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Halftrack gunners...

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Photo of reenactment above shows that the gunner is more exposed than the men behind the wall.

Not quite since the men "behind" the wall are actually lying down and aiming through a small opening... so not really applicable.

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It's even worse for the american halftracks.

I have had .50 cal HT's with a full squad in them standing on a hill some 1000+ meters from the enemy shooting with their .50 cal.

In the end the enemy caused more casualties to that squad by killing the .50 cal gunners one by one than the casualties caused by the .50 cal itself...

Were these vehicles ever used in support at any distance in real life? Because it seems to be a certain death for one of the passengers to get up and use the gun...

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Scenario from MG, Boys against men, germans attacking up the road, halftrack appears at eastern edge every man and his dog shoot at it!!! Killing gunner, meanwhile i have 3 stugs and about a company of infantry between them and the halftrack. Id say there is a bug!!

Joanna hoeve farm, if you want to die be a halftrack gunner, play that and see them fall.

Sorry there is something wrong? some glitch which makes them redshirts from star trek.

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In the first scenanrio of the German campaign everytime I got some men into a halftrack to provide some suppression they where taken out in seconds rather than minutes..

Never noticed it like this before.

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Would it be better if HT gunners could button up but keep firing. Similar to tanks and infantry firing "briefly" even after direct LOS is lost. The gunner sees target, opens fire, receives fire, ducks but still gets of a few bursts in the general direction?

Is it really that wrong for HT gunners to be so visible? I doubt they could see anything from a moving HT trough the gap in the shields IRL. But an additional lower position could be suitable?

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I'm sure you would keep low and your head below the shield guard if giving suppressive fire to a house or something..this doesn't happen at the moment. Maybe a modifier should be in place that helps the gunner stay alive to replicate them keeping their head below the shield..that would save any animation issues. If they put the animation in then maybe it could be set with the button icon..if you button up the gunner puts his head below the shield but loses alot of sighting benefits..this would be cool for a suppressive fire role...where if you want them picking off Inf running across a field or something then you will have to be unbuttoned and have his head above the shield.

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My experience is that MG gunners in HTs are picked off to easily at medium ranges. I think poesel71s tests with KW and HT are telling.

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Depends if its AP or ball ammo. By the next module BF will have figured out a way to differentiate load-outs between the 2 :D

Here is a threat that talks about 30 Cal M2 AP:

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-306879.html

The numbers i've read and also the numbers mentioned in the link suggest that the .30 AP and the SMK-mauser ammo has a penetration of about 10mm of steel at 100m at 90 degrees. The front of the 251 is armored at 12.5mm angled at 22 degrees, the flanks are 8mm at 30 degrees. If i remember correctly the 251 were build with high hardened plates. I see nearly no chance for the 0.30 gunner to penetrate the armor at almost any range frontaly or even with flanking shots.

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Just read an interesting paragraph in Into Oblivion by Jason Marks. A Halftrack towing an Anti tank gun had to rush up within 400m of the Russians and under a hail of fire managed to unload and set up the Gun..only when it was smothered with a barrage where any gun crew taken out.

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I'll try again:

I think the HT damage model is ok but I don't think the behaviour of the HT gunners is. They should:

1) be more careful and button up earlier under fire / stay buttoned when their comrade has just been killed

2) keep your head down a bit more (set model a bit lower)

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I agree..my comment above was to show that not only did the men get out of the halftrack they also got the gun unlimbered and set up without losing a man and under a hail of fire. Yet in CM a target the size of a head is hit within seconds. The halftrack also managed to drive away afterwards.

I'll try again:

I think the HT damage model is ok but I don't think the behaviour of the HT gunners is. They should:

1) be more careful and button up earlier under fire / stay buttoned when their comrade has just been killed

2) keep your head down a bit more (set model a bit lower)

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I'll try again:

I think the HT damage model is ok but I don't think the behaviour of the HT gunners is. They should:

1) be more careful and button up earlier under fire / stay buttoned when their comrade has just been killed

2) keep your head down a bit more (set model a bit lower)

There may be something to this. The relative exposure of the 250/251 MG gunners bay be about right, but the gunners may be a bit too "brave" under heavy fire. I don't think I have ever seen a HT gunner exhibit any kind of "cower" behavior, ducking down under the armor when under heavy fire or anything like this. You can contrast this to an MG team deployed on the ground, who will frequently cower and seek cover under even modest incoming fire.

