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BlackVoid

Axis armor points in CMBB

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This is abit off subject.

I have been in the process of playtesting a way to somewhat slow down AT combat in CMx1 abit to better get the feel of WWII combat ( as it stands now CMx1 just reminds me of Modern day Combat to much ).

This is accomplished by reducing the Borg Spotting slightly, reducing Rate of Fire, and reducing the chance to hit.

Basically, this can only be done using using the Scenario Editor, and not by a QB.

Armor:

Units are bought by Platoon when applicable, and always Green. If you want a truly Green unit, give no command or combat bonus. If a Regular unit, give a Command and Moral bonus of 1 each. If Vet or above, give a Command and Moral bonus of 2 each. Armor must always be buttoned when applicable. This can be done by giving first a unbutton order, and then a button order ( this should make vehicles button for remainder of turn ). This makes it longer for armor to spot as it reduces visibility, rate of fire and chance to hit is decrease, because of being Green.

Field Pieces:

Field Pieces are always Green. purchase one Inf Sec or Inf PHQ per Field Piece. If you want the Field Piece to be truly green, then give only a Command bonus 2 ( that way the command unit doesnt have to be next to field piece ). If you want the Field Piece to be truly Regular, give a Command bonus of 2, Moral of 1, Attack of 1, Stealth of 1. If you want the Field Piece to be truly Vet, give Command-Moral-Attack-Stealth with bonus of 2.

Also, let the AI control fire of these units above instead of player ( this includes fire combat against Hard and Soft targets such as Inf ). However, a player may still use 'Area-Fire at anytime.

The above gives you a general idea of what I am going for. You may want to play test these and other aspects to better suite your taste.

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Latest test results about crest positioning and vulnerability of anti-tank guns

TEST 1

4 entrenched PAK's infront of crest v's 30 M4's

Turn 1

Gun 1 pinned in 14 secs and guns 2 and 3 KO's in 22 and 42 secs respectively

Turn 2

Gun 1 broken 32 secs, gun 4 KO'd 31 secs

Turn 3

Gun 1 panicked 46 secs

Turn 4

Gun 1 KO'd 31 secs 3 M4's KO'd

TEST 2

4 X entrenched PAK's reverse crest 15m +

Turn 1

Gun 1, 2 crew casualties 28 secs, gun 2 1 crew casualty 48 secs, gun 3 pinned 21 secs

Turn 2

All guns pinned

Turn 3

Gun 2 KO'd

Turn 4

All guns pinned/taking cover

Turn 5

Gun 3 broken 23 secs

Turn 6

Gun 1 Abandoned 35 secs, gun 4 Abandoned 42 secs

Turn 8

Gun 3 KO'd 12 secs 8 M4's KO'd

TEST 3

Entrenched PAK’s 3m from reverse crest

Turn 1

Gun 1 pinned 53 secs, gun 3 KO’d 22 secs

Turn 2

Gun 2 1 casualty 35 secs, gun 4 KO’d 40 secs

Turn 3

Gun 2 KO’d 55 secs

Turn 4

Gun 1 panicked 44 secons

Turn 5

Gun 1 KO’d 60 secs 2 M4’s KO’d

I have only run this test once so it could be an outlier but I think there are some conclusions to be drawn.

Entrenched anti-tank guns are woefully misrepresented in CMAK, guns positioned just on the reverse crest seem to gain no advantage than those on flat terrain. Guns positioned some 15 m behind the crest are far more effective, killing twice as many targets as the other two positions. You could begin to argue that positioning guns from behind the crest is not cheating at all, but an attempt to give your guns a more realistic chance of survival. If I have anytime, I will repeat these tests to see if this tentative conclusion can be strengthened or challenged.

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Reply to Vark's test - 7 1/2 to 1 shooter odds and still a 2 to 1 kill ratio for the guns? And you think that is realistic...

Put a gun section (2 pieces) up against a Sherman platoon (4-5 tanks).

Put a gun battery (4 pieces) up against a Sherman company (say 12-17 tanks).

Betcha they run the table as often as not in cheater's position, while trading one for one or better in fair position.

That is for in game behavior, now for the real war behavior.

There is no possible accounting for tank losses on any side in WW II that has a deployed ATG accounting for even a single tank from the enemy side, as a weapon life average. This is true for the whole war, for whole theaters, and for individual campaigns or battles last a month to a week.

You can find cases in AARs in which a single ATG battery defeats a tank company with loss, but you will always, always find this is due to the tanks never locating the firing weapons at all.

