Overlordy: Turn 8

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The warm glow of satisfaction generated by Turn 7’s successes (One slain Stuart and two seen-off Cromwells) begins dissipating thirty seconds into Turn 8 and by the sixty second mark is a distant memory. It looks like the daring sally that cost the British one light tank and bagged them an armoured car and a halftrack was just the prelude to something much more concerted.

(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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+30 seconds. Spraying sand and shredded seaweed from its caterpillars, a Churchill VII scrambles onto the metalled road below the sanatorium and begins trundling slowly but purposefully northward. Simultaneously, the patch of clifftop gorse on the lumberer’s left gets a little more crowded. The newcomers look to be an infantry squad and an AT team.

+33 seconds. Cheered, perhaps, by the sight of their heavyweight comrade, the fleeing Cromwells stop and reorient.

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+48 seconds. A squad of Tommies trot past the broken pillbox survivors in West Wood.

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+50 seconds. On the eastern side of the lane, close to the knocked-out pillbox, a diminutive AFV beetles into Wodtke’s Line-of-Sight. At first glance it looks like a Bren Gun Carrier, but after inspecting it with his ZF42 scope, our sharpshooter realises it’s something potentially far more dangerous.

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+52 seconds. British infantry swarm across the central lane as Wodtke takes aim at the Wasp’s driver.

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+55 seconds. Peering between bean poles and pegged washing, Unteroffizier Brenner, the Hetzer commander, spots the turret top of the approaching Churchill and prepares to engage. It’s an interesting decision. The TD’s 7.5 cm PaK 39 has very little chance of penetrating the Churchill frontally at this range.

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+56 seconds. A lone mortar bomb falls to earth in the pasture south of the hotel. A quick check of Lt. Imhof’s ammo count identifies it as a spotting round for our imminent*  81mm bombardment (As n13 was not in our mortar spotter’s LoS I took the liberty of adjusting the targeting point to l12/l13).

*25 seconds away

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+60 seconds. With our Hetzer and sniper both unspotted and on the verge of firing, the clock stops.

The situation at the start of Turn 9:

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At the mill, the LMG team and the US paras continue to trade fire. The rifle team outside the church may need to take a more circuitous route to r23 if they wish to arrive there unscathed.

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46 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 9 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 8 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter).

    *Rifle platoon – 3 squads + 1 HQ (circa bakery and outside church, see pic)
    *Pak 38 AT gun (in command, g21)
    *Flamethrower team (g22, hiding)

    *Hetzer (j24/j25)

    *Pioneer platoon – 2 squads + HQ (circa hotel, k21, see pics)
    *Mortar spotter (k21, upstairs, bombardment 22 seconds away)

    *Sniper (church, m22)

    *LMG team (mill, u24)

    (As I won’t be around today to answer questions, feel free to issue conditional orders.)

    • latedave says:

      Assuming the mortar team spotting round finds something, I request we follow up on the (assumed) infantry squad ASAP. Every else looks like it has far too much chance of going horribly wrong so I’ll allow others to take responsibility…

      • g948ng says:

        Just checked and we were assigned 150 rounds for the mortars. Can we save maybe half them for later?
        Lt. Imhof is rated veteran so -I assume- that means comparatively accurate fire.

    • khamul says:

      Wodkte is hereby ordered to shoot at the driver of the Wasp, and not to miss.

    • klops says:

      Rifle platoon concentrates on the tommies coming from the western forest:

      -Squad in d20 backtracks to the second floor (or first, like you weird Englishmen tend to say) of D21 and ambushes the open field in C20. I don’t remember if the HQ was the unit that needed to make the ambush. If so, please try to arrange that.
      -HQ moves to the western corner of F21.
      -Squad in F19 stays there but joins the ambush.
      -my strong _wish, not an order_ would be that the stray rifle squad

      If the British rifle squad acts logically, I’d expect them to use maximum cover to approach the western victory point and step into open at B19-C20, where they will face lead. To the face. Then again, after the Cromwell manouvres, I don’t know waht to expect from the AI.

      Please feel free to correct flaws in my thinking, eg. open flanks or forgotten tanks, etc. We can modify or cancel the order.

  2. ItAintNecessarilySo says:

    Surely the Hetzer will give the Churchill crew some discomfort when firing at 200m range? If it fires and then hides between the buildings it might draw the other tanks towards the Pak ambush again.

