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The issues below are all in preparation.
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58 - Clash of Carriers
59 - Blind Faith
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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59 - 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.

The Hussite player's forces are largely Bohemians (i.e. Czech) and others, who, inspired by the teachings of Jan Hus, supported the taking of Communion with both bread and wine, along with other reforms of the Roman Catholic Church. The Hussites are in turn divided into two to three factions: the Calixtenes (Moderates), the Taborites (Radicals), and a later splinter group called Orphans. Moderates preferred to reform the church, while radicals wanted more comprehensive reforms, not only of the church, but of the state and society. Some even rejected church and monarchy.

The Imperial player controls those forces under the Emperor and King, Sigismund of Luxembourg. (Note: Sigismund was still only King of the Romans in 1420. Although he was not crowned emperor by the Pope until 1433, he was still the ruler of Germany, in a nominal sense anyway.) They support the execution of Hus and oppose the taking of Communion with both bread and wine. Royal Crusaders, including both the Catholic minority in Bohemia and the Kingdom of Hungary are also under the direct control of the Imperial player. Papal Crusaders from the Holy Roman Empire (i.e. Germany) are under the indirect control of the Imperial player.

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.

Blind Faith and issue #59 of ATO
Maps - One full color 22"x34" hex mapsheet
Counters - 180 assorted full color die-cut 9/16" pieces
Rules length - 12 pages
Charts and tables - 2 pages
Complexity - Low
Playing time - 4 to 5 hours
How challenging is it solitaire? - Average

Design - Jason Juneau
Development - Russ Lockwood
Graphic Design - Mark Mahaffey

  

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59 - Blind Faith
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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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