October 19, 2017 Update from GMT Games

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Hi everyone!

The big happening at our offices of late was our Fall Weekend at the Warehouse a couple weeks ago. We had about 100 attendees, and TONS of gaming fun. As always, I really enjoyed the interaction with old and new friends, and can't wait to see a bunch of you again in April!

It was great to have Ananda Gupta with us for his first ever Weekend at the Warehouse. I got to play a playtest copy of Imperial Struggle with Ananda and (after a "wait, this is quite a different beast than Twilight Struggle" moment) thoroughly enjoyed it. It's really strategic and challenging, with agonizing choices. I think you are going to really like it!

Photo Credit: Tim Porter

Having several bloggers in attendance was an excellent addition to the Weekend, and getting to know and do an interview with "Meeple Lady" was great!  Here's a link to MeepleLady's blog and podcast about the weekend, including an audio interview with me.   

We've established dates for our 35th Weekend in April: April 26-29, 2018. I hope many of you will come join us for a fun weekend of gaming!

Bloggers and Online Content Creators

There is a strong and growing group of online content creators who do a great job of promoting boardgames, reviewing them, helping us learn how to play them, and teaching strategy, all while contributing greatly to the growing online gaming community. I love that this aspect of gaming is really talking off, and wanted to give a few of my favorites a shout out, so those of you who don't already know of them can enjoy them, too. 

Although this is by no means an extensive list, I want to take a minute to point out a few content creators who spend some of their time playing, reviewing, or supporting GMT games, and who I think are really good at what they do. Check them out, or follow them on Twitter or Instagram, for some enjoyable and enlightening content. 

Please n ote, too, that there are several more who I've not listed here but whose content appears later in this update, in instances where I wanted to point out particular articles or videos that you may find helpful.

Broadening Content in InsideGMT

Rachel and I have focused the majority of the InsideGMT content over the past few years on helping designers get detailed information out about their P500 games. We're really happy with how this is working out, as it lets players get very specific information about games yet unseen and also drives P500 numbers higher, which helps designers get their games published more quickly. The classic "win-win." We intend to continue with this approach, and encourage any designer or developer who wants to help generate interest for their upcoming games to use this effective communication platform.

As InsideGMT continues to grow and evolve as our main online content-creation and presentation tool, we want to expand our focus to get our customers more information about existing games: Strategy articles, AAR walkthroughs, new scenarios, solo variants, etc. To facilitate this, we're going to open up  InsideGMT to creators and writers who aren't part of our design and development teams. We've done this in small doses in the past (like Stuka Joe's solo article or The Player's Aid guest blogs), but we're going to be expanding this type of coverage over the coming year.

So, if you are a blogger, poster, or online content creator and you'd like to get some exposure for your blog while also helping us broaden our coverage of GMT games that are already published, please drop us a line. We'd love to work with you to create a "win-win" to promote you and your content online. Or if you're someone who typically posts your game thoughts or game replays to BGG or elsewhere and you'd like to get exposure in InsideGMT, check in with us about win-win opportunities for ALSO placing your content in InsideGMT (We don't have any "exclusive content" clauses at InsideGMT; we'll be happy to post your content non-exclusively and provide links to your other work online.). I guess the point is we just want to get more great content in front of our customers, and we're happy to reciprocate with links, brand exposure, free games, etc - whatever helps you out while also helping us.

If you're interested in getting involved with the InsideGMT team, please contact Rachel via email, and let her know what games you like and how we can help you while you help us. Thanks!

Quick Update on the Systems Transition

We'll be configuring our new (bigger, better, etc) server over the coming week or two. Then we'll move all of the dev code over to that server and test there, probably for about a month, before we take it all live. So, hopefully, within 6 weeks or so, we'll be live with a new website, new server, and new backend processing that will provide big improvements to our ordering, processing, and tracking capabilities.

The question I get often online is "when will you have another sale?" I'm still not in a position to give you an absolute date (we want the new software up and running for a month or so before we subject it to the throughput volumes that are generally created by our sales), but if all goes as expected and we have the new systems running in December, I think mid-late January would be possible for timing for the sale. I'll keep you guys updated monthly now as we're getting closer to going live with the new systems, so you know what to plan for and expect, sale-wise.

