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Nital6397

MBT performance difference between sides and ammo selection AI

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Hey all,
This topic as, in the process of preparing a quick battle against a friend of mine, in which I'll be playing the Ukrainians against the Russians (no T-90 allowed), I tried to benchmark the mbt respective performance, and the ability of the various Ukrainian tanks to penetrate their Russian counterpart and was puzzled by some findings. The test conditions were as follows :

- I have used a large open map (I will rerun the test using the firing range map as soon as I have downloaded the ScAn_CaDe tool)

-firing distance was circa 1300m

- I had set the Ukrainian crew as veteran, high motivation, +1 leadership against typical Russian crew

- I did "face to face" meetings between stationary Ukrainian tanks against moving Russian tanks (movement in the direction of the Ukrainian tanks, exiting a wooden cover)

- the tanks I used were T64bv, Bulat, Oplot for the Ukraine, t72B3M with and without aps for the Russian

To my surprise, the Russian tanks saw the Ukrainian ones first, except the Bulat which saw its opponent first (please note that I had first set the Russian tanks with a very short cover arc fire order)

To my surprise still, the Ukrainian tanks almost always tried their first shots using gun launched atgm and not sabot round. Even more surprising, even after their atgm shots were destroyed by aps (when relevant), they kept firing the same type of ammo while my intuition would be that the AI would then preferably use sabot rounds.

Therefore I have a few questions some of you may be able to answer :

=> is there a specific thing with the Bulat in terms of optics, which would explain its performance in detecting the opposing tank?

=> Similarly, as the Russian crew was less experienced than the Ukrainian ones, does this mean that the t72B3M optical performance exceeds that of the oplot?

=> is there any way to "force" the use of a specific ammo as a function of the target? (I think I know the answer but still)

The objective for me in this test was to decide if I want to prioritise quantity (T64bv, Bulat) over quality (oplot, oplot with aps) against Russian tanks in the upcoming battle...

 

Thanks in advance for your help gents ūüėä

 

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You'd better describe your test setup in detail. Detection/Identification in CMxx is not so trivial so to confidently say that one unit consistently outperforms the other in this department you'd probably need 50+ or even 100+ experiments if the difference is too small.

1 hour ago, Nital6397 said:

the Russian crew was less experienced than the Ukrainian ones

When you say you used "typical" Russian crew it means you don't control experience/leadership/motivation variables for Russian side. You don't know what values were assigned to the Russian crews. Means the only thing you can do with your results now - throw them in a trash can.

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You should take @IMHO's comments to heart - need to do some repeated tests to be sure you can see the average instead of just a bad day.

 

2 hours ago, Nital6397 said:

=> is there a specific thing with the Bulat in terms of optics, which would explain its performance in detecting the opposing tank?

I'm no expert on particular optical gear but yes some of the older tanks (which the Ukrainians have) are not nearly as good as the newer ones.

2 hours ago, Nital6397 said:

=> Similarly, as the Russian crew was less experienced than the Ukrainian ones, does this mean that the t72B3M optical performance exceeds that of the oplot?

Yes

2 hours ago, Nital6397 said:

=> is there any way to "force" the use of a specific ammo as a function of the target? (I think I know the answer but still)

No - although having said that I do wonder about if the Tac AI could be improved in this regard. Having a statistical test scenario could be used to make the case that the TC should be ordering a switch to different ammo when APS takes down their first missile. I am sure the missile choice is because it packs the most punch at that range.

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Thanks to both of you for your replies.

 

Indeed my test did not pretend to be as thorough as it should have been, and my message intended mostly at getting "first hand feedback" regarding the surprise I had felt when doing those experiments.

 

So I understand now that the t72B3M is likely to spot my tanks first, and that the ammo selection cannot be forced.

I also understand any test should be done in a far more extensive way.

 

All in all this leads me to rather use greater numbers of mid to low end tanks to bet on numbers and saturation...

 

So again thanks a lot for your help guys!

