Each month I await the GMT Games email that tells me that there are new games coming. I live for it. Absolutely wouldn’t know what to do with myself the third week of every month without it. I could feel the update coming yesterday morning, much like aching joints before a rain storm, and was very distracted the rest of the day until it came out around 3:00pm EST. This month there weren’t a lot of new games added but there is one that I am very interested in as we get another volume of the lite Civ Building series from Mark McLaughlin but more on that later.
I have seen some posts on social media recently railing against lite wargames and the like. Some feel that these type of games are beneath them and not worth their time as they are not simulations of the historical events. I understand that sentiment but say “Bologna!” Games are supposed to be fun (not a word that I use lightly or throw around often when playing heavy hex and counter wargames or more involved games with deeper darker sides such as Labyrinth), entertaining, engaging and in the end teach us something about history and get us thinking. Any type of game can do this, not just conflict simulations. I love a deep wargame as much as the next Grognard but also enjoy playing lighter fair with friends. I love me a good 4-player COIN game or a fantastic 4-player game of Pax Pamir. Heck, even Root is fun and I thought I would never say that but after playing 4 times now, I can see that it is fun, engaging and gives me insight into different forms of games that address conflict between differing factions. So I say bring on the lite wargame, lite Civ Builders and Lunchtime Series games. I love them all and look forward to their proliferation and spreading throughout our hobby…and I have no plans to get immunized (although I do get a flu shot next week!).
In case you missed the Monthly Update email, here is a link: https://mailchi.mp/c15a62474ef1/september-18-update-from-gmt-new-p500-reprints-production-and-more
If you are interested in my thoughts on the August Monthly Update you can read that post here: https://theplayersaid.com/2019/08/26/august-2019-monthly-update-from-gmt-games-the-fall-of-saigon-japan-invades-china-and-its-raining-airborne/
There was only one new P500 added this month but it is one that I have a keen interest in though. There were however several reprints offered.
Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East
This is the lite Civ Building game that I was referring to in my opening. I am trying to get a 5-player game of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea soon so I can’t speak from experience on this one but this system just looks really interesting. I don’t think that you can go into it though thinking that you will pick a strategy and dominate the game. There are lots of random elements and take that from your opponents that can strike you at anytime. I think you just need to go into this one thinking that its a game and I am here to spend a few hours with my gaming friends.
From the game page we read the following on what is being added to the system used in this new edition to the series:
Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East (ACME) is brought to you by the same team that created Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea —designers Christopher Vorder Bruegge and Mark McLaughlin with developer Fred Schachter. ACME is not a sequel nor an expansion but a stand alone game using the same multiplayer and solitaire systems as its predecessor with many new and exciting features to intrigue its players, including:
Deities. Instead of building The Wonders of the World, here you get to establish the Deities of the Biblical era (including “you-know-who,” the one who demanded, “Let my people go!”)!
An all-new deck of 110 cards, many of which allow you to inflict disasters and defeats of, well, BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS upon your opponents! One civilization can even capture the Deity of another and take its statue back to its capital to demonstrate its military and theological superiority.
Rugged Mountain Areas (with blocks to signify strongholds)
Fertile River Valleys (where even cities or a single disk/camp could grow population)
Vast Deserts (where stacking is severely limited and growth prohibited)
And, of course, the rolling plains and churning seas found in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea
ACME is a game of the chaos that includes interactions with the gods. But, the chaos can be managed and survived allowing each player to guide their chosen civilization through to victory. The games spans the ancient world from the Hellespont to the Indus, from the Caspian to the Red Sea, and from the early Bronze Age to the Hellenic Age and includes a total of 16 civilizations to choose from.
Medes & Persians
A War Game Only If And When You Want It To BeIf you want a War Game, you got it. If you want a friendly game, this is it too! As in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea, Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East can be all about war, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a friendly game of exploration, city building, trade, and faith. Players (solitaire, a group of up to six, or even a mix of live players with a system-driven civilization of two or more) can make of ACME what they wish or imagine. Competition can be martial or cultural, warlike or friendly, or a combination of both—how the game unfolds depends entirely on how the players want it to play. The duration of the game is also up to the players: from a multi-hour odyssey of all four Epochs to a pre-arranged shorter contest of an hour or two or to an agreed Sudden Death Victory Point threshold.For Those Who Want A War Game, There Is Plenty Of War To Be GamedHistorical War Game Scenarios are just that—fun and entertaining scenarios that recreate wars from the dawn of civilization to the conquests of Alexander the Great (and more!). Take on the role of Agamemnon as he sacks Troy, Solomon as he builds the Temple, or Ramses as he leads his chariots on the plains of Kadesh. Become the great law-giver, Hammurabi, the inspiring Persian empire-builder, Cyrus, or the legendary hero, Rostam (and more!). There are even double-sized (twice the usual number of disks) civilization options for those who want to conquer the world of Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East and become—as Assyrian kings Akkad and Sumer claimed—the king of the four corners of the world.
