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Blind T-64A and armor question


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1. There are some issues with T-64A spotting ability. He does not see the tank that is directly ahead.

Here are screenshots showing the T-64A approaching the M60A3, touching it and not seeing it straight ahead.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1DzRK01AwXmJAiajxHBzx-omxS2ezWsPV?usp=sharing (attaching media is not working)

Maybe T-64A not very good at spotting but this is overkill.

2. Why M60s have better armor then T-64/72/80s (I mean the section where "armor squares" are shown for the unit)?

IRL all M60 variations (without reactive armor) can be easily penetrated into turret and hull by 3BK14M, 3BK17M and 3BK18M.

While M456A2 has big problem with turrets of T-64/72/80s and some problem with the hull (less for T-64A, T-72A and T-80; more for T-64B and T-80B).

So why M60s have bigger "armor squares" then T-64/72/80s?

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It looks like your ground conditions and smoke.  T64A does not have thermals so once the dust comes up they go blind (yes, CM models that level of detail).  They do much better in Wet conditions.

Here is a quick test scenario of T64As v M60s at 1500ms.  As you can see the T64As are spotting the M60s in the first 3-5 seconds, and then the shooting starts.  Results are pretty even if you run through this a few times. 

As to armor, not sure what those blocks mean but the T64s should be better than the M60.  If you switch out these T64As with T64Bs, you can definitely see the armor disparity start to show.

M60 v T64A.btt

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34 minutes ago, XaLVaUA said:

1. There are some issues with T-64A spotting ability. He does not see the tank that is directly ahead.

Here are screenshots showing the T-64A approaching the M60A3, touching it and not seeing it straight ahead.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1DzRK01AwXmJAiajxHBzx-omxS2ezWsPV?usp=sharing (attaching media is not working)

Maybe T-64A not very good at spotting but this is overkill.

2. Why M60s have better armor then T-64/72/80s (I mean the section where "armor squares" are shown for the unit)?

IRL all M60 variations (without reactive armor) can be easily penetrated into turret and hull by 3BK14M, 3BK17M and 3BK18M.

While M456A2 has big problem with turrets of T-64/72/80s and some problem with the hull (less for T-64A, T-72A and T-80; more for T-64B and T-80B).

So why M60s have bigger "armor squares" then T-64/72/80s?

1. Spotting.

There's a ton of smoke in those pictures, I imagine that's part of it.

CM spotting works on cycles, so closing distance rapidly will create weird situations like this, if you're caught in between cycles.

Spotting is also a percentage game. Doctrinally and in practice in CM, the Soviet method was to get as much mass on target as possible. The first tank to spot their opponent will usually win the engagement, but if you can get enough tanks on target at the same time, it doesn't matter which one spots first, as long as one of them does.

To model that with arbitrary values - we could give the US tank a 50% chance of getting the first spot in a given engagement. We'll arbitrarily make the Soviet tanks half as good as that - a 25% chance of getting the first spot.

One vs One, clearly the US tank will have a major advantage, but if there were three Soviet tanks, then the chances of *one* of them getting the first spot is 58%. Understanding this is absolutely fundamental to understanding how to play Soviet and Soviet-derived forces, and it's something the Tutorial scenarios do a really good job of teaching.

2. Armour.

The armour squares are a legacy UI element, which has always been pretty useless. The T-64A and especially T-64B have significantly better armour than the M60 in game, at least to the front turret.

Edited by domfluff
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Flat map 'gunslinger shoot-out' tests are of limited utility and give skewed results. The results aren't really applicable to proper scenario engagements in believable conditions at normal combat ranges.  Also, those are not just M60s, they're M60A3s firing depleted uranium APFSDS with a whole new fire control computer mounted. If they're M60A3 TTS they can also see through smoke. If you redo that  test with baseline M60A1 results may be quite different.

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7 hours ago, domfluff said:

2. Armour.

The armour squares are a legacy UI element, which has always been pretty useless. The T-64A and especially T-64B have significantly better armour than the M60 in game, at least to the front turret.

According to the in-game armor display all M60s are significantly better than all T64s, and T64A and B are the same.

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M60's armor superiority is all on the side and rear, away from the special armor where T72's protection is in fact better. M60A1 weighs 11 tons more than T72. Its lower hull is highly angled. The armor differences are only apparent when facing medium caliber projectiles, though. When facing the big stuff the side armor on both vehicles is overmatched and might as well be made of cardboard.

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1 hour ago, Redwolf said:

According to the in-game armor display all M60s are significantly better than all T64s, and T64A and B are the same.

