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Antitank gun units
09-04-2008, 03:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-04-2008, 03:57 PM by Volcano Man.)
#11
RE: Antitank gun units
von Nev Wrote: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.

I agree with that AT gun's primary strength was concealment and the fact that they could be hidden until they fired that first volley. One game play improvement that would be nice (in addition to the AT/HAA unit 1 hex limited move idea) would be to represent this strength in firepower from concealment by having AT and HAA units located in a *negative modified terrain type* (including fortification markers) increase their hard attack values by the % of the terrain in which they are in *when firing at hard target vehicle units*. In other words, if an 88mm FLAK gun is located in a forest or town of -40% defensive modifier then its fire would be modified by +40% to represent concealment. A hard attack of 52 for the 88mm FLAK unit would suddenly become 73. In the same example, if the 88mm unit was located in a TRENCH in the forest then it would have a protection level of -80%, so it would have a +80% *HARD ATTACK* increase so that a hard attack of 52 would become 94, almost doubling its effectiveness.

It is important to stress that only its hard attack vs. hard target vehicles units would increase, thereby making infantry the best weapon of choice in defeating AT gun units. It is also important to stress that they would only get the increase when firing at hard target vehicle units so that a user cannot use AT/HAA guns against BUNKER and PILLBOXES by moving them adjacent and then digging them in to get a firepower bonus. :o

Anyone writing all this down for the next Tillercon? ;)
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09-05-2008, 08:32 PM,
#12
RE: Antitank gun units
Ahh, i go away for a few days and this "Old Chestnut" appears again after maybe two years.

In this discussion it is important that you understand that to change into T mode while adjacent to an enemy units is inviting destruction, in PzC T mode=death.

IMO AT guns are the most frustrating unit in the series, their ability to cause casualties is not worth the points you lose when you are unable to retreat them because they have to go into T mode (unless they are firing 2 hex's over another unit), so they remain a unit to dig trench's or prevent a TRENCH becoming a trench.

The obvious solution is to allow them to move one hex deployed and then away in T mode, but this has never found favour with HPS, it was argued (i think by Glenn, but i may be mistaken in that) that a large AT gun could not be manhandled 1 km and so to allow it to move deployed would be unhistorical.

I believe RickyB solved this in a B44 Mod by changing the AT units into mortar units and Volcano Man changed the 2Pdr AT Portee units into LAA to get round the T mode issue, but then of course the unit symbol changes as well and that can lead to confusion.

I was not at the last TC, but people who were told me there was a good debate about this and JT decided to opt for the AT gun retreating into T mode, problem is it then just gets killed by an airstrike or arty, in my experience only 20% of units escape like this & they are often to damaged to take any further active part, so an improvement but not a solution, if you place your 1 hex range AT gun in the front line you will almost certainly lose it if you have to fall back, better to not put it there in the first place. :chin:
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09-06-2008, 01:56 AM,
#13
RE: Antitank gun units
Perhaps they could be made into a motorized infantry unit with lousy soft attack values?
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09-06-2008, 04:07 AM,
#14
RE: Antitank gun units
It would be nice to be able to retreat or advance one hexagon in deployed mode.
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09-06-2008, 04:20 AM,
#15
RE: Antitank gun units
Seems that two changes are indicated by this discussion; one to make hidden or displacing AT guns less vulnerable, the second to make stationary guns more lethal, at least in certain tactical situations.

Perhaps one problem is that T-mode is used in PzC to represent every instance in which guns are attached to their prime movers or infantry are loaded in their vehicles. Seems to me that there's a big difference between (1) a column of vehicles conducting a route march along a highway and (2) the same group of vehicles conducting a tactical displacement dispersed over a kilometer-wide front in close terrain. Case (1) is well represented by T-mode but case (2) might be better represented by giving towed weapons tactical movement capability just like tanks and infantry.

If AT guns are allowed to displace without entering T-mode, then other types of towed ordnance should be allowed to as well. The physical activity involved is the same; bringing the battery's vehicles next to the gun positions, limbering the AT/AA/MTR/ART pieces to the vehicles, loading the rest of the battery's ammunition, comms gear, etc, then driving off.

Towed indirect fire units have to go through the artillery setup sequence after displacing; this could be required of other towed units as well. But the setup probability for direct fire (or small caliber) ordnance could be 100%, or they could be left with 1/3 of the MPs during the subsequent enemy turn, allowing them one defensive op fire.

I like VM's suggestion that AT firepower could be increased by the defensive terrain the guns occupy, but just for the sake of discussion I'll suggest another approach. Most ambushes are directional, i.e. the defenders are prepared to surprise an enemy approaching from a specific direction. What if PzC units could access the unit menu for the option to 'boresight' any two in-range hexes that are adjacent to each other? Then their firepower would be doubled (assuming the defenders are unobserved at the moment an enemy enters the boresight hex). Such a defensive posture should have a cost; since the defender's weapons are deployed for the ambush, that units firepower would be halved when engaging 'non-boresight' hexes.

