Thursday, October 1, 2015

Summer in Karelia - A Setback for the Revolution

Earlier this week Jeppan and me played another game of Big Chain of Command set in Karelia during WWII. As usual, Jeppan commanded the the Finns and I ran the Soviets.
This game was a departure from our early war winter gaming in that we used our new summer figs and also set the scenario to July 1943. This not only allowed us to use our new figs and tanks, but also meant we could use different bits of terrain.

Red tanks on the move in Karelia.

Scenario & Mission

We decided to do a pretty basic encounter scenario with both sides simply having the mission to force the enemy to withdraw. There were no terrain objectives.


The table contained a sprawling Karelian village with some surrounding fields, low hills, bits of woodlands and the occasional patch of rough going.


We used two platoons per side. Since this scenario is set in later part of the war, the forces available are a little different to what we're used to.
Jeppan used a standard Infantry platoon with a PAK40 AT gun and an HMG added.  tank platoon had a captured KV-1E and two of the quirky BT-42 assault guns.
I used the army list included in the rule book for my rifle platoon, and added a T-34/76 obr 42 to provide direct tank support.
The tank platoon consisted of 3 T-34/76 obr 42 and I added an Elite squad of SMG-equipped Razvedki scouts in support.


The Soviets gained initiative and managed to deploy most of their smallish Rifle platoon in the village centre and on the left flank with the attached tank.

Soviet rifle squad deploys on the left
Only a single squad deployed slightly to the right side of the table. The Soviet tank platoon did not fare as well and only managed to enter two tanks sector in the first phase. Not great, but no disaster either.

The Soviet tank platoon enters on the right flank supported by a Rifle squad
The Finns brought on their infantry platoon opposite the Russian infantry and both sides advanced cautiously. The Finn tank platoon then had a remarkable mix of both good and bad luck; it managed to get several double moves but could only enter the Commander's KV-1E tank (!). None of the BT-42s managed to make it onto the table for several phases.

Early Game

Finn infantry rushed forward onto the village as the Soviet tanks all entered the table. Long range infantry fire did not really accomplish much for either side.
The KV-1E trundled on up the centre using all those double moves (in spite it being a Slow tank) and parked opposite the Soviet T-34s.

The Finn KV-1E faces the Red tanks single-handedly. Thick armour really does help.....
It managed to shrug off a large number of hits from the Red T-34s, proving that all that extra armour does more than just weigh the thing down.

The Soviet T-34s blasting away at the Finn KV-1E.


On the Soviet left flank the Finn infantry advanced a bit and the largely inconclusive fire fight continued.
Then the Finn infantry platoon got a double-move and cunningly used it to deploy their PAK40 in LOS of a lone Soviet T-34 and then fire before the poor T-34 could react, knocking it out. And at roughly the same time one of the BT-42 finally struggled onto the table and rolled up to Soviet left flank where it started firing that howitzer at some Red infantry in a patch of woods, killing a couple of my heroes before the Soviet squad fell back out of LOS. Darn.
But revenge was not long in coming. The Soviet tank platoon also got a double move and quickly redeployed a couple of T-34s to  blast that nasty PAK40. The KV-1E just continued to absorb the 76mm rounds that kept hitting it, but eventually acquired a couple of Shock Points. it quickly withdrew and recovered.

Taking advantage of this the T-34 supporting the Soviet infantry platoon advanced slightly and engaged the Finn BT-42 that kept the Red infantry from engaging their Finn counterparts. A single round dispatched the BT-42 and allowed the Soviet infantry to advance into firing positions again.

The first BT-42 is knocked out
The infantry fire fight heated up and one of the Soviet squads was badly hit, but managed to eliminate the Finn HMG. Still, the Finn infantry was closing in on the left flank.


The final part of the game saw lots of action all along the front. On the Soviet left, the Finn infantry advance continued and the Finns succeeded in gradually wearing down the Soviet infantry. One Red infantry squad routed and the other got locked into inconclusive long range fire against the the advancing Finns. The Soviet squad inflicted some casualties, but also suffered itself, accumulating more and more Shock points.
And the Finns managed to capture one of the Jump-Off Points on the Soviet left.

The Finn infantry has taken a Soviet Jump-Off Point. They take losses, but just keep on coming
At the same time the Finn KV-1E had managed to remove the Shock Points just as a Soviet T-34 engaged it from the rear while a second kept firing from the front.

A Red T-34 outflanks the KV-1E, but not even that is enough to take the beast down....

The KV-1E managed to knock out the T-34 behind it with a single round, but itself finally fell victim to another volley of 76mm from the remaining T-34s.
At about the same time a Soviet infantry squad in the village centre managed to rush forward and capture a Finn Jump-Off Point. Things looked good for our revolutionary heroes.
The second BT-42 had now entered the table but was quickly destroyed by the Soviet tank platoon commander's T-34.
This eliminated the Finn tank platoon, but the infantry was still in decent shape.

The Soviet tank platoon commander knocks out the last BT-42 and is about to take out the Finn squad by the house.
On the Soviet right, the lone Finn squad was decimated and routed by the Soviet tank platoon commander's vehicle, and the T-34 supporting the infantry inflicted casualties on one of the Finn squads in a house. But the Soviet infantry platoon kept suffering casualties at an alarming rate. Very tense.
On the Soviet side, the infantry platoon was losing rapidly with one squad routed, another heavily engaged and the third too far away from the decisive action. On the positive side, the Soviet infantry platoon still had their supporting T-34 in action.
The Soviet tank platoon had just one tank left along with the Razvedki squad.
Would the Finns be able to knock out the Soviet infantry before the remaining Soviet tanks could save the day?
A first attempt by the Finns to rush another Soviet Jump-Off Point was repulsed with losses, but another shortly after succeeded in reducing the Soviet infantry platoon's morale to a point where it ran for home. Darn.
At this point we decided to call it a day with a very closely fought victory for Finland. The remaining Soviet tank platoon only had one tank and a reduced squad of Razvedki still in action.

At his Field HQ, Marshal Mannerheim celebrates with a nice cup of tea and a cigar before sending a well-earned thanks to the Finn troops involved in this fight.

As night falls over the the Kremlin, Comrade Stalin glares at his apprehensive entourage and  mutters darkly about traitors, saboteurs, gulags and revenge......


  1. Very nice AAR and splendid pictures of great minis and terrain !

  2. Lovely table and I do love the Finnish camo schemes:)

  3. Great AAR! Your summer setups look every bit as good as your winter ones.

  4. Hooray for the Finns!
    About time they kicked some red behinds

    1. The Revolutionary Heroes are preparing a suitable revenge tonight. Comrade Stalin is watching.....