Operation Oryx: Turn 25

Checked last Monday by one of CM’s periodic order-issuing opportunities, Team Droopy’s last TOW missile regains its liberty in the opening second of turn 25. It presses on, following a very similar trajectory to the one traced by its predecessor, yet somehow avoids the same fate.

(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).

Seeing something burst through the tree line in front of him and veer for the deck, the driver of the middle PT-76 mutters a Podrabian phrase that’s usually translated into English as “Demon dung!”.

The words are his last.

Attention from the other light tank fails to prevent Droopy’s steely TOW steerer from guiding his fidgeting firefly to its intended destination.

The remaining PT-76 takes out its frustration on Tereza survivor, Georgi, as it rushes for the cover of the box 17 barn.

Meanwhile in the centre of the map, our snipers succeed in cowing the T-55 TC but not in holing him.

Their reward is low-flying and High Explosive. Fortunately, the round has an argument with a spruce trunk before it can do any serious damage to Otto and Branko.

The firer is rolling westward towards the hotel as it expectorates and has no idea a 105mm MBT gun is tracking its progress. Our Patton is on the verge of firing when the shoulder of the berm interposes preventing the shot.

Recon Team Charlie does manage to fire at the advancing anachronism. At T+30 an HEDP grenade projected from the upper floor of the hotel explodes against the T-55’s turret.

Scorched but unperturbed, the tank calmly neutralises Otto and Branko (Otto = lightly wounded, Branko = incapacitated and in need of first-aid) before turning its attention to the grenadiers.

At T+60 the hotel is under MG fire and is expecting worse.

Earlier in the turn Charlie fired an HEDP at another Pod MBT – the T-80 – with similar results.

The enemy’s most modern angry house was last seen here.

If it continues heading westward an encounter with Lesov Junior, now peeking from the eastern end of the box 74 tree clump, seems inevitable.

Elsewhere this turn…

Our Light Mortar Team began lobbing pandemonium pears at the Vostok Memorial, and taking light AK fire from New Farm. The results of the bombardment were impossible to ascertain, and the T-55 in the vicinity is now hidden by dust.

Our off-map mortars clobbered a UAZ in the field where the first PT-76 perished.

Major Trajanov received a radio message informing him that Pod forces were threatening his exfil/retreat route. In the light of this warning and the growing threat in the centre of Strupnic he has decided to start withdrawing wounded, ammo-less and vulnerable units via the map-edge road square at 107,1,4.


  1. Turn 26 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). Turn execution: probably Monday morning.

    Light mortar team (bombarding, under fire) [BOX 47]
    MG team [BOX 86]
    Dragon team [BOX 72]
    Recon team B (1 man, upstairs) [BOX 75]
    Recon team C (3 men, upstairs) [BOX 87]
    Otto (pinned) [BOX 100]
    Forward Observer Team (calling in bombardment) [BOX 112]
    TOW Mutt ‘Muttley’ (5 x ATGM) [BOX 100]
    Team ‘Droopy’ (no ammo, dismounted, 1 man incapacitated, deployed) [BOX 23]
    Mutt ‘Scrappy’ [BOX 87]
    Trajanov [BOX 87]
    Truck [BOX 72]
    Milan Lesov (6 x RPG)[BOX 74]
    BRDM commander [BOX 77]
    M113 (unbuttoned) [BOX 96]
    M60A1 [BOX 112]

    • ORDER:

      Muttley REVERSE to [110,10,6]. From there FACE north.

      Hopefully that will catch the T-80 should it manage to break past our RPG and Dragon teams, and maybe even get a nice side shot in on the T-55.

    • ORDER: BRDM commander to leave the building he’s currently holed up in and dash west across the 2-3 open squares of road into the trees in box 76, then move slowly through to the western-most tree and pause. If the tanks roll out of the village next turn, he can make a run south to exfiltrate, hopefully with our recon teams, if they survive.

    • ORDER:

      The M60 takes the quickest route to the road going NW from 111 to 98 at best speed. Reversing and turning a bit before advancing forwards might save a few precious seconds, but I´ll leave that to Tim´s experience.
      It moves as fast as possible along the road until it reaches about 98 X5 Y6. It then switches to hunt mode, driving slowly towards 86 X0 Y0 with its turret aiming for the point where the T-80 is likely to come into view again.

    • ORDER 1:
      Recon Charlie to get downstairs, and if possible exit the building via any exit other than the northern side, and start heading SSW towards the line of trees between the brown fields. If not possible, to at least take cover away from the windows.

      ORDER 2a:
      Otto to provide first aid to Branko so they can be ready to move in the next couple of turns

      If order 2a above would have happened automatically and therefore be pointless, may I provide this substitute order 2b:

      Light mortar team to adjust their fire to aim for anywhere along the line between them and the building they’re taking fire from, ideally nearer the building. This is to try and break contact with at least raised dust, so that they (and Team Droopy) can be moved south in the next turn.

