We don't have a ton of news this month (well, except for SIX new P500 additions - see below!), as we are really busy with our systems transition.
As I forecast in last month's update, we are now into the "heavy lifting" portion of our massive (for us) systems update/transition. We are streamlining virtually every aspect of our online, office, and warehouse operations with new integrated software, processes, and tools. So far, because we have a terrific vendor partner who is doing the toughest part of the data transfer and integration (we got all the customer and product files moved to the new system for testing this week), we've been able to keep the transition workload to a minimum for everyone except Mitch Land (our webmaster) and me (because I have to know how all these new systems work and make sure we don't lose information in the transition).
The good news from that is that our office/warehouse order fulfillment and shipping processes have so far been mostly unaffected by the transition. That's going to change within a couple weeks as we begin training our office and warehouse teams, but we're really happy that we've been able to ship the early September and soon the late September games in the midst of what we originally thought would be a lot more transition chaos. The end result is that we anticipate no problems in shipping the five September games as planned this month, with no delays due to transition.
What we're trying to do is work most of the operational disruption into the first couple weeks of October, where we don't have any P500 shipments scheduled. Hopefully we can make the switch to new systems and a new website roughly mid-October after a few weeks of training and testing, then use the new system to ship those three late-October P500 games.
October Sale Delay. The one piece of what might be considered bad news is that we've decided that we're going to have to postpone our usual October sale to November this year. We just don't think it's realistic to install the new systems in early October and still run the sale then, when order volumes are the heaviest they get all year. So we want to add another month of experience with the new system before we tackle the sale in November. I'll get you details on the sale as we get closer to November, but I wanted you to know about the slight delay as soon as possible, as I know many of you look forward to the sale each year.
I plan to give you guys more detail on what you can expect from the new systems and what we'll need you guys to do as we get nearer to bringing the new software online. One thing I know now, as a heads-up, is that everyone will need to re-register with our new website to access your account - because we can't transfer encrypted passwords for customer accounts from our existing website - but your old account information and order history and P500 orders will still be there. We'll get you specific information on that when we have the system ready.
Turning back to games, we do have SIX new P500 additions for you this month, so I want to invite you to check them out in the P500 section later in this update. There are some really cool games and expansions in there, including a new major game in our popular Commands & Colors series. Enjoy!
Now on to the rest of the news.
Enjoy the games!
It seems the word is finally starting to get out there about what an AWESOME game experience
provides. It's gained over P500 60 orders in the past month, and now sits at 537 total orders. If this acceleration continues, we'll be talking about where and when to slot this for printing soon.
For you guys who don't know much about Cataclysm yet, check out Bill's InsideGMT article from last week. Enjoy!
The Panzer Pusher Website
For you guys who already play or are interested in learning about either of Jim Day's armor series' - Panzer or MBT, check out Fernando Sola's site that is dedicated to support of both of these games series. In addition to cool AARs and detailed content, check out the Scenarios and Maps sections for some new custom scenarios and maps for your games! Here's the site link. Enjoy!
PBEM Wilderness War Tournament
The 5th PBeM Tournament for Wilderness War will begin on or about October 28. All games will be played via ACTS and the tournament should take 18-24 months to complete. The format will be Swiss Elim with four preliminary Swiss rounds to advance eight players to elimination rounds. The details can be found at
If you wish to play, please send an email to the GM: email@example.com.
We are officially a go. You may sign up at any time by sending me an email. By 10/28 you must be a BPA member.
Online Paths of Glory Tournament
There's also an online BPA Paths of Glory tournament starting on October 1st. Check out the details in this InsideGMT Tournament Posting:
This Month in InsideGMT!
Due to end of July/early August vacations, we've only had a few InsideGMT articles since our last update. Look for more articles, starting tomorrow. Here are links to this month's 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
check out the articles, leave us your comments, and tell us what else you'd like to see us do to make
San Diego Historical Games Convention
The November San Diego Historical Games Convention (November 11-13, 2016) is now open for registration! This year brings a new venue utilizing the 5,200 square foot Shriner's Hall and sharing a parking lot with the Convention Hotel. This years special guest will be Mark Herman. Come join us in San Diego where it's 70 degrees in November!
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse Oct. 13-16
We had a great time with about 90 gamers at our most recent GMT Weekend at the Warehouse on April 21-24. Thanks to all of you who attended and made the event so much fun!
