Overlordy: Turn 2

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In turn 1 the comment commanders had a chilling glimpse of their adversaries. British landing craft have deposited an intimidating array of tanks on the beach south of Caent, and, doubtless, the armour is accompanied by an equally intimidating infantry force. With their two pillboxes neutralised, the players now have no way of knowing what’s happening on the sands. Will a cagey bit of scouting by their armoured car reduce the intelligence deficit?

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When it comes to combining embarkation and disembarkation with vehicle movement, CMBO’s order system is far from perfect. Trying to persuade the halftrack to stop, disgorge the rifle platoon HQ, then head off towards the mill with the LMG team still aboard within a single action phase (sixty seconds) proves impossible. In the end I settle for  a compromise – the HT sits tight with the LMG team as passengers while the infantry jog towards the bakery (Unable to run, on foot it would have taken the heavily encumbered LMG team at least two turns to reach the mill).

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As instructed, the rifle platoon together with its HQ occupy buildings close to the Pak 38. From the ground floors of the predominantly wooden structures near the bakery, they can’t see into the pasture to the south, but two squads do have LoS to a portion of the pine wood that hugs the western map edge.

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The PSW armoured car ends the turn sprinkled with twigs, leaves, and unripe cobnuts.

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From its new position nuzzling the bocage at h20, it has an extremely narrow keyhole view of the clifftop brush close to the western exit. Any Allied unit veering eastward or north-eastward after using that exit should now be visible.

Persuading the PSW not to engage units that cross or linger in this keyhole will require either a ‘hide’ order (which will slightly reduce its spotting ability but shouldn’t prevent it, for instance, from noticing a passing Bren Gun Carrier) or an ‘ambush’ command.*

* Before Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin and the introduction of configurable ‘cover arcs’ CM players had to rely on placed ambush markers. From the CMBO manual: “Any enemy unit which moves into the location of an ambush marker causes the ambushing units to unhide and open fire, unless the chances of harming the target are too low or opening-fire would be suicidal”. Placing an ambush marker very close to a unit will discourage it from initiating long-range firefights.

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^ The situation at the end of turn 2.

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26 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 3 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 (currently carrying LMG team)
    *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 hold position, ambush marker for g17
      I’m happy with that positioning. Anything coming due N from the western beach exit, the PAK will see. Anything else – barring infantry through the pines – the PSW will spot for us. Of course, we probably can’t do anything about it: but knowledge is half the battle, right?

      Tim: does the PAK have to have direct LOS to fire? Or if we spotted something, say the far side of the bocage at f15, using another unit, would the PAK be able to have a go at them through the hedges?

      • heretic says:

        Are we a bit too concentrated on the western part of the map? Or are we expecting the reinforcements to allow us to create a broader defense line?

        • khamul says:

          We don’t have much to work with, so letting it get too spread out seems like a bad plan?

          That said, we have nothing but a single sniper to hold the beach road approach. Perhaps some of the other commenters might feel it would make sense to move some of our infantry into the upper floors of the big building at k21, or around that region, with the HQ shuffled along a bit to keep them all in leadership range?

          Setting up a panzerfaust surprise definitely seems like the order of the day, to me.

        • emily riposte says:

          My thinking is that, being outnumbered, we’re best off attempting to defeat them in detail, and the enemy could conceivably get infantry on top of the pak gun before the reinforcements arrive. (I don’t think they will move that fast, but they might)

          Once the pioneers get here, we can either move them into the woods to engage the western thrust, or move them behind the front line to the church area, as needed.

          Also, if we end up having to let the enemy advance into the church area, that will give us flanking shots with the at gun and probably also give us good opportunities to engage armor one on one with our reinforcing afv.

          I think we’ve pretty much given the necessary orders for now, we’re waiting on something we need to react to. I’m not sure if the rifle platoon should remain where it is, or move to just behind the bocage and set an ambush for d19ish, but we don’t need to do anything about that right now.

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      Sorry for getting off-topic, but this series feels positively like cloud gaming via mail order
      [youtube link to youtube.com

    • g948ng says:

      Since Cederic is letting the HT do the backyard rush I planned last turn, I will take care of the LMG team this turn.

