Operation Oryx: Turn 10

The Comment Commanders need a new lucky rabbit’s foot, or a bigger one. Their current model failed to prevent a Pod IFV potting their (inadequately) armoured car two seconds into turn number ten.

(Operation Oryx is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Cold War set in 1981. 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).

Annoyingly for Recon Team Bravo, and Muttley and Droopy, our two TOW Mutts, the BMP responsible for the BRDM-2’s demise doesn’t stick around to savour its victory. All three units get fleeting glimpses of the assassin as it speedily reverses up the embankment then backs across the highway.

Droopy’s status indicator displays “firing” when the target vanishes.

While the Zens artfully scattered about Strupnic don’t bag anything big this sixty, they do neutralise…

  • That sniper who reduced Recon Team Alpha to a single soul last turn. Danny Dragunov’s fatal mistake was taking on our M60 team.

  • Fifty percent of an RPG team on the box 63 crossroads.

The bloke in question emerged from a MT-LB that appeared on the northern slope of the embankment mid-way through the turn. How this vehicle slipped into the village unobserved by Viktor or more recent dovecot tenants, we may never know. The MT-LB also disgorges an LMG team. Said team are taking fire from the hotel when the turn ends.

Elsewhere this turn…

  • Recon Team Charlie are kept busy. They sling wayward grenades at both the retreating BMP and the arriving MT-LB, and fire the M16 burst that cuts down the RPG chappy.

  • After checking on his driver, who, unfortunately, hasn’t survived, the ‘rattled’ BRDM commander bails out.

  • The Lesovs enter an Aladdin’s Cave.

  • The Light Mortar Team approaches its new vantage point.

  • The M113 unbuttons and, late in the turn, notices the enemy LMG team on the edge of box 64. Nearby, a wounded scout receives first aid.

At the start of turn 11 the only friendly with eyes on the BMP is the BRDM commander.


  1. Turn 11 orders here, please. Commenters are cordially invited to suggest moves for the following units. (A maximum of one unit per commenter (subscribers can move two if they like). Embarked infantry and their taxis count as single units until separated.) Turn execution: probably Monday morning.

    (See screenshot for exact unit locations)

    Light mortar team [BOX 71, moving]
    MG team [BOX 86, prone]
    Dragon team [BOX 72]
    Recon team A (1 man) [BOX 74]
    Recon team B (3 men, 2 X LAW) [BOX 63]
    Recon team C (3 men, in hotel) [BOX 87]
    Otto and Branko (sniper team) [BOX 100, hunting towards hotel]
    Forward Observer Team [BOX 112, top of dovecot, heavy mortars due to commence firing in

    around 3 turns on box 51 road)
    TOW Mutt ‘Muttley’ (7 x ATGM,) [BOX 100]
    TOW Mutt ‘Droopy’ (8 x ATGM) [BOX 71]
    Mutt ‘Scrappy’ and Trajanov [BOX 99]

    ****subscribers only****
    The Lesovs [2 men, BOX 99, tired, in truck acquiring RPG ammo]
    M113 [BOX 74, unbuttoned]
    Truck [BOX 99, contents include 8 X RPG-7 ammo]
    Mutt ‘Scooby’ [BOX 35, Viktor’s T-72 crew aboard]

    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.

    • ORDER

      Scooby to motor as quickly as his little wheels will carry him along the dirt road to the T-72’s position – no distractions, do not pass go, do not collect £200.

      • Order:
        The Lesovs to stay in the truck, and catch their breath while it motors up the road to Box 85, and then to the edge of the woods in box 74.

    • ORDER

      Sniper team to continue to the second floor of the hotel, entering from the south side if possible. But change the speed from HUNT to QUICK. And FACE North when they get there.


        Sniper team moves QUICK to the woods Box 100, x5, y6. Then move SLOW to the crest of the hill, so it can see the highway to the North East, somewhere around Box 100, x7, y8. And Face North East.

    • ORDER: Recon squad C FAST south to [87, 9, 4] aiming to keep the hotel + house at 88 between them and the infantry and BMP as much as possible. PAUSE 30 & HIDE for them to catch their breath, and then FAST to the house at [99, 7, 7]. From there we can figure out how to get them to the truck or mutt with more ammo.

    • ORDER: M113 to point the ceremonial sabre towards those punks in box 64 and open fire!

    • ORDER: Recon team B [BOX 63]
      1) crawl sufficiently north that they have a view along the wall
      2) ‘Target Enemy’ arc from 0deg (due north) to 90 deg (due east); about two-and-a-half boxes in range (ie. as far as the fruit trees in box 65)
      3) HIDE

      Hopefully the last RPGer will enter their sights, or maybe even the MT-LB. Their flank ought to be being watched by the M113 or LMG squad.

    • ORDER: Droopy to drive at maximum possible speed North over the highway, passing to the West of the trees in 47, then leave SWIV-like tracks in that field as it passes swiftly through 35 and 23 before coming to a halt facing SE behind the trees at something approximating 12 2 8.

