As we head into Fall, I hope you are all safe and well enjoying a few games once in a while. I recently attended the CSW Expo in Tempe (along with Luke and Rachel, Tony Curtis, and a few of our designers). Even wearing masks, it was still really great to get to see many old friends and make a few new ones around the game tables.
My experience in Tempe, along with feedback from numerous gamers who normally attend our twice a year GMT Weekends, has led me to decide that we WILL have our Weekend at the Warehouse this October 14-17, as planned. We still have quite a lot of COVID problems here in the Central Valley, where vaccination percentages are fairly low, so we're going with a "Vaccinated Only" policy for attendees, and based on state and county guidance, we WILL require masks for indoor portions of the event. I was hoping to avoid wearing masks, as I wasn't sure players would enjoy themselves in a masked environment, but the local situation hasn't improved much, and numerous potential attendees told me variations of "if the choice is to wear masks or not have the event, we'll wear masks." So that's our plan at this point. Even with some restrictions, we're really looking forward to seeing 100 or so of you here in a few weeks!
Supply Chain and Shipping Status. We have made some progress on the shipping front since last month's update. I wish I could tell you a lot of precise details, but the truth is, we haven't yet made THAT much progress!
What I know is that we had a 40-foot container show up yesterday with counter trays and a bunch of 2" and 3" empty white boxes. It wasn't filled with the games we'd love to have, but for those of you who've been wanting a refill on your counter trays or those sturdy white boxes, well, you're in luck.
We also know that there is another shipment—containing six games—that is at sea right now. We are hopeful it will be in our warehouse within a few weeks, but the shipping and port situation being what it is, we can't be sure yet on timing. We'll charge and ship those as soon as we get them.
There's also a HUGE shipment (we think 8-10 games worth) that has now been accepted at the embarkation port but is not yet aboard the ship (so we don't know contents). And that's our situation at this point. We've made good progress in that our games are actually starting to ship and they are no longer sitting at the printer. But on the arrival timing and sometimes even the "exactly what is in that container" fronts, there's still a lot that we don't know. We're choosing to be happy that we're making progress and that it looks like even though we were delayed through the summer, that now our printer is regularly sending our games to the port with no other slowdowns or holdups besides the longer shipping and port delay time.
Latest Musket & Pike and Bayonets & Muskets series games Moving in Art! I get questions quite often about what's going on with Ben Hull's Musket & Pike series games, ALL of which are currently out of stock. We've noted before that we want to get that series back in stock through multi-packs, as we are doing with both the Battles of the American Revolution series and the Men of Iron series.
Until recently, the Musket & Pike Dual Pack, containing updated versions—with new formation counter art—of This Accursed Civil War and Sweden Fights On, has been pretty much sitting still awaiting openings in our art department. Things are moving forward now, though, as (the awesome!) Charlie Kibler is busy working on the counters. I can't wait to see what he comes up with!
We're pleased that the Dual Pack has almost 1,000 P500 orders to date. If this kind of support continues from our customers, we'll certainly see more of this popular 30 Years War-period series in new-version multi-packs.
While I'm talking about Ben's games, I should mention Ben and David Fox's first game in their Bayonets & Muskets series, Banish All Their Fears. That game also just had an artist assigned and will now be moving through the art department as well. As someone who hasn't played many games covering battles during the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697) or the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1714), I'm really looking forward to getting the two battles from this first game in the series—Neerwinden and Blenheim—onto my game table!
Retail Price Increase on Mr. President. As you might imagine after a game has been on our P500 list for as long as MP has, our printing costs are much higher now—as we look toward sending the game to print hopefully late this year—than they were when we put the game on P500. So we're going to increase the retail price of the game by $10 to $89. We are not, though, going to increase the P500 price; it remains at $52 + shipping—a great discount for you P500 folks!
Please check out the "New P500 Additions" section below for more details on these games.
Frank Chadwick's ETO Series Update. For you fans and players of Frank's ETO series, here is a link to the team's recent Consimworld Expo Update. Enjoy!
This Month's Box Back Sneak Peek. This month, here's a peek at the box back for our upcoming Vietnam 1965-1975—the new GMT version of Nick Karp's classic. Enjoy!
GMT One - Jason Carr. It seems like every time I finish writing an update for the newsletter, it's time to write the next one. Time flies, and we're exceptionally busy. That said, this month was a great one for progress across all our projects. Two in particular merit some details:
First, we have made substantial progress on building our Solitaire mode for Jason Matthews' Twilight Struggle: Red Sea. As with any Solitaire mode design, the first step is really understanding the multiplayer game. This game really shines! It's tight, quick, and satisfying. Designing a Solitaire mode for a game like this is a huge challenge but has been immensely satisfying.