      The LMG Team waits for its ride get them as close as possible, dismounts and runs into the mill. No shooting yet. If possible, they set up their gun in the upper floor, facing the beach.

      Thanks for solving the disembark dilemma this way, Tim.

    • Skabooga says:

      For the rifle platoon, the HQ and the squads at d21 and e21 can stay in their buildings, but can the squad at f20 leave its building and move south just a teensy bit to the vertex of bocage at F 19-20, keeping them on the north side of the bocage but giving them a view into the pasture to the south?

  2. Landiss says:

    How big are the squares on the map? How close needs the infantry to get to a tank to have reasonable chance to hit it with AT weapons?

  3. heretic says:

    Current unit positions on map at the start of turn 3.

    link to imgur.com

    Let me know if you think it’s inaccurate!

    • Tim Stone says:

      Thanks. I’ll try to do something similar from now on.

      EDIT: Having done some experiments and given it some thought, I think a grid map with constantly updated unit positions may be beyond me, unfortunately. When the reinforcements arrive and units start mingling/overlapping it’s going to be a significant undertaking – something difficult to fit in each morning alongside turn processing and penning the write-ups. I’ll add coordinates to the daily order request post, and continue to illustrate important areas of the battle with enlargeable screenshots, but may have to leave evolving visual aids to public-spirited players and spectators like your good self. Sorry.

      • heretic says:

        Thank you for bringing this column back, definitely my favourite thing on RPS!

        Seriously considering getting CMBO to try my hand, there’s the Close Combat series as well neither of which I have ever played. Only playing through Blitzkrieg 1 for the first time recently, but looking for a more realistic / tactical experience.

      • heretic says:

        No worries, happy to continue updating the map when I can – took me ages for something so simple so I can understand!

  4. fuggles says:

    Love this series, I understand not one bit of it, but I love this series.

  5. Cederic says:

    Showing the blinkered single-mindedness that gets at least one unit into terrible trouble each time we play this game, I’m going to continue to demand that the LMG occupy the mill.

    However, that’s not this turn’s order. It would be idiocy to put the HT road side of the bocage by the mill, as it’d never reach cover before enemy armour from the beach gets all frisky.

    So my order: HT to cut behind the church and hide behind bocage at p24, disembark LMG team.

    (if they can’t get between church wall and hedge then can they get to o26? If they can’t get there then drive down the road to q22 and hide behind the building at q21. Kick out that LMG team at whichever point they eventually arrive)

    • Axolotl says:

      Isn’t that a bit too isolated? They’ll be cut from any AT help there. Maybe get the LMG team into one of the buildings around k21, and hide the HT thereabouts?

      • g948ng says:

        I apologize for being repetetive, since I already said this.

        The LMG will not hold the eastern flank, with help or no help. It´s sole purpose is giving the enemy one, two salvos. If that makes the tanks button up and the infantry switch from “casual stroll” to “advancing cautiously” it could net us a turn or two. Totally worth it.
        At 200m (mill->beach) there is no quick and easy way to kill an entrenched LMG. The Stuart´s gun is of (comparatively) small calibre. The Wasp is open-topped. A proper infantry assault will succeed, sure – but this is what we want, because it takes time.

        I am considering to leave the HT close by as a getaway car, but that´s probably more hopeful than warranted.

        • Cederic says:

          I’m also very aware of the impending enemy airborne reinforcements arriving from the east. Again, the LMG isn’t going to survive the encounter but it should seriously slow them down.

          At the moment it’s our only unit that’ll have eyes on that entire half of the map, and we really don’t want the enemy to manoeuvre entirely unseen.

          I’m assuming the HT has a machine gun it can use on those airborne as they try to cross the ditch – that’s why I hit it behind the bocage from the ditch rather than getting the LMG that little bit closer to the mill.

          Also I need to find a good synonym for manoeuvre that I can spell without needing a dictionary.

        • khamul says:

          That’s not ‘repetitive’. That’s ‘sharing critical tactical analysis’. Good stuff, keep it up!
          Much appreciated by (at least one of) the more clueless among us!

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