MMP P500 for March 2009
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Welcome to the continuing saga of MMP preorders.

I’d like to say thank you to all who contributed to last month’s list. We had several great discussions, most prominently a discussion of P500 systems, innovation, Adam and Area Impulse last month in the Kawaguchi’s Gamble entry:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39404/item/860961#item...

Contributors included developer extraordinaire Nick (Doctor Nick) Richardson, friend of the show Gary Sax, and accomplished game designer Michael Rinella.

It’s conversations like these that are the reason I make these lists. Thanks again to all who contribute.

I'll be removing some games from certain features of this list going forward. Games that have made the cut will not have any of their preorder growth number tracked or graphed. It's just too much work.

As for preorder performance during February … well let's say it wasn't pretty. The two titles that have received the most impassioned pleas for support, Angola and Kawaguchi's gamble both had negative growth, as did Tide at Sunrise. All titles trended downward, ie. had reduced growth rates which in part is due to their being mature titles on the preorder chart.

Still, there are bright spots, Battle Above the Clouds continues a healthy growth rate that could hit it's goal next month, after three months on the chart. It's the new concepts that are facing hard times, with the notable exception of Angola, a reprint.

In production news – The Mighty Mighty Bastogne (aka just plain Bastogne) has begun shipping, so it becomes the first game to leave this list on good terms since the list began last September.


MMP’s Brian Youse told the peanut gallery on Feb 25th that the next three titles to ship will be Panzerblitz: Hill of Death, followed by A Most Dangerous Time and finally GD'42. Noting that PBII and AMDT could potentially switch places.

Odd side note, I noticed that Compass Games has picked up “No Peace Without Spain”, which you might recall was dropped by MMP last autumn and is taking it straight into production.

(ref http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@1016.dWnfeAl9Stn.1435942...)

Makes you think …


My standard disclaimer regarding MMP's ASL titles:
I don't include any ASL preorders in this list since:
(a) ASL preorders rocket up to their goals in a few weeks. They don't need wider visibility to make it to press.
(b) These lists are a ton of work, and take time that has to come out of my limited game time budget
(c) I have no interest in ASL myself.

In short, I don't have the time or desire to spend time including ASL titles here. I have nothing *against* ASL, but if you want to make an ASL preorders geeklist, more power to you.


Keep your sticks on the ice people and enjoy the list!

Preorder Summary Stats:



Bamm! (Games that just made the cut)
- None

Damn Close (to hitting their preorder Goal)
- War of the Suns, 18 orders away
- Baltic Gap, 35 orders away
- The Tide at Sunrise, 47 orders away
- Battle Above the Clouds, 54 orders away

Last month's
Winners:

55 Battle Above
20 Baltic Gap
13 Karelia
10 Guderian's
6 Kingdom of Heaven
4 Help Arrives
3 France 1940
2 Breakthrough
1 War of the Suns

Losers:
-1 Tide at Sunrise
-4 Angola
-5 Kawaguchi's


Production Queue news:
Released Last Month:
- Bastogne


Shipping Soon:
- Panzerblitz: Hill of Death
- A Most Dangerous Time
- GD'42

In Production:
Under Development:
No Question of Surrender

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1. Board Game: A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:2671]
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A Most Dangerous Time (IGS)


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

Production Status
"Bastogne shipping now. Then PBII. Then AMDT. PBII and AMDT may swap places, depending on a few things. Then GD'42."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Feb 25th 2009
"cards due in at end of January, counters (still waiting), boxes before end of January. Map is finished. Rules before end of January."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Jan 5th 2009
" its a race between GD'42, PBII, and AMDT to see whose components fully arrive. I won't bother predicting order."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Jan 25th 2009


My Two Cents:
It's about time !

The Buzz:
Soon ...

The Company Line:
This is the game that made Tetsuya Nakamura famous. As you have seen from MMP’s Fire in the Sky and you will see from MMP's A Victory Lost, Nakamura provides a unique insight into military history. MMP is proud to present what is widely considered to be his finest effort. While Samurai Lords provides a broad overview of Feudal Japan, A Most Dangerous Time focuses in on the most dire moment of all – 1570-1584. Oda Nobunaga, the most revered figure in Japanese history, fights against all of Japan and the victor will be the ultimate master of all of Japan.
Retail Price: $70.00
Pre-Order Price: $41.25

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=3...
Designer: Tetsuya Nakamura (of AVL fame)
Developer: Adam Starkweather
Artwork: Mark Mahaffey

Components:
- one 22" x 34"map
- 440 5/8" counters
- 36 page color rulebook
- 110 "poker quality" cards
- dice

Players: 2
Complexity: Medium
Playing Time: 4 hours

Game Turn: bi-annual
Counters: Individual leaders and 1000 men per strength point
Map: point-to-point
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2. Board Game: Panzerblitz: Hill of Death [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:4976]
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Panzerblitz: Hill of Death


