The Lions of Lodowice: Turn 15

If this play-by-comment Combat Mission experiment was a frame of snooker, I reckon the referee would be warning the players that a re-rack was imminent if they continued in their current cagey fashion. Reduced to a single ‘tank’ apiece, and seemingly content to camp on opposite sides of the Vistula, the understandably cautious Soviet and German order issuers provide flip-all for an eager ersatz war correspondent to work with during the game’s middle turn.

Although no triggers are squeezed and no blood spilled during this sixty-second slice of (in)action, both the SU-100 and the Tiger do plod closer to the ice-fringed edges of the map-cleaving river.

The latter finishes the turn in motion in a relatively busy neck-of-the-woods. It appears to be heading, once again, into the area of narrow thoroughfares east of Fish Street. If this is indeed its intention it will pass the friendly Opel Blitz that stopped at d12N midway through the turn.

The other German truck (a13) also imprints grubby snow during turn 15. The fact that it waits 45 seconds before moving may or may not be significant.

If turn 16 proves to be as uneventful as its predecessor, your gamemaster will be sorely tempted to declare the world’s first play-by-comment CM team deathmatch a draw, thank the volunteer unit choreographers whose schemes, gambles, and ‘traits’ made the scrap’s early phases so dramatic, and file PvP PBC Combat Mission under ‘interesting if not wholly successful experiments’.

^ Rough guide to current vehicle positions and recent movement

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  1. Colonel K wads up the uneaten remains of his kaszanka, the majority, in its paper and flings it at the bloke with the John 3:12 placard.

    Let’s hope Tim has some half-time entertainment planned; the Marching Band of the Lodowice Dog Licencing Authority, perhaps. Or maybe a streaker.

  2. I think this is a result of not having any victory locations for the sides to fight towards. Instead, they are encouraged to camp and play cautiously. This is compounded by the fact that you won’t reveal the locations of the infantry crews, leaving not much for the readers to consume.

    One solution would be to waive the fog of war for the remainder of the game, (maybe have a better spotter plane arrive overhead), and reveal the locations of all the infantry crews. That way, at least the sides can no longer rely on stealth, and you’d be able to write about what they are doing turn by turn.

    Alternatively, give each side revised orders to seize a victory location you designate on the opposite side of the river, and whoever gets there first wins. That way they will be forced to attack!

    • I was hoping the random spawn points together with the traits would discourage camping. If the surviving German AFV had finished up on the eastern side of the river, and the Soviet one on the western side, or if both survivors were currently on the same side, things would, of course, be livelier now.

      Completely ditching FoW and/or declaring a single VL (Boleslav Bridge?) are nice ideas. I’ll add them to the two options under discussion in the mess rooms:

      1. Restart with random spawns and ‘golden goal’ rule (first kill wins the game) in place.
      2. Declare a draw.

    • Yeah some kind of objectives might have been handy – or perhaps a more open map with longer lines of sight so there might be more long range engagements or dashes between cover.

      I also wonder if it might be fun to do a select few against the community?
      Four players get a secret discussion room, powerful units and a defence to plan, then the community get to order increasingly numerous forces to crash against their positions and see how long they can hold out with their perfect intel on enemy actions.

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