Another fab battle from Finland...this time a little twist on a scenario from the period concerning evacuating civilians from No Mans Land. In this scenario I wanted to examine the role of civilians in harms way and a method of Victory Points being available for the Russians which the Fins had to circumvent.
It is a clear day, no heavy weather temperatures only minus 20, it actually dropped to nearly minus fourty in 1939 the coldest winter on record in Finland at that time in living memory..A monastery and church sit in the middle of the battlefield with refugees before the Manaheim line which is protected by two heavy MG concrete bunkers; rare on the line most fortified positions being dugouts with logs as the Fins had limited concrete and steel to build casements etc.
The Monks of the Abbey are highly zealous pacifists and will not move, convinced their presence will prevent the maelstrom about them. The Soviets want the vantage point for artillery observation and as a launchpad for assault. The fins want the civilians and monks to move to safety.
Heavy Waether rules, random cards for events and reserves. Weather was rolled but was Normal.
The Monks of Godno are apolitical and heal writhing 16 inches all sides until convinced to support either side.
Each civilian base was worth 1VP and the Monks 2VPS. To remove them and get them safely to the
rear a combat base must be in contact and make a skill test. To remove the Monks from the abbey two back to back skill test rolls must be made.This means the Abbey context is work a total of 6 VPS for
the Russians and the Manaheim Line objectives of two bunkers 2 VPS each and the dragons teeth
road 5 VPS.
The Soviets had an infantry company of three depleted companies which were Strelkovy with Wave Attack and a Engineer company all with attached Machineguns which were low on ammunition with a reduced Rof of 4. They also had a tank company of two companies of T26 tanks of seven tanks each and a five tank flamethrower company. Only the infantry started on the board the tanks to arrive
In the card deck was artillery of 12x 122 artillery another Infantry company, very depleted, and 10 more T26 twin turrets tanks with air support and some other specials.
The Fins could pick 6 units from their two companies. They also had to man an empty MG bunker just completed and as well, hold the line, rescue the civilians and monks and therefore get troops forwards into No Mans Land.
In their deck their artillery, another Ski platoon, a full company of Sweedish Volunteers ( 8,000 served in Finland by the way) rated CT with their national HOH rules, and some specials including a Antitank, sled and the divisional antitank guns of 2 x Bofors Sweedish made ATGS and a single captured tank limited to the road...unreliable and overloaded and conscript class.
The Fins elected for 2 infantry, the 3 captured Russian 76s pressed into service, a ski platoon, MG
platoon and Mortars.
This was a damn exciting game no doubt about it.
The Fins won the first turn and immediately deployed the ski Troops from ambush whom raced for the Monestry against a hoard of incoming Russian infantry. As expected the battle gravitated around the Abbey. The Fins getting their tank, which blocked the dragons teeth road, the divisional anti tank guns and the anti tank sled pretty quickly. The Russians got the tank company reserves quickly. However due to the shortages, if a tank rolled a one to bog or double it immediately broke down. The Soviets lost 9 tanks this way that day.
Initially it went well for the ski troops but the Monks would not shift. A Russian assault got in failed to hit and they broke off leaving one base in the abbey to plead with the abbot. Eventually the corporal Fredricks was successful but now tanks approached at the double and the ski troops looked done for. However the sled ATG then attached to the ski troops opened fire and destroyed the command tank and two other tanks and bailed two more. Private Hjalmar was immediately elevated at the end of the game to a single man Team for his heroism but they were not out for it yet. The Russians captured and convinced a Finish base of civilians to turn coat and they pressed ther attacks forwards to both bonkers securing the church but the 1IC WAS CUT IN HALF BY A MORTAR ROUND HAVING BEEN SAVID ON SEVERAL OCCATIONS BY THE ABBOT.
Attack after attack took place on the bunkers, the Sweeds in their baptism of fire heroically holding the now manned HMG bunker casement supported by a Heavy HMG Finish platoon. Again and again the Soviets were cut down by the desperate Fins as they charged over the open in the snow. The flame tanks then struck and destroyed 5 bases or twenty men in one flame attack but then all bogged down just as the Fins thought the tanks would break through. Finish snipers continued to pin the enemy and the ski troops fell back to the lines as more Soviet tanks loomed. Then the abbot seeing the destruction returned to the field and set up an aid station for the Fins heartbroken that the abbey was lost and the Reds were pillaging the grounds for food and valuables.
And so it pressed on with theSweedish Volunteers finally rerepulsing the tanks in the last tur because they too bogged down.
The Soviets had lost 14 tanks, 9 mechanically broken down, the rest to the sled and 76 and Bofors ATG. In addition three depleted companies of infantry were mown down but the Fins had be sorely pressed although th y looked on in horror when the Soviet card for the artillery card arriving in the last turn for. 12 gun 1222 battery became available but then the Reds had no 1IC to spot.
The Reds had benefited from one turn when there was an. Eclipse to gain movements forwards under darkness and had forced the fins to deploy a minefield and remove a platoon but the fins and Sweeds had lost very little about 50 men compared to nearly 200 Russians the Flame tanks being the most devastating to them.
The Fins achieved 9 VPS the Soviets 1VP
Exciting and as we shook hands and marvelled at the game, we looked forward to more from the Finish War.
If you are interested in this campaign, have any ideas or suggestions please comment and if you are a regular reader please subscribe.
Laters and it is damn cold in the studio at present