We do have dates for our Fall Weekend, so come join us on October 13-16, 2016, for our 32nd (!)
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse! 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.
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 for this time.
Here's what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- Charge and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- Project Updates
- P500 Reprint Update
- Website File Additions
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT!
Enjoy the games!
Charging and Shipping Schedule
By Monday, September 19, we will have finished shipping all the P500 orders of
On Thursday, September 22, we'll begin shipping two more:
We'll begin charging for the October games on Tuesday, September 27.
In this section, we'll be passing along updated status on a variety of projects, generally direct from the designers or developers. We have several updates this time. Before we get to those, we have one art update: here's a peek at the map for Time of Crisis:
I am thrilled by the enthusiastic response of the community: almost 400 orders in one month. During that period I have devoted efforts feeding BGG and B&T's Facebook page and launching the series of B&T Biweekly articles on InsideGMT to help players discover the game.
One thing worth communicating is that B&T's core components (board, game pieces & markers, dice) are already very close to final artwork. Meaning less production delay when it reaches 500 orders.
Final development playtest is in full swing with Barry Setser's expert team. A Vassal module is expected around the end of September. I'll announce shortly several fall and winter events where B&T will be (Carnage VT among them). Thank you to all!
Folks, We are very close to the finish line with this one, and are putting together final game art. The process is almost complete, so I thought it might be useful to make the game rules available to you. That way, if you are interested in the game, you can look them over to learn a bit more about it. I'm hosting that file on Dropbox at:
Clash of Giants, Series Rules
If you have any questions, or notice any typos or lack of clarity, please do let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I hope to make the Battle Book (containing the scenario-specific rules, set-ups, and Examples of Play) available in a similar way within the next few days.
Work continues on developing and testing the 'bot. The developer and I have agreed that the game should have one 'bot, for the FLN, as the variations on play and choices possible for the Government make the role too complex for a satisfying 'bot. I think this should not be too much of an issue, since this is a 2-player game after all.
Things have been a grind with FoF to this point, but we are drawing near the finish line. Here's where we are:
The biggest piece by far has been the new edition rules. They are very close to being ready for production. The major pass through them is almost completed. What remains after that pass is another run through that corrects very minor picks and nits that were found by our crack team.
The Player Aid Cards are also very close; in fact, at least one is already ready to go. And Charlie is doing beautiful work on all of them! We do need to layout the Helicopter Control Card and the Asset Holding Card (the prisoner rules were simplified, so there is an area on that card needed for prisoners and "guard" steps).
The counters are ready to go to print, and there are no real changes for the action and terrain cards (or for the box, except dating and edition mentions). In short, all that remains after the rules is the balance of the documentation, which includes the historical stuff and the Briefing Book (which is very near completion).
Here is an update on Gallipoli 1915:
It has been in playtest with 3 external groups since 2013, plus many games at major conventions. We just finished streamlining the game (see below) which makes it play roughly 50% faster. The play testers are double-checking this change before we declare the game "a wrap," ready for production.
After a round of play testing at the last GMT in the Warehouse Scot (the Developer) and I decided to experiment with some simplifications designed to make the game play faster by eliminating some detail:
1. Doubled the step scale from 100 men/step to 200 men/step. That means we don't need step markers anymore. Units now only have two steps, so simple "flipping" shows the reduced state. Now stacks are only half as high :-) It is amazing how much time is taken up by "tweezering."
3. Hiding is a separate marker, but it is used more rarely than step losses, so the result is a net gain.
4. Rallying from Confused is now an opportunity fire trigger and never costs an officer point (removes a lot of special rules)
5. DRM for movement is +3 for every MP, rather than +3 for the first MP and +2 thereafter (drops a line from fire DRM chart and reduces brain fatigue)
6. Dropped the DRM for firing at an enfiladed trench (rarely occurs, drops another line from fire DRM chart)
7. Dropped the extra MP for entering assault (players tended to forget this, and it now means that all movement is an Opportunity fire trigger)
8. All charts have been reorganized so that "you always want to roll low." Another reduction in mental workload.
We tested all this and it roughly halved the playing time and we did not feel that the game "lost" anything. The new version is now out with our play testing groups. This should be the last change before it is all "in the can" awaiting final artwork and a production slot. Personally I was happy to published the earlier version, but I have to admit that this version is better.
'm pleased to say that Final Production artwork is under way this month, with Charlie Kibler ably working on the Strategy Cards.
