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Author Topic: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two  (Read 621 times)

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 74
Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two
« on: July 12, 2022, 08:13:44 AM »

Gemigabok presents...
Winter of No Surrender
http://www.saunalahti.fi/~ejuhola/7.62/chainofcommand/WoNS_1-2/index.html
Campaign Eleven Fangs of the Wolf
Game Two


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: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137031.0
Game One, Part II: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137317.0



As you may recall, in Game One Group Wolf were able to wrest Table N, the Konttipuro marsh and stream from the Soviets. The two Russian rifle platoons defending the marsh fled, most units retreating south while the battered 22nd platoon disintegrated, two sections and the platoon command fleeing towards the north and another two sections running towards the south.




The Red Army's Group Sharov, a reinforced battalion, is now divided into two halves. In this situation the Finns should be able to concentrate their forces on reducing these pockets one at the time, and indeed that is their plan.This Campaign Turn, the Finns will launch a new attack, this time on Table J, the Ahola farm. But before that, the Russians launch a rather predictable counter-attack on Table N:




Date: 21 December 1939, Day Twenty-Two of the Winter War, 0300 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 22 cm (9 inches). Visibility is 18 in the dark. A semblance of dawn will appear around 0730 hours.



It is very, very dark. The Finns have been in possession of the table for about four hours... They've used that time well, digging foxholes and using the Russians' own anti-tank mines to set up a surprise for any vehicles which may be coming this way from the north.



Marching towards Table N from the north, the Red Army men hear three explosions from the south, Finnish engineers have blown up the three culverts passing under the road and they are now replaced by large craters... while this will have no effect on any tanks or infantrymen, all wheeled vehicles are now unable to traverse here, which potentially leaves half of the Combat Group's vehicles and guns on the wrong side of the craters. To fix the road, Colonel Sharov will need to take Table N and then get some engineers to do repairs.







The burnt-out truck destroyed by the Finnish mortar barrage in Game One is still smouldering, but no longer illuminates the area around it.



The ten horses captured by Group Wolf are still here, as is all the war booty.





Apart from the anti-tank mines and the mine detectors all the war booty is still in the Russian wagons as there has not been time to do anything with them.





Meanwhile, in the Group Sharov headquarters, located in one of the encirclements, the depressing news of the loss of Table N is heard. Regimental Commissar Podhomutov says to the Colonel: Comrade Polkovnik (Colonel), our 47th Army Corps has as its mission to take the city of Oulu by Stalin's birthday, that is today. It is my profound regret that we have not been able to accomplish this. The 163rd Division headquarters informs us that the 44th division should be here in about two or three more days.

But as today is Comrade Stalin's birthday, I expect that you will be amply motivated
(+1d6 to Decisiveness rolls) and that our men too will be filled with the exhilaration of performing their Patriotic Duty (each platoon has +1 to Force Morale result and they will be able to waive one Bad Things Happen roll in every battle today). I am sure that we will make this a day for Uncle Joe to remember.

The Colonel - who has been very passive all campaign long - stirs. Clearly not only Podhomutov but also Josif Stalin himself expects the Regiment to achieve great things today. Tell 4th Company commander, Comrade Mihailov to retake Table N, he says to his Chief of Staff, Captain Rodin. Yes, Comrade Polkovnik!



For reasons which I cannot get into in this AAR as the campaign is in progress, John and Janne elect to attack the Finns using just half of the 22nd platoon, the half which retreated to Table M.



The Patrol Phase is played online using IwouldLikeToRage's nifty Patrol Phase app... this time we have the colors logically, the Reds being Soviets and the Blue are Finns.

The Russians play slowly and try to entice their enemy to place some of their jump-off points in the woods on the northern half of the table. The Finns do not comply and place only one point north of the stream.







As anyone who has played wargames will tell you, assaulting two reinforced, entrenched platoons with just 24 men is going to be very challenging... probably impossible.



But John has a plan. In Fangs of the Wolf, both sides may fire as many pre-game barrages as they have ammunition for. John's plan calls for a horrendous artillery barrage to maul the Finnish positions and keep the thugs of the White Helsinki government at bay while his Proletarian heroes grab their jump-off points and cause them major Force Morale damage. It just could work.



John then plays his Heavy Mist campaign card the Finns notice that a mist rises from the snow-covered swamp, limiting visibility to 15 whether there is illumination or not.





