Nothing overwhelming to report from the August GMT Games Monthly Update email that came out on Monday, which was a few days earlier than I expected. But my guess is that it was lite in new P500’s so Gene was able to power through it pretty easily. Even though it offered no new P500’s, there was plenty of new and interesting information contained in it including a hint about a Science Fiction based COIN Series game that has me licking my chops! You know how I love Sci-Fi and the COIN Series so to merge them together in a non-historical based game will be really amazing.
In case you missed the Monthly Update Email, here is a link: https://mailchi.mp/d3d667695e27/august-24-update-from-gmt-new-p500-reprints-sample-art-production-update-and-more
I do like how Gene always thanks their staff for the hard work they are putting in to keep these great games coming out to us rabid fans, especially during the current pandemic as they really give us all a break from reality for a few hours at least. Gene says:
I do want to say before we get to talking about news that I am REALLY impressed with the performance of the many people who make these games a reality for us during these very trying times. Our designers continue to bring us well-designed, compelling, immersive products. Our development teams and the art department and production team are doing a great job getting quality products with excellent art and components to the printer. And our warehouse people have my (and probably all of our) undying thanks for the conditions they are enduring in order to get our games out to so many of you, our customers. It’s my hope that all of you continue to enjoy these games, most especially during a global pandemic!
There also are some new games in stock from several of GMT’s partners including Hexasim and Vae Victis.
New Games in the Warehouse from Hexasim and Vae Victis. We have the following new games in our warehouse from our friends at Hexasim and Vae Victis. Just click the links below to get more information or to order.
As you know, Combat Commander is one of my all time favorite games but it is designed as a two player game and is hard to solo due to the hidden information on the cards. In the Update, Gene shared the following from a fan who made a new solo method:
A Customer-Created Solo Method for Combat Commander. For those of you who’d like to get Combat Commander to your solo table more often, check out this quick and easy Combat Commander solo method from Riccardo Masini (via BGG).
As I mentioned, there were no new P500’s added this month but there were several reprints added so that is good for those that haven’t played these great games.
Empire of the Sun 4th Printing
If you have followed us for long you know that we really love Empire of the Sun and have played it several times. The game is simply fantastic and really implements the CDG mechanic perfectly with the events of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Furthermore, if a game is on its 4th Printing, that says something about it.
From the game page we read the following:
Empire of the Sun is Mark Herman’s third card driven design since he introduced the system to the hobby in We The People. EotS is a strategic level look at the entire War in the Pacific from the attack on Pearl Harbor until the surrender of Japan. EotS is the first card driven game (CDG) to move the system closer to a classic hexagon wargame, while retaining all of the tension and uncertainty people have come to expect from a CDG. Players are cast in the role of MacArthur, Yamamoto, Nimitz, and Mountbatten as you direct your forces across the breadth of the globe from India to Hawaii and from Alaska to Australia. This is represented on a single map based on a 1942 equal area projection of the entire theater of conflict.
As in other games using the CDG system, players try to maximize the impact of their cards even as they hide their intentions and traps from their opponent. The player is faced with a wide set of clear strategic choices. The focus of EotS is on directing major offensive axes of advance. The Japanese early in the game are challenged to achieve their historical expansion as Allied forces battle the clock to react with their in-place forces trying to achieve maximum damage to the hard-to-replace Japanese veteran units.
If you don’t have this one, you need to get it now. The price is right. The game is amazing. And it will be in a near perfect form with the 4th Printing.
If you are interested in Empire of the Sun 4th Printing, you can pre-order a copy for $55.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-880-empire-of-the-sun-4th-printing.aspx
Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010-? 2nd Printing
Labyrinth is one of our favorites of all time and The Awakening expansion just makes the game that much more interesting with some new mechanics as well as new events on new cards.
From the game page we read the following:
Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010 – ? expands on Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?, a 1-2 player card-driven boardgame simulating at the strategic level the ongoing bid by Islamic extremists to impose their brand of religious rule on the Muslim world. The expansion continues where Labyrinth left off adding new rules and cards to cover the last five years of history. Included are new mechanics to simulate the grass roots political movements of the Arab Spring and the resulting Civil Wars. Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010-? provides 90 all new event cards, additional markers, cubes and cylinders, and 7 new scenarios, including 2 that are playable to conclusion in 7 turns or less.
