Thursday, September 30, 2010

GMT Update

Hi guys!

We have quite a lot of new information to share this time, but let me start out with the 'bad news." We're going to have about a two week delay until we can begin shipping the five "September" reprints and their mounted boards. The shipments are late (we were told they would arrive the 23rd), and we don't expect them until Monday/Tuesday next week, which (of course!) happens to be just as we are prepping for our fall GMT Weekend here with 70 guys playing games at our offices. So that's going to be a fun dance getting 15K games off two 40 foot semis as we simultaneously try to keep the warehouse clear for gaming space! Anyway, the upshot is we won't actually be able to ship until the week following the GMT Weekend - looks like realistically Wednesday October 13th for a starting date at this point. We're sorry for the delay and any inconvenience. We just got stuck this time by a shipment delay and bad timing with warehouse availability.

OK, on to some better news. We're adding some new items to the P500 page today. These fall into the categories of New Games, Additional Mounted Mapboards, and a couple of P500 Reprint additions. Here are a few details:

New Games:

Operation Dauntless
This is the second game in designer Mark Mokszycki's WWII battle series (we don't have a series name yet, but are working on it). I've always liked "hex-and-counter" classic games that showed company or battalion level battles in WWII and have been of the opinion that we do not have enough of those type of games in our line. This series features a cool game system at a moderate complexity with more scenarios than I am used to seeing in operational games. As a player, I like all those scenarios, because a) I have something short to play if I only have an hour or two, and b) it lets me look at a variety of time slices of the history and helps me better understand each battle.

Mark has a bunch of battles planned for this series and I'm really looking forward to getting these games (Red Winter is Mark's other series game currently on the P500 list) through the P500 process and onto our game tables. Internally, Mark has been just terrific to work with and we are all "rooting for" these games, as we'd like to work with Mark for a long time. From the customer perspective, I hope you guys appreciate that Mark really loves his topics and provides just a ton of online information (see the "Sneak Peeks" section on Red Winter page for a sample) in support of his games.

Space Empires: OK, I can already hear you guys chorusing: "That's NOT a Wargame!" And I know I'm bound to get at least a few "Have you lost your MIND?" e-mails over the coming days. So first, take a deep breath and remind yourself that we LOVE wargames, and 90%+ of the games we produce are wargames and we don't intend for that to change. But Andy Lewis is pretty darned good at knowing a good game when he sees one, and he accepts submissions for all types of games. When he got this one, he thought it was a keeper, and wanted me to play it, as I was just a TAD gun-shy on space games. (OK, NOBODY say "Flagship", please!).

So Andy brought Space Empires out to one of our GMT Weekends where I got to play it along with several of the veteran wargamers who attend that convention. The bottom line was, we all liked it. I thought at the time, "Hey, this is a space game for wargamers!" One of the players then, Martin Scott (a longtime friend of ours and contributor to our success in many ways over the years), liked it so much he volunteered to help develop it. In short, we think this is another one of those "not exactly what we're used to from GMT" type of games that many of you are really going to like.

How does it feel to play Space Empires? Well, I've played it twice, and I like that it lets you do all the kinds of things that the best computer space games do, without being too complex or fiddly. I should mention here, that the guys at Strategy First, producers of the award-winning Space Empires IV Deluxe , have been really nice to us by letting us use some of their art for our game. In the computer genre, they call this type of game "4X" for eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, and eXtermination. And that's pretty much what you get with our Space Empires boardgame, with some economics thrown in.

Actually, even though the game world is immersive and changes from game to game, the game sequence is really easy to pick up. The way a game unfolds actually lets you have some "programmed learning" because you have several turns of moving your scouts around and building up your economic infrastructure before you ever come in contact with the enemy (aliens or other players). So you get a real good feel for the mechanics of building and planning and exploration in just a few turns of play.

THEN, when you meet an armed enemy, you quickly figure out why skimping on technology and ship expenditures so you could stoke your economy was a REALLY bad plan! :-) Once you are engaged, there are both tactical and strategic considerations galore, but again, without a heavy overhead of rules and fiddly procedures. It plays fast and clean, with enough galactic bloodshed to satisfy the guys who like to fight and plenty of economics and diplomacy/backstabbing to make it a complete package. At least that's my view. I think you guys are really going to like this one.

The Battle for Normandy Expansion:

We received several e-mails when we originally produced Dan Holte's The Battle for Normandy that said basically that those guys could not believe, in this day and age of shorter, faster-playing games, that we could be so unenlightened as to publish another monster game. And, although I always read every e-mail I get asking "what can I learn from this mail that will make us better at responding to what our customers want?", in this case, I just made note of them and filed them away, thinking "I appreciate the feedback, but I don't know if they understand our approach." What I thought they maybe didn't understand is that we don't plan our production based on hoping that every game will be the end-all, be-all for every one of our customers, but rather that through a combination of rather broad product offerings (within the wargame genre), that we'll create over time a situation where almost all of our customers can find at least a few games that they REALLY like.

