1905: Days of Decision
1905: Days of Decision is the third game in The Scandinavian Wars Trilogy from Pantero Games.
The game is a strategic level analysis of potential war that could have happened when the union between Norway and Sweden was dissolved in 1905.
The war of 1814 had put a serious dent in Norwegian nationalistic aspirations, and the country had been forced to accept a union with Sweden, albeit as an equal partner with a separate constitution, parliament and government. During the 1800, and especially after 1880, the displeasure with the union grew in Norway,mainly due to three main issues;
- Norway was more reliant on foreign trade (especially with the UK) and the Norwegian economy suffered under Swedish protectionist measures to restrict foreign trade.
- Norway had close links to the UK, whereas Sweden maintained had close links to Germany. In the time leading up towards 1900, this became more of an issue between the two states.
- Because of shipping and trade interests, Norway had more interests outside of Europe than Sweden did.
When Sweden also restricted free trade between the two countries in 1850, the economic reasons for the union were also diminished. The issues came to a head when Norwegian governments insisted that Norway should be allowed to establish their own consulates around the world, partly because the existing foreign embassies and consulates were almost exclusively staffed with Swedes (foreign policy being the prerogative of the King) that were seen by the Norwegians as having little understanding for Norwegian trade concerns / and partly because Norway needed consular representation in areas of the world that the Swedes were not very interested in. The demand was rejected and resisted by the King and Swedish governments, and became an issue that Norwegian nationalists rallied behind.
During the late 1800's, both countries heavily modernised and expanded their armed forces with Norway building new, and modern. border fortresses towards Sweden - something the Swedes took as an insult. The Norwegian army also invested heavily in modern weaponry, including modern artillery and machine guns.
In 1905, the Norwegian government resigned their positions, and the Norwegian parliament declared Norway to be independent, based on the King not being able to find a new Norwegian government willing to serve.
The Swedish King and government declared this an act of rebellion, but indicated that they were willing to negotiate on the issue of consular representation. On August 31st, 1905, negotiators met in Karlstad to try to reach an agreement. Meanwhile, bot countries had mobilised their armed forces and these were now deployed on the borders, in some areas only 2 km apart from each other. For a few tense weeks, the armies watched each other, and prepared to go to war should the negotiations fail. In Norway, the mood was decidedly in favour of fighting, despite the Swedish numerical superiority. In Sweden, the mood was mixed, and especially in the growing labour movement in the cities, the attitude was that Norway should be allowed to leave the union without a fight.
Historically, the negotiations succeeded, and no shots were fired, but for three weeks in September 1905, it would only take a match to ignite a war that both sides had prepared heavily for.
All three games in the Scandinavian Wars Trilogy will use the same set of basic rules, the same basic map board and the counters and markers will be similar in design, although with certain period specific features. The game is of low-to medium complexity, and is solitaire playable.
There will be a set of additional rules for each game to account for historical differences, for instance the use of siege artillery in 1718 and machine guns in 1905.
Each Turn represents two days of actual time, and the game runs for a maximum of 15 Turns - roughly one month of fighting.
The map will be based on an area movement system that we feel better captures the nature of the campaigns in this area, than did the hexagon based system we used for the 2018 release of 1814. This will be on a mounted map board (in two or three sections) covering the border areas between Norway and Sweden, from Gothenburg to Trondheim. Each area has a dominant terrain, which represents the dominant terrain in the region,and this influences the combat and movement of units.
The military units that fought,or could have fought, in this war, are represented by 300 cardboard counters. The counters will be relatively large at 3/4" (we may even go up to 1" size) with some markers in 5/8" size. Each unit is given a combat factor which influences how strong it is in combat.
The military units are Cavalry, Dragoons, Infantry, Jaegers/Sharpshooters, Ski Jaegers, Artillery, Machine Gun, Engineers and Pontoons. The units have a morale value from 0 to 3, which influences battle results.
In addition there are separate counters for named officers, as well as a few generic officers that are used for moving forces around the map and influencing battle outcomes. Officers can be killed in battles. There are also some other units/markers that are used to mark certain locations and events on the map,
Units move across the map from area to area, either via a road or through terrain which affects how far they can move each round.
Mounted units have an intrinsic movement allowance, whereas foot units must be accompanied by an officer to move, using the allowance of the officer.
Jaeger units can also move independently and can also ignore the additional movement cost of certain types of terrain.
There is a chit pull system for the activation of units, simulating the problems of relaying orders and coordinating units larger than brigade size during this time. None of the armies had fought a war since 1814 so experience in operating in large formations under battlefield conditions was limited.
Combat results are decided by totalling the combat factors of both sides, and rolling a six-sided die. This die roll is then modified by things like officers command values, terrain,weather, supply, morale etc., yielding a final roll,which is then referenced on the Combat Results Table to find the outcome of the battle.
Combat results are implemented immediately.
Units of battalion size and larger can never be destroyed completely (representing the relatively small nature of the battles in this area) but can be demoralised and/or forced to retreat. Smaller units can be destroyed in combat, meaning that they have stopped functioning as a unit,not that everyone in the unit have been killed.
Generally the Swedes enjoy better training, better supplies and more fire power, the Norwegians have advantages in mobility and skirmish ability, as well as modern artillery and machine guns (that the Swedes do not have at this stage).
Victory is determined by Victory Points, which are awarded for achieving the objectives of either side.
If the Swedish player side does not achieve his victory conditions after 15 Turns, the game is a Norwegian tactical win.
For the Swedish side, the objective is in general to gain control of Norwegian key Victory areas and lowering the Norwegian National Morale Index to force the Norwegians to abandon the idea of full independence.
For the Norwegians the objective is to prevent the Swedes from gaining a strategic or tactical victory (a stalemate is, by definition, a Norwegian win). The Norwegian side also scores victory points for demoralising Swedish units, and for keeping the National Morale Index above the threshold.
Random events will influence the war. These include adverse weather conditions, illness and/or death of key officers, political events in Europe and elsewhere etc.
Pre-order the games in the Scandinavian Wars Trilogy now
1 game £40, 2 games £75, all 3 games £100
Games to the EU will be shipped from within the EU to avoid customs issues after Brexit.