I hope you all had a wonderful New Year! The New Year greeted us with several weeks straight of daily rain which revealed several roof leaks that caused some havoc and angst in our warehouse operations. The good news is that the water only damaged a few games, some game boxes, and some spare parts, and only delayed our packing and shipping operations by about a week.
I have a lot of information to share in this month's update, including a HUGE section from the designers and developers on Project Updates (see below), so I want to get right to it. First, though, a quick update on the two questions I get asked the most online:
1. When will the Yearly Sale happen? Right now, we just can't handle the mass volumes created by the yearly sale with our existing systems. The work on the new systems is proceeding much more slowly than we'd hoped and planned, and that is delaying our yearly sale. My plan at this point is to run the sale about two weeks after we have all the new systems in place and tested. Unfortunately, I can't yet tell you exactly when that will be. We're testing some new P500 code from the programmers next week - and that's been the big holdup - so hopefully we'll be able to make more progress quickly after that.
2. Are you guys ever going to make those remaining Twilight Struggle Collector's Editions available for general sale? Yes, we will, and pretty quickly. Our office and warehouse folks are getting everything (both Collector's Editions and Turn Zero expansions) counted and organized, with an eye toward making these available sometime in mid-February. We don't need the new systems to sell these items, and we have a very light P500 release schedule for February, so we've decided this will be the right time to get this done. I will send a special update via email, and I'll also post a notice online in our various support venues, a few days in advance of the sale. We anticipate the existing stock will go pretty quickly, so it'll be first-come, first-served, with a limit of one copy per customer. I'll get you more details as the day approaches.
K, let's move on to this month's news....
I hope these new products bring you guys many more hours of fun!
Digital Commands & Colors
I mentioned last month that we'd have more information on this project in January. Here you go....
We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with HexWar Games Ltd., of Elgin, Scotland, to develop digital versions of
Command & Colors: Ancients and
Command & Colors: Napoleonics. HexWar Games Ltd. is a 12-man games studio with a long history of converting board games to digital games. Their most recent releases have been
The Great War, from PSC Games, and
1775 from Academy Games. Their recent
The Great War release uses the
Command & Colors game engine by Richard Borg.
Because this is quite a major project for HexWar, they have also partnered with Lordz Games Studio of Belgium, for them to develop a world class user interface and superb game graphics. Lordz Games Studios recent success include
Panzer Corps and
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon.
Development for the digital
Commands & Colors Ancients has already been underway for some months. According to our last word from our friends at Hexwar, they plan to release the base game of
Command & Colors: Ancients for the summer 2017, and the base game for
Command & Colors: Napoleonics for the end of 2017. All the additional expansions, for both games, will be released as add-on packs over the next couple of years.
The initial target platform will be for PC and Mac, and then for iPad, a couple of months after the PC release. The intention is to eventually release for Android and possibly for iPhone. Other features in development are cross-platform multiplayer and a scenario builder.
We look forward to giving you all regular updates on this project. We anticipate that we will have some early game graphics to show you as part or our February monthly update.
Digital Twilight Struggle
If you haven't yet played Twilight Struggle on Steam, iOS, or Android, check it out! I've been playing recently with my son, Luke, who's away at college in Nashville, and I'm really impressed anew with the slickness and elegance of Playdek's game interface. Playing the game is a breeze, though of course, the strategy part is still agonizing!
For you who have the digital version, just a reminder that Playdek made available a new
Turn Zero expansion as an in-game purchase last month. When you get a chance, check it out!
Four New Additions to the P500 List
We're adding four new very diverse items to the P500 list this time. For more information, or to pre-order, just click the links below:
Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea
Three New Additions to the P500 Reprint List
We're planning new printings of the base game and a couple of the expansions in our popular
Commands & Colors: Ancients series. If you'd like to pre-order one or more of these hot sellers at the P500 discounted price, just click the links below:
Recently, we made a major announcement about our new Euro-Friendly P500-only (for now) shipping option. If you order games from Europe and you haven't seen this yet, please click the link below to get all the details, then update your account with the new shipping option. We hope this is helpful to our European customers.
