WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

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Mark Jones
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Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Mark Jones » 23 Nov 2020 03:26

The American tank commander was comfortable.

His chair was leaned back against the wall while his feet were propped up in another. A glass of whiskey rested on the table, lovingly held in his right hand. A half smoked Lucky Strike hung loosely from his lips, the ashes carelessly falling onto the floor as the cigarette slowly burned away. The officer's eyes were closed and he was just about to drift off to a blissful nap when his gunner burst into the tavern and yelled, "They've got Furry!"

Startled by the sudden outburst, the Lt. Colonel dropped his Lucky Strike on his leg and nearly spilled his whiskey while trying to keep from getting burned. Pushing his cap back on his head, the officer glared up as his gunner. "What in the hell are you talking about, Bible? You nearly caused me to catch this place on fire. Who's got Furry?"

"The engineers, Colonel. They just loaded her onto a freighter and shipped her off to Russia."

"They did what!", exclaimed the Lt. Colonel as he jumped to his feet and headed toward the tavern door. He hadn't taken three steps before he suddenly stopped in his tracks as his commanding officer entered the door by which he intended to leave.

"Colonel Jones, I have a job for you", said the General.

There is absolutely no way this can be good, thought the tank commander as he offered the requisite salute.

Returning the salute, the General continued, "It seems that our Russian allies are having a bit of trouble in the east. We are sending a shipment of Shermans to help them stem the tide of the German advance at Smolensk. The Russians are not familiar with our tanks or the specific tactics by which we operate them. They will need training. That is where you come in."

Handing the Lt. Colonel written transport orders, the General said, "You and your crew are on the next transport flight to Moscow".

The American tank commander stared at the papers in disbelief.

The General moved to the door, and turned back just before leaving. "And Colonel."

"Yes, General?"

"Thanks for volunteering."


Leigh Nielsen
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Joined: 21 Oct 2020 22:58
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Leigh Nielsen » 25 Nov 2020 04:16


Thought I would post an invite to the tournament over at The Blitz. Got an interesting response re Optional Rules, posted here for your interest.

start quote

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?


end quote
TWS Member Since 21 October 2020

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Aloysius Kling Sr
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Location: Altoona Iowa USA

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Aloysius Kling Sr » 25 Nov 2020 21:50

Only Optional Rules built into the game itself will be used in any tournament in the WWII Era....

Keeps thing clean and simple which means less conflicts between participants and moderators....

Battle On...
TWS Founder & Member since 1 October 2014

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Harry Haines
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Joined: 11 May 2019 22:05

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Harry Haines » 26 Nov 2020 01:19

Please sign me up!
TWS Member Since 31 October 2014

Mark Jones
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Joined: 06 May 2019 00:17

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Mark Jones » 26 Nov 2020 03:28


We will look into the Optional Rules a bit more. Our goal for tournaments is, and always will be, fair and balanced play.

In the meantime, please ask Mr. Grumpy what optional rules he used to make his scenario balanced.

Also, please let me know who Mr. Grumpy and Green actually are. I see that Green is actually "John" somebody, but that doesn't really tell me a lot.

The reason I ask for their identity is to better determine what qualifications they have to determine what the best optional rules might be. Everyone has an opinion. If they are going to render an opinion as "experts" on the matter, I would like to know that they truly are the experts that they represent themselves to be.

If you could send me their email addresses where I could discuss the relative merits of each optional rule with them, that would be a big plus too.


Timothy Moore
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Joined: 14 Nov 2020 04:33

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Timothy Moore » 26 Nov 2020 15:24

I'm in, thanks!
TWS Member Since 13 November 2020

Jean J. Cianfarani
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Joined: 31 Aug 2020 18:28

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Jean J. Cianfarani » 26 Nov 2020 16:17

Please sign me up!
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Daniel Cote
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Joined: 15 Jul 2019 22:08
Location: Perry, FL USA

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Daniel Cote » 27 Nov 2020 17:19

After reading many posts from both clubs TWS & the Blitz, i have the following suggestions for the selection of optional-rules.
Use the rule selections you have now, but include virtual supply trucks in the selections.

The following rules should be removed because they disproportionately favor the attacker [Germans] and/or a side with numerous A-B rated units.
In Smolensk a very small percentage of Russian unit are C rated and the bulk of the units are D or lower rated.

Do not select the following rules;
-auto defensive fire
-alt assault resolution
-optional surrender
-quality fatigue modifier
-higher fatigue recovery
-locking zones of control
-indirect fire & air strikes
-counterbattery fire
-no low fuel effects
-explicit supply
TWS Member Since 7 April 2019

Mark Jones
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Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Mark Jones » 28 Nov 2020 01:49


We ran a Smolensk tournament some years ago. At that time, we carefully researched the Optional Rules and developed two sets for our tournaments. One was for battles prior to, and including, 1941. The other was for battles from 1942 and later.

Our 1941 rules are as follows:


Our 1942 rules are as follows:


As Scott and I worked together on our previous WW2 Tournaments, Al probably did not know about these when he created the tournament webpage. Entirely my fault for not letting him know, or checking things as early as I should have.


Steffen Haug
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Joined: 28 Nov 2020 14:08

Re: WWII Smolensk 41 Tournament

Post by Steffen Haug » 28 Nov 2020 14:26

Please count me in!!


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