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Meanwhile, a typical standard reference - a German source not a Russian one - presents rather a different picture -

On the subject of uber-StuGs, I was browsing a book the other day called "the German Sturmgeschutze in WW II", by Wolfgang Fleischer, with Richard Eiermann. Here are some highlights on the controversial topics -

pp 74-76 says with the long 75, fire at enemy AFVs at ranges beyond 1500m was discouraged as ineffective and a waste of ammo, because AP would fail to penetrate even with a hit.

p. 84 says the 80mm front models "could withstand the fire of the 76.2mm tank gun of the Russian T-34 if it did not come within 500m." Says the same was true for the ZIS-3. It also mentions a weakness in the gun cradle armor, only 45-50mm (much like the turret of a Pz IV incidentally).

p. 87 discussing the StuH talks about its weakness vs. enemy armor, because the low muzzle velocity of its HEAT ammo made it effective only at 500m. "At distances under 500m, as was already noted elsewhere, the front armor of the assault gun offered no protection from the fire of tank guns."

p. 117 says flatly that the 75L48 with Pz Gr 39 could not penetrate the IS-2 from the front, even at a range of 100m. Nearby, an AAR mentions a StuG killing an IS-2 with its 5th hit after the first 4 bounced, without specifying which plate was struck.

p. 127 shows an 80mm front StuG-IV model with track sections on its bow and concrete reinforcements.

Later in the book, the improved effectiveness of the later Allied guns, the US 76mm and the Russian 85mm, is described as their new ability to fight from long range, not needing to close. Not as the first ability to penetrate from the front.

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JasonC writes:

"...fire at enemy AFVs at ranges beyond 1500m was discouraged as ineffective and a waste of ammo"

Don't blame the poor Stug for that one. I read in a Jentz book Tiger Tactics a Tiger commander in N Africa being frustrated by orders from above not to fire his 88 at ranges beyond 1500m, as a waste of ammo! I thought firing beyond 1500m was what an 88 'does'!

For fun, do-up a little scenario with Stugs against T34-76s. Then copy the scenario and swap-out the T34s for 75mm gun Shermans. You notice compared to the T-34 the Sherman practically becomes 'Queen of the battlefield!' After all the abuse we heaped on the Sherman while playing CMBO!

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9 StuGs IIIGs early vs 9 M4A2 Shermans. 2 StuGs KOed, 1 Gun damaged, and only because I just mindlessly charged after the first exchange. (If I had sniped at range I would have run the table without loss). All Shermans KOed of course. The Shermans got 1 hit at 650m that richoceted before losing 5 tanks.

During my mindless charge, the Shermans got 8 hits at 400-450m. 3 ricochets, 1 gun hit with gun damage, 1 upper hull partial pen with no significant damage, 1 lower hull pen with KO, 1 upper hull partial pen with shock and -1 crew, a second to the same tank that cause bail out. Every German round was going in, of course.

The StuGs cost *less* than the Shermans. Even with rariety off. Ridiculously.

And the performance of the US 75mm in this engagement is about what all the German side reports say Russian 76mm did once they had BR-350B.

StuGs are uber, Shermans aren't an answer to them, their prices are ridiculous for their combat power. To get play balance you need to turn rariety off, or better still just ban StuGs and make the Germans use Pz IVs instead.

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No, the base cost of a StuG is lower than the cost of a Sherman. With rariety off. LL scarcity has nothing to do with it. You can get a platoon of 80mm front StuGs for an average cost of 92 per vehicle. The Sherman will run you 101, 10% more. The Sherman can get partial penetrations inside 500m, bouncing everything that hits the front at a longer range. The StuG will put every round through any plate, any angle, out to long range. The StuG is overmodeled and underpriced. Everybody knows it - that is why they are a cherry picker's favorite AFV in CMBB.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

No, the base cost of a StuG is lower than the cost of a Sherman.

What's the price of a PzIIIn? Or a IVf? Both are definitely inferior to Shermans in all aspects, AP, AT and armor.

The Sherman outclasses the StuG in AP role, for AT the Sherman is the designated loser in open ground. In dense terrain or low viz, the Sherman is better due to its turret and slow vehicle rotation.

Bad luck most cherry pickers don't use random weather and terrain, I guess.

