Operation Oryx: Turn 1

The Comment Commanders get their first glimpse of the Podrabians in Turn #1. Given the circumstances, it’s probably a good thing that glimpse is a fleeting one.

(Operation Oryx is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Cold War in which the commenter-controlled Zendoran forces are attempting to ambush a column of Podrabian vehicles bound for Zečin, the Zendoran capital. Each turn covers one minute of WeGo action. For a scenario outline and summaries of earlier turns, click here).

Traffic congestion/confusion can be an issue in WeGo wargames. While the Mutts and the M113 dart from their deployment zones almost the second the clock starts, the sorties of our truck (light mortar, MG, and Dragon teams aboard) and (double-tasked!) BRDM (one recon team aboard) are delayed by a spot of “After you.” “No, after you.” pathfinding politeness.

Unimpeded, the APC containing the two recon teams speeds north-eastward while its rejected companion forlornly turns tail and exits the battlefield.

In its eagerness to deliver its passengers to the clump of trees in box 74, our trailblazer almost fails to notice the enemy vehicle parked in the village centre. Only visible for a second or two, the machine on the garage forecourt appears to be a BMP-1. Judging from the lack of turret movement, the Podrabian crew was as unprepared for the brief encounter as we were.

When the clock stops less than ten seconds later…

The M113 is disgorging its pair of recon teams, both of whom collected an extra LAW before disembarking (CM forbids them from carrying more than two LAWs apiece).

Trajanov’s jeep is pulling up outside Viktor’s house. During a bumpy ride across the cabbage field, our commander learnt from Branko that there are around two dozen enemy infantrymen in Strupnic along with three IFVs and a tank. Viktor should be able to provide us with a pretty detailed picture of their current positions. The TOW Mutt is not far behind Trajanov.

The BRDM is beginning its treeline ‘hunt’ into the village and the truck is motoring down the SW-NE road recently used by the M113.

27 Comments

  1. Turn 2 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following units (A maximum of one unit per commenter. Embarked infantry and their taxis count as single units until separated.)

    (See screenshots for exact unit locations)

    ****anyone****
    Truck and passengers (light mortar team, MG team, Dragon team) [BOX 96]
    TOW Mutt (8 x ATGM) [BOX 98]
    Recon team A (3 men, 2 x LAW) [BOX 74]
    Recon team B (3 men, 2 X LAW) [BOX 74]

    ****subscribers only****
    BRDM-2 (recon team aboard) [BOX 120]
    M3A1 [BOX 74]
    Trajanov and his taxi [BOX 99]

    Please start all order comments with ‘ORDER’ and any later revision comments with ‘REVISED ORDER’. This will help me distinguish firm instructions from suggestions and advice.

    (Assuming orders are in by Tuesday night, the next report should appear on Wednesday morning)

    • ORDER: 1) The TRUCK stops briefly at 96 X10 Y4.
      2) MORTAR team disembarks and sets up at 96 X10 Y2. (one tile to the south-west if the underbrush would hinder the use of the mortar)
      3) MG team disembarks and heads for 86 X2 Y9 on foot. Measured pace.
      4) TRUCK continues cross-country to the north-west, staying behind the treeline. It stops at 84 X3 Y7.
      5) DRAGON team disembarks and heads into the treeline. It tries to establish a LOS to the last position of the BMP-1 and sets up its launcher. I think 84 X3 Y4 should work. Please adjust if I am mistaken.

    • Tim, I assume the recon teams with LAWs still have their orders?

      ORDER: Recon team heading northwards to cancel movement orders and stay put on the western side of the copse of trees at 74, shielded from the village.

      • Incomplete orders carry-over (Time permitting I’ll attempt to summarise these in future in my order request comment) but aren’t written in stone. If someone issues an order you don’t like and that order is still underway at the end of a turn, if you act smartly you can countermand/alter it.

    • ORDER: whichever LAW team badger *didn’t* order to move cautiously through to 74 x:5,y:3 and face SE to where the road comes through the trees, ready to fire. If the BMP heard anything suspicious and comes to investigate, I’d like to have a present lined up for it.

    • Okay this time I’m sure I’m not double tasking!

      ORDER:

      BDRM, let’s unbutton, abandon the hunt and quick move the last little bit up to the edge of the village.

      To save the scouts some legwork (they’ll have their time on the stairs) let’s have the BDRM hunt to the dovecot, let loose the scouts, and get their aerobic exercises climbing flights of time allows.

  2. A full BMP platoon and a tank?! It’s an ambush all right, but I’m starting to think it’s the other way around… I’m starting to regret charging the M113 forward without recon…I expected a couple squads at most in Strupnic.

    Glory to our heroes, I’ll see you all in a POW camp.

    • Christ on a cracker! I cannot express how happy I am for that little traffic jam. Had the truck advanced as I intended it could well have been blown to bits with all hands on board. Loosing 4 units in turn one would have been a personal record.

      Turns out the `southern part of the village` is something entirely different from what I imagined. I expected the new farm north of the highway to be in enemy hands. Not the hotel square. Yikes!

