The Lions of Lodowice: Turn 10

Four of the eight AFVs that started this game of PvP play-by-comment Combat Mission: Red Thunder are alive and kicking at the start of turn 10, but, as two of the four – the IS-2 and the King Tiger – had enemy termination tubes pointed in their general direction when turn 9 ended, it will be a miracle if this sixty-second passage of play passes without a brew-up.

Some say Kurt Keller, the veteran commander of the King Tiger, refuses to let his drivers reverse because of an incident near Donetsk in 1943 when his Panzer IV accidentally reversed over a wounded friend. Some say, it’s simply a consequence of him being a crazy bastard. Whatever the reason, the chances of the KT backing to safety this turn are zero. Instead it lurches forward spitting smoke grenades from its Nahverteidigungswaffe as it does so.

For a moment it seems the rapid acceleration might dissuade Kurt’s gunner from having another go at the Soviet heavyweight on North Bridge. But ‘Puffin’ is a master of his craft who has bagged dozens of targets on the hoof previously.

At T+2 an 88mm AP round bodkins the IS-2’s upper left hull armour, turning the space beyond into an impromptu blast furnace.

Four seconds later, before the smokescreen has had a chance to form and Puffin has finished turning his turret to face the threat to the SE, that threat has rendered the smokescreen pointless and persuaded Puffin to quit his station with the celerity of a champagne cork.

The last of the three survivors is about to launch himself towards terra firma, when the shockwave from a second impact on the KT’s right flank, unceremoniously completes his bail-out for him.

A turn of play-by-comment CMRT wouldn’t be complete without a little unintentional chaos, and this turn’s helping is provided by the Tiger which ends the turn perched precariously on the west bank of the Vistula despite a clear “avoid going too close to the river” instruction. If it wasn’t for the fact that its potent shell spitter was pointed eastward at T+60, and the Blue team’s last remaining AFV lacked a turret, the Tiger would start turn 11 in a somewhat vulnerable state.

As previously mentioned, the two spotter planes that are keeping the teams informed about vehicle movements, can’t make out infantry. In order to find out what friendly foot sloggers got up to this turn, players will need to go to their respective mess rooms.

^ Rough guide to AFV movement

(Next turn deadline: Saturday night)


  1. The mighty IS-2 has finally expended its considerable store of luck, it seems! Maybe “let’s dance” and a move would have been better than “let’s shoot it out” and the hope I wouldn’t take a second shot.

    • It’s good of you to acknowledge your indebtedness to Lady Luck. This debt was a lot greater than you probably realise, however fortune favours the brave.
      I did think you might move but then reverse back shortly after, hence my smoke, but also wasn’t at all surprised when you didn’t. I had the same thoughts (hopes) for your SU “wingman”.
      I have to end by saying how much I enviously admired your close coordination/cooperation with the SU, it caused us great problems, unfortunately it also elevated you to the top of “Wehrmacht’s Most Wanted” Krazy Kurt’s favourite read excluding of course THC !


      • Luck certainly played into the last few turns both directions—were it not for the CM spotting snafu while the Panther was reversing and pathing problems on the turns before definitely go into the other column, and the coin toss win with the Panther and your miss on your first shot go the other direction. (And, of course, the secret plans behind the curtains!)

        A salute in return—you drove the King Tiger with verve and gusto.

      • I very much enjoyed our cats and mouse chase through the streets, especially my “I can’t believe it’s not World of Tanks” circular scramble. Well fought.

        • Thank you.
          It’s fair to assume you derived more enjoyment from the chase than I did, especially the circular runaround!
          You were a thorn in our side and kept us guessing until the final turn.
          Well played.

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