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Shermans are expensive in this game


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Expensive? Compare them to the price of a PzIV. The Sherman has a weaker gun, but better armor. Both can kill each other. But while the PzIV has a weak 50mm turret front and can be killed frontally by almost everything the Allies have (at least in the game), the Sherman is well armored vs. anything below the 75L4x gun. So which one should be cheaper based on battlefield value? Yet both have a comparable price in the game (and I'm happy with that).

a) Remember that the ratio of prices is not based on circumstances that favor the big cats - open country with dry ground. 2 Shemans vs 1 Tiger or Panther in a city, woods or on wet ground is a different thing.

B) Combined arms is the thing. US planes are cheap. TDs are cheap. Unit price is probably not based on 1:1 comparisons.

c) It is a tactical wargame. Not strategic with real production assets. Wait... 10 Shermans or T34s vs 2 German AFVs - most of them StuG or PzIII or IV. A real challenge for the Axis player.

d) Do you really want to play a game where you can afford to field 10 Shermasn vs a lone Panther or 3 Marders? If yes - you can give a bonus to whichever side you want.

e) If you see too many Tigers or Panthers in PBEM games - either select other opponents or set weather, time and map to random. Fog, night, wet groudn and dense terrain decrease the value of the big cats. Or use am ancient method used by Prometheus: One divides the asset into two heaps, the other chooses. For CM this means that one chooses the parameters, the other then choses which side to play.

Gruß

Joachim

[ August 23, 2004, 01:29 AM: Message edited by: Joachim ]

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Originally posted by togi:

Hi,

So Do you think that the games are in balance without using production figures? One tiger can erase four 75 mm Sherman easily from the map..Points for one tiger: 200 and four sherman 400...

Regards..

One Tiger MAY achieve that on a wide, open map without cover for the M4´s. But if you got a nice, big city, or woods with lots of cover ?

If the M4´s get on the flanks of the Tiger, the Tiger is dead.

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Production figures have absolutely nothing to do with balance. Just because only 18 or so BT-42's were ever manufactured, compared to 50 thousand T-34's doesn't mean that 1 BT-42 vs. 5200 T-34's would be a balanced match. After all, BT-42 is a vastly inferior AFV.

What you should be saying is, "Tiger should be more expensive for balance reasons". I think it's more reasonable to approach the problem from that direction, unless you also think that Sherman's are too expensive in comparison to ALL German & Italian tanks.

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... And it should be kept in mind that the point cost for units are an attempt to average a unit's value, not only for all conditions (terrain density, visibility, etc.), but also against all potential targets, not just Armor vs. Armor or whatever.

Shermans, with their high ammo load & 3MGs are highly effective against soft targets. This is one reason why their price is relatively high even though their anti-armor capability is mediocre at best.

If you want straight-out anti-armor capability, you should be buying M10s or Hellcats anyway. You can buy 2 M10s for the price of one Tiger (with a few points leftover, actually). In my experience, in a straight-up armor vs. armor duel, 2 M10s have an advantage over 1 Tiger in CM since they can engage from different angles. If the M10s play Tophat and Lowsky or whatever to keep the Tiger from getting a good bead on them, the Tiger spends most of its time rotating its very slow turret without getting a shot at all, and sooner or later one of the M10s scores a killing hit.

Of course, there are counters to this tactic, such as using cover arcs to anticpate where the M10s are popping up, or using artillery fire to try and to KO the open-topped M10s, but there are counters to these counters. . . that's what combined arms tactics is all about.

In any event, a point system that's fair and even for all possible combinations of QB parameters is an impossible dream. If you really want fair fights, you need to play scenarios where the designer has specifically made the battle balanced.

Cheers,

YD

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This was an interesting thread, as I was thinking the same thng about Sherman prices. The explanations made sense. Can these same explanations be used to justify why Allied arty prices, especially the US, are so ridiculously high, giving the Axis and unfair and unrealistic artillery advantage? Even in CMBO, the Axis had a price advantage for off-map arty.

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I tend to think the Sherman is still a tad overpriced in CMAK, even with 10% rarity. In most conditions, I'd take the PzIV long's better gun over the Sherman 75's slightly greater turret armor. Then look at the Sherman 76--considerably more expensive than the PzIV. Yet the guns are closely equivalent and the Sherman's only real advantage is slightly better turret armor. Looking at this more specifically, an M4A3 (76) Sherman in October '44 costs 187 and has no rarity bonus (it's 0%). A PzIVH costs 141. Again, rarity is 0%. Which tank is a better deal?

In my view, the tanks are very closely equivalent and it doesn't make much sense to charge 46 more points for the Sherman. They have essentially equal guns (study the stats and you'll see they're nearly identical) and both have good ammo loads (though the PzIV has about 25 extra rounds.) The M4 M4A3 (76) has a 15.1 psi vs. a much better 12.6 for the PzIVH. So far, advantage PzIV.

What counterbalances these areas of equivalence or advantage for the German tank? Well, the Sherman has slightly better armor all around, and esp. in the turret, but the keynote is SLIGHTLY. The PzIV's gun can easily kill it at any range, as can just about any widely-available serious gun in the German arsenal in October 1944. Arguably a case could be made that the small armor advantage of the Sherman counts for a little more than the flotation and ammo load advantages of the PzIV, but in my mind it should be about 5 to 10 points more, not 46 points more.

So, I would agree with togi that Shermans are overpriced, not merely vs. the Tigers and Panthers, but also compared with the more closely equivalent PzIV. The 10% rarity bonus for vanilla Shermans helps a bit, but I still think they're overpriced, even at that.

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The concept of rarity has always been lost on me. After all, a given piece of European real estate over a specific half hour period between '40 and '45 could, at some point or other, very well have seen six Panthers together, or an Elefant and two Tigers, or nine 6 pdr AT guns. Rarity would have more meaning for me if each battle was part of an overall campaign and wasn't its own discrete unit. In other words 'typical' units have nothing to do with 'specific' events.

Of course I'm not a tournament player running eight games at once. If in each of those eight games my opponent fielded nothing but Tigers or Fireflies it would start to get on my nerves.

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Originally posted by CombinedArms:

Then look at the Sherman 76--considerably more expensive than the PzIV. Yet the guns are closely equivalent and the Sherman's only real advantage is slightly better turret armor. Looking at this more specifically, an M4A3 (76) Sherman in October '44 costs 187 and has no rarity bonus (it's 0%). A PzIVH costs 141. Again, rarity is 0%. Which tank is a better deal?

You're forgetting several important factors.

A Stuart can kill the Pz-IV frontally with its

37mm gun (only 50mm turret front). A 50mm ATG can't do the same to Sherman unless really lucky.

Sherman has gyrostabilizer, making it more accurate on move. It has a smoke mortar. It also has an extra 12.7mm MG on flexible mount PLUS twice as much ammo for the bow & coax MG's. It also has a very fast turret in comparison to fast on the IVH.

Some of these differences are bigger, some smaller. Together they make up for the point difference.

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Originally posted by MikeyD:

The concept of rarity has always been lost on me. After all, a given piece of European real estate over a specific half hour period between '40 and '45 could, at some point or other, very well have seen six Panthers together, or an Elefant and two Tigers, or nine 6 pdr AT guns. Rarity would have more meaning for me if each battle was part of an overall campaign and wasn't its own discrete unit. In other words 'typical' units have nothing to do with 'specific' events.

Of course I'm not a tournament player running eight games at once. If in each of those eight games my opponent fielded nothing but Tigers or Fireflies it would start to get on my nerves.

MikeyD I think it has more to do with people who play Quck battles. I guess some people just don't like it when people picked too many Urber tanks in them.

:D

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As for artillery, this is an issue that will hopefully be addressed in the next patch. At least, BFC has stated that they are looking at the issue.

The problem is that, in general, when compared to comparable axis calibers, allied artillery often has some combination of (1) higher shell load, (2) faster response time, and/or (3) higher tube count. All of these things make allied artillery more capable, but then also more expensive.

This problem is compounded by the fact that german arty gets FO types from a wide variety of divisional and regimental formations, including some very cheap (though not very powerful) 2-tube types. In contrast, Allied arty choices tend to be very limited.