If you are interested in Labyrinth: The Awakening, you can pre-order a copy for $25.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-881-labyrinth-the-awakening-2010-2nd-printing.aspx
Twilight Struggle Turn Zero Expansion 3rd Printing
More Twilight Struggle is a good thing and this expansion simply adds some new starting conditions from the normal game setup.
From the game page, we read the following:
Each of the two Promo Packs includes four new cards for the game, some including “What if” alternate history additions to the game. The Turn Zero expansion adds twelve new cards and a new starting point for Twilight Struggle. Also included in the expansion pack are rules for a new Optional Space Race Track, to add variability to your Twilight Struggle experience.
If you are interested in the Turn Zero Expansion 3rd Printing you can pre-order a copy for $14.00 on the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-883-twilight-struggle-turn-zero-and-promo-packs-3rd-printing.aspx
Charging and Shipping
The following update for Charging and Shipping was copied from the Update:
As we work through the logjam of great games sitting in our warehouse, we are shipping them in batches so as not to charge them all at once and cause problems for our customers. Currently we have seven items in our warehouse. We’ve already shipped Batch 1 and 2 in June and July. The remaining games will ship in August and September.
Here is a brief tease for P500 additions lining up in the coming months. Note that this is not a comprehensive list, so I will switch these up a bit from month to month. Over the coming 1-6 months, I anticipate that we will add:
A Chad Jensen design – no idea on this one.
A new Levy & Campaign series game – Medieval Italy is the next setting. Book it! You know that if you read my interview with Volko from earlier this month covering Almoravid.
A new game from Hermann Luttmann – I actually know this one from Hermann Luttman and will say that is a cooperative horror themed design. That is all I will divulge at this point!
New Battles for the GBACW series – no intel.
A game that will contain this sample art (and many other cool new images) – A COIN Series game set on Mars called Red Dust Revolution. Book it. This one is going to be very fun and different.
I think that I got three, although my comment on the Hermann Luttmann one was vague but I don’t want to blow it. How did I do Gene?
Conclusion and Summary of My P500 Orders/Tracking
As I always tend to end these posts, I will post a summary of where my P500 games stand as of July 24th. 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 25th.
- Bayonets & Tomahawks – 991 [+7 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. In final art and next to get a shipping date. Tentative shipping in approximately 4-6 months.
- Plains Indian Wars – 517 [+58 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 didn’t pick up an anonymous donor has bought the remaining +/- 100 copies to get this one printed. Yeah! It will be headed to art soon.
- A Time for Trumpets: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – 1,194 [+113 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 at the printer with no shipping date announced.
- All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918 – 1,455 [+27 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. The plan is to ship this one in mid-September.
- Flashpoint: South China Sea – 691 [+9 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. In the art department and shipping in approximately 5-9 months .
- People Power: Insurgency in the Philippines, 1983-1986 – 861 [+2 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. Developer Jason Carr gives an updated on InsideGMT as they have revised the design. I might need to reach back out to Ken to discuss again in an interview.
- Atlantic Chase – 1,136 [+47 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! At the printer with no shipping date yet.
- Versailles 1919 – 1,653 [+87 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! Per the update it is shipping in Batch 3 now.
- Expansion or Extinction: A Triumph & Tragedy Series Game – 632 [+0 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 2019 which was really good. Nearing art department readiness.
- Commands and Colors: Samurai Battles – 1,266 [+13 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. In final art and next to get a print slot. Should be shipping in next 4-6 months.
- Storm Above the Reich – 755 [+7 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 – 1,382 [+33 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! At the printer with no shipping date yet. Here is a look at a near final board:
- Next War: Vietnam – 982 [+21 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! At the printer with no shipping date.
- Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga – 805 [+7 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 – 607 [+2 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 – 982 [+44 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. At the printer with no shipping date.
- Banish the Snakes – 617 [+12 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 published an interview with designer Kevin McPartland a few months ago.
- Storm Over Asia – 537 [+44 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! Shipping in the 3rd batch now.
- No Retreat! Battles: 1942 – 431 [+6 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 – 1,207 [+11 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 late last year. Nearing art department readiness.
