Line of Departure is a semi-professional quarterly wargaming magazine published by Jim Werbaneth, and published continuously since October 1991. The editorial of that premier issue declared its purpose to be "to help the reader get more out of his wargaming," through the presentation of professional-quality strategy and analysis articles, along with reviews, scenarios, variants, and expansions. In addition, the editorial promised that the full spectrum of wargames would be covered in the magazine, on all levels of simulation; ancients to modern, microtactical to grand strategic, and everything in between, with the occasional foray into science fiction and alternate history.
Since then, Line of Departure has evolved and grown. In time, reviews became increasingly important, and are now a primary focus of the publication. A recurring feature called "The Alternative Press" reviews other self-published magazines. Also, after an absence of three and a half years, strategy games for the personal computer returned to Line of Departure's pages, and now appear regularly.
In addition, OnLine of Departure Support was inaugurated in early 1998. This is a free download area for board game supplements and computer game scenarios, working in tandem with Line of Departure articles.
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Jim Werbaneth is the publisher, editor, and primary writer of Line of Departure. He was born in 1961 in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Western Pennsylvania almost all of his life. He is a graduate of Shady Side Academy and Duquesne University, where he earned a BA in political science in 1982 and an MA in the same field in 1985, with a Master's thesis titled The Ideological Foundations of the Salvadoran Revolution. Then in August 2016, he earned a second Master of Arts with honors from American Military University, this one in military history with a concentration on World War II.
His involvement in wargaming began in 1972, when his unsuspecting grandparents bought him a copy of Avalon Hill's 1914. In 1985 he had his first article published, an analysis of landbased airpower in Flat Top, appearing in The General. That led to more projects for Avalon Hill's house organ, especially a series of historical and scenario articles on Firepower. One of these, on the Nicaraguan Contras, won the Editor's Choice Award for the best free-lance article of 1987.
He has also written for most other professional wargaming magazines Command, C3i, Fire & Movement, and Strategy & Tactics. His work has appeared as well in such leading amateur publications as Paper Wars (during its amateur period), The Canadian Wargamers Journal and Cry "Havoc!".
Until January 2015, he was the staff developer for Turning Point Simulations, a new company dedicated producing high-quality, systemically-accessible boardgames on the twenty most decisive battles in history. Additionally, he designs his own electronically-delivered desktop-published boardgames, starting with Rommel at Gazala.
Jim's first published wargame design was Inchon, the issue game in Command 9 (March-April 1991), which was a co-winner of the Charles S. Roberts Award as the year's best post-World War II game of the year. Three years later, GMT published his game on Operation Sealion, Britain Stands Alone. More recently, LnL published a professional version of Rommel at Gazala, and TPS his game on the Austro-Prussian War in Bohemia, The Sadowa Campaign, early in 2017.
Jim is a full time, online, Assistant Professor of political science for American Military University, and more recently, was hired as an online adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona Global Campus.
When not pushing counters or punching keys at his computer, he enjoys fishing, bowling, reading, rock and roll, and visiting historical sites.
Line of Departure is published four times per year. An annual subscription costs $30.00 in the United States and Canada, and $38.00 elsewhere. Single copies of all issues are available, at cost of $8.50 to American and Canadian customers and $11.00 to the rest of the world. Pennsylvania residents add 7% sales tax for single issues only; state sales tax does not apply to subscriptions.
Foreign orders, including those from Canada, must be in American funds drawn on the US bank. Write checks and money orders to:
James P. Werbaneth
PO Box 508
Gibsonia PA 15044
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Last Updated: December 01, 2020.
Graphic by Art Lupinacci of L2 Design Group