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Why is the Panzer IV so expensive to buy in Quick Battles?


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On 12/26/2020 at 6:08 PM, Freyberg said:

All this stuff about economics and industrial processes is interesting, but I don't think it contributes to how unit points are calculated in CM.

Here's a better question. In a tank-only ME QB, on a large map with typical tank combat ranges (500-1500m), playing against an opponent as good as yourself, with six Pz IVs, how many vanilla 75mm M4s would you feel you need for the game to be properly balanced...?

The game points assume eight M4s, actually not quite.

Seems right.

I'm sceptical.  A 1/3 larger force is a pretty huge tactical advantage where neither of these tanks has an advantage in speed, size or firepower really worth writing home about.

I'd say the answer is 'six M4s, with maybe a bit of pocket change left over for the allied player that becomes relevant when we talk combined arms scenarios'. 

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On 12/30/2020 at 3:54 PM, Alchenar said:

I'd say the answer is 'six M4s, with maybe a bit of pocket change left over for the allied player that becomes relevant when we talk combined arms scenarios'. 

We largely agree, but I might even say six M4s to six PzIV, with some small pocket change left over for the German player.

However, the German player should pay a lot more rarity points for his tanks.

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On 1/3/2021 at 8:42 PM, Bulletpoint said:

We largely agree, but I might even say six M4s to six PzIV, with some small pocket change left over for the German player.

However, the German player should pay a lot more rarity points for his tanks.

I think we have a conceptual disagreement on rarity points.  To the extent that I think they should exist at all, they should be to prevent someone showing up with 8 flammenwerfer vehicles or something.  

If we are positing a meeting between 2 armoured platoons from a US armoured and Axis Panzer division then it doesn't make sense to apply rarity at all.  These vehicles were not rare on the Normandy front in 1944 in opposing armoured divisions.

(I also just don't get what the aim of rarity is.  Combat Mission does not have a competitive multiplayer scene.  If you are playing a competitive QB then each side should get a free hand to construct an OOB from the points they have.  If you want a specific historical setup then go ahead and build a custom scenario.

 

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10 minutes ago, Alchenar said:

I think we have a conceptual disagreement on rarity points.  To the extent that I think they should exist at all, they should be to prevent someone showing up with 8 flammenwerfer vehicles or something.  

If we are positing a meeting between 2 armoured platoons from a US armoured and Axis Panzer division then it doesn't make sense to apply rarity at all.  These vehicles were not rare on the Normandy front in 1944 in opposing armoured divisions.

(I also just don't get what the aim of rarity is.  Combat Mission does not have a competitive multiplayer scene.  If you are playing a competitive QB then each side should get a free hand to construct an OOB from the points they have.  If you want a specific historical setup then go ahead and build a custom scenario.

 

There is a small competitive scene actually - I'm not participating, but it exists.

The rarity points are supposed to keep forces within the general situation of the real war. So since the Germans had fewer tanks generally, they should cost more rarity points - even in a clash of two armoured formations, the Germans would likely have fewer running vehicles than the Allies.

Of course there are exceptions, and for those, scenarios can be used.

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Looking at the CMFB qb points for german afvs it seems to me that they really arent priced based on actual performance.

It goes from 241points for a pz4j early to 418points for a king tiger. Unless the battle is on tiny there will rarely be a reason outside of rarity to not go for the heaviest german tanks possible.

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On 1/5/2021 at 5:57 PM, Bulletpoint said:

There is a small competitive scene actually - I'm not participating, but it exists.

The rarity points are supposed to keep forces within the general situation of the real war. So since the Germans had fewer tanks generally, they should cost more rarity points - even in a clash of two armoured formations, the Germans would likely have fewer running vehicles than the Allies.

And my retort there is 'the general situation of the real war is the Germans losing'. 

 

Anyway this whole argument would be irrelevant if Battlefront would just open up these values to modding. The community would pretty rapidly come to a consensus view on balance.

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14 hours ago, Alchenar said:
On 1/5/2021 at 6:57 PM, Bulletpoint said:

The rarity points are supposed to keep forces within the general situation of the real war. So since the Germans had fewer tanks generally, they should cost more rarity points - even in a clash of two armoured formations, the Germans would likely have fewer running vehicles than the Allies.

And my retort there is 'the general situation of the real war is the Germans losing'. 

Yes, that's why I said German tanks should cost more rarity points, but not more general purchase points.

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1 minute ago, Bulletpoint said:

Yes, that's why I said German tanks should cost more rarity points, but not more general purchase points.

I don't see the merit in that, rarity should be about the relative rarity of assets inside the faction. Not relative to how much other factions had of the asset type group (for example 'tanks').

