Jump to content
Wodin

Halftrack gunners...

Recommended Posts

(..) Still doesn't excuse people from driving their HTs around the battle field expecting terminator like effects.

Maybe I'm a dumb SOB in using the halftracks, but as I stated earlier, Bill Hardenberger is a very meticulous and cautious player, who knows what he's doing. But even he got his sdkfz gunners annihilated over and over again in his battle against c3k. (Who, of course, will say that it was his awe-inspiring leadership that made his pixel-men perform so peculiarly well.)

But in spite of this mg-gunners hassle, I just finished the "Boy's against men" scenario for the second time, and I think it is a piece of art. It shows awfully good how difficult and complex urban combat is. A pleasure to play..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously! Sounds like a bug. Still doesn't excuse people from driving their HTs around the battle field expecting terminator like effects.

Nobody is expecting that.

Despite what some here seem to think, alot of us do not use HT's as rolling pillboxes.

I usually do not use HT's within 3-400 meters of the enemy. If I do, it is just to rush up and dump some units behind cover and then rush away again, with a buttoned crew (well, as buttoned as it gets in a HT).

But when I use my HT's to provide covering fire from distances of 400m+ the seem to get singled out by every tom, dick and harry on the enemy side and promptly executed.

We are not talking about someone setting up a lone HT in the open with no other troops around either.

I am talking about having engaged the enemy units already with infantry at closer ranges and then opening up with the halftracks MG to supress the enemy that is already in combat.

And then that enemy decides to ignore my troops that are at a far shorter range and often in far less cover than a weapon shield at 500+ meters would provide, to instead concentrate almost all their fire on this one machinegun (despite having 3-5 machineguns firing at them from the infantry squads at a much more lethal range). And not only that, but promptly hitting and killing the gunner whilst under heavy close range fire.

These are the results I (and many others here) are talking about.

NOT rushing in with halftracks in cramped streets with no infantry support and expecting them to dominate the enemy.

Just so we are clear here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does seem as if halftrack gunners are exceedingly vulnerable. Seemingly they die at faster rates compared to other more exposed AFV targets such as jeep drivers or passengers, or driver/operators of mobile AT assets even when the gun is pointed away from the shooters and the crewman are more exposed.

I don't have tests to support this. This is just a hunch that I have based upon game experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe I'm a dumb SOB in using the halftracks, but as I stated earlier, Bill Hardenberger is a very meticulous and cautious player, who knows what he's doing. But even he got his sdkfz gunners annihilated over and over again in his battle against c3k. (Who, of course, will say that it was his awe-inspiring leadership that made his pixel-men perform so peculiarly well.)

But in spite of this mg-gunners hassle, I just finished the "Boy's against men" scenario for the second time, and I think it is a piece of art. It shows awfully good how difficult and complex urban combat is. A pleasure to play..

Well, I guess there's nothing I need to say! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Half track men die at extreme ranges, ive had them roll onto the map and the gunners get hit straightaway, i agree with Oddball E8, their is something not quite right in MG with the gunners on halftracks, a minor point, but their is something not right, and its not Tactics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously! Sounds like a bug. Still doesn't excuse people from driving their HTs around the battle field expecting terminator like effects.

Not sure anyone expects or wants that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I created a firing lane and ran a test.

CM+Normandy+2013-10-25+09-40-48-75.jpg

German Half Tracks [251/1].

Each carrying a 6 man MG team.

Experience Veteran

Motivation Fanatical

Leadership +2

At a range of 50 Meters on open ground I placed:

3 man US Scout Team

Experience Veteran

Motivation Fanatical

Leadership +2

I ran 1000 instances with Half Track Buttoned and 1000 Unbuttoned.

Results:

rv-xd4Dak0DnxPEBhcXKXUnuy20cg9V3eeoo-JJbn4Q=w725-h557-no

UNBUTTONED.jpg

My anecdotal appraisal of the results of this test is as follows:

Unbuttoned Half Tracks suffer more casualties to vehicle crew members and non gunner passengers.

