Well last month's new titles made a good showing of it, led by the card driven Crusade and Revolution. Yet as the chart below shows (and what would a quality preorder geeklist be without charts?) the past year has seen two stronger premieres.
What impressed me the most was the breadth of the preorders - Six of the seven new titles garnered over 200 preorders, and that seventh title almost did.
A total of 1,600 preorders were placed.
In other news, Baltic Gap finished shipping, and Battle Above the Clouds is slated to begin soon. Thus the biggest two premieres in recent memory made it to our tables in 10 months - there should be some kind of award.
Oh right, we pay them.
I'm going to try something new this month, after all, this list is nothing if not the industry leader. I'm going to list the preorder titles in three groups. First, those that haven't made the cut yet - they're the most interesting, have the most news etc. Then we'll cover the preorders that have met their goal and are quietly under development. Finally, we'll look at those few titles known, or rumored to be in the pipeline.
Within each of the three groups, titles will be in alphabetical order.
We'll try it and see how it shakes out.
OK, so that's November.
As always, keep your heads up and sticks on the ice!
Preorder Summary Stats:
Bamm! (Games that just made the cut)
Damn Close (titles within 10% of their preorder Goal)
Last month's Winners: 257 Crusade & Revolution 254 Storm Normandy 238 Storm Dien 228 What Price 225 Warriors Japan 206 King Philip 190 Setting Sun 19 Angola 15 Guderian's 15 France 1940 14 Karelia 12 Kawaguchi's 4 Help Arrives
Production Queue news: Released Last Month: Baltic Gap
Shipping Soon: Battle Above the Clouds
At the Printers:
Under Development: No Question of Surrender Where Eagles Dare Breakthrough: Cambrai War of the Suns Kingdom of Heaven The Tide at Sunrise
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.
Total Pre-Orders: 395 (+19) Pre-Orders Needed: 500 Months on the List: 16 Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 13
My Two Cents: Double digit growth for 9 of the last 12 months, and five orders from the Green Zone - Angola !
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 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.
Crusade and Revolution Total Pre-Orders: 257 (+257) Pre-Orders Needed: 580 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 257
My Two Cents: Well the people have spoken, the Spanish Civil War + PoG style CDG = a game they want to see. Gicen the pictures posted here of playtest copies, who can blame them.
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!
The Company Line:
In July 1936, a failed coup d’état provoked a bloody civil war that would devastate Spain during nearly three years. The eyes of Europe turned towards a divided nation where not only armies fought, but also ideologies.
Crusade and Revolution is a wargame that uses the popular card-driven system to recreate the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) at strategic-operational level. Each player leads one side (Nationalist or Republican), and manages all the challenges that the actual combatants faced: mobilization, recruitment, movement and the combat of a nation at war with itself – and the political stage as well.
Crusade and Revolution (C&R) brings together the great hallmarks of our hobby—enjoyment, playability and historical simulation. It makes good use of the great virtues of the very popular card-driven system. Using this famous system and adapting it to the peculiarities of a conflict that has its own personality, Crusade and Revolution will seem both brand new and also familiar.
Each player has his own deck of 55 strategic cards, which are the heart of the game. Each card has four possible uses but the players must choose which use best fits their needs.
- The possibilities are: Events: Each card shows a historical event that directly affected the course of the war. They can be political, military, economic or social events. - Operations: Each card has an operations value that is used for activating units on the game map for movement, fortification or attack. - Strategic Redeployment: Each card has a Strategic Redeployment value that is used for moving units great distances on the game map. - Replacement Points: Each card has a value of Replacement Points that are collected and used for reconstructing damaged or destroyed units at the end of the turn. The better the historical value of an event card, greater its number of Operations, Redeployment and Replacements. Players are faced with the constant battle of how to use their cards: use an interesting event, launch an offensive in a vulnerable zone, move units from one front to other, or accumulate replacements to recover from losses?
