First off, thanks to so many of you for taking advantage of our Twitter sale last month. It helped us a ton with cash flow and with clearing some inventory space. I didn't know what to expect in terms of how many new customers might order from our exposure on Twitter, and was STUNNED when we got orders from 502 customers who'd never ordered from us before! That's really cool! More on Twitter and our online communications later, but for now, the big news this time is...
We have a new strategic Vietnam War game from MARK HERMAN and VOLKO RUHNKE on the P500 list!
I think you guys are REALLY going to like Fire in the Lake! It's a 1-4 player game (with tournament, medium-length, and full campaign scenarios) on the Vietnam War, using Volko's COIN system, with cards and events provided (mostly) by Mark. And are they ever cool! The synching of Mark's deep research on the War with Volko's mastery at crafting a game in the COIN system has created what is, for me at least, one of those "I just have to have this" products. Here's a peek at Volko's homemade playtest version, just to whet your appetite:
Click the banner below to go to the Fire in the Lake P500 page (there's a bigger picture of the map there) to get more details and (please!) place your P500 order!
Online Communications Overview
Since we launched our Twitter presence last month, I've had quite a few e-mails and convention comments that expressed some confusion regarding where you guys can reach us online and how we intend to use the various online spots where we interact with customers and provide support. So here's a brief look at where you can find us, and a general description of our presence in each venue.
Essentially, you'll find official GMT news, an official GMT presence, along with a varying number of our team members, in the following main places online:
1. Consimworld. That link is to the main GMT topic on CSW. We have general conversations there, but one of the nice things about CSW is that we have a game-specific topic for just about every game we've ever made. If you're looking for replays, good discussions, and interactions with our designers and developers, this is a good spot. Almost all of our design team members support their CSW topics often and well. The site is geared a bit more toward wargamers, so you'll likely find more wargame conversations there.
2. Boardgame Geek. BGG is setup differently than CSW, but there is still a main company "board" of sorts. There are also game pages for most of our games, and BGG is terrific as a repository for pics, replays, errata, Geek lists (there's a terrific GMT P500 Geeklist - maintained by a gamer - that comes out around the first of every month), Reviews, Sessions etc - and has a much broader audience than CSW. We monitor BGG threads daily, and you can generally get a question answered quickly here from a designer or team member, just like at CSW. If you have a game-specific question, bring it to BGG or CSW and you'll probably get an answer from a fellow gamer even before we respond.
3. GMT Facebook Page: We use FB to post pics of our existing and upcoming games, banners, links to interesting game news and reviews, have conversations with our customers, link to YouTube content, etc. Although we recognize that some of our long-time customers are Facebook users, this (and Twitter) allow us to get company and game information out to a partially different (and younger) crowd in the social media space. We think this is good strategically for the company, and we love introducing new players to our games, our company, and our customer support.
4. GMT Twitter Feed; We've only been on Twitter for about a month. We're using it to reach out to a different demographic, as with Facebook. Right now we're also using Twitter as a place to post pics (sometimes via Instagram -we're GMTGames there) of games in progress, and trying to give customers and potential customers a visual example of how the games PLAY, not just how they look on a shelf. We're doing some of this on Facebook as well, as both these platforms are geared toward ease of use of images that allow us to showcase game play.
5. GMT YouTube Channel: This isn't a place where we interact with customers very much, but I want to note it here, as it's a terrific resource as you learn to play our games. Joel Toppen is responsible for running our YouTube channel, and he does a great job of making and linking to videos that help you guys learn and enjoy our games even more.
6. Chat from the GMT Website: If you have an issue with an order or anything that requires talking to our customer support ladies at the office, please feel free to go to our website and use the Online Chat (top right corner of any page). That will get you to one of our office ladies very quickly. Note though, that Chat is only open 7AM to 4 PM Pacific time - when the ladies are in the office.
I hope this information and the links above are helpful. Please feel free to visit us (and Like us or Follow us) at any of the above online venues and start a conversation!
Counter Trays Back in Stock!
We're receiving a large order of counter trays this week. These are a very popular item, and even though we keep ordering more each time, they still seem to sell out very quickly.
So, if you've been waiting to get some additional counter trays, they're available in sets of 10 for $20 + shipping now on our website. Just click the link below:
GMT Counter Trays (Set of 10)
New Solitaire Games Page on the GMT Website
I just want to remind you guys, that, in response to customer requests, we've recently set up a page on our website dedicated to our solitaire games. Note that many of our games CAN be played solitaire, but the games on this page are all games that actually have a solitaire system (opponent) built into the game. We invite you to check out the new page here:
GMT Solitaire Games
Eight New Games on the P500 Reprint List
Tony and I are starting to talk about reprint plans for later this year and early 2014. We have a LOT of good games out of stock right now. One way we determine which games to reprint and how soon is by how many P500 orders each Reprint game has on our P500 list.
