November 30, 1939,
USSR army of 114 units opposed to Finland army of 93 units
for a battle of complexity 1.39 at Company(I) level
on a 2.5 Km/Hex map
for 103 turns of Full Day each.
by Sakari Lahti submited on 23-11-2002
Rugged-Defense Playing Statistics
THE BATTLE OF SUOMUSSALMI v.1.2
Soviet attack to capture Suomussalmi was the first phase of an offensive directed to the town of Oulu in an attempt to cut Findland in half during the Russo-Finnish War or Winter War (December 1939 - March 1940).
The task was given to partially motorized 47th corps which included two infantry divisions (44th and 163th). Both divisions were tied to the few snowy roads providing minimal maneuverability. That allowed Finnish ski troops to cut the supply lines, encircle and eventually destroy both Soviet divisions.
163th division managed to capture Suomussalmi in the early days of December but it couldn't advance further because of the Finnish counter attack which led to the destruction of the division by the end of the month. The 44th division performed even more poorly. It approached Suomussalmi along the Raate road but it was stopped after advancing only 30 kilometers from the border. The long Soviet column was cut in pieces and destroyed in January. Only a handful of Soviet troops managed to escape the equally deadly Finnish soldier, hunger and winter.
Location: Suomussalmi, Finland
Map scale: 2,5 km/hex (see comments)
Time scale: One day turns
Unit scale: Company/Battalion
Length: 103 turns (usually ends earlier due to events)
Finnish Army: White background color. Certain regiments have their own unit colors to encourage their usage as independent organizations.
Soviet Army: Brown on red.
The weather gets colder around turn 12 which causes shallow water hexes to freeze.
Soviet supply is soon increased after they capture Kylänmäki and/or Suomussalmi. This effect is cancelled if Finnish forces manage to recapture them.
If Soviet Army captures Hyrynsalmi or hex 0,58 the scenario ends and additional victory points are awarded to Soviet Army.
If the Finnish Army victory level reaches 100, it wins the scenario. This is the historical result.
The map scale is too large. One hex actually corresponds to roughly one kilometer. This means that movement allowances are too small compared to reality and that is why I have assigned so many horse teams to Finnish units. They are still too slow compared to their historical mobility but I felt that bigger map was important to make this scenario enjoyable.
Of course there is no deep water in this area. However, I have included some deep water hexes in the map to limit the possibility to conduct major offensives on frozen lakes which was historically not so easy as it would be in the game.
The Soviet player may build a road from Juntusranta to Linna. There are river hexes between them which have their bridges destroyed. Both players are forbidden to destroy those bridges after they have been rebuilt.
If the Soviet army is controlled by computer, you may want to use the editor to build the road before playing the scenario.
The Finnish Army is intended to be played by a human player. Finnish AI is poorly programmed due to elaborate tactics which is needed if Finland is to be victorious.
An explanation of unit names can be found in the Suomussalmi.txt file.
Finnish Army: During the first ten turns you are totally outnumbered by the Soviets. You should still be able to delay their advance toward Suomussalmi. Concentrate to block those forces which are advancing along the Raate road and be prepared to retreat when the northern parts of the 163th division get too close. It is imperative that you hold Ämmänsaari and other hexes south of Lake Kianta until reinforcements arrive. After that you should be able to strike back. Use forests and greater mobility to your advantage while encircling and destroying enemy units. Be prepared for Soviet reinforcements arriving from the east later in the game.
Soviet Army: Winning this scenario is very hard but not impossible. Your main objective is Hyrynsalmi and your only realistic chance to capture it is early in the game. Therefore you must do everything you can to advance very quickly to Suomussalmi. If you are not there by turn seven you will have very hard time crossing the water hexes. It may be wise to forget Peranka objective to quicken your advance.
If you can not continue your attack southward you may at least fight for a draw by holding those easy objectives which you probably captured during the first few turns. Even that may prove difficult because Finnish ski units are very suitable to conduct surprise attacks from the woods and you must protect your long supply lines.
Scenario design: Sakari Lahti
e-mail address: email@example.com
Comments and suggestions are more than welcome!