Again this doesn't seem to apply solely to AT units; any defending units could employ boresighting.
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09-06-2008, 08:33 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-06-2008, 08:37 AM by Volcano Man.)
#16
RE: Antitank gun units
Foul. Wrote:The obvious solution is to allow them to move one hex deployed and then away in T mode, but this has never found favour with HPS, it was argued (i think by Glenn, but i may be mistaken in that) that a large AT gun could not be manhandled 1 km and so to allow it to move deployed would be unhistorical.

Right, but I think that most agree that any one hex move possibility would not represent man handling per se, simply the act of tactically advancing or withdrawing them (still limbered up, but not in columns along roads).

On the one hand someone might envision a line of AT/HAA guns that are falling back one hex at a time to delay the enemy, but that line of AT guns would need to be stacked with infantry for a ZOC, or else hostile mechanized forces could simple bypass and isolate them. AT/HAA guns falling back one hex with stacked infantry company would be the optimal approach to a defensive tactic, giving ground and still maintaining anti-armor protection, and lets face it - the defender is almost always at a disadvantage in these games in respects to defending against an armored force.

SGT Rice Wrote:If AT guns are allowed to displace without entering T-mode, then other types of towed ordnance should be allowed to as well...

I would agree but I think that the AT/HAA guns are the main culprit here. What I mean is, it is completely logical approach to say that 'if AT/HAA guns are allowed to move one hex, then all towed guns should be able to move one hex as well'. However, I don't think that is necessary (or even desirable) given that no other towed gun type unit is required to be adjacent to the enemy as its primary method of inflicting casualties. What I mean is, artillery and heavy artillery usually pulls out well before the enemy is adjacent and, if anything, not granting them a one hex move would encourage realistic behavior of pulling out artillery at the slightest threat to them. This is especially true given that artillery units still have a ZOC. AT/HAA guns have no real choice, they must remain in place until the enemy closes or else they are of no use whatsoever in the defensive role.

Good discussion! :)
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09-06-2008, 09:37 AM,
#17
RE: Antitank gun units
Volcano Man Wrote:On the one hand someone might envision a line of AT/HAA guns that are falling back one hex at a time to delay the enemy, but that line of AT guns would need to be stacked with infantry for a ZOC, or else hostile mechanized forces could simple bypass and isolate them. AT/HAA guns falling back one hex with stacked infantry company would be the optimal approach to a defensive tactic, giving ground and still maintaining anti-armor protection, and lets face it - the defender is almost always at a disadvantage in these games in respects to defending against an armored force.
I agree 100%, i think that the fact AT guns have no ZOC was a excellent change, both to prevent them surrounding forces on the offense and requiring Inf support for a ZOC on the defence.

As Volcano says this would be another way of balancing the game system up in favour of the defender.

I hope the players who go to the next TC will push for this change. ;)
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09-06-2008, 09:50 AM,
#18
RE: Antitank gun units
Foul. Wrote:I hope the players who go to the next TC will push for this change. ;)

I support most, if not all of these ideas. I will not be able to make the TC, but would be willing to give my proxy to someone who is.
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09-06-2008, 01:50 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-07-2008, 02:38 AM by SGT Rice.)
#19
RE: Antitank gun units
Volcano Man Wrote:However, I don't think that is necessary (or even desirable) given that no other towed gun type unit is required to be adjacent to the enemy as its primary method of inflicting casualties. What I mean is, artillery and heavy artillery usually pulls out well before the enemy is adjacent and, if anything, not granting them a one hex move would encourage realistic behavior of pulling out artillery at the slightest threat to them. This is especially true given that artillery units still have a ZOC.

Good points about the usual employment of the various towed weapon systems. Still, I think that T-mode in PzC is awfully restrictive; basically it says that the only way that loaded, soft-skinned vehicles ever moved was in tightly clustered packs. Certainly battery commanders had the ability to disperse their vehicles and make maximum use of cover when maneuvering close to the enemy, presenting a far less concentrated/vulnerable target than they would while road-marching 10 klicks behind friendly lines.

As for ZOCs, ... well that could be another interesting thread.:cool:
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09-07-2008, 01:37 AM,
#20
RE: Antitank gun units
I'd agree with Sgt Rice about giving AT-gun units a 1km deployed move to simulate the ability to quietly move guns into position or redeploy against a sudden threat.
On reflection I agree with the removal of ZOC for anti-tank guns - too much potential for abuse.
I like Volcano Man's suggestion about terrain enhancement for anti-tank guns. That would give Marders and StuGs back some of their historical tank-killing abilities. At the moment, there would be no Marder tank aces because the units are too fragile.
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