Overlordy: Turn 6

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You know that nippy 8WD armoured car of ours? The one that was going to spend the battle keeping tabs on British tanks, and punching neat holes in British APCs and infantry with its garrulous 20mm autocannon? Bad news. Its keeping tabs and punching holes days are over. Sixteen seconds into Turn 6, with a little help from a bold-as-brass blighter called Stuart, it morphed from scrapper into scrapheap.

(Overlordy is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord in which German forces are orchestrated by commenters while British units are computer controlled. For a scenario outline and summaries of earlier turns, click here)

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The maddening thing is the PSW spotted the Stuart a good two seconds before the Stuart realised it was under observation. If it hadn’t been for the panicky MG burst that buttoned – and discombobulated? – our armoured car as it prepared to fire*, I suspect the M3A3 would be dead as mutton by now.

*Or reverse. It was hard to tell.

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Oh well. Cest la Combat Mission. And, fingers-crossed, revenge looks imminent.

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After slaying the PSW with a single 37mm AP round through its turret front, the Stuart went to inspect its handiwork. The ramble means it ends the turn presenting its tender tail to the Hetzer. It’s possible the Allied light tank will slip out of sight (it’s now heading southwards) before the TD has finished pivoting/aiming, but I’m optimistic we’re on the verge of our first tank kill.

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The Cromwells, like the Stuart, seem to have either lost patience with the sluggish British infantry, or interpreted Caent’s somnolence as a sign that the village is undefended. The pair of Allied MBTs spend Turn 6 squashing molehills south of the hotel and end it tantalisingly close to both the pioneers and the Pak.

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^ Here’s the situation in the centre of the map at the start of Turn 7. From their position close to the hedge Mogg’s squad (pioneers) have clear LoS to the Cromwell on the left of the picture, and, assuming the tank on the right keeps moving, will very soon have LoS to that one too.

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^ If the western Cromwell survives a demo charge attack on its right flank and pushes on, it won’t be long before its left flank fills the sighting telescope of the Pak 38.

EDIT: As ItAintNecessarilySo points out, the western Cromwell is probably seconds away from spotting and engaging the Stuart-focussed Hetzer (it has uninterrupted LoS). A shot into the Hetzer’s side armour will almost certainly prove fatal!

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^ (Tree sprites removed for clarity)

There are two other developments worth mentioning. The first relates to the pillbox survivors close to the sanatorium. They found themselves skirmishing with passing British infantry during this action phase. It appears the computer may be sending infantry northward through the woods circa column q.

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And in the NE of the map, as the PSW was meeting its maker, the in-transit halftrack was hosing what looked like a squad of US infantry (presumably the lost paras mentioned in the briefing) moving in the general direction of the church.

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57 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 7 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 9 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter).

    *Pak 38 AT gun (in command, g21)
    *Sniper (hiding, m22)
    *Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack (r23)
    *Rifle platoon – 3 squads + 1 HQ (circa bakery, f21, see pics)
    *LMG team (climbing stairs in mill, u24)

    *Pioneer platoon – 2 squads + HQ (circa hotel, k21, see pics)
    *Flamethrower team (g22, hiding)
    *Mortar spotter (k21, upstairs, hiding)

    *Hetzer – 16HE 23AP 2S (j24, engaging Stuart and threatened by a Cromwell to the south)

    • Axolotl says:

      Pioneer squad at j20 to split into two. Half of it, carrying demo charges, to pop in front of the Cromwell coming through j18, trying to toss a demo charge at it.
      This is so we have a shot at saving the Hetzer.

    • g948ng says:

      Orders for the SdKfz 251:
      Turn around (like Q24) and engage the paras. Preferably in a way it´s not exposing its rear-end to some enemy in the south.

      The LMG team needs somemore time to set up and pin the paras. We definately don´t want to deal with the americans coming in on the church from the north-east while we deal with the Cromwells.

      • g948ng says:

        Putting special emphasis on the “get out of the Stuart´s firing lane asap” part. Just saying.

