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I hate PzIVs
02-22-2014, 08:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-22-2014, 08:41 AM by DB_Zero.)
#11
RE: I hate PzIVs
Mark IVs are hands down best German tank....

...if you're fortunate to be the one facing them.

I've had good results in some games. Depends on how you use them In other games I was forced to employ them in a not so optimal manner and they suffered.
03-25-2014, 11:49 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2014, 12:01 PM by BletchleyGeek.)
#12
a2cents  RE: I hate PzIVs
I must admit I am not so much of an armour grog - that is, I can't recite from memory technical specs - but my impression is that Mark IV is clearly outclassed by all Allied armour. It has a very hot gun - designed to take out the 1941 and 1942 T-34 - but it has serious problems with its armour (which shouldn't be surprising, as the the Pz IV chassis remained overally the same since 1939 to 1945, with several 'hacks' thrown in to improve survivability as years went by). Note that the match up for the Mk IV F2 and later models is against the early T-34 models: a tank notorious for how poorly its crews could spot and its, relatively speaking, crude optics and ranging implements.

That the virtual parity of the post 1942 MkIV models and the T-34 doesn't carry over to match ups with Western Allies armour in 1943 and 1944, doesn't strike me as particularly weird - I don't take CMx1 to be a ground truth at all. After all, the kind of Allied tank designs one finds in 1943-44 CMx2 battlefields were actually considered good enough to match or to outperform both the German Mk III and Mk IV (which were the 'main' battle tanks of Germany in late 1942 and early 1943). Unfortunately for the Allies, the German design cycle managed to put on the table more advanced armour - like the Panther - by late 1943 and early 1944, which clearly outclassed Shermans and Cromwells. Shermans and Cromwells have great mobility - like the T-34, sport reasonably accurate and powerful guns - like the T-34, and also have good spotting and targetting capabilities - unlike the T-34.

I have commanded Mk IV's in four Scenarios of the Month so far: CW First Clash (against Barre), Clearing the Niscemi Highway (against Toblakai), In For A Pound (against Tester) and Meeting Engagement at Les Charne (against Tumatauenga). And I have faced Mk IV's in Bon Giorno Tomahawks (against Cyrano) and Monty's Butchers (against Patrykd) All these battles are quite recent and done - entirely or mostly - with the latest CMBN 2.12 and CMFI 1.12 patches. Below are my notes on four of these engagements (I didn't have any Shermans or Cromwells to oppose patrykd, unfortunately Cry):
  • CW First Clash - In this game my plan was to use the PzIVs from hull down positions to cover my light armour as it advanced towards the big VP area on the Allied side of the map, keeping them behind a reverse slope - out of sight - until I made contact with Allied armour. That happened soon enough - my Lynxes got raped by Barre's own overwatching armour, Cromwells, if I recall correctly. I then ordered the PzIV's I had in reserve to advance to hull-down positions and engage the Cromwells. Three Pz IV's were engaging 2 (?) Cromwells, and as I usually do, I staggered the Pz IVs maneuver with 10 seconds pauses (that is, the first one moves right away, the second one 10 secs later, the third one 30 secs later). The result was that I lost 2 Pz IV's and Barre 1 Cromwell. The Cromwells spotted the PzIVs as they were settling on their hull-down positions, and killed two of them right away with frontal turret hits (the third Pz IV managed to get a couple shots on a Cromwell, which I guess was 'distracted'). Later on the game, I got two more Pz IVs killed, both by frontal turret hits, as they were moving into hull-down positions.

  • Clearing the Niscemi Highway - Similar story to First Clash. One Pz IV got killed by a frontal turret hit, when engaging from a hull-down position - and by the flank - a very nicely keyholed Sherman (the accompanying PzIIIM killed the Sherman shortly afterwards). I lost two Pz IV's to RPG hits on the turret (two side RPG hits had no effect). The rest of my Pz IV's losses there were because I did something quite boneheaded.

  • In For A Pound - Early in the game, a Pz IV I had on hull-down overwatching the deployment of my AT guns got killed - without spotting the killer - by a frontal turret hit. Interestingly, all my Pz IV's losses were due to frontal turret hits. I could observe that the early Sherman 75mm guns have a hard time killing outright PzIV's with frontal hull penetrations at ranges over 300 meters (I mean 'hard' as in the chances being something like 25 or 33%, penetrations usually resulted in the crew bailing out and , occasionally, crew casualties). One of my Pz IVs bailed out a great total of 4 times, until the tank was finally destroyed with the fifth penetration (on the turret). All first hit kills were hits to the frontal turret.