You're right. That's weird. I don't know about the side, rear and top armor but the T-64 has much better armor protection than the M60 on the front turret and front upper hull.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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The armour displays do show this as being better. My point was:

a) the displays are wrong. The in-game performance of the T-64A’s armour is significantly better than that of the M60, as it should be

b) the armour ui is, and always has been perhaps the single most useless and deceptive part of the ui - even if they were accurate they are hard to read and harder apply in any meaningful manner.
 

Actual RHA numbers would be a lot more useful, although even those are only a fraction of the story.

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11 hours ago, XaLVaUA said:

1. There are some issues with T-64A spotting ability. He does not see the tank that is directly ahead.

Here are screenshots showing the T-64A approaching the M60A3, touching it and not seeing it straight ahead.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1DzRK01AwXmJAiajxHBzx-omxS2ezWsPV?usp=sharing (attaching media is not working)

Maybe T-64A not very good at spotting but this is overkill.

2. Why M60s have better armor then T-64/72/80s (I mean the section where "armor squares" are shown for the unit)?

IRL all M60 variations (without reactive armor) can be easily penetrated into turret and hull by 3BK14M, 3BK17M and 3BK18M.

While M456A2 has big problem with turrets of T-64/72/80s and some problem with the hull (less for T-64A, T-72A and T-80; more for T-64B and T-80B).

So why M60s have bigger "armor squares" then T-64/72/80s?

There are  2 main reasons. 

1) It's the "feature" of game engine that usually calculates armor and personnel vision in  a very strange and quite random way, not only in Cold War, but also in other titles as well.

2) In Combat Mission "world" all Soviet\Russian regarded as inferior to Western\American, especially in terms of vision. In many respects it's true to the facts (as far as I know), taking into consideration thermals, optics etc. But what CM games  do is taking this technological gap to absurd levels, making "Red team" almost absolutely blind. It feels very unnatural and counterintuitive when several of your tanks can't spot enemy tank directly ahead of you at the distance of  200 meters. 

Many times I witnessed how Vulcan's Gatling gun sends  the river of red bullets to my AFV, but my tanks\BMP don't see it, despite they are several dozens meters away and not under fire themselves. "Buddy to my right is under uninterrupted rain of hot red bullets from the Vulcan that is 300 meters in front of us... well I don't see anything because... well you know, Soviet optics is bad".

In this regard famous Swedish tank tender of 1993 is very instructing. Swedish Ministry of Defense organized the competition between different tanks, including shooting, terrain and visibility trials. Russian T-80 took part in competition alongside with Leopard and Abrams. In the end it was reported that T-80 spotting was equal to the Western tanks on the distances below 2500 meters in the daylight and 1000 meters in the night (although on the distances above Western tanks had an advantage).

 

 

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For unequal tank vision performance try M48A5 versus T64B.

Tracer graphics in the game are only there as a player crutch, they aren't actual tracers. None of the many-many AA guns in the titles fire 'tracers'.

There is no 'better' panel display than bright green. The panel is there to roughly differentiate between heavy tank, light tanks and soft skins, its not going to differentiate between two tanks that both have more armor protection than a King Tiger.

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You mean that it's one of those things in the game that is visualized, rendered, you can see it, but in fact it's not really there so you should not count it. 

Contrary to those many things that are not visualized, not rendred and players can't see, but in fact they exist and should be taken into consideration. 

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7 hours ago, dbsapp said:

Russian T-80 took part in competition alongside with Leopard and Abrams. In the end it was reported that T-80 spotting was equal to the Western tanks on the distances below 2500 meters in the daylight and 1000 meters in the night (although on the distances above Western tanks had an advantage).

Do you have a source for that?

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Ok. Not sure posting here is worth it/appropriate. Feeding trolls and all that. But for the sake of those who do not know and genuinely would like to know, and future readers, here goes. 

9 hours ago, domfluff said:

a) the displays are wrong. The in-game performance of the T-64A’s armour is significantly better than that of the M60, as it should be

b) the armour ui is, and always has been perhaps the single most useless and deceptive part of the ui - even if they were accurate they are hard to read and harder apply in any meaningful manner.

Completely agree. No idea why the armor UI thing is still a thing, or how it is generated. In my opinion it should either be removed or fixed. Leaving it in its current state is just confusing. 

Quote

1) It's the "feature" of game engine that usually calculates armor and personnel vision in  a very strange and quite random way, not only in Cold War, but also in other titles as well.

