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A while back I reported on a series of tests of SMG's, rifles and machineguns in CMBN 4.00: 

Basically it is about measuring the number of kills per unit time achieved by a single soldier with the tested weapon against a standard target, a group of 4 soldiers in foxholes, again and again, under the same condition. It attracted some interest, so I returned to the project 2 years later and did everything more thoroughly in CMBN 4.02. The tests were automated with python, which allowed me to do lots of test runs - each result represents an average of more than 500 runs. It quickly got out of hand and in the end cost me much more effort than it is worth, but after a few months, hundreds of hours of CMBN clocked overnight on my backup computer and over 80 million rounds of ammunition fired, it's done and ready for release.

Although this was done in CMBN, I think the results will apply to other CM WW2 titles, too.

Read the full report here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/enmae2qpysgkace/CMBN Weapons Tests 2020.pdf

Inside you will find:

  • How different kinds of weapons, from the Walther P38 pistol to the M2 HB machinegun, perform against infantry targets from 40 to 312 m in terms of number of kills achieved per unit time and ammunition expenditure
  • How Gunners differ from Soldiers when firing LMG's (they don't, or at most very little)
  • How Marksmen differ from Soldiers when using scoped rifles (they do, a great deal)
  • The effect of experience (Green, Reg, Vet and Crack)
  • And perhaps the most interesting stuff - results for individual weapons added up according to the TO&E of almost fifty U.S., German and British infantry platoon formations, giving an estimate of the firepower of each at different distances, and also recalculated per QB purchase cost to see where you get the best "value for money" from this perspective.
Edited by Drifter Man
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3 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

A while back I reported on a series of tests of SMG's, rifles and machineguns in CMBN 4.00: 

Basically it is about measuring the number of kills per unit time achieved by a single soldier with the tested weapon against a standard target, a group of 4 soldiers in foxholes, again and again, under the same condition. It attracted some interest, so I returned to the project 2 years later and did everything more thoroughly in CMBN 4.02. The tests were automated with python, which allowed me to do lots of test runs - each result represents an average of more than 500 runs. It quickly got out of hand and in the end cost me much more effort than it is worth, but after a few months, hundreds of hours of CMBN clocked overnight on my backup computer and over 80 million rounds of ammunition fired, it's done and ready for release.

Although this was done in CMBN, I think the results will apply to other CM WW2 titles, too.

Read the full report here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/enmae2qpysgkace/CMBN Weapons Tests 2020.pdf

Inside you will find:

  • How different kinds of weapons, from the Walther P38 pistol to the M2 HB machinegun, perform against infantry targets from 40 to 312 m in terms of number of kills achieved per unit time and ammunition expenditure
  • How Gunners differ from Soldiers when firing LMG's (they don't, or at most very little)
  • How Marksmen differ from Soldiers when using scoped rifles (they do, a great deal)
  • The effect of experience (Green, Reg, Vet and Crack)
  • And perhaps the most interesting stuff - results for individual weapons added up according to the TO&E of almost fifty U.S., German and British infantry platoon formations, giving an estimate of the firepower of each at different distances, and also recalculated per QB purchase cost to see where you get the best "value for money" from this perspective.

My bold.

You were probably the only CMBN player to be upset that v4.03 was released. How about updating the tests? :);) :)

 

Seriously...this is a great resource. Outstanding!

Thanks,

Ken

Edit: I just finished reading some, browsing all, of your writeup. I am gobsmacked! 

Seriously, this is great.

Edited by c3k
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7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Great work - very impressive. Thanks for sharing.

It does seem to me that the StG44 performance is somewhat lackluster when you consider that it led all countries to adopt assault rifles. I'd think that it would stand out a bit more in WW2.

Haven't dug into detail on this data, and on individual basis I do think the MP44 could use some tweaks (although SMGs may also simply be performing too well at range).  However, when looking at unit firepower (which matters most), the Sturm platoon in CMBN is one of the weakest employed by the Wehrmacht: 3x 8-man squads armed solely with MP44.  Of course this was one of the first implementations of the Sturm platoon concept, and then it was believed then that the MP44 could entirely supplant the LMG at the platoon level.  Furthermore this is a mounted unit meant to fight in concert with the firepower of its SPWs.  Later sturm platoon implementations brought more men, LMGs and scoped rifles back into the sturm platoon org.  Meanwhile, the MP44-armed SPW platoon was largely abandoned in formal orgs after it's initial implementation in the short-lived Panzer Brigades.

