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Eric Normandeau
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I played a few scenarios with my girlfriend, mostly the tutorial and the first day. We were wondering what are typical scores for the Russians and Fins.

Is it normal for the Russians to crush their opponents?

Our next stop is going to be the second day and then the first two days.
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Mark Mokszycki
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I don't what kind of scores other players end up with, but it's my feeling that the First Day scenario is slightly pro-Finn between two decent players. However, playing the Finns requires more finesse, so between two players who are new to the game it's normal to see the Soviets win this one.

As you gain a better understanding of how to delay with the Finns, and still avoid being surrounded or hit *too hard*, you should reach a point where your games come right down to the wire. That's how you know it's time to move on the Campaign Game.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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I've only played a few times, but the last time was a massive Soviet victory because the Finns were too stubborn. The Soviets never made it near the hotel, but it cost the Finns two or three companies (9VP each). That was a learning game for the Finnish player, though; I think next time he would give up more ground.

A recent one I have written down is Soviets 21 (all in Finnish losses, no on-map VPs), Finns 16 (including 6 VPs for dug-in hexes in the village). In that game, the Soviets didn't even take Kivisalmi Bridge--their dice were terrible--but the Finns let their mortar get stomped (6 VP), and they took two unnecessary step losses in the last turn (one was to keep the Soviets from taking Kotisaari Island, but still, that's giving them 3VP to keep them from getting 2VP).
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Eric Normandeau
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OK, now I know we are playing the Finns wrong by stacking big piles of troops that take losses instead of giving ground. This strategy doesn't sound much like guerilla-warfare either.

That probably means that we are playing the Russians wrong too, since when the Finns adopt this better strategy, the current Russian approach is going to be suboptimal.

Mark, I read your forum post titled: 'Combat 101: Stacking and strategy' after our game yesterday. We'll experiment with placing our troops in a more organic manner than piling them high We'll focus on delaying the Russian advance rather than crippling them.

On a side note, do the Finns normally ever get to attack in this scenario? Of course, the abstraction of 'defending' really is about attacking, only with better odds.

Thanks for the insights guys!
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Mark Mokszycki
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Quote:
On a side note, do the Finns normally ever get to attack in this scenario?


I'd say the only time the Finns should attack during the First Day scenario is if the Soviets leave you a really juicy target - like a lone guy stranded on the ice, or a mortar or IG without infantry/MG protection. Lone reduced infantry units are also nice targets. So it depends on your opponent's missteps. In general, though, the Finns won't be doing much attacking when the Soviets still have the superior numbers + morale bonus.

EDIT: Apart from the night turns, of course! Even if they start at reasonably low combat odds (1:2 or 1:1) the Finns can often pull off devastating Night Raids at the conclusion of the First Day.
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Eric Normandeau
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We just replayed The First Day. I had the Finns and won by 1 point (13-12) I think our flow of game was much more interesting and big piles were mostly avoided. The Russians took more chances on that side. Russians = Brute Force and force by number

We played using Friction Fire (FF) and capturable Russian MGs, although none were captured.

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I'd say the only time the Finns should attack during the First Day scenario is if the Soviets leave you a really juicy target - like a lone guy stranded on the ice, or a mortar or IG without infantry/MG protection.


I had such opportunity for 2 consecutive turns. The reason my opponen left a unit on the ice, adjacent to my stack on the island is as a way to avoid me using FF on units that were moving further off. Plus, I forgot to attack this unit the first turn, which would have given me 2-3 more opportunities for FF.

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EDIT: Apart from the night turns, of course! Even if they start at reasonably low combat odds (1:2 or 1:1) the Finns can often pull off devastating Night Raids at the conclusion of the First Day.


Overall, I would say FF played a BIG part in my success, boging down Russian units that were trying to bypass Kotisaari Island into Tolvajärvi.

We will play The First Day one more time, switching sides, then we want to play one more scenario (on both sides) before launching the Full Campaign. I would like something that is rather different than The First Day, maybe something including armour and that has a good teaching value. I don't mind if it is a non-historical scenario. Any suggestion?

I wish I could vote and score this game more than once. I cannot recommend it highly enough ! thumbsup
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Mark Mokszycki
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Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the game so much.

Most of the optional rules favor the Finns. I'm not sure how I feel about using FF in the shorter scenarios, as these were balanced using only the standard rules. To ensure that you've mastered the art of fighting retreat with the Finns, you might want to try playing the First Day *without* any optional rules, to make sure that you can still pull off a win with the Finns.

A Finnish win on the First Day is really the litmus paper test for the campaign. If Finns can't cut it on day one, they'll almost certainly lose the campaign game. But if they can win the First Day, then they have about a 50-50 chance of winning the campaign, assuming players of roughly equal skill.
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Mark Mokszycki
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I would like something that is rather different than The First Day, maybe something including armour and that has a good teaching value. I don't mind if it is a non-historical scenario. Any suggestion?


As for recommending a scenario with tanks... The Fifth Day is probably the best one featuring tanks. You can also experiment with one of the shorter, hypothetical scenarios (Overrun!, Tanks at the Narrows) to get a feel for how to use the tanks. But don't expect any tactical brilliance from these scenarios. They're merely learning tools.

Tanks take some getting used to because there are so many options. Sure, they're limited to roads, but beyond that there are many ways to use them. Stack them with infantry and assault? Overrun? Use them to provide offensive support (their RAS values are awesome)?

A favorite tank tactic of mine is using them in Combats, but without infantry support, because they can't suffer losses from Combats (only Assaults). So even if it's a 1:2 odds combat, you can still try in the off chance you'll force the Finns to retreat. Then advance to take the ground. Just make sure you don't leave the tanks where the Finns can Assault them at favorable odds and knock them out! And of course avoid the Finnish AT guns at all costs.

In the campaign game, the Soviets have at least two avenues of approach to the village using roads. So if the Finns use their AT guns to cover one approach, the Soviet armor can take the other route. And if the Soviets commit more than one armored unit, the Finnish AT guns can't cover both approaches. This makes it tempting for the Soviets go for an "all or nothing" approach of committing multiple armored units early in the game, then focusing on taking the entire main road for an auto victory. But obviously that's just one way to play as the Soviets.
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