Red Winter Vassal Play [3]/5

One of the keys for the Finns here is pre emption. can we prevent the Soviet player from running the board by inserting scarce resources to block, stop or disrupt his progress. In this battle the focal point for the Soviet was the main land road across the lake.

But we also wanted to make sure our Line of Communication [LOC] was secure so preventing him for flanking was critical as it would force us off the bridge without a fight.

In some ways giving up the Island while still in control of the village is no problem, as the Soviet cannot press past there and be in supply. This forces a garrison and more units away from the main area of battle.



The Finns have another trick to pull, which is of course the Night Raid. Plan for it and use it wisely.  Putting even one unit in the Soviet rear can cause all sorts of mayhem and once again draw off attackers to protect LOC. We shall keep all this in mind for our next game.

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1939, Red Winter play [2]/5

Scenario game play. Not the campaign.
This is part two of three. Just a very, very delayed posting. Sorry for any confusion!!


The Soviets managed to close quickly on the  Finns. They elected to take a battle of attrition route by bringing in the big guns early.  This added firepower and the weight of the arty will make saving the Hotel a challenge.

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Red Winter Campaign Turn 11 – Turn 15


The last post in the series! See the rest here.


The Finns look to counter attack. Which in my mind is fine. I can hang all day with that and they face the chance of losing steps they cannot afford to lose. In turn 11 we do some regrouping. The night turn kills a few more steps of Soviets!

Bu now we have a hinge to fold the Finnish line up and block any reinforcement of the Village. The road needs to be clear for the tank to be effective, so into action the men go.

With the line a little worse for wear we now focus on killing off the sole Finnish stack in the village. You can see that Pajari is way North, when the action is in the village on on the village road. Dislocation.

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Red Winter Turn 6 thru 7


This is the third post in a series of 5…ok maybe 6, that covers off on aspects of strategy and maneuver warfare. Post #1  and #2 here .  this game exposed opportunities to try some different ideas and approaches. Note the prior few posts had italics font for strategy notes inserted. this does not.

In turns 5 & 6 the Soviets attack in the North and chip away at the Finns who counter attack and also move Pajari North to assist. This is a a good thing for the Soviets. Who immediately drop their action in the North and encircle the forces holding the bridge.



The Soviets force the enemy off the bridge AND continue the press from the North with new reinforcements that have now arrived.

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Red Winter Turn 8-10 campaign


The posts continue as we  look at how maneuver can be your best friend.

These past posts 1,2,3 show  the evolution of the strategy focused on the enemies Center of Gravity. We are edging into his decision cycle, beginning to see him forced into choices we are creating.

As we approach the other side of lakes the battle takes on a more delicate tone. With movement rates lower, and a compressed Finnish line it will be harder to move quickly and exploit weakness.


With these massive arty attacks the Finns reel and retreat.  Reforming a single line again. but now hinging on the lake edge in the South. The village is a mine of VP’s waiting to be dug up. Now rather than plunge towards and along the road we press back the weaker forces on the Tolvajarvi village outskirts.

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Red Winter Turn 3- 4 1st Night!

Continuing from Turn 1  we are revising this post with some strategy details on how the Soviets attempt to out fox the Finns.

See extra comments in italics. 

By quickly lunging across the ice the Soviets obtain a 4 hex attack spread and can simultaneously attack the Gravel Pits. This move which exposes the ice bound Soviets has a special purpose – namely it prevents reinforcement of the Hotel. It becomes very risky to try and squeeze more troops in, or rotate out wounded.

Compare this to the prior Red Winter game where the Finns kept feeding fresh men into the Gravel Pit grinder and you can see the difference!


After a turn of positioning and consolidation the Soviet forces push on the Hotel and Gravel Pits. Arty makes itself felt.

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Red Winter Campaign, Turns 1-2

EDIT: Note and a major update. Now that we have finished this game I want to share some thoughts that occured going into the game and the outcomes from it over a series of posts that cover our campaign play. So coming back to this opening set of moves please see comments in italics as an update and focus on strategy in the game play.

After having so much fun with the smaller scenario we turned right around, swapped sides and went for the campaign!
Because… THAT IS HOW IT IS DONE people.

Knowing Steve a little allows me to make broad guesses about his strategy and likely approach to a given set of choices. When presented with the unexpected he will often revert to defensive play until he identifies where the real threat is. 

The Soviets have simple victory conditions – kill more Finns, take VP locations [The Hotel, bridges, village and if massively successful capture the Finnish Supply Source on the West edge of the map for an Auto Victory.] Those of you who have played and / or know the history understand the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the harsh conditions it was fought it. The Soviet player must achieve a lot to win big, given his numerical and firepower advantages.

To that end we could say that there are two Points of Gravity or Weakness for the Finns. 1st the  Supply source, without it the Finns are degraded and bad things happen i.e. they lose. The second is more subtle. Morale, if the Finns are battered enough the game can be ostensibly considered over [a personal morale check fail when faced with a VP count that is unrecoverable]. The Soviet forces while large are not inexhaustible and are not sufficient to really pound the Finns without a cost [ i.e. bringing tanks in costs VP’s.]

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