"Next War: Poland, Oh My!"

On the "what Gene was doing when he probably should have been working on Mr. President" front, I got an advance copy of Next War: Poland this past week, and couldn't resist immediately opening it and setting up Scenario 1, just to check out the new units and terrain and special rules presented in this volume of the series. As you might imagine, I couldn't stop at just looking - playing soon commenced! All I can say is "MAN, this is fun!" I can't help it, I'm still a sucker for good theatre-level wargames, and Mitch and his team did a great job with this one! Here are a couple pics to give you a sense of what it looks like (thank you Mark Simonitch and Charlie Kibler for the beautiful maps and counters!), from Scenario 1: The Suwalki Gap.

The Suwalki Gap scenario includes the Gap itself (map above) and the area around Bialystok (map below). It portrays the first few turns of a potential conflict within this limited map area, and uses only a few units with the Standard Game rules. So it's an excellent scenario for either those wanting to learn the system or players just looking to brush up on the rules and dive right into the situation in Eastern Europe.

We'll plan to start shipping Next War: Poland to P500 customers on October 26. If you don't have a P500 order in yet but want one, you still have about a week to get the P500 price.

New P500 Addition 

We occasionally get opportunities to do new GMT versions of popular games that have been out of print for some time. We got such an opportunity recently, when designer Ted Raicer asked us if we'd like to do a GMT version of his very popular 1918: Storm in the West design (originally published in Command Magazine about 25 years ago). It took Tony and I all of 5 seconds to agree, thinking not only of how much we like the design, but also of what Mark Simonitch and Charlie Kibler could do to make those maps and counters gorgeous! 

So we're very pleased to be adding this new GMT version of 1918/1919: Storm in the West  to our P500 list. I think it's one of the most exciting of Ted's WWI games, as it's more mobile, dealing with German shock troops, Allied Tanks, and the fluidity of the West Front battlefields in the last 9 months of the Great War. Adding the hypothetical 1919 battles, with the Germans fortified but the Allies possessing massive offensive firepower, adds another intriguing and challenging aspect to the game experience while adding value to the overall package.

I hope you will share our excitement in our opportunity to breathe some new life into one of Ted's best designs and bring a beautiful new GMT version of this hex-and-counter classic to your game tables!

For more information or to order, please click the image or link below for the game's P500 page.

P500 Reprint Addition

I've added one item to the P500 Reprint List this month. It's:


This is an important (and big!) expansion for the Panzer series, so we'd like to get it back in stock as soon as possible.

So please, if you'd like a new version of this Panzer Expansion, or any of out other P500 Reprints (see a full list in the P500 Reprint section near the bottom of this update), please place a P500 order soon so we can get these back in stock. Thanks!

More 18xx Games for GMT?

A bunch of you have asked us on social media about whether we plan to do any more 18xx games. The answer is a DEFINITE "Yes!" We feel like the GMT version of 1846 has been very successful, both in terms of profit to GMT and in terms of getting a quality 18xx game out to gamers with high-quality components at a good price point. So, especially given what seems to be pretty solid demand from the 18xx community for us to do more, we're up for it!

The trick is to find which game(s) we want to do next. Andy Lewis is on that for us, as he's been examining several 18xx possibilities and talking with the games' designers. One thing I want to say here is that we're going to be open long-term to looking at a lot of different 18xx games, so please don't make assumptions that a certain game is "next for GMT" just because you see us playing or testing it at a convention. Hopefully, if the response to our next 18xx title is as good as what we saw with 1846, there'll be plenty of room in the line for us to do a bunch of 18xx titles in the coming years.

As for the next game, what I can tell you right now is that, assuming all goes well with Andy's final conversations and working out final details with the designer, we'll be able to add a new 18xx game to our P500 list sometime in the coming two months, with one more to follow on the P500 later in the first quarter of 2018. I can also say that the first game up will be a GMT version reprint of a popular game, like we did with 1846.

