Overlordy: Turn 15

overlordyturn15a

Your requests for turn reports incorporating moving images have been noted. While Overlordy will remain an exclusively words and jpegs affair, reportage for next year’s communal CM marathon will, touch wood, incorporate some video highlights. If I’d had a cine camera during the complicated, chaotic turn recounted below, I suspect it would have spent most of its time ogling the action swirling around Larcher, our doughty, seemingly indestructible pioneer leader.

(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).

overlordyturn15b

There was a spell early in the turn when it seemed unlikely that the pioneer HQ would see T+60. Left alone in the house at j12 when the nearby FJ squad withdrew, Larcher and his assistants soon found themselves cut-off, a squad of British infantry having bypassed their position.

overlordyturn15c

In a commendable but ultimately fatal unsanctioned counter-attack, Schenck, the FJ platoon leader, attempted to dislodge the interlopers, but in the end it was the battered remnants of Stein’s pioneer squad, firing from a cottage behind the hotel, that helped Larcher reduce the British flankers to a single scared rifleman.

overlordyturn15d

Moments before making this vital contribution, Stein’s squad, all two of them, had survived a nailbiting CQB with a party of attackers who’d moved north on the eastern side of the hotel, clashing with the churchyard FJ squad* as they did so.

*For unknown reasons – the death of Schenck? – these German paratroopers had left their assigned position and were heading back into the centre of the village at the time.

overlordyturn15e

While the Wasp chose to watch Turn 15’s twists and turns passively from afar (k16), its sibling, the Bren Gun Carrier, got stuck in, joining the British push east of the hotel. The squat scurrier ends the turn tantalisingly close to our rocketmen, who’ve finally reached the village centre after a long, tiring hike from the northern map edge.

overlordyturn15f

German defenders at West Wood and the bakery remain confident and casualty-free. For a horrible moment in the middle of the turn it appeared the AVRE was about to fling a 290mm “flying dustbin” at the riflemen upstairs at d21, but happily the attack never came.

overlordyturn15g

Undisturbed, Nerbul’s lads, and the flamethrower team at b22, were able to break up a second British drive through the pines – this one involving a PIAT team as well as a rifle squad – with a mixture of lead and liquid fire.

overlordyturn15h

On the other flank, a position shift by our LMG team man has revealed two US airborne units lurking on the eastern map edge. Meyer has perturbed both with his MG 42, but short on ammo and outnumbered perhaps 14 to 1 is dreading a determined assault.

overlordyturn15i

The Hetzer? The AVRE’s inactivity meant Brenner and co. spent Turn 15 on tenterhooks. From their new position they have extremely narrow keyhole LoS to the KOed Cromwell at i19 and the stone dwelling at n19.

The battlefield at the start of Turn 16:

overlordyturn15k

overlordyturn15j

overlordymappngbig5

36 Comments

  1. Tim Stone says:

    Turn 16 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 5)

    *Hetzer (f22, unbuttoned)

    *Pioneer platoon – 1 squad (2 men, k21) + HQ (3 men, j21, shaken)

    *Sniper (j27, ammo 2, hiding)

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

    *Fallschirmjäger platoon – 3 squads, all out of command (j24, k22, q21)

    *Panzerschreck team (n25, tired)

    Sorry, you’re on your own today. Feel free to issue conditional orders.

    • ItAintNecessarilySo says:

      Hmm, interesting stuff going on again!

      Let the Panzerschreck’s stay where they are and get an ambush command on the road at l22 or near if possible. Time to remove the nasty sting from that wasp

    • klops says:

      Rifle platoon:
      -D21 runs to E21 trying to have as good LOS from the house to SW as possible. I also thought about playing the AVRE’s AI and just moving the squad northside of the building keeping LOS to west, but I think it’s too much a gamble. Do you?
      -HQ continues to shoot at west.
      -G21 continues to shoot east. The squad could move to house in h21 to stay safe from crossfire from possible Brits breaking through from east, but I’d say it’s better to contiune shooting and keep the enemies last seen in JK18-19 not concentrating all their fire on the squad.

      I’m very open for adjustments.

      • klops says:

        L25 moves to L24. (I thought we lost it already)

        • DoomyDoom says:

          Its action this turn was automatic retreat from around l23 to l25, so this squad is likely still routed/recovering, since HQ is nowhere near.

