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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 - 09-04-2015

(09-04-2015, 06:03 PM)ComradeP Wrote: 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.


I just lost a very clear and long post in answer to this...............  Yikes

Seriously - 2000+ words. I can't believe I lost it (and I don't have time to rewrite it)...




The short answer is there is a lot we can do and the team have tried a range of different things over the last six months including code changes.

My suggestion is try dropping the range attenuation down to somewhere between 1.05 and 1.1. That will make a huge difference in Kursk.

As far as esoteric values such as ammo, range finders etc, they are built into the range and hard/soft attack values. Compare a Sherman's 75mm at 18 HA and 8 range to a T34 43's 17 HA and 6 range. The range in particular reflects sights, crew and other factors. Morale is meant to represent training, experience and doctrine. Another point of comparison is the KV1 42 where the same 76mm gun  is 16 HA and 6 range. This again represents factors such as turret speed, overall manoeuvrability etc

Finally, there is an argument that's worth debating on the longevity of armour in battle. It could be argued that armies only committed their armour when there was either a clear advantage or an emergency. If it was viewed as more of a one 'use' weapon system due to the lethality of tank/anti-tank warfare play would be dramatically different. Players would only commit their armour when it truly mattered with the expectation of potential heavy losses. This could be achieved with the change to range attenuation mentioned above, increasing the lethality out towards maximum range and potentially also with the hard attack modifier. The issue with the hard attack modifier impacting bunkers is easy to fix with adjustment to bunker strengths in the parameter file and essentially other weapon systems like artillery or infantry based AT would just reinforce the fragile nature of armour.

All the above can be tested and I will try a few more tests to see what makes sense, but as highlighted you can create your own idea of 'reality'.

David

PS I still can't believe I lost that post - you all would have got a lot more insights!


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

Pity that you lost that post, I always enjoy reading about how the system is supposed to work/how it's coded, as it helps to understand why something might not be working or what can be done about a certain problem.


Quote:As far as esoteric values such as ammo, range finders etc, they are built into the range and hard/soft attack values. Compare a Sherman's 75mm at 18 HA and 8 range to a T34 43's 17 HA and 6 range. The range in particular reflects sights, crew and other factors. Morale is meant to represent training, experience and doctrine. Another point of comparison is the KV1 42 where the same 76mm gun  is 16 HA and 6 range. This again represents factors such as turret speed, overall manoeuvrability etc

I know that's the intention, but the mechanics could use some more clearly defined effects that always work/apply to model something like one side using a superior fighting vehicle.

Due to the range modifier, square root modifier for H>D fire and the variability of results long range fire is a bit of a lottery currently, and all formula's have the same effect on both sides, as well as reducing the effect of the quality fire modifier. Something like a setting for when the range modifier applies for a certain vehicle type and significantly reducing the maximum ranges of some units to a range where they could, on average, still knock out an enemy tank at a common angle (so a hit on the hull or turret on the front or side, biased towards the front) could at least remove some of the variability there.

The current formula's lead to 2 extremes:

1: Units that have high HA values to represent good firepower at longer ranges have excellent firepower at range 1, but their firepower drops in the same way as that of other unit at longer ranges and the formula's make it 2 vehicle or higher loss results uncommon. In the entirety of my Ozerovskii game with RickyB, I believe we got a bit over a dozen 2 vehicle loss results, and a single 3 vehicle loss result.

2: Units with low HA values might still knock out a tank at longer ranges due to the actual loss being determined by a die roll.

I've lost a Tiger to 2 D quality 45mm guns at, I believe, range 4 and another Tiger to a T-70 unit firing uphill from, I believe, 3 hexes away. I've also knocked out StuGs from 6 hexes away with 2 D quality 76.2mm guns and on the German side of the coin: I've knocked out T-34's with Panzer III's from 6 hexes away.

The randomness caused by the formula's all having some effect on eachother can lead to very strange results due to there being no clearly defined actual penetration capabilities, but everything being abstracted.