When Mark Simonitch returns from Poland, I trust that we'll move on to the final counters and mapboard.
The game has been fundamentally stable for many months now, though I've been tinkering with some aspects to enhance the feel and the gameplay. The main one has been a reorganization of the Imperium Track to better represent and capture the internal political struggles between the Romano-British factions, at least as long as some form of Roman structure persists: instead of 5 essentially sequential steps (Strong Roman Rule, Weak Roman Rule, Military Autonomy, Civilian Autonomy, Fragmentation), there are now only 3 steps (Roman Rule, Autonomy and Fragmentation) with a second dimension, (political) Dominance, existing under the first two. This creates a much more dynamic situation where the Dux and the Civitates can vie for Dominance, which grants them various boons. This not only enhances gameplay, it also allowed to streamline a couple mechanisms and create some better incentives for the Britons to fight to preserve the Empire, or at least some rump form of it (Autonomy). The downside of these changes is that we need more play testing to fine tune the new parameters, including some victory thresholds, but, as Volko put it: "Now that this is on the table, there's no way we don't include it!".
Another exciting development is the near availability of a Vassal module, courtesy of Art Bennett who updated the initial work done by Ralph Shelton nearly two years ago. It is still being debugged as you're reading this, but we hope to be able to put it in the hands of our beta testers soon, which will broaden even more their numbers and opportunities to bring us more valuable feedback. In the meantime, thanks to an excellent initiative by Art Bennett and Paul Dobbins, who did something similar for earlier COIN games in development, Volko, Art, Paul and myself are playing a Vassal PBEM game that is the subject of a running AAR in a BoardGameGeek thread (
). If you want to see in detail how Pendragon plays, ask any question you may have about the game or the history behind it, or simply enjoy the friendly banter between the four of us, have a peek!
Finally, it's too early to communicate in any substantial way on it at the moment, but work is ongoing on the specially commissioned artwork for the game event cards, and this is going to be fantastic! The reason we have had to specially commission art is that, unlike earlier COIN games, where there is either a tremendous amount of photographs around, or deal with some of the best covered events of history, we have found it very hard to find pictorial material that is both relevant to the period and historically accurate... I guess the medieval twist on the Arthurian legend is not helping...
That's it for now, thanks for your interest in the game: we're working hard to be worthy of your trust!
The development of LHY is progressing nicely. Our developer, John Alsen, has put together a great team of play testers and we're beginning to receive a lot of play feedback. Justo Perez, one of the play testers, will soon be posting a video and narrative of an example of play, providing a better feel for the game's systems. Eric Teoro, another play tester, has recently volunteered to lead the effort in editing and improving the verbiage of the rules. Jim Pyle has done a great job in creating our VASSAL module, and Rick Reinesch has been invaluable as a sounding board for the rules and systems.
We have begun working on a Do Your Own (DYO) Mission generator, which we're quite excited about. Players will be able to generate missions consisting of forces ranging from a single platoon to a Battalion. Players will have the option for a "Me" counter, allowing a player to put his or her "skin" in the game. Such a player would begin as a Squad Leader leading a specific squad in each mission. After five missions, provided the squad has survived, the player would be promoted to veteran Squad Leader and his or her squad would have better cohesion. If the squad survives another five missions, the player would be promoted to Platoon Leader, with further promotions based on additional successful missions.
In November, we will be demonstrating the game in Austin, Texas at MillenniumCon.
Note: For more information on The Last Hundred Yards, check out Mike's first InsideGMT article from earlier this week:
Okay, so we are almost done.
(1) I'm in the final week of development. I'm currently waiting on a bunch of final proofing feedback, but other than that all the art and book files will get uploaded to GMT at the weekend (17th-18th) to be sent to the printers in the near future.
(2) The currently announced release date is November. Don't ask me when in that month, I have no idea more than you do.
(3) My thoughts are turning to what comes after. First up is a free scenario supplement to be available for download as soon as the game is released.
(4) After that, we are planning the first expansion pack, which will contain some new aircraft, new scenarios and, hopefully, a campaign. With luck that will go onto pre-order before the end of the year. The expansion will expand upon Wing Leader: Victories, and feature early-war aircraft.
Note: For a deeper look at the enhancements Lee has made to the Wing Leader system in Volume 2, check out the InsideGMT article he posted yesterday:
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!
Here's the current P500 Reprint list - with current order totals and a +/- order growth since last month:
Talon: - 106 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