Overlordy: Turn 11

overlordyturn11a

“If you want something done right, do it yourself!” mutters Unteroffizier Stein as he snatches the bag containing C Squad’s last demolition charge and darts out of the door of the hotel. Seconds later he scampers back into the lobby without his burden and with a seething cloud of dust and smoke in hot pursuit.

(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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As the crippled colossus outside the hotel expires, it ejects several dazed crewmen. Lucky to survive the blast that wrecked their steed, these survivors are luckier still to reach the safety of the trees at j17 without being cut down by MP 40 emissions.

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9mm hornets also harry the Wasp early in the turn. Set upon by Wodtke, our sniper, the British flamethrower carrier, advancing cautiously on the central lane, is soon receiving fire from the hotel too.

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West of the hotel, the Hetzer-Cromwell duel is cut short when the British duellist reverses, only to restart thirty seconds later when the Cromwell rediscovers its pluck. Trundling towards the shoulder of bocage at i19, the Allied tank is momentarily distracted by small arms fire from the hotel.

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Brenner’s gunner takes full advantage of the unplanned diversion, using the few seconds of breathing/aiming space to put a Panzergranatpatrone 39 shell straight through the front of the Cromwell’s hexagonal turret.

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With the key armoured interlopers either eliminated or discouraged (the harassed Wasp has now stopped), the pioneers turn their attention to the growing infantry threat. Since Imhoff called a halt to the mortar barrage, the Allied infantry presence in the clump of trees at j17 has increased considerably. An assault on the hotel seems imminent.

The situation at the start of turn 12:

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British infantry, in the shape of a gutsy four-man HQ, have reached row 19. Not far behind, amongst the trees at j17, are perhaps four more squads or teams.

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By the stream near the mill, our FJ squad is now in grenade range of the US paras (who appear to be low on ammo). Another green-based infantry unit has recently been spotted moving eastward in the bocage at w27.

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Wodtke is receiving fire from one of the infantry squads advancing east of the central road and may soon find himself engaged by the Universal Carrier that is currently manoeuvering close to the halted Wasp.

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On the western side of the map, the lion’s share of Nerbul’s rifle platoon continues to bide its time, the flamethrower team catches its breath at b22, and the bulk of Schenck’s FJ platoon move into buildings just in front of the cockahoop Hetzer.

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45 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 12 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 (b22, hiding)

    *Hetzer (i/j26)

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

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

    *Sniper (church, ammo 4, m22)

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

    *Fallschirmjäger platoon – 3 squads, HQ (circa k24, and s29, see overhead pic)

    *Panzerschreck team (o28, tired)

    • Copperbottom says:

      Is the gap in the bocage next to the Hetzer big enough for it to squeeze through? If so, maneuver the Hetzer between the buildings at l24, trying to get a firing angle on the wasp.

    • klops says:

      Paratroopers:
      -HQ and 1 squad run to approximately k21 (j21 if room, upstairs/downstairs however they fit the best), so that they can shoot south at jk19.
      – 1 squad to church m22 so that they can do the same thing
      – the r 29 squad stops their stroll and starts shooting at the US paras.

    • Tarfman says:

      Situation over all looks pretty good to me. The mill is a bit vulnerable but it may be worth sacrificing rather than dashing reinforcements across to it.

    • g948ng says:

      Orders for the Rifle Platoon:
      – The squad at F19 moves to G21, where the PaK was. Stay in cover of the hedge with LoS to K20. If you can do all of that from G20 as well, then do so.
      -The church squad at M22 establishes LoS to K20 as well. (They kind of sit in the middle of the building doing nothing.)
      – HQ and D21 squads stay in place.

      Question: You can see the area at B21-19 and C20-19 from the 2nd floor of D21, right? I am confident from looking at the screenshot, but I am not sure how the game engine handles the bocage.

      • Landiss says:

        That leaves only one squad to defend our right flank and without connection to its HQ. Aren’t you worried the Allies might charge from the western forest as well as in the center?

        Ah, looks like you have edited your orders to leave the HQ in place. I must have been looking at cached page.

        • g948ng says:

          In fact I am a tiny bit worried and plan to move the squad back to F19 after helping in the middle.
          But 1) the hostiles there middle are massed and way closer 2) it is confirmed to be a platoon, while the western might (!) be smaller 3) an assault has to cross open ground vs our entrenched D21-squad and finally 4) it is not alone. B22. ^^

    • Skabooga says:

      Orders for the LMG team:

      If possible, switch fire to the American paratroopers at w27. If they cannot be sighted, continue firing at the squad at t28.