Edited by Nital6397
Missed part of the message

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3 minutes ago, Nital6397 said:

my test did not pretend to be as thorough as it should have been

Don't be discouraged¬†ūü홬†It's just you stumbled upon¬†one particular aspect of the game that is¬†modelled in such a way¬†that requires A LOT of tests :(¬†In other departments you don't need to test so much¬†to make conclusions.

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If you do a similar test in CMSF2 you'll see all the cold war era Russian tanks struggling with spotting and situational awareness issues. Ukraine T64 is an old cold war era tank. Admittedly a refurbished cold war era tank but a cold war era tank nonetheless. In CMSF2 you can do the same test with the German Leopard 2. The older Leopard2A4 has lower situational awareness and spotting ability than the Leopard2A6

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Is it the T-72B3 or the T-72B3M? The 'M' variant is very recent AFAIK, and has the brand new 360 degrees TC's thermal optic.

As mostly a UKR player, I aught to say that my conclusion is not different from yours. The Oplot-M is not a significant enough improvement to warrant the price tag. I'll say this about the T-90AM too. The T-72B3 (I don't think they have the 'M' variant, yet), and the Bulat are your best choices for bang/buck. I've had 1 well placed T-72B3 destroy most of my Oplot-M squadron, along with a platoon of ATGMs.

lbIKkSE.jpg

I've heard that the UKR tank AI likes to use ATGM instead of APFSDS. But in my experience, that is not the case:

yD0Bqhm.jpg

Edited by DerKommissar

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52 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

I've heard that the UKR tank AI likes to use ATGM instead of APFSDS. But in my experience, that is not the case:

Range plays a factor. The ATGM has the same ability to kill at any range. The AP round's energy goes down the farther it has to fly. At some point the TC makes the call that they should switch to launching ATGM instead of AP. I think there is room for discussion if that cut off is correct - I have no idea. And room for discussion that the TC might want to switch to AP when the enemy APS takes down their first missile.

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11 minutes ago, IanL said:

And room for discussion that the TC might want to switch to AP when the enemy APS takes down their first missile.

Will it do any good? I might be wrong but as far as I've seen this "how-we-can-make-the-game-better" talk is pretty useless - BFC won't change anything. Like Mk19 performance is much more of a problem for the gameplay yet no change for... I dunno... Months? Years?

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38 minutes ago, IanL said:

Range plays a factor. The ATGM has the same ability to kill at any range. The AP round's energy goes down the farther it has to fly. At some point the TC makes the call that they should switch to launching ATGM instead of AP. I think there is room for discussion if that cut off is correct - I have no idea. And room for discussion that the TC might want to switch to AP when the enemy APS takes down their first missile.

1300 meters is close. I'd much prefer sabot...if it was 3300 we could argue.

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8 hours ago, Nital6397 said:

-firing distance was circa 1300m

- I had set the Ukrainian crew as veteran, high motivation, +1 leadership against typical Russian crew

- I did "face to face" meetings between stationary Ukrainian tanks against moving Russian tanks (movement in the direction of the Ukrainian tanks, exiting a wooden cover)

 

Daylight as I understand correctly?

1300 m is close distanse. If your "face to face" was on flat terrain in daylight, then in real life all tanks will have almost equal spotting capabilities in such conditions. The game is very simplify spotting and apripiory make preferences to US and Russia. But indeed T-72B3 daylight optic doesn't differ from T-64BV level.

@MikeyD, @IanL

Guys, you are deeply not right, when tell about T-72B3 day optic advantage (and Bulat optic advantage over Oplot), look here:

So, what daylight sights tank commanders have? Exacly commanders are observe battlefield, search targets and point directions on them to the gunner.

