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Armor tactics

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It totally depends on the matchup and situation.

The closer to even the matchup is, the better off you are standing fast and hoping you get the first good hit.

So 75mm Sherman vs. PzIV at long range (where the PzIV generally has an advantage), I would probably stand fast and pray that my Gunner ate his wheaties that day. But with 75mm Sherman vs. Panther (both frontal aspect), I'm almost always going to try to break contact somehow. A small chance of survival is better than no chance at all.

Reverse or Forward doesn't particularly matter in and of itself -- whichever direction breaks contact the fastest. One exception is in dry dusty conditions in CMAK -- in these conditions, you can actually Reverse into the dust you're kicking up, and sometimes break contact that way.

I don't usually put much hope in vehicle smoke mortars. Usually, by the time they fire and enough smoke is worked up, the tank is either already to safety, or dead. But I guess if it's 50-50 to a safety position in front or behind you, the possibility of getting a bit of help from smoke makes it a little more attractive to go backwards.

Another trick: especially with more vulnerable AFVs, the last movement my armor makes is almost always a move into what i'm pretty sure is a safe defilade position. So if I plot a "Hunt" forward, I always plot a "Reverse" back into a safe place after the Hunt. This way, if an unexpectedly powerful enemy shows up, before the next turn I can just delete the Hunt way point, and the Tank immediately begins to reverse back into cover. Sometimes those few additional seconds make all the difference. Also, remember that rotating is very slow in CM, so you're sometimes better off running for defilade that's more or less straight ahead (or behind), rather than trying to rotate and run for cover more nearby.

If I don't plan on having a tank move for a given turn, sometimes I'll plot a Reverse (or occasionally even a Fast, depending on terrain) into a safe spot, and use command delay to make the Reverse order start at the very beginning of the next turn. Once again, this way, if something bad *does* show up, I can bug out fast.

With all units, Armor & Infantry, it's very important to have an escape plan thought out ahead of time in case things go south and you find yourself in a bad place. Even Tigers should have a hidey-hole ready, just in case. . .



[ March 24, 2005, 08:58 AM: Message edited by: YankeeDog ]

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This is an interesting scenario in which I've found myself more often than I'd like. I generally agree with the sentiments expressed above, but I would like to add a bit. I think your course of action largely depends on how much you know about the enemy. For example, sometimes you get hit by a target that is labeled generically as "tank?". While you can generally tell what type of gun is being fired by the sound it makes (a 85mm or 88mm is deeper and louder than a 75/76.2mm), many times the opposition you are facing makes a considerable difference. In such situations, where you don't know exactly what you are facing or exactly where they are, smoke is sometimes effective, as they might not have the best line of sight to begin with.

Furthermore, also consider your chances of hitting the enemy, as well as his chances of hitting you. Use the LOS tool to check your probability, and whether or not you are hull down. Similarly, evaluate the experience level of your crew, and see how it matches up to what you feel to be the experience level of the enemy. Many times, Germans with higher experience and better optics can win a shoot out with accuracy and composure under fire.

A final consideration is your armor and which direction you are facing. Some tanks, such as the Panther in the "Golzow" scenario, have proven to be very well protected from frontal fire from large guns, even at extremely close ranges. I would advise that no matter what course of action you decide upon in the end, to always rotate the front of the AFV towards the enemy.

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