Overlordy: Turn 10

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Things are really hotting up in this year’s communal Combat Mission clash. During the weekend, the British stopped probing and began pushing. When the clock froze yesterday, our Pak 38 AT gun had a Cromwell’s rump in its sights, the Hetzer was disentangling itself from a dispiriting duel with a Churchill, and our off-map mortar battery was doing its best to break up a worrying enemy infantry concentration in the centre of the map.

(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 cavalier Cromwell ceases to be a threat three seconds into Turn 10. The Pak 38 crew have just finished reloading after firing the AP shell that lanced its turret, when a new target appears in the road at the foot of the hill.

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Made of sterner stuff than its culled comrade, the Churchill VII shrugs off a flank hull hit before wheeling left to face its assailant.

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Moments after a second Pak projectile fails to penetrate, one of the ambushing pioneers in the hotel has a go with a Panzerfaust. Again the Churchill emerges unscathed.

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Our luck changes at T+27 seconds. The AT gun’s third shot clobbers a caterpillar track, leaving the ponderous Allied MBT immobilised in demo charge range of the pioneers. Finish it, Stein! Finish it!

Shrapnel from an HE round cuts down one of the five Pak crewmen. Bursts of hull and coax MG fire peck viciously at the weapon’s curved gun shield. The Churchill might be static but it’s still very dangerous.

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And, gosh, we’ve now got two British bruisers on our doorstep. The western Cromwell has just barged through the bocage at i18 and is taking aim at the repositioning Hetzer.

Hopes raised by the unmistakeable sound of a demo charge explosion prove ephemeral. The blast generates no cheering hit text. Somehow Stein’s squad have failed to top the crippled Churchill with the first of their HE bundles.

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And the failure costs our AT gun dear.

At the turn’s close…

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The Cromwell scores an inconsequential hit on the taking-aim Hetzer.

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Running low on ammo, the LMG stops firing at the US paras (who seem to have their hands full dealing with Wodtke and one of the Green Devil squads).

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Imhof’s mortars continue to cause havoc in the centre of the map (Last turn’s target adjustment was perfectly judged).

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The Wasp approaches the village along the central lane and there’s concerning signs of British infantry activity in both west wood and the woods near the hilltop ruin (r17).

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35 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 11 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 9 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter).

    *Rifle platoon – 3 squads + 1 HQ (circa bakery and one squad in church, see pic)

    *Flamethrower team (c22, moving)

    *Hetzer (i/j26, engaging Cromwell)

    *Pioneer platoon – 2 squads + HQ (circa hotel, k21, see pics)

    *Mortar spotter (k21, upstairs, 85/150 rounds left)

    *Sniper (church, m22)

    *LMG team (mill, u24, 1 man down, low ammo)

    *Fallschirmjäger platoon – 3 squads, HQ (spread between j27 and q30, see overhead pic)

    *Panzerschreck team (p31, weary)

    • declan_23 says:

      What are the Hetzer’s chances of taking out the Cromwell? Is it worth pulling it out of range?

      • g948ng says:

        The chances of penetrating any point of the Cromwell´s armour should be very good. The chances of hitting? Normally good as well, but it made me eat my words before, so I´d rather be quiet. The chances of the Hetzer giving a toss about whatever order we give it? Well…

      • Axolotl says:

        I’m more worried about the Cromwell’s chances of penetrating the front of the Hetzer. How well armored is it? I don’t like our last AT gun being involved in a pissing contest with an enemy tank, unless its chances of winning are high.

        • emily riposte says:

          The front glacis of the hetzer is only 60mm, but at such an extreme angle, it’s worth about the same as a 120mm armor plate at no angle. 75mm ap will just ricochet off that. The lower hull is vulnerable, but a lot harder to hit. That tank duel is a pretty good bet for us.

    • g948ng says:

      Orders for the Pioneer Platoon.

      Engage that Churchill, men!

      I am not sure how many demo charges they each have. Should the squad closest to the armoured monster have run out it swaps places with the squad further inside the building.