Second, we have worked with Ben Hull to compile a comprehensive errata and clarifications document for Fields of Fire as the foundation for a Third Edition ruleset. The work on this is well underway thanks to the efforts of Andrew Stead and Colin Parsons, as well as our team of contributors. While we are working on this new edition of the rules, the expansion, Fields of Fire: The Bulge Campaign has been laid out and is just awaiting updated rules.
We are very excited to get some of our GMT One projects into your hands—Tank Duel North Africa and Red Flag Over Paris are at the printer now, and we hope that the shipping situation will clear up so they can get to you soon. - Jason
Playtesters/Help Wanted! On an ongoing basis, I'll use this section to let you know which of our design teams currently need extra testers. If you are interested in helping out, please contact the team members for the game you are interested in at the links below. We greatly appreciate you helping us test our games and make them better! Thank you!
- People Power Solo System. Developer Joe Dewhurst tells us that they are ready to begin testing the solo system for People Power and are looking for playtesters to help. If you are interested, please sign up to playtest here.
TableTop Simulator (TTS) Update. Jordan Kehrer and his TTS Modder team continue to provide us with excellent monthly updates on new and notable TTS modules for our games. Here's a link to this month's update. For those of you who'd like to catch up with this group's evaluations and recommendations, click a link below:
GMT TTS Team August '21 Update
GMT TTS Team July '21 Update
Thanks to Jordan and the team for all the work they do to evaluate and make us aware of the best TTS modules for GMT games!
Counter Trays are Back in Stock! A lot of you have been asking about when we would have our sets of 10 counter trays item back in stock. Well, they just arrived in the warehouse yesterday! Get them while they last! Order here:
GMT Counter Trays (Sets of 10)
Also, for those of you who like to order those 2" and 3" big sturdy game boxes, those are back in stock as well:
2" Deep Heavy Duty White Game Box
3" Deep Heavy Duty White Game Box
COIN Series and Beyond Video Panel from GenCon Online 2021. For those of you interested in the COIN Series or our newer Irregular Conflict Series (ICS), this is something you'll want to see. GMT Director of Development Jason Carr hosted and moderated an outstanding interview panel last Saturday as part of GenCon Online. The panelists were Volko Ruhnke, Fred Serval, Saverio Spagnolie, and Joe Dewhurst. I found the panel fascinating. Jason did a tremendous job with questions and prompts, as well as sharing a bit of his own perspectives. Throughout, each of these gifted designers/developers joined with him to take us inside their experiences with the COIN and ICS series, some specifics of their individual game designs, and how they tackled difficult issues during their design process.
If you'd like a look at where these series have been and where they are going, as well as a peek into the design thinking of both an accomplished designer like Volko and some of the bright, creative, energetic new designers we're working with in these two series, check out this video panel.
Keep up with GMT Online
Virtually every day, we announce new information, show off upcoming products, or give you a peek under the hood of our new designs in our various online sites and forums. For those of you looking to keep up with us online, here is where you can find us. Drop in and start a conversation!
GMT Games Website
Official GMT Games Facebook Group
GMT Facebook Page
GMT Twitter Feed
GMT on Instagram
GMT on BoardGameGeek
GMT YouTube Channel
GMT on ConsimWorld
We are doing our best to segment this update so it's easier for you all to read. Here is what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- P500 Additions
- Coming Events
- News You Can Use
- Digital Games
- Charging and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- P500 Reprint Tracking
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games! Enjoy the games! - Gene
New P500 Additions. We have two exciting new games to add to our P500 list this time!
The game progresses using a shared event deck, divided into decades. Each decade features a semi-random series of historical cards whose effects will always occur but can be manipulated by the players. The factions perform actions around these events in order to mitigate their effects, while hoping to tip the balance in their favor. Infrastructure will be built and sometimes demolished, coalitions formed and abandoned, populations housed and displaced, and the vulnerable encouraged and discarded, while each faction struggles to stay out of debt and achieve their own objectives. At the end of each decade, census numbers are tallied to determine which factions have achieved their objectives and at what cost. If they manage to keep the city afloat, each decade provides the players with new opportunities to transform the South Bronx according to their own vision, but if too many vulnerable people are lost or if the city goes bankrupt, everyone will lose. Can you cooperate better than the historical actors did and pull the South Bronx back from the brink of disaster?
Our second new P500 addition today is another beautiful period game in the Levy & Campaign series from master designer Volko Ruhnke and his co-designer Enrico Acerbi.