But fewer casualties overall because the gunner is more likely to spot early and get the first shot off to kill / suppress the Scouts.

I believe there is a MUCH higher incidence than should occur of the Half Track spotting the Scout team before the Scouts manage to spot the vehicle.

Eight seconds for a Veteran Scout team looking in the direction of an enemy AFV completely in the open at 50m is WAY TOO LONG, but I think that's the spotting cycle issue.

It seemed that buttoned Half Tracks were spotted by the Scouts first more regularly and there were many instances of Scout teams proceeding to repeatedly take the heads off gunners as they popped their heads up one at a time.

It has been my opinion, and still is, that HT Gunners and Tank Commanders are bullet magnets.

My intention is to run the test twice more with two different set ups.

One with the Half Track facing a US Infantry Squad at 100m, and another facing a US M1917A1 Heavy Machine Gun at 200m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting test! Although it is an unrealistic matchup, it's not a bad test and was run enough to have statistical meaning. Though the conclusions can't be too broad given how artificial this is and that the number of HT gunner casualties weren't separated out from other crew casualties. That being said...

Even with the US being at 50m with 2x Thompson and 1x Sniper Rifle, and being Fanatical, the Germans suffered only 2.6% casualties when unbuttoned. The US suffered 44% casualties.

Further, the Germans suffered 1:2 KIA/WIA while the US suffered 3:1 KIA/WIA. Which means, on a hit by hit basis, the Germans were nearly 3 times more likely to be wounded instead of killed compared to the US. When buttoned the ratio is even more favorable to the Germans with 4 times more likely to be WIA than KIA compared to the US. Thus proving that the armor increases survivability even when hit by a big margin.

And I think if the buttoned test were run again with the upcoming patch things would be even more favorable to the Germans. The reason is there was a bug (or logic flaw, I should say) that didn't properly account for ballistic glass for the driver and co-driver vision protection. Which means in the game now rounds can get into through the front of the HT that most likely shouldn't. I have no idea how much better the test results would be for the Germans, but I suspect quite a bit more.

Anyway, although this test is quite limited in terms of being a basis for wide ranging conclusions, I think it pretty clearly shows that perception might not be all that reliable.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AHHHH SORRY...

MAJOR CORRECTION.

The Numbers I provided in my previous post were for the first block of 250 Instances, NOT the full 1000. My mistake.

It should read:

BUTTONED+2.jpg

UNBUTTONED+2.jpg

Which means at 50 meters, 30% of the time a completely exposed Scout team is killing more men than the MG42 Gunner can from the Buttoned HT.

I'll tabulate the 1000 and provide a total.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I created a firing lane and ran a test.

CM+Normandy+2013-10-25+09-40-48-75.jpg

German Half Tracks [251/1].

Each carrying a 6 man MG team.

Experience Veteran

Motivation Fanatical

Leadership +2

At a range of 50 Meters on open ground I placed:

3 man US Scout Team

Experience Veteran

Motivation Fanatical

Leadership +2

I ran 1000 instances with Half Track Buttoned and 1000 Unbuttoned.

Results:

rv-xd4Dak0DnxPEBhcXKXUnuy20cg9V3eeoo-JJbn4Q=w725-h557-no

UNBUTTONED.jpg

My anecdotal appraisal of the results of this test is as follows:

Unbuttoned Half Tracks suffer more casualties to vehicle crew members and non gunner passengers.

But fewer casualties overall because the gunner is more likely to spot early and get the first shot off to kill / suppress the Scouts.

I believe there is a MUCH higher incidence than should occur of the Half Track spotting the Scout team before the Scouts manage to spot the vehicle.

Eight seconds for a Veteran Scout team looking in the direction of an enemy AFV completely in the open at 50m is WAY TOO LONG, but I think that's the spotting cycle issue.