You can find cases were gun fronts defeat attacking concentrated armor in battalion or larger numbers on single narrow fronts - but you will find it is restricted to cases where (1) attacking armor lacks all combined arms and especially artillery support plus (2) the guns are as numerous as the attacking tanks on the frontage, or nearly so.

Single PAK batteries do not stop entire tank battalions. Full stop.

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I take it that the arbitrary moving of the argument to "it's not realistic" means that you have been persuaded by the demonstrations here that apparently invulnerable guns (kinked LOS) are in fact vulnerable after all? Nice footwork.

Your straw man is risible.

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By JasonC

Reply to Vark's test - 7 1/2 to 1 shooter odds and still a 2 to 1 kill ratio for the guns? And you think that is realistic...

IMO it is realistic, given the fact the AT guns rarely get first shot hits in the game.

Put a gun section (2 pieces) up against a Sherman platoon (4-5 tanks).

Put a gun battery (4 pieces) up against a Sherman company (say 12-17 tanks).

Betcha they run the table as often as not in cheater's position, while trading one for one or better in fair position.

And how realistic is that ? The M4's have "partially on" stabilizers, Borg-spotting bonus (not to mention HQ Command and Control advantage if bought as a unit instead of single vehicles) to mention but a few of the more "gamey" game features.

There is no possible accounting for tank losses on any side in WW II that has a deployed ATG accounting for even a single tank from the enemy side, as a weapon life average. This is true for the whole war, for whole theaters, and for individual campaigns or battles last a month to a week.

http://www.winterwar.com/Tactics/FINatTactics.htm#results

You can find cases in AARs in which a single ATG battery defeats a tank company with loss, but you will always, always find this is due to the tanks never locating the firing weapons at all.

And that is relevant in what way ? The CM game design handling is flawed from the bottom up starting from Borg-spotting.

You can find cases were gun fronts defeat attacking concentrated armor in battalion or larger numbers on single narrow fronts - but you will find it is restricted to cases where (1) attacking armor lacks all combined arms and especially artillery support plus (2) the guns are as numerous as the attacking tanks on the frontage, or nearly so.

http://www.winterwar.com/Tactics/FINatTactics.htm

Single PAK batteries do not stop entire tank battalions. Full stop.

That is totally dependent on timeframe and frontage. There are incidences where a single sniper has stopped entire infantry battalions.

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Is it the case that there is no "invulnerable defilade" in CMAK ? Or is it that in the tests, the tanks are defeating the ATG with area fire ??

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There is no possible accounting for tank losses on any side in WW II that has a deployed ATG accounting for even a single tank from the enemy side, as a weapon life average. This is true for the whole war, for whole theaters, and for individual campaigns or battles last a month to a week.

There were more ATGs than tanks. So the mean ATG never even faced a tank. It was destroyed by arty, inf or just left stranded. Average and means are pretty stupid when describing single incidents.

Even for campaigns the ATGs were usually deployed to cover a wider frontage than the frontage the tanks attacked. This is the doctrine of tank warfare. Mass them to outnumber the guns in a small area.

Lots of tank kills in CM weren't total write-offs in RL. So RL production numbers for tanks do not equal "killed" tanks in CM.

You can find cases in AARs in which a single ATG battery defeats a tank company with loss, but you will always, always find this is due to the tanks never locating the firing weapons at all.

Well.... I miss that stealth in CM. Tanks should not use tactics exploiting borg spotting vs ATGs. Which is impossible, as the TacAI does that and we can't influence the TacAI. So we all are cheaters. No, the game itself cheats!

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MM - pot, kettle.

I've posted on the ATG crest issue for years, and know every detail of its game implementation, including its history. You are the one pounding a straw man.

The difficulty of hitting a gun behind a crest was even more extreme in earlier versions and a patch deliberately added the tiny chance of a direct hit beside the gun, "through" the hill. But the chance is still vastly lower than anything realistic, and outgoing shells are not intercepted by the hill in the same manner.

If you replace the gun with a concrete bunker but move it to the top of the crestline, its survivability against a horde of shooters will decline. Is being behind a crest supposed to be superior protection to having only a 1 foot firing slit, and otherwise being encased in several feet of reinforced concrete?

Put one Sherman up against one PAK 40 and count the dead tanks before the 5th dead PAK (use 10 firing lanes per test to speed things, but each a one on one match up).

It's a bug, exploiting it is cheating, all there is to it.

As for historical losses and inferences from them, if an ATG could achieve the survivability shown in CMBB merely by being sited properly, ATG defenses in WW II would have stopped armor attacks cold, practically all the time.