    • ORDER: give Muttley a fire arc centred on the BMP, extending from roughly box 64 to 66.

  2. That BMP is really becoming a thorn in our side. I think we need to get Tereza into the fight as soon as possible. Also Recon C needs backup to deal with the new arrivals. If there are no objections, I will order Otto and Branko to pick up the pace.

    • @pistolpete: I think we back out of the hotel for a few minutes until Recon Squad C has another LAW and some more ammo. Right now they’re about to come under MG fire as well as fire from that APC which we can’t engage without AT assets.

      • Should I order the snipers to hold position in the woods south of the hotel? Somewhere where they can see up the road or just out of the way all together?

        • I prefer the latter.

          Maybe position them near our eastern Mutt so they can pick off survivors of TOW rockets in a few turns? Surely some of our enemies will be IFVs/APCs full of troops that we’ll want to thin out as they bail out.

          • `…an LMG team. Said team are taking fire from the hotel when the turn ends.`

            Sounds to me the hostile LMG team is kept pinned right now. Retreating Recon Team C might give them the breathing room they need to become a problem and return fire.
            I defer to people with more CM epertise, but in previous PBCM sessions units that were keeping their heads down were rather ineffective and did not break out of that state on their own until something made their assailants relent and stop.

          • My vote on that front is to let our armor handle it:

            “The M113 unbuttons and, late in the turn, notices the enemy LMG team on the edge of box 64”

            All that APC needs is a FIRE order.

          • Re: M113… is everyone okay if I put through the FIRE order, then? Should it advance slightly to the NE if it loses LOS, or should we just order it to fire and see what happens?

          • Regarding the M113. Sounds good. If he already has eyes on the infantry on the cross roads, he might as well stay where he is.

  3. Forgot that Monday is a short turn so didn’t issue an order last go.

    Scooby looks like they have about 600m to travel in order to get to the T-72 along the dirt road. Going to assume that, at worst, anyone in the farm who we don’t yet know about will have their attention on all the noise and commotion coming from the highway and village, and Scooby will be long gone by the time they say to each other ‘did you hear something?’

    • Who knows what the AI will do, but it’s reasonable to assume that a fast moving jeep might not be noticed if everyone in the farm is looking south to their APCs getting blown up.

  4. If the Lesovs are Tired I recommend we just let them sit in the truck for a turn. We’ll want them to be highly mobile when getting to their next firing position, and CM can quickly turn a run into a very slow walk should they drop one more fatigue level.

    I’m worried about our ability to continue this firefight with the convoy only minutes out. With the sniper down and our artillery falling in 3 minutes (do we need to adjust it closer to the road?) it might be time to get Squad C and the M60 into truck/M113 and restock their ammo before the convoy arrives. Once enemy tanks roll through here we’ll need to keep those units farther back, and that will make resupply more difficult.

    @Tim: What’s the ammo status on Squad C? How about the M60? I feel like they’ve been throwing around a lot of fire.

    • >> What’s the ammo status on Squad C? How about the M60?

      Charlie has used approximately 25% of its M16A1 ammo and is down to 5 M203 grenades.

      The LMG team has used roughly 25% of its M60 ammo.

      If these units want to restock, they will need to use M113, Scooby, or Scrappy. The ammo in the truck is no good to them. Incidentally, both Scooby and Scrappy carry a single LAW.

  5. I’ve just noticed that Muttley has theoretical LoS to the BMP’s current position. It’s possible he will spot and engage it at some point next turn. Of course, blue LoS lines work both ways, so less positive developments are also possible!

    • For the record, I’d like to leave Muttley where he is. An open-topped vehicle in cover with several crew members looking around should spot better than an old BMP with no special optics that may or may not be unbuttoned. A gamble, but a calculated one.

      • Agreed that Muttley should stay in place. Is there an order that could further increase its odds of spotting the BRDM (e.g. a narrow fire arc)?

        • A narrow fire arc should focus his attention. Hopefully the BMP won’t suddenly decide to move.

  6. Making a quick tally of the remaining hostiles, I came up one squad of pod infantry short.

    I see no icon for the infantry squad our Traveller´s Rest inhabitants made retreat last turn. It should be somewhere east of the RPG and LMG team, judging by the screenshot of last turn with the wheat field. Do we know where they went, except north?

    • Hmm… well spotted. In the worst case, Scooby may have company. Best floor it to Tereza (as we are doing) just in case.

    • A couple of them appear briefly early in the turn replay. They are running east circa 64,7,8.

  7. Tim, is our sole surviving member of Recon Alpha still trying to pick up a LAW, or is he free to move? And, if he does move, can he potentially join another team, or is he stuck being a Rambo?

    • He’s patching up one of his wounded comrades. Hopefully he will pick up the casualty’s LAW when he’s finished.

      • Thanks for the explanations! Sounds like all our infantry squads and solo operators are doing something vaguely sensible at this point, so i think there’s no orders for me this turn.

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