GMT P500 for April 2013
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Welcome to the April 2013 edition of the GMT P500 update list. The purpose of this list is to showcase all the new games coming through the GMT P500 system.

Subscribe today: GMT Monthly P500 Geeklist Announcement Thread

Yes folks, I've released the list a little early. It's the Easter weekend, and April Fool's day conveniently coincides with Easter Monday, so I thought I'd give you all a little something to read while you're eating way too much chocolate.

mb An amazing 166 of you now own this lovely microbadge, and I thank you! But this list gets over 500 thumbs every month, so I'm curious...

Poll
Why don't you own this lovely microbadge? mb
I don't "do" microbadges
I don't have enough geek gold
I like the list, but not enough to buy the badge
I always mean to get it, but always seem to forget
I just can't be bothered
Wait, there's a microbadge?
      522 answers
Poll created by leroy43


And speaking of thumbs...

thumbsup Thank you for thumbing this list when you come by! thumbsup

Thanks to everyone for their continued kinds words of support. If you do have any comments or suggestions, please do send me a geekmail message or post in the comments section.

Now, without furhter ado... the list!
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1. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:3669] [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:68]
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Last month's set of poll was very interesting to me. Although these polls are highly unscientific, one can still from some valid opinions.

Last month I asked how quickly people pre-ordered games they would normally be interested in. About half said they did once they saw enough to confirm their interests. About 3 in 10 said they pre-ordered right away, and about 1 in 6 said they never pre-order (for any number of reasons). What surprised me was how few people get in late. Having run this list for a while now has told me that in the past there's always a surge right before production, but looking a little more closely at the data I have suggests that the late surges, on average, are in line with the poll.

The other things I asked about were the use of the auto-order system. More than 15% didn't even know about it, and a whopping 65% don't use it. Half of the rest have one auto-order, and then another quarter only have 2-3. The blip, if there is one, are the few folks who have more than 5 auto-orders in place.

Finally I asked which auto-orders people had. Not surprisingly, the number one answer was C3i Magazine (36% of respondents). Also not surprisingly, the number two and three spots went to the Combat Commander Series (28%) and the Commands & Colors: Ancients series (21%).

Rounding out the selection were the Commands & Colors: Napoleonics series (16%), GMT COIN Series (15%), and the Musket & Pike Battle Series (13%). Honourable mention goes to the 17% who auto-order card driven games, the 13% who auto-order non-series games, and the 10% who auto-order the VPG/GMT deluxe editions.

This month I have two sets of topics, one with polls, one without.

The first topic is about reprints and I've split it into two categories - one I'm calling core products, which includes mainly the best sellers of all time but also includes those games that GMT have said will be reprinted no matter what the P500 numbers say, and the other is for what I'm calling non-core products, which is everything else.

Core products can get reprinted fairly regularly, and GMT puts them on the P500 as an incentive/bonus for folks to get a discount on the MSRP.

Poll
GMT core product reprints. I think they should...
... not bother with P500 (i.e. no P500 discount for pre-ordering)
... keep doing the P500 thing
... do something else (which I will comment on below)
      426 answers
Poll created by leroy43


On the flip side, non-core products can languish for a long time on the P500 (there's a separate geeklist about those).

Poll
GMT non-core product reprints - I think they should...
... use Kickstarter for reprints
... wait for 500 orders and do a print run
... leave them out of print and let folks find them on eBay (and elsewhere)
      408 answers
Poll created by leroy43


Of course, I'm sure I've not covered off all the options here, so discussion is encouraged!

The second topic is about how GMT publishes games. Generally speaking, 500 orders means it "makes the cut" and production happens once orders hit 700 or so. You can read all the details from GMT here where they discuss the P500 program.

Generally the system works pretty well. Games that hit the right numbers get printed and those that get big numbers get printed earlier.

But sometimes games jump the queue. Leaping Lemmings had an angel investor who backed the print run. GMT took a calculated gamble with Dominant Species, which succeeded beyond everyone's expectations. Thunder Alley saw an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign but is now on the schedule thanks to another angel investor.

