GMT P500 for April 2011
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Welcome to the April 2011 edition of the GMT P500 update list.

Subscribe today: GMT Monthly P500 Geeklist Announcement Thread

A lot of interesting news this month. Gene has informed me of a new game being announced later this month, which is the first item in this list. It's a surprise, but I think a very pleasant one, and I'll be updating news as it comes in. There might also be a second very pleasant surprise coming as well. Keep your eyes open to GMT's announcements.

Virgin Queen is this month's blockbuster news. Announced about a week ago, it's already made the cut and well on its way to 600 orders.

The other big news item is that it was announced that Space Empires will have a mounted map board, and orders surged to make it the first game in five months with over 1000 orders.

Three games have made the cut, and some are close. Updated production as well.

Finally, GMT has been very busy on the social networking front and technology front. They've got a new Facebook page, which precipitated a special 50% off sale (runs through April 25th) and have put out a call to developers to begin porting games for iPad and other platforms. I haven't bought an iPad yet, but the idea of playing Dominant Species with some automation to speed things up might put me over the edge, budget be damned! More details at GMT's site.

Hope everyone's having fun playing games. See you next month.


I'd like to ask the people to thumb this list every month when they come by. It makes me feel appreciated, and hey, who doesn't like to feel appreciated?

Thanks to everyone for their continued kinds words of support of this monthly geeklist and also for your helpful suggestions.

If you do have any comments or suggestions, please do send me a geekmail message or post in the comments section.

New this month: No new games announced.

Making the cut: FAB: Sicily, Next War: Korea, and the newly announced Virgin Queen.

Rising Stars
+226 Space Empires
+86 Andean Abyss
+65 No Retreat: The Russian Front

Shipping/charging this month

April, 2011:
Case Yellow (already charging, get it at preorder price while you can)
Infidel

May, 2011:
Combat Commander BP: New Guinea
No Retreat: The Russian Front
Space Empires

June, 2011:
C3i Issue #25
Sekigahara
Sun of York
Nightfighter (this COULD actually make May)

July, 2011:
Combat Commander: Resistance
1989

August, 2011: (All tentative at this point)
Commands & Colors Napoleonics: The Spanish Army
Crown of Roses
Great Campaigns of the Thirty Years War

Other Lists:
Please check out Dan's (oeolycus) GMT P500 Reprint List - Q1 2011
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1. Board Game: Dominant Species: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2276]
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DOMINANT SPECIES: THE CARD GAME

Current Preorders: 0

First announced: April 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $19 ($29)

Number of Players: 2-6

Comments: This new game from GMT should be a crowdpleaser.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-342-dominant-species-the-card-game...

Game Information: 40,000 B.C. — A great ice age is ending. Another titanic struggle for global supremacy has unwittingly commenced between the animal species.
Dominant Species: The Card Game is a fast-playing game that abstractly recreates a tiny portion of ancient history: the ponderous rescinding of an ice age and what that entails for the living creatures trying to adapt to the slowly-changing earth.

Players will use six major animal classes – mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, arachnid or insect – to further their goals in various terrain. Through wily card play, players will strive to become dominant at as many different terrestrial and sea biomes as possible in order to claim valuable victory points: It is survival of the fittest.

All of this leads to the end game – the final descent of the ice age – where the player having accumulated the most victory points wins the game.

But somebody better become dominant quickly, because it’s getting mighty warm...
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2. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:1153]
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Current Preorders: 300 (+11)

First announced: April 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $49 ($70)

Number of Players: 2-4

Comments: 300! It's always nice to see the next threshold get crossed. Will it make the cut this year?

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-310-unconditional-surrender.aspx



Game Information: Unconditional Surrender! is a strategic level game covering the World War II European Theater. Players make the political decisions and control the military forces of the Axis, Western, and Soviet factions which fought for European dominance and survival.

Game Components

* One Rulesbook with supporting examples and designer notes
* One Playbook with over 15 scenarios, extended examples, design notes, playing tips, and adjustments for Play-by-Email and Solitaire play
* 700 counters on 2-1/2 counter sheets
* Two 22"x34" maps
* Two 11"x17" identical Player Aid sheets
* One 8.5"x11" Factions Pool sheet
* One 8.5"x11" Reinforcements Track sheet
* One 8.5"x11" National Will / Production Tracks sheet
* Two six-sided dice

Designer: Salvatore Vasta
Developer: Mark Dey
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3. Board Game: Panzer: Game Expansion Set, Nr 2 – The Final Forces on the Eastern Front 1941-44 [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 319 (+10)

First announced: October 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $28 ($40)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: I'm amused that the growth numbers have been the same month to month with the other expansion.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-325-panzer-expansion-2-the-final-force...