Overall, infantry units have a far more predictable and consistent fire effect than vehicle units. The casualties inflicted by infantry units are still random, but you always get something provided your unit is big enough.

For vehicle units, it's quite common for an A quality 10 vehicle Panzer IV unit to get a fatigue result on one roll and a 1 vehicle loss result with the next.

An A quality PzG unit would inflict casualties with both rolls and would in most cases have a fairly easy time dealing with a  2 platoon Soviet Guards Rifle merged unit in the open in a situation where the Germans fire first and decide at what range the engagement starts. A 10 vs. 10 engagement with tanks is also likely to end in a German victory, but the relative cost is also likely to be higher than the cost of the infantry engagement.

A workaround like adjusting the hard fire effect would also increase the problem that vehicles like the Marder, which depended on long range engagements allowing them to knock out T-34's before they could be effectively engagement in order to keep them alive, are very vulnerable currently due to having a low defense value. Artillery is also known for causing a reasonable number of tank losses even with the current values, due to the German tanks having mediocre defence values and the actual loss result depending on a die roll.

Statistically speaking, anything with a hard attack value has some chance to destroy every hard target within its range, regardless of how mismatched the hard attack value is to the defence value.

I don't want vehicle combat to give guaranteed results, but ironing out the extremes and emphasizing the strengths and weakness of certain vehicles in a way that the system can model would help.


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

(09-04-2015, 10:37 PM)ComradeP Wrote: Pity that you lost that post, I always enjoy reading about how the system is supposed to work/how it's coded, as it helps to understand why something might not be working or what can be done about a certain problem.


Quote:As far as esoteric values such as ammo, range finders etc, they are built into the range and hard/soft attack values. Compare a Sherman's 75mm at 18 HA and 8 range to a T34 43's 17 HA and 6 range. The range in particular reflects sights, crew and other factors. Morale is meant to represent training, experience and doctrine. Another point of comparison is the KV1 42 where the same 76mm gun  is 16 HA and 6 range. This again represents factors such as turret speed, overall manoeuvrability etc

I know that's the intention, but the mechanics could use some more clearly defined effects that always work/apply to model something like one side using a superior fighting vehicle.

Due to the range modifier, square root modifier for H>D fire and the variability of results long range fire is a bit of a lottery currently, and all formula's have the same effect on both sides, as well as reducing the effect of the quality fire modifier. Something like a setting for when the range modifier applies for a certain vehicle type and significantly reducing the maximum ranges of some units to a range where they could, on average, still knock out an enemy tank at a common angle (so a hit on the hull or turret on the front or side, biased towards the front) could at least remove some of the variability there.

The current formula's lead to 2 extremes:

1: Units that have high HA values to represent good firepower at longer ranges have excellent firepower at range 1, but their firepower drops in the same way as that of other unit at longer ranges and the formula's make it 2 vehicle or higher loss results uncommon. In the entirety of my Ozerovskii game with RickyB, I believe we got a bit over a dozen 2 vehicle loss results, and a single 3 vehicle loss result.

2: Units with low HA values might still knock out a tank at longer ranges due to the actual loss being determined by a die roll.

I've lost a Tiger to 2 D quality 45mm guns at, I believe, range 4 and another Tiger to a T-70 unit firing uphill from, I believe, 3 hexes away. I've also knocked out StuGs from 6 hexes away with 2 D quality 76.2mm guns and on the German side of the coin: I've knocked out T-34's with Panzer III's from 6 hexes away.

The randomness caused by the formula's all having some effect on eachother can lead to very strange results due to there being no clearly defined actual penetration capabilities, but everything being abstracted.

Overall, infantry units have a far more predictable and consistent fire effect than vehicle units. The casualties inflicted by infantry units are still random, but you always get something provided your unit is big enough.

For vehicle units, it's quite common for an A quality 10 vehicle Panzer IV unit to get a fatigue result on one roll and a 1 vehicle loss result with the next.