Do you have a strong opinion about these queue jumpers?

Any discussion welcomed and encouraged!
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2. Board Game Publisher: GMT Games
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News from GMT

New games announced this month: Fields of Fire II

Making the cut: Blood & Roses, Panzer Expansion 3.

Leaving the list: Newtown, Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, Iron & Oak

Rising Stars
+63 France '40 and Navajo Wars (tie)
+33 Blood & Roses and Combat Commander Battle Pack #6 - Sea Lion (another tie)

Current Printing Schedule, from the March 4th update:

Tentative Production ScheduleApril, 2013:
Iron & Oak
Rebel Raiders on the High Seas
Battle for Normandy Expansion Pack
Roads to Moscow

May, 2013:
Combat Commander BP #5: Fall of the West
No Retreat: The North African Front

June, 2013
C & C Napoleonics: The Austrians
Navajo Wars
The Supreme Commander
The Hunters (for ConSim Press)

July, 2013:
France, 40
C&C Ancients Reprints of Expansions 1,2,3

For WBC, 2013:
A Distant Plain
Cuba Libre
A World at War (Reprint)
Sekigahara (Reprint)

Mid-Late 3rd Quarter, 2013
1914: Offensive a Outrance
C&C Napoleonics: The Prussian Army
Churchill
The Dark Valley
Thunder Alley
Won by the Sword

4th Quarter, 2013 (VERY tentative):
Blood & Roses
Combat Commander BP 6: Sea Lion
Operation Dauntless
Panzer Expansion #3: Drive to the Rhine
Unconditional Surrender
Wild Blue Yonder
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3. Board Game: Fields of Fire Vol. II: ''With The Old Breed'' [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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NEW!

Current Preorders: 371 (+371) 

First announced: March 2013

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $55 ($82)

Number of Players: 1

Comments: The original Fields of Fire is one hell of a great design. This one should be awesome too.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-432-fields-of-fire-vol-ii-with-the...



Game Information: In Fields of Fire Vol. II: "With the Old Breed," you pin on your captain's bars and take command of a rifle company in the 5th Marines, the most decorated regiment in the US Marine Corps. Test your mettle in three campaigns spanning World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Battle ashore in the blazing heat of Peleliu in September 1944 to discover the Japanese have changed their strategy and you are forced to dig them out of the coral ridges. Flares reveal waves of Chinese pouring over the rugged mountains of the Chosin Reservoir, Korea, in sub zero weather in November 1950. Fight house to house in Hue City, Vietnam in February 1968. These three campaigns live on in the legends and history of the United States Marine Corps.

Designer: Ben Hull

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4. Board Game: Fortress Sevastopol [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 95 (+2) 

First announced: December 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $44 ($55)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: This is coming out in issue #8 of the UGG house mag, Command & Strategy. The sample graphics over at the UGG site are pretty.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-378-command-strategy-issue-8-forte...

Game Information: Fortress Sevastopol is a simulation of the German assault on the Crimean Peninsula. The Germans had to advance to Sevastopol as quickly as possible. Eventually the mighty fortress will have to surrender before the snow falls, which would be a great pleasure for the "Führer". If not, you will have to wait until spring to receive more reserves and finally capture Sevastopol before the game ends.

If you play the Russian side: stay cool! Try to avoid losses in the initial onslaught. Collect units and reserves in the winter months for an eventual counterstrike at the German weak points. If this is unsuccessful, go for entrenchments and fight for every meter in Sevastopol til the end.

Fortress Sevastopol uses an easy to learn area movement and combat system. A similar system was already used in games like Breakout Normandy, Monty's Gamble - Market Garden, and Storm Over Arhhem. Fortress Sevastopol is Issue #8 in UGG's Command & Strategy magazine series.

Designer: Christian Diedler

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5. Board Game: Title Chase: Basketball [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
 
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Current Preorders: 146 (-2)

First announced: April 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $33 ($49)

Number of Players: 2-7

Comments: Guess that last basket didn't count...

