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I noticed we haven't had a topic dedicated to armor in CMBS so I decided it would be interesting to have discussions on it.

Today while playing a scenario I made, My T-90A was penetrated in the front hull by a RPG-7 VR warhead, Just where the front hull meets the front lower hull, I was wondering how much armor in RHA equivalent is modeled in game for the tanks. It really caught me off guard, My T-90A murdered a whole BTR-4E platoon but the dismounts avenged their comrades.

Also, How is the FCS and accuracy of tanks modeled? My T-90AM missed his first shot from 2.1 KM when he was stationary and in perfect condition. Although in the end result it didn't really matter since I got the kill. I'm not trying to criticize the game, I was just wondering how are things modeled and coded into the game. And what are the sources and stuff like that. 

Also I've realised the M1A2 is more dangerous up close... I've had great results from 2 KM and above, Using T-90AMs against them.

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I don't know what armor data modelled in the game, but in real glacis equivalent of T-90А is 500 mm LOS (590 mm LOS RHAe by other information), so PG-7VR with 650 mm penetration beyond ERA can penetrate its front hull. 

Edited by Haiduk

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That is something we never seem to get from the  designer since I can remember with the CMX2 family of games.

Back in the CMX1 days they had the little charts that showed some of the basic numbers for what their models were built on. But even then it was players basically running tons of test to normally show what was really happening within the game and then always comparing that to all the opinions everyone had as to how it should be.

Without giving out any hard numbers it becomes less effective to try and say what they have is inaccurate. Thus solving them having to defend their choices. I personally think it is done on purpose for just that reason.

So you can test away and find out what the game does, which by the way I enjoy your insight as to the fact you gave as to the longer range better performance for the T90am's

but unless something was really off, it does not bring any official comments.

 

Now I will say, players have found some incorrect results through testing in the CMX2 family of games and when it has been shown, given to BF and looked into. They go about fixing the problem. I recall that the models are very complex now and that they have missed a bad data entrée on a plate here and there before. And when they discussed and fixed the problem they did disclose what the plate thicknesses were and what they had found wrong in the game. Its the only time I have seen them give out the model data anymore.

 

I take their game for just that. I don't expect it to be perfect, I just want it to be a good attempt as to what the machines could do, no one really knows for sure what the real armor and rounds would do or not do to the exact range and angle. Their attempt to model it is much better than any other as far as games go in my world anyway.

So when players get their shorts in a knot over the game and its results at times I stay out of that stuff for I think of it as pretty stupid , unless as pointed out before. It is something that looks really off. Then its worth discussing

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What bothers me a little bit is how T-72B3 and T-90A ammo loads are modeled. There is no distinction between what is readily available and what is simply stored inside the tank. I just gave it a try and my T-72B3 fired a full 23 HE + 4 ATGM + 6 HEAT (33 shots) non stop, even though autoloader capacity is limited to 22 rounds. Manual loading, while a fairly straight forward process when the rounds are in gunner's hands, involves both commander and gunner getting separate propellant charges and the rounds together, manually fitting them inside the loading mechanism*. Not the fastest process with varied speed depending on where the rounds are stored. Filling up the autoloader is also a mechanized process that requires the stabilization system to be off-line, and therefore isn't really applicable to combat situations (read CM)**. 

A bonus thought. Most accounts of actual combat (most recent being Chechen campaigns) mention only autoloader being filled for the duration of the engagement. So for those of you making scenarios with Russian and Ukrainian armor the two closest supply levels to actual combat loads are "Severe" (18 rounds) and "Scarce" (28 rounds). I've not yet determined if lower ammunition loads make it harder to cause catastrophic explosions though. 

*T-72A Technical guide and Manual, book 2, part 1. Pages 147-151, 154

**T-72A Technical guide and Manual, book 2, part 1. Page 152

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BTR, In wartime all T-72 and T-90 tanks are filled with 22 rounds in the auto loader only, It actually does help alot to do that.

Slysniper, I get what you are saying. Of course they don't have to give those information out. I was just wondering, I appreciate the long reply.

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I find the comment about the auto loader more interesting. That is something that does make sense in that it should be modeled within the game.

So what is the standard procedure would you say is in place in those armies when the auto loader is depleted.