Game Details: - Solitaire Rating: ? - Game scale: Each space represents approximately 60 kilometers. - Time scale: Two Months per turn (except for the very early phase of the war when turns are a month in length - Units: From columns, regiments and brigades in the early stages of the war to great corps sized armies modeled in European style - Scenarios: Three - Playing time: From 4 hours to 12 hours to the full campaign game
Total Pre-Orders: 177 (+4) Pre-Orders Needed: 300 Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 2
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 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.
Total Pre-Orders: 446 (+14) Pre-Orders Needed: 550 Months on the List: 12 Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 17
My Two Cents: The growth rate doubled from last month - yah just can't keep an SCS title down..
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!
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.
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.
Total Pre-Orders: 206 (+206) Pre-Orders Needed: 560 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 206
My Two Cents: The game's designer John Poniske was kind enough to stop by last month's list and (and I can only speak for myself) made some very intelligent points regarding his project and its historical period. Check what he had to say for yourself at:
He further detailed the game in late October on CSW as follows: The game plays for nine turns beginning in 1675 and ending in 1676. the test-play sequence of play is as follows: • Diplomacy Indian English • **Reinforcements English • Supply Requisition Indian English (Beginning each Season but Winter) • Movement & Combat Indian • Movement & Combat English • (Winter Attrition) Indian,English • Victory Conditions Check • Move Seasonal Turn Marker * Ignore this phase on the first turn
The Indian player's key leaders are King Philip of the Wampanoag who begins in Mt. Hope, Rhode Island and Canonchet of the powerful Narragansett tribe. The war is fought across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Plymouth (then a separate colony) and Connecticut. Philip begins with only his small tribe and several smaller related tribes. Each turn he attempts to cause as much damage to the English settlements surrounding him as he can, at the same time he uses a graduated diplomacy chart to entice other tribes to join his cause. Ultimately he will approach the Mohawks in New France, but the Mohawks are iffy and could very well enter the war on the side of the English as they did historically.
During the game the English player attempts to destroy the Indian warbands while also trying to destroy the Indian tribes' supply bases (villages). The more villages that are destroyed the more likely tribes will pull out of the loose confederation. In the beginning the English are ill-prepared and are rocked back on their heels into defensive positions. The Indians pretty much rule, until winter comes. By then English reinforcements are building along with their own Indian allies, and Indian casualties are mounting. Combat units are double sided and are simple to work with, two strength points on one side, one strength point on the other. The big English advantage is that English casualties will eventually return to the game. Once Indian casualties leave the map they're gone for good.
As battles are fought, a unique events die is rolled which can halt the battle, introduce reinforcements to either side, bring in spies, guides, cause an ambush or worse, a massacre. As the game proceeds. settlements and villages are first damaged and then destroyed. Forts have an additional step. As the game proceeds, the entire board looks like it is aflame. The intention was to approximate the look and feel of this devastating war in which some 90 settlements were partially or fully destroyed as well as countless Indian villages.
The Indian player wins if he has destroyed both Boston and Plymouth, two key English settlements, or is ahead in points. The English player wins by eliminating King Philip and Canonchet, or is ahead in points.
The Buzz: A simple (~12pp rules) treatment of King Philip's War (1675-1676), the bloodiest of the Puritan/Native conflicts.
The latest map art:
The Company Line:
King Philip’s War 1675-1676 was a momentous example of New England frontier savagery. A loose coalition of angry tribes inspired by the King Philip (the Wampanoag sachem, Metacomet) burned and sacked Pilgrim settlements throughout the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and the then separate colony of Plymouth. Ultimately, more than 2600 Colonials were captured or killed, Twelve Colonial settlements were completely destroyed and six more heavily damaged. Boston itself very nearly came under attack. At the same time, countless Indian villages were burned and 6000 Indians were slain or captured, and sold into slavery.. In all, 1,200 homes were burned, and vast stores of food destroyed. Metacomet himself was eventually ambushed, beheaded, and quartered.
King Philip’s War can be played in five turns (introductory level) or ten turns, once concepts are fully understood. Each turn will vary in length depending on the uncertain arrival of Indian Allies. Game length between experienced gamers is 1.5 to 3 hours.
In King Philip’s War the Colonial player wins by eliminating the historical leaders of King Philip and Canonchet or being the first to accumulate 30 victory points. The Indian player wins by seizing the settlements of Boston and Plymouth, or by being the first to accumulate 30 victory points.