If you look at something like the Begleitgrenadier platoon in Sturmartillerie Brigades (and in upcoming 45 version of the infantry division Panzerjäger Battalion for RT module), I suspect the platoon would be rated very high in the unit firepower comparison.

Edited by akd
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38 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Making it fire in rapid but short controlled bursts at medium range would improve it, I think.

Actually, I would advocate that these Weapons (and similar) fire Single-Rounds at Med-Long Range and Short Controlled Bursts at Short Range.

Also, I would tone down SMG's in general as they tend to be alittle too deadly at Meg-Long Range.

Edited by JoMc67
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5 minutes ago, JoMc67 said:

according to JK's link (think in FB) regarding MP44 Sturm Units it seems that these troops tend to fire single-rounds at Med-Long range, and controlled Bursts at short range.

In the game, it's full auto at short range and slow single shots at medium.

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10 hours ago, akd said:

If you look at something like the Begleitgrenadier platoon in Sturmartillerie Brigades (and in upcoming 45 version of the infantry division Panzerjäger Battalion for RT module), I suspect the platoon would be rated very high in the unit firepower comparison.

I can tell you from a lot of experience on both sides of Begleitgrenadiers that they are vicious.

Looking forward to seeing the 45 version in RT you reference. 👍

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Clearly there are other effects of small arms besides killing people - the MP44's will be putting out a lot more fire, so the amount of suppression will be different (not necessarily more though, since then we run into the debate of whether volume or accuracy of fire is more effective for suppression).

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19 hours ago, c3k said:

You were probably the only CMBN player to be upset that v4.03 was released. How about updating the tests? :);) :)

Yeah I can assure you I read v4.03 the release notes very carefully to see if the work I've done is still relevant :) but I don't think there were big (if any) changes to the effectiveness of weapons.

There were substantial changes, though, in v4.02 vs 4.0. Apart from SMGs having been toned down (yes, possibly still too deadly at long ranges) and B.A.R. and Bren firing full auto above 150 m, spotting of infantry was made much more difficult. In v4.0 I could run tests with MGs at 600 m and everything was fine - now they lose the contact as soon as the target takes cover.

15 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

In the game, it's full auto at short range and slow single shots at medium.

Right - the dividing line is at 150 m.

3 hours ago, domfluff said:

Clearly there are other effects of small arms besides killing people - the MP44's will be putting out a lot more fire, so the amount of suppression will be different (not necessarily more though, since then we run into the debate of whether volume or accuracy of fire is more effective for suppression).

This is an important point, and the results do not show suppression (suppression is hard to record automatically). Also keep in mind that practically everything in these tests was against targets in quite good cover. So, if you see low kills per minute (or even zero) at long ranges, this doesn't mean there wouldn't be kills against exposed targets. Rifles will not engage targets in foxholes above 200-240 m, but they may well fire at an exposed target at 400 m.

My observation from the infantry platoon lineup, including QB cost, is that it pays off to have units with lots of automatic weapons, and to prefer more experienced units over less experienced ones. I haven't played many QB's yet but it is consistent what I tend to see around - panzergrenadiers, paratroopers, veterans or cracks. The "pricing" system in QB's may be an issue of game balance that makes QB's less diverse than they could be.

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22 minutes ago, domfluff said:

One thing I think is really useful here is that it points to the correct use of foxholes - namely how foxholes positioned over 150m can make small arms pretty much useless, but are much less effective at closer ranges.

I should probably work on my presentation because I don't think that's what the results say :)

At close range they reduced kills by 85%. At long range by 55%. So they work at all ranges but at close ranges they actually work much better. However, this may simply be because they work better when their occupants are cowering, which is more likely to occur when fired at from close range than from long range.

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2 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

prefer more experienced units over less experienced ones. I haven't played many QB's yet but it is consistent what I tend to see around - panzergrenadiers, paratroopers, veterans or cracks. The "pricing" system in QB's may be an issue of game balance that makes QB's less diverse than they could be.

This is why I always suggest to my opponent that we agree to play with all troops being Regular +0. I find it makes the game more realistic, and saves time from having to cherrypick and min/max experience and soft factors.

