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  1. So from some long experience with this game its become clear to me that the accuracy of tanks and AT guns are way too accurate once they are zeroed in. The AI will aim pixel perfect on the same spot every shot, only the gun accuracy itself will deviate the hits. Here is some tests i did with and without cover infront of the tank (hull down). The lesson here seems to be that a tank with enough armor SHOULD NOT go hull down cus its a death sentence due to how AI aims and mixed with the unreal zeroed accuracy the main gun will get knocked out very quickly. Tiger 2, behind a 2m hill (hull down) at 1000m vs 76mm guns. At 1000m i do not expect the hit area to be this tiny. The side and top turret is nearly untouched and the muzzle break is completely perforated from existance. Tiger 2, at 1000m not hull down vs 76mm guns. Here we can see that the AI targeting has changed to the hull instead and the turret is nearly untouched (only 3 shells hit the very lowest part of the turret). In this scenario the shermans ran out of AP so i deacivated the target arc for the tiger and it knocked out all 5 of them, while in the hull down scenario the main gun was knocked out almost instantly and would render the tank useless. Here we have a jagdpanther at 600m behind a 1m hill vs 76mm guns. Only the lower front is hull down. Again we see the insane accuracy once the tanks have been fully zeroed that gives a unreal hit area. The only deviation is the gun accuracy, not the "humans" aiming it. The mantlet for tank destroyers also seem unrealisticly weak to get penetrated at those insane angles and thus knocking out the main gun. Another thing with this one is that odd penetration on the barrel. How on earth can a shell penetrate the barrel at that angle, this should not be possible. Jagdpanzer IV L/70 at 600m behind 1m hill vs 76mm guns. Only the lower front is hull down. Here again the insane accuracy and main gun knocked out instantly. Jagdpanzer at 600m on flat ground vs 75mm guns. Here we see the targeting area has changed cus it has no terrain infront of it. In this scenario the main gun remains operational cus the AI cannot abuse its accuracy on the mantlet area so this tank would be better off than if it was hull down. The thing im saying is not that the overall accuracy is too good, cus that works just fine. What i am saying is that once the AI gets fully zeroed, they have no deviation what so ever in their aiming. Only the gun accuracy itself shows on the hit area of the target and it gives a unrealistic scenario of hits. All rounds land within tiny areas and if you use terrain to get hull down (which should be a good tactic) you will risk loosing the main gun very quickly. I expect to see hits all over the tanks in these scenarios and not within a tiny circle at +600m, remember there is supposed to be humans actually aiming the cannons, but the AI clearly aims at a single dot on the target with no deviation once the gun is fully zeroed. The few shells you see away from the main hit area is made before the gun is fully zeroed inwhich deviation is fine. I have only terrible experiences with StuGs for example cus the only thing that gets hit on those is the mantlet. And once the mantlet is hit (even by a stuarts 37mm) the main gun will be knocked out. In my games with stugs i get a unreal amount of main gun damages for shells hitting the gun directly or the mantlet (which should be 80mm like the rest of the front, but still get pierced for some reason) EDIT: Here is the deviation at 2000m. Notice how all rounds hit in a nice circle at center mass, the few shells that hit the sides and lower plate was before the gun was fully zeroed in and still had some aiming deviation. For refrence this is how the target would look from the gunners perspective, 5x gunner optics zoom. The target is tiny so managing to hit within that circle every time would be nearly impossible.
