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GMT Games: Buy Arctic Storm!

posted Aug 30, 2012, 12:25 AM by Douglas Sun
Originally posted: September 29, 2009

Speaking of games that cover the Russo-Finish War, I received an email update from GMT Games tonight that included the latest P500 numbers, and I noticed with some pleasure that the reprint of Arctic Storm now has 347 pre-orders. That’s probably just a bit north of half of what it needs for Gene Billingsley and Rodger MacGowan to pull all of the old assets out of storage and send them to the printer again, but it’s a pretty respectable showing for a 15 year-old game that has mostly been forgotten and, presumably, passed by the state of the art.

However, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Arctic Storm. I’m pretty sure it was the first GMT game that I ever tried out, which means that it was probably the first new game that I tried out when I came back to wargaming after grad school. I found it very flavorful, yet also very playable. It’s easily grasped, moves quickly, and yet it gives you a genuine feel for the strategic dilemmas facing both sides. It was very much a styles-makes-fights kind of game — any strategic-level treatment of the Winter War has to play up the contrasts between Finnish and Soviet capabilities and styles, and Arctic Storm did it well without overplaying it. Throw in a dash of geopolitics for taste, and David Ritchie designed himself a minor masterpiece.

So if you like WWII games and you haven’t given Arctic Storm a try, I encourage you to place your P500 order and help make it worth GMT’s while to do a second printing. You won’t regret it. In fact, if you’re going to be at GMT Weekend West next month, you can get a de facto demo when Ken Tee and I break out his copy and have a go at it. Should be a good afternoon’s fun.