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Thread: Let's see if my Finland becomes Greater Finland or a smaller one

  1. #1
    Old Guard Miihkali's Avatar
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    Cool Let's see if my Finland becomes Greater Finland or a smaller one

    So, I decided to play as Finland--this is actually the first time I play DH as Finland. This won't be very experimental or narrative (or even very good AAR) because this is mostly just playthrough; my target is to have an interesting little game, nothing more. Still I hope that some may like reading this, as I'm not going to play exactly traditional game. I'm not sure how well they'll work, but I still have couple of tricks in my pocket! As for the pre-war period there's not much to tell. Everything went as it should and most important events came almost exactly at the historical dates.

    I didn't reinforce or upgrade my army. I thought that this would just rise the supply demand, and thus eat available IC from other tasks. Finnish army is in rather good condition at the beginning of 1936. There are over 20 divisions, though all of them have very low strength. That's not an issue, however, as I will get some free manpower from the Lotta Svärd event (where woman volunteers replace men where possible an some 100,000 men are added to the manpower pool). And when the war begins, mobilisation events will add plenty of strength to my divisions.

    I have used almost all free IC to money production, which means I've got some 6 moneys per day. I have used them to improve the performance of my generals, i.e. using war games decisions. If I recall correctly, I was able to run these war games no less than five times, and I've been lucky enough for they have mostly given boost for three or four generals, and most often for some of the best lt. generals--thus I currently have very nice amount of capable leaders (though the Finnish generals aren't bad at all in their initial condition). I have also risen my industrial espionage level to ten, which have been good investment as the USSR seems to have high drive to assassinate my ministers.

    My research has been focused mostly to industrial technologies giving me more IC. I've, however, also researched 1936 infantry. When this was ready, I pushed for three-year service to get some unused manpower and started to build three series of infantry division (after getting rid of dissent I started two series more). This game me dissent hit of six, which I lowered by one through printing thousand money. This of course gives -1 % hit for my industry, but I think this is acceptable as I have couple of ministers giving very nice bonus to industrial production, and on the other hand, for total industrial efficiency of 21 one percent won't be very remarkable modifier. I used this semi-free money for one War games more, which sadly gave only one point for only one very puny mj. general.

    At the very beginning of 1939 I began to slightly reinforce my divisions, so that they won't be completely wiped out at the first days of winter war before the reserves are activated. I used also the newly arrived divisions to make a solid defensive line to my border. Mannerheim (who thanks to war games has respectable skill of five) and his HQ are placed in Mikkeli as then he will be able to give some boost to Joensuu, Sortavala, and Viipuri--well-reinforced troops from Terijoki will retreat to Viipuri in good order but I hope they can delay Soviets at least slightly and thus give time for the eventual reserves to arrive. Same applies for forces in Salla (province next to Kandalaksha--it will be very probably the first province the Soviets will attack. I won't benefit much from defending it as there's nothing important in the province, and when I retreat I don't have to divide my troops as much--now I have to use 7 divisions to defend three provinces. When I leave Salla, the amount of provinces needing divisions reduce to two. But if I can win some time with that, that will be worth it.



    Main defensive force is in Sortavala. I don't know if there will be remarkable Soviet pressure, but I hope I will be able to start a counter-attack during Winter War and Sortavala will be crucial in that. Also, Joensuu won't be much threatened as the USSR can attack there from only one province. If it turns out that there's no much use for 5 divisions in Sortavala, they can be moved to north, where I suppose a flexible front will arrive. I hope I will be able to encircle major amount of Soviet divisions in the north Karelia and Kola peninsula. Do these actually matter during winter war, I don't know, but I'm still kind of a role-player and getting a pretentious tactical victory from the superior enemy is still cool, even though it wouldn't have an effect on the final result.