And it begins... the Soviets have amassed at least ten 76mm pieces to provide this bombardment... compared to the puny pre-game barrage by two 81mm mortars in Game One, this is very problematic for the Finns who find that they need to roll a five or six to deploy any unit.



In WoNS, pre-game barrages can also damage vehicles and troops... one of the trucks is hit by a 76mm shell and it bursts into flames. Several others are damaged by shrapnel.





The bombardment is also very destructive to the wagons and carts full of engineering equipment... the two wagons containing anti-personnel mines are hit and disappear in roaring secondary explosions which momentarily light the dark woods nearby...



A total of seven wagons and carts are lost. The Russians also have 82mm mortars and some 122mm pieces bombarding the table. Some of the Finnish men cowering in their foxholes will later claim that some of the fire was clearly coming from the south even if most of the enemy guns seemed to be in the north. One cart is hit with a 122mm howitzer shell (HE 11) and simply ceases to exist...





The players roll Force Morale. Jarkko's infantry platoon has FM 9, as does John's half platoon. Mikko's machinegunners are clearly not in good spirits as they start with a force morale of 7 (8 minus one for the darkness).





Under the cover of the pre-game barrage, Janne deploys his 3rd section into the north-eastern woods, very close to the Finnish jump-off point next to the trench.







Janne's men go on overwatch.




At the same time John deploys his 2nd section into the trench next to the road. As in the last game, he is again illuminated by a burning truck but this time there is no one to see him.





John too places his men on overwatch.





At this point the entire Soviet force is on the table, apart from the Platoon Leader and the Platoon Elder.







Mikko realizes that unless he is able to deploy some troops into the easternmost trench right now, he is going to lose it on the next Phase!

He attempts to deploy his machineguns but fails... the men refuse to budge from the safety of their trenches. But this time Mikko is really well prepared, as he has bought a CoC die as a support option. In WoNS, such a CoC die cannot be used to end a Turn and thus he cannot get rid of the pre-game barrage...



But he can ambush with a team, in this case a machinegun team!



This is a very, very clever move which will probably save the jump-off point. I must say I and all other players were extremely impressed with Mikko's tactics here!



As he is using a heavy support weapon to ambush, Mikko does not have the option of withdrawing from the trench but he declares that withdrawing is anyways the last thing he would want to do at this point...











Mikko's machinegunners are from the battalion's machinegun company and are using the Finnish Maxim MMG model 33-32. This is a development of the original Russian Army Maxim PM 1909 machinegun mounted on an anti-aircraft capable tripod and featuring a metal ammunition belt which enables a much higher rate of fire. It is also equipped with a large cap on the barrel housing which makes it possible to stuff snow into the water jacket to cool down the barrel.



Keen-eyed 20mm scale players will of course notice that I'm using an Airfix Vickers MMG model as few companies made the Model 33-32 MMG until very recently. My intention is to get the models right in the nearish future.















The machinegunners send a long burst into the treeline, this is 11 dice of firepower. Janne's section is in light cover but thanks to the darkness it is upgraded to heavy cover. One man is killed and they suffer two points of shock...



Then Janne fires back, as his men are on overwatch...



A Red Army section actually has more more firepower than one MMG, they shoot back with seven rifles and a DP light machineguns, which is 13 dice. But the cover of the trench is increased to bunker level thanks to the darkness. Despite this one of the machinegunners goes down with a bullet in his throat...



Then it is Janne's turn. He reckons that his chances of storming the Class Enemy's trench or otherwise winning this firefight against the machinegun are small. He also has no reinforcements to draw on either. He pulls his men out of the woodsline. Out of sight, they cannot be fired on by the enemy.









Janne decides to try circumventing the Finnish position by making a roundabout via the east. The mist limits visibility to 15 and this may enable him to maneuver quickly...



Meanwhile, just south of the Konttipuro stream, Jarkko's first rifle section makes it into their freshly dug foxholes despite the horrible barrage.




Unfortunately one of the men falls with a piece of shrapnel lodged in his leg, he is out of the game and the section receives a point of shock.



Seeing that immediate progress in the east is unlikely, John deploys his platoon leader with 2nd section.





The platoon leader takes 2nd section and they start to advance to the south-west. The barrage is still going on and the enemy is having trouble deploying. If he is fast enough, he might be able to take one of the western jump-off points even though that looks unlikely.









The Soviets roll no twos or threes for their command rolls, so Janne is unable to do anything.





The mist is preventing Mikko's machinegunners from targeting Janne's fleeing troops from the cover of the trench. But Mikko now deploys another section just a couple of inches closer...



