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CM WWII: Are tanks "overpowered"?

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I think the below is how it works. 

To close assault a tank troops must exit the building. 

However grenades and demo charges are thrown from the upper floors on to open topped vehicles.

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23 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:
On 1/5/2020 at 12:55 PM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Are you sure?  :o

Perhaps it's not represented the same way, but parking a tank next to a building full of hostile infantry never seems to end well for me.....Regardless of the game title or nationality of the OpFor.

I'm absolutely sure. Just yesterday I was playing the Mission to Maas scenario (CMFB) and happily drove my tanks around inside the towns and parked them next to buildings, spotting the troops and machinegunning them little by little.

Infantry can fire rifle grenades though, that can't really hurt a Tiger II, but also M9 bazookas, that can.

@Bulletpoint and @MOS:96B2P have the current behaviour correct.

 

23 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I believe infantry should be allowed to assault tanks from inside buildings. But they can't currently.

It does create a few incidents where the AI is at a disadvantage to the human player.  I think the root of the way it works is that the use of grenades is supposed to simulate using grenade bundles and placing them at key points (engine vents, tracks, underside) that you cannot do from inside. Hence how it currently works.

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1 hour ago, IanL said:
Quote

I believe infantry should be allowed to assault tanks from inside buildings. But they can't currently.

It does create a few incidents where the AI is at a disadvantage to the human player.  I think the root of the way it works is that the use of grenades is supposed to simulate using grenade bundles and placing them at key points (engine vents, tracks, underside) that you cannot do from inside. Hence how it currently works.

But you cannot place a grenade bundle from a trench either, if the tank is 20m away. Yet the game shows troops throwing grenades, and this is meant to simulate the troops making a quick dash, placing the grenade bundle, then running back to their foxhole.

The same logic could be applied to troops inside buildings. They'd run out from a doorway, place the grenade bundle, and rush back inside.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Bulletpoint said:

The same logic could be applied to troops inside buildings. They'd run out from a doorway, place the grenade bundle, and rush back inside.

This.

Driving tanks next to enemy occupied buildings should be suicidal (doing so so is described in pretty much those terms in just about every account of urban warfare, right up to today).....The game already allows tanks to elevate their guns to angles that would make SPGs envious to engage infantry who are above them in buildings, IMHO this is advantage enough.  :mellow:

Players dumb enough to drive their tanks into enemy occupied urban areas should pay the price IMHO.....Without the designer needing to somehow explain to the AI that tanks are outside and throwing explosives at them would probably be a good idea.  ;)

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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19 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

The same logic could be applied to troops inside buildings. They'd run out from a doorway, place the grenade bundle, and rush back inside.

 

19 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Players dumb enough to drive their tanks into enemy occupied urban areas should pay the price IMHO.....Without the designer needing to somehow explain to the AI that tanks are outside and throwing explosives at them would probably be a good idea. 

 

Good point guys - I actually agree. I'll bring it up at the next whisky tasting night - @c3k please remind me :D

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Posted (edited)

Just yesterday I had a troop throw a grenade from inside a building (1st floor) and hit an armored car that was within grenade range.  But maybe that just counts as a grenade throw and not a close assault...?   I guess that kind of muddies the water.  :unsure:

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Just now, MOS:96B2P said:

Just yesterday I had a troop throw a grenade from inside a building (1st floor) and hit an armored car that was within grenade range.  But maybe that just counts as a grenade throw and not a close assault........?   I guess that kind of muddies the water.  :unsure:

Open top? Either way before I bring it up on the inside I'll need to verify that they will close assault a tank near a trench and will not near a building - just to be sure. No point in wasting my allotted time at the whisky tasting without having my facts straight.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

It was in CMRT

Me too.....Remnant of a Soviet infantry unit that I believe was hiding in a somewhat isolated building, threw a grenade of some type at a Pz.IV. that got too close (staggered anyone was still alive in there after the pounding I gave it, one of the walls was out).  I don't recall if the panzer was unbuttoned, but I suspect that it was, as that's my default position unless in close combat.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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7 hours ago, IanL said:

 

 

Good point guys - I actually agree. I'll bring it up at the next whisky tasting night - @c3k please remind me :D

No worries. My intern is holding my spot for the kalua pig roast, so I'm up on the hill where there's wifi. Yes, it would be good to be able to simulate a grenade bundle being tossed out of an upper floor onto a vehicle. (Although, really, how much damage would that do?)

Hmm? Sorry, she just waved me back down to the beach. Off I go...

