December 18, 2017 Update from GMT Games

 
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Hi everyone!

First off, I want to wish you all a most joyous Christmas/New Years/holiday season! I hope you all get plenty of time to spend with those you love, and also perhaps a few cool games in your pile of presents!

At the warehouse, our office and warehouse folks are busy shipping Pendragon, Battles of the Warrior Queen, and, until today, Wing Leader: Blitz. More on that in a minute. 

I enjoy all the products that we create, but I have to say, Pendragon is a marvel. Marc and Volko and the development and art teams have combined to create something that, even by high COIN series standards, I believe is very special. We're already seeing excellent feedback to the initial shipment arrivals online. I think this one - with 2350+ P500 orders when it shipped, tight systems, and an intriguing topic, - is on its way to quickly becoming one of the most popular of our COIN games. I hope it brings you all many hours of gaming enjoyment!

Now to a piece of bad news. We discovered over the weekend (after shipping a bunch of them, unfortunately) that we are missing a component - the campaign map - from our copies of Wing Leader: Blitz. Due to an internal miscommunication, these were just never printed. Tony is working with the printers now to get a rush order printed and shipped to address this.

In the meantime, we've halted the shipments of Wing Leader: Blitz until we get the campaign maps. At that time, we'll upgrade all the copies on our build tables and ship the missing maps to all of you who got a copy sans map. I asked Lee today to give us an assessment of what you guys who have the product without the map can still play and enjoy. Here is his response:

" The absence of the campaign map means that owners of Wing Leader: Blitz are unable to play the Drive on Kiev campaign just yet. However, at their fingertips they have ten new scenarios to play, three of which can be played as a mini-campaign centered around Operation Pedestal-the defence of a critical Malta convoy. Other scenarios provide fresh, exciting battles over France, Mongolia, New Guinea and Australia! There's plenty of fun to be had while they wait for the map to be delivered."

Please accept our apologies for the oversight and for the delay in getting you guys your full Wing Leader: Blitz expansion. We will get your maps to you and the rest of the expansions shipped just as soon as we get the campaign map from the printer.

Now, on to happier news. It seems a new P500 addition has snuck onto the P500 list!

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New P500 Addition

We are saving most of our new P500 additions for January, but we already have the webpage and supporting information ready for one of the games, and it's a COIN series game, for which we always have lots of customer interest, so we are going to go ahead and add it to P500 list now.


The new game, Volume X in the COIN Series, is All Bridges Burning, designed by VPJ Arponen. "Vez" is a veteran COIN player and series team-member, having created or modified several of the solitaire systems for our past COIN games. So we were thrilled when he told us "I have a COIN game!" 

All Bridges Burning is a 1-3 player game on the Finnish Civil War (1917-18) that is small-footprint and very accessible to new players (a bit like Cuba Libre). Like all of the COIN games, though, there is a ton of strategy and history, and even a few new COIN features, throughout. And I think you solitaire players are going to love the new card-based bot system, specifically designed to speed solitaire and 2-player gameplay! For more details, and to order, just click the link below:

All Bridges Burning P500 Page

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Reprints and Mounted Maps in the first half of 2018

As you guys know, we are always working to get popular sold-out games back in stock wherever we can integrate them with our new game production cycle. Here's what we're looking at for publishing reprints or new editions of games in the first half of 2018:

In March, we'll release these two: 

Also, we are working now on details of getting two very popular Card-Driven games reprinted somewhere late in the 2nd quarter (we'll get them into our Production Queue in the January Update as we finalize our plans): 


For more information on any of the above, or to order, just click the links in the game names to check out that game's P500 page. We hope you guys enjoy getting some of our most popular games back to your game tables in 2018!

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Mounted Maps Coming in April: Order Yours Soon!

We have just added several Mounted Maps to our printing schedule for the Spring. In April, we plan to produce the following four mounted maps:


Please note that we print just a few hundred of each map, unless we have more orders, so they don't tend to last long in-stock. If you want to have a mounted map for any of the Fast Action Battles series games, or the double-sided mounted map for Red Winter and Operation Dauntless, please click the links above and get your P500 order in asap. In early January, we'll the reference the order totals to determine our final print run, so please get your order in by then if you want to make sure you get one. Thanks! 

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Coming This Week in InsideGMT

Here's an update from Rachel on this week's upcoming InsideGMT articles:

Lots of new content coming to InsideGMT this week! Tomorrow, we have Talon Tuesday, Issue #33: Talon 1000 - State of the Fleet Part 2 written by Patrick Barley. This is a continuation of the last Talon 1000 article we posted on December 5th. (You can read it here.)  

