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Author Topic: Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II  (Read 830 times)

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II
« on: July 02, 2022, 04:34:40 PM »

Gemigabok presents...
Winter of No Surrender
Campaign Eleven – Fangs of the Wolf
Game One – Part II -

Winter of No Surrender (WoNS) is a series of Winter War campaigns for Chain of Command and other game systems. This is our playthrough of the eleventh WoNS campaign – Fangs of the Wolf. The campaign is currently in playtest and will be released... later.

We're using Chain of Command rules with the At the Sharp End supplement, loads of special campaign rules, and 20mm figures. At the time of writing, we have John as Colonel Sharov and Janne as his assistant commander. We have Jarkko as Lieutenant-Colonel Susitaival, with Mikko as his assistant command.

Previously on Fangs of the Wolf:
Campaign Introduction:  https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4954
Game One, Part I: http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5107

The Finns are trying to bring down the Soviet Force Morale, but their own is not doing too well either. The situation could go either way...

Date: 20 December 1939, Day Twenty-One of the Winter War, 2200 hours, night.
Location: Table N, Konttipuro, about 36 kilometers north of the village of Suomussalmi, in central-eastern Finland. About forty kilometers from the border of the Soviet Union.

Weather Conditions: Cloudy skies, -20 degrees Celsius (+3 degrees Fahrenheit). There is about 20 cm (8 inches) of snow and it is snowing more, limiting visibility to 36”. Visibility is 18” in the dark, and, due to the continuing snowfall, a maximum of 36” with illumination. A semblance of dawn will appear around 0730 hours.

The dark wilderness is still being lit up by exploding Finnish mortar bombs. The Pre-Game barrage is still going on, though it has been useless in preventing the Russian defenders from deploying.

In Winter of No Surrender (WoNS), there are different kinds of pre-game barrages, depending on the available artillery assets. This pre-game barrage by two 81mm mortars is more of a harrasment than an actual threat. The Russian units will be able to deploy during it if they roll anything else than a one.


Soviet 22nd Platoon:
SL + 3 sections deployed,  Platoon sgt (JL) + 1 section in reserve. Force Morale 5, 5 pips on CoC die.

22-1: 1st section (in entrenchment in the south): LMG + 2 crew, Rifle Grenade launcher + 2 crew remain (total 4 men). Platoon leader, Medical Orderly, Company Politruk and Company Sgt. Major all in same entrenchment. Sniper nearby.

22-2: 2nd section (in entrenchment in Struggling Woods): JL + 11 men (all) remain. Company 2nd in command in same entrenchment. Firing at Finn section #1.

22-3: 3rd section (at northern edge of table): JL + 11 men (all) remain. Firing at Finn section #1.

The rest of company command team: Annihilated.


Soviet 23rd Platoon:
SL + 1 section deployed, Platoon sgt (JL) and 3 sections in reserve. Force Morale 6, 3 pips on CoC die.

23-1: 1st section just east of road, at northern part of table. JL + 11 men (all) remain. Platoon leader is with them.

R: 5-man radio team: All dead (the team should have been only JL+ 1 man, I confused myself. They must've had additional guys ordered to assist :) )

T: Teamsters in the middle of the road. Junior Leader + 15 men alive, one down. 32 horses which I forgot to place onto the map (will try and correct the situation next time)


3rd Company 1st Platoon (Kora): Platoon sergeant (SL) and 3 sections deployed. Platoon leader, 2 messengers and 1 section still undeployed. Force Morale 5, no pips on CoC die.

1: 1st section: 4 men (SMG man plus 3 riflemen) remain in entrenchment near road. 5 points of shock, Pinned.

2: 2nd (LMG) section: JL + 6 men at southern edge of forest with Platoon Sgt, firing at 22-1.

4: 4th (LMG) section: JL + 6 men moving east in the forest


3rd Machine-Gun Platoon: Deployed 3 MMG sections and 1 Half-Platoon Leader (SJL). Platoon leader, 1 Half-Platoon Leader (SJL), two messengers and 1 MMG section undeployed. Force Morale ?, one full CoC die.

M1: 1st MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, 1 shock at edge of woods. Half-Platoon leader (SJL) deployed and attached to 1st and 2nd Sections.

M2: 2nd MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, 1 shock at edge of woods.

M3: 3rd  MMG section (team), JL + 5 men at edge of woods.

Both sides may still have unknown, undeployed forces.

The situation is precarious. The Finns need to retain an FM of at least 3 for one platoon and win the fight in order to conquer this table. The Russians have entrenchments  for just about all of their troops and their basic rifle platoon has much more firepower than the Finnish equivalent unit. On the other hand the Finnish MMG platoon has a serious edge in firepower.. and the Force Morales of both sides are very equal and they are getting to the point where loss of command dice is about to start happening... in short, anything could happen.

