GMT P500 for June 2010
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Welcome to the June 2010 edition of the GMT P500 update list.

Subscribe today: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/419612

May was quiet in the new game announcement department.

Leaping Lemmings arrived in my mailbox and was every bit as fun as I had anticipated. Check out my review.

Here's to a busy summer schedule of games coming soon to a game table near you!


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

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

New this month: Nothing new!

Making the cut: No Retreat! The Russian Front

Shipping/charging this month
Nothing Gained But Glory (started charging May 20th), Normandy '44, Germantown, Pensacola

(Tentative) Production Outlook:

June 2010
Normandy '44
Germantown
Pensacola

July 2010
C3i #24
Wilderness War (reprint) with mounted map!

August 2010
Barbarossa: Crimea (formerly July)
Dominant Species

September 2010
Five reprints!
Flying Colors: Thicker Counters, Thicker box, no price change
Here I Stand: Larger 3" spine box, Mounted map, Thicker counters, Two player variant and cards
Manoeuvre: Thicker counters
Paths of Glory: Mounted map, Thicker counters, Thicker box
Sword of Rome: Mounted map, Thicker counters, 5th player expansion included


October 2010
Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? (formerly August)
The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

November 2010
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division

Other comments direct from GMT: Nothing new this month.

This space used to have the other "P500" lists for GMT reprints, MMP, Columbia, etc, but these other lists have become more sporadic of late for a variety of legitimate reasons, so for the moment I'm discontinuing posting/updating them here. I urge those who are interested in those other lists to subscribe to them where available.
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1. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:1166]
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Current Preorders: 169 (+40)

First announced: April 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Hopefully a new P500 ETO title hot on the heels of The Supreme Commander doesn't dilute sales in either camp.

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



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

Game Components

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

Designer: Salvatore Vasta
Developer: Mark Dey
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2. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1266]
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Current Preorders: 254 (+5)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Comments: 32 net new orders since Dominant Species was given the nod over this in February.

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

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

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

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


Game Design by Chad Jensen
Game Development by Kai Jensen
Players: 2-4
Play Time: about 45 minutes per player
Components:
- one game board
- four player mats
- 144 wooden cubes in four player colors
- four wooden cylinders in four player colors
- one orange wooden pawn
- 165 cards:
* 54 in the Building Permit deck
* 37 in the Town deck
* 37 in the City deck
* 37 in the Metropolis deck
- four sheets of die-cut tiles:
* 128 buildings
* 24 Vocations
* 6 Politicians
* 1 Contractor
* 6 Wealth markers
* 3 Prestige markers
* 1 Active Player marker
* 1 Extra Favor marker
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3. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:53]
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Current Preorders: 290 (+13)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Since it got the nod in February this one's netted 56 new orders. Not exactly setting fire to the charts. I think this game will net a lot of fans once it's out, just like Leaping Lemmings is doing.

Game Link: https://gmtgames.com/p-295-dominant-species.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: 90,000 B.C. — A great Ice Age is fast approaching. Another titanic struggle for global supremacy has unwittingly commenced between the varying animal species.

Dominant Species is a game for 2 to 6 players that abstractly recreates a tiny portion of ancient history: the ponderous encroachment of an Ice Age and what that entails for the living creatures trying to adapt to the slowly-changing Earth.

Each player will assume the role of one of six major Animal groups—Mammal, Reptile, Bird, Amphibian, Arachnid or Insect. Each begins the game in a state of natural balance with regards to one another. But that won’t last: It is indeed “survival of the fittest.”

Game Design by Chad Jensen
Game Development by Kai Jensen

Players: 2-6
Play Time: 2-4 hours
Components:
* a 16-page full-color rulebook
* one 22” x 34” mounted game board
* six Animal Displays
* 27 cards
* 35 large and 14 small hexagonal tiles used to create “Earth”
* 270 wooden cubes in six colors representing the Species belonging to the six Animal groups
* 60 wooden cylinders used for the Animals’ Action Pawns
* 60 wooden cones used as the Animals’ Domination markers
* 108 round markers representing the Earth’s resources, called “Elements”
* 12 square markers used to show each Animal’s “Initiative” (turn order)
* one cloth bag
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4. Board Game: Next War: Korea [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:3035] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 309 (+49)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: I wonder if the current tensions between North and South Korea are part of the reason for this month's solid growth.

