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Antitank gun units
09-02-2008, 09:00 AM,
#1
Antitank gun units
Is it just my experience that anti-tank gun units in PzC are nearly useless?
When 8x88/L71 at Class A quality, firing at 2-4 Shermans in clear terrain inflict no damage (repeatedly), I wonder what is going on...
Do other people find this that AT guns are near useless?

Richard
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09-02-2008, 09:25 AM,
#2
RE: Antitank gun units
I guess it depends on what you are playing. In the stock game the AT guns are more of a unit that you use to put in a spot and use it to defend against armored assaults. If you try the _Alt then, in most cases, the AT guns are useful in firepower and can hold up defensively when fired at, but are poor in assaults (particularly infantry). So it all depends on what approach you want to play. Also keep in mind that in PzC non desert scenarios, all fire beyond 1 hex is reduced to 1/3.
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09-02-2008, 11:21 AM,
#3
RE: Antitank gun units
I like to mass all the AT guns of a division (or two) in one spot where enemy armour will make an appearance...works best if you can get a high spot behind your infantry line...and your guns have at least a two hex range.
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09-03-2008, 03:51 AM,
#4
RE: Antitank gun units
I guess that makes sense.
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09-03-2008, 01:42 PM,
#5
RE: Antitank gun units
I've never figured out how to make them very useful.

T mode is the problem. If defending, they have to set up and die because going T mode in front of attackers is suicide.

Unfortunately, the AT guns are fragile enough that once they are in the front line infantry and art can massacre them.

Maybe if they could move one hex without being in T mode, they would be a powerful addition to defense. Or if there was no way to individually target them with infantry/artillery fire. Maybe they should have just been abstracted in the inf AT rating (not ideal, but what can you do?).

It seems odd if you have 900 infantry and 12 guns in a hex, enemy infantry battalions can focus on the guns with relative impunity.

Maybe a house rule not to target AT guns with direct and indirect fire unless all infantry in the hex is disrupted?
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09-03-2008, 02:32 PM,
#6
RE: Antitank gun units
It seems to me that AT guns are not particularly well modelled in this system. Probably due to the limitations of the engine/scale more than anything else. The AT guns primary advantage was concealment. AT crews would most often wait until point blank range before firing if they were sited in good concealment terrain. Knocking out several tanks before the tankers knew what was happening. Once exposed the AT gun would be silenced very quickly by any attacker with sufficient firepower. In reality AT guns could remain concealed from closed up tanks even after firing off a volley of rounds. That just can't be modelled in this system, as any firing unit is immediately spotted once it fires if in LOS. In games like SP or even ASL AT guns can fire and remain hidden or at least concealed. Nothing like that feeling in SP when your tanks are getting killed by a gun that you haven't spotted yet. That just can't happen at this scale. I don't know if possible in this engine but an improvement could be that if an armoured target stumbles into a hex adjacent to an unknown AT gun, then that guns hard target attack could be doubled, tripled or whatever against any armoured targets for that phase. Thus the gun should at least knock out some tanks before getting crunched, thus rewarding a well sited ambush. I know that AT guns now have an improved chance of disrupting armoured targets but I agree they still just don't seem to knock out enough enemy tanks before they die. It’s a difficult problem to fix.
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09-04-2008, 05:50 AM,
#7
RE: Antitank gun units
I agree with KRAK; in the stock scenarios ATGs aren't as effective or aren't even used as they were historically. (Volcano Man's ALT scns do solve some of that.)

What makes the issue more clouded is the inconsistent representation of the ATGs in PzC gmes. N44 has every single ATG shown. MG44 melts some ATGs in the Allied para units, but keeps others out. B45 has very few German ATGs plus their Heer infantry have no hard attack value at all! B44 is a mixture, etc.... It is another example of how PzC can't decide what it wants to be, tactical or operational.

Once they took out the ZOC of ATGs they lost a lot of value in the stock games. Again, I think VM restores some of that.

Just my thoughts
Bob

BTW, I don't get me wrong I LOVE this series!
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09-04-2008, 10:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-04-2008, 10:20 AM by Volcano Man.)
#8
RE: Antitank gun units
I agree that allowing AT gun units to move one hex while deployed would go a long way to help save these guns (on the defense) from almost certain destruction, and (on the offense) it would allow them to move forward to a firing line that is adjacent to the enemy without being decimated.

