war that bedeviled the commands during this period. Just as the pins and strings adorning Churchill’s wall represented the course of the ships underway, players arrange trajectory lines, using colored wooden sticks, across the shared game board, each line representing a task force’s path of travel. Without resorting to dummy blocks, hidden movement, or a double-blind system requiring a referee or computer, players experience the uncertainty endemic to this period of naval warfare. This system also has the benefit of allowing the game to be played solitaire, and to be played quickly.
The really interesting part of this game is that there are no traditional turns. The player that has Initiative will activate their taskforces to take actions and do so until they lose the Initiative. The game will continue in this fashion until the operations are completed. Battles will be hard to initiate, as you must first find the enemy, and they are not long or overly involved as players will have various tricks at their disposal including aerial searches, aerial attacks, evasive maneuvers and break away attempts.
The game comes with counters but also with wooden “sticks” and cylinders for each player representing their task forces. Players will not know what each taskforce contains as the ships included will be contained on a hidden off board display. I must say that this game looks very interesting and I am ready to do some research into the game mechanics so I can get a better feel for how it all works. But, it looks very intriguing and I will add it to my P500 list. Alexander has already reached out to Jerry for an interview. Look for that upcoming!
If you are interested in Atlantic Chase, you can secure a copy for the reasonable P500 price of $45.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-706-atlantic-chase.aspx
New P500s on the Horizon
This has been a new feature for the Monthly Update over the past few months and has been quite fun to try to prognosticate. This month, the following information was shared by Gene, with the first 3 being holdovers from the March report:
- a new strategic naval game series from Jeff Horger – still don’t have a clue on this one. I have played Thunder Alley and really enjoyed that game. Jeff has done Manoeuvre, which I have not played, but that I know people love so I am sure this game will be well done.
- an expansion for one of our most popular games – in the past I have said that this could be a Fire in the Lake expansion, and I am sticking to that as I know that this is in the works (I actually saw it on Mark Herman’s gaming table in a picture) but he could have been clowning us or playing hide and seek like the wily VC and NVA.
- a new volume for a popular WWII series – previously I guessed an expansion to Combat Commander but have no basis for this.
- a new co-design coming from one of our most popular designers – HMMMM, so many great designers and so many that are popular. I personally love Mark Herman and am going to go with Versailles, a game in the Great Statesman Series that deals with the end of World War I. I saw this one several months ago in a tweet and it was a partnership with Geoff Engelstein. Am I totally wacky here or what?
- a cool new Next War project – no idea. Next War: Mars?
- a new space game that you (mostly) already know how to play – I love Space Empires but Replicators was just released. Could this be another expansion? Or is this associated with Talon?
Thus ends my guessing. I am pretty positive I have at least 1 right, with a possibility for 2. We will have to wait and see. What are your thoughts on my guesses?
Thanks to GMT for What they do for Content Creators
I would be remiss if I didn’t take this chance to wholeheartedly thank GMT Games for their benevolence and kindness, particularly to us content creators that love their games and love to share them with you. As they are want to do, in the Monthly Update, they included links to some of our stuff. In this case, a highlighting of our recent video review of At Any Cost: Metz 1870 in the Around the Web section.
It is amazing to see that GMT understands what it is that we do for the community and how our content has to be shared to be effective. I can write the most eloquent blog post you will ever read, but if you don’t see it, it won’t help anyone. GMT has always been fantastic about this and we, both Alexander and I, are very appreciative of that fact! There are a lot of talented content creators out there and I have been turned onto several because of GMT and I really appreciate that fact as well. I love to read other people’s stuff and see what their thoughts are on games that we have in common. It expands my mind, helps me to think about things more critically and provides energy and inspiration to get out there and continue what we are doing!
The Annual Sale….is Coming!
This little tidbit was hidden away in the Monthly Update, but it is news on a siting for the fabled Annual Sale! Here is what Gene had to say about it:
“I should be able to give you specific details on the new website and our yearly sale (which we’re planning for as soon as possible this summer) in that update.”
I know it wasn’t much, but it is something. So take that for what its worth!
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 (now) 33 P500 games stand as of April 26th. 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 March 27th.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 289 [+11 orders] – A good month. Over half way there. 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! I have enjoyed the InsideGMT blog posts from Clio’s Board Games on this one. Really making me want the game more. Please help me move this one along.
- The Hunters 3rd Printing – 883 [+21 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! Assigned a tentative shipping date of October-December 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.
- Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 437 [+4 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. It is getting close. Only 63 more orders till it makes the cut! Assigned a shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 606 [+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 Early-Mid 2019.
- Hitler’s Reich – 871 [+10 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. Shipping has now been moved to May/Early June 2018. Won’t be long now! I am truly excited about this one and can’t wait to give it a try.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 727 [+11 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 October-December 2018.
- Imperial Struggle – 2,445 [+50 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of Early-Mid 2019 so there must be some struggles ongoing with the design, but remember, a fine wine takes time! 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!
- Ariovistus: A Falling Sky Expansion – 1,527 [+42 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 Late July 2018 as a part of the COINFest. Not far off now!
- The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 1,364 [+17 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 August/September 2018 set at this point.
- Cataclysm A Second World War – 975 [+33 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! Shipping will be May 21, 2018. This game came in at #4 on my Most Anticipated Wargames of 2018 post that came out last month.
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 164 [+4 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 last year! Thanks for all who ordered. Slow progress again this month. It will get there eventually. Vance’s games are amazing and we have really enjoyed our plays of Demyansk Shield from Legion Wargames.
- SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 1,540 [+38 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 August/September 2018 assigned. Here is a look at a new version of the Mariners map:
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 691 [+22 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 for an interview but it doesn’t look like it will happen. I am giving up. Tentative shipping date has been assigned as Early-Mid 2019. Here is a new image of a Tank Card that showed up this month in the update:
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 1,109 [+21 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 August/September 2018. Mark is currently doing a series on InsideGMT about the various factions and has finished entries on the Carthaginians, Gauls, Egyptians, and Trojans, amongst others. My guess is that these articles have helped the growth in orders over the past few months.
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,312 [+25 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 Early-Mid 2019 assigned. I have reached out to Bruce to see if he would be interested in spoiling some of the cards for the game in a series of Event Card spoiler posts on our blog. We have been doing this with All Bridges Burning and look forward to bringing this inside look to the blog in the near future for Gandhi.
- France ’40 2nd Printing – 198 [+9 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 – 586 [+19 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 Late July 2018 as part of the COINFest.
- A World at War 3rd Printing – 141 [-1 order] – 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 2017 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 June 15, 2018 without even making the cut. 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 have kept this one on my list after seeing some recent pictures on Twitter but it still scares me. I will continue the internal debate.
- Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 633 [+31 orders, made the cut!] – 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 2017. When a game is on its 6th Printing, what does that say about it? The game made the cut in January so that is good news! Set a tentative shipping date of October/December 2018 printing. I really want to experience this classic game!
- Ardennes ’44 Reprint – 779 [+18 orders, made the cut!] – I added this game to my list in late May 2017 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 August/September 2018. But, now with A Time for Trumpets, should I still get both? Yes. After playing Holland ’44, also designed by Mark and part of the same system, I have been reinforced in my resolve to have this game. The ’44 system is simply fantastic!
- Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 – 821 [+30 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 will ship on May 21, 2018. Just one more month! This is one that I will be playing the moment I get it.
- Plains Indian Wars – 275 [+8 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. Please give this one a look as I can definitely say that John knows his stuff and is a very thoughtful designer, taking great care to design a playable game that teaches us something. John recently asked if we would play a prototype copy of the game and make a “how to play” video. Of course, we agreed and he is currently getting a prototype together for us to play. Should be fun!
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 721 [+14 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 on May 14th. Assigned a tentative shipping date of October/December 2018.
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 737 [+19 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 posted an interview with the game developer William Byrne in February. Assigned a tentative shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- Combat Commander Resistance 2nd Printing – 49 orders [+6 orders] – I love Combat Commander and cannot wait to be able to include partisans into my OoBs and have some unorthodox fun with them.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 869 orders [+43 orders, made the cut! in the first month] – Here is a link to an InsideGMT article that posted recently describing the game: https://t.co/TPCssBT76U I also posted an interview with designer VPJ Arponen earlier this month. Really excited about this 3-player COIN Series game. We have also been working with Vez on a series of posts where we are spoiler several Event Cards from the game along with Vez’s comments on the history behind the card, what they do, how they are best used by the factions and other neat elements. Here are our posts for the cards: #3 November Revolution in Russia, #8 General Strike, #9 Declaration of Finnish Independence, #27 The Reds Launch a Major Offensive and #43 Rough Justice. There are also a few more of these posts that are scheduled on our blog over the next few weeks with more to come in the near future.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 290 orders [+24 orders] – Another new entry in the Lunch Hour game series that was announced last year and for which the first entry is Fort Sumter. The South China Sea is a source of great concern for the West and this game looks at the struggle between China and the rest of the world over influence and control in this contested quadrant of the world. I have reached out to the designer Harold Buchanan for an interview on the game. Hope to have that posted sometime in late May or June.
- 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties – 729 orders [+71 orders, made the cut! in the first month] – 18XX games are popular amongst wargamers and this is the 2nd game offered by GMT after their initial offering of 1846. I am looking forward to this one.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 536 orders [+51 orders, made the cut!] – Volume XI in the COIN Series, this game is another introductory level game set on the Marcos years in the Philippines. New additions, such as key personality cards and an Election Cycle, are sure to make this game a unique addition to the series. I have reached out to designer Kenneth Tee for an interview and also made the offer for TPA to host Event Cards spoilers on our blog. More to come in the near future but this one looks great to get into the system with.
- Beneath the Med – 354 orders [+111 orders] – A follow on to the The Hunters Series, this game takes you into the Mediterranean Sea during World War II to battle beneath the waves. Designer Gregory M. Smith knows solo sub games and this one looks fantastic. I will reach out to him soon for an interview but have not had a chance.
- The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 – 246 orders [+67 orders] – Ted Raicer’s Dark Valley operational series continues in Normandy this time. Game looks fantastic and will be a game that all gamers should have on their shelves.
- Time of Crisis Expansion – 547 orders [+161 orders, made the cut!] – Not surprised at all that this game made the cut so quickly as Time of Crisis is simply a fantastic game that hits the spot with both wargamers and Eurogamers. New added cards, new Emperor rules and a solitaire version makes this game a must add to your collection.
- Atlantic Chase – 248 orders
Another great month, although without many new P500 offerings, but the one that was offered looks intriguing and has had a good response already. I am really looking forward to the months of May and June, as no less than 10 games will be mailed out to us happy gamers. May will be very busy with 4 games, including Cataclysm, Fighting Formations: Kharkov, Fort Sumter and Gallipoli, 1914 but June will be good as well, with 3 games, including Hitler’s Reich, No Retreat 3: The French and Polish Fronts and Skies Above the Reich. It is a great time to be a gamer and it is great that GMT Games is who they are.