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

Production Status
"Bastogne shipping now. Then PBII. Then AMDT. PBII and AMDT may swap places, depending on a few things. Then GD'42."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Feb 25th 2009
"Finishing up layout of rules/scenarios - probably done any day now. Counters (still waiting). Box by end of January."
Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Jan 5th 2009


My Two Cents:
My first wargame was checked out from the Wickliffe Public Library in the late 1970''s. It was Panzerblitz. How many of us discovered this hobby within than bookcase game? I remember trying to absorb the rules, moving the counters around, stumbling through the first scenario, loving the tank silhouettes and wondering what chance in hell the wagon would have in combat ... and now the Grandson's coming to town.

The Buzz:
It's release has been predicted for over a year ... soon ... soon ... this time for real. And the price, awful nice given what wargames go for now-a-days. Still, I'll miss the geomorphic maps and scenario mix.

The Company Line:
Take command of Infantry and Armor to control key terrain features on Hill 112 and the surrounding countryside. This epic battle waged for over 4 weeks with the hill and surrounding objectives changing hands several times. Can you take and hold this vital piece of high ground the key to Normandy?

Panzerblitz: Hill of Death (PB:HOD) is based upon the timeless classics Panzerblitz and Panzer Leader. It has been thoroughly updated, though, to remove the known issues with the old games while adding a whole new artistic look.

Retail Price: $36.00
Pre-Order Price: $27.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=3...

Designer: Darren Emge
Developer:
Artwork: Nicolás Eskubi

Components:
- 1 22"x32" mapsheet
- 2 countersheets
- 8 scenarios
- Panzerblitz rules
- Player Aid card
- Two dice
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3. Board Game: Crucible of Courage [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Crucible of Courage (CWTS)


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

My Two Cents:
I find this game's designer much more personable on CSW then here on BGG - I suspect his avatars are the cause. On CSW we see present day RHB, the accomplished grandfatherly game designer. Here on BGG, the brash, acrid witted RHB of his youth.

The Buzz:
In February, RHB had this to say:

The Boys of MMP have started "work" on CRUCIBLE . . . which means that at least it isn't sitting in the back of the closet, where it's been hiding for umpteen years.

In the past he told us:
The scenarios in CRUCIBLE are easily playable in one sitting, or less. (A half sitting?) And many of my recent (last few years) games ave scenarios playable in two hours or less: cf. MEN OF IRON.
And where can you find a game in which one side uses a hollow log as a cannon, hmmm?



The Company Line:
Crucible of Courage introduces Richard Berg’s long-awaited “Civil War Tactical System” ... a company-level American Civil War game system, at 25 yards per hex, designed by Richard when MMP asked him to create a SQUAD LEADER type ACW game.
The heart of the CWTS system is in commanding the companies, issuing orders actively (not reactively), and determining what your units actually do when given orders. Do they follow their commanders? Can they even hear them? Is there too much smoke? Do they form line of battle, or do they fall prone? Do they Hold and Volley Fire, or do they recklessly Charge? Can you get your men to do what you want them to do?

Retail Price: $48.00
Pre-Order Price: $36.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=4...

Designer: Richard Berg
Developer: Bill Ramsay
Artwork: Nicolas Eskubi

Components:
- 4 22"x17" mapsheets
- 2 countersheets
- Rulebook
- Scenario book
- 4 player aid cards
- 2 dice
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4. Board Game: GD '42 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:4310]
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GD'42 (TCS )


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

Production Status
"Bastogne shipping now. Then PBII. Then AMDT. PBII and AMDT may swap places, depending on a few things. Then GD'42."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Feb 25th 2009
"same status as Bastogne except map/rules are in progress at printers instead of already delivered.."
- Source: Brian Youse (MMP), CSW Jan 5th 2009


My Two Cents:
Lord knows I wish I had the time to try this series. I have to wonder how Dean finds the time ... then again his kids are 10-15 years older than mine.

The Buzz:

The Company Line:
GD ’42 covers the desperate battle for survival of the GD Division as it faced down the entire Soviet 3rd Mech Corps (with over 200 tanks) over several days. Designer Wig Graves conducted extensive research, combing both German and Soviet sources to create the order of battle. The Soviets begin with seemingly overwhelming force, while the Germans trade space for time and attempt to rush reinforcements to the front to plug inevitable gaps. While the Germans are primarily on the defense, careful counter-attacks against the relatively immobile Soviet formations can prove to be key to victory. And if the Soviets do not preserve their forces carefully, they will end with the historical result: stable German lines and an entire mechanized corps wrecked.

Retail Price: $70.00
Pre-Order Price: $52.50

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=4...