      • Cederic says:

        Suddenly I’m feeling really glad of my pig-headed obstinate ‘Must put LMG team in the mill’ and the support it’s had from the other commanders. Those paras could’ve caused havoc from behind.

        Still might :(

  2. ItAintNecessarilySo says:

    Allright, action Time!
    The Pak is in the perfect position now. Let’s just keep it there and wait. I’m quite worried about the left Cromwell having direct line of sight onto the hetzer, so hopefully either the pak or pioneers can take it down before it has time to properly aim.

  3. Axolotl says:

    What’s the fastest we can distract the Cromwell bound for our Hetzer? Can the pioneers by the hedgerow turn and engage it quickly enough?

    • Tim Stone says:

      Currently Mogg can’t see the western Cromwell. His squad would need to move to the corner or wait for the Cromwell to push a little further north. If they moved there’s a chance they would be spotted by the eastern Cromwell.

      Trying to move the Hetzer out of trouble, or, at the very least, reorient it to face the threat from the S, has to be worth considering.

      • declan_23 says:

        Would sending the pioneer platoon around the corner be a suicide mission?

        Perhaps moving the HQ and other platoon forwards to the building at K19 might distract the eastern Cromwell?

        • Tim Stone says:

          There would be casualties for sure, but it’s possible someone might manage to hurl a demo charge before the entire squad (or half-squad? Splitting the squad into two elements first might be sensible) was wiped out.

      • ItAintNecessarilySo says:

        But is having the trade-off not worth it if we know he can take out the Stuart? That thing can just hold and ravage his side of the map if we don’t.
        How fast can the Hetzer fire at the Stuart? And will it likely stop a cromwell shot with its front armor at this range anyway if it turns? Distraction with half a squad might be the best idea I agree.

        • Tim Stone says:

          Every second counts in this situation. It’s possible that the Hetzer could fire at the Stuart in the first second or two of the turn, nail it, and pivot in time to nail the western Cromwell as it emerges from the bocage. It’s also possible that the delay in engaging the Cromwell or running from it, might be fatal to the TD.

          • Tarfman says:

            Leave the hetzer where it is for 20 seconds then orientate it to face Cromwell. Hopefully that will give it a chance to take out Stu and show it’s front armour to the Cromwell.

          • Axolotl says:

            I also think we need to prioritize keeping the Hetzer alive (edit: thought I was responding to the comments below) over destroying the Stuart. We’re gonna have a hell of a time trying to take out Cromwells and Churchills with nothing but infantry and a piddly pak38. I’m gonna go ahead and send half the pioneer squad on a suicide mission to distract and maybe destroy the Cromwell, to cover whatever the Hetzer needs to do to sruvive.
            Also, when are the Fallschirmjagers supposed to arrive?

          • unacom says:

            OK. Orders to the Hetzer:
            Forego firing at the Stuart.
            Turn immediately to the Cromwell and engage it.

        • Cederic says:

          I’d prioritise keeping the hetzer alive. If it dies there are (at least) three other enemy tanks that can rampage across the map, but if it’s alive it can help with them and have a chance at the Stuart later anyway.

          • klops says:

            Yeah, the Stuart isn’t that big a problem (of course saying that means it will be our doom). Hetzer’s side is.

          • Tarfman says:

            So many Chiefs…..

        • unacom says:

          Just a different thought here:
          The Hetzer will fire at the Stuart shortly, then proceed to load a smoke round (we have two), turn and fire, thus laying down a smokescreeen between itself and the Cromwell.
          Combined with an MP-burst from Pioneer-HQ, distracting (or even wounding) the crew of the Cromwell, that could increase the survival-chance of our Hetzer. A bit.
          Your thoughts?

          • thetruegentleman says:

            My experience is admittedly limited, but the Cromwell will almost certainly fire before the smoke round does.