This is not how spotting works in CM. Spotting is not randomized. At this point an entire book could be written about how spotting functions in CM, and multiple tomes could be written of all the anecdotal evidence of it "not working right." But, anecdotal evidence is not evidence. 

Quote

2) In Combat Mission "world" all Soviet\Russian regarded as inferior to Western\American, especially in terms of vision. In many respects it's true to the facts (as far as I know), taking into consideration thermals, optics etc. But what CM games  do is taking this technological gap to absurd levels, making "Red team" almost absolutely blind. It feels very unnatural and counterintuitive when several of your tanks can't spot enemy tank directly ahead of you at the distance of  200 meters.

Ah yes, the "Steve is a NATO shill!" argument. What I will say is that this discussion has been had many times, and what people fundamentally fail to understand is that good optics makes an exponentially positive difference in spotting and situational awareness. Here is a great video from Hapless that does a great job of demonstrating one of many points when it comes to vehicle optics.

Again, please note that those infantry, who are not even attempting to hide, are less than 50m away and are quite hard to spot. 

Tank optics are even more extreme. Thermal imagers are way, way better than conventional day night sights, especially the Soviet day night sights, which did not have much zoom and were a narrow field of view. 

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In this regard famous Swedish tank tender of 1993 is very instructing. Swedish Ministry of Defense organized the competition between different tanks, including shooting, terrain and visibility trials. Russian T-80 took part in competition alongside with Leopard and Abrams. In the end it was reported that T-80 spotting was equal to the Western tanks on the distances below 2500 meters in the daylight and 1000 meters in the night (although on the distances above Western tanks had an advantage).

So, a lot of the results from these Swedish armor tests are pretty suspect. That is a whole other discussion, but what I will point out is that the idea that a tank with conventional day sights can spot just as good as a tank with thermals is hysterically inaccurate. Tanks with decent thermal imagers outperform conventional day sights by a ton. This is well known. for a real world example, check out the Gulf War, where US and NATO tanks equipped with thermal imagers consistently outspot their Iraqi counterparts, regardless of daylight conditions and weather. 
For those who love the "monkey model" and "bad training" arguments, I will simply point out that the rest of the world, including Russia, learned the correct lessons from the Gulf War. Pretty much every main battle tank today that is worth any credibility has some version of thermal, or at least enhanced optics. 

The real world settled this argument decades ago. I find it hilarious that it continues to rear its ugly, dead head here. Then again, this isn't exactly a War College either. 

Tracers are not simulated. As in, units do not "see" tracers, or bullets in CM. Not really sure how else to say it. Imagine tracers don't exist in CM? Its a trivial point anyways. Also, anecdotal evidence is not evidence. I saw a Vulcan fire at a BMP-1, fail to penetrate it, and the BMP-1 (that was just shot) promptly returned fire and killed the Vulcan with its 73mm gun from 600m away. So, there. Anecdote. 

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10 hours ago, dbsapp said:

 

In this regard famous Swedish tank tender of 1993 is very instructing. Swedish Ministry of Defense organized the competition between different tanks, including shooting, terrain and visibility trials. Russian T-80 took part in competition alongside with Leopard and Abrams. In the end it was reported that T-80 spotting was equal to the Western tanks on the distances below 2500 meters in the daylight and 1000 meters in the night (although on the distances above Western tanks had an advantage).

 

 

The Swedish trials was 1: For our Armored Brigades M1A2, Leclerc, and Leopard 2 Improved

                               And 2: For our Mechanized Brigades Used M1A1, Used Leopard 2A4, and new T-80U With Thermals 

The T-80U Was only compared to M1A1, and Leopard 2A4. Which both sported lower grade thermals, than their latest versions. Unfortunatly before the firingtests could Begin. The goverment had decided to buy Leo 2i, and used Leo 2A4. And the T-80U had to be returned to Russia immediately.

Edited by Armorgunner
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RE: the armor UI.

My guess is that the displayed values are a function of line of sight RHA thickness and don't take armor type into account. For example, the T-64 front upper hull is 80mm@68° RHA + 105 mm Textolite + 20 mm RHA vs. 108mm@66° RHA for the M60.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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@IanLIt was Greek tender of 1998, not the Swedish one of 1993, my bad. It seems like @Armorgunner also meant Greek trials, because his description seems to resemble it. I'm not sure that in Sweden T80 had thermals, though it may be true. If I remember correctly, Leo won both of them. In Greece corruption scandal followed with acquisitions of bribing Greek officials by German contractor . 

