The last few months on the Monthly Update front have really been pretty decent with new games offered each month, along with some great news about things like the fabled Annual Sale. But this month, things have been dialed up to 10 as there were two new games added to the P500. And, what makes these additions even better is that the games are both from the great Mark Herman, whom Alexander and I really appreciate for his designs of such great games as Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars, Churchill: Big Three Struggle for Peace, Empire of the Sun and Washington’s War. Reading the update this month was a true joy and I am really eager to get to both of the games that were announced.
In case you missed the Monthly Update Email, here is a link: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/May-18-Update-from-GMT-Games–New-P500s–Production–General-News–More-.html?soid=1103480314715&aid=pLIltY2b6ow
So without further delay, onto the news in the Monthly Update.
2 New P500 Additions including Something New and Something Old…
As I mentioned in the opening of this post, there were 2 new games offered on P500 this month. “New” is an interesting word choice here as one of the games is an enhanced version of a game previously released by Victory Games. Both of these new games are designed by Mark Herman and the 2nd of the two is a co-design with Geoff Englestein (who recently designed Fog of War published by Stronghold Games). I will take a quick look at each of these games and share my thoughts on why I will be adding each to my P500 list.
The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC
Good solitaire wargames are hard to find! Don’t get me wrong, many wargames can be played solo by the player simply taking the best possible actions for each side but a true solo design wargame is a rare thing. First off, if you haven’t experienced a GMT Games deluxe edition, you don’t know what you are missing. This treatment means new art, upgraded components, a full on mounted map, thick counters and a redesigned and reorganized rule book with a fantastic play book as well. Deluxe editions are fantastic offerings!
This strategic game of ancient warfare allows the player, with a unique new solitaire system, to try and accomplish a lasting peace. All existing solitaire systems on the market have the player take one side for the entire game. Unfortunately this pits the player against a random system with poor strategic direction. In Peloponnesian War you get to play both sides, pitting yourself against the best you can offer. If the game system is winning, the player is forced to continue with the losing side. Success, on the other hand, will eventually force the player to change sides and recover the losing side’s fortunes. The duration of the war and the player’s performance determine victory. In this manner the player competes against himself in the classic tradition of the Greek tragedy.
This game simply sounds fantastic! I like solitaire games but my biggest concern is that typically the AI doesn’t offer a realistic experience. In this system, players will be challenged and the game will simply go on longer if you can’t do things right and best yourself. Really looking forward to this game.
If you are interested in The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC, you can secure a copy for the reasonable P500 price of $45.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-710-peloponnesian-war.aspx
Alexander and I are both huge fans of Churchill: Big Three Struggle for Peace and we both love the conference mechanic in this game. The strategizing and outmaneuvering that takes place is simply delightful and really gives players the feeling of bargaining over issues that are important to each faction. In Versailles 1919, a similar concept is carried over with some new mechanics, including a card bidding mechanic. From the game page, we read the following:
On November 11th, 1918 an armistice halted the killing field that was The War to End All Wars. To make peace, Woodrow Wilson (United States), David Lloyd George (United Kingdom), and Vittorio Orlando (Italy), were hosted by President George Clemenceau (France) in Paris, and sat down to write what would become the Versailles Treaty. The treaty was signed on June 28, 1919, after six months of acrimonious debate and bargaining between the great powers.
Versailles 1919, created by designers Mark Herman and Geoff Engelstein, allows you to experience this piece of history as one of the four leaders with a national agenda that must be satisfied. As one of the Big Four, you sit in a conference room gaining influence on the issues present in the room. Hovering in the waiting room sit other issues and personages who are waiting their turn to make their case to meet regional aspirations such as self-determination. Will you support Ho Chi Minh’s attempt to free Vietnam from French colonialism? Help Prince Feisal establish a new nation in Mesopotamia or Chaim Weitzman create a Zionist state? Work with TE Lawrence to reduce unrest in the Middle East or with Ataturk in Anatolia?
This game is designed as a more accessible and easy to learn version than Churchill but still will generate significant interest from wargamers who have enjoyed Mark’s other creations in this area.
Also, the game will also have a solitaire system included as I learned just yesterday from a tweet from GMT Games.
If you are interested in Versailles 1919, you can secure a copy for the P500 price of $59.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-711-versailles-1919.aspx
New P500s on the Horizon
This feature has quickly become one of my favorite parts now about the updates. Each month, Gene teases us with cryptic reference to upcoming P500 games. Most of the time, these references are vague enough that you will be required to use an Enigma Code Machine to break them. But, I give it a go each month and have had a few correct at times. Here are those “hints” with my best guesses:
- an expansion for one of our most popular games – previously I had guessed a Fire in the Lake expansion for this item but now with this month’s later hint at a “new Vietnam-themed product”, I don’t know what this is. It doesn’t say their most popular game (which would be Twilight Struggle) but mentions ONE of their most popular. I will take a stab at it though….an expansion to or an enhanced version of Dominant Species?