Designer: Wig Graves
Series Design: Dean Essig and Lee Forester
Artwork: Nicolas Eskubi and Dean Ess

Components:
- 3 22”x34” maps
- 3 countersheets (840 ½” counters)
- 1 TCS 4.0 Series Rulebook
- 2 TCS 4.0 charts
- 1 GD ’42 Rulebook
- 2 Morale Charts
- 2 Dice
 
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5. Board Game: A Victory Denied [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:2297]
 
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A Victory Denied (IGS)


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded


My Two Cents:
The sequel to the enormously successful A Victory Lost, this time designed by AVL's developer and IGS founding father Adam Starkweather. I'm very excited about this title as the fluid campaign between Smolensk and Moscow has always appealed to me as a gamer. I wish the counters were 5/8 and the map hexes big enough to avoid stacking, but then I wish the counters were 1" so we have to draw a line somewhere. Still this game's slow climb up the P500 has been a bit of a mystery, happy it's there now.

Only one question remains, is the playing time "Adam Time" or real time?

The Buzz:
Adam says AVD is next in the IGS production cue after A Most Dangerous Time - consimworld Sept 5, 2008.

The Company Line:
Building on the enormous critical success of A Victory Lost, A Victory Denied is a wargame that offers the same elegant simplicity of A Victory Lost but also covers the unique aspects of this great battle. While the system remains the same, upgraded supply rules and command structure rules will be added to model how important these problems were in this battle – and air power and Stalin’s Organs will make their first appearance in the system. But what made A Victory Lost so special will still be in full force – easy rules, unpredictable chit pulls, wild game play, and the ability to play the game almost right out of the box.

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=4...

Retail Price: $38.00
Pre-Order Price: $28.50

Components:
- 1 32 by 22 map
- 280 1/2” counters
- 16 page full color rulebook

Solitaire rating: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Playing time: 6 hours
Scenarios: 1

Designer: Adam Starkweather
Developer: Nick Richardson
Graphic Artist: Niko Eskubi
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6. Board Game: War of the Suns [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:6375]
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War of the Suns (IGS)

Total Pre-Orders: 392 (1)
Pre-Orders Needed: 410
Months on the List: 17



My Two Cents:
After a good January, preorders trickled in last month. Still it was a positive month :-/


The Buzz:

The Company Line:
War of the Suns was first designed by Leonard To, a Hong Kong native, more than 20 years ago. It won the championship of the First Wargame Design Competition in Hong Kong in 1984. The game has since been updated in the early 90's, and extensively again during the last 3 years. Offering exclusive research based on recently opened Chinese archives, as well as many Japanese and English sources, has made War of the Suns one of the most painstakingly researched and accurate games of its type ever made.

The game covers the period from July 1937 to August 1945. The roughly 1:3,000,000 map covers most of China proper, Burma, Assam area of India, and parts of Thailand and Indochina.

Retail Price: $160.00
Pre-Order Price: $120.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=4...

Designer: Leonard To
Developer:
Artwork: Mark Mahaffey

Components:
- 3 22"x32" mapsheets
- Over 1500 counters on 12 countersheets
- 48 page rulebook
- 9 player aid cards
- 4 six-sided dice

Game Turn: 3 months
Counters: Army/Division for the Chinese;
Division/Brigade for the Japanese and British

Game Details: Players: 1-4
Scenarios: 5
Complexity: Medium to Hard
Playing Time: 5 to 34 hours
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7. Board Game: The Tide at Sunrise: The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905 [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:3539]
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The Tide at Sunrise(IGS)

Total Pre-Orders: 503 (-1)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 17


My Two Cents:
This title has seen single digit growth and a loss so far this year - not good and it's so close to its goal. It's like it's approaching an asymptote.


The Buzz:


The Company Line:
Tide at Sunrise continues the philosophy that began with A Victory Lost. Using tried and true mechanics but with some major twists, Tide at Sunrise will be a major test of player skill that is rarely seen in the wargaming hobby. Here, the base system is little more than the tried and true game from SPI called Napoleon at Waterloo. But not all is at it seems.

Retail Price: $40.00
Pre-Order Price: $30.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Playtime: 3-5 hours
Complexity: Simple
Solitaire rating: excellent

Game scale: Turns: 12 (each turn represents one month of real time)
Counters: Divisions and Brigades for the land units, Capital Ships for the naval units
Hex scale: 10 kilometers

Game Credits: Designer: Yukihiro Kuroda
Developer: Adam Starkweather
Artwork: Niko Eskubi

Components:
- One 22” by 39” full color map
- 140 1/2” land formation counters
- 44 1 1/4” by 5/8” ship counters
- 16 page full color rulebook
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8. Board Game: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:2495]
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Kingdom of Heaven

Total Pre-Orders: 453 (+6)
Pre-Orders Needed: 530
Months on the List: 15




My Two Cents:
I'll tell you what has me paying attention to this title ... Neil Randall. I'm becoming convinced that a good game results from a good developer. Having Neil at the helm of this one bodes well.

