As of this posting, my intent is to have Red Winter ship with 15 scenarios, ranging from small (7 or fewer turns) to the full 40 turn campaign.
Note that in the Play Book, each scenario also contains extensive historical notes as well as a few notes on strategy.
Here is a very brief synopsis of each scenario.
16.1 The Campaign Game (The Battle of Tolvajärvi).
This is the full five day battle, and the clearest picture of the decisions and challenges that faced the commanders at Tolvajärvi. Of all the scenarios provided in the game, it will take the longest to complete (about 6 hours if neither player wins an automatic victory prior to turn 40), but it also offers both players the widest range of possible strategies.
Duration: Turns 1-40 (40 turns).
16.2 The First Day (Kivisalmi Bridge and the Tourist Hotel).
This scenario is essentially identical to the first day of the Campaign Game, and as such it is excellent practice for both players if they are planning to undertake the campaign.
The victory conditions have been carefully crafted to give each player a taste of the types of tactics he must employ to survive until the latter days of the battle. It is an especially good workout for the Finns, who must master the art of trading ground for losses, or losses for time, as appropriate. This scenario can be completed in less than an hour.
Duration: Turns 1-5 (5 turns).
16.3 The First Two Days (Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object).
This is effectively a longer version of 16.2 that incorporates the next day’s fighting. It is a nice compromise between ease of play (it will take you about 3 hours) and complexity, offering some insight into the strategies and situations inherent in the Campaign Game. Both players have considerable freedom as to how they wish to pursue their goals- more so during the second day of the scenario.
This scenario is very useful for giving both players a chance to see the consequences of their actions during the first day. For example, if the Russians "gobble up" victory objectives at the end of day one, they may find themselves overextended and viciously counterattacked by the Finns on day two. If the Finns sacrifice units to hold territory during the first day, they may find they don’t have enough units to stop the Russians on the second day.
Duration: Turns 1-14 (14 turns).
16.4 The Second Day (Out of the Noose)
This scenario begins on December 9th with the units of both sides in roughly their historical positions, then allows to players to explore the possibilities.
While not as open ended as the First Two Days scenario, the players will likely find this scenario less restrictive than the First Day scenario. Inventiveness can really pay off.
I particularly like the victory conditions here, as they encourage both players to make a move; merely holding the ground you start with is not enough to ensure victory.
This should make a good Tournament scenario.
Duration: Turns 6 - 14 (9 turns)
16.5 The Third and Fourth Days
Both sides begin in roughly their historical positions for the third day (Dec. 10th), but with considerably more flexibility. There are many ways the players might attempt to gain the upper hand. However, the task will not be an easy one for either player, as both sides have already had the opportunity to situate themselves favorably and dig in.
Duration: Turns 19-32 (14 Turns)
16.6 Lake Crossing (historical night attack)
Before dawn on Dec. 11, a superior Russian force on Kotisaari Island attempted to cross the ice and storm the town of Tolvajärvi. The Finns of 3/JR16 battalion were dug-in and waiting.
This scenario presents an interesting situation, but due to its small size victory or defeat can hinge on one or two key combat rolls. Setup strategy is very important to both players, and as is knowing when to attack and when to stay put and place the burden on your opponent. I recommend this scenario mainly as a learning exercise, rather than for competitive play. It can be completed in half an hour or less.
Duration: Turns 23-26 (4 turns).
16.7 Firefight on the Ice (alt-history morning lake crossing)
This is a hypothetical variant of the Lake Crossing scenario which examines what might have happened had the Russians waited until later in the day on the 11th to launch their attack across the ice. By waiting, the Russians would have had time to fully recover their units, but they also would have been crossing the ice in broad daylight. The delay also might have given the Finnish Erp9 battalion time to reach the battlefield.
Duration: Turns 29-32 (4 turns).
16.8 The Battle for Kotisaari Island (the final day: south sector)
This small scenario simulates the Russian’s desperate attempt to hold Kotisaari Island on the final day of the battle.
Duration: Turns 34-40 (7 turns).
16.9 The Battle for the Tourist Hotel- Tanks to the Rescue! (the final day- central sector)
This scenario features the full scale Finnish assault on the tourist hotel on the final day of the battle (Dec.12), as well as rescue attempt by an entire Russian tank battalion.