- a new volume for a popular WWII series – this one I might have a better idea about. I think this is a reference to an upcoming Stalingrad ’42 game designed by Mark Simonitch. I could be totally off but I feel good about this guess! Here is a look at a map that I found for this one online on BGG or in the Consimworld Forums (I can’t remember):
- a cool new Next War project (probably next month) – Previously I have guessed Next War: Mars but I am sure that is not correct. Maybe Next War: Middle East?
- a new space game that you (mostly) already know how to play – previously I have guessed an additional Space Empires expansion or even something to do with Talon. I love Sci-Fi themed games so I am game for this one no matter what!
- a Commands & Colors game – not my bag but I also have not played any of the previous versions in the series. I have no idea.
- a new Vietnam-themed product – my guess for this one is an expansion for Fire in the Lake but I don’t have confidence in that answer as this references a “Vietnam-themed product”.
- Our first Co-operative Game – I enjoy a good coop as long as it is something to do with a historical topic. I have no idea on this one.
What are your guesses for these upcoming P500 games? Gene, did I get anything correct?
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) 35 P500 games stand as of May 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 April 26th.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 293 [+4 orders] – 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 – 905 [+22 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 – 446 [+9 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. Only 54 more orders till it makes the cut! Assigned a shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 606 [+0 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 2019 (with a note that it could possibly by late 2018).
- Hitler’s Reich – 901 [+30 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. The game will be shipping by the end of the month. I am personally hoping to get this one as soon as possible.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 737 [+10 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 – 2,477 [+32 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of Early-Mid 2019 so there must be some minor 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 – 1,549 [+22 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! Here is a look at the cover for the rule book:
- The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Edition – 1,375 [+11 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 – 1,037 [+62 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! The game is currently shipping and I keep hoping that it will be here by Memorial Day as Alexander and I have a 2 day gam-a-thon planned and really want to play this one! This game came in at #4 on my Most Anticipated Wargames of 2018 post that came out earlier this year.
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 167 [+3 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 – 1,643 [+103 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 Planeteers map:
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 734 [+43 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 2019 (artwork has been started). Here is a new image of Terrain Cards that showed up this month in the update:
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 1,153 [+44 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. Also, here is a look at some of the cards for the game:
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,332 [+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. 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 – 215 [+17 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. After playing Holland ’44 last month (our 1st 2 player game), I have a growing inner desire to own and play all of Simonitch’s games!
- Andean Abyss: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Columbia 2nd Printing – 599 [+13 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 – 147 [+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 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, but it must quicken as it ships next month!
- Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 662 [+29 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 – 819 [+40 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 – 866 [+45 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 began shipping May 21, 2018. Only a few more days! This is one that I will be playing the moment I get it.
- Plains Indian Wars – 277 [+2 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 – 726 [+5 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. Here is our interview with Bruno for your reading pleasure. Assigned a tentative shipping date of October/December 2018.
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 756 [+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 – 52 orders [+3 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 – 896 orders [+27 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, #43 Rough Justice, #45 Finland’s Fate Hangs in Balance and #24 Red Revolt! 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. Assigned a shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 312 orders [+22 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 June.
- 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties – 776 orders [+47 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 – 555 orders [+19 orders, made the cut!] – Volume XI in the COIN Series, this game is another introductory level game set in 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 – 399 orders [+45 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 – 282 orders [+36 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 – 687 orders [+140 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 – 527 orders [+279 orders, made the cut!] – 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. This leads to my affectionate nickname for the game “Ticket to Ride: North Atlantic” as you will see lines of ships on the map much like the lines of trains in that game. Alexander has reached out to Jerry for an interview.
- The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC – 389 orders
- Versailles 1919 – 258 orders
There are lots of great games from GMT to get excited about. I have seen my P500 list grow and grow over the past few months, and it doesn’t appear that there is relief in sight. I am fine with that but my gaming budget is definitely not going to be. Over the next 6 weeks, TPA will be busy as we will be receiving 7 new games over the next few weeks including Cataclysm, Fighting Formations: Kharkov, Fort Sumter, Gallipoli, 1914, Hitler’s Reich, No Retreat 3: The French and Polish Fronts and Skies Above the Reich.