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How do you handle tank hunters?

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Just wondering how you guys use tank hunters and anti-tank rifles. I'm in a battle right now and I had a tank hunter team hidden in some trees about 80 meters from a passing light tank and the tank hunter team opened fire on it with an smg. I wanted to wait until it got close enough to molotov it (or whatever it uses on tanks).

I'm assume what I should have done is set the cover arc to a short distance. But how do I know at what range would their 'anti-tank' be effective.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.



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Molotovs aren't very effective, and have about the same range as grenades. You need to wait for a target to get very close, say 25 meters or less. Even then, with a high hit probability, the kill probability is low because of their lack of penetrative power.

I'm sure someone will be here soon to relate the story of how their molotov team destroyed an entire tank platoon.

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One time, in CM camp, I had a half squad of tank hunters. Their molotovs were watered down due to rationing and they had to use wax paper for wicks, since they had to wear any rags they could find.

This one half squad engaged a company of elite Panthers at range, destroying all the vehicles while capturing a platoon of infanry as well.

This little team then marched victoriously on to Berlin. It was a good battle.

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Russian THs are ineffective until mid-1943, when they get RPG anti-tank grenades. About 2/3rds of the THs taken will have then, some more than 1. The RPG is effective out to 35-40m and it will essentially always hit and essentially always be fully effective, even against a Tiger. The key to using them is just that the thrower needs to be unsuppressed - which is practice usually means undetected and stationary.

Never leave cover to chase a tank - it won't work. The critter will just put an MG on you, and the first burst will send you crawling. Once under fire the chance of actually delivering the attack is about zero, too. You can close the range inside cover, if the tank hasn't seen you yet.

The best move for this is "sneak", despite the slow speed, because you are most likely to throw undetected. Next would be assault or advance, but those seriously risk being spotted and shot. I only use them when I need to move to a different body of cover to get the range for the throw.

Molotov THs are pretty much useless for AT purposes. The molotovs are thrown readily and rapidly, out to 35-40m, and they hit often enough (not as often as the RPG though). They just don't do anyway. Even to an unbuttoned vehicle, even to an open topped one. Open topped are about the only targets with even a marginal KO chance, but it really takes a dozen or two hits, and you essentially never get to deliver those (unless the thing is already on its "clock" and so just sits there etc).

Molotov only THs are basically "dummies" (distraction "counters"). They look like infantry and resolve to "AT team" which draws tank fire. Their best actual use is as an anti-infantry ambush at point blank range, because the PPsH is so powerful. As a scout is another role for them.

The other effective Russian infantry AT are the pioneers. They get 2 demo charges per squad. Those have 30m range and can KO or immobilize even the toughest tank. They are harder to get them to throw, though. Besides needing to be 5m closer, they have to be in range and unsuppresed for more like 30 seconds - to "place" the DC. That can happen in ambushes, but it is more common for a fast moving tank to run right by a DC pioneer than an RPG. Still, before mid 1943, the pioneers are the best pure infantry AT weapon the Russians have.

But not the best AT weapon. The amuplet is as overmodeled as the molotov is undermodeled. It will hit reliably out to 200-250, and regularly "penetrate" up to 60mm of armor. As the early war Panzers typically have 50mm or less, that makes them effective "bazookas". You will occasionally get no significant damage results, but 2 consecutive hits will KO most targets.

Another useful infantry AT weapon is the flamethrower. Russian ones get slow speed and only 4 shots - but have a useful 45m range. Same idea about their use, being unsuppressed is the key to getting a shot off. They can miss, and often draw fire and die when they do. But they can also KO any tank.

Next and not least, ordinary infantry without any specialist weapons can attack enemy armor. This looks like "throwing grenades", but is actually a close assault routine. It takes about 30 seconds with the target continually in range, about 30-35m. And sometimes they just don't do it, or they miss the first chance and it takes a full minute delay. But if there are several squads close you will see the grenades start flying.

Those can KO any tank, though immobilization results first are common, with a second needed to convince them to bail out. As you are getting tired of hearing, unsuppressed is again the key, whether unspotted or just too many around for this one to be being shot at.

There is an issue though - they won't do the close assault thing until they've thrown all their molotovs, which won't hurt the target but will give them away. So a unit that doesn't have them is actually better at this. You can make one by splitting a squad - the molotovs will go with the short range half. Use the other one. Full squads and HQs are the most likely to deliver the attacks, however. Morale and combat bonuses, and quality, also help.

Finally there are the ATRs. They are mostly light armor harassers. They do halftracks. Their best feature is their stealth - they can fire from cover as close as 200m and remain unspotted (only a "sound contact" in the general area). The high ammo lets them ping away for minutes on end at the stealthier ranges.

The biggest drawback is very low behind armor effective. You have to rack up like 10 penetrations to KO something, on average. Also, you won't hurt the plain panzers at range or from the front even at point blank, only the halftracks and armored cars.

At a range under 100m or so, from a flat side or rear angle, an ATR can penetrate a full 30mm sided AFV. But the chance of one round actually killing is low, at that range you will be spotted, and as the thing turns front armor your chances go to zero. Consider it a desparation tactic rather than a standard thing. (A few playing "tag" from alternate angles might run enough together to do something, I suppose).

The main role is instead long range cover fire against light armor, allowing your heavier ATGs to stay hidden until they have a bigger target.

You can fire ATRs at other targets, too. If you have 4 or so firing away at a log bunker for minutes on end, they will persuade the crew to bail. A couple can suppress a squad in a building sometime, though usually they just give a momentary "alerted". The last use of them is simply as eyes, spotting - they have binocs. (So do DP LMGs which are cheaper, and snipers).

Oh, one more thing is those snipers. Unbuttoned vehicles are their preferred game. Regular quality will usually only make them button, but vets and crack can fairly often actually hit the TC, which makes the tank considerably less effective thereafter. Don't give them firing order, just put them somewhere with decent LOS and let them pick their own shots.

A final word on the game mechanics. THs, ATRs, and ampulets can set vehicle covered arcs. That is the best way to ensure they wait for the right thing instead of springing the ambush early, against infantry. The standard infantry and pioneers have to use regular covered arcs.

Set either at 180 degree width but the max range of the weapon - 45m for an FT, 40m for a TH, 30m for a pioneer with DCs, etc. A moving tank can leave the arc area rapidly, so e.g. along a road orient the arc so the target spends the maximum time inside it, not just facing straight at the enemy. If the arc is short enough, they will start with the right weapon, you don't need to direct them what to use. If you set the arcs too long and the tank is unbuttoned, they can fire at it with small arms, which generally isn't what you want.

Russian infantry also made extensive use of AT mines to defend themselves from infantry. Those work too, 50% chance of a hit when a vehicle runs over the tile. They are limited in effect in quick battles, though, because typically your set up zone is so small, enemy armor can get LOS to your positions without ever driving over a tile you were legally able to put a mine on. The same can limit the effectiveness of short range infantry AT.

Scenarios are generally better about that, but it can still be an issue. Try putting infantry in reverse slope places to force the enemy armor to come close, to draw them in far enough for mines or the infantry AT ambushes to work.

I hope this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by TheBlackHand:

Don't forget the "Hide" command. I always try to put my defenders on Hide, along with cover arcs. Sometimes I forget one or two units & they'll open up from a distance, giving my postion away. I hate it when that happens!

Veterans and above will rarely fire unless given the order when hidden.

Regulars and worse will, sadly, open up due to being a bit shaky.

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