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Author Topic: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Six – Parts One and Two  (Read 529 times)

Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Fangs of the Wolf - Game Six – Parts One and Two
« on: June 10, 2023, 10:30:57 PM »

Gemigabok presents...
Winter of No Surrender

Campaign Eleven – Fangs of the Wolf
Game Six – Parts One and 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 on an 8x5 ft table.

John reprises his role as Colonel Sharov while Don and Tom are leading platoons. Jarkko continues as Lieutenant-Colonel Susitaival, with Mikko as his assistant command. But we've got two additional players too. We're playing on Discord using three 720p HD cameras as most of the players are located at least 600 km from me.



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
Game Three, Part I: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137800.0
Game Three, Parts II and III: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138177.0
Game Three, Part IV: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138510.0
Game Four, Parts I and II: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138831.0
Game Four, Parts III and IV: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=139313.0
Game Five, Parts I, II and III: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=139945.0
Game Five, Parts IV, V and VI: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=141332.0



In Game Five, Group Wolf annihilated Soviet forces on Table M, taking over 270 prisoners and reducing the Soviet footprint to two encirclements, separated by almost three kilometers. 




There is no question that Combat Group Sharov is in big trouble. The victory conditions of the campaign specify that to win, Sharov's HQ and at least five platoon-size units must break out of the encirclement and reach either Table A or Table T... and they must do it within 72 hours, nine Campaign Turns as – unbeknownst to the Russians – the Finnish Infantry Regiment 65 is about to join Group Wolf and permanently ruin their day... 

A minor victory can be achieved if Combat Group Sharov simply survives in the encirclements until the end of the campaign, but Sharov's Opinion is now at -6 and it has been falling by at least one on nearly every Campaign Turn as the Finns have further eroded his position with their very successful attacks. At the current rate, Sharov will order a general retreat well before the campaign ends, resulting in a major victory for the Finns.



At an undisclosed location, Lieutenant-Colonel Susitaival and his adjutant Lieutenant Breitholtz have celebrated the capture of Mustajoki Bridge by downing three quarters of the Lieutenant's Cognac bottle. Perusing their maps, they are planning their next move when a message arrives...

”It is from the radio reconnaissance detachment in Kajaani. Apparently Colonel Sharov has sent an unencrypted message to 163rd Division headquarters asking Combat Group Tchaikovsky, who are south of here, to come to his aid! He is requesting an immediate attack from the south!”  Breitholtz reads from the paper.



”An unencrypted message to HQ? That's a bit suspicious, don't you think?” Susitaival says. No wait – didn't Avela say that he captured some devices with rotating discs with letters? Could it be that those are encryption devices and now that we have them Sharov can no longer encrypt his messages? That would be quite a breakthrough for us! Either way, we must take action to prepare for that assault. I'll send Bicycle Battalion 6 south to deal with them. I may also go there myself as Captain Salske will be taking over Independent Battalion 16 tomorrow, December 23rd. But we also need to do preparations here.”

The two launch into more map perusing and dispatch messengers into various directions.



They also decide to send a force to attack Table P, Lammasaho. It is another area of marshes and woods. Taking Table P would isolate Table O, trapping any Red Army forces there in yet another encirclement.



But then there is another, even more worrying development... another message arrives...
”It says that... oh-oh!” Breitholtz exclaims...

”What?”

”It says that... the Russians at the bridge had a couple of wagons full of vodka and Avela's men have now discovered that!”

”Oh no!” Susitaival face-palms... ”How bad is it?”

”Well, they're blind drunk, as can be expected... the troops haven't undertaken any of the things we ordered them to do... the platoon who were supposed to guard the prisoners are now drinking booze with them... and you know how Russians drink! The engineers are blowing up trucks and wagons just for fun, the machinegunners are shooting tracers in the air as a sort of fireworks and...”

”Allright, allright, send a message to Avela and tell him to control the situation!”

”I'm afraid that's not going to help,” Breitholtz says, ”apparently Avela too is completely plastered!”

The Russians have played their Cases of Vodka campaign card. None of the Finns on Table M are able to get anything done during this Campaign Turn.