  2. The Soviet SMGs II thread (link here) started by Poesel piqued my interest. The initial question was the perceived supremacy of Soviet SMG troops: Is a real phenomenon? Is it automatic weapons generally? At what range do regular rifles gain an advantage over the SMGs? Etc... I ran a few tests and showed my initial results in the linked thread. A few members made suggestions about how to structure valuable tests. - c3k said to limit variables. - Sgt Joch said to place the targets on pavement to eliminate micro-cover. - Poesel said to only test one thing at a time. (i.e., if you're interested in testing accuracy, don't worry about ROF) I took their advice and went back to the drawing board. I built a range with five lanes for each of five range groupings: 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300m. (1) The lanes are 11 tiles wide and divided by high walls. The bulk of the terrain was the default editor "open ground" but I lowered the terrain between the shooters and targets by two meters to reduce / eliminate any LOS blockage figuring that none of the grass types would be six feet tall! The firing lines are placed on a step at elevation setting 22. All shooters are Regular. The floor of the range is elevation 20 and the targets, to match the shooters, are placed at elevation 22 in the middle of three block wide stretch of pavement which slopes from elevation 21 to 23. To emphasize the point, shooters and targets are at the same elevation. (2) For the targets, I used five 2-man sniper teams: one in the middle of the range directly across from the shooter and two more arrayed on either side with an action spot gap separating each team. All targets are Fanatic and given short firing arcs to keep the shooters alive. (3) Yes, it was more tedium to use five two-man teams in the place of a potential single 9 or 10 man squad. The method to the maddness was that I wanted to focus the test on simple accuracy. I worried that an entire squad placed in a single action spot would provide a target density that would disporoportionally benefit automatic weapons. (4) As JasonC put it in the SMG II thread: c3k - sure, one of the reasons I wanted realistic examples is that SMGs might be favored by massed targets, lack of cover, and movement, as all things that can be benefited by spray and pray and hits on targets *other* than the intended one, especially at close range. Whereas a longer range shot at a stationary and small / single unit target in good cover should bring actual accuracy to the forefront. So five two-man targets it was. Point-of-emphasis: I am (I hope it is obvious) NOT claiming this represents typical firing conditions. These targets tend to lay prone and are therfore smaller than a standing or kneeling target. On the other hand, they are stationary and marooned on a stretch of pavement without so much as a blade of grass to shelter behind. I marched to the range and fired a combined 261,761 rounds from eight different weapon types. Does "over a quarter million rounds" sound more impressive? I tracked rounds fired per range per type along with the casualties caused. (5) This is what I found: Now remember, this isn't a promise or prediction that you should expect to fire N bullets at range X with weapon Y to achieve Z casualties in CMRT battle conditions. I'm simply reporting my results for the given sample size under the admittedly artificial conditions I laid out. The interesting thing to me is to see how the accuracy of a given weapon degrades with range and/or how different weapons compare at a given range. All tests were performed on the exact same range and I have the stats per lane so we could see if a certain lane seemed to perform poorly over multiple weapons for example. For those who prefer the raw tabular format: Note that I'm not advancing 'Composite' accurracy here as a meaningful metric, but I just threw that in there so that I had something to sort by. I'm not sure how interesting or useful anybody will find any of this. My two big reactions were as follows: 1.) My first-hand experience with shooting and ballistics is dominated by Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood in the Summer of '90. I qualified Sharpshooter (the mid-tier), hit a few pop-ups at 300m, and by now have surely forgotten most of what I learned although I could probably still field strip an M-16 by rote. So I'm nobody's idea of a shooting expert but I was expecting the accuracy to degrade expotientially with range. But maybe that's not how it works or maybe that's only true at longer ranges and 300m and below is within quite reasonable ranges for these weapons and (mostly) iron sights. I simply don't know. In particular, it's striking how the accuracy at 180m is much the same as the accuracy at 120m for several weapons. The range jumps by 50%, but the accuracy (judged by average rounds per casualty) degrades by only 21.44%, 3.08%, 3.53%, and 4.12% for the LMG42, DPM, PPSh/PPS-43, and