Another month has passed and we are at the finish line for February. I have been busy recently and just haven’t had the time to devote to keeping up with things as well as I am used to but the Monthly Update only came out a week ago so I guess that I am not that far behind. This month in the update, there were two new additions to Tank Duel as well as some interesting material for the Next War Series. If you like tank warfare, and I know that many of you do, this month should get your juices flowing.
In case you missed the Monthly Update email, here is a link: https://mailchi.mp/e0c4632f99f1/feb-20-update-from-gmt-new-p500s-digital-news-production-update-and-more
Also if you are interested in my thoughts on the January Monthly Update you can read that post here: https://theplayersaid.com/2020/01/29/january-2020-monthly-update-from-gmt-games-more-acw-more-gaming-goodness/
GMT added three new P500 additions this month, which were all expansion material for existing popular games or series.
Next War Supplement #3
We have not played any of the Next War Series but we hope to correct that in 2020 as Alexander owns Taiwan and I just got a 2nd Printing of Korea. From the game page, we read the following about this new supplement:
This third Next War supplement will contain the following items:
An expansion map containing the rest of Kaliningrad and a larger portion of Lithuania including the strategically important railroad connection.
Optional expansion map which depict the islands of Bornholm and Gotland as hex based maps as well as rules to integrate them into the game.
Two counter sheets containing additional and updated counters for most of the nationalities in Poland including:
New and additional ground OOB for Russia
Typhoons w/ Meteor
Additional ground units for Poland
US F/A-18s w/ AMRAAMs
Additional counters for other games in the series including:
Updated ROK Order of Battle for Next War: Korea (either edition)
Additional counters and Player Aid Cards for revamped Cyber Warfare rules.
A few optional rules.
If you are interested in Next War Supplement #3, you can pre-order a copy for $18.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-843-next-war-supplement-3.aspx
Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa
We have played Tank Duel and appreciate the system and how it attempts to replicate some of the crunchy minutia involved in tank on tank combat including range, penetration, armor, facing, etc. We had a good time with the game but have not been able to play it enough to gain a full appreciation of the design…but we will get there! Now comes an inevitable expansion for a game that has been very well received by the wargaming community as it is seen as a somewhat updated version of the classic Up Front with the main focus on tanks. From the game page, we read the following:
Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa takes the popular Tank Duel system to the desert! North Africa introduces new desert terrain and rules for dust, deep sand, armored cars, heat and haze, and more. British and Italian tanks join the fight, alongside even more German AFVs: Panzer IV Ausf. E, Marder II, Panzer III Ausf. F, Sd.Kfz. 232 Rad-8, Semovente da 75/18, M13/40, More Tigers!, M4A2 Sherman III, Cruiser Mk. IV A13, Matilda Mk. II A12, Crusader Mk. II A15, Valentine Mk. II, Churchill Mk. IV and Valentine Mk. VIII.
Tank Duel: North Africa includes ID Counters allowing you to assign any ID Number to each tank, enabling players to combine the tank boards from multiple Tank Duel sets in order to create new tank matchups, or have 4 Tigers mix it up! North Africa also comes with brand new scenarios, including new historical scenarios for you to test your crews. Tanks and terrain from North Africa can be combined with some scenarios from Enemy in the Crosshairs to give you even more ways to play Tank Duel!
The North Africa expansion will support the popular Robata system from Enemy in the Crosshairs and will also have new Robata compatible scenarios, and additional rules for Robata to handle desert terrain and new AFVs.
If you are interested in Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa, you can pre-order a copy for $49.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-859-tank-duel-expansion-1-north-africa.aspx
Tank Duel Tank Pack #1
More of a good thing is always better though I think so there will be even more tanks to choose from with the announcement of Tank Pack #1.
