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BlackVoid

Axis armor points in CMBB

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I have tried to run several searches on this, but could not find any threads on the topic of armor points ratios between axis and allies. If it exists point me to it plz.

I have not played CMBB for a long time and one thing I noticed in my first QB that the Soviets get a much higher ratio of armor points in a combined arms battle. IMHO this really unbalances the game quite badly. In an 1500 pts 1944 QB on the attack, I could buy 5 crack T-34/85s. The Axis side could buy a lone Panther or 2 Stugs. Its a piece of cake either way for the T-34s.

This may be historical, but in the game this is surely a huge unbalancing factor.

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Then again, Germans have far superior anti-tank weapons: PaK 40, Panzerschreck, Panzerfaust, Panzerwurfmine etc. while Russians normally have to resort to Molotov coctails, PTRD's and some rather pitiful ATG's. If you want Panzer-heavy battles, then don't pick Combined Arms.

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I don't want panzer-heavy, I want balanced. Support points are always in short supply, in the mentioned 1500 pts QB Axis on the defence maybe can by 3 Pak 40s. Even if all are traded in for a T-34, still 2 more T-34s remain. And that leaves few points to buy any Panzerschrecks. So you must then rely on mines to kill the remaining Soviet tanks.

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Combined arms is not a battle type.

It is one and only one portion of a force composition variable for one side.

Armor parent unit type with combined arms force type is not infantry parent unit type with combined arms force type.

The force types the sides actually used are best represented by -

German panzer: mechanized parent unit, "armor" force type

Russian Tank Corps: mechanized parent unit, "armor" force type

German PG division: mechanized parent unit, "combined arms" force type

Russian Mech Corps: mechanized parent unit, "combined arms" force type

German ID with StuG support: infantry parent type, "combined arms"

German ID w/out StuG support: infantry parent type, "infantry only"

Russian combined arms army with attack support: infantry parent type, "combined arms"

Russian combined arms army defending etc: infantry parent type, "infantry only"

You are effectively complaining that a German panzer grenadier division with one tank battalion to 6-8 infantry type battalions isn't the same as a Russian mechanized corps with 6 tank battalions to 9-12 infantry type battalions (variables for things like engineer and recon etc). Well duh.

If you want a balanced fight between the armored forces of the two sides, use the "armor" force type with mechanized parent unit types - that is the PD vs. Tank Corps match up. Both sides will be able to spend up to half their point budget on armor.

Your mistake is simply to consider "combined arms" some normal or "fair" setting; it is nothing of the kind. The historical armies did not fight with one vanilla mixture of armor to infantry for all purposes, and they did not divide the roles similarly across subtypes of their respective forces.

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QBs with point purchases are entirely artificial. What is more, points are artificial, QBs are artificial too.

The purpose of this is to provide a way to fight balanced games, especially in multiplayer.

"Your mistake is simply to consider "combined arms" some normal or "fair" setting; it is nothing of the kind. The historical armies did not fight with one vanilla mixture of armor to infantry for all purposes, and they did not divide the roles similarly across subtypes of their respective forces."

I DO NOT AGREE. QBs and point purchases are not historical in any way. Combined arms is just artificial point ratio limits and nothing more. It has nothing to do with historical force composition (and it should not). But IT IS UNBALANCED. Other CM games (CMBO, CMAK) have the same point limits for both sides. CMBB is different, Axis gets much less armor points. What is the justification?

"If you want a balanced fight between the armored forces of the two sides, use the "armor" force type with mechanized parent unit types - that is the PD vs. Tank Corps match up. Both sides will be able to spend up to half their point budget on armor."

That is INCORRECT, with armor force type, the full budget can be spent on tanks.

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Tell me do you have rarity on?

Is the terrain random?

Is weather random?

Are casualties random or applies or ignored?

There are many thinks to unbalance battles so I always play unrestricted with casualties. Any other way is contrived more than necessary or even historically. It is only a game but you can diminish some of the problems in CMBB. A 1500 point game is probably nowhere near as good as a 3000 pointer as you never seem to be able to afford a decent force mix IMHO.