An A quality PzG unit would inflict casualties with both rolls and would in most cases have a fairly easy time dealing with a  2 platoon Soviet Guards Rifle merged unit in the open in a situation where the Germans fire first and decide at what range the engagement starts. A 10 vs. 10 engagement with tanks is also likely to end in a German victory, but the relative cost is also likely to be higher than the cost of the infantry engagement.

A workaround like adjusting the hard fire effect would also increase the problem that vehicles like the Marder, which depended on long range engagements allowing them to knock out T-34's before they could be effectively engagement in order to keep them alive, are very vulnerable currently due to having a low defense value. Artillery is also known for causing a reasonable number of tank losses even with the current values, due to the German tanks having mediocre defence values and the actual loss result depending on a die roll.

Statistically speaking, anything with a hard attack value has some chance to destroy every hard target within its range, regardless of how mismatched the hard attack value is to the defence value.

I don't want vehicle combat to give guaranteed results, but ironing out the extremes and emphasizing the strengths and weakness of certain vehicles in a way that the system can model would help.


There are plenty of variables here at play including the actual range of combat results (the high/low values). In the very first prototype these were approximately double what they are today and they skewed casualties up quickly. The issue with them is that they impact both armour and infantry.

I look at losses in armour slightly differently. A tank that has taken an anti-tank rifle shot to the gun sight is just as useless as a tank that has had it's turret taken off. In the same vein a tank that has lost it's radio antenna due to artillery is just as hobbled when it comes to coordinating with the rest of its platoon. For all intents and purposes these vehicles have to pull out for maintenance before they can re-engage and in the time period that Panzer Battles covers that is probably them out for the fight.

Long range fire will be less of a lottery if the range attenuation is adjusted. With the variation in actual ranges between combatants there will be significant variability due to both gun size and maximum range.

The other thing to note is that the German PzKw III's and IV's were lightly armoured. I'm currently reading Robert Kershaw's 'Tank Men' and was very surprised to hear how dominant the 75mm Sherman was in their first engagement at El Alamein. This was against both III's and long F2 IV's. Considering this was November 1942, the Germans were only going to find it more difficult after that. As you point out it was superior training and equipment that helped balance these equipment challenges. Of interest the British were lulled into a false sense of security with the US 75mm to the point that they cancelled the 6 pounder AT gun. This gun was only revived when Tigers were encountered in Tunisia and that lost time was to hurt the Allies later in 1943.

My final question to all is what is reasonable? It's easy to use anecdotes to justify a point of view, but what should be the indication of 'getting it right'? No one here has told me what they believe the expected losses should be - just that they are too light. So what should they be?

David


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Bayes - 09-05-2015

(09-04-2015, 11:38 PM)Strela Wrote:
(09-04-2015, 10:37 PM)ComradeP Wrote: Pity that you lost that post, I always enjoy reading about how the system is supposed to work/how it's coded, as it helps to understand why something might not be working or what can be done about a certain problem.


Quote:As far as esoteric values such as ammo, range finders etc, they are built into the range and hard/soft attack values. Compare a Sherman's 75mm at 18 HA and 8 range to a T34 43's 17 HA and 6 range. The range in particular reflects sights, crew and other factors. Morale is meant to represent training, experience and doctrine. Another point of comparison is the KV1 42 where the same 76mm gun  is 16 HA and 6 range. This again represents factors such as turret speed, overall manoeuvrability etc

I know that's the intention, but the mechanics could use some more clearly defined effects that always work/apply to model something like one side using a superior fighting vehicle.

Due to the range modifier, square root modifier for H>D fire and the variability of results long range fire is a bit of a lottery currently, and all formula's have the same effect on both sides, as well as reducing the effect of the quality fire modifier. Something like a setting for when the range modifier applies for a certain vehicle type and significantly reducing the maximum ranges of some units to a range where they could, on average, still knock out an enemy tank at a common angle (so a hit on the hull or turret on the front or side, biased towards the front) could at least remove some of the variability there.