      I diverted the truck and its passangers. I absolutely hate to have to take up position so far back and leave the centre of the map enitrely to the enemy, along with its dominating lines of sight. But frankly I do not think we have enough boots on the ground to contemplate storming the village proper at this point. Skirting around the edges of the map is uncomfortable, but I do not see any alternative momentarily. But I am all ears if you got suggestions.

      • Clausewitzian friction. Branko talked about his brother’s house being on “the foe-free southern edge of the village” and declared “the southern and south-western approaches to the village” weren’t being watched. He never claimed the “southern part” of the village was Podless.

  3. Tim, how long will it take for Trajanov to have his chat with Viktor? One turn from when he gets inside the house perhaps?
    Also, I assume we can use the dove cot for scouting?
    As the Major along with his driver and radio operator aren’t very heavily armed, we should probably keep them well out of the way. Perhaps after they’ve chatted to Viktor they should head over to the dove cot and see what they can spy from the top floor. Parking the jeep on the south side should keep it out of view and read for a quick retreat.

    I’m also wondering if that BMP even saw our M113. Lets hope they were too busy looting to pay attention.

  4. Apologies to Oneknown for stepping on the BDRM commands! Missed the comment.

    Does anyone with more familiarity with CM Cold War know how long a call to those 107mm mortars is likely to take? Are we talking 5 min or 15 min? I’d like to make a case for pre-emptive shelling along the road either at grids 65-67 in order to slow/discourage any advancement.

    • Tim replied to a similar question of mine the other day:
      “Only the Forward Observer Team can call in heavy mortar bombardments, and they’ve yet to arrive. Bear in mind that they will need LoS to the target area and the stonk won’t be instantaneous (expect around five minutes from request to pandemonium).”

      So as I understand it, we’ve got to wait for the FOT to arrive first, then find them a good place to observe from (the dove-cot? The woods in square 102? somewhere else?), then wait five minutes after they call one in before we get the big booms.

  5. ORDER: Major Trajanov to finish his journey to the house and speak to Viktor, telling his driver to keep the engine running.
    (I’ll leave it up to Tim if he has to dismount and enter the house)

    • Could I suggest we keep the orders as replies to Tim’s original comment? 🙂 It makes it easier to see what units have and haven’t received any orders yet.

  6. Could I suggest we hold our units back until the beginning of Turn 3, when we can find out the location of the 3 BMPs and the tank? Any one of those is more than a match for anything we have on hand in a straight-up shooting match right now.

    Subject to where the enemy forces are located, I’m proposing we create our ambush killzone from 60-62, because the occupied town breaks the map in two, and I don’t fancy sneaking our forces past the 16-136 column. Open to other suggestions too!

  7. Reading back through Tim’s original description of the situation, we have 14 mins or so before the convoy comes through, so it looks like this is a two part scenario, with the first half trying to neutralise as many of the Podrabians in the town, to make things easier for us when the convoy rolls in.

    Given it’ll take another minute for Viktor to finish scribbling on Trajanov’s map I agree with ultra caution this turn, though there is obviously the risk that the BMP saw the currently-isolated recon teams and is shouting out their position to any nearby Podrabians.

    Tim, there was mention of Viktor having access to a liberated vehicle – presumably he’s tossing the keys to the Major right now and we get access next go?

    • When the clock stopped at the end of turn 1, Trajanov’s jeep was pulling up outside Viktor’s house. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s report to get a) the gen on nearby foes, and b) details of the stolen vehicle.

  8. I cheated a bit last night and booted up CM:SF2 to check things like the Mutt and how it manages TOWs.

    Unfortunately my evening got lost pitting Challenger 2 tanks against all manner of opposition. No infantry support for the British tanks but they won 26-2 against Leopards, 25-3 against M1A1s, had no losses at all against Soviet armour and only suffered material losses against US Marines equipped entirely with Javelin missiles. Although the few remaining US Marines surrendered anyway.

    So based on my research, the best plan appears to be to borrow a section of Challenger 2 tanks, park them at the exit and anything they see explodes in amusing manner.

    Does this help?

    • I assume the TOW Mutt is still on its way to the dovecot area. Perhaps if we have eyes on some armor up there we can pop out and get it next next turn.

  9. Hello comment commanders – it’s been far too long since I took part in one of these… It’s nice to be back though! I agree we should be cautious this turn as we lack intel, but I’m not sure we should discount attempting to engage the enemy in the village entirely. Leaving it in opfor’s hands means dealing with a horde of tanks out in the open *and* a potential flank from the village forces. I say keep our options open for now.

    P.S. Tim: I you have an (overdue) subscription from me. Brown, please!

    • Agreed, I think it’s worth pushing hard to wipe out any infantry in the village ahead of the arrival of the tank column. Being pinned down to one corner of the map while trying to set an ambush isn’t likely to go well once the shells start flying.

      • Our position’s not great, no. An aggressive Prod commander could roll up our ambush pretty quickly once the shooting starts.

        I’m a bit at a loss as to how we could shift a deployed BMP platoon and a tank with the forces we have, though. We don’t have nearly enough infantry to storm the village, and no real armour to speak of. I assume those two dozen Prods are already holed up in cover.

        I suspect we’ll know more at the start of Turn 3.

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