Arctic Storm Part 1

A title published in 1992, by GMT Games set at the Regimental & Divisional scale with 24 km hexes and week-long turns.

Board Game Geek:

Arctic Storm: The Russo-Finnish Winter War, 1939-40, is a game simulating the war between Finland and the Soviet Union in the winter of 1939-40.

On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union’s powerful Red Army invaded the tiny nation of Finland. The entire world, including the watching Germans, expected the war to end in a crushing Soviet victory in a manner or weeks, if not days. But the Finns resisted bitterly and managed, by dint of incredible courage and masterful improvisation, to inflict a string of humiliating defeats on the invaders. Instead of a Soviet victory march, the Soviet Union found itself unexpectedly involved in a serious struggle with implications for its future survival. That struggle has gone down in history as the Winter War.

Game Scale:
Game Turn: 1 week
Hex: 15 miles / 24 kilometers
Units: Regiment to Division

Turn Sequence:

Events [table based roll], Supply assessment for both sides and then the Soviet turn:

Reinforcements, movement, combat the Finnish reaction then Soviet exploit [mech only].

The Finnish turn is simpler – reinforcements, movement and combat.

Well lets stop tossing about and get on with it shall we!!!

Soviet attack at 7:1. Petsamo +1R +2R +Turn 1 bonus. = 10:1 -1L for town =9:1 *** 2d10 = 7 *** [note 2d10 are rolled for a fully supplied attack, only 1 is rolled for an unsupplied attack.]

Combat result: 1/1 result are taken in step losses or retreats, unless bolded then first step loss must be taken.

Allakurti 9:1

2d10 = 18 Result: – /3


4:1 : 2d10 = 4 ,2/

In Rebola – 10:1

The attack at Porjarvl is important for the Soviet as this allows some level of encirclement with the advance after combat. The attacker here suffers first step as a loss and the rest may be taken as a retreat. The Finns also elect to retreat.

The 75th Mtn sneaks in and isolates the fortified line. Unhinging the defense.


The Soviets conduct 3 big assaults all of them forcing retreats and losses. The Soviets lose a full division of tanks and several steps. A bloody price in this head to head fortified battle:

The situation at the End Turn 1:

Turn 2:

Dec 7-13th 1939

With 75th Mtn isolated the Soviets pile forces to release them via counter attack.

In the true South the armies using massing techniques [over stacking rule that allows greater force to be brought to bear at the cost of higher losses] to put monster stacks to attack.

Event: Cloudy

164th Sov. Div enters @ Kem.

138th Mtn moves by rail to Kandalaksha.

Attacking Petsamo: 5:1 raw odds ends up – 8:1 on Rough. Used 2 air to support the assault and force their way into Petsamo.

Near Salla the Soviets suffer another poor attack result with a 2/1 result. The Finns skate away. [hahaha..skate away.. sigh..ok]

SW Salla 1:1, 4 air, – net 7:1. 1 / 2

Suomussalmi 6:1 – 1 / 2 . Finns fail to reinforce strong enough! A retreat occurs.

East of Korpiselka – wooded terrain 10-1 retreats 1 hex.

In the forested fortifications Sth of Suojarvi 1:1 – 4:1 1/1 means the Finns lose nothing and Soviets take a mandatory loss.

8th Bn is attacked by 18th Division in Kolaa. 5:1 in forest ends up as a no result.

Pitkjaranta 2:1 – 1/1 losses.

Finn counter attack 4:1:

Turn 3 12-14-20/1939

Event: Frost bite effects cause 1 Finn loss and 2 Soviet step losses.

Soviets bring replacements on! 52nd Infantry Division.

Use 2 air on 19th Bn 5:1 Sth of Kuusamo 1/1 Soviets lose a step.

5:1 Sth of Korpiselka 1/1 result.

Time for the Finns to bug out! The lone Bn in Kolaa is attacked again @ 10:1.. This time the 31st Tank Brigade clears the fortification.

End Soviet turn 3 – Finn turn.,. They move to cover holes and attempt an attack in and around what we now are calling the Red Winter @GMTGames hex! The Finns lose two steps and the Soviets take a loss also.

Turn 4 sees more Soviets arriving.


Petsamo wipe out the Finns.

7:1 Illomantsi – 1/1 and Finns hold the line

In the Mannheim line holds despite light losses.

Turn 5.

Event M. +2 RPs for Soviets..sigh. Last turn the Finns lost an RP to the Hitler blockade. Ouch!

Kemijarvi attack holds the line.

Sth in Korpiselka the Soviets attack @ 2:1 but bump the odds up to 6:1 using air. The Finns commit 2 air.

Start Turn 6

Event M. +2Soviet RP.

Soviets draw down RP, and make just 1 attack.

The Soviets limit attacks and focus on knocking out units and picking up easy villages for VP’s

Turn 7

Event 0

Soviet turn:

A Big attack forces losses on the Finns. We have to eat it here or retreat. So far, we hold the line.

I’m surprised the Soviets don’t go for more attrition based attacks. There is a fine balance between taking losses, losing VPs’ and making enough progress to mitigate the auto loss of VP’s on the turn track each turn.

Turn 8 & 9 Tomorrow!


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