From the game page, we read the following:
Tank Duel Tank Pack #1 adds 8 new tanks to the popular Tank Duel system. These tanks can be mixed with the existing tanks and used in scenarios from both Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs and Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa. Two of each of these new tanks are included in Tank Pack #1: KV-1, T-26, M3 Lee, M3 Stuart Mk II (“Honey”), Panzer IV Ausf. F/2, Panzer III Ausf. G, Sd.Kfz. 234 “Puma” and Panzer 38(t) Ausf. C.
Tank Pack #1 also appears to include additional rules for armored cars, tanks with multiple turrets and light ordnance. But that is not all. In addition to the new tanks, 8 all-new scenarios are included. Also as is the case with some of these type of expansion card games, you can combine 2 Two Tank Packs with the above mentioned Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa to enable 4 of each type of tank to battle.
If you are interested Tank Pack #1, you can pre-order a copy for $25.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-860-tank-duel-tank-pack-1.aspx
Charging and Shipping
Shipping. On February 10th, GMT began shipping all P500 orders of the following products:
Given delays at the printers, GMT doesn’t currently anticipate shipping anything new before the March update, when they’ll give updated charging and shipping information. If they get a pleasant surprise and games ship out to the warehouse before then, they’ll send a special update announcing the charge and ship dates.
New P500’s on the Horizon
As I mentioned last month, I have not had very good luck in my guesses for this segment the past few Updates but last month was better as I had two guesses correct! This month, here is the information shared by Gene with my guesses next to each item:
- A new 18xx title – no idea as I am not an 18xx fan (I don’t dislike them but I would rather play a wargame.)
- New content for fans of Unconditional Surrender – other than the supposed Armistice game using the same system (or similar) I don’t have any guess on this.
- A game you’ve seen before, with a facelift and a new solo system from the GMT One team! – I got this one with the facelift comment. I think this is Hunt for Blackbeard which was removed from the P500 a few months ago.
- A new Wing Leader expansion – we love these Wing Leader Series games but I don’t have a guess on this one.
- A new Levy & Campaign series game – this would be Volume II in the new Levy & Campaign Series. The game will be titled Almoravid. I think that last month I used this on my guess for the hint “a new game from Volko Ruhnke” but I am now excited as I realize maybe he is doing another game!
- A new operational-level WWII game from a popular designer – I will guess here but I am not sure I am right. Salerno ’43 from designer Mark Simonitch. Here is a map I found:
Those are my guesses. I know not my best effort but I really feel like I got at least one correct, with the outside possibility of at least one more correct, and possibly a lucky 3rd guess correct. We shall see. Gene, how did I do?
Before I finish my post this month, I wanted to share a few important pieces of information about games that I am interested in and have on my P500 list that had updates this month. From the Monthly Update, Gene gives us the following information:
Every Once in a Blue Moon…..a private donor steps forward and offers to fund the shortage of games that are under 500 on the P500 list. Our approach when this occurs is to a) be thankful and b) treat those funds as if they were the extra orders the games needed and move those games on toward production.
Recently, we had a donor step forward offering to fund the remaining orders for two of our “under 500” games: Storm Over Asia and Plains Indian Wars. SOA was already moving smartly through our art department, and PIW will begin to head that way now that funding is available for both. For those of you who wait to order until a game has “Made the Cut,” you can now know that both of these games will be printed (and SOA probably fairly soon), so feel free to order. And for those of you who have bemoaned the lack of a solitaire system for PIW, please see my note on that below… 🙂
Pretty cool thing I think. I was worried about Plains Indian Wars as a few months ago, Gene mentioned that this one was in danger of being eliminated from the list for lack of orders. But not anymore!
Also, while I am mentioning Plains Indian Wars. A few weeks ago, I got an email from designer John Poniske who mentioned that someone had developed a solo system for the game and that it was very interesting. I had offered to John to run a series of posts highlighting the system on our blog and now this month came the following news:
Solo System for Plains Indian Wars! Thanks to a talented customer who offered to help, we’re adding a solitaire system to Plains Indian Wars! When you get a minute, check out this video by Louisiana historian/Lecturer, Dr. Stephen Michot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Myq4BOndrY&feature=youtu.be Thanks, Dr. Michot! More details on this as we get closer to production.
