This is just a quick newsletter out to catch people up on what’s happened, and what’s happening here at ATO. Plus we are having a Winter Deal offer good through all of December. More on that below.
What’s Old: Our last release was issue #54 with Monty’s D-Day which went in to the mail about 2 weeks ago. So far, only the deluxe subbers have started receiving their copies as they go priority mail. If you have the ziplock version, be aware ordinary magazines sort of travel “last class” through the postal system and may take up to a month and half to reach you. Please be patient.
What’s Old – But Also New Again!: Back in the summer we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to republish a new and upgraded editon of Beyond Waterloo. We’ve re-opened the web page on our site to allow for last minute orders for those that don’t care for Kickstarter. You’ll get the full 1815 and 1814 expansion games just like the regularr Kickstarter supporters! A revised map, new Battle Tactics cards, what’s not to like? Learn more about Beyond Waterloo by clicking this game link.
What’s Coming: Lee’s Greatest Victory: Chancellorsville, 1863 appearing in ATO #55 is an area-impulse game but one unlike anything seen before. Since the appearance of the “sunset die roll” nearly three decades ago players have alternated activating a single area, with variation coming in the form of an uncertain turn length. Play has a chess-like feel, with players able to act and react with a great deal of prior calculation. Short turns could be frustrating for one or both players.
In this revolutionary development of the genre players no longer know how many impulses they, or their opponent, will have, creating both opportunities and crises that cannot be anticipated in advance—just like real combat. The “momentum” swings back and forth but rarely the same way twice. At the same time, each turn lasts as long as the players wish it to last, ensuring something will happen every turn.
The game features one 22″ x 34” area map, 176 double-sided 5/8” counters, and around twelve pages of rules. Units of maneuver are Union divisions and Confederate brigades for the most part, with historical leaders present to provide a combat boost though at the risk of being wounded or KIA. Pontoon bridges and entrenchments are part of the basic rules while optional rules incorporate weather and optional units for both sides.
Best of all, it’s just six turns and playable in one sitting! Learn more about Lee’s Greatest Victory by clicking this game link.
The after looking at the American Civil War, we turn to the Eastern Front for a little known, but definitely Against the Odds situation with Hitler’s Stalingrad – Breslau 1945. After being cut off and isolated in mid-February 1945, the German garrison at Breslau, some 50,000 men, defied all odds holding onto the city for almost a week AFTER Berlin fell! Hitler had ordered the city be held at all costs, believing Soviet forces tied up there were thus not taking part in any assault on Berlin. The defending garrison finally surrendered just days before the war officially ended (with the Gauleiter in charge fleeing the city by air to escape capture).
Taking the city fell to the Soviet Sixth Army, comprised of some eight divisions with 80,000 men between them, plus four tank regiments and two artillery divisions. An entire Air Army, the Second, was also assigned to provide ample destructive power from the sky. The task facing the Soviets was daunting; urban warfare plus a very determined defender. Terrain too was critical – the Oder River flowing through the city sliced it up into many parts. Taking a major sector of the city could mean nothing more than occupying an “island” in the end.
Although Breslau was unimportant to the outcome of the war, the battle for the city was not without incident or drama. By the war’s end the Germans lost 6,000 KIA. The Soviets lost at least 12,000. These figures exclude the toll in wounded, estimates of which range from 20,000 – 40,000. The Soviets also lost up to 170 AFVs trying to seize the city.
Hitler’s Stalingrad: Breslau 1945,
looks hard at this defiant siege. With over 300 counters and a 22″ x 34″ map scaled at about 650 yards per hex, a game turn represents one week. The game captures the flavor of planned, grand assaults quickly degenerating into gritty, street-level fighting, with players alternating conducting operations during the turn. Skillfully positioned reserves and sharp counterattacks can blunt massive thrusts, but at possibly a too frightfully high rate of casualties.
Special rules model rubble and barricades; the multi-level city buildings; surprise and ambush during combat; Soviet command directives; the armored train “Porsel”; remotely controlled Goliaths; and the possible use of nerve gas (Breslau was the major repository of both Germany’s remaining stocks of the little AFVs and also the deadly nerve agent Tabun). Learn more about Hitler’s Stalingrad – Breslau 1945 by clicking this game link.
As always, there are other subscriber only goodies in the pipeline too, both free-standing mini-games and add-ons for the games already in your collection.
The good news is you can subscribe or re-subscribe today and still get all the upcoming issues above! Click here for options on subscribing or re-subscribing.
If you have any questions, or would like to tell us about your experiences as a subscriber, I would love to hear from you.
And About That Special Offer: You’ve probably gotten accustomed to us having a ‘winter sale’ of some kind and wonder what it might be this year. This year, we are giving you tremendous flexibility and “unlimited” choices. We call this one “Herding Black Swans” time.
You know our Black Swans, those small games that have appeared as bonuses in various issues and we have enough left over to sell separately. Some of the packages are actually TWO games combined, so there is plenty of game there at a minimal price.
For the whole month of December, we go beyond “minimal price.” Buy 2 of ANYTHING and you get a Black Swan—any of them, your choice!—for FREE. So buy 2 regular back issues, you pick a Black Swan. Buy the “PICK 3” OR the “Big PICK 2” from our Special Offers page (already discounted!) and you STILL get a Black Swan! Subscribe or re-subscribe, and pick out a Black Swan! You can even buy two Black Swans and get another Black Swan for free!
No codes. Just write which freebies you want in the Comments Field of the order form at checkout. Previous sales are excluded from this offer but don’t forget to ask for your free Pocket Battle Game at the same time!
So it’s buy 2, get Swan free! (Pardon the pun)
OK, that’s it.
Thanks for reading!
If you no longer wish to receive our newsletters, please reply to this email and ask to be removed from the mailing list.