November 30th 1939.
Emboldened by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union attacks Finland.
For 105 long, cold, wintry days the eyes of the world were fixed far north. A vicious battle in record-shattering, freezing temperatures began.
The Soviets – overpowering in both men and equipment – were determined to smash the feeble defenses of the Finns. The Finns - although weaker in firepower – could turn the harsh Nordic winter conditions into a surprise advantage.
While the western powers deliberated intervention, time was running out for both belligerents.
Can the Finnish defenses endure ever-fiercer attacks across the border?
Will Stalin pay the political price for a battle that turned out to be a lot more than a parade march straight to Helsinki?
The game contains 55 uniquely illustrated cards, each with a genuine photograph taken during the war. Like in 1918: Brother Against Brother, we took every opportunity to faithfully depict the events of the war while still balancing the gameplay. We believe that we have achieved that, while still providing the players with challenge and excitement as they battle for the fate of Finland.
Freezing Death - Finnish Winter War (or Jäinen Kuolema in Finnish) comes with a fully mounted gameboard depicting the map of Finland as it stood in the mid 30s, with 74 counters, the aforementioned 55 cards, as well as 8 six-sided dice and reference materials.
All the components are of high quality, both visually and physically, and the game will be made by the same manufacturer that made 1918. The game is fully bilingual, in English and Finnish.
Freezing Death is a card driven wargame for two players. One player leads the Finnish Defence Forces and the other player the Soviet Red Army.
The game starts in 1935, when both players can prepare for oncoming struggle. Should the Finnish player improve the Mannerheim Line or use those resources to reinforce regular troops? Should the Soviet player use its influence in western labor movements to diminish the likelihood of future intervention or is a pure military strategy a better way to spread the revolution?
The board's three fronts are where the Soviet forces try to overcome Finnish resistance, while the Western Intervention track shows international sympathy for Finland's fight and therefore how likely Anglo-French intervention is.
The 55 action cards are at the heart of the game. They can be used either as action points or events. Events include Molotov cocktails, Political Commissars, international journalists as well as vodka rations.
Like 1918: Brother Against Brother, Freezing Death draws its inspiration from such classics as Paths of Glory, Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and Hammer of the Scots. It can be played in about 90 minutes.
For more details on the components and rules of the game download the rulebook here (scroll down for the link).
Please download the file, as PDFs viewed in-browser may not display properly. This file is the low-resolution version of the rules document. If you find any mistakes, please send us a direct message via Kickstarter.
Calandale took a long hard look at Freezing Death:
Full playthrough part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7TZjJTerw
Full playthrough part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZXejjkqtJU
Kai Saarto also took a look, in his blog Todellisuuspako:
(in Finnish, but easily translatable with Google Chrome or Google Translate)
We have put a lot of effort in researching the historical circumstances and events depicted in Freezing Death. Several museums and archives have provided support for the project, and the photographs have been selected by a renowned scholar of political history, Dr. Olli Kleemola from the University of Turku.
Dr. Kleemola is also in charge of the historical research necessary to be true to the conditions and accurate depiction of this short yet consequential war.
Designer Antti Lehmusjärvi has been a wargame aficionado for more than 20 years. He is also a history buff with a special soft spot for late 19th and early 20th century history. He works as a military legal advisor for the Finnish Defence Forces.
Antti Lehmusjärvi has designed an award winning game about Finnish Civil war, 1918: Brother Against Brother. In Freezing death he has been able to continue to combine two of his interests: The creation of Finland as a nation out of the turmoil of the stormy European politics in first half of the 20th century, and the first perilous test of the Finnish Armed Forces in defending their nation.
Art & graphic design is directed by Todd Sanders. Todd is an experienced game artist, a graphic designer, and a game designer himself. Having worked with our development team before, he has achieved a level of efficiency that is a true asset to this campaign.
For the past six years he has also been designing boardgames and is well known in the Print and Play community on BoardGameGeek.com. He likes designing games that are quick to play but have clever strategic elements to them and strong thematic artwork. He works now with several publishers as a boardgame graphic designer, adding his skills to the gaming community at large.