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders/Tracking
As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my 39 P500 games stand as of February 26th. 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 28th.
- 1989: Dawn of Freedom 2nd Printing – 462 [+16 orders] – Only 38 more orders…but I saw a note on the Update a few months ago that this was in the art department. That means they are reprinting even without the needed 500 orders which is very cool.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 940 [+24 orders, made the cut!] – I love a good game about the French & Indian War. Read my interview with designer Marc Rodrigue about B&T! Getting really close now. Still in the art department with shipping scheduled for the next 5-9 months.
- Imperial Struggle – 3,512 [+154 orders, made the cut on 1st day!] A game depicting the rivalry between France and Britain in the 18th century designed by the Twilight Struggle dynamic duo. Currently in final art and should ship in the next 3-5 months. Here is a look at some finalized art for the cards:
- Roads to Leningrad 2nd Edition – 189 [-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.
- Plains Indian Wars – 408 [+21 orders, made the cut! thanks to a mystery donor] – 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. How far this one has come. After being announced as being in danger of being removed from the P500 if orders don’t pick up an anonymous donor has bought the remaining +/- 100 copies to get this one printed. Yeah!
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 924 [+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. 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 – 1,290 [+20 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 initial interview with designer VPJ Arponen last year and now have a follow-up piece with him discussing the design experience. 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 final art and should be shipping in the next 3-5 months.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 621 [+8 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 811 [+4 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Beneath the Med: Italian Submarines at War, 1940-1943 – 770 [+6 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. Currently in the art department and should be shipping in the next 5-9 months.
- Atlantic Chase – 1,018 [+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! Currently in the art department and should be shipping in the next 5-9 months.
- Versailles 1919 – 1,318 [+33 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! In final art and should be shipping in the 3-5 months. Here is a look at a near final map:
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 601 [+17 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Men of Iron Tri-Pack – 892 [+48 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. Currently at the printer but no shipping date yet.
- Commands and Colors: Samurai Battles – 1,115 [+25 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 Napoleonicsand Ancients recently and are really anticipating this title. Nearing art department readiness.
- Storm Above the Reich – 687 [+28 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Dominant Species: Marine – 1,186 [+43 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! In the art department and will be shipping in 5-9 months.
- Next War: Vietnam – 859 [+20 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.
- Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga – 730 [+38 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Clash of Sovereigns: The War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-48 – 573 [+13 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Caesar: Rome VS Gaul, Gallic Wars 57-52 BC – 793 [+17 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! This game appeared on my Most Anticipated Wargames of 2020 list at #4 along with several other games on this post.
- Banish the Snakes – 535 [+17 orders, made the cut!] – 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 will have an interview with designer Kevin McPartland posting in a few weeks on the game.
- Labyrinth: The Forever War, 2015-? – 1,619 [+90 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 last year. We also hosted a series of 6 Event Card spoiler posts over the past few months. #257 Women’s Rights Activism, #315 Khashoggi Crisis, #275 Operation Inherent Resolve, #305 Presidential Whistleblower, #391 Tehran-Beirut Land Corridor and #351 Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). At the printer with no shipping date.
- Storm Over Asia – 418 [+23 orders, made the cut! due to an anonymous donor] – 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! In final art and shipping in 3-5 months.
- No Retreat! Battles: 1942 – 383 [+17 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 a few months ago.
- COIN Series Volume XII China’s War: 1937-1941 – 1,032 [+41 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. We posted an interview with Brian Train a few weeks ago. Nearing art department readiness.
- Fall of Saigon – 1,320 [+71 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 posted a written interview with co-designer Volko Ruhnke. Nearing art department readiness.