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-399-title-chase-basketball.aspx



Game Information: Title Chase Basketball is a fast-paced game nominally about professional basketball. The game focuses on team building, getting into the playoffs and winning it all. Title Chase Basketball should not be confused with a simulation. It is a game meant to pit players against each other and as such can be completed from the start of the season to game seven of the finals in about an hour.

The first half of the game is a card-driven game where you build up your team by improving positions, winning key games and gain ground in the standings. You will need to decide what teams surge ahead and which ones will fall by the wayside. Do you build a team of all-stars quickly and have a giant bulls-eye placed on their back for the other players to shoot at. Do you turn your team of journeymen into a solid-all around squad. Or maybe you want those one or two superstars that can guarantee you a deep run into the playoffs. The way that you build your team is up to you.

At the end of the regular season, the game switches to a full-on dice game using the teams you created during the regular season. Teams match up in best of 7 series where your dice are the ones you labored to improve earlier. As your dice are expended in each series, the games get closer and closer and often it comes down to one final toss of the die.

Designer: Jeff Horger


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6. Board Game: Medieval Conspiracy [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:10497]
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Current Preorders: 229 (+4) 

First announced: December 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $63 ($79)

Number of Players: 2-6

Comments: I actually quite like the map. It's busy, but it's also clear where the borders are.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-377-medieval-conspiracy.aspx

Game Information: Medieval Conspiracy introduces players to the Holy Roman Empire of Germany. That Empire is divided into numberless small earldoms, principalities, and bishoprics. The Ruler of the Empire is the Holy Roman Emperor who is elected by the 7 electoral princes.

In Medieval Conspiracy you take the role of a mighty noble family. Increase your power, gain new countries, get votes of the electoral princes to finally be elected the new Holy Roman Emperor.

Designers: Stephan Rensing and Dietrich Potthoff


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7. Board Game: 1914: Glory's End / When Eagles Fight [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:4516]
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Current Preorders: 272 (+8)

First announced: April 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $34 ($49)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: A solid month for this title.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-402-1914-glorys-end.aspx



Game Information: Before the award-winning World War I designs Paths of Glory and The Great War In Europe, Deluxe Edition, designer Ted S. Raicer had revived interest in gaming the Great War with a series of WWI campaign games for the late lamented Command magazine. GMT is proud to present a set of revised boxed editions of these classic “players-games”.

In August 1914, Imperial Germany gambled its future on a rapid conquest of France, designed to free up the German army within six weeks to face the Russian steamroller of France’s Tsarist ally on the eastern front. Seven German armies deployed opposite five French armies, the army of “plucky little Belgium”, and the “Old Contemptibles” of the British Expeditionary Force in a series of battles that turned August and September 1914 into the bloodiest months of the entire war.

The campaign opened with the French launching their infamous Plan XVII offensive to regain the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, an offensive that ended in disaster against the massed machine guns and artillery of the German defenders. Yet even as Plan XVII came to grief, the real threat came from the north, where three German armies wheeled through Belgium and northern France on their way to Paris.

Designer: Ted Raicer

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8. Board Game: Norway, 1940: A PQ-17 Expansion [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 302 (+10)

First announced: September 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Number of Players: 2

Comments: A nice surge to get over 300.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-421-norway-1940-a-pq-17-expansion....



Game Information: It is Spring 1940, and both the British and the Germans have plans to invade neutral Norway. The British still have the French on their side, while the German Kriegsmarine will never be larger. Who will strike first?

Norway 1940 is a ziplock expansion for PQ-17 that adds all the British, French, Polish, and German naval and air units needed to re-fight this tense air-naval battle, including such seldom-seen ships and aircraft as the repair ship HMS Vindictive, German Type II U-boats, Blackburn Skuas and Rocs, and early Ju88 heavy fighters. Special rules reflect the unique conditions of the campaign, such as Scandinavian neutrality, Norwegian coastal defenses, faulty German torpedoes, shore bombardments, and Allied establishment of a forward naval base (historically in the Lofotens). And just as in the parent game, secretly determined special conditions offer new opportunities and threats to both sides. Will the British pre-empt the German invasion? Will the Germans attempt to break out into the Atlantic with their heavy ships? Will the Allies elect to stay in Narvik instead of evacuating with the fall of France imminent? Or will the Germans make a daring attempt to seize Iceland before the Allies can occupy it in force?