The current formula's lead to 2 extremes:

1: Units that have high HA values to represent good firepower at longer ranges have excellent firepower at range 1, but their firepower drops in the same way as that of other unit at longer ranges and the formula's make it 2 vehicle or higher loss results uncommon. In the entirety of my Ozerovskii game with RickyB, I believe we got a bit over a dozen 2 vehicle loss results, and a single 3 vehicle loss result.

2: Units with low HA values might still knock out a tank at longer ranges due to the actual loss being determined by a die roll.

I've lost a Tiger to 2 D quality 45mm guns at, I believe, range 4 and another Tiger to a T-70 unit firing uphill from, I believe, 3 hexes away. I've also knocked out StuGs from 6 hexes away with 2 D quality 76.2mm guns and on the German side of the coin: I've knocked out T-34's with Panzer III's from 6 hexes away.

The randomness caused by the formula's all having some effect on eachother can lead to very strange results due to there being no clearly defined actual penetration capabilities, but everything being abstracted.

Overall, infantry units have a far more predictable and consistent fire effect than vehicle units. The casualties inflicted by infantry units are still random, but you always get something provided your unit is big enough.

For vehicle units, it's quite common for an A quality 10 vehicle Panzer IV unit to get a fatigue result on one roll and a 1 vehicle loss result with the next.

An A quality PzG unit would inflict casualties with both rolls and would in most cases have a fairly easy time dealing with a  2 platoon Soviet Guards Rifle merged unit in the open in a situation where the Germans fire first and decide at what range the engagement starts. A 10 vs. 10 engagement with tanks is also likely to end in a German victory, but the relative cost is also likely to be higher than the cost of the infantry engagement.

A workaround like adjusting the hard fire effect would also increase the problem that vehicles like the Marder, which depended on long range engagements allowing them to knock out T-34's before they could be effectively engagement in order to keep them alive, are very vulnerable currently due to having a low defense value. Artillery is also known for causing a reasonable number of tank losses even with the current values, due to the German tanks having mediocre defence values and the actual loss result depending on a die roll.

Statistically speaking, anything with a hard attack value has some chance to destroy every hard target within its range, regardless of how mismatched the hard attack value is to the defence value.

I don't want vehicle combat to give guaranteed results, but ironing out the extremes and emphasizing the strengths and weakness of certain vehicles in a way that the system can model would help.


There are plenty of variables here at play including the actual range of combat results (the high/low values). In the very first prototype these were approximately double what they are today and they skewed casualties up quickly. The issue with them is that they impact both armour and infantry.

I look at losses in armour slightly differently. A tank that has taken an anti-tank rifle shot to the gun sight is just as useless as a tank that has had it's turret taken off. In the same vein a tank that has lost it's radio antenna due to artillery is just as hobbled when it comes to coordinating with the rest of its platoon. For all intents and purposes these vehicles have to pull out for maintenance before they can re-engage and in the time period that Panzer Battles covers that is probably them out for the fight.

Long range fire will be less of a lottery if the range attenuation is adjusted. With the variation in actual ranges between combatants there will be significant variability due to both gun size and maximum range.

The other thing to note is that the German PzKw III's and IV's were lightly armoured. I'm currently reading Robert Kershaw's 'Tank Men' and was very surprised to hear how dominant the 75mm Sherman was in their first engagement at El Alamein. This was against both III's and long F2 IV's. Considering this was November 1942, the Germans were only going to find it more difficult after that. As you point out it was superior training and equipment that helped balance these equipment challenges. Of interest the British were lulled into a false sense of security with the US 75mm to the point that they cancelled the 6 pounder AT gun. This gun was only revived when Tigers were encountered in Tunisia and that lost time was to hurt the Allies later in 1943.

My final question to all is what is reasonable? It's easy to use anecdotes to justify a point of view, but what should be the indication of 'getting it right'? No one here has told me what they believe the expected losses should be - just that they are too light. So what should they be?