- The Last Hundred Yards Volume 2: Airborne Over Europe – 573 [+39 orders, made the cut!] – 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 – 501 [+26 orders, made the cut!] – if you like a bit of chaos and some randomness in your lite civilization building games, then this series will be right up your alley. We have posted an interview with designers Mark McLaughlin and Christopher Vorder Bruegge.
- Conquest & Consequence – 543 [+29 orders, made the cut!] – The Pacific Theater of World War II using the Triumph & Tragedy system. We love block wargames and this one is going to be good. Will reach out to the designer Craig Besinque for an interview soon.
- SpaceCorp: Ventures – 1,071 [+80 orders, made the cut!] – We really enjoyed the space exploration in SpaceCorp and this expansion will add unique enterprises via fourteen HQ mats, each putting a player in control of a different corporation, agency, or institution with its own capabilities and missions. I reached out to the designer John Butterfield for an interview and hope to have that in a few months.
- The Weimar Republic – 840 [+75 orders, made the cut!] – we love CDGs and this one looks really interesting. The game focuses on the political struggle in interwar Germany. Four factions compete for dominance: the democratic Coalition, the Soviet-backed Communist Party, Hitler’s National Socialists, and the far-right Radical Conservatives. I need to reach out to the designer for an interview.
- Red Storm: Baltic Approaches – 438 [+36 orders] – an expansion for the very interesting looking “Cold War Gone Hot” air war game Red Storm adding the air forces of three new countries (Denmark, Sweden, and Poland) along with additional units for nations represented in Red Storm.
- Seas of Thunder – 479 [+58 orders] – allows players to re-create the Atlantic or Pacific theaters of the World War II but to see how challenging the entire picture was for their leaders with too much ocean to cover with too few ships.
- Red Flag Over Paris – 325 [+52 orders] – a game similar in style and mechanics to Fort Sumter but that deals with the Parisian revolutionaries taking control of the French Capital, leading to the beginning of the Paris Commune, a socialist and popular government that would rule the City of Light from March 18 to May 28, 1871. The tension escalates between the Commune and Versailles until the tragic events of the Bloody Week. I have reached out to the designer for an interview and hope to have that finalized and posted by the end of March.
- Congress of Vienna – 551 [+107 orders, made the cut!] – a diplomatic Strategy CDG for one to four players which is based on Churchill but that deals with the Napoleonic Wars and their end between 1813-1814. I have reached out to the designer for an interview.
- Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh – 715 [+226 orders] – The eighth installment of the Great Battles of the American Civil War (GBACW) series, which is an amazing accomplishment in this day of new systems and new games grabbing most of the attention. This one is a big game as it does include 1,120 counters and two huge 22″ x 34″ double sided maps along with 10 scenarios. I will be reaching out to the designer for an interview but hope that the developer Bill Byrne is involved as he did an interview with me covering Death Valley.
- Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa – 365 orders
- Tank Duel Tank Pack #1 – 365 orders
I also wanted to include at the end of this post our reviews/interviews/unboxing videos of recent GMT games that we have played and enjoyed:
Best 3 Games with…Chit-Pull Activation! where we highlight two GMT Games; The Dark Sands and At Any Cost
Event Card Spoilers – The Troubles – #63 Four Square Laundry/IMF (This game has not yet been announced by GMT Games yet, but it is currently in design by Hugh O’Donnell and he has agreed to spoil some cards on our site)
12 Most Anticipated Wargames of 2020! where 5 GMT Games make the list (#7 A Time for Trumpets, #6 All Bridges Burning, #5 Versailles 1919, #4 Caesar Rome vs. Gaul and #1 The Dark Summer)
Thanks for following along on our journey of playing through all of these fantastic wargames from GMT Games. We still have some big titles to play through from last year, including Red Storm and Nevsky, before we can do our annual Top 10 Wargames of the Year posts. We hope to have the remaining 4 or 5 games we need to play from 2019 done by mid-March with our lists out by the end of the month so keep an eye out!