The setting is dynamite as well - particularly when married to the CDG engine.

If you want to see what Neil can do or you just love a good CDG, check out Compass's recently released Spartacus.


The Buzz:
Some excellent "interactive" designer's notes on consimworld, but decent photos or sample cards are scarce - More Eye Candy please!


The Company Line:
Kingdom of Heaven is a two-player card-driven game that allows the players to experience the great campaigns in the Middle East between A.D. 1097 and 1291. Nine different historical scenarios pit the greatest commanders of the age against one another: Nur ad-Din, Richard the Lionhearted, Saladin, Frederick Barbarossa, Louis IX, Hulegu Khan, Baibars, and many others.
Each turn represents one year, and the scenarios range in length from the 3-turn First Crusade learning scenario to the 7-turn assault of Baibars on the faltering ramparts of the Crusader States. The game emphasizes playability, and every scenario should be completable in a 3-4 hour evening. Complexity is approximately the same as Wilderness War by GMT or Shifting Sands by MMP.

Retail Price: $80.00
Pre-Order Price: $60.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Designer: Scott de Brestian
Developer: Neil Randall
Artwork: Mark Mahaffey and Niko Eskubi

Components:
- 1 22x34” cardstock map
- 110 “poker quality” playing cards
- 528 5/8” counters
- 24 page rule book
- 24 page scenario book
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9. Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4086]
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Breakthrough: Cambrai

Total Pre-Orders: 417 (+2)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 15



[COLOR=#0033FF]
My Two Cents:
This game appeared on my radar for one simple reason, Michael Rinella. His Not War But Murder was a favorite of mine this past summer. An affordable, in print, area impulse game - a rare goose a year ago, but the flood gates have opened on Area control games in the past year. It's too bad the preorder haven't flooded in as well.

Cambrai has 1 inch counters too - be still my heart.
[COLOR]

The Buzz:
Pictures are worth a thousand words (and the exchange rate on my verbiage is even worse) so here's some images from the web.

Playtest Map on the designer's website:


A playtest in progress:


and another view of the map:


Yes ... I want this game to do well ;-)

Designer Michael Rinella has written that the game is completely playtested (in Germany) and ready to go. He wrote in January that "once the game hits the pxxx mark I would expect it to go to the printers quickly."

If the photos above haven't thrown your wallet open, Michael told us last autumn:


Breakthrough: Cambrai is the best thing I've designed to date, and that includes Not War But Murder.

I can tell you it was more heavily researched, and it's been in continuous playtest and refinement with the developer Uli who lives in Germany and who along with the playtest group researched German-language sources I couldn't access (plus my German is pretty bad). I was shown the light on some order of battle issues, thanks to them.
Three sheets of 70 one-inch counters. BIG.

Unlike Monty's Gamble we have ONE person for map, counter, and box art, and it's the MMP house artist, Niko. The art is gonna kick ass on this one. I love the samples I've seen.
Quick playing. Multiple scenarios. Sudden death possibilities (the Haig Decision die roll). The "diceless advantage" that made its debut in Not War But Murder.


The Company Line:
Breakthrough: Cambrai is two player game simulating the British assault to breach the “Hindenburg Line” between November 20 and December 3, 1917. One player controls the British forces, the other the German forces. The object of the game is to control a certain number of areas on the map or, for the British, to exit units off the map into certain perimeter zones.
Breakthrough: Cambrai is an area-movement game which uses impulse mechanics (where players alternate "mini-turns") similar to popular games like Breakout:Normandy and Monty's Gamble, Market Garden. The impulse nature of the game means little or no down time for each player while waiting for the other to complete a move or attack.

Retail Price: $48.00
Pre-Order Price: $36.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Designer: Michael Rinella
Developer: Uli Blennemann
Artwork: Niko Eskubi.

Components:
- 1 22” x 34” map
- 1 16-page rulebook
- 1 16 page scenario/play booklet
- 3 Sheets of 1” counters
- 4 Setup and Reinforcement Cards
- 2 player aid cards
- 4 dice
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10. Board Game: La Bataille de France, 1940 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6812] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
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La Bataille de France 1940

Total Pre-Orders: 187 (+3)
Pre-Orders Needed: 300



My Two Cents:
For the past five months I haven't had the time or interest to include expansions and ASL titles on the MMP preorder list. And let's face it, ASL expansions don't need any help hitting their numbers.
Then earlier this month I received a really nice geekmail from Nicolás Eskub, artist on this title and several IGS titles I love. He asked if I could take the time to add this game to the list. I started looking at the game's components, people's comments and then I found the time

The Buzz:
The sample map artwork posted here on BGG is some of the most gorgeous I have ever seen.

Take a look:


Let's hear from "A las Barricadas" fans, how anticipated is this title?