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I have tried to run several searches on this, but could not find any threads on the topic of armor points ratios between axis and allies. If it exists point me to it plz.

I have not played CMBB for a long time and one thing I noticed in my first QB that the Soviets get a much higher ratio of armor points in a combined arms battle. IMHO this really unbalances the game quite badly. In an 1500 pts 1944 QB on the attack, I could buy 5 crack T-34/85s. The Axis side could buy a lone Panther or 2 Stugs. Its a piece of cake either way for the T-34s.

This may be historical, but in the game this is surely a huge unbalancing factor.

None of this makes any difference to point ratios.

I was trying to establish how much of a player you were. I have played 100 plus games of both CMBB and CMAK so knowing my way around the parameter screen grows on one. I even had a spreadsheet showing me the precise points allocated to each arm per side.*

First off the primary parameter screens are a load of crock - as you rightly observe the combined arms is basically the same percentage repeated throughout the war regardless of the change in firepowers. It is true of all those parameters.

I am surprised in my thousands of postings the matter has not turned up in your search. Basically playing the "standard" parameters seems to be trying to make a chess-like balanced game. You seem upset at not being able to buy the same number of tanks - you may find with rarity off it is not such a big problem. BF in their wisdom decided on some percentages for certain types of battles and either you play their terms or you decide on unrestricted and /or casualties both of which loosen the parameters up so you can have a decent force. Rarity off is not a very subtle alteration in itself.

I made the point about the terrain as in some terrain I would willingly take the German side even if you did have 3 T34/85's. A force is only good or bad once you see the map.

Random weather - how good is a T34/85 in dense fog?

* If one wishes to be ahistorical and also be gamey you can count your opponents troops and work out the bits of his force you have yet to meet. Not 100% efficient but given in a 1500 combined arms regular troops there are certain choices which are no-brainers .... Of course I am not gamey and I like having FoW in a game so I go for random casualties.

PS: Ocassionally I come across people who feel that warfare is only correctly played on symmetrical boards with as similar forces as they conjure up. I despair as from my studies warfare is all about trying to do the most damage to the opponent as you can. Sending copies of your force total and meeting on a particular piece of land seems unreal.

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Black Void - not if they want to win against a human player. In practice, armor force types spend about half their points budget on armor, some on artillery or air, some on infantry to scout and hold stuff, etc.

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"Tell me do you have rarity on?

Is the terrain random?

Is weather random?

Are casualties random or applies or ignored?"

None of this makes any difference to point ratios.

It does make a difference.

In dense terrain or thick fog German inf post '43 rules vs tanks. Up to 225m. Even pre'43 the German inf effectively kills tanks at 30m.

Soviet inf effectively can not kill tanks. Maybe a lucky Molotov hit at 30m. RPG-equipped THs at 45m. Sappers at 30m. Lucky shots with Ampulomets (250m) or AT-Rifles (vs thin armor). They need tanks.

On a flat open field, inf will die vs tanks. Any time (within CMBB). Any nation.

On a standard "random" map, the terrain is usually pretty open, even in village or town as the houses lack surrounding cover. But spreading out the inf will present lots of targets and delay the enemy advance. Given enough good cover.

If the map is completely random, odds are that the map is too open and inf won't stand a chance. But on hills with lots of trees, the inf has a fighting chance. In woods or a city the inf can even attack.

More inf due to the higher inf budget. Lots of inf due to low to reg experience troops (crack is for mech units!). Trade off the advancing scouts on a 1:1 level by opening up at 40-80m. And soon the tanks will lack eyes.

ATGs open up from carefully selected positions, best in trenches (usually better than mines) when they have 2 good targets per gun - and Pak40 usually kills 2 targets in 2 turns. But definitely not more than 2 good targets per gun. Püppchen kill, recoilless rifles kill, cheap 75mm IG kill and do work as distraction for the Pak40.

But you need a good defensive position - including good defensive terrain for that. That's where inf makes its stand anyway.

