Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Day Battle Report

Russian players consider their deployment...
This year, as is the tradition, the Winnipeg Conscripts gather at my house for a meal and a game on New Year's Day. My wife wracks her brain to come up with an appropriate meal that suits the game, and always lays on a delicious spread for me and the boys. This year was no exception!  Pam whipped up a delicious batch of Finnish meatballs, perogies, noodles and cooked carrots.  Conscript Frederick supplied libations in the form of Finnish aquavit, vodka, lime cordial and Sprite which was mixed into a delicious cocktail - thanks Frederick!


Conscript Frederick performs the "blessing of the Finns", while Dave V., Brian and Mike F. look on... 
This year I put on a game with my new Finns vs. Russians in a skirmish battle from the Continuation War.  The scenario was a classic tactical encounter from the period - the Finnish "motti" or battle of encirclement.  The Finns would plan to ambush a Russian convoy, cut off one part from the others, surround it and destroy it.  Their word for this - "motti" - means a measure of firewood.  Some have said that this refers to a "bite-sized" chunk of an enemy force isolated and brought to battle, while other attribute the usage to the result - enemy bodies stacked like cordwood!  Either way, very evocative. 

T34 lines up a shot at the Finnish KV-1 - but could Kevin roll anything higher than "2"??? (no)
 To simulate such an encounter I used a scenario from a previous edition of Warhammer 40K, "Breakout".  The attackers (Russians) deploy in the central 12" of the table and to win, must exit half or more of their units from either short edge.  The defenders (Finns) first split their force into two parts, and allocate each part to one short table edge.  The attacker deploys first and gets first turn on a roll of 2+ on a d6.

Russians prepare to break out...

Finns and their captured armour...
The end result was a close-run thing indeed!  The Russians managed to get their fourth unit of eight off the table in the last turn.  The rest of the Russian force was destroyed!  I think the Finns acquitted themselves fairly well for being a newly painted army, although their captured KV-1 tank was in an inconclusive game-long standoff with a Russian T34.  One of the more exciting parts of the game was a last-turn dash out of cover by the Finnish AT section to destroy the T34 with rear attacks by Molotov cocktails - very cinematic.

Happy New Year from the Conscripts, l to r: Kevin, Brian, Dave V., Greg, Mike F., Frederick, Dallas, Cam
It was a great day - thanks to all for coming out, to Pam for the food (best wife EVER!!) and Frederick for the booze, and to the rest of the lads for beer and snacks.  Looking forward to another great year of gaming in 2011! 

4 comments:

dawnofthelead.com said...

As a Finn it's always great fun to read about this project. It's really interesting that someone's actually gaming a rather poorly known piece of the history of a rather poorly known country.

What made you take interest in it?

Sylvain said...

Happy New Year Winnipegers.

Dallas said...

Thanks for the comments!

@dawnofthelead... Winter War/Continuation War has been in my mind for awhile as an interesting and different aspect of WW2 to game. Since I have 28mm Germans (early and late Heer, W-SS and Fallschirmjagers), Russians, British (early and late infantry, Commandoes and Paras), French, and US Paras already it's something different. Also, a reason to paint figures in winter gear which is an interesting challenge. Winter is a big part of life here as well as in Finland so we have that in common! Glad you're enjoying the project, I should post pics of the bf109 I did for the game but never used...

dawnofthelead.com said...

If you haven't already, I strongly suggest you get your hands on some of the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talvisota_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknown_Soldier_(1955_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknown_Soldier_(1985_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rukaj%C3%A4rven_tie

Fine stuff, all of it, and can be found online, if you don't want to invest a lot of money in PAL dvd's. The Unknown Soldier - both versions - is THE Finnish war movie.

all the best,

Mikko / DotL