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Turning Point: Stalingrad» Forums » General

Subject: Solo rss

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Jason Rimmer
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How will this play solo? I've always wanted to own Streets of Stalingrad but can no way afford the secondhand price. Is this similar? What scale are the units?

Or is Storm of Stalingrad a better option?

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Michael Taylor
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I've played it many times solo. Very enjoyable, very tense.

I've never played the others, so can't provide a good comparison.

Mike
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John Berry

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First, just to be honest I was one of the play testers for TP:S. While the game is best for two, I can offer that I have played it solo on several occasions and it works. It is at a higher level than Streets of Stalingrad (Battalion/Regiment vs platoon/company)for the units, so the full game can be played to completion, even solitaire. While there are some things I still do not agree with in the final product, I believe it is probably the best game on the battle at this level. At least it gives the Soviet player reason to conduct counterattacks just as Chuikov did repeatedly. Recommend that you start with the Kuibyshev Sawmill scenario for learning the game and don't worry about play balance initially.
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Ian Finn
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I'm a student/enthusiast of the battle and I own TP:S as well as Streets of Stalingrad (both editions); I would be very much interested in hearing what you 'diasgree with' in the TP:S final design. I haven't played TP:S enough to call myself a master of it, but I have read other writings that claim it is excessively pro-German. Your thoughts?
 
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Jason Rimmer
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Thanks for the input. The larger scale is abit off putting, I usually prefer scales upto Company. However as I think I'm all lucked out for a Stalingrad game at Coy level then it sounds like this is the one.

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Brent Pollock
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Buy it.

The.
Map.
Is.
GORGEOUS!

jb5256 wrote:
First, just to be honest I was one of the play testers for TP:S...While there are some things I still do not agree with in the final product...


Much, much more detail, please. For instance, I am curious to know your view of Ranged Attacks, which never made much sense to me.
 
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Michael Taylor
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WBRP wrote:


The.
Map.
Is.
GORGEOUS!



Fully, 100% agree with this comment.

Mike
 
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John Berry

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Sorry for the delay in replying but I did not check back since I really never thought that someone would be interested in my experience and thoughts on the game.

Well, yes the rules for ranged attacks and the outcomes are not only unrealistic but are major factors that give the German player the edge in the game (though not to the extent that the use of the Luftwaffe in "Battle for Stalingrad" unbalances the game). This is due to several rules requirements - that "rubble" does not assist the defender in a ranged attack and that the attacker's disruption result is reduced by one to a minimum of one. Once a German player gets the hang of sequencing ranged attacks and same area attacks, the Soviet player can be the unhappy witness to entire built up areas within the city being cleared of Soviet units and placed under 6th Army control. Add to this that rubble also doesn't assist the defender when undergoing artillery and air attacks and I believe the German superiority in firepower is overstated for this particular battle. Please keep in mind that "rubble" in the game is a misnomer as the rubble counters also can be engineer/infantry unit constructed as fortifications and thus should thus assist in the defense. If I recall, Don Greenwood allowed for the unbalancing effect of this rule when errata was issued in the "General" that players might want to consider tripling the TEM for ranged attacks. I think if would have been "cleaner" from a rules memory perspective to just allow rubble to assist the defense in any and all attacks. I also have a minor quibble with Soviet disrupted units not being allowed to complete a ferry crossing into a contested area, but that isn't as important as the rules associated with ranged, artillery, and air attacks in an area with rubble.

Oh, and I don't like the "advantage" rule.

If you want to study the battle as an Army officer would, I highly recommend David Glantz's work, Armageddon In Stalingrad. Yes it is very dry and the maps are difficult to read, but the good Colonel was one of the first to get to and translate Soviet military records (to include after action reports) on WWII operations after the fall of the Soviet Union. And the maps are difficult because Col. Glantz tried to use the original documents/maps and believe me, Soviet military maps could be very crude even under the best conditions.

Well, sorry to go on and on. Just one more thing. My issues with the game should not be taken as "don't play this game, it is broken." Not only is it (for the time it was developed) an outstanding game on the general course of the battle, I believe it can be quite a psychological struggle between the players. Now what is needed is a revised and updated version that could take advantage of the additional information we have on the battle and all the years of experience in playing the game. Hmmmmm....
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Michael Rinella
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Having read Glantz I can say the Germans are too strong in the first week of the battle, then too weak in the second and third weeks.

1) The game does not model German attrition correctly.

2) Later in the game when the Soviets were actually more aggressive rather than less they have no credible offensive ability.

3) The Soviets spend too many impulses making artillery refit die rolls, which seems a rather poor way of "giving them something to do".

4) The area entry/exit and rubble entry/exit rules are too complex for what should be a easy game.

5) While I tend to think Don gets unfairly lambasted for his rules - I find Breakout: Normandy quite clear and simple - the rules for TPS require a real effort to grasp.

The Advantage is a great feature, though I don't like its use for re-rolls. In my own designs I use the "diceless advantage" which retains the same "game-within-a-game" fun factor without the gamey-ness of fighting the same battle twice.
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