Communal Combat Mission: Turn 5

Every year The Flare Path runs a communal Combat Mission skirmish in which RPS readers attempt to outwit and outfight CM’s decidedly dangerous AI. Turns span 60 seconds and rarely go according to plan. Late-war and Eastern Front, this year’s scrap centres on a German-held Baltic port. It’s been four turns since the commenter-controlled Soviets left their deployment zones, and things are just starting to hot up…

Halfway across West Bridge the cocksure OT-34 has second thoughts. Reverse gear selected it begins to scuttle backwards towards the relative safety (?) of w15. Moments after the manoeuvre is completed a hunched grey figure appears in a window of the warehouse opposite and all hell breaks loose.

A bow of incandescent fire arcs across the river. The BA-64B’s LMG stutters into life. The rifles of the recon troops on the upper floor of the building at y16 join the furore. The window peeper has every reason to run – and run he does – but not before he’s glanced through the aiming aperture of a Panzerfaust 60 (?) and pulled the trigger.

The resulting projectile, frozen mid-flight in the above pic, strikes Flare Path on the chin sending a cone of white-hot magma and ricocheting splinters into her crew compartment. One man – the driver or bow gunner most probably – is grievously wounded.

At East Bridge turn 5 goes better. Approaching the house at t27, Myshkov’s assaulters draw fire from an enemy squad on the second floor. Instant responses from the T-34/85 and the advancing infantry quickly drive the defenders back from their firing positions.

At the start of turn 6…

Just south of West Bridge sits a shocked OT-34 with a sooty front and a blood-spattered interior, a BA-64B armoured car, Batrakov the mortar spotter (climbing the stairs at w16), Ryumin’s recon squad (w14, y16) and a SU-76 (hunting towards a new firing position  at z15).

NE of East Bridge, two of Myshkov’s pioneer squads are about to enter the house at t27. Having avoided the brief firefight to his left, Renko is already inside, moving towards an eyrie in the NE corner of the top floor. An iron cross icon at ground level at the rear of the building suggests enemy infantry are still in the vicinity.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 6 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 8 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter)

    *BA-64B armoured car
    *SU-76 SPG
    *Lt. Ryumin’s recon platoon (two recon squads + HQ)
    *Lt. Batrakov (mortar spotter)
    *T-34/85 (shocked so probably won’t respond!)
    *OT-34 flame tank
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three squads + HQ)
    *Renko, the sniper

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 6 will appear on the RPS front-page at around this time tomorrow morning.

    • opowell says:

      The Recon platoon should advance closer to the river.
      – Squad in w14 move to the NE corner of the house it is already in, staying on the 2nd floor.
      – Squad in y16 run to the NW corner, bottom floor of the house in w16.
      – HQ run to the SW corner, bottom floor of the house in w16.

      • heretic says:

        If we make it to turn 7, would the next order be to send a recon squad across the river?

        If it’s not too busy on the eastern bridge maybe those squads could provide some sort of support to the advancing units on the western bridge. That house on q25 might give some line of sight to any hidden surprises around r14/r16?

        • Electricfox says:

          I think that’ll be a good idea, I can’t really take the BA across on its own, but can provide suppressive fire towards any suspicious windows with Otto providing support once they’ve hosed the driver out.

    • xcopy says:

      Renko stops immediately and gets into defensive position. He waits for the pioneer squads.

    • alh_p says:

      I’d like to revise the existing Suchka order. I think it no longer has LOS to the out of action (?) AA gun on the wharf and its current order will park it behind the scout car, so both currently planned steps are redundant.

      Please cancel existing SU76 SPG orders and instead move it to W17/18 (it probably has to drive around the block), facing NW, ideally hull down behind the low wall. I hope this will give it a sight line through the town, up to the castle.

    • Wilson says:

      The first two squads of Myshkov’s pioneers can continue their current orders, the third squad can take a position on the ground floor in the northwest of the building in case there is an opportunity next turn to advance on the house at R26.

      Myshkov himself should move to the back corner of the building wherever he’s likely to be safest – I assume the ground floor offers best protection from mortars or artillery, and means they’re with third squad for protection.

    • gi_ty says:

      The T-34/85 at the eastern bridge, to u,27.5 behind that wall to the south, to get a peak around that building. Hopefully it can spot the unit hidden in that area while remaining covered by the wall. The commander should be buttoned down for the traversal period.

    • Cederic says:

      The two pioneer squads entering Renko’s roost continue with that route, securing the building and using beanbags to prepare a lovely cosy nest for Renko.

      The third squad will sneak quietly along the left side of the building, but not past it. This is in preparation for a sprint across the road into the building in R26, from where they will have visibility into the diagonal orchard. They will not however sprint across the road in turn 6 as they’re not suicidal idiots and need the cover from their buddies in building t27 first. Renko too, if he finishes his fag break in time.

  2. alh_p says:

    Well isn’t that exciting and doesn’t it just go to show why tanks shouldn’t go out to play on their own…

    What happens if that is Flare-Path’s driver who’s been ‘fausted? Can the gunner scoop him up and take over or do we now have a (shaken) OT34 pillbox?

    Also, i’m not too hot on Renko being our vanguard in the east – this isn’t Action Quake!

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Perphaps if the flametank just floored it across the bridge it would be all right? This indecision caused the problem, as it usually does.

      • alh_p says:

        Ok, well right after you then! I think the consequence of flooring it could well have been a faust in the flank/rear, which would have been much more damaging – and that’s only from the forces we know about. The whole town square is overlooked and could be a deathtrap.

        • heretic says:

          Felt a bit bad about the result, but now that you mention it, it could have been worse…

          Would be good to find out if the OT-34 can move again, what is the usual proceedure – should infantry go first to recon followed by the tank behind them?

          Also do we expect less resistance on the eastern bridge? It looks like we have 3 mechanised units on the west bridge but only 1 on the east?

        • Fred2 says:

          To not rushing tanks ahead…

    • xcopy says:

      Now it gets interesting!

      It was not part of the plan, that Renko is the first, that arrives at the house at t27. The other squad was delayed because of the firefight.
      Maybe he should stay hidden and wait for the pioneer platoon?

      There is also a squad of Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon and Lt. Myshkov at x27(?). Are they helpful at their position, or should they move?

      Also, Tim: I don´t think, that the T-34/85 is shocked. It´s the OT-34, right?

      • Cederic says:

        Is the house at T27 surprisingly weird and scary or does it actually have a safe eyrie for Renko?

        I reckon the pioneers will manage anything nasty for him, so Renko will bravely climb the stairs and skulk behind a wall peeking out of the window to find people he can maim and upset.

        • Cederic says:

          I just realised that I’ve contradicted xcopy. As his order represents a pitiful cowardice that can only lose this battle I must insist that we respect the fact that it preceded mine by several hours and thus has moral authority. I withdraw my own suggestion, even though it would have assured immortal heroism from Renko.

          I’ll see if I can find another unit to take up the mantle and win the battle single-handed.

  3. Electricfox says:

    Not much that Comrade BABA BLACK SHEEP-64B can do on his own, so hold position to continue to provide support. Hopefully no box-heads will decide to pop another faust out.

  4. backwardsdog says:

    *Lt. Batrakov (mortar spotter) will continue climbing stairs and get to high ground in order to do his spotting business if the opportunity presents itself.