Game Information: This expansion set completes the German and Soviet forces with focus on the early war, some less common, and Soviet Lend-Lease units. Includes TO&Es for two of the more notable Soviet formations to employ Lend-Lease forces – the 18th Tank Corps (July 1943) and the 1st Guards Mechanized Corps (January 1945). Also included are the next two geomorphic mapboards for expanded play and many more battle combinations.
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4. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:451]
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Current Preorders: 329 (+86)

First announced: January 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $50 ($75)

Number of Players: 1-4 (has solitaire rules)

Comments: This game's numbers are growing rapidly and I'll be surprised if it doesn't make the cut this summer.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-337-andean-abyss.aspx



Game Information: Colombia in the 1990s hosted one of the world’s last Marxist guerrilla armies, brutal drug lords, and right-wing death squads and appeared close to failing as a state. A decade later, its Marxists had lost their top leaders and rural sanctuary, its big drug bosses were dead or in prison, and its paramilitaries were negotiating demobilization. The Government had extended its writ to most of the countryside, restored its popularity, and improved the economy and respect for human rights.

Andean Abyss takes 1 to 4 players into this multifaceted campaign for control of Colombia: guerrillas and police, kidnapping and drug war, military sweeps and terror. Each of four factions deploys distinct capabilities and tactics to influence Colombian affairs and achieve differing goals. Players place and maneuver 160 wooden pieces across a colorful map and exploit event cards that cannot be fully predicted. Accessible mechanics and components put the emphasis on game play, but Andean Abyss also provides an engrossing model of insurgency and counterinsurgency in Colombia—smoothly accounting for population control, lines of communication, terrain, intelligence, foreign aid, sanctuaries, and a host of other political, military, and economic factors.
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5. Board Game: Panzer: Game Expansion Set, Nr 1 – The Shape of Battle on the Eastern Front 1943-45 [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 334 (+10)

First announced: October 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $45 ($67)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Growing by same number as the other expansion, but still slightly in the lead.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-324-panzer-expansion-1-the-shape-of-ba...



Game Information: This first expansion set for Panzer includes detailed TO&Es for the German and Soviet forces covering the entire war period from 1940 through 1945. It also includes a focus on what many consider to be the most intense tank battle in history, Kursk, with OBs for both forces and TO&Es for four of the most notable German divisions at the moment they saw action during that historic conflict – Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division, and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions.

This first expansion set also includes the first four double-sided geomorphic mapboards. With them, players can recreate any number of tactical battles reminiscent of those actions fought out of the seemingly endless steppes of Russia.
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Current Preorders: 407 (+8)

First announced: October 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $39 ($59)

Number of Players: 1-2

Comments: Now over 400 orders. Great news!

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-315-operation-dauntless.aspx



Game Information: Operation Dauntless is a moderately complex wargame that covers the actions of the British 49th Infantry Division a.k.a "The Polar Bears" near Caen during Operation Martlet (called Operation Dauntless by the British at the time of the battle). Opposing these lads are elements of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend" (Hitler Youth) and Panzer Lehr- elite panzergrenadier units. The goal of the British division is to seize the town of Fontenay, then press onward to secure the high ground near Rauray in time for the impending Operation Epsom, to be launched the next morning.

The game by designer Mark Mokszycki uses the same system as Red Winter, his game on the Battle of Tolvajärvi from the Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939. The scale and key mechanics of Operation Dauntless are the same as Red Winter. Proposed future games in the series include Red Winter 2: The Battle of Ägläjärvi, Guadalcanal Land Battles, Scottish Corridor: The Battle for Cheux, and the Breaking the Panzers expansion for Operation Dauntless, covering the German counterattack at Point 110 (all are working titles and subject to change).