      • g948ng says:

        Concerning D21 Squad: Are you sure they will have acceptable lines of sight from next door? Screenshots from previous turns make me think they might not.
        I support wanting to get into safety from that AVRE, but might I suggest staying in the same building and just descending the stairs? On ground level they could also fire at the riflemen and the PIAT Team directly west, threatening our good buddy Brenner.

        • klops says:

          This is exactly what I thought at first, since LOS from the new position would be very bad. BUT the AVRE could be smart enough to target the whole building. Almost 20 kg HE shell would bring the building down on our rifle squad, and after that the survivors would get the forest-Brits’ fire on them. The whole squad would be dead.

          Repositioning/Retreating to F23 would be quite effortless from the new position.

          That building going down is quite likely to happen despite any orders, since the squad won’t move immediately and AVRE has had the building in its sights for a while now.

          • g948ng says:

            I am not sure about the AI´s capacity to calculate indirect effects of targeting an empty position, but then I haven´t played CM myself.
            But if your order stands I am going to move the Hetzer. I am loath to loose it to some lousy PIAT tosser.

          • klops says:

            The AI has been dumb as hell. So yeah, perhaps it wouldn’t be too daring to count on its inability.

            Butbutbutbutbut! How do you fellow commanders think about F23?
            Pros: away from the AVRE, general safety, good LOS, good position in the long run.
            Cons: D21’s LOS to west is great, running to F23 might cause casualties, lone Flammenwerfer will fall.

            I’ll hold the final order for your possible comments until the evening.

            The Hetzer can’t shoot AVRE or Wasp from there and it isn’t harassing infantry in the west or in the centre, so repositioning it wouldn’t be bad despite D21’s final orders.

          • DoomyDoom says:

            I agree with not taking the risk waiting for AVRE to fire. Tbh, I kind of expect it to fire within the first 5-10-ish seconds of the turn.
            Although I’m going to nominate 2 more locations: left edge of e23 forest (better LOS toward the woodland approach + relative safety) and c23 building (good LOS into woods, cuts of a22 advance if flammenwerfer doesn’t deter PIATs, but more risk if AVRE fancies c19-ish)

          • klops says:

            E23 is scattered trees, not a forest. That tile simulates a tree here and there, some cover where vehicles can also drive. Not good enough for cover.
            C23 would be great but getting there under fire from two rifle squads in 50 meters range is too costly. Crossing the road to F23 would be double the distance away with only 1 squad shooting from the west.

          • Crimson_Pig says:

            It really seems like it would be a risk to stay in D21. As to where they should move from there, I’m in favor of F23. There is at least some cover along the way. C23 or E23 lack cover and the troops will probably just get pinned down.

            I also had an idea that maybe Brenner could smoke C22 to help the troops cross the road.

          • DoomyDoom says:

            Fair point on scattered trees, but I’m not sold on F23 vs C23 at all. Going to F23 potentially means 2x+ fire onto flamethrower, and with PIAT on the prowl I’m not entertaining the idea of getting the werfer forced into cover/pinned. There are still 3 more contacts in the forest, and they should be about to make it through. We can’t give them a single target to focus.
            I see it as a “small losses now vs entire flank lost in 2-3 turns” situation.

          • klops says:

            Good points DD. I thought this for a long time. I see keeping the flank defended by an HQ lead cooperative platoon stronger than scattered platoon with solo squads weakened by casualties. Also they couldn’t do anything for the PIAT in C23 either. Rushing towards enemy is costly, let the attacker do it rather than the defender.

            Perhaps Brenner may reverse into FGH25-26 in the future to support the flank while keeping an eye on the enemy wagons? Of course this would require an ideal next turn regarding enemy vehicles, which I don’t expect to happen.

            Sorry for an ugly series of order Tim, but:

            CHANGE OF ORDERS: Rifle Squad in D21 to run to northeast corner of E21 in cover of the building and then run over the road to F23 and turn/shoot west.

    • Crimson_Pig says:

      The sniper (Wodtke) to hide and select the Bren Gun Carrier as a target, if there is a LOS on J-L23 and L22.

      (According to the manual Wodtke should now stay hidden until a really good shot is available (at any target, not just the one you selected, though preference is given to that one)).

