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Seeking final word on mantlets

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I have checked the FAQ and used the search function and have read varying accounts of how mantlets are treated in CMBB. From what I understand they are not modeled in the engine.

If this is so, this strikes me as a rather significant omission. How accurately can hull down engagements play out if the armor surrounding the gun and front turret is effectively non-existent?

I appreciate any feedback, and i apologize in advance for any redundancy.

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Well, there is no primary model for mantlets. There is an ad-hoc decsion on part of the designer to do something about it and put it into one of the existing mechanisms.

For example, the Panther has its mantlet modeled because the whole turret front is the mantlet and CM has the turret front declared as "rounded" armor.

The Tiger has the turret front declared as "reinforced".

Unfortunately, the Panzer IV has neither his relatively smaller turret accounted for nor the big mantlet, nor the heavily angled lower edges.

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The turret on a Panther does have a turret frontal area which is nearly vertical and vulnerable also. The curved mantlet covers the majority of the front and offers varying protection. The rather large cupula represents a sizable area also.

The Panthers curved mantlet overlaps the turret frontal armor in some areas. It is akin to the Tiger I in that respect.

The infamous lower curved armor of the manlet is an achilles heal and there are sufficient stories of this shot trap leading to knock-outs.

The curved armor of the mantlet on the panther appears to be of varying thickness. It is thickest at its very front.

Mantlets are actually part of the gun system in many cases and a hit on one can surely effect the zero of the main gun. Keeping the mantlet small would be a good design decision. The Tiger I mantlet does cover the majority of the front but would be vulnerable to hits on its outer edges throwing off the zero. Even damaging the gun system in some cases.

The pigs snout mantlets are actually a good design that trys to deflect shot and not absorb its energy. The Tiger II later turret or Panther II come to mind. Keeping the front of the turret narrow and thick is optimal.

Future games should address the individual complexities of AFVs to model turrets, hulls, tracks, etc better.

[ September 07, 2004, 07:57 AM: Message edited by: Mr. Tittles ]

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Redwolf and Mr. Tittles,

Thanks both for your help and info. Ive read basically all of the threads (and links therein) concerning armor and specifically turret protection on this forum and feel I have a good grasp of the "real world" situation. However how these factors are represented in CMBB im still a little fuzzy on.

Redwolf, you mentioned some of the tweaks the dev. team used to try and make up for the omission of a true modeled mantlet- The "rounded" and "reinforced" turrets on the Panther and Tiger. Do you, or anyone for that matter, have any actual data on what those declarations mean in game terms? I am aware of the shot deflection properties of "rounded" but "reinforced" seems rather vague. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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I believe it models the overlapping mantlet and turret front armor on a Tiger I. I dont think its used on any other vehicle.

Note that all mantlets are not the same. A Tiger I mantlet is also the means by which the gun system is connected to the vehicle by the trunnions. The whole gun and mantlet can be taken out in one piece. Some mantlets may only be 'collared' to the gun barrel. An example would be a Elephant TD updated with a mantlet piece. Also the StuG since its gun is actually anchored to the vehciles floor like a naval weapon. The front manlet is just connected to the barrel.

Like I said, hits to turrets and especially mantlets, even if non-penetrating, can seriously damage turret traverse/elevation mechanisms, signts, alignment. So gun hits are not overmodeled in the game since they can actually represent many other details besides hitting the tube itself.

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Originally posted by Justin S.:

Redwolf, you mentioned some of the tweaks the dev. team used to try and make up for the omission of a true modeled mantlet- The "rounded" and "reinforced" turrets on the Panther and Tiger. Do you, or anyone for that matter, have any actual data on what those declarations mean in game terms?

Rounded means that a hit on that surface will be assumed to come in at a randomly chosen angle. The distrubution of chances for different angles has never been published. However, the vulnerability of the Panther, and the joke that Jagdpanther, Hetzer and Jagdpanzer IV became when they got curved armor indicates that it returns low angles very often.

More has been mentioned about the reinforced Tiger front, I think it will randomly assume a thickness between 1.0 * unit data thickness and 2.0 * of that.

The unit data displayed in CM is less complete than it appears on first sight, the other main reason is that it is never said whether the penetration data is against face-hardened or homogenous armor, and armor thickness is given without specifing FH or homogenous as well.