His publishing imprint Air and Nothingness Press publishes works of French surrealist poetry in translation by Robert Desnos, and fantasy and science fiction from Steph Swainston and Jonathan L. Howard.
Dr. Soc. Sci Olli Kleemola is a historian specialized in war photography as well as the military history of Finland during the WWII. He is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Turku. In Freezing Death he has been able to combine both of his main fields of interests.
The game as presented is complete. We aim to produce a high quality item for your game library, and this is the basis of our pledge level and funding goal calculations.
Our margins are small to non-existent, and we have invested a lot of our personal funds in this passion project. That said, we are prepared to add to the game to the best of our abilities. Our main goal is at $12,000, at which point we will add:
A historical overview of the Winter War
A short six-page introduction into the causes, participants (and their motivations), and impact of the war. Written by Dr. Kleemola, this short booklet that we hope to add to the game is a well-researched primer into the conflict and the path leading up to it.
We fulfilled 1918: Brother Against Brother on time, we feel that we are ready to do this again, using the same system, but even better packing material.
We expect to fulfill all rewards from within the EU, and as a result EU backers do not have to worry about customs or VAT.
Shipments to backers outside of the EU and the USA will have 40 EUR declared as the value of the package. That's roughly equivalent to 49 USD / 60 CAD / 69 AUD / 48 CHF / 5288 JPY. Note that we can not be responsible for any customs fees.
We can also not be responsible for any re-shipping fees in case your package is returned as unclaimed, or if the address you provided is not valid. Should a package not arrive within a certain time frame that will be announced when it has been shipped, we will spend a period of time investigating its fate before any action is taken.
Certain countries do not appear on the list of available shipping destinations. This is due to past experiences and potential cost overruns due to weight fluctuations. Click the pledge level and please contact us via KS message if your country does not appear on the list.
Regrettably, we can not offer pickup at Spiel in Essen or at any other convention.
We will be using Backerkit as our post-campaign fulfillment suite and pre-order management platform, through which additional copies may be obtained.
The real cost of shipping is subsidized and is offered for the period of the campaign. It includes costs like ocean freight, import fees and/or VAT, packing materials, labor, replacements shipping; and the risk of shipping cost increases. Those can add anything from $3 to $10 to the price you would have to pay if we did not subsidize them.
EU: 9 USD *per copy*
USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan: 14 USD *per copy*
Everywhere else where we ship: 22 USD *per copy*
IMPORTANT: Do not add these amounts to your pledge! We will collect the shipping cost after the campaign, via Backerkit.
IMPORTANT: If you would like 2 copies, then please back at the "2 x" pledge level. If you would like multiple copies, please wait until the Backerkit survey after the campaign.
Given the size and weight of the game, we would prefer not to ship more than one copy at a time. That said, we would still like to offer a discount if you order more during the campaign. This is why we have added a pledge level for two copies.
Tracking is not offered through this campaign. If tracking is important to you, please contact us via the KS messaging system before the campaign is over.
Many thanks to Toni Heinonen, Sonja Hatanpää, Mikko Saari, Kimmo Kestinen and many, many others.
Risks and challenges
This is our second game, and our first campaign was successful. We are also working in closely knit co-operation with LudiCreations which has an excellent track record on successful KS-campaigns and will help us navigate the perilous waters of KS.
We are working with an European manufacturer, the same one that manufactured 1918: Brother Against Brother, and we are confident in our ability to deliver the game and any additional materials. That said, unforeseen events may always affect how quickly fulfillment is conducted, and the graphics and components seen here are subject to change (however improbable).
Note that our goal is to ship the game on time, by the dates listed on the pledge levels. Shipping a package is different than delivering a package. We do not deliver your game, the shipping company does. Therefore, delivery times will vary according to your local postal services – once we ship, the shipment is the responsibility of the shipping company. If tracking is important to you, please let us know. Informal currency conversions made on this campaign may not be accurate by the time you read this, and therefore result in seemingly cheaper prices further in the future. Please do not try to invade Finland in the winter, or at any other time. By backing this project, you indicate that you have read, understood and agreed with the above. If you have any questions, please contact us directly via the KS messaging system.
- (25 days)