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Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:29 pm
by goose_2
Ok I have been engaging in a vigorous debate with various players over this topic, since I am at a critical upgrade juncture on my new Super Hard Playthrough.
Should I upgrade to Pz3N or Pz3L? (Please share your thoughts) ... &start=180

But this got me thinking hard about this subject and to look in depth on the stats of these 2 tanks based on their upgrades...little did I know there are different thoughts on this subject.

Ok, so here is the basic premise.

Early in the war, 1940, with the introduction of the Pz3F and Pz4D I see their roles as distinctively different.
Pz3F is my hard unit tank, meaning their greater defense and stronger Hard attack to be the ideal tank to hit enemy's tanks and recons.
Pz4D is my soft target shredder. This is the tank I use to hit vulnerable soft units, including suppressed AT units.

This continues as the upgrades continue From Pz3G-J/1 (Is there anyone who uses Pz3G's as the H comes out at the same time, if so why?)
Anyway sorry for the side track
But the Pz3G-J/1 are my hard target tanks whereas the Pz4E-F are my soft target shredders, but into 1942 that role switches.

Pz3N comes out and the Close Defense of 4 and the greater overall defense along with soft target att value at 9 makes them good at defending in cities and taken on infantry, I still try to back them up with artillery, but not always necessary to do.
Pz4F/2 and especially G's are now the ideal hard target hitters, but I have had debates with people that still like to use the Pz4's as soft target hitters and use Pz3L's as their primary hard hitting unit.

What made me think even deeper about this is the fact that SE tanks get a +1 for their Hard attack, making the Hard attack for the SE Pz3L a 12 where as for a regular Pz4G it is at a 13 with the same initiative, so pretty equivalent.

What do you guys do with your roles for your Panzer 4's versus your Pz3's?
Do you use them like I do or do you continue to use Pz3's as your hard attack fighter's?

Let me know your thoughts...I know one of them is that I think way too much about this game. :lol: :shock: :wink: :mrgreen:

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:59 pm
by huckc
Up to '43 I find the PIII and PIV virtually identical. Their minor differences are just that and add up the same.

The weird PIIIN variant I found pretty useless on Manstein actually. Their 4 close defense is still quite low and doesn't increase with experience unlike the infantry they're attacking. A single +2 defense hero offers the same close defense increase. Then they're other key factors such as rugged defense vulnerability and initiative cap that require near full suppression of enemy infantry in cities regardless. They're also worse than their normal variants at attacking infantry in the open due to their low initiative. Finally of course they're complete turds against tanks in the open culminating in what is essentially a waste of a unit.

Moving on, the top trim Panzer IV I got great use in GC West on Manstein as their tanks generally aren't as strong as the Soviets until late '44 and are much easier on the soft cap compared to a Panther or Tiger. I'm hard pressed to find a use for the Panzer IVH on GC East '43 and beyond however, so PIIIs and PIVs will all be converted immediately to Panthers or Tigers anyway.

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:31 pm
by proline
I agree with the comments above concerning the roles of each. However, from 43 onwards the Panzer 4 is simply better. That means that if you are playing at your highest possible difficulty setting where you have to be as financially efficient as possible you should probably avoid the Panzer 3 completely. It is only meaningfully better than the 4 for fighting tanks early on- you can find other ways to deal with tanks. Indeed you should, because fighting unsuppressed tanks tank to tank is not cost effective.

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:27 pm
by JaM2013
Thats the thing.. PzIV C to F were actually not that bad against tanks.. yes, they used low velocity gun, but that gun had better ballistic performance than 37mm gun and was slightly ahead of 50mm L42... so at 500m, PzIV would definitely stand its ground - for example when French S35 wrecked PzIII tanks, PzIV were used to stop the attack and destroy French tanks - 75mm kwk37 could penetrate 50mm at 500m and 46mm at 1000m.. where 50 L42 did 59mm at 500 and 45mm at 1000m

Also, that short gun was actually quite accurate, with very low dispersion on target.. so with gun properly aligned with tank sights, it could hit very reliably at normal combat ranges

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:35 am
by hurly
Tanks is a weapon category (besides Infantry, Recon, Anti Tank and Fighters) I don't buy a Single Unit in for the whole Grand campaign East cause the Game provides me with plenty of them on my arc through 45.

