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CM WWII: Are tanks "overpowered"?

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3 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

So for a buttoned  WW2 (so no IR) Tac AI to get a confirmed spot on troops in smoke and quickly fire on them would, I think, be unusual. 

Yes, have experienced this in WW2 titles.  I no longer try to have inf sneak up on buttoned tanks in any era or situation - smoke or poor visibility doesn't degrade tank's ability to see inf as much as you'd expect.  However, I have also seen AT teams move QUICK past a tank in good visibility, and without any orders or waypoint they stop aim, fire and KO the tank before continuing to the destination waypoint.  The tank doesn't see them at all.   

I wonder if maybe the "sneaking up on a tank" is the problem,  Maybe in the game it's better to run to the tank rear and fire as the tank takes a few seconds to notice regardless of the inf stance?

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10 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Maybe in the game it's better to run to the tank rear and fire as the tank takes a few seconds to notice regardless of the inf stance?

Possibly beating the spotting cycle...

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In circumstances - such as smoke or heavy cover - where it ought to be possible to successfully conduct a close assault on a tank, it isn't all that difficult, although the infantry will usually take heavy losses.

The actual mechanics are a little unrealistic, which is hardly surprising given how very difficult it would be to model realistically (a little like hand-to-hand combat), but the outcome makes sense. I'm satisfied...

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

I wonder if maybe the "sneaking up on a tank" is the problem,  Maybe in the game it's better to run to the tank rear and fire as the tank takes a few seconds to notice regardless of the inf stance?

This^^.  In desperation, I've run regular infantry (with just generic grenades, no specific A/T assets) right at a tank, into it's AS, and it works more times than not. I mainly do it when playing Finns vs Russkies. Fun to watch, too---lots of grenades flying, pixeltruppen going down, confusion, etc.

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I recall a Tiger I bug had been discovered and fixed early-on. The (invisible) buttoned tank commander was sitting sideways in his seat so wasn't looking out of his optics properly. That speaks to a level of detail hidden 'under the hood' that we can only guess at. A T34-76 early's situational awareness is very much less than a PzIV's with the commander sitting in his cupola. A tank with optics for the loader and hull machinegunner has more 'eyes on the battlefield' than a two man turret or a tank without the second hull position. A buttoned Hetzer is going to have difficulty spotting close-assaulting infantry. Still, its not sound tactics to rely too heavily your opponent being blind and slow.

Edited by MikeyD

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14 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

In WW2 titles or modern titles? 

In modern titles with thermals etc. I could see this happening.  I would not expect to see it very often in the WW2 titles.  Unless of course you are playing against a human.  My understanding is the Tac AI does not fire on tentative contacts.  Only confirmed.  So in a modern title it is possible that a TC with modern equipment has a confirmed contact on an infantry team in smoke etc.  It is much less likely for a buttoned WW2 TC to get a confirmed contact.  Maybe a tentative but the AI won't (as far as I understand) fire at a tentative contact. 

I only play WW2, so it's not thermals. And not AI area fire either. It's simply that even tanks spot infantry easily when in close proximity.

I haven't seen tanks spot inside smoke though.

Edit: I should add that I don't know if tanks spot infantry TOO easily. I don't know what should be expected. Just saying that's how it works currently.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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On ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 4:07 PM, MOS:96B2P said:

If it was a H2H game it was probably the opposing player and not the Tac AI that had the Sherman fire at your team.  The other player probably had at least tentative contact on your team and ordered his tank to area fire.  He may also have had a confirmed contact from some other unit of his that spotted your sneaking team.  

My opponent had his infantry men further down the slope which the tank was on and further away in a forest to the SW of my small team with a part of that forest blocking, at least I suppose it was blocking but you never know with CM-games, the area where my small team was. His other tanks were either further down the slope or behind the forest to the SW of my small team. So I'm pretty sure he didn't know about my men sneaking up behind that tank.

 

Quote

At 20m distance the tank will spot infantry quite quickly, even if they are inside buildings or in forest terrain.

I've had tanks spot infantry in a house several hundred meters away and also through a thick fog spot an FO team which is hiding behind trees in tall grass on a hill several hundred meters away. The magic eye of the tank crew is fantastic in the CM games.

 

The examples mentioned above were in CMFB and not from a modern title.

