Operation Oryx: Turn 13

Ivan, the MT-LB commander, and Yuri, the MT-LB driver, fall out during this sixty second slice of action. Ivan wants an opportunity to riddle a skedaddling TOW Mutt with his turret-mounted 7.62mm Pulemyot Kalashnikova MG. Yuri wants to put a Zendoran highway embankment between himself and possible immolation.

(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).

The argument is short and sweary. When several variations of “Do your duty, man!” fails to convince his wheelman to stay put, Ivan starts casting aspersions about Yuri’s parentage. The  driver responds by jamming ‘Marushka’ into reverse and backing southward.

He really should have listened to his commander.

As the MT-LB reverses over the crossroads, its presents its long left flank to Recon Team Bravo, the only one of our three scout teams yet to fire a shot. Almost simultaneously (sorry, folks – CM’s TacAI can be awfully extravagant at times) two anti-tank rockets streak from two tubular lairs. The first flies harmlessly over the target. The second strikes steel plate and detonates, bringing the APC to an abrupt and permanent halt.

Elsewhere this turn…

Trundling westward, one of the MBTs at the head of the Pod convoy glimpses enemies on the move (presumably our light mortar team) and, at T+12, sends an HE round whistling towards box 59. The shot lands somewhere beyond the map edge.

Our mortarmen don’t seem overly perturbed by the attention. Darting into the vegetation in the central reservation they deploy their weapon, and commence firing on the Vostok Monument area. Their first two emissions are airborne when the clock stops.

Four 107mm mortar bombs land during the course of the turn. The first is a spotting round, the rest the opening salvo of a stonk aimed at the road running diagonally through boxes 38 and 51.

The M113 bags a retreating grenadier.

Tereza stirs.

While exiting the truck, Lesov Senior snags his braces on the tailboard? Despite being given ample time to debus, our RPG team somehow contrives to be still aboard their taxi when it departs!


  1. Turn 14 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 59, firing, LoS to convoy]
    MG team [BOX 86]
    Dragon team [BOX 72]
    Recon team A (1 man, 1 x LAW) [BOX 74]
    Recon team B (3 men) [BOX 63]
    Otto and Branko (sniper team) [BOX 100]
    Forward Observer Team [BOX 112]
    TOW Mutt ‘Muttley’ (7 x ATGM) [BOX 111]
    TOW Mutt ‘Droopy’ (7 x ATGM) [BOX 23]
    Mutt ‘Scrappy’ (1 x LAW on board) + Recon team C (3 men) [BOX 87]

    ****subscribers only****
    Trajanov [BOX 100]
    Truck + The Lesovs [BOX 86]
    M113 [BOX 74, unbuttoned]
    Mutt ‘Scooby’ [BOX 17, 1 x LAW on board]
    Tereza [BOX 17/29]

    • ORDER: Light mortar team [BOX 59]
      1) for 20 seconds, continue firing as they are.
      Hopefully they can tag Popov the RPGist, who I assume is a threat to Tereza.

      2) for remainder of turn, switch target to south of box 65-66 and fire their WP rounds
      I’ll defer to Tim on the location as regards how any breeze will carry the smoke north.

      3) fingers crossed that they can accomplish this in this turn, and dash north to cover in the next

    • Since it’s unclear if we’ll get Scooby’s LAW coming south of the highway any time soon, perhaps we can move Recon B to a place where the guys are less vulnerable to clear shots from the approaching armor, but still give them a chance to be useful.

      ORDER: Recon B to head south through the trees then creep east under the bush around the area of box 75, X2, Y4. Pause to face east and weapons free for infantry. Once the smoke falls perhaps we can advance to the two-storey building in the compound to the north.

    • ORDER:
      Dragon team restricts its 180 degree firing arc, extending to about 62 X7. West of these burning trucks. I do not want them to engage anything east of them.

      My reasoning is that with only two ATGMs left the Dragon team should act as a sweeper only. I hope to avoid squandering our AT assets.