We know that there is good-sized portion of our customer base that belong to an ardent group of gamers who love to play monster games. So when we see a good one, and they don't seem to come along very often, we want it. Dan's game is a good one, in our view. It has sold very well for us and gamer feedback has been excellent. To top it off, Dan's game support through Consimworld, Boardgame Geek, and his own DDH Website has been tremendous.

So when Dan told us he had an expansion for The Battle for Normandy, and that it included more maps and more counters to extend the battle through August, '44, we knew that BfN players were going to want it. So here you go, guys. Order away! More monster gaming goodness in on the way!

Additional Mounted Mapboards:

The feedback from players on the mounted mapboards that we have included in this past year's CDGs and reprints (Twilight Struggle, Washington's War, Wilderness War, etc) has been terrific. So we are adding P500 options for four more of our most popular CDGs. We hope you will use your P500 vote to get all of these that interest you, as we are hoping to gang-print all four of the boards once order numbers are high enough to cover our costs. The four mounted board options we are adding are for the following games:

Empire of the Sun
For the People
Stalin's War
WW2: Barbarossa to Berlin

P500 Reprint Additions:

We're adding two sold out games to our P500 Reprint list this time. Ben Hull's Fields of Fire is one of the series of games that I am most enthused about for the future. Fields of Fire had some "learning curve" issues that made what is a gem of a game difficult to get into for too many of our customers. So, in addition to making a 2nd edition rulebook and a new campaign available as free downloadable pdfs later this year, we are making this reprint a full 2nd edition of the game. The new edition will include a complete rules reorganization (we can do better!), an additional book with detailed examples of play, at least one new campaign, and of course all errata corrected and updated. Ben is already working on game #2 in the series (Marines!) and we look forward to making this immersive, tense, fun game series available to our customers for many years to come. So if you missed it the first time, or just want a completely new edition of your game, here you go.

Ted Raicer's Reds! has been out of print for a long time. This game was one of the best feedbacked games we have ever printed. It is wild fun inside a very easy-to-learn system, but we never really thought of it as a reprint because the topic is a bit more obscure than most of our other games. But we've had numerous requests over time to reprint it, so we're adding it back to the list to let you guys tell us whether and how soon you want a reprint edition. Order away!

That's all for this time, guys. We've cut out a few of our normal sections, as this P500 update section is really long. Sorry about that. We'll probably do another update mid-October to catch up on the rest of the news.

Thanks again for all your support! Until next time....

Enjoy the games!

Shipping and Charging Updates

Here are the most recent (September 30, 2010) GMT Games production, shipping, and distribution updates.

Shipping/Charging Update

Shipping: We have now completed all of our P500 order shipping and all of the distributor shipping for both Dominant Species and Germantown. Look for these soon in a store near you. Our next shipments will be:

* October 13th: A batch of FIVE reprints and three mounted mapboards for some of our most popular Card-driven games (see Production Outlook below for details)
* Late October: Labyrinth: The War on Terror

Charging: We have completed the charging for the big batch of September (now October 13th) releases. If you ordered any of these but you haven't seen a charge for these yet, please make sure your credit cards are current online and feel free to chat with the office ladies if you have any questions about your order.

We will begin charging for our late-October release, Labyrinth: The War on Terror , around the 15th of October.
Tentative Production Outlook

As noted above, our September shipments have been delayed until October 13th. Of the two previously scheduled October release games, Labyrinth: The War on Terror will release as scheduled, in late October, but Barbarossa: Crimea is moving back to a November release.

You'll note that we have also extended this production outlook into March, 2010, and that one of those scheduled for March is Combat Commander Battle Pack #4: New Guinea, which you guys have rocketed up the list to nearly 700 orders in less than a month!

Note, as always, that this schedule is subject to change, and that those games that are listed furthest in the future are the most subject to production timeline changes. Enjoy the games!

So here's what the current game release schedule looks like:

October 13: 5 x Reprints and 3 x Mounted Maps. Specifically:

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
Here I Stand Mounted Mapboard

Paths of Glory Mounted Mapboard

Sword of Rome Mounted Mapboard

Late October:
Labyrinth: The War on Terror

Barbarossa: Crimea
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Spanish Civil War

January, 2011:
Fighting Formations

February, 2011:
Case Yellow
Crown of Roses

March, 2011:
Combat Commander BP: New Guinea
No Retreat: The Russian Front
Online Customer Support

If you have any questions regarding any orders or upcoming charges (or any customer service inquiry), the quickest way to get an answer is to use our Online Chat on the GMT website - which connects your directly to our office ladies. Certainly they'll help you by phone or e-mail as well if you wish, but the online chat is a very fast and easy way to get your questions answered. Note that if you click the "Send a transcript" box when you initiate the chat, you'll get an e-mail transcript of the entire chat for your records. We like this feature, as you get verification of everything that was said just like e-mail, but the response is MUCH quicker. We invite you to try it out the next time you need an answer from the office folks.

That's all for this time.

Enjoy the games!


Your Friends at GMT Games
Toll Free Order and Support Line: 800-523-6111

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