Communal Combat Mission: Turn 24

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. With six days/turns to go, the commenter-controlled Soviets are pushing westward with a will (The two wharf victory locations are the most valuable on the map) and nearing the railway station in the North.

RPG-43s had a nasty habit of bouncing off their targets without detonating. The one that strikes the immobilised StuH at T+14 is hurled by a duo that learnt their trade in the unforgiving streets of Stalingrad and does its job perfectly.

As dazed, black-clad crewmen clamber from their stricken machine they are greeted with SMG bursts and skittering hand grenades. Our AT team is almost too busy to notice the German platoon HQ approaching from behind. For half a minute h24 echoes to the sound of Luger and PPSh-41 fire. When the turn ends those Lugers are nestling inside Soviet satchels.

At T+13 in the square Kpt. Gurtiev’s turns to chivvy one of his men and finds him spreadeagled on the snow, dead as a doornail. The man has been shot in the back by a previously unseen German unit at q18. By the time the alarmed company HQ has reached cover, the mysterious enemy (a sniper?) has the unbuttoned commander of the wharfside BA-64B in his sights. Although Efr. Mikhailov hears the bullet whip past, he has no idea of its source, and is halfway to the station when his would-be assassin is eliminated by combined fire from the recovered recon squad at r18 and the advancing M5 at r15.

The halftrack’s movement order almost wasn’t executed. Like Ryumin’s 1 Squad, the Lend-Lease AFV came under accurate mortar fire during the first half of turn 24.

It looks like the weapon responsible is the unidentified German unit recently spotted on Castle Hill.

When the turn ends…

^ (Click to enlarge) The doughty defenders of p15 have disappeared. The AT gun is discouraging resistance in the riverside warehouse. Lapshin’s 1 Squad has abandoned its move towards the wharf and is attempting to sneak to q15, Gurtiev’s current location. Lapshin’s 3 squad is pinned on the edge of p15.

^ (Click to enlarge) Myshkov has arrived at l14 ahead of his men and is already engaging the LW squad at l9. Weary Renko, k17, also has eyes on l14. Thus far, the BA-64 hasn’t drawn fire from the units close to Old Wharf.

In the North, the T-34/85 crew have made it as far as i22 and a Soviet flag is flying over the station. Three of the StuH’s crew are inside the building at h24.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 25 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 (l11, no ammo)
    *OT-34 flame tank (m14, buttoned)
    *M5 halftrack (r15)
    *AT gun (bb10)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, most in vicinity of l14, one squad at l20)
    *Renko, the sniper (k17, tired)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (two squads, q15 ammo low, p15 down to three men)
    *Ryumin’s remnants (two squads, r18 pinned, t16 shaken)
    *Tank hunter team (h24)
    *T-34/85 crew (i22, shaken)
    *Gurtiev, five-man company HQ, q15

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 25 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

    • opowell says:

      Reyumin’s remnants to proceed as quickly as possible to N14.

    • Electricfox says:

      Keep rolling fast BA-64B, onward for the Rodina!

    • Dogshevik says:

      Slight adjustments to Myshkovs´ orders:
      When the M14/15 squads enter L14, one shoots at the L9 guys and one squad targets the J12 hut.

      Tim, which squad is the ´2 Squad´ that is low on ammo? Looking at their pathing I would assume it is the one lagging behind (at L22), right?

    • Electricfox says:

      Scrub last order please Tim, I missed that the railway station was in our hands, so Comrade BA-64B is to gun it up to the house at G9 and then out across to the mortar spotter and attempt to run him down, after that then up to the castle victory point. All as fast as possible (even though there’s quite a slope there.)

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    phuzz says:

    Good work that T34 crew! If I recall correctly, they’re very lightly armed, and they should probably hold where they are.

    That halftrack needs to get out of LoS of the mortar, perhaps to q18 to pick up Ryumin’s Remnants?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Ok, it seems Reyumin’s are set to run the whole way, so the halftrack should get out of view of that mortar, and exit the square by the north (n18), then turn west and follow FP and friends to m14.

      • BooleanBob says:

        I do think you’ve hit on something here, though: infantry trapp- er, I mean, safely ensconced in an APC can’t run away.

