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Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Printable Version

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RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 09-03-2015

(09-01-2015, 10:48 PM)ComradeP Wrote: Mixed units using the range of the best vehicle worries me, and so do the still generous engagement ranges.

The current vehicle vs. vehicle loss calculation system doesn't include penetration data/an actual representation of effectiveness at range. The range modifier is the same for all units, guns are not rated for how long their projectiles preserve penetrating power.

Vehicle losses are also decided by a die roll in many cases (statistically speaking, the result is rarely precisely 10 men abstracted into 1 vehicle).

1 vehicle loss is also the average loss result in the case of a result.

All of that combines into the current situation where weak guns can knock out vehicles at ahistorical ranges, whilst units with good guns are at a significant disadvantage due to also usually knocking out only 1 vehicle. The quality modifier doesn't tip the scales in favour of the better unit all that much.

For example: I've spent an hour or two running calculations as to how it's possible, but I can't figure out why a T-34 unit has a better unmodified Fire effect than a Panzer IV F2/G, whilst its gun is significantly worse and even though the armored effectiveness ratio is better, the square root formula means that the relative decrease in effectiveness for targeting a vehicle with a lower defense value than the hard attack value also reduces its effectiveness more.

This means that German tank units have issues with dealing with C quality and above units with decent to good guns. The vast majority of the Allied tank units are likely to fall in that category.

The quality of an HQ has no direct effect on fire results, and in a system without a quality penalty for detached units combined with short command radii like what EP '14 has, it normally shouldn't have too much effect on combat performance.

The opportunity fire isn't modified by things like quality, proximity or being fired upon and depends on two rolls with highly variable results: the roll for whether it happens or not and the casualty roll. This makes it impossible to setup a reliable overwatch position, which in turn makes it impossible for the Germans to defend against large numbers of relatively fast tanks with good to decent guns in a situation where the Germans are outnumbered.

Yes, the Germans hit hard on their turn, but it's usually not too difficult to create a situation where either the defender becomes the attacker with tanks or where German armour can be more or less forced to attack.

A significantly superior vehicle exchange ratio is difficult to achieve currently due to superior firepower usually only weighing in on the German turn, and due to the low vehicle losses per shot resulting in relatively few enemy losses.


The problems also apply to AT guns as they use the same formula's.

Aside from Fixing units, there are currently no limitations preventing ahistorical unit concentrations either in terms of unit frontage or in situations where in the real war C&C difficulties prevented close cooperation. The player has perfect information on his forces, and can move them anywhere on the map when they're not Fixed.

Taking the Ozerovskii scenario as an example: the Soviets historically counter-attacked in a piecemeal fashion without coordination between brigades. This allowed the Germans to deal with the attacks one at a time and made each attack likely to stall. Aside from being Fixed for a few turns, there are no limitations keeping the Soviets from concentrating.

With the Soviets having superior numbers, the terrain and smoke making it possible to get to range 1 or 2 with relative ease and limited opportunity fire, the Germans are likely to lose the scenario if the Soviets concentrate in the hands of a capable player. Example: Gregor's two results in the tournament.

To move the example to Normandy: the fighting west and east of Caen featured large but either poorly coordinated attacks or attacks that were impeded by the terrain forcing attacks to be made in a fashion that made it possible for the Germans to counter them.

From a purely hypothetical perspective, I am worried that through using smoke, the lack of areas of operation/strict unit frontage and superiority in numbers, the British will be able to cycle their tank units around to attack German tank units in the same manner that Soviets can do. The British also have a large number of divisional and corps artillery pieces to help them.

In this case, there will be numerous Panther units as well, but at least half the tanks will still be Panzer IV's, although the slightly better H variant in many cases.

If the game uses the most recent alt quality values, most German units will be C and B quality as well, a further handicap relative a scenario like Ozerovskii where the Panzer IV's are A quality.

I am wondering how the new game will deal with these issues, and am looking forward to see what changes to the system will be included.