On Wednesday, we have a very special article from designer VPJ Arponen, introducing the newest game in the COIN series, All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918

On Thursday, we will post Part 3 of the Tokyo at Dawn series, which is an After Action Report of Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid written by Christopher Davis. (The first two parts in this series can be found here and here.) 

And finally, on Friday, we are releasing the new Al-Owda Scenario, a scenario for FAB: Golan '73 from designer Michael Gustavvson! For those of you who love the FAB Series, here's a smaller scenario to expand your gaming fun!

I invite you to visit InsideGMT.com this week to check out these upcoming articles (and more!) from our team of excellent InsideGMT contributors.

-Rachel B

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Update on the Systems Transition

Last month I told you guys that we might be ready to launch the new website and systems right after Christmas. Well, we've made a ton of progress in the intervening month, but I've decided that it doesn't really make much sense to launch the new site during the holiday season, when our access to key team members and external support is going to be limited. 

So, instead, our online teams are all going to get good and rested over the holidays, then work final details in early January, with an eye to launching our new systems shortly thereafter. Thanks for your patience through what has been a very difficult process.

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New VASSAL Module for Fields of Fire, 2nd Edition

FoF Cover Joel Toppen has done another amazing job in creating a VASSAL module - this time for 2nd Edition Fields of Fire.  This module is amazing, and has a ton of time-saving bells and whistles that will streamline your plays of Fields of Fire. 

I want to publicly thank Joel for his skill and craftsmanship in creating this and other high-quality VASSAL modules for our games. Joel, your commitment to our games and to helping our players enjoy them more through your VASSAL mods is outstanding, and very much appreciated. Thanks!

For those of you who'd like to check out the new module, here's the link:
 

Also, Joel has created a very helpful YouTube video to explain the new functionality in the VASSAL module. It's a must-watch - you'll be amazed at all the cool features Joel has packed in there. Here's that link:


I hope that these new tools will further enhance your enjoyment of Fields of Fire - one of my favorite solitaire games.

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Blank Countersheets Available Now

For you guys who like to design your own games or extra counters, we now have several sizes of white blank countersheets available on the Parts and Accessories Page of our website. They're $3 per sheet, plus shipping. Links are below:


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This Month in InsideGMT!


 
Here are links to this month's new InsideGMT articles:


And, in case you missed them, here are links to our previous month's InsideGMT articles: 


As always,  I  invite you guys 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!

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Spring 2018 GMT Weekend at the Warehouse - April 26-29, 2018
 
We've established the dates for our Spring Weekend at the Warehouse for April 26-29, 2018. Come join us for 3 1/2 days of gaming fun!
For those new to the event, this is mostly an open gaming event, although we do hav e tournaments from time to time. We expect about 100 gamers to attend, and space is limited, so please get your reservation in to the office ladies (call, chat, or email) as soon as possible.

Click on the
  GMT Weekend at the Warehouse page on InsideGMT for more details, as well as a list of designers attending.
There are several hotels within a few miles of our offices. The closest one, The Sequoia Inn , blocks rooms for our attendees at special rates. The hotel's reservation # is 559-582-0339. Tell them you want the "GMT Group Block" rate. They have already blocked rooms for us for April , so feel free to go ahead and make reservations whenever you are ready. 
 
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Keep up with GMT O nline

Virtually every day, we announce new information or show off upcoming products or give you a peek under the hood of our new designs in our various online sites and forums. For you guys looking to keep up with us online, here's where you can find us. Drop in and start a conversation!


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That's it for the news bytes from me for this time.   Here's what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
  
- Charge and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- P500s
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- P500 Reprint Update
- Website File Additions
  
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games! 
  
Enjoy the games!
  
Gene  
Charging and Shipping Schedule

Shipping
On December 13, we began shipping the following three P500 items. There are a LOT of games to ship in this bunch (over 2300 Pendragon orders alone!), so it's going to take a while to finish them all. We're hoping to have all the P500 orders (except for Wing Leader: Blitz - see note near top of update) out by the end of this week.


Charging
We won't have any more P500 charges until early January, when we'll begin charging for these two January releases:
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
For you guys calculating shipping charges for these games, I've included the weights we're using for shipping in parenthesis after each game title.

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 by the above dates. Thanks!
Tentative Production  Schedule
  
Here's our most current Tentative Production Schedule from Tony and Mark. 

Games with a ** following their entry are currently at the printer (we're a little more certain about scheduling on these).
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Shipping Now
Wing Leader: Blitz (temporarily on hold)

January,  2018
February,  2018

March,  2018
P500s
  
We have one new P500 addition this time, a new COIN series game, Volume X!   For more info about any game listed below, or to order, just click the banner or link below to go to the P500 page. 




