Overlordy: Turn 1

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This year’s communal Combat Mission game utilizes the series progenitor – Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (2000). Over the next twenty days, using orders issued via comments, volunteers will attempt to prevent British troops freshly landed on the shores of Normandy from taking control of a village close to the coast. The size and composition of the Allied force is a mystery at this point, but we should know a lot more by the end of the turn.

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(All images are enlargeable)

With the minefields sown (anti-tank in western exit, anti-personnel in eastern exit), the Pak 38 positioned (in the bocage at d/e20) and the sniper snug in a traditional/ecclesiastical roost (the church tower at m22) the German units on the road at i30 are given their marching sprinting orders, and the clock is unfrozen for the first time.

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Fourteen seconds later, on the clifftop next to the sanatorium, we lose our first unit. Comprehensively outgunned, the MG-armed pillbox at r11 is potted by a sharpshooting Stuart.

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The pillbox beside the western exit lasts a little longer. It’s hosing Tommies dashing for the gorse-choked gully below when a 75mm HE shell finds its firing slit.

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The killshot was fired by a Cromwell IV, one of two on the sands close to the western exit. Before the pillbox crews flee their gutted fortifications, they manage to identify this pair plus a Universal Carrier and Churchill VII not far from the central exit, and, in the vicinity of the eastern exit, a Stuart and Wasp Flamethrower. The formidable collection of Allied armour is stationary when last observed but it’s a pretty safe bet it will press on now the pillboxes have been silenced.

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^ The scene in the village at the close of the turn. (The PSW, HT, and rifle platoon have just arrived. The LMG team and HQ are still aboard the HT.)

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^ And on the beach (The roundels are ‘last seen here’ indicators so the Allied armour may already be on the move. The absence of small infantry roundels doesn’t necessarily mean infantry are not present.

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^ At least one British squad has already reached the western exit.

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28 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 2 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves/positions for the following 6 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter).

    *Pak 38 AT gun
    *Sniper
    *PSW 234/1 armoured car
    *Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack
    *Rifle platoon (3 squads + 1 HQ)
    *LMG team

    (The twelve pillbox survivors – six each at b14 and r12 – are broken or routed so won’t respond to orders)

    See text and images for current positions.

    • khamul says:

      PSW to move quickly to around H20, then creep up to the bocage at i20. It looks like there should be a LOS from there, through the gaps at g18 and g15, towards the western access. I want to use it to see what’s coming off the beach.

      They’re there to observe, so no shooting, please.
      Wikipedia tells me it has a 20mm cannon, which I’m assuming won’t do a thing to those Cromwells, and using it on infantry is going to invite more pain than it can deal with in return.

      • klops says:

        It can destroy APCs.

        • khamul says:

          Yes, that was part of my thinking. The Universal Carrier was spotted in the central beach, and the Wasp off to the Eastern edge.

          From i20, we should be able to quickly reposition to behind the house at k19, giving lines of fire down the beach road, where I figure the APCs will arrive: but with the amount of armour around, I’m worried that once the PSW starts shooting, it’s not going to last long. So spotting for the PAK, and strategic overview seemed the priority at the moment.

          Besides: given the choice of UC, a Stuart, or a Churchill, which would you send down the beach road first?
          There’s a sniper in the church, who should be able to see what’s coming. If we see an APC looking vulnerable, let’s go for it – but right now, discretion seemed the better part?

          • klops says:

            Yeah. I’d say discretion is the only way that PSW stays alive more than 3 turns.

      • g948ng says:

        Tim, does the PSW have APCR ammunition? (That would be up to 40mm penetration at these ranges.)

    • Skabooga says:

      Could I please have one rifle squad run towards G-19, close enough to the bocage where they can peer straight south, ideally into that gap at G-15.

      I’m hoping they will be able to support the pak-38 at D-E 20 without risking too much exposure themselves.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Overlordy indeed. Two Cromwells, a Churchill, two Bren carriers… can you confirm, Tim, that we saw two Stuarts, or was it just one?

    It’s hard to think what we can do about so much armour. Panzerfaust ambush seems all but essential, which means we’ll have to keep our infantry in a position to surprise.

  3. heretic says:

    Are these the current positions at the end of the turn?