Gruß

Joachim

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Originally posted by MikeyD:

JasonC writes:

"...fire at enemy AFVs at ranges beyond 1500m was discouraged as ineffective and a waste of ammo"

Don't blame the poor Stug for that one. I read in a Jentz book Tiger Tactics a Tiger commander in N Africa being frustrated by orders from above not to fire his 88 at ranges beyond 1500m, as a waste of ammo! I thought firing beyond 1500m was what an 88 'does'!

An 88 has even better optics thant the Tiger. This increase accuracy. But more importantly - the Tiger will stand almost any return fire in NA due to thick armor. The 88 won't. So for the 88, it is better to use 8 rounds than lose the gun. The Tiger can just wait that little longer if the target moves towards it o close the range himself.

For fun, do-up a little scenario with Stugs against T34-76s. Then copy the scenario and swap-out the T34s for 75mm gun Shermans. You notice compared to the T-34 the Sherman practically becomes 'Queen of the battlefield!' After all the abuse we heaped on the Sherman while playing CMBO!

Do a scen StuGs vs Shermans in BO, BB and AK. You'll get different results. In BB the StuG rules. Not so in BO or AK.

Gruß

Joachim

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Originally posted by MikeyD:

You could try to use game mechanics to your advantage. I've noticed when the AI retreats a tank it's quite likely to turn the vehicle broadside to the threat in the process. If you could somehow force the Stug to retreat (avoiding mortar/artillery fire?) you might find yourself with a side shot by the end of the turn.

That's what his enemy did. The T34s did the tank cower dance of death. They retreated, blocked each others way, could not score many hits themselves and were driven back to the killing sack:

"There wasn't enough room in the lee of the hill for side shots, and it wasn't helped by the T-34s ignoring my orders and reversing away from the STUGs out into view of the German ATGs!"

Gruß

Joachim

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"As the Stug was one of the most numeorous german AFVs during WWII, buying them doesnt excactly amount to cherry picking."

Sorry, doesn't follow. People start taking long StuGs in 1942. StuGs only became one of the most numerous German AFVs in 1944. Yes people using them all the time are cherry picking.

In the fall of 1942, long StuGs were the best vehicles in the force and constituted less than 3% of the fielded fleet. An F late version with 80mm front - the best of even that tiny portion - are given only +20 rariety in September. By November you can have an F/8 at +10 rariety, with L48 gun as well. At Kursk, you get a G for 0 rariety.

In the fall of 1942, a third of the German AFV fleet still consisted of Pz IIs and Pz 38s. The bulk of the force had 50L42 or 75L24 guns. Only a best quarter had 50L60, and less than 10% had long 75s. Of those, most were thin front Marders. Some of the long StuGs had only 50mm fronts (including, ridiculously, all Russian captured models, which never get the 80mm front).

By Kursk there are better German AFVs but only a handful of them. A third of the fleet still consisted of 1942 era models, with 50L60 or worse. Half the fleet had long 75s by then, but the bulk of those were Pz IVs with 50mm turret fronts and some were Marders with 30mm to 50mm front armor. 80mm front StuGs are in the top third of the fleet mix, but can be had for zero rariety. And nobody pays extra for the turret on a Pz IV, when they get a weaker turret plate as a result.

The CM pricing formulas overweight inessential secondary characteristics like a turret, MGs and ammo for them, HE load size, and the like. While underweighting the two most important factors - the thickness of the thinnest front armor on the vehicle, and the penetration of its main gun against 30 degree slope at 500m. Small differences in those two have dramatic consequences for the usefulness of a vehicle. Continuous pricing models do not adequate capture the value of the difference between 50mm and 80mm front, or 80mm vs 65mm penetration at that angle and range.

And the rariety formulas measure how common a vehicle is not absolutely (adjusted for side fleet sizes), nor even as positioned within that sides overall fleet mix (best 3% of the fleet at that date, etc). Instead they are based on how common that item is *relatively to others in the same vehicle category*. This makes an item look more common if it is the standard of its type (TD), and also "rewards" evenly segmented types as opposed to uniformity.

E.g. 1/6 Pz IIs, 1/6 38s, 1/6 III short, 1/6 III long, 1/6 IVs short, 1/6 StuG will give low rariety to a StuG, because it looks "as common as any other type". While 1/3 T-70, 1/2 T-34, 1/6 KV, will give a higher rariety to a KV, because it looks "rarer than a T-34". That there are 5 times as many KVs as StuGs at that date, and both are equally cherry picked portions of the rival fleets, does not enter the rariety calculation.