    • beleester says:

      Looking at Wikipedia, the Hetzer’s gun stands a good chance of penetrating the Churchill’s turret frontally at 200m, but the front hull will be a roll of the dice. It’s worth taking the shot – if we can put a hole in the Churchill then the enemy threat goes *way* down – but it’s not a sure thing.

      • emily riposte says:

        My look at Wikipedia tells me that the Churchill VII has 152 mm of armor on the front hull and front turret, with the hetzer’s gun rated for 106mm at 100m. I do not like these odds. I’d suggest we shoot a smoke round to block los and find a place to reposition to, but I’m having a hard time figuring out a retreat path that won’t expose the weak side armor. For what it’s worth, though, the Churchill’s gun will have a hard time penetrating our heavily sloped front armor also.

        • Crimson_Pig says:

          A smoke round is a good idea, if it doesn’t block the snipers LOS.

          • ItAintNecessarilySo says:

            The Smoke round is a good idea. Let’s do that and try to fire it between the hotel and the church.
            What I’m worried about now is where exactly to position the Hetzer. Making it move backwards now will likely expose its side to a returning Cromwell. If the smoke round worked let’s then move it between the houses at k24, facing south. If needed it then has a safe path to drive in reverse as well.

        • beleester says:

          Whoops, I looked at the armor for the Churchill I-VI. You’re right. We don’t have a prayer of penning the front.

  3. A_Rude_gesture says:

    I know this is nitpicky, but please, please, please could we stop perpetuating the myth that the Jagdpanzer 38 was known as the Hetzer? There is no evidence for this except for one single mention in one single document pertaining to a prototype. It was never commonly known as the Hetzer.

    • SirRoderick says:

      While this is quite possibly true, I don’t think it’s that relevant. Even if the tank was not commonly called a Hetzer at the time, it is now a very recognizable term for it that certainly is not confusing. For the same reason I have no problem using the terms “Byzantine Empire” for the eastern Roman Empire after the Fall of the Western counterpart or “Longsword” when discussing a straight double-edged blade that is meant to be used with both hands on the grip. Neither was a term used commonly at the time for that purpose, but we don’t live in those days.

      If we only allowed the original terms and definition of anything we’d be forced to still speak old English.

      • A_Rude_gesture says:

        I guess I’m just a stickler for historical accuracy and ending some of the persisting myths. And while it might be recognisable, that doesn’t make it right. Vikings with horns on their helmets are quite recognisable in the public mind, but it’s still factually untrue.

        In regards to the longsword example, then it will be bloody difficult to differentiate between different two-handed swords. Going by your example, why not simply call every bladed weapon longer than a dagger or knife “Swords” and be done with it? Yet, you have already sub-categorised swords into “Longswords” and presumably “Shortswords”. Why? Because oversimplification makes it impossible to nuance when discussing particular bladed weapons. Quite simply, it’s inaccurate. And it makes it harder for someone to understand what you’re trying to communicate, unless you first divulge your subjective and arbitrary classifications.

        I come from an academic background and as such I cringe every time someone perpetuates a myth and it’s especially depressing seeing someone defending the myth over actual reality.

        Oh, and the straw-man argument of speaking old English I don’t think warrants an answer.

        Also, the Jagdpanzer 38 is not a tank.

        • g948ng says:

          It is fair to mention a discrepancy. Going out of your way to claim it a problem and implying everyone is obliged to change his/her behaviour is misguided.

          Noone is perpetuating a myth. Everyone halfway fluent on the matter knows the -most common- name of that vehicle -at that time- was Jagdpanzer 38(t). Noone contests that. Nobody claimed Hetzer is the correct term. Also, an oversimplification would be to use one term for a huge group of very distintcly different vehicles and brush over details. Which we also do not.
          All we do is using a simpler and, frankly speaking, catchier name instead of the original one. This is not confusing anyone and it is not lumping stuff together with accuracy left bleeding at the wayside. What disgusts your academic senses could help making oneself understood when speaking to laymen. Which is invaluable.

          Besides it would be totally ahistoric to assume a completely codified and adhered to consenus in the terminology of weapon systems in any time frame.
          Don´t get me started on the messiness of naming early gunpowder cannons. You see, cannon is actually a sub-category which wasn´t even the most prevalent in the late 15th and early 16th century. And the spanish meant something completely different by it than the Genoese or Venetians. Also the meaning changed within Spain and then changed back some decades later. etc.