Now please don't tell me you expcet inf attackin gvs tanks or a ME with inf moving out into the open when they can hear treads in the distance. That would be rare in RL. Inf usually defends vs. tanks. That's its role.

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1500 pts:

a)

Jäger Recce '44 btn (with 3xPak40 and 2xlIG 7,5cm. )

StuG

Marder

TH

5 systems with long 75, 2 with HC.

B)

Jäger Recce '44 btn

StuG

2 Schreck (reg+green)

3 trenches for the 3 Pak 40. Well placed these will be a match for 5 T34/85. But then there's still the StuG, 2 Schrecks and 2 HC chuckers.

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A competent player will not give you the chance to kill 2 vehicles with one gun. Your gun fires, kills a vehicle, next round mortar fire will rain on your AT gun. This usually means a KO AT gun within 1 minute.

I understand some of the rationale for lower Axis armor points: Soviet inf has no tank killing capability and they also lack decent AT guns. So for tank killing, all the Russians have are their own tanks and air.

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Have you tried knocking out an ATG in a trench? One minute!!!!

A mortar needs is LOS to the ATG - with clever siting not a given and trenches are not a necessity.

As I have predominantly played CMAK for the last 5 years my memory is hazy on my CMBB battles but ATG's are very effective in CMAK and I use them a lot. I can recall in the overtime of a game knocking out two crack Easy Eights with a Inf 75mm gun using HC. They should have not been so intent looking elsewhere. Very satisfying : )

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A competent player will not give you the chance to kill 2 vehicles with one gun. Your gun fires, kills a vehicle, next round mortar fire will rain on your AT gun. This usually means a KO AT gun within 1 minute.

I understand some of the rationale for lower Axis armor points: Soviet inf has no tank killing capability and they also lack decent AT guns. So for tank killing, all the Russians have are their own tanks and air.

Well.... I fought competent players who lost more than one vehicle per gun. It depends on the penetration power vs armor fielded - and the situation of the gun. A gun in a trench (with no trees nearby!) behind a small rise will stand a good chance of surviving one minute of 2 tanks vs 1 ATG before the opponent targets area fire from everything else he has. This means 90 seconds or 6-7 rounds. Just make sure the enemy can't retreat out of LOS or throw smoke. Which will usually happen vs 1 gun. But in a crossfire, retreating from one gun will not help. So 4vs2 or 6vs3 is much better.

You have to max the number of rounds before the enemy can react - and that means opening up at second 1. So don't wait for the enemy to get into your firing arc. The initial firinc arc set is just to hide the gun and for emergencies. If you want the enemy tank to turn first (using some decoy elsewhere), you can issue a small rotate command to delay firing. But for the turn when you issue the firing command, the cover arc is pretty large as once the gun opens up the countdown has begun. The cover arc is wide enough so the intended targets do not get out of it.

2 entrenched PaK40s vs 4 T34s at 300m should quickly see 2 dead T34s and the guns zeroed in at the remainders next turn. Which should result in 2 more dead T34s before the mortars come in.

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"behind a small rise"

Careful - while trench protection is certainly fair, exploiting the game's inability to correctly model the positioning of weapons on slopes is not.

Go to view level 1 beside the gun, and put the LOS tool out where the enemy will be coming from, scanning over the field anyplace they may be. Now watch the first portion of the LOS line as it leaves the gun. Is it straight? Free and clear over the rise? Or does it "kink" inside the first 10-15 meters, then proceed straightly?

If there is a kink in that initial segment of the LOS line, you are shooting *through* the hill. The game will let you, in the first 15 meters or so. But it *won't* let the replies through the hill the same way. This is bug exploiting stuff and a no-no.

Move the gun forward until that kink is gone, or you aren't being clever about combined arms, you are merely exploiting the game's inability to model physics exactly.