      If that order also turns out to be a dud, please let me know! I’m away this weekend but will try to check back before Monday morning in case these orders need amending.

  2. Wow, suddenly lots is happening again. Thanks for the great write-up Tim, lots to think about over lunch…

    I reckon Lesov Jr isn’t leaving unless he runs out of RPGs or tanks to fire them at.

    Let’s hope the M60 (or Muttley!?) can get that T-55 next turn, so Charlie and the BRDM commander can get away safe!

    • Definitely a lot to chew over!

      Thanks Tim, although I’ll admit I had hoped for a slightly more successful outcome that round.

      Exfil’s going to be a delicate process. Agree that Lesov can stay on the scene for now, though.

      • Strupnic is his home and his dad is lying somewhere close, seriously injured. I´d say he stays, no matter what.

        I would suggest to use the truck to get one or both recon teams out of the village. Team Droopy would also be a prime candidate, but I fear they will have to make it over the highway on their own.

        Too bad the M60 was slow on the draw. Should I try again by boldly going over the field to get a shot at theT-55´s back? Not having been punished for my recklessness of peeking out of the treeline this turn might have encouraged me to try my luck more than it can possibly hold.

        • I think you might have to go a long way into the field now, almost halfway across 101 NE. How about doubling down and racing directly north, smashing the T-55 on the way, and not stopping til you’re up the tail pipe of the T-80?

          I suppose the Pod tank in 92 might have something to say about that though.

          • Looking at this again, I noticed in what stupid position I have maneuvered the M60. I wanted to flank the advancing pod tanks and, due to their aggression, I have actually been flanked by them. Going north or east would put us right in the middle between the advancing T-55/T-80 duo and the overwatching rearguard. No matter how superior a M60 is compared to them, it can only look/shoot in one direction at a time.

            I´ll retreat the M60 to about box 98 and help our two AT assets left west of Strupnic stop the advance. An RPG can take out a T-80. But it is not a sure thing.

            I realize by bumbling about back and forth with the M60 and I am wasting its time. That´s on me.

        • I am wondering if it would be better for Team Droopy to just head into the nearby house and keep their heads down for the rest of the battle, or make a run for the woods where the mortar team is currently set up. The mortar team is already under attack from new farm, so it doesn’t seem like making a run along the open field is all that wise of a move. I really wish our APC had managed to get up there and clear out whoever is harassing us.

          I’m not sure it’ll be safe to get anyone out of the village right now with tanks all around. I suppose we could move all our guys downstairs so they can at least make a run for it when the coast is clear, although then we might also lose a bit of visibility.

          Perhaps Scrappy could quickly pop down and see if they can pick up Otto? Not sure if him being “pinned” means he won’t jump on a vehicle, though.

          I’ve been feeling the past few turns like we could be getting more out of our MG team, but I’m wary of moving them north since that’s right in the path of the tank(s) in the village. Maybe they could jump in Scrappy and try go somewhere useful? Probably a bit late for, that…

          Ah, decisions, decisions.

  3. Do we need to exfiltrate? What are the victory conditions. We’ve chewed up a lot of armour but are beginning to get worn down.

    • >>Do we need to exfiltrate?

      Failing to do so won’t be seen as catastrophic by the scorers, but if you exit a few vulnerable units by the end of turn 30 it will count in your favour.

      >>What are the victory conditions.

      “This year your goal is a pretty straightforward one. During the next thirty minutes/turns, using the slim selection of somewhat fragile assets available to you, destroy as much Podrabian armour as you can. The number of hostile vehicles that escape across the map’s western edge will impact my after-action performance assessment, as will friendly losses, and damage to local abodes.”

  4. Perhaps we should start thinking about which ground units can fit in what vehicles?

    The truck is nearest Team Droopy and the light mortars, should they make it south.

    The M113 could be moved back east once the T-80 and T-55 are resolved, perhaps it can take the HQ team AND MG team?

    I’m guessing Muttley can’t take anyone else, but Scrappy is probably well positioned for Otto/Branko if/when they’re mobile again.

    Final thought, are we good to leave the observers up the Dovecot?

    • I think the FO team are fine as they are in the dovecot, as they aren’t vulnerable or under attack. Hypothetically I don’t think there would be any danger of them being exfiltrated after the Pods have left Strupnic.

      I’m tempted to get the truck moving already to meet Team Droopy and the mortars, at least somewhere halfway, and to get Droopy moving on foot south posthaste. The amphibious tank left over, in the north, is making pretty rapid progress and will be very close to Droopy within a turn or two.

      EDIT: I see you’re aiming to kick up some covering dust, which seems like a good plan. Will wait to see the outcome of that before moving Team Droopy.

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