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Subject: If you are playing the 50th Anniversary Tournament then read on: rss

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Kev.
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Defense Options in Stalingrad.

As the kick off for the 50th anniversary Tournament (15th December ) Approaches I thought it might be nice to look at some of the now famous or infamous defenses and similarities.

First of several posts.
If you are interested in playing in this free tournament and winning a signed certifacate from the developer (not designer) then come onin!
More details here:http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@525.yDcAcDllYA4.13@.ee6c...


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George Phillies
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Perhaps the 2-3-6 in Minsk might better be stationed a bit more forward?
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George Phillies
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I thought someone else had responded here. In any event, assuming the 236 is brought forward, then an unusual move is putting most of the armor in the south, taking both 3-1s against the singleton units holding the Prut, and advancing in both cases, with a full stack (include a 554, be mean) against the Hungarian border as far forward as possible, and three 666s not advancing from ii14, where they are doubled if someone wants to counter attack and surround the units (say, a stock of 886s) that gets shoved more or less due North across the Prut onto HH14. The other 3-1 means that the 7-10-4 on NN14 is going no place useful in the next turn.

If you do this -- might not be my first choice, see below -- then it is worthwhile to take unfavorable odds to attack the 236 across the river, because that allows an advance and suddenly the remaining square (this is Stalingrad, they are called "squares") of the Russian Carpathians can get hit from exactly opposite sides.

However, one might reasonably consider that the Russians have left these units out as a lure, because they plan on counterattacking, five 574s against an 886, and a 464 against the other two 886 s, which means they hold the Dnestr unless they get an exchange. (Why five 5-7-4s? Because if you do not get the exchange, you would rather not have a 464 trying to hold the river.)

In any event, without both 7-10-4s in the north, and all armor on the main front, the Russians are going to have an interesting time holding the Nemunas, and the German might well concentrate forces there.

The Germans should in any event keep in mind that the Russian army is never again so strong as on turn one and a patient conventional advance that minimizes losses can be perfectly adequate.

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George Phillies
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Lets see if this time I can post a comment without it magically vanishing.

If the 2-3-6 is as indicated, an optimum German attack is a fun optimization exercise. The problem is that there are a lot of places you would like to put Germans, and the start rules really do not give you a lot of space in the north to start them. The 2-3-6 on Minsk is clear, undoubling the 4-6 is clear, and wrapping around to the east of Brest is good. If you must soak off on V-19 in your solution, a 5-5-4 across the river leaves fewer losses than a 1-2.

Having said that, I have not had time to play anything in decades. I spend my time maintaining my collection (closing on 4500 board war games) and writing. (If you read my novel The MinuteGirls, you can hear the clatter of little dice. On the novel topic, Frank Chadwick just sold one.) I do teach a course on Board Game Design at WPI. My textbooks are by myself and Tom Vasel; the course will hopefully be up on video on YouTube over the next two months. A possible course on board war game design requires writing a text, which requires a syntopic analysis of my game collection which requires...you get the idea. Your suggestions are welcome. Expect occasional comments here but not a lot more.
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Kev.
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Thanks for the comments George.
It seems you are more into the design aspects of our hobby than the actual playing per se?

Or is that interest a natural progression?

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Kim Meints
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George was a top notch Stalingrad player from "Back in the Day" in the 60-70's and a very high rated player.He wrote many Sgrad articles concerning the game in The General and other pub's.

I'm getting a little close to you in games George.I'm at 3,000+
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George Phillies
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There is no particular natural progression here.

However, I have a collection going back to the foundation of the hobby, that I try to keep fed.

My interest in game design is that teaching about game design is part of my job. Worcester Polytechnic Institute has a program in Interactive Media and Game Design in which I am a part-time faculty member (I am also partly in Physics and partly in Biochemistry). Our program is close to unique in that we have a tech track, and an art track, and we require every student to do coursework in both tracks. I proposed not a third track, but something found in very few other places, namely the study of pure design with coding and aesthetic issues largely suppressed, and designed a course that does this.

OK, I did design a game Fall of Manjukuo, which is essentially Stalingrad twice over: twice the units and twice the board.