      I’m thinking in either case, our low on ammo LMG won’t do as much damage. It might distract the squad at t28 to be fired on from two directions, but they too are low on ammo, and I think our FJ squad has them right where we want them! I’m thinking (hoping) more important now is to slow the advance of the w27 squad until the FJ squad can move up. If the new squad crosses the river, they will have a wealth of places to hide and harass us.

  2. latedave says:

    I guess I’ll take the easy one? Mortar fire to resume at j17. I have to say this has inspired me to download the Normandy demo and judging by my efforts so far the only thing I should be allowed to order is the catering…

    • klops says:

      Wasn’t the barrage halted? Then it takes some time for the spotter to rearrange the firing meanwhile the British are advancing. I wonder should we position the barrage a bit closer to us then. Hopefully not.

      Mr. Stone: Could you please tell how long it takes to continue firing j17?

      • Dinger says:

        I was going to suggest the same thing. You’ve got at least a platoon in those woods. They’re either going to charge the hotel, or they’re not going to charge. Calling in those mortars is at least 60 seconds, and the spotter’s in the hotel. I’d strongly recommend a FPF-style barrage in the open area between the hotel and where the platoon is. If they haven’t charged by the time the spotting round lands, adjust and FFE on the woods. If they have charged, well, that’s where you want the barrage. At this point, if the spotter survives, he’s not going to be able to reposition and call in effective fire before t20.

      • Tim Stone says:

        There’ll be a one minute delay before the bombs arrive.

  3. Cederic says:

    Order: Wotke to duck down and hide for a minute.

    He’s nearly out of ammo and there’s no point letting him die while bouncing bullets off armour.

    • DEspresso says:

      Engine Question: I think the hull-mounted MG could not be raised high enough to actually take the Tower under fire but I’m unsure whether the CM-engine would simulate that elevation problem?

  4. Gothnak says:

    I’m happily reading these and seeing how you all did. I bought a copy of CM 2: Barbarossa to Berlin on ebay for £1 last year (Plus a £1 patch to get it working on Win 10), got completely foxed by the antiquated camera and viewpoint and subsequently gave up.

    Just couldn’t get into it as much as good old Close Combat…

    Might be time for another attempt.

    • kingskin says:

      I downloaded cmbb the other day after being inspired by these articles and yes,the ui and camera are hard work by today’s standards. I will stick to reading the professionally written AAR’s :)

    • ru_disa says:

      The camera is not ideal, but it’s not that bad either. Have you guys tried using the numpad for camera control? Once you get used to it, it’s a breeze. CM:BB is a permanent fixture of my PC… and this series pretty much forced me to re-install CM:BO, stop playing whatever it was I was playing and fire up a scenario (49th Recce – I was finally forced to call for a cease fire last night). Guys! I beg you, don’t give up on these games. You’re really missing out on something special!

      • klops says:

        The only problem is that the campaigns are nonexistent or just poor. Skirmishes against the AI aren’t enough and playing a hotseat or PBEM takes a loong time.

        • Gothnak says:

          This i agree with. I don’t know how much Close Combat or Steel Panthers i would have played without long campaigns. Both of those still sit on my desktop.

      • Cian says:

        Ooh, ta for the numpad tip. I’ve also been trying to pick this up but the camera and UI are not helping, nor is Windows 10 fucking it up when alt+tabbing to the manual. Is there an in-game listing of hotkeys?

        • ru_disa says:

          Yes there is! Right-click on an empty spot on the battlefield, to make sure you de-select any unit you may have selected, and you’ll see the “hotkey” button on the interface.

  5. klops says:

    Finally the Churchill on the platter is down! Pesky pioneers

    • chuckieegg says:

      I keep reading about Churchill tanks. The Lindybeige channel on Youtube rates them as his favourite tank. But compared to the other later-war tanks, the only thing it seemed to have going for it was the ability to go up steep slopes. This one seems to have withstood some punishment.

      • Palindrome says:

        The Churchill was a mid war tank as well which saw it’s first comabat in North Africa. Later models were very well armoured and the flamethrower variant in particular was very well suited as an assault tank.
        It wasn’t a great tank by late war standards but it wasn’t designed to those standards,it was designed as an infantry support tank and that is a role that it performed very well, not least because of it’s exceptional off road capabilities.
        It is definitely one of my top 5 WW2 tanks (Number 1 is the positively steampunk, and absolutely useless, T35)

      • klops says:

        Churchill VII was a good tank. Not a superbeast but good. It was also better armoured than Churchills in general and cannon wasn’t rubbish.

