Communal Combat Mission: Turn 17

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. Sixteen turns in, the commenter-controlled Soviets have secured three of the map’s seven victory locations (West Bridge, East Bridge, Square) but are encountering pockets of determined enemy resistance as they push west and north. Two German self-propelled guns loiter menacingly near the station.

Flare Path, the flamethrower tank, seems to have lost her spark. Ordered to ravage an occupied building (n17) on the northern edge of the square, she chooses to use HE rather than napalm. A series of impacts sends masonry cascading into the street, but the MG 42 team on the ground floor remains focussed.

At T+49 their tripod-mounted HMG is ready and begins barking like some infernal robot watchdog. Lapshin’s  ‘2 Squad’ across the square in r18 is on the receiving end of the fusillades. A Mosin-Nagant rifle clatters to the floor. Simultaneously, an orange ‘PINNED’ warning illuminates in the squad’s info panel.

One of the two leaderless recon squads crossed West Bridge successfully last turn. When the second squad plucks up the courage to follow them, their attempt ends in disarray. Harried by bursts from a bipod-mounted MG 42 and single shots from a sill-steadied MP 40 (two survivors of a German SMG squad refuse to relinquish s13, a section of the burning warehouse by the bridge) and unnerved by the sight of dead comrades littering the pavement, ‘C Squad’ turn and dash back to the safety of the house at w16.

Having ignored the warnings of the routed returners, Batrakov and his assistant find their northward progress halted by the determined Deutsch duo in the warehouse a few seconds before the turn ends. Covering fire from the M5 halftrack fails to prevent a casualty.

Soviet sallies go better at the east end of the square. Hot on the heels of the retreating fusiliers, Myshkov’s pioneers corner one party inside a cluttered horologist’s workshop at n23. If any Ivan bawls “Time to die, fascist pigs!” during the brief, one-sided melee that follows, I don’t hear him.

 

^ Situation N of East Bridge (click to enlarge). Neither of the SPGs moved or fired during the turn.

^ Situation N of West Bridge (click to enlarge). Targeted by units at s16, it appears one of the Luftwaffe squads is moving NE towards j12.

22 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 18 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 (t15, buttoned)
    *OT-34 flame tank (r19, buttoned, firing at n17)
    *M5 halftrack (w15, firing at warehouse SMG squad)
    *AT gun (bb10, idle during turn 17)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, n22, n23, o23 and – northern squad – m26)
    *Renko, the sniper (upstairs, m26, observing SPGs)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, s16, s17, r18)
    *Ryumin’s remnant (one squad, s16, firing at Luftwaffe squad)
    *Lt. Batrakov (mortar spotter, u15, pinned, tired)
    *Tank hunter team (o24)
    *T-34/85 crew (m28, can’t see SPGs)

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 18 will appear on the RPS front-page at this time tomorrow morning.

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      phuzz says:

      That tank hunter team, do they have any ranged weapons?
      If they can head for the building at k24, they should be able to ping down that pesky StuG.
      They’ve run across half the map so far, we should at least give them a target.

      • Tim Stone says:

        The tank hunters carry ‘RPGs’ but in CMBB that means RPG-43s not RPG-7s. They will need to get close to their prey.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

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          phuzz says:

          Well, I suppose something you throw is technically a ranged weapon. Would these be Russian Powered Grenades?

          Still, the StuG sitting in the middle of the street should be the perfect target as long as they can get close enough without being spotted.

          • BooleanBob says:

            I suspect a simultaneous close-range assault from the tank hunters and 1-squad would yield the best chance of success. Unfortunately any approach from the south looks damned tricky given the Stug’s positioning.

            Perhaps if they sprinted pell-mell they could cross the road in safety to n26 (buzzing it with Renko’s rifle for a distraction?). From there they could advance NE with 1-squad, hide behind the house at k26, then stage a close-range assault of the StuG by emerging from either side of the building to attack it from two angles.

            But it all sounds a bit hypothetical and frankly, quite dangerous. Better I think just to position our men to contain the SPG threat rather than engage it.

    • alh_p says:

      Hi Tim, could you confirm if the AT gun at bb10 has LoS to the infantry units at l-j10 and the squatters at s13 please?

      If so, please have the gun serve some HE to s13.

      If not (and the gun has no LoS to either above groupings of units), please advance the gun to aa10, from which I’d assume it should have sight.