    • DoomyDoom says:

      PSW crew(?) at o26:
      8-turn picnic is over. Pack up and double-time to reinforce Meyer’s LMG.

      We need bodies there, for distraction if nothing else. Plus, distance to the bog paras will have to cross is short, so even parabellums might help out.

    • g948ng says:

      Taking command of Brenner:

      Drive one square to the east, turn its -characteristic- snout south and reverse into the parking space between the house and the hedge. Like F/G 23.

      I want cover from a hypothetical PIAT attack from the west and be ready to react when that AVRE shows up. I guess the right order would be “hunt”?

      • DoomyDoom says:

        Given Brenner’s track record, “hunt” might go horribly different from expectations when he catches better sight of infantry in front of hotel. But I honestly won’t mind if he lobs a HE or two that way.

      • klops says:

        Combat Mission order “hunt” means advancing very slowly and stopping and shooting when contacting an enemy (vehicle?). So if Tim and Brenner would take your “hunt” order literally (I’m sure not, since you described reversing there and Brenner is Brenner), the Hetzer would creep slowly northwards.

        “Hunt, move and fast” for tanks.
        “Crawl, move and fast” for basic infantry, if I remember correctly. Of course, “crawl” and “hunt” are for different purposes.

      • g948ng says:

        Just to clarify. I meant Brenner to start “hunting” after he had arrived at his parking spot at F23. I imagined him to be slyly lying in wait until the AVRE makes a move, then roll silently into position for the kill.
        But then I do not know what game order that would require. Maybe none at all once he is at F23, counting on his initiative? We´re talking boozed brenner here, after all. Who knows what he´ll do?

      • klops says:

        Perhaps Hetzer should also button up because it’s very close to enemy?

  2. DoomyDoom says:

    Shower thoughts for fellow commanders:
    1) Just as I suspected, western forces have a PIAT team. And those PIATs could be trained on Brenner’s rear if there’s not enough smoke from our deforestation efforts.

    2) Last contact at l/m 17/18 must be the PIAT team from center, so I reckon f/g22 (and generally northern side of the road square) is a bit safer for now if we want/need to move Hetzer that way (although I really think we need to start getting someANY output from Hetzer asap).

    3) For all their bravery, skill and luck, Larcher’s HQ has 1 ammo left. I’m not sure they can exit the same way FJ’s did on this turn. Supporting their final stand with some crossfire could be key to our defense not crumbling. I’m not sure about something like commiting our sniper to that (i.e. ambush marker at the door into j21 house) is worth it, but if center doesn’t fall for another turn, we should hopefully have l25 routed rifle squad back in business.

    4) Looks like it’s heroics time for LMG. The only force that could bail Meyer out is FJ’s at q21, but they’re already busy with holding brits and have a decent view of the road if need be (I suspect we will eventually see m19/20 squads moving up there, unless getting Bren blasted by Shrekkies somehow deters them).

    5) No idea what Churchill is thinking and what that spells for d21 riflemen. Between the lack of imminent attack and flammenwerfer outputting a lot of chaos towards a21/22, maybe erring on the side of caution is warranted.

    Thoughts?

    • Crimson_Pig says:

      3) If my hide and target order for our sniper works like it should, then he might shoot at enemy infantry in the middle if there is a good shot.

    • klops says:

      1. I’d love the Hetzer to reverse to EF24 and support our western lines but the PIAT was too much on the way there. Wish we’d see if PIAT is retreating or advancing. I also assume that many would like to put Hetzer in its actual job rather than support. At the moment I would concentrate on anti-infantry work but I always undermine how much distance the vehicles can cover in a minute.
      3. Our central defence isn’t crumbling. Yet. There are 3 full(ish?) FJR squads + 1 rifle in g21 in good positions with good lines of fire if the Brits want to charge the church. We’re fighting for the Church, not the burning hotel. Sending some squad north of the church to capture it and still stay safe isn’t too hard a task. Attacking through open roads will be costly for the British.
      4. I’ve given up hope for the east flank long time ago. I wish the Q21 FJR squad wouldn’t be sent there, but then again, it could easily hold the para-attack.
      5. West holds better than I anticipated (thanks AVRE and our flameboy!). I assume there’s going to be some brutal hand-to-hand combat around the flag during the last turns.

