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Europa Games and Military History

Month: March 2013 (page 2 of 2)

Dec I 39 Finnish Turn

In the reinforcement segment of the Finnish initial phase the 1-2-8 Ski X Rv is rebuilt using one of the three currently available regular inf repl points. Per Rule 40B1-Production, Finnish replacement built units may be brought in only at Helsinki. Later in the movement phase it rails from Helsinki to Finnish woods rail junction hex 2815. It then has just the available remaining regular MPs to move two hexes farther to woods road hex 2913, right on the A weather line and also adjacent to the invading Soviet stack eastwards at Kuhmo, at woods road hex 2912 just north of the A weather line. In a fit of nervousness the Finns spend another regular inf repl point and rebuild the *1-6 Inf X 4 lost last turn with the 1-2-8 Ski X Rv and rail it from Helsinki to Viipuri, where it regular moves to G. of Finland coast & fort counter hex 4717. This still leaves 1 inf repl point in the Finnish regular replacement pool; but there’s also available ½ special inf replacement point (per Rule 40B4-Special Replacements) generated by the Finnish losses from the previous Soviet turn.

In the initial phase the reinforcement Inf XX HQ unit A is brought on-map at island reference city Kotka (4521) and in the movement phase it admin moves six hexes to woods rail coast hex 4417, just one hex NW of the strategic Karelian Isthmus dot city of Viipuri (4517). Next, the initial phase reinforcement 1-2-6 Inf III 22/65 is brought on-map at Viipuri; then it regular moves two hexes to the central Mannerheim Line fort counter wooded intermittent lake hex 4615. Then the reinforcement 1-6 Inf III 40 is brought on-map at Helsinki and rails to fort counter woods rail hex 4616, at the angle point in the Mannerheim Line. Renewed nervousness about the security of the Mannerhiem Line drives the Finns to rail the single pos flk unit from Tampere to 4616. Then a pos flk unit from Helsinki is railed to fort counter wooded intermittent lake rail hex 4614, north of unnamed Lake Suvanto(?) on Europa map 35, with two frozen full lake hexsides facing southward toward the invading Soviet Seventh Army’s front line. This leaves at Helsinki one pos flk unit, the 0-1-8 Cycle III VL Coastal Command unit, the Finnish govt. marker, a resource point, and the F & A type Finnish air units (2 in all). At Viipuri, the 1-6 Inf III A remains in place this turn per the Coastal Command deployment stipulation in the AWW Finnish at start OB; along with it is a resource point. However, the 0-1-5 Const III Kan, starting at 4616, moves one hex east to clear terrain Gulf of Finland coast hex 4617. Also from 4616 the 1-8 Ski III 3-4 J rails to 3412, then moves east one hex to wooded intermittent lake border hex 3411, adjacent to the supported 1-6 Ski III 2/PKR at Lieksa at woods rail hex 3312, which doesn’t move this turn. From 4617 the 0-6 Lt Tnk II 1 moves and finally exploits to woods rail junction hex 4415. There is some other shuffling of the units in the Karelian Isthmus zone’s five Mannerheim Line hexes, and the Line deployment at the Finnish turn’s end is as follows:

G. of Finland coast hex 4717:
*1-6 Inf III 4
4-5-6 Inf XX 5
0-1-6 Inf III MLR
*2-6 Inf X 1
0-1-0 Art II SHRT
pos flk unit

Viipuri- Leningrad woods rail hex 4616:
1-2-6 Inf III A
1-6 Ski III A
1-6 Inf III 40
0-1-6 Inf III UR
1-6 Art III 3
pos flk unit

Central fort line wooded intermittent lake hex 4615:
4-5-6 Inf XX 4
1-2-6 Inf III 22/65
0-1-6 Inf III RR
1-8 Ski III 1-2 J
2-6 Art III 2

Frozen Lake hex 4614:
two 4-5-6 Inf XXs 8 & 11
pos flk unit
Ladoga coast hex 4613:
4-5-6 Inf XX 10
two *2-6 Inf Xs 2 & 3
pos flk unit.

In the Ladogan Karelia region the 0-1-5 Const III Kar at clear terrain Ladoga coast rail hex 4211 (Sortayala) spends five MPs to build a 1-cap temporary airfield there with one MP pocketed in case the airfield’s cap is further expanded the next Finnish turn. This construction unit build is done per Rule 43A8-Incremental Construction of Airfields. A 1-cap temporary airfield counter from WW is used to mark the airfield. The unexpended resource point remains at the same hex. At the end of the Finnish movement phase the Finnish deployment in the Lake Janis zone is as follows:

East end of Valamo Island hex 4311: *1-6 Ski III 2/KR; never moved
Woods Ladoga coast secondary rail hex 4210: 1-2-6 Ski 1/KR, plus hit marker on the rail line
Woods secondary rail junction hex 4111: 4-5-6 Inf XX 6; moved here from 4210
Woods Janis coast rail hex 4011: *3-4-6 Inf XX 13; never moved.

At Ilomantsi (woods road hex 3711) the *3-4-6 Inf 12 stays put, menaced by the Soviet 3-6 Inf XX 56 at 3710 and the 4-8 Mot Inf XX 44 at 3610. However, in the reinforcement segment of their initial phase the Finns deploy two guerrilla units in guerrilla mode. The 1-6 Ski X SH (in guerrilla mode) is placed at woods hex 3511 and a dummy counter (in guerrilla mode) is placed at 3510. In the movement phase the first Finnish guerrilla unit moves one hex to forest hex 3611 and the second (dummy) guerrilla unit moves one hex to 3511. Thus at the end of the movement phase the Finnish deployment in the Lake Keitele zone of the Ladogan Karelia is as follows:

At Ilomantsi (3711): *3-4-6 Inf XX 12; never moved
Forest hex 3611: 1-6 Ski X SH in guerrilla mode
Woods hex 3511: dummy guerrilla unit in guerrilla mode
Wooded intermittent lake hex 3411: 1-8 Ski III 3-4 J; first railed, then moved here
At Lieksa (3312): *1-6 Ski III 2/PKR; never moved.
The 0-6 RR Eng III Yhd moves one hex west to forest rail hex 3513.

