Overlordy: Turn 13

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There’s a firebug loose in Caent. Last turn it torched the village’s oldest/holiest building. This turn it… well, if you heed the red recommendation below, you’ll find out.

(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. There’s a scenario outline plus summaries of earlier turns here).

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Turn 13 is just two seconds old when the pesky Wasp stings again. The church gets another gout of napalm in the nave and in their eagerness to exit their blazing billet the FJ and rifle squads ignore their respective instructions (“Assault Wasp” and “Occupy house at l24”). Only Wodtke, dashing for the farm, sticks to the Comment Commanders’ script.

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The hail of bullets emanating from j and k21 produce palpable results at T+12 and T+14. First the western PIAT team is eliminated, then the Tommy rifle squad intent on storming the hotel has second thoughts.

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Frustrated by inaction, Lt. Nerbul is toying with the idea of contributing to the hotel scrap from the upper storey of the bakery, when a new battlefield sound alters his priorities. There’s something large and caterpillared moving about in the vicinity of the western beach exit!

Of the myriad minor developments that catch the eye in the turn’s middle third, most boost Axis rather than Allied morale…

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German bullets reduce the bold British platoon HQ at k19 to a single man.

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A party of advancing Tommies near the church starts taking enfilade fire from the rifle squad lurking by the kaput Pak.

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The mortar barrage restarts, bombs falling with impressive accuracy on advancing enemies and the crowded cottage at k19.

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A Wasp attack singes the riflemen outside the church but fails to deplete or dispirit them.

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Yes, Turn 13 goes fairly well, all things considered, until T+49 when the Wasp decides that a few incinerated British riflemen is a price worth paying for a hot hotel. The bleeding bow of fire that ignites the building at the heart of our defence also slays four Tommies making for k21 at the time.

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The action phase springs its final surprise two seconds before the clock stops when Nerbul’s men get their first good look at the mysterious vehicle in the SW. The late guest is a Churchill AVRE, a masonry mutilator par excellence.

At the end of Turn 13 the battlefield looks like this:

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While the hotel fire and the arrival of the AVRE are certainly alarming developments, there are reasons to be cheerful/optimistic:

1. The only British infantry squad yet to venture north of row 19 perished extremely quickly (admittedly with some help from the Wasp).

2. The squads that fled the church might have ignored their orders, but they escaped the building unscathed and remain so.

3. The tenants of the increasingly crowded, under-mortar-fire cottage at k19 aren’t in great shape (HQ = 1 man. Squad A =  4 men, pinned. Squad B = 7 men, under fire. Squad C = 9 men).

4. With seven turns left, the morale and victory percentages look like this:

overlordyturn13n

40 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 14 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 + HQ (d21, g21, m21 + f21)

    *Flamethrower team (b22, hiding)

    *Hetzer (k/l26)

    *Pioneer platoon – 2 squads + HQ (k21, k21 + j21. k21 squads are exiting hotel and may not respond to orders)

    *Mortar spotter (k21, 56/150 rounds left, exiting hotel so may not respond to orders)

    *Sniper (l25, ammo 3)

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

    *Fallschirmjäger platoon – 3 squads + HQ (j21, l22, s29 + k21. HQ pushing south on own initiative!)

    *Panzerschreck team (n28, bocage, tired)

    • emily riposte says:

      Hetzer to hunt forward to L22 or so to try to take out that wasp. We’ll figure out what to do about the mortar tank once that’s done. That lava cannon is just too scary in the screenshots. ;)

      The AVRE’s los is crap for now, anyway, and maybe we can use our infantry lava cannon on it if it gets reckless.

      • ItAintNecessarilySo says:

        At L22 the Hetzer will still be behind the smoke so it won’t have a shot. My opinion would be to keep it back so it has more room to move if needed, but its your orders.
        Question: How many turns until smoke clears in this game?

        • g948ng says:

          I concur with ItAintNecessarilySo´s assessment. The moment for a quick dash to kill the Wasp has come and gone. Its escorts have caught up.

        • emily riposte says:

          You’re right, somehow I missed the smoke. And the dense woods probably block a shot from the wall at n22ish. Maybe it is better to go for the other threat first. Ok, revised order: Fast move the hetzer forward to the road, then along the road to e22, between the buildings at d-e22, hunt forward to the bogage line.

          • klops says:

            If the infantry at B19 is PIAT, it has a clear line-of-sight over the stone wall to the Hetzer’s side if our TD goes to D-E19, next to the bocage line. Same if there are any AT weapons in the forest. Also the AVRE has a very limited range.

        • Tim Stone says:

          Possibly worth bearing in mind. The smoke outside the church probably won’t linger for another full turn.

