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PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
11-25-2020, 11:01 AM,
#1
PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
Invitation to JTS PzC Smolensk '41 tournament.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R04p_NfbAU

Tournament Invite

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11-25-2020, 01:42 PM,
#2
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
Thanks Lethal, that sounds interesting. But I would just like to make some, hopefully constructive, comments on the optional rules for the tournament.

1) The Automatic Defensive Fire is not needed as this is only used for Phased Play. It does no harm in normal PBEM play but that is because it does nothing.

2) Neither scenario uses Explicit Supply so Virtual Supply Trucks would make more sense. Makes no real difference for these two scenarios, but I just mention it.

3) The use of the three alternative fire resolution rules (Indirect Fire, Air Strike and Direct Fire)  however is a game changer. In a nutshell these three rules all ramp up firepower as a function of the total stacking size of the unit or units in the target hex. The increase starts above 1/6th of maximum stacking and goes up linearly until firepower reaches 6 times normal at maximum stacking. Below 1/6th it scales down towards zero as stacking approaches zero. So these rules dramatically change the results, particularly if all three of them are used together. And the effect will not be the same for both sides. For example, Air Support is predominately Axis. Given that neither of these scenarios was tested with these rules I suggest the balance will suffer. I would also suggest that 'realism' may also suffer. My view is that these rules work best with scenarios that have below average unit densities. I agree with the concept that density should be taken into account but I just cannot swallow the 6 times maximum. Of course, historical accuracy is harder to determine here as both these scenarios are hypothetical (Mogilev was bypassed and most the German units depicted either crossed the Dnepr north of the map area at Shklov or south of it at Bykhov).

4) The use of the Alternative Assault Resolution rule as has a big effect. Neither scenario was tested using it.

I appreciate that balance is less important if players have to swap sides and play the same scenario again but it is still good to have a balance if you can.

Apart from that I wonder about the using "Encirclement of Smolensk - Optional Parachute Drop" in a tournament given the size of this scenario? 

Cheers,
John
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11-25-2020, 02:13 PM,
#3
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
(11-25-2020, 01:42 PM)Green Wrote: Thanks Lethal, that sounds interesting. But I would just like to make some, hopefully constructive, comments on the optional rules for the tournament.

1) The Automatic Defensive Fire is not needed as this is only used for Phased Play. It does no harm in normal PBEM play but that is because it does nothing.

2) Neither scenario uses Explicit Supply so Virtual Supply Trucks would make more sense. Makes no real difference for these two scenarios, but I just mention it.

3) The use of the three alternative fire resolution rules (Indirect Fire, Air Strike and Direct Fire)  however is a game changer. In a nutshell these three rules all ramp up firepower as a function of the total stacking size of the unit or units in the target hex. The increase starts above 1/6th of maximum stacking and goes up linearly until firepower reaches 6 times normal at maximum stacking. Below 1/6th it scales down towards zero as stacking approaches zero. So these rules dramatically change the results, particularly if all three of them are used together. And the effect will not be the same for both sides. For example, Air Support is predominately Axis. Given that neither of these scenarios was tested with these rules I suggest the balance will suffer. I would also suggest that 'realism' may also suffer. My view is that these rules work best with scenarios that have below average unit densities. I agree with the concept that density should be taken into account but I just cannot swallow the 6 times maximum. Of course, historical accuracy is harder to determine here as both these scenarios are hypothetical (Mogilev was bypassed and most the German units depicted either crossed the Dnepr north of the map area at Shklov or south of it at Bykhov).

4) The use of the Alternative Assault Resolution rule as has a big effect. Neither scenario was tested using it.

I appreciate that balance is less important if players have to swap sides and play the same scenario again but it is still good to have a balance if you can.

Apart from that I wonder about the using "Encirclement of Smolensk - Optional Parachute Drop" in a tournament given the size of this scenario? 

Cheers,
John
Thx for the input.
I will pass it to the tourney admins.

L
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11-25-2020, 10:53 PM,
#4
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
(11-25-2020, 01:42 PM)Green Wrote: 3) The use of the three alternative fire resolution rules (Indirect Fire, Air Strike and Direct Fire)  however is a game changer. In a nutshell these three rules all ramp up firepower as a function of the total stacking size of the unit or units in the target hex. The increase starts above 1/6th of maximum stacking and goes up linearly until firepower reaches 6 times normal at maximum stacking. Below 1/6th it scales down towards zero as stacking approaches zero. So these rules dramatically change the results, particularly if all three of them are used together. And the effect will not be the same for both sides.

My view is that these rules work best with scenarios that have below average unit densities. 

Cheers,
John

Useful information. Is the "6 times" documented somewhere or is this something you've worked out from experience or testing? 

Ian
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11-26-2020, 05:01 AM,
#5
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
(11-25-2020, 10:53 PM)Plain Ian Wrote: Useful information. Is the "6 times" documented somewhere or is this something you've worked out from experience or testing? 

