Sunday, 15 September 2013

Death In The Snow!

The Look and Learn Winter War cover
When you are eight your knowledge of military history is somewhat limited. In my case the primary sources were Victor for Boys comic, war films on the BBC and whatever was in the Airfix catalogue. Consequently you can imagine my confusion when I came across a picture in Look and Learn (bought by my father for my education, I hated it and only read The Trigan Empire most issues!) of some soldiers in white camo suits in a snowy wood destroying an enemy tank by throwing a log into the tracks! What was this nonsense and who where the Finns? (well Airfix didn't make any so how was I to know?).

Obviously, over the years, my knowledge of WW2 history has expanded (though I still find odd new nuggets) and Finland's Winter War against the invading Soviets is one that has piqued my interest on a number of occasions. That interest may now manifest itself in miniature...

I have been considering building some winter terrain for a different project and would like to get some value for money out of it by using it for other games. I had noticed Baker Company were running a Winter War Kickstarter to produce a range of 28mm miniatures and whilst they looked nice I was in no hurry to dive into this particular project - until I read what the deal was...

Finnish Riflemen Greens advancing
With most Kickstarters you pledge a certain amount for a basic reward and as the total money pledged comes in and levels hit (stretch goals), you get some freebies and new products become available which you can buy (usually at a reduced price) by increasing your total pledge. Baker Company aren't doing that, as the money comes in they are adding substantial stretch goals for free! (yes, I had to read it twice, well actually more than that!).

Finnish Riflemen Greens firing
Let's take the basic Finnish Rifle Platoon Pledge. £60 gets you 37 miniatures posted free (anywhere in the world). £1.62 a miniature is a little bit high but not extremely so, Warlord are around the £1.40 to £1.50 mark in metal. However the free stretch goals add a ten man Jaeger ski section, four snipers, four tank hunters (some with logs), two medics with two casualties, mortar and four crew, HMG firing, HMG moving, anti-tank gun and crew, six cavalry, ten jaegers on bicycles and artillery (limbered or firing with crew) and reindeer pulled baggage. The Early War Soviets have similar interesting freebies, including AFV's, and there are more to come for both sides if the money keeps being pledged. I'm not sure exactly what this brings the cost per miniature down to but it is around half the initial price.

Early War Soviet Infantry Greens charging
It almost seems too good to be true but Baker Company do seem to be adopting the principles of Kickstarter in using the process to raise money to get things into production with pledgers getting the benefit of product at near production cost prices not just as discounted pre-production orders such as with Mantic. With this in mind and bearing in mind it is such an interesting theatre of war, it would seem rather stupid not to get on board with a view to using Bolt Action or some such set...


  1. Great post! I was like you, I really didn't know about the sideline players of WW2 just the big boys! As I have stepped into Bolt Action I am starting to learn more and more about those little guys that played a part. So, I am just about to throw my log into a Soviet tank tread and take the plunge! I love the concept and the rewards, KS like this quickly earn my respect and support. I hate the ones that nickle and dime you with upgrades.

    there are perhaps two other guys near me that are getting the Finnish also and we are talking about doing a Soviet Winter Wars game perhaps.

  2. This project is all the rage across the blogshpere!!
    Considering to use with Chain of Command, as the list for Finnish and Russians were published this week

    1. He timed it well (or on purpose) to hit with both COC and Bolt Action Axis book both hitting near the same time, so he gets a double dip from two of the most current rules and I am sure from collectors in general.

  3. Hi Steve,

    A good book to read on the war is Winter Death by Robert Edwards. Certainly worth digging out if you get the chance.

    All the best,


  4. I loved Look & Learn but the Trigan Empire was the best thing in it!

  5. You persuaded me! Finnis Platoon .................