Are you saying they carry no more rounds and that they must go back to be supplied. or are you saying they do carry the additional rounds generally and they just need to exit combat and that the crew will reload the auto loader with the additional supply's carried.

For sure you seem to think that the crew would not want to find itself doing manual loads even though it is possible. Just not a situation that is advisable.

 

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So what is the standard procedure would you say is in place in those armies when the auto loader is depleted.

I can't speak for armies other than the Russian one, but the manual describes several scenarios.

1) You're out of A/L, but you still have ammo around you and you are in immediate danger.That involves: 

  • switching the A/L feed and cycle off, 
  • fixing the gun in a loadable position,
  • finding and loading the propellant charge and the round itself,
  • unfixing the gun, aiming and firing,
  • cycling the ejector.

This type of loading involves both gunner and commander loading rounds depending on where they are stored. First go the rounds stored in the turret, and then the rounds stored in the hull. Loading from the hull requires the gunner taking off and the commander lowering the back of their seats. The last three rounds stored in the hull require the turret to be slightly offset to the left and locked in place. If you are really in deep, then cycling the ejector isn't necessary, you can manually throw out a spent propellant case when loading the next one. Theoretically T-90AM/M manual loading should be faster since 10 rounds are stored in an easily accessible rack behind the turret, however I am not sure how the loading process looks there. 

2) You're out of A/L, but you still have ammo and you are in no danger. That involves:

  • lowering the gun as much as possible,
  • switching the stabilization system off and locking the turret in place,
  • removing the back of the gunner's seat and removing commander's seat altogether
  • switching the A/L into loading mode
  • feeding the loader the rounds and the propellant charge one by one 
  • cycling the loading tray after every load.

This type of loading can't really be done in combat, and is really pretty much the same as regular loading. 

BTR, In wartime all T-72 and T-90 tanks are filled with 22 rounds in the auto loader only, It actually does help alot to do that.

I am fully aware of that. The only real reason to stock up is for simple transport of ammo from one position to the next. Having the A/L only means that the ammo is stored in the most secure place, and your tank weights less. Both things are good. For Sly, as you can see, having more ammo isn't really an advantage since you can't really use it effectively anyways.    

 

 

 

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So really, for all intents and purposes. 22 rounds really is all that is available for combat.

You could say that additional rounds can be used. But it requires the crew to locate itself to a safe location and reload the additional rounds into the auto loader and then they could pull back into combat.

So for game purposes, the additional rounds could be modeled useable only after the crew did the reload function.

So if I am seeing this clearly. There should be a feature for reloading which would when selected. Basically make the tank pretty inoperable for a period of time to do the function. The tank would basically be blind since the crew is busy while doing this. I am assuming to reload the tank would take what, approx. a minute to reload each shell into the auto loader or something along that lines. So the reload feature would need to take into account that if the player turns it back off. Only a certain amount of shells would have been reloaded given the amount of time it has been sitting doing that function and it would still require another minute or so before the crew would be situated and back into being able to having a functioning combat ready machine.

Would this be correct in how you would see that the tank should be modeled in the game as to portraying how in might really work?

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So really, for all intents and purposes. 22 rounds really is all that is available for combat.

Yes, certainly for most types of combat scenarios that is what will be loaded and available on the battlefield.

The speed for manual reload on a T-72 (not that much different from any soviet tank in terms of the actual ergonomics or technique) is around 3-1 rounds a minute. The way I see this best represented in CM would be:

  • Autoloaded rounds are reloaded at a normal rate. Whatever that rate might be, I need to run some tests to see how much that really is.
  • Stored rounds are reloaded at around 3-1 rounds per minute.
  • The last 3 or 4 rounds (depending on the tank) are reloaded at around 2-1 rounds per minute rate only when the tank is stationary.

The norm for assisted reloading a full conveyor for a T-64 style mechanism takes around 13-15 minutes, T-72 should be around the same, perhaps a couple of minutes shorter. I have my doubts reloading that long is a useful feature in CM, but then again, we have some fire missions take that long so this is up for discussion*. 

*Again, T-72A Technical guide and Manual, book 2, part 1. Page 152 explicitly states that reloading the A/L is not an action that should be performed during combat. 

 

Edited by BTR

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Hmm....interesting. I know that CMSF modeled the relative ease of retrieval of the M1's ammo. The ready racks were fast/easy. The extra rounds stored in the sponsons/floor? took a LOT longer to load and were only used when the bustle racks were empty.

