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I hope that all is well with each of you! I hope that your New Year is off to a good start and that, amidst this weird pandemic world we live in right now, you’re managing to get some time to relax and play a few games.
Well, the good news from GMT HQ here in Hanford is that we’re still open! California is still not all that great, virus-wise, but there has been no further tightening of lockdowns, so we march on in hopes that we’ll all be able to get back to more normalcy in our lives in 2021.
I for one really miss seeing many of you at various game conventions and especially miss hosting the Weekends at the Warehouse here each April and October. Speaking of that, we’re definitely not going to have the April Weekend this year, but we are still hopeful that we will be able to host a Weekend in October. As we get a few more months into vaccine distribution, we should have a better sense of what we can expect in the 2nd half of the year. I’ll plan to announce intentions for October by at least May, so that those of you who want to attend can make travel plans.
We had a pretty quiet holiday season here at GMT, with most of our employees and creative team members taking some time off to rest, refresh, and spend time with loved ones where possible. The office/warehouse is ramped back up now, and we began P500 shipping today for both Dominant Species: Marine and Imperial Struggle, 2nd Printing. Design, Development, Art, and Production teams are pretty much all back to work now. We're excited to introduce three new P500 items today, and we have a full pipeline of cool games going up on P500 over the next few months. The Production side of the house continues to do a great job for us; we should ship three new P500 games to you in mid-February (see below).
Be sure to check out the GMTOne Announcement below. I'm really excited about how this in-house solitaire design studio led by Jason Carr is working out for us so far. I hope you'll be pleased with all the ways in which they are creating or enhancing solo play for so many of our games.
New P500 Charges Coming February 4. We'll be charging on February 4 for the following three games:
Bayonets & Tomahawks
Commands & Colors: Samurai Battles
So if you don't have a P500 order in yet but want one or more of these games, please get your order in before February 4 and make sure your credit card details are current in your account on our website.
GMT One. As the boardgaming hobby grows, and wargaming within it, Solitaire gaming has become more and more of a niche-within-a-niche. Wargamers have long been willing to “play both sides” as long as it was possible to do so fairly, but with the influx of euro-gaming mechanisms into wargaming, it has become increasingly more difficult to find a fair way for wargamers to play alone
—not to mention the relevance of Solitaire gaming as a way of gaming through the global pandemic.
We are proud, then, to announce an in-house development studio dedicated to enabling Solitaire gamers to enjoy the wide variety of multiplayer games that GMT publishes: GMT One. Some of you may have noticed the GMT One logo on the front of the Tru'ng Bot Update Kit for Fire in the Lake.
GMT One will help bridge the gap in knowledge and experience between our multiplayer designers and the skills and techniques used to craft Solitaire experiences and support these designers in creating top-notch designs. Our design group includes the designers who built the Solitaire systems in Tank Duel and Gandhi, and we will partner with designers like John Butterfield, Mark Herman, Volko Ruhnke, Harold Buchanan, Mike Bertucelli, and others to create best-in-industry Solitaire experiences for you.
Today, we are very happy to announce two new games with GMT One solo systems: Prime Minister and In the Shadows. Both of these games include simple, card-based Solitaire systems which enable the player to continue to play the game as if playing against a human opponent. The main difference between these systems and traditional 'bots' is that care was taken to make sure that the bot does not take more work to run than the game takes to play. Usabililty, Clarity, and Simplicity are the three key pillars of GMT One's Solitaire designs.
Additionally, the GMT One team has put together Solitaire systems for two games already on P500: Harold Buchanan's Flashpoint: South China Sea and Fred Serval's Red Flag Over Paris. Jason Carr, our head of GMT One, approached Harold over a year ago with an idea to make a simple card-based system for playing Flashpoint: South China Sea. That idea worked so well that the team also built a system for Red Flag Over Paris. Each of these games is playable in 30-45 minutes, and the Solitaire system can play either side.
Finally, we are extremely excited to partner with "Stuka Joe" to publish an official GMT-licensed version of his CDG Solo System. For those not familiar, Stuka Joe has developed a clever and simple way to enable players to play nearly any CDG Solitaire. Rather than a bot, Stuka Joe's method enables a player to play both sides by creating additional fog-of-war which obscures some of the cards in the opponent's hand, while revealing others. By removing this perfect knowledge and using a die to limit what cards can be played on a player's turn, a tense narrative emerges, and a great deal of the immersion that CDGs provide can be reclaimed, even while playing against yourself. We are launching with support for six of GMT's games: Washington's War, For the People, Paths of Glory, Illusions of Glory, Commands & Colors: Ancients, and Caesar: Rome v. Gaul.
GMT One is part of GMT's dedication to making our games more playable, no matter the number of players with which you play games. Not every game that GMT publishes will have a Solitaire system, but we want the ones that do to be high quality, playable, and complete. The GMT One logo is our sign that a game has been specifically designed with Solitaire play in mind. We will be adding new GMT One titles in the coming months, as well as adding the GMT One branding to some existing P500 entries, so stay tuned.
Facebook COIN Group. For those of you on Facebook who like our COIN series games, check out the GMT COIN Series Fan & Vassal Play group, run by Daniel Hernández Iniesta . There are about 1,300 gamers in the group already. It’s a great place to share COIN discussions, photos, and fun.
Want to Learn More About Our COIN Series? For those interested in learning more about the COIN series, here’s one player/reviewer’s experience. I love to read Candice’s comments and reviews, as her excitement for experiencing new games really comes across in her writing. I hope you enjoy sharing in her COIN journey!
Playtesters Wanted. The Last Hundred Yards Designer Mike Denson is looking for some additional play testers for future volumes and expansions in the series. If you’d like to help out, please drop Mike an email. Thanks!
Reprints of Panzer Series and MBT Heading to the Printer in February. For you fans of Jim Day's Panzer and MBT series games who've bemoaned their Out of Stock status, you don't have much longer to wait. We have secured financing to reprint Panzer and expansions 1, 2, and 3—plus MBT in early 2021. These will not be huge print runs, so if you want to get in on the Panzer or MBT fun, head to the P500 list and order soon!
Keep up with GMT Online
Virtually every day, we announce new information, show off upcoming products, or give you a peek under the hood of our new designs in our various online sites and forums. For those of you looking to keep up with us online, here is where you can find us. Drop in and start a conversation!
GMT Games Website
Official GMT Games Facebook Group
GMT Facebook Page
GMT Twitter Feed
GMT on Instagram
GMT on BoardGameGeek
GMT YouTube Channel
GMT on ConsimWorld
We are doing our best to segment this update so it's easier for you all to read. Here is what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- P500 Additions
- How to Play Videos
- Digital Games
- News You Can Use
- Charging and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- P500 Reprint Tracking
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games! Enjoy the games! - Gene