The half-platoon leader deploys in the trench.







The just deployed 1st MMG section is close enough to see one of the fleeing Red Army men, and they open fire.







While Janne is trying to avoid the unwelcome attention of the machineguns, John has advanced to the southern edge of the big woods.



There are no deployed enemy forces on this side of the road, but the Finnish jump-off points are still some 36 away from here.





RUSSIANS (Soviet 22nd Platoon):

22-2 (John): 2nd section at edge of woods. Platoon leader, section leader + 11 men (all) remain.

22-3 (Janne): 3rd section fleeing from Finnish machineguns: Platoon elder + section leader + 9 men


FINNS - JARKKO's FORCES (3rd Company 1st Platoon (Kora)):

1: 1st section: Section leader + 7 in foxholes


FINNS - MIKKO's FORCES (3rd Machine-Gun Platoon):

M1: 1st MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, at the edge of the trench.

M4: 4th MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, In trench, Half-Platoon leader (SJL) deployed and attached.


Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 74
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2022, 08:14:22 AM »






Mikko rolls another double phase he's done so once or twice already. Seeing that the eney jump-off point is presently unoccupied, he orders his 1st MMG section forwards!



The men grab their gun and ammunition and jog several inches towards the jump-off point, but are unable to disable it...





Mikko needs to shut down that jump-off point, he orders 4th MMG section to advance from its trench!







Then comes Mikko's second phase. His 4th section overtakes the 1st and reaches the jump-off point, preventing any further Russian incursions on this side of the road.



Of course the Russians are already fielding all of the forces that they have in this game, but the Finns have no way of knowing this.



1st MMG section now fires on the few Janne's soldiers that they see, Tracer bullets light the misty night and two of the Red Army men fall and the section gets another two points of shock.

Then it is the Russians' turn. It would be good to run away from the murderous machineguns, but John's command dice roll contains no twos or threes... Janne's men therefore look at each other, tracer bullets whizzing around them in the misty darkness, confused an unsure of what to do...



John's roll does contain a four however and the senior leader leads 2nd section towards the west, keeping inside the forest.





It is again the Finns' turn, and Mikko rolls yet another double phase. Jarkko plays his CoC die, ending the Turn. The captured jump-off point is destroyed and the Russians' Force Moral drops from 9 to 7.



The terrible artillery bombardment finally ends. Now nothing will prevent the Finns from deploying the rest of their units. The mist is still there however, restricting visibility to 15.





RUSSIANS (Soviet 22nd Platoon):

22-2 (John): 2nd section at edge of woods. Platoon leader, section leader + 11 men (all) remain.

22-3 (Janne): 3rd section fleeing from Finnish machineguns: Platoon elder + section leader + 7 men


FINNS - JARKKO's FORCES (3rd Company 1st Platoon (Kora)):

1: 1st section: Section leader + 7 in foxholes


FINNIS - MIKKO's FORCES (3rd Machine-Gun Platoon):

M1: 1st MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, at the edge of the woods.

M4: 4th MMG section (team), JL + 5 men, Half-Platoon leader (SJL) deployed and attached.


Both sides may still have unknown, undeployed forces.






Mikko has his 4th section move to the edge of the small woods. They move 1d6 inches and one rifleman shoots his rifle at the confused Russians, missing his mark completely. But the MMG is now set up for the second of his phases...



1st section again fires its machinegun at Janne's hapless troops. Another Red Army man loses his life and the section gets an additional point of shock...









Meanwhile in the south Jarkko has realized that the Russians will probably never get near enough that 1st section could have a few pot shots at them. He therefore moves them west, towards the Russian trench which the enemy dug for Game One.







Then it is Mikkos's second consequtive phase. He activates his junior leader and has him order the MMG section to start firing Sustained Fire on the slow-moving Russians. Sustained Fire is one of the special fire modes available to medium machineguns in WoNS campaigns. It designates a 12 diameter area which the MMG is targeting with furious fire with the intention of keeping the enemy down. If the enemy performs any activation in the area they immediately get half the MMG's firepower targeted on them (in this case 5 dice).

The senior leader then has the team fire on Janne's beleagured troops. They lose two more men and get some additional shock. They are now seven men, including two leaders, and have nine points of shock. They are therefore pinned.



In Winter of No Surrender shock does not prevent a section which is not in heavy cover from fleeing the enemy. The purpose of this rule is to avoid exactly this kind of a situation where the pinned section is not in any real cover and simply curls up in the middle of a field to die.