Designer: Chris Janiec

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9. Board Game: 1914: Glory's End / When Eagles Fight [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:4516]
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Current Preorders: 304 (+10)

First announced: April 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $34 ($49)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Moving along nicely.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-401-when-eagles-fight.aspx



Game Information: Before the award-winning World War I designs Paths of Glory and The Great War In Europe, Deluxe Edition, designer Ted S. Raicer had revived interest in gaming the Great War with a series of WWI campaign games for the late lamented Command magazine. GMT is proud to present a set of revised boxed editions of these classic “players-games”.

Winner of the Charles S. Roberts award for best pre-WWII boardgame, When Eagles Fight covers the eastern front in World War I, the last war of Tsarist Russia, Habsburg Austria, and Imperial Germany. From 1914 to 1917 the armies of the Tsar battled from the Carpathians to the Baltic against the outnumbered but logistically superior German army and the badly-led multi-ethnic forces of Austria-Hungary (the Central Powers). Though repeatedly inflicting massive defeats on the Habsburg armies, the Russians were ultimately undone by the skill and firepower of the German army and the collapsing political structure of the Tsarist autocracy. By March 1917 the 300 year-old Romanov dynasty was no more, and the stage was set for the coming of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. But the empire of the Habsburgs was left mortally wounded, and the Kaiser’s Germany would meet its own doom less than two years later on the battlefields of the western front.

Designer: Ted Raicer

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10. Board Game: Fury of Harrows [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 304 (-4)

First announced: November 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $45 ($69)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Ouch, a big drop.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-370-fury.aspx



Game Information: Fury, GMT’s new game of fantasy warfare, brings the Manoeuvre game system to the lands of the West. Knights and Orcs fight against Dragons and Dwarves to decide the outcome of the 2nd War of the West. Fury takes the bones of Manoeuvre and builds a game that has more of everything you like in the original. More and varied types of movement such as flight and teleportation, more combats in a turn each with their own deadly styles, and devastating spells that can turn the tides of war in your favor. Your ability to control the Fury of the battlefield will determine your fate.

Designer: Jeff Horger
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11. Board Game: Bear's Claw: The Battles of Kiev-Uman and Smolensk, 1941 [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 309 (+5)

First announced: June 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $34 ($48)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Slow growth is better than no growth.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-409-bears-claw.aspx

Complexity: low to moderate
Solitaire suitability: high

Game Information: BEAR'S CLAW - The Battles of Kiev-Uman and Smolensk, 1941

the time is:
0910 hours, 26 June 1941 (Kiev-Uman)
0610 hours, 11 July 1941 (Smolensk)

Bear's Claw is two-games-in-one; featuring two separate and standalone, operational-level treatments of the German advance and Soviet counter thrusts from July to August 1941 during Operation Barbarossa.

Kiev-Uman covers the action of German Army Group South, from the beginning of Soviet bold counterattack on 26 June led by the Soviet South-Western Front comprising four full mechanized corps (more than 2,000 tanks), to the closing of the Uman Pocket on 6 August.

Smolensk covers the action of German Army Group Center, from the German 2nd Panzergruppe's crossing of the Dnepr on 11 July, followed by numerous Soviet counterattacks of the Soviet Western Front led by Marshal Timoshenko, to the climax of operations at Smolensk on 9 August.

Both games share a common set of rules and deliver a quick, yet intensive gaming experience as BOTH sides will have the opportunity to initiate attacks during play. In essence, these are not one-sided affairs as the pendulum will swing in the Soviet's favor as well as they attempt to mount several counter blows to thwart the German advance.