In 1942, a German is already cherry picking if he uses Marders and Pz III longs. If he uses long StuGs with 80mm fronts, he is super cherry picking.

In 1943, a German is already cherry picking if he uses long StuGs. He is super cherry picking if he uses Tigers.

In 1944, you can use StuGs can consider them generic German AFVs - along with Panzer IVs. While Panthers, Tiger Is, or Jagdpanzer-70s would be cherry picking, and Jadgpanthers or King Tigers would be super cherry picking.

But in 1944, the 80mm front can be penetrated by decent ammo T-34/85s, by SU-85s, and by the long 122s on IS-2s and ISUs. They aren't "uber" anymore. The whole time they are "uber" compared to their opponents, they were a well above average type in the actual German fleet mix. And the period when they are most effective - 1942 - they were so rare they ought to have +100 rariety ratings, not +10 or 20. And the base price should be more like 150 - T-34/85 expensive, not T-34/76 cheap.

StuG overuse is gamey. It exploits an overmodeled and underpriced AFV that was not common at the period. The real tankers never had it so good.

But I don't seriously expect the German physics crowd to ever admit such patently obvious facts. Everybody knows it is true, but some people just don't give a damn about historical accuracy. They just want a crutch to lean on, in the form of an impenetrable front plate.

My suggestion is to ban StuGs in 1942 completely, and in 1943 to only allow them with rariety off. A realism minded German player can take 50L60 IIIs and Marders in the second half of 1942, and should use Pz IV longs in 1943.

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This discussion has confirmed some of my own suspicions based on my experience with t-34 vs Stugs and PzIII long barrels.

I've found that early t-34 tanks don't live up to alot of the history I've read about the east front.Wasn't the Panther developed as a counter to the t-34? Playing CMBB you wouldn't have thought it necessary.

Moik

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Russian tank losses were so high every year that their fleet stayed much closer to their production mix. The only period when CM players tend to unrealistically cherry pick is actually the other end, 1941. KVs were very rare and even T-34s were rare in that year.

Russian players using KVs in 1941 are cherry picking about as much as Germans using StuGs in 1942, or Tigers in 1943. Russian players using T-34s in 1941 are cherry picking about as much as Germans using StuGs in 1943. BT or T-26 are more realistic typical tanks for the Russians in 1941. But these early lights were lost in the first six months - most of them by the end of the summer.

In 1942 only, the Russians made far more tanks than they lost, and the fleet upgraded to about 40% T-70s and 60% T-34s as a result. (Early in 1942, there would also be a portion of T-60s and the T-34s would be more like 40-50%). In 1943, a small portion were lend lease, KV, and SU - around 20% for those combined - and another small portion were T-70s - again about 20%. The bulk of the fleet were T-34/76s.

In 1944, the upper end of the fleet is what was growing. The Russians fielded several thousand IS-2s and ISUs that year. Only Russians taking those exclusively are seriously cherry picking for that year. Or taking only SU-100s late in 44 and in 45. The T-34/85 is a perfectly common type for the Russians from the summer of 1944 on.

The other item that makes its appearance in significant numbers and takes over the low end of the Russian fleet is the Su-76. That and some surviving T-34/76s might be the low third of the fleet. But Russian players in CM should no more be required to use only those in 1944, than Germans should be required to use only Pz IIs and Pz 38s in the second half of 1942. In both cases one is talking about "poor man's armor" - suitable for formations supporting rifle divisions or axis minor allies respectively.

Personally, I ban KVs in 1941. No other Russian side use limits are really required. If one wants to restrict access to better but not best vehicles, T-34s in 1941 and IS-2 and ISUs in 1944 can be considered only allowed if rariety is off - giving the other side fair warning and access to all possible counter-weapons.

Note also that it doesn't take much to counter IS-2s. They are seriously undermodeled. Pz IVs kill them at a kilometer with ease, when German side reports say this was not at all the case in reality.

[ June 11, 2004, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: JasonC ]

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Originally posted by JasonC:

"As the Stug was one of the most numeorous german AFVs during WWII, buying them doesnt excactly amount to cherry picking."