Time to check the T-72/T-90.

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Time to check the T-72/T-90.

I just gave it a try and my T-72B3 fired a full 23 HE + 4 ATGM + 6 HEAT (33 shots) non stop, even though autoloader capacity is limited to 22 rounds.

I hate replying with a quote, but I am lazy on Mondays :). It would be interesting to see if T-64 and T-80 lines behave the same way though. 

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Sorry for derailing the topic header, but I do think this auto loader modeling is much more interesting and is worth a discussion.

Personally  I have a hard time believing any army would not have the protocol to pull the unit out of the front line action. Go back to a location where with relative safety you reload the auto rack instead of trying to stay in a fight where your reload times are somewhere between 20 to 60 seconds.

So it sounds like maybe a crew could reload a auto rack in about 10 minutes.

And no I do not see it out of the cm scope.

There is scenarios that are multiple hours long. They have some ammo dumps modeled now within the game.

there is no reason to not believe that truck or supplies of armor rounds  are not important to represent in front line actions. There is always supplies. and their final drop off points and distribution is and can be within the map areas of some of the larger battles when there is time for it.  So far it is only small arm being done. But armor has the need also.

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One of the most satisfying things I have done with the latest version of the game is have a platoon of infantry burn through all the high auto ammo rounds and replace them with a fresh platoon while I withdrawal them back past a few layers of cover and resupply them from trucks and such which are parked pretty much outside the direct area of combat and then rotate them back in for the unit I switch them out with.

I would love to be able to manage armor ammo also in a realistic manor.

I am not one of them nuts that dream of huge battles that portrays days or many hours of action. But for them, the resupply thing and allowing the game to run for more hours has always been a desire.

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And no I do not see it out of the cm scope.

Well I suppose that having this capability is a lot better not having it. Point is, it is currently lacking any sort of representation at all. Also, if someone wants to help determining if "loaded" tanks have a lower chance to survive that'd be great.  

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Furthermore, it would be nice to have the gun lock vertically when being reloaded, additionally I think that having the spent casing being ejected from out of the turret would be a neat visual effect. The same applies to BMP-3 vehicles as well.

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Theoretically T-90AM/M manual loading should be faster since 10 rounds are stored in an easily accessible rack behind the turret, however I am not sure how the loading process looks there.

 

These are not easily accessible, at least not in combat, as they are only accessible from outside of the tank.

 

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Edited by akd

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I was reading the new Osprey T-64 book and it stated that some UKR T-64s were lost to RPGs because there ERA was date-expired and therefore much less effective than it should have been.  How often do you have to swap out tiles if this is true?

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Thewood1,

It's not the tiles per se but the explosives, for everything else is metal. I have high confidence in my answer because I've read of situations (Grozhny, I believe) in which ERA equipped tanks went to war, but the tanks got clobbered from RPG hits which should never have been able to go through the ERA, on which the direct hits were scored. Consternation ensued when it was determined crewmen had been selling off the explosives for cash! The tiles are boxes which are bolted together, and that's how the explosives were removed by the crews, leaving a useless metal shell visually indistinguishable from a working ERA tile. I'm well prepared to believe that as much as 52 y.o. (not sure when the Russians started making them for ERA use) explosives are nonfunctional after all that time, especially in the extreme Russian climate.

Regards,

John Kettler

 

Edited by John Kettler

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I was reading the new Osprey T-64 book and it stated that some UKR T-64s were lost to RPGs because there ERA was date-expired and therefore much less effective than it should have been.  How often do you have to swap out tiles if this is true?

K-1 should be swapped every 10 years since that's the warranty period. So two or even three times for some vehicles. Naturally that didn't happen so the effectiveness dropped accordingly. 

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Thewood1

Yes, this problem take place, but haven't mass character. All depends from honesty of storages chiefs, which send K-1 HE blocks to front. In whole we have much more happens, when T-64BV successfuly survived after multiple RPG-7 hits (PG-7V/VL, tandem -7VR is very rare ammunition at both sides). Absolute record of surviving belongs to T-64BV which during fights in Donetsk area got 17 RPG-7 hits, but left on move and could withdraw from dangerous zone. Of course, he lost all optic, gun was damaged, all crew was shell-shocked or wounded.   

 

Edited by Haiduk

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