The Red Army platoon sergeant orders someone to throw a smoke pot. It lands perfectly and spreads a 6 blocking smoke in between them and the deadly, uncannily mobile machineguns...

The section then runs in a generally westernly direction, just slightly increasing the distance between them and the enemy.



Mikko has his 1st MMG section run through the woods and place their redoubtable weapon at the forest's edge.




Jarkko's men reach the Russian-built entrenchment.



On the Red Army's phase Janne's platoon elder has his men throw their second and last smoke pot. It too lands in a perfect spot, obscuring the section's retreat for another 6...



Janne is quickly running out of room on the northern edge of the woods...



Then it is again the Finns' turn. It of course comes as no surprise that Mikko rolls his fifth or sixth double phase in this game. We'd change his dice but like everyone else he is using the Discord dice bot. He must be bribing the dice bot programmers or something.



The Finns end the turn, and the Russian smoke pots fizzle out... revealing Janne's few men.









The MMG section leader orders his men to fire Sustained Fire into the location of the Russian troops. The senior leader then orders them to target the enemy... the burst causes another several points of shock on the Russians, they now have twelve points of shock and a total of five men and leaders...



Janne's remaining men flee the table. This then causes the Soviet force morale to plummet from seven to three... In the west, John's section is forced to retreat to a jump-off point, which he is actually glad to do as he was going to retreat anyways...

The game is over, the Finns have retained control of Table N.



I'm not sure if the Soviets had any real chance of winning this game, but they wanted to see if they could inflict some damage on the Capitalists. Mikko's strategy of obtaining the CoC die as support and then using it to deploy his men despite the bombardment defeated the Russian plans, and their defeat was sealed by his five or six double phases. In real life a section carrying a heavy machinegun cannot keep up with a rifle section, but in CoC if you roll a double phase every time, this will happen.

The Soviet 22nd platoon lost two more men in this skirmish and another two are presently unaccounted for but will be found by Campagin Turn seven. The rempants of the platoon's two sections retreat north.

The Finns lost two me on the table plus a further two undeployed men due to the heavy bombardment. The Finnish casualties are however compensated by the difference in Force Morale. The Finns have therefore lost no troops thus far in this campaign.

On hearing that the 4th company's counter-attack at Konttipuro has failed, Colonel Sharov's Opinion drops one point to -3. If it reaches -10 the Red Army will lose the campaign. Colonel Sharov declares to the assembled officers of his headquarters: Comrades, it is my decision that from now on we cannot squander our meager resources on these battles! We will send one point less of support to them, conserving our forces for the time when we will break out of this encirclement with the aid of the 44th Division. Fourth Assistant (Signals) get on the radio to the Divisional headquarters and ask what is keeping the Ukrainians!

The 4th company men are not discouraged by the current developments and they continue at -2. The 22nd Platoon leader continues to be Cheerful.

On the Finnish side Lieutenant-Colonel Susitaival, the commander of Group Wolf, is on a trip to the headquarters in the town of Kajaani. He gets the news via a phone call and his Opinion rises from +1 to +3. The Kuusamo men are doing splendidly, he muses while lighting his pipe, in the future I must give them one additional point of support in every battle. While in Kajaani, Susitaival also hears that Bicycle Battalion 6 (PPP 6) will be added to Group Wolf, almost doubling it in size.
 
A hundred kilometers north of him, the troops are also pleased. The Opinion of Mikko's MMG company men of 3rd platoon rises to +3 and that of Jarkko's 3rd Company men to +4. Both of these are high enough to add a +1 to their future Force Morale rolls.



But this was not the only battle during this campaign turn. We still have to figure out what happens when the Finns assail Table J, Ahola Farm. 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
Game One, Part II: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137317.0

The minis:
http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=790
http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=84&p=46130
https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=5133

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

Offline CapnJim

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3696
  • Gainfully unemployed and lovng it!
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2022, 05:04:17 PM »
I love your game reports.  It is obvious you have put a bunch of time and research into them.  Well done!   
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline MaleGriffin

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1724
  • Don't bother running.... You'll just die tired....
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2022, 06:18:09 PM »
Amazing! Absolutely amazing!
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

Offline Dr Bogo

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 145
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Two
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2022, 06:18:40 PM »
Really enjoyed going through that, thanks for putting in such effort into both the campaign and the report!

 

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