Looking for Playtesters and a Developer for a new CDG
Designer Bob Kalinowski is looking for interested testers to help with testing his new CDG on the War of the Austrian Succession - Clash of Sovereigns.
Clash of Sovereigns is a 2-4 player CDG on the War of the Austrian Succession; it is a broader and simpler offspring of its forebearer, Clash of Monarchs. The full 8 year campaign game will take about 11 hours, with shorter scenarios covering the 1740-43, 1742-46, and 1745-48 periods, where the Bourbon alliance of France, Bavaria, Spain, and Prussia contested Central Europe and Maria Teresa's claim to the Austrian throne against her alliance of Austria, Britain, and Piedmont, with associated minor state forces on both sides.
Bob will soon be posting his 8th solo campaign game in progress on Consimworld Forum, under the
. He is asking for a few interested testers to help him alpha test its preliminary Vassal module, and discover/iron out a few remaining loose ends before fully blessing the game as ready for broader playtest. If you are interested in playtesting CoS through development, even starting right now with the Vassal module prototype, please contact Bob at
@yahoo.com. Also, if you are a developer with experience with CDGs and an interest in helping Bob with game development, please let Bob know. Thanks for your help!
Adding Leaders to Panzer and MBT Expansions
Designer James Day has announced that Panzer Expansion 4 and the FRG and BAOR expansions for MBT will now include the addition of Leader counters and rules for the supported forces. Panzer Expansion 4 includes leaders for the German, Soviet, US, British and French forces. FRG includes the West German, US and Soviet Leaders. BAOR includes the British, US and Soviet Leaders. We're excited to see Leaders added to both of these game series. Jim has the design and components for Leaders already completed. Look for sample on our website soon.
Lee's Wing Leader Designer Site
For you fans of Lee Brimmicombe-Wood's Wing Leader series, Lee has a Designer Website, where you can get the latest news about the series, as well as free downloads (click the Downloads section in the top menu) for the series. Here's the link:
Comancheria Video Tutorials from Joel Toppen
We invite you to check out the new set of nine Comancheria Video Tutorials that Joel Toppen has created. We've embedded them on the Comancheria page on the GMT website. Check them out here:
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
check out the articles, leave us your comments, and tell us what else you'd like to see us do to make
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse April 20-23, 2017
We've established the dates for our Spring 2017 Weekend at the Warehouse.
It will be held April 20-23, 2017, so mark your calendars now! As always, we'll spend the better part of 3 1/2 days, often long into the night, playing your favorite GMT (and non-GMT, if you'd prefer) games. This is mostly an open gaming event, although we do have tournaments from time to time.
The hotel has already blocked rooms for us, so feel free to go ahead and make reservations whenever you are ready.
If you'd like to attend, just call or chat with our office ladies and they'll reserve your spot.
GMT East Convention: March 31-April 2, 2017
For you East Coast gamers, we have a GMT East game convention once a year at the White Plains Crowne Plaza in White Plains, NY. This is an open gaming event hosted by Andy Lewis, with assistance from David Fox, Alan Rothberg, and several other of our east coast friends. We invite you to attend and play a bunch of fun games with us!
We have a room block at the Crowne Plaza - group code is "AQ1". Hotel room rates will be $139/night for one king or two double beds.
