Operation Oryx: Turn 11

During this sixty second consignment of CMCW combat action, the dastardly Pods get an opportunity to commit canicide. While the opportunity is by no means golden, I reckon it qualifies as bronzen.

(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).

Around 500 metres of open road/track separate Scooby, the Mutt transporting Viktor and pals, and Tereza, our vacant T-72, at the start of turn #11. The Comment Commanders are hoping a combination of velocity and distractions will allow Scooby to travel that open road/track unhindered, maybe even unnoticed. They haven’t bargained for the north-facing enemy grenadier who spots our speeding Mutt, forty seconds into the sixty.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first. Things go relatively well for Zen forces in the opening phases of the turn.

Harassed by the M113’s ‘Ma Deuce’, the enemy LMG team at the crossroads suddenly lose interest in vandalising the hotel.

In addition to deadheading daisies on the northern brow of the embankment, our chattering M60 manages to deadhead a Pod rifleman.

Events on Strupnic’s east side are less satisfying. Peeping through a gap in the berm on our right flank, Muttley’s crew scrutinise the embankment for signs of the BRDM killer, but spot nothing. Nearby, our snipers also target-search to no avail.

The only Zen units that sight the elusive BMP this turn, are the nervy BRDM commander, and Scooby and Droopy, the two Mutts ranging north of the highway.

Droopy, the TOW Mutt, is far too intent on reaching the cover of the map’s NW corner to engage the IFV…

…and Scooby, the tank crew taxi, can’t engage it even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t.

Which brings us to that enemy anti-tankist mentioned in the first paragraph. Almost certainly the surviving half of the team delivered by the MT-LB last turn, he spots dust-raising Scooby circa T+43…

…and immediately switches his AK-74 for an RPG-7V1.

The next thirteen seconds are appallingly tense.

Why didn’t he fire? Perhaps Scooby is moving too quickly for his liking. Will he chance his arm in the opening seconds of turn 12? Your guess is as good as mine.


  1. Turn 12 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 Wednesday morning.

    (See screenshot for exact unit locations)

    Light mortar team [BOX 71, deployed]
    MG team [BOX 86]
    Dragon team [BOX 72]
    Recon team A (1 man) [BOX 74, still treating casualty]
    Recon team B (3 men, 2 X LAW) [BOX 63, at foot of embankment]
    Recon team C (3 men) [BOX 87]
    Otto and Branko (sniper team) [BOX 100]
    Forward Observer Team [BOX 112, top of dovecot, heavy mortars due to commence firing in around 2 turns on box 51 road)
    TOW Mutt ‘Muttley’ (7 x ATGM,) [BOX 100]
    TOW Mutt ‘Droopy’ (8 x ATGM) [BOX 23, heading north at speed]
    Mutt ‘Scrappy’ and Trajanov [BOX 99]

    ****subscribers only****
    Truck + The Lesovs [BOX 86, moving north]
    M113 [BOX 74, unbuttoned]
    Mutt ‘Scooby’ [BOX 28, Viktor’s T-72 crew aboard, heading NE at speed]

    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

      Once (hopefully) arriving at their destination after 30 secs or so, the T-72 tank crew to disembark Scooby and start getting Tereza ready for action.

      • I think I’m right in saying, vehicle passengers cant disembark one vehicle and crew another in the space of a single turn in CMx2. Viktor and Co. won’t be able to occupy/rouse Tereza until turn 13, I’m afraid.

    • ODER:

      Dashing Droopy heads for 12 X1 Y5 at current best speed, then slows somewhat down and makes a wide turn to the right, ending at 12 X4 Y7 looking south-east. The last leg of the turn should be a HUNT order. Should it not have LOS to the current position of the BMP from there, please let it creep forward as stealthily as possible into the treeline. (but not further)

    • ORDER : Muttley to reverse out of the gap in the berm and drive up onto the berm in the gap between the trees it occupied for its earlier successful shot.

      (Sorry, not certain of precise spot, as the order that put it there was “TOW ‘Muttley’ to push up to a hull-down position on the embankment, aiming to bag that BMP if possible.”)

      • I was expecting Muttley to spot and destroy the BMP this turn. According to the targeting cursor, it has uninterrupted LoS to the BMP’s location and is ‘hull down’ in relation to it. In theory it’s ideally positioned.

        • If anything I’m taking that as a validation of my order.

          It may be as silly as the driver having line of sight but no clear shot for the weapon in the back. Without moving there’s a risk of sitting there watching the BMP shoot at it.

          So my thanks for the additional insight, but the order still stands.

    • ORDER:

      I’m hoping Tim will be cool with me directing a soon-to-be embarked unit, a soon-to-be disembarked unit, and their taxi together.

      It’s a simple concept: Trajanov jumps out, Scrappy drives forward a little, and Recon C hops in Scrappy. Executing it with CMs sometimes weird embarkation pathfinding might be a challenge so as a CM vet I’m going to hopefully give some good orders here.