    During the summer 1939, when Soviets invited Finland to negotiations in Moscow, it was time both historically and in my game to start partial mobilisation. Mobilising through this event doesn't give the usual dissent hit, so it's very favourable to do so, as it has to be done anyway at some point. I have decided that my doctrine will be defensive focus for several reasons:
    • Finnish tech teams are good for researching that doctrine, even though they fit even better to light infantry
    • Light infantry and defensive doctrines are much easier (lower difficulty level) than the other doctrines, which is suitable for minors with only one tech slot
    • Defensive focus gives somewhat quickly morale and especially organisation, and the latter is crucial against Soviets. As they have human wave doctrine, it is anyway for me impossible to have morale race with them--thus I need organisation to beat them

    During september/october my manpower and supplies started to be rather low, due to focusing almost all IC to infantry production. Thus I started to produce masses of supplies is order to be able to mobilise. And thanks to infantry rushing, I have several fresh, full-strength divisions in reserve. Also I have deployed some new divisions to crucial stronghold so that they will be able to fight at maximum power the Soviet invaders. In addition, I have reinforced few original divisions, so that the arrival of the reserve units will for sure boost their strength to 100. In the less important regions it doesn't matter if the initial power is 70 or 80, but it will be useful to have full-strength divisions in places where the major Soviet offensive is probable. Such places are Salla, Terijoki, and Petsamo. And general mobilisation will give me more manpower whenever I need, it will be enacted immediately when the war begins--which is about now!


    (November 2 1939)

    EDIT: Sorry for the several edits, but after I took a look on the history file, screenies, and save games I noted several slight errors in my text. Now it should describe the same situation as my save game file..
    Last edited by Miihkali; 10-07-2011 at 15:22.
    Mikael "Miihkali" Tuominen — Darkest Hour - a 1914-1963 grand strategy game

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  2. #2
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Best of luck in your attempt at making the Stalinist hordes cover before the might of Finland.


  3. #3
    East vs West developer Leonaru's Avatar
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    Go Finland!
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    Go Finland, will you accept historical demands by the Soviets (if you survive?)

    Tim

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    El Presidente of Tropico & etc Ivir Baggins's Avatar
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    Do you think you'll be able to get at least a white peace?
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    East vs West developer Leonaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivir Baggins View Post
    Do you think you'll be able to get at least a white peace?
    The USSR is in one of the major alliances, so they will always fight to death. Or at least till an event fires. I think.
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    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
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    Good luck, you'll need it!
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    -{Kaiserreich Team]- Davisx3m's Avatar
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    Good luck!
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    Hej Slaveni! JRHINDO's Avatar
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    Evil Lawyer K W's Avatar
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    Interesting introduction so far. Why haven't you improved fortifications in Viipuri?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timmie0307 View Post
    Go Finland, will you accept historical demands by the Soviets (if you survive?)

    Tim
    I haven't played Finland in DH yet, but in HoI and Arma it was for a decent player possible to drive the Soviets back to Moscow, so I don't think that Miihkali will be forced to accept Soviet "demands" ...

    ... I hope.
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  11. #11
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    If the AI by any chance has PARAs, they could drop parachuters on your undefended VPs and the war would be over xD

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by K W View Post
    Interesting introduction so far. Why haven't you improved fortifications in Viipuri?
    Likely because they wear down so quickly during war that the IC is better spent on building units/upgrading.

  13. #13
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Interesting choice -- I'm subscribed!
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    Second Lieutenant Brisk86's Avatar
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    Good Luck with Finnland!
    I played with Romania and with them it is relatively easy to help the german ai to win but with Finland you choose a realy hard challenge.
    It will be really intresting but i am not sure if you will be able to help the germans a lot with that small IC and MP.
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    Ah, my fellow Finn. I wanted to make a Finland AAR myself, but never got around to it.
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    Old Guard Miihkali's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments. First, I've to admit that my plans weren't too successful--nor they were a great failure. My greatest mistakes were that I hadn't artillery + anti-armour upgrades and my land doctrine research was not up-to-date. On the other hand, researching several artillery technologies would have spent great amount of my research days which I definitely lack as I have only one tech slot, even though my tech teams are very good for minor. But lack of land doctrines was probably the reason for not-so-great results of Winter War . . . But judge yourself--Finland at all has no change to win the Winter War, so . . .

