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Tanks: how to fire to the rear?


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I am not sure if this was raised before..

I have had recently a situation where my Pz4 was driving along the street and at the end of the turn I discovered a group of enemy infantry exactly at the back of my tank about 300 m away within the tank's LOF.

So I decided to eliminate this infantry in the following sequence:

1. Stop the tank. Assign area target at the enemy. (I assumed the tank would turn the turret 180 degrees and fire)

2. After 30s approach with my own infantry to finish the weakened or pinned enemy.

But that was a complete failure because instead of turning the turret only the tank first alligned the hull with the turret before it fired which took about a minute and my own soldiers got mowed down.

I also think I have similar experience engaging an enemy tank with my tank using a CA to the side of the hull, where my tank emerges from behind a berm and is supposed to fire immediately after it catches LOF. In such encounters every single second matters.. Instead after obtaining LOF my tank first alignes his hull with the turret which costs time and frequently means a dead tank.

AFAIR such situations where better handled in CM1.. Or am I missing something?

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Using a CA should, IME, have allowed the turret to take a different pointing to the hull. There will be times when the TacAI decides it simply has to have its glacis plate pointing at the threat, but usually, if you put an "off-axis" CA, the turret will align with the middle of it and the hull will stay still.

I agree, though, that the current behaviour of "knocking the gun off aim by rotating the hull" is generally suboptimal. It greatly reduces the advantage of having a turret. Perhaps some chaps with actual real armour experience can offer their views, but when I was gun layer on a paintball tank (with hand cranked bearing and azimuth controls), I could turn the turret while the hull was moving...

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It greatly reduces the advantage of having a turret.

Exactly. I often find myself fiddling with my tank's path of engagement vs. another tank only to avoid a situation where the turret would not be aligned with the hull.

That being a workaround to overcome the current Tac AI shortcomings.

If truth be told it is as if I were commanding a Stug and not a PZ4.

No advantage of having a turret.

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Exactly. I often find myself fiddling with my tank's path of engagement vs. another tank only to avoid a situation where the turret would not be aligned with the hull.

Indeed.

That being a workaround to overcome the current Tac AI shortcomings.

If truth be told it is as if I were commanding a Stug and not a PZ4.

No advantage of having a turret.

That's overstating it considerably, I feel. There's still an advantage, it's just reduced. The times I'd take a PzIV over a Stug, given the choice, and the points costs, are fewer than if the turret could counterrotate while the hull rotated and keep the sights at least near the target.

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There is a way to over ride the TacAI in this situation. Give the tank a movement order in the direction you want the hull to face, with a Pause order (usually of indefinite duration). Then place a Covered arc centered where you want the turret facing. The paused movement order will keep the hull locked in the direction of movement.

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There is a way to over ride the TacAI in this situation. Give the tank a movement order in the direction you want the hull to face, with a Pause order (usually of indefinite duration). Then place a Covered arc centered where you want the turret facing. The paused movement order will keep the hull locked in the direction of movement.

Good to know. Thanks for the tip. Hope I don't forget it.

Michael

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There is a way to over ride the TacAI in this situation. Give the tank a movement order in the direction you want the hull to face, with a Pause order (usually of indefinite duration). Then place a Covered arc centered where you want the turret facing. The paused movement order will keep the hull locked in the direction of movement.

Exactly. Any yet to be processed movement orders paused, locks units in place, also counting for infantry, when a particular in AS deployment and facing needs to be maintained. If a waypoint is reached, the unit will deploy as it sees fit, with maybe unnecessary rotations and micro positioning, in case of infantry. It has oftenly some advantages to not reach a particular waypoint and instead use Pause (or delay), change movement order in mid move, or shift the waypoint (without intent to move there), just in order to influence facing and in AS deployment for infantry. Interesting to use a waypoint just as sort of movement vector and change a units behavior en route, by means of pause, change movement order ect. without deleting the currently active WP or adding new ones.

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There is a way to over ride the TacAI in this situation. Give the tank a movement order in the direction you want the hull to face, with a Pause order (usually of indefinite duration). Then place a Covered arc centered where you want the turret facing. The paused movement order will keep the hull locked in the direction of movement.

Oh that is a good one. Currently I compensate for the fight between the driver and the gunner by trying to have the tank finish its movement orders facing the way I want the gun to be facing too. In the OP's case that just was not practical so it is good to have a way to get what we want.

In general though it would be a nice Tac AI improvement to stop the gunner vs driver fighting that goes on. There is plenty of time to reorient the tank after the gunner has fired and the loader is doing his job.

The other time this fight leads to bad outcomes is when the gunner decides to fire just as the driver stops the tank - boom big hole in the ground in front of the tank. All the gunner needs to do is wait just a bit before pulling the trigger.

Please let the Tank commander call the shots and keep the driver from messing up the gunner's aim and keep the gunner from firing when the driver is trying to stop.

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The other time this fight leads to bad outcomes is when the gunner decides to fire just as the driver stops the tank - boom big hole in the ground in front of the tank.

Is this still happening? It has been long since complained that there is too much bobbing and nodding when a tracked AFV starts, stops, or fires. Is it that hard to adjust?

Michael

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One caveat that I forgot to mention, is that IIRC the paused movement order needs to be present prior to the tank starting to rotate to the target. If you give the paused movement order and a target order at the same time the hull will rotate.

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One caveat that I forgot to mention, is that IIRC the paused movement order needs to be present prior to the tank starting to rotate to the target. If you give the paused movement order and a target order at the same time the hull will rotate.

I'm not sure I follow that. How do you give the pause order before the target (or CA?) order? Don't you set the waypoint, pause, and CA all in the same orders phase?

Michael

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I'm not sure I follow that. How do you give the pause order before the target (or CA?) order? Don't you set the waypoint, pause, and CA all in the same orders phase?

What I meant was that it seems to work best if the covered arc and movement is already set when the enemy unit is spotted. However, I've done some testing and the behavior is unfortunately not as consistent as I had previously thought. Sometimes the tank will rotate, sometime it doesn't. Sometimes it will rotate only a little, sometimes a lot. I'm not sure why. This may have changed in the last patch.

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