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Author Topic: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Three Part I  (Read 812 times)

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Fangs of the Wolf - Game Three Part I
« on: August 12, 2022, 09:00:13 AM »

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

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
Game Two: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137428.0

As you might remember from last time, Game Two, Colonel Sharov's Soviets performed an abortive - but forcefully supported by artillery - counter-attack on Table N, the Konttipuro marsh and stream. After a confusing firefight on the eastern half of the table, the weak attacking force had to retreat, leaving Table N still in the hands of Group Wolf. 

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. Now the Finns will launch a new attack, this time on Table J, the Ahola farm.

If the Finns are successful, the Soviet forces will be divided into three encirclements, further making life more difficult for them.

Date: 21 December 1939, Day Twenty-Two of the Winter War, 0430 hours, night.
Location: Table J, Ahola Farm, about 40 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 but reduced to a maximum of 15” due to a heavy mist. Dawn will arrive around 0730 hours.

It is still very, very dark as the Finnish attacking force ski through the wilderness towards Table J. The intelligence they have indicates that there are trucks and artillery pieces there, and that these parts of the encirclement are patrolled by tanks. After the horrendous barrage of Game Two, the thought of disrupting the enemy's artillery capabilities is very appealing to Jarkko and Mikko.

For their mission, they have chosen two rifle platoons from 1st Company as well as two MMG platoons from the Battalion's MMG Company, each with four MMGs This gives them more than a few options on how to arrange their units. As this will be a Big CoC game, each player will have a platoon of his own. In this campaign the two additional platoons will both furnish the attackers one section as supports. The Finns could take a rifle platoon and an MMG platoon, and give the rifle platoon one MMG as support and the MMG platoon one rifle section as support. Alternatively, they could take two rifle platoons and give each an MMG as support, or they could even  take two MMG platoons and give each a rifle section as support.

After some discussion, Jarkko and Mikko decide to each take one rifle platoon and an MMG section as support. In addition, they may have other units as support and this will be revealed later.

As they approach the Ahola Farm, the Finns of Group Wolf can hear the incessant booms and - despite the mist - they can also see the muzzle flashes of the Red Army's artillery light up the sky. The guns are firing the pre-game barrage of Game Two at Table N. This leaves the men in no doubt that Ahola Farm is indeed a location where the Russians have concentrated at least a sizable part of their artillery park.

Over one hundred trucks were captured in the encirclement and therefore we see trucks of the Transport Battalion on many of the tables. These are again parked vehicles which have been mostly emptied out by the Red Army troops during their two-week stay here.

The Ahola farm itself looks very worn-out now. The formerly relatively well-todo farmstead has been plundered by the invading Red Army troops and they have made a mess of the place.

The Patrol Phase begins. This is again a Motti scenario. The Soviets start on the road while the Finns arrive from both the east and the west.

We're again using IwouldLikeToRage's very handy patrol phase application.

The Patrol Phase ends with the Soviet jump-off points very closely aligned along the road.

Then we deploy all the units designated as Deployed First. These are the 7th Divisional Artillery Battery and the 56th Regimental Artillery Battery...

Altogether the Soviets have about 400 figures in this battle...

Most of them comprise the 56th Regimental Artillery Battery, a force of some 250 men which takes up two thirds of the road space at the northern half of the table.

Having just fired the pre-game barrage for Game Two about 1.5 hours ago, the men and women of the artillery units are now resting around bonfires, trying to cope with the horrendously cold winter night...

The 56th Battery is equipped with six 76mm Regimental Guns model 1927. These are of the modernized version with tires, though the guns are horse-drawn in this unit. The Regimental Gun is furnished with High-Explosive (with slow or quick fuses), Armor-Piercing and Canister/Shrapnel ammunition.

Not all of the 400 Red Army troops will be active in this scenario. The Russians will be able to mobilize two 76mm Regimental Guns with full crews. However at the start of the scenario only four guard patrols are active and the rest of the men are resting. The guard patrols are each composed on an LMG with two crew. The regimental gun teams each have an LMG in theit TOE, precisely because they expect to be operating near the front line. These guard patrols can be activated with a 1 or a 5, but the player's CoC dice total is not augmented if a 5 is used for this purpose.

At the southern end of the road we have the 7th Divisional Artillery battery. This is a much smaller unit than the Regimental Battery. 

They too are resting at fires, trying to make it until the morning in the freezing night. Because I need so many figures for this battle, I've had to mobilize just about all Russians I own. Therefore you may see some submachine gunners here and there, please ignore the SMGs, they're all carbines.

