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58 - Clash of Carriers
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60 - The Heron In Flight
61 - ROME, IInc.

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(NEW) 2020 Annual -The Cruelest Month

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Against the Odds magazine investigates military history from a broad perspective. The economic, political, religious and social aspects of warfare are examined in concert with events on the battlefield.

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60 - The Heron In Flight

The Heron In Flight explores the German operation, “Fischreiher” (Heron) to take Stalingrad off the march during the period of mid-August up until mid-September 1942. Failure to encircle Soviet forces west of Stalingrad ensures that an urban brawl for the city will ensue. Both sides are challenged to meet different objectives.

The Germans must utilize their Sixth Army to destroy the three Soviet armies in the land bridge between the Don and the Volga before they can fall back into Stalingrad. Historically, this attack was coordinated with operations by the Fourth Panzer Army that attacked from the southwest and which was to form the southern arm of a gigantic pincer. Supporting the attack are aircraft of the Fourth Air Fleet which ruled the air.

The Soviet player must not only ensure sufficient forces escape the intended German encirclement, but maintain constant pressure on the overextended Sixth Army with a series of counterattacks from north of Stalingrad to relieve pressure on the defenders of the city. The Soviets are also tasked to retain bridgeheads on the Don which will be their key for future operations.

Designed by Mark Stille, this game includes 1 and ½ maps with 420 counters. Units are at the division/brigade level for the Soviets while German and Axis Allied forces are depicted from battalion to division. Each turn is two days.

The game design is based on a system that emphasizes the effect of air power and assigning army assets to achieve the mission at hand, plus a command and control system which makes players plan ahead to conduct operations and carefully weigh where their offensive efforts will be focused.

The Heron In Flight and issue #60 of ATO

Maps - One and 1/2 full color 22"x34" hex mapsheets
Counters - 420 standard 1/2" die-cut pieces
Rules length - 14 pages
Charts and tables - 2 pages
Complexity - Medium
Playing time - Up to 4 hours
How challenging is it solitaire? - Average

Designer - Mark E. Stille
Development - Russ Lockwood
Graphic Design - Mark Mahaffey

  

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60 - The Heron In Flight
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A dreadful offensive on the Western Front in 1917 that would be called the "Battle of Arras" but remembered far better for what the Royal Flying Corps called it-- "Bloody April." Still flying mostly outdated aircraft, General "Boom" Trenchard insisted on constant offensive actions and round-the-clock missions for recon, artillery spotting, mapping, etc. Facing up against the likes of Baron von Richthofen's Jasta 11, the results were woeful losses. To the RFC's credit, they continually fulfilled the missions, despite the losses.

The Cruelest Month looks at this struggle, with the focus primarily on air operations and ground battle abstracted. As the British player, you must marshal your limited numbers of fighters to help secure the skies for your 2-seater observation craft. As the German player, you will employ your well-armed modern fighters against waves of RFC planes that simply keep coming, regardless of how many you shoot down.

And, as always, this Annual features an "extra-size" magazine, with in-depth accounts of the history behind the games, plus other articles. Make yourself the proud owner of this challenging look at the "horrors" men would inflict - and endure - to command the sky.

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