It is worth noting that while adding some kind of cower behavior to HT gunners might increase their survivability, it would also reduce the HT's utility as a fire support vehicle, since presumably the gunner would not be able to fire the MG when cowering. This might well be realistic, though. The net effect would be that incoming small arms fire would be more likely to temporarily "neuter" the HT, but less likely to actually kill the gunner; you'd have to keep the HT under fire to keep it from shooting back.

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There may be something to this. The relative exposure of the 250/251 MG gunners bay be about right, but the gunners may be a bit too "brave" under heavy fire.

Yup, I think this is part of the problem. As stated in the PzGren manual the gunner is supposed to crouch down when he finds himself being shot at. Now, why is that? Obviously because the Germans found out that in real life that small shield didn't offer enough protection if the enemy has taken an active interest in taking the HT gunner out of action. Of course if we implemented that tomorrow by nightfall we'd have people screaming about how "broken" the new behavior is because in X situation they think their gunners should be up and firing. There's always room for complaining :D

The manual also clearly states that the HTs should be using terrain as cover to the fullest extent possible. And then keep moving, firing, moving, firing, etc.

As stated many times already, tactics are as important as the game physics. My experience with wargamers is they tend to not move their mobile fire support units around like their real world counterparts. This should absolutely cause a different end result in wargames compared to real life.

In fact, this is a great time to point out the huge flaw in traditional "outcome" based approach for wargames. In this case, trying to figure out what the chance of killing a HT gunner is and then assigning that value to the vehicle. Which means you, the player, can do all kinds of stupid and unrealistic things in the game and have the same chance of getting penalized for it as a real world HT using the best possible tactics. That's total crap :D Which is why CM is "input" based, where outcomes are not the result of a predetermined expected case.

Oh, and I just have to say again... anybody thinks that taking these "training films" without a pinch of salt has a lot to learn about the fine line between training films and propaganda (sometimes there was no line). While such things absolutely have a role to play in historical research, it is a non-starter argument to think that any one source of information trumps all other sources. Including the written German training manual.

Steve

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They seem to get picked off too easily for me as well. It would actually get kind of silly at times. During one of the Kampfgruppe Engel scenarios, my men were shooting up Canadian halftracks and it made me laugh at how easy it was. The halftracks were all moving at their top speed, and they were moving parallel to my line, so my men were shooting into the flanks of their gunners as they drove by.

I don't think they were more than a few hundred meters away, but it seemed like my men would have had to lead their targets a bit to hit the fast moving halftracks, and even though I was shooting into their flanks, only the gunners' upper bodies were exposed.

At the distance, speed and direction they were going, it seemed like it would have been tough to even hit the vehicles, let alone the gunners, and yet they were so accurate it's like they were using laser beams or something. Usually it would take just one burst and the gunner was hit. Then the next guy would get up and take the gun, and then immediately get hit, and then another and so on and so on. It was like whack-a-mole. I think one of their halftracks went through three gunners inside of a minute before it was blown to bits by a tank.

Troops in this game often seem to have trouble hitting even fully exposed men right out in the open, yet they easily hit the halftrack gunners even with just their head or upper body exposed, and this happens in every scenario where I see halftracks.

I think they should be a lot harder to hit, and the gunners should be able to be suppressed like ordinary troopers. They should get down and cower in the bottom of the vehicle when they get shot at, and they shouldn't stick their head up over the gun shield like they do. They should actually aim down the sights, looking through the firing slit when they shoot, instead of sticking their whole head up over the shield.

I always thought that taking out tank commanders and halftrack gunners would be one of the main uses of your snipers, yet just about anyone can take them down with no difficulty at all. IIRC, this is exactly how it was in CMx1 wasn't it? Snipers in CMx1 would prioritize exposed crewmen and either take them down right away or force them to button up after one shot or so, while sometimes it was difficult to even get them to button up, let alone cause casualties, with ordinary infantry fire.

