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Armored Vehicles: Buttoned or Unbuttoned?


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I can never remember whether (for spotting and/or shooting purposes) it's better for armored vehicles to be buttoned or unbuttoned.

I know there are tremendous differences between CM eras and armies and even individual vehicle models, but is there an easy rule of thumb for knowing when a hunting/scouting/covering vehicle commander loses anything by being in or out of the hatch?

I know WW2 vehicles will have better sighting unbuttoned, but how can I tell which models of (e.g.) Strykers or other modern vehicles have good optics when buttoned or not?

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The best way is to just make a test map and place the units on it with both button and unbutton forces and let them spot enemy units at the range you want to verify which is quicker.

IN cmcw, there is plenty of units that still do better open hatched. American Armor also. 

In CMSF  its mostly russian forces with older equipment

IN CMBS most things do better buttoned up.

there is a little more to it than just what sights are being used. but I will agree its the main factor in many situatuions.

 

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Modern vehicles will have vastly better long range spotting when buttoned, since the crew have access to advanced optics. But in any era they should have better close-in situational awareness when unbuttoned (even 2nd generation thermal optics can't compete with having full peripheral vision and being able to freely swivel your head), although I haven't really tested this much (exposing your squishy crew members at that distance probably isn't the smartest move anyway). In WW2 any vehicle will have better spotting when unbuttoned in pretty much any circumstance, it's just a matter of how much risk you're willing to take with your TCs. In CMCW it's a mix.

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BUTTONED SPOTS BETTER:

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.

 

UNBUTTONED SPOTS BETTER:

WW2 

Recon-specific M1127 Stryker with LRAS3

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8 hours ago, Monty's Mighty Moustache said:

I haven't played much of the non-WW2 stuff but usually I don't unbutton anything that has "IR Optics" listed in the subsystems damage panel, thermal optics are better than the mark 1 eyeball.

MMM

I think in CM the "IR optics" covers a very broad gunner sight equipment , from gunner's near infrared sight to thermal sight that works at far infrared spectra.  For example BMP-2 and T-64BV they do have "IR Optics" in their subsystems panel. I don't expect these two have same spotting capability as a M1A1.

Also, since IR Optics covers only gunner sight. unbutton should help to improve commander's spotting capability.  Many of the 80's AFV's commander don't have a commander's thermal sight. Some can use Gunner's Primary Sight Extension to see  what the gunner can see but that means the commander cannot preform scanning.  So keep commander unbutton should help.

But for anything that has CITV, Cmdr Video, I will definitely keep the vehicle buttoned   

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If I unbutton an M1 Abrams. Will that reduce its spotting ability? 

I know in Iraq there were instances when the crew popped up to use their machine guns against RPG teams on the left and right of the road. This is crazy brave and the crews were often injured, but in Combat Mission, would spotting change to the Mk1 eyeball?

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If I'm Russian, and I want to spot something, the PRP-4M is the winner, hands down.  It's radar spotting system works great!  The BMP-3M comes in second at about 1/2 the spotting capability. (night, very hazy, totally unscientific)

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On 9/9/2021 at 8:19 PM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

If it's of Soviet origin, unbutton it.

Not in CW - the commander has to stand farther up out of the hatch to look around, which then of course increases his exposure to enemy fire of all kinds. It was because for reasons like that, that Soviet doctrine specified that tank commanders were to remain buttoned up. 

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59 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

Not in CW - the commander has to stand farther up out of the hatch to look around, which then of course increases his exposure to enemy fire of all kinds. It was because for reasons like that, that Soviet doctrine specified that tank commanders were to remain buttoned up. 

Since I usually play NATO I think Soviet tank commanders, especially those in T-64As, should stand up out of their turrets at all times. That way I can actually do some damage to 'em. 😁

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