The scale is grand tactical- 90 minutes per game turn, 425 yards per hex, and mostly company sized infantry units with platoon sized armor units. Gone are the Winter War specific rules such as ski movement and night raids, and in their place we have a more detailed armor/anti-tank subsystem. There are lots of tanks on both sides in this one!
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7. Board Game: Roads to Moscow: Battles of Mozhaysk and Mtsensk, 1941 [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:3925]
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Current Preorders: 415 (+30)

First announced: December 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $38 ($55)

Number of Players: 1-2

Comments: Well out of the top three for biggest growth this month, but very nice numbers even so as it moves up the ranks.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-332-roads-to-moscow.aspx



Game Information: "All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine
Smolensk and Vyasma soon fell
By Autumn we stood with backs to the town of Orel
Closer and closer to Moscow they come
Riding the wind like a bell...."
- Al Stewart, Roads to Moscow

Roads to Moscow is a two-player game depicting battles in the Soviet Union during the drive on Moscow in October 1941. The two separate battles shown in this game are named for the main objective city on each map, Mozhaysk to the west of Moscow, and Mtsensk to the south. Perhaps the most dramatic of the many desperate battles fought in front of Moscow, these two battles combined all the elements of the great struggle. The Germans have an excellent fighting machine but are short on fuel and time. They must capture their objectives on a tight schedule or snow and mud will end their offensive. The Soviets are down to the rearward remnants of their once immense armies. If the Soviets can avoid being encircled by the fast moving German forces, high quality reinforcements from the Far East may finally allow them to stop the German advance.

Designer: Vance von Borries
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8. Board Game: Iron and Oak [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:3499]
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Current Preorders: 423 (+9)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $42 ($59)

Number of players: 2 or more

Comments: This is its largest growth spurt in months.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-293-iron-and-oak.aspx



Game Information: Iron & Oak is game of ship-to-ship combat set during the American Civil War. As a tactical representation of naval warfare, each of the ships is accurately modeled for offensive capability including gunnery, ramming and spar torpedoes; for defensive capability including damage and five distinct armored or wooden hit locations; and for maneuverability, crew size and draft.

You command 70 famous ships of the era, including the Union: Onondaga, Tecumseh, Winnebago, Monitor, Osage, Minnesota, Brooklyn, Hartford, Essex, Carondolet, Kearsarge, Ossipee, Queen of the West, Iroquois, Spuyten Duyvil; and the Confederate: Tennessee, Virginia, Atlanta, Palmetto State, Arkansas, Albemarle, Alabama, Florida, General Beauregard, Sumter; and many more.

Components
* One 11” x 17” map
* Rule Book
* Play Book
* Two 8-1/2” x 11” Player Aid Reference Cards
* Campaign Game Status Sheet
* Ten dice (2 x d10, 4 x d8, 2 x d6, 2 x d4)
* One deck of 94 Action Cards
* One deck of 16 Navy Yard Cards
* 76 4” x 3-1/2” Ship and Fort Data Cards
* 70 1” x 1/2” ship counters
* 114 9/16” status and informational counters
* 140 1/2” status and informational counters

Number of Players: 2 or more

Game Design: James M. Day
Game Development: Chris Janiec
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9. Board Game: Panzer (second edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1727]
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Current Preorders: 453 (+14)

First announced: October 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $48 ($72)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Late spring is probably too early for predicting this will make the cut, but it has had double digit orders every month since it has been on the list.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-324-panzer-expansion-1-the-shape-of-ba...



Game Information: The Panzers Roll....

The tanks prepare for action. The fuel tanks topped off and the ammo loaded. The commanders confer one final time to review the battle plan. They await your orders.

As the fog clears, your beleaguered battle group once again moves into position to cover the retreating infantry. It is their only possible escape route. Failure is not an option – it never is. Your ranks have thinned since your first days on the Eastern Front. Those once halcyon times have now come and gone. The objective is simple. It is just a matter of holding the line until the reinforcements arrive.

The sharp report of a tank gun to your right quickly focuses your attention back to the situation at hand. The enemy is quickly advancing. You order the flank element to engage, all the while keeping a sharp eye peeled to the left thinking this is just another diversionary feint.

Again, your suspicions are correct. Their main force just broke over the rise on your left. You order the main body forward. The engines rumble, the guns crack and explosions erupt. Your forces will once more carry the day!
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10. Board Game: Rebel Raiders on the High Seas [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:3151]
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Current Preorders: 465 (+8)

First Announced: ??

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $48 ($69)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Like Iron & Oak above, best growth numbers in a while. GMT's game page has some draft rules for linking this game with Iron & Oak.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-238-rebel-raiders-on-the-high-seas.asp...

