Issue 79 (Winter 2016)



Return to the Third World War: A Review of the GMT Games Edition of MBT
by Jim Werbaneth

Fictional Battles, Fictional Game: Battalion-Level Battles of World War III, in Dawn’s Early Light
by Jim Werbaneth

Line of Departure Support: Anti-Aircraft Counters for Avalon Hill’s Victory in the Pacific
by Rev. Jack A. Werth

Raiders of the China Seas: Additional Scenarios for Avalanche Press’ U.S. Navy Plan Orange
by Jim Werbaneth

Second Front Now!: The Campaign in the West, in Fortress Europa
by Jim Werbaneth

Guns in the Forest: The Climactic Battle of Pontiac’s Rebellion, in The Battle of Bushy Run
by Jim Werbaneth


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The Bully Pulpit

by Jim Werbaneth

Welcome to the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of Line of Departure. It has come a long way from the early nineties, when it was written and laid out with WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, CGA graphics, and a dot matrix printer. I know that WordPerfect is still around and has its loyal fans, but rest are not things anymore. Honestly, back then I had no idea that the magazine would last this long. I had no plans to fold it in a few months or years, it was always a long-term project, but a lifespan of decades was beyond expectations.

Nor do I have any plans on stopping.

The one struggle was to get the publication schedule back on track. This issue was supposed to come out just before Halloween, but then some medical issues came up. None were life threatening, nor even really bad, plus some were not even mine. But they did divert my attention. Well, most of those problems seem to be in hand, and I’m collecting material for the next issue even now, which has always been my preference from even before the beginning. I’m getting back to it.

As I was writing articles for Issue 79, I was conscious that this was going to be a landmark issue, and thus I should be doing something special. It was one time that the maga-zine had to have a theme. Besides, Line of Departure started with a theme, as the premier issue concentrated on naval gaming. This time, I decided to return to a theme that I’d used before, a couple of times, and make this the third Amer-icans at War issue. Almost every issue of Line of Departure has at least one project featuring the United States in some way, involving Americans, pre-independence colonists, or American territory in some way. The Battle of Bushy Run counts that way; there were Americans in the British force, and the battlefield is in the middle of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, a bit more than an hour east of my house.

It just seemed natural to return to this theme. Then in the spring, I’ll step back from embracing an overarching theme, and return to a wider range of subjects.

As promised in Issue 78, this issue marks a transition from one frequently-appearing fan favorite to its successor. The summer 2016 installment of Line of Departure made its farewell to the Avalon Hill edition of MBT, with scenarios profiling the West German army. The expectation was to support the newer version of the game, recently published by GMT. This issue leads off with a review of the new game, starting what I expect to be years of coverage, including new scenarios, and projects on the planned expansion sets too. In addition, I see no reason why Line of Departure can’t cover the GMT editions of the Panzer series as well.

That goes to one of my long term plans for the magazine’s scenarios and supplements. Overall, there has been a heavy reliance on modern topics and Avalon Hill titles for that, especially Firepower and MBT. More recently, Line of Departure has started to give attention to SPI modern games, specifically the original Red Star/White Star and TaskForce. I certainly am eager to look to other eras and publishers in addition to these old reliables. With this issue, I offer some new scenarios for the Great Pacific War That Didn’t Happen, in Avalanche Press’ U.S. Navy Plan Orange. I definitely intend to expand the magazine’s supplements and scenarios further in the future.

There is one change that I have to make, and I do this very reluctantly. For the first time in over eight years, I have to raise prices, effective March 1. Postage has gone up steadily, and so have the costs of getting the magazine printed. While I have always been stubborn about holding prices down as much as possible, there comes a time when I have to give in to basic economics. This is one of them.

So effective March 1, the price of a subscription for addresses in the United States and Canada will go up to $30.00, and for those in other countries the price will be $38.00. The basic domestic and Canadian price for single issues will be $8.00 each, and $11.00 for everywhere else. As before, Pennsylvania residents will have to pay seven percent state and Allegheny County sales tax on single issues, but not on subscriptions. Therefore, I definitely encourage readers to resubscribe before the new prices kick in.


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