Total Pre-Orders: 248 (+15) Pre-Orders Needed: 495 Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 8
My Two Cents: Building on last September's growth, this title had the best numbers in a year last month. Dropping the price couldn't have hurt.
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.
Total Pre-Orders: 190 (+190) Pre-Orders Needed: 590 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 190
My Two Cents:
Land, Air and Sea combat in the Pacific using an Area Impulse system ... what's not to love. Well, the high preorder goal for one and the cover price for another, but given a full deck of cards and size of the counters - it's not surprising. In fact for the preorder price it's a deal in today's market.
Adam was kind enough to enlighten me as to the unique card play in this title and it's sibling "What Price Glory?" .
Iain: Adam, I'm a bit confused by the description on the preorder site, which makes "The Setting Sun" sound like a card driven game. I get the feeling you're doing something new here. Can you give us a sense how TSS and "What Price Glory?" use cards?
Adam: I am still tinkering with The Setting Sun (since I get more cards with the MMP version than with the Japanese version) and have a prototype in testing that you pick your cards - but the original game has you drawing cards from a deck for The Setting Sun and choosing the cards you want in What Price Glory.
But both work the same way - the big deal here is that you can chain events together. So I can play up to, say 6 cards, in one play and the way they interrelate determines what you do that turn. I don't think CDGs work this way but I have been out of the loop on the latest stuff - so maybe they are now similar. The heart of CDGs that I have played is about the choice of doing one thing (move, reinforce, events) and the tension that creates. Here the game play is more about all the choices in the world and you choose what to do with those choices. Not sure that was clear or not - but the play feels very different from CDGs that I have played.
Iain: Can you choose to make a few chains, and not just one? ie you play your chain #1, I play a massive six card chain and then you play second chain? Or is it basically Igo-Ugo, with each of us playing our single bundle of events?
Adam: it is I play a card (or cards) then you play a card (or cards) - but you can have several chains in your go...of course, you play a bunch of cards and your opponent plays just a few - he'll have a lot more cards than you do as the turn goes on...
Iain: Very true, so there are interesting pacing and "he who goes last laughs last" issues to consider.
The system doesn't sound particularly solitaire friendly, does it adapt in some way to solo play?
Adam: these games are not terrible solo (as your plans get easily upset and you must adjust throughout the turn) - but I wouldn't recommend them as solo games.
The Company Line:
The Setting Sun is an area game on the great battle for the Philippines in 1944 and 1945. From the Kamikaze attacks to the great sea battle of Leyte Gulf, the entire campaign is presented in The Setting Sun.
Although aspects of the greatest sea battle in history have been in game form, never have all three aspects of the campaign been in one game. The Setting Sun will cover the great battle for the Philippines in 1944 campaign with equal respect to the air, naval and land battle. Players will be in the shoes of the two of the greatest commanders of World War Two; Douglas MacArthur and Tomoyuki Yamashita as they duel over the fate of the Philippines. You choose where to invade as the Americans and how to defend and defeat the US invasion as the Japanese. Using a system that has evolved from the popular Storm over Stalingrad game, Tetsuya Nakamura has created a unique system to go with this unique campaign.
The heart of the game is the use of chained game cards that allow for a near infinite variety of moves and combats. You must play a card to do anything but each card can modify each other so you can tailor make your operation to suit and each combination is unique. You must randomly draw your hand each turn and fight with the cards you were dealt literally.
Game Details: - Solitaire Rating: Fair - Complexity: Easy - Playing Time: 4-5 hours - Scenarios: 1 - Game scale: Land units are regiments, ships are individual ships for capital ships and flotillas for the smaller ships, air units are in groups of 50-150 planes. Turns are 15 days.
