Overlordy: Turn 14

overlordyturn14a

Thus far the Comment Commanders have sustained very few infantry casualties. In the west the bulk of Lt. Nerbul’s rifle platoon, together with a flamethrower team, wait patiently for the Englanders to emerge from ‘West Wood’. In the centre, Larcher’s pioneers are in the process of evacuating the blazing hotel, while, close-by, the lion’s share of Schenck’s recently arrived paratroopers endeavour to influence the furious firefight raging in the middle of Caent. During the course of Turn 14 one part of this tiny tank-short Kampfgruppe goes from intact to in tatters.

(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).

overlordyturn14b

The unfortunates are the men in pea-dot pattern smocks. The two pioneer squads under Larcher’s command choose to leave their flame-wreathed digs via the nearest rather than the safest exits and the decision, combined with some unwise, unsanctioned aggression, leads to their near-total destruction.

overlordyturn14c

All but two of Stein’s squad are mown down during a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-style transit of k20 (the square containing the KOed Churchill). Mogg and his men flee through the more sensible eastern doors, then, in a suicidal act of bravura sure to please Berlin firebrands like Harmodios, decide to storm the Tommy-stuffed maison at k19! The assault ends predictably, the last SS man perishing close to the spot where, moments earlier, Imhof, the mortar spotter, took his last breath.

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Another unit that chooses doomed derring-do over dutiful discretion in Turn 14 is the stray rifle squad near the church. Like Mogg’s mob they ignore orders and head for the hornets’ nest at k19, guns blazing. By the time the Brits drive them off, they’ve lost more than half their number and their morale window is displaying a bright red ‘ROUTED’.

Now the bad news is out of the way, here’s the good.

overlordyturn14e

The Green Devils at l22 move to their new position behind the churchyard wall swiftly and painlessly, and their commander, Schenck, and comrades by the mill stream follow their orders with similar efficiency. Wodtke and the Panzerschreck team also resist the temptation to tweak, freelance, or loaf.

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In the west, Nerbul’s men finally run out of patience at T+10 seconds. Under fire from the bakery pickets, the squad leading the British advance on our right decides to pick up the pace rather than go to ground. It’s a fateful decision. As they push on, Gruber, our lava distributor, stands up, steadies his fire lance on a windowsill and opens the taps.

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The second gout of napalm turns the patch of pear trees at b21 into a lake of hungry flames. Singed and scared, the British van heads back the way it came, while the men watching West Wood from d and f21 turn their attention to alternative targets.

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Vehicular news? Apart from an early Wasp sting on the hotel and some late Bren Gun work from the Universal Carrier prompted by the appearance of the FJ squad at n23, the AFVs focused on movement rather than molestation in this action phase.

overlordyturn14i

An eleventh-hour order change possibly saved the Wasp’s bacon. The smoke that had been screening the British arsonist from our TD vanished early in the turn, but as the Hetzer was already hurrying westward and the Wasp was quick to see the danger and start reversing, no shots were fired.

overlordyturn14j

Turn 15 promises be much more eventful from an armour perspective as the AVRE is heading in the direction of the hotel and the Hetzer is now relatively well-positioned for ambuscade.

The situation at the end of Turn 14:

overlordyturn14l

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I’ve annotated the image above in an effort to clarify the complicated situation south of the hotel. The numbers indicate how many men remain in the various British squads.

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overlordymappngbig5

32 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 15 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following 8 units (a maximum of one unit per commenter).

    *Rifle platoon – 2 squads + HQ (d21, g21, + f21)

    *Flamethrower team (b22, ammo 7)

    *Hetzer (f21, buttoned)

    *Pioneer platoon – 1 squad (2 men, k21) + HQ (4 men, j21, drove off several assaults almost single-handed in turn 14!)

    *Sniper (j27, ammo 2)

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

    *Fallschirmjäger platoon – 3 squads + HQ (j21, n23, r24 + j22)

    *Panzerschreck team (n27, tired but seems to be through bocage)

    • g948ng says:

      Once again, orders for the Fallschirmbuddies:

      HQ Squad prioritizes the 4 man squad trying to cross the street.
      J21 Squad fights. Priority target is the lone english officer. Secondary target are the other 3 men on the street, if possible.
      N23 Squad “Teichert” stops any movement shennanigans it has in mind and shoots at the brits on the hill.
      R24 Squad moves to R23 then dashes over the street. It takes position on the ground floor of Q21, south-west. If possible, shoot/grenade the same enemy.

      • g948ng says:

        I am having second thoughts. I must apologize to Tim for making everything so needlessly convoluted turn by turn.