Click the link below for hotel reservations:
An update from Event Host Andy Lewis:
I want to thank Gene for putting something in last month's update. I thought I would stop by and give a little more background. GMT East has been run at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains yearly in the spring since 2002. It was the brain child of Rodger MacGowan and Richard Berg and prompted by the tragedy of 9/11. About 60-80 gamers gather to play games and enjoy each others company. Although focused on our love of GMT games, a wide variety of games are played. It's an open gaming gathering with a lot of games pre-arranged in the convention topic on Consimworld - if you have something you want to play, post it there and you should get plenty of response. In addition, we normally have several developers and designers in attendance demoing recently published or upcoming games. Although we don't have the cool backdrop of the stacks and stacks of games in the warehouse like Gene does at the Weekend at the Warehouse, we do have a store with discounted prices, free t-shirts (with cool Rodger design kept secret until the event) for all who sign up by mid-February, free coffee, sodas, and water, plus some free snacks. In addition, we have a contest and giveaway on Sunday morning.
Twilight Struggle World Championships
The 5th edition of the online TS World Championships are being organized on May 20 and 21, 2017. The tournament is sponsored by GMT Games again with a free game for each of the 4 best players.
Matches will be played on Wargameroom (or Steam if both players agree). The 16 best players of Saturday will proceed to the final on Sunday. On both days players play at least 3 and at most 4 matches. Thinking time is 1 hour per player per match.
Who will be the new champion after Janusz Wójciak, Riku Riekkinen and Ziemowit Pazderski (twice)?
Do you want to struggle versus the best players of the world? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information: full name, email address, nationality, country of residence, city of residence.
Keep up with GMT Online
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!
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
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- P500 Reprint Update
- Website File Additions
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games!
Enjoy the games!
Charging and Shipping Schedule
d late last week shipping the following P500 releases for January.
We should be finished shipping these by the end of this week.
Tentative Production Schedule
Here's our most current Tentative Production Schedule from Tony and Mark. We have a few adjustments this time, as we've had a few games that are taking a little longer in final development. Note that
Fields of Fire, 2nd Edition has moved up in the schedule and now has a solid May release date, as all the final development work was finished and handed off to our art teams this past week.
Games with a ** following their entry are currently at the printer (we're a little more certain about scheduling on these).
Remainder of 3Q, 2017
This month we're adding four new items to the P500 list, including a new "Dual Pack" for two popular out of print Musket & Pike Battle series games.
For all the P500 items below, just click on the links to go to that item's P500 page for detailed information and to order.
Recent P500 Additions:
Project Updates and Sample Art
In this section, we'll be passing along updated status on a variety of projects, generally direct from the designers or developers.
First off, here is some sample art for upcoming projects:
Sample Game Setup, from Example of Play
Final Pericles Game Map
Final Game Map
Finally, here's an early peek at Mike Lemick's counter icons for Richard's Men of Iron Series Game #4, Arquebus:
I have received a finished and updated Vassal module made by Stephen Oliver which is ready to be used for final playtesting. I also have in hand an edited version of the rules and playbook which was reviewed by Kurt Keckley and I'm just in the process of making all the corrections and edits as he so kindly suggested. Once that is finished, I'll be looking for a final playtesting team to give the game system a last going-over to ensure that the larger scenarios actually work as designed and are balanced. So we are in the final stages of getting this game ready for publication in the second half of 2017.
Right after the Holidays, I made a big push to complete all changes resulting from Sept-Dec playtests:
- full standardization of the battle dice, streamlining even more battle resolution and sieges.
- expansion of the Action tokens (now square sized) to include Events. This addition heightens game dynamics and variability in each round.
- marking of Indian zones of influence on the board (Iroquois Six Nations, Ohio, Cherokee) to ease spotting of the important Indian pieces associated to them.
- commanders have been removed of brigade pieces and are now distinct markers. This adds more fluidity to put commanders in play and use them.
- several minor details ironed out.
These changes don't affect the core of the game. They just make B&T an even better gaming experience than it was already.
Huge thanks to playtesters John Texeira, Marc Gouyon-Rety, Mario Vallée, Thibaud de la Touane and of course my B&T partner Barry Setser, developer.
Last weekend, the "fresh out of the oven" proto got an enthusiastic response from veteran gamers at Niagara Boardgaming Weekend. Among them WW developer Rob Winslow, Mike Szarka, Nels Thompson and also Michael McCormack - coincidence: he served in a Canadian regiment with lineage to the Queen's American Rangers!
