I am a big believer in the principle that if you do things the right way, putting in the time and hard work necessary to succeed, you will find success no matter what barriers or speed bumps come in your way. There are some people in our hobby that have done things the right way and have been doing it right for a long time. It was good this month to see that principle has been verified with Frank Chadwick and his labor of love but more on this later.
If you missed last month’s update post, here is a link: June Monthly Update
If you didn’t get this month’s Monthly Update email, I have provided you with easy access here: https://mailchi.mp/06906c262e9f/july-20-update-from-gmt-eto-series-new-p500s-production-update-more
Frank Chadwick’s ETO Series Finds a New Home
After the recent sale of Victory Point Games, it appears that the buyer released the contract with Frank Chadwick for his European Theater of Operations Series after the completion of Volume I Thunder in the East. I also saw that Alan Emrich was looking for a publisher to pick the series up and publish the future editions. In must be fate as Gene shares the following from his attendance at Consimworld Expo:
On our first day at CSW Expo, I ran into Alan Emrich and Frank Chadwick. As most of you know, each of these guys is a legend in this industry. To my surprise, they mentioned that due to Alan’s sale of VPG and a subsequent change in focus at that company that returned the series rights to Frank, they were looking for a new publisher for Frank’s ETO series. This was not even on my radar before the convention, as I’d thought Frank was doing the series – which I’d admired from afar – for VPG long-term. But when I learned they were serious about finding a new publisher, I let them know right away that we were interested. The first game in the series, Thunder in the East, is amazing in its own right, and the opportunity to work with Frank and Alan on a longer-term series project is definitely something that’s been on my personal bucket list for a while now.
I was fortunate enough to do an interview with Frank Chadwick in early 2017 covering the first entry in the series Thunder in the East. Here is that interview: https://theplayersaid.com/2017/04/24/interview-with-frank-chadwick-designer-of-thunder-in-the-east-from-victory-point-games/
You can also read more about the plans for the series in this entry on InsideGMT at the following link: http://www.insidegmt.com/2019/07/welcome-to-frank-chadwicks-eto-series-team/
GMT has also agreed to sell the remaining copies of Thunder in the East at a deeply discounted rate. The discounted price will be good through August 20th. If you are interested you can pick up a copy for $100.00 at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-828-thunder-in-the-east.aspx
There was only one new addition to the P500 this month, which was alright though as last month was a lot. The new addition is a really good one though as the designer is simply fantastic and the game play is very fun. There are also two reprint editions being added to the P500 and both are really good as well!
Wing Leader: Origins 1936-1942
We have played a couple of the games in the Wing Leader Series, including Supremacy, and really found the game mechanics and the narrative that it weaves very interesting. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood is a great designer and really goes into the depth and breadth of the aircraft of the time as well as the tactics so it will be really interesting to see how this one plays out.
From the game page we read the following:
Wing Leader: Origins 1936-1942 is the third expansion for GMT’s Wing Leader system. Origins dives into the thrilling battles of the inter-war and early-war period. This expansion matches biplanes against fast monoplanes in combat over Spain, China and Poland. Nationalist CR.32s face off against ‘Red’ I-15s over Madrid. Soviet volunteers fly ‘Chaikas’ against Japanese ‘Claudes’ above China. Bf 109s dive into streams of British Wellingtons, Halifaxes and Manchesters, while defending battleships in Brest.New Aircraft range from pre-war German warplanes such as the He 46 and He 51, to Polish fighters and bombers, such as the PZL P.11, and American Curtiss fighters such as the CW-21 Interceptor.In addition to new aircraft and scenarios, Wing Leader: Origins features a whole campaign system, recreating two days of the German and Italian maximum effort against Malta in 1942. Titled Malta Spitfires, the campaign simulates the tough attrition battles over the islands.
We have really enjoyed campaign aspects for the various air war games we have played such as Wild Blue Yonder. It simply gives a whole new experience to the game and offers some added replayability and I am glad that they are including this option in the design. Warning though, you will need a copy of Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942 to play Wing Leader: Origins.
If you are interested in Wing Leader: Origins 1936-1942, you can pre-order a copy for $30.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-778-wing-leader-origins-1936-42.aspx
3rd Edition Reprint of World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin and Liberty or Death
When I see a reprint of a game that I don’t have, I always get excited. I have a copy of Liberty or Death and really love that game, but do not own a copy of World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin. Both Alexander and I love the CDG format, and while we have yet to play Paths of Glory (I know, I know, we have had a copy for 8 months and nothing. We have no excuse!) we are keenly interested in this one as it uses the same system just with modifications for the different tactics and situations inherent to World War II.
