Beginning with the easiest sectors, the farthest north Finnish unit, the 1-6 Ski III 41 at wooded swamp road hex 1013, retreats southwards six hexes to wooded swamp rail/road junction hex 1516 on the Kandalaksha-Salla-Torino transportation line. It is maneuvering to possibly take the place of the imperiled 1-6 Ski III 1/LR at wooded swamp road hex 1511, which is confronted by the much more powerful Soviet 4-6 Inf XX 14 at adjacent Salla, at woods road hex 1510. The beleaguered 1-6 Ski III l/LR retreats one hex westwards to wooded swamp road hex 1512. This will likely force the Soviets to ultimately keep the 1-6 Inf III 529 behind at Salla as its garrison; right now it’s close by at wooded rough road hex 1509. In the meantime it’s unlikely that the Soviet winterized 4-6 Inf XX 104 at Petsamo (0304) will begin marching southwards down the road towards Ivalo (0610). In any event it probably should stay at Petsamo as its garrison per Rule 37F.

However, an informative off-line email from an interested EA member has brought to my attention that the Soviet winterized 4-6 Inf XX 104 at Petsamo is likely in regular supply in SoS NTO scenarios per Rule 12B4-Tracing Supply: Naval. In other words, a “naval element of a supply line” can apparently be traced from the Soviet owned and controlled port of Murmansk to Soviet occupied and controlled Petsamo, at least until perhaps Allied intervention occurs. By the same token, I’m thinking that a Finnish ground unit at Petsamo, say placed there at the beginning of a SoS NTO scenario (and using all the SoS maps), could be in supply by the same “naval element” rule perhaps until German intervention occurs in the game. What does the EA Answer Guy think regarding both situations at Petsamo?

Farther south, the *1-6 Ski III 2/LR stays put at woods road hex 2114 on the Loukhi-Kestenga-Kuusamo-Oulu transportation line. The Soviet 4-6 Inf XX 163 four hexes eastwards at Kuusamo (2010) is likely going nowhere and will probably remain there as the captured Finnish point city’s garrison.

Continuing southwards, the 1-2-6 Ski III 1/PKR stands fast at Soumussalmi, at woods road hex 2612, on the Kem-Ukhta-Soumussalmi transportation line. The Soviet 4-6 Inf XX 54 and the 0-5 Const III 9 stacked together three hexes away at woods road border hex 2510 just inside the USSR will likely linger in that remote and desolate vicinity for a turn or two.

At woods road hex 2913, right on the A weather line, the 1-2-8 Ski X Rv still blocks the Soviet invasion penetration along the Rugozero-Kuhmo transportation line up to adjacent Kuhmo, just to the east at woods road hex 2912. At Soviet occupied Kuhmo the 2-6 Art X 45 uses the remaining air dropped supply point (done on the Dec II 39 Soviet turn) two hexes away at wooded swamp hex 3010 as a special supply source. The winterized 1-6 Inf III 88/273 stacked with it becomes black U-3 in the Finnish initial phase and is perhaps both cold and hungry.

In the vast Ladogan Karelia region stretching between Lieksa (3312) just below the A weather line southwards to Sortavala (4211) on the north shore of Lake Ladoga, the Finnish front line probably could be described as broken. There is a wide open three hex gap precisely in the middle of the front line of this important region at 3912-3812-3712, directly between the Lake Janis and the Lake Keitele zones. At the start of the movement phase the strongest Finnish unit in their flimsy front line in the Lake Keitele zone is the solitary *1-6 Ski III 2/PKR at forest hex 3611. Should the Finns maneuver to stand fast in the Ladogan Karelia or should they attempt a “run away” retreat to positions perhaps just beyond the Soviet regular supply limit of four overland hexes and four road hexes in snow weather to the Soviet rail net?

In the initial phase the *3-4-6 Inf XX 12 and the *1-6 Ski 2/KR units lost in combat last turn are resurrected with Finnish infantry replacement points and placed at Helsinki. This leaves the Finns with ½ accumulated infantry replacement points. A new resource point is also placed at Helsinki. Then, as if once again proving desperate men will do desperate things, the Finns burn their new resource point at Helsinki early in the movement phase per Optional Rule 44B2-Temporary Rail Capacity Increase, in order to add 2 ½ REs to their regular rail cap of 5. They then rail the *3-4-6 Inf XX 12 from Helsinki to woods rail/road junction hex 3713. Afterwards the Finns rail the *1-6 Ski III 2/KR to 4313, where it spends its remaining MPs to regular move across the frozen full lake hexside to the western end of Valamo Island at clear terrain island hex 4312. The Finns still have a remaining resource point at woods rail junction hex 4314. The 0-6 RR Eng III Yhd ends the movement phase at adjacent woods rail junction hex 4414, having moved one hex.

The reinforcement 1-2-6 Inf III 23/67 is brought on at Viipuri (4517) in the initial phase and in the movement phase it regular moves to Mannerheim Line fort hex 4615 at the center of the Karelian Isthmus. The reinforcement 1-6 Inf III 22/63 is brought on at Kotka (4521) and rails to Line fort woods hex 4617, as is also the Foreign Aid (via Sweden) reinforcement pos flk unit initially placed at Torino (1820) up by the Swedish-Finnish border. The reinforcement 1-6 Inf III 21/61 is brought on at Kuopio (3417) and rails to Sortavala. The 0-1-6 Const III Kar at Sortavala spends MPs to upgrade the 2-cap temporary airfield there to a 3-cap. The 0-1-6 Inf III HL at Viipuri moves one hex to Mannerhiem Line fort hex 4717 on the Gulf of Finland coast and the 0-1-8 Cycle III VL there moves one hex to occupy Viipuri, just in case. Then the *2-6 Inf X 1 starting the turn at 4616 first rails to 3713 and then regular moves one hex west to forest road hex 3712. The 0-1-6 Const III Kan remains at Gulf of Finland coast hex 4617, beginning the second and final turn of its two turn fort construction there.