T--64BV: day/night sight TKN-3V with x1 and x5 zoom in daylight and 8-10 degrees field of view

BM "Bulat" day/night sight PNK-4SR with x1 and x7,6  zoom in daylight and 27,7 degrees field of view

BM "Oplot"  panorama day/night sight PNK-6 with x1, x6 and x12 zoom in daylight and 360 degrees field of view

T-72B3 day/night sight TKN-3МК with x1 and x5 zoom in daylight and 8-10  degrees field of view

And... suddenly T-72B3 commander has WORST  deylight optic in comparison with Bulat and Oplot and equal to T-64BV! Yes, T-72B3 gunner has thermal sight, but main target searching is conducting by the tank commander through rotating cupola, the gunner can see only narrow field of vew in gun direction. 

Edited by Haiduk

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2 hours ago, IMHO said:

Will it do any good? I might be wrong but as far as I've seen this "how-we-can-make-the-game-better" talk is pretty useless - BFC won't change anything. Like Mk19 performance is much more of a problem for the gameplay yet no change for... I dunno... Months? Years?

Sure it could and there are countless examples. Yes, months and years would be the time scale. But first someone would need to make the case with a little stats and some real world info or opinion.

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1 hour ago, Attilaforfun said:

1300 meters is close. I'd much prefer sabot...if it was 3300 we could argue.

Based on? I am in no way making a disparaging comment in any way. My opinion of where the cut off should be is of zero value since I have no experience and have done no reading on the real world systems we are talking about here. Show some info to back up your opinion and you will instantly have more authority than me (and I claim none).

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56 minutes ago, Haiduk said:

So, what daylight sights tank commanders have? Exacly commanders are observe battlefield, search targets and point directions on them to the gunner.

T--64BV: day/night sight TKN-3V with x1 and x5 zoom in daylight and 8-10 degrees field of view

BM "Bulat" day/night sight PNK-4SR with x1 and x7,6  zoom in daylight and 27,7 degrees field of view

BM "Oplot"  panorama day/night sight PNK-6 with x1, x6 and x12 zoom in daylight and 360 degrees field of view

T-72B3 day/night sight TKN-3МК with x1 and x5 zoom in daylight and 8-10  degrees field of view

And... suddenly T-72B3 commander has WORST  deylight optic in comparison with Bulat and Oplot and equal to T-64BV! Yes, T-72B3 gunner has thermal sight, but main target searching is conducting by the tank commander through rotating cupola, the gunner can see only narrow field of vew in gun direction. 

That sounds like the beginning of a bug report man :D

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5 hours ago, IanL said:

Based on? I am in no way making a disparaging comment in any way. My opinion of where the cut off should be is of zero value since I have no experience and have done no reading on the real world systems we are talking about here. Show some info to back up your opinion and you will instantly have more authority than me (and I claim none).

A decade as a 19K finishing the last 3 years with the infantry on a TOW Stryker. I fired both systems MANY times although only the TOW at live targets. 1300 meters is point blank and if both systems fire at the same time the sabot will hit (and kill) and another round is on the way before the TOW strikes. The sabot punches through reactive armor like butter. The TOW 2B top attack is still an unknown as far as I'm concerned but is still slower. 

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12 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

A decade as a 19K finishing the last 3 years with the infantry on a TOW Stryker. I fired both systems MANY times although only the TOW at live targets. 1300 meters is point blank

Now I'm on you side ūüôā In the back of my mind I had a feeling your avatar was associated with some actual experience.

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I can't speak for the javelin or any Sov ATGMs...I've never fired them nor seen them fired (plenty of rpgs though). When you fire the main gun on a tank it fires instantly like a rifle. When you fire a TOW there is about a second pause before it leaves the tube while the gyros are spinning up and the rocket is firing. It doesn't sound like much but the Sabot has already hit the target.

Don't misunderstand....not beating my chest here saying I'm all that. Ha! Hardly...I just happen to know these two particular weapon systems and the vehicles that haul them around. 

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16 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

The sabot punches through reactive armor like butter.