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...

Of course if we implemented that tomorrow by nightfall we'd have people screaming about how "broken" the new behavior is because in X situation they think their gunners should be up and firing. There's always room for complaining :D

Since currently they die so fast I doubt there would be much complaining because of lacking heroism. Dead men don't shoot.

In fact, this is a great time to point out the huge flaw in traditional "outcome" based approach for wargames.

I like CMs approach better of course. But we users can only test the outcome. So the test results will always be a measure of the "real outcome" vs "expected outcome" as in traditional wargames.

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Yup, I think this is part of the problem. As stated in the PzGren manual the gunner is supposed to crouch down when he finds himself being shot at. Now, why is that? Obviously because the Germans found out that in real life that small shield didn't offer enough protection if the enemy has taken an active interest in taking the HT gunner out of action. Of course if we implemented that tomorrow by nightfall we'd have people screaming about how "broken" the new behavior is because in X situation they think their gunners should be up and firing. There's always room for complaining :D

The manual also clearly states that the HTs should be using terrain as cover to the fullest extent possible. And then keep moving, firing, moving, firing, etc.

As stated many times already, tactics are as important as the game physics. My experience with wargamers is they tend to not move their mobile fire support units around like their real world counterparts. This should absolutely cause a different end result in wargames compared to real life.

In fact, this is a great time to point out the huge flaw in traditional "outcome" based approach for wargames. In this case, trying to figure out what the chance of killing a HT gunner is and then assigning that value to the vehicle. Which means you, the player, can do all kinds of stupid and unrealistic things in the game and have the same chance of getting penalized for it as a real world HT using the best possible tactics. That's total crap :D Which is why CM is "input" based, where outcomes are not the result of a predetermined expected case.

Oh, and I just have to say again... anybody thinks that taking these "training films" without a pinch of salt has a lot to learn about the fine line between training films and propaganda (sometimes there was no line). While such things absolutely have a role to play in historical research, it is a non-starter argument to think that any one source of information trumps all other sources. Including the written German training manual.

Steve

Steve,

Just to clarify, if I understand you correctly there was a "not" missing from your point, which I have added in my quote above?

I take your, and everyone else's similar, points about the best remedy being to adopt prudent tactics that don't treat the halftracks as mobile pill boxes.

But ... there is still a but, as set out Kenzie, that considers not how fast gunners get hit per se, but how fast they get hit compared with other (part or whole body) human targets? And they do somehow seem easier to hit than ostensibly more - or at least, as - visible other targets?

Not because it will "answer" the question, but only out of curiosity, is it possible for you to explain how the shot result calculations are affected for the target of a firing halftrack gunner? I realise that any explanation will be limited by a)game secrets and B) what I can understand. (You'll likely find the second factor a much bigger limitation than the first ... :D )

I am thinking of issues surrounding their presence in a vehicle, but not being treated for this purpose as protected crew and so not subject to vehicle penetration calculations and algorithms. They are a (part) human target, with variably small parts of that target covered by armour, but potentially moving around the battlefield at up to 35 (?) km/hr (though often not).

What factors determine a) the priority of their selection as a target by the enemy tac AI, and B) how many aimed shots will hit them?

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The problem at the moment is the HT MG is useless..you don't even get time to shoot and scoot..sometimes lucky to get more than two bursts off, esp when playing WEGO, in realtime you could see it under fire and make an effort to pull out..in WEGO you just have to sit and watch him get killed.

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The manual also clearly states that the HTs should be using terrain as cover to the fullest extent possible. And then keep moving, firing, moving, firing, etc.

As stated many times already, tactics are as important as the game physics. My experience with wargamers is they tend to not move their mobile fire support units around like their real world counterparts. This should absolutely cause a different end result in wargames compared to real life.