Inferno—the third volume in Volko Ruhnke's Levy & Campaign Series—visits the conflagration that was 13th-Century Tuscan warfare, factional conflict fueled by the money and burgeoning population of the region's well-to-do cities and mountain valleys. Veteran Italian wargame designer Enrico Acerbi applies his deep knowledge of the age to bring it to life within Volko's accessible medieval-operation system. Gathering enough transport and provender may not be so much the challenge here as the sudden impediment of rebel towns and castles along key roads. Tuscany's unruly berrovieri horsemen, famed elite crossbowmen, and distinctive palvesari shield bearers are just a few of the unique features of this volume. Muster, mount up, and find out whose blood will make the Arbia run red!
New P500 Reprint Additions. None this time.
P500 Expansions/Upgrades/Mounted Maps. None this time.
P500 Removals. None this time.
- More expansion content for the COIN series
- An ACW-period solitaire game
- A game set in North Africa
- A new game from Rick Young
- A game set in the Baltic
GMT Games' Weekend at the Warehouse is back! Come join us at our warehouse and offices in Hanford this October 14-17, 2021 for three and a half days of face-to-face gaming fun! This October, we're excited to commit to hosting our first Weekend at the Warehouse since the Fall of 2019! I hope that many of you will be able to attend. The cost for the event is still just $40 per attendee. To reserve your spot at the event, please contact our office folks via phone or chat.
For lodging, we have set up reservation blocks with two local hotels (The Sequoia Inn—where many have stayed for past events—and Home2Suites by Hilton). Note that hotel rates have risen over the past couple years, and the Sequoia Inn has renovated their rooms since the last Weekend. Both hotels are about 1.5 miles from our office/warehouse with easy access to the highway. Here is the contact info for each:
Sequoia Inn: Singles $114.95/night; Doubles $119.95/night
Call 559-582-0339 for reservations. Ask for the GMT Group Block rate.
Home2Suites: King Studio Suites (One King bed plus a fold out queen sofa bed) $139/night. Reservations are ONLINE-ONLY. Click here and Use this direct Group Booking Link to get the GMT discounted $139/night rate.
Due to the ongoing COVID situation, this first "return to the Weekend" event is open only to fully vaccinated attendees. And, due to the ongoing situation with COVID spread in the Central Valley, we WILL need to require masks for indoor portions of the event. Note, though, that California requirements or the overall COVID situation could still change between now and the event, so we might have to adjust as the evolving situation dictates.
SDHistCon Online: November 12-14, 2021
It’s official! SDHistCon is returning once again and—if you’ll allow me to say so—it’s gearing up to be a very special con! If you’ve attended a previous SDHistCon online convention or (gasp!) have never done so, this November’s iteration will feature some really unique and interesting events, sure to please every fan of historical boardgames! In addition to the many games being taught by an incredible panoply of designers (including many of your favorites such as Mark Herman, Volko Ruhnke, John Butterfield, Gina Willis and others), the SDHistCon team has also assembled a series of thought-provoking panels and roundtables you definitely won’t want to miss. Once again, I will be personally hosting a special GMT Games event we’re titling “Inside GMT,” and for good reason. We’ll be bringing you exclusive designer input about their games as well as an “inside” look at what’s in GMT Games’ future (there will be prizes, too!). Tickets go on sale in early October, so be ready to grab your badges. You can also follow @SDHistCon on Twitter for the most up-to-date information about all of their conventions. As always, on behalf of the GMT Games team, I look forward to seeing you all there, Nov 12-14, 2021!
The War Room at Dice Tower West: Mar 2-6, 2022.
Thinking of attending Dice Tower West (Las Vegas, NV) in March, 2022? At this very special convention, attendance at Dice Tower West will give all badgeholders access to The War Room: a new and exclusive gaming space featuring 5 full days of teaching, demoing, and exploring historical board- and wargames. GMT Games is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of The War Room and—along with SDHistCon’s highly professional organizers and the instructors from the popular Wargame Bootcamp—we expect this gaming space to be a big hit with not only long-time wargamers but lots of newcomers as well. We see The War Room as an opportunity to reach out to everyone with an interest in historical boardgames, and we have high hopes that even more new players will be starting their journey into our hobby. Come to Dice Tower West and visit us in The War Room; I’ll be there along with several GMT designers and developers teaching, demoing, and playing lots of wargames. Registration is now open, but badges are selling out quickly. Be sure and grab one while you can!
Not getting these updates via email (anymore)? If you didn't get this update via email but would like to, here's a quick-and-easy link to sign up for our mailing list. GMT Mailing List Sign-up. Please feel free to pass this along to friends or anyone online who wants/needs to get this update via email.
New Games from Vae Victis in the Warehouse. We have two new VV games in the warehouse that are now available to order. As usual, we have a limited amount of these games, so get yours soon if you want one.
Three Days of Glory - Three Tactical-level 1805 Battles
Typhoon Over the Pacific - Strategic-level WWII in the Pacific
Punched Magazine Issue #3 is Here!. Our friends at Punched Magazine have recently released Issue #3, which includes plenty of cool GMT content among other interesting articles. Remember this is a FREE online publication. Check it out here!
