Monthly Update time again….it seems like we just had the last one, doesn’t it?! It doesn’t matter. I love the updates and live for them. I was surprised today after returning from an early lunch to see the update pop into my inbox though. The surprise was then multiplied as it is now official that Mark Simonitch is doing a Stalingrad ’42 game (if you look at May’s Monthly Update post, I shared a picture of a map that I had seen on the Consimworld forums) and it is now officially added to the P500. Really exciting stuff as I have enjoyed our time with Holland ’44 over the past few months. (Check out our AAR video and my Action Point 1 and Action Point 2). But to have another great looking operational level game from Mark is definitely newsworthy. I am going to have to get on it and talk to him about this one in one of our patented Designer Interviews. There is also some other good info on other items, as well as the regular printing and shipping updates for the P500.
In case you missed the Monthly Update email, here is a link: https://mailchi.mp/38c15d3f0429/june-18-update-from-gmt?e=3de3fa57f9
So without further delay, onto the news in the Monthly Update.
New P500 Addition – Stalingrad ’42 from Mark Simonitch
After playing The U.S. Civil War a few years ago, and most recently Holland ’44, I was hooked on any game designed by Mark Simonitch. He simply has a real talent for making these huge operational level games that don’t feel overly complex. He also uses some really interesting mechanics, such as the ZOC Bond and Infiltration, really well that make for some very interesting decision points and create an experience for players that I have not necessarily seen in other designs.
I know that The Battle of Stalingrad is one of the most gamed subjects in wargaming, alongside The Battle of the Bulge, but I am sure that “the Simonitch Way” will blaze a new path through the conflict that will more deeply enlighten players as to the challenges and strategic difficulties of the taking the City of Stalingrad. I for one cannot wait and will add this one to my P500 list.
From the game page we read:
Stalingrad ’42 is a division-level game on the Axis 1942 summer offensive towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus. Historically, this epic struggle lasted for 6 months and saw the Axis armies reach the Volga and the Caucasus Mountains. But Soviet resistance stiffened and final victory eluded the German army at Stalingrad and in the Caucasus. The ensuing November Soviet offensive trapped the Wehrmacht’s largest army (the 6th) at Stalingrad and marked the beginning of the end for Axis fortunes in WW2.
Stalingrad ’42 uses the same scale and nearly all the rules of Ukraine ’43. Many modifications have been made to improve the system and to show crucial features of the campaign. New rules include leaders, elite panzer divisions, planned operations, hidden Soviet buildup, and Army/Front offensive support.
With three maps and low unit density, the game delivers a grand view of the campaign, where decisions about movement and direction of attack have lasting effects that propel or curtail your future strategic plans. The effect is like watching a story unfold and noticing a growing emotional involvement with your forces and plans. In the end, whether in victory or defeat, players of Stalingrad ’42 will enjoy an epic gaming experience.
My guess is that if you enjoy Ukraine ’43 (I have not played it but hear good things about it all the time) you will enjoy Stalingrad ’42. The map is absolutely gorgeous and the counters are really nice looking and easy to read.
If you are interested in Stalingrad ’42, you can pre-order a copy for the P500 price of $52.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-715-stalingrad-42.aspx
Mounted Map and 3″ Box for Cataclysm A Second World War
Really not surprised by this but in the update there is an offering for 2 mounted map boards and a 3″ box for Cataclysm that literally just shipped in late May. When I got my copy, I immediately saw the need for a bigger box, as when you put a tray in with the many player aid cards, dice and other goodies, it is a really tight fit. But, I feel like the paper maps that come with the game are good enough. If you plan to get the mounted map boards, the 3″ box will be a must.
If you are interested in this upgrade for your copy of Cataclysm, you can pre-order a copy of the mounted maps (2) and the deeper 3″ box for the P500 price of $33.00: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-716-cataclysm-mounted-maps-3-box.aspx
Expansion for Time of Crisis Has a New Name!