Sorry, doesn't follow. People start taking long StuGs in 1942. StuGs only became one of the most numerous German AFVs in 1944. Yes people using them all the time are cherry picking.

It does follow as you made a blanket statement about Stug buying is cherry picking with no reference to date.

Anyho, I agree that the ponit model for AFVs atleast should be modified.

Regardig the Stug VS T34 issue, you have discussed this heaps of times (people, search the Forum) and you never had any evidence to back up your claims. Only what you thought was correct.

Im not saying that T34 ammo is not undermodeled, it may very well be, but you have not proven so.

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Of course I have provided evidence. The evidence I provide is just called "no evidence" by the German physics crowd, which will never give up or give an inch.

"the German Sturmgeschutze in WW II", by Wolfgang Fleischer, with Richard Eiermann.

"Kursk 1943" by Niklas Zetterling and Anders Frankson.

The Russian field manual sold on this site.

Glantz.

They all agree that the Russian 76mm needed to close to kill StuGs from the front, or Pz IVs with front hull hits for that matter. Most of them give a range of 500m, some slightly less.

Which just coincidentally, also agrees with Russian battlefield site data.

And with my standing point about German statements about the strengths of the StuG. They cite low profile, a good gun, good optics. They do not cite invulnerability from the front. Because they weren't. "The life of an assault artilleryman is short but full of interest". Russian propaganda? No, German propaganda.

The stock reply is that there were magic shells that outperformed the typical ones that were always involved in all incidents in which 80mm plates were penetrated, but never actually available to tanks or ATGs in the field.

There is also an 80mm thick side of an Elephant at Kursk with a 76mm hole in it. Rexford once cited a case of a King Tiger supposedly penetrated by Russian 76mm AP at close range from the side.

No amount of evidence matters because it is simply not wanted. German physics believes they must have had a technological edge and that must be what mattered. As though killing T-34s at 1500m with good optics isn't an edge compared to partial pens at 500m with a 2-man turret. And as though the Germans didn't win when they had the worse tanks and lose once they had the better ones.

It is not like it is hard to fight a realistic 1942 Russian force (T70s mixed with T34s) with Pz III longs and early Marder IIIs. Not if you have any tactical ability (or have ever used the Allied types successfully). Nor is it hard to fight a 1943 Russian force (mostly T34s, a few SUs) with Pz IV longs.

But they never accept a point and they never shut up. I've given up expecting the apologists to do so. It is enough if the truth is stated in addition to all their facile excuses. Then historically minded players can refuse to use the gamey overmodeled and underpriced crap and instead use the stuff that is modeled accurately enough for real tactics to apply. And if your opponent won't, get a new opponent.

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In case anybody is unclear on what I am talking about, driving at, and want, it has nothing to do with the designers who took their shot and have moved on, and are working on better things. It has everything to do with pansy German cherry pickers who won't drive anything that isn't overmodeled and uber out the whazzo. Pac man is so much more interesting than WW II in the east, after all.

Live a little. Screw debates, screw your silly excuses and dodges. Drop the crutch of your StuGs and your Tigers, and pick up a Pz IV sometime. Be a freaking man for half a day. The world will not end. You might actually think occasionally in the course of a battle. In 1942, try a Marder III (early) - thick enough front to stop a 45mm but nothing more, gun good enough to kill a T-34 at range. And Pz III Js. It is what they actually had.

If there are any Russians who in 1941 never take anything but KVs, I'd say the same to them. But there largely aren't, it is too obviously ridiculous. And most people don't play 1941 battles most of the time anyway.

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Hinkar,

JasonC is right regarding penetration performance of the 76mm Gun, it's a bit low in comparison.

However, i certainly would not rush 3 StuGs vs. 10 T-34 (when controlled by a human Player), because StuGs are extremely vulnerable to flankshots.

Your mainerror was to bunch them up in one small spot, without room to manouver. Use the speed of the T-34 (unfortunately tanks in CM are generally to slow when travelling off streets IMO) and deploy on a wide front. Use an overwatch and a manouver element (5 speeding ahead, while 5 overwatch, next turn reverse) in unknown situations.