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On 8/11/2020 at 12:11 AM, Bulletpoint said:

This is why I always suggest to my opponent that we agree to play with all troops being Regular +0. I find it makes the game more realistic, and saves time from having to cherrypick and min/max experience and soft factors.

I agree, having a sensible set of house rules helps fix the problem.

I'd still love to have a more balanced pricing system that wouldn't make me feel like I'm shooting myself in the leg whenever I pick underdog infantry. But even underdog infantry can beat an elite team bristling with automatics. It's still a great game.

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23 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

I'd still love to have a more balanced pricing system that wouldn't make me feel like I'm shooting myself in the leg whenever I pick underdog infantry.

I'd like to see an option for troop quality to be "built in" to troops when purchasing them for quick battles. So the game would randomly assign typical values, depending on year, month, faction, location, etc. If you wanted crack troops, you'd need to buy formations that were actually high quality in the real war. And even then, you'd get some random values so not everybody was a super soldier.

That would also give some more character to the various units. Taking a building and finding the occupants are wearing paratrooper uniforms would give you a clue you're up against serious opposition. And that probably there won't be that many of them. Currently, the whole map could be swarming with conscript paras for all you know. Which would be silly, but the graphics are just graphics - and of course a slightly different weapon loadout.

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17 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I'd like to see an option for troop quality to be "built in" to troops when purchasing them for quick battles. So the game would randomly assign typical values, depending on year, month, faction, location, etc. If you wanted crack troops, you'd need to buy formations that were actually high quality in the real war. And even then, you'd get some random values so not everybody was a super soldier.

I think this is already implemented - try opening a QB setup and buying some troops with "Typical" settings. You'll find that e.g. paratroopers, SS, some mechanized units often have better quality than common, run-of-the-mill leg infantry - it can be experience or motivation or both. And that's great and it can be used to set a house rule that all units must be purchased with "typical" quality, which, of course, requires honesty on part of the players. The only issue is that it tends to reinforce the imbalance I was talking about: high quality troops tend to have better "value for money".

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Very interesting. I'm surprised that the BAR significantly outperforms the FG42. I would have thought FG42 would have been much more effective, with the recoil mechanism built into the stock. At longer ranges the sight should be effective too.

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5 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I think this is already implemented - try opening a QB setup and buying some troops with "Typical" settings. You'll find that e.g. paratroopers, SS, some mechanized units often have better quality than common, run-of-the-mill leg infantry - it can be experience or motivation or both. And that's great and it can be used to set a house rule that all units must be purchased with "typical" quality, which, of course, requires honesty on part of the players.

Yes, the option is there. I'd just like to be able to lock it for a QB. Just like you can lock players into only buying infantry - even though you could just agree with your opponent to not buy any vehicles. Trust is good, control is better.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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On 8/9/2020 at 2:37 PM, Drifter Man said:

A while back I reported on a series of tests of SMG's, rifles and machineguns in CMBN 4.00: 

Basically it is about measuring the number of kills per unit time achieved by a single soldier with the tested weapon against a standard target...

Since you obviously put a lot of thought into your test set-up, one question came to my mind: Would it be possible to set up test so, that they could be compared to real world testing? Just asking, I have no idea how such a test could look like. But it for sure would be interesting to have a real world cross reference..,.

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21 hours ago, AlexUK said:

Very interesting. I'm surprised that the BAR significantly outperforms the FG42. I would have thought FG42 would have been much more effective, with the recoil mechanism built into the stock. At longer ranges the sight should be effective too.

This was perhaps the most unexpected result for me. It looks like something is wrong with this gun. At least it doesn't matter much because this weapon is rare.

16 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

Since you obviously put a lot of thought into your test set-up, one question came to my mind: Would it be possible to set up test so, that they could be compared to real world testing? Just asking, I have no idea how such a test could look like. But it for sure would be interesting to have a real world cross reference..,.

I don't have any real-world testing data and the answer would depend on the setup of the real-world test. I imagine that it most cases it involves someone shooting from a known distance at a target of a given size. At the end the hits of the target are counted. The problem with recreating this setup is that I can't define a target of some fixed size in the game and then count hits. Troops take cover and stand up again. Jeeps are too big. So I don't think it would be possible to do such a cross reference - there would always be doubt that the in-game test does not accurately represents the real-world test.

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