In the March Monthly Update, there was a new expansion announced for the fantastic hit game from 2017 called Time of Crisis. At that time, the expansion didn’t have a name and the designers Wray Ferrell and Brad Johnson asked fans for a fitting name. In this month’s update, they provided the following update:
Our naming contest is over and the name we selected is The Age of Iron and Rust: A Time of Crisis Expansion. The name is from Cassius Dio, a Roman statesman and historian who published 80 volumes of history on Ancient Rome. In book 72, talking about the death of Marcus Aurelius, he wrote: “for our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.”
Congratulations to John Boone, who suggested the winning name, and who will receive a free copy of the expansion. Pretty neat that GMT did this as it allows for some fan input and interaction, which is always a good thing. I have also reached out to Wray Ferrell for a possible interview on the expansion.
Upcoming Video for Plains Indian Wars designed by John Poniske
As you may have known (I don’t know how you couldn’t as our site is filled with GMT Games reviews, videos and interviews), we really are drawn to GMT Games. We cover a lot of their material and reach out to a lot of their designers to discuss upcoming projects. Since Plains Indian Wars debuted on the P500 in August 2017, we have done an interview and tried to promote the game as it really is an interesting looking design with some neat mechanics that we haven’t seen in a lot of other games.
A few months ago, the designer John Poniske reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in playing the game and doing a video review and a “How to Play” video. We have been trying to expand our video content on our YouTube Channel and felt that this would be a great opportunity to do something like this. We received a prototype copy in the mail in mid May and immediately began readying ourselves to play the game and get the videos ready. We played the game and really enjoyed it, and shared a lot of great looking pictures from the play experience on our Twitter account. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, as you can see from the above picture taken from the Monthly Update, John mentioned that were we doing the videos. I wanted to publicly thank John for his trust in us, at least enough to sink some money into a near final prototype copy and mail to us, and for his willingness to do many interviews for our blog. We recently posted our 6th interview with John covering an upcoming game from Worthington Publishing called The Devil Dogs of Belleau Wood.
You will notice in the piece above from the monthly update that John called me the Editor (and also got our name wrong BTW – its The Players’ Aid). I am not the Editor for our blog, even though I do a lot of proofing and formatting, but I guess that is payback for me butchering John’s last name for so long. It is properly pronounced as Po-ni’-skee but that is not what I was saying. Sorry John but it appears that turnabout is fair play! The videos are nearly finished and will be posted on our channel over the next week to 10 days so keep an eye out for them and check out this interesting game.
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 the “hints” from this month’s edition with my best guesses:
- an expansion for one of our most popular games – It doesn’t say their most popular game (which would be Twilight Struggle) but mentions ONE of their most popular. Last month, I had guessed an expansion to or an enhanced version of Dominant Species but I don’t know. Could it be something for Thunder Alley?
- a new 4-player CDG game – I love CDGs but I don’t have an idea. Is it only 4-player? Or up to 4-player? Should be interesting no matter what it is.
- a cool new Next War project – Previously I have guessed Next War: Mars but I am sure that is not correct. How about something a little closer to home? Maybe Next War: Hanford?
- 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 – I think I have this one now. An expansion for Silver Bayonet. I will not reveal my source, no matter the level of torture.
- Our first Co-operative Game – I also know this one as I was told about it from the designer whose initials are Hermann Luttmann but I will not reveal it. That guy is a great person by the way!
- An (awesome!) fantasy-themed strategy game – I don’t have any intel on this one but I am here to tell you that I will love this. We recently played Wizard Kings from Columbia Games, which is a fantasy themed block style wargame, and it was a blast!
What are your guesses for these upcoming P500 games? Gene, did I get anything correct?
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders
I am starting to get a little bit sheepish about my growing P500 list and after last month, I trimmed it down by a few games. As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my (now) 29 P500 games stand as of June 18th. 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 May 22nd.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 299 [+6 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. I actually just returned from Origins and I could have purchased a copy of 1989 there for $59.00 but I decided to wait for the reprint edition that will have errata and be improved over the first printing. Patience is a virtue! Please help me move this one along.
