Communal Combat Mission: Turn 18

Welcome to the third communal Combat Mission skirmish – a comment-driven confrontation between RPS readers and CM’s uncommonly entertaining 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. Seventeen 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 infantry as they push west and north. Two German self-propelled guns loiter menacingly near the station.

Leave a shallow tray of Turn 18 out in the summer sun for a few hours, and these are the milky crystals you’ll find when you return:

T+10. The spit AT Gun, advancing M5, and reversing BA-64 convince the doughty defenders in the riverside warehouse to hunker down for a spell.

T+16. Lashed by Flare Path’s MG (Once again the flame tank refuses to breathe fire) and rifle volleys from the company HQ (Kpt. Gurtiev in the church) the German HMG in n17 stops firing.

T+22. Renko loses sight of the StuH behind the building at h24. The restless SPG appears to be heading westward.

T+44. Batrakov looks down at Batrakov sprawled on the cobbles. The killer of our mortar spotter – a Panzer IV crewman? – fired the fatal shot from the corner of n14.

T+46. In a hallway in m23, the contents of a papasha magazine ends the flight of several fleeing fusiliers.

T+48. Are the German infantry in p15 about to have a go at the M5? Not if Lapshin’s men can help it!

T+55. Infantry activity observed on Castle Hill.

T+57. Intense HMG fire chips several stucco sunflowers from the facade of the building at r18. The MG 42 on the north side of the square has re-entered the fray.

^ Situation N of East Bridge (click to enlarge).

^ Although complicated by bolted/blocked doors, Myshkov’s push onto row m proceeds.

^ Situation N of West Bridge (click to enlarge).


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 19 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 (u15, buttoned, firing at target in warehouse)
    *OT-34 flame tank (r19, buttoned, firing at n17)
    *M5 halftrack (r15, firing at platoon HQ)
    *AT gun (bb10, unengaged)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, n22, m23 and – northern squad – n26)
    *Renko, the sniper (upstairs, m26, observing StuG)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, s16, s17, r18, firing at target in p15)
    *Ryumin’s remnant (one squad, s16, firing at target in s14)
    *Tank hunter team (o24)
    *T-34/85 crew (almost in position at k28)

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 19 will appear on the RPS front-page at this time tomorrow morning.

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      phuzz says:

      The BA-64B to move forward to s15 and engage the platoon HQ (around m11?), unless more pressing targets emerge.

      • Electricfox says:

        Might it not be better to move the BA-46B up to the side of the burning Panzer IVG so that the infantry in P15 don’t faust him. Although the infantry in the warehouse at S13 could be a problem.

    • AbyssUK says:

      Get that AT gun (bb10) firing at targets.. s13,o13 whatever it can see!

    • opowell says:

      Tank hunter team to move to O23, then N23, then hide.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Orders for Myshkovs´ guys:

      -All M23 squads: mop up M23. Then the more exhausted one stays and shoots at the other routing germans in K23. The fresher squad assaults K23.
      -HQ squad: enter M22. Target K23.
      -Northern Squad: Sneak into K27, staying out of LOS of that StuG. Keep D-charges ready. (1 tile engagement range)

      Sidenote: The screenshot above with Myshkov´s pathing confuses me. Through what side can you enter/exit a building. Is there a general rule or is it just a case to case matter?

  2. xcopy says:

    Nooo! Lt.Batrakov! His pixelated blood is on my hands!
    Sleep tight, comrade. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    • Orchids says:

      Shucks. Poor Batrakov. :(

    • Cederic says:

      It’s his own stupid fault. Fancy turning up to a tank battle with only one barrage of mortars. I mean, he’s lucky we let the enemy kill him!

  3. rawdog says:

    Hello, any idea if there are any mods available to help run this game on higher resolution systems? As my laptop wont display it.

  4. patricio says:

    Is there any indication that Flare Path’s flamethrower is out of action?

    • BooleanBob says:

      I wondered in the other thread if the tree might be obstructing its use.

      Move to p20 and target the MG again, all weapons free?

      If there’s no possibility of the tree being the issue, remain in place and fire on the MG with HE.

    • Tim Stone says:

      > any indication the flamethrower is out of action?

      No. The issue may be a consequence of the lost crewman.

      • BooleanBob says:

        I just realised this isn’t how you run a proper test. Please amend Flare Path’s order to the following:

        IF there’s a possibility that the tree is obstructing use of the flamethrower: move to p20, rotate to face MG42 and engage without use of tank gun.

        ELSE: stay in position and fire on MG42 with HE.

        • Tim Stone says:

          It looks like FP may be a bog-standard T-34 now. I’ve just tried to get her to torch n19 and she refuses.

          • BooleanBob says:

            Well, it makes sense, right? We were struggling to account for her untroubled performance in all other duties despite the crew loss.

            What do we call her now? Just.. Path? Common, or – and I’m feeling a bit clever about this – Garden Path?

          • Cederic says:

            Flareless Path?

            She’s still ticking though, and the Germans don’t _know_ she’s out of combustible spew juice, so she’s still our mascot.

            I’m going to get slapped for calling her ‘she’ now aren’t I?

  5. declan_23 says:

    Whilst our flame(less) tank pins down the MG, could Lashpin’s squad at r18 rush to n17 and take the building please? If this is a terrible idea (i.e. they will almost certainly be gunned down crossing the square) can the squad at s16 rush to p16? In either case, the rest of the platoon are to stay put and provide covering fire.

  6. gi_ty says:

    Despite losing our T-34/85 to that sneaky StuH, I have been following this quietly since. I would like to debate the merits of pulling back the halftrack and leaving the armored car on suppression duty. The M5 needs to move that AT gun to a place where it can take shots at that German armor if it keeps advancing. Thoughts?

    • opowell says:

      I like the idea of moving it closer, for example to S15.

    • Dogshevik says:

      I understand the allure, but…We win or loose depending on control of the wharves. (worth 600 points, the rest 500) The 57mm gun is already overlooking this most important sector and has a good view of most approaches from the town.
      If the SP guns mean to join the fight for the wharves (like the StuH seems intent to) they will have to come to us. Via one of these approaches. Good circumstances for AT guns. If they don´t and stay away from this decisive sector, that´s even better. Our gun can do other stuff.

  7. Sin Vega says:

    What can that AT gun at bb10 see, exactly? And how’s its ammo supply? I gather it’s had orders to shoot at the building as S16 looking south over the bridge, but beyond that it seems like its view of the fight would be heavily obscured.

    It’s already had (sensible) orders, but would it be worth pushing it slightly to the West and a bit North, to give it a better angle on the N-S road ending at o-13 (say, z-8)? That way it can help cover the infantry as they push NW, and likely finish off any enemies retreating in that direction, and still turn to attack the wharf if anything moves there.

    Or would that expose us too much to the wharf? I am unsure how far/fully line of sight works.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Also how aware is the sniper of his surroundings? Can he keep an eye on M street as well as the tank? How safe is he while sat up there, and would he be more useful contributing to the infantry fight?