It seemed that buttoned Half Tracks were spotted by the Scouts first more regularly and there were many instances of Scout teams proceeding to repeatedly take the heads off gunners as they popped their heads up one at a time.

It has been my opinion, and still is, that HT Gunners and Tank Commanders are bullet magnets.

My intention is to run the test twice more with two different set ups.

One with the Half Track facing a US Infantry Squad at 100m, and another facing a US M1917A1 Heavy Machine Gun at 200m

Considering the fact that what most are discussing here is the unrealistic accuracy and hit frequency at long ranges, running a test at 50 meters (and 100m and 200m) does nothing to help this discussion.

Change the test to 500+ meters and it will be relevant.

Even better yet, try it with the halftrack unbuttoned but with a short cover arc as some has pointed out that it seems to stop enemy troops from shooting at it.

(also, empty halftrack since it is specifically halftrack GUNNERS we are worried about, not the passengers).

So whilst I do appreciate the effort of making the test, it was rather pointless for the discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, that changes things dramatically. Well, here's some constructive criticism:

1. "Buttoned" HTs still fire their weapons unless they are given an arc shorter than the closest target. So there actually is very little difference between "buttoned" and "unbuttoned" except for the fact that the US gets a bit of a jump on the Germans when "buttoned" and (due to the aforementioned problem) HT occupants are more likely to be hit if the vehicle is "unbuttoned".

2. Since the discussion is about HT Gunners it is better if you have nobody in the vehicles unless you want to see how many Gunners can be hit over the course of the test. However, Gunners should be noted separately from other passengers.

3. You didn't specify how long the test lasted. 60 seconds? This matters in different ways depending on what the test is.

4. Increase the range to something in the hundreds of meters. 50m gives us an extreme situation, so all that does is test worst case for the Germans.

5. If you increase the range you'll want to swap out the Scouts for something else. That's because 2 out of their 3 weapons are short range. I suggest a Demo Team since they'll use their rifles and the HTs are out of range of demo charges.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it seems the real anomaly in the test I ran is the number of Half Tracks Knocked Out when Unbuttoned.

Over the course of the full 1000 Unbuttoned iterations 13 Half Tracks were destroyed.

0 Buttened were destroyed.

OK, so the test doesn't help in relation to the current discussion.

Is there agreement on what would make a good test and what records to take?

I'm happy to run it to 1000 instances.

When I set up the first run it was to see how many gunners and there replacements might be killed over the course of 1 minute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

My on-hand 251 references are practically nil, but some digging turned up useful info. The vision ports for the 251 (and presumably 250) could be operated in three modes: entire assembly opened up (zero ballistic protection and used only in the rear areas), armor glass vision blocks in place, but armor cover not down (typical) and vision blocks in place, with armor cover down (best protection for driver and adjacent person, but impaired vision via looking through narrow slit). The 251/D had only side slits, rather than the full vision blocks on the earlier versions of the 251 and 250.

The other thing I discovered is that the 251 rear seats had two positions: up (for troop comfort) and down (for better protection). That's discussed and shown here. Please don't let Moon smite me!

http://www.track48.com/shop/xnews.php?newsid=587

Regards,

John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve,

The vision ports for the 251 (and presumably 250) could be operated in three modes: entire assembly opened up (zero ballistic protection and used only in the rear areas), armor glass vision blocks in place, but armor cover not down (typical) and vision blocks in place, with armor cover down (best protection for driver and adjacent person, but impaired vision via looking through narrow slit).

Good argument, but in combat the vision armor is applied. I'm wondering if the armored vision slits are modelled when buttoned?

In my tests there were quite some hits of the drivers even in buttoned state and although the vehicles were driving fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nobody is expecting that.

Despite what some here seem to think, alot of us do not use HT's as rolling pillboxes.

I usually do not use HT's within 3-400 meters of the enemy. If I do, it is just to rush up and dump some units behind cover and then rush away again, with a buttoned crew (well, as buttoned as it gets in a HT).

