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Winter War (Review and Play Through)

19 June 2012 2 Comments

Covers the 1939-1940 war between Finland and the Soviet Union. Four-page rules folder, map, and 120 die-cut counters.

The Soviets have a massive strength advantage but their heaviest units can’t be used north of the arctic circle and all Soviet units must be able to trace a supply line back to Leningrad at all times. Finnish units don’t need supply in Finland, they have the advantage of prepared defenses south of the arctic circle, and Finnish units have higher mobility than Soviet units.

The Russians have to successfully invade Finland and take objective cities to win. The Finns simply have to hold out for ten turns.

Playable as a game rather than just as a simulation, unlike many later SPI offerings.

Two games in one. The base game favors an experienced Soviet player, who will often break through the Mannerheim line in a fairly historical manner around turns 7-9. The optional special events, depending on which are rolled, tend to favor the Finns, sometimes reducing the number of turns to just 5, placing tremendous time pressure on the Soviets. Play the base game several times before adding the optional “What-if” events.

~ SPI (Simulations Publications, Inc.)










Recovering hobo, one-time actor and street corner philosopher, now trying to enjoy the less fine things in life (like everyone else does). One thing has been nearly constant in my life - gaming. Even before discovering wargames (at the tender age of 10 or so - purely fortuitous), I would play out family games (including the 3M series) solitaire. But, life situations interfered not too long ago, and I was largely without board gaming for the better part of a decade. The last couple of years have seen me devoting myself to the hobby again - and learning a lot of the newer designs - so, I'm looking from the eyes of an old grognard (ah, how I fought against THAT term when first used on me) but an open mind and willingness to see if newer games appeal.
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  • Nicky LongBranch said:

    Hey, Enrico your great love your reviews can I make a request for Central America 😉
    Winter War originally was an S&T Game first. Issue 033.

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  • calandale (author) said:

    Central America’s pretty far down on my list, I fear.

    I own it, but never liked it much.

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