I am still fond of Stalingrad, but have not had time to play it in many years. I had thought there might be more discussion of tactics here, but there has never been a lot of discussion of tactics of any game, so I am not complaining.
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Kim Meints
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George

I have 2 copies of The Fall of Manjuko.one with mounted counters and one with you have to mount(got from being a member of The Strategist)

I thought it was a very nice game and one that I wish would be picked up a publisher for reprinting in a nice fancy edition
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George Phillies
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While slightly off topic, it is Stalingrad in the Pacific:
The Japanese should perhaps be forbidden to stack their large units, the 7-10-3's iirc; otherwise, they can hide in Korea in impenetrable terrain.
A unit advancing through unfavorable terrain is allowed to ignore the presence of railroads, as otehrwise railroads can slow their progress.
The Japanese fortress line near Vladivostock on further play leads to some very odd results and should perhaps be eliminated.
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Joseph Angiolillo
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Stalingrad and your Game Design Course and Physics education
Hi George,

Too bad I am leaving Connecticut tomorrow for my house in Florida. I do a lot of research at the American Antiquarian Society on the history and publication of American board games back to 1822. If you did not know, it is right next door to your university in Worcester. I have rebuilt a copy of Pope and Pagen (1844), published by W. & S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. Because the game has unequal sides and different moves for pieces, some may consider it the first mass market American published board war game. They have one of the only copies at the American Antiquarian Society. Unfortunately, Pope and Pagan lacks one criteria that many wargamers require: it is an imaginary conflict, but so was Tactics and Tactics II. I have video of W. & S. B. Ives 1846 game Mohamet and Saladin or Seige of the Stronghold of Palestine. It is the same game but specifies an actual conflict, the attack on Jerusalem. The only two known copies are at the Essex Institute in Salem, Mass. and my contact, assistant curator Richard Weis has passed away. They are so tight that I cannot even get a response from them. Even the American Antiquarian Society said I should give up trying. But I can make of copy of the game using photoshop and stills from the video I took. I also took measurements of the game and components when I had access. Some consider this the first American mass market published war game. I don't. I have Waterloo that was published in 1895 by Parker Brothers. There are only five known copies in private collections. This game, I even consider as a war game: more than one unit can move in a turn, cavalry move different than infantry, the terrain is not symmetrical and there are two types, and it is about an actual battle. I will be back in June. Maybe we could hook up then. I could show you the games if you like. I also taught physics and math and printing and health but only at the high school level. Thanks again for your defense that I used in my article in the General, "The Russian View." I also miss discussion on tactics in Stalingrad. There has been quite a discussion on strategy alluding to tactics. You can use this link to Consimworld to see what I mean: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?7@782.1MFTcN9Y5vE.38@.ee6c9... . I would also love to join you in a chat about computer games as I designed WarGames for Coleco and developed many of their arcade knock-offs when I worked for them. To come up and buy you a meal would be nice. My treat and your choice of restaurant, and don't be cheap. I'm buying. All the best, Joe Angiolillo
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Kev.
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angiolillojoseph wrote:
Hi George,

Too bad I am leaving Connecticut tomorrow for my house in Florida. I do a lot of research at the American Antiquarian Society on the history and publication of American board games back to 1822. If you did not know, it is right next door to your university in Worcester. I have rebuilt a copy of Pope and Pagen (1844), published by W. & S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. Because the game has unequal sides and different moves for pieces, some may consider it the first mass market American published board war game. They have one of the only copies at the American Antiquarian Society. Unfortunately, Pope and Pagan lacks one criteria that many wargamers require: it is an imaginary conflict, but so was Tactics and Tactics II. I have video of W. & S. B. Ives 1846 game Mohamet and Saladin or Seige of the Stronghold of Palestine. It is the same game but specifies an actual conflict, the attack on Jerusalem. The only two known copies are at the Essex Institute in Salem, Mass. and my contact, assistant curator Richard Weis has passed away. They are so tight that I cannot even get a response from them. Even the American Antiquarian Society said I should give up trying. But I can make of copy of the game using photoshop and stills from the video I took. I also took measurements of the game and components when I had access. Some consider this the first American mass market published war game. I don't. I have Waterloo that was published in 1895 by Parker Brothers. There are only five known copies in private collections. This game, I even consider as a war game: more than one unit can move in a turn, cavalry move different than infantry, the terrain is not symmetrical and there are two types, and it is about an actual battle. I will be back in June. Maybe we could hook up then. I could show you the games if you like. I also taught physics and math and printing and health but only at the high school level. Thanks again for your defense that I used in my article in the General, "The Russian View." I also miss discussion on tactics in Stalingrad. There has been quite a discussion on strategy alluding to tactics. You can use this link to Consimworld to see what I mean: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?7@782.1MFTcN9Y5vE.38@.ee6c9... . I would also love to join you in a chat about computer games as I designed WarGames for Coleco and developed many of their arcade knock-offs when I worked for them. To come up and buy you a meal would be nice. My treat and your choice of restaurant, and don't be cheap. I'm buying. All the best, Joe Angiolillo


Wow... one day I would love to sit down with you chaps and hear the real history of board war gaming and your views on its development.
Any points for the young 'uns like me to get started on?
A pity I am in remote Austin Texas or I'd be buying the meal!