Edit: the Germans also have  5 vehicle tank platoons at full strength, which means combining them into a 3 unit company puts them above the 1/2 stacking limit threshold. Using 10 vehicle merged units is an effective way to avoid taking more damage from enemy fire whilst still having an effective unit.

However, as it is a merged unit composed of 2 sub-units, it gains more fatigue from incoming fire than merged units composed of 3 unit, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to Soviet, and judging by the visual OOB screenshot, British tank units, which can create merged units composed of 3 sub-units that stay below the 1/2 stacking limit threshold.

In practice, even with the quality modifier reducing incoming fatigue, German fatigue can increase quickly due to the above. When facing T-34's, it's not unusual to gain 10-20 fatigue from a "Fatigue" result. With fatigue penalties starting at 50 fatigue, this is another factor complicating the use of the edge in quality to your advantage.






Ok - I have just spent my whole evening (no progress on PzB 2 today!) working through whether there are any issues with the values showing up for the PzKw IVG vs the T-34. I wanted to understand like ComradeP why the values appeared to be weighted towards the T-34 overall.


Firstly when we look at the raw numbers we see the following;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20209.jpg]

The key numbers here are the HA & Defense values as well as the 1/Sqrt(H/D) modifier.


I set up a simple test scenario with 1 vehicle of each type one hex away. The T-34 was C morale and the PzKw IVG was A morale;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20210.jpg]



When running with the combat report on we got the following for the T-34;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20211.jpg]
The way to read this is a range of 1 hex, a zero modifier for terrain, a fire value of 13 and an 'ARM' modifier of 170%. Importantly the 170% is the 1.7 value for hard attack/defense value shown as 1.7 in the raw numbers table above. Note the fire value of 13.





And for the PzKw IVG;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20212.jpg] 
Same thing, range of 1 hex, no terrain modifiers, a fire value of 12, a quality fire modifier of 50% (2.5*20%) and an 'Arm ' modifier of 144% which also aligned with the raw numbers table above.





I queried John as I didn't understand the fire values as reported. He confirmed they are derived as follows;

PzKw IV => 26 * 10 / 18 = 14, Times 0.83205 = 12.

T-34 => 17 * 10 / 10 = 17, Times 0.766965 = 13


 

Essentially this is the Hard Attack value multiplied by ten (for a 'man' equivalent) divided by the target Defense value. This is then modified by the 'Arm' modifier as per the 1/Sqrt(H/D) calculation above.

What is not included in the reported Fire value is the uplift for the Quality Fire Modifier. This is a reporting issue, not a missed value. It is included in the overall calculation.

John ran my test scenario through the debug reporter and with all the numbers, the combat value ranges were as follows;

T-34 firing: Loss range 0.26 to 1.3

PzKw IV firing : Loss range 0.36 to 1.8


He confirmed that the Mod value was being added after the combat report shown above. This was borne out in my test scenario where the PzKw IV destroyed the T-34 in 3 out of 4 run throughs. Essentially the fire value is closer to 18 rather than the 12 being shown in the report. If this was a C morale PzKw IV it would then be 12, ie without any quality uplift.


So what does this all mean? Essentially the key factors in armor combat is the hard attack value and the defense value. The variation between those two values are the biggest determinant to the fire value. The fact that the T-34 has a significantly better armor tends to neutralise the better gun of the PzKw IV in a head to head duel. The difference ultimately was the quality.

The biggest discussion that can then be had is if these values have been set correctly. I believe they have and essentially the determination of 'penetration' is an interplay of these two values. Bigger guns such as 88's have the higher HA value to represent their better penetrative ability.

So can values be tweaked and improved - maybe, but ultimately I think we are reasonably close and I can't see any significant issues with the overall combat algorithms.

Hope this primer helps someone....

David


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 09-03-2015

Maybe for me the biggest problem is how AT combat is unable to represent the advantage for defender when is attacked by enemy armored forces.

I refer that is very easy rush and close range ASAP without heavy casualties VS best enemy AT elements (in hard attack value and range) something that neutralize the tactical advantage for defender to be in hide positions waiting enemy and as is game now enemy can close range and defender cant retreat to mantein a flexible defense.