Coming This Week on InsideGMT!
Lots of great stuff this week on InsideGMT!
First up, on Tuesday, we published the fourth in a series of articles from Fred Schachter and Frank Esparrago playing through "The Clash of Armies" scenario of Congress of Vienna. If you would like to read the first three articles in this series, you can find those here.
On Wednesday, we published an article from The Bell of Treason designer Petr Moj˛íš taking a look at each of the game's four Dimensions (International, Political, Military, and Public) in their historical context. The Bell of Treason is the third game in GMT's informal ‘Final Crisis’ series, so if you liked Fort Sumter and/or are looking forward to Red Flag Over Paris, I recommend that you also check out this article and the P500 page for The Bell of Treason!
Today on InsideGMT, we posted another special piece of The Plum Island Horror narrative fiction from David Spangler. In this article, you will find another excerpt from David's Beware the Shade: Where Horrors Hide in the Daylight, an explosive exposé currently under a government restraining order, forbidding its publication for containing “material damaging to national security.” Please note that this short story is a work of fiction and is not an example of gameplay. Enjoy!
Last but certainly not least, tomorrow on InsideGMT we will publish the third in a series of articles from Stephen Rangazas, designer of The British Way, GMT's first COIN Series Multi-Pack. If you would like to read the previous two articles in Stephen's series, you can find those here.
I invite you to visit InsideGMT.com this week to check out the aforementioned articles (and more!) from our team of excellent InsideGMT contributors.
This Past Month in InsideGMT!
Here are links to this month's new InsideGMT articles:
The Struggle is Real: Reworked Mechanics and a New Solo System for The Weimar Republic
The British Way: Introduction to the Multi-Pack
Labyrinth: The Awakening – An Introduction (Part 1 of 2)
The Cards of Plum Island (or … How Can Such Mundane Components Contain So Much Evil?)
The British Way: Palestine
Labyrinth: The Awakening – An Introduction (Part 2 of 2)
The Origins of 18 India
Congress of Vienna Standard Game After-Action-Report: “The Clash of Armies” Scenario (Turn 4 of 4 – Nov.-Dec. 1813)
Arrows in a CDG? How the Map of The Bell of Treason Outlines the Upcoming Crisis
The Plum Island Horror: The Peril of P.I.R.L
As always, I invite you all to head over to www.insidegmt.com, check out the articles, leave us your comments, and tell us what else you'd like to see us do to make InsideGMT even better!
Charging and Shipping. Here's a look at our current and near-future charging and shipping:
Future Charges: Because we know that the next shipment of six games is on the way (at sea), but we don't yet know exactly when it will arrive, our plan is flexible. We'll make our next charges somewhere between Tuesday, October 5th and Tuesday, October 19th, and we'll set the exact charge date once we know the day the games are due to arrive. The charge will be for the following six items (note that four of these are reprints with lower order #s, so we're going to go ahead and charge them all along with the two new games):
Absolute War (4 lbs)
MBT, 2nd Printing (4 lbs)
Normandy '44, 3rd Printing (3 lbs)
Panzer, 3rd Printing (4 lbs)
For those of you calculating shipping charges for these games, I've included the weights we are using for shipping in parenthesis after each game title, above.
Tank Duel Expansion 1: North Africa (5 lbs)
Wing Leader Supremacy, 2nd Edition (4 lbs)
To avoid any delays in your game shipment, please make sure you've updated your charge cards on our website before we charge. If you use the "Pay by Check" P500 option, please send your checks in to arrive by the charge dates. Thanks!
Here is our most current Production Status update from Tony and Mark. We update these monthly so that you will be able to follow progress as games get added and moved between pre-art, the art department, and the printer. Games with a ** following their entry are currently at the printer (we are a little more certain about scheduling on these). Entries listed in bold have moved in the Print Queue since last month.