          History is messy, just like the present is. That is, perhaps, one of the more valuable lessons of any historic discipline.

          • klops says:

            Also, the vehicle is called Hetzer in the game.

          • khamul says:

            I am absolutely delighted to discover that not all cannon are canon.

            Thank you. You’ve made my day :)

          • A_Rude_gesture says:

            @g948ng
            “It is fair to mention a discrepancy. Going out of your way to claim it a problem and implying everyone is obliged to change his/her behaviour is misguided.”
            Well, it is a problem. It’s a made-up name that came about after the war. And it’s not like I ordered anyone to stop using the name (though I am flattered if you think I have that power). You can tell by me using the word please.
            “Noone is perpetuating a myth.”
            Yes you are. The myth being that the Jagdpanzer 38 was called Hetzer.
            “Everyone halfway fluent on the matter knows the -most common- name of that vehicle -at that time- was Jagdpanzer 38(t).”
            Except it wasn’t the most common name. It was the only name.
            Again, the name Hetzer came about after the war.
            “All we do is using a simpler and, frankly speaking, catchier name instead of the original one.”
            Catchy or not, it’s perpetuating something that is not true.
            “This is not confusing anyone”
            Using the wrong name for something is not confusing?
            “What disgusts your academic senses could help making oneself understood when speaking to laymen. Which is invaluable.”
            By all means, go forth and spread the word. Just as long as you know that it’s not true. I myself am of the belief that commonplace myths, misconceptions etc. among (as you term it) “laypeople” should be dispelled by academia.
            “Besides it would be totally ahistoric to assume a completely codified and adhered to consensus in the terminology of weapon systems in any time frame.”
            This is not the subject matter at hand, though. I was just pleading with people to stop using an erroneous name for a vehicle.
            “Don´t get me started on the messiness of naming early gunpowder cannons.”
            I won’t, since I’ve actually written more than one (scientific) paper on the chronology and typology of early firearms. Though, you’re quite wrong in that it was “messy”. We have ribauldequins, culverins, serpentines, bombards etc. It’s all quite straight forward. Then again, it would be, since any king asking his bronze foundries (or blacksmiths) to make him arms usually tend to specify what type they should be.
            “History is messy, just like the present is.”
            Then why make it messier by using an anachronistic and erroneous name for the Jagdpanzer 38?
            “That is, perhaps, one of the more valuable lessons of any historic discipline.”
            And it’s academias job to untangle the mess so that we can represent history as it actually was. Which is why I cringe when I hear people perpetuating historical myths, lies…whatever you want to call them. And, as I said previously, it saddens me when someone defends perpetuating them.

          • g948ng says:

            As previously stated, noone claimed Hetzer is the name used at the time beyond that document. You purposefully ignore that, which all your verbosity cannot hide. You ignore it so you can prop up that artificial indignation.

            Hetzer is the name in use -now-. That is a fact. This is no myth.

            A historian´s job is not trying to make everyone use authentic terminology. His job is helping people understand history.
            And that names can change over time and why they do is, in fact, a valuable lesson. Far more valuable than calling that one WW2 AFV by a nickname.

            I think I have said everything I wanted about this topic by now.

          • A_Rude_gesture says:

            @g948ng
            “As previously stated, noone claimed Hetzer is the name used at the time beyond that document.”
            Then why use it? Or are you in favour of inventing other made-up names for WW2 vehicles?
            “You ignore it so you can prop up that artificial indignation.”
            What’s artificial about my indignation? Anyway, I think it’s quite normal to react if someone is using the wrong word to describe something.
            “Hetzer is the name in use -now-. That is a fact. This is no myth.”
            Yes, and people used to believe Vikings had horns on their helmets. That was of course not true and because people reacted to and confronted people who perpetuated that anachronistic misconception, most people now know that they didn’t.
            “A historian´s job is not trying to make everyone use authentic terminology.”
            Since I have a Phd. in Mediaeval/Historical Archaeology and a Bachelor in History, I think I have an inkling about what my role is. How to convey science to the public is something which is stressed during any historian’s/archaeologist’s education. Correcting popular misconceptions is one of the most important parts in conveying historical or archaeological research to the public.
            “And that names can change over time and why they do is, in fact, a valuable lesson.”
            Of course they can, and they frequently do. However I fail to see what valuable lesson for posterity the fact that a vehicle known as the Jagdpanzer 38 during WW2, but which is now known as the Hetzer, could be? Feel free to enlighten me. Were I to hypothesize, my spontaneous reaction would be: “Because ‘Hetzer’ sounds cool.”
            “I think I have said everything I wanted about this topic by now.”
            Yes, I thought as much when you started playing amateur psychologist, claiming I am verbose to obfuscate and that I am feigning indignation.