    • ORDER: cancel the current heavy mortar fire. Assuming the mortar can be re-tasked this turn, target the highway from the middle of 62 to the middle of 64.

    • I’ll order Tereza since nobody else is currently.

      ORDER: Tereza to exit tank pen and take a position immediately next to it, facing SW. The tank pen is at the intersection of 4 boxes, so I’ll let Tim figure out the best approximate position, since I can’t really see the terrain. It should be:

      – Next to the pen OR the house just N of it, such that it is covered from the east.
      – Have LoS to around the midpoint of Box 64 (the highway) as the eastern bound.

      The aim is a covered position that is shielded from the East and a little from the South that covers the highway, but if terrain / LoS makes this impossible, a simple south-facing position will do.

    • I’m worried nobody’s going to do it in time, so:

      ORDER: Truck to get back to the SW of the copse in box 74, and Lesovs to attempt to get out again – and this time a bit less of the funny stuff, lads!

  2. @Tim
    “Turn execution: probably Monday morning”
    Is this accurate; next turn next week?

    Does the light mortar team have visual on any enemies near the Vostok Monument? Or was it Popov the RPGer who got tagged by the M113?

    Is the light mortar team able to target anywhere south of the highway in box 65?
    (It would be nice to launch our WP rounds somewhere there. I’d hope to cause a smokescreen so that rear units in the enemy column can’t target our units once they trip the ambush).

    • Fixed. Turn execution should happen on Wednesday.

      Popov disappeared early in the turn. I suspect he’s hiding in the hedge circa 52,3,1. The light mortar team has LoS to the truck near the monument.

      The M113’s victim was one of the Pod grunts atop the embankment. Possibly only one foe left in box 63 now.

      >> Is the light mortar team able to target anywhere south of the highway in box 65?

      Yes. Rows 2, 3, 4, and 5.

  3. Droopy lives!

    Looks like there was a bit of debate on the CM communal mission thread over at tallyhocorner.pb about what to do with the MT-LB and luckily for us they picked the wrong option.

        • In fact, I think it should now be canon, that there’s an upside-down version of all of us controlling the Podrabian forces. I’ll get you yet, corporalwardrobe!!

          • I can sense the cack-handed flailing of bizarro-world gn849g behind the MT-LBs´ daft maneuvers this turn. With enemies like this we got nothing to worry about.

  4. Any yeas or nays to the idea of try to lay some smoke across the highway between boxes 65 & 66?
    Six rounds of white phosporous is unlikely to block vision, but it might disrupt the view the back of the enemy column gets as we attack the front.

    • I believe I am correct in saying no.
      The truck(s) didn’t have any LAWs, only RPG ammo for the Lesovs. Recon Alpha took the last one from the M113.
      I think Tim has it right: there’s 1 in Scooby (dropped off the tank crew), and 1 in Scrappy (due to be taken by Recon Charlie).

      Can Scooby ramp it over the highway a second time?

      • Scooby can certainly give it a go!
        That LAW round won’t be much use in a jeep that’s hiding in the north, so a swift trip to the nearest squad that can use the ammo is the best use of it. It’ll also be a distraction again 🙂
        If no one objects I’ll order Scooby to head back basically the way he’s already come. Once he’s south of the highway we can decide who needs the ammo the most.

          • Another option, could Scooby’s driver aquire the LAW then dismount? Maybe hold up in the New Farm somewhere? That said I don’t know if 1, its even possible. And 2, how effective he’d be out on his own.

          • Sadly CM severely reduces the effectiveness of dismounted vehicle crews, to avoid players using them as free scouts.

            So while I think the LAW is more useful in their hands than otherwise, I think we save that as a last resort.

            Recon teams A and C both have one each, though with the current accuracy results we may be disappointed in their effectiveness.

            On the other hand, racing across the highway is significantly more risky now that there are 3+ tanks watching it.

