The Finnish front (Full Version)

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mdsmall -> The Finnish front (9/8/2020 6:19:45 PM)

Any general advice on what to expect as the Axis from the Finnish front in the war? I am playing my first PBEM game as Axis and Finland just mobilized, following the launch of Operation Barbarossa.

The Strategic Advice generated by the game tells me to consider launching an overland expedition to capture Murmansk. However, I question the cost/benefit of doing so, given that it would take a general and several corps that I need to defend the Karelian front. Diverting those resources from Germany would take time and money that seem to me could be better spent on the main eastern front. And even if I captured Murmansk, the only benefit would seem to be in the two winter months when the British convoy re-rerouted to Archangel can't get through due to ice. It seems a modest penalty to impose on the Soviets for a lot of effort.

On the main Karelian front, I tried gaming out the next year using Hotseat. Provided both the Finns and the Soviets defend that front, it seems to deadlock pretty quickly. Its only benefit to the Axis seems to be that it ties up a few Soviet armies north of Leningrad. And the Soviets don't exactly lack armies to defend a short front.

Are there tactics or strategies that I am missing here? Or is the Finnish front usually pretty predictable for most of the war - at least until late 1943 or 44 when the Soviets can afford to divert enough armor and aircraft to knock the Finns out of the war?




Will952 -> RE: The Finnish front (9/8/2020 6:52:24 PM)

In my experience the best use of the Finns is to pressure the Soviets at Leningrad, and more broadly, to aim to take Leningrad as the first major SU objective for Germany. Once Leningrad is taken Finland and Norway become connected to Berlin and increase in supply and MPPs giving a useful income boost, and it then means you have a strong general in Mannerheim plus a medium sized force to redeploy elsewhere, leaving a skeleton crew to hold Leningrad.

I also am of the opinion that taking Murmansk is not a great use of resources, especially given the time commitment and the outlay for operational movement. The Finns can be put to much better use elsewhere, even if its just an additional HQ to bolster supply elsewhere in the USSR.




Sugar -> RE: The Finnish front (9/9/2020 5:24:03 PM)

It`s nearly impossible to survive with the Finns nowadays after they`re joining immediately after the start of Barbarossa, at least against a capable opponent. No futher plannings required I suppose.

Against the AI the Finns can easily attack the poor Russians successfully, but probably not take Leniingrad on their own.




mdsmall -> RE: The Finnish front (9/9/2020 11:46:41 PM)

quote:

It`s nearly impossible to survive with the Finns nowadays after they`re joining immediately after the start of Barbarossa, at least against a capable opponent. No futher plannings required I suppose.


Hi - can you explain a bit more what you mean here? Do you mean the Finns find it impossible to survive against a capable Russian opponent? How come? And how does the timing of their entry into the war affect their survival? I would have thought entering immediately after the start of Barbarossa was optimal for them.




Sugar -> RE: The Finnish front (9/10/2020 1:40:23 AM)

The Sovyets can field their entire army at Leningrad and defend solely with corps on the key supply routes. Facing 2 russian armies (not the so called army units) is more than the Finns can handle, especially since Mannerheim is too far away to reach his units in time.

The finns have the choice to either reinforce their units as long as the initial supply bonus applies, or to withdraw immediately on half strength. Anyway they will get strangled with the Russians on their tows. The Germans are too far away to support the Finns; the only way to save them would be to ship an entire army into Helsinki.

[image][URL=https://www.directupload.net][IMG]https://s12.directupload.net/images/200910/3egsgg6j.png[/IMG][/URL][/image]




mdsmall -> RE: The Finnish front (9/10/2020 3:47:52 PM)

Wow! I That's harsh. It is not surprising that the Finns can't defend themselves against 5 tank corps and a mech corps at level 2 tech. But doesn't this strategy leave the main eastern front terribly exposed to the German onslaught? Does it actually make overall strategic sense for the Russians to commit that level of resources to take out a minor German ally early in the war?

Just out of interest, what was the month/year of the screen shot you posted? Given the tech levels of the tanks and infantry, it looks more likely to be 1942 than 1941.




Sugar -> RE: The Finnish front (9/10/2020 6:37:45 PM)

That image is from end of Dec. 41.

quote:

It is not surprising that the Finns can't defend themselves against 5 tank corps and a mech corps at level 2 tech.


There are 3 light tanks in it, the tanks out of the production line, and a mech. that survived the onslaught of the alerted units. No new unit at all, everything out of the original deployment, production line or surviving units.

If the SU doesn`t agree to the new border and also doesn`t occupy the Baltics, a part of the alerted units will deploy at Pskov, out of reach of the Wehrmacht.

quote:

But doesn't this strategy leave the main eastern front terribly exposed to the German onslaught?


What onslaught? There are only the initial 12 corps defending a few strat. towns and cities. You can trade territory for time you`ll desperately need to keep the Red Army technologically at reach of the enemy. This way you`re gonna loose wide parts of Russia, but nearly no NM through destroyed units, denying the Wehrmacht almost all combat XP.

I made a tutorial for a possible russian defence in german (which you probably won`t understand, hehe), but you can see the dates and more pictures of the research and unit production: https://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30506&p=1185254#post1185254




Captjohn757 -> RE: The Finnish front (9/10/2020 6:50:11 PM)

With a little long-range planning, it would have been possible to transport at least one unit from Tallinn across the Gulf of Finland to Hanko (Russian property) and then come in through the back door to attack Helsinki (just two hexes distant) when Finland joined the conflict --- far less resource intensive and an effective tactic.




Sugar -> RE: The Finnish front (9/10/2020 7:25:54 PM)

That`s not necessarily a compelling move, unless you`re able to destroy the defending corps and occupy Helsinki in your first turn. But with the garrison in Turku the Finns will know of your presence, can upgrade the corps and operate another from Suomossalmi. Hardly successfull.




Captjohn757 -> RE: The Finnish front (9/11/2020 12:49:07 AM)

Hey, it worked for me, so it can be a compelling move to get Finland out of the war quickly.




mdsmall -> RE: The Finnish front (9/11/2020 12:53:23 AM)

How many units did you use and how long did it take?




OldCrowBalthazor -> RE: The Finnish front (9/11/2020 5:48:55 AM)

The Finnish OOB has needed to be fixed since release. There no Karelian army group or Hq that can push in at least to Petrozovodsk and the Svir river to make a defensive line on that flank, which they did in 41. Mannerheim is too far back from the Isthmus also. The Finns shouldn't be easily rolled at all. I modded this and used it against the AI and a friend to see if it tilted things too much in favor of the Axis, and it didn't. In fact, it made that theater of operations more interesting. When I started playing this game on release...it was the first thing I noticed that I thought needed a bit of help. Otherwise, a great game overall.




mdsmall -> RE: The Finnish front (9/11/2020 5:08:27 PM)

This is proving to be a very interesting thread. What changes did you make to the Finns in your mod? Do other readers think there is a historical and/or game balance case for modifying the way the Finns enter the war, either in terms of timing or their OOB? I was intrigued to read that in the Fall Weiss mod, the Finns are a power in their own right, allowing the player who controls them (presumably the Axis) to change their unit deployment before they mobilize. Is there a game case for making the Winter War a campaign that the Soviets have to play out, rather than a Decision Event? (I realize that in suggesting this, there would have to be an exception made to the mobilization rules to allow the Soviets to attack the Finns well before they reach 100% mobilization - which may be too much of a compromise to the rules).




Tanaka -> RE: The Finnish front (9/11/2020 5:19:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

This is proving to be a very interesting thread. What changes did you make to the Finns in your mod? Do other readers think there is a historical and/or game balance case for modifying the way the Finns enter the war, either in terms of timing or their OOB? I was intrigued to read that in the Fall Weiss mod, the Finns are a power in their own right, allowing the player who controls them (presumably the Axis) to change their unit deployment before they mobilize. Is there a game case for making the Winter War a campaign that the Soviets have to play out, rather than a Decision Event? (I realize that in suggesting this, there would have to be an exception made to the mobilization rules to allow the Soviets to attack the Finns well before they reach 100% mobilization - which may be too much of a compromise to the rules).


Yeah I've never been able to do anything with the Finns in SC series other than make a defensive line. Certainly no offensive moves.




OldCrowBalthazor -> RE: The Finnish front (9/12/2020 3:21:30 AM)

mdsmall, et al.
First, I want to give credit to Crispy131313 and his excellent Fall Weiss mod for my small change to my homebrewed mod that was made for my personal use and a few of my buddies in my local club. If you want a solution to this, play his mod, and everything else is a moot point.

However, what I did was very minor. The first thing I noticed playing (and seeing some examples of play) was that there was no movement of Finnish Forces into East Karelia...nor was it possible to do so..because there are No forces there to do so. Now, when the Finns decided in 1941 to join Germany on the attack on the Soviet Union, their primary reason was to take back that land lost after the Winter War. Simple as that. Cutting the Murmansk railroad and other considerations in theater were German ideas. Anyway, below is a list of units we added to the Finns and the Soviets to balance it out and satisfy my ocd on this subject.

One additional note: The supply issues in East Karelia are severe, as they should be, and no changes were made to scripts or features to the map. Most of the roads are dirt, and in the summer of 41..the dust clouds of the advancing Finns could be seen for miles..even in that northern boreal.

Add these as initial units, making sure to keep them west of the 41 line in case the Winter War is lost.

Finland
Town of Joensuu: HQ Oesch
1 hex south: Army (Karelian)
1 hex north: Corp
2 hex north: Div
2 hex south: Div
3 hex nw of Joensuu: Engineer (for Onega isthmus or Svir line)
Town of Kajaani: Brigade (ski)
Town of Kusamo: Brigade (ski)
Town of Petsamo: Brigade
Helsinki Port: MT
Turku Port: CL
Kemi Port: SS

Soviet Union
1 hex south of Murmansk: Div
Town of Segezrsk: Div
Town of Kandalaska: Div
Town of Petrozovodsk: Div

If the additional Finns seem excessive, we haven't seen them rolling across the Murmansk RR easily or rounding Lake Ladoga. We have had big battles to take Petrozovodsk or trying to reach Kem on the lower margins of the White Sea. The Brigades are weak But they have been used to raid and break tenuous supply lines of advancing Soviets in the middle of the front. Mind you, unless there is deeper editing, if playing against the AI Soviet, those Red Army divisions screening the Murmansk railway tend to get taken away to a fate worst then the boredom of wilderness garrison duty. [:D]




Captjohn757 -> RE: The Finnish front (9/13/2020 9:22:31 PM)

mdsmall: My apologies for being a little late on the reply . . . I swapped out the garrison in Hanko with a Russian army immediately after the Russians gained control of Estonia (while there were no Finnish units on the map, so they couldn't upgrade the corps which ultimately occupies Helsinki) and then placed a corps in Tallinn that was subsequently transported over to Hanko when the Finns joined the war. It took a couple of turns to get to Helsinki and two turns to take the city; in the interim I transported the displaced garrison back into Hanko from Tallinn. About five turns total and the Finns were out of the picture. Maybe a couple of fortuitous "die" rolls, but the AI didn't bother reinforcing the city (too occupied with Barbarossa, I suppose). Thanks for your interest.




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