Communal Combat Mission: Turn 26

The third communal Combat Mission skirmish – a comment-driven confrontation between RPS readers and Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin’s uncommonly entertaining AI – has four turns left to run. By Monday the commenter-controlled Soviets will either be celebrating the eleventh-hour capture of New and Old Wharf (the most valuable Victory Locations on the map) or fielding difficult questions from their superiors.

Neither of the two remaining Soviet AFVs received orders yesterday but Tim and tide wait for no man.

In a parallel universe somewhere, the unhorsed BA-64B driver kicks open the door of the house at j12 and proceeds to eliminate eight heavily armed Luftwaffe infantrymen using nothing but a Tokarev pistol and a scavenged chair leg. In our universe he’s riddled by a Schmeisser moments after entering.

Revenge isn’t slow in coming, however. As the LW squad exit the building, perhaps intending to join their pals at l9, they draw fire from Renko and elements of Myshkov’s platoon.

The bullets are followed by a devastating swarm of canister shot that leaves four hideously mangled corpses in the roadway.

Meanwhile, up north, the AT team is playing Keystone Cops. As they dash through the front entrance of the station, their quarry, the StuH crew, make a swift exit through the back entrance.

Remember the German riflemen that defended the house at p15 so tenaciously? Choking smoke and spreading flames finally persuade them to relocate at T+24. The two singed survivors are sprinting south when rifle shots from the windows of p18 end their war.

Mars seems to be taunting Ryumin’s 1 Squad. Sent onto West Bridge, a VL strewn with the corpses of their comrades, for the umpteenth time, the fragile six-man scout team doubles back after coming under SMG fire from the riverside warehouse.

Lapshin’s 3 Squad could help them out but doesn’t. They entered the warehouse last turn but are too nervous to expand their footprint at the moment.

Lapshin’s 1 Squad reach the barricaded wharf entrance midway through the turn. Soon mortar bombs are detonating all around them. At T+52 a sliver of shrapnel bodkins an SSh-40 helmet and 1 Squad finds itself down to eight men.

When the clock stops, the battlefield looks like this…

^ (Click to enlarge) Lapshin’s 1 Squad is ‘shaken’ and seeking cover. Flare Path is scourging the LW squad at j12. Both of Myshkov’s closest squads are exhausted. The third is still some distance from its n16 destination.

^ (Click to enlarge) The three Soviet riflemen in the riverside warehouse (Lapshin’s 3 Squad. 1 x SVT rifle, 1 x Mosin-Nagant rifle, 1 x DPM LMG) are out-of-command and ‘shaken’. So is Ryumin’s 1 Squad, the unit sent back to West Bridge. Grey ‘?’ flags fly over Castle, Old Wharf, New Wharf, and West Bridge.


  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 27 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 (m14, buttoned, firing at j12)
    *M5 halftrack (m14, buttoned)
    *AT gun (bb10, potential targets in riverside warehouse)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, 1 Squad (k14, exhausted) 2 Squad (l20, tired,) 3 Squad (l14, tired) HQ (l14))
    *Renko, the sniper (k17, no targets, tired)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (three squads all low on ammo, 1 Squad (n13, shaken) 2 Squad (p18, cautious) 3 Squad (s13, 3 men, shaken))
    *Ryumin’s remnants (two squads, 1 Squad (t16, shaken) 2 Squad (p18))
    *Tank hunter team (g22, StuH crew now in e23)
    *T-34/85 crew (i22)
    *Gurtiev, five-man company HQ (q15, nearby German crew neutralised, 1-man SS LMG close in n16)

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 27 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

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      phuzz says:

      My old friends the T-34/85 crew to move into the station(?) at g22 and help the AT team keep those dastardly nazis away from Glorious Soviet VP!

    • BooleanBob says:

      Gurtiev to sprint with priority to r14 and enter s14 thencefrom. While attempting to rally any in-range Lapshiners, Ryuminites or stray Corporal Uphams, sweep the building in search of a fight.

    • opowell says:

      Renko to move as quickly as possible to the SW corner, top floor, of J14.

    • Dogshevik says:

      Myshkovs´ orders:
      1 and 3 squad assault the hut at J12. (hoping for FP to cover)
      HQ squad provides cover fire.
      2 squad continues down the road towards M14.

      Guys, please please issue orders to the crucial units near the wharf. Any orders are better than no orders. FP, the M5, Lapshins dudes and Ryumins remnants still lack orders as I write this.

  2. alh_p says:

    Righto chaps and chappettes, 4 turns to go to victory or Siberia. Lets strategise the scheisse out of this.

