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I hope all is well with you, and that you're getting time to play lots of great games. I told you last month that our family has started a long campaign of Pandemic Legacy on our Thursday night game nights. The quick update is: It took us two tries to win January, but we breezed through February in one session. We are a little bruised (a few "2" cities), but still standing, and loving new challenges and assets coming our way each month. This is a really good game. Of course the best thing is we get to experience it together. I hope you're getting some great shared gaming experiences as well.
I want to begin this month's update with some extra detail about this month's new P500 addition. I hope you enjoy it!
A Terrific Strategy Game from a New Generation of Game Designers! During this past Spring's Weekend at the Warehouse, Mary and I hosted Volko at our home. He told me beforehand that "there's a game that might not be in your wheelhouse that I think you need to see." So, during the Weekend event, he gave me a private showing of Mystery Wizard, a fantasy-themed strategy game (that we're adding to our P500 list today). And he was right - I DID need to see it.
I am not going to spend a lot of time herein taking you into the details of the game, but please check out the How to Play Video or today's InsideGMT article on Mystery Wizard by Andrew Ruhnke, and you will have the gist of it in no time. Instead, I'm going to answer the questions that so many of you are asking right now. "Has Gene lost his mind?" "Why would a dyed-in-the-wool wargamer want to put a FANTASY GAME on the P500 list?" *shudder*
So, I'm quite hopeful that I can answer in the negative to the first question (time will tell). My answer to the second "why" question is multiple:
1. I trust Volko and his taste in games. He knew a great game when he saw it, and thankfully, took the time to show it to me.
2. The game has that terrific mix of easy mechanics but deep strategy and rich, even at times chaotic gameplay. And it immerses players in a great story that's different each time you play.
3. I like asymmetry in strategy games, and this one has it in spades. You can play one of eight different main (wizard) characters, and each is a completely different challenge, featuring unique capabilities demanding strategic flexibility and nuanced play.
4. The game doesn't go on forever, unlike some of the fantasy genre that aren't my cup of tea. 45-90 minutes works for me and my gaming groups.
5. It's exciting, and the excitement ramps up - with a "Get them!" feeling as in "capture the flag" when one player has a Mystery and is close to getting it to their home village. This means you'd better have a plan before you grab a Mystery, because you put a target on your back the moment you pick it up.
6. This game is the brainchild of three incredibly talented and creative designers - "20-somethings" who've spent many of their college evenings and weekends honing and shaping this game. They are friends of Andrew Ruhnke, known to GMT fans as the co-designer of Falling Sky, one of our most popular COIN series games. Andrew likes the game so much that he agreed to develop it, and has been helping the designers polish the details over the past year or so. The polish shows, folks. This game could go to the artists and printer very quickly once it hits its P500 numbers. They've done the work. Now it's our turn.
So, although Volko was accurate in saying this game "isn't exactly in our wheelhouse," at GMT our intention is to continue to publish great strategy games of all types. My intention is that this will be our first great strategy game with a fantasy theme. And it's also to build a strong team relationship with this new design team, as I am blown away by the quality of what they have created. I hope you'll like it, too. Please join me in welcoming Zachary, Aiden, and Jackson to the GMT team (and welcome again to Andrew!), and help us get Mystery Wizard published by supporting it today on P500!
October SALE!! With most of our system integration issues behind us, we're soon going to be ready to have our long-awaited sale! The issue now is finding time to actually have the sale, in between P500 shipments (which take about 10 days each to complete) and the Weekend at the Warehouse (October 11-14). What we've decided is that we're going to have the sale starting October 16, so mark your calendars! It will run for about a week. I'll send you guys an update with all the details as we get closer to that date.
The one casualty of doing the Sale mid-October is The Dark Sands. Instead of shipping it in mid-October, we have to move it back a couple of weeks to ship along with SpaceCorp and Talon1000. There's just no other shipping window that allows us to also have the sale in mid-October. I apologize for the inconvenience.
IGA Award 2018 Nominee. Congratulations to designer Brian Train and all of the Colonial Twilight Development, Testing, Art, and Production teams, as Colonial Twilight has been nominated for a 2018 International Gamer's Award as the best "General Strategy Two Player Game." In our history, we've only had about a dozen or so games nominated for this award, so this is a big honor for Brian and his teams, as well as for GMT. Nice work, everyone!