      • khamul says:

        du maca sum cyst insiht. ic mynian anhealdan min hornbaere beadugrima.

    • Skabooga says:

      A_rude_gesture, I’m sure you mean well, but by taking a more polemic and less irenic stance in this matter, I fear you may be doing more harm than help to the reputation of academics.

      • A_Rude_gesture says:

        @Skabooga
        Fair enough. As I said earlier on, I’m a stickler for historical accuracy (long-time grog with a Phd. might be a diagnosable problem). I certainly didn’t mean for it to become a heated argument. My OP was more a kind of “*Sigh* Not again…” On the scale of someone calling anything that fires rockets a bazooka or claiming that an M2HB fires 50mm projectiles. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that.

  4. zat0ichi says:

    Not sure about game AI and view distances but maybe trundle the pak38 to j21 as bait?

    Maybe the cromwell will see it and head towards the ambush?
    If the cromwell takes and interest in the church or mill it could veer off.

    • Axolotl says:

      I don’t think we should. The pak38 is a slow weapon that’s easy to one-shot when revealed. It’s better used as the ambusher, not the bait.

      • pack.wolf says:

        This. The Pak is well positioned and should stay where it is. Moving it only creates unnecessary risk with zero benefits.
        In general I think the troops are well positioned as they are. So, LMG team: stay where you are and keep shooting.

      • klops says:

        Also tanks tend to stay away or shoot at at-guns, not rush towards them. I do wonder if this baiting would work on short-range vehicles, like Wasp, in this game? Perhaps not towards at-guns, but if there was a nice, juicy target for them, would the ai approach it?

  5. Cederic says:

    Could someone tell the rifle squad by the church not to be so bloody silly and run north of it, not south?

    That was the whole point of them heading NE before heading east in the first place.

    *stalks off muttering unpleasant things about Wermacht reserves and training*

    • klops says:

      My suggestion is that the rifle squad would stop. Suggestion, not an order, since the original order is still active.
      1. The area east of the church is pretty open. There are American paratroopers (bothered by our LMG, true) with a view to the area. There are tanks approaching and since there are not many targets for them, they will gladly mow down a rifle squad running care-free on open fields. The cost for casualties just for moving them there is too high.
      2. Our forces are weak, no need to spread them so thin.
      3. If they reach their target even without any casualties. The rifle squad can’t do much there. They can ambush a tank once (which for me would be the best reason to send them there) but if the enemy goes to east, that area is lost anyways. They can shoot at one enemy infantry but while tied down to there, the supporting infantry and tanks will pin them down/overrun them
      4. They’re without HQ contact there.
      5. It takes time to run in there. Unless completely suicidal, they’ll hit the dirt, push through the hedgerows and are winded after reaching the place. Meanwhile the church is undefended and I’d assume there are tanks approaching soon, followed by infantry pretty soon after.

      • g948ng says:

        Actually I also want some infantry over in the north-east. Personally I´d rather have them in the copse of wood at N/O 26/27 overlooking the stream than where they are heading to now, though.
        I dread the idea that while we fight the british trying to cross our kill zone at the road junction we get assaulted by the americans having snuck between the church and the farm in the north. Putting a squad in their way will give us valuable intel and delay them. Remember that one squad doesn´t have to hold out for long. In 2-4 turns our own fallschirmjagers will show up. Probably right behind them — if we can pin them where they are now.

        In any case, stopping them right now in the open on the road is not a good idea.

        • Cederic says:

          I was looking to position them to cover from invaders approaching our positions from the East beach exit. If you’d like to take them there via a scenic route that includes spanking paras then go for it :)

          • g948ng says:

            Checking posting times you probably have control of the riflemen. In case Tim allows an adjustment of just one squad I´d say: Head to O27, peeking through the bocage in the east to establish LOS to the stream.