    My first action after the beginning of the war was to enact general mobilisation. I wasn't able to do that in the very first day as I lacked couple of supplies, but that wasn't long delay--the Soviets luckily didn't immediately push for an attack. Mobilising raised the strength of my land divisions to 85 (except the ones which I had reinforced a little, which are now full). Also, nice amount of new manpower arrived--over 100! I negated some of the dissent through a nice propaganda campaign, as I had plenty of money. It also gave me couple of extra manpower. As my intelligence level was at 10, my situation at all wasn't too bad--except, defensive focus doctrine was still at about 85 per cent, and the Soviets successfully delayed the research even more.

    The first days of war were kind of sitzkrieg. The Soviets bombed my industry and troops heavily, which I hadn't expected; of course some bombings, but it seems that the red air force is really powerful. Thus I had to deploy some more reserves to the Karelian isthmus simply to prevent the Russian bombers causing too much losses for my forces here. Luckily I really have some reserve divisions in the pool, and some infantry series more are completed from time to time . . . November 8 some Swedish material aid arrived, which gave me one additional division, and some supplies so that I was able to lower my supply production temporarily.

    As nothing had happened till 15th of November, I started some weak pushes toward the Soviet lines in Karelia. At first, I had actually a superiority in numbers, as most Soviet forces lied in the north. I was even able to break some weak forces in Segezha and drive them to retreat, but of course that made the red army to move respectable forces from Murmansk and Kandalaksha closer to Petrozavodsk. Ok, it's ny my turn to sit. I cancelled attacks as soon as it became clear that it would just lead to unnecessary losses. Finland has quite nice amount of manpower available for such a small nation, but there for sure is not enough manpower for a wasteful use.



    If the Soviets aren't attacking at Karelian isthmus, there's actually only one province in the Northern Finland suitable for quick advance. That is Kajaani--north of Kajaani there lies large swamps, and south of the town there are the great lakes of Central Finland. Odds were quite clearly against me, so I formed new, solid front at Suomussalmi-Oulu-Kuopio-Joensuu line, which I was able to defend for a long time. Some counter-attacks towards Segezha delayed Soviets a lot, but by the first days of January 1940 they had re-organised and attacked towards Joensuu. The evil Communist bad guy invader Stalinists also pushed me from Salla which actually shortened my front.



    This meant beginning for the days of very flexible front. Soviet attacks were very powerful, but on the other hand they left very diminutive forces for defense. With somewhat little losses I was again able to delay them by re-taking Kajaani;and by attacking in Salla, which, sadly, proved to be a great mistake as my attacking forces here lost a great deal of valuable manpower. (Soviets brought several armoured divisions here, which I wouldn't have expected--what are heavy armour doing in the marshy tundra?) At least it was honourable! (For my troops, of course. To die for a cause is warrior's greatest price, isn't it?)



    The next month proved to be interesting. Soviets attacked in the central Finland at for a moment I feared that they would cut Finland in two. But I think I really humiliated them by taking Murmansk; whoa, my three mountaineer divisions (are they Jaegers or whatever) conquered the base of Russian Northern Fleet! As this made possible a defence in depth in the Northern Finland (in case of attack towards Murmansk, I could just defend it as long as it felt good, and then retreat to Petsamo with no need of dividing my troops here) I moved two divisions from Kemijärvi to south. Which were really needed . . .

    With fresh troops straight from the assembly line, as well as some veterans from the Northern front, I was able to launch my last counter-attack at the end of march 1940--Joensuu was again in my hands. For a while. Here you can see what the Soviets had achieved by 25 April 1940 when they proposed me a peace. The good old interim peace.



    Ok. Now I have role-played enough to say that I set up a honourable defence, humiliated evil attackers, overcame awfully incredible odds, killed thousands of enemies etc. etc. I even lasted a month longer than Finns did IRL.