Digital Game Update

I have another Dev Diary for  Commands & Colors Ancients digital update this month, from our friends at HexWar. This one's on how they're creating and enhancing terrain and environment in the game:

Dev Diary 3


The aim in recent development has been to bring the setting of each battle to life. We need to make sure we have all the tools needed to develop the scenarios, and that all the assets going into the environment both look great and perform well across each platform. We have also been working on the terrain rules and scenario special rules.

We have added some environment details by including trees and rocks scattered about the battlefield. Each of the trees is animated to give the terrain some life and draw the player into the setting and current battlefield. This is actually quite challenging to implement. The CPU is quite sensitive to the number of animated objects on screen at once. However new engine features in Unity allow the trees to be drawn with less processing using GPU instancing. This process makes use of more modern graphics cards and moves the heavy work for animating and drawing these objects from the CPU to the GPU.

The shape of the terrain itself is generated from a heightmap which can be modified in the level editor. Terrain features such as hills and rivers are selected from a texture atlas. The stamp is then placed on the heightmap in the correct position. We then take this heightmap and deform the terrain mesh in the shader.

The deformed terrain is a challenge for the user interface to work with, as the game requires we can click and select a hex very accurately. Each individual soldier must also interact with the heightmap for their movement over the new terrain to be believable. To achieve both of these goals we create a collision mesh and a navigation mesh for each scenario. The collision mesh accurately matches the terrain and can capture the clicks or touches from the user. The navigation mesh is used by each soldier to plan a path to walk over the terrain. This makes each battlefield a believable world to interact with. The player issues orders onto the battlefield and then each individual soldier will follow those orders.

Terrain doesn't just look great, it has to have the right rules to have impact on the gameplay. For example some tiles may be impassible, or may affect the number of combat dice that are rolled. Having a digital version of the game is great because the computer can handle the combat calculations and enforce the rules correctly. The next step is to communicate each of these rules clearly in the interface, this is especially helpful for new players to the game trying to get a handle on the game rules.

In the future we will be showing off the user interface. For now, here's a sneak peek!

Fields of Fire, 2nd Edition Video WalkThrough, by GimpyGamer

Gimpy Gamer has just released an excellent video walkthrough of Fields of Fire, 2nd Edition. It's about 45 minutes total, and gives a very well thought-out guide to what the game is and how to get into it, if you're new to the game. Check it out! Here's the link:

New VASSAL Modules Available

Quite a few of you have been asking online when we'll have a VASSAL module for Illusions of Glory. Thanks to Joel Toppen, who does an amazing job creating VASSAL modules for many of our games, the Illusions of Glory module is available now. Here's the link:

Joel has also recently finished his new VASSAL module for 1960: The Making of the President. Here's a link to that module:

I hope these new modules will enhance your gaming experience and allow you to share your love of our games with many friends and fellow gamers around the world.

Time of Crisis Playthrough and Teaching Video from Heavy Cardboard

The good folks at Heavy Cardboard are well-known online for producing excellent teaching videos for boardgames. They've recently done a very nice teaching video for Time of Crisis! Be forewarned; these are long videos, but they are just outstanding for learning the games. As you have time, if you'd like to really learn the ins and outs of Time of Crisis, check this out:

Medieval Reprint?

Our friends at HGN Games (Ralph Shelton, Jeff Newell, Pete Gade) have launched a Kickstarter campaign to get our old GMT Classic 'Medieval' reprinted.  We love the enhancements and hope you will support them.

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  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!

San Diego Historical Games Convention - November 10-12, 2017

Harold Buchanan is hosting the 3rd Annual San Diego Historical Games Convention this coming November 10-12.  The venue is again the 5,200 square foot Shriner's Hall in sunny San Diego, CA.   The Theme for this year's Con will be The Great War. As usual, there'll be many scheduled events and plenty of room and time for open gaming.

As if three days of gaming in a terrific venue isn't cool enough, this year's special guest will be Volko Ruhnke. So come meet Volko and join us for a ton of gaming fun in San Diego - where it's 70 degrees in November!  Registration is limited to 150 gamers, so reserve your spot soon. For more information and to register for the event, please visit the convention website .

