MMP P500 for August 2009
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Ahhh, the dog days of August are upon us, and for many that means the World Boardgaming Convention.

Hippies.

The rest of us, having missed the "Love In" for whatever reason (job, family, wife...), will just have to wait to see what's released and what preorders are announced after Woodstock ends.

And the list of potential new titles is amazingly long - particularly if one believes Adam.

I never do.

On the other hand, you have the steady, down-to-earth, even folky wisdom of Brian Youse. A voice of reason among the babble of CSW. Imagine our surprise this past month when Brian went on a tear about the Tour de France. Damn, who knew? Who could have known, the depth of his rage?

It was a bit frightening.

Anywho, now that I've pissed off most of the MMP staff - let's get to this month's list.

It was a quiet month, with Breakthrough and Guderian leading the way in growth. Breakthrough has pulled to within 25 orders of it's goal - it could easily make that number this month. Gurderian's Blitzkrieg increased it's numbers for the second straight month, rebounding from a low in June.

The Tide at Sunrise met its preorder number in typically modest fashion, more artwork has been posted and as we've come to expect from MMP/IGS team - the thing looks great .... of course, people are complaining.

Karelia's growth remained in the double digits, while the other four titles had positive growth as well.

In production news, it looks like a slew of titles will be shipping over the next month. Including A Victory Denied, Battle Above the Clouds, a Special Operations magazine (which sounds *fantastic*) and some ASL stuff to boot.


Kudos to MMP for a plethora of CSR award nominations including:

Warriors of God
- Best Pre-WWII era Board Game
- Best Graphic Design

The Devil's Cauldron
- Best World War II Board Game
- Best Graphic Design

Storm Over Stalingrad
- Best World War II Board Game

Valor of the Guards
- Best World War II Board Game

Iwo Jima: Rage Against the Marines
- Best Magazine Game

Operations
- Best Professional Game Magazine

And most impressively, the James F. Dunnigan Design Elegance Award for three names oft associated with MMP titles:
- Adam Starkweather
- Nicolas Eskubi
- Nick "Dr Nick" Richardson

Oh and Best Historical/Scenario Article
- Brian "Le Tour de France" Youse for "Making Waves"


So that's the news - enjoy the rest of the Summer and keep those sticks on the ice!

Be sure to check out the latest preorder lists for:
GMT's new titles http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/44143
GMT's reprints http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/44558
Columbia Games http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/44905


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.


Preorder Summary Stats:




Bamm! (Games that just made the cut)
- The Tide at Sunrise

Damn Close (titles within 10% of their preorder Goal)
- Breakthrough: Cambrai, 25 orders away

Last month's
Winners:

19 Breakthrough
16 Guderian's
14 Tide at Sunrise
10 Karelia
7 Angola
6 Kawaguchi's
4 France 1940
2 Help Arrives

Losers:


Production Queue news:
Released Last Month:

Shipping Soon:
A Victory Denied
Battle Above the Clouds

At the Printers:
No Question of Surrender
Where Eagles Dare

Under Development:
War of the Suns
Kingdom of Heaven
The Tide at Sunrise

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1. Board Game: A Victory Denied [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:2292]
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A Victory Denied

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

Production Status
Shipping in august 2009 - Source Brian Youse MMP

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 not require tweezers ... but I'll be happy with 1/2" counters if the hexes are bigger than AVL's were.

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


Counter sheer has been posted here on the Geek - if you like AVL, you'll like these counter as well.


The Buzz:

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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2. Board Game: War of the Suns [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:6441]
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War of the Suns

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, April 2009

Production Status
Unknown

My Two Cents:
Finally !


The Buzz:
Mark has posted a near final version of the map:
http://www.west2productions.com/Mapology/_NEW/MapA5.html


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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3. Board Game: The Tide at Sunrise: The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905 [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3549]
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The Tide at Sunrise


Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, July 2009




My Two Cents:
Finally !

The Buzz:
New artwork posting have drawn rave reviews and a few boos too ... surprised?

