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Steel Beasts vs Combat Mission t-72 visibility test


dbsapp
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My advice based on quite a few hours playing the Soviet is:

-  Open up.  Soviet tanks spot a lot better when opened.  They will button under fire (duh) but it gives them a much better early spot before the clang the hatch.

- Keep them in effective C2.  Tanks are designed to fight together and Soviet tanks spot a lot better when in C2 contact.

- Know your effective range.  Not all tanks are equal and they shine at different ranges.  E.g T62s are really good at 1000m, I have frontally killed M60A3s at that range.  But do not expect them to do as well at 2kms.

- Troop quality and soft factors matter a lot.  So in a game keep that in mind.

Unlike SB, there is no human-in-the-loop in the targeting cycles so the player can only try and setup the best conditions for success.  For the Soviets, with exceptions, the best practice is to not try and mince around at 2000m and play peeky-snipey, that is a western game.  Close fast and hard, let your ATGMs do the long range work and then use speed and mass both of which were in good supply for the Soviets. 

Edited by The_Capt
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3 minutes ago, The_Capt said:

My advice based on quite a few hours playing the Soviet is:

-  Open up.  Soviet tanks spot a lot better when opened.  They will button under fire (duh) but it gives them a much better early spot before the clang the hatch.

- Keep them in effective C2.  Tanks are designed to fight together and Soviet tanks spot a lot better when in C2 contact.

- Know your effective range.  Not all tanks are equal and they shine at different ranges.  E.g T62s are really good at 1000m, I have frontally killed M60A3s at that range.  But do not expect them to do as well at 2kms.

- Troop quality and soft factors matter a lot.  So in a game keep that in mind.

Unlike SB, there is no human-in-the-loop in the targeting cycles so the player can only try and setup the best conditions for success.  For the Soviets, with exceptions, the best practice is to not try and mince around at 2000m and play peeky-snipey, that is a western game.  Close fast and hard, let your ATGMs do the long range work and then use speed and mass both of which were in good supply for the Soviets. 

This and don't forget artillery. With the Soviets it's almost more of how does the armor support the artillery plan than vice versa.

 

H

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3 minutes ago, The_Capt said:

Unlike SB, there is no human-in-the-loop in the targeting cycles so the player can only try and setup the best conditions for success

Steel beasts can be played and is played by a number of people in "wargame" mode.  The player plays in third person and the AI runs all functions just like in CM games.  That's the best part of the game.  You can play first person as a crewman in a tank, as a unit commander of a large until while sitting in an AFV, or as a wargamer.  Its your choice.

Before making assumptions about a game, might want to take it for a spin.

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18 minutes ago, Artkin said:

Opening up in soviet tanks is nonsense, one hit and the commander is dead, your tank is now a potato

In my experience unless you get unlucky with a first round hit (rare) they button up as soon as shots start landing or wizzing past.  Opening up has worked for me, but hey it is a risk to balance with poorer visibility while buttoned up…each to their own.

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1 hour ago, Thewood1 said:

Steel beasts can be played and is played by a number of people in "wargame" mode.  The player plays in third person and the AI runs all functions just like in CM games.  That's the best part of the game.  You can play first person as a crewman in a tank, as a unit commander of a large until while sitting in an AFV, or as a wargamer.  Its your choice.

Before making assumptions about a game, might want to take it for a spin.

I stand corrected, clearly SB sounds like a first rate simulation.  So let’s try this:

Unlike SB, which has a human-in-the-loop option for targeting as clearly demonstrated in the opening post (complete with screenshots) which started this ridiculous apples-oranges-Tuesday comparison engagement, CM does not and can only be played with human-outside-the-loop…etc etc.

 

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10 minutes ago, The_Capt said:

In my experience unless you get unlucky with a first round hit (rare) they button up as soon as shots start landing or wizzing past.  Opening up has worked for me, but hey it is a risk to balance with poorer visibility while buttoned up…each to their own.

Well most tanks I have are hulldown. The only hits I take are to the upper hull or the turret. For this reason many of my tanks in this pbem dont have a commander

 

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4 minutes ago, Artkin said:

Well most tanks I have are hulldown. The only hits I take are to the upper hull or the turret. For this reason many of my tanks in this pbem dont have a commander

 

Ouch, I assume you have been jockeying too.  Well some games the gods of war are just not onside.  Never a good idea to get into a tank sniping battle when Soviets, if you can avoid it (except maybe T80s).  Soviets have to move and always push, no way around it.  If they lost momentum then doctrine says they simply push another unit forward and around…they had something like 50k tanks for a reason.

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Sure 50k of lesser quality tanks, eventually shifting to the new budget tank, t72. My tanks were within 700m of a firing enemy and performed miserably. I have my enemy back against the wall! If the map was larger and I had room to manuever then sure, but on this tiny map, not really seeing it. 

