Loading…loading…loading…CRASH. The server stopped responding. Like many of you, that was my experience nearly the entire day last Thursday as the GMT Fall Sale kicked off. After not having a sale for three years, the demand is just off the chain and I’m not sure there is any server ever designed that could handle the traffic generated by this rush for the greatest games of all time all at 50% off!
In case you missed it, or have been living under a rock, here are the nitty gritty details on the sale from the Monthly Update.
Sale Duration: 1 pm (Pacific Time) October 18 – Midnight (Pacific Time) October 25, 2018
Sale Details: 50% off on all IN-STOCK GMT games (not UGG, Vae Victis, Ludifolie or Hexasim) games:
Sale Quantity Limit: Maximum of 20 Items
How to Get the Sale Price: Go to our website and prepare your order from eligible games (see below, in “Items you can buy at the 50% off Sale Price). Then, when you checkout, use the following code to get 50% off on the order: GMTSale2018
NOTE: Please DO NOT combine Sale items on the same order as a P500 order. This makes it much more difficult for the office and warehouse folks to process.
Items you can buy at the 50% off Sale Price:
1. Any In-Stock GMT Game (everything they’ve shipped up through the COINFEST Part 1 games, but NOT including A Distant Plain, Fire in the Lake, or the FitL Update Kit – which are P500 games shipping now)
2. You can also purchase Accessories as one of your “items”
In addition to the Annual Sale info, the October Monthly Update email had lots of other good information, including 3 new games being offered on P500! Let’s take a look at those games.
Dominant Species: Marine
Dominant Species is simply a fantastic area control game. In fact, I think so much of it that it is listed as #3 on my Top 10 Games of All Time. Gene has been hinting for months that there was an upcoming expansion to one of their best selling games of all time and I guessed an expansion for Dominant Species several times. Looks like I was onto something as they have added Dominant Species: Marine to the P500 this month and I will be adding it to my list.
For players of the original Dominant Species, this iteration introduces several key evolutions to the system:
- Actions are taken immediately whenever a pawn is placed instead of waiting to execute actions after all pawns are on the board. This gives players a bit more flexibility in their strategy, doesn’t increase game time when more pawns are acquired by players, and lessens the brain-burn quite a bit since it alleviates the burden of having to plan out an entire turn in advance.
- Domination is no longer on a per-tile basis, and is no longer ‘competitive’ with other players. In this game you check dominance for each element type over the entire earth, and whether or not you dominate an element type is independent of whether one or more opponents also dominate it. Domination of an element is how you acquire – and try to maintain – control of the special pawns.
- Animals no longer have default special abilities. Now, players are dealt 3 Trait cards during setup, choosing one to keep and putting the others back in the box. The chosen Trait gives their animal one of eighteen unique abilities spread amongst the Trait cards.
- Acquiring special pawns through domination gives a player great flexibility in planning and executing a strategy. Special pawns can ‘bump’ an opponent’s basic pawn in order to take an action that would otherwise be blocked. They can be placed anywhere on the action display (where basic pawns must be placed in top-to-bottom order only). There are powerful action spaces where only a special pawn can be placed. And at the end of the game, each special pawn awards its owner VP’s according to its highest achieved dominance value.
To get a better feel for the game and to explore these and other refinements between the two games in greater detail, check out the (playtest) version of the full rulebook online using this link: https://indd.adobe.com/view/d626ba9d-1f81-41d1-8bc0-c0a03e6c8639
If you are interested in Dominant Species: Marine, you can pre-order a copy for the special P500 price of $55.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-738-dominant-species-marine.aspx
Next War: Vietnam
I’m going to be honest here. I have yet to play one of the many Next War Series games. Alexander owns Next War: Taiwan but we just have had other games to play. This one may be the title that gets me off the bench though and into the game. I love a good Vietnam wargame! This is a statement that I typically say about a Vietnam wargame set in the 1960’s or early 70’s. But I am intrigued by a modern war set in the same jungles as well.