Recent P500 Additions:


1918/1919: Storm in the West: 205 Orders to Date



4CMBG: MBT Expansion #3:  330 Orders to Date



 
Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah (Vol. VIII in GBACW Series):  587  Orders to Date




Plains Indian Wars: 232 Orders to Date




The Battle of Rhode Island   (Volume IX in our BoAR Series): 511 Orders to Date






Apocalypse Road:  380 Orders to Date


Grand Prix Track Pack: 241 Orders to Date

Musket & Pike Dual Pack:  652 Orders to Date




Golden Gate Park: 221  Orders to Date
Project Updates and Sample Art
  
Sneak Peeks: H ere is some sample art for upcoming games, courtesy of Mark Simonitch and Charlie Kibler:

Map and Cards for Fort Sumter:




Map for Gallipoli, 1915:



Tile and Counter Samples for Space Empires: Replicators:



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Design Updates: 

Fort Sumter  - Designer Mark Herman


Mark's Homemade Playtest Set - using final art. See the final map and some sample cards in the Sneak Peeks section, above.

I can formally announce that Fort Sumter is complete and heading to the printers. The GMT production team once again did an amazing job turning my crayon sketches into graphic beauty. Thanks all.  

One thing that is new is the indomitable Kai Jenson graciously rewrote the rules for this game from scratch, and I must say that I am floored by her skills. The rulebook is 8 pages long, but when you eliminate the cover and back page (summary information), the game clocks in at 6 pages with generous graphic support. On average, it should take 15 minutes to learn and about 5 minutes to teach, so I hope you will all appreciate the effort we went through for brevity and clarity in the rules.

The game clocks in at around 30 minutes, although my wife and I seem to finish regularly in 20, allowing for two plays per lunch hour. As you can see, the game is wood, cards and a mounted board, so it is really easy to set up and transport given its small footprint.

I hope you all enjoy what the team has wrought. Enjoy! - Mark

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Mr. President - Designer Gene Billingsley



I've made a lot of progress on Mr. President in the past month. I now have all the major design systems locked down and most of the testing is now for purposes of balance and tweaking the realism v. playability spetrum. A few status milestones/updates:
  • By the end of this week, I'll have a set of map updates to send off to Terry Leeds. Shortly thereafter, we should have the near-final map art complete.
  • Joel Toppen is going to start on the game's VASSAL module around the first of the year. This will be very helpful to us as we expand testing.
  • Mark Simonitch is going to work with Terry on getting card layouts going in January.
  • On the design side, I'm targeting Dec. 31 as a "lock down" date for components and systems, in anticipation of broader internal testing in January.
In terms of game content, the two additional aspects that I've been testing since early November - a "US Relations" track for Russia and China and a "Party Relations" track for the domestic map - are working really well, adding depth and new considerations/limitations to the design.

Changes Since Last Month in "Areas to Improve" (in bold):
  • Wars. Added detailed pre and postwar processes. Rachel says these make handling wars a breeze. I still have about 20% or so to finish on this front, but major progress here.
  • I need to work on the pacing of the Legislative Process. It seems like things happen a bit too quickly in the timeline of a six month turn right now. I think this is an easy tweak, but testing will tell.
    This is fixed. We have fewer legislative processes now, but still plenty of domestic actions. The pace of legislation seems much more in tune with the way it happens in real life.
  • I think the UN Humanitarian Aid and Infrastructure Aid actions are a bit too powerful right now. I'm going to nerf them a bit and retest. The Nerf worked. I also added a UN action " Youth Empowerment Programs" to give the US/UN an option for combating terror that doesn't involve bullets and bombs. It's not either/or; depending on your play style, your objectives, and what's happening on the map at a given moment, you'll find both military and non-military options helpful.
  • The Iranian Nuclear Track and the North Korean Missile Track need a few tweaks. As time passes, I keep having to revisit these to make sure that the effects moving up the tracks is a reasonable reflection of the real world. I've reworked both Nuclear Missile Tracks and tied them into all the newer game systems. I've also expanded Iranian Influence capability in the Middle East, presenting the player with a broader set of potential problems.
That's all for now. This game is getting way more fun now that I'm mostly just tweaking and working on balance. I still am always asking "fidelity to real life" questions to make sure there's plenty of "simulation" as well as "game" in there. - Gene

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SpaceCorp - Co-developer Chad Jensen:



Here's some feedback into the inner workings of the solo game from one of our testers, David Spangler (posted here with permission), that I thought you folks might enjoy. - Chad

Into my second game, I was amazed to realize that playing the Competition felt just like playing another person -- a malicious, sneaky, diabolical person, at that! I think part of this illusion is based on the fact that the Comp does have a consistent strategy, and it's based on speed. Whatever I can do, Comp does it faster. It can travel faster, gain Progress Cards faster, build bases and colonies faster. By dumping Offer cards, it even speeds the game up so the end comes faster. Plus it has all these Edge [events], which are sharp and can slice my game to ribbons. 