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3 minutes ago, Artkin said:

Sure 50k of lesser quality tanks, eventually shifting to the new budget tank, t72. My tanks were within 700m of a firing enemy and performed miserably. I have my enemy back against the wall! If the map was larger and I had room to manuever then sure, but on this tiny map, not really seeing it. 

Well both sides seem to be fudging with poor quality tanks to be honest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War_tank_formations
 

The Canadians are reporting 195 Cougars and that thing was barely an armoured car.

Can’t speak to that scenario, some are phone booth fights by design.  We have tried to really max out map sizes where possible and are doing so again for the DLC (cant say where but we are making maps).   A 4x3 km map (terrain dependent) is not a bad fit for a Coy TF when we factor in ATGMs etc.

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39 minutes ago, The_Capt said:

Well both sides seem to be fudging with poor quality tanks to be honest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War_tank_formations
 

The Canadians are reporting 195 Cougars and that thing was barely an armoured car.

Can’t speak to that scenario, some are phone booth fights by design.  We have tried to really max out map sizes where possible and are doing so again for the DLC (cant say where but we are making maps).   A 4x3 km map (terrain dependent) is not a bad fit for a Coy TF when we factor in ATGMs etc.

That's good to hear. I look forward to the new content, as always. A 4x3km map sounds like enough fun to contain regiment sized battles to me though.. ;)

One thing I noted about that link was each armored division had about 150 M1 tanks per armored division by 1981-1983. How true is this? When I modeled 3rd Armored Division there were 6 tank battalions, each of 54 tanks. Total was 324 tanks. Half of those were M60A3 and half were M1?

How do you feel about the Shturms performance ingame? They feel extremely blind, worse than BMP1s. In fact, I have never had a Shturm so much as obtain a partial contact in any pbem I've had. And I know others have had issues as well. It doesn't seem to be CMCW specific as issues were reported in CMBS as well.

Edit: Plus a cavalry battalion of 36 tanks, 360 tanks total.

Edited by Artkin
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@The_Capt Can you please continue the phrase "t72 in the above-mentioned .btt scenario can't spot enemy tank in the open field during daylight at the distance of 2 km that is straight ahead of it because..."

Without going into generalisation about "spotting is hard", "thermals", "Soviet doctrine" etc.

Just concrete explanation of this particular case.

Thank you. 

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39 minutes ago, Artkin said:

That's good to hear. I look forward to the new content, as always. A 4x3km map sounds like enough fun to contain regiment sized battles to me though.. ;)

One thing I noted about that link was each armored division had about 150 M1 tanks per armored division by 1981-1983. How true is this? When I modeled 3rd Armored Division there were 6 tank battalions, each of 54 tanks. Total was 324 tanks. Half of those were M60A3 and half were M1?

How do you feel about the Shturms performance ingame? They feel extremely blind, worse than BMP1s. In fact, I have never had a Shturm so much as obtain a partial contact in any pbem I've had. And I know others have had issues as well. It doesn't seem to be CMCW specific as issues were reported in CMBS as well.

Edit: Plus a cavalry battalion of 36 tanks, 360 tanks total.

I saw the M1 numbers too and based on other sources I think they were optimistic but if I were to look at 3rd Armd 50-50 would be my guess as well as they were frontline units in the theatre.

I will have to get back to you on the Shtrum as I have not touched it since building the US campaign.  I do recall it got nerfed because it had a TTS on it but that did not show up until much later.  I will have to look into that one to be honest.

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26 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

@The_Capt Can you please continue the phrase "t72 in the above-mentioned .btt scenario can't spot enemy tank in the open field during daylight at the distance of 2 km that is straight ahead of it because..."

Without going into generalisation about "spotting is hard", "thermals", "Soviet doctrine" etc.

Just concrete explanation of this particular case.

Thank you. 

Let me try

T72 in the above mentioned btt scenario can't spot enemy tank in the open field during daylight at the distance of 2km that is straight ahead because dbsapp dislikes the way spotting is modeled in Combat Mission and likes the way spotting is modeled in Steel Beasts better.  It is very fortunate that dbsapp can play Steel Beasts instead because if he prefers the way spotting is done in Steel Beasts the best way to experience that spotting is to play Steel Beasts instead of playing Combat Mission and wishing it was Steel Beasts.

I will leave you with this first  hand Soviet account from WW2 - yeah, the Soviet crew is in a T34 and that's a German Panther and guess what?  It's right in the gunner's sight exactly where they were expecting it to show up and yet the gunner cannot see it.  Reality must be broken or something - a shattering of the space time continuum because everyone knows that if the enemy tank is sitting right in the gunner's sight the gunner should see it since that's how it is in Steel Beasts.

