Along with quite a few of our designers, I attended Harold Buchanan's excellent 3rd Annual San Diego Historical Game Convention this past Veteran's Day Weekend. The weather was great, the gaming was fast and furious (including Mark Herman doing his best Bobby Fischer imitation by playing NINE simultaneous games of South Pacific!), and I had a blast hanging out over games with old friends and meeting new ones.
Below is a photo of dinner the night before the convention with Mark , Volko, Harold, and I with our wives. The longer I do this, the more I appreciate these occasional weekend conventions where I get to spend some face-to-face time with GMT team members who have become, over the years, my good friends.
I spent the majority of my time at the convention demoing the latest version of
. I've added a more detailed update on that in the Designer Updates section below.
Photo by Volko Ruhnke
For more details on the gaming action at the convention, plus a lot of pictures and news about new or upcoming GMT Games (including Volko's latest creation), check out this
San Diego Historical Game Convention Recap
that Maurice Fitzgerald created for his MOESGAMETABLE.COM.
I'm not sure yet of the exact dates of this wonderful convention in Fall 2018, but I encourage you to keep an eye out and make time to attend if you can. It's a winner!
One last set of images before I get into the bulk of the GMT News. These are from a group of avid Estonian gamers who played
Here I Stand
in costume a few weeks back to celebrate the 500th anniversary of The Reformation. To see more cool pictures of their event,
check out their Facebook page
. That looks like tons of fun!
Delay to December 10 on Pendragon
I'll lead with the bad news. Unfortunately, we've had a unexpected short-term delay on shipping for
that is going to cost us a few weeks. We now expect that we will have the game packed and ready to ship in time to go out along with the rest of our December 10 P500 shipments. Very sorry for the delay on this one.
The other two games in our late November shipment,
Welcome to Centerville
Wild Blue Yonder
, will still ship as planned, beginning November 27, right after our Thanksgiving holiday break.
New P500 Additions
We have several games that are ready to add to the P500 list now, but I've decided that I'm going to hold off any new P500 additions for at least a month, and maybe until January and beyond, so that we can focus on testing, training, and working any kinks out of our new operational systems and website during the remainder of 2017.
The good news is that we're going to see quite a few cool new P500 additions in early 2018, including two new COIN series games and two 18xx games, as well as new games and/or modules from Mark Herman, Volko Ruhnke, Ben Hull, David Fox, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, Harold Buchanan, Jeff Horger, and probably a couple others. It's going to be a busy (and awesome!) start to 2018!
New P500 Reprint Additions
We've had really excellent feedback and solid P500 orders for the recent Deluxe Reprint Editions we've added to P500 for
The Dark Valley
Paths of Glory
. So today we're adding two more Deluxe Edition Reprints to our P500 list:
Because we're doing so much updating to
Wing Leader Victories (mostly to bring it current with
WL: Supremacy), we're also offering an update kit for first edition owners.
You'll find more details of what's in these new versions at the top of each game's P500 page, so click the images or links above for more information.
From the Mailbag: "Are you planning to do any more Tri-Packs like you did for the AmRev series?
We would indeed like to do more multi-packs, as they are an efficient way for us to get multiple older games in a popular series back in stock. We've already this year added a Musket & Pike Dual Pack to P500, and it has 640 P500 orders already, so it seems like our customers are very supportive of this approach. As long as that remains true, and we continue to get excellent P500 support for the multi-pack games, we'll keep looking for ways to offer them.
Here are a few that we're considering now:
- A Men of Iron Series Muti-Pack. With the first three games in the series out of stock and a new series game (Arquebus) recently released, a Tri-Pack for this one seems to make a lot of sense.
- A monster Tri-Pack for the GBACW series. Three Days of Gettysburg, River of Death, and Red Badge of Courage have all been out of stock for a long time. This one would take a significant amount of work - probably from series developer John Alsen - to get everything up to current series standards, so we will have to make sure that John would be up for it before we would commit to this one. But I think it would be cool if we could swing it.
- A dual pack for Clash of Giants I and II. These have both been out of stock for a while, and we had a new game in the series (Clash of Giants, Civil War) come out last year, so this seems like it might be a workable possibility.
Please feel free to let us know what you think of these possibilities on social media, CSW, or BGG. We'd love to hear from you.
Broadening Content in InsideGMT
I wrote last month about how Rachel and I are committed to broadening the content of InsideGMT to include more articles on games that have already been released, to go along with content that has been generally focused on helping designers get detailed information out about their P500 games. I also put out a call to bloggers and other writers and video-creators who would like to help us in this endeavor.
Well, we got an excellent response to that call from about a dozen very talented individuals. Rachel has been working with them to coordinate content and article plans, and we are already beginning to see some of their articles in
Thanks to these volunteers, four of our twelve InsideGMT articles since our last update were for in-stock games. Rachel has quite a few more planned, but for now I just want to publicly thank the two guys who worked with us to publish
InsideGMT content this month:
If you're interested in getting involved with the InsideGMT team, please contact
via email, and let her know what games you like and how we can help promote you while you help us create more and better content to enrich our gaming community. Thanks!