The replacement built 1-2-8 Ski X Rv was railed and then moved to woods road hex 2913, on the A weather line. Three hexes north of it the 1-2-6 Ski III 1/PKR remains at woods road junction hex 2612 (Soumussalmi).

At far north Ivalo, at woods road junction hex 0610, the 1-6 Ski III 41 (out of supply at red U-1) retreats southwards down the road by admin movement to wooded swamp road hex 1013, in order to get back into supply in the initial phase of the Dec II 39 Soviet turn. At 1013 it is six road hexes to the secondary rail line at wooded swamp hex 1516.

At remote and likely freezing Salla, at woods road junction hex 1510, the 1-6 Ski III 1/LR is in supply & stays put, standing down the Soviet 1-6 Inf III 529, two road hexes eastward at captured Finnish point city Allakurtti (1508).

At Kuusamo, at woods road junction hex 2010, the *1-6 Ski III 2/LR becomes black U-1 in the initial phase. Like the Finnish ski III beginning the turn at far north Ivalo, it is simply too remote from the Finnish rail network to be in supply north of the A weather line: three overland hexes & three road hexes. Reluctantly, it moves back three hexes to desolate woods road hex 2113, exposing the Finnish point city Kuusamo for a likely Soviet walk-in and capture next turn.

The Soviet 4-6 Inf XX 54 at wooded swamp road border hex 2511, just inside Finland, is technically also black U-1 this turn. In the SoS NTO Scenario Study Dec I 39 Soviet Turn report, a mistake was made in saying it was in regular supply. However, there is another way to get it back in supply this Finnish turn. The unit is three hexes away from the Soviet 2-cap permanent airfield in regular supply at Ukhta (2508). Rule 12C2a-Supply Points says “the player owning…an [in regular supply] airbase or port may place…supply points at the airbase or port as he desires.” Right now to me this means the non-phasing Soviet player may place three supply points (aka gsp’s in WW) at Ukhta in the supply determination segment of the Dec I 39 Finnish initial phase and presto, the Soviet 4-6 Inf XX 54 three road hexes away at 2511 is in supply this turn via a special supply source. Small numbered status markers from FitE, I believe, are used to indicate supply points generated during the Finnish turns and large numbered status markers are used to indicate supply points generated during the Soviet turns.

Other Soviet ground units becoming black U-1 in the supply determination segment of the Dec I 39 Finnish turn are the winterized 1-6 Inf III 88/273 & the 2-6 Art X 45 at Kuhmo (2912), and also the 0-1-5 Bdr III 5 at adjacent hex 3011. The 3-6 Inf XX 122 at nearby hex 3311 becomes black U-1 this turn, too. All these Soviet units are on or above the A weather line.

Late in the exploitation phase the Soviets do a non-phasing air transfer of the G-2 T type air unit at Leningrad to the Ukhta airfield.

At the end of the exploitation phase the Finnish D.XXI F type air unit attempts to transfer from Helsinki (4526) to Tampere (3825), as the factory there is now devoid of any flack protection. The Soviet I-153 and I-16/t10 F type air units based at Tallinn (4826) fly a patrol attack mission against the Finnish fighter beginning its transfer mission at the Helsinki hex, three hexes from Tallinn and at the patrol attack range limit of the I-153. A random drawing pits the I-153 against the D.XXI first and the Soviets roll on the “-1 or less” differential on the Patrol Attack Table and get a 3: no effect. The I-16/t10 then rolls on the “0 to +2” differential on the Table and roll a 5: defender return. The two Soviet fighters then return to Tallinn and become inoperative. Right now I believe that per SoS Rules 20D-Patrol Attack, 21C-Patrol Attacks, and in particular 21B2-Combat Results (as it applies to patrol attack results) a “R” result on the Patrol Attack Table means the affected air unit “Turn(s) Back-a turned back air unit immediately returns to base and becomes inoperative.” This means the D.XXI Finnish fighter must return to base at Helsinki, and only to Helsinki, and not “return” essentially to any friendly airbase of its choosing in a typical normal transfer mission range, as if either “No Effect” was rolled and/or if in fact nothing in particular had happened during the transfer mission. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong here.

Finally, the Finnish C.X A type air unit based at Helsinki flies a transfer mission to the new 1-cap temporary airfield at 4211 (Sortayala) on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga in the Ladogan Karelia.

Right now I believe many of the SoS NTO Scenario air unit mission capabilities are nearly identical with those found in WW’s Air Unit Mission Capability Chart, found on the WW chart sheet labeled K: Game Calendar.

Dec I 39 Soviet Turn

Beginning with the farthest north Soviet forces, the winterized 4-6 Inf XX 104 at remote & frozen rough terrain border hex 0402 moves one hex west, crossing the border into Finland, and enters the minor port of Petsamo at rough terrain Arctic Ocean coast hex 0304. It takes this inf XX four MPs to move across one rough terrain hex side north of the A weather line in winter weather. Both this unit and the Finnish 1-6 Ski III 41 at Ivalo (at woods road junction hex 0610 in Finland) begin the Soviet turn at U-1. Red U-1 supply status markers from FitE (I think) are used to indicate their status. Meanwhile Rule 38H3b-[Soviet Arctic Coast] Garrison is complied with by the Soviet side in keeping “…at least 6 REs of units in coastal hexes adjacent to the Arctic Ocean….” We assume that that Murmansk’s intrinsic defense of 6 strength points, per Rule 38H3a-Murmansk Forces Defenses, does not count towards the RE garrison requirement.