  • Meeting Engagement at Les Charne - Totally different game to the above. Here I could use the bocage to mask my Pz IVs effectively. The bocage also granted hull-down like benefits while somehow 'protecting' those fragile Pz IV turrets. And more importantly, I could maneuver around the Allied armour, getting flank shots, thanks to the masking provided by the bocage. Here my 2 of my Pz IV losses were 'mobility' kills - 1 PzIV engine broke down moving cross country and another Pz IV threw a track - and the third one because I did something really retarded.

  • Bon Giorno Tomahawks - Here I totally owned Cyrano's PzIVs, in frontal engagements. In two cases, the Pz IV's were on hull-down positions in a higher elevation, and I got two kills with two direct hits on the turret. Both of these kills were achieved at ranges over 500 meters. I got two other kills at extremely close range - less than 50 meters. In both cases, the Sherman spotted first, and sent the PzIV to the Scrapyard in the Sky with frontal penetrations.

I do indeed see a pattern here (I have had basically seen all Mk IVs models in the CMx2 games, G, H, J) in very different conditions, and ranges. The factors that have remained the same when suffering with my Mk IVs have been kills by direct hits on the turret while hull-down, and a substantial difficulty to maneuver against opponents flanks along covered routes.

I wonder about others' observations - or my opponents, as they could see what I couldn't Helmet Wink
03-26-2014, 10:37 AM,
#13
RE: I hate PzIVs
PzIV did have crappy vertical armour and like you most of my deaths were front on turret hits while never spotting the target. I am still in the early stages of Monty's Butchers, about 60 minutes to go, and I just got my PzIVs who are going hull down, not that I think it will help much.
Some of us are busy doing things; some of us are busy complaining - Debasish Mridha
03-26-2014, 10:45 AM,
#14
RE: I hate PzIVs
I wouldn't go as far as saying that the Pz IV is clearly outclassed by all Allied armor. Even in 1945. Granted, it won't go par to par with a IS-2 at 1000m, but it will do a good job at killing pretty much any medium tank the allies can throw against it.

I guess when it comes to Pz IV vs. Shermans is the below snippet:

Quote:All else being equal, a group of M4A3 Shermans should have a modest advantage head-to-head at 300m against an equal-sized group of PzIVH.

Here is why. While the German 75mm gun is better than the US 75mm, the Sherman has superior frontal armor. The PzIVH has an obsolete turret front and virtually no armor sloping anywhere. Further, its frontal armor is face-hardened which is a liability against the capped armor-piercing ammunition (APCBC) used by the western Allies in 1944.

Let's first examine the PzIVH shooting at the M4A3 Sherman straight on, non oblique hits:

M4A3 Sherman frontal armor:
76mm @ 30° turret (treated as 69mm due to mediocre armor manufacturing quality)
89mm @ 0° gun mantlet (treated as 80mm)
51mm @ 56° upper hull (treated as 46mm)
51mm @ 15°(avg) lower hull (treated as 46mm)

German PzIVH (75mm KwK40 L/48) armor penetration (average) at 300m at various armor slopes:
0°: 127mm
15°: 120mm
30°: 99mm
56°: 53mm

Hit results:
M4A3 Sherman turret: easily penetrates (120mm vs 69mm)
M4A3 Sherman gun mantlet: easily penetrates (127mm vs 80mm)
M4A3 Sherman upper hull: usually but not always penetrates; majority of killing energy absorbed by armor (53mm vs 46mm)
M4A3 Sherman lower hull: easily penetrates (120mm vs 46mm)

Summary:
If the Sherman is hit straight on in the turret or lower hull it's in bad shape, but if it's hit in the upper hull (aka glacis plate) it has a decent chance to survive. Not great, but decent. And the glacis plate is the largest and most central of the potential target areas so many hits will occur there.