In Kursk you can launch a soviet battalion of 30 T-34 over AT positions (guns and tanks) in a rush of 1.000m or more (4-6 hexes) and suffer maybe 1 or 2 casualties in the aproximation (and this could be the worst situation, i do tests with 4 A tigers + 5 C panthers rushed by 1 T-34 company with 0 casualties for attacker) but when you are near enemy destroy AT defenses very fast with numbers specially guns and non heavy armored tanks.

In general i feel AT combat is to PzC in game and it needs be more Steel Panthers in defender advantages because who is moving needs be very vulnerable in movement in open terrain and be not a lot letal when finish near enemy.

EDIT: maybe for units that are stoped (not using AP) they can have a kill bonus over armored targets with a bigger chance to score a kill and at same time armored units in movement suffer a penalty in same way... but scaled... if you move 25% less chance to score a kill as base and if you use over 50% AP penalty goes to 50% for example.
Lets see but in this moment for me here is the PzB Achilles heel and if PzB3 is going to cover North Africa problem could be very hard to solve when 88s engage low armored tanks but they can close range fast with no casualties.

PD: best way now to reduce casualties in tanks is curious rush with them to avoid range combat if you dont have very good values here, is more profitable have armored units near enemy because you are going to deal a lot of damage.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 09-03-2015

(09-03-2015, 08:59 PM)Xaver Wrote: Maybe for me the biggest problem is how AT combat is unable to represent the advantage for defender when is attacked by enemy armored forces.

I refer that is very easy rush and close range ASAP without heavy casualties VS best enemy AT elements (in hard attack value and range) something that neutralize the tactical advantage for defender to be in hide positions waiting enemy and as is game now enemy can close range and defender cant retreat to mantein a flexible defense.

In Kursk you can launch a soviet battalion of 30 T-34 over AT positions (guns and tanks) in a rush of 1.000m or more (4-6 hexes) and suffer maybe 1 or 2 casualties in the aproximation (and this could be the worst situation, i do tests with 4 A tigers + 5 C panthers rushed by 1 T-34 company with 0 casualties for attacker) but when you are near enemy destroy AT defenses very fast with numbers specially guns and non heavy armored tanks.

In general i feel AT combat is to PzC in game and it needs be more Steel Panthers in defender advantages because who is moving needs be very vulnerable in movement in open terrain and be not a lot letal when finish near enemy.

EDIT: maybe for units that are stoped (not using AP) they can have a kill bonus over armored targets with a bigger chance to score a kill and at same time armored units in movement suffer a penalty in same way... but scaled... if you move 25% less chance to score a kill as base and if you use over 50% AP penalty goes to 50% for example.
Lets see but in this moment for me here is the PzB Achilles heel and if PzB3 is going to cover North Africa problem could be very hard to solve when 88s engage low armored tanks but they can close range fast with no casualties.

PD: best way now to reduce casualties in tanks is curious rush with them to avoid range combat if you dont have very good values here, is more profitable have armored units near enemy because you are going to deal a lot of damage.

Xaver et al,

Do me a favour and back up your PBKursk_Southern.pdt file and then edit the original with the pbparam.exe program.

Go to the very bottom of the file and change the 'Hard Fire Mod' from 1.0 to 1.5 and the 'Range Effect Modifier' from 1.5 to 1.0 and then test a scenario. I think you may see what you seem to want...

With these changes you will see a much heavier armour casualty rate and a much more difficult time rushing. A change like this will make armour a one shot wonder if using rush tactics.

Happy for your commentary (don't forget to change your parameter file back if your playing PBEM's)

David


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 09-03-2015

Ok, thanks, i dont notice the "Range effect Modifier" point.

Maybe to prevent need touch these 2 values in PDT editing using a tool out of game, to help PBEM games, in future is necesary add both things in optional rules with a bar to control them like you can do with AI power, i refer you scale both values 0.1 to improve armor survive rate or decrease it.

Thanks again for the reply.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - wiggum - 09-04-2015

Will we still be able to do this "gamey" rushes in PzB 2 ?


