Communal Combat Mission: Turn 21

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. Twenty turns in, the commenter-controlled Soviets control three of the map’s seven victory locations, and are about to launch a series of bold infantry assaults.

At T+0 the town centre is a cat’s cradle of blue movement lines. Having bagged the StuG, Myshkov’s men are advancing westward down both sides of ‘L Street’. At the west end of the square, Lapshin’s platoon have their sights set on p15, a house that must be secured if the wharves are to be reached from West Bridge.

Of more immediate concern is Lapshin’s 2 Squad. Halted a few strides from n17 by a chattering MG 42, this relatively inexperienced unit (they’re ‘regular’ rather than ‘veteran’) fails its first real test. Instead of pushing on… attempting to even the odds with grenades and molotovs… they flap and flee, scampering back to the relative safety of the gun pit at p18.

Moments after the unnerved Ivans go to ground they are showered with woody confetti. A swarm of spherical hornets has scythed through the branches overhead. The OT-34 is firing canister shot at the HMG as it moves into the centre of the square.

Deflamed by a Panzerfaust hit/crew casualty early in the battle, Flare Path may not be quite as ferocious as she once was, but she’s still a force to be reckoned with. Hit by three outsized shotgun blasts in quick succession, the MG 42 and its crew are torn to pieces. There’ll be no more unearthly jay shrieks from n17 today.

Lapshin probably doesn’t notice the fate of 2 Squad. He’s far too busy organising the assault on p15. At the western end of the square things start going slightly awry early in the turn. First the BA-64 runs out of ammo, then 1 Squad, tasked with covering the attack, find themselves firefighting with units in the warehouse across the street.

With help from the spit AT gun, the threat is suppressed quickly, but not quickly enough for the advancing recon squad. Bound for o15, the unencumbered scouts outstrip Lapshin’s troops, and, consequently, catch the worst of the defensive fire from p15.

When the clock stops the battlefield looks like this…

^ Above West Bridge (click to enlarge). Lapshin’s HQ has lost a man, the squad to his right is ‘pinned’, and the nearby scouts have routed.

^ ‘L Street’ and environs (click to enlarge). Myshkov’s men advanced without incident. The StuH huddles in a gateway at g24. Either it’s lost its nerve or it’s heard the sound of approaching Sturmoviks.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 22 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 (r17, buttoned, no ammo)
    *OT-34 flame tank (p19, buttoned)
    *M5 halftrack (r15, firing at p15)
    *AT gun (bb10, 8 HE, 31 AP 2T left, firing at s13)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, k21, l22, m21 and m24)
    *Renko, the sniper (upstairs, m21)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (two splitable squads + HQ, q15, p16, s16)
    *Ryumin’s remnants (one squad, w16)
    *Tank hunter team (k24)
    *T-34/85 crew (h26)
    *Gurtiev, seven-man company HQ, p23

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 22 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

    • BooleanBob says:

      These kartoffeln cuisinists don’t know when they’re licked, eh?

      Tank hunters to enter the house at h24. Proffered/preferred route: k23, k24, and into the house in stealth from the east-facing entrance. Assault the StuH via the north-facing windows of the house (preferably from upstairs?).

    • AbyssUK says:

      We are running out of ammo and time…
      Lets see what we are up against still… BA-64B is now only good for spotting…
      BA-64B mad dash to the wharf, full speed via O14 to M13 to I12.. run over any infantry you may see :) The AT gun to shoot at anything they report.. I think we’ll only find light resistance left.
      Then we should start the FP towards the wharf or we won’t get it.

      • BooleanBob says:

        I believe there’s a roadblock at m13. It’s the brown strip in the top-left of the last screenshot.

        Not sure what that means in Combat Mission terms – it looks as though it will block vehicle movement onto the wharfs, and possibly impede infantry too, but not north-south movement across the intersection. I could be wrong, though.

        • AbyssUK says:

          Then, lets clear a path ? We’ll need the HE from the FP.

          Also the position on K/L4 most likely has a static gun of some sort in it, could our AT gun already start taking shots at it from where it is ?

          • alh_p says:

            Or, lets not send any single unit off on its own to die, please?

            Get some mud-suckers to scope it out and then bring in FP (AKA OUR ONLY REMAINING AFV).

          • AbyssUK says:

            We all know we only get 30 turns right ? It’s time to break them now.

      • Electricfox says:

        I’m inclined to agree with the orders for BA-64B, however it would be better to take him up to i12 and around that way to avoid the road block. Just basically floor it, don’t stop for anything…oh, and play Säkkijärven polkka on the way.

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      phuzz says:

      Renko to cross the street into the house at k19, which should give him a good view across into g22.

    • opowell says:

      Gurtiev to run to P18.

    • alh_p says:

      Flare Path to q/r17 please, kindly evict the perennial squatters at r23 or s14 (whichever offers the better target) with weapon of choice.

    • Wilson says:

      Eek, Lapshin’s assault didn’t go all that well – those riflemen are no pioneers, for sure…

      2 Squad from p18 should regroup with Lapshin and join the assault on p15. Lapshin should not attempt to enter the house on his own, so if the squad with him is pinned he should hold position for now.

      Direct the squad in s16 to focus their fire on the house occupants at p15, unless they are liable to be distracted again – if so, they should get moving and rejoin Lapshin’s HQ to try and force a way into the house.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Ryumin´s pitful remnant to T16. Run and hold fire until they arrive.

  2. alh_p says:

    So, where next for FlarePath?

    We could do with some 70mm canister shot at those blighters in the wharehouse, the risk of friendly fire at p15 looks too high.

  3. Dogshevik says:

    Tim, can you confirm that you can enter the warehouse next to west bridge from the east? (S15)

  4. Sin Vega says:

    I still reckon we’re better off pushing for the flag in the Northeast. If I was defending I’d have banked a lot of crossfire and ambush on that Western end of the M road, expecting any attack to come directly from the bridge with support coming out of the north exit of the main square.

    If that’s what they’ve done, our wavering forces in the West will struggle to break through in 9 turns, especially with so little armour support in a relatively open area.

    Contrast that to the Eastern side, where we have a strong infantry presence and spotter/sniper to guide them, and lots of buildings to help us gain a local advantage over lurking squads, and to bung molotovs/bombs from.

    Tactically we won’t win outright in time, but strategically, we’ll have cut off their land and rail supply routes, and we have AT in a good position to threaten any hostile reorganisation or reinforcements by sea.

    DISCLAIMER: I am bad at non-Men of War war games.

    • Dogshevik says:

      -The wharves are worth 300 points each. All other points together are worth 500 points. No wharves no victory.
      -The last of the 100 point locations, the castle, is so far behind enemy lines and at the same time beyond the main wharf access (M13) while still in its LOS that taking it without control of the wharves is even more dangerous. Most units would have to take a major detour through ground just as open only to end up with an awkward tactical geometry that technically is still a defeat.

      I say it is worth a try to assault these wharves. We can still settle for a 700-400 or 600-500 minor defeat later.

      • Sin Vega says:

        That’s a nerd’s idea of victory, not a military one. So what if you win meaningless points if the surviving three guys are shot by a counterattack 2 hours later?

        Nobody even mentioned the NW point, because it’s obviously a terrible idea.

  5. declan_23 says:

    Myshkov’s platoon to continue pushing west.

    The squad at k21 should join the other squad in entering l18, and the HQ should move to m20.
    The final squad should continue advancing up the road