The Company Line:
In May, 1940, World War II took a turn that will change history forever—the German Army invaded France through the neutral countries of Belgium and Netherlands and thus avoiding the fearsome Maginot Line. The French Army, supposedly the best army of the time, felt far from any threat. Against all expectations, the neutral nations were quickly overrun, and the British Expeditionary Corps was forced to be evacuated, almost miraculously, from the channel port of Dunkirk. France capitulated in two months.

This game recreates those events and allows players to reproduce, at a tactical level, the most famous battles of the “Blitzkrieg”. Based on the “A las Barricadas” game system, with new rules added to simulate to this historical period, France 1940 promises many enjoyable hours of fierce game play involving infantry, tanks, artillery, and aircraft from all the armies that took part in this campaign.

Retail Price: $61.00
Pre-Order Price: $53.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Designer: Juan Carlos Cebrián
Developer:
Artwork: Nicolás "Niko" Eskubi

Components:
- four 11.5" x 15.7" maps
- 3 sheets of counters and markers (400+ counters)
- 30 page rulebook printed in two languages—Spanish and English
- Two dice
- 12 Scenario cards
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11. Board Game: Help Arrives! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
 
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A las Barricadas ...Help Arrives!

Total Pre-Orders: 163 (+4)
Pre-Orders Needed: 300



My Two Cents:
See my comments above, if the gameplay is anywhere near as good as the artwork on this title ... Wow

The Buzz:
[/COLOR]

The Company Line:
War Storm Series presents the first expansion of the tactical game set in the Spanish Civil War, A las Barricadas!. Help Arrives... in the form of new units such as the International Brigades, the Italian Corpo Troppe Volontarie, and the German Cóndor Legion.
Help Arrives... with 300 new counters and 12 exciting new scenarios that expand the original game and cover almost every type of unit that took part in the conflict.

Retail Price: $40.00
Pre-Order Price: $31.50

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Designer: Juan Carlos Cebrián
Developer:
Artwork: Nicolás "Niko" Eskubi

Components:
- 1 map
- 2 counter sheets
- 12 scenario cards
- Charts
 
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12. Board Game: Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:9253]
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Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge

Total Pre-Orders: 368 (-5)
Pre-Orders Needed: 530
Months on the List: 12




My Two Cents:
This title generated a great discussion of P500 systems, innovation, Adam and Area Impulse last month:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39404/item/860961#item...

The Buzz:
In February, friend of the show Michael Rinella had this to add regarding Gamble and Area Impulse games in general

I've seen this game kicking around at the WBCs for a couple of years. Had it demonstrated to me last year. This is a sweet addition to the area-movement line, and a World War Two Pacific theme is especially welcome.

And that leads to my main point. It's time for MMP to promote an "Area Movement" or "Area-Impulse" series. These games need to be a distinct product line, not lumped into a vauge (sic) category of "other" at their webpage. Promotion, promotion, promotion. This is even more necessary with the area-impulse system which is a fantastic way to simulate conflict. For some reason it remains on the periphery, scarcely on the radar of traditional hex-CRT and CDG players.

Monty's Gamble eventually reached a pre-order number of 430 at a price of $30.00 back in better economic times. At the full price of $40.00 it sold out its print run, mainly it appears through international sales via the internet. These international buyers are by and large, I suspect, totally unaware of "p-500" pre-order lists. They see a game they find interesting at an on-line store and they buy it.

So the key is getting the games published. The pre-order model is fine, but in the case of these games, at least, limited. Once published there is strong evidence these game will sell. A final note: ATO magazine has said that Not War But Murder was their best-selling game of 2007. I believe this is further evidence that if you publish an area-impulse game there is a market out there for them.



CSW folder (Edson's Ridge):
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@166.L8WaetvBo4f.22@.1dd2...
Cover art : http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@166.L8WaetvBo4f.30@.1dd...

The Company Line:
Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge covers the area of Edson's Ridge and the surrounding jungle just south of Henderson Airfield on the island of Guadalcanal during September 1942. The Japanese, as part of a complicated multi-pronged attack, sent three battalions, nearly 3000 men, charging towards the ridge protecting the airfield. Almost 800 Paramarines and Raiders defended the ridge with amazing courage and, despite suffering horrible casualties, kept from being overrun and saved both the airfield and possibly the Marine presence on Guadalcanal. The Japanese are often cited as having lost nearly 80% of their men attacking the ridge.
Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge is five turns long, each turn is a variable length of alternating impulses. The game length between experienced gamers is 2.5 to 3 hours.

Retail Price: $44.00
Pre-Order Price: $33.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=5...

