Combat Mission’s WEGO turn structure (Battles are delivered in sixty-second bursts with leisurely order sessions in between the intervention-free ‘action phases’) might have been designed with play-by-comment one-turn-per-day play sessions in mind, but that’s not why I rely on the series for these mob-handed martial marathons. I keep coming backing to CM, and the CMx1 titles in particular, because I don’t know of any other wargames that produce plausible WW2 drama so consistently and industriously.
(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).
T+5 seconds. Guarding our right flank as ferociously as any fantasy firedrake guards its hoard, Gruber terrorises trespassers in West Wood with another gout of napalm.
T+6 seconds. Teichert’s FJ squad might be pinned and out-of-command but they’re sufficiently composed to deal with the Brits’ Universal Carrier.
A Panzerfaust 60 projectile, its sprung fins barely deployed, slams into the port side of the Allied war wagon as it passes the i23 junction.
T+7 seconds. Mein Gott. There’s an 18kg demolition bomb heading towards the two-storey house at d21!
T+9 seconds. Though the 290mm Petard Mortar round seems to take an age to arrive, most of the ordered-to-withdraw troops at d21 are still gathering equipment and firing at units in West Wood when munition meets masonry. Amazingly, five of the nine-man rifle squad survive an explosion audible in Ventnor.
T+12 seconds. The muzzle of the mill MG 42 suddenly pivots skywards. Meyer is done for.
T+13 seconds. And left-in-the-lurch Larcher’s days may be numbered too. Targeted by at least four Allied units, our ammo-short pioneer HQ is now down to two men.
T +14 seconds. Uh-oh. Here comes the Wasp.
T+22 seconds. Thanks to a Mills Bomb blast, Osf. Larcher is now the sole German presence in j21.
T+23 seconds. Their ears ringing and their faces white with dust, the AVRE victims attempt to withdraw.
T+24 seconds. Gruber’s Flammenwerfer 41 turns a21 into a raging inferno.
T+30 seconds. R.I.P. Larcher.
T+31 seconds. Manoeuvring Hetzer spots speeding Wasp, but the LoS line parts before a shot can be fired.
T+36 seconds. British rifle fire buttons our reversing TD.
T+45 seconds. There’s a fascinating multi-directional skirmish unfolding behind the hotel.
T+47 seconds. The advancing Wasp enters the sighting aperture of Sheaffer’s Panzerschreck…
T+52 seconds. …realises the peril it’s in and begins to reverse. Our Schreckist tweaks his trigger a split-second too late and the HEAT rocket ends up removing a chunk of ecclesiastical stonework rather than vanquishing the fire-spitter.
T+53 seconds. British infantry emerging from West Wood suppress and reduce our flamethrower team.
T+58 seconds. What’s left of Stein’s pioneer squad succumbs to a pair of Sten wielders who will, surely, be lucky to survive the next turn given the position they’re in.
T+60 seconds. The AVRE is on the move and seems to be heading for the green lane.
The battlefield at the start of Turn 17: