From the recent newsletter, it seems HBG are working on a “1946 Expansion with overlay”:
They expect it to be released this fall.
Looks very interesting 🙂
Hey does anybody have any extra ideas/ house rules for the winter war expansion? I like this one but it seems like there’s room to add a bit to it
Hi, I got this expansion, but once the Finnish forces are in place at the setup, it seems almost overwhelmingly difficult for the USSR to consider attacking there. It’s just too scary…
@linkler I’ve long thought the same thing! It’s a really great idea, and I do like what it brings. But yeah, it seems like something is missing.
Up front, I’ll say that I’ve never played with any of the below ideas. I’ve mulled them around for a while, but I’ve never put them to the test.
I honestly think as it pertains to the Winter War itself that the Expansion covers a lot of great ground. I love that the Allies can send Lend-Lease through Norway and Sweden to Finland, as there were actually volunteers from other nations who went to support Finland in the name of defeating communism. I like that Partisans are/can be involved as well, as it keeps Finland in the fight in some little way even if the Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact hasn’t been signed and the USSR steamrolls Finland.
But my overall thought though was more of a “Scandinavia at War” expansion sort of idea, which would encompass this Winter War Expansion. I think if you want to expand on the existing rules, expanding to all of the northern area might make sense. So part of my ideas below are directly related to the Winter War itself, but there’s also some other fun stuff as well as it pertains to Scandinavia overall.
- Soviet Inexperience - I think one addition to the Winter war would be to do what happens to the KMT infantry in the game. As in, if USSR infantry roll a 12 for their combat roll they are forced to retreat from the battle. This would be specific to the Winter War only, and wouldn’t carry over to the rest of the game/map.
- The Nordic Volunteer Corps - Sweden, Norway, and Denmark sent a force of about 10,000 men to help fight on behalf of Finland in the Winter War. I think one thing to do would be the moment the USSR declares war on Finland, you place 1-2 infantry (or maybe militia) on the Finnish-Swedish-Norwegian border to simulate this volunteer force from those countries coming to help.
- Narvik - The northern port in Norway was crucial for Swedish iron ore exports. In the winter, Swedish ports were completely frozen, so they had a deal with Norway where they utilized the port at Narvik in the winter months to export their iron ore. Both Germany and Great Britain knew this, and both wanted to keep Swedish iron ore away from the other. While the game already covers Swedish iron ore in the way of German wartime bonus income for a Neutral/aligned Sweden, I had the below thoughts:
- Operation Weserubung - Kind of related to the Narvik idea above, I wanted to give Germany some kind of reason/benefit to attacking Norway and Denmark like they did in the war. This one is hard though, as I know a lot of players don’t like to take Denmark, because that opens up the Danish Straights to potential Allied access (i.e. if Denmark remains Neutral the Allies can’t use it, but if Germany took Denmark it opens up the straights). I also understand the point of it being hard for the Axis/Germany to hold on to Norway, making it maybe not worthwhile to attack in the first place (part of my hope for the Narvik rules above to placate that issue a bit as well). My best thought was to initiate some kind of expansion “scheme” for the Germans, in kind of the same vein as the “German Operations Expansion” that currently exists. Here, the Germans would pay a certain amount of IPP over the course of like 2-3 turns. Let’s just say 30 IPP for now (10/10/10 installments). This payment would get you like 2-3 airborne, 2-3 air transports, a destroyer, a light cruiser, and maybe like 2 infantry. So, you’d get these units for cheaper than you would have without implementing the scheme (normally all that would cost 43-54 IPP at a cost of 30 IPP). But in activating this scheme, you’re A) Required to complete the scheme in 3 turns, and B) Required to attack Norway and Denmark on the turn the scheme is completed. The chance to get some cheaper units might offset the hesitancy to want to attack in the north/open up the Danish Straights to potential harm. That’s obviously a work in progress, but could be something.
- Norwegian Nazi Party - Vidkun Quisling was a Nazi sympathizer and was made Prime Minister after the German invasion. Might simple thought was once Oslo/Southern Norway falls to the Germans, immediately place an infantry (or Militia if too strong) on that territory to signify the Norwegian Nazi collaborators.
- Sweden - I had a couple potential ideas with Sweden in this vein as well:
I’m sure there are a ton of other ideas out there too, but these are just some that I thought might be fun to implement in some capacity! Would be curious to hear thoughts!
@noneshallpass I totally agree with you. Those Finnish forces pack a punch in the expansion. I have to imagine using this expansion makes a lot more Molotov-Rippentrop Pacts signed in games!
@chris_henry Those are great ! We play with the diplomacy expansion so here’s what we have so far
+1 modifier to the German roll
-1 modifier to any Soviet rolls
Lend leasing ipcs or units (aka turkey at war) adds a +1 to modifier as well
Gulf of Finland:
Whoever controls southern Finland can put coastal guns there to prevent anyone from entering or leaving (imagine a narrow crossing between Finland and Estonia ) -with no actual crossing of units allowed there it gives the Russians another reason to attack Finland before war breaks out with the Germans ( to protect the soviet fleet)
There was a interesting British-Franco scheme that was supposedly to intervene in the winter war, but actual goal was to invade Sweden and deny german supplies from there.
It would be interesting to see that as an option somehow.
@insanehoshi that is interesting in Wikipedia it shows up as “Plan R4” under the guise of helping the Finns fight the Soviets the British would land 3 (divisions?) and seize a bunch of mines in Sweden and Norway and the port as well, I think. Finland sued for peace with the soviets just before the plan could be implemented. (Paraphrase) so if Finland is at war with the USSR the allies could land in northern Finland (Petsamo)and from there invade Norway (narvik) and (northern) Sweden basically. I think something like they would supply Finland with some units in exchange no IPP penalty to invade those 2 areas and no subsequent war with Norway or Sweden? This of course would have greatly provoke the Germans
@insanehoshi That is really interesting. Something I’ve heard of, but haven’t researched in very much depth myself.
Relatedly, one of my favorite WWII stories below. I think the potential British occupation was probably related to what you posted above, or was maybe morphed from it.
In the days leading up to Germany’s invasion of Norway, it was frankly very much in the realm of possibility that the British might have attacked Norway first. Germany attacked (as we know) because they wanted to maintain control of Sweden’s iron ore and to deny it to the Allies, as well as to get some northern naval facilities. On the flip side, the British and French were also prepared to preemptively attack/occupy Norway to prevent Germany from doing so, but didn’t want to break Norwegian neutrality without being mostly sure Germany would attack. When Germany did attack, the King of Norway was woken from his sleep and was told that Norway was at war. The kings response was “With who?” haha.
Also if u want a couple Sweden ideas I have a German convoy box by Norway which would = your reply on 3 allies ships in sz to block ore shipments. Instead of 3 ships make 1 ship
Can block it in 3 szs.
Also I have one time in game in combat or non combat Germany can move troops through Sweden. So now they can go from Germany using transports through Sweden to Norway or Norway to Finland or Finland to Norway using transports.
Sweden sent LL to Finns.
Plus Sweden built up there force fearing of being attacked by Germany so maybe add a piece or 2 each turn or increase setup
Be nice to have something for ball bearings getting through to UK too from sweds.
@chris_henry haha that is good