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!
GMT Games Website
GMT Facebook Page
GMT's Twitter Feed
GMT on Instagram
GMT on BoardGame Geek
GMT YouTube Channel
GMT on Consimworld
We're doing our best to segment this update so it's easier for you all to read. Here's what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- New P500 Additions and On the Horizon
- Digital Games Update
- News You Can Use
- Charge and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- Coming Events
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- Website File Additions
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games! Enjoy the games! - Gene
New P500 Additions. We have one new P500 addition this time. It's something new for us - a fantasy-themed strategy game - and very cool (see my note above).
As always, please order away, so we can get this game into the production queue as soon as possible! Thanks!
New P500 Reprint Additions. We are adding two new P500 Reprints to our list this time:
Hoplite, 2nd Printing
Washington's War, 3rd Printing
New Accessories/Update Kits:
3" Box for Time of Crisis. For the Time of Crisis, 2nd Printing, we are increasing the depth of the box to 3" so that players will have room to store the Age of Iron and Rust module inside. To accomodate players who own the first printing of Time of Crisis and would like to get a deeper box, we are offering a 3" deep box version via P500.
Update Kit for The US Civil War Rules and Player Aid Card. For you guys who've been asking us to make this available again, place your P500 order by clicking the link above. We'll ship it along with the US Civil War, 2nd Printing.
I'm always sad when we have to take a game off of the P500 list, especially when it's a game that has a lot of order support from our players. This happens rarely, but it's the case today as we remove Invierno Cubano from P500 consideration. Designer Adam Zahm and the members of the development team have put in many, many hours of work trying to get this expansion to Cuba Libre to work seamlessly and well with the base game. But getting an entirely new dynamic to work within the framework of the original game is a very difficult task - much more difficult than we anticipated, as it turns out. At the end of the day, Volko has let us know that competing demands are keeping him from dedicating the effort he would like to have made to see this expansion set to completion for publication in a timely manner. So, as of today, we are removing the expansion from P500. A few things I want to note here:
- All of us at GMT, and especially the Invierno design team, very much appreciate your support for this project via P500 orders.
- We are delighted that designer Adam Zahm intends to make his Invierno expansion available to Cuba Libre fans as free print-and-play materials, including incorporation of the improvements to the design during the development and playtest process already undertaken. Please watch for that offering from Adam on BGG!
- Dropping this single COIN expansion from P500 in no way implies any diminishment of support from GMT for the COIN Series: We have several additional volumes on the way, including three new COIN games on P500 currently.
- For those of you who had P500 orders for Invierno Cubano, those orders have been automatically deleted from our system today when we removed the expansion from our P500 list.
Here's a brief tease as to what we have lining up for P500 addition in the coming months. Note that last month's tease of "A fantasy-themed strategy game" referred to this month's addition of Mystery Wizard. Note that this is not a comprehensive list, so I'll switch these up a bit from month to month. Over the coming months, I anticipate that we will add to P500:
- A follow-on game to one of our all time top ten best-sellers
- A Cooperative game featuring the Emerald Isle
- A new game from Volko
- A new Lunchtime series game
- A new Next War series game
- A fast-playing multi-pack wargame series: theme pre-1900 warfare
Commands & Colors Ancients from HexWar Available Now! Our friends at HexWar launched the digital version of Commands & Colors: Ancients last week on Steam (for PC and Mac). Unfortunately, the release version is a little buggy, but HexWar is on it and says that they'll have a patch/update for us in the next 10 days or so. I'm sorry for the frustration for you guys who bought the release version, but you should have a much better version soon. If you don't own the game yet, I'd recommend you wait for the update to get it, but if you'd just like to jump in and get familiar with it now, here's a link:
Commands & Colors: Ancients on Steam
HexWar is wisely holding the iOS and Android launches until they've completed the Steam updates. We'll send you an email heads-up when the game goes live on iOS and Android.
Labyrinth Digital Update, from Gary Weis at Playdek.
Hello everyone, Gary from Playdek here with another update on the status of digital Labyrinth. We've made some good progress over the last month. The rules implementation is now complete. The automated player for both sides has also been implemented and we're testing single player games now. We had Trevor Bender, the designer of the Awakening expansion, pay a visit to our office in order to play through a game against the bot and double check every decision that it made, and the results were very promising. We're starting now on integrating our tutorial system and working on scripts for several guided tutorials to help new players learn the game rules. We're starting to finalize the interface layout as well, which will allow the art staff to focus their efforts on making it all look pretty.
