Overlordy: Turn 20

overlordyturn20aa

When it comes to scenario durations, CMBO is as pedantic as a parks department pedalo führer. Unlike its successors, it always halts battles at precisely the advertised time. Overlordy will have no false dawns… no painfully extended death rattle. The defence of Caent will end in exactly sixty seconds’ time.

(Overlordy is a 20-turn 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).

My final order implementation duties are hardly onerous. Confident that the defensive arrangements that saw them through Turn 19 with barely a scratch will see them through Turn 20 just as painlessly, the Comment Commanders leave most of their units to their own devices. Apart from some minor meddling in the east, and some Hetzer adjustments in the centre, “Keep doing what you’re doing” is the order of the day minute.

overlordyturn20b

For the first twenty seconds of the action phase the battered Brits seem as uninterested in last-gasp glory-hunting as the Germans. Bullets continue to nibble at the bakery and stalk the lanes islanding the blazing hotel, but most are making for static targets relatively safe behind bulwarks of brick or timber.

overlordyturn20n

The illusion of armistice vanishes circa T+22 when a squad of Tommies emerge from the cottage south of the hotel, and hares north.

overlordyturn20c

Harried by Kar98ks propped on the rim of the bomb crater at f23, the runners are almost across the street when the unit responsible for excavating that crater makes its fourth and final appearance.

overlordyturn20d

This time the Typhoon pilot isn’t distracted by immaterial matériel. He spots Brenner’s battlewagon smokescreen erecting by the pond and gently guides the buttoned TD into the centre of his shivering reflector gunsight.

overlordyturn20e

The first few cannon shells tear at cobblestones like happy rioters. The last few find something more meaningful to mutilate.

The Hetzer has been immobilized, a serious condition for any AFV, a calamitous one for a turretless TD like the Jagdpanzer 38.

overlordyturn20f

In the seconds following the Tiffy attack the British assaulters near the KOed Churchill adjust their trajectory, turning for the cottage that Larcher, the Pioneer platoon leader, defended so fiercely for so long. Are they hoping to take advantage of the Hetzer’s disability and mount a daring last-minute AT attack?

overlordyturn20g

No, it seems not. Their doomed dash across i21 implies they were hoping to surprise the bakery defenders with a westward sally.

overlordyturn20h

Their backs guarded by the Green Devils behind the hotel and the AVRE victims in the bomb crater, Nerbul and his men are free to concentrate on breaking up the game’s last significant offensive action, a second surge from the denizens of West Wood.

overlordyturn20i

When the curtain falls, bloodied British infantry are detouring north past the body of Gruber, our heroic arsonist, in an effort to avoid the cramped kill zone west of the bakery.

overlordyturn20k

The flanking manouevre comes much too late to revitalise the faltering Allied advance and spare British blushes. Overlordy is a clear tactical victory for the Germans!

AXIS SCORE: 63
74 casualties (23 KIA)
1 gun destroyed
2 pillboxes knocked-out
2 vehicles knocked-out
51 men ok

ALLIED SCORE: 33
137 casualties (35 KIA)
1 mortar destroyed
6 vehicles knocked-out
61 men ok

overlordyturn20l

The scratch speed bump has done its job brilliantly.

overlordyturn20m

Tomorrow’s Flare Path will include lots of Sid Meier’s Gettysburg-style unit analysis (“Our deadliest unit was…” etc.) plus a scenario download link for those who fancy defending Caent single-handed. Many thanks to everyone who, via orders, helped write the script for this year’s gruelling-but-gripping skirmish serial. Many thanks too to those who took the time to offer encouragement from the sidelines. Your engagement and enthusiasm has made the last three weeks of early starts, coordinate confusion, and tank synonym aphasia very easy to bear.

40 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Thanks Tim, for your sterling work!

    • Premium User Badge

      wsjudd says:

      I got into this not knowing what it was, and was thoroughly hooked by the riveting descriptions each day. Thanks for your hard work and let’s do this again in the future!

    • Landiss says:

      That was a highlight of each day for me. Really great job, thank you, Tim. I know it is not as easy as it might seem from outside, to write those daily battle reports in such an engaging way. You are certainly one of the most talented people writing here in RPS, if not simply the most.

      Also, thanks for all the reader commanders. I was planning to take part in that, but I admit at the end I got too scared of making some stupid decision that would ruin others plans. But maybe the next time I’ll try.

    • Mimmitar says:

      I’ve been a long time reader of RPS but only registers to say thank you to Tim and all the commenters for the wonderful read over the last 3 weeks.

      It’s made a 9AM visit a must.

      • Pharaoh Nanjulian says:

        Agreed! I love these Hive Mind excursions.

        Thank you for putting it together so reliably elegantly, Mr Stone!

  2. phlebas says:

    A solid victory, and Brenner survives to drive erratically another day! A big “Alle Achtung” to all the commenting commanders, and kudos to Oberst Stone for making this an unmissable read every day.

  3. latedave says:

    Really enjoyed this Tim, thanks for all your efforts. I concur with many people on this that your writing really makes it special. Have you considered some RPS diaries?

  4. klops says:

    Same, same. Thanks and great writing!

  5. Tarfman says:

    That was brilliant!

  6. DoomyDoom says:

    First of all, congrats and thanks for all the hard work.

    Now, what kind of celebration would it be without a bullet point list? THERE IS NO ESCAAAAAAPE:
    1) 125 vs 198 is a whole lot less difference in infantry force than it looked like when playing. Especially considering 3 squads have decided to admire the beach and 14/24 paras barely did any fighting.