      1. Trajanov does a QUICK disembark into the house at box 100, first floor.

      2. Scrappy does a PAUSE 20. Hopefully that’s enough time for Trajanov to receive the order, hop out, and get off the road. Then Scrappy goes QUICK to the road corner at [100, 1, 5].

      3. Previously Recon C was FAST to [99, 7, 7]. I want them to QUICK to [100, 1, 6] instead, then QUICK embark into Scrappy. Ideally the FAST coordinate can be moved closer to the desired line of travel, and then the QUICK orders follow it. That saves us a command delay. But it might be that we just have to cancel the FAST order and do the two QUICKs on their own. @Tim: I leave it to you to figure out what’s possible given the CM engine.

    • ORDER: Light mortar team [Box 71]
      1) head north at a steady pace, but fast up the slope and into the central reservation (approx. box 59, x4, y6)
      2) they should take cover / go prone in the concealment the central reservation provides
      3) the priority is that they should be able to see along the northern lane of the highway. If they’re able to fire on the Sputnik memorial, that’d be a bonus.

  2. Yikes – that was a super tense turn update – Godspeed young Scooby. Hopefully the decision not to fire was velocity related and Scooby’s continued rapid transit, plus the extended range, will mean he will arrive at the destination unscathed.

    We have now possibly lost the element of surprise, as if that Pod gets on the blower to his comrades then eyes will turn North, but not much we can do about that now.

    Scooby looks to be about 30 secs from the tank – there wasn’t an order as to what to do at the destination so I’ll do that one.

  3. I must have missed a previous order. Out of curiousity, where’s Droopy going, and why?

    We do seem to have locked down the south half of the map, unless the AI tries to do something sneaky and infiltrate further east. If we hang tight, hopefully that BMP can’t advance without taking a TOW to the face. I’m quite pleased with how things are going, but I wonder if we should concentrate our forces for the ambush.

    • I just checked turn 10 and it is heading for the treeline at 12 X2 Y8. I can´t speak for our comrade, but it looks like it was meant to have that last BMP surrounded by ATGMs. There is one to the south, one west and, now, one to the nort-west. I think it could use some adjustment, though, and will issue the order.

    • Droopy’s providing AT support to the T72, with the intent that (once it’s safe to pop out from behind the trees) he can scoot over to the T72 barn and use that as cover from the advancing convoy, shooting at their flanks and rears if they try and hide behind the highway embankment from the withering fire they’ll be receiving from the south.

      The adjustment by g948ng is congruent with this previously unstated objective, although perhaps riskier as a short term measure than I had intended – the RPG that wasn’t launched at Scooby may now be headed towards Droopy in the treeline.

      • I´m willing to adjustthe order as needed, but is the RPG-toter really such a threat? There would be four whole boxes between him and Droopy´s intended firing position in some light woods and he already seemed reluctant to fire at the distance of two boxes at a target in the open. (albeit a moving one)

  4. My heart sank when I saw the tittle image! Judging from that noise contact on the causeway, another member of the convoy is about to run the gauntlet.

    • That screenshot with Scooby zooming across the horizon, trailing a dust cloud, could have come straight out of a Saturday Morning cartoon. Well done, Tim.

      Concerning the sound contact icon: While it shows a truck it most likely means a `light vehicle` and I fully expect some kind of UAZ leading the convoy. Seems a bit early, but it doesn´t necessarily mean the T-62s are right behind it. I hope not, we need at least a couple of turns to get Tereza into action and whip some sense into the Pods in the centre of the map.

  5. I just wanted to say, Tim, that while the soundtrack has all been fantastic so far, you’ve really outdone yourself this turn. Cracking tune.

    • Thanks. Not using Bowie’s Up the Hill Backwards for turn 10 was unforgivable. Hopefully that BMP won’t be the last AFV to reverse onto the embankment.

  6. We seem to have the Pods nicely bottled up on the cross road. Is it worth adjusting the Heavy Mortar fire mission to area target the cross road.

    • How much would that order delay the mortar firing? I gave the current order to try and rough up the road surface somewhat in order to keep the convoy in the killbox, and in lieu of any juicier targets at that time. I would happily amend it if that’s the consensus preference.

      • Addendum: I’m not entirely sure whether the spotters can see the crossroads or not – the treetops are pretty close to their LoS //tallyhocorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/oryx04c.jpg

        • Sorry, your absolutly right. Keeping the convoy in the kill zone is far more important. Plus artillery fire on the highway might force the convoy in an unwanted direction.

      • The mortar bombardment on the NW-SE road beside New Farm is two minutes away. Adjusting it doesn’t seem to be possible (‘cease fire’ is the only option). One of the few sections of the highway the spotters can’t see is the crossroads section. The crossroads could be targeted using a linear target line stretched from the middle of box 63 to the middle of box 64, but accuracy might not be great as the spotting rounds may land in out-of-LoS spots.

  7. Apologies for asking this so late, but can the light mortar team see the tree at 52,3,3 and if so, can it target it? Some loud noises might encourage the rpg holder towards discretion rather than valour.

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