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Elephants and Tigers (demo) and SdKfz 7/2


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I've been playing the CMFI demo and I've been stymied (relatively) by the "Elephants and Tigers" scenario because that FlaK halftrack seems to be magical.

My observations are anecdotal, yes, but I've run the scenario three times now and the issues continue to happen.

Now, this thing is a 37mm FlaK 36 on the bed of the halftrack, exposed to the world with a gun shield but no armour cover from the vehicle. You'd think the gun crew would be vulnerable.

But:

- My Vickers crews have had the SdKfz 7/2 in full sight about 500-600 m away, but they will not fire at the targeted halftrack until the FlaK gun itself starts firing. The Vickers will fire at an area target next to the vehicle. It just won't fire at the half-track itself, which is a pity because that exposed gun crew could use a shower of .303.

- 81mm and two-inch mortar fire can barely scratch the SdKfz 7/2. I have never scored a direct hit, but the most damage a close bomb ever did was to take out the commander. Such bombs against infantry would be devastating, but they barely inconvenience the halftrack.

- My sniper will fire at the half-track but has not injured a single SdKfz 7/2 crew member in three games despite taking out numerous other infantry. I get a lot of hull armour hits, which is weird because the SdKfz 7/2 has no hull armour. Well, the cab does, and there are little skirts of armour around the bed that the 3-d model shows as opened in deployed mode. But the gun crew is completely exposed whether or not the skirts are up and should be vulnerable.

In order to kill that beast, I need to use infantry or a Humber AC Mk IV, both of which are normally torn to bits by the halftrack's FlaK gun. I use a lot of smoke. I only managed it in one of the three times I played.

What's up with this?

(There is another little bug in the bowels of the scenario/demo. The one time one of my Humbers knocked out the SdKfz 7/2, the end-of-game kill was awarded to my other Humber, which had been destroyed by a recoilless 75mm much earlier in the game.)

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Was there much terrain cover around the flak-track to shield the crew from mortar fragments?

I say this because, to counter your anecdote with one of my own, I lost a valuable 37mm half-track in a recent QB defence PBEM because I didn't take the hint and withdraw the thing when spotting rounds fell nearby. A single, distant US 60mm mortar proceeded to kill all but one crew member with nearby mortar hits in less than a minute.

Btw, whether SdKfz 7/2s are properly vulnerable to various methods of attack or not, outside of the single scenario you mention, would be very easy to test.

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Was there much terrain cover around the flak-track to shield the crew from mortar fragments?

I say this because, to counter your anecdote with one of my own, I lost a valuable 37mm half-track in a recent QB defence PBEM because I didn't take the hint and withdraw the thing when spotting rounds fell nearby. A single, distant US 60mm mortar proceeded to kill all but one crew member with nearby mortar hits in less than a minute.

Btw, whether SdKfz 7/2s are properly vulnerable to various methods of attack or not, outside of the single scenario you mention, would be very easy to test.

It was a flat grass field with no cover for hundreds of meters.

It may be easy to test, but not with the demo. ;)

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When I was playing the demo, that flak vehicle was the bane of my life. There's a lot of foliage cover that gets in the way of infantry teams and tripod MGs firing on it, and you're engaging at extreme ranges for PBI rifle fire, which seems to mean they don't really bother shooting much, even if they've got a good spot. Whatever iteration of the engine it is (1.11, I think), they seem to be targeting centre of mass of the vehicle, rather than the crew, so if they get an accurate hit, it hits metal. I never managed to get any mortar shells to land within a useful radius; the cussed thing moved around too much, and I considered it a waste when I needed to neutralise foxholes full of MG42s without exposing anything bigger than an eyeball or two.

Wierdly, after a few firing passes (2 or 3, not really enough to deplete the ammo) it stopped hunting my Bren carriers. Which was a blessing and meant I didn't have to scoot from my shooting positions. After that, it was other assets which held me up...

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