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John Holme
United States
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I played this game with Tom Blake on December 3 2011 at Endgame in Oakland CA.

Setup) Finnish setup is somewhat dispersed, as 2/1/JR16 stays back at the Tourist Hotel. (20111203_setup.jpg)

Turn 1 - Morning fog. Soviets 2/609 battalion is rebuffed as it attempts to take Kivisaalmi Bridge against opposition from 1/1/JR16. Soviet 1/609 strikes out toward the southern end of Tolvajaarvi. Pajari desperately re-organizes his forces in Tolvajaarvi village. (20111203_1.jpg)

Turn 2 - Full daylight. Finnish 3/JR16 battalion arrives and starts digging in along the isthmus behind the Hotel, as Pajari continues rallying his men. Soviet 3/609 threatens an envelopment by moving up the eastern shore of Taivaljarvi, while 2/609 pushes across Kivisaalmi Bridge in a determined attack aided by accurate artillery fire from the recently-arrived 76mm guns. (20111203_2.jpg)

Turn 3 - Full daylight. As 1/609 approaches Kotisaari from the south, a refreshed 8/3/JR37 occupies Saarola Village on the island's northern extremity. 2/609 is rebuffed in a bloody assault on 1/1/JR16, and 3/609 fails in their attack against 3/1/JR16, as the Finns consolidate their defenses around the Tourist Hotel. (20111203_3.jpg)

Turn 4 - Dusk. As the Finns have been driven away from the eastern shore of Tolvajaarvi, Soviet 2/364 makes a dash across the frozen lake toward Kotisaari, while 1/609 comes ashore on the island without opposition, threatening 1/JR16-A MG platoon. 3/609 crushes JR16-A Mortar platoon as they feverishly rush to pull back with the infantry. (no picture)

Turn 5 - Night. Soviet 1/364 and 3/364 push out beyond the shores of Hirvasjaarvi on the Finnish left, while 2/364 and 1/609 attempt without success to consolidate their hold on Kotisaari Island. With the exception of the just-arrived AT guns, the Soviets attempt to shield themselves from Finnish Night Raids by consolidating their positions close to enemy lines. (20111203_5a.jpg)

Despite Soviet precautions, a Finnish raid completely eradicates two AT platoons that were just arriving in sector. Thanks to warmer than expected temperatures, the only night-time losses due to weather were a couple of platoons guarding the northern shore of Kotisaari. (20111203_5b.jpg)

Final - Soviet losses were 5 reduced infantry (1 pt each) and 2 destroyed AT units (.5 pts ea); plus 3 Finnish units dug in at Tolvajaarvi Village for a total score of 9 for the Finns. Finnish losses were 3 reduced infantry companies (3 pts each) plus the destroyed mortar unit (another 3 pts), totalling 12 points for the Soviets. All in all, a closely run thing, and very enjoyable for all except the dead and wounded...

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Mark Mokszycki
United States
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AAR + Finnish Setup Strategies
Nice AAR! Even better than your first one. Thanks for posting, John.

btw, I can see by the red text that you're using a markup version of the map. Contact me for the latest by Mark Mahaffey, which addresses all these issues.

Finnish Setup Strategies

Now that you've played this scenario a few times, I might suggest you try it at least once using the historical deployment:

1. Pajari + the MG company (both JR16 MG units) south of Kivisalmi Bridge, as far forward as they can go, in hex O23. You'll find it works pretty well. The lack of infantry means no bonuses for Soviet mortars / artillery. The only problem is the MGs' retreat limit of 2 hexes, so you'll likely end up with a reduced MG unit.

You might also try one of my personal favorite Finnish setups:

2. As the historical setup above, but substitute one infantry company for Pajari. Then place a second infantry co. right behind them, in O22.

The second company keeps the Soviets from advancing multiple hexes after combat. The infantry in O23 is there to absorb losses so that the MGs can (hopefully) retreat when it's time. And you still have Kivisalmi Bridge to fall back behind. Put Pajari with the bicycle companies in Tolvajärvi Village, where he can lend his +1 DRM to the Recovery of all three reduced units in the first game turn.

Happy gaming!
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