Designer: Brian Youse & Ken Dunn
Developer: Ken Dunn
Artwork: Nicolas Eskubi

Components:
- 22"x34" full-color mapsheet
- 2 sheets of 5/8" counters
- 4 player aid cards
- full-color rulebook with examples
- 4 six-sided dice
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13. Board Game: Where Eagles Dare [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:2993]
Iain K
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Where Eagles Dare


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded


My Two Cents:

The Buzz:
Sequel to an obscure but apparently well liked game by some unknown new designer.
OK, I'll take my tongue out of my cheek *now*.

The Company Line:
The eagerly-awaited sequel to The Devil’s Cauldron, Where Eagles Dare completes the Market Garden saga and allows players to play out the entire operation. In addition, Where Eagles Dare is also a complete and standalone game and offers a fascinating game situation in which the outnumbered, elite 101st Airborne division must race from emergency to emergency to maintain the vital lifeline to the British 1st Airborne Division fighting for its life in Arnhem. This single and fragile lifeline would come to be called “Hell’s Highway”.
Where Eagles Dare: the Battle for Hell’s Highway is the next game in the Grand Tactical Series of company level games offered by Multi-Man Publishing. The game will also introduce new terrain types and new special rules to fully explore the battle. Where Eagles Dare will introduce a special off map movement system to allow the Germans to move forces from sector to sector of the battlefield and a host of other rules to make this game as unique and interesting as The Devil’s Cauldron.

Retail Price: $160.00
Pre-Order Price: $120.00

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Designer: Unknown
Developer: Nick Richardson
Artwork: Niko Eskubi

Components:
- Series Rulebook (in full-color)
- Series Rules Summary (in full-color)
- Exclusive Rulebook (in full-color)
- Historical Booklet (in full-color)
- 6 Player aids (in full-color)
- Turn Record and Weather Table Chart (in full-color)
- 2 CRT/TEC (in full-color)
- 4 23.5" by 35.5" full-color mapsheets
- 10 counter sheets
- 4 10-sided dice
- large (TDC sized) box
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14. Board Game: No Question of Surrender [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:4413]
Iain K
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No Question of Surrender


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded


My Two Cents:
Hell, we all want to try the Grand Tactical Series, but who needs a second mortgage in this day and age. Finally a game using the system that fits the budget.

Take 3,600 criminals, free Frenchmen, East European Jews, and other relatives of mine that have no intention of surrendering to the Nazis and watch them battle Rommel's finest to a standstill. Leading an aide of his to write:

"In the course of the desert war ... we never encountered a more heroic and better sustained defense."

After two weeks, out of ammo and water, 2,600 punched their way through Rommel's finest to fight again another day. To Rommel's credit, he ignored Hilter's orders to execute the severely wounded left behind, and treated them per the rules of war.

The Buzz:
This title passed it's preorder goal in a big way earlier this year so I'll stop tracking its growth.

The Company Line:
No Question of Surrender is the first game in the Grand Tactical Series of company-level games offered by Multi-Man Publishing to examine the North African campaign. The game will also introduce new terrain types to the system and new special rules to cover events from the battle.

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Retail Price: $68.00
Pre-Order Price: $51.00

Designer: Nick Richardson
Developer: Adam Starkweather
Rules Writer: Jon Gautier
Graphics: Niko Eskubi

Components:
- Series Rulebook
- Series Rules Summary
- NQOS Exclusive Rulebook
- 4 color division cards
- one 22"x34" map sheet
- 3 counter sheets
- 4 10-sided dice
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15. Board Game: Angola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:1735]
Iain K
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Angola (IGS)

Total Pre-Orders: 281 (-4)
Pre-Orders Needed: 500
Months on the List: 9



My Two Cents:
This title had decent growth in January, owing to campaigning by fans - but sees a drop in preorders this month. No, no, no, no, no that won't do at all!


The Buzz:


The Company Line:
Angola recreates a brief portion of the violent, decades-long Angolan civil war that began in the 1970s with the fall of a colonial power and dragged its bloody way into the 21st century thanks in part to cold war politics. Angola is a multi-player game in which players control the various Soviet- and US-backed factions that vied for control of Angola from 1975 to 1976. Originally released in limited quantities by Ragnar Brothers of the UK, Angola quickly became a rare and highly sought after game of almost cult status. Why? Angola features a number of innovative game systems that keep players guessing, create plenty of tension, and reward the right balance of boldness and caution. MMP is now updating this classic with the fabulous graphics of the IGS line of games and bringing it to a wider audiences.

The map is divided into areas, and units represent military formations and also special weapons, such as artillery, rockets, tanks, and airplanes. A unique command and activation system has players committing in secret to the order in which they will activate a limited number of their units for the turn. The players then take turns activating their units in the determined order. The result is like a tense game of poker, with players trying to analyze the map and out guess their enemies.