Designer: Masahiro Yamazaki
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12. Board Game: Genesis: Empires and Kingdoms of the Ancient Middle East [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3519]
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Current Preorders: 311 (+24)

First announced: November 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Number of Players: 2-5

Comments: Another solid month.



Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-429-genesis.aspx



Game Information: Genesis is a campaign-level game covering the turbulent Late Bronze Age in the Middle East, where kingdoms rose and fell while establishing many of the systems and ways of life that underwrite Western Civilization. Much like its ancestor game, Pax Romana, Genesis is a game that provides the players with the historical dramatis personae and allows them to forge their own empires. It also has a great emphasis on the control of the important trade routes and commercial centers and the building of the spectacular monuments these civilizations left for posterity and wonder.

Designer: Richard Berg

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13. Board Game: Wellington in India [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 315 (+4)

First announced: April 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $39 ($60)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Growing steadily.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-400-wellington-in-india.aspx



Game Information: Wellington in India (WIN) is GMT’s first game in its Great Battles in Asian History, a series emphasizing easy, quick play that focuses on the unusual features of this area of history virtually untouched by the hobby but truly rich in gameplayer goodies.

WIN simulates the battles of the 2nd Anglo-Mahratta War in India (1803), in which Major General, The Honorable Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) had field command in the Deccan (the center of the subcontinent) against the huge forces of the Mahrattas, the largest independent empire in India, under the Scindia rulers of Gwalior and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur and Berar, complete with the a massive artillery corps, plus the equally important battles in the northern, Hindustan where the troops of the East India Company were under the oft-unappreciated General Lake; all of which was part of the almost subconscious, ongoing efforts of the British, in the guise of their East India Company, to gobble up an entire continent and civilization.

Much of the game system will be familiar to any wargamer. There is no set number of turns, and this is not Igo-Hugo gaming. Variable activation of commands, based on leadershipo quality, is the baseline. The usual fire/move then shock mechanics are all there, and we hope to eventually use this basic system to simplify our Great Battles of the Civil War battles.

Designer: Richard Berg

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14. Board Game: Triumph & Tragedy [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:400]
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Current Preorders: 335 (+12)

First announced: September 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $69 ($99)

Number of Players: 3 (also playable by 2)

Comments: Maybe we should rename this one "Stalin" or "Chamberlain" or something to see if the "Churchill" effect happens to this one too.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-422-triumph-and-tragedy.aspx



Game Information: Triumph and Tragedy is a geopolitical strategy game for 3 players (also playable by 2) covering the competition for European supremacy during the period 1935-45 between Capitalism (the West), Communism (the Soviet Union) and Fascism (the Axis). It has diplomatic, economic, technological and military components, and can be won by gaining economic hegemony or technological supremacy (A-bomb), or by vanquishing a rival militarily.

The 22” x 34” area map covers Eurasia to India and the Urals, with the Americas and the eastern British Empire represented abstractly. Military units are 1/2” blocks, of 7 types (Infantry/Tank/Fortress/AirForce/Carrier/Fleet/Submarine), in 6 different colors (Germany/Italy/Russia/Britain/France/USA). The mix of approximately 200 blocks allows great flexibility of force composition. There is a 55-card Action deck and a 55-card Investment deck, plus 30 Peace Dividend chits and 50 markers of various types.

The game starts in 1935, with all 3 Great Powers virtually disarmed: Germany has repudiated the Versailles Peace Treaty, initiating an arms race in Europe. With blocks, the nature of military buildups remain unknown to rivals unless/until military conflict breaks out. The game may end peacefully or there may be war. There are game sanctions for attacking neutral minors or declaring war on an opponent, and rewards for remaining peaceful (you get a Peace Dividend chit of value 0-2 for every year you remain at Peace).