Manoeuvre, 3rd Printing. After two sold-out printings, Jeff Horger’s gem of a game remains one of our best-selling games that is fast and fun and also easy to teach to a newcomer to the hobby! We want to make sure we have plenty of games that are easy for new players to learn, while also providing plenty of strategy challenges to experienced players. So we’re adding it to the list again, this time with some upgraded components. For this version, the terrain tiles will be of the same thicker material we used for Tank Duel, and the counters will be the thicker type you’ve seen in several of our recent strategy games.
Sword of Rome, 3rd Printing (with 5th Player Expansion). We continue to hear many requests to put this back on the Reprint list, and we would LOVE to reprint it. But last time it was on the list, it didn’t get much support. So, please, if you’d like to see a 3rd printing of one of our best multi-player CDGs, please support this now, and tell your friends. Thanks!
Thunder Alley Crew Chief Expansion, 2nd Printing. We’re adding this so you guys who want it can get it at a discount. Based on Distributor/Retail demand, this expansion is already getting a slot in our print queue.
A Heads-up on the Yearly Sale! Just a quick note that our yearly sale is about 6-8 weeks away. We don’t have exact dates yet, but we’re targeting the late October or early November timeframe. As far as the sale itself goes, it will be similar to what we’ve traditionally done, with discounts for everyone but the best discounts reserved for those who utilize our P500 program. I’ll have all the details for you in either next month’s update (if we decide to launch in late October) or a special update (if it’s a November sale).
Start saving those pennies now as you won’t want to miss the deals for those games that you desperately want on your tables or just added to your collections.
ex-ConsimPress Games Status Update
We also haven’t heard much on those great ex-ConsimPress Games that have been on the P500 for nearly 2 years now it seems. Here is an update on those games:
Update on the ex-ConsimPress Games. Tony and Mark just checked with John Kranz on the status of these games, as we have received many customer queries. The current status is: John has delivered final files to us for The Hunters 3rd Printing and The Hunted, and he says he’s very close to sending us the files for Silent Victory, 2nd Printing. We’re planning to send at least the first two of these (hopefully all three) to the printer on October 1. We apologize for the delay in getting these games to press. Thank you for your patience!
With that update, my guess is that these games will be on your table in late November maybe. I for one am really looking forward to The Hunters and The Hunted.
- A new Lunchtime game set in 19th century France – I don’t know much about this one at all but I love that Lunchtime game series as they are typically short playing games so we will have to wait and see. Could this be something on the French Revolution? My guess is that it is something to do with Napoleon.
- A WWII naval game – this is an expansion for PQ-17 but I cannot remember the name. Gene do I get credit?
- A CDG set in the first 1/3 of the 20th century – a new WWI title. This should be fun. I don’t have a guess though other than the subject.
- An American Civil War title – Mark Herman is going to do another Civil War game, even though he has started Rebel Fury and we don’t know a whole lot about it?
- A tactical game set in the Pacific – I feel like this one is easy but maybe not. I would guess that this is The Last Hundred Yards: Banzai. I hope at least.
Terrible attempts this month. I feel like I might get credit for 2….maybe! Gene?
Charging and Shipping
Shipping. GMT is currently shipping all P500 orders of Red Storm. As of September 20th, they started shipping the three Wing Leader products:
Then the next P500 shipments will begin September 25th, when they’ll ship the following:
Then, on October 10th, they’ll begin shipping these five items:
They plan to charge for these 5 items (for the October 10th shipment) on September 30-October 4, one item per day:
I’m going to be honest. That is a lot of good games! We here at TPA will be busy over the next few months and frankly we are about 4 games behind right now. We have got to get it in gear and get these games played to share our thoughts with you.
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders
As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my 35 P500 games stand as of September 20th. 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 August 23rd.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 396 [+10 orders] – Only 104 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 – 1,262 [+28 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 6 months ago. Update this month said this would be going to the printer on October 1st and my guess is it will ship in mid-November maybe.
- Navajo Wars 2nd Printing – 663 [+15 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. Shipping on September 25th so it should be on my table soon….really soon!