As usual, gamey players want to feel like tactical geniuses accomplishing what their historical counterparts clearly could not, merely by stressing as hard as they possibly can, the few most broken points in the game system they are handed. As usual, it is crap.

And as usual, there is a simple solution that works with the game instead of deliberately against it, that does not blame the game for faults of the players, that does not ask for impossibilities from game designers or pretend that cheating is OK unless perfect realism mana rains from the sky. It is easy, voluntary, anyone can do it practically without effort and there is no reason whatever not to.

Just don't exploit the bug.

Just take Panzer III longs and Marders not 80mm front StuGs in 1942, and Panzer IV longs not Tiger Is endless in 1943, or KVs endlessly in 1941, or overmodeled Sturmoviks in every clear weather scenario big enough to afford them, etc etc.

It is all easy but it is all resisted by people uninterested in getting the historical most out of the game system, and instead only interested in winning this one fight by hook or by crook.

And it is easy to deal with that attitude, wherever you find it. Say "have a nice life" and move on...

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By JasonC

But the chance is still vastly lower than anything realistic, and outgoing shells are not intercepted by the hill in the same manner.

How do you determine what is realistic ? What is the difference between hulldown tanks and ATG with their barrel and top of the shield just above the crest line ? Logically I would think compared to hulldown tanks "hulldown" ATG's would be exponentially harder to hit directly. Even a near miss would not be as dangerous as the hill crest would shield the gun from debris.

Is being behind a crest supposed to be superior protection to having only a 1 foot firing slit, and otherwise being encased in several feet of reinforced concrete?

Coming from you I find this statement incredible.

Riddle me this: if you are aiming at a bulls eye are you more likely score a hit if the bulls eye is just visible just above a crest or if it is in full view ?

It's a bug, exploiting it is cheating, all there is to it.

What is truly a bug is the cross section targeting calculation which disregards hull mounted guns when determining hull down position.

As for historical losses and inferences from them, if an ATG could achieve the survivability shown in CMBB merely by being sited properly, ATG defenses in WW II would have stopped armor attacks cold, practically all the time.

How many successful armour attacks without any infantry support do you know of ?

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JC: I am happy that you stick to your guns and post something useful like this most recent post, but as your post that I commented to made no mention of the kink issue I wondered whether your introduction of a very weak "realism" argument meant you had moved on.

The straw man?

There is no possible accounting for tank losses on any side in WW II that has a deployed ATG accounting for even a single tank from the enemy side, as a weapon life average

Well, honestly, it may appear profound, but its relevance to CM is nil. How many of those deployed ATG saw action? In CM it is highly likely that deployed ATG will be in combat. And what terminated the vast bulk of those real-life ATG? Tank guns? I doubt it.

I will trawl through your anti-tank gun crest kink posts in other threads. What is the issue is that here you are saying that shots either hit somewhat in front of the gun or fly beyond it. Does that mean invulnerable to direct fire? Well, it appears not from your most recent post, but you state that it is still less than is realistic. The posts here and my own quick experiments demonstrated that the guns were quite vulnerable. Manoeuvered guns had even less chance - they did well to get a shot off.

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I ran a test with CMBB. Dunno if parameters were well chosen, but here they are:

Small map with ridge. 2 German 37 mm in trenches, facing a plt of T-70s. Distance 400-500 m.

Gun 1 entrenched on reverse slope, non-kinky LOS to tank. It gets a shot off. The tank destroys the ATG with return of shot.

Gun 2 entrenched on reverse slope, kinky LOS to 5 tanks. It plinks away happily (and even takes out a T-70). Return of shot hits the "glacis" of the slope, or sails above. On turn 5, one of the T-70s (firing from a slight angle, but still kinkily) gets a direct hit, and suppresses the gun. Two more hits or shots landing in the trench from a T-70 straight ahead, at 440 m, with kinky LOS to the ATG in its trench: the gun is panicked, and then abandoned.

Some remarks

1. Incredibly fun to watch one's gun in "invulnerable defilade" and the shots falling short or sailing long-- one feels (even if JasonC is denouncing a bug and a cheat) very safe and smug and congratulates oneself on one's tactical eye for terrain.

2. But is it invulnerable defilade ? I suppose after about 15 shots from the tank plt, the ATG's run was up.

3. Had it been one on one, ATG against tank, and with a heavy hitting ATG, the ATG would have been at a great advantage from the "semi-invulnerable defilade" bug / feature

4. It's actually possible to get a non-kinky line from one's entrenched ATG, but a kinky line to another part of the map (as dieseltaylor observed, I think).

