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.