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



Game Information:

Components

* 2 22x34" maps
* 3 and 1/2 9/16" counter sheets (798 counters)
* 3 rulebooks (Standard, Advanced, and Game Specific)
* 1 8.5x11" Game Information Display
* 1 11x17" Air Superiority Display
* 1 8.5x11" Air War Scenario Card
* Several Player Aid Cards (still finalizing exact number and format)
* 1 10-sided die

Game Design and Development: Mitchell Land
Original System Design: Gene Billingsley
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5. Board Game: Bomber Command [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:3535]
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Current Preorders: 358 (+38)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Solid third month of growth.

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



Game Information:

COMPONENTS:

One rule book (28pp)
One play book (12pp)
Two 22 x 34” maps
One 8.5 x 11” play aid sheet
One 8.5 x 11” planning map sheet
One 8.5 x 11” raid display
One sheet of 5/8” counters
One sheet of 1/2” counters
Four 8.5 x 11” city map displays
One deck of 55 British cards
One deck of 55 German cards
Two six-sided dice

Game Design: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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6. Board Game: Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:3703]
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Current Preorders: 362 (+46)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Bring me Billy Bishop!

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

Complexity: "6"
Solitaire Suitability: "6"

Game Information:

Game Contents:

* 22”x34” Full Color Map
* 8”x11” Dogfight Tracking Sheet
* Two Full Color Countersheets
* Rules Booklet
* Scenario Booklet
* 2 x Aircraft Data Cards (Royal Flying Corps and German Imperial Air Service)
* 3 x Player Aid Cards
* 2 Ten Sided Dice
* Logsheets

Game Designer: Terry Simo
Counter and Map Art: Ian Wedge
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7. Board Game: Iron and Oak [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:4965]
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Current Preorders: 365 (+22)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Some graphics have been posted at GMT's site, but something here on the geek would be cool.

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



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

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

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

Number of Players: 2 or more

Game Design: James M. Day
Game Development: Chris Janiec
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8. Board Game: FAB: Sicily [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:3114]
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Current Preorders: 386 (+26)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: FAB fans are pushing this one up quickly.

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information:

Components:

75 Wooden blocks
Die-cut labels for the blocks
228 die-cut 9/16" counters
22x34" Deluxe Cardboard Map
Rules booklet
Play booklet
6 Player Aid Cards
Four 10-sided dice

Designer: Rick Young
Developer: John Foley
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9. Board Game: Rebel Raiders on the High Seas [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:4213]
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Current Preorders: 417 (+4)

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: Continuing its slow climb to making the cut.

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

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

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

Regular Price: $69.00
P500 Price: $48.00

Game Design: Mark McLaughlin
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10. Board Game: Wild Blue Yonder [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:5218] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 418 (+18)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: I missed out on the original DiF series of games, so the sooner this gets out the better as far as I'm concerned!

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wild BlueYonder promises to be the best Down in Flames game yet. So strap on your parachute and get ready to take to the skies!
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11. Board Game: Pax Baltica [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:2733]
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Current Preorders: 430 (+4)

First announced: August 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: The VASSAL playtest module for this is now out. Hopefully that'll be the final hurdle to getting this great game up into the make the cut territory.

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



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

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

Regular Price: $55.00
P500 Price: $38.00

Game Design and Development: Stefan Ekström and Göran Björkman
GMT Development: Scott Muldoon
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Current Preorders: 437 (+7)

First announced: February 2009

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: I'm sad to see the growth on this one slowing down. It's not far from making the cut and I think will fill a niche in many a WWII gamer's collection.

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



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

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

DESIGNER: Mark Mokszycki
RESEARCH: Vesa Teräs, Mark Mokszycki
PLAYTESTER: Keith Mageau, Eric Edwards
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13. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:409]
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Current Preorders: 456 (+41)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Not There Yet

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

Comments: I wouldn't be surprised to see this make the cut some time this month and actually come out next as early as next summer.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-304-1989.aspx


This is actually Twilight Struggle's graphic, but since 1989 is based on TS, this is a handy placeholder

Game Information:
1989 is an exciting, fast paced game simulating the end of the Cold War in 1989. During this amazing year, a series of democratic revolutions ended the 40 year Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. 1989 simulates the political, social and economic aspects of these revolutions using a card driven system similar to Twilight Struggle.

Components:

1 countersheet
1 22" x 34" map
1 rulebook (approx 24 pages)
2 player aid cards
2 strategy decks (110 cards)
1 Power struggle deck (55 cards)

Designer: Ted Torgerson and Jason Matthews
Developer: Bruce Wigdor
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14. Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:656]
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Current Preorders: 513 (+70)

First announced: March 2010

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Wow, this one rocketed up the list fast; only three months from introduction to making the cut.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-303-no-retreat-the-russian-front-delux...



