When everything is said and done, there is really nothing like face-to-face competition when it comes to playing wargames. Unfortunately, most players will find — particularly, as time goes on — that local face-to-face opponents can sometimes be hard to find. Happily, the ‘internet revolution’, besides its many other contributions to modern life, has also led to the development of a number of easy-to-use gaming software applications such as VASSAL, Cyberboard, and Zun Tzu, all of which have made ‘electronic’ wargaming both much faster and much more convenient than its play-by-mail (PBM) predecessor. In most cases, these gaming support sites will offer players all of the software tools they need to play online. However, there may still be times when reliance on one of these internet software applications is neither practical nor even preferable. In some cases, players will find that platforms for their favorite older games are not yet available on line. Or, if their favorite title is available on line, players may still occasionally find that existing internet gaming software — programmers being human — will have map or ‘Order of Battle’ mistakes that could detract from the playability of the game.

In addition, there also seem to be a few modern Luddites remaining in the hobby who, for one reason or another, just don’t care for the ‘point and drag’ method of moving counters on a screen; gamers (like me) who, given their ‘druthers’, still prefer to have the game’s real map and counters spread out in front of them when they sit down to make their moves. Experience has shown me that, for this type of tradition-minded player, switching to a ‘spreadsheet’ format for internet gaming can be a handy, easy-to-use alternative to online, downloadable ‘game boxes’. That being said, the attached play aid is for them.

The specific Excel ‘spreadsheet’ attachment offered with this post is for the 2nd Edition version (1974) of the Avalon Hill classic game, STALINGRAD (1963). This multi-page file has been set up to permit competing players to exchange game moves via email attachments and, at the same time, to keep an accurate and detailed, ongoing record of all of the various game operations that could potentially occur in the course of a complete twenty-four turn match.

Excel spreadsheet: Stalingrad PBem Play Aid Template

Finally, for those players who are relatively new to wargaming, or for those experienced gamers who have only recently decided to become more actively involved with the large and growing ‘internet’ gaming community, I recommend the following (small) sampling of sites highly:

A Few Online Gaming Sites

Some of my Favorite Online Support Sites


Related Stalingrad Map and Counters Blog Posts:

  1. TAHGC STALINGRAD (1963, 1974)
  2. Tricks of the Trade: Some Suggestions for Balancing STALINGRAD
  3. Tricks of the Trade: A Recommended Russian Set-up for STALINGRAD
  4. Tricks of the Trade: The General Looks at STALINGRAD


  • thanks for this. i plat STAL/WATERLOO/AK/D-DAY ETC. ON zuntzu using a dice server-i find it easier to use then the other systems but having this is nice as well.

  • Greetings Dietrich:

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I recently started using Zun Tzu myself; however, the one problem that I have with virtually all of the online platforms is that, in order to maintain a complete game record, a player has to keep a lot of game files in the current game's folder. With a "spreadsheet", a player only has to save the most recent up-dated file to have a complete record of everything that has happened in the match, up to that point.

    Best Regards, Joe

  • very well done. I just re acquired this game after a 20 year separation.

    Looking forward to trying the xls with a 'new player friend'

  • Greetings Sharp:

    I'm glad that find this "move record spreadsheet" useful; however, I should note that the original layout really was the "brain child" of a gaming buddy of mine, Scott Goehring; all I really did was add a few additional fields and clean it up a little.

    Good Luck in your upcoming 'STALINGRAD' games and Best Regards, Joe

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