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Breakthrough 1940


April update:

The big day is getting near!

The plans are set and Jim is working out the results for the first day(s). Last game materials are being copied and you should have received briefings, handbooks, player role / how to get there sheet, or you should receive them by Saturday. If you haven't received anything by Monday night, give a note and we'll provide them by email.

To those few that registered for the battlefield tour, we're sorry to say it has been cancelled due to lack of interest. We couldn't get suitable transport for the small group.

Saturday 25th we will welcome you from 9.15 am at the Liefland College in Utrecht for check in. Those of you who haven't paid yet, please do so now (unless you are in the UK where IBAN doesn't work. We'll take
your money at registration).

Parking in the vicinity of the Liefland College is a bit of a problem, as it is a paid service and the neighbourhood is crowded with the inhabitants' cars. We recommend coming by train, as it is only 5 minutes walking from Overvecht Station.

That is also easier to get back to the centre of Utrecht, where we will reconvene for the after game drinks at the 'Winkel van Sinkel'. The address is Oudegracht 158. It is 10 minutes walk from Utrecht Central station. check here for a map showing the route from the station.

Again, we hope to see you Saturday 25th!

What is a megagame?

How to join

Accomodations & How to get there

Banking details

Links & Literature


Discussion group

March update:

The past month has been a busy and fruitful one. Registrations are at the point where we have been able to do our casting, but there's still a good few interesting roles available for the late joiners. If you have already registered, you may receive an invitation to one of the various "planning games" that prepare the different sides for the war to come.

We have held two training sessions for the umpires, and have been positively impressed by the enthusiasm and skill that they showed. Additionally, this gave the game designer (Jim Wallman) a good opportunity to test and tweak some of the game mechanisms.

Also, you will find below more detail on the battlefield tour, the t-shirt deal and things-to-do-in-Utrecht. If you are interested in the battlefield tour please make sure you register as soon as possible, as we will need to make transport arrangements etc.

You can order a T-shirt by puting in a note with your subscription by email to Marc Seutter, Or send an separate email to Marc Seutter with your name, together with the following necessary data:

This priceless and one-off T-shirt will cost you only 10 euro's. The T-shirt will be given to you at your arival and registration for the event.

There will be a limited supply of extra T-shirts available during the event. When it is sold out it is sold out. No chances for back orders. Order now.

Things to do in Utrecht

So what if you have a few days to spend in and around Utrecht?

First of all Utrecht is one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands and the religious centre from the early Middle Ages until the Dutch Revolt. The archbishop administered all Northern lands but was also a powerful worldly leader, often slogging it out with the neighbouring counts of Holland or Gelre/Guelders.

After the Dutch Revolt the town remained the hub of the provincial government, but slowly its importance diminished as other towns became more economically successful. It was briefly occupied by the French army in 1672/3 as it rolled up the southeastern parts of the Dutch Republic and at the same time it was hit by a freak thunderstorm, destroying the cathedral, except for its tower, still the dominating feature of the town centre. In 1713 the treaty to end the War of Spanish Succession was signed in the city.

A lot of the medieval and early modern atmosphere has been preserved around the Oude Gracht (Old Canal), with its peculiar low cays and storage cellars. These are now used for bars and restaurants and if the weather is fine, they are excellent places to sit outside and enjoy the sun.

For rainy days there are numerous alternatives: cafe Belgie at Oude Gracht 196, Springhaver at Springweg 50-52, De Winkel van Sinkel at Oudegracht 158, and more.

Under the Dutch Republic Catholic worship in public was forbidden and the formal organisations of the clergy dissolved. But in the mid-19th century the restrictions were lifted. Utrecht again became an influential bishopric. If you're interested in the life of Catholics in the Netherlands, first as unchallenged religion and later as suppressed minority, you should have a look at the Catherijnenconvent

Utrecht revived in the 19th century partially due to its central position in the Netherlands, becoming the hub of the railway network and seat of the Dutch railways. Not surprisingly it also hosts the railway museum. The university of Utrecht is one of the older in the Netherlands and it might be worth to visit the university museum or the botanical gardens. Furthermore there is the museum of Miffy and the Central Museum for (modern) art. For more information, go here.

For those interested in architecture, a visit to the Rietveld-Schroederhouse is recommended, as well as to the central post office at the Neude, especially the inside.

Utrecht harbours two gameshops that miraculously lie only 50 meters apart. That's choice! See the Joker or Neverneverland on the Oude Gracht nrs 202 and 230 respectively.