In the south, John's rapidly dwindling 1st section, now reduced to four men (the LMG gunner and assistant, the rifle grenadier and his assistant), his platoon leader, the medical orderly and the politruk as well as the company's sergeant major are all in the same trench. This is a big problem as Mikko's three medium machineguns and Jarkko's LMG section are all firing at them... what's worse, the trench is lit up by the nearby burning truck, without which many of the Finns would have trouble engaging them.

A long burst of tracer bullets cuts down the company sergeant major, wounded, he slumps into the entrenchment... John's platoon takes this very badly, their force morale dropping from five to three! Apparently the sergeant major is well-liked by all. This then causes the 22nd platoon to lose a command die, and one of their sections must retreat to the closest jump-off point. John chooses to ”retreat” with the northernmost, 3rd section who are already touching their jump-off point so they do not need to go anywhere.

Sensing John's 22nd platoon falter in their resolve, Janne's 23rd platoon must make a Bad Things Happen roll. They roll a five, and their force morale drops from six to five.

The next burst from the MMGs hits the 22nd platoon's 1st section and the rifle grenadier's assistant loses his life... there are three men left in the section...

Jarkko's LMG section adds its fire into the firefight...

It is the rifle grenadier's turn to kick the bucket, the section now consists of two men, the LMG team.

They have three shock but thanks to the attached platoon leader and medic that they are not yet pinned.

This does not look good, but John has a plan... The 4th company commander is still undeployed. He is a Ranking Senior Leader and his arrival would provide a very welcome morale boost of two whole points of Force Morale for both of the platoons. Of course should he get killed, the morale hit would be devastating.

But there is a difficulty, the company commander is not going to come and oversee the company's defense unless at least two sections of both platoons are in the fight, and thus far Janne has only deployed one single section.

Janne would like to have his already deployed section charge the pinned remnants of Jarkko's Finnish 1st section, That would save his jump-off point which the White Bandits have disabled, and probably destroy the pinned section (actually a team by now), causing Jarkko some morale damage.

Janne's command dice roll permits only one activation of a section, but John is able to persuade Janne to deploy his second section into the southern entrenchment instead of charging with his first section. They run into the entrenchment to help their comrades and open ferocious fire at the Finnish machineguns.

The section shoots with their LMG, many rifles, and even send a rifle grenade in the enemy's direction...

Despite the darkness the section's fire is surprisingly accurate... three of the machinegunners of the second MMG section fall down dead. The third MMG section too suffers three points of shock...

Now would be the moment to bring in the company commander and raise the Force Morales of the platoons back to levels where they have their full four command dice... but alas John's command dice roll does not permit this!

Conscious that if he stays with the 23rd platoon section he will still be dividing the hits from three Maxim type machineguns, John uses a 2 to attempt to sprint away from the enemy. In WoNS, shock does not slow you down when you retreat, but John's roll of 7 for movement leaves the platoon leader and LMG loader in lesser cover than the medic and the LMG gunner, who jump into a ditch. 

Their movement betrayed by not only John's own illumination rocket, dangling on its parachute a hundred meters above the firefight, but also by the burning truck, the platoon leader and the loader are at the edge of the ditch when the Finns open up with everything they have...

The LMG loader dies in the flurry of tracer bullets but the platoon leader manages to escape the dreadful fate which Mikko has reserved for him...

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 04:35:14 PM »

Seeing this, Jarkko decides to take a risk and deploy his last section at the southernmost jump-off point...

They too also fire at the fleeing Russians...

The bullets mostly miss everyone, but one hits the platoon leader, wounding him. The word spreads like wildfire, the sub-lieutenant has been wounded! The 22nd platoon's Force Morale plummets from 2 to 0! They flee from the battle!

Seeing that the 22nd platoon routing, Janne's 23rd platoon suffer yet another drop in their own Force Morale, which drops to a 2! Faced with the prospect of continuing this uneven battle with just two Command Dice, Janne realizes that he too needs to retreat. The 23rd platoon has not lost a single man yet, but their will to fight is gone.

This shows the greatness of Chain of Command as in many other games whole platoon-sized units would fight to the death which is totally unrealistic.

The battle is over, and the Finns of Group Wolf are in control of Table N.

Employing what will later be thought of as classic motti tactics, the Finns have now split the Red Army forces into two, smaller encirclements. While this makes the forces on Table N obvious targets for counter attacks, the Russian HQ must be located in one of the encirclements and it will have trouble giving orders to the units in the other. What's more, the Soviet supply units, workshops and field hospitals may have difficulty servicing all of their troops, depending on how they are arrayed inside the encirclements.

Meanwhile, the Finns can concentrate their meager forces on one of the encirclements, leaving the other one for later.

