Operation Oryx: Turn 18

Zendora has only ever won one Olympic gold medal, and some cynics says it only bagged the gong in question because the legendary Swiss sharpshooter Wilhelm Teller didn’t attend the 1956 Melbourne Games due to a boycott. The gold was won in 300 metre rifle shooting by Otto Pinkas, one of the two Zen snipers who, working in concert with Recon Team Charlie, savages an advancing Pod rifle squad this turn.

(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).

Firing from the wooded berm in box 100, Otto and Branko drop the squad’s officer and light machine-gunner first, then move on to the hoi polloi. By the end of the sixty, only two men on the highway embankment north of the Lesovs’ house are still capable of squeezing triggers, and both of these foes are stationary and cowed.

Talking of the Lesovs, when we parted company last Monday, our father-and-son RPG team was eyeing the flank of an approaching T-62.

Momentum and some hasty reversing on the part of our truck, deprives that tank of a firing opportunity in the opening seconds of the turn. Instead the Pod trundler finds itself on the receiving end of a beautifully delivered HEAT rocket.

How effective are RPG-7s against the side armour of T-62s? Here’s your answer.

For a few seconds following the kill, it looks like the Lesovs’ celebrations might be cut short by one of the dead MBT’s siblings. Rejoining the northern carriageway after a spot of wreck avoidance, the convoy leader swings its shell spitter in the direction of the copse. Clearly, the vengeful tank has no idea that one of the bonfires it has just bypassed was ignited by a threat firing from the north-west corner of the map.

Hunting barnward, Droopy spies the unsuspecting heavyweight and lets fly.

Another Pod landship heaves to, seeping smoke and flame.

Of the six original T-62s now only one remains. Barrelling along the southern carriageway, it establishes LoS to the box 74 copse at approximately T+40. Within seconds, the sharp-eyed Pod gunner spots Lesov Senior reloading his RPG and Lesov Junior dropping bailed tank crewmen with his AK-74.

A near miss covers the ambushers in dirt and shredded foliage, and leaves their ears ringing, but fails to draw blood. Sadly, the coaxial MG burst that follows the HE round is more accurate.

Hearing a cry of pain, Milan Lesov turns to find his father face down and twitching.

Elsewhere this turn…

It appears the rumours were true! Alarmed by armour losses early in the invasion, Pod top brass has indeed pressed into service a batch of ‘obsolete’ tanks recently sold – on paper at least – to Qatab.

At T+40 Otto and Branko spot a beige T-54 (?) stopping on the eastern edge of box 70, and what’s left of Recon Team Bravo observe another one moving down the north side of the embankment a bit further east.

Tereza didn’t fire this turn and the reason may well be the dust cloud visible in this pic.

As Muttley’s gunner finishes Turn 18 aiming at the last of the Pod T-62s, I wouldn’t be surprised if the western half of the map was free of enemy armour by the end of the next sixty.

M16 fire from our light mortar team failed to stop a retreating two-man Pod HQ team from reaching New Farm in the closing seconds of the sixty.


  1. Turn 19 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.

    Light mortar team (tube undeployed) [BOX 47]
    MG team [BOX 86]
    Dragon team (ambushing) [BOX 72]
    Recon team B (1 man, hiding) [BOX 75]
    Recon team C (3 men) [BOX 87]
    Otto and Branko (sniper team) [BOX 100]
    Forward Observer Team (no orders) [BOX 112]
    TOW Mutt ‘Muttley’ (6 x ATGM, about to fire) [BOX 99]
    TOW Mutt ‘Droopy’ (4 x ATGM) [BOX 23]
    Mutt ‘Scrappy’[BOX 87]

    ****subscribers only****
    Trajanov [BOX 87]
    Truck [BOX 86]
    Milan Lesov (pinned, father WIA)[BOX 74]
    M113 [BOX 99, unbuttoned]
    Tereza [BOX 17]

    • ORDER: Tereza to move to 16, X10, Y3, unbutton and face south. The aim is to shift to a grass patch while still keeping as much cover from the east and south east as possible.

    • ORDER: Droopy HUNT to [35, 7, 9] next to the house.