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: Rebel Raiders on the High Seas is a comparatively short and simple game of the naval conflict at sea and on the great rivers in the American Civil War. Easily playable in less than three hours, Rebel Raiders on the High Seas is a strategic contest between two players, one seeking to reunite the Union by force, the other to maintain its new independence in the face of the escalating industrial might and resolve of its northern brother. More of a representation than a detailed simulation of that conflict, the game is intensely engaging, highly interactive and moves along quickly, with players constantly responding and reacting to their opponent’s moves.

Components
One 22 x 28 map
One Short Rule Book
Eight six-sided dice
One deck of 110 cards
6 Plastic Stands for Leaders
4 Blue Cannon Pawns
1 Grey Cannon Pawn
176 5/8” ship, leader and battery counters
100 ½” cargo, victory point, control and informational counters
20 small plastic tokens

Regular Price: $69.00
P500 Price: $48.00

Game Design: Mark McLaughlin
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11. Board Game: Wild Blue Yonder [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 483 (+12)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $55 ($79)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: A nice surprise bump on this one leaves it only 17 shy of making the cut.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-297-wild-blue-yonder.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: In 1992, GMT released Rise of the Luftwaffe, the first Down in Flames WWII air combat card game. That game covered the early part of the War in Europe, from 1939 to early 1942. It was followed a few years later by the 8th Air Force expansion module, which added aircraft and campaigns for the latter part of the war.

Since then there have been two more games, two packs of additional aircraft, and a large number of C3i modules for the series. However, the original two games have been long out of print. GMT has considered a number of options to address that, from straight reprints to a base game/ campaign module arrangement. Finally, though, the company has decided to P500 an entire new game covering the WHOLE war in the ETO.

Wild Blue Yonder will be a true deluxe Down in Flames product. It will contain 16-20 full campaigns, nearly 300 aircraft cards, plus all of the necessary targets, resource sheets etc. needed for play. All of this will be packaged in a large box similar to the ones for the Combat Commander games.

Many of the campaigns will be on the same subjects as those in Rise of the Luftwaffe, 8th Air Force and various C3i modules. However, they will not be simple reprints of those campaigns. For example, due to card mix limitations the Fall of France campaign in Rise of the Luftwaffe included only one type of French aircraft. This will not be the case in the new game.

In addition, Wild Blue Yonder will contain two different types of campaigns, Land Campaigns and Strategic Bombing campaigns. The first type will be the familiar “standard” DiF campaign that players of the system are used to. The second type, though, will give both players a fixed “order of battle” along with reinforcements and replacements that they will have to use throughout the campaign. This will reflect the more attritional nature of these air campaigns.

Wild Blue Yonder will also include a number of Tour of Duty mini-campaigns. Each of these will be a series of dogfights from the careers of various well-known aces of the war. Those of you who want to more about this can check out C3i #21, which contains a Tour of Duty campaign featuring the Pacific ace George Welch.

Finally, the game will include at least one solitaire campaign for players who don’t have an opponent available.

Wild BlueYonder promises to be the best Down in Flames game yet. So strap on your parachute and get ready to take to the skies!
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12. Board Game: Bomber Command [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:2784]
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Current Preorders: 493 (+5)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $47 ($67)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: This one almost made the cut this month, and I think it's safe to say it'll be there soon.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-302-bomber-command.aspx



Game Information: BOMBER COMMAND is a game of the night war in the skies over the Reich in World War II.

The game recreates the great RAF bombing raids against the heart of Germany and the defence of the German night fighter arm.

Based on an air combat system derived from the award-winning Downtown and The Burning Blue 'raid-scale' games, Bomber Command details the tactics of night fighting.

The German player must manage flak, Himmelbett zones, Wild Boar and Tame Boar tactics. RAF 'main force' raids are supported by Mosquito diversions, 'Gardening' operations (mining of seaways) and decoy raids. Two card decks--one for each player--are used to resolve the complex interactions of electronic countermeasures and radars, along with other operational factors such as Mahmoud patrols, Flower raids, and Beleuchter illumination units. A detailed bombing resolution system depicts the difficulties of marking targets and area bombing at night.

Game Design: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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13. Board Game: FAB: Sicily [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:2428]
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Current Preorders: 502 (+15)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $42 ($60)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Good news FAB fans! Sicily has made the cut!

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-301-sicily-fab-2.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: The Fast Action Battle (FAB) games, designed by Rick Young (Europe Engulfed, Asia Engulfed, and FAB: The Bulge), takes you to the Allied invasion of Sicily for volume II of the series.