I have beaten Comp in getting to seven Progress cards first, but it was entirely by luck. In my last game, by the time I got to seven, I discovered Comp already had eleven Progress cards! I'd lost track; it gobbled them up so fast. 

I've decided I'm not playing a human corporation but one infiltrated by aliens with superior technology! Further, it doesn't suffer the penalties I do. Pirate attack? A puff of wind, nothing more! If I get attacked by Pirates, though, I lose money. If the Comp runs into Phobes or Intros [alien contacts], it just banishes them as if they didn't exist; if I run into them, oh boy, am I in trouble. All of which fuels my suspicions that Comp is an alien itself. 

Every draw of the Comp card deck is suspenseful, especially in Starfarers where, as Chris experienced, this nefarious opponent can steal a star system away after you've spent all the time and trouble to get to it and do the initial exploration. The 2T compensation hardly seems enough. It can take me six turns minimum to get to a star system and create a colony, usually longer because there's often some research stuck in there somewhere to get the cards I need (I never seem to have all the right cards I need!). Comp can do it in two turns, as it did with Tau Ceti in my second game. 

I absolutely should try to get 1st Beyond in both eras, but here, too, I'm up against the speed of the Comp. It doesn't have to travel to the asteroids or the Oort Cloud, it just has to build a spaceport and possess supporting bases in the system and bingo! 1st Beyond! Which gives it big advantages in the next Era, especially in Starfarers with teams in two star systems and three consecutive turns. 

It's as if Comp has a horizontal strategy: spread out fast and hope for the best. I have to have a "vertical" strategy. I can't compete with its speed, so I have to play very smart and go deep, focusing on a few objectives that can net me contracts and profits, especially a powerful production chain if I can get the cards and the discoveries to pull it off. 

The thing is, unlike most other solo games I've played, this one makes me feel it's a personal challenge. I get emotionally invested. The Comp feels intelligent to me, not just a dumb stack of cards. I get the feeling that Comp is sitting back, smoking a Tau Ceti cigar, and laughing at me. I want to grind him into stellar dust and let the solar winds blow him away! I find myself sweating with suspense and dreading each card draw, then snarling when another Edge comes up or he takes away just the Progress card I wanted. As Chad said in an email to me, "Comp's a bastard." That's putting it sweetly. 

I finish a game, and I want to start another right away. That's a tribute to game design and development. No higher praise. Thanks, guys (I think) for doing such a good job. 

--David Spangler


P500 Reprint News and Tracking

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. 

Please help us determine what to print by pre-ordering any of these that interest you. Thanks for your help! 

Fire in the Lake, 2nd Printing  - 810 Orders (+39)
The Hunters 3rd Printing - 767 Orders (+22)
Barbarossa: AGN  - 719 Orders (+6)
Ardennes '44 - 663 Orders (+21)
Barbarossa: AGS - 549 Orders (+5)
Barbarossa: AG Center 2nd Ed.- 525 Orders (+10)
Andean Abyss - 509 Orders (+13)
SPQR Dlx.  - 508 Orders (+25)
Cataphract - 499 Orders (+4)
Navajo Wars - 406 Orders (+3)
Dominant Species, 5th Printing:  404 Orders (+56)
Next War: Korea - 363 Orders (+14)
Falling Sky, 2nd Printing: 314 Orders (+23)
Combat Commander: Pacific - 309 Orders (+0)
Red Winter - 252 Orders (+1)
1989 - 240 Orders (+6) 
This Accursed Civil War - 239 Orders (-7)
Cuba Libre, 3rd Printing: 190 Orders (+10)
Combat Comm. BP 4: New Guinea: - 162 Orders (+1)
France '40, 2nd Printing: 154 Orders (+3)
Silent Victory, 2nd Printing: 152 Orders (+13)
Roads to Leningrad 2nd Ed.  - 151 Orders (-1)
New Game Support Files, Vassal Modules, New Reviews, Interviews, and Sneak Peeks
  
Here are new support files we've added to our website since our last update. Enjoy!
  
Game Support:  

Vassal Modules:

Reviews:
Interviews:
P500 Sneak Peeks:
Sincerely,
 


Your Friends at GMT Games
 
www.gmtgames.com
Toll Free Order and Support Line: 800-523-6111

E-mail: gmtoffice@gmtgames.com