Communal Combat Mission: Turn 28

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The third communal Combat Mission skirmish – a comment-driven confrontation between RPS readers and Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin’s uncommonly entertaining AI – has three turns left to run. By the end of the weekend the commenter-controlled Soviets will either be celebrating a memorable eleventh-hour victory or rueing opportunities/wharves not taken.

The comment commanders can smell the seaweedy tang of the Baltic, but their men are exhausted, their vehicles few. If they are to seize the key dockside VLs before the Kriegsmarine evacuation flotilla rounds the headland, it’s vital they make progress in turn 28.

The M5 and OT-34 trade fusilades in the first few seconds of the turn – verbal fusilades. Flare Path’s driver resents having to give way, but give way he does. He reverses to allow the M5 halftrack to squeeze past, unaware of the fleeting drama unfolding behind him. Alarmed by the Soviet riflemen approaching from the SE, the SS light-machinegunner in n16 has bolted for l16. Seven rifles and an SMG track the retreater as he dashes across the street, but the man with the doppelte Siegrune on helmet and collar has the luck of the Devil.

Once the pitted flank of the halftrack is out of the way, Flare Path resumes her vandalism of the building due-west at l9. Almost immediately the façade-roaming MG bursts produce results. Nine Luftwaffe infantrymen spill onto the dockside, possibly intending to scamper south to New Wharf. Waiting for a taxi at k13, Myshkov’s 3 Squad notice the bid and scupper it with rifle fire. Soviet slugs drop two hunched figures forcing the LW squad to retrace its steps.

Myshkov’s 1 Squad are close enough to their targets to hear their hoarse whispers and hurried magazine changes. In the wooden two-storey hut at j12, the remains of a German platoon HQ – two men – are holding off seven seasoned pioneers. Make that six pioneers. By the time Myshkov arrives, the building has been set ablaze by a Russian grenade and 1 Squad, a man down, is looking anxious.

The lieutenant takes in the situation in an instant. A series of hand-signals puts in motion an aggressive pincer movement that ends in a brutal, bayonet-point quadrille.

The fighting is every bit as intense, every bit as intimate, down at the riverside warehouse. Cracks are beginning to craze Kpt. Gurtiev’s mantle of calm, when Ryumin’s 1 Squad arrives from West Bridge.

By the end of the turn, Ryumin’s 2 Squad has also shown up, and a complex multi-faceted firefight involving four Soviet units (five, if you count the AT gun firing AP from the spit)  and two German ones is in full swing. Both of the newcomers lost a man during their assaults, but it surely can’t be long before Soviet firepower prevails (At T+60 there are fourteen Soviet rifles, two Tokarevs and a DPM LMG inside the warehouse compared with one MP 40 and a Luger.*)

*plus whatever the unidentified Axis unit in the west wing is packing.

When the clock stops, the battlefield look like this…

^ (Click to enlarge) j12 is clear and Myshkov’s 3 Squad is aboard the halftrack. The LW squad on Old Wharf has retreated to the SE corner of l7. The mortar barrage centred on m13 has subsided but something – I’m not quite sure what – ‘pinned’ Myshkov’s 2 Squad close to Flare Path in the final few seconds of the turn.

^ (Click to enlarge) Our AT team is just over halfway to g14. Castle, Old Wharf, and New Wharf are, presumably, still in German hands.

15 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 29 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 10 units (A maximum of two units per commenter. The same commenter that moves Myshkov this turn, should also move the M5)

    *OT-34 flame tank (m14, buttoned)
    *M5 halftrack (j15, buttoned, passengers aboard)
    *AT gun (bb10, potential targets in riverside warehouse)
    *Lt Myshkov’s pioneer platoon (three splitable squads + HQ, 1 Squad (j12) 2 Squad (m14, pinned) 3 Squad in halftrack, HQ (j12))
    *Renko, the sniper (j14)
    *Lt. Lapshin’s rifle platoon (two squads both low on ammo, 2 Squad (n16), 3 Squad (s13, 3 men, shaken))
    *Ryumin’s remnants (two squads, 1 Squad (s14), 2 Squad (r13))
    *Tank hunter team (g17)
    *T-34/85 crew (g22)
    *Gurtiev, four-man company HQ (s14, taking cover)

    Assuming orders are forthcoming, the summary of turn 29 will appear on the RPS front-page at approximately this time tomorrow morning.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Good work chaps. If we can recapture the West Bridge and contest the Old Wharf into a neutral state, I believe that would put both sides on 400 points. Go one further and capture the dock outright and glorious victory is still possible!

