Disposable Heroes Winter War game! December 7th 1939

I had a chance to dig out my Winter War Russians to pit them against my friend Keith Stine of Iron Ivan Games's Finnish forces. We used Iron Ivan Games's WW2 ruleset, Disposable Heroes Coffin for Seven Brothers.  We gamed at the awesome Army Group York club house.

Inspiration for the scenario came from a book I am reading, War of the White Death, good stuff!

The battle we gamed is the The Rapids of Kiviniemi, December 7th 1939. Unlike many other Winter War scenarios, the Russians prove to be a bit more tenacious in this battle.

After a brutal river crossing with many losses the Soviet 173rd rifle regiment made it to the Finnish village of Kiviniemi where they encountered Finnish delaying forces. Fighting ensued in the village with the desperate Russians seizing several buildings.

T-37s of the 339th Tank Battalion also attempted the river crossing but were lost or unable to make it past the boulders on the opposing bank. For fun, in the scenario we did a what if and rolled each turn to see if a T-37 would arrive.

For the forces

Finns had a supported Rifle Platoon vs a Platoon of Russians with no command.  The lack of command for the Russians, coupled with the fact that there are no junior NCOs in the TO&E at this time meant a lot of tough Morale checks in the game.

The table, the village Kiviniemi

Russians take defensive positions.  Figures are from Battle Honors, LOVE them.

Homemade buildings, I made these before kids!  They've been around for at least 11 years.

Russians advancing

It's a long way from Leningrad!

The Finns of Stine advance up a gully in the snow, again figures by Battle Honors.

My Russians make it into some buildings and set up to fire.

The Finnish Maxim begins tearing into the Russians by the trucks!

Finns mow down Russians with Snap Fire, then charge to finish them off. No pun intended.

Finns now control the barn and begin building hopping.

Finally a T-37 arrives!

Counter assaults by beleaguered Russians!

The Russians left flank collapses under the Finns!  Truck by Force of Arms.

T-37 attempts to save the remaining Russians, but the writing is on the wall.  T-37 is from Army Group North Miniatures.

Finns Close Assault the tank and immobilize it!

The last of the Russians try to shoot the Finns off the tank, to no avail.

That's a wrap!  Finns fought their way through the Russians.  The lack of support and command really took a toll on the Reds.  If I was to run the same game again, I think I would add a few more rifle squads or same arty to balance it out.

Historically the Russians held the basements of Mustonens car repair shop, a local drug store and a local food shop for 6 days with just 30 men until the Finns were able to quell them.

More to come,


  1. Nice report, very atmospheric with this snow...

  2. Thanks! I have a few more pieces to add to this project.

  3. Looking good! DS is my favorite for company level fights!

  4. Great looking game and AAR.

  5. Fantastic and love the 'sparkly' finish on the gaming board too, very nice touch indeed!


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