Designer: Craig Besinque

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15. Board Game: FAB: Golan '73 [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:4817]
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Current Preorders: 350 (+5)

First announced: August 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $44 ($65)

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Great system.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-417-golan-73-fab-3.aspx



Game Information: Michael Gustavsson teams up with Fast Action Battles (FAB) series designer Rick Young to jointly bring you volume III in the FAB game series. These two designers take you to the Golan Heights on October 6, 1973, where during the holiday of Yom Kippur, the silence on the Heights was disrupted by the thunder of tanks, guns, and aircraft when a Syrian assault was launched. The Syrian operation, code-named as Badr, was aimed to retake the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which the Syrians lost in the 1967 Six-day war.

In Golan '73, you will command highly mechanized forces and maneuver them across the rocky terrain of the Golan Heights. You will find new asset types to aid your cause such as SAM’s, mortars, and anti-tank guns. Battle specific events include Operation Dugman 5, Strategic Reserve Releases, the GHQ Air Raid, Lt. Zvicka Greengold, Electronic warfare, the Syrian Frog-7 missile strike and more. New terrain features in Golan '73 include escarpment, wadi, and the anti-tank ditch, known as the purple line. Helicopter-borne air-assaults and special rules for the first night are included to add more historical flavor from this important campaign.

Designer: Michael Gustavsson & Rick Young
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16. Board Game: 1914: Serbien Muss Sterbien [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:6034]
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Current Preorders: 386 (+21)

First announced: November 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Number of Players:

Comments: 1914: The Serbian Campaign has a nice ring to it you know...

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-430-1914-serbien-mu-sterbien.aspx



Game Information: 1914, Serbien muß sterbien, The Initial Campaigns on the Balkan Front in WWI realistically covers the battles fought in and around Serbia during the first year of World War One.

1914, Serbien muß sterbien (an Austro-Hungarian jingle that translates to “Serbia must die”) is a comprehensively researched model that explores the intriguing set of campaigns fought in Serbia in 1914. The game includes an accurate order of battle and detailed game map. The map encompasses the primary theater of war from Peterwardein in the north, Sarajevo in the west, to Niš in the south-east.

Designer: Michael Resch

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17. Board Game: Manoeuvre: Distant Lands [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:5763] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 392 (+1)

First announced: August 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $30 ($46)

Number of Players: 2 (although you could have multiple games going at the same time - there are enough tiles and armies to have a mini tournament in your own home!)

Comments: I'd buy this as a VPG Gold Banner product...

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-356-manoeuvre-distant-lands.aspx



Game Information: Manoeuvre: Distant Lands is an expansion for Manoeuvre. Four new armies are included to allow you to bring the fight from the frozen north to the sub-continent and the mythic east. Included in this set are counters and cards for Sweden, the splintered Kingdoms of India, the Chinese 8-Banner Army and the crumbling remains of the Japanese Shogunate. Also included is a set of 8 new land tiles that will force veteran players to learn new tactics among the swamps and fields of the Orient as well as the forests of Scandanavia.

Designer: Jeff Horger
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18. Board Game: Blue Cross, White Ensign [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:5945] [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 392 (+19)

First announced: November 2012

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Combat in the age of sail.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-427-blue-cross-white-ensign.aspx



Game Information: At the turn of the 18th Century, Tsar Peter Veliky ("the Great") had a dream. This was for Imperial Russia to have a fleet vast and powerful enough to control its local waterways and to extend Russian trade to the world. Peter travelled widely throughout Europe, learning the trade of ship building from the western masters, and brought this knowledge home. Sadly, he would never see the result of his labors. But, by the time of his death in 1725, the seed of a powerful armada had been sown. Under a flag bearing the cross of Saint Andrew (a blue cross on a white background), the Imperial Russian Navy grew to become the masters of the Baltic, Black and eastern Mediterranean seas.

Designer: Mike Nagel

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19. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:555] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 403 (+7)

First announced: September 2011

Current Status: Not There Yet

Preorder Price (List Price): $39 ($64)

Number of Players: 2-7

Comments: After last month's big numbers, back to more expected growth numbers.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-359-thunder-alley.aspx



Game Information: Thunder Alley is a stock car racing game for 2-7 players with the feel and flexibility of a card-driven simulation. Players controls not one car, but a team of 3-6 cars. Each race is not only a run for the checkered flag but an effort to maximize the score for every car on your team. Winning is important but if you race one car to the finish line, your team might end up outside of the winner’s circle looking in.