But as I said, hopefull this artillery issue is being addressed. My personal preference would be for the addition of a few more Allied spotter types, such as a 3-tube 81mm spotter (accurate to Armored Infantry Battalion TOE), and a divisional level 4-tube 105mm spotter with a somewhat lower shell count than the current 105mm spotter's massive 120 shell count, representing a battery from the divisional 105mm complement, rather than the regimental 105mm cannon company which the current American 105mm spotter represents.

In terms of the Sherman vs. PzIV issue, I can see the argument that the Sherman might be a bit overpriced when compared to the PzIV. I think the reason that the Sherman ends up costing so much more again has to do with the comparative performance vs. soft targets and the ammo load. The 75mm Shermans (a) carries a slightly larger shell load, (B) has a slightly higher blast rating for it's 75mm shells, © has more MG ammo for it's two internal MGs, and finally (d) has the flex-mount .50mg to boot (granted, limited ammo for this one, but it sure kicks @ss as long as the ammo holds out).

If you're playing longer (40+ turn) secenarios, these big ammo loads of the Sherman can really come in handy, especially if you're playing a long advance battle -- recon by fire is a real lifesaver!

However, for shorter (30 turns or less) battles, the Sherman's high ammo loads make less of a difference since you're unlikely to burn through that much ammo. In my experience, most QB players tend to prefer battles on the shorter side, which is why I think the price of Shermans sometimes seems high -- after all, it's QBs where the price really matters.

I agree especially that the Sherman(76) varieties are a bit overpriced. It seems that in general the game overweights MG ammo load when calculating the price of tanks. The Sherman (76)s come with a huge 250 round MG ammo load, over twice that of most PzIV types, but actually carry less main gun rounds. Only in the very longest of games could you even come close to using up 250 rounds of MG ammo with one tank.

And setting the large MG ammo load aside, I agree with CA that the Sherman(76) and the PzIV are pretty close to even. The PzIV's gun, sights and flotation are slighty better, but the Sherman's armor and turret speed are better. Maybe the Sherman should be a few extra points for the bonus flex MG, but not 46 points more. 46 points is a lot to pay for one M2 .50 cal. with only 24 ammo, and a pile of MG ammo you'll never get around to using anyway.

Cheers,

YD

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Originally posted by YankeeDog:

As for artillery, this is an issue that will hopefully be addressed in the next patch. At least, BFC has stated that they are looking at the issue.

The problem is that, in general, when compared to comparable axis calibers, allied artillery often has some combination of (1) higher shell load, (2) faster response time, and/or (3) higher tube count. All of these things make allied artillery more capable, but then also more expensive.

This problem is compounded by the fact that german arty gets FO types from a wide variety of divisional and regimental formations, including some very cheap (though not very powerful) 2-tube types. In contrast, Allied arty choices tend to be very limited.

But as I said, hopefull this artillery issue is being addressed. My personal preference would be for the addition of a few more Allied spotter types, such as a 3-tube 81mm spotter (accurate to Armored Infantry Battalion TOE), and a divisional level 4-tube 105mm spotter with a somewhat lower shell count than the current 105mm spotter's massive 120 shell count, representing a battery from the divisional 105mm complement, rather than the regimental 105mm cannon company which the current American 105mm spotter represents.

I still think the Allied price is ridiculously high. As an example, in CMBO, for regular quality, German 150 mm is 55 points for 25 rounds. A comparable caliber, US 155 mm, is 208 points for 35 rounds! The Germans can have 100 rounds for 220 points.

BFC can explain it away with realism issues, but in game terms, performance for cost in the battle is all that matters. 210 points for 100 rounds and 208 points for 35 rounds? Utterly ridiculous.

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Originally posted by Sanok:

[i still think the Allied price is ridiculously high. As an example, in CMBO, for regular quality, German 150 mm is 55 points for 25 rounds. A comparable caliber, US 155 mm, is 208 points for 35 rounds! The Germans can have 100 rounds for 220 points.