            Better to face it, and try to trade blows with the Cromwell. The Hertzer will probably survive the hit, and the other Cromwell will probably drive forward and get killed itself. After that, the Hertzer can hunt the Stuart pretty much at leisure.

  4. Cederic says:

    The squad in the small building at J21 to open fire on the western Cromwell. 15 second burst to distract and delay it, then they flee through the rear of the building and hide behind the wall in J23.

    This gives the Hetzer the time needed to either shoot the Stuart, turn and shoot the Cromwell, go full panicked reverse, otherwise run away, or indeed whichever combination of those or other orders its commander gives.

    If the squad can’t shoot then move, they just unleash everything they’ve got at the Cromwell. They’re willing to sacrifice themselves to save the Hetzer, especially if it means we get the Stuart before it picks off the HT.

    • Tim Stone says:

      That’s the pioneer HQ at j21 (1 x rifle, 2 x SMG, 1 x pistol, no AT weapons).

      • Cederic says:

        Oh. Darn.

        Order stands though, unless small arms fire will categorically not distract the Cromwell (due to game engine mechanics) and make it less likely to spot the Hetzer.

        However, as a HQ unit we don’t want them going out of command range of the two ambushing squads, so rather than shoot+move they shoot+hide.

        (I might have rescinded the order but I’m assuming Unacom’s guidance to the Hetzer is going to take effect)

        • unacom says:

          I merely voiced thoughts on an alternative to standing and fighting.
          I did not order the tank -mainly because I´m unsure as hell, if throwing smoke isn´t a collossal waste of one good AT shot at the brit….

        • unacom says:

          Also, I´m having an inner debate if we shouldn´t forego the chance to fire at the Stuart and rather turn directly to the Cromwell to shoot it.

          • g948ng says:

            All of the 3-4 different orders you could give could have disastrous consequences.
            Personally I´d go with an aggressive move and shoot at the Cromwell as it´s our most immediate problem, but I think we all understand that at this point it´s a complete toss up. Just go with your guts. Hindsight is always 20/20.

          • unacom says:

            As I just ordered the Sd.Kfz 251 (hopefully) out of harms way, I think someone else needs to put this into an order.
            But you ´re right, trying to shoot the Cromwell as soon as possible is our best chance. Along with distracting it, and maybe, toasting it for good measure.

          • Tim Stone says:

            It might be stating the obvious, but the Hetzer has a far better chance of surviving a hit from the Stuart’s 37mm main gun than a hit from the Cromwell’s QF-75mm.

      • g948ng says:

        Between Axolotl´s order from above and Cederic´s … can we do both?

        Use our heroic pioneer HQ to distract the western Cromwell, then hide and ALSO split the hedge-hugger squad from J20 in two with half of it attacking the same western Cromwell with demo-charges?
        I am probably stretching the limits of the game engine and adding to the command confusion, but to me that sounds almost ideal.

  5. Louis Mayall says:

    When the LMG team get to the top of the mill, can we set an ambush marker near where the American paras were spotted? Do they have LOS? don’t want them to be spotted by the Stuart of course…

  6. Tarfman says:

    Have to say I really enjoy these articles. Good craic!

  7. unacom says:

    Thoughts on the flamethrower-team:
    Does a flanking maneuver along the right hand side of the bocage make any sense?
    We could get the flamer to the side/back of the Cromwell and attack it (probably next turn -if needed).

  8. unacom says:

    Does the Stuart have line-of-sight to the Sd.Kfz. 251?
    If yes, I´d like to pull it back a bit and keep hosing those paratroopers.

    • Tim Stone says:

      Yes, and the fact that its gun/turret is at 11 o’clock suggests it’s in the process of engaging it.

      If, next turn, the pioneers kill the Cromwell seconds after it’s killed the Hetzer seconds after it’s killed the Stuart seconds after it’s killed the HT, I may need a day or two to recover.

      • unacom says:

        In that case I will order the Sd.Kfz to reverse, back off to r24 behind the house. Then turn north towards the paratroopers.

        • g948ng says:

          Already done that. I think you are in command of the Hetzer this round anyways.