Quote

Judging by the direction of his movement, we expected to see him again at the next crossing.  The gun layer traversed the gun to the right and we moved to the next trail.  The German, in turn, had spotted us, and tried to bypass us through the cornfield.  I looked into the panoramic sight at the place where he should emerge from the corn – and he did!  We had to kill him instantly: if you let a German tank fire first and he missed with his first round you had to bail out right away as he’d always get you with the second one.  German tank crews were like that.  I shouted to my gun-layer ‘Tank!’ but he didn’t see it.  Half of the Panther’s hull had already emerged from the corn.  So, I grabbed the gun-layer by his collar, threw him down onto the ammo storage, and took his seat myself.  I aimed, and hit the Panther in the side.  It caught fire like a petrol barrel and none of its crew bailed out.  Of course, when the German tank caught fire my prestige as a commander skyrocketed among my crew.  But for me, that tank would have hit us and we’d all have been killed.  Gun-layer Nikolai Blinov felt very humiliated and was very much ashamed.

  

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28 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

@The_Capt Can you please continue the phrase "t72 in the above-mentioned .btt scenario can't spot enemy tank in the open field during daylight at the distance of 2 km that is straight ahead of it because..."

Without going into generalisation about "spotting is hard", "thermals", "Soviet doctrine" etc.

Just concrete explanation of this particular case.

Thank you. 

You realize that no lawyer in the world would let a client answer a question like this..."leading the witness!!"  But in the spirit of making the game better (which we have all agreed is your true motivation here)...we don't really know.  I am going to say right up front that I did not download your test file, virus checker went all "red whoopie light" and even though I totally trust you my PC does not.

So I have run a few test of my own, VAB ran a whole series and posted them two posts down from your original which shows a whole range of spotting times, some happening in less than 10 seconds.  Demo ran a test on page 6 that actually mirrors your results in SB very closely,  My own tests look more like VABs, again a shortest time of about 14 seconds to spot, longest over 2 mins. 

So based on your single test run (unless you did more), my only guess is that you hit an outlier or there is a condition on your test that we missed somehow (what time of day is it in your test?).  Your test is also problematic in that there is no time stamp on when that T72 died, all we know is that the M60 saw it first and killed it (which VABs test definitely show can happen).

Beyond that, we really don't even know if that T72 is realistically supposed to be able to see a stationary tank at 2000m.  My guess is "yes" but it is not anywhere near as easy as you have assumed it to be; however, without real world data it is very hard to tell one way or the other.  

So, despite a really leading statement (e.g. it implies heavily that the T72 should be able to spot, which it might not and if so, not likely very easily), there is simply not enough here to make a solid judgement call on what actually happened to your poor lone T72.  All I can say with better definition, because I ran parallel test with different conditions, is that opened up the T72 spots a lot faster, which makes sense.  Also, having T72s in a group and C2 makes a significant difference in spotting ability, so that all checks out.

So in case that does not satisfy, my best guess is that your lone T72s spotting probability was low and it wound up spotting after it was dead on the curve...happens.  Based on everything I have seen I am not sure I am ready to put in a bug report and ask for a change without more substantial data.  So if you really want to help, try running that test multiple times and then play with the conditions like range, stationary vs moving, time of day.  It might help us pin down if there is an issue.  I for one am going to keep looking around for some concrete data on the T72s actual spotting ability.  It has been a long time but as I recall it was not great but evidence/data on kills at these ranges would be a start. 

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5 hours ago, Artkin said:

How do you feel about the Shturms performance ingame? They feel extremely blind, worse than BMP1s. In fact, I have never had a Shturm so much as obtain a partial contact in any pbem I've had.

I just tested the Shturm-S and compared it to the T-72A and M60A3 at range 2000 meters. With n=30* (for each unit type so 90 total) the Shturm-S spotted 90% faster than the T-72 and 78% faster than the M60. This was with all units buttoned.

*That's actually a small sample size for data sets with this much variance so don't take these results for anything more than generalizations.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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9 hours ago, Artkin said:

How do you feel about the Shturms performance ingame? They feel extremely blind, worse than BMP1s. In fact, I have never had a Shturm so much as obtain a partial contact in any pbem I've had.

I've just had a Shturm hit and kill an M113 which was partially obscured by trees with a full load of troops inside from over a kilometer away.

I did use the Open Up command on it though.