Now let's examine the M4A3 Sherman shooting at the PzIVH straight on, non oblique hits:

PzIVH-late frontal armor (all face-hardened, which is a liability versus US APCBC shells -- this is very important!):

50mm @ 10° turret
80mm @ 10° upper hull
80mm @ 15° lower hull

M4A3 Sherman (75mm M3 L/40, firing APCBC) armor penetration versus face-hardened armor (average) at 300m at various armor slopes:
10°: 96mm
15°: 93mm

Hit results:
PzIVH-late turret: easily penetrates (96mm vs 50mm)
PzIVH-late upper hull: penetrates, some killing energy absorbed by armor (96mm vs 80mm)
PzIVH-late lower hull: penetrates, some killing energy absorbed by armor (93mm vs 80mm)

Summary:
PzIVH armor cannot withstand a straight on hit from a Sherman anywhere. Its best hope is for a hull hit where some of the energy is absorbed, but often this won't be enough to save the tank.

When oblique angles are taken into effect the picture changes. The more the shot deviates from a straight on hit the greater the chance of deflection instead of penetration. Sloped and rounded armor enhances this chance more so than vertically aligned plates. If the chance of a penetration from straight on is marginal, then a less optimal angle of impact likely means the round does not penetrate. When examining the numbers above, it's pretty clear that the Sherman is far more likely to survive a hit from a PzIV than the PzIV is to survive a hit from a Sherman.


…there are some really deeply entrenched assumptions about what German (and American) equipment should and should not be capable of. And yet when we dig down a little, it seems that these hardened assumptions are not based on anything real.

The above is a perfect example. The assumption is that PzIV = Sherman. Case closed?

Well, the assumption is wrong. These two tanks are not quite equivalent. They have significantly different strengths and weaknesses. In some situations I'd want a PzIV, and in others a Sherman. And at 300m head to head, give me the M4A3 please. The armor on the PzIV is obsolete by 1944. Even to American guns, it just can't hold up, and Combat Mission reflects this.
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03-27-2014, 06:02 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-27-2014, 06:06 PM by TimoS..)
#15
RE: I hate PzIVs
Big Problem with those Tanks imho is that the Hit% is way to high in CMx2. It mostly feels like the Abrams are on the Battlefield. The Time for a Tankcrew to react on a spotted Target is like a Automatic Target&Fire System like in Abrams. They argue that the Hit% are way higher than Cmx1 on that short Ranges. They are right with it but those where under optimal non Combat Conditions.

The other Problem is firing/spotting out of a Moving Tank. Yes i know the Sherman had that Magic Gyro Stab. but how much he (and other Tanks too btw) Hits while on the move is a Joke. On a Plain Road, hmm okay. But not on Grass, Rubble etc.

That needs some tweaking. Shooting on the Move and Hit% needs to be nerfed. Maybe not to Cmx1 standards but it need to be nerfed.

I dont agree that the Sherman outclasses a Pz4. Its just another Role you use him for. Given the short Ranges we are fighting at (almost never had a Tankfight on 1000m or more) the good Optics/Gun doesnt play that Big Role. Add that to the Super High Situation Awarness and Track&Shoot Abilitiy of even moving Tanks and you get that Results you had.

I must admit that i like the new Spotting System overall (Infantry Spots Enemy Tank and if 3 Hexes beside a Blue Tank it can pass the C2 Information onto the Tank). But most deciding Factor of Tankcombat must be Spotting,C2,Morale,Optics and the most important stantionaryvs.moving. Atm its who sees first wins 90%.

As it is right now it feels more like a Gamble now and then.
03-27-2014, 11:08 PM,
#16
RE: I hate PzIVs
(03-27-2014, 06:02 PM)TimoS. Wrote: The other Problem is firing/spotting out of a Moving Tank. Yes i know the Sherman had that Magic Gyro Stab. but how much he (and other Tanks too btw) Hits while on the move is a Joke. On a Plain Road, hmm okay. But not on Grass, Rubble etc.

Yeah, this has been discussed on the BFC forums a few times. Bottom line is getting the TAC AI to, while executing your movement order, stop aim acquire and fire then continue is a significant challenge. So they have reduced the accuracy of on the move firing but not as much as actually fire on the move. Since SOP was to stop to fire and then resume they have to allow for some simulation of that.

I do agree it would be really nice to see stop fire continue. Hopefully some day.

(03-27-2014, 06:02 PM)TimoS. Wrote: I must admit that i like the new Spotting System overall (Infantry Spots Enemy Tank and if 3 Hexes beside a Blue Tank it can pass the C2 Information onto the Tank). But most deciding Factor of Tankcombat must be Spotting,C2,Morale,Optics and the most important stantionaryvs.moving. Atm its who sees first wins 90%.

As it is right now it feels more like a Gamble now and then.

