A reflection on the quality of German armor

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freud
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by freud » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:06 am

boredatwork wrote:
@the opening post

I think ultimately PzC borrowed the original PG mechanics a bit too literally. The game pieces represent not units as KK suggests nor individual pieces of equipment but rather an abstract combination of both. Similarly the mechanics are abstract representing neither truly tactical combat nor operational level combat. Consequently many of the unit stats have been fudged, and not always consistently. What does a piece's HA value represent? What does a unit's GD represent? In the case of tanks if we made them directly proportional to a unit's armour penetration and maximum armour respectively, and then based the mechanics on a true to life probability of a given weapon defeating a given armour value you would wind up with situations like a 75mm Sherman being unable to damage a Tiger or Panther at all when historically that was not the case. At best the existing system/values can be an attempt to factor in things like flank shots, damage to optics and suspension, HE panicking green crews into abandoning tanks prematurely, etc.

To more accurately reflect historical reality you would probably have to add additional stats for side armour, have initiative directly related to the handiness of a given weapon, and then place greater reliance on terrain type, experience, and entrenchment to generate a nominal range within that hex at which combat takes place, and the likelyhood of one side or the other getting flank shots.
My initial rant was mainly concerned with the fact that the above line of reasoning is applied only to German units. Tanks whom historically sported AA-machine guns has consistently been given zero air attack. This is simply not the case with allied units. A minor detail perhaps, albeit quite annoying. However, if one would compare the stats in general of German tanks in PG1 and 2 with PC it is quite obvious that the vast majority of them has had their attack, defence and initiative values heavily taxed. Again, this is not the case with allied tanks and TDs, many of whom have been elevated to near ridiculous heights (Eg. Hellcat, M26, IS-2).

KeldorKatarn
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by KeldorKatarn » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:39 am

boredatwork wrote:
KeldorKatarn wrote: And it should never be able to replace a tank in this game, not even in greater numbers.
Given that the Germans were largely on the defensive from 1943 onwards the StuG should indeed be a viable substitute for tanks - otherwise why on earth did the Germans build so many of them?

Because it was more effective in a defensive Anti Tank role than any tank they could they build on the PzIII Chassis, and could be built in far greater quantities than any other tank option that would have required retooling the production line.

The problem with the game currently is the prestige system doesn't reflect that economic reality.
This assumption is completely wrong. The majority of StuGs was initially used as infantry support, and that's where the huge demand was. Later in the war the Stugs were built instead of tanks because for one tank you could build 2 StuGs and yes in a defensive role they were good to have so they combined them with tanks in the divisions to fill up the ranks. But even then the Stugs were never used alone, no division had just Stugs, they were always combined with tanks because alone they were too vulnerable, but at least the firepower was there.

The StuG was initially the main support weapon for the infantry, that's why so many were build. You guy need to forget this "tank vs tank" picture. That is rarely the case. The Stugs were incredibly important to the infantry. Yes they killed a lot of tanks but that was only because the russians threw tanks at them like crazy. And yes the StuG III probably killed the most tanks, but that was only because it was also the machine that was used over the longest period of time, while tanks were constantly upgraded or replaced with other models. The Stug was good but in no way some kind of super machine.

bebro
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by bebro » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:13 pm

FWIW I never thought late war German armor is too weak, rather I had trouble initially with those 39/40 types. But you get used to it.

Re SPAT, with Elefant, Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger there are IMO more than enough very strong models available, to boost the lighter Hetzer and StuG types much more would make everything far too easy. Sure, you have to invest to get the heavy types, but that's where much of the appeal of the game is - improving your core in both exp and equipment.

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by orlinos » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:20 pm

bebro wrote:FWIW I never thought late war German armor is too weak, rather I had trouble initially with those 39/40 types. But you get used to it.

Re SPAT, with Elefant, Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger there are IMO more than enough very strong models available, to boost the lighter Hetzer and StuG types much more would make everything far too easy. Sure, you have to invest to get the heavy types, but that's where much of the appeal of the game is - improving your core in both exp and equipment.
Deducter's mod (o boy, here I am praising it again...) balances tanks and AT in a very nice way. Experience effects kick in much faster, but Russians have less Initiative in the beginning of the war. This makes experienced Marders very cheap death bringers, especially when helped by mass attack. The same with an experienced but still fragile Nashorn.

StuGs are rather expensive in 1942, but they get progressively cheaper in the following years - while the heavies burn my prestige like the Tigers burned the fuel. And they have less ammo and fuel so I cannot use them without stopping.

Thus, I may use Nashorn or a Panther to make a one-hit kill in attack, but if things get ugly, I trust my two cheap StuG IIIG's to hold the line and just elite reinforce them afterwards. When the Russians start getting high HA, high Initiative monstrosities, I just put StuG's into close terrain, so they enjoy +3 to Initiative when defending.

I guess this works quite like it did during the war - if I had unlimited prestige, things would be different, but now I find it easier to keep up with elite reinforcing my AT units, rather than restoring lost overstrength on tanks.
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boredatwork
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by boredatwork » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:06 pm

KeldorKatarn wrote: This assumption is completely wrong.

You guy need to forget this "tank vs tank" picture.

The Stug was good but in no way some kind of super machine.
Strawman. Where has anyone said the StuG was "some kind of super machine?"

Actually READ what was written instead of twisting my arguments just so you can disagree with them.

No s**t they were originally intended as infantry support - where has anyone said different? But why use turretless assault guns as infantry support at all? Why not just use tanks? The British and Americans used tanks to support infantry. After all the advantages of having a turret applied just as easily to that role as tank vs. tank combat.