          • emily riposte says:

            Well, the smoke is from 80 seconds ago, so I’d expect it to at least last most of the turn? In deference to klops’ fears, let’s end that move between the buildings at e-f and then hunting to the bocage, shifting 20m east, though PIATs tend to be lousy shots.

    • Skabooga says:

      Orders for Rifle Platoon (majority stationed near bakery):

      Squad at d21, stays in place unless moving to the wall at c-d20 would give them a better view to the west and south.

      Squad at g21, continue firing on the Tommies!

      Squad at m21, run! I doubt they’ll respond to orders, but if they can safely disengage and get behind the wall at n21, they should do so.

      HQ at f21, if supporting the squad at g21 already, stay in place. If not, move into the house at h21 to support them. If that doesn’t put them in support range still, move to bocage at g20 to support them.

    • Crimson_Pig says:

      An adjustment to Wodtke’s orders. When in position, turn facing SSW.

    • g948ng says:

      Again taking command of the Fallschirmjagers:

      J21 squads continue their firefight. They are winning and their building is not ablaze. (Yet) No pushing south on anyone´s initiative.
      L22 Squad extricates itself from the firefight and circles behind the church in cover of the graveyard wall and head to N23. Only then they engage the enemy at L-M20.
      K21 Squad dashes across the gap to take cover behind the wall at J22. They should have LoS between the buildings, right?
      S29 Squad gets out of the stream that seems to slow it down so much, gets to the R column to get tothe cottage at R23.

      • g948ng says:

        Checking the screenshots again I am not entirely sure anymore I identified the HQ squad correctly. (It´s quite a mess with the fire, the dying and all that…) If neccessary please adjust my orders to the effect that a FJ squad occupies the J21 building and the HQ is in a safer position behind them at J22.

    • declan_23 says:

      Orders for the Pioneer platoon:

      The squad in the building at j21 are to hold their position.
      The squad and HQ retreating from the hotel (if they will obey any orders) are to head to the building at j24.

  2. latedave says:

    Squad to be re ordered quick time to l24. I’m quite surprised how well we seem to be doing! Perhaps someone wants to finally order the flamethrower crew into action although they seem to be doing a good job of covering that flank

    • Cederic says:

      For clarity, do you mean the Rifle Platoon squad from M21?

      If so you’ve pre-empted the order above from Skabooga.

    • Skabooga says:

      Oops, sorry, I should have read more carefully before posting my order. latedave’s order for the Rifle platoon’s church squad should of course supersede mine.

  3. AbyssUK says:

    Question: Is it possible to set fire to the woods at B19? Flushing people out ?

    • Tim Stone says:

      Yes, but the team would need to get closer. The knapsack flamethrower’s range is 32m (one and a half terrain squares).

      From its current position it could kindle fires at a21, b21, and b20. I believe ‘tall pines’ are more combustible than ‘scattered trees’.

    • Cederic says:

      Unless you think the British troops are going to abandon their tree cover early, would waiting in ambush to cook the first squad to get near be an option, then torching the woods after that?

      Prematurely revealing the flammenwerfer just scares off potential victims and will draw fire from the AVRE.

      • Tim Stone says:

        If the targeted squad is amongst the pines when deluged, then there’s a pretty good chance the attack will cause a rout /and/ start a fire.

        • AbyssUK says:

          Well I suspect the AVRE will head to g17 ish to attempt to level the cottage at j21 now full of our men. Drawing its fire might not be a bad thing, and frankly the flame throwers arn’t doing anything remotely useful where they are anyway.
          I say wait a bit then flame on A20,B19..
          I assume the fire spreads too ?? blocking the path for any of the other infantry coming up the woods on that side ?

          • klops says:

            Fire doesn’t spread. I’d suggest the flamethrower to shoot at enemy, not at empty space. It’s good for assault/ambush, but it’s slow and has minimal range so it’d be good to make use of its shots. The British are coming closer.

  4. Cederic says:

    Order : Panzerschreck team to move to P22, hide behind the hedge and target that lava spewer.

    • Copperbottom says:

      How many turns will that take? Won’t the Wasp be long gone before they get into position?

      • Cederic says:

        I hope so, but they’re no use up north anyway, so worse case they’ll be in a better position anyway.

        If however Brenner and friends don’t get the Wasp it’ll be nice to have a suitably equipped unit able to cause it some distress.

  5. Copperbottom says:

    I advocated a retreat last turn, I’m even more convinced now. Until the smoke clears the Hetzer would need to be at knife-fight range to deal with the wasp and that smacks of suicide. We have already lost the Hotel and the Church. If we fall back across the road to row 24 we can set up the Panzerschreck and Hetzer to (hopefully) pick off the wasp as it advances and the Tommies would need to approach across the road with few houses to hide in, while taking fire from the west.