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Dog Soldier - 09-04-2015

(09-03-2015, 03:00 AM)Strela Wrote: So what does this all mean? Essentially the key factors in armor combat is the hard attack value and the defense value. The variation between those two values are the biggest determinant to the fire value. The fact that the T-34 has a significantly better armor tends to neutralise the better gun of the PzKw IV in a head to head duel. The difference ultimately was the quality.

This is what I have been saying all along, though I did not invest the time to work out the numbers. The Soviet player has to time his counter attack on German armor to occur after the German panzers are worn down by the defending Soviet   infantry, ATG, artillery and air strikes.  Well not exactly what Strela said, but it means the same.  Lower the morale rating of the Panzers then pounce in greater numbers.

BTW, unlike other players, I do not shoot it out with the Panzers as the Soviet player if I am attacking.

  Assault!

Look at those numbers for 'C' or 'D'  morale T-34s against 'B' or 'C' morale German panzers.  In the heat of battle I take as many T-34s as I can get to achieve the magical 250 stacking limit in the assault hex for an assault on the panzers.
Guards armored formations are the Soviet hammer.  Regular 'D' morale tanks just need a follow up wave to get the same results as the Guards.  Quantity is a quality of its own.

In my best deep voiced Georgian drawl...
"In Soviet Russia, we do not feel with the fingers, we hit with the fist!"


Xaver Wrote:I refer that is very easy rush and close range ASAP without heavy casualties VS best enemy AT elements (in hard attack value and range) something that neutralize the tactical advantage for defender to be in hide positions waiting enemy and as is game now enemy can close range and defender cant retreat to mantein a flexible defense.

So rushing the panzers in PzB Kursj is easy peasy, huh?  Red meat ripe on the bone for plucking so to speak?

And exactly what were the Soviet tank tactics used at Kursk in 1943?  FWIW, We can play a game anytime you want Xaver.  I will take the Germans in #0706_06 Ozerovskii - Hurrah!! Counterattack Comrades!!.  This scenario has a massive number of Soviet tanks to test your assertion that rushing the Germans is easy.
You can rush me with the entire two Armored Corps the Soviets have on the scenario map.  (I do not care about taking time to prevent the releasing enemy formations.)
It is much easier said than done.  But it can be done as I explain above.  Since I know how to do it, I also know how to counter it.   Big Grin
We will see how that works out for you.

Or I will defend in either of these scenarios
#0708_01 Voronezh Front - July 8: While the Cats Away... or
#0712_01 Prokhorovka Finale - July 12

A flexible defense is required by the Germans in both these scenarios.  Crush me if you can!  I love Dog Fights like these.

Sometimes you get the Bear and sometimes the Bear gets you.  That is what makes PzB Kursk such a fun gaming experience.  There is no perfect tactic or strategy for any of the scenarios.  Only doing the best to simulate the historical tactics will get you the best chance, but not insure victory.  All war is a gamble.   So it is in the game.

Strela Wrote:Xaver et al,

Do me a favour and back up your PBKursk_Southern.pdt file and then edit the original with the pbparam.exe program.

Go to the very bottom of the file and change the 'Hard Fire Mod' from 1.0 to 1.5 and the 'Range Effect Modifier' from 1.5 to 1.0 and then test a scenario. I think you may see what you seem to want...

With these changes you will see a much heavier armour casualty rate and a much more difficult time rushing. A change like this will make armour a one shot wonder if using rush tactics.

Happy for your commentary (don't forget to change your parameter file back if your playing PBEM's)

David 

BTW, use the stock parameter file (and all other stock files) for all PBEM games here at the blitz unless modifications to any game files are expressly agreed to by both players before a game begins.  Anything else is not tolerated for blitz club competitive play.  So be careful to keep any mods you use for AI or off blitz club play separate for the official game files.

Dog Soldier


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Dog Soldier - 09-04-2015

(09-04-2015, 07:10 AM)wiggum Wrote: Will we still be able to do this "gamey" rushes in PzB 2 ?