But when I use my HT's to provide covering fire from distances of 400m+ the seem to get singled out by every tom, dick and harry on the enemy side and promptly executed.

Well thanks for that. Perhaps I am a dumb SOB but this is the first example of even remotely reasonable use that still indicates a problem. Every other example was "I drove HT 100m away from the enemy" or "when my HTs are up with my front line troops". Hence my comment about people expecting terminator like behaviour.

If we can create some tests that show this problem then we have something to talk about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My men were motivated. Oddballs are not. ;)

Don't use my BETA aar to compare the release version. Also, every one of my teams had smg's (volume of fire) and scoped enfields with marksmen. My men were highly experienced.

Whereas there MAY be an issue, my game vs. Bil is an apple to Oddball's orange.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so the test doesn't help in relation to the current discussion.

Is there agreement on what would make a good test and what records to take?

I think you will get good results if you try my setup. I put an 8 story building at one end and the HT's at the other. Use 500m map.

Put the HT's in unbuttoned mode with a very short cover arc. Put Elite snipers in the top floors of the buildings. You might have to immobilize the HT's because as they are hit they will retreat.

Let the turns run for several minutes and record how many "gunners" are picked off.

***Now run the same situation but take off the cover arc. Record how many "gunners" get picked off now.

In the short test I did I noticed that the snipers will still take shots and occasionally pick off a gunner but nothing like what happens as soon as the arc is taken off. Like I said I did one small test so if your 1000 run test does not show a significant difference do not jump me.

For the hell of it put an infantry squad in the same firing lane and run move them towards the sniper. From what I seen the sniper will ignore the HT and try to take out the infantry on foot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, if you are going to spend time running tests you should make them have some reasonable bearing on normal game conditions. Especially the game conditions people are claiming to be problematic. Having Elite snipers in 8 story buildings doesn't have any relevance. The HTs being 50m away from Scout Teams in open terrain doesn't either, but a bit more. There's hundreds of things you could test for, but unless you're testing for the things that we're talking about there's not much point. At least for this discussion.

One thing that is already fixed for the next patch is the vision blocks for German HTs were not treated as having ballistic glass. This was discovered a while ago and for whatever reason the fix didn't get into the current version. But it will for the next round.

What this means is that when a buttoned HT is being shot at there's a greater chance of bullets/fragments passing through the front and into the compartment. The gunner is one of the first things a bullet would hit if it passed through. This has no bearing on unbuttoned HTs, though, because there's nothing but air in those two spaces.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to note... there is some TacAI behavior which basically says to infantry "don't poke the bear if he's sleeping". Meaning, if the HT isn't shooting at them they tend not to engage the HT unless the player orders it to happen. That's because, relatively speaking, soldiers don't tend to plink at an armored MG unless they think they either have to or something good will come of it.

What this means is that Cover Arcs, to control HT's from firing, will also skew the results. Once the HTs are taken under fire they will tend to fire back even if they have Cover Arcs. But even that depends on things like range and quality of the shot and other factors.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is some info that may be relevant. Also keep in mind that a HT gunner is on top of a very large and recognizable vehicle with a very distinct silhouette which makes a big difference.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110726200647AAXqgqH

An elite sniper shooting from an 8 story building is going to be able to hit a lot more than just a gunner in a HT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing that is already fixed for the next patch is the vision blocks for German HTs were not treated as having ballistic glass. This was discovered a while ago and for whatever reason the fix didn't get into the current version. But it will for the next round.

I don't want to sound bold, but the armor protection with the tiny slits seems not to be modelled yet?

For the most realism and I guess also a very nice improvement to gameplay would be, if the player could decide if he wants to apply the armored vision slits independently from button/unbutton of the gunner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have made my own HT gunnery range, and it seems to me that the problem is that the HT gunners never duck from incoming fire. I agree with the earlier poster who said there needs to be some sort of "cower" behavior for the gunners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×