    • beleester says:

      I’m torn on this one. We’re in a bad spot, but so is the enemy HQ, and it might be worth holding on for another turn to try and finish the job.

      The PIAT team is dead, so I think the Hetzer stands a good chance of swatting the Wasp and getting away safely, especially since its infantry bodyguards are currently preoccupied.

      • g948ng says:

        I agree with being cautious with the Hetzer.

        But I think, althought the situation around that hotel looks absolutely infernal, that they are loosing more men per second there than we do. Therefore I advise against a retreat of the whole central line across the street. (23 row) But I think we can pull of a leap-frog approach quite handily.
        Skabooga, quite sensibly, continued that flanking fire by the riflemen. This in addition to the mortar barrage and the J21 FJ still holding and firing should provide enough cover for the pioneers to get away more or less in one piece.

        I hope someone takes control of the pioneers and orders those in J21 to hold while the others leg it.

        • g948ng says:

          Never retreat like a hare. Always retreat like a lion, roaring and showing your teeth.
          Not sure who exactly said that. From the top of my head I want to say Macchiavelli, but I don´t recall.

  6. Crimson_Pig says:

    When Wodtke reaches the farm’s upper floor, can he see over the houses at J25 and J24? How about the road at I22, can he see that far?

  7. beleester says:

    Wikipedia says the Churchill AVRE is based on a Churchill III or IV, which means that it has quite a lot of armor, but not the “WTF why won’t that thing die?” levels of armor that its partner had, so our Hetzer has a fighting chance. However, it does have a friggin’ huge gun designed to demolish fortifications, so we need to keep that thing away from our infantry.

    Are any of our squads still carrying a Panzerfaust or demo charge?

    • Tim Stone says:

      Apart from one of the pioneer squads in the hotel, all of our infantry (including FJ) still carry AT weapons. The FJ squad at j21 is the best equipped (2 x Panzerfausts).

  8. DoomyDoom says:

    Hella late with only 7 turns to go, but time to jump into the action (after catching up on the almost unfortunate assault on wharfs last year, I decided get some hands-on exp with CMBO first :).
    A retreat/regrouping looks like a possibility thus a few questions:
    1) I assume the order for the sniper from the last turn (farm 2f) implies J27. How do you suppose a burning building at K24 would interact with his LOS east of church? (I know there’s also a smoke round there, but that’ll probably go out by the time he’s set up).
    2) How much ammo can we expect to have left after the mortar barrage (assuming it doesn’t look like commiting everything to the current point is a good idea after the clock stops)?
    If spotter does respond to orders, I’d try to get him out asap and eventually set up on the hills circa f27. If there’s any firepower left in our battery, we’ll get LOS to both center and west, which also seems to hold a sizable force. Worst case, we’ll at least have some binoculars on elevation.

    I’m more than willing to be convinced otherwise.

    So, a tentative order for mortar spotter:
    Retreat behind the building he’s exiting, hugging wall (j21-ish?), then head north/north-west towards hills around f27.

    I seriously hope he isn’t immediately pinned.

    • DoomyDoom says:

      Zzz… Scratch the sniper LOS question, happened to write at the same time with Crimson_Pig.

      Oh and in case it’s not clear – not cancelling the current shelling.

    • Tim Stone says:

      1) From the upper storey of the farm Wodtke would have a nice sight line over the walled graveyard to the SE. Bocage would obscure significant areas near the mill, and to the east.

      2)If the mortar spotter called a halt now, he’d still have 56 rounds left. The behaviour of the church squads last turn suggests he may ignore any movement orders.

      • DoomyDoom says:

        That’s not exactly what I meant about mortar.
        Here’s the last turn’s status:
        “Mortar spotter (k21, 84/150 rounds left, barrage expected in 29 secs)”
        So, the barrage went on for approximately 30 seconds and battery is now at 56/150.

        Does this mean it basically runs out of ammo after this turn? This does seem to align with what little I’ve seen of CMBO mortars this past week.

        I can’t see a reason to stop the barrage – it’s doing good work, and we need those k19 squads pinned regardless of whether others decide to fight or pull out. But even if spotter ignores movement orders, I’d like to have them in place on an odd chance that he is a coolheaded one.

        • Tim Stone says:

          Yes, another turn of mortar fire will probably exhaust our ammo allotment.

          • Sin Vega says:

            If we were to halt a barrage for, say, 30 seconds, would restarting it on the exact same position take the same amount of time, or would it happen faster? And would the change in the spotter’s los make any difference?

          • Tim Stone says:

            Restarting the barrage will take around sixty seconds assuming the spotter still has LoS to the target location (I don’t think CM differentiates between new and previously targeted locations). Calling a halt now would be a real gamble. Imhoff may perish fleeing the building, or the game may end before he’s in a position to use the rest of his ammo.

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