Update on the Systems Transition
Last month I noted that we planned to acquire and begin configuring and testing a new (bigger, faster, etc) server. Well, we've done that, and have now moved all the dev code for the new website over to the new server so we can test it. As I mentioned last time, we're looking at about another month to test, connect to the backend processes, etc. At this point, although this might change if we run into any big obstacles as we test the code, we're looking to test and tweak for the coming month, then take the new website live shortly after Christmas (when site traffic is traditionally lower).
We'll continue to add both warehouse and online features that make us better and more efficient in various ways over the months after we take the new server and website live, but that's the big hurdle at this point. Once we get past that, it should all get easier, and we'll have both a more robust server to handle increased site traffic and better order tracking software to automate notifications and order processing. Once that's all working smoothly, we'll be ready to have a new sale!
Michael Gustavsson is looking for an experienced gamer/tester/developer to help him as the official Developer for Crusader: North Africa, 1941, Voume 4 in the Fast Action Battles (FAB) series. If you're interested in helping Michael test and develop this game, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'll put you in touch with Michael and the FAB test team. Thanks in advance for your help!
Last Chance for Medieval Reprint
There are just a few days left in the Kickstarter campaign to create a new version of
Medieval from our friends at HGN Games (Ralph Shelton, Jeff Newell, Pete Gade). If you want to support them and get a beautiful, reimagined copy of a really fun game, click the link below for more details and to back the project.
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:
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
check out the articles, leave us your comments, and tell us what else you'd like to see us do to make
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.
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.
Keep up with GMT O
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
We are currently shipping the following two P500 items. We should be finished by the end of business today:
We've decided not to try and start shipping the next games until after Thanksgiving (the office and warehouse are only working a full day tomorrow and then a half day on Wednesday). So we'll begin shipping our next batch of the following games on Monday, November 27:
Our final P500 shipment of the year will begin about two weeks later, on December 10. It will include the following:
We will begin charging on December 1 for the three new Dec 10 P500 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).
November 27, 2017
1st Quarter, 2018
Project Updates and Sample Art
Sneak Peeks: H
ere is some sample art for upcoming games, courtesy of Mark Simonitch:
Countersheets 2 and 3 for BAOR:
(click for higher-res image)
I've managed to carve out quite a bit of Mr. President design time over the past few weeks, including an ongoing playtest of the game at Harold Buchanan's November San Diego Historical Games Convention over Veteran's Day Weekend. The feedback from the players there was universally very positive, and I am very pleased with the level of engagement and immersion in the storyline that our testing there achieved. I want to say a big "thank you" to all of you who sat in on the demos at the convention and gave me such outstanding feedback and suggestions. The game will be better because of your input.
As you might imagine, I came home from the convention with a lot of satisfaction with the parts of the game that I felt went really well, and also with a list of "things to work on."
At the top of that list right now is creating both more detail and more definition about the various consequences and game effects that surround wars. I've done a pass on Civil Wars already, and am very happy with progress there. But I'm still working on larger conflicts, and am currently creating several detailed "alternate ending" storylines for each potential major conflict in the game. This is a big challenge, but it's going to make the game even more unpredictable and the storylines even more engaging.
Here's my short list of progress and needed improvements I've identified over the past few weeks of heavy testing:
Areas of progress:
- I've finished the "Results of Passed Legislation" tables, and they are working very well.
- The Greater Society Tracks really give the player some positive proactive options as well as game rewards. These still need a bit of tweaking on the rewards side, but the process is solid now.
- I've added tracking for Russia's and China's Relations with the US that both enables and constrains certain game actions. This is a big piece, and it adds a lot of interest and tense choices to the game.
- I've reworked a few of the "Auto-Loss when US Allies and either Russia or China fight" processes so that the game is not always assuming escalation and auto loss when you allow direct conflict with one or the other. Now the game looks at your relative strengths with Russia and China in the 7 Strategic Capabilities to come up with "win, loss, or attritional stalemate" types of results where some of the results are auto-win or auto-loss, but most keep the game going with some benefit to the victor. But as President, you still really have to watch your Strategic Capabilities. If you start losing the arms race with Russia or China, you put yourself in danger of an auto-loss when conflict arises. I like the increased focus on your comparative Strategic Capabilities that this update provides.
Areas to Improve:
- Wars (as above).
- 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.
- 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 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 made a lot of improvement on the processes and cycles that involve Unstable States, Civil Wars, Civil War Ceasefires, and Rogue State creations. These are working well now, but I want to work on putting a few more "surprises" in there for the players.
Here are a couple pics from last week's in-house playtest. Note that most of the components (but not the world game map) are my playtest art, not final graphics.
Our Mr President Game is almost 2 years in (round 4). We finally dug the Rogue State out of the Middle East - remnants scattered as smaller terror groups. We moved most units home or to C/S Asia (where another Rogue looms) just in time for Israel and Hezbollah to go to war! Ugh!
Halfway across the world and much closer to home, we were stunned when the cartels banded together, controlling territory, economy, and government, to create a Rogue State amidst the instability in Central America! Because we really needed one more problem....
That's about it for this time. Check out my recent updates on social media for more information, and keep an eye out for a few more InsideGMT updates in December.
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!
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!
Your Friends at GMT Games
Toll Free Order and Support Line: 800-523-6111