Saturday, 23 May 2020

Missä luotien laulu vain soi

"where only the bullets' song played" (from Elämää Juoksuhaudoissa - Life In The Trenches)

It's a long weekend here in the UK, so I aim to get a game or two in. First up will be a play test of my home-brewed single page WWII rules. I find I don't have the willpower to learn new rules much these days. The simpler the better seems to be my mindset now. In the interest of getting lead on the table, I dusted off a one-pager I started a few years back but never got around to doing anything with. Now I've got a decent batch of Finns and Soviets finished I can test them out. I made a few tweaks over the last few weeks to hopefully improve them a little.

On Monday I've scheduled a FaceTime game with my son, who has even less to do now he's finished his degree. I have in mind a scenario inspired by an episode Tuntematon Sotilas (Unknown Soldier)* where the Finns' acting commander gets his men to retreat to a safer position before being cut off. I'll be in the role of 'games master' again and I'll run the Soviets in a semi-automated manner. I just need to work out a way of deciding how to 'automate' the Soviets flanking force, i.e. to determine when they find the path leading round the back. I need to get the balance right between creating enough jeopardy to make the Finns get a move on and not making it impossible for them to extricate themselves.

* I really can't recommend this book and film enough. I know I banged on about at length before.


  1. I look forward to seeing your game and hearing about your winter war rules. I had 20mm Raventhorpe figures for the period years ago, sadly long since gone. I got an Osprey history of the period as a whim buy in December and it has rekindled my interest in the period big time.

    1. Great to have you along TGM. The AAR will be up Monday night or Tuesday.

      The action will actually be set in the ‘Continuation War’, which is the Finns’ name for the war from 1941 to 1944. Specifically the scenario played will be in the Summer of 44 when the Finns are on the run following the Soviet breakthrough.

      The play test this afternoon wasn’t bad and led to a few tule changes, plus some reflections on the scenario.

  2. I’m looking for ideas for figures, books and general help with the period too.

    1. I’m probably not the right person to ask. I’m just dabbling. I’ve only read one book on the Winter War (the White Death by Robert Edwards) and only that novel on the Continuation War, plus various Finnish movies.

      In terms of models I use 10mm so I can make the most of my space and the scenic items I already have. Figures by Magister Militum, Pithead and Pendraken. The latter two do vehicles as well. You can get away with Germans and even Russians (without filled greatcoats) for the Finns but Pithead and Pendraken specifically do Finns. Winter War Soviets are harder to come by but you can use RCW infantry in those pointy hats if in greatcoats. You. Can even use German and Russian (captured) armour.

      There’s a couple of Finnish wargamers blogs out there with Winter/Continuation War coverage including On Wargames and Such.

  3. I've always had a soft spot for the Winter war Finns, it's just a good thing we didn't come in on their side as was mooted at the time! I suppose I could use my WW2 Soviets and start a small winter war Finnish, which would give me an excuse to get T26s and T28s which would be fun!
    Best Iain