Edited by Grey_Fox
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12 hours ago, The_Capt said:

Unlike SB, which has a human-in-the-loop option for targeting as clearly demonstrated in the opening post (complete with screenshots) which started this ridiculous apples-oranges-Tuesday comparison engagement, CM does not and can only be played with human-outside-the-loop…etc etc

You really need to back off from commenting on a game you know nothing about.  As I already said, you can play SB just like a wargame.  You don't need a human in the loop other than high-level decisions.  The AI is fully capable of picking targets and firing.  In fact, a fourth way to play is from the map only. 

SB is not perfect.  There are things that CM does very well that I would love to have in CM.  Mainly the experience and morale settings.  But for any combat after 1960, I'll take SB every time.

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51 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

You really need to back off from commenting on a game you know nothing about.  As I already said, you can play SB just like a wargame.  You don't need a human in the loop other than high-level decisions.  The AI is fully capable of picking targets and firing.  In fact, a fourth way to play is from the map only. 

SB is not perfect.  There are things that CM does very well that I would love to have in CM.  Mainly the experience and morale settings.  But for any combat after 1960, I'll take SB every time.

Well as has been demonstrated here, repeatedly, I really don't have to do anything, apparently.  See, I can come on an games forum and then compare it to another game, not owned by that company.  Then I can make a bunch of unfair and misleading claims based on that outside game.  Oh, then I can berate players that they don't know anything about that other game...in their own house.  And then I can think that this is somehow not really rude.

The only comments I have made about SB is 1) it is a different wargame [aside, there used to be rule here that other games were to be discussed in the General Forum] and comparing it to CM is apples to steam ships and 2) it clearly has a human in the loop targeting option.  The screenshots in the OP opening post clearly show the player able to peer through a scope and see a target.  Very interesting that it can be completely hands off, and if the OP ran AI only tests (something that he really has not claimed) then at least we are comparing AI to AI (again a little rude).  Regardless according to those screenshots a human can still see and interpret what the AI is seeing very differently than CM.

Now, let's talk about "backing off" for a moment.  Your current angle is to come on a CM forum and promote an outside game, which you are clearly doing, this is very bad form.  If you want to participate in a discussion on how to make CMCW better, welcome.   But coming into another game forum to essentially advertise another is really just...well, you get the point.

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You look at two SU76's at 250 meters and people think that CM is not realistic in spotting. Just turn of the icons and be honest with yourself. I exposed the shadows in post processing. They are actually more visible now. Spotting is at the first instance done with the naked eye. If you look through binoculars without knowing what you're looking for you suffer tunnel vision aka legally blind. Your C2 is important in other words a lone AFV is unlikely to spot anything. 

visibility.jpg

Edited by chuckdyke
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12 hours ago, The_Capt said:

But in the spirit of making the game better (which we have all agreed is your true motivation here)...we don't really know.

I like that we have a fair conversation.

I'll think over what tests could be made to deepen our understanding and improve CM experience for everybody. 

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On 10/17/2021 at 6:07 PM, Combatintman said:

You may be right about T-72 spotting, but I'll let others who have greater knowledge and like doing these sorts of tests continue the discussion.  I will also be pleased if you are right and a fix is applied in a future patch.

Great to hear that, I'll be pleased as well😁

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19 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

I like that we have a fair conversation.

I'll think over what tests could be made to deepen our understanding and improve CM experience for everybody. 

Cool, on this we can agree entirely.  I would recommend that whatever you set up, do it at least 10 times to give a sense of the range of results.  Also anything anyone can find that links RL examples is very good. I am not keen on comparing game engines to be honest, for a lot of reasons but if one does they need to do those multiple times as well.  Then switch up the variables to try and see when it works like you think it should.

Lastly, were I you, I would take a pair of binos outside and see what 2km range really looks like...it is a very long way. 

Anecdote time! (put your helmets on, grampa has a story)  So back in Kandahar we were doing overwatch for one of our jobsites (long story there, go watch "Hyena Road" for a crappy movie version).  So as they will the good old TB decided to shake things up and drove up a technical to started firing at about 800m onto the workers on the site, basically harassing fire.  We are up on a big hill back from the site so that damned technical with the PKM was close to 1500m away from us....we could barely see it with the naked eye (it was a shade of red).  In fact we had to follow the tracers back to the source.  We ended up in this dumb MG battle with us plinking away at the max range of our GPMGs (hitting exactly sweet FA) and them continuing to make local workers scatter.  It was all fun and games until the Leo 2 pulled up and then hilarity really ensued.  So couple lessons, a Leo 2 can see out to 2km like an evil bastard and make something die very quickly.  Three guys with binos and a GPMG have a much, much harder time of it.  Not sure where a T72 sits but I am not convinced it was easy.

Oh, and it has been so long that I really buried it.  I have seen a T72 hit something at 2kms but it was a school, and it could do a job and half, so that really does not help...the lesson being the problem with anecdotes.

Edited by The_Capt
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