Communal Combat Mission: Turn 25

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 have just taken the railway station in the north and are pushing westward with a will (The two wharf victory locations are the most valuable on the map).

Although Efr. Mikhailov, the BA-64B commander, was born in Leningrad, his grandmother was a Don Cossack. As the little armoured car hares northward, Mikhailov is humming ‘Любо, Братцы, Любо’ under his breath. The plaintive melody is the closest thing he has to a lucky charm, but today it doesn’t save him.

Stabilised by cheap tin fins, Fate, in the form of a Panzerfaust warhead, emerges from a ground floor window of the house at j12, flits across 20m of rutted snow, then collides with the turret of the speeding AFV. Mikhailov is killed instantly. His driver bails out successfully and spends the rest of the turn crawling towards j12, TT-33 service pistol in hand.

The Germans almost claim a second Soviet vehicle seconds later when mortar bombs bracket the M5 halftrack.

It’s a miracle Lapshin’s 1 Squad and 3 Squad, both caught up in the same barrage, escape without casualties. Executing orders issued after turn 23, three-man 3 Squad dodge explosions, finally entering the riverside warehouse not far from the enemy submachine gunner who has been bothering 1 Squad since the turn began.

Up at the station, the StuH crew’s luck seems to be improving. The tank hunters and T-34/85 crew fail to prevent them from retreating to the VL building.

At the close of the turn…

^ (Click to enlarge). Soviet flags sprout from two VLs (sending severely weakened/non-essential squads back to the Square and West Bridge VLs might be sensible)

^ (Click to enlarge). Near the wharves targets are scarce (The l9 LW squad disappeared shortly after Renko engaged them early in the turn). Flare Path is unable to see the mortar spotter on Castle Hill from her current position (She would need to trundle beyond the roadblock to gain LoS). Myshkov’s platoon is in position (The ammo-low 2 Squad was sent back to m23 two turns ago). Having escaped the frying pan the BA-64B driver is just about to enter the fire (j12).

^ (Click to enlarge). The situation in the square. In r18 Ryumin’s 2 Squad remains pinned. By West Bridge Ryumin’s 1 Squad sets out nervously for n14.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 26 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 10 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter)

    *OT-34 flame tank (m13, buttoned)
    *M5 halftrack (m16)
    *AT gun (bb10, potential targets in riverside warehouse)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, most in vicinity of l14, one squad m23)
    *Renko, the sniper (k17)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (two squads both low on ammo, r13, p14)
    *Ryumin’s remnants (two squads, r18 pinned, t16 cautious)
    *Tank hunter team (h24)
    *T-34/85 crew (i22)
    *Gurtiev, five-man company HQ, q15

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 26 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

    • opowell says:

      – 2 Squad to run to N16 and engage targets there.
      – the Squad in the SW corner of L14 to run to J14, via as safe a route as possible/reasonable.
      – The remaining squad + HQ to provide covering fire on L9 and J12.

    • BooleanBob says:

      AT squad to pursue the StuH crewmen into g22.

      I believe there’s still an enemy LMG team lurking around the north entrance to the square. Ryumin’s men seem hopeless to advance without leadership, so I would recommend using them to try and hold the VPs we thought were secure, should we regain them.

      • opowell says:

        Gurtiev (the Company HQ) might be able to rally them, but they would probably need to be quite close (1 square?).

      • Tim Stone says:

        The SS LMG team is now one man. He’s in the NW corner of n16. He still has his MG 42 but doesn’t look all that keen on using it at the moment (that could change).

        Gurtiev can’t see him so is focussing on the other German unit in n16 – a fairly harmless pistol-armed crewman.

    • Electricfox says:

      “With our brave Yefréytor, who has time or will to grieve.”

      RIP Efr. Mikhailov! A true Cossack charger.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Lapshin´s guys:
      -R13 squad assaults S13 and then runs north as fast as possible.
      -P14 squad follows the road towards N13 as far as the building to their west shields them from tile L9. I wouldn´t mind a few shots towards J12, but it´s no priority.

    • Wilson says:

      Ryumin’s men:
      – r18 squad hold position and recover.
      – t16 squad to sneak back to the VP at u15, just keep their heads down and try to get onto the VP.

  2. opowell says:

    My feeling is that once the warehouse at West Bridge (S12-S13) and the enemy-occupied building in the square (N16) are cleared, both of those flags will revert to our control. I think Ryumin + Lapshin’s men could handle this (with support/control from Gurtiev Company HQ), which leaves the main force (FP + halftrack + Myshkov’s platoon + Renko sniper) to take the docks.

    • Dogshevik says:

      I think the wharf assault could use one or two squads from Gurtiev/Lapshin/Ryumin as fire support in the second line.

  3. Dogshevik says:

    Dogshevik: “I am super confident there are no more panzerfausts.”
    Game: “panzerfaust makes boom”
    Dogshevik: “…”