But the Russians are now ready to spring another surprise on the Finns! All campaign long John has been unable to roll well on Sharov's Decisiveness roll... as a result, he has not been able to mount any attacks apart from the totally underresourced attempt in Game Two. Because he's had other orders to give, he has also not been able to add to Sharov's Resolve, which could then be added to his later Decisiveness rolls.

This Campaign Turn, John again rolls low so Sharov is unable to initiate action. But the Russian players decide to use our new rule where Sharov can order a desperate attack... this will now immediately lower his Opinion from -6 to -7... but it enables him to order an Offensive.



In the campaign, either side may declare an Offensive, meaning that up to eight platoon-sized units (two whole companies) which begin the Campaign Turn in the same location may advance in one direction, fighting up to six battles in one Campaign Turn, but only as long as they keep winning. Once they lose, the Offensive has ended.



The Soviet players consider the situation... The Finnish forces in this campaign are weaker than those of the Red Army. They have one reinforced battallion, as do the Soviets, but not as generously reinforced. A battalion consists of three rifle and one MMG company, plus some additional units.

Over the last few Campaign Turns we've seen several Finnish attacks by company-sized forces. The Red Army players know that a considerable number of Finns are located on the three tables in between the two encirclements, perhaps up to three companies. If that is the case, it would leave only one company guarding the northern and southern ends of the encirclement... and the Soviets will now be able to launch up to two whole companies at them... 




Sharov declares his offensive... starting from somewhere within the northern encirclement, a huge assault force advances toward the north-east...

From a campaign viewpoint this is a dramatic development. The assault force will fight up to six battles this Campaign Turn, as long as they keep winning. Because the battles will take place during the same Turn and their communications are based on messengers, the Finns will be unable to reinforce their defence with units from elsewhere – they will have to do with whatever units are already on Tables A to F.



If Sharov is able to pull off a string of six victories, he will win the campaign and perhaps even live to write his memoirs. But if the Soviet assault force loses a battle, the Offensive will end, but hopefully this will not happen immediately as each win of a battle is likely to improve Sharov's rather frayed Opinion. 





Date: 22 December 1939, Day Twenty-Three of the Winter War, 0030 hours. Campaign Turn 8.

Location: Table F, Kuohulampi, about 44 kilometers north of the village of Suomussalmi, in central-eastern Finland. About forty kilometers east from the border of the Soviet Union.

Weather Conditions: Clear skies, wind from the south-west, -15 degrees Celsius (+5 degrees Fahrenheit). There is about 30 cm (12 inches) of snow. It is night, visibility is 24”.



This is another area of woods and marsh, so typical of the Suomussalmi region. The frozen Kuohulampi pond (lit. ”Foam Pond”) takes up much of the western side of the table.



In the middle of the table, there is an area of struggling woods, which gives light cover but does not block line of sight.



Most of the brown lines here are ditches. As I don't have enough blue ditches, I'm having to use paths to represent ditches. I'll need to make some more.



We roll for Force Morale. It is now revealed that the Finns have only two platoons on this table and that the Red Army is attacking with at least three. As per Big Chain of Command rules, each of the Finnish platoons gets a CoC die, though only Jarkko can use his to end a Turn.



We roll Force Morale... the final result is reduced by one because night combat is scary.

Jarkko's first Finnish platoon has an initial FM of only 7, while Mikko's has an FM of 9.

On the Russian side, John and Tom are at 7 and Don is at 8...



We begin with the Patrol Phase, using IwouldLikeToRage's great little app...







At the end of the Phase, the Soviet Jump-Off Points are located very southern end of the table. The Finns could have placed their JoPs further south but they instead elected to build a defensive line of sorts in the north. As a result, the JoPs of the two parties are rather far from each other.



The game begins with a forceful pre-game barrage by the Russians. Ten 76mm guns are firing a total of fifty shells onto the table...



Three shells strike the ice of the pond, making six-inch holes in it...





The Finns start the game by having Jarkko immediate end the Turn using his CoC die...