- The Hunters 3rd Printing – 929 [+24 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 – 456 [+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 Comanchería. I am eagerly awaiting this game as I have simply fallen in love with Comanchería. Only 44 more orders till it makes the cut! Assigned a shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 611 [+5 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 – 975 [+74 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 is shipping now and I should have my copy by the end of the month.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 734 [-3 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. They have said that the art will be from John Buxton and I recommend you go check out his stuff as it is simply fantastic!
- Imperial Struggle – 2,507 [+30 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] Assigned a tentative shipping date of Early-Mid 2019 as they are still working on playtesting, 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 – 1,608 [+59 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 Mid-August 2018 as a part of the COINFest. Not far off now!
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 167 [+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 last year! Thanks for all who ordered. No progress at all 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 – 1,753 [+111 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 September 2018 assigned. Here is a look at a new version of the Starfarers map:
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 749 [+15 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 his developer Jason Carr for an interview and they are busily working on it for us. Tentative shipping date has been assigned as Early 2019 (artwork has been started). Here is a new image of Terrain Cards that showed up last month in the update:
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 1,202 [+49 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 October/December 2018. Mark has been doing a series of articles on InsideGMT about the cards of the game and they are really interesting reads. Here is a look at some of the most recent cards for the game:
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,342 [+10 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 People Power and look forward to bringing this inside look to the blog in the near future for Gandhi.
- Andean Abyss: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Columbia 2nd Printing – 624 [+25 orders, made the cut!] – I love the COIN Series and have finally added this one to my list as it 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 Mid-August 2018 as part of the COINFest.
- A World at War 3rd Printing – 165 [+18 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! This game is shipping at the end of June. 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 I only have a few more days to change my mind!
- Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 701 [+39 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 – 836 [+17 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 October-December 2018.
- Plains Indian Wars – 284 [+7 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. As you may have read previously, we will have a few videos posted soon on this one to help push it on up to the P500 goal.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 743 [+17 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 – 778 [+22 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.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 912 [+16 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, #24 Red Revolt! and #25 Disarming Russian Garrisons. There are also more of these posts to come in the near future. Assigned a shipping date of Early-Mid 2019.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 334 [+21 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. He is super busy though with other game projects as well as his new podcast, which is pretty good by the way! It will post soon I hope.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 596 [+41 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. Here is our interview with designer Kenneth Tee. We also posted the first in our series of Event Card spoilers for the game #51 Aquino Dead to give you some more historical and game play background into the design. More to come in the near future but this one looks great to get into the system with.
- Beneath the Med: Italian Submarines at War, 1940-1943 – 469 [+70 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 as the Italians. Designer Gregory M. Smith knows solo sub games and this one looks fantastic. Here is our interview with Gregory and it is a really good looking game.
- The Age of Iron and Rust: A Time of Crisis Expansion – 780 [+93 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 – 642 [+115 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 and it should be posted in early July.
- The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC – 754 [+365 orders, made the cut!] – an enhanced version of Mark Herman’s solo game published by Victory Games covering the Peloponnesian War. Get your Greek on for sure. This game simply looks awesome!
- Versailles 1919 – 538 [+280 orders, made the cut!] – 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 have a solitaire system included. I plan to reach out to Mark and Geoff for an interview shortly.
- Stalingrad ’42 – 371 orders
In parting, I wanted to simply thank GMT Games again for what they do for our hobby. They obviously make fantastic games that we all enjoy but they are truly advocates of wargaming. They support all of us, including designers, developers and content creators like us. It just always amazes me that I can send them links of our interviews, reviews and videos, and they take them and post them on the game pages. Here is a look at a screenshot of the monthly update email this time showing just a few of the items they have posted of ours over the past 30 days. I have said it time and time again, but thank you Gene, Rachel, Tony and many others that help out us content creators. It is greatly appreciated!
We have recently received our copies of Cataclysm and Fort Sumter, and you will begin seeing content this month as we play through them. Also this month, we will get copies of the following games: Gallipoli, 1914, Hitler’s Reich, No Retreat 3: The French and Polish Fronts and Skies Above the Reich. We will definitely be busy and are working hard to get some really interesting content out there for you to consume. Thanks for all the support that our readers give us. We truly appreciate it!