    • Tarfman says:

      Leave the Hetzer where it is. If it moves its cooked!

    • emily riposte says:

      Orders for the mortar spotter: stop firing, hide.

    • Copperbottom says:

      LMG team to the south side of their building with a close-in ambush marker to deter wasting ammo.

      • emily riposte says:

        At this point wasting ammo is moot for the LMG. They fired their primary shots, now they’re in the much slower-firing ‘low ammo’ state. No amount of firing will make them have any less ammo now. (Yes, this is one of CM’s strange abstractions)

        • Copperbottom says:

          Thanks for the heads-up! In which case, belay that order and keep firing on the paratroopers. As an aside, if their ammo is infinite, albeit with a slower RoF, why did they stop firing during the last turn..?

    • klops says:

      Flamethrower cancels the last part of its orders and goes in the B22 house.

      Sorry for interfering with action that hasn’t been fulfilled yet, but that stroll in the park is to risky now that an enemy squad is approaching. Also from there it’s a bit easier to send it to support the centre

  2. latedave says:

    Looks like we might be joined by more infantry soon, perhaps theFallschirmjäger platoon could move up to the two small buildings at j24 and l24 to get a better angle of fire? The third squad looks well placed at the moment.

  3. ItAintNecessarilySo says:

    RIP brave Pak-team crew, you did what you could. Orders will be given to supply their families with extra rations this week, after the battle is won.

    Now to business, does Wodte still have a shot at the Wasp? It’s slowly becoming the main threat to the Pioniere. If so please order the Sniper to fire at the Wasp driver.

  4. rawdog says:

    Is this scenario one of the preset ones on the game, that I can try at home? Or is it a custom made?
    cheers

  5. g948ng says:

    Since I gave my order for the round here are my random ramblings.

    First, did the rifle platoon disobey its order? They were supposed to move to the hedge and finish the paras. Not a good time to dilly-dally!
    Second, the mortar fire has done a marvelous job of separating the infantry from the armoured spearhead. I don´t fancy our chances in CQC if they had had an escort. I still hope some fellow commenter will order the mortar to save, say, 50 rounds. It´s half-time and both flanks look threatened. We have to face the fact, that sooner or later one or the other will break. That´s a given, they are just too many. And I don´t fancy a counter-attack without a preparatory barrage. Please consider that.
    Third, on the topic of AFVs. Brenner will do Brenner. (I think he turned off his radio long ago, anyways.) I think his chances vs. the Cromwell aren´t half bad. He´s about to fire and surely, he cannot miss again! (I will add some more !!!, `kay?) Weirdly enough I am not worried by either tank. I trust the pioneers. BUT…What can turn the tables single-handedly in the village center is the Wasp. Thankfully, ItAintNecessarilySo agrees and changed target for the sniper. But if he misses, we are in trouble and I don´t know what todo about it. If you got an idea, don´t be coy now.
    (I am pretty sure it´s too mobile for mortar fire.)

    • Cederic says:

      Umm. Regarding the rifle platoon, see my response to the order you gave yesterday. In short: It wasn’t the rifle squad you were ordering.

      I think I’m less concerned by the Wasp than you are. It’s on course to hurt the pioneers but to do that it’ll need to get close enough for them to hurt it back.

      • klops says:

        It doesn’t have to hurt the pioneers much. BUt setting the church on fire makes our centre of defence unavailable. Setting everything else on fire can be a bummer as well.

      • g948ng says:

        I see I mistook a bunch of badly shaken survivors for famous reckless squad. Oh, well.

        In regards to the Wasp, klops has it right. The problem with the Wasp is not that it will kill everyone by itself, but that it will force them to leave cover. In plain sight of british infantry.

  6. Copperbottom says:

    With Wodtke (hopefully) turning his attention to the Wasp, will the Fallschirmjäger squad be able to handle the Americans alone? They’ve taken a fair amount of lead down-range but we still don’t know their condition… I’m minded to move the LMG team to the south side of their building to get more eyes on the infantry moving north and conserve ammo though.