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When CMFI was released it was not possible to close assault tanks with infantry in buildings - the only exception was open topped vehicles from the second floor or higher IIRC.  However, a great debate ensued within the beta halls, arguments and sacrifices were made, blood was spilt, and eventually Charles relented and allowed infantry to close assault from buildings.  If they aren't assaulting from buildings anymore then Charles changed it back while nobody was looking.  So anyway, if someone says that they can't then they either aren't updated past whatever version was released post CMFI base game, or it was changed back for some reason without anyone noticing.  Vehicles will usually need to be sitting near the building in question for a period of time before the infantry will assault it - it's not an immediate thing.  Vehicles spot so well though that infantry don't usually get to remain for very long in such close proximity.

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9 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

eventually Charles relented and allowed infantry to close assault from buildings.  If they aren't assaulting from buildings anymore then Charles changed it back while nobody was looking.

I think several updates/fixes to the game engine were eventually lost when new versions came out. Because the fix might have been applied to CMFI while the source code for the next game had already been split off and start worked on.

Another example is mortar crews firing rifles on "target light", giving away their positions. I'm sure that was fixed at some point, yet it came back.

9 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

Vehicles spot so well though that infantry don't usually get to remain for very long in such close proximity.

In CMFB at least, you can happily park a panzer outside a building full of infantry for as long as you need to spot them and machinegun them one by one. Used this method heavily just yesterday, but it does seem like an exploit.

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7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

In CMFB at least, you can happily park a panzer outside a building full of infantry for as long as you need to spot them and machinegun them one by one. Used this method heavily just yesterday, but it does seem like an exploit.

That's ludicrous IMHO.....Kind of amazed it would even be a possibility in CM.  :o

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Posted (edited)

Frankly, the ability of infantry to close assault still-mobile tanks without any anti-tank weaponry is not particularly realistic under any circumstance. It was hardly ever done in reality.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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It was a great way to earn a medal...posthumously. 

Tanks had a way of crashing into the frontline...and just utterly melting it. Unless the line had lots of depth, prepared defenses, rough terrain, and experienced troops resistant to morale shocks it was very hard to repel a big enough horde of tanks just crashing into the front. The Russians for all the effort they went to preparing their extremely thorough line at Kursk, with full knowledge of the impending German attack, still came close to being overrun. At El Alamein the previous year, Montgomery's completely braindead attack on the thickest section of the German line....still succeeded because he had enough armor to make it succeed. Casualties be damned. A thick defense line can reliably inflict heavy casualties on armor but even the most thorough line couldn't guarantee the enemy wouldn't achieve his objectives. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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17 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

Frankly, the ability of infantry to close assault still-mobile tanks without any anti-tank weaponry is not particularly realistic under any circumstance. It was hardly ever done in reality.

The Soviet troops do have anti-tank weaponry, their RPG AT grenades (and possibly molotovs?).

In the illustration on the previous page you can see it being thrown out of a window down onto the Panther and the caption mentions how the RPG-43 could easily defeat the roof and engine deck armour of the Panther.

"Attack from above was the optimum option"

Edited by DougPhresh

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After reading the entire thread, a couple of things came to mind. First, I believe there needs to be a clear distinction made between the coax MG, which does have telescopic sights, and the bow MG, which hardly ever does. Even the Pershing bow MG had no telescopic sights and was critically dependent on tracer to walk fire onto all but the closest target. Also, the bow gunner usually has very poor visibility, further reducing weapon effectiveness. There was some mention of how good grazing fire was from the bow MG, but it had no proper T&E gear (other than the gunner's moving it about while essentially peering through a straw), greatly negating any such capability. In light of these facts, if there's a way for the code to handle it, bow MG fire should be nowhere nearly as effective as coax MG fire. This alone would considerably rein in what's arguably too high a level of typical tank effectiveness vs infantry.

The assertion was made that the M9 rifle grenade was less effective than the bazooka, but here, it's necessary to clearly specify which bazooka rocket, for the early one and the rifle grenade had the same warhead. CM2 provided us with far better modeling of the tank than did CM1, in that it was now a group of systems, each vulnerable to attacks yielding small incremental degradation to catastrophic in some instances. But the core idea was that the armored elephant could now be subjected to the armored warfare equivalent of the Death of a Thousand Cuts. But if the ability to target optics and such has been removed, this considerably reduces the effectiveness of AT weapons, especially the ATR. It's readily demonstrable that the Russians could and did target not only optics, but gun barrels, bow MG mounts, vision ports, drive sprockets and more. Many tanks invulnerable to ATR fire from the front could be severely damaged or killed from the flank or rear. Though I can't find the article, have many times posted of a Tiger company at Kursk which was so cut up by ATR fire aimed at the cupola that the entire company was rendered unfightable, there being no way to see out. Vision block losses were so severe that even the parent battalion couldn't replace them all, forcing resort to the regiment and considerable delays. ISTR it was out of action for two weeks. Quite a few TCs were temporarily out from glass splinters in their eyes, faces or both, and one TC was down for weeks after the 14.5 mm projectile smashed in his vision block, driving it and the frame into his face. 