Next War: Vietnam is the fifth game in the Next War Series. This game returns the action to Asia and the powderkeg surrounding the South China Sea. This time the Chinese don’t intend a limited, punitive expedition; they intend to squash the burgeoning threat from their southern border once and for all and prove, through force of arms, that the South China Sea is theirs. Building on the naval rules showcased in Next War: Taiwan, players will have a chance to fight over the Spratly and Paracel Islands once again, as well as the mountainous jungles of North Vietnam.
If the U.S. gets involved, it might finally land troops in Haiphong Harbor and march on Hanoi, albeit as a relief force and as an ally to its former enemy. The question is what will the rest of the region do? Will they join a side or stay neutral?
Next War: Vietnam will also allow players to play a combined game with Next War: Taiwan, and with the rules in the latter game, adding on Next War: Korea as well for what would amount to the Pacific Front of World War III.
There are several Standard Game scenarios. Some are small and focus on limited objectives, while at least one will be a campaign game encompassing the entire map. Similarly to previous games in the series, the Advanced Game scenarios will be divided into various starting points representing different levels of build-up before the game begins.
If you are interested in Next War: Vietnam, you can pre-order a copy for the special P500 price of $59.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-733-next-war-vietnam.aspx
Hunt for Blackbeard
A game designed by Volko Ruhnke is about as can’t miss as you can get. He has had a busy year already as he has been working on three games (and I bet even a few more than that behind the scenes) including Ariovistus, Nevsky and now a new game Hunt for Blackbeard.
Hunt for Blackbeard is a two-player boardgame that portrays the effort in 1718 by the colony of Virginia and the Royal Navy to track down the notorious pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) as he sought refuge in colonial North Carolina. It features the historical events, places, and personages involved in Blackbeard’s demise 300 years ago, and the real-world challenges of “golden-age” piracy and pirate hunting.
One player takes the role of Blackbeard and the other the pirate hunters. Blackbeard seeks to commit acts of piracy or to enjoy a pirate’s life while remaining free. The hunters try to discern Blackbeard’s plans to thwart his piracy. The game may end in a battle in which either the hunters capture Blackbeard or the pirate wins by seizing a hunters’ ship as his prize!
Here is a look at some of the playing pieces:
In each of up to four turns, players draw secret tiles that gradually reveal opportunities for Blackbeard to pursue his piratical aims and for the hunters to interview informants who may know of Blackbeard’s whereabouts.
The players next commit Action pawns behind their screens to prepare defenses, sail, scout, or plan piracy. Blackbeard then secretly records any changes to the information on the main map. As the hunters take their turn, they inspect markers on the map—often secretly—as they seek Blackbeard, his camp, or any wake of his passage. Blackbeard will not know how much the hunters have learned before they strike!
Combat ensues if hunters catch up with Blackbeard’s sloop. If Blackbeard remains unchallenged at the right location, he carries out his piracy, placing gold cubes onto tiles among those drawn. Blackbeard can win through piracy while evading the hunters. But if a boarding action occurs, the winner automatically takes the game, enabling the pirate to win by girding for a fight and luring the hunters in.
The game is designed for two players and takes about 45 minutes to play. I really enjoy programmed movement and secret planning in games and really am interested to see how this one unfolds. I am interested enough though to go ahead and pull the trigger and add it to my P500 list.
If you are interested in Hunt for Blackbeard, you can pre-order a copy for the special P500 price of $42.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-739-hunt-for-blackbeard.aspx
New P500’s on the Horizon
I kind of gave up on this feature last month with prognosticating as I just didn’t really have any intel on any of the games that were listed. Gene has really tightened things up and has probably threatened all my sources with exile if they released any info. With that being said, I’ll give it a try this month and make some guesses.
Here are the games that are being hinted at:
- An American Civil War themed game – I’m guessing that Mr. Herman Luttmann has something on the drawing board.