David

I agree with Strela on this. After for instance reading The 12th SS: The History of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division Volume I, I am amazed by how many ways a tank can be put out of action (for instance by getting trapped under a tree falling due to artillery fire).

ComradeP states that he rarely sees multiple kills in one shot. Note that there is a quick fix to open up for more tank kills in a single shot. Assume for instance that we have 9 tanks in a single unit, each contributing 0.1 to an, let us say, overall final damage value of 0.9 (after all calculations are completed). Then you get one tank kill 90% of the time, and 10% of the time they kill 0 tanks. The average becomes 0.9 kills. You can never get 2 or 3 kills.

However, if you split the combined tank unit into e.g 3 components, each with 3 tanks, you get three die rolls instead of one! And then you can actually kill 3 tanks in the above setting.

Curiously, in the Campaign Series (precursor to Panzer Battles), a unit of 9 tanks would provide 9 die rolls, one for each tank. Then 9 tanks could kill 9 tanks in a single attack, however, with a very low probability of course. (Note that the average number of kills is unchanged by this procedure.)

Bayes


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 09-05-2015

Well, i refer to "Hurra counterattack comrades" scen, i remember play it and is why i know that soviets here have a serious problem to concentrate armor because SS units starts in central position.

Well, tanks are machines... with humans inside running them... chance to be out of action is very high... if i dont remember bad the % of ready tanks in germans units was or at 50% or under 50%... big size, big weight and relative weak engines... if even today a MBT fight against elements think in a WWII tank... they are not the WWI babies but still in WWII they were "teens" and we all know how good are teens to find troubles Big Grin2

The die rolls... well, the only problem is see only 1 kill when a certain number of AT weapons attack enemy but very high number of kills is not good to, think that even with a good comunication, and ambush status, is easy that 2 AT weapons (specially AT guns) attack the same target and in the end in 15 minutes is not like every AT weapon attacks only 1 vehicle... sometimes 1 receive fire from 2 or more AT guns or tanks and is not rare to attack a "destroyed" vehicle because is not clear that it is destroyed or even you need it burn faster to clear line of fire.

Maybe here the size of attacker unit and the size of attacked unit  need offer some modification to the final result... like smaller units attacking bigger units have better chance to score multiple kills but when attacker is very superior in number is for gunners harder see the target or know if they hit or not.

Maybe i feel JT Campaign has better AT system but PzB has better infantry system... in arty both are good but offer 2 different solutions.

But in the end is not like i am going to reduce my "i want it and want it yesterday" feelings for PzB Normandy 44 Helmet Wink

PD: leak leak leak leak what we want??? LEAKS!!! i start to do my "when is going to be ready" predictions... i feel is a late year release because with test of new scens, bug hunt and last hour improvements... November December, expect be in the good way or totally wrong because is released earlier and remember that Cherbourg surrender very fast, you dont need a long test Big Grin2


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Dog Soldier - 09-05-2015

From my experience with PzB Kursk and the new PzB2, all fighting is very deadly enough.  One must spend most of the time in maneuver to achieve the superior position that leads to victory.  At most there are 3-4 turns in every ten turns that have high loss rates.  Then the dance begins again until the next heated exchange.  Panzer Battles has this ebb and flow of combat over the time and unit density scale for the game.  It excels at this aspect of WW2 combat.

Xaver,
If you want to prove out any of what you are saying about easy rushing of the enemy in tank battles, pick one of the scenarios I posted earlier in this thread and take either side.  Any side.  Just show up.  I will play Germans or Soviets.  Playing the AI and then theorizing is a good a place as any to start.  It is not a conclusion.  The AI is just not clever enough to substitute for a good human player.
Let us prove out your theories in an actual game.  This is your chance to show me something to take to the design team.  Many other members here at the blitz have answered my call for games.  Improvements to the Kursk scenarios and even the design of PzB2 have resulted from those games.  Thank you again to all who have contributed in those games with your talent, and insights.  You know who you are.  So does anyone reading my game profile here at the blitz.