Understand, the actual gun has a height and a size. But in the game, it is an infantry-type unit, not a vehicle, and it has height zero. A round has to land where the icon is placed to hurt the gun or crew. To prevent height-zero for all infantry-type units from stopping them from firing from behind walls or crestlines, the game just lets them ignore obstacles within 15 meters of the unit placement itself, for outgoing LOS purposes. But it does not accord the reciprocal benefit to incoming fire, which will impact the hill in front, impact the hill in front, pass the crest and sail off hundreds of yards behind - with no margin between, to speak of, where the round impacts right *behind* the crest. In reality, the gun cannot see over the crest from a "gun down" position so protected. If "up" enough to fire, it is also exposing gun-shield to direct hits. But the game doesn't model them as vehicles. Etc.

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I was not aware of that as I thought it had been sorted in one of the versions?. Is it the same in CMAK?

In the sense that borg spotting is also unreal is this a matter of compensating design faults? I am loathe to introduce any sort of house rules which cannot expect to be monitored in game. And what happens if you are screened in one angle but open in others from your slope?

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I was not aware of that as I thought it had been sorted in one of the versions?. Is it the same in CMAK?

In the sense that borg spotting is also unreal is this a matter of compensating design faults? I am loathe to introduce any sort of house rules which cannot expect to be monitored in game. And what happens if you are screened in one angle but open in others from your slope?

You cannot easily fix it.

The problem stems from CMx1's combat mechanics against non-vehicle units. If it is not a vehicle (including bunkers, which are vehicles), then the only HE attack against it is a shot to the ground around it. CMx1 never tries direct hits from non-small arms against non-vehicle targets.

Image a huge Flak36 aka 88mm. In real life you very well have a chance to land a direct hit, it is huge. In CMx1 the engine only tried to make HE explode on the ground next to it.

In the reverse slope situation the ground is hidden and you can't hit it. You have the huge sillhuette of the gun stick up above the ridge but the combat mechanics do not try to hit it.

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I understand the situation but it seems to me that given all the other design problems - particulalry borg spotting it is not a problem to worry about.

If it is hulldown in RL then only the barrel and the top of the shield is a viable target so perhaps 3 ft? to shoot at.

http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/29420-how-effective-were-those-heavy-towed-t-guns.html

And nowhere on a board is a ATG going to be hulldown from all positions so I am relaxed about it having given some thought. Whether sceanrio designers need to conside it when there are fixed positions is another matter - I suspect it depends on what effect they are trying for : )

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I understand the situation but it seems to me that given all the other design problems - particulalry borg spotting it is not a problem to worry about.

I don't quite follow. Not because borg spotting is not a bigger problem, because borg spotting is incredibly hard to solve if you also want to prevent people from using indirect fire from units that didn't spot the target.

At least the reverse slope problem can be fixed once and for all by giving a gun a body and make it hittable.

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Absolutely. And for those who never buy aircraft ....... strafing a gun crew must be very satisfying.

Just for laughs out of a 5000 point force I bought 7 strafing fighters [2 strafes] - and the tally was 9 AT guns and five halftracks. The Germans had no AA but many play with little or none. Perhaops I should also have put out some tanks to distract the pilots.

I wonder what the psychological effect is on the opposing player as four fighters turn up in a single turn making mincemeat of his soft targets : )

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On a slightly more realistic 3000points and letting the computer choose my 510 point airforce nailed 6 halftracks so I lost pointwise by 150 but the dislocation to the attack must also be factored in. Seems a reasonable swop. The planes probably ignored the Panthers as too tough - which is wwhat I wanted to happen.

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The other way to solve the allegedly unhittable gun position just behind a crest line.... use mortars!

Regards

KR

The issue described above re crestlines is not 'allegedly' but very real. It is a limitation in the game engine and easily exploitable if one wishes to create highly unrealistic situations; it has been reported since the game's release. Yes there are 'ways', ie mortars, to deal with it, but that doesn't change the fact of the engine limitation.

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But Ron dont't you think that yu have to play the hand your dealt with and we already have borg spotting and unidirectional facing infantry - this seems quite minor in comparison.

CMx1 infantry is not unidirectional, I think only unbuttoned tanks are.

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