- A Cooperative game featuring the Emerald Isle – no idea at all. But if it’s the Emerald Isle it has to have leprechauns. I’m guessing mutant zombie leprechauns! Gene am I warm?
- A new game from Mark Herman – I don’t have anything. Ever since I beat Mark at Versailles 1919 at WBC he has ignored my emails and calls. A shame really as we were so close. (I did have lunch with him and it was glorious!)
- A new Lunchtime series game – no idea.
- A fast-playing multi-pack wargame series: theme pre-1900 warfare – once again, nothing!
I will simply have to pick up my efforts in this area and may have to start resorting to bribery.
It was also really cool to see the following graphic in the update that had links to our websites. Really nice Gene and I am truly honored to be grouped with such an accumulation of prestigious bloggers/content creators.
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders
As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my 32 P500 games stand as of October 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 September 23rd.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 322 [+8 orders] – Over half way there and some new Orders this month. 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. Maybe this is one that GMT will reprint even if it doesn’t make the 500 goal but gets really close. Maybe! Please.
- The Hunters 3rd Printing – 1,022 [+20 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! The game has been sent to the printer in late October. I’m not sure when it will ship but I would guess in the next 60-90 days. 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 – 517 [+13 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. Made the cut last month and is currently in the art department being finalized.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 634 [+6 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!
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 784 [+15 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 Early 2019. They have said that the box cover art will be from John Buxton and I recommend you go check out his stuff as it is simply fantastic while the component art is by Marc Rodrigue himself. A designer pulling double duty. Should be at the printer in November. Here is a look at the latest version of the map:
- Imperial Struggle – 2,830 [+80 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] A game depicting the rivalry between France and Britain in the 18th century. I have reached out to designer Ananda Gupta for an interview and we just haven’t been able to get connected. Here is a look at the draft final map:
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 166 [-1 order] – 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. Another step back this month. Maybe it is time that i start looking for this one some other way. Vance’s games are amazing and we have really enjoyed our plays of Demyansk Shield from Legion Wargames.
- SpaceCorp: 2025-3000 AD – 1,995 [+73 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. Scheduled to ship this month. Here is a look at some of the cards:
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 775 [+7 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? Posted an interview with the designer Mike Bertucelli and his developer Jason Carr on July 30th if you are interested in learning more.
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea – 1,282 [+20 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. The game is currently in proofing with final art to come after.
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,390 [+15 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. Here is a look at a near final map from the Weekend at the Warehouse:
- Paths of Glory Deluxe Edition – 863 [+63 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 November-December 2018. I really want to experience this classic game!
- Ardennes ’44 Reprint – 909 [+20 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! Going to the printer at the end of this month.
- Plains Indian Wars – 334 [+15 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, we posted a few videos on this one to help push it on up toward the P500 goal. Review video and How to Play video.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 788 [+11 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. Going to the printer at the end of this month.
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 878 [+25 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 while he died at Chancellorsville in 1863, the game covers Confederate victories in 1864 as well. I posted an interview with the game developer William Byrne in February.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 975 [+11 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 year. 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 to date 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!, #25 Disarming Russian Garrisons,#11 Weapons from Russia? and #30 Meetings in the Catacomb. Here is a look at a near final cover:
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 450 [+18 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. We were lucky enough to meet up with the designer Harold Buchanan at Gen Con and got to play the game and shoot a video interview on the game.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 641 [+14 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 few cards in our series of Event Card spoilers for the game including #51 Aquino Dead, #31 The First Lady, #12 Another Beirut, #72 Rolly Kintanar and #9 Call for Unity 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 – 576 [+16 orders, made the cut!] – 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 – 985 [+45 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. We posted an interview with both designers Wray Ferrell and Brad Johnson last month.
- Atlantic Chase – 803 [+24 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 posted an interview with Jerry White last month that you should read. Great looking game!