Really?  Tank rushing through the bocage?  Try it!  If you like roller coaster rides and have a big box store bottle of headache pills or a really good helmet on. :)
Or unbutton and wear a good seat belt, nice and tight. Can't say you will be able to walk well after the ride though.
When the game comes out that is...

Nothing gamey about Soviet tank rushes at Kursk.  Or did you read a different type of history?
Soviet tank rushes in PzB Kursk lose 33% - 50% of the tanks before closing with the Germans against a good German player and if done at the wrong time.  Timing in PzB is everything.

Dog Soldier


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 09-04-2015

The scen you say Dog Soldier is one where soviets doenst have armor advantage over germans... similar number of tanks, no guard units AND a bad tactical situation becuase germans attack them very concentrated and soviets move in the perimeter of german attack... i play it VS AI as german and was easy smash soviet attacks specially creating pockets after made soviets lose mobility by combat effects, a human player sure can do it a lot better.

I dont say rush is per se a gamy tactic, i say that rush and dont suffer the casualties linked to this tactic is gamy... remember that around the Kursk battle is the myth that soviet rush tactics destroy german armored forces when was exactly oposite... yes, soviets inflict more casualties to germans compared with a range fight BUT germans never suffer the casualties claimed by soviet propaganda... the 600 destroyed tanks was a true claim but practically all where soviet tanks destroyed.

In game i never see with stock values heavy casualties in soviet armored forces rushing, lose 1-2 tanks in a company doing this is not very common, other thing is see fatigue increase.

And talking about fatigue, i see oposite the use of assault with armored forces because assault increase a lot fatigue and reduce combat value in armored units faster than fire combat at close ranges (you finish 2 tigers faster shooting at close range than assaulting them), you need a big advantage to made it usefull this is why german units are limited to range combat usually but is not equal effective range combat than close combat something that favour soviets WHEN have the numbers.

I am more a "steel panthers guy" and know how deadly are close combats with armor BUT you need close range before and this means suffer heavy casualties if terrain is not with you and whe you rush to close range you know that fire is not effective in the units closing range.... even if they finish close to enemy (5hexes in SP are like 1 in PzB and at 5 hexes chance to score a kill in a T-34 over a tank is very low).

I am with you that touch PDT values is a problem in PBEM games, this is why i think that 2 critical values in AT combat need be controlled in optional rules... even more, controlled by side A and B separate.

We see things in a diferent way... you know same game, diferent guys, diferent experiences.

PD: its friday again!!!


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - ComradeP - 09-04-2015

David: I should've checked it at range 1. I was trying to calculate it for range 3 (a range I randomly picked), where rounding through the range modifier made the result not match what I thought it should, based on the formula you used as well. The T-34's Fire effect is indeed only slightly higher, but it is higher.

As noted before, results gravitate to 1 vehicle loss results, which limits the effect of the quality modifier.

Seen from a historical perspective, the system currently includes the things that made the T-34 a good tank

-Speed.
-Decent firepower compared to 1943 medium German tank armour.
-Decent to good protection against the average German tank gun.

whilst abstracting or not including the things that made it perform worse on the battlefield than it should in 1943 based on those advantages:

-Smaller crews resulting in less efficiency when operating the tank. (The game doesn't include values for things like rate of fire, nor does it track crew quality after losses, which combined with Guards being C quality to differentiate them from regular tank units means neither side suffers from drops in unit quality after combat).
-Poor quality munitions, combined with mediocre gun sights resulting in a quick drop in performance at longer ranges. (As noted in my previous post, the range modifier is not modified by a value for guns performing better at longer ranges. One possibility might be to add a value to the database where designers can set a range for when the range modifier comes into effect, for example: for Panzer IV's it comes into effect at range 3 instead of 2 or something like that).
-Poor communications between tanks and tank units. (You could say this is abstracted into quality, but there were no significant differences in T-34 layout between Guards and non-Guard units in 1943 as far as I know)
-Inflexible tank doctrine. (The player decides the doctrine, as well as having full knowledge of where his tanks are and when they're used)

Generally speaking, the PzC/FWWC/PB system has difficulties with dealing with sides with poor communications, poor leaders or strict doctrine, presumably for gameplay reasons because there are only so many penalties that can be slapped onto units before it feels artificial, so it is usually limited to Fixing units in place, delayed arrivals, poor HQ quality or EP '14s way of treating units out of command range. It's perfectly understandable, but it can lead to situations where a side is not necessarily hampered by its historical problems, like the Soviets in Ozerovskii.