MP-40 respectively. Not sure what's going on there or if anything is going on. Statistical noise? I dunno. The related point is how the accuracy of the weapon types relate to each other. The snipers are best, then the bolt-actions, then the LMG, and finally the sub-machine guns. Each type is grouped together in its expected place along the accuracy continuum which feels good. At 180m, it takes ~ 84 Mosin-Nagant rounds or ~ 126 PPS-43 rounds to cause a casualty in testing... So the PPS-43 is 50% less accurate but it's trivial for a PPS-43 shooter to exceed the rate-of-fire of the Mosin-Nagant by more than 50%. I know I wasn't supposed to consider ROF, but you see the point here. Just rough figures: Maybe a determined and steady Mosin-Nagant shooter gets off 10 rounds in a minute. In the same timeframe, as soon as a shooter behind a PPS-43 exceeds 15 shots he's causing more casualties on average at 180m (according to the test results). 2.) What's going on with the German Snipers? Why are they performing so much better than the Soviet Snipers? I believe I found the answer to this one hiding in plain sight. Yes, the German snipers performed better than the Soviet snipers but my working theory is because the German sniper test shooters ended up with a freakishly large proportion of designated 'Marksmen' rather than the basic 'Soldiers.' For the sniper shooters of both sides, I used Sniper Teams at 50% headcount in attempt to limit the teams to just guys with scoped rifles and avoid the SMG-toting buddies. However, even at the 50%, I found a couple German teams still had the MP-40 guy so I placed those at the 300m range knowing they wouldn't fire. (See thread about 200m hard range cut-off for SMGs here.) So those teams would have had improved spotting abilities relative to the singletons but I didn't worry about that as I only cared about the resulting aimed shots and not if the snipers had spotting help. As I placed the snipers of both sides I idly noted (mentally) that some were Marksman and some were Soldier but I didn't think much of it. However, I later had the impulse to mark which lanes contained Marksman and it was then that the Germans' relative overperformance made sense. The lanes with the m notation off to the side contained Marksman snipers and the ones without contained Soldier snipers. The # symbols designate K98 armament; the balance were armed with G43. (Digression, were G43 the predominant Heer sniper rifles?) You see I ended up with only four non-Marksman among 24 active lanes. (240m Lane 1 is the NULL lane referenced in footnote 3.) As you see, the accuracy of the non-Marksman snipers is significantly worse. As for the Soviets: You see they only ended up with two Marksman and they are the best two of their grouping although the effect is less discernable at 60m. Ironically, I put those two in the 60m grouping on purpose as I noticed they were carrying only 55 rounds per man compared with 150 rounds for the bulk of the Soviet snipers. My thought was that I wanted them at a closer range so they wouldn't run out of ammo and, at that time, I didn't make the connection between the Marksman designation and the lower ammo count. Although the sample size is small, we see that the few non-Marksman Germans perform comparably with the non-Marksman Soviets at a given range. So that riddle is tenatively solved. The German Sniper "results" should then be accompanied with a big asterisk at the moment and are subject to revision. But I thought I'd still show what I have for the moment to demonstrate the seeming weight of the Marksman-factor. Plus, the Snipers are such outliers in the scheme of these results. Even the regular Soldier Soviet snipers are 6 and 11 times more accurate than the Mosin-Nagant at 240m and 300m respectively. (1) More specifically, the number of action spots between the deployed shooters and targets were as follows: 7 - 56m, 15 - 120m, 22 - 176m, 30 - 240m, 37 - 296m. (Yes, I know you guys can do arithmetic.) (2) I know it's a more challenging shot when there is an elevation difference between shooter and target. That's not from experience, that's from reading Stephen Hunter novels. (3) There was one exception. In Lane 1 at 240m in the German Sniper test, I missed a cover arc on one of the Soviet sniper targets. The result was a shooter that got shot... So I threw out that particular lane and then ran another iteration with Lanes 2-5. Every other test scenario featured 4 iterations per lane wheras that one ended up with 0 iterations for Lane 1 and 5 iterations for lanes 2-5. (4) Naturally, in CMRT battles, there are occasions when automatic weapon fire DOES hit massed troops and multiple casualties are the realistic result. But again, I don't want to confuse that with the question of accuracy. (5) As with my earlier tests, I disregarded light wounds. The casualties shown in my results are KIA and serious wounds only.
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