Sometimes what initially seems like a "hare-brained" idea, upon reflection, doesn't seem "hare-brained" at all. Such is the case with the idea of a STALINGRAD PBeM Tournament. Many of us who were first approached about the idea were skeptical, but, after kicking the idea around for awhile, a lot of us former "skeptics" have decided to climb on board. Thus, after over thirty or so years and against the odds, it really does look like there actually may be a new STALINGRAD tournament shaping up.

After decades of neglect on the part of traditional tournament organizers, it looks like a PBeM STALINGRAD tournament may soon be getting under way thanks to the ad hoc efforts of a number of the game's many fans over at the Consimworld STALINGRAD Forum . This PBeM tournament is actually the "brainchild" of Brian Britton, but among those who will be helping Brian to get this project off the ground are long-time players such as Joe Angiolillo, Ed Menzel, and myself (just to name a few). The tournament, itself, will be free; however, the way things look at present, participation in this competition will probably be restricted to members of the Consimworld Forum community. And while a few administrative details still need to be worked out, the general outlines of the tournament are already taking shape.

For starters, to maximize the gaming opportunities of the participating players, the competition — instead of using a "winner take all" Single Elimination format — will be organized along the lines of a "Swiss" style multi-round tournament so that players who suffer an early defeat will still have a chance to fight their way back and to gain a shot at making it into the "final four". In addition, because of the well-known pro-Russian bias associated with the standard version of STALINGRAD, several special tournament rules have been added to even the playing field for the Axis players. As might be expected, Soviet replacements in the tournament matches will be computed using the already popular, "reduced" 4-5-6 replacement schedule. However, the standard game's Turn Record Track will be extended by two full months; that is: all of the games in this tournament will end at the conclusion of the July '43 game turn (26 game turns), instead of at the conclusion of its regular end date of May '43 (24 game turns). In addition to an increase in the number of game turns, the Axis player — to further improve play-balance — will (on a one-time basis) be allowed, prior to the commencement of each new match, to stipulate whether both players will be required to use the traditional D6 Avalon Hill Combat Results Table, or whether the D10 "Postal" Combat Results Table (a "downloadable" file of this CRT will be made available for those players who do not already possess their own copy) will instead be used to resolve ALL combats for the duration of the game in question.

As things now stand, the actual PBeM game platform to be used in individual tournament matches will be left to the players to decide among themselves (please note that there are several gaming sites that currently support STALINGRAD play, including VASSAL, Cyberboard, and Zun Tzu); in those situations where there are compatibility or download problems, however, rather than being locked-out of competition, players will be able to resort to a spreadsheet format such as the one already posted on this blog.

As indicated previously, there are still a few tournament details left to be worked out (e.g., the actual number of "Swiss" rounds to be played, and the maximum time limit to be allowed to complete each round, among other things), but most of the more important elements of the tournament seem to be rapidly falling into place. For those readers who would like to visit the Consimworld STALINGRAD Forum in order to peruse the tournament discussion which is currently still in progress, a link has been provided at the bottom of this page. Please note that new visitors can drop in on any of the Consimworld Forums at any time, without having to formally join the forum community; however, if a "guest" decides to participate directly in the ongoing discussions in one or more of these game-related groups, then he or she must sign up and pay a nominal membership fee to the hosting site, Consimworld.


  • thanks for the advertisement joe! if it wasn't for you and joe angiolillo my little idea may have died on the vine-i think once we get to the launching pad we're gonna have a heck of a tournament!

  • Greetings Brian:

    Don't mention it, it's the least I could do; besides, what's the point of having your own blog if you're not going to discuss what interests you!

    Best Regards, Joe

  • What the details of the "reduced" 4-5-6 replacement schedule? Where can I find the D10 "Postal" Combat Results Table on line?

  • Greetings Anon:

    Thank you for visiting and for your interest.

    In the original version of 'STALINGRAD', Russian replacements began entering the game, four replacement points per Victory City (VC), on the September '41 game turn; on the December '41 turn, this number was increased to six per VC; and on the May '42 turn, it was increased again to eight points for every VC still in Russian hands. The 4-5-6 Replacement rate simply reduces Soviet replacements from six to five points starting in December '41, and from eight to six points starting on May '42. This popular change is primarily used by players as a "play-balance" device to offset the significnt Russian advantage that is baked into the game's basic design.

    So far as the D10 "Postal" Combat Results Table is concerned, I expect that a downloadable version of this CRT will be published at the Consimworld 'STALINGRAD' forum sometime in the near future. I suggest you bookmark the link below and check the forum periodically until someone actually gets around to putting it up.

    Thanks again for your interest and
    Best Regards, Joe

  • I'm excited to be playing in such august and experienced company, as the noob on the block, I expect a deep learning curve, but lots of fun experiences...right? :)

  • Greetings Kevin:

    I suspect that you'll find your upcoming 'STALINGRAD' tournament experience both less nerve-racking and more enjoyable than you think. Most of th better players that I have known over the years -- with only a few exceptions -- are great gentlemen. Moreover, there is nothing like playing with good players to make one's own game better.

    Good Luck and Best Regards, Joe

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