      Either they’ll see an enemy tank and let fly, or they’ll get there safely and we’ll find out if the enemy tank crews have LoS to them.

      And if it’s neither we can dismount them next turn. But I’m scared to have them leave when they might immediately come under fire from the Pod infantry with no quick way to escape.

    • Order: Light mortar team to set up their mortar tube where they have line of sight to the fleeing crewmen in Box 62, and to start dropping rounds there (if they have time).

      Do the Forward Observer Team need orders to continue observing the highway and spotting targets?

  2. Didn´t expect an appearance of querulous Quatab. One of these days someone should really quit them.

    Besides my elation over Droopy´s continued timely heroism we have to consider where to dismount its weapon team. Remembering what Tim said, they won´t fire their last three ATGMs while in the vehicle. I´d say this turn would not be a bad moment to do so since the second wave of tanks is not too close yet. Would staying where they are right now be wise or should we move slightly south for better LOS along the highway?

    Also: RIP Mr Lesov sen.

    • There’s a Tim Stone Extended Universe now?!


      If the convoy is ~30 vehicles, that might be 4 echelons of 7-8 (though my suspicion would be that it’s actually a full 15 in the third and final wave).
      I’d be for letting the majority of this one pass, particularly if it’s weak T-55s, and tagging the last couple from the rear before they disappear off the map.

  3. I was convinced our truck was done for, shows what I know! Otto, Branko, and Recon C are doing a great job keeping the village clear of Pod infantry. I worry with so many KO’ed tanks on the road, our ambushers are going to be swamped with enemy crewmen. Gutted about Lesov senior.

    • He’s not dead!

      If Muttley bags that last T-62, then Lesov junior has two/two-and-a-half minutes to apply bandages. I’m sure senior will make sure he does it properly.

      If nothing much is happening, and people give sufficiently forward-thinking orders, would you consider running the next two turns in one go?
      Also, did the MG team move? They now seem located NW of the truck, rather than inside the building they were occupying.

      • As two minutes without order tweaking opportunities might prove costly, I think I’ll stick to the current format for the time-being, even if that means the odd uneventful turn report.

        The MG team hasn’t moved. That’s an optical illusion caused by a not-quite-overhead camera angle.

  4. It’s gonna be OK. Lesov Sr is wounded but not killed, and Muttley could make sure Jr has the time he needs to apply first aid.

    Taking out two more tanks and a squad of infantry adds to our success.

    I agree that it might be a good time to deploy Droopy. I’m thinking next to the house and a little north, so that he’ll get shots on side-armor instead of being almost dead-on.

  5. Our ambush is exceptionally lethal. I just wish the Lesovs hadn’t been spotted by every single tank in the convoy 🙁

    I’m starting to wonder what happens when our ATGM ammo runs out. Tereza’s position is less good than I thought, too. It looks like she’s sitting on a dirt patch and is kicking up vision-obscuring dust every time she fires. Phooey.

    • Not to get over-confident, but how might Tereza fair against these “obsolete” tanks? Just wondering what the danger of moving somewhere less dusty would be, and risking getting spotted in the process

      • I wouldn’t pit a T72 head on against 6 T54s at close-range. Or any tank, really. Even if they can’t pen Tereza’s front armour we run the risk of an unlucky mission kill if the barrel is hit.

        So, any position that faces the convoy dead-on where multiple tanks can spot and return fire at once is a non-starter.

      • Yeah, the armor is similar, the T-55 has a slightly smaller gun, but on the whole it’s super risky to even go head-to-head with one tank.

      • Cool, thanks for the info. Hopefully there’ll be a bit of a breeze next turn to clear the air a bit!

  6. Can Lesov Jnr be of any use against the remaining T-62 (ie. can he pick up the RPG in time?), or should he just get right on with patching up his Dad in the hope of someone else taking revenge on their behalf?

    Another question (for @Tim I guess), can Tereza hit that little building with the HQ team in? Just wondering what the implications of them being set up right next to the ambush site are.

    • >>Can Tereza hit that little building with the HQ team in?

      No. She only has LoS to two of the four New Farm buildings – 50,9,2 and 50,5,9.

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