I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy in these trying times. As the summer is slowly and inexorably coming to an end, we’re gearing up for a vigorous post-vacation work, full of newfound energy and hope. While we’re developing Coalitions and its many expansions, another large project looms ahead, one that I’ve had the pleasure to work on directly. What is it? You’ll see quite soon, right now I can only tell you it’s something quite unusual, a genre we haven’t explored so far. And is it worth waiting for? Most assuredly, especially if you’re interested in 20th-century conflicts that don’t have “world” in their names and yet involve major world powers. Care to guess which war it is? 😉
In this newsletter you’ll get to read news about our various Kickstarter-funded games, a short excerpt from an interview with a designer of El Rey Planeta (a professional soldier making wargames, how about that?), and much, much more. More importantly, you’ll get to see brand-new work-in-progress images of Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud, just as I promised back in August! The artwork is almost done, and the game board and tokens look truly astounding. I’ve also updated the Go-inspired infographic with the status of our games. Enjoy!
Your newsletter host,
Late Pledge for Coalition open!
That’s right, the BackerKit pledge manager for Coalitions – our diplomatic game for 1-6 players set in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars which you helped us fund back in July – is open and ready for you!
You can now preorder your copy of the game, including most of the add-ons, expansions, and a variety of special accessories. And if have backed the game during the Kickstarter campaign, you can now access your pledge manager. You can find more information about the manager and how to use it right here.
The last copies of the English pledge of Successors (without Hannibal & Hamilcar add-ons) have left our warehouse a few weeks ago and the work has begun on other language editions. The Spanish and the Italian versions of Successors are being printed as we speak, but unfortunately, the German, French, Czech and Polish editions will be delayed. We now estimate that their shipment will begin in December.
Due to manpower and material shortages, the printing house can’t sustain the previously projected level of production, that is to say: the printing of the Spanish and Italian versions will take much longer than anticipated, and that will push back the printing of other editions. We’re very sorry for the delay.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is clearly becoming a feature of our daily lives and resurges time and again even in places that seemed to have eradicated it, has led to an unprecedented rise in global shipping costs and severe disruptions in supply and logistics chain around the world. I hope you understand and appreciate that we’re also a part of that chain, and the material shortages in printing houses or manufactories, and the price of containers (that are also in short supply) are affecting us as well – as in this case. We’re doing anything we can to speed up the process, but our options are very limited.
Also, keep in mind that changing the printing house at this point isn’t a viable solution, as no other printing house is available on such short notice and it would put the production of Successors in German, French, Czech, and Polish language versions even further behind the schedule.
1941: Race to Moscow
Unfortunately, the production of Race to Moscow has stumbled upon the same problem as the German, French, Czech, and Polish editions of Successors. While the plastic elements of the game are ready and waiting in the warehouse, and the printing of all paper elements is set to begin this month, just as scheduled, the process of printing itself, and the subsequent drying and assembly of the boxes will take longer than previously indicated.
We now estimate the shipping of 1941: Race to Moscow will begin by the end of November or the beginning of December instead of October. Once again, we’re extremely sorry for the delay. We’re very aware of the fact this is yet another delay in the production of this game, but we provided you with the previous date in good faith; in retrospect, we shouldn’t have been that optimistic with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global logistical problems.
Since both the production and the delivery of Total Domination have already been delayed a few months ago, we’ve decided to use the time to develop new miniatures and replace two of them with completely new models. The neutral unit in the game will be represented by a Polish 7TP light tank, German Panther II will be replaced by a Sturmpanzer (also known as Brummbär), and the Soviet SU-76 will turn into the multi-turreted T-28 medium tank.
We made these changes in order to show even more variety in the way military vehicles which took part in World War II were designed. Also, Panther II and SU-76 were too similar in shape to other designs used in Total Domination.
And remember, you can still pre-order your copy of Total Domination in Late Pledge!
Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud
I’ve mentioned we’ve been working on the new game board for Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud, and here it is, in all its work-in-progress glory:
Do you like it? Want to see more? Scroll down to the Make Games Happen section to see the Tabletop Simulator rendering of the map – but this time with the tokens and a game track!
Coalitions: Ancien Régime Expansion
The work we do on Coalitions is never over. We’re currently hard at work on playtesting and developing the Ancien Régime Expansion (the one which comes free for all Kickstarter backers) so that you’ll get the best possible and well-balanced game. And that’s how it looks like:
Fire in the Sky almost sold out; Rocketmen and Nanty Narking next?
Our newest and shiniest game, Fire in the Sky, is almost sold out! That’s it; if you’re thinking about buying that game, this may very well be your last chance. We probably won’t reprint it for years, even if the game immediately goes back into the Make Games Happen program.
And while we’re on the subject of Fire in the Sky, we’ve just updated our webpage for the game with some photos of what’s inside the box – check it out.
Also available in store are Rocketmen and Nanty Narking, two excellent games by renowned designer Martin Wallace. Rocketmen is a highly innovative deck-building game with immersive gameplay and thrilling, dynamic flow, and Nanty Narking is an exciting area control game set in Victorian London for 2-4 players.
Brass: Birmingham Early Access update
Brass: Birmingham is doing great in Steam Early Access! We’ve already had eight updates, patching various bugs and adding new features such as information about the number of remaining link tokens – all to enhance the overall experience and make one of the best board games in history even better!
Join the PHALANX Club on Facebook
Do you like our games? Do you like seeing our work-in-progress artwork? Or maybe you want to learn about new games and projects ahead of time?
Then our Facebook PHALANX Club awaits you! Join our group, see our latest posts, ask any questions you like, and engage in varied discussions about anything related to our games, PHALANX or even history, if that’s your fancy 😉
Planszówki w Spodku Game Expo
Last weekend (September 4-5), there was a games expo in the heart of Katowice in Poland. We had a great time playing and showcasing our games – and we were pretty lucky, too; our booth was quite popular throughout the entire weekend. We hope this is just the first of many games expos we’ll be able to take part in and that we’ll get to see you at Essen Spiel in October!
New FAQ and How to Play video for Rocketmen
We’ve prepared a short pdf file with FAQ and card clarifications for Rocketmen. And if you’re looking to learn Rocketmen’s rules without having to read the manual, then check out the video in the section below – in just 20 minutes, you will learn everything you’ll need to know to play Rocketmen.
The infographic below represents the current and projected status of our games as of September 2021. The empty space in a column indicates that a game has not reached or it is not expected to reach that status this month – with the exception of KS/preorder/MGH columns explained at the bottom of this section.
Most of our games follow a standard production route. After being designed, a game goes through initial development and graphic design. These two steps are rarely fully completed at this point since we can’t be 100% certain if the game is going to be produced – that depends on you! The game is set for either 1) Kickstarter, 2) traditional preorder or 3) the Make Games Happen program. If it’s funded on Kickstarter or through MGH, its graphic design and development get finished and it goes into preproduction. If there are plastic miniatures involved, they get produced in China and eventually shipped to Poland where the printing and the assembly process happens. The last step is shipping, first to backers, then to stores.
Note: each of our games can either be in a column or columns marked as Kickstarter & Late Pledge/Preorder (every KS project eventually reaches the Late Pledge Status and some games can simply be available in Preorder) or in a column marked as Make Games Happen, never both. How the Make Games Happen program works is explained in a section directly under this image.
You can click the image to enlarge it.
El Rey Planeta has been designed by Ivan Notario, a Spaniard who lives between Spain and France, a soldier in the Spanish Army, and a long-time wargamer who has already published a number of games related to Spanish history.
Why Philip IV of Spain? What was so special about his reign that prompted you to make a game about him and his times?