Game Information:

Components:

1 mounted mapboard (ala Twilight Struggle Deluxe or Washington's War) with large hexes
72 large (7/8") rounded corner square double-sided counters
51 double-sided circle counters
44 standard 3.5 x 2.5 cards
1 rule/scenario book
(2) 8.5 x 11 double sided player aid cards (CRT/TEC)

Designer: Carl Paradis
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15. Board Game: The Supreme Commander [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:5230]
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Current Preorders: 532 (+19)

First announced: May 2009

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Will Unconditional Surrender slow the preorders to get this one produced?

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



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

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

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

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

Designer: Dan Holte
Developer: Paul Marjoram
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16. Board Game: Blood & Sand [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:11237]
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Current Preorders: 564 (+4)

First announced: June 2007

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Slowly moving forward.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-139-blood-and-sand.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: The Campaign for North Africa, 1941-42

What, another North Africa game? Yes … but here is something almost completely different from any WWII Campaign game you've seen: no CRT (or any other tables), buckets o' dice, and cards … all used in a totally new approach to gaming that can be learned in 5 minutes and played in a few hours.

Most of the rules and mechanics for Blood & Sand will be familiar to anyone who has ever played a wargame. However, Designer Richard Berg, no stranger to this campaign, has added to this accessible simplicity a combat system that rates units for how many dice they get to roll on their behalf, as well as what kind of dice (small arms or Heavy Weapons). No CRTs, no sirree!

The game also uses cards, one deck (of 27) for each player (whose cards are somewhat different from those of the other player) to enhance the game. (The cards don't "drive" the game and they can be left out, if you're so inclined.) The cards are part of a Resource system that gives the players a number of points which they can use to buy cards, rally units, build fortifications, or bring in Reinforcements. The RP choices are theirs, but there are far more choices than points.

The cards, themselves, give the players "Opportunities", from using their (or negating their opponent's) tank capabilities, to getting more supplies, to special Breakthrough and Reaction movement, to forcing the Allies to Withdraw units, to the effects of Rommel and other leaders.
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17. Board Game: Nightfighter [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:3121]
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Current Preorders: 576 (4)

First announced: June 2008

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: And now we're moving forward again. We may have hit the interest limit on this one.

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed (but since it requires a referee, I'd say it's very low)

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

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

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

There is a huge variety of aircraft in the game, from early Do217s and Ju88 fighters, to advanced fighters such as the He219. Rarities such as the Ta154, Me262B-1a and the Japanese J1N1 Gekko will be included. Schräge Music ('Jazz Music') oblique gun systems are modelled. The Allies get 'cat's eye' Hurricanes, Blenheims with AI Mk IV radar, Beaufighters with Serrate and various marks of Mosquito, including the NF.30 with the advanced AI Mk X radar. Pacific operations will see P-61A 'Black Widow' fighters engaging Japanese bomber threats over Saipan and F4U-2s engaging torpedo strikes against the fast carriers.
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18. Board Game: Infidel [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:2762]
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Current Preorders: 597 (+23)

First announced: November 2009

Current Status: Made the cut

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

Comments: At the rate this one is going, I'm going to wildly predict a late 2011 release.

Game Link: https://gmtgames.com/p-292-infidel.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: The Battles of Dorylaeum, Antioch, Ascalon, Harran, Montsigard, Arsuf

Fast playing . . . easily understandable rules . . . unusual battles . . . lots of action . . . lots of color . . . lots of cavalry … great leaders . . . lots of Fun. That’s what you get with GMT’s series on Warfare in the Middle Ages, Men of Iron. The system demonstrates why cavalry reigned supreme during the era of The Crusades with the second game in the series, Infidel.


Infidel focuses on the major battles of the early Crusades era between the Christians and the Muslims. This is a period that saw cavalry reign supreme, and pitted the European heavy cavalry – armored “knights” - system against the Eastern/Turkish light cavalry tactics.

The battles include:

* Dorylaeum (1097): The Crusader line of march, including the people’s Crusade and Peter the hermit, as well as all the great 1st Crusade Leaders, are “ambushed” by Kilij Arslan and his crack Seljuk cavalry.

* Antioch (1098): The exhausted, starving and depleted Crusaders – they had few horses left – have just taken Antioch and are now faced with a large Turkish army, under Kerbogha, sent to retake the city.

* Ascalon (1099): The Crusaders, having seized Jerusalem, turn south to fend off the suddenly active large army of The Fatimids, with their crack Mamluk heavy cavalry.

* Harran (1104): Baldwin II of Edessa seeks to maintain control of his little kingdom in northern Syria, something Soqman, atabeg of Damascus, is not happy to allow. One of the first major Crusader defeats.