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Just now, Lethaface said:

I don't see the merit in that, rarity should be about the relative rarity of assets inside the faction. Not relative to how much other factions had of the asset type group (for example 'tanks').

I think we're in agreement actually.

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On 1/6/2021 at 10:46 AM, holoween said:

It goes from 241points for a pz4j early to 418points for a king tiger. Unless the battle is on tiny there will rarely be a reason outside of rarity to not go for the heaviest german tanks possible.

Exactly. And I would prefer to see more German light and medium armour come into play, instead of only panthers and tigers.

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Just now, Bulletpoint said:

I think we're in agreement actually.

Good 🙂

I mean that in general PzIV's were not 'rare' tanks, they were the 'standard' tank. So if a battle with a tank formation is chosen (or individual tanks attached to other formation), they shouldn't cost rarity points.

Of course for specific variants that can vary, but for example in 1944/45 I'd say the Pz IV J (which was imo the most ubiquitous at that time) shouldn't have rarity points.  Now if you want to select a tank which wasn't common during that time, it should cost rarity.

But I don't think 'standard' German tanks should cost more rarity because Allied forces had more tanks.

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A totally unscientific test (1943, M4 early, PzIVG)
Straight shootout, Italy, flat map, no orders given, six tanks per side (Regular, 0, 0)

150m
starting buttoned: win PzIVs
starting unbuttoned: win Sherman M4s

500m
starting buttoned: win Shermans
starting unbuttoned: easy win PzIVs

1000m
starting buttoned: PzIVs
starting unbuttoned: PzIVs

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1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

Of course for specific variants that can vary, but for example in 1944/45 I'd say the Pz IV J (which was imo the most ubiquitous at that time) shouldn't have rarity points.  Now if you want to select a tank which wasn't common during that time, it should cost rarity.

Well, it's not a matter of only rare or not rare. The game has a graduation: Standard, Common, Uncommon, Limited, and Rare. Panzer IVs are listed as "Common", which means they have a small rarity cost.

I believe the rarity cost is intended to reflect the general availability in the theatre of war at the time.

 

As an aside, I think all tanks should be at least "Common", so that they cost at least a small amount of rarity points.

Because even though tanks in WW2 were not "rare", a lot of battles took place without armoured units present.

And because if tanks had just a small amount of  rarity cost, that means players would be able to restrict armour by setting rarity level to "strict". Currently, that doesn't restrict tanks, since many tanks are rarity zero, and multiples of zero are still zero.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

A totally unscientific test (1943, M4 early, PzIVG)
Straight shootout, Italy, flat map, no orders given, six tanks per side (Regular, 0, 0)

150m
starting buttoned: win PzIVs
starting unbuttoned: win Sherman M4s

500m
starting buttoned: win Shermans
starting unbuttoned: easy win PzIVs

1000m
starting buttoned: PzIVs
starting unbuttoned: PzIVs

Thanks for running that little test. It seems to confirm my impression that PzIV have a small advantage at a narrow range window (800-1000m) where they will hit faster but still be able to penetrate the Shermans. At close range, it's a toss-up, at longer ranges, the Sherman will win again, as the PzIV shots start to bounce off the armour.

So what we are left with are two tanks that are roughly evenly matched, but where one is much more expensive than the other. That's the main issue I tried to raise in this thread.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Well, it's not a matter of only rare or not rare. The game has a graduation: Standard, Common, Uncommon, Limited, and Rare. Panzer IVs are listed as "Common", which means they have a small rarity cost.

I believe the rarity cost is intended to reflect the general availability in the theatre of war at the time.

 

As an aside, I think all tanks should be at least "Common", so that they cost at least a small amount of rarity points.

Because even though tanks in WW2 were not "rare", a lot of battles took place without armoured units present.

And because if tanks had just a small amount of  rarity cost, that means players would be able to restrict armour by setting rarity level to "strict". Currently, that doesn't restrict tanks, since many tanks are rarity zero, and multiples of zero are still zero.

Isn't the 'infantry only' setting more appropriate for a battle without armoured units? I mean if you select a mixed battle with armoured units, I feel it's not really logical to give the 'standard' tank a rarity cost, just because many battles in WW2 were fought without armour. 
 

Also, giving every tank rarity points will result that a tank battle perhaps can't be simulated with normal rarity. So, I think the solution for restricting tanks is to either fight an infantry only battle or make some houserules regarding maximum amount of tanks.

Edited by Lethaface
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Just now, Lethaface said:

Isn't the 'infantry only' setting more appropriate for a battle without armoured units? I mean if you select a mixed battle with armoured units, I feel it's not really logical to give the 'standard' tank a rarity cost, just because many battles in WW2 were fought without armour. 
 