    2) I feel like it’s better to put AI on defense for this kind of event. It’s pretty bad at making coordinated assaults, whereas defense is at least partially bolstered by natural positional advantage and ability for scenario creator to make at least somewhat reasonable starting placement. Also, the need to be proactive should keep ‘do the same thing’ orders to a minimum, which likely involves more fun and engagement.

    3) If you decide to go through with trying out a PvP version of CCM (in whatever form it might happen), maybe it should be a different event (perhaps on the opposite end of the 12-month cycle? Like, November-ish?). PvP and PvE have very different appeal after all, and competitive nature tends to affect players’ perception and decision-making. On the upside, it will most certainly open up design space for more complicated scenarios.

    Either way, it was fun and I’ll be waiting for the next one. THERE IS NO ESCAAAAAAPE!

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    The series was a pretty Steve Ambrose-style read (meant as a compliment!)

  8. Cederic says:

    Thank you Tim!

    Well done everybody :)

  9. ItAintNecessarilySo says:

    This was fun! Till the next round!

  10. kororas says:

    Thanks Tim! As others have stated, I look forward to this every day!
    A shame its over till next year.

  11. g948ng says:

    Tim, it would have been onerous and devaluating to do so, but you deserved praise with each update. If you have never tried organizing a complex game, its many participants, deadlines and paperwork, it is probably hard to appreciate how difficult it is and moreso to make it work smoothly like this. That you did so with grace, the sharp pen you are known for and that on a daily basis is a testament to your skills and dedication.

    My fellow combative commenters, I´d also like to thank you, not only for seeing this through, but doing so in a manner most sporting and cheerful. It was a pleasure.

    I am sure we can discuss all further ideas for this, truly unique, wargaming experience in the after battle summary. I just like to know the exact composition of the hostile forces at start.

  12. mac4 says:

    Bravo, bravo, all.

    Oofff this has been an entertaining and exhilarating event to follow. Hats off.

  13. JohnnyG says:

    Predictable.
    A human team will always beat the A”I” in this game, unless very badly handled. You need two human teams, if you can make that work. This is my last read of these single player playthroughs as they’re usually a forgone conclusion.

    • stringerdell says:

      You seem like a fun person

    • Durgendorf says:

      Agreed. That was a bit uncalled for.

      Tim did have to stack the deck in favor of the AI, but if not for a few prudent decisions in the threads or a few less gaffs from compy, this certainly could have gone either way.

    • kororas says:

      I think this is missing the point. Its really about creating a story and the superb write-up.

      The AI seems to do a good enough job that it avoids making any serious gaffes that would jar the story. There is also a good amount of randomness that keeps things interesting.

      • JohnnyG says:

        The AI wasted it’s entire armoured force and kept doing suicidal charges with small units of men instead of wearing down an opponent with superior firepower before launching a covered assault, like any sane human would. Sorry if I don’t sound fun…you’re probably right.

        • Landiss says:

          Which is exactly what I imagined happened many times in the chaos of a real war, considering how huge losses were caused by friendly fire.

  14. stringerdell says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this series, great work Tim!

  15. JB says:

    Good work, comment commanders! And thank you so much for making it happen, Tim. As usual, your columns are the best of RPS.

  16. Blacksilver65 says:

    I didn’t catch every turn bit this was definitely a fun read! I know you mentioned something for next year, but some .Gifs now would be sup cool!

  17. varangian says:

    As one of the folks on the sidelines let me add my appreciation to all involved, thoroughly entertaining stuff. If there’s another suitable game for a different genre/time period please do one of those after a suitable interval.

  18. sagredo1632 says:

    Thanks again Mr. Stone and fine commanders. Thought we were done for watching all that heavy armor roll up, but happy to see things turned around. Anyone feeling too relaxed after these past 20 days of tension should go back and take a gander at last years CCM (link), a hell of a barn burner if I ever read one.

  19. peterh1 says:

    Bit late to the party but great to see this classic old game still being played.

  20. Crimson_Pig says:

    Yes, thank you a lot Tim! I liked this so much that I had to register on RPS. Just to be able to participate. Now I’m also planning on buying CMBO.

  21. Stugle says:

    There’ll be a hole in my day for a while whilst I adjust to a lack of Combative Commenters in my life. :)

    A fun game, welcoming commenters, some nail-biting moments (and, to be fair, a good number of head-scratchers) and, as usual, an excellent write-up of all happenings. Goodbye Wodtke, goodbye Gruber, and goodbye Brenner. It was a pleasure.

  22. Sin Vega says:

    Great stuff, thanks very much Tim. That went back and forth a bit, eh? Could have been a different picture if not for a few particularly heroic/insane soldiers. Good work everyone!

  23. heretic says:

    Thank you so much Tim for making this possible – it was my morning routine for the past 20 days to check the turn report. Have to try to get stuck in next time though :)

  24. asymtote says:

    This series has been totally awesome, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Tim for all your hard work and similarly to the Comment Commanders. You’ve inspired me to buy and practice with CM:BO so I’m ready to join your ranks if there’s a sequel next year.

  25. gi_ty says:

    As one of the support troops for this run, I’ll make sure to have the schnapps ready for all you victorious Kommandeure at the FOB.

  26. MajorFordson says:

    A fantastic community event this! Made possible and excitingly visceral by the human user interface himself Tim Stone!

  27. Chaz says:

    Marvelous stuff! Really enjoyed reading these the past few weeks.

  28. Leroy says:

    I didn’t take part in this edition of Comment Commander, but I loved keeping up with it.

    Good job to everyone involved! Looking forward to the next one, whenever that happens

  29. Synesthesia says:

    This is why i still come to the site. And Brendan, but don’t tell him.

    Absolutely stellar stuff. More!

  30. Rituro says:

    Another sterling CCM — the RPS faithful are 3-0, if my reckoning is correct. Thanks again for running this, Tim!

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