Proceeding south to the first east-west transportation line crossing the Soviet-Finnish border, the 1-6 Inf III 529 moves one hex westwards across the border and occupies ice cold Allakrutti at wooded rough terrain road hex 1508. Two hexes farther west along the same road (at 1510) the Finnish 1-6 Ski III 1/LR blocks the road at Salla.

Farther southwards at the second east-west transportation line crossing the Soviet-Finnish border, the 4-6 Inf XX 163 crosses the border and moves one hex westward along the road to chilly woods road border hex 2109, just inside Finland. The Soviet inf XX ends its movement phase one hex to the east of the supported Finnish 1-6 Ski III 2/LR at Kussamo, located at important woods road junction hex 2010. From nearby Kestenga (2107) the 0-1-8 Bdr III 2 admin moves eight hexes to Murmansk rail line hex 2502, along the frozen White Sea coastline.

Continuing farther southwards (still above the A weather line) to the third east-west transportation line, the 4-6 Inf XX 54 cautiously moves one hex across the border into Finland and stops at wooded swamp road hex 2511, two road hexes away from the 1-2-6 Ski III 1/PKR at Soumussalmi (2612). This Soviet inf XX decides to go no further because I believe it is at the supply line limit north of the A weather line per the EA Answer Guy’s earlier posting here, counting overland (down the road) three hexes, then four road hexes down to the (secondary) rail line terminus at Kestenga (2107). A little ways back (eastwards) from the aforementioned inf XX, at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at woods road junction hex 2508 (Ukhta), the 0-5 Const III 9 spends all 5 MPs to do one airfield hit fix (+1 extra pocketed for the second hit) at the airstrip there. Note that per Rule 41G1-NTO Scenario…Setup, “…when the [SoS/AWW] OBs specify a [1-cap] permanent airstrip, use a 3-capacity permanent airfield marker with 2 hits on it.” Also note that per Rule14A1b-Weather, all const/eng construction ability MP’s are doubled in poor (here, snow) weather, although to be sure it seems that this const/eng ability MP cost is not doubled yet again north of the A weather line, as Rule 37B-The Arctic, says “all units pay double MP costs for terrain when moving in the Arctic, except when moving on roads or railroads.” Late in the movement phase the two T type air units (a TB-3 & G-2) at Leningrad partial city hex 5115 air transport the winterized 1-6 Inf III 8 A (a reinforcement) to the Ukhta airfield, then return to Leningrad.

Farther south at the Rugozero-Kuhmo east-west transportation line, the 2-6 Art X 45 and the winterized 1-6 Inf III 88/273 cross the Finnish border and boldly move 3 hexes westwards along the road to occupy unguarded Kuhmo at woods road hex 2912. The 0-1-8 Bdr III 5 moves just behind it to adjacent woods/forest road hex 3011, hoping to cover its rear. Later in the movement phase the G-1 type T air unit based at Ukhta flies five hexes and air drops two gsp’s (a total of 1/2 REs, the air unit’s transport maximum in poor weather) at wooded swamp hex 3010 and returns to base. However both gsp’s are scattered per the Disruption Table found on Game Play Chart (1): there’s a -1 for dropping into a non-clear terrain hex, -2 if the weather is snow, and -1 for every 5 hexes flown to target by a Soviet transport unit per the SoS Errata Sheet dated 18 Jan 1999. The 3-6 Inf XX 122 moves to forest hex 3311, putting it adjacent to and menacing somewhat the supported 1-6 Ski III 2/PKR guarding Lieksa, a possibly important geographical bottleneck zone just south of the A weather line at woods rail hex 3312. All four of these Soviet Ninth Army ground units will be black U-1 on the Dec I 39 Finnish Turn. Meanwhile, the 0-1-8 Bdr III 3 admin moves from nearby road hex 3208 to Segeza, at Murmansk railway hex 3303, right on the A weather line.

Beginning with the Soviet Eighth Army south of the A weather line, the 3-6 Inf XX 56 moves eastwards on the east-west Medvozhyegorsk-Ilomantsi road to 3710, adjacent to the Finnish 3-4-6 Inf XX 12 at woods road hex 3711, at Ilomantsi. Reinforcing it from the north is the Ninth Army’s primo 4-8 Mot Inf XX 44, ending its movement at adjacent woods hex 3610. The 0-6 Const III 8 at road hex 3706 moves two hexes east to Medvezhyegorsk (3704) on the Murmansk rail line, where it expends its remaining 3 MPs to begin repairs on the 1-cap permanent airstrip there.

A mass of Soviet ground units (6 in all, including 3 inf XXs) form a three hex arc around the beleaguered 3-4-6 Inf XX 13 at woods hex 4010 in front of frozen Lake Janis. In the combat phase they are joined by four SB-2bis B type air units from airfields along the Murmansk railway and attack the Finnish inf XX from 4110, 4009, & 3910 at 5 to 1 -2 (-1 for woods & -1 for winter) and roll a 4, which modifies to a 2: DR. The relieved 3-4-6 Inf XX 13 retreats westwards across the frozen Lake Janis full lake hexside to woods rail hex 4011. Some units advance into the hex after combat.