- Fall of Saigon – 1,580 [+33 orders, made the cut!] – We love Fire in the Lakeand 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 role is 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. In the art department and shipping in 5-9 months. We are working on a series of 12 Event Card spoilers for the game with the development team that will be posting on the blog over the next few months. Here are links to the first few in the series – #S11 Le Duan, #S2 War Powers Act, #S14 Four No’s, #S22 Resolution 21 and #S20 Delta Drought.
- The Last Hundred Yards Volume 2: Airborne Over Europe – 756 [+24 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. We posted an interview with designer Mike Denson a few months ago. Here is a look at a near final scenario map:
- Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East – 607 [+3 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Conquest & Consequence – 680 [+16 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. We recently published an interview with designer Craig Besinque. Nearing art department readiness.
- SpaceCorp: Ventures – 1,341 [+57 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. In final art and next to get a print slot. Shipping in 4-6 months.
- The Weimar Republic – 1,045 [+9 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. We posted an interview with the designer Gunnar Holmbäck this past week. Nearing art department readiness.
- Red Flag Over Paris – 568 [+23 orders, made the cut!] – 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. We posted an interview with the designer Fred Serval last year. We also started a new series of event card spoilers called History Behind the Cars with the first entry being #1 Victor Hugo followed by #2 Les Cantinières, #3 Les Amis de l’Ordre,#4 Georges Clémenceau, #5 Otto Von Bismarck and #6 Louise Michel.
- Congress of Vienna – 767 [+15 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. We posted an interview with designer Frank Esparrago earlier this month.
- Into the Woods: The Battle of Shiloh – 949 [+15 orders, made the cut!] – 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. Nearing art department readiness.
- Tank Duel Expansion #1: North Africa – 749 [+23 orders, made the cut!] – Tank Duel moves to the North African desert with new terrain and desert rules and allows you to take on the role of the Germans, using their Panzer III’s and IV’s or the British in their Churchill’s, Valentine’s, Matilda’s and Crusader’s. Nearing art department readiness.
- Tank Duel Tank Pack #1 – 756 [+2 orders, made the cut!] – 8 new tanks added to the Tank Duel system including KV-1’s, T-26, M3 Lee’s and Puma’s. Nearing art department readiness.
- Almoravid – 745 [+29 orders, made the cut!] – Volume II in the Levy & Campaign Series that focuses on 11th century Spain and the battle between the Moors and Christians. We posted an interview with designer Volko Ruhnke a few weeks ago. Nearing art department readiness.
- Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa – 1,326 [+39 orders, made the cut!] – follow up to Twilight Struggle but this time focused in East Africa, the Arabian Gulf, and the vital sea lanes stretching between them. Nearing art department readiness.
- Pacific War – 1,926 [+75 orders, made the cut!] – Pacific War is a strategic wargame that takes you from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the climatic summer of 1945… from Australia to China… from Burma to Hawaii… from the defense of Wake Island through the invasion of Guadalcanal culminating in the desperate battles to defend the Japanese Home Islands. A super sized deluxe remake of the classic game from 1985. Nearing art department readiness.
- Border Reivers – 532 [+48 orders, made the cut!] – made by the designer of Here I Stand and Virgin Queen, this CDG is a bit different as it uses meeples. Each player rules over one of the Marches as leader of one of the six major riding families of the border: Grey, Fenwick, Dacre, Maxwell, Kerr, or Hume. Your goal is to increase the wealth and fame of your clan throughout the reigns of Henry and Elizabeth to end the century as the most famous Border Reiver of all time. Players gain VP’s from successful combats, amassing large herds of livestock, and by elevating their Notoriety above the other players in the regions of the map.
- Salerno ’43 – 1,031 [+147 orders] – the next operational World War II game from Mark Simonitch begins a new three game series that covers the Allied invasion of Italy.
- Drop Zone: Southern France – 158 [+9 orders] – Dan Fournie takes us into a block wargame focused on airborne operations in France after D-Day. We will be reaching out to him soon for an interview.
- The Last Hundred Yards Volume 3: The Solomon Islands – 336 [+127 orders] – the 3rd volume in this amazing tactical series that focuses on the Solomon Islands.
- Unconditional Surrender: Western Campaigns – 350 [+155 orders] – this game is kind of a light introductory version of the Unconditional Surrender system that focuses on the Western Front of World War II.
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:
There you have it. Even on a month when there were no new P500’s added the update was very informative and got me excited about the future. There are a ton of new games coming out from GMT over the next 3-4 months and I think that we will be very busy gaming!