The Vassal module is ready. It will be updated with my notes from Niagara's event and be released at the end of the month for playtesters.
The art and layout for Colonial Twilight is pretty much finished. I have reviewed and approved the art, illustration, colours and layout for the game's map, components, player aids, rulebook and playbook. Editing is of course done. About the only thing I am still waiting for is Rodger's box cover art, which I am sure will be stunning! It feels a bit funny to write this after two and a half years working on this with the developer and playtesters, but the end of the road is nearly here.
As of this past Friday
, Fields of Fire Volume I, 2nd Edition has been turned in. It should be going to the printer in the next week or two. Work on Volume II continues, most of which involves creating the new card and counter graphics.
This month I have been working on the Designer's Notes, the Annotated Bibliography, and improving the graphics on the play test map. The game itself is ready for final artwork.
I have been asked what decisions the player's can make in
Gallipoli. They are:
Big Picture (using the Command rules)
- Initial plan - where is the main effort? where are diversions?
- When and where to commit reserves?
- When to pull back and regroup?
- Where to put artillery?
- Where to place the exact lines of defense and advance?
- Assault timing and odds?
- Should I pull back? Withdrawal in daylight is very difficult, but can I wait until night?
- When to hide: do I give up local fire dominance in order to stay alive?
I am also working on the next game in the series. It's Mons in August 1914 - the legendary first battle between British and German forces in WWI. I am upgrading the first rough map to the same standard as the Gallipoli map. More on this as it gets closer to readiness for P500.
All components for
Illusions of Glory are finished, except for Charlie Kibler's diagrams accompanying the rulebook's Extended Example of Play.
This one should be going to the printer within a few weeks. - GB
The struggle for the 18th century - and our quest to get it into players' hands - continues! Many games have been played over the last several weeks and the systems feel stable. One of the hardest parts has been getting the amount of randomness in the wars to feel right. The wars are crucial turning points in the game, but the players aren't acting as Marlborough or Montcalm; they're more like Pitt or Choiseul.
Mark Simonitch has selected an artist to create the Imperial Struggle map; I won't steal Mark's thunder by revealing the artist's name, but I think his prior work for GMT has been fantastic. The map will be a challenge, since it has to represent a stylized version of the two capitals, as well as the Caribbean, the northern colonies in Canada and New England, and India. The event cards are still getting polished and balanced, and I have to continually fight the temptation to pack more of them in than the game needs.
Finally, after some deliberation over player feedback to the game's subtitle, I've decided to change it back to the original version: The Global Rivalry between Britain and France, 1697-1789. While I liked the "Second Hundred Years War" reference, I ultimately ended up agreeing with feedback which suggested that the game's unique scope is its greatest strength, and that it's best to remove all ambiguity about that scope. But never fear: even after the most recent rules changes, particularly an update to the naval rules, the game still clocks in with a shorter playing time than Twilight Struggle.
We've been humbled and gratified by the high interest in Imperial Struggle that players have demonstrated with their attention at conventions and their P500 participation, and we're looking forward to getting the game in players' hands. Thanks for your support; time to get back to work!
Multi-Game Design Update - Designer Carl Paradis
The game is in the final stages of blind-testing, the full Vassal module is completed and in use. I will post the Rulebook online very soon in the regular "GMT format", and probably the module also. I am currently working on polishing the examples of play and designer's/historical notes. So this game is right on schedule.
As soon as the work on NR3 is finished, I will embark into making good Adobe Illustrator playtest graphics for this title. It is a huge effort and is two games in one: the preparation and actual D-Day landings on one side of the map, and the rest of the campaign on the other. I am looking at including a solitaire module, with the German side being played by the game engine. Expect a good graphic preview to be ready early summer.