If you read Drabkin's Panzer Killers, you'll learn the Russians loved their 45 mm ATG for its accuracy. At 500 meters (high Ph open fire range), it could specifically target tank tracks, which tended to be exposed on the steppe. Tank tracks were also explicit targets for ATRs, though would be problematic, I think, vs Tiger and Panther type vehicles because they were so stoutly built. Antitank doctrine was to always place an ATG on the flank and engage the foe with that gun only, causing the onrushing tanks to turn toward the offender, exposing their flanks to the other three guns in the battery!   This is why the 45 mm stayed in the war clear to the end in many units. It could be pushed, but was generally horse drawn between engagements. The Destroyer units were used en masse, whole regiments at a time, and weight of fire told. The Russians used incendiary bottles (Molotov cocktails) on a vast scale. In a Kursk book I have, the Russian veteran says every unit (company?) received hundreds. He reported having six in a niche his foxhole, along with several antitank grenades and a number of the lemon (F1 frag). Would also note that most of the panzers captured by the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising were taken by close assault, with Molotov cocktails being explicitly mentioned. More surprising was a gammon bomb. If you haven't yet, see the video I posted on CMRT.

Finally, and I've been banging on about this for years, is that the Red Army's Combat Regulations of the Armored Troops categorically ordered that hatches be combat locked when entering the battlefield. Not doing this could get the entire crew in huge trouble with the NKVD, with penal unit assignment being a good outcome!  No one can toss a grenade in your open hatch when it isn't! Several accounts I've read indicate that agonizing decisions were made in order to revive drivers suffocating from heat and cordite fumes at Kursk, and in another, describing the fighting in Budapest, an ISU-152 commander made a point of explaining how dangerous it was, from foe and NKVD alike, to open the hatch, but so grave was the peril from Panzerfausts that the hatch was left down but not locked. If hit, this kept the blast overpressure from killing the entire crew. Where you find Russian armor operating with open hatches is almost exclusively in the exploitation phase. 

Regards,

John Kettler

 



 

Edited by John Kettler

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9 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

The Soviet troops do have anti-tank weaponry, their RPG AT grenades (and possibly molotovs?).

I was making a general statement, not referencing any particular example.

Some Soviet troop have AT grenades, some don't and the ones that do have limited numbers.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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This reminds me of the discussion about RPGs in the SF2 forum.

Historically, in those instances where it happened, tanks close to enemy infantry without infantry support were extremely vulnerable. I think CM models this well.

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I recently moved and unexpectedly found myself a mile down the road from an M60A3 MBT acting as 'gate guardian' for some official building. I had to think if I was a G.I. with a rifle, bayonet and a couple hand grenades to my name the last thing I'd attempt to do is 'close assault' such a monster. Granted a PzIV is a lot less physically intimidating than a M60A3 but Panther and IS-2 would be right up there with it.

M60A3 in Waterville.jpg

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Games and movies have spoiled us a lot nowadays. It's important to understand that in 1940 not all that many people on Earth had ever seen a car before much less an airplane or a bulldozer. 

So you're a lowly Private in a poor nation's Army on some god-forsaken flank, you're barely literate owing to the fact that a higher education was mostly beyond your family's agrarian background as local villagers and things like telephones and photographs are a real novelty when you happen to see them on rare visits into a town. 

In your foxhole one awful, unfortunate morning the enemy's fire is particularly heavy, there's way more smoke than usual but instead of the usual callouts and sporadic bursts of rifle fire a terrible noise starts to echo from somewhere behind the mist. A methodic, clacking noise of metal accompanied by deep, guttural rumbles that seem to rattle the entire countryside. The ground, literally, begins to shake as the silhouette of an enormous moving block of steel and fire emerges laying waste to all before it. Where ever it looks the same place suddenly disappears violently into a cloud of thunder, dirt, and intense heat. Men from positions in front of you are fleeing already, in vain as it mows them down with fire...or maybe even runs them over as if they were ants. It didn't take long at the front to learn about what this thing is, but nothing anyone told you about it could really prepare you for it because fact is, you've never seen anything like it. It's an actual monster of the Biblical kind and whether or not God or man made it doesn't matter much because it's the worst thing that's ever happened to you. You've got a rifle, maybe some grenades, and the uniform on your back. The officers already ran away....think you're really capable of earning that medal? 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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25 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

I recently moved and unexpectedly found myself a mile down the road from an M60A3 MBT acting as 'gate guardian' f

M60A3 in Waterville.jpg

Now that is a cool lawn ornament. 

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