For those of you looking to participate in specific games or pre-release demos, please check the convention schedule. Of particular GMT relevance are:
I encourage you guys to come out to San Diego in November and play some games with us!

Spring 2018 GMT Weekend at the Warehouse - April 26-29, 2018
After a another terrific Fall weekend just a couple weeks ago (thanks to all of you who attended!), 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. 
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!

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!
Charging and Shipping Schedule

We are currently shipping the following four P500 items. We hope to be finished by early next week:

Our next P500 shipment will begin October 26, for:

We will begin charging on Nov. 1 for the three mid- November P500 releases:
Pendragon (5 lbs.)
Welcome to Centerville (4 lbs.)
Wild Blue Yonder (4 lbs.)

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).

Shipping Now

October 26, 2017

Mid-November, 2017
Pendragon **

December, 2017

1st Quarter, 2018
We have one new P500 addition this time, Ted Raicer's 1918/1919: Storm in the West, an operational/strategic late-WWI game.    For more info about it, or to order, just click the banner or link below to go to the P500 page. 

Recent P500 Additions:

4CMBG: MBT Expansion #3:  268 Orders to Date

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

Plains Indian Wars: 202 Orders to Date

The Battle of Rhode Island   (Volume IX in our BoAR Series): 494 Orders to Date

Apocalypse Road:  367 Orders to Date

Grand Prix Track Pack: 228 Orders to Date

Musket & Pike Dual Pack:  630 Orders to Date

Golden Gate Park: 217  Orders to Date
Project Updates and Sample Art
Sneak Peeks: H ere is some sample art for Space Empires: Replicators and Battles of the Warrior Queen, courtesy of Mark Simonitch:

Design Updates: 

FRG & BAOR - Designer James Day

Playtesting for both expansions wrapped up the end of September. The playtest team provided great suggestions, edits, and feedback that will be incorporated into the final products. The team really enjoyed the scenarios that include the four new objectives: the airfield, storage tank farm, power generation facility, and supply depot.

The next step is to submit all of the game components -- counter sheets, map boards, data cards, and playbooks -- for  final layout and production. - Jim

Imperial Struggle - Designer Ananda Gupta

I mperial Struggle made an appearance at GMT's Weekend at the Warehouse in October, and it was a success! I was able to play three test games, one with Gene and two more with other players. It was especially fun to see Ken Tee play, since he'd played an earlier prototype three years ago at WBC; and to see Tim Porter take the British side (he said he'd be happy with either, but I saw his expression when I pushed the French pieces in his direction!). The general reaction from folks who played and saw it seemed to be that it wasn't quite what they were expecting, since it has a lot of differences from Twilight Struggle, but that it was a lot of fun and the surprise was a pleasant one. Check out Tim's photos on Boardgamegeek.com if you don't mind seeing some of my terrible playtest art.

Overall the game is in great shape and I am working hard on getting the rules up to date and writing the Playbook. I'm also tweaking the war outputs and looking at ways to simplify some of the special powers. Then it'll be some more balance testing, and we'll be off to the races ( hors de la course!).

Imperial Struggle and I will be at Harold Buchanan's November event in San Diego, and I look forward to meeting some more of you there, and getting more impressions and feedback!  - Ananda


Under the Southern Cross designer Steve Paul and Stephen Welch (designer of "Chandragupta") recently completed a playthrough on Consimworld which provides an excellent example of the new mechanics this volume introduces to the "Flying Colors" series. In the Battle of Cruces, a Peruvian fleet raids upriver toward a smaller Columbian gunboat squadron sheltering under powerful shore batteries. To reach the enemy, the Peruvians must first cross a formidable chain barrier, at which point they are faced with a difficult choice: storm the batteries or focus on attacking the enemy's ships. "I very much enjoyed playing the Cruces scenario," Steve W. noted. "It's actually quite tense, with the effort to break thorough the chain while under the potentially withering shore-battery fire." The playthrough starts here: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd08b2f/5310

The game will soon be entering another round of playtesting. New playtesters are more than welcome, as different sets of eyes will be extremely useful at this stage in development. If interested, drop us a line on the "Flying Colors" message board on Consimworld or send a BGG geekmail to user "LaggingEdge".