K-5 ERA can slightly weaken hit effect of old type APFSDS. In case of Ukrainian tank, firing in frontal projection of T-72В3, "Zakolka" sabot hasn't any chances to pentrate the armor front turret armor and glacis even in weak zones, except lucky shot under turret. "Mango" sabot has good chances, but in the game only BM Oplot uses it. Looks like AI takes most proper ammunition - tandem T-HEAT, but doesn't take into account that firing with ATGM face-to-face to enemy tank is an act of suicide. AI must select 3BK18M HEAT ammo in this case with 550 mm RHA penetration and to aim under turret or in upper part of glacis, not covered with ERA. Or fire with HE to cause optic damages and possibly shell shock of the crew. In any way gun-launched ATGMS by Soviet field manuals should be fired only on long-range distances, exceeding 2500-3000 m - effective distance for APFSDS firing.

Edited by Haiduk

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16 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

The sabot punches through reactive armor like butter.

K-5 significantly reduces APFSDS effects and Relikt even more so. It's not a marketinh hype since M829A3 and European non-initiatig APFSDS were developed exactly to counter K-5 effectiveness. Though still being an ERA K-5 and Relikt use a somewhat different mechanism than standard Western ERAs.

1 hour ago, Haiduk said:

fire with HE to cause optic damages and possibly shell shock of the crew

HE won't shell-shock the crew, HESH will. HE has one too many interface to transfer the energy.

1 hour ago, Haiduk said:

Mango" sabot has good chances, but in the game only BM Oplot uses it

Can you see the type of the projectile in game?

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1 hour ago, IMHO said:

HE won't shell-shock the crew, HESH will. HE has one too many interface to transfer the energy.

I read tells of our tankers - even multiple RPG-7 hit w/o penetration caused light shell-shocks (story of tank, which got 17 RPG-7 hits and survived), also was several cases from both sides, when HE hit caused fire or crew panic and abandoning the tank. Huge BOOM on the armor caused "indide the bell" effect anyway.

1 hour ago, IMHO said:

Can you see the type of the projectile in game?

No, but I suggested its change in bug report since 1.01 :) BM Bulat and BM Oplot are using 3BM42 Mango, T-64BV is using 3BM22 Zakolka. And as a HEAT shell they are all using 3BK18.

Russians are using Svinets-2 APFSDS, what HEAT they are using in the game I don't know.

Edited by Haiduk

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4 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

Don't misunderstand....not beating my chest here saying I'm all that. Ha! Hardly...I just happen to know these two particular weapon systems and the vehicles that haul them around. 

And I'm not taking it as any kind of bravado - just happy to have some one with some experience to chime in. Thanks.

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40 minutes ago, Attilaforfun said:

I'm skeptical any T72 can defeat even crappy Sov era 125mm sabot at 1300 meters.

http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/ARM/apfsds/ammo.html

Not all such bad %):

Russian T-72B mod.1989 of 35th motor-rifle brigade hit with 100 mm sabot of MT-12 AT-gun in lower front hull during battle for Georgievka near Luhansk. Crew escaped. The tank was decomissioned.

id7788-09.jpg

Two Russians T-72BA destroyed in direct clash with T-64BV tanks of 51st mech.brigade during Ilovaisk battle w/o losses from our side. 

id711-08.jpg

Totaly on Donbas Russia lost 13 late T-72 with K-5 ERA (confirmed with photos) :5¬†T-72B mod.1989, 3¬†T-72BA, 5 T-72–Ď3. Also one T-72B3 was heavy damaged and one slightly damaged and captured (and than re-captured). Also I heard about 2 T-90A¬†damaging or even destroying during assault of Luhansk airport, but there is no photos.

Edited by Haiduk

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Hey guys,

 

Thanks for all your answers, that shed a lot of light especially as I didn't think for the ATGM as a way to pack punch at large distance (although it makes complete sense).

Agreed with you @IanL it would make sense to have the crew switch to APFSDS once they witness their ATGM defeated by an APS system (but probably by then their life expectancy should already be quite short)

And yes, @Attilaforfun, from my limited knowledge, 1300m is indeed point blank for this kind of gear...

I must also say that I am impressed by the knowledge in armor and ammunition you gents have all displayed here ūüĎć

Now I'll be checking how many Bulats I can pack in my points against my friend ūüėČ

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