    Sadly, the Soviet bombers wiped out my sole HQ division and my manpower losses were rather high. And OMG, I lost Sortavala, Terijoki, and Viipuri. As well as I got 10 point dissent hit!!!!11 So I have a good reason to hate Soviets. Now I'm legally and officially bitter and seek for a revenge. Hahaa, you Soviets don't know what you will experience when the Continuation War starts. Muahahahahahahaaa.
    Mikael "Miihkali" Tuominen — Darkest Hour - a 1914-1963 grand strategy game

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  17. #17
    El Presidente of Tropico & etc Ivir Baggins's Avatar
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    Aww. Very well, next time you can take the fight to them. I'd advise keeping Karelia and Nevanlinna (Leningrad).
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  18. #18
    Evil Lawyer K W's Avatar
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    I should have asked another question. Why didn't you build fortifications in other provinces? Obviously, with a level eight fort in Viipuri (in the latest beta patch), it would have been a little bit absurd to build even more fortifications there, but as you recognized yourself, Kajaani is, for example, the weakest link in the east, as it is the only province with forest terrain and thus not as easily defensible as the neighbouring marsh provinces. At least one level of fortifications should have been placed there, two would be ideal; and there would have been certainly enough time to build a second rudimentary fortification in another province, too.

    If you allow some critique: I think that your main mistake was the excessive use of your IC for money production. While it may be nice to have leaders with a high skill, it won't help you against the Soviets at all, because they have high skill leaders, too, so the only thing you achieved with your wargames was to be at par leader-wise. In all other areas that had to be neglected in order to produce the amounts of money you needed for your wargames, the Soviets were hopelessly superior. Do not forget that you don't necessarily need to produce money with your IC; you can as well trade for it. Finland has a small rare materials surplus; so make use of it.

    IMO, it would have been better to invest Finland's 22 Effective IC right from the beginning into the building of fortifications, infantry divisions, upgrades, brigades and the purchase of some licensed tanks and planes. Your consumer goods need is around four IC as Finland; your supply need around one IC, so you have 17 IC to your free disposal. The money you would need to purchase licensed tanks and planes could be accumulated by trading and, let's say, three or four additional IC that are invested into consumer goods. One PR of fortification costs 5 IC, two PRs of 1931 infantry cost 5.4 IC and can be produced well into 1939. The remaining IC as well as the free IC after you bought some tanks and planes and finished your infantry and fortification PRs can be spent on brigades and upgrades.

    In general, due to your low infantry output, your lines looked way too slim. When confronting major powers, provinces with just two divisions are a no-go, even for a minor like Finland.

    But nevertheless, a good read so far. I just hope that you will be better off during the Continuation War, because otherwise you will entirely depend on the German war progress. Considering that Germany's odds to lose the war are equal to Germany's winning odds you should really make sure that Finland is prepared for the worst case.
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  19. #19
    Major Ferrim's Avatar
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    I disagree with the forts thing. I find them extremely expensive...

  20. #20
    4chan is so mature today Storm501's Avatar
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    I tried Finland a couple of times. If you mass-build IC during peacetime, you can get some 30-40 IC for the Continuation War. Winter War doesn't really matter, since you are going to lose it by Spring, no matter what you do.

    Soviet bombers can be quite annoying with annihilating divs and IC, so some ints have to be produced. Mountaineers are a good way to put the limited MP for use in harsh terrain.

    Tried building 3-5 lvl landforts all over the border, but in the end Soviet bombers and inf mass make them go to 0 really fast. So in the end wasted IC... However if you manage to occupy entire Karelia, then building landforts in the 3 provs Belomorsk - Petrdsvosk - Leningrad/Terijoki/Viipuri can be useful.

    I joined the Axis shortly after Barba began July 1941. By then the Soviets had only left 1 div per border prov in Karelia. So my divs advanced pretty fast, Karelia occupied within a month, Leningrad defended by 1 div Soviet div, only faced real resistance close to Archangelinsk and Moscow. Bitter peace in 1942.


    Finland/Karelia really needs some rivers and disabled prov connections (currently 0 & 0), to make the front more static...

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