          • unacom says:

            Aaah, didn´t read that. Ok, thanks.

          • g948ng says:

            I am not sure what applies by now. In case Tim takes your order for the SdKfz I will give the Hetzer the command to turn towards the (western) Cromwell and shoot it.

            In a way that is a good method to share the blame. (“we all agreed to…”) ^^

  9. Stugle says:

    Gosh, this is exciting!

    Can our doughty sniper take a potshot at the Cromwell Of Doom in an effort to add to the distraction, or are there trees in the way? Or will it just mean that the sniper’s gonna get deluged with HE by 2-3 angry tanks? If the risks are low and if he has a line of sight, I think it’s worth a shot.

    • Tim Stone says:

      Just checked and, sadly, the LoS lines to both Cromwells are black at present. If the western Cromwell advances another 10m, and the eastern one another 20m, Wodtke will have something to shoot at.

      • khamul says:

        I’m not sure whether Stugle’s question is being counted as an order.

        If not – Wodtke is to line up a shot on the closest point, within his LOS, to where the western Cromwell is likely to emerge if it continues travelling northwards.*

        The odds that it gets that far without either (A) suffering at the hands of our Hetzer, (B) eating demo charges, or (C) offing our Hezter are low… but our TD is too precious to pass up any chance, and a few moments delay as they pull a 9.72mm round out of their commander could prove decisive. So go for it Wodkte!

        …unless Stugle disagrees: his comment came in first, and I consider the sniper morally his to command.

        * I’m not sure what the best approach is here, which is why I’m not ordering an ambush marker. Ambush at a likely spot is fine, but so is taking targets of opportunity, at this point. Anything the sniper considers worth a pot, I think, could be very helpful.

        • Stugle says:

          I don’t know the intricacies of setting up a shot versus setting an ambush marker, so I defer to your command of the technicalities. :) Anyway, what you propose is what I’d like to see happen: if Wodtke can do anything to help distract the Cromwell, he should do it. Any minute butterfly wingflap that can help save our Hetzer is worth it right now.

          • khamul says:

            I’m just guessing! Never played combat mission.
            Just trusting Tim to take the orders, and make it Right.

            Anyway, fingers crossed, and if Wodkte saves the day, I vote you get the glory.

  10. dmakatra says:

    Damn, I love Combat Mission. It is such a shame that the devs are so bloody thick-headed that they refuse to sign up to Steam or any other modern distribution platform. Ever since I lost a number of bought-and-downloaded CM games due to harddrive failure a couple of years ago I promised to never by another one if they don’t sign up to a decent service. That was something like 5 years ago, and still no sign of them coming to grips with how reality work in the 21st century.

  11. Harmodios says:

    Hallo. Hier bin ich wieder. Ich sehe, dass du meine Befehle von gestern ignoriert hast. Ich hatte dir gesagt, du sollst die Tommys sofort vom Strand wischen. Sie wissen, dass das Ignorieren eines Befehls Hochverrat ist? Ich könnte dich erschossen haben. Für jetzt nehme ich an, du hast meine Befehle wegen all der Kämpfe verpasst.

    Hier sind meine aktualisierten Bestellungen: SOFORT ALLE KRAFTE ZUM STRAND BEWEGEN. Eure Division ist viel stärker als alles was die verfluchte Alliierten bringen können. Ich erwarte, dass Sie innerhalb von 2 Runden den Strand wieder in Stand setzen.

    Klar?

  12. log1932 says:

    Amazing. I said goodbye to strategy games a long time ago, but the Overlordy series feels like reading a good war short story. Waiting for the next episode reminds me of the good old times when I played V for Victory via e-mail.
    Obviously, I’m rooting for the Hetzer crew. Come on, little one, you can do it!

  13. emily riposte says:

    Mortar spotter to move (regular move, not run) to the northeast corner of the hotel and hide. I think we’ll need him to have los to the east before too long, and I want him out of the way of the cromwells.

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