From the game page for Barbarossa to Berlin we read the following:
World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin presents both the Allied and Axis players with a wide range of exciting game choices, while illustrating the key historical factors of the war: from the importance of mechanized forces in combat to the importance of oil to fuel them but without the complexity of other strategic WWII designs. And, unlike many of those games, World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin lives up to its title: an Axis player who fails to win the war may still win the game. The winner is often decided on the last turn as the Allied player struggles to extinguish the last traces of the Nazi empire. Designed by Ted Raicer as a follow-up to his multi-award-winning World War One strategic game Paths of Glory, World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin modifies the Paths of Glory systems to capture the strategic and operational dynamics of WWII in Europe.
As in Paths of Glory, the heart of the game lies in the 110 Action Cards (55 each for the Axis and Allied players). Each card can be used for operational movement and combat, strategic movement, replacements, or for an Event. The movement and combat systems will be familiar to Paths of Glory players, but have been modified to recreate the blitzkrieg campaigns of 1941-45.
World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin covers four years of epic struggle, from Moscow to Stalingrad, from Tobruk to Tunis, from Sicily to Rome, from D-Day to the Rhine, to the final battles for the Reich. It is June 22, 1941: will World War II end in German triumph in Operation Barbarossa or collapse in Berlin? As the world holds it breath, the decisions are all yours.
If you are interested in World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin, you can pre-order a copy for $45.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-829-ww2-barbarossa-to-berlin-3rd-printing.aspx
If you watched our video ranking of the COIN Series of games, you will remember that my #2 was Liberty or Death. For me, the theme is what gets me as I simply really like the American Revolutionary War. Harold Buchanan did a great job of incorporating the various elements of the struggle into the game and this format is simply perfect for the subject. I did write a rather involved review of the game and you can check that out here.
If you are interested in Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection, you can pre-order a copy for $59.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-826-liberty-or-death-the-american-insurrection-3rd-printing.aspx
My least favorite part of any update is when a game is announced to be in danger of being removed from the P500. I guess I understand why it happens, as there are a lot of great choices in games out there and there are limited resources in our wallets, but I know that those design teams have put their blood sweat and tears into their games and they just aren’t generating the interest needed to get them to the 500 order goal. There are other reasons as well that games are pulled, including delays and development issues. Here are Gene’s comments on the games that are being pulled:
We are temporarily pulling the following two games from the P500 list:
The Battle for Sicily
Nightfighter (PC digital version)
They both still need quite a bit of development – maybe as much as 1-2 years – to be ready for the production queue. So we’re going to pull them from the P500 list for now. Once they’re far enough along that they meet our new criteria for P500 addition (3-9 months from ready for art), we’ll add them back to the list.
As an overall note, we’re evaluating all the games on our P500 list now for readiness, but these are the only ones we’ve identified so far as just being too far away from production to keep on the list.
We are also taking a look at the games with less than 500 orders that have been on the list for a year or more. The following games fit that criteria (note that there are at least a couple more that are under 500 and nearing one year on the list – please support those, too!):
- Saint Omer to Saint Crispin: Tactical Battles of the Hundred Years War (278 Orders to Date)
- Plains Indian Wars (344 Orders to Date)
- 1918/1919: Storm in the West (344 Orders to Date)
- Crusader: Fast Action Battles Series Game #4 (394 Orders to Date)
We may remove one or more of these over the coming months if we don’t see a significant uptick in orders.
New P500’s on the Horizon
Really look forward to this feature each and every month. My record is a bit spotty but this month I think that I at least have one correct.
- An expansion for one of our tactical level games – I’ve got this one. I saw this image on Mike Denson’s Facebook a few weeks ago and he stated that he was looking for a subtitle for an expansion to his The Last Hundred Yards. Death from Above and The Last Hundred Feet was recommended by someone on our Twitter Account. Whatever it is called I am interested.
- A new expansion for each of two very popular titles – This one is very ambiguous and wins the award for saying nothing really. I would think that this could be referencing at leas the upcoming Fall of Saigon for Fire in the Lake (we are actually getting a chance to play this with Mark Herman while at WBC later this week!) but I don’t have a guess on the other.
- A new 4-player CDG on a very interesting topic – I will use my guess from last month. Could this one be the prequel to Here I Stand called Tato Mota? Here is a picture I saw in the wild:
- A new strategy game with an Ancients theme – I am really getting into Ancients right now but don’t have a guess on this one.