          • Even nuttier idea – since recon B has no anti-tank weapons left anyway, they could try to dash across to the woods in box 50, then Scooby doesn’t need to cross the highway and we could meet up somewhere around new farm. However, this relies a lot on a) there not being any infantry left on the highway and b) the front tank(s) of the convoy missing, if they take a shot. This plan might be less ridiculous if we pop that smoke Colonel_K suggested.

          • Dashing Recon B north over the highway isn’t wholly nutty, but the stars seem aligned against it:
            1) nearby enemies
            Tim thinks there’s a Pod left in the central reservation in box 63, plus Popov and the truck by the Vostok monument, and some other stragglers slightly further away
            2) shelling on roadway
            shells are falling on the New Farm road which separates Recon B from Scooby
            3) time for smoke to develop
            It’s been stated that it’ll take a minute or two for any smokescreen, such as it is, to develop, so it’ll have no effect this turn, or the next (and possibly not even the one after that).

          • Fast movement tends to make spotting easier and faster too. I don´t think they would survive crossing the highway in plain sight of the enemy. Even T-62s are not that blind.

  5. I’m really happy with how that all went. That APC was just as much a threat as any of the tanks, and I’m glad we didn’t use up a TOW rocket to take it out.

    I believe Droopy has LoS to the front of box 62, which is perfect for starting the ambush (with the Dragon and Recon A as backup), so I think he stays put.

    I’m not feeling too great about our artillery barrage though. It’s off in some distant road far from the path of the convoy, and falling far too early to be useful IMO.

    Can we cancel it and reposition it to over the kill zone? I’d happily wait five minutes and have it rip up dismounted troops than just see the shells fall into a field somewhere.

    Are we all in agreement that Teresa needs to find a good keyhole, but that we should keep her out of sight as long as possible?

    • Re: the artillery – I made that order expecting the convoy to appear later than it has – I was trying to rough up the NW road before the convoy arrived. Re-tasking it to fire at actual targets is more than fine with me.

      • I think it was a good call, and even if it doesn’t work we’ve lost nothing by trying it. But agreed, let’s re-task it.

    • I am in complete agreement with re-tasking the off-board artillery. Considering that in 5 minutes the whole vicinity might be crawling with rattled dismounts/ crews even inaccurate fire is going to hit something or – also helpful – keep them panicking. We do not need to kill the convoy, just stop it from leaving.

      I also think using the light mortar team for a quick smoke barrage is a good idea. If it can pull it off before the T-62s get them.

      @ Tereza. I would not move her much this turn either. You got the right idea with only needing a small keyhole. The geometry give her getting flanking or even rear shots to the convoy passing through the eye of the needle at 63/62. That´s ideal.

  6. After all that, the Lesovs play the fool. Given the expenditure of the LAWs, does it make sense to tell them to get out from where they are and have another go at setting up in the copse at box 74, or would they be more useful somewhere else now? Happy to make the order (or let someone else have a go), but ideally they’d get there as stealthily as possible, any recommendations?

    • I say make the order. I don’t think they’re in any great danger at the moment, but if we want to get them back and hidden in 74, we’d better get them there sharpish. Maybe just drive the truck back and then get them to try and get off the truck again?

    • I was thinking that in/around the buildings would be a perfect spot for them, but there’s too many enemy troops wandering around for now.
      So yes, the woods in 74 are the best option we have currently.

    • I like the woods at 74 – they get support from the MG team and M113 there. I’d even be happy to leave the truck parked behind the trees – if the pods can see the truck then they have the Lesovs, dragon team, M113 and assorted infantry to deal with which ought to keep them occupied.

  7. Tim, is Muttley still on the way somewhere (i.e. finding keyhole in 86/87 area, as per orders from turn 12) or is he just hanging out doing nothing in 111? I don’t have a spare order to give, but if he’s gotten lost then maybe it’d be worth someone setting him up somewhere with a firing angle to 61/62/63.

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