The faded sign on the roadside north of New Farm states ‘Strupnic welcomes careful drivers’. What it fails to mention is that the welcome extended to careful drivers who come in peace is very different from the welcome extended to careful drivers intent on invasion.
(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).
Minute Seventeen starts badly for the Comment Commanders. A hide order comes too late to save Recon Team Bravo from the close-range ire of a sharp-eyed T-62.
The brick-powdering HE blast incapacitates two members of the three-man team and lightly wounds the other.
Two seconds later, at T+5, what’s left of Recon Team Alpha attempts to stop the Pod’s lead MBT with a LAW. CM’s god of war contemplates a hit then thinks better of it. The rocket pockmarks New Farm after narrowly missing its intended target.
Harried by HMG rounds from our reversing-to-safety M113, the fortunate T-62 ploughs on. Its driver might be focused on the western end of the road, but evidently its gunner and commander are surveying a broader swathe of scenery. They spot the cartoon canine lurking behind the box 35 barn and take appropriate action. The tank’s main gun swings to starboard as Droopy aligns his own Drainpipe of Death.
Thankfully, the ambusher fires first, and manages to keep the beetling MBT centred in his sight for the duration of the TOW’s brief flight.
“HIT. Upper Front Hull. Penetration” says the hit text. In other words, we nailed him!
T+20. Recon Team Alpha’s LAW attempt hasn’t gone unnoticed. Not knowing that the firer is now out of AT weapons, the following T-62 decides suppression is the better part of valour and pumps a crater maker into the eastern tip of the box 74 copse. There’s a dirty flash and Alpha ceases to exist in a tactical sense.
This is the situation at the business end of the ambush at T+41. (A), the tank that topped Alpha, is manoeuvring around Droopy’s victim while Droopy reverses and reloads. Not far behind, three other T-62s – (B), (C) and (D) – are navigating the increasingly cluttered section of highway west of the crossroads.
Five seconds later, thanks to timely contributions from Tereza and Muttley, the scene looks very different.
At T+43, firing from the map’s northern edge, our T-72, spots and pots tank (C) and…
At T+46 a missile launched by our southern TOW Mutt trashes tank (A).
Other Turn 17 developments of note:
Recon Team Charlie added two more corpses to the growing collection at the crossroads.
Our snipers opened their account, felling at least one member of this advancing infantry squad.
The light mortar team used their M16s on fleeing tank crewmen. No kills were observed.
The situation at the start of turn 18:
Turret movement suggests this T-62 looks might have glimpsed a potential target to the south. Either the Lesovs or the commandeered truck are in serious trouble.