My point, if you had actually bothered to READ my posts was HISTORICALLY they were used because they were a more ECCONOMICALLY viable alternative to tanks when on the defensive - if your choice is between a StuG or nothing then choosing a StuG is a viable choice - that is not the case in PzC. Yes they are ~130 prestige cheaper than an equivalent tank - but that is **meaningless** when prestige is abundant and the limiting factor is CORE SLOTS. When I have ~1000 prestige and only one core slot in 1943 there is NO incentive to spend it on anything other than a tiger or Panther.

Wow if only the Germans had had that luxury - Sorry we can only build 1,000 AFVs this month - would you like us to build 1000 StuGs OR 1000 Panthers? Duh.

When the reality was "well we can build 50 Tigers, 100 Panthers, 450 PzIVs, and 300 PzIIIs and 100 StuGs OR We could retool the PzIII and PzIV production lines to produce Panthers instead but that will take a while so for the foreseeable future monthly production will be only 50 Tigers, and 100 Panthers OR We could keep the production lines working but stick a long barrel in the StuGs and devote the entire PzIII production capacity to that as a stop gap measure."

What I was asking for was for the ecconomic system to be fixed so that picking the StuG, while comparatively weak compared to a proper tank it is, is a realistic better than nothing economic choice. In PzC terms it would mean changing the core from a quantity based cap to a quality based one. Instead of "you can deploy your choice of any 3 tanks/AGs" make it "you can deploy any number of tanks/AGs so long as their total value does not exceed 1000pts." 3 Stugs or 2 Panzer IVs or 1 Panther + 1 StuG is a much more interesting choice from a game play perspective than the current 3 StuGs or 3 Panzer IVs or 3 Panthers.

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by deducter » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:40 pm

In my mod, I did boost the power of certain German units slightly, while reducing those of certain Allied/Soviet units. However, in the vanilla equipment file, the Allies need units to compete with the Germans, especially in multiplayer matches.

The economic system for single player is fine if the equipment and rules files are balanced. With the new soft prestige cap and progressive OS cost increase, this should go a long way towards making the super cores less economically efficient, although still amazing in combat power.

wargovichr
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by wargovichr » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:56 pm

The question is what factors affect initiative in AT units, such as experience, defense, entrenchment, classic unspotted ambush, towed vs. self-propelled, terrain. Has initiative been modified...+3??

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by Razz1 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:08 pm

In the AT and AA Mod the Hetzer is beefed up and it has the camo trait which helps allot.

Iscaran
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by Iscaran » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:44 pm

....you can deploy any number of tanks/AGs so long as their total value does not exceed 1000pts.3 Stugs or 2 Panzer IVs or 1 Panther + 1 StuG is a much more interesting choice from a game play perspective than the current 3 StuGs or 3 Panzer IVs or 3 Panthers."
That would be a very interesting idea to test IMO....but even for testing purpose its too much a pain to calc my tank values each battle upon deployment...

Wonder if it could be made one of those "optional" rules invented in 1.20

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by Aloo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Iscaran wrote:
....you can deploy any number of tanks/AGs so long as their total value does not exceed 1000pts.3 Stugs or 2 Panzer IVs or 1 Panther + 1 StuG is a much more interesting choice from a game play perspective than the current 3 StuGs or 3 Panzer IVs or 3 Panthers."
That would be a very interesting idea to test IMO....but even for testing purpose its too much a pain to calc my tank values each battle upon deployment...

Wonder if it could be made one of those "optional" rules invented in 1.20
Lets not be silly, the system could do that for you informing you how much is left for deployment the same way it shows you empty slots right now and on "mouse-over" would tell you how much each unit is worth (considering overstrength maybe xp?)

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by wargovichr » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:39 pm

I don't get some experienced players saying they use a core force in the later war years of "six jagdpanthers", etc., Well, yeah. A great fighting unit...but they had to get there. The German anti-tank and self-propelled unit's initiative is very frequently LOWER than the enemy Russian tank...say the T-34/40 or KV1A tanks that appear quite early. I am loath to carry any more than one or two AT MOST of AT or TD units--they ARE useful in unspotted entrenched hexes behind a river defense situation but they are NOT good offensive units with their lower initiative that means that they stand a good chance of firing SECOND in an attack on enemy armor.
They are more or less a curiosity than useful. They require a LOT of nurturing. If there were battles that allowed MORE units in bigger mapped areas, etc., then it would make sense to buy, nurture and carry more of these units. With a slimmed down high fighter core to survive the '44 and '45 Russian air tsunamis, give me a mobile versatile Panther or Tiger any time over a limited AT or TD.
Perhaps the game designers can add AT or TD units -- as some already do -- as AUXILIARY (!!) units, to battles, then players could manage their core without the added burden of long term AT/TD nurture.

KeldorKatarn
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by KeldorKatarn » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:42 pm

We could also just remove all units and give the player a big "I win" button. Geez
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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by huertgenwald » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:19 pm

Image

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by Resolute » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:20 pm

I actually agree with wargovichr here. It's exactly the reason why I hardly ever use any AT units. Due to their low initiative and usually low armor rating i find them pretty unsuitable even these are my favourite units.
I think it's more apparent in the eastern branch where the low SA rating hurts even more against those zillions of Russian conscripts later on.

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by bebro » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:11 pm

I start using SPAT when StuG IIIs appear. I do try to iniate low risk combat with all my new units to get their xp up without taking much losses (arty/air support, finishing off wounded units, attacking units on rivers when possible). Once those SPATs get upgraded they are usually so experienced that they're devastating. Sure that means nurturing, but the same goes for early tanks

I never had 6 of the bigger SPAT types though...and yeah, having tanks instead is cool, but has its prize too when it comes to later models.

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Re: A reflection on the quality of German armor

Post by huertgenwald » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:01 pm

SPAT= Self Propelled Anti Tank (had to Google it :oops: )

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