        J21 Squad is the problem child. I really want them to retreat, but seeing those 4 men (maybe + 3) are about to assault us, I -presume- starting to move now only makes us more vulnerable.
        So I will adjust the order under conditions. If possible I´d like to hold for a while, say, 30 seconds, and then leg it towards J24. Please choose the route that blocks LoS for as many enemies as possible. I am not sure you can exit the building to the north, but that looks safe to me.

    • Crimson_Pig says:

      Orders for the sniper (Wodtke): Hide and wait for a good target.

    • DoomyDoom says:

      For Tim:
      Orders for sniper:
      Hold fire. If possible (LOS wise), observe towards u28-ish for 15 seconds and then return to observing the previous direction (that would be south towards g-i20, I guess?). But please make ‘no firing’ a hard priority (hide, crawl, ambush marker – whatever it takes).

      For fellow commanders:
      I expect j21 to be promptly suppressed in a 3-to-1 gunfight (not even counting possibility of Wasp and Churchill getting on them). If they can take HQ with them per g948ng’s orders – good, if not – Wodtke will have some vengeance to deliver. I’ve contemplated setting a marker for Churchill moving up, but that can end up as a waste of last bullets in too many ways currently. I doubt sniper firing at anything other than HQ, tank driver, PIAT team or nebulous paras can make a difference.

      EDIT: eh, Crimson_Pig’s order stands. I’m too verbose for my own good.

      • DoomyDoom says:

        Let’s try that again:
        Orders for LMG squad:
        If it’s possible to work some LOS magic to help our situation at j21, reorient towards k19. If it looks unlikely to produce any results, continue observing north towards t27-u27.

  2. heretic says:

    Thanks Tim for the great write ups – this is definitely the best communal combat mission to date!

    Looking forward to see if one of the fellow commenters will take the opposing side on the next communal CM rather than having the AI (though they better not cheat!) – would be a cool experiment.

    Regardless, such an awesome column I’ve been looking forward to it every morning :)

  3. DoomyDoom says:

    Well, that went largely as bad as expected.

    Question time (sorry, there’s quite a lot):
    0) Since things are slowly coming to an end – what is the VP distribution on all the points?
    1) Who did sniper shoot? West flank brits? Also, do snipers run out of ammo like mortar or like rifle squads (aka do they go 0 or “low”)?
    2) Can Wodtke get a shot off on tank commander? Would be nice to at least button AEFV up, or ideally make it backpedal into Hetzer.
    3) Squad at k/l 23/24 is the routed former “stray rifle squad near the church”, right?
    4) What can our LMG team cover to the west? They’re far and low on ammo so I’m not expecting much, but anything that gives assailants second thoughts is buying valuable time.
    5) Any idea what’s the US para marker that’s been around w27 ever since we lost contact after Turn 11 packing? I’m not thrilled about the idea of having a hand grenade lobbed into LMG team at old mill. Or a backstab from u27-ish towards r24 FJ squad.
    6) I assume the barrage has ended and, judging by the picture, noone is pinned/shaken/whatever on the brit side anymore?

    • unacom says:

      @2: I´d rather not squander precision ammo to force a tank crew to button up, unless direly necessary.
      @5: We´d need to reestablish LOS in order to find out.
      @6: If I remember correctly, the mortar-barrage will cease as soon as the bombs remaining in flight impact and detonate, as there won´t be any fire-direction by the mortar FO anymore…

    • Tim Stone says:

      0) Each VL is worth 100 points. Not a lot by CM standards.
      1) Not sure.
      2) Not yet. If the AVRE is silly enough to follow the green lane all the way to the village centre, an opportunity may arise.
      3) Yes.
      4) Very little, although they can see the small patch of ground between the hotel and the cottage at k19. If you care to issue a “target what you can”-type order I’ll do my best to find something worthwhile.
      5) Whatever it is, it’s extremely shy.
      6) Yes, no more mortar support for the Germans.

      • DoomyDoom says:

        A couple followups then:
        2) What would be the best way to go about conserving Wodtke’s ammo? Is hide order sufficient, or some ridiculous ambush marker is more reliable? That 1-man HQ may be the perfect target 1-2 turns later, but that implies there are bullets to work with. If our sniper fancies further shooting inconsequental 6+ man strong squads (there are like 7 contact markers yet to reveal themselves scattered below row 17), it might be prudent to stop him.

        4) Where is LMG currently facing? If it’s still looking towards NE, would it be possible to set a ‘wait’ order (basically, to cover FJs’ backs), followed by setting up towards k19? I assume they’ll be ready to fire around T+30 in that case.

        This is all still thinking, I’ll put a proper order under top comment once decided (I haven’t figured out my priorities yet, so consider both LMG and sniper still open to anyone).

        • Tim Stone says:

          Wodtke’s field of view isn’t great from the farm. At this point in the battle I’d be tempted to let him engage whatever he likes. I might be wrong, but I don’t think he’ll ever completely run out of ammo.