- The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC – 1,019 [+31 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 – 785 [+22 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 have reached out to Mark and Geoff for an interview that they are currently working on. We attended WBC in July and were able to play a full game of Versailles 1919 with Mark Herman and did the following video interview with him. Great game by the way!
- Stalingrad ’42 – 1,031 [+67 orders, made the cut!] – Not surprising that this game made the cut so quickly. 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 will be reaching out to Mark for an interview soon.
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 345 [+27 orders] – If you liked Triumph & Tragedy, you will like this game…only it is in space! We were fortunate enough to play a game at WBC with the designer Stuart Pierce and also shot this video interview with him.
- Men of Iron Tri-Pack – 492 [+51 orders] – This Men of Iron Series is a look at battles in medieval times involving men-at-arms, knights, longbowman, etc. The Tri-Pack includes the first three games in the Men of Iron Series: Men of Iron, Infidel, and Blood & Roses, with the Battle of Agincourt thrown in for good measure from C3i Magazine #22. This system is very interesting and we are definitely intrigued as our play of The Battle of Wakefield was very interesting.
- Commands and Colors: Samurai Battles – 620 [+98 orders, made the cut!] – A reprint of a former game that looks amazing as I love any type of game focused on feudal Japan.
- Storm Above the Reich – 360 [+64 orders] – A follow up effort the wildly successful Skies Above the Reich. A solo game focused on depicting a Luftwaffe squadron of Fw190s struggling to deter and destroy the relentless daylight raids over Germany during World War II.
- Dominant Species: Marine – 329 orders
- Next War: Vietnam – 311 orders
- Hunt for Blackbeard – 158 orders
I added all three of the new P500 games this month as they all looked really good, especially Dominant Species: Marine and Next War: Vietnam.
Thanks for the support that you all give us with your comments and encouragement. I hope that you all have found some good deals on your GMT Games wish list with the Fall Sale this month and continue to support the best publisher in the business.
GMT’s updates are always a mixed blessing for me. It’s great to read about what their doing, but in the same vein I dread seeing if The Russian Campaign Designer Signature Edition has slipped in the production schedule yet again. It made its P500 level over 2 years ago at 1403 orders, and has yet to see the light of day. It just keeps slipping and slipping with no explanation. In this update it isn’t even mentioned – which may portend yet more delays. For what should be a simple project this seems strange. And the complete lack of transparency about its status is troubling.
I know what you mean. Part of the problem is that is a Consim Press game and GMT may not have the control they do with their own titles. I took it off my list because I lived No Retreat! The Russian Front and felt that scratched my Eastern Front itch.
I feel the same way about the monthly announcement and the P500, a mixed blessing. I love (and buy) most of their games and the production quality is top notch. It does seem like they are the victim of their own success.
Case in point is a game I just got to the table this week, Longstreet Attacks. Had this game not moved to Revolution I suspect it would still be on the P500 list instead of on my table.
On the plus side for me is it encouraged me to try other game companies and I have discovered some really enjoyably titles.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow, lots to comment on this time.
I signed up for Blackbeard as soon as I saw the listing. It had me at Volko, 2-player, and under an hour. Really looking forward to that.
Happy to see Flashpoint: South China Sea getting closer to 500! We’re only 50 away. Woo!
Really looking forward to Imperial Struggle, though I hope the map looks more functional when it’s laid out in front of me. Looking at the picture, I can’t tell what’s going on.
I should really just go ahead and back 1989 now while it’s on the list. I have 1960: Making of a President caught in a pre-order with other games so I should get it in November. By the time 1989 would be getting close to charging, I should have an idea whether longer 2-player games like that will work for me or not. I can always cancel it if I find out that I’m not getting 1960 played. Between 1960, 1989, and Imperial Struggle, I guess I’ll have that longer 2-player game covered, won’t I!
Great list and love seeing your reaction to the monthly email.