A one hex move allowance for deployed mode would also make them a bit cumbersome to utilize correctly (if you are trying to avoid their destruction) in fluid situations where the front line is moving rapidly and this seems realistic since they are primarily a defensive unit. A one hex move would also ensure that you still have to cover the withdrawal of the guns since you need to bring them back in order to safely put them in T mode next turn, and if you are not successfully covering the guns then they will still be overrun regardless of the fact that they might run away 1 hex.

As Liquid Sky said, if you want to maximize the survivability of your AT gun units then you should look for places to put your multi-hex ranged AT gun units on higher elevation, just behind your front line, to take long range shots on enemy vehicles in the open as friendly infantry provide a temporary buffer. When the buffer begins to fall back then so to should your AT gun units. In the desert, particularly in _Alt where their defense ratings are higher but assault ratings are lower, AT guns are best used to form a gun line when pursued and then falling back to it to take a few shots and withdraw to the next one.
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09-04-2008, 02:09 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-06-2008, 11:49 AM by von Nev.)
#9
RE: Antitank gun units
AT defense, especially for the Germans in the later titles, is something that has bothered me. I really think the issue is that there is no ambush capability for them. AT guns just cannot survive in the front line for very long as they need to pop up, fire shots and then retreat. Sticking around at the front invites total destruction and quickly.

Also, it is not just AT guns but all the light AT armor too. In my M44 campaign I have stacks of Russian tank units that are between 100 to 150 tanks that roaming around and they are near impervious to German AT attacks. I can't use my AT guns because they are at most 9 or 10 guns and inflict very little damage before they are destroyed and my light AT tanks like the Marder III, Stug or Nashorn units are blown away if they get anywhere near these monsters.

One thing I have been debating is to dramatically increase the hard attack rating for AT guns and for select assault guns like the Marder to something (insane) like 50 for 50mm guns, 75 for 75mm guns and 125 for 88mm guns. Yeah, the hard attack it is out of whack for other guns (for those OOB purists), but AT guns will become relevent again as they will definitely inflict damage and the Russians and Americans will think twice about rushing them (which they did historically). They can still be destroyed by artillery which the Russians and Americans have plenty of.

To show you how big an issue this can be, in my M44 campaign even though the Russians have a 5:1 advantage in vehicles and are on offense and I have plenty of AT guns the Russians have a 1:2 advantage in destroyed vehicles and a 1:1.2 advantage in destroyed guns. I am almost ashamed to say that one of the few uses of AT guns is to build and occupy secondary defensive lines to contain a Russian breakthrough. Once the front line gets close they rapidly evacuate and move to the rear to start building another defensive line. I just can't find another good use for them.
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09-04-2008, 03:46 PM,
#10
RE: Antitank gun units
I use the AT guns units in a secondary line of defense or on quiet sectors to prevent a quick armored "end run". These units are fragile as mentioned before. I site them in the best available cover and fortifications. This allows them to get a defensive shot and maybe a few shots in my nest turn.
They always need friends; friendly artillery, infantry and tanks.
AT guns do not create many kills on their own. The rule changes in the game engine allow for better chances of disruption on enemy tank units. Use the AT guns to get those disruptions on enemy armor flanking your defense or breaking through the front line. Always have friends near by to assault in your turn the hapless enemy armor that stands disrupted. Your assault, then movement back into a defensive posture can really fatigue a disrupted enemy unit. It could even by a space for you to move the AT gun unit. On defense that makes one less enemy tank unit as it has to be withdrawn or face higher casualties to push on.

On the attack, AT guns can screen your flanks or protect your artillery form by passed enemy units. Not much else. Occasionally, the enemy will run out of DF and you can sneak an AT gun into the front line in T mode then set it up. But every so often some alert defender will call down an artillery strike on this type of move. Or the planes will interdict the AT guns and disrupt them in T mode right in front of the defender's line to be wiped out in his turn.

:dunno:This must be why it is so hard to get recruits for the AT gun units. I do like titles where most of the AT capability is in the infantry HA factor. This gives the defender more flexibility in AT defense.

von Nev.... Maybe there is not much to be done about huge Russian tank stacks. Life was very hard on the eastern front for the Landsers in the summer of 1944.

Dog Soldier
Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
- Wyatt Earp
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