Duration: Turns 33-40 (8 turns)
16.10 The Battle for Hirvasvaara (the final day- northern sector)
The Finns and Russians unexpectedly clash as each attempts to circle around the lake from the north. The outnumbered Finns are attempting to retake Hirvasvaara with minimal artillery support.
This is a short scenario involving a very small number of units. As such, it makes an excellent introduction to the game. Both sides have a roughly equal shot at victory.
Duration: Turns 35-40 (6 turns)
16.11 Two on Two (an alt-history version of the final day- northern sector)
In this hypothetical variant of the Battle for Hirvasvaara, the Russians have committed a portion of their forces to the defense of the hotel, making the conflict near Hirvasvaara more evenly matched (roughly two battalions against two battalions). The victory objectives have been altered to reflect this.
Duration: Turns 35-40 (6 turns)
16.12 The Fifth Day
The scenario covers the fifth and final day of the battle in its entirety. It features the full scale Finnish assault on the tourist hotel, as well as rescue attempt by elements of a Russian tank battalion.
Note that this is the "free setup" version of the scenario, which gives the players considerably more opportunities to try unhistorical strategies. I recommend it over the historical situation, as it is less predictable. Players wishing to experience the historical situation should play scenario 16.13.
Play tests have shown this scenario to be fast, chaotic, unpredictable, and a lot of fun. It has excellent replay value due to the variable setup. It is not recommended for first time players due to the unit density and the strategic situation- one mistake can lose you the game. It should make an ideal Tournament Scenario for two skilled players.
Duration: Turns 34-40 (7 turns)
16.13 The Fifth Day (historical scenario)
This version places the Finns at roughly their historical jumping-off positions and the Russians in their historical defensive positions. Only a platoon of Russian tanks arrives as reinforcements, as they did historically.
16.14 The Fifth Day (fog of war variant)
This is a variant of the Dec. 12 scenario which allows the Finns to use fog of war rules and markers. This really keeps the Russian player on his heels, and adds an exciting element to the game play.
I recommend trying this scenario only after both players are familiar with the situation and strategies inherent in the normal Fifth Day scenario, 16.12. This will really change the way the Russian player sets up and plays the game, as he now does not know from where the real thrust will come.
16.15 Alternate Campaign "Replacements to the Rescue" (hypothetical)
This campaign variant examines what might have happened had the Finnish Field Replacement Battalion 13, originally assigned to Task Force A, not been sent to Ilomantsi. The Finns are in a better position to resist than they were historically during the first few days of the battle, but they will not enjoy a morale bonus during the final days. Design note: Without the replacements, the Finns defending at Ilomantsi, to the north, are becoming quickly overwhelmed by the Russian advance. This does not bode well for the fate of the Finns at Tolvajärvi, who will soon be cut off. This scenario utilizes the Finnish replacement variant units provided in the countersheet.
The Future of Red Winter
Future games in the Red Winter series may cover the first and second battles for Ägläjärvi, the uniquely lopsided Finnish tragedy-turned-victory at Ilomantsi, the railroad battle at Kollaa River, the border clashes of the Ladoga front (featuring a Finnish armored train bristling with machine guns and howitzers), and the costly Russian assaults against the Mannerheim Line at the Karelian Isthmus. Designs for the Ägläjärvi game are already well underway.
Great to hear news about this one! And so many at once!
Nice to see the huge effort you did in creating each one of the scenario, cant wait for it. Hope you keep us further informed!
Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
Any insight about how the number of turns per scenario translates into play time?
(Edit: I'm aware it says 5 minutes per turn per player on the game blurb, just want to know if this gels with reality.)
- Last edited Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:22 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:19 am
The 5 minutes per player turn is pretty close, once you're very familiar with the rules and possibly strategies. A newcomer might allow more like 7-10 minutes per turn during their first game. It's pretty fast, though.
It takes me about 40 minutes to play through the First Day scenario (5 turns), so that's less than 5 minutes per player turn.
Allow a long afternoon of 6 or 7 hours for the full 40 turn campaign game. But it will only take that long if the game goes all the way to the end, meaning neither player achieves their automatic victory conditions, which were crafted to avoid unnecessary pain
Thanks for the interest!
- Last edited Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:25 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:24 am