In fact, this is a great time to point out the huge flaw in traditional "outcome" based approach for wargames. In this case, trying to figure out what the chance of killing a HT gunner is and then assigning that value to the vehicle. Which means you, the player, can do all kinds of stupid and unrealistic things in the game and have the same chance of getting penalized for it as a real world HT using the best possible tactics. That's total crap :D

Oh the irony of it all. Steve makes his point about us war-gamers using unsound tactics. That's what he meant by stupid and unrealistic right :D

And then we get this post about using unsound tactics and getting punished for it.

Wait, is it irony when this happens regularly?

They seem to get picked off too easily for me as well. It would actually get kind of silly at times. During one of the Kampfgruppe Engel scenarios, my men were shooting up Canadian halftracks and it made me laugh at how easy it was. The halftracks were all moving at their top speed, and they were moving parallel to my line, so my men were shooting into the flanks of their gunners as they drove by.

I don't think they were more than a few hundred meters away, but it seemed like my men would have had to lead their targets a bit to hit the fast moving halftracks, and even though I was shooting into their flanks, only the gunners' upper bodies were exposed.

The armour on those Canadian HTs can be penetrated by German rifle rounds from the side and at those ranges. To me it sounds like you got off easy if you lost a few gunners. Sounds like you should have lost passengers too.

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Yup, I think this is part of the problem. As stated in the PzGren manual the gunner is supposed to crouch down when he finds himself being shot at.

Sounds like a good point. Couple that with the KW passenger survivability test there could be some tweaking needed. Thanks for look at this Steve.

In the mean time we can all try to use our HTs better and keep them back a bit further than we have been and we will be better off.

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Since currently they die so fast I doubt there would be much complaining because of lacking heroism. Dead men don't shoot.

Wait a sec... are you new here? No? Then I don't know what you're talking about, because the customers I interact with most certainly will complain :D In fact, a large amount of the complaints now are probably the result of bad tactics, not a problem with the game. This is a typical problem with Humans.

An unrelated example is honey bee "Colony Collapse Disorder" where hives suddenly die. I have heard several experts, who manage thousands of hives themselves, say that when they investigate claims of CCD they often find more evidence that the bee keeper screwed up something and that was the primary cause of the die off. Those bee keepers find it easier to blame their own failings on a mysterious problem than on their own lack of good judgement/procedures.

Gamers in general, and wargamers specifically, are absolutely like this. Always have been, always will be. It is our job to sort out the REAL problems from perceived ones.

I like CMs approach better of course. But we users can only test the outcome. So the test results will always be a measure of the "real outcome" vs "expected outcome" as in traditional wargames.

Right, but if the person has flawed and unrealistic expectations for what the "expected outcome" is then he won't have a valid conclusion. And then they come here complaining that the game is "broken" and x thing is "useless", even though there's nothing really wrong.

One of the best examples I can remember is people back in the CMBO days saying that StuGs were "broken" because they weren't killing tanks left and right like they thought they should. But the reason why their StuGs were dying so quickly is that they were trying to use them in close quarter battles with faster, turreted Allied tanks. Nothing wrong with the game, everything wrong with the player.

Steve,

Just to clarify, if I understand you correctly there was a "not" missing from your point, which I have added in my quote above?

Dang, I'm always doing that! I fixed it. Thanks.

I take your, and everyone else's similar, points about the best remedy being to adopt prudent tactics that don't treat the halftracks as mobile pill boxes.

That is probably the #1 problem here. That doesn't mean it is the *only* problem, but it is almost definitely the primary one. Which means if we make some tweaks to game behavior those people are almost certainly going to continue complaining that we haven't gone far enough because their bad tactics are still leading to about the same casualty rates as before.

But ... there is still a but, as set out Kenzie, that considers not how fast gunners get hit per se, but how fast they get hit compared with other (part or whole body) human targets? And they do somehow seem easier to hit than ostensibly more - or at least, as - visible other targets?

We've done extensive, and exhaustive, testing on this theory and have produced statistical results that show this is not true.