ComradeP Wrote: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.

If the smoke was anything like what you used in our Nepkhaevo engagement, then I can assume that RickyB (a far better player than I ) used your smoke against you like I did to isolate the German panzers from each other and clobbered them piecemeal.  Smoke is  a two edged sword in PzB.  It is not "owned".  Be careful how you use it.
I am sure those 5-10 panzers knocked out in the Soviet turn cost more T-34s.  How many?  You forgot to mention that leaving us all curious.

Dog Soldier


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Xaver - 09-05-2015

Thanks for the offer Dog Soldier but my free time is covered for next months for PBEM and well, dont know when i can have a slot.

The point in unlimited opportunity fire is that even with no limit, the important point is made it letal... i refer that i prefer see a limit in AT opportunity fire BUT more effective, not only increase kills, increase fatigue effect over armored units and AT guns... you dont need destroy tanks and guns to neutralize them.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - wiggum - 09-06-2015

Without owning PzB Kursk i think a limit of opportunity fire sounds very logic.
Especially for Infantry combat i would expect the casualties to be very low in ranged engagements as long as no mortars are involved. Fatigue and the Broken Status are the way to go i would think.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - ComradeP - 09-06-2015

Quote:tThe other thing to note is that the German PzKw III's and IV's were lightly armoured. I'm currently reading Robert Kershaw's 'Tank Men' and was very surprised to hear how dominant the 75mm Sherman was in their first engagement at El Alamein. This was against both III's and long F2 IV's. Considering this was November 1942, the Germans were only going to find it more difficult after that. As you point out it was superior training and equipment that helped balance these equipment challenges. Of interest the British were lulled into a false sense of security with the US 75mm to the point that they cancelled the 6 pounder AT gun. This gun was only revived when Tigers were encountered in Tunisia and that lost time was to hurt the Allies later in 1943.

My final question to all is what is reasonable? It's easy to use anecdotes to justify a point of view, but what should be the indication of 'getting it right'? No one here has told me what they believe the expected losses should be - just that they are too light. So what should they be?

German medium tanks were handicapped by either an overall low armour value or decent to good frontal armour but little side armour since the beginning of hostilities. The 2 pounder and the better French tank guns were perfectly capable of knocking out German tanks in 1940, just like the Soviet 45mm guns were capable of knocking out German tanks in 1941 and beyond.

Limited training in combination with limited technology and doctrine (poor to mediocre sights and small tank crews) prevented the Allies/Soviets from inflicting severe losses on the better trained Germans.

German combat vehicles were not necessarily superior to Allied/Soviet tanks mechanically or in firepower, the crews made the difference. The myths behind the Blitzkrieg being popped in PzC/PB is fine, as long as the real German advantages can still come into play.

In the game, the vehicle's capabilities weigh more than crew training as long as the crew is at the least decent (C quality).

A situation where the Germans are forced to respond or have forced themselves to respond to the enemy's actions in a case where they're outnumbered, like at El Alamein, made it difficult to use the firepower advantage (if any, keeping in mind that even in July 1943, the Panzer III to Panzer IV ratio is not in favour of the Panzer IV in all mobile formations as we can see in-game)  and superior training.

For units being reequipped with the Panther, the improvement was not gradual but a major leap. The Allies often moved to improved versions of the same type or variants, the Panzer III and Panzer IV were 1930's tanks that had reached the limits of their design halfway through the war.

That part is represented well in-game, and that by itself is a good thing.

The Panzer IVF2 and above were good at longer range fights against less flexible opponents, below 500 meters their relative advantage in effectiveness dropped sharply. This was also the problem in Normandy: the ineffectiveness of Allied tanks at longer ranges was nullified by the fact that most engagement ranges were short to medium due to the terrain.

A vehicle like the Panther, ideally suited for knocking out T-34's from over a kilometre away, was seriously flawed when fighting at shorter ranges in confined terrain.