Designer: Jeff Horger
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20. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:1168]
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Current Preorders: 473 (+1)

First announced: April 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Number of Players: 2-4

Comments: Steady as she goes Mr. Vasta!

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 Rulebook 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
Two 22”x34” maps
700 counters on 2 ½ counter sheets
Three 11”x17” Player Aid sheets
Three 8.5”x11” Faction Cards
Two 8.5”x11” Flowchart Cards
Two six-sided dice

Designer: Salvatore Vasta
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21. Board Game: Blood & Roses [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:3087] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 506 (+33)

First announced: October 2012

Current Status: Made the cut!

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

Number of Players: 1-2

Comments: Will be a grand game in the already grand series.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-425-blood-roses.aspx



Game Information: Fast playing . . . easily understandable rules . . . unusual battles . . . lots of action . . . lots of color . . . great leaders . . . lots of Fun. GMT’s series on Warfare in the Middle Ages, Men of Iron, enables you to see and simulate a major turning point in military weaponry and tactics, with the third game in the series, Blood & Roses.

Blood & Roses focuses on the battles of the Wars of the Roses in England, between 1455 and 1487. This was warfare in which most men were truly "of iron", heavily and totally armored to such a point that their mobility was suspect. It was also the introduction of gunpowder – mostly field artillery – in noticeable numbers. And while many English men-at-arms were mounted, they did so almost entirely for transport. Most fighting was on foot … and it was quite vicious.

Historical Note: The game’s title refers to the heavy casualty rates and the names given to many of the fields after the battles: Bloody Meadow, Bloody Field, et al.

Blood & Roses is designed for quick learning and easy play. Game rules are short, there are no "turns" - play is Continual, with ample opportunities to steal play from your opponent - and combat resolution is a single dieroll. Playing time is about 1-2 hours, per battle.

Blood & Roses is also GMT’s gift to the gamer who enjoys playing solitaire – the system can easily be played solo or face-to-face play without any loss in insight or Fun - to see what happened in these famous battles and why.

Designer: Richard Berg

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22. Board Game: Panzer: Game Expansion Set, Nr3 – Drive to the Rhine – The Second Front 1944-45 [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 510 (+16)

First announced: September 2012

Current Status: Made the cut!

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

Number of Players: 2

Comments: How's Panzer holding up for everyone?

Game Link:
http://www.gmtgames.com/p-420-panzer-exp-3-drive-to-the-rhin...



Game Information: This expansion set includes the most significant US and British forces that saw action on the Western front in 1944 up until the end of the war in 1945. Also included are the German units that fought against their relentless advances from Normandy, across Italy, breaching the Siegfried Line, and finally pushing in to the German Fatherland. Its playbook includes rules for special units, new optional rules, 10 gripping scenarios, and unit summaries for the US, British and German units.

Ownership of Expansions 1 & 2 is not required to field the German forces, they are all included here. However, this expands on those German units included in the first two expansions – no unit IDs are duplicated. Combine the German units from all three expansions to create customized scenarios on either the Western or Eastern Front.

Its TO&Es booklet includes details for the US, British and German forces covering the period from 1944 through 1945, including the US heavy and light armored divisions, British armored divisions, in both Western Europe and Italian configurations, and infantry and airborne divisions. German forces include Panzer Lehr, the 101st SS Heavy Tank Battalion (Michael Wittmann commanded its second company), and two independent Panzer Brigades.

Finally, this expansion includes the next 4 double-sided geomorphic mapboards, modeling the terrain found in the close confines of the French boscage country and many other features as the Allied forces push into the heart of Germany. Add these 4 geomorphic mapboards to the 6 geomorphic mapboards from expansions 1 & 2 for added play and many possible battle combinations.