Designer: Tetsuya Nakamura Developer: Adam Starkweather Artwork: Nicolás Eskubi Components: - 34” x 22” map - 140 One Inch Counters - 88 5/8th inch counters - 55 Playing cards - 12 page full color rulebook - 2 player aids
Storm Over Normandy Total Pre-Orders: 254 (+254) Pre-Orders Needed: 520 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 254
My Two Cents: This is a new design, by class acts Dunn and Dr Nick ... I'm a big fan of BK:N - but I'm definitely looking at this title. The developer, a well know figure in the hobby, is widely believed to be evil incarnate. The fact that he's also doing artwork, frankly sickens me.
Seriously, I pray the counters are more inspired than those seen in Storm over Stalingrad.
I'm not alone as SoN managed the second best premiere of the class of 10/09.
June 6th 1944: American, British and Canadian forces landed at dawn on five beaches in Normandy, intent on starting the operation that would help end the war on the West Front. Storm Over Normandy simulates the first six days of the operation, with the surprise landing on the Allied forces, and the response by the German occupiers.
Using the Area Move system redefined in Storm Over Stalingrad, the game features the use of cards to augment game play, adding to the tension experienced by both sides. The rules are similar in length to those seen in Storm Over Stalingrad, and are of the same level of complexity, with modifications made to represent the scale of the operation.
New cards have been created in order to represent events encountered during the operation.
The game focuses on the landings on the five beaches “Sword”, “Juno”, “Gold”, “Omaha”, “Utah”, plus the Allied paratrooper operations, and the German response over the first week of the battle. The game is seven turns long, and can be played in less than 3 hours by experienced players.
Designer: Ken Dunn and Nick Richardson Developer: Brian Youse Artwork: Nicolas Eskubi, Nick Richardson, and Brian Youse Components: - 22"x34" full-color mapsheet - 1 sheet of 5/8" counters - 12-16 page full–color rulebook with examples - 1 55-card deck of event/action cards - 4 six-sided dice
Storm Over Dien Bien Phu Total Pre-Orders: 238 (+238) Pre-Orders Needed: 520 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 238
My Two Cents: I've said it before and I'll say it again Dr Nick is one of the best human beings working on MMP product. I'm really interested to see how this title turns out with the good Doctor's discipline tempered by the whimsical evil of Youse.
I pray they proofread the rulebook better than they did this game's entry on the company website
That having been said, the masses have spoken and while this title isn't a loved as its Normandy brother, it still is one of the best in class.
In the spring of 1954, General Giap shocked the world by doing what had previously been considered impossible—defeating a Western occupying force. Storm Over Dien Bien Phu simulates the climatic moment when the isolated French forces (composed of French legionnaires and elite paratrooper units), crumbled under the unrelenting pressure of the Chinese–backed Viet Minh forces.
Using the Area Move system redefined in Storm Over Stalingrad, the game features the use of cards to augment game play, adding to the tension experienced by both sides. The rules are similar in length to those seen in Storm Over Stalingrad, and are of the same level of complexity, with additions made for the situations encountered in this battle.
Additional rules added to the game include sapping, assaulting, and the French supply situation. In addition to these new rules, new cards have been created in order to represent events encountered during the battle. These include “Detonate Mine Shaft”, “Rats of the Nam Yum”, “Giap Demands Success”, “Propoganda”, “Débouchez à Zéro!”, and “B-26 Bombers”.
The game focuses on the attacks on the strongpoints of Gabrielle, Anne–Marie, Beatrice, Eliane, Claudine, Huguette and Dominique from mid–March to early May of 1953. The game is eight turn longs, and can easily be played in less than 3 hours by experienced players.
Total Pre-Orders: 225 (+225) Pre-Orders Needed: 560 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 225
My Two Cents:
Given how much I enjoy managing the chaos in Warriors of God, I can not imagine a world in which I didn't buy this title. The three scenarios cover only four years - a much small scope that WofG ... meaning no leader death from old age. I'm interested to see how the system plays when leaders live for more turns.
The Company Line: Long considered one of the greatest games to ever be published in Japan, Warriors of Japan will feature much of the same system as we have seen in Warriors of God. The game covers the Nanboku-cho period of Japanese history and simulates one of the most dynamic and important periods in Japanese history.
From 1336-1392, all of Japan was aflame with war. After the fall of a corrupt and ineffective emperor, the two great courts of Japan dueled to determine the future ruler of the country. Warriors of Japan covers the vital period following the destruction of the Kamakura shogunate and the fight to find a successor.
