Communal Combat Mission: Turn 15

Welcome to the third communal Combat Mission skirmish – a comment-driven confrontation between RPS readers and CM’s decidedly dangerous AI. Turns span 60 seconds and rarely go according to plan. Late-war and Eastern Front, this summer’s scrap takes place in a German-held Baltic port. Fourteen turns in, the commenter-controlled Soviets have lost all but one of their core AFVs, but are in possession
of three of the map’s seven victory locations (West Bridge, East Bridge, Square)

Three distinct engagements make up turn 15.

Engagement 1

In the west, under continual fire from Flare Path, the New Wharf AA gun falls silent at approximately T+30. Is it dead or merely suppressed?

FP decides to err on the side of caution and keep pounding away.

The Soviet AT gun, on the other hand, seems to think its inept nemesis has flung its last 20mm shell and swings its barrel eastward, harassing infantry targets on Old Wharf.

Engagement 2

Myshkov and his two closest squads enter the church at p23 and the building at o24 like heavily-armed, unusually grubby ghosts.

For a few tense seconds it appears the structures are empty.

But the Germans haven’t fled. Well, not all of them anyway. Seconds before the turn ends, an Ivan advancing down a brass-strewn corridor finds his path blocked by a makeshift furniture barricade. Behind the barricade crouches a rifle-toting fusilier – one of eight in the church. Next door the danger is al fresco and unquantifiable at present.

Engagement 3

Renko hears the SPGs before he sees them. The StuG is alarmingly close and moving closer every second. The… StuH 42 assault howitzer behind it looks to be taking up an overwatch position on the railway crossing. Realising he won’t have time to warn the pioneers downstairs, the sharpshooter sends a slug StuH-ward. The hurried missive misses its target but provokes a flurry of hatch slamming.

Downstairs Myshkov’s men are spotted and sprayed with MG fire before they can secrete themselves. At this point most sensible StuG commanders would stop and get busy with the HE. Our StuG commander decides to keep coming.

At the close of turn 15…

*Renko (m26) has a birds-eye, close-range view of a turning StuG (l25, l26).

*On the floor below, one of Myshkov’s squads (1 x molotov, 2 x demo charge) is hiding.

*In the church (p23) and adjoining building (o24) the rest of Myshkov’s men are in CQB.

*The weary tank hunter team has reached t25 and is heading for r25.

*Lapshin’s squads are in the process of redeploying into buildings s16, s17, and r18. (click to enlarge above image)

*Flare Path, the OT-34, continues to fire on the New Wharf gun.

*Having crossed West Bridge, the M5 halftrack (s15) is molesting a platoon HQ near a roadblock at m13.

*The BA-64 is idle at w15.

*The AT gun is idle at bb10.

Turn 16 orders here, please.

18 Comments

  1. BooleanBob says:

    I wondered if it might be a StuH rather than a StuG!

    Unfortunately I think that makes things worse, rather than better for us. If that 105mm howitzer is capable of short-range indirect fire it could mean carnage for our boys in the square. Or anywhere else on the map for that matter.

    The battering of the AA battery looks like a job well done, although of course we thought we had finished it off once already. Perhaps leaving the AT gun to stare at it intently will be enough to free up Flare Path for redeployment elsewhere.

    Between Lapshin’s men and the BA, we probably also have a sufficiently secure perimeter at the West of the square to think about sending the half-track back to fetch our shell-slinger so we can bring it to bear in a more vital environ.

    Lapshin’s troops and the BA are also well sited to intervene in the infantry struggles at the church. I’m assuming that a flamethrower represents a fairly massive friendly fire hazard..

    All that said, I’m taking my hands off the toys for today! If any idle unit is in need of a chivvying later I’ll be here.

    Any word on the status (geographical, psychological) of Ryumin’s remnants?