To the historical feat of StuGs:

Destroyed russian tanks in 1944 by StuGs (Only the ones deployed by the Assault-Artillery branch), together with own losses and operational numbers (Total losses of all causes):

Jan: 860 ,own total Losses: 61 ,Operational: 671

Feb: 429 ,""": 71 ,": 718

March: 578 ,""": 177 ,": 511

April: 542 ,""": 121 ,": 533

May: 147 ,""": 15 ,": 732

June: 245 ,""": 34 ,": 757

July: 1019 ,""": 138 ,": 909

Aug.: 847 ,""": 96 ,": 654

Total 3667 ,""": 713 Ratio: 5:1

Of course a russian tank was considered a "kill" although the tank may be easily repairable, whereas an own "Total loss" was exactly a such, not repairable whatever the cause (for instance damaged, and then forced to be demolished on a retreat for instance). I suppose the "real" exchange rate being nearer 3:1 (tanks vs. tank kills) when rated by same criteria.

Available StuGs on the Eastern Front:

1942

June: No. of Abteilungen 18, with 210 Total of which, 166 operational

July: """ 19 " 300 " 258

Aug: """ 19 " 352 " 277

Sep: """ 20 " 409 " 294

Oct: """ 19 " 415 " 295

Nov: """ 20 " 448 " 347

Dez: """ 27 " 442 " 315

In 1942 an Abteilung (about a Battalion) had around 30 StuGs (K.St.N 446a)

Numbers in 1943

March: 20 Abt. with 443 Total (11 % short barreled, 1 % StuH, rest long barreled)

April: 21, 581 (ca. 9% short)

Mai: 22, 694 (ca. 8% short)

June: 26, 821 (under 5 %)

July: 29, 840

Aug: 30, 813

Sep: 31, 818

Oct: 34, 840

Nov: 37, 923

Dec: 39, 1006

1944

June: 32, 893 (Total)

July: 32, 965

Aug: 31, 786 (579 op.)

Sep: 28, 748 (518 op.)

Oct: 27, 764 (611 op.)

Nov: 29, 826 (n/a)

Dec: 30, 859 (n/a)

Jan45: 34, 996 (830 op.)

Some additional numbers:

By the end of 1943 StuGs had destroyed 13'000 enemy tanks, 20'000 had been reached in the spring 1944.

There were StuG-Abteilungen (later called Brigades) which destroyed 1000 tanks in 15 month. There also was a very high number of Knights Cross recepients in the StuG-Brigades (150) and 14 received the Oak Leaves.

The StuGs and their crews strengths/weaknesses were:

Strengths:

- Speed (In battle the machines were wrenched with no pardon (flooring the throttle), changing positions at maximum possible speed zig zagging, stopping only for fire on spotted targets)

- Low Shilouette (same Height as a standing man without cupola)

- Very good optics/observation devices (Generally referred as being superior to the tankbranch), every StuG was equipped with a Scherenfernrohr whith there exceptional FOV and magnification.

- Specialized training by the artillery branch

- Good frontal armor

StuGs in CMBB are somewhat difficult to handle, because they are way to slow in turning, moreover a real StuG would NEVER fire the maingun on the move and waste ammo, however not to be prevented in CMBB. Moving targets are to easy to be hit even at ridiculous ranges. Furthermore StuGs are a bit to easy to hit, because CMBB takes area relatives and neglelcts the all important Height to asses hit probabilities (beside other aspects of course)

Yesterday, a very much hated (Uber-)M4A2 Sherman Greenhorn zipped my StuG moving in CMBB-Fast-mode (well, creeping at 10 km/h) down hill (almost dry open ground) in a 30 m window with the first shot from 1000m (Replayed 3 times, 2 with same result, 1 shot ricocheted)....maybe i didn't remember the fact that every M4 was equipped with Laserranging and a Ballistics computer...

Sources: Kurowski's "Assault Guns to the Front!"

Spielbergers "Sturmgeschütze"

Greets

Daniel

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I'm not experiencing the uber stugs you guys are. In my version of CMBB the t-34s seem to have little trouble taking out my stugs with frontal armor hits. Sometimes the shots ricocets sometimes they penetrate with no damage but most the time the shot penetrates and the crew bails. Very rarely do I end up in a shoot out at ranges above 800m most the time it is occuring at around 500-600m. I fair much better with Panthers than I do with stugs. For that matter I prefer pz IVs h-n over the stugs. The stugs seem to take a beating better but they can't kill the tougher Soviet stuff easily and they don't carry that much ammo. The stugs are just the easiest thing to buy, especially when I like to play in the 600-800 pt range.