I think that who sees first wins is exactly how it should be - especially at short ranges.

Sure, stepping onto the battle field is in part a gamble. We should all be using good tactics to try to stack the deck as in our favour as we can. Scouting, before engaging, keeping infantry around to support your tanks. All those good things can stack the who sees first in your favour.
03-28-2014, 03:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-28-2014, 03:36 AM by TimoS..)
#17
RE: I hate PzIVs
(03-27-2014, 11:08 PM)A Canadian Cat Wrote: Yeah, this has been discussed on the BFC forums a few times. Bottom line is getting the TAC AI to, while executing your movement order, stop aim acquire and fire then continue is a significant challenge. So they have reduced the accuracy of on the move firing but not as much as actually fire on the move. Since SOP was to stop to fire and then resume they have to allow for some simulation of that.
I do agree it would be really nice to see stop fire continue. Hopefully some day.

I dont buy that from BFC. Even with those Points you mentioned included into my measurement its still too fast. I just dont buy that "One Minute In Game Time is multiple Minutes in Real Combat Warfare blah blah" Argument. Big Laugh Why not just tone down the Hit-% when Tanks arent stationary?

(03-27-2014, 11:08 PM)A Canadian Cat Wrote: I think that who sees first wins is exactly how it should be - especially at short ranges.

Sure, stepping onto the battle field is in part a gamble. We should all be using good tactics to try to stack the deck as in our favour as we can. Scouting, before engaging, keeping infantry around to support your tanks. All those good things can stack the who sees first in your favour.

Who sees first should be the Winner. Yes. But here lies the Gamble within. Look up at the Topicstarter on those PzIVs got killed in superior position, stationary and with Target Arc.

Reason why is some strange spotting behavior and the Ultimate Reaction of Tanks and First Shot Hit %
03-28-2014, 06:51 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-28-2014, 06:51 AM by A Canadian Cat.)
#18
RE: I hate PzIVs
No, I was not referring to some hypothetical time acceleration thing. That is bunk. The only time acceleration is just us god gamers running guys around quicker than they would, not tending to wounded etc.

What I was referring to was the Tac AI is not programmed to drive, stop, shoot, drive while loading, stop shoot etc. and they have said that is not in the cards short term. So they let them shoot on the move and town down the hit % for that. Not too long ago there was a defect where if you set a moment order for a tank and the paused it and plotted a target order you got the reduced hit % for that tank.

True any spotting issue will be a big problem.
03-31-2014, 08:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-31-2014, 08:46 PM by Batu.)
#19
RE: I hate PzIVs
(02-16-2014, 10:10 AM)Weasel Wrote: You are all wrong, they suck and no one will tell me different! It can't be my play, how could that be?? ROTFLMAO

Honestly I lost 3 of 5 PzIVs to moving allied tanks while I was stationary and hatches open, all one hit kills from a Sherman.

Just a post out of frustration. I have noticed that armoured skirts don't seem to protect the tanks against rockets (bazookas and piat) which the skirt is designed to defeat. It seems the game is either treating it as just armour or it is just there for graphic purposes.

The Sherman had a gyro stabiliser so theoretically could fire more accurately on the move. Of course the majority of crews disabled the gyro stabiliser as they didnt trust it not to injure them as it moved the gun about. I suspect the game would not take into account crews not using it or the fact that they were often unservicable.

The Panzer IV had good optics and sighting which is very important, a relatively slow moving turrent compared to the Sherman but a better gun. From cover and getting in the first shot it should easily take out a Sherman but is quite vulnerable if hit.

Vs the T34/76 (an extremely over rated tank) I would say the Panzer IV with the L48 gun is vastly superior. It can easily kill a T34 and is infinately better at being able to see the T34. T34 optics are so so but more importantly it has no episcopes so unless the commander has most of his body exposed he can see very little. Ergonomics for the Soviet tank were also very bad.Given the soviet doctrine of attacking buttoned up the T34/76 could see very little and was extremely vulnerable. I would say the Panzer IV was superior to the T34/85 as well though it had improved considerably on the older model.

(03-26-2014, 10:45 AM)raz_atoth Wrote: I wouldn't go as far as saying that the Pz IV is clearly outclassed by all Allied armor. Even in 1945. Granted, it won't go par to par with a IS-2 at 1000m, but it will do a good job at killing pretty much any medium tank the allies can throw against it.

