Saturday, 26 April 2008

Winter War Reading

I may have mentioned earlier that, having picked up some Baker Company Finns from eBay, I have developed a serious interest in the Winter War. I picked up some Bolt Action figures at Salute and have ordered some more figures in winter gear from Brigade Games (I've just had an email from Lon @ Brigade apologising for the delay to my order as their Finns were out of stock). So in order to get maximum use from the figures I started to look out for some reading material.

First off is William Trotter's book The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40. I have just finished reading it and I can confirm the good reviews that I read of it. It is very readable and has provided an excellent introduction to me for the period. The author has clearly done his research and breaks the conflict down into the different areas in a very clear and accessible way. I can heartily recommend this one.

At Salute I spotted a copy of GURPS WWII: Frozen Hell - Finland in the Winter War and Beyond which is a supplement for the Second World War sourcebook for the Generic Universal RolePlaying System. I've always found the GURPS sourcebooks an interesting read and not too system heavy (something that's not always true for d20 sourcebooks). Interestingly the book as a brief introduction by William Trotter. Overall it's a good introduction to the period but obviously provides nowhere near the depth of the previous book; however, on the plus side in addition to the Winter War it also covers the Continuation War and the Lapland War, albeit briefly, which are both beyond the scope of Trotter's book. As with the other GURPS sourcebooks the sidebars provide some interesting asides and detail, and it also covers the weaponry used. A useful source.

I searched in vain at Salute for a copy of the Finland '39-'40 - The Winter War booklet in the Skirmish Campaigns series. Fortunately I found that The Wargames Command Post had a copy and they sent it to me very quickly. As with the other booklets in the series it provides a brief introduction, an outline of the format, information to enable the scenarios to the adapted to many sets of skirmish rules and then the scenarios, in this case 10 of them split into 4 separate campaigns. I am already checking to make sure that I have the kit for the various scenarios and, with a few exceptions (not enough T26's and trucks for one scenario; no Russian mortar for a couple of the others) I think I will be pretty close when the Brigade figures arrive. I plan to get some of these scenarios to the table later in the year - probably using Nuts! (which annoyingly isn't one of the rule sets they provide translation details for - but it shouldn't be hard) and will post the details.

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