Playdek/GMT union producing more fruit. Here comes Fort Sumter


Originally published at:

  • iOS, Android, Steam

The biggest news story around these parts last year was word that Playdek and GMT Games, two names that carry a lot of weight around these parts, had formed a partnership. Playdek would have access to the GMT catalog and announced the first product, Labyrinth, would be coming to our touchscreens. We were wondering which other titles from GMT’s vast library would be coming. Now we know the second title, Mark Herman‘s fantastic Civil War filler, Fort Sumter is on the way.

Unlike most Civil War titles, Fort Sumter takes place during the secessionist crisis that ends with the shelling of the titular fort. Thus, there’s no battlefields, armies, or any of the usual blue/gray shenanigans we’re used to. Instead, we have a tightly packed little game that can be wrapped up in 30 minutes that takes its gameplay from bigger fare like We the People and Twilight Struggle.

Fort Sumter is a two-player Card Driven Game (CDG) portraying the 1860 secession crisis that led to the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the American Civil War. Fort Sumter is a small footprint game (11×17” mounted map) that takes approximately 25-40 minutes to play. The game pits a Unionist versus a Secessionist player. Each player uses the area control mechanic pioneered in my We The People design and immortalized in Twilight Struggle to place, move, and remove political capital. The location of political capital determines who controls each of the four crisis dimensions (Political, Secession, Public Opinion, and Armaments). After three rounds of play, the game culminates in a Final Crisis confrontation to determine the winner.

The twelve map spaces are grouped into the four dimensions of the crisis. You gain a victory point each round that you control a dimension’s three spaces. For example, the Armaments dimension is characterized by Federal Arsenals, Fort Pickens, and of course, Fort Sumter. In addition, each round you score a victory point for controlling your secret objective space. But beware; either player can score active objective spaces. At the end of the dual Presidential inaugurations (round three) a new Final Crisis mechanic drives the game to its hotly contested conclusion.

The game itself is incredibly easy to pick up, ruleswise, but strategy is another matter. I’ve played a handful of times and still have yet to wrap my head around planning for the Final Crisis.

The Playdek version will, of course, include all the polish we expect from Playdek. That means robust online play and an AI that can fill in when you don’t have a friend able to play. It will be released for iOS, Android, and Steam. I’m assuming PC/Mac on Steam (that’s what Twilight Struggle is, anyway), but we’ll have to wait until more info comes rolling in.


But what about Labyrinth, man?!? WHAT ABOUT LABYRINTH?!? :cries in exasperation:

Why are you torturing me like this???


The latest GMT monthly update says that Fort Sumter should be out in Q3 2019.

As for Labyrinth:

" The Labyrinth Closed Beta began earlier this month. We have a small group of beta testers who are providing excellent feedback on the interface and helping us to identify issues with the rules implementation. Offline games are being played against the bots that were included in the Awakening expansion (both jihadist and US are implemented) and online games are being played both in real time and asynchronously. There is still a lot of work we are planning to put in to the game to make it accessible to players who are unfamiliar with the board game, but we are very pleased with the progress we’ve made so far."


Did a politician write that? It says something, and yet nothing, all at once. Make me a beta tester or give me a release date, lest I explode from anticipation!

eta: thanks for the update, nonetheless :wink:


I think that basically says “it’s not going to be coming very soon, but we’re working hard on it. We’re not goofing around or anything.” LOL


They don’t understand that I need it now.

And that would’ve been a gif but the WiFi here leaves much to be desired. Like speed, for example.


No, I did.
We took signups for the beta for an extended period. It was announced in at least 2 of GMT’s monthly newsletters last fall. If you had signed up, maybe you’d be playing now. We will likely be adding additional playtesters as we get closer to release.

It’s not coming “very soon”, but maybe it will come “soon”. The bots are close to being finished, so we have a single player version that is playable. But they don’t play by the proper rules for a 2 player, so we hoping to tackle an AI player for that, and that won’t be something we can implement overnight.


Ouch, @Strangiato. This seems a bit… harsh? Could just be me misconstruing it, as it seems you’ve done with the politician comment, which was meant jokingly. My fault, perhaps, for not peppering it with lol’s and /s’s.

And not to beat the horse, but I did sign up initially; obviously didn’t get in, and the second request was met with a nice reply (not /s here) about the beta being full. No matter, and thanks for the info on the AI and bots and whatnot.