The 3-6 Inf XX 139 moves into Pitkaranta at woods road/(secondary) rail terminus Ladoga coast hex 4310 and is reinforced in the exploitation phase by the 3-2-8 Arm X 13, which was railed from Leningrad towards this destination and them admin moved onwards in the movement phase. Guarding this stack’s rear is the 0-1-8 Bdr III 1 at wooded swamp border hex 4409.

From Murmansk the winterized 4-6 Inf XX 3 rails south to 3103, then it doglegs west and admin moves along the Rugozero-Kuhmo transportation line to wooded swamp secondary rail hex 3105, intending to eventually arrive as a needed reinforcement farther down this remote Soviet invasion route into Finland. From Leningrad the 3-6 Inf XX 49 rails north to Murmansk railway hex 1804, three hexes south of Kandalaksha, and the 1-6 Inf III 19 is railed from Leningrad to 1904, one hex south of it. The 4-6 Inf XX 60, also from Leningrad, rails and then admin moves to wooded swamp road hex 3707, along the Medvezhyegorsk-Ilomantsi road.

The reinforcement 1-2-6 Para-Inf X 201 at Leningrad first rails up the Murmansk railway and then admin moves down the Petrozavodsk-Soujarvi transportation line to Soujarvi (4008). Next, the 3-2-8 Arm X 20 rails from Leningrad, then admin moves and finally exploits down the same transportation line to woods secondary rail hex 4108. Some fretting is done regarding what to do with, of all units, the 1-8 Cav III 1 at Leningrad, as per the SoS Errata Sheet dated 18 Jan 1999, Soviet cavalry units also exert AGZOCs, along with Soviet Para-Inf, Bdr, & NKVD units. Of course we want to carefully study the SoS guerrilla rules in their Winter War context, as we believe Finnish guerrilla warfare is a special and important feature of this particular & unusual WW II campaign. The cav III is finally railed (doubled for being a cav unit, as were the two arm Xs) to Petrozavodsk, then is admin moved down the transportation line to woods secondary rail terminus border hex 4109. This uses up the Soviet turn 15 RE rail movement capability. The cav III, the arm X, and the para-inf X, strung along the Petrozavodsk-Soujarvi transportation line, create a Soviet ground unit “rat tail” from the Soviet’s 3 hex front line shield at 4110-4010 (facing westwards towards frozen Lake Janis)-3910 back to the Soviet-Finnish border. The 3-2-8 Art X 8 is at wooded intermittent lake hex 4009, as it did not advance to 4010 in the combat phase. Note: Two rail terminal marker counters from the Wavell’s War counter sheet are used to mark the rail break on the Petrozavodsk-Soujarvi secondary rail line at the 4108/4207 Soviet-Finnish border hexside, per the AWW Errata, Q&A-September 13, 1994.

At the important Karelian Isthmus zone to the north of Leningrad, the large Soviet Northwest Front lumbers across the border and invades Finland. Large Soviet ground unit stacks end their movement or exploitation at Finnish hexes 4714, 4715, 4815, & 4816. In this congested zone care needs to be taken by the Soviet side to comply with Rule 38H2a-Soviet Ineptitude…Reduced Stacking. The 4-6 Inf XX 90 guards Soviet woods Ladoga coast hex 4713, adjacent to the Mannerheim Line. The supported 1-2-8 Mot MG X 50 occupies Finnish clear terrain seacoast rail hex 4815. A mixed bag of other Soviet ground units are at hexes 4813 & 4814, and also at north Leningrad partial city hexes 4914 & 4915. Five F type air units are based at Leningrad city hexes along with the other air units mentioned elsewhere in the post.

In the combat phase at the Karelian Isthmus the Soviets attack (w/ no GS needed) the Finnish forward defense blocking stack (2 ½ defense factors) at woods rail hex 4716. The Finnish 1-8 Ski III 3-4 J & the 1-2-8 Ski X Rv attempt to retreat per Rule 14F-Ski Units. The 1-8 Ski III succeeds and retreats to Mannerheim Line woods rail fort hex 4616, but the other ski X’s attempt fails and must take its stand with the supported 1-6 Inf III 4. The Soviets roll a 4 on a 9 to 1 -2: DE. The two Finnish units are eliminated and the Soviets enter the hex after combat.

In the initial phase the Soviet const X & eng III at Kronshtadt begin to quick construct a 3-cap permanent airfield using the Dec I Soviet turn’s single resource point reinforcement appearing at Leningrad.

From the Leningrad SW partial city hex 5115 the reinforcement 3-6 Inf XX 150 admin moves to woods coast hex 5018 on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It plans to eventually begin island hopping across the Gulf towards Finnish island/reference city/standard port hex 4521 (Kotka) on the Jan I 40 turn, when the Gulf of Finland freezes, starting from mainland USSR woods coast hex 4919. For details on the island hopping see AWW Rule 27B-Sea Ice. This will likely pin down at least one Finnish ground unit at the Kotka hex and will thus hopefully weaken the Karelian Isthmus and Lake Janis/Ladogan Karelia zones, where the decisive battles of the Russo-Finnish War are expected to be fought.

To let the Finns know for sure what they’ve got themselves into by not agreeing to the Soviet Union’s border adjustment demands, the Soviets send a large terror bombing mission (aka “Molotov bread baskets” in the contemporary British press, I believe) against Helsinki late in the exploitation phase with four SB-2bis A type air units and the DB-3b & DB-3t B type air units, all based at or staged to Leningrad. They are escorted by the I-16/t10 & I-153 fighters based at Tallinn. The Finnish D.XXI fighter intercepts, but there are no aborts or kills. Helsinki’s two pos flk factors fire, but miss. The six Soviet A & B types combine (their strat factors halved due to poor weather) into pairs to do three 2 point bombing strength die rolls and score one terror bombing hit.

Finally, two perhaps Spanish civil war vintage SB-2s, the R-10, and the R-55h A type air units based in the Leningrad/Kronshtadt hexes fly to Finnish woods rail junction hex 4321 (Kouvola) and attempt to bomb the rail line, but fail to roll a 5 or 6 for a hit.

At the end of the Dec I 39 Soviet turn the Soviets have scored 9 VPs, I believe: 5 tentative for the capture of five Finnish point cities, 1 tentative for the capture of a Finnish minor port, 1 for the terror bombing hit at Helsinki, and 2 for two Finnish non-c/m REs eliminated. The Finns have no VPs yet. For SoS NTO scenario VPs, see the back page of the SoS Rules booklet (p. 70).

Finnish Setup

At first we were interested in possibly combining the SoS Campaign forNorway Scenario with an updated historical FoF game and perhaps create akind of preliminary “basic Grand Europa” 1940 epoch battlescenario. However, the SoS NTO scenario caught our attention as perhapsan initial format to maybe somehow also include the Winter War campaign(aka the 1939-40 Russo-Finnish War) into the project and make the basicGE battle scenario cover the 1939-40 period, at least for north andnorthwest Europe.
Per SoS Rule 41G-NTO Scenario, the game begins on the Dec I 39 Europagame turn and the Finnish player sets up first, except for his HCRunits. Per this same rule and along with SoS’ GE Weather Table we candetermine that the SoS NTO Winter War game begins on the second turn ofWinter weather on map 35 (Finland). When the game starts the Sovietsmove first, then the Finns. Right now this study of the SoS NTO scenario& rules is likely to develop into a solo initial game with myselfplaying both the Soviet and Finnish sides in the Winter War epoch.
Areas of the final Finish set-up are similar to what is found in GaryStagliano’s “Historical Finnish Deployment” in Europa #42. Northof the A weather line the set-up is quite similar except that both theHCR units 1-8 Ski III A at Oulu and the 1-2-6 Inf III A at Kemi (bothports at the northern end of the frozen Gulf of Bothnia) have been movedto reinforce the Karelian Isthmus zone. The 1-6 Ski III 41 is still thefarthest north Finn at remote and certainly freezing Ivalo (0610); thesupported 1-6 Ski III 2/PKR is still found at Liksa (3312), just southof one of the dogleg turns in the A weather line crossing overScandinavia. Just as in Stagliano’s historical Finnish deployment, Khumo(at forest road hex 2912) and the zone surrounding it, all just north ofthe A weather line, are completely unoccupied. Ditto for the ArcticOcean minor port of Petsamo (0304).
In the northern sector of what might be called the Lake Janis zone (theFinnish region to the NE of Lake Ladoga and south of the A weatherline), the 3-4-6 Inf XX 12 is placed at Ilomantsi (3711). In front offrozen Lake Janis at woods lake coast hex 4010 is the 3-4-6 Inf XX 13.Two hexes south of it on the icy northern shores of Lake Ladoga at woodssecondary rail coast hex 4210 are the 1-2-6 Ski III 1/KR and the primoHCR 4-5-6 Inf XX 5, guarding one of the main rail elements of supplyroutes (actually, the secondary rail line running on the 41xx hexrowjust above) for a Soviet invasion. Positioned behind this Finnish strongpoint, at Sortayala, on clear terrain rail Ladoga coast hex 4211, is the0-1-5 Const III Kar along with a resource point. Defending the easternend of the Ladoga lake isle of Valamo is the supported 1-6 Ski III 2/KR.However across the frozen full lake hex side just to the east of it, themainland Finnish point city of Pitkaranta at woods coast road hex 4310is left unprotected, just like at Soujarvi, a couple of hexes to the NEat wooded intermittent lake secondary rail line border hex 4008. Boththese point cities in eastern Finland are near the Soviet border andtheir transportation lines cross the border and penetrate eastwards intothe Soviet Lake Onega region, ultimately connecting to the Murmanskrailway.
Care is taken to punch out and clip the SoS Finnish and Soviet navaltask force & flotilla units which replace the vintage Europa “navalunits” found on the earlier AWW counter sheets. I believe all othercounters currently on the SoS NTO scenario game board are from AWW. Wedo not use the Aland Islands Holding Box found on the AWW Finnish GameChart (used in the SoS NTO scenario) and instead place the 0-1-8 CycleIII TL and the 1 pt River Flotilla (AA=1) Sisa in island hex 5021 on SoSmap E5C (at the point city/minor port of Marienhamn in the AlandIslands).
At the important Finnish Baltic port of Turku (dot city) are the 0-1-6Inf III HL and the 2-pt BD TF Ilmar (AA=1), another SoS naval counter.At Hango is the 0-1-6 Inf III HaL. At Helsinki are the Finnishgovernment counter, two positional flack factors, the 0-1-8 Cycle IIIVL, a resource point, and the D.XXI F type and the C.X A type air units,eg., the entire two unit Finnish air force. Farther east along the coastat Kotka (a clear terrain island/reference city/standard port/rail hexwith separate narrow straits & rail causeway hex sides connecting to theadjacent Finnish mainland just to the north) is the 0-1-6 Inf III KL.All these army ground units are part of the Coastal Defense Command.