BFC can explain it away with realism issues, but in game terms, performance for cost in the battle is all that matters. 210 points for 100 rounds and 208 points for 35 rounds? Utterly ridiculous. [/QB]

The problem, as Yankee Dog points out, is that there are no cheap/lower-ammo-load options for US arty. If the US had a 60 round option for 105mm arty, for example, it would be reasonably priced and could be used in small-point QBs. The problem from a game standpoint is that BTS didn't make that option avaiable, as I think they probably should have. There's no profound realism issue why the US player shouldn't have this option. I think the BTS folks were trying to reflect the fact the the Allies generally DID have more arty, but didn't think through the fact that giving only a high-cost, high-round option to Allies actually gives them an unintended disadvantage in game terms. This could have been easily rectified in a patch, but for some reason they've never done it.

I tend to agree with YankeeDog's reasoning about the overpricing of the Sherm76. Any advantages it has over the PzIV are relatively small and shouldn't justify a 46 point gap. Maybe 10 points or 15 at the outside, esp. given the PzIV's advantages in main gun ammo and floatation.

BTW, tungsten is pretty rare amongst US 76mm guns in Oct 44. I did a check of 25 M4A3 (76) tanks and only 3 of the 25 had tungsten (a total of 5 rounds.) Things change a lot in May '45. Now eight of the 25 have tungsten, a total of 16 rounds. (Still only about 30%, but at least your platoon will likely have a tank or two so equipped). AND the better armed M4A3 (76)s now get a 10% rarity discount. So your Sherm platoon will cost you about 734 vs the PzIVJ's 619. Still a bit too much of a gap in my book, but closer. It's almost like the good folks at BTS have actually priced the Sherman to include that rarity discount. If the M4A3 (76) cost 160 instead of 187, then rarity (when available) would make it really equal in price to the PzIV. So they overprice it so they can discount it down to something more reasonable. Sounds like some retailers I know. :D But when rarity bonuses aren't available early in the war, it leaves the Sherm 76 seriously overpriced.

[ August 23, 2004, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: CombinedArms ]

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Originally posted by Sergei:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by CombinedArms:

Then look at the Sherman 76--considerably more expensive than the PzIV. Yet the guns are closely equivalent and the Sherman's only real advantage is slightly better turret armor. Looking at this more specifically, an M4A3 (76) Sherman in October '44 costs 187 and has no rarity bonus (it's 0%). A PzIVH costs 141. Again, rarity is 0%. Which tank is a better deal?

You're forgetting several important factors.

A Stuart can kill the Pz-IV frontally with its

37mm gun (only 50mm turret front). A 50mm ATG can't do the same to Sherman unless really lucky.

Sherman has gyrostabilizer, making it more accurate on move. It has a smoke mortar. It also has an extra 12.7mm MG on flexible mount PLUS twice as much ammo for the bow & coax MG's. It also has a very fast turret in comparison to fast on the IVH.

Some of these differences are bigger, some smaller. Together they make up for the point difference. </font>

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The Sherman also, IIRC, hauls a lot mroe ammo than the P-4. given careful use that can be a hell of an advantage.

1 Tiger is still only 1 x 88mm gun and 2 MG's if you're playing against infantry or the otehr guy is hiding his tanks (and with only 25-30 HE shells IIRC) - 2 Shermans are 2 x 75mm with maybe 100 HE shells, and maybe 6 MG's.

Tanks may be impressive, but if I kill all your infantry your Tiger is going to be toast!

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40-60 HE shells (of around 90-100 shells total) for the Tiger. Plus a bigger blast value. But I found that it is usually much more effective to let the MGs fire at 100m distance than using the main gun.

Fighting a big cat improves your tactical skills. You have to use every advantage your force selection has to win. It is just like comparing PzIIIs or IVs in '41 vs a T34. Comparable price, but the T34 is better armored and has a better gun - both for AP and AT. Only solid tactics can carry the day for the Axis there. Guess BFC did the pricing for the experienced player with solid knowledge of armor tactics.

Gruß

Joachim

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I would say that I agree that the Sherman 75mm is a little on the pricey side. But as for the Sherman 76mm series, one has to keep in mind that although we all love to play NW Europe scenarios with CMAK, at the time many if not most of the available Sherman 76's were being sent to France to fight Panthers and Tigers, CMAK's rarity and point costs reflect the fact that CMAK is set in the Med where Sherm 76's weren't so common.

[ August 24, 2004, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: Splinty ]

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