Communal Combat Mission: Turn 9

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 takes place in a German-held Baltic port. Eight turns after leaving their deployment zone, the commenter-controlled Soviets are in control of two of the map’s seven Victory Locations (East Bridge and West Bridge) and hoping to slay a recently spotted StuG before the next order phase arrives.

Are you sitting down?

Renko the sniper has just centred the StuG commander in his reticule when a thunderous report and a floor-shaking shockwave rudely shoves that reticule towards a patch of iron-grey sky.

The T-34/85 in the garden below has exploded! Four crewmen slither from hatches, their overalls seeping coils of blue-black smoke. Nearby comrades, satisfied the Pak 38 (not a suspect in the T-34 slaying) is no longer a threat, try to make sense of the situation.

The Soviet marksman is the first to locate the tank killer. “AT gun under the trees in the square!”

The warning is relayed too late for Myshkov’s most northerly squad who learn of the camouflaged German gun from a room-wrecking HE blast. As the deafened, dust-caked pioneers pick themselves up – miraculously, no-one has been seriously hurt – swift, accurate suppressive fire from Renko prevents a follow-up shot.

Turn 9’s other piece of bad news is also gun-related. Hurrying northward with one of Lapshin’s rifle squads clinging to its engine deck, the newly arrived SU-122 is struck by several long-range cannon shells. Though the 20mm (?)  projectiles do no damage, they do prove the enemy gun on the end of the new wharf is still alive and kicking.

The situation at the end of turn 9.

At West Bridge the only sound is the crackle of flames from the warehouse north of the river. Batrakov’s mortar bombs are now only a minute away.

After depositing a tank hunter team at gg16 (sorry, I didn’t notice the M5 was carrying this two-man unit last turn) the Soviet halftrack is bumping along the spit road, destination aa7.

At East Bridge, Renko is distracting and discouraging the German gunners in the square. The pioneers heading for q25 are still ‘pinned’. The StuG, now buttoned, hasn’t moved from f26 and continues to face east.

The SU-122 and its passengers are approaching the abandoned bunker by the bridge. Trailing some distance behind, the bulk of Lapshin’s platoon won’t reach East Bridge for at least a turn.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 10 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 10 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter)

    *BA-64B armoured car
    *Lt. Ryumin’s recon platoon (two splitable squads + HQ)
    *Lt. Batrakov (mortar spotter)
    *OT-34 flame tank
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ)
    *Renko, the sniper
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (three splitable squads + HQ)
    *Tank hunter team (armed with Molotovs and AT grenades)
    *M5 halftrack & AT gun

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 10 will appear on the RPS front-page at this time tomorrow morning.

    • Wilson says:

      Myshkov’s squad on the second floor should run across the road to join the others at R26. Myshkov himself and another squad should go north into Q26 (preferably with Myshkov following the squad, but if he decides to lead by example again we’ll just have to deal with that I suppose). The pinned squad can cancel their orders and watch towards the square instead when they recover.

    • opowell says:

      Ryumin holds position.

  2. Dogshevik says:

    Ok, I am new at this format and jumping into it mid-game, but this looks fun. So please tell me if I am issueing too complicated orders.

    Lapshins´ guys riding the SU-122 (which judging from the screenshot is at z27) should get into the building at s23, (the one not on fire) facing the square and hopefully finish off that PaK crew.

    I am not sure 100% where the SU is going this turn, but I presume it is over the bridge, so a good drop off point would be t25 or so.

    The rest of the platoon should just continue towards the bridge, trying to catch up with their fellows.

    Sounds good?

  3. alh_p says:

    Oops. We had done better in the East till then, scouting with infantry, sort of anyway. We aren’t getting the luck of the toss in this so far… Even the damn gun on the wharf has woken up again.

    Without knowing what else Jerry has at their disposal, we have to be parsimonious with our remaining armour. The pz4 and stug3 could really ruin the rest of our day.

    I think we should at least cancel the current order for the M5 gun carrier. Until the gun on the wharf is silenced, but lord knows how we’ll do that! Maybe the OT34 could nose forwards facing NW?

    Does the 57mm at gun have he shells or is it just ap?

    • Tim Stone says:

      17 HE, 31 AP, 2 T (tungsten core)

      • alh_p says:

        Spasiba! I’m intrigued by the Tungsten core shells. Are they for higher penetration?

        • Tim Stone says:

          Yes. As tungsten ammo is so rare/precious gunners only use it when they need to and even then may use ordinary AP first to verify aim.

    • opowell says:

      I think the AT gun on the wharf would make an excellent target for Batakrov’s artillery.

  4. Rituro says:

    The back end of that gun in the square is yearnin’ for a burnin’. Otto wants revenge!!

    OT-34 to go full speed to o16 and face ESE. With buildings on two sides, we should be safe from any wharf fire. Then, speaking of fire, BURN THAT SQUARE TO CINDERS.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Wouldn´t that expose it to the PzIVG (sitting at L11) when crossing R15? The close-up screenshot of the western bridge makes it look like that.