Designer: James M. Day

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23. Board Game: Churchill [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:506]
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Current Preorders: 551 (+27)

First announced: October 2012

Current Status: Made the cut

Preorder Price (List Price): $60 ($89)

Number of Players: 3 (but includes 2 player and solo variants)

Comments: This one's not really slowing down.

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-423-churchill.aspx



Game Information: By late 1942 the Axis had been stopped at Stalingrad, El Alamein, and Guadalcanal. With Axis expansion halted and Allied victory only a matter of time and resources Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin began to focus on how to shape the ensuing peace to their advantage. Churchill is a game about the inter-Allied conflicts that occurred over the Conference table as each side vies to control the Allied agenda and the course of things to come.

The players in the game take on the roles of Churchill, Roosevelt, or Stalin as they maneuver against each over the course of six Conferences that determine who will lead the Allied forces, where those forces will be deployed, and how the Axis will be defeated. The player whose forces collectively have greater control over the surrendered Axis powers will win the peace and the game.

Churchill is a three player game of Coop-etiion where the players must cooperate to win World War II, while at the same time achieving a superior post war position over your allies. If the players collectively fail to defeat the Axis the Allies lose, but if the Axis are defeated, there is a victor of the peace that follows. There is also a two player and solo variant.

Designer: Mark Herman

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24. Board Game: France '40 [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:2344]
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Current Preorders: 609 (+63)

First announced: June 2012

Current Status: Made the cut

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

Number of Players: 2

Comments: Last month's name change has launched this one up and to the right!

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-412-sichelschnitt-1940.aspx



Game Information: “...even if the operation were to have only a 10% chance of success, I would stick with it. For only this can lead to the defeat of the enemy.” —General Halder, Chief of General Staff

Sichelschnitt: Guderian’s Drive to the Channel covers the crucial 10 days in May, 1940 when the German army broke the French line on the Meuse and raced to the sea at Abbeville. The daring sickle-like-cut across France cut off the BEF from their bases in Normandy and also trapped the French 1st and 7th Armies in Picardy. The French high-command became paralyzed and failed to counterattack. The British saw the situation was hopeless and headed for Dunkirk. It doomed France.

Designer: Mark Simonitch

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25. Board Game: The Dark Valley [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:2746]
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Current Preorders: 611 (+9)

First announced: June 2011

Current Status: Made the cut

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

Number of Players: 2 (easily playable solo according to the design team)

Comments: Still moving up the charts. It's Raicer, you know you want it!

Game Link: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-352-the-dark-valley.aspx



Game Information: The Dark Valley is a new game from award-winning designer Ted Raicer, focusing on the entire East Front campaign in World War II. The game components feature a beautiful map from Mark Mahaffey (see GMT web site), stretching from Leningrad in the north to the Caucasus Mountains in the south, and around 600 counters representing every major unit that appeared during the course of the conflict. Initially most Soviet infantry are divisions, but as the game progresses these are replaced by armies and corps, so that players are not overwhelmed by the increasing Soviet Order of Battle. All German mechanized divisions are present in the game, while their infantry is a mix of division and corps.

Although the game is a semi-monster, and covers the entirety of the conflict from the launch of Barbarossa to the end of the war, the game system emphasizes playability rather than rules overhead, allowing the players to concentrate on strategy choices rather than rules minutiae.

The core of the game system is a “chit-pull” activation system. Each turn a variety of action chits are drawn, in a random order, from the Action Chit Pool, and it is this that determines the exact flow of operations on that turn. If a German “Move/Combat” chit is drawn, the German player decides to move or fight (but not both), with all Axis units. If a German PZ HQ chit is drawn, units in command range of that HQ can move and conduct combat (with greater flexibility for armored units). If the Soviet Stavka chit is drawn, units may be deployed from Stavka Reserve to attempt to stem the Axis onslaught. If the Soviet Counterattack chit is drawn, Stalin insists that the attacks are made upon the fascist invaders, possibly to the detriment of the overall defense. When the Logistics chit is drawn, supply status is checked for all units.

Designer: Ted Raicer
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