Winter War 1939-40
Marko Tainio
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This is a list of games related to Winter War (1939-40) between Finland and Soviet Union. This list accompanies an article on this subject, written in Finnish, from the same subject (not yet published). This is also a direct continuation of earlier list that focused on Finnish Civil War games (https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/253554/finnish-civil-war-...). Winter War list will later be followed by separate lists on Continuation War (1941-44) and Lapland War (1944-45), and possibly other wars related to Finland (modern, before independence).

Games in this list are stand-alone games that focus on Winter War (that is, game contains everything to play the game), or Winter War is one of the scenarios. I have not included expansions, modules etc. that need base game to play (such as ASL scenarios and modules). I have also mostly left out miniature games, because I do not know that field very well.

Mistakes and missing games are possible, even probable. In such case any comments or opinions are welcome!

List is ordered from oldest to newest.


For other lists on this subject, see:
Finland at war: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28459/item/6237809
Winter war: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/146823/winter-war
Games of the Russo-Finnish Wars in World War Two: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/143962/games-russo-finnis...
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Popular Tags: Wargame [+] Finland [+] Russia [+] WWII [+] 1940 [+] USSR [+] Talvisota [+] 1939 [+] [View All]
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1. Board Game: Winter War [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:4612]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Oldest game on this subject (that I could find out), published by SPI in 1972. Based on description feels quite typical hex-and-counter game.
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2. Board Game: Arctic Storm: The Russo-Finnish Winter War 1939-40 [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:6496]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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It took twenty years until next game on Winter War was published in 1992. This is first game from GMT on this list, and also feels quite typical hex-and-counter game. As a special note, rules have Quick and dirty guide to Finnish language.
 
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3. Board Game: A Winter War [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:5993]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Another hex-and-counters game from 1992. This one is part of the so called Europa series (https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/The_Europa_Series#), and have additional, non-historical scenarios (e.g. one where western allies join the war alongside Finland) in Storm Over Scandinavia game (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/15990/storm-over-scandin...).
 
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4. Board Game: Down In Flames: Winter War 1939-40 [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Down In Flames: Winter War 1939-40 focuses on air war between Finland and Soviet Union, and is in this list second game published by GMT. This is part of the "Down in Flames/Rise of the Luftwaffe" series, and I could not verify if this works as stand-alone, or need base game to play.
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5. Board Game: Blood on the Snow: The Battle of Suomussalmi [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:12053]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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First game in this list from Avalanche Press Ltd. (but not last), and from Michael Bennighof (also not last). Blood on the Snow focus on the battle of Suomussalmi, better known in Finland as Battle of Raate Road (Raatteen tien taistelu). Mechanically seems to be one more from hex-and-counter family, with some chit-pull features.

Based on description this game could be combined with Winter Fury (see later on this list), but I'm not sure what this means.
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6. Board Game: Molotov's War [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:11441]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Magazine game from Strategy & Tactics #172, published by Decision Games (and third Winter War game from year 1995). Hex-and-counter going strong also here.
 
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7. Board Game: A Frozen Hell [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:8069]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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Jumping five years forward for this The Gamers/Multi-Man Publishing game from year 2000. This is Tactical Combat Series (TCS) game on Battle of Tolvajärvi (one of three games on this battle), with hex-and-counter mechanism.
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8. Board Game: Winter War [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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Solo game on December 1939 fights in Winter War from Finnish perspective. Game is available for Thoth (?) (https://digilander.libero.it/zak965/thoth/), but can also be made print&play game. Mechanism is mixture of cards and dices.
 
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9. Board Game: Winter Fury: The Battle of Tolvajärvi 1939 [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:12918]
Marko Tainio
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First version of Winter Fury on Battle of Tolvajärvi was published 2001, and second version 2016. This is also second game from Michael Bennighof and Avalanche Press in this list. Mechanically this seems similar to Blood on the Snow: The Battle of Suomussalmi (see earlier entry), and possibly games can be combined (but not sure what this means)

Second version contains scenario(s) from Continuation War in 1941 in the same region.


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10. Board Game: Mannerheim's Cross: Finland at War 1939-1945 [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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Advanced Tobruk system (ATS) game focusing on tactical fighting on all three wars fought by Finland during Second World War. I could not find out information on how many scenarios there are from each wars. I also could not completely verify if this is stand-alone game or not, but I assume it is.
 
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11. Board Game: Suomussalmi [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
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Game published by Kings College London (KCL) (University) in print-and-play format (available here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/research/g...). Hex-and-counters is the name of the game. This is second game in this list from Battle of Suomussalmi (Battle of Raate Road).
 
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12. Board Game: Buffalo Wings [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:5106]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Second, and last, game in this list that focus on air war. This is part of the Fighting Wings series, but Buffalo WIngs is, as far as I could find out, stand-alone game. Published in Against the Odds magazine #29.
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Marko Tainio
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Third Battle of Tolvajärvi* game in this list, and also third game from GTM. Expanded (?) second version is in GMT P500-list (https://www.gmtgames.com/p-487-red-winter-expanded-2nd-editi...) while I'm making this list. Also, only game in this list that I have actually played (I liked it, although in my command Finland lost the battle, and war)!

Possibly one of the most well known games from Winter War?

*I find it interesting that Battle of Tolvajärvi is single most covered battle from Winter War with three games. In Finland it's not super well known, unlike Suomussalmi/Raate (two games), or other famous battles (Kollaa, Taipaleenjoki, Summa).
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14. Board Game: Talvisota [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
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Small team-game where 2-4 players try to protect Finland against game engine driven (?) Soviet Union. With promise of 60 min of play time, this is one of the fastest games in this list.
 
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15. Board Game: Frozen Death [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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"Frozen" related names are popular in this list, and this game from 2013 is one more. This is card driven block-game (only block-game in this list) covering whole war. And yes, there are hexes.
 
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16. Board Game: The Finnish Trilogy 1939-1945: Winter War 1939-1940 (Vol. 1) [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
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First part of Mikael Grönroos (Mikugames) Finnish Trilogy, that covers all three wars Finland fought during Second World War. This covers whole Winter War, including few smaller scenarios. BGG entry wont include time estimate, but I assume this take hours.
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17. Board Game: Second World War at Sea: Sea of Iron [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Second World War at Sea series game on naval battles on Baltic Sea, including Finland. Game has 30 scenarios, but I could not find out on how many of these are Finland related, or Winter War related. Still, only stand-alone game on Winter War naval actions!

Listed for 1-2 players, so possibly works as solo game?

Expansion, named Second World War at Sea: Finland's Fantasy Fleet (2017) (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/227342/second-w...), will contain new ships and scenarios specially for Finland.

Third Avalanche Press game on the list.
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18. Board Game: Combat Leader: Winter War [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Combat Leader series game on Winter War. Listed as expansion, but based on description is stand-alone. Focus on tactical level fighting.

 
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19. Board Game: TSWW: Hakkaa Päälle [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Part of “The Second World War Series” series (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/22818/second-world...). Includes scenarios (possibly multiple?) on Winter War, and some non-historical scenarios where Sweden is attacked by Germans!

Uses hexes and counters.
 
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20. Board Game: The Mannerheim Line Campaign [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Marko Tainio
United Kingdom
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Unpublished game from Ty Bomba that will focus on breaking of Mannerheim line. Listed fro 1 and 2 players, so possibly works as solo game. Will be published in CounterFact magazine.
 
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