* Montgisard (1177): Saladin attempts to destroy a small army from the Kingdom of Jerusalem with an army more than five times its size. Though there are only 400 knights, the Crusaders are led by the remarkable Baldwin IV, The Leper King. The outcome - one of the greatest Crusader victories. See if you can carry off this stunning upset!

* Arsuf (1191):The classic battle between Richard I Lionheart and the Ayyubid Army of Saladin highlighting the major facets of each army in an unusual moving battle.


Each game of INFIDEL includes:

* Two 22” x 32”game-maps, backprinted
* 2 sheets of counters
* Rules Booklet
* Battle Book
* Charts and Play Aids
* 2 ten-sided dice
* Two pieces of wood to make your own True Cross

Designed by RICHARD H. BERG
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19. Board Game: Sun of York [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:5752] [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
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Current Preorders: 610 (3)

First announced: December 2005

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: More than last month but still less than the month before that.

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Playtime runs an hour or two.

Designed by Mike Nagel
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20. Board Game: Case Yellow, 1940: The German Blitzkrieg in the West [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:4565]
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Current Preorders: 615 (+17)

First announced: February 2009

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Clawing its way to a production spot.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-271-case-yellow.aspx



Game Information: September 1st, 1939: Germany invades Poland, setting off the Second World War. Except for minor attacks, France and Great Britain, the victors of World War One, do nothing. The Allies view the short Polish campaign of 1939 as a case of a newer, larger army winning out over an older, smaller army. Certainly the massed panzers are impressive, and need to be emulated, but the winter months see little positive activity on the Allied side. Missing the more vital lessons of the Polish campaign, the Allies are content to wait. Not only do their armies outnumber the Germans in terms of manpower, tanks and artillery, they have the advantage of operating on the defensive. Meanwhile the Germans feverishly apply the lessons they learned in Poland, and hone their operational techniques. The surprise German conquest of Norway jolts the Allies out of their lethargy. They do not have long to wait for the next blow.

May 10th, 1940: Germany unleashes its Blitzkrieg upon the western Allies. Six weeks later, the war ends in a smashing German victory. Four Allied national armies have vanished. The tiny Dutch and Belgian armies, pulverized in battle, have surrendered. Great Britain rescues most of the soldiers in the BEF, but their heavy weapons and vehicles remain on the beaches of Dunkirk. The island nation begins to re-arm, but for now is out of the fight. The proud French Army, with many regiments tracing an unbroken lineage back to the 1600s, suffers the most catastrophic defeat of modern times before France surrenders.

How did this happen? The Germans, realizing they could not win a repeat of World War One, set about reinventing the offense. Their formula included massed tank formations, an air force dedicated to close tactical support, and most importantly, a command and control system based on the use of radios. Allied tanks and soldiers were often equal or superior to their German counterparts – when given the opportunity to properly deploy and prepare. Unfortunately, such opportunities were few and far between. The Germans had securely positioned themselves inside an Allied decision making process that often took days to execute, rapidly concentrating, overwhelming defenders and then exploiting success. Certainly there were answers to every German innovation, but in six short weeks the Allies did not have the time to find them.

Case Yellow is a simple, but accurate, simulation recreating this monumental campaign. Each game turn is divided into eight action segments. Each player has four action chits. The initiative player selects the first action chit to play. The remaining seven chits are placed in an opaque cup and drawn randomly. In most cases the Germans have the initiative and go first by playing one of their four action chits. Each German chit is marked for movement or combat, and the German player chooses what his army will do (though the German player during the course of a turn must use two chits for movement and two chits for combat). At the end of movement, any panzer or motorized formation adjacent to Allied units has the option to attack. If combat is chosen, all German units adjacent to Allied units may attack if allowed by terrain.

Two Allied chits are marked two for movement and two for combat – not both. The creaky Allied command structure will bedevil the Allied player throughout the game. Need to move? Sorry – you just drew a combat chit. Set up to attack? You drew a move chit, and only the number of motorized formations equaling the roll of a six-sided die can attack.

Zones of control reflect that the infantry of both sides still fight by the rules of World War One. Infantry units must stop when entering an enemy zone of control. Mount a one hex infantry attack against a defender hex, and you attack only the units in the defender hex. Mount a two hex (or greater) infantry attack against a defender hex, and all adjacent enemy hexes must also be attacked (large-scale infantry attacks take time to set up, and the defender has the time to integrate adjacent units into the defense plan).