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 876 [+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! 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 – 3,183 [+26 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] A game depicting the rivalry between France and Britain in the 18th century. I may reach out to designer Jason Mathews for an interview as I didn’t have a lot of luck with Ananda. Currently at the art department and should ship in the next 5-9 months
- 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 – 1,138 [+68 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. Charged last week and is slated for September 25th. Looking forward to this one!
- Plains Indian Wars – 373 [+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. 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 about 20 new orders.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 885 [-1 order, 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 3-5 months.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 1,197 [+19 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. Currently in the art department and should be shipping in the next 5-9 months.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 571 [+7 orders, made the cut!] – Another new entry in the Lunchtime 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 – 772 [+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 – 735 [+3 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 – 982 [+7 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 – 1,117 [+25 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 – 1,5311 [+32 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. Set to ship on October 10th. Here is a look at the final components. Looking sharp!
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 535 [+8 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 2018 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 – 746 [+11 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 – 1,021 [+27 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. Nearing art department readiness but no shipping date.
- Storm Above the Reich – 607 [+13 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 – 984 [+24 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 – 751 [+18 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! I have reached out to the designer Mitchell Land and we will be working on an interview over the next few months. Nearing art department readiness but no shipping date.
- Hunt for Blackbeard – 441 [+16 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. We posted an interview with designer Volko Ruhnke in June. It was identified as a P500 that might be removed from the list if orders don’t pick up and this month we got the following update: “We’re temporarily pulling this one from P500 at Volko’s suggestion while he improves it. Here’s a note from Volko with more details: Hi all! I recently happened upon a way to markedly streamline play of Hunt for Blackbeard without losing any strategic depth or simulation value, and perhaps even adding a little. With Hunt for Blackbeard having in any case not yet made the cut, I would like to drop back, retool and test, and come back with an improved product that might draw more of you in! The improvements require a different mix of components than what was listed in the original P500 offering, so a restart of the game’s P500 is necessary. Gene has agreed to give me that opportunity, in order to provide the best possible Hunt for Blackbeard that I can manage. To those who may have looked at Hunt for Blackbeard on InsideGMT, with StukaJoe’s videos, or via Francisco’s Vassal module but not wanted to commit, I hope you’ll take a second look once the improved version is on offer. To those who have already supported the game on P500, thank you—I apologize for the delay, and I hope you’ll agree that the upgrade is worth the wait. – Best regards! Volko.”
- Battle Line, Medieval Edition – 1,160 [+66 orders, made the cut!] – The classic card game with some new rules and new art. Should be a fun one to play! At the printer with no shipping date yet. Here is a look at some of the cards in their near final form:
- Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga – 612 [+17 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 – 517 [+15 orders, made the cut!] – 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 – 689 [+16 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 – 408 [+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.
- Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-? – 1,219 [+98 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. We posted an interview with the designer Trevor Bender a few weeks ago. We are also hosting a series of Event Card spoiler posts over the next few months. See the first one at the end of this post. Nearing art department readiness.
- Storm Over Asia – 325 [+74 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 – 311 [+23 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. We posted an interview with the designer Carl Paradis earlier this month.
- COIN Series Volume XII China’s War: 1937-1941 – 718 [+257 orders, made the cut!] – Brian Train is back on the COIN wagon as he specializes in counterinsurgency. Love his other two games in the COIN Series (A Distant Plain and Colonial Twilight) and look forward to this one as I have always had a great interest in this part of World War II. I have reached out to Brian for an interview and he enthusiastically agreed.
- Fall of Saigon – 851 [+342 orders, made the cut!] – We love Fire in the Lake and this expansion delves into the period of the Vietnam War from 1972-1975 and really boils down to a play game with the US and VC involved but their roles minimized. We played the game at WBC and posted the following video with Mark Herman and Dan Pancaldi from No Enemies Here. We have also reached out to co-designer Volko Ruhnke for an interview.
- The Last Hundred Yards Volume 2: Airborne Over Europe – 352 [+150 orders] – a follow up to the hit The Last Hundred Yards focused on airborne troops. You can’t go wrong with that. I will reach out to the designer Mike Denson for an interview soon.
- Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East – 193 orders
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:
Not a lot of new games this month but lots of new information, including news on the Annual Sale, lots of games incoming soon and new reprints of some really good games. I appreciate the great games that GMT makes for us and look forward each month to the Monthly Update email and writing this post. Let me know what games you are eagerly awaiting and whether or not you added the new titles this months.