As the Allied player, you will choose your invasion beaches after seeing where the Axis player has deployed his units. Do you choose Montgomery’s historical ‘Husky’ plan, Patton’s alternate plan, or a hybrid plan of your own?

In this game you will find a few new unit and asset types, and also new challenges for both sides. For the attacker, the challenge is the tough Sicilian terrain; and for the defenders, it’s the worsening Italian morale.

Designer: Rick Young
Developer: John Foley
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14. Board Game: Next War: Korea [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:2291] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 508 (+16)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $57 ($85)

Number of Players: 1-4

Comments: Despite the Koreas being out of the news of late, this nice little surge in orders has pushed this game into made the cut territory.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-306-next-war-korea.aspx



Game Information: Next War: Korea, the first of a planned series of Next War games, allows players to fight a near future war on the Korean peninsula. In this updated and improved version of the previously-released Crisis: Korea 1995, players have access to virtually all military assets of North and South Korea, as well as large forces from the USA and the PRC. The integrated, easy to learn air-land combat system allows for unit efficiency, armor effects, light infantry, attack helicopters, Close Air Support, Cruise Missiles, and the particularly tough terrain of Korea.

Make no mistake: Next War: Korea is not an Introductory wargame. Rather, we have intended herein to create a system (and a series) that will allow detailed study of modern warfare in various venues as well as engaging gameplay. That said, the Standard Game rules encompass a fairly straightforward ruleset that will, we think, be considered pretty "easy to learn" by experienced wargamers. So players who choose to play Standard Game scenarios can have a relatively quick game when that's what suits them. The real flavor of a war in the theatre, though, comes through in the Advanced Game, where you get much more control over airpower and can more clearly see each side's strengths and weaknesses. For players who want a "mini-monster game" experience, playing the Advanced Game Campaign Scenarios with some or all of the optional rules will definitely "deliver."

So our hope is that we have created a game with enough variety and scaling of complexity that you can find an engaging and maybe even enlightening experience whether you want to play a fast two-player game, a longer monster game, or an ongoing solitaire study. We intend to provide tools for online game play as well (a Vassal module is being created now for use during playtesting) so that this game can be played in either real-time or over longer periods on the internet.

Game Design and Development: Mitchell Land
Original System Design: Gene Billingsley
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15. Board Game: Pax Baltica [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:2395]
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Current Preorders: 531 (+6)

First announced: August 2009

Current Status: Made the cut!

Preorder Price (List Price): $38 ($55)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Another single digit month. Why so little love for the great northern war?

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-289-pax-baltica.aspx



Game Information: Pax Baltica™ is a Grand Strategy Game covering the entire Great Northern War (1700-1721) and recreates the intriguing conflict that is often considered a side-show of the War of Spanish succession. Yet the conflict probably have had greater impact on Europe’s political, cultural and social developments than the latter.

Components:
* 1 Map
* 1 set of rules
* 20 control-markers (5 red, 5 blue, 5 green, 5 white)
* 60 1*1*1/2'' wooden blocks : 24 blue, 16 green, 12 white, 8 red.
* 1 stickers sheet for mounting on blocks.
* 4 dice

Regular Price: $55.00
P500 Price: $38.00

Game Design and Development: Stefan Ekström and Göran Björkman
GMT Development: Scott Muldoon
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Current Preorders: 547 (+4)

First announced: February 2009

Current Status: Made the cut!

Preorder Price (List Price): $35 ($50)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Slowly moving up.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-270-red-winter.aspx



Game Information: It is the winter of 1939 and the Soviet Union has just declared war on Finland. Bombers unleash a downpour of destruction on the Finnish capital of Helsinki. In the David and Goliath struggle that follows, the Russians swarm across the border and push back the Finns in victory after victory. The future appears grim for Finnish independence.

Red Winter will contain:
· One 22”x34” map
· One countersheet of 5/8” counters
· One Rulebook with illustrated examples
· One Play Book with over a dozen scenarios, extensive historical and game play notes, designer’s notes, and optional rules and variants
· One Turn Track card
· Two identical player aid cards
· Two six-sided dice
· One ten-sided die

DESIGNER: Mark Mokszycki
RESEARCH: Vesa Teräs, Mark Mokszycki
PLAYTESTER: Keith Mageau, Eric Edwards
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17. Board Game: Virgin Queen [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:284]
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Current Preorders: 568 (+568) NEW!