          The LMG is on the south side of the mill, facing south. It currently has no LoS northward. If it moved to the NE corner of the building it’s possible it might be able to identify the mysterious US unit.

    • klops says:

      5. I’ve thought it to be some sort of support unit. Mortar, bazooka? Perhaps a possible paratrooper squad that wasn’t identified from afar, but I doubt it.

      • DoomyDoom says:

        Up-close screenshot at turn 11 shows them as 1 man (so up to 3-4 soldiers, as far as I understand) holding a rifle-like thingie. I’m uneasy about the possiblity of grenades, engineers with demo charges and whatnot (I believe americans may also have rifle grenades or somesuch), and that they may have been crawling around the bocage for the past 3 turns (they had total concealment vs FJ’s all this time). Best case is probably a stray sniper.

        • klops says:

          Until farawy units are properly spotted, they are just a single-man squad. But I think that our LMG squad had already made a difference between a full rifle squad and a support unit.

  4. Gothnak says:

    Slightly off topic, but i had my first dream about the Foxer last night.

    If today’s one has a load of questions that are just a series of numbers then somehow I’ve visited Roman’s Brain and already seen it, although in my dream it was already solved by the time i logged on to help!

  5. AbyssUK says:

    Flame guy to start playing “Night On Bald Mountain” while laughing loud and menacingly…

  6. Harmodios says:

    Hätten wir nur mehr Männer als Mogg, hätten wir diesen Krieg vor Jahren gewonnen. Wir würden diesen verdammten Tommies Krupp-Stahl füttern, bis sie wie die kleinen Babys weinen würden, die sie sind.

    Und während die Helden sterben, liegen mir meine feigen Generäle wie Stone, Cederic, Unacorn und Doomydoom vor. Das Militär hat mich belogen! Jeder hatmich belogen! Die gesamte Generalität ist nichts weiter als ein Haufen niederträchtiger, treuloser Feiglinge!

    Wie das Sprichwort sagt: “Gut verloren, etwas verloren; Ehrlich verloren, viel verloren; Mut zu verlieren, alles verloren”.

    Feiglinge!

    • Cederic says:

      Operator? Colonel von Stauffenberg please.

      Claus? Hi Claus, how are you doing? Stump still itching? About that matter we discussed. We’re ready, when do you think delivery can be made? 20th? Ok, we’ll get things prepared here.

  7. beleester says:

    So, it seems like all our hand-wringing over whether to retreat or advance from the Hotel was a moot point – all of the threatened soldiers ended up panicking, charging the enemy, and dying. Points for effort, at least.

    I think we should definitely fall back from the hotel now. The Wasp is still out there and has a good position to flame our last remaining building, let’s try and draw them towards the open ground to the north.

  8. beleester says:

    I can’t decide what I want our Hetzer to do. Currently, it’s attempting to ambush the Churchill through the bocage. However, our prey is about to leave LOS and I’m not sure we can line up a shot in time. Brenner has not had a good track record of killing his targets on the first try.

    Alternatively, we could back the Hetzer off and move to H22 to watch for the Wasp and Bren Gun Carrier. They were scared off, but it won’t take long for them to work up the nerve to move north again, and they’re a more immediate threat than the Churchill is.

    What do my fellow commanders think?

    • DoomyDoom says:

      The Churchill is pretty likely to get a LOS on j24 soon, at which point he might just try to level it. Should be enough time for Brenner.
      Plus, if the PIAT team gets to the ever-popular k19, h22 will be well within its effective range.

    • g948ng says:

      I´d love to advance, but our AFVs can´t cross hedges. (boo, I say!)
      So I suggest backing up a bit to the street (E/F 22) and turning SE, peeking through the gap with the dead PaK.
      No matter if the AVRE goes left or right of that Cromwell carcass, it should roll right into the Hetzer´s gunsight.

      But it is your order to give. As, always, no recriminations and no regrets, whatever happens. Just make sure to give an order by the end of the day.

  9. Tim Stone says:

    I’m happy to take a Hetzer order from someone who has already issued an infantry instruction. It would be tragic if our TD stood idle for want of an order.

    • DoomyDoom says:

      In absence of a proper order by deadline, g948ng’s suggestion just above (E/F 22, pretend to be a PAK) seems fine to me.

    • beleester says:

      Let’s make it official. Hetzer to proceed to F22, looking towards the hotel like the Pak was.

      If he doesn’t see any vehicles, he should start chucking HE at the infantry clustered in k19. Let’s break up their little party.

    • Cederic says:

      Flamethrower and Panzerschreck teams also orderless. Unless you include, “Start singing” so I shall.

      Order: Panzerschreck team to move to P24, hunting for the armoured targets as they go.

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