5. Is the correct tactic massed HE fire against ATGs ? Is that not well simulated in this case ?

That's all one had to say

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By jtcm

5. Is the correct tactic massed HE fire against ATGs ? Is that not well simulated in this case ?

What is not true-to-life in the game is the targeting accuracy bonus platoons get over individual vehicles for aiming/shooting at the same target. :(

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Nice points

4. It's actually possible to get a non-kinky line from one's entrenched ATG, but a kinky line to another part of the map (as dieseltaylor observed, I think).

Yes! Exploring this further, I just had a Soviet Churchill start firing on a 37mm that had its armour arc set much nearer. I had set this up with gentle crest usage at about 170 metres, but the Churchill started firing at about 225m. I didn't even realise there was an alternate keyhole as it looked to be obstructed by trees. Because JC has painted himself into a moralistic corner, he can't entertain any exceptions to his rules. Because the gun is gaining (in this case) major crest benefit it is necessarily my fault. Yet if all had gone to plan I would have explored the impact of minimal HE fire directed immediately in front of the gun's location. I deliberately chose the 37mm* as it wouldn't have an earthly of killing the Churchill, and the Churchill because its HE is pretty pathetic.

* Don't forget to strip off its hollow charge though.

5. Is the correct tactic massed HE fire against ATGs ? Is that not well simulated in this case ?

Yes - and have mortars. Again, the Stalinist line seems to be that you must rule out anything that might help.

I am quite happy for JC to have his library of restrictions that he uses. Some seem quite sensible - unit selection, for example. Guns in trenches behind crests would appear to be quite controllable - as in don't do it. But mobile guns. Really? Is it credible that I can and should check every possible crest implication?

I am certain that JC micro-manages his units. How long does he take ordering in a 1500 point game? I have no idea. But I guess he takes longer than those who don't micro-manage their units. Typically I take a minute, or a maximum of 2. I don't do this through laziness or for semi-instant gratification, but because I think that the compromises forced on non-micro-managing actually make for greater playability and (sometimes) possibly even realism. Once a fire-fight starts there isn't the time to finesse all the tips and tricks that JC, amongst many others, has documented as maximizing your units' impact.

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Well, I still think there's something dodgy about using the trench+crest defilade as startup position for ATGs-- but the problem is that it is a natural spot to put a gun.

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I've edited mine now to show that when I said guns in trenches could be "controllable" I meant easy to identify on setup and therefore don't do it rather than anything else.

I can't find the reference to hand, but the trench increases protection doesn't it? Definitely having your cake and eating it if used behind a crest.

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JC

There is no possible accounting for tank losses on any side in WW II that has a deployed ATG accounting for even a single tank from the enemy side, as a weapon life average. This is true for the whole war, for whole theaters, and for individual campaigns or battles last a month to a week.

That has to be the most irrelevant fact to bring up to a discussion on battles lasting half an hout to an hour I can concieve. However it is a challenge and actually I think I can top it by pointing out that all the submarine nets set up in harbours around the world during the whole war accounted for a bare handful of captures.

It is fair to say however if we cut the time span to mere minutes to a specific harbour then the efficacy rating is 100%. However I would hate to extrapolate from a few incidents to a general theory. And perhaps ditto for the reverse.

On something RL - page 245 of "The Battery Commnader, his batman, and a cook"

Anti-tank gunners are only human, and when four tanks were presenting their silhouettes the two six-ponders came ferociously to life. Four direct hits and four knocked out tanks. The others scampered back out of trouble, but not before the Maori's mortar platoon had blown the tracks off another tank and worried it until it was burning.

The German force was a column headed by forty tanks.

So perhaps something in the correct time frame and scale of CM that shows ATG's were easily capable of taking a couple of tanks each without a problem. In a ten page extraxt from the same book starting on page 205 you can read how during a day, and for the loss of 15 ATG's out of 19 seventy German armoured vehicles and sundry softies are knocked out...

However for more specifics at one stage a battery of four ATG's took on 40 tanks at 200 metres and took out twelve of them in 2 minutes. So your talk JC of cheaters appears even more stupid in the light of actual reported incidents together with people's experiments that shows ATG's are generally emasculated in CM. There are plenty of other incidents in the book - published by Battlefront - well worth a read for small actions in the CM scale.

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By dieseltaylor

That has to be the most irrelevant fact to bring up to a discussion on battles lasting half an hout to an hour I can concieve.

Would it be safe to assume this debate is a penultimate attritionist vs manouverist debate ? :)

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By dieseltaylor

I am only discussing on a limited front to preserve the superiority in material and nous.

Would that superiority be qualitative or quantitative ? ;)

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