 

Edited by BornGinger

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Infantry play a role in getting themselves spotted, too. If they're out of contact with their HQ and/or they're green or low morale they're less likely to be disciplined. That's when the opponent starts seeing sound contact icons and brief glimpses of the unit pop in and out of view. I would joke that an Elite Fanatic unit is able to hide like the Predator monster. Green units with low morale, not so much. I read that Patton was so frustrated with the quality of replacements coming in from the US  that he would send out directives that were little more than basic tactics tutorials. Stuff like don't try to hide in the treeline and only rely on intervening terrain features for cover. The game prioritizes who to shoot first. FOs and heavy weapons teams don't last long once they get spotted.

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1 hour ago, MikeyD said:

Infantry play a role in getting themselves spotted, too. If they're out of contact with their HQ and/or they're green or low morale they're less likely to be disciplined. That's when the opponent starts seeing sound contact icons and brief glimpses of the unit pop in and out of view.

This is new to me. Are you sure, or are you just talking about how you think it should work?

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On 1/29/2020 at 3:22 PM, Pelican Pal said:

In the original OP Kaunitz specifically identified player driven borg spotting.

Uh huh.

Quote

borg-spotting/area-fire which helps tanks a lot (the main weakness of tanks was their limited vision; this weakness is inexistent because players can let their tanks area fire at targets the crew has not spotted)

But calling it borg-spotting doesn't mean it's borg spotting. This is not borg spotting. This is gamey behavior by the player, it is not borg spotting.

 

On 1/29/2020 at 3:22 PM, Pelican Pal said:

Not all entrenchments, but the overall lack of good fortification representation severely degrades infantry survivabillity. Allowing armor heavy formations to push entrenched infantry around. This reduces the complexity for the attacker and reduces the defenders capability to take advantage of the complexity.

I agree, but that doesn't necessarily mean tanks are overpowered. Like I said, we can have a discussion about the lack of variety of fortifications, but that has nothing to do with tanks.

 

On 1/29/2020 at 3:22 PM, Pelican Pal said:

Overcoming tactical challenges with the tools at hand is the bread and butter of the CM series. 


Play and counter-play. 

- I place infantry in entrenchments

* You suppress with armor

* You advance with infantry to root them out


- I engage your infantry from a supporting position

etc...

Your "moot point" argument is antithetical to the existence of CM.

My "moot point" argument is in relation to the capability of foxholes, not the use of tanks, or the ability of the player to engage in tactical play.

 

What are you even trying to point out here? Can you get to the point?

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There will be times when a tank crew can spot an infantry unit 800 metres away, and times when they can't see an infantry unit 10 metres away. It's called fog of war. That is why we use combined arms tactics. 

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:18 AM, Warts 'n' all said:

There will be times when a tank crew can spot an infantry unit 800 metres away, and times when they can't see an infantry unit 10 metres away. It's called fog of war. That is why we use combined arms tactics. 

That doesn't really address buttoned AFVs spotting infantry hiding in a building.

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50 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

That doesn't really address buttoned AFVs spotting infantry hiding in a building.

I am minded to think of a certain tune by Miles Davis. But, I will instead suggest that you read the post directly above mine. I was agreeing with the good General that we don't have borg-spotting in CMx2.

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On 2/1/2020 at 4:57 AM, BornGinger said:

I've had tanks spot infantry in a house several hundred meters away and also through a thick fog spot an FO team which is hiding behind trees in tall grass on a hill several hundred meters away. The magic eye of the tank crew is fantastic in the CM games.

That might be a German army thing. I generally play the 'good guys' and I seldom boost more than a handful of units above what the force selector gives me, and I have to rely on infantry to do my spotting - the tanks are very poor at it. Even my Allied infantry don't usually see quality German troops outside 100m until they move or open fire...

Presumably, the Jerries had better optics, better troop quality, more binoculars, what have you...

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1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

It was a German thing in the way that the FO team was German but the tank was a US one.

Interesting - I've seldom had that with any Allied armour. They typically have considerable difficulty spotting in a timely manner. I usually have to unbutton them, with all the risks that entails, so they can get spotting info from the infantry around them.

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It's possible the tank was unbuttoned but there were no infantry men nearby. The oddest thing was that there was a thick fog and the tank was on a lower elevation than the German FO team which was in concealment in tall grass and behind a tree around five hundred meters or so further away. Even though the tank crew had high experience it didn't seem correct for them to be able to spot that hiding FO team in a very thick fog on that distance.

