Top 5 P500 Games

First off, if you are unfamiliar with GMT Games’ P500 system, I would start here: The Details of P500.

Second, I feel like we need a disclaimer for this post. As of the November 23 Update from GMT there are nearly 175 items currently working there way through the P500 program in some shape or form. In addition, there are several factors that I am sure GMT takes into consideration in prioritizing, timing and developing the games on the list. Most of the factors have probably never entered my brain space.

That means that this is not a list that may make the most business sense but it makes the most Matt sense. By that, I mean here is a list of my Top 5 games currently* on the P500 list that I, personally, for my own selfish reasons, would push through development to get into my hands ASAP.

I’ve left a few games off the list because they are close enough we can almost taste them push their counters around. These are: the US Civil War reprint, Salerno `43, Last Hundred Yards: Solomon Islands, and Vietnam: 1965-1975. Make no mistake, those are some of my most anticipated games but it didn’t feel as exciting to make a list of games that may be here as soon as early 2022. (By the way, for a full list of our most anticipated 2022 games, make sure you listen to January’s History on the Table episode!)

With enough delay, here are my (Matt’s) Top 5 P500 Games.

Photo from BoardGameGeek

5. Bear Trap: The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989

Status: Made the Cut
Orders to Date: (Numbers unavailable at time of post)

It took a handful of plays before I really began to appreciate Sekigahara‘s fantastic game design but now I thoroughly enjoy the game. Sekigaraha offers straight forward yet rewarding game play, thoughtful tactical decisions, and gorgeous art and components. I’m anxious to see if its spiritual successor can do all of the same while offering a unique experience.

Image from GMT Games

Bear Trap: The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989 will use some similar elements but claims to be a more asymmetric design. Could that mean more unique faction decks?

I am very interested in this title. Bear Trap is building off a great skeleton and is covering a historical topic that I haven’t seen covered very much in the wargame sphere.

4. The Battle for Normandy, Deluxe Edition / The Battle for Sicily

Status: Made the Cut / N/A
Orders to Date:

We are reaching our ultimate destination (The Battle for Sicily) in a round about way and it’s not through George Strait. Don’t get me wrong, The Battle for Normandy, Deluxe Edition is a monster game that I can’t wait to see in action but The Battle For Sicily is what I really have my heart set on.

Image from BoardGameGeek

Unfortunately, The Battle for Sicily was temporarily pulled from the P500 list back in 2019. Hopefully, with The Battle for Normandy in hand, progress can resume on Sicily.

A glimpse of where the Levy & Campaign series could be heading.
Image from Volko Ruhnke Twitter
Image from Board Game Geek

3. Levy & Campaign

Status: Various
Orders To Date: Various

Nevsky, the first entry in the expanding Levy & Campaign series, reigned supreme on my pile of shame for far too long. Now that I’ve been able to play the game I am very excited to see where this series is heading. So much so, that I’d print them all!

As things currently stand, the projects are all in different stages of development but Volko Ruhnke, series desiger, has mentioned that “some 20 projects” are in progress!

For the foreseeable future, all Levy & Campaign titles are auto P500 for me.

2. Red Winter

Status:  Made the Cut
Orders To Date:  801

It’s a game on Finland which should be enough of a reason but you might still be asking, “Why is a 2012 game on this list?”. Well it’s a game on Finland that I have still completely missed out on.

Image from GMT Games

It was first published before I started pushing counters around maps and the reprint has been a long term resident of the P500 list. I made a GeekList back in 2017 tracking the games I had P500’ed. This was the first entry and the one I was most looking forward to it. It’s been over 4 years.

Company scale. Finnish Ski Troops. Winter War. Great Art. Print it!

Thunderbolt with Richard Berg’s last map.
Image from Mark Herman’s Twitter

Image from Mark Herman’s Twitter

1. Thunderbolt

Status: Well about that…
Orders to Date: It’s complicated?

I am jumping the gun here and thus cheating on my own list but you can’t really blame me. This is the final entry in the late Richard H. Berg’s Ancient Worlds series and it now sits in the hands of Alan Ray and Mark Herman. Rise of the Roman Republic and Carthage are gorgeous, impressive monsters and according to Alan Ray, Thunderbolt will incorporate the previous titles, “Adding the scenarios from those two volumes to Thunderbolt required only 1 1/12 additional counter sheets, a number of display cards, and some additional pages of rules.”

I’m hopeful that Thunderbolt makes a P500 appearance soon. Don’t miss it.

Leave a comment below with your most anticipated P500 entry, looking forward to hearing responses.

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