As mentioned last month, we're quickly approaching the point where we'll be ready for a closed beta. This beta will run on PC or Mac, and we'll distribute it through the Steam platform. Since we still have plenty of work to do on the tutorials, we're looking for players who already have experience with the Labyrinth board game. The beta will support both online and offline play (you'll have to create an online account on our playtest server in order to play online). We'll be looking for plenty of feedback on the game interface, the rules implementation, and the automated players. If you are interested in participating in this beta, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your familiarity with Labyrinth and the system specs for the computer you will use to play the beta. We will be looking to select our first round of testers by the end of this month.
That’s it for now. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook @Playdek for the latest updates.
Not getting these updates via email (any more)? If you didn't get this update via email but would like to here's a quick-and-easy link to sign up for our mailing list. GMT Mailing List Sign-up. Please feel free to pass this along to friends or anyone online who might mention that they didn't get this update via email.
GMT Discord Server: We've moved our Voice Server account from Ventrillo to Discord. To access our Discord Server, do the following:
1. Go to https://discordapp.com and download the software for your operating system.
2. Once the software has been installed, go to this website to join the GMT channel: https://discord.gg/VjBFwg
If you have any trouble, please contact Joel Toppen, who manages our Discord Server.
Learn to Play Mark Herman's Churchill! I love these Harsh Rules Learn to Play videos. They do a great job of teaching the game - and I find I can be up and playing a game much more quickly than if I start with the rulebook. Here's a link to their recent video on How to Play Churchill. Enjoy!
Mission Logs and Roster Pads for Several Games. We've recently made the following Mission Logs and Roster Pads available as PDF downloads on our website.
If there are other games that have Pads or Logs that you'd like to have available as PDFs on our site, please drop me a note (email@example.com) and let me know.
Call for Playtesters for Bayonets & Tomahawks. Please contact designer Marc Rodrigue if you’d be willing to help with a last round of game balance playtests (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks!
New Italian Language Printing Partnership. GMT is pleased to announce the start of an Italian Language printing partnership with Ergo Ludo Publications in Italy. The GMT games they plan to publish in Italian include Here I Stand, Time of Crisis, and Falling Sky.
Coming This Week in InsideGMT .
Here's an update from Rachel on this week's upcoming InsideGMT articles:
Lots of great content this week on InsideGMT!
First up this week, we had another fantastic article from Death Valley developer William Byrne. The article is titled “Lincoln’s Lieutenants in the Shenandoah: A Look at Union Leaders in Death Valley” and it discusses, you guessed it, Union Leaders that are depicted in Death Valley. Be sure to check it out and keep an eye peeled for an upcoming article similarly discussing Confederate leaders depicted in the game. On Wednesday, we had an article in InsideGMT from Mark McLaughlin, Fred Schachter, and Christopher Vorder Bruegge that includes some tweaks and updates to the Gaul and Rome Civilization Displays in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea. Go forth and read it! Last on the InsideGMT schedule this week was a detailed look at gameplay for our newest P500 offering, Mystery Wizard. In this article the game’s developer, Andrew Ruhnke, takes us through a sequence of 6 turns midway through a game, broken down in-depth to illustrate the structure of a turn, how players interact and what choices they have, as well as the general flow of the gameplay. You don’t want to miss this article, so be sure and read it here. That’s all for this week’s articles, but in case you missed it, last week we published the second in John Poniske's series of after action report articles for Plains Indian Wars. This game looks very unique and fun, so you are going to want to keep up with this article series to learn more about how it plays.
I invite you to visit InsideGMT.com this week to check out the above mentioned articles (and more!) from our team of excellent InsideGMT contributors. -Rachel B
This Past Month in InsideGMT!