An ongoing session report is available here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/416255


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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4. Board Game: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:2524]
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Kingdom of Heaven

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, June 2009

My Two Cents:
The more I read about this title, the more I want my preorder to arrive. This month's growth shows I'm not alone?

The designer has posted a great description of the nine scenarios in the game. So yes, the game costs $60 on preorder ... but for nine fully developed, and fairly varied 2-4 hour scenarios it sounds like a great deal.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/294654

Scenarios cover the first Crusade through the Mongol invasion of the Middle East and beyond. It's like a system of related games set closely together in history.

The CSW forum has some decent screen captures of playtesting art:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@1016.Imi3ebl24jw.24@.1dc...

Example of an elegant mechanic discussed to date; one does not need to move along a chain of friendly strongholds, but if your forces do, they avoid attrition - which can be intensified by mountain passes (Hannibal !), the harshness of the open desert, and even haring by Muslim light cavalry (who can tail slower Christian armies).


Some fantastic card art and a lovely map have been posted recently. For example:



And check out the "aging" on the folds of the game map ... gorgeous stuff, as we've come to expect for Mahaffey.

Given the impressive sprint to the finish, it seems I'm not alone in anticipating this title :-)


The Buzz:
The word on CSW is that an illustrated Vassal session will be posted here on BGG in the coming month. Here's hoping.

In April, BGG's charlesf posted that:

Having read the rules, I must say this has the most exciting siege system I have ever come across and exudes a lot of cleverness in many other respects.



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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5. Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4103]
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Breakthrough: Cambrai

Total Pre-Orders: 525 (+19)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 20
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 17





My Two Cents:

This title continues to sustain the momentum that began building in late March.

Cambrai gives us a dynamic situation where both sides get to take the offensive. It foreshadows elements we expect in World War 2 titles: tanks, breakthroughs, counterattacks, air support. Can the British capitalize on the new Tank technology? Can the German shock troops effectively counter? What role will airpower play.

Let's not forget the tension Area-Impulse always has and you never have the enough impulses to do what you want.

Did I mention 1 inch counters with Niko's art?

The Buzz:

In May, designer Michael Rinella gave us an insight into the game's scenarios:


Basic Game: Play begins November 20th and ends after the November 26th turn (subject to Sudden Death "Haig Decision" die rolls each turn after the end of the second turn).

Scenarios:

Scenario 1: "To the Green Fields Beyond" - The British Attack
Play begins November 20th and ends after the November 24rd turn.

Scenario 2: "High Water Mark"
Play begins November 22nd and ends after the November 26th turn.

Scenario 3: "Prince Rupprecht's Revenge" - The German Counter-Attack
Play begins November 30th and ends after the December 3rd turn.

Scenario 4: Operation 'GY' - the Cambrai Campaign
Play begins November 30th and ends after the December 3rd turn.

So you have five different ways of playing the game.


In March he told us:

I'd love to see this one in the hands of players, instead of playtesters. This was supposed to be the model of future area-impulses games: bigger counters, simpler rules, short playing time. It's been nearly six years since MMP published Monty's Gamble. I am astonished this game doesn't have 750+ pre-orders after 16 months. If you want more games using this system please order this one!


Last autumn he'd told us:

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.


He's also written that the game is completely playtested and ready to go, and that "once the game hits the pxxx mark I would expect it to go to the printers quickly."


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:



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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6. Board Game: La Bataille de France, 1940 [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:6862] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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La Bataille de France 1940

Total Pre-Orders: 226 (+4)
Pre-Orders Needed: 300
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 6





My Two Cents:
France 1940 continues its slow and steady rise as people discover the game and with Niko's art ... it's easy to see why they get excited.

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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7. 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: 169 (2)
Pre-Orders Needed: 300
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 1




My Two Cents:
This title continued to grow at the same rate as last month Could it be hurt by it's parent game being out of print? We may find out soon as in May Nikolas told us a reprint 2nd edition of A las Barricadas will soon be joining the preorder list.