First announced: April 2011

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $59 ($89)

Number of Players: 2-6

Comments: Made the cut within days of it being announced.

I don't have enough superlatives to speak about my excitement over the announcement of this game. I knew it was in development, but that it's finally going to see light of day is simply outstanding to me. Based on what I've read of the game so far, I might even like this one more than Here I Stand, which is a game I simply love.

Of course, this game is another one of those which has a very long playing time. Notwithstanding this however, it's on my personal P500 list. There are some games that one simply must have, and this is a must for me.


Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-341-virgin-queen.aspx



Game Information: Virgin Queen: Wars of Religion 1559-1598 is a game of grand strategy for two to six players based on the military, political and religious conflicts within Europe during the reigns of Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain. Each player controls one or more of the major powers that presided over European politics in that day. Spain is the juggernaut, able to draw upon the vast riches of their global empire. But such a dominant power is sure to have many enemies. The Ottoman expansion towards Spain’s Mediterranean outposts remains unchecked. Elizabeth’s English sea dogs are poised to raid Spain’s overseas empire. And the forces of Protestant reform will soon drag Spain into eighty years of rebellion in the Netherlands. Will Spain find aid from its Catholic allies? Perhaps not from France, where the Catholic Valois dynasty is soon to engage another group of Protestant believers in the bloody French Wars of Religion. And even Philip’s relatives in Vienna who rule the Holy Roman Empire may dabble in the Protestant faith instead of remaining loyal to their Catholic heritage and Spanish brethren.

Designer: Ed Beach
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18. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:811]
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Current Preorders: 592 (+62)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $49 ($70)

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-296-urban-sprawl.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Number of Players: 2-4

Comments: Now that the second printing of Dominant Species has come out, it seems even more people are realizing what Combat Commander fans have known for years: Chad Jensen is a brilliant designer.

Game Information: Urban Sprawl is a game for 2-4 players. Urban Sprawl abstractly models the growth of a town into a teeming metropolis.

Players assume the roles of entrepreneur, tycoon and politician—each helping in the development of a hypothetical “Anywhere, USA.” Wealth and Prestige will be earned and spent throughout the game. Buildings will rise only to later be demolished for better and larger fare.

Throughout the game, players will gather valuable Permits. These will result in either a wealthy Investment or the foundation of a new building Contract. Players will strive to become dominant in one or more building Zones in order to acquire beneficial political offices.

All of this eventually leads to the end game – a vibrant metropolis that is revered around the world – when the player with the most Prestige will be crowned the winner.


Game Design by Chad Jensen
Game Development by Kai Jensen
Players: 2-4
Play Time: about 45 minutes per player
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19. Board Game: Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:2908]
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Current Preorders: 592 (+17)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Made the cut!

Preorder Price (List Price): $38 ($55)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: If I could pinpoint what I love about WWI air war games, I'd bottle it and give it away to get this one to print sonner.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-307-bloody-april-air-war-over-arras-fr...



Game Information: Bloody April, 1917 is a standalone game using a similar format to Elusive Victory/Downtown, modified to cover the unique aspects of air combat during World War 1. The game covers the pivotal air combat over the Arras sector, France from March until the end of May 1917. Players take on the roles of Royal Flying Corps commander or German Imperial Air Service commander for their respective sides and will have a multitude of taskings available to accomplish and complete their objectives. Bloody April, 1917 will include both single mission scenarios and multi-mission/multi-day campaigns to allow players to play out large scale battles in a manageable timeframe.

Game Designer: Terry Simo
Counter and Map Art: Ian Wedge
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20. Board Game: Nightfighter [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:2249]
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Current Preorders: 619 (+4)

First announced: June 2008

Current Status: Made the cut.

Preorder Price (List Price): $38 ($55)

Number of Players: 2 (one player, one umpire)

Comments: I have nothing brilliant to say, so I'll just recycle last month's news from Lee:
Quote:
I have some great news.

I had been working on a campaign system for Nightfighter which was intended to be released after the game as a free giveaway. However, those nice folks at GMT have found some budget and have agreed to print the campaign and ship it in the box!

Full details on GMT's game page.


Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-233-nightfighter.aspx



Game Information: NIGHTFIGHTER is a game of air warfare in the night skies of World War II.