Players of Warriors of God will find much familiar here, however, unlike the enormous time period covered in Warriors of God, Warriors of Japan covers only 4 years. Subtle changes in the system to cover this unique period have been exchanged in Warriors of Japan. For example, Leaders no longer die from old age but rather can switch sides unexpectedly during a combat. Subtle changes in the movement and combat rules will add to the strategy to a greater extent than in Warriors of God. A random game start generator will keep each game fresh and interesting.
Game Details: - Solitaire Rating: Excellent - Complexity: Easy - Playing Time: 4-10 hours - Scenarios: 3
Total Pre-Orders: 228 (+228) Pre-Orders Needed: 580 Months on the List: 1 (added October '09) Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 228
My Two Cents:
The card mechanism used here sounds really interesting and the 8 page rulebook is appealing. See the entry for Setting Sun for designer Adam Starkweather's description of how it plays.
Friend of the Show Michael Lucey had this to say about the "What Price Glory" on October's List: This is a pretty cool game. I had the pleasure of playtesting this game. I only played once so I cannot really get into strategy. It's an area impulse game first, with the impulses driven by cards which have various actions. Its move or fire with units becoming spent when done. The cards provide the action, a card may be activate one group, or activate multiple groups for one action. Another card would be make one group fresh (from spent) and another allows for one action and then do a 2nd action before becoming spent. You also have mg cards to defensive fire and cards for bombardment. There is even a RR card which is basically Strategic movement. You also have the ability to play multiple cards in one impulse.
Then you have 1 time use strategy cards that trigger events historically accurate for the war, like gas attack or dig trenches for defense.
It really captures the feel of WW1 with the limited movement and slow exploitation abilities but leaves plenty of options for strategy and the card play leads to excellent replayability. Its a area / impulse meets cards rather then a straight CDG, there is no deck managment here. Cards drive the impulses while the impulses drive the game. I was actually skeptical over the need for cards until I got into the game but soon found how elegant they directed the impulses while still allowing for some card managment. Its no PoG, but not trying to be. Its a fun game with a good mix of planning, strategizing and card managment.
Imagine playing BKN where you play a card to assault or blow bridges or bombard rather then just stating the impulse.
The Company Line: The heart of this game is a new way to use cards to drive the system. Players choose which cards they will use in the upcoming turn from a 16 card deck and plan out how the 6 month turn will play out. Some cards are defensive in nature (the very nasty Machine Guns card for example) and some are offensive in nature (allowing for multiple activations, recovery, railroading and reinforcements). Also in the cards a player can play are major events that change the shape of the war (submarine warfare, air power, neutral entry, Jutland etc.). You will never have enough cards to do what you want to do and your opponent will constantly be ruining your plans by trying to execute his own plans. The player that is best able to juggle their resources will find the path to victory the easiest. The cards also link together and allow for many cards to be played in unison in a unique way to allow for an infinite variance in how to use your resources most effectively.
Although the unique and complex way the player’s card hands interact is the heart of the game, the game also covers in a more simple way all of the major events that occurred in the Great War. Jutland, the 1918 race between US entry and German reinforcement from the East and much more are covered in a highly simple but effective manner allowing the Great War to be experienced in a comprehensive manner and yet the system takes minutes to learn and only 4 hours to play. The sophistication of the card play allows for great replayability.
Game Details: - Solitaire Rating: Fair - Complexity: Easy - Playing Time: 3-5 hours - Scenarios: 1 - Game scale: Units are corps, turns are biannual.
Pre-Order Goal Exceeded, March 2009 My Two Cents: There's been a slight delay in production, but we should have our copies in the next month or two.
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:
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)
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
Cambrai hit it's number in September 2009, the Buzz has it that we'll see it in print in the first half of 2010. [/COLOR]
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).
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 20th 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.
Total Pre-Orders: 387 (+15) Pre-Orders Needed: 450 Months on the List: 12 Average Pre-Orders per Month, Year to Date: 14
My Two Cents: Another member of the class of 11/08 that doubled it's growth rate from last month and is back into double digits.