The kings are usually represented as tough guys without feelings, which is something very far from the historical reality of Philip IV. He was a “bon vivant”, a playboy, a womanizer, and a lover of the good life. He was probably the type of a guy we’d all want to have as a friend. He was, however, tormented over the way how he wanted to be seen. He tried to play the part of a pious king, but that was simply not his nature.
Having to deal with the King’s happiness is rather unique in board games. How did you come up with the idea to make this an important part of the game?
In general, it’s easy to be a professional and unscrupulous king in a game, when you play cards and move tokens on a map; but in real life, the king has to keep a cool head and… a closed fly! And the King’s happiness in El Rey Planeta reflects that part of the real life, and the fact it’s not all about governing or ruling a country.
How long did it take to design El Rey Planeta, from the first idea to the current version of the game?
The very first idea to me when I was deployed in Afghanistan. After writing a book about the Spanish Tercios for Osprey (“The Spanish Tercios 1536-1704”) I found myself with a lot of free time in-between missions, and since we didn’t have Wi-Fi, I dedicated myself to creating the first prototype, cutting cardboard and making some sketches with old pencils. Years after, the pandemic-related self-isolation gave me more time to develop the game as a way to keep my mind busy.
The Make Games Happen program allows you to register your interest in a particular game so that we will know if there are enough people who want that game to be produced. The moment we reach the designated number of backers (be it 200, 250, or 300), we will start the full production and development of the game, including the finalization of the graphic design.
Fire in the Sky is the latest game that came out as part of the Make Games Happen program (though it wasn’t called that back then), and you can read even more about MGH right here.
Iron, Blood, Snow & Mud
You’ve seen the game board, but what’s this game all about?
It’s a quick (just 1 hour!) and easy to learn (just 8 pages long rules!) two-player strategic game simulating the Eastern Front of World War II between 1941 and 1944. Poland and France have fallen, Greece and Norway have surrendered, and Yugoslavia is no more. Now it’s time for the Soviet Union to suffer the same grim fate. Will the vaunted German blitzkrieg prove its invincibility once again? Or will the Soviet Union endure the onslaught long enough to rebuild its might and push back the enemy? The fate of the war is in your hands!
El Rey Planeta
Have you read the interview with the designer of the game? If not, read this description below, and scroll up back to it 😉
It’s an event-driven strategy game for 1-2 players who need to skillfully navigate the troubled waters of global politics, economy, and conflicts of 17th century Europe while trying to manage the complicated affairs of court and heart of El Rey Planeta, the Planet King – Philip IV of Spain. The game can be played solo or semi-cooperatively, all with an aim of surpassing the historical result achieved by King Philip IV.
It’s a reprint of an excellent game depicting the pivotal moment in the Greek War of Independence, the dramatic third siege of the Greek Holy City of Messolonghi (1825-26). One player takes on the role of the brave defending Greeks, and the other one commands the awesome might of the Ottoman Empire that moves to crush all resistance and capture the city. The game is quick, it takes just 2 hours to play, and you can learn it in no time.
Pursuit of Victory
It’s a two-player wargame encapsulating the most important themes and elements of military and diplomatic realities of the Napoleonic Wars from 1805 to 1814. Both players simultaneously play two out of 10 unique cards, one for the initiative, the other one for action or actions, usually a movement, political realignment, and recruitment. These cards are then “locked” and unavailable for two turns. The game is filled with tension & tough decisions, but it only takes around 120-150 minutes to play it – it’s perfect for a short evening!
You can find out more about the game and pre-order it right here.
It’s an exciting hex-and-counter wargame for two players (with a three-player variant) simulating the military operations of the Polish-Soviet War. Players try to capture or hold strategic positions and optimally manage diverse types of troops in a huge area stretching from Smolensk and Kyiv to Krakow and Warsaw. Will the Red Army prevail and bring happiness and peace to the German and French working classes, or will the Poles pull off a magnificent victory one can only describe as a “miracle”?
You can find out more about the game and pre-order it right here.