The report on T80 performance in Greek trials (quite critical of the Russian tank) is widely available on Russian AFV themed websites. 

@IICptMillerII I don't know why are you argue with me over the notions that I had never tried to dispute. Maybe it fits your definition of "feeding trolls". 

I never said that optics doesn't matter or thermals don't make any difference. I also never accused anybody of being "NATO shill" or whatever. Of course thermals give a huge, huge advantage. Of course,  tanks don't provide the best spotting opportunities. Those are pretty self evident ideas, but repeating them over and over again can't negate what I'm trying to say. 

Maybe metaphor would work better? Mercedes CLS500 is faster car than Honda Civic, that's obvious. But if you would play car simulator  game where Honda's max speed is 20 miles per hour, and game designers argue that it's all right because Honda Civic is not as good as CLS500, you will call it absurd. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, IICptMillerII said:

This is not how spotting works in CM. Spotting is not randomized. 

Obviously is not completely random, but has a random element which is quite easy to prove.

Edited by Bufo
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14 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

@IanLIt  @Armorgunner I'm not sure that in Sweden T80 had thermals

@IICptMillerII 

 

 

 

I was in active service at the time, in one of the mechanized brigades. Which would had been one of the users of the T-80U With thermals. Belive me, they had thermals. There was no interest what so ever, to buy a tank whitout it in the mid 90's

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Quote

I never said that optics doesn't matter or thermals don't make any difference. I also never accused anybody of being "NATO shill" or whatever. Of course thermals give a huge, huge advantage. Of course,  tanks don't provide the best spotting opportunities. Those are pretty self evident ideas, but repeating them over and over again can't negate what I'm trying to say. 

You literally said this:

Quote

2) In Combat Mission "world" all Soviet\Russian regarded as inferior to Western\American, especially in terms of vision. In many respects it's true to the facts (as far as I know), taking into consideration thermals, optics etc. But what CM games  do is taking this technological gap to absurd levels, making "Red team" almost absolutely blind.

Implying that, because in real life Western optics are better than Russian/Soviet optics, the game somehow arbitrarily decreases Red optics and increases Blue optics. Which is completely false. 

You further imply it with your car analogy:

Quote

Maybe metaphor would work better? Mercedes CLS500 is faster car than Honda Civic, that's obvious. But if you would play car simulator  game where Honda's max speed is 20 miles per hour, and game designers argue that it's all right because Honda Civic is not as good as CLS500, you will call it absurd. 


Soviet tanks do not have some weird blindness modifier put on them, or a speed governor to use your car analogy. 

And because we love anecdotes here is two more. I had a platoon of T-80Bs in hull down spot a platoon of M60A3 TTS Patton tanks before the Pattons saw me. The T-80s engaged and destroyed all of the Pattons before they ever got a shot off. In another scenario, I had a buttoned up T-55 spot and shoot an unbuttoned M48 at point blank range (~150m), because the T-55 saw the M48 first. 

Anecdotal evidence is not evidence. Just because crazy things happen, does not mean the whole game is broken or weird or wonky. 

Anyways, concerning the T-80U thermals:

Quote

The revelation that new Western developments in thermal imaging technology was producing compact thermal imaging sights that were rapidly outstripping the capabilities of light intensifying night vision sights resulted in new research on creating analogous devices to up the ante. Thermal imaging was not an unknown scientific field for the Soviet military industry during the 1980's as prototype imaging systems for tanks had already been developed by the early 80's and installed on a small number of T-80 tanks on a trials basis. Working prototypes were already available for testing purposes by the early 80's, but problems with establishing mass production held up the development of thermal sights in the Soviet Union for a long time. In this sense, Soviet tank technology was behind the West by almost a decade, in both technological achievement as well as industrial know-how.

Only the command variant models of the T-80U, the T-80UK, had the Agava-2 installed due to their prohibitively high cost. The widespread introduction of this technology was not only a manufacturing challenge, but it would have bloated the already incredibly high price of the T-80 tank series. Due to the lack of widespread service compared to the basic T-80U, it was not common to find T-80UK tanks during the 1990's, but still, the Agava-2 had a few interesting quirks that are worth investigating.

Instead of an optical eyepiece or a "fishbowl" lens like the type found on the Abrams, the viewfinder on the Agava-2 was a 384x288p CRT monitor screen similar what the PZB-200 used. The sight itself is only capable of limited optical zoom, from 1.8x to 4.5x. To attain a greater degree of magnification, electronic interpolation (digital enhancement) is used to generate 18x zoom.

https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/t-80-gambol.html

 

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