I have noticed a huge difference with the abilities of crack vs green troops. I think that a crack stug can easily destroy 6 green t-34s for no more reason than the crack crew will shoot only 6 times and hit while the green crew mill miss every shot.

I had a single Tiger clean house numerous times and I've seen a single IS-2 eliminate 5 pz IVs with no problem.

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Paul - either you are using the tiny number of 50mm front model StuGs, the T-34s are T-34/85s, or you haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about. 80mm front StuGs do not die to frontal hits from Russian 76mm. Not penned NSD, not partials with only minor, nothing. The shots just bounce. Gun damage or very rare weak point pens are about it. At 50-100m you still do not get even partial pens.

As for the statements that "end of 1943 StuGs had destroyed 13'000 enemy tanks, 20'000 had been reached in the spring 1944", I don't know how many times I have to scream it before anybody gets it between their ears, but *claims are not kills*. Own side claims of other side losses were given a 50% haircut by the Germans themselves during the war, because they knew they were systematically high.

And no, even 3:1 average kill ratios for StuGs (average, not best periods) are not possible. The Germans didn't get 3:1 kill ratios overall from all their AFVs combined, many of which were far superior to StuGs. The majority of German AFV losses occurred after January 1944 (proof - they still had or made 30K AFVs from that date to the end, and they didn't end with any).

As for the performance of the Russian 76mm, I am glad to hear anybody recognize it is low. Probably it is meant to reflect less than the full performance of BR-350B, with the idea that they still had some 350A floating around. The game tracks T ammo seperately, but for the other ammo changes it just changes the AP pen numbers based on the date. By mid 1943, they should be using pure 350B. But even slightly below those numbers would make a dramatic (and ahistorical) difference for the match up against 70mm and 80mm - the most important at the time.

I note however that the dramatic underperformance of Russian rounds extends to the 85mm in 1943, which is in fact even more pronounced. You can bounce 85mm from a 80mm StuG, repeatedly. I've reported the test results at just under 1 km. Occasional partials is putting it charitably. Not against Tiger Is, against StuGs. Which nobody can even begin to defend as historical.

The solution is not to overuse the buggers. No, people do not take them because they are "easiest to buy". They take them because they are underpriced by a factor of 1.5 and overmodeled as Jadgpanzers and they are available at low rariety from the fall of 1942 on. When in fact they had only a few hundred for the whole theater, compared to 10,000 T-34s.

As for the statement that "I've seen a IS-2 kill 5 Pz IVs with no problem", I dare him to try it against me. I'll bet him $100 his IS-2 dies to my 5 Panzer IVs. He will be lucky if he kills one. IS-2s are not supertanks in CMBB. They are penetrated by 75L48 out to km ranges. They have a low ROF and sometimes even *cower* from Pz IVs. It is just apologetic horsefeathers and no relation to CMBB. 5 Pz IV kills in one fight are more like the outlier success of the best surviving IS-2 in a fight that went well against a brain dead AI, after several others were lost.

I am sick of wrestling with the insects and so will give the whole subject a rest, and let the faithful return to their labors. But all the rest of you, remember - if you need a Tiger or StuG you have it from me that you are hobbling along on crutches and should be ashamed of yourself. If you can't win with Pz IVs you can't win without a stacked deck.

[ June 12, 2004, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: JasonC ]

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Simple solution: Don't play QBs. Play historical or semi-historical fights with accurate OOBs and you avoid completely the "cherry picking" argument all together. Face realistic tactical challenges and enjoy your game. And leave off the crowd that wants to play with the imperfect point models and worthless random maps and perfect weather conditions.

JasonC, you are right to not want to play what you consider an unbalanced game, but if you consider anything BUT PzIVs cheating, you certainly live up to your sig. Yes, players who seek gamey solutions shouldn't be bothered with, so why play 'em?

Yes, it's harder to find good battles than just picking some point-based force mix, but it's worth the effort. It saves me a load of frustration because I won't play a gamey, tactically stupid meeting engagements with balanced forces any more. I got over it. Seems you should too. That's not meant to be inflammatory, just that it seems an awful lot of digital ink went into a subject where you basically said: "I want to play opponents who play realistically, not gamey." I hear ya!