At the strategically important Karelian Isthmus the Finnish set-up is aworrying headache with the need to keep in mind the particulars of theweather rules, the terrain, the Soviet set-up requirements of theLeningrad zone (Soviet Northwest Front), which is done after the initialFinn set-up, and a myriad of tedious but important SoS special groundunit rules. At strategically important Viipuri (a major port & dot cityat 4517) are a resource point and the 1-6 Inf III A, the final CoastalDefense Command unit. The five AWW Mannerheim Line at start fort counterhexes 4717, 4616, 4615, 4614, & 4613 spanning the land isthmusseparating Lake Ladoga from the Gulf of Finland contain the bulk of therelatively plentiful Kannaksen Army ground units listed in the AWWOrders of Battle booklet, along with the two HCR inf & ski IIIs”A” mentioned above. This mass of Finnish ground units in theKarelian Isthmus-Viipuri region contains nearly half the defense factorstrength total of the Finnish army (48 in this region compared to 28everywhere else in Finland, I think). Peter J. Rogers’ hard workingarticle “Defending Finland” from Europa #46 was referred to anumber of times, especially regarding the Karelian Isthmus.
Mannerheim Line Fort Counter Hex Initial Deployment:
G. of Finland coast hex 4717:
HCR 1-2-6 Inf III A
0-1-0 Art II SHRT
4-5-6 Inf XX 5
0-1-6 Inf III MLR
pos flk unit
Viipuri-Leningrad woods rail hex 4616:
0-1-5 Const III Kan
1-6 Art III 3
Central fort line hex 4615:
4-5-6 Inf XX 4
0-1-6 Inf XXX UR
2-6 Art III 2
HCR Ski III A
Frozen Lake hex 4614:
4-5-6 Inf III 11
0-1-6 Inf III RR
*2-6 Inf III 2
*2-6 Inf III 3
L. Ladoga coast hex 4613:
4-5-6 Inf XX 9
4-5-6 Inf XX 10
1-8 Ski III 1-2 J
pos flk unit
In front of the “angle” in the Mannerheim Line at importantKarelian Isthmus woods rail hex 4716 are the supported 1-6 Inf X 4(likely a “sacrificial lamb”), the 1-8 Ski III 3-4 J, and the1-2-8 Ski X Rv. Here, and perhaps at hex 4210 in the Lake Janis zone,and also on the Lake Ladoga isle of Valamo we hope to maybe utilize Rule14F-Ski Units and use the Finnish Ski units’ ability “…to attemptto retreat before combat during snow weather only.” Finally, thepractically worthless 0-6 Lt Tnk II 1 guards the Gulf of Finland clearterrain coast hex 4617, behind the Line .
The HRC 0-6 RR Eng III Yhd is placed at forest rail hex 3513, a littlesouth of the A weather line, to hopefully prevent Soviet motorizedexploitation (perhaps the Soviet Mot Inf XX 44) into the hex via theeastward facing frozen full lake hex side with a rail causeway. The lastFinnish positional flack factor is defending the factory counter atTampere (dot city at 3825).
From Gary Stagliano’s “A winter War Additions” from Europa #61we use the Soviet OB Changes, Fighter Superiority, and (J. Astell’s)Additional Soviet Deployment Restrictions. And from his “MoreAdditions for A Winter War” published in Europa #66 we take theSoviet Replacements Additions. We use some of the Ground Rulesstipulations mentioned in “NTO Replay” by Dean Moon & Mark Royerin Europa #67 along with the Europa Answer Guy’s comments (on 9-10-12)to my EA rules query a little earlier regarding some SoS NTO rulesquestions, in particular about the overland supply line lengths north ofthe A weather line in snow weather. For now we don’t consider the AWW OBat start Finnish forces at the Aland Islands as a required garrison perSoS Rules and believe they can be moved to the mainland in in the courseof the game. However, I currently consider the Aland Islands Garrison tobe essentially part of the Coastal Defense Command and therefore shouldnot move until the Dec II 39 turn, per the Finnish AWW OB.
From the SoS Scenario Rules booklet we intend to use all the AdvancedRules found in Rule 43. From Rule 44-Optional Rules we plan to use A, B,C, & D. We allow the Soviet player to utilize in the Soviet set-up athis option Optional Rule 44E6-10th Tank Corps. We say that the Sovietplayer does not have to inform the Finns what it has done regarding thisNTO Scenario Option until after the initial Finn set-up. We also allowthe Soviet player the option of utilizing Optional Rule 44E5-SovietParachute Brigades, but suspect that the Soviet player will likely optto bring in most, if not all, the parachute brigades as para-inf Xsrather than full fledged para Xs, so as to use them against Finnishguerrillas per Rule 39-Guerrilla Warfare.
Because I want to play the Europa Winter War campaign (for the firsttime) using the SoS NTO Scenario as the preliminary superstructure foran essentially historical “basic Grand Europa” 1939-40 battlescenario war game project rather than perhaps right away possibly goingdown what could be called a particular “advanced Grand Europa”Western Allied Winter War Scandinavian intervention rabbit trail, I willin some manner turn a blind eye to the Allied intervention die rollstipulated in Rule 41G3a-NTO Scenario Special Conditions: AlliedIntervention. That is until possibly the Mar II 40 Finnish turn,assuming the perhaps unlikely prospect that the Winter War doesn’t endbeforehand per the stipulations of Rule 41G3d-NTO Scenario SpecialConditions: End to Russo-Finnish War, which will be used. Of course thelast rule by its nature should be a factor in determining at least someof the necessary strategies of the Soviet & Finnish sides in the battlescenario. Here might be a good time to confess to likely turning asecond blind eye to the last sentence of Rule 41G3d: “If theRusso-Finnish war ends before any Allied or Axis intervention occurs,the scenario ends at that point,” if the project in fact gets thatfar.