Here are links to this month's new InsideGMT articles:
The Last Hundred Yards: 23.0 Armor Extended Example of Play
Plains Indian Wars Turn by Turn: Setup and First Draw Round
Darkness Visible: The “Dark” System and The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944
Manoeuvre Tournament Part 7: Austrian Empire vs. Ottoman Empire
GMT’s Battles of the American Revolution Series Turns 20-Years Old! – After Action Report: WBC 2018 (Part 1)
Darkness Visible: The “Dark” System and The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 (Part Two)
Fire in the Lake Strategy Tips from ElusiveMeeple
The Evolution of Expansion or Extinction
Manoeuvre Tournament Part 8: France vs. Austrian Empire
GMT’s Battles of the American Revolution Series Turns 20-Years Old! – After Action Report: WBC 2018 (Part 2)
Nevsky: Crusade on Novgorod Replay – Part 5
Space Empires 4X: Fighters and the Joy of Sandboxing
Darkness Visible: The “Dark” System and The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 (Part Three)
Plains Indian Wars Turn by Turn: Second Draw Round
Lincoln’s Lieutenants in the Shenandoah: A Look at Union Leaders in Death Valley
The Gallic Wars from Brennus to Vercingetorix in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea
Mystery Wizard: A Detailed Look at Gameplay
As always, I invite you all 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!
Shipping. We're in the midst of shipping the first big group of COINFEST games now. We should finish that within 5-7 more days. Then, near month end, we'll ship the 2nd batch of COINFEST games. (See Production Outlook, below, for specific games). After that, we'll take a deep breath, run the Weekend at the Warehouse, then have our long-awaited SALE!
Charging. We're charging now and into early next week (one game a day) for the 2nd batch of COINFEST games and update kits that we'll ship near month's end.
A Distant Plain, 3rd Printing (5 lbs)
Andean Abyss, 2nd Printing (5 lbs)
Andean Abyss 2nd Ed. Update Kit (1 lb)
Fire in the Lake, Reprint Edition (5 lbs)
Fire in the Lake 2nd Ed. Update Kit (2 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, above.
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!
Our next charges will begin around October 15, for the late October games.
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).
Coinfest (1 of 2):
Cuba Libre, 3rd Printing **
Cuba Libre/A Distant Plain 2nd Ed. Update Kit **
Falling Sky, 2nd Printing **
Late September, 2018
Coinfest (2 of 2):
A Distant Plain, 3rd Printing **
Andean Abyss, 2nd Printing **
Andean Abyss 2nd Ed. Update Kit **
Fire in the Lake, Reprint Edition **
Fire in the Lake 2nd Ed. Update Kit **
Late October, 2018
Talon 1000 ** and Talon 1000 Replacement Counters **
The Dark Sands ** (moved back a couple weeks to facilitate our Sale)
Mass Commands & Colors Reprints:
C&C Ancients base game**
C&C Ancients Expansion #1**
C&C Ancients Expansion #2/3**
C&C Napoleonics Spanish Army Expansion**
C&C Napoleonics Russian Army Expansion**
C&C Napoleonics Austrian Army Expansion**
C&C Napoleonics Prussian Army Expansion**
Panzer Expansion 4: France 1940 **
Paths of Glory, Deluxe Edition **
SPQR Deluxe, 2nd Printing(+ Barbarian)**
Time of Crisis, 2nd Printing (Done, Awaiting Age of Iron & Rust to Print)
The Age of Iron & Rust (ToC Expansion)
Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea (still proofing)
Ardennes '44, Reprint Edition (to printer Oct)
A Time for Trumpets (to printer Oct/Nov)
Bayonets & Tomahawks (to printer Nov)
Combat Commander: Europe, 4th Printing
Commands & Colors: Medieval (to printer Oct/Nov)
Empire of the Sun, 3rd Printing
Fields of Fire Volume II - With the Old Breed (to printer Dec)
Labyrinth, 4th Printing
Silent Victory (To printer late October)
Space Empires Close Encounters, 2nd Printing
The Hunted (To printer late October)
The Hunters, 3rd Printing (To printer late October)
The Last Hundred Yards (possibly by late 2018)
Later in 2019
All Bridges Burning
Barbarossa, Army Group Center, 2nd Edition
Bear's Claw: 1941
Cataphract, 2nd Printing
Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah
Musket & Pike Dual Pack
Navajo Wars, Reprint Edition
Next War: Korea, Reprint Edition
The Battle for Sicily
The Battle of Rhode Island
The Russian Campaign: Designer Signature Ed.
The Seven Years War: Frederick's Gamble
Fall 2018 GMT Weekend at the Warehouse - October 11-14 2018
Come join us in October for 3 1/2 days of gaming fun! For those new to the event, this is mostly an open gaming event, although we do have tournaments from time to time. We expect about 125 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.