The game requires two participants: a player and an umpire.
The game details the development of night fighting tactics over Britain, the Reich and the Pacific. Using a brand-new 'blind' play system, an umpire controls the attacking forces and moderates the defending player, who must find, fix and destroy the incoming bombers.

Nightfighter will recreate the tactics of night fighting, from the 'cat's eye' fighting of the London night blitz to the Mosquito intruder operations at the end of the war. Scenarios include Freya AN interception in the Dunaja dark fighting zones, Himmelbett zones, the introduction of AI radar, Wilde Sau and Zahme Sau tactics. The evolution of electronic systems and countermeasures is modelled, including the use of 'Airborne Cigar' and 'Window' jamming, and 'Serrate' radar homing.

There is a huge variety of aircraft in the game, from early Do217s and Ju88 fighters, to advanced fighters such as the He219. Rarities such as the Ta154, Me262B-1a and the Japanese J1N1 Gekko will be included. Schräge Music ('Jazz Music') oblique gun systems are modelled. The Allies get 'cat's eye' Hurricanes, Blenheims with AI Mk IV radar, Beaufighters with Serrate and various marks of Mosquito, including the NF.30 with the advanced AI Mk X radar. Pacific operations will see P-61A 'Black Widow' fighters engaging Japanese bomber threats over Saipan and F4U-2s engaging torpedo strikes against the fast carriers.
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21. Board Game: Sun of York [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:4493]
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Current Preorders: 630 (+4)

First announced: December 2005

Current Status: Made the cut.

Preorder Price (List Price): $39 ($55)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: No news is good news. Has the age of card game wargames passed? Or has it merely been supplanted by the CDG boom?

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-128-sun-of-york.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this …
"Sun of York" (Richard III, Ace I, Scene 1)

The Wars of the Roses (1453-1485) were the result of the struggle for the English crown between the Houses of Lancaster and York … both descended from the Plantagenet line … both with equal claim to the throne. By the end of the bloody struggle, both houses would be extinct and the crown grasped by the first of the Tudors.

Sun of York is a card game depicting the tactical battles fought between these two royal houses.

Represented by the cards are all the day's major leaders, including King Henry VI (too weak a leader to maintain control of the kingdom), Margaret of Anjou (Henry's strong-willed and manipulative queen), King Edward IV (organizational genius and longest holder of the Crown), King Richard III (charismatic leader of questionable morals) and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the "King Maker"). Each Leader is rated for combat ability and his affect on the morale of the troops he leads.

Troop cards include foot soldiers, missile units, pole arms and cavalry, all of different types and qualities, including mercenaries from the Continent. Each troop card is rated for its cohesion (the amount of damage it can sustain as well as deal out), its ability to move around the battlefield, and its combat quality.

A variety of terrain cards are included, and are used to configure the battlefield prior to play.

"Special" cards are included to provide period flavor and enable results so prevalent during a period where great heroics and insidious backstabbing by allies were common.

The heart of the game system (and that which separates it from similar games) is its "Orders" system. Generally, leaders on the battlefield give orders to the units under their command. Units without leaders can only move through the play of Orders cards (unused Leader, Terrain and Special cards). Calling up reinforcements also requires the play of Orders. Often, players will have to make the choice between discarding excellent troops in order to get any kind of troop into battle before their line collapses. This simulates wonderfully the chaotic melees these battles often became, and the difficulty the commanders had in retaining control of their forces once they engaged.

All the major (and several minor) engagements are included in Sun of York, as well as a random setup, for a total of twenty scenarios! Also included is a campaign system allowing players to fight out the Wars, one battle at a time, to their bloody conclusion.

Components include 220 cards, player aid sheets, one sheet of 140 status markers, and five six-sided dice.

Playtime runs an hour or two.

Designed by Mike Nagel
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22. Board Game: The Supreme Commander [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:4296]
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Current Preorders: 638 (+14)

First announced: May 2009

Current Status: Made the cut.

Preorder Price (List Price): $45 ($65)

Number of Players: 2-5

Comments: Nice growth on this one.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-278-the-supreme-commander.aspx



Game Information: The Supreme Commander is a game designed for 2-5 players covering the entirety of World War II in the European Theater of Operations (ETO), from September 1939 to the end of the war. While there are plenty of other ETO games out there, The Supreme Commander effectively models all of the primary aspects of the war in a simple, straight-forward manner.

