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To Button or not to Button? (Spotting the enemy)


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I've got a question about tanks and other vehicles spotting the enemy:  when hunting, is it better to be unbuttoned (getting those eyeballs out in the open) or to remain buttoned?

 

In the WW2 games, unbuttoned TC's have a spotting advantage because they're not limited to narrow periscopes and viewblocks.  In the modern era, however, vehicle-mounted FLIR and other electronic viewing devices are better than the naked eye at spotting hidden enemies:  a vehicle or infantry squad hidden in the trees might stand out like a sore thumb on a thermal viewer.

 

So, in CMBS, is it better (in terms of finding the enemy) to be unbuttoned or buttoned?  Does an unbuttoned TC lose the spotting ability of the vehicle's electronic sensors, or is it assumed that the gunner (or someone else) is using them while the TC looks around?  What about at night--do TC's generally have night vision goggles even when regular infantry (such as Ukrainians) don't?

 

I know that unbuttoned commanders are more vulnerable to enemy fire, but I'm not asking about that.

Edited by Holman
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IRL:

 

Tanks are one of your most powerful optics systems at range.  Regardless of nationality, you can rest assured the best optics that country has are mounted on their MBTs.  At close range though the FOV problems of tank optics start to become problematic, and having someone looking outside the tank for stuff within 100-200 meter type ranges can be helpful, if also very risky.

 

That said, fighting tank on tank in training, halfway out of the hatch is awesome (on the M1A1 at least)

 

CMBS:

 

Modern CM in general, it's usually not worth it.  CMSF had some western tanks than benefitted from having someone outside of the hatch for shooting up infantry, but in CMBS there's just way too much out there that's supremely lethal to behave in that manner.  Also APS/ERA makes the close infantry threats less profound (still dangerous though).  On the other hand, by god the player shouldn't stick tanks in complex terrain without friendly infantry to keep hostiles away, or without using dismounted forces to clear out possible enemy ambush locations.   Best to get the tank within LOS, but still a few hundred meters back, then push dismounts in.  Reverse procedure in open terrain.  

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So, in CMBS, is it better (in terms of finding the enemy) to be unbuttoned or buttoned?  Does an unbuttoned TC lose the spotting ability of the vehicle's electronic sensors, or is it assumed that the gunner (or someone else) is using them while the TC looks around?  What about at night--do TC's generally have night vision goggles even when regular infantry (such as Ukrainians) don't?

Unbuttoned TC does lose his sensors when unbuttoned, so here is a possibly incomplete list of vehicles that spot better while buttoned all the time (but only to the front of the vehicle).

M1A2 Abrams

T-90AM

BM Oplot

M2A3 Bradley

M3A3 Bradley

M7A3 B-FIST

Khrizantema

Tunguska

I don't know for certain, but I think it very unlikely that vehicle crews have night vision goggles, so nearly all vehicles should stay buttoned in low light conditions.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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