The barrage ends and so does any impediment to the Finns deploying because of it. But in Winter of No Surrender campaigns, pre-game barrages can cause casualties so the damage is done. The condition of each Finnish unit will be revealed once it is deployed.



And here come the Russians...

Three scouts in snow suits suddenly appear in the south-eastern corner of the table. These men are the scouts / forward observers of the MMG Company. Their job is usually to direct indirect machinegun fire, but as they are scouts they are very useful in, say, capturing or at least threatening jump-off points...





Don deploys MMG sections #9 and #10 to the edge of the struggling woods...







From here, they have a poor field of fire, but they could respond to at least some actions by the enemy.



Next, he brings in MMG section #14... in previous games the Russians have suffered from a marked lack of MMGs whereas the Finns have had them in all games. It looks like this time, the Russians have got it covered.



Don also deploys #13, this is actually an entire platoon! Decimated in previous fighting, before the beginning of this campaign, it now consists of the platoon elder and three men,  two of whom have a DP LMG.



Where the road meets the edge of the table, John brings in his 1st rifle section.



Tom deploys F, yet another MMG section and no fewer than two rifle sections, #5 and #6. Leading then is R, the Engineer Commander of the battalion HQ.





Its engine racing, an anti-aircraft machinegun truck arrives. There is a sigh in the Finnish ranks as Jarkko and Mikko thought they had destroyed all of these trucks in Game Five.



The four-barrel AA MG model 1931 is a most dangerous weapon, especially on a very open table such as this.



John deploys another two sections with Don's scouts...









On their phase the Finns do nothing... Tom moves section #6 forward in the struggling woods and deploys section #7 behind them.





John deploys yet another machinegun on the other side of the road and then moves section #1 over the road...











At the end of our first session, the Finns have not made a move. But we can certainly see that there are a lot of Russians here!



THE FINNS, IN BLUE:
O: Jump-off point

THE RUSSIANS, IN RED:
O: Jump-off point

2nd Rifle Company, 4th platoon (John):
1: 1st section
2: 2nd section
3: 3rd section
C: MMG section from MMG Company, 10th Platoon (John)

2nd Rifle Company, 5th platoon (Tom):
5: 5th section
6: 6th section
7: 7th section
F: MMG section from 2nd Rifle Company MG Platoon (Tom)
R: Engineer Commander (Tom)
W: AAA truck from AA MG Section (Tom)

Battalion MG Company, 11th Platoon (Don):
9: MMG Section
10: MMG Section
13: Remnants of 2nd Company, 6th Platoon (Don)
14: MMG Section of MG Company 4th Platoon (Don)
Y: Scouts and Forward Observers from Battalion Machinegun Company HQ Platoon (Don)
13 is missing from picture but is located immediately to east by north-east of 14.



And then it's a couple of weeks later when we continue the game...













Tom moves section #6 closer to the road, but the men are advancing very warily...



Bill has now joined us and is playing the scouts and John's section #2 and #3. He moves his scouts forward very briskily... A scouts they are able to move 2d6 and then go tactical.



Tom deploys the Regimental Band, this is a small orchestra used in formal occasions, but also to boost morale. Led by their lieutenant conductor, the men grab their instruments and then proceed to play the Internationale[/], a Communist anthem known to all people who love (or loathe) that religion. A cheer goes around the troops and the Force Morale of all platoons is raised by one.

I don't at present have any Red Army musician figures so I must use these submachine gunners.



John moves his scouts further ahead, followed by  sections #2 and #3.



Nearer to the road, Tom moves section #5 into  a depression by the side of the road where they cannot be targeted. Meanwhile, he moves secton #6 closer to the edge of the struggling woods, and the engineer commander and section #7 forward... He also deploys his fourth section, #8.



There is still no reaction by the Finns.



Further west, John moves his machinegunners and 1st section, skirting clockwise around the pond.







On the Finns' phase they again do nothing. It's just sheer intimidation!


Offline 7dot62mm

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 75
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Six – Parts One and Two
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2023, 10:31:56 PM »


In the east, Bill's scouts have advanced so close to the Finnish jump-off points that should they have a double phase, they could well block one jump-off point. This is probably something that the Finns won't be able to just ignore.