I guess when it comes to Pz IV vs. Shermans is the below snippet:

Quote:All else being equal, a group of M4A3 Shermans should have a modest advantage head-to-head at 300m against an equal-sized group of PzIVH.

Here is why. While the German 75mm gun is better than the US 75mm, the Sherman has superior frontal armor. The PzIVH has an obsolete turret front and virtually no armor sloping anywhere. Further, its frontal armor is face-hardened which is a liability against the capped armor-piercing ammunition (APCBC) used by the western Allies in 1944.

Let's first examine the PzIVH shooting at the M4A3 Sherman straight on, non oblique hits:

M4A3 Sherman frontal armor:
76mm @ 30° turret (treated as 69mm due to mediocre armor manufacturing quality)
89mm @ 0° gun mantlet (treated as 80mm)
51mm @ 56° upper hull (treated as 46mm)
51mm @ 15°(avg) lower hull (treated as 46mm)

German PzIVH (75mm KwK40 L/48) armor penetration (average) at 300m at various armor slopes:
0°: 127mm
15°: 120mm
30°: 99mm
56°: 53mm

Hit results:
M4A3 Sherman turret: easily penetrates (120mm vs 69mm)
M4A3 Sherman gun mantlet: easily penetrates (127mm vs 80mm)
M4A3 Sherman upper hull: usually but not always penetrates; majority of killing energy absorbed by armor (53mm vs 46mm)
M4A3 Sherman lower hull: easily penetrates (120mm vs 46mm)

Summary:
If the Sherman is hit straight on in the turret or lower hull it's in bad shape, but if it's hit in the upper hull (aka glacis plate) it has a decent chance to survive. Not great, but decent. And the glacis plate is the largest and most central of the potential target areas so many hits will occur there.

Now let's examine the M4A3 Sherman shooting at the PzIVH straight on, non oblique hits:

PzIVH-late frontal armor (all face-hardened, which is a liability versus US APCBC shells -- this is very important!):

50mm @ 10° turret
80mm @ 10° upper hull
80mm @ 15° lower hull

M4A3 Sherman (75mm M3 L/40, firing APCBC) armor penetration versus face-hardened armor (average) at 300m at various armor slopes:
10°: 96mm
15°: 93mm

Hit results:
PzIVH-late turret: easily penetrates (96mm vs 50mm)
PzIVH-late upper hull: penetrates, some killing energy absorbed by armor (96mm vs 80mm)
PzIVH-late lower hull: penetrates, some killing energy absorbed by armor (93mm vs 80mm)

Summary:
PzIVH armor cannot withstand a straight on hit from a Sherman anywhere. Its best hope is for a hull hit where some of the energy is absorbed, but often this won't be enough to save the tank.

When oblique angles are taken into effect the picture changes. The more the shot deviates from a straight on hit the greater the chance of deflection instead of penetration. Sloped and rounded armor enhances this chance more so than vertically aligned plates. If the chance of a penetration from straight on is marginal, then a less optimal angle of impact likely means the round does not penetrate. When examining the numbers above, it's pretty clear that the Sherman is far more likely to survive a hit from a PzIV than the PzIV is to survive a hit from a Sherman.


…there are some really deeply entrenched assumptions about what German (and American) equipment should and should not be capable of. And yet when we dig down a little, it seems that these hardened assumptions are not based on anything real.

The above is a perfect example. The assumption is that PzIV = Sherman. Case closed?

Well, the assumption is wrong. These two tanks are not quite equivalent. They have significantly different strengths and weaknesses. In some situations I'd want a PzIV, and in others a Sherman. And at 300m head to head, give me the M4A3 please. The armor on the PzIV is obsolete by 1944. Even to American guns, it just can't hold up, and Combat Mission reflects this.

At 300 Metres the Panzer IV would kill the Sherman every time and vice a versa. It really comes down to who shoots accurately first. An experienced Sherman crew could take a Panther out at that range by deflecting their shot off the gun mantlet or the ground.
04-02-2014, 08:25 AM,
#20
RE: I hate PzIVs
Well speaking of who spots whom first, I am just finishing a game of Cats Chasing Dogs, and EVERY ONE of my Pumas has been killed by a front shot from an enemy he never saw, despite being opened up, stationary, and in some cases behind a low bocage cover. Every one!
"A bad plan is still better than no plan at all." -- Mikhail Tal



[Image: pzV.jpg]


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