The 7th DA is equipped with four 76mm Mountain Guns model 1904. This is an obsolete Russo-Japanese War era gun with a very limited 5.5 kilometer maximum range. It also fires non-standard one-piece 76mm ammunition which includes HE and Canister/Shrapnel rounds but no armor-piercing shells. On the plus side the gun can be broken up into pieces and transported by mules if necessary.

We now roll for Force Morale. As Janne is unavailable today, John plays his forces too but as we're hoping to get Janne back for Part II of this game we'll refer to the other platoon as Janne's although he's not playing.

Thanks to this being Stalin's birthday, both Red Army platoons roll a 9 for their Force Morale. Jarkko rolls a 7 for his platoon while Mikko gets an 8. Clearly the Russians are feeling comfortable, warming themselves by their fires.

The first thing the Russians know about the situation they are in is when Jarkko's MMG opens fire at them...

Green tracer bullets streaking out of nowhere at them, the Russians are shocked by this terrible ambush!

In Chain of Command, units are usually fully aware of the enemy's presence and are immediately able to act when the enemy appears. But in a situation such as this, we need surprise rules and the campaign includes them. While the surprise situation lasts – until the end of the Turn at most – one of the Russian units' Command Dice will be considered a Blue Die. Blue Dice are otherwise normal command dice, but they only count if their result is a 5 or 6. What's more, the surprised platoons must use all of their command dice, i.e. they must always deploy or activate as many units as possible with their command die rolls, and no unit which deploys may fire or go on overwatch on the Phase when it deploys. The surprised units are also unable to withdraw until the surprise situation is over.

But the Finns have played a campaign card called The Smell of Mahorka, which means that as they approach the farm they can smell the tobacco of the Russian sentries. The card grants a greater state of surprise, meaning that now two command dice of each platoon are Blue Dice. The Red Army troops are indeed badly out of balance as the scenario begins.

The machinegun rounds tear into the Divisional gunners huddled by their fires... the results are devastating... The Fire Control Section (Z) loses a man and the section leader is wounded. The Battery Signals Section (11) likewise and the Telephone Team (12) and Radio Team (13) suffer similarly... shock is also mounting because night fighting is frightening...

Meanwhile, Mikko deploys his MMG and a rifle section to the edge of the western woods, right next to Ahola farm. The rifle section goes on overwatch while the MMG opens fire on the gunners on the road.

It is then the surprised Russians' Phase...

Near the transformer building, the Battery Commander runs to the closest 76mm gun and orders the guard patrol there to turn it towards Mikko's MMG. At the moment the mist prevents the gun from engaging the Finnish Maxim, but a move of a few inches will bring it within visual range.

On the north side of the table, the Regimental Battery Commander, Senior Lieutenant Prinyasilov, activates and saunters over to the closest 76mm gun. He tells the guard patrol there to grab their cannon and start manhandling it towards Jarkko's machinegun... they move only an inch or two in the snow.

At the same time, Jarkko deploys an LMG section just north of the MMG...

One of the Divisional Artillery teams routs through some other units adding to their shock...

As these are non-activated Deployed First units their routing does not affect the Russian Force Morale. Losses suffered by them do however make the artillery units less effective in the future.

The panic spreads and two Telephone Sections (I and J) of the Regimental Battery decide to flee. They run after and actually overtake the remnants of the Divisional Artillery Telephone Team (12) and Radio Team (13).

Meanwhile, at the Ahola farm, John's platoon leader stumbles half-dressed out of the farmhouse. What the hell is going on here? Due to the surprise effect, John must use every command dice and the platoon leader is his only sub-unit which activates on a 4.

Because the enemy is quite near here, deploying the platoon leader on his own is rather risky. It will also make it much more difficult to deploy additional forces later in the game.

Near the transformer building, Janne deploys his support section from 3rd platoon, section #9, into an entrenchment in the middle of the road.

At the Ahola farm, John's 1st section run pell-mell out of the house, putting on helmets and uniform jackets as they go. They jump into the nearby trench.

Mikko reacts immediately and places the southernmost few Russians under Sustained Fire. This is a special fire mode available to MMGs in the campaign where the Maxim machinegun fires constantly at the enemy. Any action undertaken by the targeted enemy will result in a five-dice attack on them.