Spring '19 Update: For those of you planning for next Spring, the dates for the Spring '19 Weekend at the Warehouse will be April 25-28, 2019.
San Diego Historical Games Convention - November 9-11, 2018
Harold Buchanan is hosting the 4th Annual San Diego Historical Games Convention this coming November 9-11 The venue is the Handlery Hotel San Diego 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108
The Theme for this year's Con will be "The Cold 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 guests will be Ananda Gupta, Jason Matthews and John Butterfield. So come meet the designers 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 .
Here's a peek at the (near-final) game map for All Bridges Burning, from Chechu Nieto:
Update from Designer Vesa Arponen: "Design-wise All Bridges Burning has been finished for a while now. However, with open slots in the calendar of GMT artists, we got very lucky and Chechu Nieto was assigned to draw up the map for ABB. We all know Chechu's brilliant work from a host of GMT Games titles, not the least from previous COIN Series volumes, and his map for ABB is no exception. Absolutely gorgeous work, Chechu! Thank You!
Here's a look at the new Playtest Map for Ted Raicer's The Dark Summer (map by Chad Jensen).
Bayonets & Tomahawks - Designer Marc Rodrigue
I symbolically set last Thursday September 13th for the transfer of B&T from the design team to GMT Games. 259 years ago on the same day (happened to be a Thursday also!) the Battle of Quebec took place, its outcome deeply affecting the lives of Indian nations, English and French inhabitants of North America. I find it proper that my game about that period comes on the other side of the hill that very day, after nearly 4 years of dedicated work (2 with GMT’s excellent people). So watch for the latest up to date components on B&T's P500 page. And please give us a shout as we are looking for testers for a last round of game balance play tests (email@example.com). A print and play version will be available next week. Best! - Marc
Fields of Despair, 2nd Printing - Designer Kurt Keckley
Three Moves Ahead recently did a podcast covering three games on WWI in which they had high praise for Fields of Despair. I encourage anyone interested in WWI gaming to give it a listen especially if you are on the fence about adding a P500 pre-order. Just click the link in the first sentence.
Several people contacted me recently wondering when Fields of Despair will be back in print. Well, I am currently in the process of adding the errata to the original rulebook so it is ready for the 2nd print run. Once we get momentum on the P500 orders and the 2nd printing will be good to go. If anyone is considering an order, now would be a great time! - Kurt
Panzer Expansion 4 and MBT 4CMBG Expansion - Designer Jim Day
Panzer Expansion 4: France 1940. It is now at the printers. This expansion includes the exciting new solitaire and leader rules. Leader counters are also included for the Soviets. British, and US forces.
MBT 4CMBG Expansion. This expansion is now in final development. All of the art and research material is in hand. We are also looking into the possibility of adapting the new solitaire rules from the Panzer system to MBT.
Canadian Leopard C1 Data Card
SpaceCorp - Designer John Butterfield
With SpaceCorp on its way back from the printers, I wanted to say a bit about the visual production of the game, specifically the fantastic art and graphics. We were fortunate to work with two talented illustrators.
Kurt Miller illustrated the outer space environments on all three game boards. He also created the images on half of the 165 cards. Here are two:
Douglas Shrock (goes by Shrox) created the art for all the other cards – those dealing with propulsion technology and spacecraft design. Shrox also did the game box illustration, used by Rodger MacGowan in his design of the box graphics. Two Shrox cards:
Mark Simonitch developed and executed the overall graphic systems for the game boards and cards, incorporating all the art work created by Kurt and Shrox. All of this work followed initial layouts created by Chad Jensen. The game’s counters were a joint effort between Chad and Mark. Chad executed the final layouts and graphics for all the rules and play aids.
I couldn’t have asked for a more creative and professional team for SpaceCorp! The end result is a beautiful, crisp package that puts clarity and playability first. I hope you enjoy it. - John
Wing Leader: Eagles - designer Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
Wing Leader: Eagles is in the final stages of testing. This expansion has significantly more scenarios than Blitz and delivers some real bang for buck, but has required more effort in testing both the campaign and scenarios. We should be ready to go either late this year (or early next), before moving on to the third expansion. - Lee
Please see our RECENT ADDITIONS section of our website (bottom left of page) for a detailed list of new game support files, by the dates they were added.