      • DoomyDoom says:

        1) Hetzer LOS screenshot suggests PIAT is advancing, but given the flamethrower presence I can’t say if it’s sensible to even attempt guesswork here and how long any given state can last.
        I doubt Hetzer can find Churchill this turn, even if we put effort into it.

        3) Crumbling might have been a poor choice of words. But the more time and resources brits commit to j21 instead of church, the better. k22 can quickly go into grenade/melee range if a squad or two hug hotel wall. Eventually putting pioneers in l24 building would seal that opportunity off for good (and set us up to move in on the church eventually), but I’ve no exact timer on when they will recover.

        4) I’ve sent PSW crew as a makeshift defence against paras for now. It’s not much, but I really like FJ’s view on the road. Again, mostly related to the point above.

        • g948ng says:

          Since I am the one who ordered the FJs into Q21 I feel I need to say a word or two about it.
          The idea was two-fold. Crossfire for the L-column road with help from the men at G21 (And those behind the church, who, strangely, ended up in K22.) Also a blocking force for everything coming from that eastern hill. I don´t want to hand over control of the east-west road and I don´t want them to support the british center. Although the situation changed slightly I still think those reasons are valid.
          I must admit my priority is not saving victory locations. Tim mentioned they aren´t worth much. My priority is a) buying time and b) inflicting casaulties. And the Q21 position is good for both.

          • klops says:

            It has an excellent position in my mind. It can cover the open area in front of the church and the hotel.

  3. Cederic says:

    Order : Fallschirmjäger troops to find cover where they can (and where they are) and engage only when spotted (or can ambush).

    I don’t want them running around getting scared/upset. They’re all in reasonable positions except the squad in J24 (who are a bit too far north), but they are our only reserves at the moment.

    We don’t need to hold the centre of the village for VPs at this stage as minimising losses while maximising the enemy’s is our route to victory now.

    • klops says:

      FSJ platoon is in the middle of a firefight there. They’re not reserves while they’re in the front line and hiding or trying to ambush now is a bit late.
      -J24 is 50m away from the closest enemy squad, 100 from the one they’re shooting at.
      -K22 is next to that same enemy squad and have a clear LOS at the enemy 50m away.
      -Q21 has a great LOS east covering any troops attempting to assault. It can also put M20 into crossfire with K22.

      • g948ng says:

        Both of you have a point. We really need those reserves. But I agree with klops that the best way to make sure those reserves still exist is by shooting to keep those nasty englishmen at arm´s lenght. If we let them close in unopposed that just means more assaults. I don´t know the game engine, but CQC without command bonuses sounds nasty to me.

        • Cederic says:

          I’m basically running a denial of service attack to prevent other commanders doing something silly with them.

          Some turns I’ve waited and provided an order for a unit nobody else was instructing, some turns I’ve picked a unit that could be doing more interesting stuff, sometimes I decide to be decisive and exert my ability to log on earlier than everybody else.

          They’re also in danger from all three remaining enemy AFVs so unless they’re actively in a firefight I do think ducking down and holding the territory is the best course of action.

          • klops says:

            They _are_ actively in a firefight.

            But yeah, sorry on my behalf if my comment felt too invasive. I’ve been sitting indoors doing paperwork the most of the sunny Saturday and came here way too often to evade the actual work. Therefore there’s way too many my lines on the comment section. I like commenting other people’s orders and hearing comments on mine, but it has occurred to me that perhaps others don’t share that liking…

  4. g948ng says:

    General remarks.

    That was a chaotic turn in the center. Brave, foolhardy Schenck. His wayward subordinates make me shake my head as well. And it´s not looking much better on the flanks. We are getting surrounded, step by step. I knew there would be more americans!
    Besides, Tim, writing “LMG team” like that is just mean. But the promise of even more technologically advanced treat for future scraps reconciled me quickly.

  5. DoomyDoom says:

    I’m also going to request a potentially inordinate workload: could we please get a detailed post-turn sitrep for the next round?
    Specifically:
    – ammo count and notable statuses for all individual friendly squads – we should be close to running low;

    – include uncommandable (routed, shaken, pinned etc) and low-impact (I’ve only found there is a PSW crew by accident) squads in the top comment;

    – Troop count on identified enemy squads (similar to what was done for turn 14).

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>