On a side note: despite the point value issues, does the computer (in BB/AK) do any credible job of force selection? I haven't bothered after BO, since I got tired of facing walls of 20mm FlaK guns. Has that improved any to solve some of the "cherry picking" issues?

Is a readily available, realistic OOB for a given time period available for CMBB/AK use? Players could select from a TO&E that would offer some variety, but weed out the unrealistic selection of units? If not, why isn't this a community project? Orders of Battle are something I have little access to so far, and would certainly appreciate the resources and flexibility of:

1) playing only on player-designed, realistic maps.

2) playing with realistic (not necessarily perfect) OOBs

3) playing with random, seasonal weather and ground conditions.

I should hope that the next generations of CM offer more complex victory conditions for the fights. As is, flags and kills are a sorry way to represent a large portion of militarily significant actions. For instance, movement to contact and recon are not easily done. How does one score a commander who's job is to get in, ID the enemy and preserve his force? In CM, you can't. You slug it out for flags and see who's left on the field at the end. I hope a more sophisticated system of scoring logic is available to designers to offer a broader variety of situations.

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Based on Russian data, the T34 76mm gun could just barely defeat about 80mm of face-hardened armor at point blank with BR-350B. British firing trials against 30mm/30mm face-hardened with 37mm through 75mm guns (AP and APCBC ammo) suggest that 30mm/50mm face-hardened would resist like more than 80mm single plate.

U.S. firing tests against a PzKpfw IVH with 30mm/50mm face-hardened armor show that the combo resisted better than a single 80mm face-hardened plate. JasonC seems to have forgotten my past posts on British and U.S. tests against German combo armor on PzKpfw IIIH and IVH.

However,CMBB probably doesn't model the vulnerable parts of the StuG IIIG very well, namely the large 50mm plate that sticks out from the barrel and the thin upper front superstructure plates. The later StuG used a rounded cast mantlet for the gun to avoid the losses associated with the flat 50mm plate, which was an easy penetration.

We've gone round and round with Jason C and nothing he mentioned is inconsistent with the 30mm/50mm armor being a tough nut to crack with the T34 76mm gun at all but point blank in CMBB. And we have the stats to support the inability of the BR-350B to penetrate 80mm+ face-hardened at anything but point blank.

I would also note that CMBB doesn't give the T34 76mm gun the superhardened 76mm BR-350B round which penetrated about 10% more than the usual version, and there was an uncapped 76mm solid shot AP round which was specially designed to defeat the Tiger side armor. But both rounds (super hard BR-350B and sharp nose AP) were around in limited quantities starting late 1943.

[ June 12, 2004, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: rexford ]

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Originally posted by Spotless:

Simple solution: Don't play QBs. Play historical or semi-historical fights with accurate OOBs and you avoid completely the "cherry picking" argument all together. Face realistic tactical challenges and enjoy your game. And leave off the crowd that wants to play with the imperfect point models and worthless random maps and perfect weather conditions.

I second that. QBs, and any kind of choosing your own forces, is silly and bound to lead to these problems.

Anyway, I am looking at this objectively, and I don't see the numbers to back up Jason's claim that the Soviet ammunition is undermodeled.

The first site I went to after a google search was Actung Panzer, http://www.achtungpanzer.com/t34.htm

Listed penetration for the Soviet 76.2mm F-34 L/41.5 using BR-350A AP at 500m against vertical plate (listed as 90 degrees, or 0 degrees as CM designates it) is....

71mm

That's less than 50+30mm, so I wouldn't expect penetrations. So, CMBB does not appear to be wrong. What's wrong with this data?

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JasonC, the "Kill"-figures are the ones of General Inspektor of Artillery. There were of course detailed killcounts made by the germans, because when you are not in retreat you can actually count the shot down tanks, there are such detailed statistics available which suggest german "kill"-figures being quite accurate. For me meaning not being exagerated more than 50%. As i mentioned further the german's own Total loss figures were something completely different and not really comparable to the Kill numbers, because only unrepairable losses went into it from all causes, whereas a T-34 may count as a kill when a hit disabled the cannon, and the crew dismounted.

For instance the Dupuy-Institute made a study about casualty figures for use by the army for future use in Logistcs prediction necessary. There again in the Kursk 1943 operation, the germans had casualty exhchange rates vs. the russians ranging 3:1 to 6:1, so assuming the tanks having the same rates is not complete fantasy.

Greets

Daniel

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