Retail Price: $75.00
Pre-Order Price: $56.25

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Designer: Phil Kendall
Developer: Adam Starkweather
Artwork: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

Components:
- 2 decks of cards (110 total)
- 32 page full-color rulebook
- 2 player aid cards
- 22" by 34" inch map
- 3 countersheets
- 4 six-sided dice
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16. Board Game: Karelia '44 [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:4654]
Iain K
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Karelia '44

Total Pre-Orders: 336 (+13)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 4




My Two Cents:
This title's growth rate continues at a double digit pace, but it's slowing, perhaps a picture would help?


The Buzz:

The Company Line:
Karelia ’44 is an operational level game that focuses on the last major campaign of the Russo-Finnish Continuation War (25 June 42—4 Sept 44). STAVKA planned an offensive during the summer of 1944 to coincide with the Normandy landings. The objective was to force Finland out of the war. Towards this end, the Soviets amassed two ground armies, one air army, and an impressive amount of artillery. Confident after a series of victories against the Germans, the Red Army attacked in Karelia on 9 June 44. The attack began with an overwhelming artillery barrage (second only to the Oder crossings in intensity). Finnish lines were pushed back and then breached—the race for Viipuri/Vyborg was on. The capture of this city would open the road to Helsinki.

The game features a unique “Boss Point” System which precludes either player from knowing how long the game will last. For the Russian player, this represents the gun to his head of an unhappy dictator who will gladly send you to a Gulag forever if you fail in your goals. For the Finns, you know that you are understrength and that the Russians will destroy you if given enough time, but you need to hang on for dear life in order to be in the best possible position when the Boss’ patience runs out.

Karelia '44 is the 14th game in the award winning Standard Combat Series. Emphasizing easy to play rules, SCS lets the player get right into the game!

Retail Price: $42.00
Pre-Order Price: $31.50

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Designer:
Developer:
Artwork:

Components:
- SCS Series Rulebook
- Specific Rulebook
- Two Full Color Play Aids
- Full Color Game Map
- 280 Counters
- 3 Scenarios
- Box and Dice
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17. Board Game: Baltic Gap [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:2456]
Iain K
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Baltic Gap

Total Pre-Orders: 585 (+20)
Pre-Orders Needed: 610
Months on the List: 4




My Two Cents:
This title's continues to be the best of the November class of preorders. It is Damn Close to hitting it's preorder goal.


The Buzz:
It sounds like this monster has already seen a fair amount of playtesting.

The Company Line:
Baltic Gap depicts the Soviet drive into Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania during the summer of 1944. As the game begins, the defense of Vitebsk, a Byelorussian fortified city located just a few hexes beyond the southeast corner of the playing surface, has just collapsed. 1st Baltic Front is advancing westward through the shredded German line, and will soon threaten all of Army Group North with encirclement. Finally, after four months of fierce battle, the Red Army will win the great prize of this campaign, Riga, and pocket the enemy in the Courland region of Latvia.

Baltic Gap is the 11th game in the award winning Operational Combat Series. It stays true to the ground breaking earlier games in the system that allow players a deeper glimpse into why the skills and behaviors of the two sides were so very different. Here in 1944, we find a much more developed Russian army (much more advanced than the one shown in the 2007 CSR Award winning game Case Blue) facing a still potent German Wehrmacht. The Germans will need to fight their forces with great skill to avoid getting swamped by their tough adversary.

Retail Price: $70.00
Pre-Order Price: $52.50

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Designer: John Kisner
Developer:
Artwork:

Components:
- OCS Series Rulebook
- Baltic Gap Specific Rulebook
- Two OCS Charts and Tables Booklets
- Two 22"x34" Full Color Game Maps
- Five countersheets (1,400 Counters)
- 8 Scenarios (3 are one map or less)
- Box and Dice
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18. Board Game: Guderian's Blitzkrieg II [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:2303] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Iain K
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Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II

Total Pre-Orders: 290 (+10)
Pre-Orders Needed: 450
[COLOR=#0033FF] Months on the List: 4




My Two Cents:

The Buzz:
God I wish they'd make an SCS title based on this same campaign ... hoping A Victory Lost scratches that itch ...

The Company Line:
Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II depicts the German drive to capture Moscow in the fall of 1941 (Operation Typhoon) and the first Russian Winter Counteroffensive. In 1942, the German player can attempt another stab at Moscow, or conserve his strength to deal a death-blow to the November 1942 Russian offensive Operation Mars (as happened historically).

Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II is a reprint of the 8th game in the award winning Operational Combat Series. It mates with the 2007 CSR Award winning game Case Blue to show all of the Eastern Front south of Army Group North from 1 Oct 41 through the end of May 1943.

Owners of the 2001 printing of this game that have Case Blue do not need to purchase this printing. Owners that do not have Case Blue might be interested in this version because it incoporates the upgrades that occurred in Case Blue. In any event. The set ups, rules, and Orders of Arrival have been updated to the Case Blue Standards. Known errata in the original has been corrected.