Not because it will "answer" the question, but only out of curiosity, is it possible for you to explain how the shot result calculations are affected for the target of a firing halftrack gunner? I realise that any explanation will be limited by a)game secrets and B) what I can understand. (You'll likely find the second factor a much bigger limitation than the first ... :D )

Each shot in CM is aimed at a specific target. Accuracy depends on a huge amount of variables, of course, but once the round is fired it travels according to physics and collide with whatever gets in its path. If that's the gun shield then it hits the gun shield and ballistic vs. armor physics kick in. If the bullet intersects with the gunner, he gets a good chance of suffering a wound. There's no magic going on, just straight ballistic physics.

What factors determine a) the priority of their selection as a target by the enemy tac AI, and B) how many aimed shots will hit them?

As you would expect the TacAI targets things which it feels present the biggest risk and/or best reward. It's a balancing act. If an infantry unit has no other visible targets other than a HT then it's going to focus all it's attention on that HT because what else does it have to do?

Which is part of the tactics problem that I'm sure is biting a lot of players in the butt. The more you keep the enemy suppressed and distracted the less likely any individual friendly unit will get focused on. The better positioned (tactically) friendly units are vs. the source of threat the more likely it will survive being shot at. The opposite is also true in both cases.

Players who do not practice good combined arms tactics, including recon, and fire/move behavior are basically providing the enemy with opportunities they shouldn't have. There's nothing the game system can do about that. Bad tactics should lead to bad results.

The problem at the moment is the HT MG is useless..you don't even get time to shoot and scoot..sometimes lucky to get more than two bursts off, esp when playing WEGO, in realtime you could see it under fire and make an effort to pull out..in WEGO you just have to sit and watch him get killed.

Bah, that's just nonsense. Overstated, unsupportable, (at best) anecdotal statements like this add absolutely nothing to the conversation other than reinforce my point that gamers are most likely the ones most responsible for losing their HT gunners, not the game.

However you do make a good point, sorta :) Bad tactics are easier to correct in RealTime than in WeGo *if* the player is paying attention to that specific area at critical time. Otherwise it's just as easy to get into trouble in RT as it is in WeGo. In fact, I'd argue it's a lot easier to get into trouble in RT than WeGo because generally speaking RT gameplay is less micromanaged than WeGo.

Steve

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HT gunners do seem to die fast and I don't know if that really was the case or.not, but I would hate to see a tweak that make HTs into Bradley fighting vechicles and players start using them that way.

I don't think the my squads can't hit infantry , but have little trouble hitting HT of gunners is a valid comparison. Infantry even at close distances can be very difficult to spot. Even on what appears to be clear and flat terrain there are folds and other places where infantry can hide. You could easily walk past infantry hiding in a fold or slight undulation and never see then.

HTs on the other hand are large targets with outlines that make them easy to see and giid aiming points.

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In fact, a large amount of the complaints now are probably the result of bad tactics, not a problem with the game.

How can a complaint be a result of bad tactics if at least me doesn't lose any HT gunners at all? Why? Because I keep them away from any small arms fire and use them like trucks. Good tactics but unrealistic. Therefore my complaint.

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Steve:

I guess I am a bit confused by your posts. Could you please clarify if you think there is a problem with the Tac AI and half-track machine gun usage? I think many of the posters think that the Tac AI is a bit slow to react to incoming fire, i.e. the gunner should duck sooner. Is this something that could/should be altered?

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The armour on those Canadian HTs can be penetrated by German rifle rounds from the side and at those ranges. To me it sounds like you got off easy if you lost a few gunners. Sounds like you should have lost passengers too.

Well I was shooting up AI-controlled halftracks, and they indeed lost passengers. Not nearly as many as their gunners though. It was on that one Kampfgruppe Engel map where the AI Canadians have to race toward one of the map edges and you have to intercept them. They weren't that far away but it was foggy. My troops were firing at nearly their maximum visual range with the fog on that map. I just remember thinking how silly it looked to see my troops zero in so accurately on the gunners, only to have more gunners pop up and immediately get shot again. It just seems so different from the way units normally fire at each other. Then I come to this forum and there's a thread on it, and that seems to be what most of the complaints are about.

Battlefront seems to insist that nothing is wrong though. It would be nice if the gunners aren't so willing to stick their heads up over the top of the shield though.

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