Red Flag Over Paris from GMT Games

After looking at a couple of games from GMT that are getting close to reaching the magical level of the P500 track (it takes 500 orders for them to be “given the go,” so to speak), let’s get much more immediate.

In this month’s GMT Update newsletter, delivered yesterday (yes, a timely post for once!), a new game was added to the P500 list that looks incredible and I was one of the first 50 to order it (it was at 22 orders when I clicked on it early in the day and it’s now…well, it’s much higher (85 at the time of writing last night and 108 this morning).


Red Flag Over Paris is designed by first-time designer Fred Serval and is about the Paris Commune after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 where Paris had been besieged by German troops.

Paris had been protected mostly by the National Guard, the citizens of Paris who suffered greatly during the siege. They were humiliated by the French government signing the armistice with Germany in 1871.

Parisian socialists revolted when the government tried to take control over the cannons that had defended the city and the Paris Commune was born.

To quote the history on the game’s main page:

Red flags are flying high over Paris. The Parisian revolutionaries take control of the French Capital, leading to the beginning of the Paris Commune, a socialist and popular government that would rule the City of Light from March 18 to May 28, 1871. The tension escalates between the Commune and Versailles until the tragic events of the Bloody Week.”

Red Flag Over Paris, the second game in the “Lunch Time Games” series published by GMT, takes a lot of inspiration from the earlier one, Fort Sumter. It should take under an hour and is a two-player card-driven game that depicts the two months leading up to the Bloody Week.

One side is the Communards and the other side is the Versailles government during the Commune.

From the game’s page on GMT, obviously not final.

It looks like it may add a bit more complexity to the system, but not that much really. There are areas of influence within areas, for instance.

Ah heck, let’s blurb this thing:

“You will play as one of these factions and fight for control over Paris. But, you will also need to win the hearts and minds of the French population, as the board is divided into two areas–military and political–themselves divided into several dimensions (Political Institutions, Public Opinion, Paris neighborhoods, and the forts on the outskirts of the city). The game forces players to make tough decisions like when to focus on political influence or military dominance and how to optimize limited resources.”

Each card will have either a personality or event from the times, and as with any other Card-Driven Games you can play the card for either points or the text on the card.

Much like Fort Sumter, the game will go over three rounds and then there will be a “Final Crisis” where players will use the cards that they’ve set aside during the game.

There’s more detail on the GMT site, but not a lot so far.

There are two excellent historical articles written by Serval on the Inside GMT blog and I’m sure there will be more about the game itself in coming months.

You should subscribe to them as well! (Though subscribe to me first, of course).

Yesterday was the first day that Red Flag Over Paris was available to order. Let’s make it a fast one to reach the coveted 500 level!

This game looks perfect for me and I hope for you too.


7 Comments on “Red Flag Over Paris from GMT Games

  1. It’s up to 122 now! Been awaiting a Commune game for a long time, since I wrote a long article on it for Strategy and Tactics back in 1998. Just never had the time to put one together myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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