        Maybe someone needs to take control of the M5 and make with the press-gang tactics?

  3. alh_p says:

    Flare Path to move to s14 (or far enough forwards to see the mortar team, but not so far as to park on the minefield) and target that mortar team with the main gun.

    We need that mortar out of action if we’re going to use our infantry in this advance… they have to be available to die for the motherland through alternative and more direct means…

    What are the contacts around j12? I imagine the BA or Renko will help identify them soon enough.

    • Tim Stone says:

      One of them is the last known position of a Luftwaffe infantry squad. Not sure about the other one.

    • Dogshevik says:

      The mortar can´t adjust its fire fast enough to threaten our infantry if it keeps moving. I got nothing against keeping its head down, but Flare Path is too valuable for such a job.

      EDIT: S14?

      • alh_p says:

        Er, i was just testing you comrade… m14 of course please Tim!

        The mortar spotter/team are also easy fodder – a fixed target in the open. Next turn FP can move on to other targets.

  4. AbyssUK says:

    Can the BA just simply run over the mortar spotter ??

    • Electricfox says:

      There’s a few stone walls in the way, if I can’t capture the railway station and he’s still up there I’ll take the BA-64B up there next and try some hit and runs.

      • alh_p says:

        While the BA’s conversion to kamikazebattlefield safari vehicle is both useful and entertaining, you do realise the station is already in our hands, right?

        In any case, the jaunt to the station (aggressive driving aside) should help by drawing some panzerfaust fire from the remaining infantry, allowing our self-propelled blunderbuss to advance in confidence.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        We’ve captured the railway VP

        In the North, the T-34/85 crew have made it as far as i22 and a Soviet flag is flying over the station.

  5. BooleanBob says:

    Iron and thunder; that’s what our anti-tankists are made of. It seems they can now boast to be anti-personists as well.

    We should look to secure the Railway Station VP, but with five turns on the clock there’s no immediate rush. The t34 crew is shaken, so I suggest we give them a minute to steel their nerves before storming the (in all probability, empty) house at g22.

    Once the AT team are done fighting the StuH crew (I’m assuming SMGs trump pistols) they’ll probably want to linger in the vicinity in case of a counter attack. But if we’re looking light on man power I suppose we could rush them to the docks.

    • alh_p says:

      This prompts a query I’ve been pondering over for the last few turns: can we hold VPs without troops occupying it? e.g. How can we still be in position of the east bridge if we have no troops near it? Also, how are still in possession of the east bridge VP if their are Wehrmacht chaps about? I don’t know CM’s rules on this and would be grateful for advice…

      Although it’s probably all moot as we need at least one of the wharves to stand a chance in hell of winning on VPs. I believe the wharves are worth 300 VPs a piece and the other VPs 100. So the current tally is:
      Wehrmacht: 700 VPs (2x wharves, castle)
      Red Army: 400 VPs (2x bridges, town square, station)

      Edit: and that’s notwithstanding unit loss VPs

  6. Dogshevik says:

    “It looks like the weapon responsible is the unidentified German unit recently spotted on Castle Hill.”

    That´s excellent news! I had feared it would be another infantry squad or HMG that would threaten our push to the wharves by flanking fire. The mortar we can largely ingore if we keep moving.

    • Dogshevik says:

      It feels stupid to reply to oneself, but I just wanted to point out that the LW squads probably don´t have any pz-fausts. If they had the BA would be toast by now.

      That means we can freely maneuver with FP.

      • Cederic says:

        No panzerfausts means they lack ranged anti-armour capability. It doesn’t preclude them being able to clamber up and stick something messily explosive onto something that gets too close to them.

        So some caution seems still reasonable.

  7. declan_23 says:

    If Renko can see the mortar spotter, he should have a pop at him. Otherwise he should shoot at either of the luftwaffe squads if they pop their heads up.

  8. Sin Vega says:

    Sensible thing would be to consolidate a little so we can bring our full force to bear (in particular, that sniper’s far-too-cold rifle would be a real boon in spotting and suppressing anything on the hill), but alas, the universe collapses in five minutes.

    Poor little electro-soldiers. They don’t ask for much.