2" Deep Heavy White Game Boxes
3" Deep Heavy White Game Boxes
Set of 10 Counter Trays
Storm Above the Reich added player aid card
Shipping Inbound to Us: Port Arrival Date Not Yet Available
MBT, 2nd Printing
Normandy '44, 3rd Printing
Panzer, 3rd Printing
Tank Duel Expansion 1: North Africa
Wing Leader Supremacy, 2nd Edition
Barbarossa: Army Group Center, 2nd Edition
Battle Line, 11th Printing
C&C Ancients, 7th Printing
Conquest and Consequence
Dominant Species, 6th Printing
Into the Woods
Panzer Exp 1, 2nd Printing
Panzer Exp 2, 2nd Printing
Panzer Exp 3, 2nd Printing
Plains Indian Wars
Red Flag Over Paris
Salerno '43 Mounted Map
SpaceCorp, 2nd Printing
The Last Hundred Yards, Volume 3: The Solomon Islands
The US Civil War, 2nd Printing
Triumph & Tragedy, 3rd Printing
Twilight Struggle Deluxe, 8th Printing
Vietnam, 1965-1975, GMT Edition
Wing Leader Supremacy, 2nd Edition Update Kit
Going to the Printer in October
Fall of Saigon: A Fire in the Lake Expansion
Flashpoint: South China Sea
Great Battles of Julius Caesar, Deluxe Edition
Red Storm: Baltic Approaches
In Final Art and Next to Get a Print Slot: Tentative Shipping approximately 5-8 months
C&C Ancients Expansion #5, 2nd Printing
Churchill, 3rd Printing
Empire of the Sun, 4th Printing
Mr. President: The American Presidency, 2001-2020
Norway 1940: A PQ-17 Expansion
Paths of Glory Deluxe, 2nd Printing
The Russian Campaign Mounted Mapboards(2)
Twilight Struggle: Red Sea
In the Art Department: Anticipated Shipping 8-10 months (will vary by speed of art completion, final edits, and proofing)
Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East
No Retreat: The Russian Front Deluxe, 3rd Printing
No Retreat 2: The North African Front, 3rd Edition
Update Kit for No Retreat 2
Battle of White Plains
Mr. President - Designer Gene Billingsley
Our team has returned from a rigorous week of testing Mr. President at Consimworld Expo in Tempe. Thanks to excellent work by testers Rick Engelbart and Rachel and Luke Billingsley, we made a ton of progress on the game at the Expo.
Rachel and Luke played the Sandbox Scenario exclusively (at Moderate difficulty) and focused on strictly following all the directions/rules in the game. My answers to their queries were almost always "What do the rules/charts say?" A little frustrating if the goal were to just play the game, but incredibly useful because our goal was to find every place we could where the rules/charts/scenarios/setup/
Rick also helped us find numerous inconsistencies, but Rick's function this time—besides demoing the game to interested gamers, which he did marvelously—was a little different. He tested some of Tom's scenarios (they're excellent) and then took on the HARD version of the core Sandbox Scenario. He's our most experienced tester, so I wanted to see how he fared against the hard version—and whether I still needed to tweak it a bit. Rick also, like most of us after we've played a game a couple dozen times, has developed go-to strategies that he prefers. I regularly queried him about those strategies, trying to make sure that they were HIS preferred way to play and not "sure fire" paths to victory or "no brainer" strategies. I'm still trying to make sure that the Action choices you have are balanced and that there's no one clear path in all situations and no obvious paths to victory. Because I want owners of this game to be able to play it scores of times and still find it challenging, I want this hard version of the game to be very tough on veteran solo players (or groups of friends playing together), and watching Rick maneuver through it and seeing what he chose to do and when was very helpful to that end.
So where are we now in this Final Development/Testing Journey? We have compiled and sent all of the card, counter, and map edits we found to Donal (our artist), and he has sent us brand new sets of all three that we'll use in ongoing testing. Meanwhile, we're working on getting all the edits for the rules and charts into edit lists for David Spangler, who's the man in charge of version control for us and the keeper of all the written components.
I think that process of updating all the various rules and charts is going to take weeks and maybe longer. What we've decided to do is to run another test group at the Weekend at the Warehouse in October, led by Rachel Billingsley (hopefully Developer Mike Bertucelli and I will be able to spend some time there, too). If you'd like to help us with this final editing piece of the game and will be attending the Weekend at the Warehouse, please drop me an email and let me know. Thanks!
Terry Leeds has agreed to do the box cover and packaging for us. I'm thrilled about that, as I love Terry's work. We're hopeful that his completion of the box a couple months out will dovetail well with our final editing after incorporating anything we find at that October testing, so that the entire package will be ready to go to the printer before year-end. That's how it looks at this point. Thanks to a terrific team, Mr. President is in the Home Stretch! - Gene
Hey Gene: This looks good, except it is neither Orange nor Old enough 'Mr President'
Panzer North Africa - Designer James M. Day
Maps and Map Overlays
Panzer North Africa includes the largest number of geomorphic maps in a single release of the series with 12. The terrain is typically barren and open for the most part with a few hilly areas and small desert villages and an oasis for good measure. What separates this release from the others in the series, including MBT, is the 45 terrain individual overlays.
These are used to modify the basic terrain to represent built-up and fortified areas, villages, hills, groves, trees, and soft sand. The two illustrations depict maps 30 and 39 in their original form and with a number of overlays added.