  7. Harmodios says:

    Her Stone, ich war übers Wochenende draußen und kümmerte mich um Geschäfte an anderen Fronten. Ich bin nicht begeistert. Ich sehe, du hast noch keine Fortschritte gemacht. Der Strand ist immer noch in feindlichen Händen!

    Ich schlage vor, dass, anstatt herumzuspielen und Pot-Shots zu handeln, Sie sofort eine große strategische Offensive durchführen, das wird in einer kesselschlacht enden!

    NIMM DEN STRAND VON DIESEN VERDAMMTEN TOMMIES ZURUCK!

    Meine Geduld ist dünn…

  8. Stugle says:

    I’m pleased with Wodtke’s zeal. Hopefully, he can swat that wasp before our Pioniere become flambé.

    Is the Churchill at least immobilized for the duration of the scrap, our could the tracks be repaired? With luck, the next demo charge from the pioneers will render that question moot, but luck doesn’t always seem to be on our side.

    There’s a sense that the British vise is starting to clamp down. We’ve done a nice job thinning their armor, but they still have a numerical advantage and their infantry hasn’t even joined the party yet. It’s hard to see how this ends in our favor, but the butcher’s bill will be high, that’s at least something.

    Lovely over-the-shoulder screenshot of the Pak with the bested Cromwell on the hill – and the looming Churchill in the front.

  9. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but I have a question for the military hardware enthusiasts. Is/was it normal for a hit from an anti-tank shell to just “glance off” like ours keep doing here? For some reason I was under the impression that if a vehicle got hit by 50-75mm shell, that vehicle would be in all kinds of hurt. Sure you might get lucky and have it miss your tender parts, but glancing off? Surely there’s got to be a limit to how much armor you can put on a vehicle and still have it able to drive from A to B?

    • Cederic says:

      The AT gun was firing 50mm shells, and wikipedia includes a penetration table: link to en.wikipedia.org

      Given the Churchill had 95mm of armour on its flanks, a glancing hit (so well over the 30 degree angle assumed in the wikipedia penetration table) is highly unlikely to penetrate.

      AT guns were effective ambushers and small ones like the Pak 38 were far more dangerous at close range. Wouldn’t like to man one though, knowing I have to hope a tank doesn’t spot me for 200m while I wait for it to get close enough to actually damage it.

      You think the Pak 38 has it bad, the British Army’s current mobile pillbox is nigh on impervious – see the Basra reference in link to news.bbc.co.uk

      • Premium User Badge

        alison says:

        Well that sent me down quite the wiki hole. Skipping forward a few years to the L118 light gun coincidentally helped me discover the name of my dad’s old artillery regiment as well as find out what they’ve been up to for the past 30-odd years. Blast from the past.

        In any case, I had no idea tanks were so tough. Definitely wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of one.

  10. Scraphound says:

    I always get sucked back into Combat Mission whenever you guys do this!

    But I have a question. Is there any particular reason to stick with CMX1 over the newer games?

    I remember playing CMBB waaaaay back in the day but I haven’t revisited them since Battle for Normandy came out. Just wondering if it’s nostalgia, affordability, or if there’s an argument for the classic games being superior to the new ones.

    • Tim Stone says:

      The unscripted AI and relative simplicity of CMx1 are definitely draws, but now I’ve used CMAK, CMBB, and CMBO, CMx2 does seem like the natural place to go next.

  11. klops says:

    That pioneer squad is a disgrace! Immobilized tank sideways on the platter in front of them and a double-miss. Without no one bothering them…

  12. Cederic says:

    Order : Panzerschreck team to go to O27, do not stop to shoot anybody on the way, even if fired on, do not pass go, do not collect 200 units of your local currency.

    I’m guessing they wont get further than that this turn anyway given they’re knackered, but the main intent is to hide them from the para units while we work out where they’re going to be most needed.

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