Retail Price: $160
Pre-Order Price: $120

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=6...

Designer:
Developer:
Artwork:

Components:
- OCS Series Rulebook
- Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II Specific Rulebook
- Two OCS Charts and Tables Booklets
- Three 22"x34" Full Color Game Maps
- Four 22"x14" Full Color Game Maps (includes Moscow Blow Up Map)
- 2,800 Counters (7 sheets of units, 3 sheets of markers)
- 19 Scenarios (1 one map, 3 are two map games)
- Box and Dice
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19. Board Game: Battle Above the Clouds [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:2345]
Iain K
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The Battle Above the Clouds

Total Pre-Orders: 496 (+55)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 2





My Two Cents:
Sure the preorder rate is slowing, but so did the pace of the Soviet advance. At the current rate this would hit its goal in a month.


Finally fans have a chance to preorder a new member of the esteemed GCACW series, this time set in the Western theater. I can't say I'm excited about the price, but when have I been excited about anything's price? It would be like being excited about "detailed systems" (which I get my fill of at work) or "special rules". The new price is in line with the growing costs of two map, three counter sheet games. Given this game's 9 scenarios include notables like Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, I know it will be worth the money. Only problem is, will others believe ...

The Buzz:
Ed Beach had this to say on CSW (12/31/08):

The most interesting terrain the GCACW series has seen to date, and campaign situations that allow both sides to take the offensive. However both players are hampered by troublesome logistical issues that make good operational planning a necessity. I'm definitely looking forward to playing these campaign scenarios again and again. I've got a good feel for them from our playtesting so far, but I've still got new approaches I haven't had a chance to fully explore.
As to speed to print, although the map is 100% complete, we still have some materials to finish up in other areas (have to include all the usual historical materials). So we don't expect to have everything turned in to MMP until late February. That means we're looking good for a release in the first half of 2009, assuming MMP's production schedule obliges.


To which MMP's Brian Youse added:

they're not anticipating delivery of materials until February but generally we'd expect 6-8 weeks after it hits for delivery as the size of this game makes printing easier.
Most delays are trying to coordinate countersheet print runs, this game is nearly a run on its own so less to coordinate = faster turnaround.


The Company Line:
Battle Above the Clouds is the 8th game in the award-winning Great Campaigns of the American Civil War (GCACW) series. This is the first game covering a western theater campaign and will serve as the core area for a series of maps covering the entire corridor from Nashville, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia. The game includes both the Chickamauga campaign of August/September, 1863 and the Chattanooga campaign of October/November of the same year.
Battle Above the Clouds includes a wide variety of engagements in the Basic Game scenarios. The seven actions include two introductory scenarios, a cavalry raid, a fighting withdrawal, a series of operational maneuvers through mountainous terrain, and two large battles:
- McLemore’s Cove (4 turns, September 10-13, 1863)
- Crossing Chickamauga Creek (1 turn, September 18, 1863)
- The Battle of Chickamauga (3 turns, September 18-20, 1863)
- Wheeler’s Raid (8 turns, September 29-October 6, 1863)
- Opening the Cracker Line (1 turn, October 28, 1863)
- Lookout Mountain & Missionary Ridge (2 turns, November 24-25, 1863)
- Ringgold Gap (2 turns, November 26-27, 1863)

The two Advanced Game scenarios cover both major periods of campaigning in the region:
-The Chickamauga Campaign (32 turns, August 29- September 29, 1863)
- The Siege of Chattanooga (40 turns, October 28-December 6, 1863)

Retail Price: $83.00
Pre-Order Price: $62.50

MMP website:
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/preorder/viewGame.php?id=7...

Designer: Ed Beach and Mike Belles
Developer: Ed Beach ?
Artwork: Charlie Kibler, creator of the legendary GCACW maps

Components:
- Series Rules Booklet (approx 24 pgs)
- Specific Rules Booklet (approx 48 pgs including scenarios/designer notes)
- Two 22"x32" full-color mapsheets (Click to see a map sample! (1.5Mb jpg))
- A full-color 11"x17" Off-Map Display
- Two full-color Force Displays
-Three Countersheets (Click to see a few counters!)
-Two 4-page color Charts and Tables
- Two 6-sided Dice
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20. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2241]
Iain K
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Rumored to be in the MMP pipeline to Preorder are:

"Golan"
A new SCS title currently being playtested. I don't know if it's at a different scale than Yom Kippur or not, but I hope so. YK's application of the Standard Combat System to an almost grand tactical scale just did not work for me.


"King Philip's War"
Based on the colonial New England rebellion of the same name, this was demo'ed at MMP's January fling, Winter Offensive. I believe this is a CDG, but I can't find where that was specifically referenced.

The game's designer, John Poniske, has Leaping Lemmings on GMT's preorder list.
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