The Russians retreat. As John's 22nd platoon has routed, we determine the direction of escape for every section separately. John's 1st and 4th sections end up fleeing south with their company command to Table O, while his 2nd and 3rd retreat north to Table M.

John's 4th Company 22nd platoon has lost four men and the section leader from his mauled 1st section. In addition, three men from the section are now wandering about in the dark forest and will not make it to civilization until daylight, Campaign Turn six. The wounded platoon leader will be patched up by the next battle and he remains Cheerful. The men's opinion drops to -2.

Janne's 4th Company 23rd platoon did not suffer any losses in the battle, but they just did not feel that they could hold in the situation. They and their supports retreated south with all of their supports. The men are pleased with their leader's performance and their opinion is now at +2. The platoon leader himself turns from Secure to Cheerful.

The 4th Company HQ lost the company's politruk and one messenger, and the company clerk is missing (with the company's records and the battle diary) but he will find his way by the morning, and the HQ is otherwise in top shape. The Company Commander is sorry that he was delayed and unable to make his presence known before the situation unraveled.

The radio team have lost their radio, the codes and frequency documents. The team leader and two men are dead, one man is missing, and of the team only one man remains.

Only one of the 16 teamsters was killed, but they left all their horses and wagons before retreating south. The divisional transportation company trucks were also lost to the enemy.

With the loss of Table N, Colonel Sharov's Opinion drops to -2. If it reaches -10, he will order a general retreat and the whole Battalion will flee into the woods, losing all its equipment.

The victorious Finns of course have it good. The Opinion of Lieutenant-Colonel Susitaival (Jarkko) climbs from -1 to +1. He is clearly impressed by these northern men.

Jarkko's 3rd Company 1st platoon's 1st section was devastated by the concentrated fire of multiple Soviet sections. But thanks to the difference in Force Morale in the end they only lose the section leader and one of the men. Their success propels their Opinion to a solid +2.

Mikko's 3rd Machinegun platoon's meager losses are compensated by the Force Morale difference and as a result their Opinion ends up at +1

Being typical northern men from Kuusamo, both platoon leaders are Thoughtful and not showing any emotion.

Inspecting the trucks, the Finns find most of them empty or full of non-useful stuff but one of them is loaded with many boxes of small-arms ammunition, which the Finns immediately take into use as Russian ammo fits Finnish small arms. The victors make no effort to try and start any of the trucks as there is literally nowhere to drive them.

The sixteen wagons prove to be much more interesting as they are full of engineering supplies. Indeed, the Finns have stumbled upon the Combat Equipment Supply Group of the Regiment's Engineer Platoon! Luckily one support unit the Finns brought along was an engineer section so they know a lot about these items and thus their Capture Rolls are much easier.

The wagons are loaded with ropes, chains, beams and lumber plus lots of tools ranging from saws, picks, drills and shovels to winches. Most importantly, two of the wagons contains crates of anti-personnel mines enough in number to emplace two anti-personnel minefields. A third wagon has enough anti-tank mines for one more minefield. And in one wagon they find four battery-operated mine detectors which can be attached to rifles. They also discover twelve two-kilogram satchel charges but discard them because of damage from the mortar bombardment and because they are unable to figure out how the fuses are to be placed in them. Of the 32 horses, only 10 are deemed to be good enough. Some have bolted while others died in the bombardment. Nevertheless, this is definitely a good amount of war booty.

The night will continue next turn, which will be number 5 or 17. We're about a third of the way through the campaign. Will the Soviets make a counter attack, or attempt a break through towards the north or the south? Or will the Finns continue to reduce one of the smaller encirclements? Or will all of these happen?

Stay tuned for more Winter of No Surrender series games in the near-ish future!

More on Fangs of the Wolf:
Campaign Introduction:  https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4954
Game One, Part I: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137031.0

The minis:

Some of our Chain of Command campaigns and games:
Rajajoki Station http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4857
Fire in the Sky http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4055
April 9th http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3636
Citadel – The Breakthrough – Grossdeutschland Attack at Kursk  http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1353

Other Games:
The Drive on Minsk; http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=815
Unternehmen Nordwind: http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&p=30957

Our Clubs:
GeMiGaBoK: http://www.the-ancients.com/gemigabok/
Stadin Strategit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/474796192532203
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 04:38:45 PM by 7dot62mm »

Offline MaleGriffin

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1738
  • Don't bother running.... You'll just die tired....
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 10:07:14 PM »
Fantastic looking game! Great terrain! Superb vehicles and troops!
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

Offline cuprum

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2476
  • The East is a delicate matter!
    • Studio "Siberia"
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2022, 03:47:03 AM »
Impressive! Beautiful game.

Offline Seuchenhexer

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 119
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game One Part II
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2022, 06:50:09 PM »
That is a amazing battle report, and a really nice board.


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