Late last year I completely revamped the core game, making it even easier to play, development of this game has been going on and off for over 5 years now. Do remember there are no dice or Combat tables in this game, all this is taken care of by Event Cards, no hexes either: mostly Areas are used on the map. In my test games I was able to play a full campaign in about 4 hours, and I am working hard to lower this even more. I have also changed the counter graphics to use actual military symbols used by the Germans and Russians in WW2. In a few months I should be able to produce for you to see pretty much all the "vassal" graphics for the game but perhaps for the map (I do have a very good playtest map available already but the final one will be really something!). Speaking of the map, I am looking at perhaps extending it right to Berlin if board space permits, so the game would optionally end in 1945.
Coming up next?:
I have started research work on the next game of the 'No Retreat!" series. This time we are departing from WW2. The title of the game will be: No Retreat! 6 The Korean War 1950-53. The NR! engine will be perfectly suited to show the ebb and flow of this conflict, including the long lulls in the last phases of the war, in a concise and easy manner. If space permits I intend to add a bonus mini-game, about the Vietnam battle of Dien Bien Phu, 1954; as the logical follow-up to the main topic.
Long-term, if the first "Absolute War" is a success, I am planning in adding more titles, some covering the Pacific War and also WWI.
The Pendragon team has had busy holidays, and remains on high gear, with work focusing on the bots and writing the playbook material. I must say it is a thing of wonder to see Volko dialoguing with Oerjan and our latest reinforcement, Vesa Arponen, with multiple emails every day and new releases of the draft bots every couple days! In parallel, I am trying my best to provide playing tips and extensive background information for all the events, while proceeding with the writing of the Chronicles, which will themselves be included in the playbook.
is all systems go! The multi-player game (2-4 players) is in the hands of Developers Chad and Kai Jensen. Chad has implemented several upgrades to rules and play aids as he lays out all the components. We are in the process of selecting an artist or artists to illustrate the 220 cards in the game.
I am wrapping up the design of the solo game. The solo system controls the "competition" representing the impact of several other corporate entities against your efforts. Competition cards populate each board with opposing mission teams, bases and achievements as you play your turns. The competition snatches exploration and development opportunities and sometimes completes contracts before you can. The solo game adds variable market conditions to each of the game's three eras, making each solo play a different strategic challenge.
Talon 1000 is basically done. It was very close to being done when it was put up on P500 and playtesting has merely confirmed what we thought going in. It has gone so smoothly at least in part because of all the work the team put in on the component values before the initial release of Talon. The team is excited about the new ships that each side is getting and how easy it now is to generate a random, balanced scenario. There really will be 1000+ new scenarios included in the game. The replayability was high to begin with, but now it is off the charts. In addition, all the artwork has been completed for the new ships in the game.
The most exciting news about Talon 1000 is the progress on a solitaire system. While we can not say 100% for sure yet, we hope to include AI ships in the release. We will let you know soon.
We just released another version of the rules, charts and counters to the play testers. The rules are much improved based on feedback. Several of the rule adjustments in this version are the result of play testing in both Urban and Forest environments. These types of terrain are challenging and obviously the tactics used much different but I am very pleased with the results. It has a very realistic feel, adds another dimension to the LHY and a fun change from the typical rural combat. We are now focused on the play test of the current Missions and could use additional play testers willing to learn the rules and commit to play a couple of Mission a month. We have a draft of DYO Mission rules which also needs play test.
Bob Green and I are now going through each rules section in detail for the next version update. We will also need to develop 3-4 large multi-map Missions and a couple of Operations (campaigns) to round out the mission set for the initial LHY modules.
Under the Southern Cross contains 25 fleet actions - not to mention scads of ship-to-ship duels - and the redoubtable playtest team has made significant progress. Their feedback has resulted in a number of gameplay tweaks and a few new additions, including new rules for single-cannon gunboats and "casting the lead" through treacherous shallows. The lion's share of the fleet scenarios have gone through the first round of testing, and we're starting to check ship duels for balance. The team is very excited with how this next volume is developing, and it promises to be a unique and entertaining addition to the Flying Colors series. New playtesters are always welcome. If interested, drop us a line on the Flying Colors message board on Consimworld.