    *Pak 38 AT gun (d/e20)
    *Sniper (m22 church tower)
    *PSW 234/1 armoured car (l22)
    *Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack (l23)
    *Rifle platoon (3 squads + 1 HQ)
    – HQ (l23 aboard the HT)
    – squad1 (k23)
    – squad2 (k23)
    – squad3 (i23)
    *LMG team (l23 aboard the HT)

  4. emily riposte says:

    Since the western exit seems to have the furthest advanced enemy infantry, I’d like to move our rifle platoon to the buildings around the bakery (d21- f20) to protect our AT gun and hopefully ambush the infantry as they come through the bocage toward the bakery.

    I am scared of that Churchill. I’m not sure we can penetrate its armor with the AT gun at all, perhaps even from the rear, and, unlike the Cromwells, iirc, it can fire HE rounds.

    • Palindrome says:

      Cromwells can fire HE.

      • g948ng says:

        Shell HE M46 with either the M48 or M54 fuze.
        The 14.9 lb (6.76 kg) HE shell fired at 2,050 ft/s (625 m/s).
        That´s pretty HE, if you ask me. :-(

        What I am scared of are the mortars they are surely bringing with them. Tanks we can ambush, I hope, but there is little we can do about those except staying mobile.

        • emily riposte says:

          It’s not the 6 pounder? I guess I’m thinking an earlier version of the cromwell.

          Oh, right. I seem to remember there’s 14 inch naval guns available for arty spotters in the game.

          • g948ng says:

            Technically speaking yes. And also, no.
            ^^
            “[The OQF 75 mm] … was obtained by boring out the Ordnance QF 6 pounder (“6 pdr”) 57-mm anti-tank gun to 75-mm…”

          • Palindrome says:

            The production models of the Cromwell were armed with a 75mm gun (or a 95mm howitzer in the case of the Centaur).

    • beleester says:

      Wikipedia says the Churchill’s rear hull has 51 mm of armor, definitely penetrable, but we’d need the perfect angle – hull sides and turret sides/rear are a beefy 95 mm. Our Pak 38 could penetrate the sides at very close (100 meter) range, but that’s going to be hard unless we get a good ambush.

      Our Pak 38 should do fine against the Cromwells from most ranges and angles on this map – 76 mm of armor vs 79 of penetration at 500 meters.

      A Panzerfaust will do the job from any angle, but we’d need to get a rifle squad to close range.

      Not sure about our armored car’s 20mm gun, but I wouldn’t bet on it against anything but the Stuart.

  5. emily riposte says:

    Also, let’s remember: “The first wave of reinforcements should arrive circa Turn 5. Expect a platoon of heavily armed Pioneers to turn up in the vicinity of a24 and a tank or SPG of some description to appear at i32.” and “Apparently, a few fallschirmjager are also on the way. Travelling on foot cross-country from an airfield to the NE the Green Devils should be with you in 10-12 minutes.”

    The way I picture this going: Our two infantry platoons (including the reinforcements) defeat the western thrust, possibly resorting to close assaults on the Cromwells from the woods at b16ish with the pioneers, then we advance to the east and roll up the rest of their forces. We had better be careful when we engage the Churchill with that reinforcing afv.

  6. Cederic says:

    Doomed! We’re doomed!

    LMG crew disembark and sprint to u24 where they cower in the mill.

  7. Sin Vega says:

    Orders for the commander: Surrender, you nazi bastard!

    This one’s off to a scary start, eh?

  8. Stugle says:

    Oh gods, that’s a lot of armor for our little Pak and Panzerfaeuste.

    Leave the sniper in place. If it hasn’t been done yet, he should be told not to fire. I think the intel he can provide will be much more valuable than any chipped paint he can inflict on the Allied armored hordes.

  9. g948ng says:

    Assuming direct control of the half-track.

    Let the Rifle Plt HQ disembark right now, as emily riposte ordered, then drive to Q25 to let the LMG team disembark, so it can execute Cederic´s order.
    Take the route via the N23 hedge-wall gap and the P24 gap.

    If you can´t dismount, move and then dismount another unit, then just stay where it is, so the passangers can follow their respective orders.
    Under no circumstances I want carry off our riflemen´s leadership to the other end of the map.

    • Cederic says:

      The LMG team are happy to yomp, there’s no point putting the half track near those airborne, and the Stuart’s got no reasonable opposition on that flank either.

      I’m half tempted to abandon the mill entirely rather than risk the LMG team but I’m feeling ambitious.

      • g948ng says:

        The HT´s route is through the backyard. I am confident the british airborne aren´t north of the road already. Also, we have the option to let it return the same way.
        You are right, the east will be overrun, even with help. But if we get to the mill soon, we can start harassing their eastern thrust at far safer ranges (~200m) and thus buy more time.

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