Each of the 30 scenarios include overlays to a differing degree, so as maps are reused, they appear as completely new terrain. This makes for challenging situations, plus since the game includes an outline for designing your own scenarios, the possibilities are almost endless. - Jim
Red Dust Rebellion - Developer Adam Blinkinsop
As we wrap up card art, the prototype board is finally going to art as well. I'm super excited to have Terry Leeds (Imperial Struggle, Liberty or Death) on board for this and am looking forward to what a real artist can do with my mess of a layout.
While that continues to move forward, I'm nailing down the solo mode (J just had to make a faction with a weird eligibility mechanism...) between busy work weeks. The card-driven solo bot system is simultaneously excellent to play with and terrifying to design, but I have great folks helping out behind the scenes. - Adam
The Battle for Normandy, Deluxe Edition - Designer Dan Holte
The new edition of The Battle for Normandy is looking great. A direct quote from recent playtesting by long time players: "I feel like the changes on tap will make BfN at least 20 or 25 percent a better game than the first edition. That doesn't sound like much, but the game was already pretty good. Second edition will clearly be the premier monster game of Normandy, and for some time to come, IMO." - Dan
The Plum Island Horror - Designer Hermann Luttmann
Hello fellow Plumers! A quick word on how things are going in our version of the Island of Misfit Toys. Playtesting has been progressing steadily, and we've managed to actually curtail tester casualties to just under a dozen. Quite an accomplishment, if you ask me, though Homeland Security will be dropping by GMT headquarters to ask a few questions of Gene and the crew for some strange reason. Not my fault!
The playtest feedback has been invaluable, and based on some of the comments and suggestions, I've actually come up with an alteration to the combat system that will speed up the gameplay a bit but still maintain the excruciatingly exciting and death-defying experience of combat during the Plum Island event. In addition, in order to more realistically simulate the actual tendencies of the Horrors during this tragedy, their movement allowances will now be increasing by one area during "Night" game rounds. Egads, you say...how terrifyingly brilliant! I know, I know...it's just the way I roll. But sometimes you have to sacrifice the well-being of the game player in order to bring to the world the most accurate simulation possible with paper, cardboard, and plastic. I've tweaked other smaller aspects of the design as the testers report in...of course after they've resumed consciousness...and it's very exciting to see the game grow and take shape. It's a tough process to adequately balance so many moving parts as the game's mechanics and various faction combinations create a highly variable gameplay experience. But the teams have done a great job trying to corral this beast, and I am so thankful to them for their hard work. And plus they get to apply for Worker's Compensation for all the psychological trauma...so many upsides!
So things are progressing very nicely, and the testers seem to be really enjoying the game and the horrific experiences they are living through. Beats me as to why, but there you have it.
All great news from the playtesting front—and wait until you see more of the cool graphics! Onward and good gaming! - Hermann
Vijayanagara – Design Update
Coming to you live from 14th century India, the design team is happy to report that the game is in very good shape and is rapidly nearing the final stages of development. Feedback from playtesting has been very positive, which has been intensely gratifying for us. We are especially pleased that playtesters have found the game to be streamlined and mechanically elegant, while also managing to offer some historical insights and tactical challenges—getting this difficult balance right was one of our primary design goals, and it seems like we have accomplished it.
Although the bones of the game have been set for months, some small tweaks and additions earlier in the year have provided another layer of strategic depth and narrative richness. The Bahmani Kingdom, whose ruler was named by rivals “Ashvapati, Lord of Horses,” now enjoys its historically powerful cavalry advantage over regional adversaries. The Vijayanagara Empire can now enlist the aid of the Nayakas, warrior kings who emerged from the ruins of other fallen kingdoms, so long as it is successfully spreading its Influence throughout the Deccan Plateau. And the Delhi Sultanate…well, it’s still not easy to be the Sultan, but the old regime has some tricks up its sleeves, such as powerful Governors and imported cavalry, and can enjoy a prestige bonus at the end of the game if they manage to hold off the Mongol invaders.
Cory has recently been working with our developer Joe on the solitaire system for the game, which will allow you to play any combination of player factions against an automated opponent or opponents. That system will soon be ready for testing, and then the game will be out of our hands and off to the art department. To those of you who have supported this project with your P500 order: thank you, truly. It is an honor to design for GMT, and we cannot wait for you to experience Vijayanagara for yourselves! - Saverio, Mathieu, Cory, and Aman
Ken Kuhn - Development Update
Hello everyone, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, so I thought I’d drop a quick note. Across the board, August was a bit slower of a month, but now that September has come it feels like things are full steam ahead. Speaking of steam, 18 India has a map/board artist, so we are just starting down the art road and are very excited to see where that journey takes us.