I plan to bring a complete playtest copy of "The Battle of Rhode Island" to RevCon at Prezcon next month (2/20-2/25). This is the historical scenario in Volume 9 of the Battles of the American Revolution series.
On the night of August 28-29, 1778, the American Army under Major General John Sullivan pulled out of its siege lines around British-held Newport and began an evacuation northward off of Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. The withdrawal was precipitated by (1) the departure of the French Fleet and its land forces under Comte d'Estaing after the "Great Storm" several days earlier shattered both the French and British fleets and (2) by expiring enlistments of militia units in the American Army.
Major General, the Baron Robert Pigot, commander of His Majesty's forces in Newport, sortied on the morning of the 29th in hot pursuit of what he expected to be a strung out American army in disarray. Instead his British and Hessian columns first encountered stout delaying forces under Colonels Livingston and Laurens and next a main American line extending 2-miles across the Island, from shore to shore, on good prepared ground that protected the ferry crossing to the mainland. It was a hot fight that ended in a tactical draw although both sides claimed strategic victory; Sullivan because he was able to get his army off the island and Pigot because he held the battlefield. Perhaps this quote from Major General Nathanael Greene best sums up the fighting prowess of those post-Valley Forge Americans, many of whom were veterans of Monmouth Courthouse fought earlier that summer.
" To behold our fellows chasing the Hessians off the field of battle afforded a pleasure which you can better conceive than I describe."
The game board depicts the northern half of the island including the fortified American positions around Butt's Hill. There are 64 America, British and Hessian combat units and leaders giving the game a counter density comparable to Saratoga in the series. Although the tactical situation is somewhat straightforward; Americans retreating and British pursuing primarily up two main roads, the nuanced play and game texture is like that found in all the games of the BoAR series.
To ensure replay-ability, each player has a unique deck of 26 Opportunity Cards that either enhance his side or diminish the enemy. Cards are drawn at-start and occasionally throughout play as governed by the turn track. There are also mechanisms for card draw tied to accumulated casualties or the possession of terrain objectives. Players may also spend Momentum to purchase additional cards.
The cards themselves may provide DRMs, adjustments to Army Morale, leader replacements, tactics advantages, step losses or step recovery, and additional units introduced into play among other outcomes. There is also the possibility of the game being extended one game turn into "night" wherein the British launch a surprise night attack.
There are only a handful of Exclusive Rules to provide chrome. Players familiar with the core game system will be off and running in no-time.
Solo testing has been encouraging. My hope is to get as many BoAR RevCon players as possible to playtest while we're in Charlottesville which should put a finishing touch on the final product.
As a reminder, the hypothetical scenario will feature a second map depicting the southern half of the island, the city of Newport and the British defensive works that surrounded it. The French army is presumed to have stayed on the island to cooperate in an assault on the town. It will make for a fascinating "what-if" study. While it won't be ready in time for RevCon, it will be ready by the Spring so stand by for further updates in the months ahead.
P500 Reprint News and Tracking
Here's the current status of all the games on our P500 reprint list. Please help us determine what to print by pre-ordering any of these that interest you (you can click on the name link below to go to the P500 reprint page). Thanks for your help!
We're adding three
Commands & Colors Ancients products to the P500 Reprint List this time:
If you'd like to order a reprint of one of these games, just click the link to go to the P500 Reprint page.
Here's the current P500 Reprint list - with current order totals and a +/- order growth since last month:
Talon: - 177 Orders (+12)
New Game Support Files, Vassal/Cyberboard, and Sneak Peeks
Here are new support files we've added to our website since our last update. Enjoy!
Your Friends at GMT Games
Toll Free Order and Support Line: 800-523-6111