    • alh_p says:

      FP and maybe the M5/BA6 can deal with the infantry in the church. I vote against repositioning the AT gun, it will take a long time and that means that both it and the M5 will be out of action until then. I’d vote for leaving it in situ to cover the wharf, but it’s now or never if we do want to reposition it.

      My order for today is to move the BA to s15, leaving a space for the M5 to back out and about face – whetrh to rendezvous with the AT gun or support our occupation of the square.

      • Electricfox says:

        Agreed, but best not advance any further with the BA-64B, the infantry squad ahead of us probably has some schreks.

  2. Dogshevik says:

    Just wanting to confirm a couple of things.
    -The two iron crosses at P15 are the PzIV crew plus the lone, retreating rifleman from the warehouse?
    -There is a (still) unknown contact at N14 plus a Plt HQ at M13?
    -The N17 contact appeared when FP killed the SPW251/10, so I assume it is its crew. But there is also an additional contact at L17!

    • Tim Stone says:

      -The two iron crosses at P15 are the PzIV crew plus the lone, retreating rifleman from the warehouse?

      Yes

      -There is a (still) unknown contact at N14 plus a Plt HQ at M13?

      The n14 contact is crew

      -The N17 contact appeared when FP killed the SPW251/10, so I assume it is its crew. But there is also an additional contact at L17!

      Both crew

    • Tim Stone says:

      The only slightly worrying iron cross N of West Bridge is on the left edge of p15 and labelled as “Infantry Squad?”.

  3. declan_23 says:

    Is it possible for the squad at m26 to lob their demo charges out the window at the StuG?

    • Wilson says:

      Yeah, I was going to ask about how their hiding works – I assume if they stay hiding they won’t see or take any opportunities to attack the stuG, but if they stop hiding they’re in serious danger from the stuH hitting them. My vote would be for Myshkov’s other squads continuing their close combat, and the hiding pioneers unhide to hopefully take a shot at the stuG – I would expect them to hide again by themselves if they do take heavy fire, but the question would be how many casualties they would take first.

    • alh_p says:

      I don’t know but it doesn’t sound ideal attacking the stug from the front. Any move they make will reveal them and likely cause them to be hosed by the stug’s front MG. It’s got nothing to protect its sides or rear though. Any cunning way to cause it to turn or out maneuver it?

      • Dogshevik says:

        To me it looks like the StuG is already in the process of turning east or south-east. (to enter L26)
        I say wait 10 seconds, unhide, chug something nasty at the StuG, pray.

        • alh_p says:

          If they have something appropriate to hit the Stug with trans-fenestre, then make it so!

          • Dogshevik says:

            declan_23`s call. Let the will of the people* be done.

            *as defined by a committee of faceless officials in whose appointment the people had no say in whatsoever with no accountability at all.

    • Tim Stone says:

      The m26 squad should be able to attack the StuG with demo charges and molotovs without leaving the building. A very short cover arc extending into l26 should do the trick.

      • declan_23 says:

        Yup, if they could do that please. The rest of the platoon to continue subduing the fascists in the square!

  4. opowell says:

    Ryumin’s remaining men to run for S16.

  5. Dogshevik says:

    Orders for FlarePath:
    -Turn the hull to look NW.
    -Fire the turret MG at the infantry at O23/O22.
    -If Tim is 100% sure this won´t endanger Myshkovs´ guys, use the 76mm gun as well.

    If someone would tell the AT gun to pound the wharf gun location, just to be sure, I´d be grateful.

    As always I am ready to adjust should anyone object:

  6. xcopy says:

    The short sighted scouts (T-34/85 crew) runs from o31 to the house at m28.
    Maybe we can use them for some kind of diversion for the StuG/StuH.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    M5 to stay stationary for 20 or so seconds, so it can continue to harry the HQ. Then, reverse to w15 for a game of musical chairs with the BA.

    My thinking is that come next turn it will still be within range of the square if intervention is necessary, or we will be that much nearer to the AT gun if decide we have the luxury of hauling it closer to the front line.