A desperate battle for territory and survival is about to be waged across a bleak and snowy landscape of forests, swamps, and frozen lakes. Red Winter is the first in a proposed series of games covering battles of the 1939 Russo-Finnish Winter War and World War II at a rarely gamed scale: company sized combat units and 90 minute game turns. The Winter War games of the series will be characterized by highly fluid frontlines, wild flanking maneuvers by night, Finnish night raids, and a low unit density across a wide and shifting front. Future Winter War games in the works include the battle for Ägläjärvi, and WWII games in the works include Operation Dauntless (the Allied flank attack near Caen, France, in June of 1944), and several Pacific theatre battles of WWII.
In Red Winter, players assume the roles of the Soviet and Finnish commanders during the unusual battle for Tolvajärvi, Finland, controlling the actions of Finnish ski infantry, Soviet tanks and heavy machine gun companies, mortars, anti-tank guns, and other combat units. The game map is populated by forest, suo (wetlands), small Finnish settlements, and a network of crude roads and trails. However, the dominant feature of the map is a system of sprawling, frozen lakes. Combat units can very often gain favorable positions by crossing these lakes, but they do so at considerable risk…Units caught out on the ice make very inviting targets!
Based upon recent Finnish and Soviet sources, Red Winter is the product of several years of research and development. It was designed with an emphasis on speed, ease of play, and competitive play balance. The rules are built upon classic hex & counter wargame mechanics in combination with novel and well-integrated systems for ranged attacks, unit recovery, Finnish night raids, and sub-zero weather attrition losses. Low counter density and individually simple mechanics combine to allow each player the luxury of completing his turn in about five minutes. This means the full 40 turn campaign game is playable in a single, long afternoon. The large 5/8 inch counters and oversized hexes further enhance playability. And the Play Book's illustrated examples make it easy to jump right into the action.