    At present I think we are only aware of 3 units on the wharves, who we need to neutralise to take control of the VPs:
    1. The (-4 men) LW squad at j12
    2. The LW squad at l10
    3. The mortar team/mortar spotter (we still don’t know which) at h8.

    We have:
    FP (HE and super-size blunderbuss)
    M5 and its MG
    3 squads of knackered infantry (one pinned by mortar fire)

    Your thoughts, comrades?

    • Hawkseraph says:

      Is there a way to clear the roadblock?

      • alh_p says:

        Not sure, but the BA was able to drive around it (between the north of the barrier and the water) onto the bridge. FP is bigger of course.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Jerry at present is sitting on 700 points, we on 300. We only need to seize one wharf (causing a 300 point swing) to achieve victory.

      If there were two of me this turn I would be ordering Renko to i16 in an effort to getting an angle on the mortar team.

      Something tells me we will also have to risk faust fire and send FP castlewards. Dangerous as it may be, the forward infantry now really needs to make a shift towards the wharves and that mortar is our greatest present impediment.

      I would be in favour of taking a risk here. Our men are tired and vulnerable to suppression – but we can get them through the worst of it if we pile Myshkov’s HQ and 1+2 squads into the M5 and disgorge them directly onto the wharves.

      We needn’t even try to funnel through the killzone at m12 – why not proceed up the north road under the cover of our OT34 and loop back around to the old wharf?

      With regard to taking n16, I’d be cautious about relying solely on the units at p18, though they obviously ought to be put to the task. As much as we could use Myshkov’s 3-squad elsewhere, they’ve proved a cut above any of our other infantry and have the advantage of a second angle of approach.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Actually I don’t think you can get that many men in an m5. Which is probably just as well if we consider the wisdom of eggs and baskets, but I still think it would be worth jamming a healthy handful of pioneers into the APC and taking it on a tour of the northern dock.

      • alh_p says:

        I must have an AFV fetish (Tanks!) to focus on them so much, but I agree that we could/should venture FP into this. I doubt the squad at j12 have another ‘faust but the one at l9 may well do.

        For me the question is whether we want FP to serve HE to the hidden squad at l9 (which it can do from its current position), or take out the mortar (for which it would need to move).

        If Renko and the (loaded) M5 take on the mortar en passant, I think FP should fire a few rounds at l9, to soften up the defenders before our pioneers arrive. This also keeps FP further from panzerfaust range.

        • BooleanBob says:

          I can’t fault your reasoning. But I fear there will be a ganz toll toll on our men should the mortars continue to fall.

          Perhaps FP could focus on l9 for part of the turn, then move to engage the mortar in the remainder?

          • alh_p says:

            Tim, what are the chances of the OT34 fitting through the gap around the road block, as the dearly beloved armoured car previously managed?

          • Tim Stone says:

            >what are the chances of the OT34 fitting through the gap around the road block.

            Good, though it’s unlikely to be able to do it at speed.

    • Dogshevik says:

      The Old Wharf VL is a building. So we need infantry. When engaged the speed of infantry seems to be about 2 tiles. That means our closest infantry needs 3 turns alone for moving to the VL. So let´s move now and avoid any diversions.

      The obstacles in our way are the two LW squads. The J12 one just lost half its men, seems to be pinned, shaken and all kinds of things. We could probably overrun them. But that would take us into range of the untouched L9 squad. Therefore we need our biggest guns to surpress them.

      I recommend using Renko to target the H8 mortar, FP to surpress L9, the M5 to keep J12 surpressed and assault it with Myshkovs´ guys, exhausted or not.
      (I still got my order.)

  3. J.C. says:

    This seems like it could end up as a loss, but that’s fine. I like reading these, it wouldn’t be as exciting if they were all wins. While observing this and as a CM vet, I think too much time and use of resources was spent on the U15 crossroad near the bridge. It may have been better to keep some there as diversion while heading up to g25 in order to slowly close a circle around the wharf. As it is now the forces look to be too exhausted, shaken, and weakened to attack from the southwest positions up the m13 road where there is likely fresh German troops with plenty of ammo near the church.

  4. Sin Vega says:

    I think those poor devils at p15 are a safe bet for MVP, and may even have been the difference between our storming the wharves in time. What a rotten way to go out.

    • Cederic says:

      I’m not sure, the eponymous Flare Path looks to be playing the decisive role here.

  5. declan_23 says:

    If it’s not too late, the m5 should go at full pelt towards the mortar spotter and engage it as soon as in range. hopefully this might draw the fausts away from flare path