Considering that the T-34 is a better tank in terms of raw stats, without including quality modifiers, and knowing that the quality modifier combined with generally infrequent and ineffective opportunity fire won't be enough to counter it, a situation where the Soviets significantly outnumber the Germans is dangerous for the Germans.

-

As I wrote when it was introduced, the hard fire mod has an effect on all hard fire, so on anything firing at vehicles (including infantry units and artillery) as well as units firing at bunkers, which means that in my opinion it can unbalance the scenario in situations where the Soviets have a lot of artillery, or rely on a bunker defense. Admittedly, this isn't much of a problem in Ozerovskii.

However, the effect has an effect on both sides, which doesn't necessarily favour the Germans. If the Germans mostly have to deal with Soviet tanks on the Soviet turn, when the Germans rely on opportunity fire, the Germans are likely to be the ones taking the higher losses first.

-

Dog Soldier: assaulting with tanks currently mostly works because opportunity fire is so infrequent. If that would be balanced, those 25 tank stacks would be butchered before being able to assault. In my opinion, assaulting with tanks currently feels to much like using a less developed part of the system (opportunity fire) in your favour, even more so than cycling tank units around.

Besides, I'm not convinced it's more efficient than simply firing at the German tanks because you sacrifice 2 firing actions and possibly being able to move away if the assault disrupts your tanks for inflicting marginal losses. Panzer IV's also have an assault value of 13.

There's also still the matter of historical results, specifically historical loss rates. I recall reading that on the whole day of July 6th, LSSAH either lost or suffered damage to about 35 AFV's, only a handful of which were write-offs, including Marders and StuGs. I don't know what Das Reichs losses were, but I'd be surprised if they were significantly higher.

As noted in the briefing, the Guards lost about 100 tanks. The regular Tank Corps might not have performed much better.

Let's say the Germans lost about 70 tanks at Ozerovskii (noting that LSSAH's StuGs and Marders were not there) to around 200 Soviet ones, for a kill to loss ratio of about 2.5:1 - 3:1.

It is my assumption that regardless of what happens, this historical loss ratio currently is unlikely to be achieved between capable players for the tank vs. tank fight, as I have yet to see a situation where it can be achieved. In my best German turns against RickyB, I knocked out ~15 T-34's for a loss of 4 or so tanks of my own to return fire (and that's with smoke making sure only single tank companies can fire back), but the Soviets then knocked out 5-10 on their turn. Admittedly, my opportunity fire was rather lacking throughout the game.

The main reason for that as I see it is the Soviet ability to concentrate in a way that their historical counterparts didn't. Similarly, my tanks were always concentrated with both Panzer battalions: Das Reich's StuGs all in the same area to avoid having to deal with the tank corps with weaker forces.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 09-04-2015

(09-04-2015, 05:29 PM)Xaver Wrote: The scen you say Dog Soldier is one where soviets doenst have armor advantage over germans... similar number of tanks, no guard units AND a bad tactical situation becuase germans attack them very concentrated and soviets move in the perimeter of german attack... i play it VS AI as german and was easy smash soviet attacks specially creating pockets after made soviets lose mobility by combat effects, a human player sure can do it a lot better.


I suggest you go back and check the scenarios Dog Soldier is suggesting....

#0708_01 Voronezh Front - July 8: While the Cats Away has three (!) Soviet Tank Corps (two are Guards) vs a spread out Totenkopf.

Here is just one of those Corps;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20213.jpg]


#0712_01 Prokhorovka Finale - July 12 is THE titanic battle where the whole of 5th Guards Tank Army is present...

David