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Thanks again guys. That basically answers all my initial questions. One more for Redwolf-

You mentioned the vulnerability of the Panther's mantlet and the "joke" that some of the tank destroyers became with the rounded armor addition. By "joke" (and vulnerablitiy) do you mean that they benifit little from it because the impact angle is often so low that the penetration is effectively the same as against non-sloped armor, or the opposite- that they get generous delfection bonuses and are "over-modeled"?

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The first one. Units such as the Hetzer, which were extraordinarily hard to kill in CM:BO, have been affected by the 'curved' armour which really negates their biggest advantage. It's a shame, because with 'curved' armour it's nearly impossible to use the Hetzer as it would have been. Personally I think it was an error to implement the 'curved' option for the Hetzer, because it's taken it from a tough, rounds-bounce-off TD to a slow-to-turn, slow-reloading, narrow-arced mobile pillbox that'll crack off maybe one shot before it gets toasted by a 75mm Sherman.

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If you look at a picture of a Hetzer from the front, you can see that there's big face of sloped armour, but the gun has a curved shield, and the bit where the gun sticks out (stop me if I'm getting too technical) has extra armour and stuff.

In CM:BO, the Hetzer's armour was simply represented by a slope (50 degrees or sumfink?) and the curved gun shield was ignored. However, the 'curved' addition meant that there was no longer an armour slope at all (because Hetzer has no turret) and the 'curved' armour status applies to the whole of the upper hull.

I don't know why they chose it, because for me it doesn't work. They probably did it to try to make it slightly easier to knock out and only afterwards found out that it's too easy to knock out.

I can't remember the last time I saw a Hetzer in a CM:BB or CM:AK game. Almost never, whereas they were very popular for CM:BO because they were cheap and very hard to kill. Same goes for the Jagdpanzer IVs.

EDited to fix :mad:BB code.

[ September 08, 2004, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Soddball ]

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Just ran a very quick test on Hetzers in the scenario editor - 1 Hetzer hull-down against a platoon of 5 Sherman 75s on a standard-size editor map, so range was about 700m.

The Hetzer was hit 20+ times in a 4-minute period, and none of the rounds did anything but ricochet.

It appears that the CM:BB 'curved' issue is no longer significant in CM:AK, because no penetrations, partial or otherwise, were achieved with a 75mm Sherman. So my info was out of date and the problem isn't as bad as it appeared. Judging by the evidence I've seen, I'll probably give them a go in a PBEM or two. smile.gif

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Using search, i found a multitude of threads regarding 'curved' armor, and TD's, most from 2003. However it gets a little tricky because some posts where prior to patch 1.03, and the values for Soviet 85mm rounds did change in that patch. There where also a few threads on specifically the Hetzer (vs. T-34/85).

There appears to be some confusion because the numbers change dramatically between games and patches.

After reading through posts by JasonC and rexford it seemed to be agreed upon that 'curved' armor generated, on average (rough, not statistical) a 30 deg. slope effect in CMBB. It also recieves a chance to ricochet (roughly 1/6 says JasonC). As mentioned the biggest drawback to this modeling would be the so called "sweet spot"- Where the random angle is very small and acts like vertical plate.

Soddy- I cant comment on the possiblity of a change regarding 'curved' effects in CMAK. I dont own it and havent kept up on its modifications.

However, i dont think using 75mm Shermans is a good test. According to the data i have the 75L38 penetrates about 83mm at vertical at 500 meters. Say at 700m that figure is around 80mm. Against the 60mm front plate of the Hetzer at range, that gun doesnt have a high probability of penetrating even if lower than average (30 deg approx.) angles are generated.

Getting back to my question of why they moved to curved armor, it appears it was a game balancing move. In CMBO I believe the hetzer front hull was rated at 60mm at 50-55 deg or thereabouts. From what ive read it was dificult to kill, especially so when hull down or at angles which aided its slope effect.

Dropping that down to 30 deg. on average (if that estimate is correct) would indeed make the Hetzer and other TD/ much more vulnerable (especially so with the chance of much lower values).

EDIT: Just to make it clear, i was talking in very general terms in regards to penetration and protection levels. I didnt include round type, year, etc. which can alter figures considerably.

[ September 08, 2004, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: Justin S. ]

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Justin, I used 75 Shermans because I remember playing CM:BB and knocking out a Hetzer from the front at 800m with a 75 Sherman. smile.gif That was enough to convince me that something was badly wrong. CM:AK doesn't share that same 'issue', at least, not to the extent that it was visible in CM:BB. I'll run some tests with 76 Shermans and Fireflies in CM:AK and if you want to run some with T34/85s in CM:BB and compare results that'd be interesting.

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