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Non-Series Games → Gathering Storm

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Gathering Storm

Banner designs by Rodger B. MacGowan


Note: All samples below are from playtest graphics, not final game art. GMT Games claims no copyright on these images. Coyright remains with the original creator.

  • Sample Game Map [2.13 Mb pdf]
  • Sample Countersheet 1 (of 4) [366 Kbpdf]
  • Sample Countersheet 2 (of 4) [368 Kbpdf]
  • Sample of 10 of the 144 Random Event Cards [281 Kb pdf]

  • Regular Price: $105.00
     P500 Price: $70.00 

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    Gathering Storm, both a game in its own right and a prequel to GMT’s A World at War, covers the period from 1935 to the outbreak of World War II, whenever that might be. Like A World at WarGathering Storm, simulates the military, economic, political, diplomatic, research and production preparations for the Second World War, allowing the players to explore what might have happened if:

    • Admiral Doenitz had convinced his superiors of the importance of submarine warfare in the impending war with Britain.
    • Germany had pursued the Z Plan earlier and more consistently.
    • The development of the “Ural bomber” had been pursued.
    • Poland had become a German satellite, rather than resisting German aggression.
    • War had broken out over the Sudetenland, or even the remilitarization of the Rhineland.
    • Mussolini had given a lower priority to naval armaments, to the benefit of the Italian armor and air forces.
    • France had extended the Maginot Line.
    • de Gaulle’s arguments to expand and strengthen France’s armor units had been accepted.
    • Britain had rearmed sooner.
    • Russia had deferred the Great Purges. Or accelerated them.
    • The Spanish civil war had been won by the Loyalists.
    • A civil war had broken out in Yugoslavia. Or Greece.
    • Atomic fission had been discovered earlier.
    • The Second World War had begun with a Franco-Italian conflict. Or a French pre-emptive attack on Germany. Or a Russo-German war, with Italy and the Western Allies neutral.
    • War comes early. Or later, in 1940 or even 1941. 
    • YOU had been in command.

    Gathering Storm,can be played as a separate game in a single session, with its own victory conditions, but A World at War players will want to press on and see how the war they have created plays out. While using different mechanics, Gathering Storm,’s structure is consistent with A World at War and allows for a seamless transition to whatever alternate war the players planned – or stumbled into.  Some 30 years in development, with three years of design and playtesting, Gathering Storm, includes the following:

    • Six random events each turn, providing unlimited replay value.
    • Economics based on tiles and activity counters, eliminating any paperwork.
    • Flexible mobilization rules, allowing players to emphasis civilian or military production – each at the expense of the other.
    • Unit construction which allows players to activate reserve units for immediate benefits, at a cost of limiting future options.
    • Variable research, which can focus on air, naval, military or intelligence projects, as well as short or long term gains.
    • A fast-moving diplomatic system, with each player allocating diplomatic counters each turn. Diplomatic targets are public, but the points allocated to them are not.
    • Shipbuilding that allows varied fleets, including the possibility of 5-factor super battleships.
    • Ahistorical A World at War counters, including armor units of different strengths and additional ships. 
    • A dynamic crisis system, in which the Allies can appease or oppose the Axis, with neither side necessarily being certain whether war might break out.
    • No dice.

    Gathering Storm is a must-buy for any committed A World at War player, an excellent – and possibly dangerously time consuming – introduction to the A World at War universe for those unfamiliar with that game, and a enjoyable and instructive fast-paced game all on its own.


    •  Approximately 1,000 full-color die-cut counters.
    •  24 Maginot Line and West Wall full-color hexagonal counters.
    •  One 22"x30" full-color Gathering Storm mapsheet.
    •  One 22"x30" full-color A World at War map overlay.
    • 40-page Gathering Storm Rulebook
    •  20-page A World at War conversion Rulebook 
    •  5 Scenario Cards 
    •  144 Random Event cards.
    •  4 Russian purge cards 
    •  90 point tiles
    •  5 tile racks
    •  75 activity counters
    •  6 player aid sheets
    •  3 research record sheets  

    Game Design:  Bruce Harper