Suddenly, a GAZ-M1 field car drives up the road and parks behind the anti-aircraft truck...





Out of the car steps none other than Regimental Politruk Podhomutov, Sharov's second-in-command. He immediately starts supervising the political purity of Tom's machinegunners.






Suddenly, a rider appears...



It is Kapitan Rodin, Sharov's Chief of Staff. If there was any doubt that the Combat Group's HQ is leading the assault, that should be cleared up at this stage.



Rodin orders Bill's 2nd and 3rd sections forward...





Tom orders section #5 to cross the road, but it is slow going...



He also spurs on his other troops...



Section #6 moves along the woods edge...





Section #5 sprints into the tip of the woods on the other side of the road.



Section #7 moves forward too...







Don's men are also on the move, keeping inside the woods but trying to get into a better firing position...





Mikko cannot ignore Bill's approaching troops....





...so he deploys his section #7 into a trench near the jump-off point...







Mikko places his men on overwatch...





A somewhat similar situation is brewing in the central part of the table. A huge horde of Russians are approaching so Jarkko needs to... well basically do something...

So he deploys an LMG section into his trench...



Unfortunately the section has suffered a lot in the pre-game barrage – one man is dead and they have six points of shock.



At the time we thought that they were pinned, but actually they still had a total of 6 men in the section so they weren't pinned.



















John has deployed his section #4 to the west. He now has two rifle sections and one MMG section led by a senior leader flanking the Finnish positions via the west.













































This is as far as we got this time....







THE FINNS, in Blue
O: Jump-off point

1st Company, 1st Platoon (Jarkko):
2: 2nd LMG section

1st Company, 2nd Platoon (Mikko):
7: 7th SMG section


THE RUSSIANS, in Red:
O: Jump-off point

2nd Rifle Company, 4th platoon (John):
1: 1st section
2: 2nd section (Bill)
3: 3rd section (Bill)
4: 4th section
C: MMG section from MMG Company, 10th Platoon (John)
M: Chief of Staff Captain Rodin (John)

2nd Rifle Company, 5th platoon (Tom):
5: 5th section
6: 6th section
7: 7th section
8: 8th section
D: Platoon leader
F: MMG section from 2nd Rifle Company MG Platoon (Tom)
K: Regimental Politruk Podhomutov (Tom)
R: Engineer Commander (Tom)
V: Regimental Band and Band Leader (Tom)
W: AAA truck from AA MG Section (Tom)

Battalion MG Company, 11th Platoon (Don):
9: MMG Section
10: MMG Section
13: Remnants of 2nd Company, 6th Platoon (Don)
14: MMG Section of MG Company 4th Platoon (Don)
G: Platoon leader
Y: Scouts and Forward Observers from Battalion Machinegun Company HQ Platoon (Bill)

8 is mislabled as R, it is the southern R



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
Game Three, Part I: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=137800.0
Game Three, Parts II & III: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138177.0
Game Three, Part IV: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138510.0
Game Four, Parts I & II: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=138831.0
Game Four, Parts II and IV: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=139313.0
Game Five, Parts I, II and III: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=139945.0
Game Five, Parts IV, V & VI: https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=141332.0

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=86&t=4987
https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=5133
https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=5199
https://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=5282
http://thewargamersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=5438

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 BeneathALeadMountain

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 681
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Six – Parts One and Two
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2023, 12:48:03 AM »
That is amazing, thank you for posting all of this, I’m incredibly envious. Winter terrain (and necessary corresponding forces) is on my permanent wish list (that I hope to get around to at some point).

Balm
Beneath A Lead Mountain - my blog of hobby procrastination and sometimes even some progress
https://beneathaleadmountain.blogspot.com/

Offline MaleGriffin

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1753
  • Don't bother running.... You'll just die tired....
Re: Fangs of the Wolf - Game Six – Parts One and Two
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2023, 01:05:01 AM »
Wow! I'm amazed! Well done!  Thank you for sharing!
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

 

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