The Buzz:

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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8. Board Game: Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:9318]
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Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge

Total Pre-Orders: 432 (+6)
Pre-Orders Needed: 530
Months on the List: 17
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 8




My Two Cents:
KG:ER is within 20% of is goal ... will it's number begin to surge?


The Buzz:
The illustrated Ongoing Action Report (OAR ? ) is back and hopefully will catch people's attention:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/402992

In February, Area-Impulse designer Michael Rinella had this to say about Kawaguchi's Gamble:

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.


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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9. Board Game: Where Eagles Dare [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:3003]
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Where Eagles Dare

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded

Production Status

WED should be sent up to MMP in late May.
- Source: Adam Starkweather (game designer), CSW April 6th, 2009


My Two Cents:
What can I say, people love TDC, this is more of a good thing. If the cost of entry gives you pause, see No Question of Surrender below.


Map prototypes from Adam;s post on CSW:






And yes ... the cat's included!
(a $35 value, yours absolutely free for preordering)
(some restrictions apply)
(your free cat may appear smaller then the one pictured, so small in fact as to be invisible to the naked eye. But it's free! )


The Buzz:

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: Adam Starkweather
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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10. Board Game: No Question of Surrender [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:4404]
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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 with credit markets tightened who has the capital? This game let's us test the water before diving into the Market-Garden Monsters.

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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11. Board Game: Angola [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1740]
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Angola

Total Pre-Orders: 328 (+10)
Pre-Orders Needed: 500
Months on the List: 13
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 10




My Two Cents:
For Angola fans ... the preorder climb has been a wild ride, but with double digit growth for four months in a row, and an average of 10 orders a month so far this year ... the trend is upward at a steady pace at least.


The card mechanics in this one ... wow Jon Gautier's review here on BGG won me over with the description of card play alone. An unique and very interesting departure from the Igo-Ugo mindset.

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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12. Board Game: Karelia '44 [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:4682]
Iain K
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Karelia '44

Total Pre-Orders: 433 (+10)
Pre-Orders Needed: 550
Months on the List: 9
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 21




My Two Cents:
Still doing well, the growth rate seems to have stabilized at a level typical of a healthy, mature list member.


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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13. Board Game: Baltic Gap [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:2489]
Iain K
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Baltic Gap

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, March 2009

My Two Cents:

This game's designer, John Kisner, seems like a really nice guy, and the OCS community is very strong. If only this title had more small, beginner friendly scenarios I might use it to enter the OCS realm. Now a reprint of Korea - that I'd jump on.

The Buzz:

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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14. Board Game: Guderian's Blitzkrieg II [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:2331] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Iain K
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Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II

Total Pre-Orders: 357 (+16)
Pre-Orders Needed: 450
Months on the List: 9
Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 16




My Two Cents:
Orders are up again in July rebounding from a low in May.


The Buzz:

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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15. Board Game: Battle Above the Clouds [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:2362]
Iain K
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The Battle Above the Clouds

Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, March 2009

My Two Cents:
Surged at the end of March to pass it's goal in style, and just when Vassal is helping me get back in the GCACW system ... YES!

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 including notables like Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, I know it will be worth the money. I'm not alone in that belief ...

The Buzz:
Ed Beach has been posting historical background filled "Sneak Peaks" with gorgeous map art right here on BGG:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/395706



MMP's Brian Youse has told us:

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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16. Board Game: Pacific War [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:1744]
Iain K
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Future Titles (?)

In a section that's fast becoming my favorite part of this list; let's have a look at the titles rumored to be in the MMP pipeline and on their way to the Preorder list.

Solomon Sea


I'm out on a limb here as MMP has been mum on a reprint of this 2000 Charles Roberts Award for best Desk Top Published winner since 2006. A hand full of scenarios using a double blind search and engage system to model the great CV battles in the South Pacific. An evolution of the old Command Magazine game Victory at Midway.

From CSW, the game's designer is definitely talking about the title appearing on the preorder list some day. Sadly, this talk has been going on since 2006 ... cue Up Front discussion :-/

Titles like this one are *why* I do these lists people, I'm looking forward to playing this one.