Soviet Setup

As an initial study guide for the SoS NTO Winter War Soviet at startset-up we use the information in Sam Dahman’s “A Soviet Response tothe Finn Judgment,” in Europa #65. In a short article he presents aninteresting Soviet set-up, a good description of his Dec I 39 Sovietturn movements & activity, and a good summary.

Starting at the top northern end of the European continent with the AWWSoviet OB’s Fourteenth Army, the winterized 4-6 Inf XX 104 is placed atfrozen rough terrain border hex 0402, which is “…within five hexesof Murmansk” per the OB stipulation and also happens to be adjacentto Petsamo, in Finland. This placement also complies with thestipulation in J. Astell’s recommended Additional Soviet DeploymentRestrictions from Europa #61 which states that only “winter-capableand NKVD units may deploy anywhere in their army’s deployment zone.”Otherwise the non-winterized 4-6 Inf XX 14 might be a better choice forthis remote and desolate spot in the Arctic tundra, except that per theabove Additional Soviet Deployment Restrictions, non-winterized Sovietground units “…may only deploy in or adjacent to hexes containinga road or rail line.”

At Murmansk (dot city & Artic Ocean major port) are a positional flackfactor, the winterized 4-6 Inf XX 3, the 4-6 Inf XX 14 and the SoS DDflotilla-1 (AA=1).

To the south of Murmansk the 1-6 Inf III 529 is placed at remote andlikely quite cold wooded rough terrain road border hex 1507, on theKandalaksha-Torino transportation line. Facing it in Finland at Salla(at woods road junction hex 1510) is the 1-6 Ski III 1/LR.

Up against the frigid Finnish border at wooded swamp road hex 2108 isthe 4-6 Inf XX 163. Two hexes eastwards down the road from it atKestenga’s 1-cap permanent airstrip (at wooded swamp secondary railhead/road hex 2107) is based an I-152 F type air unit. Also at Kestengais the 0-1-8 Bdr III 2. This remote Arctic road is the Loukhi-Oulutransportation line. Facing it three road hexes westwards in Finland atKussamo (at woods road hex 2010, one hex NW of the border) is thesupported 1-6 Ski III 2/LR.

A little farther south at another remote & freezing woods road borderhex (2510) is the 4-6 Inf XX 54. A little behind it (eastwards) at Ukhta(at woods road hex 2508) are a 1-cap permanent airstrip, the 0-5 ConstIII 9, and a G-1 T type air unit. It is likely that beginning the firstSoviet turn the const III will begin upgrading the 1-cap airstrip to a3-cap permanent air field. This is along the Kem-Ukhta-Soumussalmitransportation line. Facing it down the road in Finland at Soumussalmi(at woods road junction hex 2612) is the 1-2-6 Ski III 1/PKR.

The remainder of the Soviet Ninth Army is clustered next theSoviet-Finnish eastern frontier border along the Rugozero-Kuhmo roadarea just above the A weather line. At forest road border hex 3110 arethe winterized Inf III 88/273 and the 2-6 Art X 45. At adjacent foresthex 3210 is the 0-1-8 Bdr III 5. Next to it at forest hex 3310, right onthe A weather line, are the 3-6 Inf XX 122 and the primo 4-8 Mot Inf XX44. Here in the AWW OB’s Soviet Ninth Army’s set-up J. Astell’srecommended Additional Soviet Deployment Restrictions perhaps for thesecond time begins to rub against what might be called the”otherwise” AWW Soviet OB set-up. For in this particular gamethe Soviet deployment restriction compels the placement of the 4-8 MotInf XX 44 here at this remote and desolate hex “adjacent to…aroad,” instead of maybe farther south along the 35XX hex row (theNinth Army’s southern limit of deployment), which would enable it tomore quickly get into battle, at least in the Lake Janis/Ladogan Kareliazone. Finally, at forest/woods road hex 3208 is the 0-1-8 Bdr III 3.Both this bdr III and the 2nd Bdr III farther north are poised to therear of the Soviet Ninth Army’s Finnish border front so that on thefirst Soviet turn they can march back to the Murmansk rail line andeventually arrive in the Karelian Isthmus zone in time for their Jan II40 conversion to Pltcl Pol IIIs. Here at this important war zone theycan in their converted mode likely better facilitate Soviet victory inthe Winter War per Rule 38H6-Political Police Units.

Beginning with the Soviet Eighth Army, the 3-6 Inf XX 56 is at forestroad border hex 3708, facing Ilomantsi three road hexes west in Finland.Two hexes behind it (eastwards) at woods road hex 3706 is the 0-5 ConstIII 8, implying that on the first turn it may intend to move eastwardsdown the road towards Medezhyegorsk on the Murmansk rail line.

Proceeding farther south at woods border hex 4007, adjacent to thePetrozavodsk-Soujarvi secondary rail line penetrating into the LadoganKarelia, is the 3-6 Inf XX 155. Two hexes to the south at woods”border salient” hex 4208 (w/ 4 Finnish border hex sides) is thewinterized Inf XX 168. Directly east of it at woods secondary railborder hex 4207 are the 4-6 Inf XX 18, the 3-2-8 Arm X 34, the 3-2-8 ArtX 8, and the 0-1-8 Bdr III 1.

Guarding the eastern shore of Lake Ladoga at wooded swamp coast roadborder hex 4509 are the 3-6 Inf XX 139 and the 1-9 Lt AA III 8.