        • klops says:

          Of course the squad wouldn’t stop in the open. They’d move inside the church, for example. It’s the most important victory location and a strong stone building. It’s also empty. Moving east through open is slow and/or costly.

          We’re facing 1 very good tank, 2 Cromwells, a flamethrower carrier and lots of infantry from the south. Should we tie 1/5 of our scarce squads on a relatively hard to reach location suppressing a squad in the open that already is under fire of a well-positioned LMG, or keep it where most of action is happening soon? Sure, there’s most likely more infantry coming to the Bakery from south as well, but our solitary squad can’t do much against them. We don’t need to have every victory location.

          But that’s only my opinion. I’m fine with the charge to the east, now that my reasoning has been heard. Also your point on our paratroopers is spot on. I just fear it’s too ambitious regarding the enemy size. We’ll see.

          • g948ng says:

            You are not wrong about spreading ourselves thin. But then we only know the whereabouts of one -squad- of paras.
            If it turns out the whole US platoon is surpressed and/or still east of the stream then I am all for turning around and helping. But we better make sure we are not putting our necks into a noose at that church.

            Call it a recon in force. ^^

          • klops says:

            Good reasoning. So you expect them to be a full platoon? I already asked what Tim’s “one stick of airborne troops” might mean.

          • Crimson_Pig says:

            So now, as it turns out that one “stick” is 1-2 squads, I think the LMG team can manage by themselves. At least so long that the fallschirmjägers arrive.

            The rifle squad should go to the church.

          • klops says:

            Even though I oppose sending the rifle squad to east, I’m pretty sure that the LMG team can’t manage by themselves. I assume they will succumb to the infantry coming from south + possible vehicle support during the next 6 minutes. Max couple turns and we have a contact with the southern enemy.

            Then again, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t manage +six minutes with the rifle squad either.

          • Crimson_Pig says:

            Well maybe I’m a bit too optimistic then. :) I thought that our fallschirmjägers would be here in two turns. Preferably even behind the paratroopers. Of course, there would still be the southern troops that I didn’t even think about.

            It’s a difficult situation that we’re in. How can we possibly cover all the victory locations?

          • klops says:

            You’re right. We’re already on turn 8. For some reason I thought turn 6. There’s quite a big difference. Still, our paratroopers will arrive in ~1-4 turns behind the USA-paratroopers since they’re travelling on foot. Then they have to cover the ground to the Bakery, so around 2 turns extra on top of that, I’d say.

            We don’t need to have all the victory locations and I would prefer concentrating on the centre. However, if our paratroopers have an easy route to the bakery and the centre and west are still holding, having all flags would be fine.

            That is still quite far into the future. Meanwhile we have at least three tanks, flame spewing bastard wagon and notable amount of infantry coming our way. Could be that in two turns the whole battlefield is very different (and in flames).

  6. klops says:

    Please tell me dear English speakers, what means “one stick of American airborne troops”. Is it one squad, one group with many squads and HQ or what? I just wonder if there are more paratroopers coming. Meta-pondering: I think not, for having so many enemies coming at us from all sides would be a bit too harsh from Tim.

    • klops says:

      Also please tell me if anyone knows how effective/weakening the squad splitting option is? What is it for? For example, if we wanted a defensive line in c-f20, would there be any reason to split two squads into four and spread them evenly along the hedgerow/into houses behind it? This is just pondering, not a suggestion.

      • Father Ted says:

        It’s a while since I played CMx1, but IIRC the squad-splitting command doesn’t divide the squad equally – it allows you to isolate AT, scout, and heavy(ish) weapons elements from the squad

    • beleester says:

      A “stick” is a planeload of paratroopers – as many as can line up and jump in one go. It varies with the plane size, but it’s probably less than 20 soldiers.

      I would guess that it’s not that many, since the fluff is that they’ve been mis-dropped and scattered. Probably they’re either going to trickle in piecemeal or the “scattered” troops will simply not show up to the battle.

  7. Skabooga says:

    This is not a suggestion, and certainly not an order, but more to provoke discussion: how do people feel about the current positioning of our Pioneer infantry in and around the hotel? Should we keep them inside there safe and sound? Would there be any advantage to placing a squad by the bocage to try and ambush any tanks that might roll up on the other side?

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