Up Front


Just when you think it's become a cliché MMP makes a comment that makes you hope. The latest such rustle of the bushes was from Brian Youse June 16, 2009 when he mentioned the UP Front art would be done by Ken Smith " when that project moves forward."

My my my, B.Y. knows how to tease don't he?


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



Pacific War Reprint



Mark Herman has confirmed he is working on a reprint of this classic for MMP:
I am now under contract to MMP, Adam Starkweather is leading the production effort. Right now I am setting up the campaign game at home and I am shortly going to test a new ground combat system for the game. My plan is to post the new rules and with an updated cyberboard/vassal combo get some games going to see how things are going. (CSW Feb 17, 2009)

Mark predicted the title would be available in "Late 2010" (CSW Aug 1, 2009)

It is my firm hope that MMP uses the original box art as it is a certified classic.


Crusade and Revolution: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
/ Cruzada y Revolución



A card-driven point-to-point movement strategic wargame that covers all the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Its rules are based on Ted Raicer’s "Paths of Glory".

In July, mgringo told us:

I've played it a few times now. There is a terrible need to get to the later stages of the war because you don't get LDUs until then. The first stage is War of Columns which has a lot of light units and maneuverability. By the end of the game it feels like the lines are impossible to hold (no matter who is trying) with lots of penetrating attacks from every side (esp for Republicans), but putting in a decisive hit is certainly difficult without leaving yourself wide open.


and Wakroo added:

I am a friend of the designer and I have played many times. Yes, the first stage is very mobile, with only small units and not so many, so there are not deep breakthroughs (usually), as you cannot keep the lifeline secure. When the large units get into play there are not so many, so you are forced to advance all over the zone you are attacking in. But that's how the SCW was fought, more similar to the First World War than the Second. In a game I am playing now as the Nationalist, I have been forced to make a step back in two zones as the Republican was seriously menacing my forces in space and I would probably lose the it and the troops if I stayed. I need some replacements right now!



Um Reifenbreite



Unconfirmed reports say that Perry Cocke (MMP God-King) wants to honor Brian Y's love of the Tour de France with a reprint this classic game of cycling strategy. Adam has quoted playing time at 10 to 15 minutes. We're told to expect a gorgeous new map by Mahaffey (no surprise there) and watermarked spandex on the riders as Niko Eskubi honors his countryman, Alberto Contador, 2009's Tour winner.


On March 22nd, IGS point guard Adam Starkweather told CSW about several additional preorders we might see this year (or as Adam says, in the next month):

IGS stuff up pretty soon (should be next month) are:
What Price Glory?
Ukraine '44 (Block game on Korsun Pocket)
King Philip's War
Last Stand: The Battle for Moscow 1941-42(Mas' Typhoon game)
The Setting Sun (area/impulse w/cards on the Philippines 44-45).


Just waiting on art to put these on prepub...

Oh Special Ops #2 should have a cool smallish game on Operation Crusader (North Africa) by Tetsuya and a regular sized game by Suzuki on the Eastern Front (the whole shebang)

- consimworld March 22, 2009.


He's also been talking about a third member of the AVL / AVD family set in Hungary 1944/45 with the working title A Victory Approaches (AVA) - consimworld March 7, 2009.


More recently Brian Youse warned of a big batch of titles coming to the preorder list:

we've expressed interest and are working with Nathan Kilgore to get Salerno up on preorder ASAP (btw, the next batch of preorder stuff is really getting pretty large, i've got to carve out a weekend to get this online).

Nathan would like to call Salerno game one of the "Variable Combat Series". Heavily based upon the classic (and one of my favorite series) Victory in the West we have quite high hopes for Salerno and future games in this (tentatively) titled series of games.

- consimworld May 31, 2009.

I'm not sure whether the "Variable Combat Series" moniker is a joke or not, so don't bother asking me. But new members for Balkoski's Victory in the West family is great news ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/tag/vitw ).
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