Out of town

Other cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague are all easily within an hour from Utrecht by train or car. But you might prefer the smaller towns like Gouda, Oudewater, Amersfoort and Woerden, preserved largely as in their heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries. Perfect for a lazy stroll on a sunny day.

To the west of the town is the characteristic Dutch polder landscape, some of which was flooded after the peat had been dug away, creating some intersting lakes, which are ideal for water sports, walks and biking.

The polder landscape was historically a great military asset, and to the west is the Old Waterline, constructed in the 17th century and based largely on inundations, while to the east is the New Waterline, built in the second half of the 19th century. Some of its forts are open to visitors.

To the east the soil is more sandy and the ground more elevated. National Park de Hoge Veluwe has an interesting mix of sand dunes and heath landscape, but also hosts the Kroeller-Muller museum, with a great collection of modern painters and sculptors, like Van Gogh, Mondriaan, Seurat and Giacometti.

February update:

With the number of players steadily increasing, we are now working on getting players ready for the game. Training will be provided for prospective umpires, and by the end of March the casting process will be set into motion. That will be followed by a planning game for the major headquarters and political teams.

For those who like to get into the right for the mood for the game, we are preparing a battlefield tour and the commemorative t-shirts. Make sure you book for these!

Umpire Training:

Here's your chance.

To improve the overall game experience for all involved, we will be hosting two training sessions for our liaison umpires. We'd like to invite both our veteran umpires as well as those newer to the art of umpiring a megagame to take part in these sessions.

On both days we will be running a smaller scenario from a megagame, with participants taking the role of both umpire and player, with experienced umpires providing feedback and suggestions.

As an additional bonus, the designer of the Breakthrough 1940 game, Jim Wallman, will be present at the first session on the 21st of February to provide background information and answer your  questions.

When assigning umpire roles for the Breakthrough 1940 megagame, we will give preference to people who have taken part in at least one of the umpire training sessions.

Please e-mail to if you want to participate on either date.

IBAN Transfers from the U.K:

After some discussion with our bank and its business center, it has become clear that we cannot solve the problem for IBAN payments for players from the U.K. There is only one real solution (and our bank agrees) namely pay your fee in cash upon entrance.
As a necessary exception, we will be accepting cash payments from our U.K. players. For all other players, our policy is still for payment per (electronic) transfer. If you are not from the U.K. but are having problems with the IBAN transfer nonetheless, please contact us so we can help resolve them.

Battlefield tour

We will be organizing a guided tour of the 1940 battlefields in the Netherlands on Friday the 24th of April. This tour will include a walk across the Grebbenberg, one of the most heavily fought and still mostly unspoilt areas of the Netherlands. A visit will also be paid to one of the Dutch "waterlinie" fortresses near Utrecht.

Transport by coach will be provided. Costs are expected to be 10 - 15 euro. Please register early so we can make appropriate transport arrangements. Starting and finishing point will be Utrecht Central Station. Further details to follow.

To sign up for the guided tour, please send a mail to

January update:

First of all we have had U.K. residents worrying about the IBAN-payments. Due to obstruction by U.K. banks it is not user friendly. We will come up with an alternative as soon as possible. All other participants from abroad should be fine, but let us know if you are experiencing problems paying. Rest assured that we are highly motivated to solve them!

We are planning to hold  an umpire training on 21st February and 14th of March (dates preliminary) to get prospective umpires some extra experience. It allows you to get a feel for the game system, but more importantly, will give you the opportunity to see how best to translate what happens on the umpire map to an engaging narrative for the players. Also, we hope to have Jim Wallman, the game designer, around. See here for more details once we have the date and venue confirmed.

We have put up some pointers how to reach Utrecht and the venue. For directions look here. We have also added two new options for accomodation in old forts in the late 19th Century Dutch Water Line (the fall back position for the Dutch field army in May 1940). However, note that the space in these forts is limited.

This month’s update further includes a list of literature and links to websites to wet your appetite for the game. By no means exhaustive and final, so feel free to send any suggestions (preferably with your arguments why it should be included).

On February 28th we will be at the Ducosim game show in Amersfoort to promote Breakthrough 1940, and on March 7th in London at the megagame Long Live Death, about the Spanish Civil War. If you feel you can do with a warming up to the campaign of 1940, this is your best bet.

If there are any other events in the coming months that you think it are worthwhile for us to promote Breakthrough 1940, let us know.

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