Communal Combat Mission: Turn 23

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-two turns in, the commenter-controlled Soviets control three of the map’s seven victory locations, and are in the process of assaulting a fiercely defended building (p15) north of West Bridge.

Abraded by bullets and shells from without, and gnawed by hungry flames from within, the house at p15 might be in a parlous state but its Axis occupants seem awfully attached to it. In the first fifteen seconds of the turn, their spirited defence costs five infantrymen their lives. Three of the casualties wear ushankas, two coal-scuttle Stahlhelme.

Even when the isolated fires become a raging inferno midway through the turn, the two surviving Germans refuse to relinquish their position.

Less enthusiastic about immolation is the comment-commanders’ seven-man company HQ. Gurtiev and his men are sprinting for p15 when the blaze intensifies and wisely decide not to enter. They spend the rest of the turn in the square tackling nearby “crewmen” who, on closer inspection, turn out to be a two-man SS MG42 LMG team.

Will it be third time lucky for Ryumin’s 1 Squad? For a spell, it seems not. Attempting another crossing of West Bridge, the remaining Soviet scouts are harassed by residents of the riverside warehouse. It’s only when Lapshin’s 1 Squad lend a hand, killing an MG 34 operator and persuading his Schmeisser-armed assistant to retreat, that the advance continues.

The brassy BA-64B ends turn 23 sitting next to the New Wharf victory flag (which stubbornly refuses to commit, suggesting enemies are in the area). Amazingly, it wasn’t fired on as it sped south-westward.

The M5 halftrack wasn’t quite so fortunate. Circa T+45 it was spooked by something, possibly small arms fire from r13, and opted to reverse the short distance to s15.

In the NE the tank hunters look to be on the verge of an absurdly easy kill. The bungling StuH has managed to immobilise itself on railings at h24!

At the close of the turn…

^ (Click to enlarge) Above West Bridge. Myshkov’s men approach the wharves. Time appears to be running out for the defenders of p15. Lapshin’s 3 Squad (three men) pull back, while their comrades, 1 Squad, move NW under fire from p15. Ryumin’s remnants (six men) engage an MP 40 clutcher in the warehouse.

^ (Click to enlarge) The two Luftwaffe squads near the wharves (i9, j12) have been joined by an unidentified infantry unit from the castle (i11).


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 24 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 (q7, no ammo)
    *OT-34 flame tank (q16, buttoned)
    *M5 halftrack (s15)
    *AT gun (bb10, 0 HE, 31 AP 2T, no target at present)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, vicinity of m15, see pic)
    *Renko, the sniper (k18, tired)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (two squads, p16 depleted, r15)
    *Ryumin’s remnants (one squad, t16)
    *Tank hunter team (h24)
    *T-34/85 crew (h26)
    *Gurtiev, six-man company HQ, q16

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 24 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

    • opowell says:

      Renko to pause where he currently is for 20 seconds to catch his breath, then run to J14, NW corner of 2nd floor.

    • Wilson says:

      The remains of Lapshin’s rifle platoon to continue moving along the road towards the crossroads at m13. The depleted squad should also follow once they’re recovered a little.

    • Electricfox says:

      Comrade BA-64B to turn around to face east, and then make a fast dash for the railway station, go up to L11 and then follow the railway track down to the station. Hopefully one of these victory points will be undefended!

    • Dogshevik says:

      Orders for Myshkovs´ guys:
      Everyone get into L14, targetting those infantry contacts.
      Exception is 2 Squad, which moves to M24 and holds fire. They will need the little ammo they have left later.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    The e’spirit de Flare Path is irrepressible. Flamethrower or no we’ll turn this town red! And then shortly after, ash-grey. But it will remain red in the metaphorical sense.

    I’m assuming the tank hunters need no further instruction to do their thing, so can our t34/85 crew please idle for thirty seconds, then sneak out of the house they’re in and proceed SW then W to the house at i22. Once there please have them peer at g22 to try and gauge its state of occupation.

  3. Sauce says:

    Order Myshkovs Men to suppress the p15 building,so that 3rd squad can flank the warehouse,and eliminate the nazi smg units there.

    • Dogshevik says:

      You mean Lapshins´ guys, right?

    • Wilson says:

      I think we might need to bypass the warehouse if possible, since we only have 6 turns left to try and advance to the docks and those high value objectives.

  4. Cederic says:

    I want the halftrack to move to q14 to help with the Luftwaffe but if the warehouse at s14/r13 is still occupied by the Germans that may be a silly thing to do.

    q14, because then it can also share some fast moving metal with the warehouse by our armoured car, which is doing a valiant scouting job without any ammo. I mean, how did they only bring enough ammo for three minutes of combat? What else is in that car, a sandwich toaster with a fine selection of cheeses and pastrami?

    For clarity, this is not yet a movement order – seeking suggestions from more qualified commenters.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I agree that if there is infantry in r13 then q14 may be an unsafe spot for our HT.

      I have a suspicion that one of the ammunition cases might have been emptied out to make room for Corporal Petr’s morale-boosting borscht.

      r16/17, on the other hand, have a similar-ish sightline to the new wharf warehouses, while also being further away from r13?

      • Cederic says:

        hmm. LoS to the wharf was really a bonus aside, it’s the Luftwaffe I want the half track to shoot down.

        Borscht + vodka explains a lot. Guess that’s the party wagon for the rest of the battle..

      • AbyssUK says:

        I thought it was immobilised… but obviously wrong.. yes get it up supporting the men. P15, let them burn.
        Lets also get the FP westwards avoiding the minefield if we can.

    • Electricfox says:

      Hey, vodka crates take up a fair bit of room you know, comrade?

  5. declan_23 says:

    I’m not sure how much use flarepath will be in the square, at the minute it seems like a mopping up operation, and we can’t really use the main gun without risking friendly fire.

    I therefore think that it should exit the square via the north and support the pioneers pushing west along m street. If it’s possible for it to fire whilst moving relativly fast, it should fire at l9 as soon as it’s likely to hit.

  6. alh_p says:

    Can the AT gun see the infantry unit in the open on the castle slope? If so, how about sending an HE shell their way before they hide or take cover?

    • Tim Stone says:

      The AT gun has LoS to two German squad remnants in the West Bridge warehouse and the ‘last known position’ iron cross of the l9 Luftwaffe squad only. If ordered to fire on any of these targets it will use AP as its HE stock is exhausted.

  7. Sin Vega says:

    Those poor fools at p15 deserve a medal, but none of their people will ever know of their sacrifice.

    Still, on the plus side, I might be having chips tonight!

  8. alh_p says:

    Ok, lets at least keep the squatters near the west bridge pinned. Please have the AT gun fire at the unit at s13/14.

    I doubt AP will do much but it should scare them into keeping a low profile.

  9. AbyssUK says:

    My this has been awesome fun.. seriously do the game makers know we are doing this ?? Are they here lurking ?? Laughing at our ineptitude ??
    Now is the time for a decent discount, so we can be better next year :)