- A new COIN series game – this could be so many choices. I have seen pictures of various COIN games including Syria, 2040: American Abyss and most recently The Troubles. That is my guess – Irish COIN. Here is the picture I saw:
Those are my guesses at this point. Don’t have much confidence that I got a lot correct but at least 1 or 2. We shall see. Really looking forward to all of the games described anyway and really like the ones that I have seen pictures of on social media.
Charging and Shipping
Shipping. The next P500 shipments will begin near the end of July, when the following two games will ship:
GMT is anticipating shipping the following four items in late August:
Charging. GMT will begin charging for the previous four items (one per day) around August 15th.
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 July 21st. 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 June 23rd.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 379 [+13 orders] – Only 121 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 – 1,229 [+18 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 3 months ago. In final art awaiting a printing slot. Should ship in 3-5 months.
- Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 645 [+19 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. Looks like Joel Toppen has a final preproduction copy and has been playing it and posting some really great pictures on his Facebook and Twitter page. Currently at the printer with no shipping date.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 864 [+11 orders, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! 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. Currently in the art department and should ship in the next 5-9 months.
- Imperial Struggle – 3,136 [+44 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. Nearing art department readiness but it is far off I think. My guess is this one is a 2020 release.
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Printing – 172 [+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. 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 – 1,035 [+26 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.
- Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea –1,544 [+67 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 will be shipping in late July. Here is a look at the final board and components:
- Plains Indian Wars – 353 [+13 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. 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. Please give this one a hard look as it really was an interesting and fun light Euro style wargame. It was announced as one that is in danger of being removed from the P500 if orders don’t pick up. It gained some ground after the announcement as there have been 9 new orders.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 879 [+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. Currently in the art department and should be shipping over the next 5-9 months.
- Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah – 1,168 [+120 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. The game has charged and is shipping at the end of July. Here is a look at the Fisher’s Hill map:
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 1,166 [+13 orders, made the cut! in the first month] – Here is a link to an InsideGMT article that describes 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 also worked with Vez on a series of posts where we are spoiling 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!, #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.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 560 [+6 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 GenCon 2018 and got to play and shoot a video interview on the game.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 740 [+9 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 – 729 [+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.
- Atlantic Chase – 958 [+22 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!
- Versailles 1919 – 1,068 [+38 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 – 1,441 [+40 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. The game is at the printer with no shipping date.
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 516 [+11 orders, made 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.
- Men of Iron Tri-Pack – 704 [+18 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 – 968 [+22 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 and Ancients recently and are really anticipating this title.
- Storm Above the Reich – 576 [+11 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 – 947 [+30 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 but no shipping date.
- Next War: Vietnam – 709 [+26 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! Nearing art department readiness but no shipping date.
- Hunt for Blackbeard – 425 [+13 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. We posted an interview with designer Volko Ruhnke in June.
- Battle Line, Medieval Edition – 1,045 [+35 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 3-5 months. Here is a look at some near final cards:
- Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga – 576 [+36 orders, made the cut!] – 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.
- Clash of Sovereigns: The War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-48 – 465 [+17 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 – 632 [+36 orders, made the cut!] – 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 – 366 [+17 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. We are going to try and get with the designer later this week at WBC to get a demo and do a video interview.
- Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-? – 1,041 [+151 orders, made the cut!] – 1-2 player card-driven boardgame simulating at the strategic level the ongoing bid by Islamist extremists to impose their brand of religious rule on the Muslim world. We love Labyrinth and this is simply more goodness. Reached out to the designer and we are working on an interview.
- Storm Over Asia – 251 [+137 orders] – a large companion game to the daunting A World at War that focuses on the Pacific Theater of Operations. Beginning in 1935, there are a lot of options for players to explore different what if scenarios in this deep World War II game. I added it because I couldn’t help myself!
- No Retreat! Battles: 1942 – 245 [+120 orders] – a game that looks at battles for an individual year during World War II. Game offers solitaire rules for a few of the included battles, of which there are 5 in this edition. I have reached out to designer Carl Paradis for an interview and we are working through it.
I also wanted to include at the end of this post our reviews/interviews/unboxings of recent GMT games that we have played and enjoyed:
I know I didn’t add any games to my growing list this month, but I will most likely add World War 2: Barbarossa to Berlin. Just need to clear out some of these titles before you all think I’m a lunatic. Until next month, get out there and experience more GMT Games!