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Good early war armour game match ups?


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Fresh from a couple of fights pitching PIVs vs Shermans, I'm following Waleed's suggestion that the format might be more fun if it were early war (when there would be more pinging and less instant killing).

What would be a good (more or less) 10 vs 10 match up for an armour only game? (or hell, for a 20 vs 20 armour only game?!)

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Hi Harry

My experience is that the biggest factor in the early war armour fight is the differing quality of available crews. The Soviets have real problems with all armour skills, the quality of their gear (T34 and heavier) sometimes making up for this.

I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of crack BT-7 platoons up against a regular T-38 platoon. A big map with sparse tree cover and a couple of hills. hmm...

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The notion of early war crack Soviet armor platoons would be fictional, I think, though it might make a fun game.

I have tried to make small scenarios intended to give early war Sov tanks a chance against German armor, but they just seem to disintegrate as soon as the shells start flying. Maybe consider a matchup that is unbalanced in numbers, or with Russians defending in terrain where they can ambush.

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Valentines will murder early model Panzer IVs.

The AP performance of the IVs is marginally worse than the short IIIs, which routinely bounce from Vals at most combat ranges. And until the IVF, all the IVs have thin turret fronts, which are no match for a 2 pdr. Even after that they have only 50mm turret fronts which the 2 pdr can penetrate to medium range.

If the IVs have HC ammo it can occasionally do the job, but they usually have few rounds of it and it is low muzzle velocity, and therefore readily outranged in hit chance terms.

To beat Vals, Germans want long IIIs with APCR or better yet, long IVs. Marders can also do it, while being vulnerable to replies, unless the range is quite long.

Basically, Brit infantry tanks are "uber" in the early war. Their main weakness is complete lack of HE, making them vulnerable to large towed guns, rather than tanks.

Later short Panzer IIIs vs. Stuarts, on the other hand, the IIIs are heavily favored in practice. The layered armor on the IIIs is very generously modeled and routinely bounces 37mm hits down to 400 meter range, sometimes less. The Stuart is not nearly as well protected. Grants are, but Stuarts aren't. They wind up needing flank hits or point blank range - a dust shrouded melee is their best chance.

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There were few early war elite Soviet tank units, but one was the 4th Tank Brigade (which was renamed the 1st Guards Tank Brigade for this action), crewed with instructors and equipped with brand new T34's and KV-1's and stopped the 4th Pz Division near Mtensk in early October 41.

the Brigade's commander was Mikhail Katukov, who rose through the ranks, commanded one of het 2 Soviet armies on eth southern flank of Kursk and ended the war in command of the 1st Guards Tank Army.

But any historical scenario involving this unit is not likely to be any fun for the Germans!! smile.gif

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