1: You might still want some vehicles.

2: A lot of players seem to like to restrict tank use but not ban it altogether.

3: Players can agree all kinds of house rules, but it would just be much easier and simpler if the game had a setting for it.

4: Even if all tanks had some rarity cost, you could still play with lots of tanks. Setting rarity to "Common" just means the tank costs as many rarity points as general points. In theory this doesn't restrict purchase at all, since you get the same amount of rarity points as you do general purchase points.

5: In any case, you would still be able to play with rarity set to "none".

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6 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

1: You might still want some vehicles.

2: A lot of players seem to like to restrict tank use but not ban it altogether.

3: Players can agree all kinds of house rules, but it would just be much easier and simpler if the game had a setting for it.

4: Even if all tanks had some rarity cost, you could still play with lots of tanks. Setting rarity to "Common" just means the tank costs as many rarity points as general points. In theory this doesn't restrict purchase at all, since you get the same amount of rarity points as you do general purchase points.

5: In any case, you would still be able to play with rarity set to "none".

Yeah but setting the rarity to none comes with other consequences. I understand the wish for a setting to limit the amount of tanks more finegrained than allowed/not allowed, but imo giving the 'standard' tank a rarity cost is a solution that gives another similar problem in return.

I would consider it bad design if you go for a mix/armour QB and select a company of tanks from the OOB, but than face the issue that under normal rarity you can't even select a company of tanks.
'Standard' (common whatever) tanks should have no rarity cost, imo. 

Edited by Lethaface
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1 minute ago, Lethaface said:

but imo giving the 'standard' tank a rarity cost is a solution that gives another similar problem in return.

The Panzer IV already has a rarity cost. It's considered a "Common" vehicle, meaning it costs the same amount of rarity points as the purchase points: 233/233.

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9 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

The Panzer IV already has a rarity cost. It's considered a "Common" vehicle, meaning it costs the same amount of rarity points as the purchase points: 233/233.

I think that depends on the game and timeframe. Or is only Panther 0 rarity? I know at least there are tanks without rarity, for both Allied vehicles and Axis vehicles.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Lethaface said:

I think that depends on the game and timeframe. Or is only Panther 0 rarity? I know at least there are tanks without rarity, for both Allied vehicles and Axis vehicles.

It's only one specific version of the Panther that is zero rarity. It seems like an oversight.

Many Shermans have zero rarity though. They could be reclassified as "Common" vehicles and get a small rarity cost.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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Combat Mission 1 (CMBB and CMAK) had the ability to set QB point allotments. For example, if you had 1,000 points to spend you could do:

Infantry 50% | Armor 20% | Support 30%
500 points     | 200 points |__ 300 points

These numbers were adjustable by the player making the QB and this allowed you to create a mixed force that leaned more heavily on infantry for both sides. In CM2 they did not do that and instead we got the very simple (too simple) infantry | armor | mixed. Which is really a rather unpleasant step back.


-------------------------------------

As far as rarity goes its actually a good solution because unlike points cost we can have some determination of it. We can set it to:

STRICT

STANDARD

LOOSE

NONE



Given all armor a basic rarity cost so that they are then affected by this system would be fantastic since its the only reliable way for players to adjust layouts given that the force type is a joke. If you want to play a QB representing two armored Coys running into each other then LOOSE would be the setting for you. If you wanted to play a "standard battle" in the theater then STRICT would be the setting for you.

But by having all these things at zero rarity you remove one of the few tools players actively have to shape QBs. Because right now I play on STRICT and that does jack all to many types of tanks even though tanks were uncommon.


----

Question?

I don't have any of the CM ww2 games installed at the moment but is LethaFace's contention even a problem? In a QB is it possible to not be able to buy armor due to rarity?

My gut feeling is that its not but it would force you to take more common tanks. Which again means that loosening the restriction ought to provide a solution.

Edited by Pelican Pal
elaborate
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58 minutes ago, Pelican Pal said:

Question?

I don't have any of the CM ww2 games installed at the moment but is LethaFace's contention even a problem? In a QB is it possible to not be able to buy armor due to rarity?

No, rarity will never prevent you from buying tanks. Because you get a generous amount of rarity points to spend, and some tanks have zero rarity cost.

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20 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

No, rarity will never prevent you from buying tanks. Because you get a generous amount of rarity points to spend, and some tanks have zero rarity cost.

Assuming that all tanks have the common rarity cost you also could fill an entire list with tanks, correct?

Assuming that none of them have zero rarity cost.

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