Due to limited opportunity fire, engagement ranges can decrease quickly, leaving the Germans at a disadvantage as they need the enemy's cooperation to employ their advantage at range.

To return to examples from the desert campaign: luring an enemy into your long range AT kill zones isn't nearly as likely to work as it did in real life.

What losses "should be" is in my opinion not a question that can be answered with a precise number, as it depends heavily on the situation. I'd prefer to start with higher than current losses until we reach the point that feels right for the majority of the engagements.

Quote:However, if you split the combined tank unit into e.g 3 components, each with 3 tanks, you get three die rolls instead of one! And then you can actually kill 3 tanks in the above setting.

This is a key part of the problem: the side that gets to roll more often has a significant advantage in a situation where vehicles or guns have comparable capabilities, that's what makes T-34's so deadly in larger numbers, as well as giving the often numerous Soviet artillery pieces the chance to knock out a few vehicles.

Quote:If the smoke was anything like what you used in our Nepkhaevo engagement, then I can assume that RickyB (a far better player than I ) used your smoke against you like I did to isolate the German panzers from each other and clobbered them piecemeal.  Smoke is  a two edged sword in PzB.  It is not "owned".  Be careful how you use it.

I am sure those 5-10 panzers knocked out in the Soviet turn cost more T-34s.  How many?  You forgot to mention that leaving us all curious.

Our Nepkhaevo run was my first real test of armoured warfare, I often kept vehicles way overstacked. Smoke being a two-edged sword is also in a way a part of the problem as vehicles moving through your smoke to fire can only be effective in a situation where opportunity fire is limited.

Single units or a handful of units also often get better results for opportunity fire than larger concentrations, which made me wonder if the system perhaps gets somewhat confused if a lot of units can make an opportunity fire roll. There can easily be a dozen units which can do so in PB due to the long engagement/visibility ranges, a situation that was extremely rare for the PzC games for which it was devised. In a game like EP '14 for example, there are direct fire weapons with longer ranges, but they're limited by visibility being capped, so your field guns might as well have a maximum range of 5.

RickyB's losses from opportunity fire in Ozerovskii were only somewhat severe once or twice, on average he lost about 2-3 tanks when attacking with about two brigades and a bit more when attacking with both Tank Corps.

Early on, he didn't always attack after I attacked him, admittedly, and my vehicle losses mostly ended up being high because I sacrificed the majority of my Panzer III's, which were knocked out during the night and only knocked out a handful of tanks in all night turns.

In most cases where I deployed smoke to limit potential return fire, my tanks were no longer at their firing location at the end of the turn. Ozerovskii has numerous drops and rises in elevation, it doesn't play out like you're fighting on a linked series of plateau's like in Nepkhaevo.


RE: Panzer Battles 2 - The Official Teaser Thread - Strela - 09-06-2015

Back into teaser mode....

Ever wondered what 398,016 hexes looks like?!?

I've just created a composite map at the middle zoom level. This will be available for download when the game is released from John Tiller's website. At 179mb it's probably too big to include in the build. All credit to Dave 'Blackie' Blackburn who created this monster and again thanks to DaveMic who reviewed every place name. We had a hell of a tapestry to create scenarios on. All the shots below are JPG's (reduced for size) - as PNG's they are even clearer.

Again, remember these have been reduced to fit the page. If you're on a PC using Chrome use 'Open image in new tab', on Internet Explorer 'Save picture as' and save it somewhere that you can open it full size later. If you're on a tablet it should scale as you pinch the image to zoom in and out.


Overall map;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20216.jpg]




This is a section of the above map so you can see the resolution at the middle zoom level;

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20215.jpg]




Following are a few interesting sections of the map (at the lowest level zoom);

[Image: PB%20Graphics%20214.jpg]




[Image: PB%20Graphics%20217.jpg]





[Image: PB%20Graphics%20218.jpg]




David