Again, this is for the fellow wargamers following this LJ.

Multi-Man Publishing has the official license from Hasbro to publish Advanced Squad Leader (as well as a few other old AH titles). This is the core of their business, but they are trying to get/stay diversified beyond that in case something happens with Hasbro. The internal crew handles everything in the ASL line (everything else is generally submitted by people outside the actual company), and they seem understaffed, having continual problems with product releases and keeping things essential to the line in print. Some of this is caused by a need to literally re-create, as faithfully as possible, all the old AH content in reprints. However, a decade on they are still struggling with this, while ADB (my previous post) got all of SFB back in print in 2-3 years (admittedly, they held the originals, while MMP does not).

Over the years, there has been some reshuffling in the core modules, and they are moving towards fewer bigger ones. My personal collection is in good shape, with almost everything I want. The Pacific modules are long out of print, but I’m not overly worried about getting them (sure, someday, but it’s not a big deal for me), I have the new printing of the (bigger) Allied Minors module (Doomed Battalions) on pre-order (due out around, say, August), which just leaves the Axis Minors. That’s currently split between two modules (Armies of Oblivion & Partisan), but the next printing should combine them, so I’m waiting for that at the moment. Oh, and the Finns are going to get their own module (Hakaa Palle)… someday.

Beyond the main-line stuff, I have both Deluxe modules, one of the Historical ones (Pegasus Bridge; the others are sadly out of print, and out of my eBay price range), neither of the Action Packs, and almost all the Journals and Annuals. Despite some pretty notable holes, I probably still have far more than I can use. A new historical module (Valor of the Guards – central Stalingrad), and action pack (Few Returned – destruction of the Italian 8th Army on the East Front) are due out for Origins or slightly later (it sounds like VotG is having trouble), and I have both on pre-order.

That’s two pricey and one more reasonable product due out this year on pre-order—and the bulk of this year’s budget. Earlier this year I blew most of the rest of it on Hollow Legions and a couple of Journals. But thanks to Patch, I’m spending a fair amount of time on ASL, so it won’t just moulder.

MMP also bought out the company The Gamers some years back, and publishes further games from the main people there as they get developed. These are generally tactical ACW and WWII games, and don’t interest me much. One ACW series actually spends most of its detail on writing orders for units, and the process of the orders getting there and being obeyed (or not). Differences in how the Corps commanders are likely to start and continue attacking allows for a better model of how the armies performed than general. It’s tactical, so my interest is still somewhat minimal, though the Antietam one seems to be the highlight, where some extra chrome is put in to try and duplicate McClellan’s timidity.

The also have a line of operational-level ACW games that came from some of AH’s last celebrated traditional wargames. I’m interested in trying them (especially the last one MMP published, Grant Takes Command), but the web page looks old and decrepit, and MMP doesn’t seem to be doing anything with the series currently.

Then there’s the International Game Series. Adam Starkweather deserves a lot of credit in bringing excellent foreign-release wargames to the too-often insular US market. He started with Fire in the Sky (which I have) a Japanese look at WWII in the Pacific. Last year, the excellent A Victory Lost (which I also have) came out.

And that brings us to the more interesting contents of MMP’s preorder list (skipping the ASL products that I’ve already mentioned).

Top of the current list is Devil’s Cauldron, an operational/grand tactical-level (units are companies) look at the north-end Operation Market-Garden (they’re apparently planning a companion game on the rest of it). The production looks very impressive, and the counters look like there’ll be lots of detail. At ~$130 I’d be interested if I had lots more time and money, but I’d be happy to try it someday.

Talavera is tactical Napoleonics, which doesn’t excite me much (the tactical part doesn’t that is), but it’s nice to see a game going outside the usual short list of Napoleonic battles.

Warriors of God is a simple game on the Hundred Years War from a Japanese designer. The subject is interesting, but the descriptions haven’t wowed me.

I’ve been contemplating getting a copy of Russian Front on eBay on ‘s recommendation, and have an East Front game to play with him. But Red Star Rising is looking really tempting. I’m thinking I’ll get it if it stays on preorder long enough for me to feel I have the money (that could take a year).

MMP has been promising a new version of PanzerBlitz since 2000 or slightly before. Currently, they have it on pre-order. PanzerBlitz: Hill of Death is not a general scenario package with geomorphic boards. Instead, it is centered around particular actions around Hill 112 in Normandy (obviously, they’re considering PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader all one system), and they say that if this does well, they’ll probably release a ‘general’ version. It seems like the adaptability and different scenarios were a large part of the original’s success (and it’s striking cover). Times have changed, it’s no longer the only tactical game out there… but I still think this could be a dangerous mistake.

Case Blue looks to be another game too big for my budget and time, but looks interesting. It is the latest in The Gamers Operational Combat Series, which I generally hear get praised. This one covers from 1941 to ’43 in southern Russia.