Kevin
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George Phillies
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Joe,

Thanks to the link to the Strategy discussions. I am aware of two people doing historical books on modern wargame development. I shall omit the authors' names until they actually finish to avoid embarrassment if they do not.

One is a history of the evolution of Dungeons and Dragons up through about 1980. The author spent a week in my magazine collection, which recently went up to 17 or 18 four-drawer filing cabinets. He is still looking for several Minnesota area gaming magazines that cover the very front of the evolution out of miniatures rules.

The other is working on something more directly related to board wargaming.

You are welcome to call if you get back here; I am in the phone book. I do not have anything nearly so old as the games you describe; the best I have is a 30's game, iirc Sunk.

Returning to the topic at hand, I once wrote a strategy book for AH on Stalingrad, basically a collection of articles. They got it, and then the company changed its interests. My copy did not survive at least three moves since then, unless it is hiding someplace in the magazines, which I very much doubt.

First turn defenses are interesting, but at some point you have to make more substantial decisions, such as where to drop the 7-10-4s as you move back, and when the Russians should start counterattacking. The old MIT defense had a trap arrangement for the Nemunas, and another near Dnepetropetrovsk. A certain number of German players, after their first or second unsuccessful effort to attack around the southern end of the Nemunas, looked upset.

Best,

George
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Kim Meints
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George

That wouldn't be the digest size "Wargamer's Guide to Stalingrad" would it? published by Guidon/Panzerfaust?
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George Phillies
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No that would be something far larger.
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Kim Meints
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Two good long articles of yours I still enjoy is "Stalingrad in Detail" 17 pages long and "Stalingrad- the Middle Game" Part I and II .both from Panzerfaust magazine

I also have a copy of Stalingrad in Detail in that old blue mimeograph ink.It's getting very faded with each new decade that passes.
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Kev.
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jackiesavon wrote:
Two good long articles of yours I still enjoy is "Stalingrad in Detail" 17 pages long and "Stalingrad- the Middle Game" Part I and II .both from Panzerfaust magazine

I also have a copy of Stalingrad in Detail in that old blue mimeograph ink.It's getting very faded with each new decade that passes.

i hope you have scanned it?
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Kim Meints
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Not yet but a good idea
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George Phillies
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Could someone be persuaded to take the games and generate screen shots so we could watch the complete games?
 
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Kev.
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George,
I have an open offer to all people in the tourney, that if they take opening shots of each turn I will compile into a series of AARs for the tournament.
We are also providing an added incentive that the winner will receive a reconstructed shot from the PBeM turn of their choice, photographed and framed as part of the prize.

It is up to each pair to take a shot each turn however.
 
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George Phillies
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Joe,

Thanks for the link to ConSimWorld. It was interesting to see what was being said. I did note that my name was largely being invoked in a not terribly polite or friendly mannersoblue -- you provided exceptions -- so I think I will stay here to comment.

With respect to the tourney, I would be delighted to see screen captures of games, move by move.

As a practical matter, I played at MIT, which I left in '75, was busy with my professional career then and since, did play Champions for a while in the early 90s, have also been writing novels ( http://3mpub.com/phillies), did for a considerable number of years edit the Strategy Gaming Society magazine Strategist and the general gaming magazine Game!, and have never enjoyed traveling so very rarely attend game conventions. The MIT defense was the creation of Richard Sylvan (and a bit by Stanley Hoffman), who are no longer in the hobby, and never lost with it. Their reaction to the 1-3 envelopment strategy was oh, look, dead Germans. (1-3 forward is far more effective late in the game when the Russian are less likely to have reserves). I mostly always played PBM on the D6 table, which meant that ftf and pbm strategies were the same.
 
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George Phillies
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I did look again at that other list. They even having a writer denying that Richard Sylvan, who was a good friend of mine, was a real person. I am very definitely staying here. I do look forward to seeing the AARs (and thanks for explaining what they are) when or as they become available.
 
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George Phillies
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The first replay segment of one tourney game is up on meshtime. That is to my eye certainly an odd looking position, even if you ignore the surrounded stack of German 8-8-6s in late September. The units in the Carpathians are also noteworthy.
 
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