Motorized units play by different rules, though the Germans with their better-trained, veteran formations do it much better than the Allies. Simply stated, any motorized unit with a Troop Quality (TQ) higher than any adjacent unit may disregard those adjacent units’ zones of control for purposes of movement, combat and retreat. Only a solid line is proof against motorized unit exploitation and envelopment, and only so long as combat does not create gaps. Additionally, motorized units only may attack a defender hex from two hexes without engaging any other adjacent defender units – the speed of motorized concentration allows the attack to go in before a traditional defensive response can be established.

The Luftwaffe is present in overwhelming strength, allowing the German player to negate the toughest defensive positions if necessary. Each Luftwaffe asset marker provides a one column shift on the combat table. Each Allied air asset marker provides the same shift, but there are far fewer Allied markers – not that the Allies had far fewer planes (they had almost as many), but the Allied air-ground coordination was so cumbersome that planes usually did not arrive in time to influence the battles being fought.
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21. Board Game: Pensacola [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:6297]
 
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Current Preorders: 617 (+9)

First announced: -

Current Status: Charging this month. Last month on list!

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

Comments: Coming soon!

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-239-pensacola-1781.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: The Siege of Pensacola pits a numerically large but fragile Spanish army, supported by a small corps of French allies against a smaller, feistier British army enjoying strong fortifications and highly mobile Indian allies. As the Spanish player you will need to determine where you will build your siege gun redoubts and will then have to protect your soldiers from raiding British units to finish the works in time to mount an effective bombardment. As the British player, you have far fewer forces, but armed with special raiding rules, your Regulars, Tories and Indian allies must harass and erode Spanish morale, while delaying the construction of Spanish siege works for as long as possible in the hope of keeping your three forts intact to face the coming coup de main.
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22. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:143]
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Current Preorders: 622 (+8)

First announced: May 2005

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Still not officially scheduled for a production slot...

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

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

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

Additional differences:

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

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

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

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

(5) The combat system, with hidden forces and sequential deployments, is novel. Christophe Sancy made a great graphical illustration of a climactic combat sequence. It’s posted on Boardgame Geek.
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23. Board Game: Germantown [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:3965]
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Current Preorders: 643 (+13)

First announced: ??

Current Status: Charging this month. Last month on list!

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

Comments: Coming soon!

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-277-germantown-1777.aspx

Complexity: Not listed
Solitaire Suitability: Not listed

Game Information: The Battle of Germantown took place on October 4, 1777, outside the city of Philadelphia and less than a month after the British victory at the Battle of the Brandywine Creek (September 11.)

GMT is pleased to offer the latest in Mark Miklos' popular and critically acclaimed American Revolutionary War series: Volume VII, Germantown, 1777.
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24. Board Game: Crown of Roses [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:4694]
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Current Preorders: 671 (+10)

First announced: June 2008

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Waiting for this to appear on the production schedule.

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



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

In Crown of Roses, players take on the roles of the dynastic giants - the House of Lancaster and their Beaufort cousins, and the House of York. The four player game adds in the powerful House of Stafford, and the ever-scheming Richard Neville and his son, Richard of Warwick, the 'Kingmaker'.
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25. Board Game: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:3308]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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Current Preorders: 696 (+9)

First announced: March 2008

Current Status: Made the cut.

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

Comments: Coming later this year.

Game Link: http://gmtgames.com/p-227-the-spanish-civil-war.aspx



Game Information: In July 1936, part of the Spanish Army rose in rebellion against the government of that young republic. What was expected to be no more than a short and relatively bloodless coup d’etat, degenerated instead into a fratricidal civil war that raged for almost three years. Within weeks of the outbreak of the war both sides began to receive support from abroad, in the form of military advisors, volunteers, weapons and troops from England, the USSR, France, Germany, Italy, the USA, Czechoslovakia, among many others.

After the first few months of fighting, fought out by colonial-war-style militia columns, highly mobile but having scarce firepower, both armies evolved into large armies that fought a war characterized by late World War I tactics and early WW2 weaponry. In fact, the war of 1936-1939 became both a cockpit for the struggle of ideas of the 1930s as well as a test bed for some of the tactics and weapons that would be used in 1939-1945. Many historians consider the Spanish Civil War as the first clash of the coming world war.

The Spanish Civil War is a quick playing, moderately complex operational simulation of this war. Brigade-Divisional level, monthly turns for the first phase of the war and bimonthly turns from November 1936 until the end of the war. 480 1/2" counters and 1 big hex map. One grand campaign and multiple scenarios, including some What-if? scenarios speculating with WW2 beginning in September 1938 or a hypothetical Axis invasion of Spain and Portugal in 1941-42, complete with German Panzers, the Portuguese army, or British and Free French expeditionary forces.
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