A SB-2bis air unit is based at each 1-cap permanent airstrip at thefrozen White Sea port Belomorsk and at Medvezhyegorsk, both along theMurmansk railway. A little farther south on the same railway threeSB-2bis air units are based at the reference city of Petrozovodsk(4305), where there is an at start 3-cap permanent airfield. To the SWof it at the 3-cap permanent airfield at wooded swamp Lake Ladoga coastroad hex 4608 are based an I-16, an I-153, and an I-152, all F type airunits.

Skipping the quite important Leningrad-Karelian Isthmus Soviet zone forthe moment and jumping to the farthest west AWW Soviet OB forces placedon game map 35, the Soviets base at their recently acquired militarybase at Tallinn, in Estonia, a positional flack unit, an I-16/t10, andan I-153 air unit. This important Baltic military base was obtained bythe USSR through the auspices of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

At the Leningrad-Karelian Isthmus Soviet zone is found the rest of theAWW Soviet OB at start set-up forces. The following is only a partiallisting of the AWW Soviet OB forces and their hex locations for thecurrent game.

At the sea isle of Kronshtadt (4916) are the two SoS Task Forces Marat &O. Rev., the two winterized Marine Cmdo Xs A & B, the 0-1-5 Const X 7,the 1-6 Eng III 7, and the R-10 A type air unit. On the first Sovietturn the eng III & const X will likely begin to quick construct a 3-cappermanent airfield. In this game it is assumed that Kronshtadt is animproved fortress (w/ an intrinsic airbase capacity of 1 per Game PlayChart 1), although I don’t believe Kronshtadt’s fortress status isspecified in either the AWW or SoS rules or OBs.

At woods “border salient” hex 4814 (possessing three northernborder hex sides) are the two big 5-6 Inf XXs 24 & 70, the two 3-2-6 ArmXs 35 & 40 (for these two unique units, see Optional Rule 44B12-HeavyTanks), the 3-2-8 Art X 7, and a positional flack unit.

At woods road border hex 4813 are the winterized 3-6 Inf XX 142, the 4-6Inf XX 123, the supported 0-3-0 Fortified Area X Kar, the 2-6 Art X 19,the 4-2-8 Art X LVO, and a positional flack unit. Woods (see the AWW maperrata slip) Lake Ladoga coast border hex 4713 is left vacant.

At the SE Leningrad partial city hex 5114 are the 3-6 Inf XX 49, the 4-6Inf XX 50, and the two 3-2-8 Arm Xs 13 & 20. These units are poised tolikely leave the Leningrad partial city hex the first game turn eitherby admin movement and/or by rail movement and move farther north up theMurmansk rail line. The appearance of the 13th & 20th Arm Xs revealsthat the Soviet side did not opt to utilize the 10th Tank XXX unit perOptional Rule E6-10th Tank Corps. Based at adjacent Leningrad partialcity hex 5115 are the G-2 & TB-3 T type air units and the primo DB-3t Btype air unit.

All the remaining AWW OB Soviet Northwest Front ground units and Sovietair units are stacked in the other Leningrad full & partial city hexes(4 hexes).

 

Introduction

My first intention is to attempt to study & explore specifically the Winter War in its most updated Europa war game form, which is evidently in the SoS NTO Scenario. The goal here is to hopefully identify both the positive & negative features of the published SoS/AWW games, both in the context of the historical campaign and in the context of a “basic (read: historical)” Grand Europa schema. In using the term “basic Grand Europa” and it’s counterpart “advanced Grand Europa,” I will confess to trying to resurrect two perhaps archaic and currently frankly unused Europa war game terms which I believe will aid & abet the Grand Europa project in the 21st century war game market. To be sure, the concept of Western Allied intervention into the 1939-40 Russo-Finnish War War is a decent, worthy, and viable “advanced GE” project & concept. Western Allied intervention into Norway just prior to or essentially at the same time of the historical Nazi German invasion of Norway and/or a protracted Winter War dragging on to the same date may perhaps be a different kettle of fish. Perhaps more on this important topic later as (& if) the 1939-40 GE battle scenario project develops.

Right now tonight even more important than the angle of Western Allied intervention into the Winter War is the concept of the valiant and proud Finnish nation fighting against all challengers to their sovereignty, come what may, even against the demands of powerful Soviet hegemony under the leadership of the likes of Stalin & Molotov in their prime, who at that particular time followed a European foreign policy worthy of the early 19th century Tsar Nicholas I in his prime, and not at all of Litnitov, the recently deposed early 20th European representative of by then perhaps a more exquisite but definitely shattered and “long gone” epoch of “collective security” and the likes of the by then practically defunct LN. In this context Finland joins a stirring and rousing list of 20th century fighting nations like Poland, Greece, nationalist China, and even in the 21st century currently “politically incorrect” nations like Serbia/Yugoslavia who, in the WW II epoch, fought to the death for their national freedom and who immediately overthrew their government when they returned to Belgrade from Vienna after it servilely joined Tripartite in March 1941 because they evidently believed at the time that struggle and battle even unto death was the only road for oppressed nations of the 19th century to take to achieve genuine long term independence in the 20th century. I believe I could go on and on with particular examples. If Europa doesn’t carefully, faithfully, and accurately recreate these particular nationalist struggles for sovereignty against larger nations, like I think what is happening in the Winter War, then they miss the bus, I think, of one of the primary lessons of WW II and the 20th century for the 21st.

NOTE: Starting this turn at least, SoS NTO Scenario players playing the Winter War campaign might ought to take a look at and perhaps get acquainted with the SoS Master Sequence of Play Summary. It appears to me now after some study that both the SoS Rules & its one page Master Sequence of Play Summary is an early version of what was later refined into the much expanded & much thicker Wavell’s War Rules & its own enhanced two page Master Sequence of Play Summary.

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