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Three Part I
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 09:00:41 AM »

Next, Mikko has his MMG and rifle sections shoot at the Soviet section. Despite being in Bunker cover thanks to the entrenchment and darkness, the section immediately suffers the loss of two men and gets six points of shock...

More Finns arrive as Mikko deploys an LMG section next to his MMG.

The Russians, in RED:
0 - Jump-off-points
1 - 1st Platoon, 1st section, in trench firing at the Finns
2 - 1st Platoon, 2nd section, in the farm house, with Senior Leader right behind the house
9- 3rd Platoon, 1st section (support section for 2nd Platoon), in entrenchment
18 - 7th Divisional Artillery, Gun Section 2, 1st Gun, with Battery Commander attached
R - 56th Regimental Artillery, Gun Section Two, 1st Gun, with Battery Commander attached
U- 56th Regimental Artillery, Gun Section Three 1st Gun

The Finns, in BLUE:
0 - Jump-off-points
4 – 1st Platoon, 4th LMG section (Jarkko)
9 – MMG from 1st MMG Platoon (Jarkko)
5 – 2nd Platoon, 1st rifle section (Mikko)
6 – 2nd Platoon, 2nd LMG section (Mikko)
10 – MMG from 2st MMG Platoon (Mikko)

By now the Divisional Artillery's Fire Control Section (Z) has been pinned and several other teams are in bad shape...

Jarkko deploys his platoon sergeant to lead the fighting...

At the farm, John rallies a point of shock and has his 1st section fire at the enemy. Their marksmanship is impeccable and they score six hits. But Mikko does it again, rolling no effect on any of them. Despite their better cover and considerable firepower, the Russians are losing the firefight at the farm!

But it is not over yet! The previously deployed 2nd section bursts out of the door of the farm house. If they can reach the truck closest to the building, many of them will be able to fire at the Class Enemy... unfortunately John rolls only a 1 for their movement and their fire is therefore very curtailed by the trucks...

Now that four Phases of the Surprise situation have passed, John has a chance to improve his situation. He rolls a success and now he has three of his command dice functioning normally, and only one Blue Die. Janne meanwhile will continue for a further two Phases before making the same roll.

Meanwhile in the north, Battery Commander Prinyasilov order another two guardsmen to grab their gun and move it forwards... the progress is slow in all the snow however and their targets are still obscured by the early morning mist.

In the west, Jarkko moves his LMG section south, hoping that this will keep his men out of the reach of the Regimental gunners. He also deploys a rifle section (3) and they too seem to be heading south...

This was as far as we got last time. We will continue the game on August the 17th...

RED units:
1: 1st Platoon 1st Section (John)
2: 1st Platoon 2nd Section, with platoon leader behind house (John)
5: 2nd Platoon 1st Section (Janne)
9: 3rd Platoon 1st Section (support section for 2nd Platoon) (Janne)

56th Regimental Gun Battery:
B. Command Platoon
C. Headquarters Section
D. Support Detachment
E. Signals Platoon
F. Signals Platoon, 1st Radio Section
G. Signals Platoon, 2nd Radio Section
H. Signals Platoon, 3rd Radio Section
I. Signals Platoon, 1st Telephone Section
J. Signals Platoon, 2nd Telephone Section
K. Reconnaissance Detachment
L. Reconnaissance Detachment, Recon Team One
M. Reconnaissance Detachment, Recon Team Two
N. Regimental Gun Section One
O. Regimental Gun Section One, Gun Team One
P. Regimental Gun Section One, Gun Team Two
Q. Regimental Gun Section Two
R. Regimental Gun Section Two, Gun Team One
S. Regimental Gun Section Two, Gun Team Two
T. Regimental Gun Section Three
U. Regimental Gun Section Three, Gun Team One
V. Regimental Gun Section Three, Gun Team Two

7th Divisional Artillery Battery:
W. Command Platoon
X. Headquarters Section
Y. Headquarters Section, Forward Observer Section
Z. Headquarters Section, Fire Control Section

GREEN units:
7th Divisional Artillery Battery:
11. Headquarters Section, Battery Signals Section
12. Headquarters Section, Battery Signals Section, Telephone team
13. Headquarters Section, Battery Signals Section, Radio team
14. Divisional Gun Section One
15. Divisional Gun Section One, Gun Team One
16. Divisional Gun Section One, Gun Team Two
17. Divisional Gun Section Two
18. Divisional Gun Section Two, Gun Team One
19. Divisional Gun Section Two, Gun Team Two

Join us next time for some more Winter War action!

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
Game Two: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137428.0

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


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