Communal Combat Mission: Turn 16

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. Fifteen 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)

Without CM’s pausable and rewindable action phase movies, turns like sixteen would be impossible to chronicle. During the sixty seconds that have just unspooled…

…the StuG came to its senses before Myshkov’s ‘1 Squad’ could pitch their petrol bombs or demo charges. After the briefest of pauses it began reversing back towards its companion, hosing the windows of the house at m26 as it went. It ends the turn halted at j25. The SW-facing StuH is motionless on the railway crossing.

…the fusiliers were evicted from the church and its environs. Roughly handled by Myshkov’s veterans, both squads of German riflemen were at half-strength when their hasty retreat ended at n23. One pioneer fell during the turn.

…one of the M5’s caterpillars was superficially damaged by a mysterious projectile – possibly a mortar bomb. The attack came moments before the Soviet halftrack withdrew to w15, its duties passed to the arriving BA-64.

…the BA-64 received a warm welcome in the form of a Panzerfaust warhead fired from p15. The aspiring AT ace missed and was quickly engaged by Lapshin’s vanguard and the M5. However, the shot wasn’t entirely ineffective. It persuaded the BA-64 to retreat towards West Bridge.

…the German AA gun bowed out. At T+30, the Soviet AT gunners observed crewmen exiting the pockmarked redoubt on the end of New Wharf.

And, in no particular order, some other turn 16 developments worth bearing in mind.

Halfway through the turn an enemy MG team was seen, and briefly engaged, entering the house at n17.

Two Luftwaffe infantry squads were noted moving SW from 12j. They are now in the vicinity of l10.

It’s possible there’s an enemy infantry position on the steep slope south of the Castle (h9)

^ Situation N of East Bridge. Click to enlarge.

^ Situation N of West Bridge. Click to enlarge.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 17 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 11 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter)

    *BA-64B armoured car (s15, reversing)
    *OT-34 flame tank (q19, buttoned, idle)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, q25, p26 and, m26, all idle)
    *Renko, the sniper (upstairs, m26, observing SPGs)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, s17, s17 and r18, see final pic)
    *Ryumin’s remnants (s16, w16, see final pic)
    *M5 halftrack (w15, see final pic)
    *Lt. Batrakov (mortar spotter, upstairs w16, ammo exhausted)
    *Tank hunter team (r25)
    *AT gun (bb10, firing at plt HQ at l12)
    *T-34/85 crew (m27)

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 17 will appear on the RPS front-page at this time tomorrow morning.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I have absolutely no interest in allowing an MG infestation to take place in our hard-won estate. In order to save the square, it may be necessary to destroy it.

      Please rotate Flare Path’s gun and hull to point at n17 and hose it with anything that still has a responsive trigger.

      If possible, once rotation is complete, reverse it a little for partial shielding from the house at r18.

      • Electricfox says:

        Any chance you can give P15 a warm reception? Boxheads have a faust up there.

        • Dogshevik says:

          You are right. The flamethrower would solve that. But Bob´s priorities are correct. Under no circumstances must we allow a HMG to establish itself with such an open field of fire as N17.
          P15 has to be surpressed with other means for the moment.

    • opowell says:

      Tank hunter team (r25) to run for P23, then move at a more leisurely pace to O24.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Orders for Myshkovs´ Maulers:
      -1 Squad exits M26 to the east (out of StuG-LOS) and goes south, aiming for P26. Stance: Stealth
      -HQ Squad and Church Squad pursue the retreating germans into O23 and then N22.
      -Squad in O24 (you wrote Q25, but I assume that was an error) pursues into N23, but no further.

      That´s Kapitan Gurtiev in Q25, right?

      • Dogshevik says:

        I changed my mind regarding the M26 squad. Sorry, Tim.

        `1 Squad` exists the building out of the StuG´s LOS and sneaks to the trees at N26. They hit the dirt and keep their molotovs/demo charges ready.
        Stance: ambush/only slightly wetting themselves

        (I worried they would be caught in the open while on the way to P26.)

    • Electricfox says:

      Comrade BA-64B reverses back to t16 and waits for Ryumin.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Plenty to chew on this turn. The men in m26 in an unenviable tangle with a panzer pair, encroachments on the square north and west, more infantry moving up from the castle, and now the possibility of mortar in the mix.

    The question of what to do with the AT gun still needs to be decided. alh_p is quite right to point out that relocation will take two units out of action. But to get some Krupp-cleaving ordinance to the point we most need it might be worthwhile.

    The other use I can see for the AT gun is observation and infantry engagement. It has a good sight-line North and a reasonable one NE at present. If we were to push it forward one or two squares I think the NE vision would improve a little?

    Finally, we could send it NW along the spit using the dirt track behind it. It would be nice to take a look at what mgiht be waiting in that emplacement on the old wharf – though we might not like what we find.

    A ruble for your ruminations, Comrades.

    The biggest blessing at m26 is that the exit points East rather than North or West. It might be time to get those men out before they take a faceful of HE. If they used the house as a screen from the StuG’s LoS, it might be possible to attempt another ambush should he press his luck.

    Presumably if Renko keeps his rifle quiet he could continue to observe the armour undetected.

  3. declan_23 says:

    If Flare Path, Renko, Myshkov’s platoon and the tank hunters can keep the StuG and StuH busy in the East, I think we can make a decent push in the west with the AT gun, Lashpin, Comrade BA and the halftrack.

    To that end Ryumin should take a quick jog up west bridge to join the rifle squad at S16

  4. Dogshevik says:

    My (rambling) thoughts: That´s lots of reserves the krauts maneuver into our path to the wharves. Look at the equipment of those Luftwaffles. Nasty! But I still think the approach suggested previously is the right one.

    1.) Take control of the main east-west artery. (M13-L25) Do so at the eastern half first with Myshkov. (done next turn) Maybe cover our backs with the exhausted AT squad.
    2.) Push into the building complex at N14-N17 with Lapshin in the next 3-4 turns. FP and maybe Ryumin can cover. No hurry.
    3.) Keep the SP guns busy in the east. They can be fooled as long as they have no inf spotters close by. We must ambush them before they can join their buddies to the west.
    4.) Keep skirmishing along the coast for about 5 turns with comrade BA, the M5 and the american AT gun. We got a distance advantage here vs the german inf. So let´s use that and wear them down. Don´t fetch the gun. If it runs out of targets move it NW along the spit until it has LOS to the M13 intersection.

    Speaking of which. The wharf access is super narrow and hazardous. The castle area will probably remain in german hands and a SP gun might relocate there. (another reason I want the 57mm gun where it is) We got plenty of time but no reserves. So I suggest keeping our distance, trying to wear them down and entice individual german units to come at us, trying to intercept the StuG/H pair, resting and bringing forward all of our infantry and !-most importantly-! (exclamation marks aplenty) don´t take risks with FlarePath.
    Then around turn 22-23 storm these blasted wharves. Then: Vodka and carousing for everyone.

  5. Coming Second says:

    This is gripping stuff btw mates. Seems a lot closer than the previous battles too. Thanks to Tim and all the community members keeping it going.

  6. xcopy says:

    Since we need a little bit more info about the position of all the krauts, Lt. Batrakov runs to s16.

  7. opowell says:

    Does Batrakov have smoke rounds?

  8. alh_p says:

    Tim, if spare orders are needed for any of the above, i’ll gladly lend mine. Sorry I haven’t been able to go through them all though…