Murmansk convoy, Lend-Lease, diplomacy, the strategic U-Boat campaign, technological advancement, strategic bombing campaigns, naval invasions, the economy and military production, partisans – All of these elements and more are included in a surprisingly easy-to-learn game.

Note: We are doing much of the final system and balance testing of this game online using a (beautiful) Vassal module. We are definitely interested in additional testers who are new to the game at this stage. If you are interested in helping out, please contact developer Paul Marjoram at pmarjora@gmail.com.

Components:
* Rulebook
* (2) 24x36 maps with large hex pattern (one map is back-printed with a standard size 5/8" hex version so you can play the whole game on one map - for you guys with limited table space)
* Diplomatic Track (cardstock)
* Player aid card
* 560 Counters (Corps and Army-sized units)
* 6 x Force Pool cards for France, UK, US, USSR, Italy, Germany
* 2 ten-sided dice

Designer: Dan Holte
Developer: Paul Marjoram
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23. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:147]
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Current Preorders: 655 (-1)

First announced: May 2005

Current Status: Made the cut.

Preorder Price (List Price): $41 ($59)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: This quote bears repeating:

"Time is very slow for those who wait
Very fast for those who are scared
very long for those who lament
Very short for those who celebrate
But for those who love time is eternal"
— William Shakespeare


Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-127-sekigahara.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: "Sekigahara is a simple 3-hour block game based on the campaign in 1600 that unified Japan. Hidden information on blocks & cards, but no dice. Cards are not events (this isn’t a typical “card-driven wargame”) but rather motivation (suited by clan). Units fight only when a matching card is produced."

Additional differences:

(1) A lot of ‘game’ in 3 hours: many decisions, historical feel. The mechanics are really simple. Feels more like the event in question than most 3-hour wargames. Doesn’t bog down.

(2) Elegant graphical design. Japanese kanji and symbology; minimalism in blocks, board and cards. Mark Mahaffey has done amazing work.

(3) ‘Randomization’ subordinated to uncertainty. Plays like poker sometimes. You know how strong you’ll be in a hypothetical battle, and your opponent knows how strong he/she will be, so you read each others’ actions to gauge whether you want to initiate it.

(4) Double game being played: (a) units in position, (b) units motivated enough to fight. Most games would be all about (a) and leave (b) to the dice, but here you know in advance the effectiveness of your troops, by looking at your cards. The game is true to history in this regard (the campaign turned on defections & abstentions). Unit combat performance was too essential to the outcome of this campaign to leave to the dice.

(5) The combat system, with hidden forces and sequential deployments, is novel. Christophe Sancy made a great graphical illustration of a climactic combat sequence. It’s posted on Boardgame Geek.
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24. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #6 – The Spartan Army [Average Rating:8.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.46 Unranked]
 
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Current Preorders: 709 (+45)

First announced: December 2010

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $35 ($55)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Zoom and over 700 orders it goes.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-331-c-c-ancients-exp-6-the-spartan-arm...



Game Information: We are Sparta… More than a line from a movie, The Spartan Army is the sixth expansion for the Commands & Colors: Ancients game system.

The Spartan Army expansion features over 20 scenarios, which focus on a period of time from 669 BC to 338 BC. In the early battles of Sparta against Argive, we see the development of Hoplite armies. We then move onto the war with the Persian Empire and take a closer look at the battle of Thermopylae, 480 BC. During the Peloponnesian Wars, Sparta takes a leader position among the Peloponnesian states, which would last for almost two centuries. Finally there is a shift in power away from Sparta during the battles of the Theban Era and the rise of Macedon.
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25. Board Game: Crown of Roses [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3300]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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Current Preorders: 739 (+12)

First announced: June 2008

Current Status: Made the cut.

Preorder Price (List Price): $55 ($79)

Number of Players: 2-4

Comments: I almost talked a game shop owner into selling me his copy of Kingmaker. I'm impatient for this one to come out.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-234-crown-of-roses.aspx



Game Information: Crown of Roses is a 3-hour block game set during the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses in 15th Century England. This 35-year long conflict saw the extinction of a large number of noble houses, and would eventually set the house of Tudor upon the throne.

In Crown of Roses, players take on the roles of the dynastic giants - the House of Lancaster and their Beaufort cousins, and the House of York. The four player game adds in the powerful House of Stafford, and the ever-scheming Richard Neville and his son, Richard of Warwick, the 'Kingmaker'.

Game Design: Stephen A. Cuyler
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