Red Winter Tactics

Thought  you guys might find this of interest.

Cross-posted from Consimworld. Link to page with original posts: Rod Coffey wrote:

“Question on 2nd Day Scenario Mark et al Like many other folks Red Winter is a new favorite of mine.


I purchased it solely from the demo at last year’s WBC, (so designers and publishers keep doing that!) Other commitments prevented me from playing at WBC but a gaming buddy and I have now knocked out 2 games of “The Second Day” scenario.

I think “The Second Day” was also played at the WBC and proved to be fairly balanced. My small sample of 2 games with the same two players has both of us scratching our heads at how the Fins could wins this scenario.

The double VPS for the Soviets based on Finnish losses seems awfully steep. We must be missing something ! The designer’s notes talk about Finnish exploitation of Soviet mistakes but really don’t explain what is meant by that. Regardless it’s off to a session of the campaign game which I’m really looking forward to !”

Mark Mokszycki wrote: “Finnish tactics on the Second Day It’s been a long time since I’ve played The Second Day specifically, but I recall it being pretty well balanced. “Exploiting mistakes” can mean a wide variety of things.

Some examples: When the Soviets hurt themselves in a combat or assault, and/or become stranded in a lake hex unable to advance off the ice, smack them with ranged attacks (MGs, LMGs, mortars, or artillery — whatever you can reasonably bring to bear) to force step reductions. Similarly, when a Soviet unit or stack stalls on the ice, try to figure out a way to hit it with a concentric combat at high odds and eliminate it.


Any time the Soviet brings weight to bear on a specific region of the map, he’s probably leaving another area thinly guarded (or not guarded at all). Take advantage of these opportunities. Threaten the Soviet supply source hex when possible.

Even if you can’t reasonably take it, you can sometimes tie down 2 or 3 or more Soviet units, forcing them to create a “screen” to keep the ZOC of your lone Finn off the main road, lest you put everyone OOS. When the Soviet player commits most or all of his artillery and mortars on the offensive, hit him with a counter-attack.

He won’t have much in the way of defensive support. As Finns, your added mobility means you can often bring large number of units to bear on a single Soviet unit or stack, all in a single game turn. Use this ability to set up high odds concentric attacks where possible. This is especially achievable during night turns when units get double movement. Some players get so focused on the Night Raids that they forget about this possibility: standard Combats, but at high odds + concentric due to the Finns’ ability to get multiple attacking units involved.


In my last ftf play of the First Day scenario, for example, my Finns were able to bring 10 units against a stack of 2 Dug-In Soviets on the night turn, for a 4:1 concentric attack. Certain map locations make excellent spots to target the Soviets. J16, for example — the hex just beyond Hevossalmi Bridge. The Finns can hit it from two adjacent land hexes, as well as 2 or 3 ice hexes to gain the concentric bonus. If it seems like you’re hearing the word “concentric” a lot, that’s because it’s important to eliminate units at this scale. Keep in mind that the concentric bonus not only gives you a column shift, it forces your opponent to take a step reduction in a retreat due to your ZOC. So if you do a 0/4 to a full strength Soviet infantry unit, you’ve eliminated it — one step reduction because he has a retreat limit of 3 hexes (and therefore has to take the first loss as a step reduction), and a second step reduction for retreating into your ZOC.

Obviously there are a lot of other situations that can qualify as “exploiting mistakes” but it really has to be taken on a case by case basis. In general, any time the Soviet dice are cold there may be an opportunity for a Finnish counter-attack.”

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