Prime Minister has been assigned an artist as well, but they are still finishing up another project, so you could say that we are “on deck.” Since our last update on PM, I’ve had the chance to fully edit the examples of play, and I’ve got to say that they were a joy to read. Paul outdid himself on both a multiplayer and a solitaire example.
The CDG Solo System is still in the approaching art readiness category, and we’re trying to decide which CDG to tackle next. There are just so many great options. Triumvir is also coming along nicely. Geoff and Mark are putting some final touches on the rules and trying to decide between a few very cool end game decisions. We will hopefully be opening that up to broader playtesting next month.
The Plum Island Horror has been so fun to work on. It’s a great design done by a phenomenal human being…or at least I think he is. Anyway, be sure to read Hermann’s update on PIH; we’re very excited about the game it’s shaping up to be. Looking forward, I just had a new prototype mailed to me this week. I read through the rules and oh boy, y’all are in for a treat from one of your favorite designers. Hopefully more to come on that game next month.
Alrighty, I think that is all from me for now. Happy gaming everyone and stay safe out there! - Ken Kuhn, Staff Developer
Joe Dewhurst – Development Update
In March, we launched our first title in the new Irregular Conflicts Series, Vijayanagara, which was also my first title as lead developer. It's been a real honour working with the design team on this game, which is now nearing completion—I won't say any more about that here, as the designers have written their own update that you can find elsewhere in this newsletter. The Irregular Conflicts Series is intended to provide a sandbox for exploring new design space and stretching existing mechanisms in novel directions, and the second and third titles in the series really demonstrate just how far that can go.
In May, we announced Fred Serval's A Gest of Robin Hood, which adapts existing COIN mechanics for a two-player, family friendly adventure in Sherwood Forest, and has already proved to be a big hit with our playtesters. Development on that title is almost complete, and I am very proud of what we've managed to do with it—it's short and relatively approachable, while still offering a tense and deep experience that rewards multiple plays.
This month sees the announcement of the third Irregular Conflicts Series title, Cross Bronx Expressway, which really emphasises the 'irregular' side of the series and sets a bold new precedent for what conflict simulations can achieve.
On the COIN front, testing for my own game The Pure Land has gone very smoothly, and we are now just putting the finishing touches to the additional scenarios. Next I will begin work on the solitaire system, which will adapt the card-based Jacquard engine first designed by Bruce Mansfield for Gandhi.
I have also been adapting this system for People Power's solitaire mode, which enters general testing this week, and helping Jason Carr with the final stages of development for Fall of Saigon, which should be heading to the printer sometime in the relatively near future. Finally, Stephen Rangazas and I are both very pleased with how his COIN multipack The British Way has been received so far, and testing for that has proceeded very smoothly. It's looking like 2022 will be a bumper year for COIN releases, and I am excited to see the series continue to grow and evolve!
Earlier this year, I helped finalise some of the materials for Fred Serval's Red Flag Over Paris, which is now at the printer and should be in your hands before too long. I was very impressed by how Fred had managed to innovatively build on the solid foundations provided by Mark Herman's Fort Sumter and immediately began thinking about other historical scenarios that might be a good fit for the system. Last month we announced The Bell of Treason, by new designer Petr Moj˛íš, which further develops the system to portray internal tensions within Czechoslovakia leading up to the 1938 Munich Crisis. Petr's game offers an insightful and intriguing presentation of a crucial historical moment, from a very unique perspective, and I encourage you all to check it out if you haven't already. We still need a little help to reach 500 orders, although we are making fast progress!
I've been working with GMT for just over 6 months now, and it continues to be an incredibly rewarding and positive experience. I'm particularly impressed with all the fresh ideas being brought in by the new designers I get to work with and encouraged that we at GMT are able to give them the support they need to bring these ideas to life. Judging by what I've seen so far, the future of the hobby is in good hands, and tabletop game design is now in better health than ever. - Joe Dewhurst, Staff Developer
Here's the current status of all the games on our P500 reprint list - with current order totals and a +/- order growth since last month, with status to the right if they are AT THE PRINTER. IN THE ART DEPT, or NEARING ART DEPT READINESS. Please help us determine what to reprint by pre-ordering any of these that interest you. Thanks for your help!