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.
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
In addition, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
Total Pre-Orders: Not yet listed Pre-Orders Needed: TBD
My Two Cents:
I have to believe that the American re-release of this core title will buoy the preorder numbers for Help Arrives and France.
Niko told us in September that: The big differences between the first edition and this second one are:
- Will be a boxed game as all the MMP games. - Will delete one of the counter sizes to left the game with two instead of three, so will have 5/8" and 3/4", the 7/8" is the size deleted. - ALB v2.1 rulebook - ALB v2.1 charts - We don't know right now but will have some new scenarios.
The Company Line:
July 11, 2008 MMP ACQUIRES WAR STORM SERIES
MMP and War Storm Series are proud to announce that we have reached an agreement for MMP to acquire the rights to War Storm Series' A las Barricades game series.
As we were acting as US distribution/sales point for WSS, little will change on the public side with some notable exceptions...
We're looking at a boxed reprint of A las Barricades, the new title La Bataille de France, 1940, currently on preorder, will be a boxed game.
We are likely to come up with more English-friendly titles.
We intend to have both English and Spanish rules in the WSS and are exploring the possibility of printing a Spanish version explicitly for sales in Spain.
As usual, Niko will continue to produce outstanding artwork for this series as part of his normal MMP duties.
Our agreement with WSS frees up Niko and Juan Carlos to do more design work while allowing MMP to deal with the shipping and production issues. We are all quite happy with this arrangement and are looking forward to a lengthy and successful series.
Total Pre-Orders: Not yet listed Pre-Orders Needed: TBD
My Two Cents: Adam you magnificent bastard ...
The Buzz: I imagine playing this with Ninety Nine Luft Balloons playing in the background ... and as we found out last month, I'm not the only one.
Some images to wet the appetite ...
The Company Line: Generals planned for it. Gamers gamed it. Populations feared it, but it never happened. The final confrontation of ideologies, technologies, and superpowers died with a whisper as the blocks of the Berlin Wall crumbled. What never happened, though, certainly could have happened. Millions of soldiers were poised to engage on land sea and air in what would have been the most devastating war in history. Super-high-tech jet fighters, tactical nuclear weapons, tanks and men would have levelled Western and Central Europe.
Adam Starkweather (Fire in the Sky) and Andy Nunez (Cactus Throne) team up to bring you the ultimate simulation of NATO vs the Warsaw Pact on a scale not seen since the 1970's days of the Next War. Can the New Soviet Man defeat the Arsenal of Democracy? Super detailed with lots of chrome, you will have all the options and forces available to both sides, with doctrine updated by revelations of strategy and tactics brought to light after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The game includes land and air combat games that can be played separately or combined. A separate naval combat game is planned as an expansion.
Retail Price: Pre-Order Price: MMP website:
Designers: Andy Nunez and Adam Starkweather Developer: Artwork: Nicolás Eskubi Components: - two 36 page rulebooks (one land one air) - three 22 x 34 maps (one just for the air war)
Total Pre-Orders: Not yet Listed Pre-Orders Needed: TBD
My Two Cents: I like any Typhoon title (God I wish GMT would reprint Typhoon). Happily, this one includes the Soviet counterattacks - completely through January 1942. Gone are the rather oddball overrun rules of Yamazaki's Red Star Rising. Soviet unit strength is unknown, but in a manner similar to SPI's PGG model not the Victory in the West approach (used by RSR).
The Company Line:
From BGG: The Last Stand at Moscow simulates the German winter offensive to capture Moscow.
One map 594×841cm 17.2km/Hex 386counters Unit scale II, X, XX, XXX, KG 10 days/Turn Oct 1941 to Jan 1942
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.
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?
Heights of Courage A new SCS title set in the Golan Heights is 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.
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.
Adam Starkweather mentioned 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.
Over the summer Brian Youse told us: 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 ).
Friend of the Show Chris Hansen mentioned that the buzz on Fortress Ameritrash says this epic SiFi title could well join the Preorder list in 2010 ... which sounds like its a century in the future, but it isn't.