Welcome to our High Summer e-mail blast. We’ve got some updates on current and new projects in this newgram, plus a fun Special Offer I’ll get to further down below. So let’s get started!

What’s Old News

Everyone should have gotten their copies of the recently released Annual with The Cruelest Month inside by now. If you didn’t, write us at [email protected] and we’ll investigate.

If you’d like a copy now that it’s out, be sure to also check out the Special Offer further below. You’ll qualify for the freebie.


What’s Old News, But Still Current

We’re still getting lots of notes and e-mails from people saying “I had no idea you were getting out of the subscription business and switching to a pre-order model, what can I do to keep reading ATO?” and that’s after substantive postings here and the last two newsgrams mentioning it as well. So to reiterate, the new/renewal subscription webpages have been turned off.
We CAN still offer folks a subscription manually so long as they won’t go over the bingo expiration issue of #65. Basically, just write us an e-mail at [email protected] saying you’re interested and want a 4 issue sub (with or without the next Annual). We’ll check out if you’d go over the limit, and then use PayPal to send you a (secure) request for money, and you can use your own PayPal account to pay for it (PayPal will also allow you to use a credit card now, even if you don’t have a formal PayPal account).


What’s Upcoming

Up next and still open for pre-orders is ATO issue #59 featuring Blind Faith. In A.D. 1415, at the Council of Constance, Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague, two church reformers from Bohemia, were burnt at the stake for heresy. In the years that followed, outrage over the execution convulsed civil society in Bohemia, a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. Now, with Bohemia in rebellion as well as consumed by heresy, the Emperor Sigismund must wage war to both extirpate the heresy and secure his throne.

This bitter and sustained struggle devastated large parts of the empire in a manner not seen again until another religious conflict, the Thirty Years War, took place in roughly the same regions. The Imperial player must destroy the heretics and retake Bohemia before the Pope is forced to make concessions in another church council. The Hussite player, led by the devout, blind and gifted military leader, Jan Zizka, must prevent this and try to begin a Reformation in Europe one hundred years early.
Designed by Jason Juneau, Blind Faith depicts a classic example of asymmetric warfare, granting both players many options in waging war. The resources and position of the Imperial side are pitted against the skill and morale of the Hussite side. Storming and besieging towns become part of players’ strategies for loot and victory. This war was part of a larger sea change in warfare in Europe. Knights and peasants, artillery and threshing flails, clergy and laymen were thrown together in a war the signaled the demise of the feudal system and the universal church.

After issue #59 come our next Annual, a “What If?” themed issue featuring Operation Roundup. Roundup was the code name for a plan prepared by Allied forces to invade Northern France in 1943 in the Pas de Calais area. This two-player game explores the first month of this never-run plan, set in September 1943 (instead of the historical landings at Salerno in Italy).

Allied forces are not the mighty invasion armada of 1944 lacking both the armored “funnies” and Mulberries that worked so well in Normandy. For the Germans at this time their “Atlantic Wall” and panzer arm are more promises of what is to come than actual impenetrable defenses.

Yet the game remains highly re-playable time after time as, at start, neither player knows Hitler’s reaction to the invasion until it is rolled for during the first turn of the game. Will he give orders to:
• Strip the East of as many divisions as possible transferring them to this new front so as to attempt to annihilate the landing, or merely try to contain it as a “self-sustaining POW camp”?
• Redeploy the as-yet-unbroken Reich Air Defense fighter force to temporarily give up the war against the Allied strategic bombing campaign and switch to combat air support over the battlefield?
• Mobilize the II Parachute Corps (standing by at air bases in southern France) to drop directly into the Allied beachhead? Depending on how many of them survive, they might prove decisive in upsetting the whole Allied plan. Or trigger powerful Allied countermeasures?
Best of all, Operation Roundup can be pre-ordered now and also qualifies for our Special Offer below. What’s not to like?
Now, About That Special Offer

With the real, days-long Tour de France bicycle race wrapping up, here’s a chance to do another! We’ve noticed a surprising number of our Annual editions cover events that took place in France. So, now through mid-August our Tour de France is offering you a sweet deal, when you buy ANY of these below Annuals located in France.

Buy any of them, and we’ll throw in a free copy of another of our great games set in France but currently OOP, The Pocket at Falaise, with original counters and map but the rules on a CD. Sweet deal! One freebie per order, though you are welcome to buy TWO of the Annuals with our “Pick 2 Bigs” special offer (so now you’re getting 3 games!).

You can add any other games you want to your order, and you still get to pick a FREE Pocket Battle Game at checkout. As always, previous game sales are excluded from this offer.

Be sure to type in TOUR in the Promotion Code field at checkout, so we know you’re wanting the offer.

OK, thanks for reading (and riding along with us).

Steve Rawling, ATO Magazine

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