The US Civil War, 2nd Printing: 1,184 Orders (+29) AT THE PRINTER
Barbarossa: AG Center 2nd Ed: 966 Orders (+13) AT THE PRINTER
Barbarossa: AGN: 932 Orders(+2)
Normandy '44, 3rd Printing: 920 Orders (+27) AT THE PRINTER
Barbarossa: AGS - 815 Orders (+2)
France '40, 2nd Printing: 804 Orders (+11)
Red Winter: Expanded 2nd Edition: 774 Orders (-1) NEARING ART DEPT READINESS
Churchill, 3rd Printing: 766 Orders (+22) IN FINAL ART
Empire of the Sun, 4th Printing: 734 Orders (+57)
Triumph & Tragedy, 3rd Printing: 695 Orders (+17) AT THE PRINTER
Pursuit of Glory, 2nd Edition: 671 Orders (+14) NEARING ART DEPT READINESS
C&C Ancients Expansion 5: Epic Ancients: 648 Orders (+9) IN FINAL ART
Liberty or Death, 3rd Printing: 524 Orders (+17)
Virgin Queen, 2nd Printing: 490 Orders (+10)
Great Battles of Alexander, Expanded Deluxe Ed, 2nd Printing: 480 Orders (+20)
Next War: Poland, 2nd Edition: 414 Orders (+10)
Fire in the Lake, 3rd Printing: 397 Orders (+36)
Comancheria, 2nd Printing: 389 Orders (+14)
Unconditional Surrender, 3rd Printing: 388 Orders (+12)
For the People, 4th Printing: 387 Orders (+11)
Hoplite, 2nd Printing: 381 Orders (+9)
Next War: Taiwan, 2nd Printing: 371 Orders (+26)
Panzer Exp #1: The Shape of Battle, East Front, 2nd Printing: 365 Orders (+5) AT THE PRINTER
Panzer, 3rd Printing: 347 Orders (+4) AT THE PRINTER
Fields of Despair, 2nd Printing: 346 Orders (+10)
Combat Commander: Resistance, 2nd Printing: 332 Orders (+0)
Skies Above the Reich, 2nd Printing: 298 Orders (+12) IN THE ART DEPT.
Combat Commander: Mediterranean, 3rd Printing 297 Orders (+8)
Washington's War, 3rd Printing: 296 Orders (+8)
Enemy Coast Ahead: The Dambusters, 2nd Printing: 279 (+7)
Panzer Expansion 2: Final Forces on the E. Front, 2nd Printing: 278 Orders (+9) AT THE PRINTER
Paths of Glory, Deluxe Edition, 2nd Printing: 273 Orders (+45) IN FINAL ART
Cuba Libre, 4th Printing: 264 Orders (+28)
SpaceCorp, 2nd Printing: 241 Orders (+38) AT THE PRINTER
Labyrinth, The Awakening, 2nd Printing: 231 Orders (+36)
MBT, 2nd Printing: 231 Orders (-2) AT THE PRINTER
Roads to Leningrad 2nd Ed. 228 Orders (+9)
This Accursed Civil War: 223 Orders (+0)
No Retreat, The Russian Front Deluxe, 3rd Printing: 220 Orders (+6) IN THE ART DEPT
C&C Ancients, 7th Printing: 218 Orders (+26) AT THE PRINTER
Turn Zero Expansion, 3rd Printing: 205 Orders (+16)
Sword of Rome, 3rd Printing: 199 Orders (+2)
Thunder Alley, Crew Chief Expansion, 2nd Printing: 191 Orders (+4) NEARING ART DEPT READINESS
Here I Stand, 500th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Printing: 189 Orders (+22)
Panzer Expansion #3, 2nd Printing: 188 Orders (+7) AT THE PRINTER
WW2: Barbarossa to Berlin, 3rd Printing: 186 Orders (-3)
The Last Hundred Yards, 2nd Printing: 160 Orders (+21)
No Retreat, North Africa, 3rd Edition: 159 Orders (+2) IN THE ART DEPT
C&C Ancients, Exp #6, 2nd Printing: 157 Orders (+7)
Holland '44, 2nd Printing: 130 Orders (+13)
Wing Leader:Supremacy, 2nd Edition: 130 Orders (+5) AT THE PRINTER
C&C Medieval, 2nd Printing: 121 Orders (+8)
Talon, 3rd Printing: 107 Orders (+6)
Dominant Species, 6th Printing: 100 Orders (+12) AT THE PRINTER
Manoeuvre, 3rd Printing: 100 Orders (+0) NEARING ART DEPT READINESS
Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition, 8th Printing: 92 Orders (+31) AT THE PRINTER
Combat Commander: Europe, 5th Printing: 87 Orders (+16)
C&C Napoleonics, Austria Exp, 3rd Printing: 84 Orders (+7)
C&C Napoleonics, Russia Exp, 4th Printing: 75 Orders (+4)
Cataclysm, 2nd Printing: 65 Orders (+2)
Peloponnesian War, 2nd Printing: 61 Orders (+13)
Battle Line, 11th Printing: 51 Orders (+5) AT THE PRINTER
Tank Duel, 2nd Printing: 41 Orders (+5)
Dominant Species Marine, 2nd Printing: 39 Orders (+7)
Please see our RECENT ADDITIONS section of our website (bottom left of page) for a detailed list of new game support files, by the dates they were added.
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