The attacking Peruvian fleet (in red) breaks through the northern end of the chain barrier under heavy battery fire. Overwhelmed, a lone defender strikes her colors -- while the Columbian admiral rushes reinforcements in a desperate attempt to contain the enemy.  

Wing Leader: Blitz and Beyond - Designer Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (via Consimworld) 

What's coming next on Wing Leader

T he final files for Wing Leader: Blitz  went off to GMT at the end of August, so I've been busy working on the second expansion,  Wing Leader: Eagles

It's too early for this to go on P500, though I'd like to submit this for pre-order before the end of the year. Right now, we are focused on defining the content for the expansion. This means: 

(1)   New Scenarios.  We are in the process of building scenarios based on the late war theme. Just as  Wing Leader: Blitz  extended the early-war volume of the game, the second expansion extends  Wing Leader: Supremacy . I already have fourteen candidate scenarios and we're working on more. 

The new scenarios include some interesting fights, such as:
  • the intercept of Ju 52 supply transports over the Med; 
  • low-level He 177s on tank-busting raids (yes, such a thing was tried!); 
  • the desperate Schlachtflieger attacks on the Oder river crossings;
  • Finnish Bf 109s over Tali-Ihantala; 
  • Coastal Command Mosquitos raiding Gossen airfield with Polish Mustangs flying shotgun; 
  • Me 163 rocket planes against B-17s; 
  • the low-level B-29 raids that knocked out the Nakajima engine works. . . 
  • and many more. 
(2)  New Aircraft.  Out of the scenarios we are defining what aircraft are going in the new package. We have a pretty good idea of around 90% of the aircraft content now. We just have to lock down the remainder. A provisional list looks something like this: 

Ju 52/m3
Hs 129B-1
Me 163B-1
He 177A-5
Me 210A-1 


Firefly F Mk.I
Barracuda Mk.II
Mosquito FB Mk.VI/FB Mk.VIII 


C-47 Skytrain
Wildcat FM-2/Martlet Mk.VI

B 17B
B 18A
J 22 

(3)  New Campaign.  Gordon Christie is working on a new campaign game for the expansion, which will focus on the last great air raids against Rabaul. This will give us the opportunity to play out some large USAAF raids against the Japanese, and I'm interested to see what Gordon delivers. 

Once we start locking down all these parts, I'll have a better idea of the scope of the expansion and can begin talking to the muckamucks at GMT about pricing the product for P500. 

More when I have it. - Lee

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. Note that we've added one new item - Panzer Expansion #1 -  this 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  - 735 Orders (+52)
The Hunters 3rd Printing - 718 Orders (+15)
Barbarossa: AGN  - 709 Orders (+9)
Ardennes '44 - 616 Orders (+28)
Barbarossa: AGS - 543 Orders (+14)
Cataphract - 498 Orders (+10)
Barbarossa: AG Center 2nd Ed.- 497 Orders (+15)
Andean Abyss - 488 Orders (+18)
SPQR Dlx.  - 479 Orders (+14)
Navajo Wars - 398 Orders (+11)
Next War: Korea - 335 Orders (+9)
Dominant Species, 5th Printing:  314 Orders (+66)
Combat Commander: Pacific - 300 Orders (+5)
Falling Sky, 2nd Printing: 280 Orders (+14)
Red Winter - 256 Orders (+4)
This Accursed Civil War - 252 Orders (-2)
1989 - 228 Orders (+4) 
Cuba Libre, 3rd Printing: 167 Orders (+19)
Combat Comm. BP 4: New Guinea: - 154 Orders (+13)
Roads to Leningrad 2nd Ed.  - 147 Orders (-1)
France '40, 2nd Printing: 142 Orders (+22)
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:

P500 Sneak Peeks:

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

E-mail: gmtoffice@gmtgames.com