Another month. Another GMT Games Monthly Update. And while this month wasn’t quite as exciting as April (2 new P500 additions), it still had some pop that made the update interesting and gave us all some really good news regarding one of our favorite Sci-Fi 4X games (yes I’m talking about
Eclipse Space Empires).
In case you missed the Monthly Update email, here is a link: https://mailchi.mp/3676119e1c72/april-23-update-from-gmt-new-p500s-teaching-videos-imported-games-production-and-more
New P500 Additions
There was only one new game added to the P500 this month but there were two reprints added and one of those had a super sweet addition to it. But first, let’s take a look at the new game.
The Barracks Emperors
From the dual designer team of Brad Johnson and Wray Ferrell who brought us Time of Crisis and its expansion The Age of Iron and Rust comes a fast-playing strategy card game that looks pretty interesting. The game takes place in the same historical time period as Time of Crisis, which is Rome’s Imperial Crisis of the 3rd Century A.D. This game appears to have a target audience as a family or couples card game that seems pretty simple yet interesting enough to give a fair amount of replayability.
The Barracks Emperors is a strategy card game set against the backdrop of the Roman Crisis of the Third Century, during which at least 45 different men made a claim to the throne of the Roman Empire. In this game, 1-4 players represent prominent political factions attempting to gain control over the men who would be Emperors of Rome. Players deploy the influence available to them (represented by the cards in their hands) to claim imperial reigns (represented by the historical Emperor cards arrayed on the board.) But they must be very careful, because politics is a complex game, and sometimes attempting to exert your influence necessitates aiding someone else in their own plots. Play your cards cleverly to captureEmperors and score the most points to win.
The game is designed as a trick-taking game with a bit of a twist. And Brad and Wray have definitely done well with card games. From the game page we get the following clarification on how it’s different:
All 13 tricks are available for play simultaneously, in an interlocking grid that forces you to balance the value of every card you play against the value that same card may have for another player on a different trick. Plus, every card grants you an additional special ability that you might be able to use to spring a surprise on your unwitting opponents.
The game has the following features:
Historical emperors, co-emperors, pretenders, and even Gallic Emperors who broke away from Rome during the Crisis of the Third Century are all represented as individual cards in the game, each with interesting facts about the rise and demise of the man depicted.
For fans of Time of Crisis and The Age of Iron and Rust, you will find some of the concepts and flavor from that deck-building wargame, adapted in this all new standalone game. You don’t need Time of Crisis to play The Barracks Emperors, but you’ll recognize Influence Cards such as Praetorian Guard, Foederati, and Pretender, now used in an entirely new way.
An innovative card drafting mechanic adds an extra layer of strategy to how you play your cards while also mitigating the luck that would come with being dealt a full hand of cards at the start of each round.
This game is designed for 4 players, but also includes options for 2 or 3 players, plus an easy-to-play solitaire adaptation for the solo player.
I don’t know that this is a game that Alexander and I will get into but I’m keeping an open mind as I like card games, especially those I can play with my wife, and I enjoy the history of the Roman Empire.
If you are interested in The Barracks Emperors, you can pre-order a copy from the GMT Games website for $34.00 from the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-757-the-barracks-emperors.aspx
Normandy ’44 (3rd Printing) & Space Empires 4X (4th Printing)
The other two games added this month were both reprints but are both simply fantastic games that you need in your wargame collections. And what is more, this note on Space Empires:
Designer Jim Krohn’s “Space Game for Wargamers” continues to be one of our best-sellers. We’re sold out again, so we’re adding a 4th Printing to our P500 Reprint list. This time, based on customer requests, it will come in a 3″ deep box. (For those of you who own previous versions and want the 3″ box, we’re making one available separately via P500.). If you want a great space wargame, check this one out!
You can secure one of those delicious 3″ boxes for only $10.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-761-space-empires-4x-3-box.aspx
One of my favorite features in the Monthly Update is the New P500s on the Horizon, even though I haven’t done very well at guessing in the past few months.
A new WWI game by a designer with one GMT design already published. I feel like Kurt Keckley is going to do the East Front for Fields of Despair.
-An 18xx game set outside the US (rats, we almost had it ready for this month – hopefully May) – I got nothing on this one. No idea!
-A new 20th century strategic game – I’m taking a guess but am probably wrong. Conquest & Consequences: A Triumph & Tragedy Expansion. Here is a pic I found while trolling Facebook:
-An expansion for one of our CDGs – something Combat Commander…please?
-An expansion for one of our 2018 Best-sellers – I’m saying this is a SpaceCorp expansion. Such a great game!
I feel like those were some good guesses. How’d I do Gene? 4/5? 0/5?
Here is GMT’s next round of shipping which will start shortly after May 10th:
Get em while their hot and still at those affordable P500 prices.
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders
As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my 33 P500 games stand as of April 4th. 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 January 29th.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 350 [+8 orders] – Only 150 more orders…feels like it might as well be 1,000. I have heard and read that this game is amazing, and with the popularity of CDGs, this is another quality offering! 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 – 1,178 [+14 orders, made the cut!] WWII submarine warfare with the vaunted U-Boats! The game is imminently ready to go to the printer. 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. We published an interview with designer Gregory M. Smith last month.
- Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 602 [+17 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 several months ago and is currently in the art department being finalized.
- The Last Hundred Yards – 883 [+69 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! Ready to ship on May 10th. Here is a look at the rather stylish box cover:
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 856 [+17 orders, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! Currently in the art department with an anticipated ship date of 5-9 months. 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.
- Imperial Struggle – 3,048 [+21 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. This game doesn’t appear anywhere on the radar for shipping. My guess is this one is a 2020 release.
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 170 [+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. 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.
- Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs – 938 [+30 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 30, 2018 if you are interested in learning more. At the printer but no official ship date. Here also is a look at some cards:
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea –1,411 [+15 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 at the printer. Yeah!
- Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India 1917-1947 – 1,630 [+54 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. Supposedly shipping in late May.
- Plains Indian Wars – 339 [+4 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 – 850 [+0 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. Currently in the art department and should be shipping over the next 5-9 months. Here is a look at a sample map:
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 978 [+10 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 2018. Currently at the printer with no official shipping date.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 1,098 [+21 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 last 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. They are working on art and it is supposed to ship over the next 5-9 months. Here is a look at a near final cover:
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 541 [+7 orders, made the cut!] – 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 and shoot a video interview on the game.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 720 [+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. 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, #9 Call for Unity, and #53 Alejo Santos to give you some more historical and game play background into the design.
- Beneath the Med: Italian Submarines at War, 1940-1943 – 699 [+15 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.
- Atlantic Chase – 912 [+10 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 year that you should read. Great looking game! Nearing art department readiness.
- Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC – 1,323 [+64 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! The game is at the printer and could be shipping in May. Here is a look at some counter art:
- Versailles 1919 – 978 [+17 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. We attended WBC in July 2018 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! Nearing art department readiness.
- Stalingrad ’42 – 1,312 [+26 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. The game is at the art department and should ship in 5-9 months.
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 487 [+20 orders] – Very close to making the cut. 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. We also posted a written interview with him on our blog in February which was really good. Here is a look at a new version of the map:
- Men of Iron Tri-Pack – 641 [+19 orders, made the cut!] – 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 – 875 [+21 orders, made the cut!] – A reprint of a former game that looks amazing as I love any type of game focused on feudal Japan. We have been playing lots of C&C Napoleonics recently and are really anticipating this title.
- Storm Above the Reich – 548 [+26 orders, made the cut!] – A follow up effort to 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 – 871 [+44 orders, made the cut!] – If you like Dominant Species, and I sure do, you are bound to love this take on the genre as marine life fights it out beneath the primordial waves! Nearing art department readiness.
- Next War: Vietnam – 632 [+8 orders, made the cut!] – 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. I can’t wait to slug it out in and above the jungles of Vietnam!
- Hunt for Blackbeard – 384 [+21 orders] – The Hunt for Blackbeard pits two players against one another as hunter and hunted in a fast-moving game of detection, deception, and confrontation. Volko makes a great game and this one is great but in 30-45 minutes. I’ll be reaching out soon to get an interview on this one.
- Battle Line, Medieval Edition – 899 [+61 orders, made the cut!] – The classic card game with some new rules and new art. Should be a fun one to play! In art and should be shipping in next 3-4 months.
- Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga – 442 [+72 orders] – We really enjoyed Mark Herman’s Gettysburg game found in C3i Magazine #32 and when I heard about Rebel Fury, I jumped on it immediately. Low complexity system with some really great elements to simulate fighting in the American Civil War. I will reach out to Mark for an interview on this one soon. Here is a look at a playtest map with some counters:
- Clash of Sovereigns: The War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-48 – 397 [+41 orders] – As I have said we love CDG’s and this one is on a different subject than we are used to. Very intrigued by this one and have added it to my P500 for now. Need more info though.
- Caesar: Rome VS Gaul, Gallic Wars 57-52 BC – 470 [+126 orders] – Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul is a fast-playing, easy-to-learn, two-player card-driven game on Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. One player plays Caesar as he attempts to gain wealth and fame in Gallia at the expense of the Gauls. The other player controls all the independent tribes of Gaul as they slowly awake to the peril of Roman conquest. This one looks great!
- Banish the Snakes – 293 [+85 orders] – a cooperative game that simulates Ireland in the 5th century, while the Roman Empire was collapsing in the west and Ireland was turning to the Christian religion. Players represent Saints Patrick and others (up to six of you) who set out to convert the pagans on the island. You must work as a team to convert the people of Ireland before the barbarians completely overwhelm Britain. We love good and interesting cooperative games.
I didn’t add any games to my list this month although I will be buying one of those 3″ boxes for Space Empires. The new game this month The Barracks Emperors looks really interesting and I will need a bit more info to pull the trigger.
I also wanted to include at the end of this post our reviews of recent GMT games that we have played and enjoyed:
And the big one posted on our YouTube channel earlier this week is our look at each of our rankings for the COIN Series games Volumes I-VIII.
As always, thanks for reading and consuming all of our blog content and videos on YouTube.