Here's the current status of the games on our P500 reprint list, including EIGHT games that we just put on the list a few weeks ago. Please help us determine what to print by pre-ordering any of these that interest you (you can click on the name link below to go to the P500 reprint page). Thanks for you help. Here's the current P500 Reprint list - a few have planned ship months in parenthesis -with current order totals:
Pax Romana 2nd Ed - 518 Orders
C&C Ancients Exp 2 & 3 (Dec) - 500 Orders
Fields of Fire - 2nd Ed. - 482 Orders
Barbarossa: AGN - 416 Orders
A World at War (August) - 407 Orders
Great Battles of Alexander Dlx. - 356 Orders
Diacochoi - 335 Orders
Sekigahara (Aug) - 332 Orders
Ukraine '43 - 305 Orders
Cataphract - 287 Orders
Barbarossa: AGS - 276 Orders
C&C Ancients Exp #1 (August) - 272 Orders
Brandywine - 256 Orders
This Accursed Civil War - 230 Orders
For the People - 213 Orders
Empire of the Sun - 171 Orders
Combat Commander BP#1 - 159 Orders
Normandy '44 - 140 Orders
Paths of Glory - 122 Orders
Successors - 122 Orders
Ardennes '44 (New) - 35 Orders
Conq. of Paradise (New)-Mtd. Map - 34 Orders
SPQR Dlx. (New) - 30 Orders
No Retreat (New) - 25 Orders
Combat Commander Med (New) - 24 Orders
1914: Twilight in the East (New) -13 Orders
Panzer (New) - 8 Orders
The Spanish Civil War (New) - 5 Orders
We also just sold out of Combat Commander: Europe. We'll have that one back up on the P500 reprint list soon.
New Mounted Map Options on P500
Based on positive feedback to our mounted mapboard releases, we are offering mounted maps for FOUR more of our most popular games as P500 items. These are regular 22 x 34 inch game maps, but mounted - same quality as Washington's War, Here I Stand, Sword of Rome, Wilderness War, and Paths of Glory reprints.
We need to get about 200 orders for mounted maps before we can print them profitably. So if you'd like a mounted map for any of these games (or for Stalin's War , which is also on the P500 list and has 161 orders to date), please make a P500 order soon so we can get these printed and out to you as soon as possible.
Our newest P500 Mounted Map Editions are for:
Conquest of Paradise (59 orders to date)
At last we get a mounted map option for this popular (sold out) game. (We've also added the game to the P500 Reprint list, so if you missed it the first time, here's your opportunity to get it!)
Mr. Madison's War (101 orders to date)
(it's one of our few CDGs that doesn't have a mounted map option)
Saratoga (77 orders to date)
(We are testing to determine potential interest in mounted maps for the rest of the AmRev series)
Bomber Command (124 orders to date)
(a two-sided mounted map)
Progress Reports on a Few Electronic Games
In general, progress has been fairly slow over the past few months on the electronic game front. Here's a brief update on a few games that are in very active development/testing:
Twilight Struggle (PC): Yay! Ryan (the AI programmer and all-around talented guy) is back in the States from a LONG time overseas and this has accelerated both final AI progress and our overall testing effort. We continue to test - and find a few bugs - the solo version of the game, but the effort is shifting now to getting the multi-player game (and the website to support finding opponents) up and running.
NightFighter (PC): We now have a testable version of this in-house. Next step is to get it to the test teams. Look for this one on the P500 list soon.
Dominant Species (iOS): Our programmer was on a big project at his day job for the past several months, so we have made almost no progress on the next update for our DS app. I just had an e-mail from him, though, that noted his project is winding down this week and he should be able to get back to the DS app shortly. We'll keep you updated, but we should be able to get this update project back on track now. Very sorry for all the delays. This is one downside to us working with independent contractors - sometimes their "real jobs" intervene and take precedence.
Space Empires (iOS + ): This project is still early in gestation, but they are making excellent progress. Nothing is final yet, but it looks like this is going to be a multi-platform release for us. More details on that as we know for certain.
I'll be seeing both the Dominant Species and Space Empires teams in a couple weeks (Our family is vacationing in their region and I'm taking a day to do some face-to-face updating), so hopefully will have more details to give you then.
October 17-20, 2013 for Fall GMT Weekend at the Warehouse
We've just set the dates and blocked the hotel rooms for our Fall GMT Weekend at the Warehouse. We invite you to come join us for a long weekend of gaming fun October 17-20 at the GMT HQ in Hanford, CA.
To reserve your spot for the even, just call our office at 800-523-6111 or chat (from our website) with the office ladies and they'll sign you up. Registration is $25 for the weekend.
If you need a room for the event, the Sequoia Inn is about 1 1/2 miles from our office/warehouse and always block rooms for our customers for the event. If you'd like to stay there, please call and reserve hotel rooms as soon as possible, as space is limited. The rates are still $75.60/night for double or $71.70 for single. Make sure you tell them you want the "Billingsley Group" rate. Hotel phone is 559-582-0339.
That's it for my column for this time. Here's what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- A Small Treasure Trove of Out of Print Games for Sale
- A New Game from Hexasim
- Charge and Shipping Update
- Tentative Production Schedule for 2013
- New Game Files, Vassal/Cyberboard, & Sneak Peeks
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT!
Enjoy the games!