        Despite how good or bad Churchill was, my main gripe was our pioneer squad who missed a free shot with a panzerschreck and with a satchel charge. They were bothered by no one and botched the shot and botched with the explosives, veteran pioneers for Jebus’s sake!

      • Rorschach617 says:

        The Churchill’s design and capabilities were never going to amaze the world with snazzy tech or great speed, but what it could do, it did bloody well.

        It’s ability to climb steep gradients meant that the fighting in Tunisia, and I guess Italy, went a lot easier for the infantry it was supporting.

        And with the Churchill VII, they had frontal armour that actually gave them a chance against the 88mm.

        No mention of the Churchill AVRE yet? The “go-anywhere-smash-everything” variant?

  6. JohnnyG says:

    Man, the AI in this game is awful. Just as bad as I remember it. The best way to play Combat Mission is definitely two players.

    • Tim Stone says:

      The Brits coordinated their armour and infantry better during my tests. I’m not sure why they’ve led with their heavyweights in this playthrough, but the fact that they have has given the Comment Commanders a glimmer of hope (the scenario is heavily weighted in the Allies’ favour) – no bad thing.

      • klops says:

        I feared a proper combined arms attack or the tanks casually staying behind and lobbing HE shells at us, but fortunately the AI has been an idiot. I remembered it to be at least ok. Could the three bottlenecks and that hedge-maze confuse it more than “a normal map” would or have my memories grown sweeter with time?

      • Skabooga says:

        Ahem, I think you mean the combined cunning of our capable but crusty commanders has seen off the British assault. Surely nothing to do with them flubbing their advance. Surely.

    • Tim Stone says:

      I’ve contemplated running these in hotseat mode with a human player providing the opposition. The challenge is finding someone willing to play a turn a day /and/ principled enough to refrain from spying on the enemy via these comments threads.

      • Tarfman says:

        Surely one of your RPS colleagues would jump at the chance of such a prestigious appointment!

        I’d recommend heading back to CMBB for next one.

      • JohnnyG says:

        I’d jump at the chance if I still had CBM1. Have you considered playing the latest versions, i.e. CB Normandy, they are pretty good. The AI is still kind of dumb.

        • Tim Stone says:

          The first communal CM game used Final Blitzkrieg:

          link to rockpapershotgun.com

          Now I’ve worked my way through the original trio, I may well head back to CMx2.

          • goon buggy says:

            Maybe you could use your links with Pippa and challenge pcgamer. Delay the results a day or two in a battle of the forums.

          • klops says:

            Pcgamer vs RPS would be interesting. But to be honest, I can volunteer as well. Unless or Johnny G, who has dibs on volunteering, has CMBB and wants to do it. I sent you mail.

          • g948ng says:

            Personally a group of people vs. a group sounds more fair, more amusing to read afterwards and with less potential for hard feelings. But I realize that this would require quite the organizational effort.

      • sagredo1632 says:

        If you do it this way, may I suggest that it be run somewhat like RPS’s own run (link) of Solium Infernum? Even better than one AAR is two, where the readers can see all the mutually flawed assumptions that led to whatever SNAFU unfurls on the field.

  7. Stugle says:

    It’s a good thing that the Churchill and Cromwell were taken care of, because there are an awful lot of British roundels coming out of the woods now.

    I’m looking forward to the new dynamics as we transition from careful one-on-one engagements with the British armor to the three-pronged massed assault of the British infantry.

  8. Harmodios says:

    Her Stein. Wo ist meine kesselschlacht? Wo ist der Sieg, den ich und die Deutschen Volch so verdient haben? Ich sollte dich durch einen echten Mann ersetzen, wie Fegelein oder Steiner. Ja, Steiner würde keine Schwierigkeiten haben, diese erbärmlichen Limeys zu vernichten.

    Angriff Feigling, der du bist! Angriff!

  9. ItAintNecessarilySo says:

    This is going pretty well! (And now I jynxed it)

    I’m wondering if the Panzerschreck team will be needed at all. Let them rest for a turn, if used, then they better be rested an ready.

  10. Dinger says:

    What was the plan with the FJ platoon? If S29 is on close combat with the enemy on the flank, the other squads and command should close (along 27?) and slam the door on the yanks, no? Am I missing something?

    • klops says:

      Most of the FJ platoon is in J-L24, very close to the victory location that the enemy platoon is most likely going to charge to soon. Defending k21/the church is a bigger priority than dealing with a single squad in the northeastern fringes. Also reaching t28 would take at least 1 turn, when the enemy is likely to charge.

      The separate squad is walking on open/marsh towards the enemy paras so I though the best idea is to stop and shoot rather than wade through marsh.

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