Edited by BornGinger

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19 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

It's possible the tank was unbuttoned but there were no infantry men nearby. The oddest thing was that there was a thick fog and the tank was on a lower elevation than the German FO team which was in concealment in tall grass and behind a tree around five hundred meters or so further away. Even though the tank crew had high experience it didn't seem correct for them to be able to spot that hiding FO team in a very thick fog on that distance.

That's a lot better than I usually get with the typical Sherman and a regular crew. Having said that, I recently had a  Firefly get a spot and then a kill shot on a tank that he only saw for about 10 seconds at around 1500m.

There does seem to be a lot of random variability in the game, which is usually kind of fun.

Edited by Freyberg

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On 2/1/2020 at 4:20 PM, General Jack Ripper said:

Uh huh.

But calling it borg-spotting doesn't mean it's borg spotting. This is not borg spotting. This is gamey behavior by the player, it is not borg spotting.

 

I agree, but that doesn't necessarily mean tanks are overpowered. Like I said, we can have a discussion about the lack of variety of fortifications, but that has nothing to do with tanks.

 

My "moot point" argument is in relation to the capability of foxholes, not the use of tanks, or the ability of the player to engage in tactical play.

 

What are you even trying to point out here? Can you get to the point?

Next time please read the thread before joining the conversation.

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I find it rather surprising that so many players have issues with close assaulting tanks and end up getting mowed down by the target tank. 

The Wehrmacht once released some sort of field manual in this comic style known from the famous Tiger and Panther Fibel: http://pbc.gda.pl/Content/57971/Der Panzerknacker.pdf Just imagine that the mentioned AT explosive usage and close assault tactics are abstracted by generic grenade attacks.

Basically:

1) stay cool and don´t run away/around when tanks approach your positions, you might die (hide, hold fire target arc)

2) know what tank you´re engaging and keep this in mind for the approach plan (rear MG?, hull gunner?, turret traverse rate? close protection system?)

3) if possible make sure close-by infantry is surpressed or tank is otherwise isolated

4) find best concealed covered approach to come as close as possible before being threatened or let him come as close as possible to you

5) then for the final approach, be swift, aggressive, and dash towards the tank from the safest approach (usually flank, rear, and turret pointed away)

6) if possible coordinate your efforts with other tank hunter teams or elements in order to distract/overwhelm the tank or other enemy elements that might become a danger to the endeavour

7) just do it

I  think the content of this comic manual translate pretty well into the game and I basically apply these principles to my tank assaults and  it works well. As described in the manual the biggest threat is not the tank itself but usually the surroundings (other tanks and infantry covering it)

One thing for CM specifically to keep in mind that tank turrets are allowed to engage closer targets than historically the gun height & depression allowed to do so they can engage the infantry even when close and prone usually with the coax MG. However the tank will face a latency penalty in CM when attempting that below the historical depression range from a gut feeling of about 20 seconds and might depend on other factors. So might need to shift position. As 60 seconds are too much for turn-based players, they might need to incorporate this into the plan beforehand:

Also my Finnish campaign playthrough is full with close assaulting tanks.

Edited by Aquila-SmartWargames

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1 hour ago, Aquila-SmartWargames said:

The Wehrmacht once released some sort of field manual in this comic style known from the famous Tiger and Panther Fibel: http://pbc.gda.pl/Content/57971/Der Panzerknacker.pdf Just imagine that the mentioned AT explosive usage and close assault tactics are abstracted by generic grenade attacks.

+1  Interesting stuff. Below is my drill for close assaulting tanks.  IMO one of the deadliest things about close assaulting tanks is the crew of the knocked out tank.  They seem to bail out of the tank very angry and looking for revenge.  They often get said revenge. 

  

1. Use a fire team with a lot of hand grenades (typically an assault team). 

2. Give fire team a 360oTarget Arc1 of 24 meters.  

3. Exit building.  (teams must be outside to close assault vehicle) 
4. Fast fire team to within 2 A/S of the flank or rear of the tank.

5. On their own the team will throw grenades.

6. Prepare for the tank crew to dismount shooting.

Notes: 1) An Armor Target Arc will not allow the fire team to fire on the bailed out tank crew.    

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