Arctic Front Deluxe Edition
November 1939, over a million Soviet troops
began an invasion of Finland, defended by
160,000 soldiers. The Finns lacked artillery,
tanks and aircraft, but made up for it with
sisu — Finnish for fighting spirit.
The Winter War lasted for four months, but
Finns fought the Soviets again in the Continuation
War of 1941-1944, and fought the Germans in
the Lappland War of 1944.
Arctic Front Deluxe Edition is a
Panzer Grenadier supplement adding
the Finnish army to the game series. It is
not playable by itself, but requires ownership
Front to play most of the scenarios,
to Berlin and Battle
of the Bulge to play all of them.
There are 40 scenarios plus background articles
and order of battle charts in a 64-page book
just like the popular Sinister
Forces and Fronte
There are 176 die-cut-and-mounted playing pieces. The Finns have outstanding
morale and very good leadership. But their
support weapons are lacking, and the Finnish
side usually has very little artillery and
few anti-tank guns or other such pieces.
Finland’s strength lies in her infantry,
and these troops are very good indeed. Some
of them actually sport anti-tank factors,
representing the deadly 20mm Lahti-Saloranta
anti-tank rifle. In addition to the typical
infantry and machine gun platoons found in
most armies the series has covered so far,
the Finns also have ski commandos (the feared
Sissi) and good cavalry.
Though Finland has weak artillery, the Finnish
player does get a new type of transport unit,
the sledge. This wagon on runners (some of
which were pulled by reindeer during the war)
allows fairly rapid movement over the snow,
so what weapons the Finns do have will get
Arctic Front introduces a brand-new
unit type, one of the most unusual of the
Second World War: the aerosan. Powered by
an aircraft engine, this craft had a box-like
superstructure mounted on four large, pontoon-like
skis. An aircraft propeller mounted on the
vehicle’s rear pushed it along at very
high speeds over snow (the movement factors
on the game pieces are deceptive, as these
units pay the same costs as foot units).
The Red Army of Workers and Peasants gets
some new pieces in addition to the aerosans:
BT-5 and SMK tanks. The Soviet units depicted
in Arctic Front’s scenarios are
often of inferior quality to the Finns. With
the leadership and morale wrecked by the purges
of the late 1930s, the units that invaded
Finland in 1939 proved sorely lacking.
Scenarios cover a wide variety of actions.
There are several from the deep snows of central
Finland in 1939 and 1940, where ski mobility
was the key to Finnish victory. Others cover
the intense actions on the Karelian Isthmus,
where Soviet tanks met the entrenched Finns.
Still others are based on the Finnish offensives
of 1941 and 1942, and the Soviet counter-offensive
of 1944. A whole sub-section covers Finland's
war against Germany, waged in September and
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