By the end of the movement phase the dispositions of the Finnish ground units in the Lake Keitele zone are as follows:

Forest hex 3211 (on the A weather line): guerrilla unit 1-6 Ski X Kymen in combat mode, from 3311

Lieksa (3312): vacant

Wooded intermittent lake hex 3410: dummy guerrilla unit, never moved

Forest rail hex 3512: 0-6 Lt Tnk II 1, never moved

Woods hex 3511: guerrilla unit 1-6 Ski X SH in combat mode, never moved

Woods hex 3510: dummy guerrilla unit, never moved

Forest hex 3611: *1-6 Ski III 2/PKR, never moved; and 1-8 Ski III 3-4 J, regular moved from 3411

Woods rail/road junction hex 3713: *3-4-6 Inf XX 12, replacement railed in from Helsinki

Forest road hex 3712: *2-6 Inf X 1, railed from 4617 and regular moved.

By error the Finnish side accidently brought in a guerrilla unit and a dummy guerrilla unit on the previous Dec II 39 Finnish turn. These Finnish conditional reinforcements are supposed to come in on the “I” turn of each month. This error was also spotted by the interested EA member, who politely brought this to my attention. Consequently, no Finnish partisan units were brought in this turn and I think that fortunately the current war game has not been skewed or ruined by this error.

By the end of the movement phase the dispositions of the Finnish ground units in the Lake Janis zone are as follows:

Woods rail hex 3912: *3-4-6 Inf XX 13, regular moved from 4112

Woods Janis coast rail hex 4011: *1-6 Ski III B, regular moved from 4112

Woods rail junction hex 4112: 4-5-6 Inf XX 6 and 1-2-6 Inf III 21/60, regular moved from 4011

Sortavala (4211): 4-6 Inf XX 1, 1-2-6 Ski III 1/KR, and 0-1-6 Const III Kar, never moved; 1-6 Inf III 21/61, railed in; D.XXI F type and C.X A type air units @ the 3-cap temporary air field there

West end of Valamo Island hex 4312: *1-6 Ski III 2/KR, replacement railed from Helsinki and then regular moved.

By the end of the movement phase the dispositions of the Finnish ground units in the Mannerheim Line in the Karelian Isthmus zone are as follows:

G. of Finland coast hex 4717: 4-5-6 Inf XX 5, never moved 1-6 Inf III 40, never moved 1-6 Inf III 22/64, never moved 0-1-6 Inf III MLR, never moved 0-1-6 Inf III UR, never moved 0-1-6 Inf III HL, moved in from Viipuri 0-1-0 Art II SHRT, never moved

Viipuri-Leningrad woods rail hex 4616: *3-4-6 Inf XX 9, never moved *1-6 Inf X 4, never moved 1-6 Inf III 22/63, railed in reinforcement 1-6 Art III 3, never moved pos flk unit, railed in reinforcement

Central fort line wooded intermittent lake hex 4615: 4-5-6 Inf XX 4, never moved *1-2-6 Inf III B, never moved 1-2-6 Inf III 22/65, never moved 1-2-6 Inf III 23/67, never moved 2-6 Art III 2, never moved pos flk unit, never moved

Vuoksa Lake/Causeway woods rail hex 4614: 4-5-6 Inf XX 11, never moved 0-1-6 Inf III RR, never moved

Ladoga coast hex 4613: 4-5-6 Inf XX 10, never moved *1-2-6 Inf III B, never moved 1-8 Ski III 1-2 J, never moved pos flk unit, never moved.

It appears that at the Mannerheim Line in the Karelian Isthmus a critical mass, or tipping point, has been reached in the current SoS NTO scenario study. Next turn the Soviets have their big 9-6 Art XX 1 in place at the Karelian Isthmus front line at 4816, have at least two Pltcl Pol IIIs in the zone, and will very likely have two corps markers flipped to their regular stacking sides. The two most vulnerable Finnish Mannerheim Line fort hexes appear to be the G. of Finland coast hex 4717 and the Central fort line hex 4615. The latest calculations I’ve done for a maximum Soviet two hex attack next turn, using two Pltcl Pol IIIs, their art XX in place, 1/7 engineering attack capability, and the maximum SoS rules allowable GS addition adds up to around 49-51 ½, depending upon which of the two hexes are attacked. In my game, in these particular circumstances, a 3 to 1 -2 is prohibitive and a 4 to 1 -2 signifies a certain battle for a Mannerheim Line hex. All things considered, the Finns don’t want to add any more ground units to the Mannerheim Line, regardless of consequences at the Isthmus. In this situation the Finns will apparently “offer” G. of Finland hex 4717 to a likely 4 to 1 -2 and see what happens; right now it appears to be the expendable Mannerheim Line hex.

Kotka is still guarded by the 0-1-6 Inf III KL. At Helsinki (4526) are the Finnish govt. marker, the 0-1-6 Inf III HaL, and two pos flk units. At Turku (4230) are anchored the 2-pt BD TF Ilmar and the River Flotilla Sissa. This turn Finnish icebreakers keep the port of Turku open per Rule 37E1-Finnish Icebreakers. The factory still functions at Tampere (3825).