      • Tim Stone says:

        It has LoS to three enemy units…

        l10 Luftwaffe inf (a ‘last seen’ icon not a confirmed position)
        s13 warehouse duo
        n17 HMG

        • alh_p says:

          Thanks Tim, I think FP can deal with the n17 MG (assuming FP’s not short of ammo). So lets get the AT gun to blaze away at s13 this turn to make the west bridge safe.

    • Electricfox says:

      Back Comrade BA-64B up so he can block the SMG fire from S13 on Batrakov. Move with Batrakov so that he can either advance or retreat without any further casualties if possible.

    • opowell says:

      If possible, Tank hunter team to advance cautiously, avoiding the column 25 street, to M23 and hide. If not possible to do so without avoiding the street, they hold position and hide.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Orders for Myshkovs´ Maulers:
      (You can move within the building complex, right? If not pls give me a heads-up.)

      -Northern M26 Squad: Same order as last turn. Sneak to N26. Ready an ambush. Avoid LOS of the StuG
      -N22 Squad: Pursue into M21.
      -N23 Squad: Sneak into M22. Ambush stance.
      -O24 Squad: Sneak into M23 via O23. Ambush stance.
      -HQ Squad: Run into N22.

  2. Tim Stone says:

    It’s possible forbidding Flare Path from using her main gun to fire on n17, may encourage her to use her flamethrower. I can try this next turn if you like.

  3. alh_p says:

    This feels like it’s getting tricky and that we’re outnumbered. Our losses in AFVs have been high, due to being a bit too enthusiastic and not scouting properly (IMHO). I really lament the loss of our S122 now, when some large HE shells would help dissuade the enemy infantry. I feel like we have a very limited deck of cards to play and are stretched such that we would struggle to defend against a concerted push by the Stugs and infantry. Do we even have enough troops to occupy the 3 VPs and press attacks towards the wharves and railroad?

    I appreciate I’m starting to sound defeatist and soon to be ordered to a penal battalion (if I’m lucky), but this is different to the PROG where we occupied the VPs with out meager remnants and were able to hold out – here we need to make the advance in order to win…

    • BooleanBob says:

      Fear not, Comrade. The future may be daunting and full of shadows, but we will surely prevail if we stand up and face it one turn at a time.

      To advance will be difficult, but we have time enough. And the enemy is in the same position – they seem intent to approach us, but to do so they must fling themselves at our very teeth and claws. Right now we have simply have stubborn pieces of potato and pumpernickel in need of dislodging from between our incisors: at n17, p15 and s13. Let us apply the hammer and toothsickle of combined arms and we will soon be grinning from ear to ear.

      n17 remains the priority as it will impeed any infantry movement across the whole square. To that end we need all Ivans to either get or stay indoors with extreme prejudice.

      • alh_p says:

        That’s very uplifting comrade, but the bit about inspired dentistry is quite harrowing. Mark my words, you will never get to touch my teeth with your Hammer or Toothsickle!

        Unleash General Agoraphobia!

    • Cederic says:

      Just because the Germans have the most formidable armour in town doesn’t mean they’re going to win. They can’t see a sausage from those death cans, so as long as we scare off their infantry support we can stroll up, slap on some demo charges and leg it before the fireworks start.

      Chin up, this town will be red before nightfall.

    • Dogshevik says:

      I understand this turn felt like we weren´t making any progress. But, in fact, we did.
      The recalcitrance of those S13 and N17 guys notwithstanding, next turn the StuG will be isolated. If it moves, it will get ambushed, if it doesn´t we sneak up to it and boom! (I hope it doesn´t retreat.)

      A german counter-attack might sound scary, but actually would be a boon to us. I´d rather fight those reserves while they charge at us over open ground than deal with them later when we will have no choice but to funnel our assault through that M13 gap towards the wharves.

  4. Cederic says:

    The rifle platoons at s16 and s17 join in targeting those Luftwaffe types. Break those and I think the whole flank will unpeel.

    Assuming the squad at s18 are the chaps that were in r18 they duck down for a turn, mourn their lost comrade and plot grievous vengeance.

  5. xcopy says:

    The T-34/85 crew advances to the house at k28.

    I apologize for sending Lt. Batrakov into his doom! I was not aware of the MG, and hope he can get out of this tight spot.

  6. Rituro says:

    I’m not keen to see the M5 halftrack spend ammunition at a holed up MG team. Surely we can just move out of their field of view and force them to move?

    M5 halftrack hold fire and move to s15, hugging the right side of the road. Try to keep the northwest (specifically r14) in view to catch any and all MG teams that try to reposition out in the open.

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