      Tim, could you confirm a couple of things for me:

      1) is there room for a small one in the M5 (could Myshkov HQ squeeze aboard?)
      2) what square do we think the mortar team is in? Would the M5 have likely LoS to it from k9?

      I’ll issue a tentative order to the M5 – round the house at j12, move at full speed, with k9 as the final destination. Immediately unload 3 squad who are to enter the warehouse at k8 (FP to cease fire on that location please!) Then the m5 attempt to engage the mortar.

      I feel like that’s the conservative move. I’ll leave the same open question as last time to my fellow commentants: how much do we fear a gun emplacement at l4? Because if we were feeling bold, we could go for j7 instead and have improved access to the VP square at l7 and targeting on the mortar squad. But if we were to find an AA gun waiting for us it would surely mean doom.

      HQ and 1 squad to leave j12 and aim to be in l9 by turn’s end – taking pot-shots at available targets as they go if there’s time to do so.

      2 squad is out of command, which is unfortunate. But they’re to retain orders to approach the Old Wharf from the barricade and shoot at the LW squad if they can summon the courage to rally.

      • opowell says:

        I have a feeling all enemy units have been identified (apart from whatever infantry is in New Wharf). So I think J7 is worth the risk.

      • Tim Stone says:

        There’s no room for Myshkov’s HQ in the M5. The suspected mortar spotter is at f7.

      • Dogshevik says:

        Let´s not be obsessed with that mortar. The mortar´s fate is irrelevant. L4 and whatever it might contain is irrelevant. The VL at L7 decides the game. The one unit denying us that VL is the LW squad right there. If we kill it we win, if not we loose.

        So let´s point every available gun we have at them. Including the M5´s machine gun. Drive right up into their faces with the mounted pioneers. Like tile M8. FP can hopefully keep them pinned.

        There is no time for caution, mortar hunting or parking valuable MGs out of sight of our most important target. Experience tells us that killing off an infantry squad might take more than one turn. If we want to have a chance we have to make use of everything we have to get them out of the way asap.

      • Dogshevik says:

        Oops.

    • opowell says:

      OT-34 flame tank:
      – cancel area target, move as quickly as possible to M11 (not sure it can squeeze around the barricade?). Ideally ending with LOS to enemy units at F8 and L7.

    • opowell says:

      Gurtiev, company HQ:
      – pause for 10 seconds, then run to NW corner of N14.

      • opowell says:

        Edit:
        – pause for 10 seconds, run to SW corner of N14, then move to L9 (avoiding the minefield).

    • alh_p says:

      AT gun to fire at any available target, unless there’s a risk of friendly fire (ie the warehouse).

      This is going to be a close run thing!

    • Dogshevik says:

      -Renko: Move south along the road until he has a LOS to the Luftwaffles at L7. M13, M12 or M11 should do the trick, but under no circmstances block FP. Then shoot at them. Lots.
      -Lapshin: N16 squad moves onto the street and then west, trying to attack the L7 LW squad. If they could finish off that LMG gunner along the way that would be nice.
      S13 squad holds position and continues the firefight in the warehouse.

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      phuzz says:

      The T-34/85 crew (g22) to stay where they are, but if they haven’t already they should move to the upstairs windows just in case there’s any targets nearby for them to hit.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, here, but I wonder if Renko might be able to get the mortar team in his sights from g9, if he can reach it, and possibly even contest an undefended castle VP?

    • opowell says:

      I put him in his current location (J14), and it was definitely a mistake. I thought he would have LOS to the mortar team. Probably anything is better than his current position.
      Another option would be to push into the warehouse at L9 and take shots across the water at P7-P9. But I also like the idea of taking the castle.

  3. Cederic says:

    Does Flare Path have any more canister shot? I’m not sure who it should target, I just like your screenshots showing it in mid air.