Ian

I discovered this when testing something else a couple of years ago. Not sure why it is not documented. Certainly if it was documented it would save me a lot of time from having to explain to opponents why I wont use these rules. They change the way the game functions so dramatically that I will not even use them in those handful of games that have them as the default (N44, T41, F40, J45/46).

If average stack size is not consistently low the effects will be non-trivial to say the least. For example if the maximum stacking is around 1500 then the break even point is around 250 men. Once you get to 500 men in a hex the firepower against them has already doubled and at 750 men it is tripled. To my mind this is totally over the top. More targets should result in more casualties but not in a direct linear relationship like this. It just makes no sense to me. 

What I think we need is one sensible rule set rather than having to choose between less than ideal alternatives. PzC would certainly be more enjoyable for me if I could spend more time playing it and less time in endless optional rule debates.   

Also probably worth mentioning that these comments relate only to PzC and not to FWWC or PzB. I do not play those games and so have no opinion to express.
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11-26-2020, 05:24 AM,
#6
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
Of course anyone can select any opt rules they like there is no "law" or "rules" governing this topic, but once again I feel the selections made here suggest that that perhaps there is a lack of understanding of how these rules will impact on gameplay?

Really hope I don't come across as opinionated, but soooo many times I have been told a scenario is "broken" or "unbalanced" only to discover that the opt rules selected has skewed the result.

Been banging the drum about the opt rules for many years, I am certain they were put in place with the best of intentions and normally choice is good, but actually IMO they have become a real headache for both new and established players, with the release of S44 the possible selection to choose from now stands at 26!!  Rolling Eyes

Rant over......... Wink
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11-26-2020, 07:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-26-2020, 08:02 AM by Mr Grumpy.)
#7
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
What is also odd is that they plan to use my edited version of "Drive Over the Dnepr (H2H)" scenario which requires specific optional rules to be used to achieve balanced PBEM play (established by playtesting), these rules are listed but the opt rules suggested in the opt rules dialogue image may result in a skewed result (for the reasons raised by Green). Idea2
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11-26-2020, 08:01 AM,
#8
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
(11-26-2020, 07:34 AM)Mr Grumpy Wrote: What is also odd is that they plan to use my edited version of "Drive Over the Dnepr (H2H)" scenario which requires specific optional rules to be used to achieve balanced PBEM play (established by playtesting), these rules are listed but the opt rules suggested in the opt rules dialogue image may result in a skewed result. Idea2

Exactly. Having recently played this scenario with the rules you suggest, I believe it would be a very different experience using the rules planned for the tournament. And balance is key as this scenario is only to be played once by each participant.

I have to confess to getting beaten playing the Soviets in this one but sadly I cannot blame lack of balance.  Rolling Eyes
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11-26-2020, 08:52 AM,
#9
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
Maybe I am blowing my own trumpet to back up my points with statistics..... Whistle

The stock version of this scenario has been played 16 times with 2 German victories, 0 draws and 14 Russian victories which obviously seems to suggest a bias towards the Russian side.

My edited version has been played 28 times with 11 German victories, 5 draws and 12 Russian victories, I let you draw your own conclusions.

So a little playtesting and the correct opt rules can make a huge difference as to how a scenario plays out.
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11-28-2020, 05:02 PM,
#10
RE: PzC Tournament - Smolensk '41 - invitation
Green and Mr. Grumpy are spot on in their comments.

This tournament's optional rules setup seems to HIGHLY favor the Axis player. Even switching sides will only prove who is the better pinata. The Russian player will have to avoid the blows coming from the Axis turns while never taking advantage of Axis over extending his units. To launch a well timed local counter strike as the Soviet player is really the only reason to play that side in S41.

S41 is a game where the Soviet defensive player will never be able to retake a lost objective. However, the Soviets can win scenarios by exploiting Axis mistakes and causing boatloads of Axis casualties.
The optional rules Green mentions will not allow the Soviets to mass to defend key positions or counter attack.
Artillery Set Up while considered realistic, severely hampers the Russian defense. Soviet set up in the pdt is only 20%.
Alternative assault resolution allows Panzer battalions to move into dense terrain (forest, village, city) without infantry stacking with the tanks to support them and engage Red infantry with near impunity.
Optional Surrender is just horrible for S41. The difference in base morale will be exaggerated by this optional rule. Coupling it with the Quality Fatigue Modifier is near criminal. In tandem this will make uber Axis units while Soviet units melt in the July sun.

Otherwise, the Soviet play is a punching bag conducting a Fabian defense. The Soviet player's only hope under these optional rules is that the Axis player is not very efficient in destroying Soviet units and runs out of time to take necessary objectives.

Dog Soldier
Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
- Wyatt Earp
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