I get 2 Panzer 1 from the beginning who become a Panzer 2 or not depending on the Experience they pick up in Scenario 1 (with the Aim to sit them when they max out on 39 experience allowance and then wait patiently til the Flamm comes around. Then at some point you get Kerscher (Modlin) and Rondorf (Smolensk41) with big heroes and of course late in 39 if you are lucky your 1st and 2nd SE Tanks plus 1 more at some point each year (I sell off an SE Infantry to have room for that once my Maximum is reached) So basically the Game decides for me which Tanks are in my Army (and in family upgraded) til 43 when every SE Unit and Kerscher instantly become Tigers, resp Tiger 2 in late 44
All picked up foreign Tanks (1 Somua, 2 Matildas, 2 Chars and the bunch of T34 and KV1, but not the Shermans as I have so many better tanks and plenty of them still to be grown by the time they come to me) til the End of 42 see their share of the action and when they max out on experience they usually sit. Some basically forever as I do not sell the extra stuff for sentimental reasons, others that have nice heroes get consideration to be upgraded but not before 43 and the appearance of the Tiger or 44 and the Tiger 2 rules the battlefields. KV1 have good chance to become keepers and are used as Soft Target Tanks with their 11 Ammo

So in terms of decisions I am down to 2 resp 3 decisons

1) Will Kerscher sit in a Panzer 3 or a 4 in 1940 (which depends a bit on my SE situation, if I have SE Panzer 3 he becomes a 4 or vice versa)
2) Will Rondorf sit in a Flamm or a Regular Tank (if 3 or 4 see above) ? Depends a bit on Decision 3
3) Have the Units formerly known as Panzer 1 or 2 done well early on and perhaps even better gt a ATT Hero awarded they become Flamms, if they have some DEF stuff or Ini they might become a Regular Tank

So not a lot of Tank Model thoughts lost by me here. I basically let the Game run these for me


Of course there is one more Decison I have to make

If I go the GC West route I have to decide which type of tank I go with from there
Prestige Cost is not a Factor here as it basically all lost anyway.

Well it's 42 by then and of course the Panzer 4 has a little bit more growth potential in him, so I go Panzer 4 for the Western Campaign to start with.
But that campaign is different anyway and Prestige is always low so all said above for the Eastern Campaign is off.

Basically a similar Approach with Fighters (All Bf 109 become FW 190 asap and the Me262 later on) This way I don't need to buy an additional Fighter also.

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:42 pm
by goose_2
Ok these questions come up when you play it at such an insane level, but what I have noticed even more on this playthrough than I have on any other playthrough is the boldness of the enemy's attacks based on the amount of experience my units have.

I got accustomed to the enemy's aggression on Manstein difficulty but I found them more squeamish the deeper I got into the playthrough. I thought it was because I was using the best of all available equipment, and that is part of it, but what I am realizing now on this playthrough is that a lot is based on the experience of my units. They were reluctant to attack a fully experienced unit as such my units took a lot less damage.

As such in my current playthrough the key has been 3 stars experience on my tanks, as their units attacked the SE Pz3N that was overstrengthened with 2 extra strength points and guarded by artillery, as well as my 2 Star SE Pz4G also was attacked even though it was guarded by artillery.

But they however will not attack my SE Pz3L with 2 extra strength points and 3 stars experience.

This will be critical as we go into later years as keeping the enemy from wanting to attack your best units is often the only way to press back on the enemy with any power at all. Otherwise I will be losing forward units left and right as they will attack until destroyed moving onto the next unit, this means if I am to survive into 1944 I am going to have to refine my playstyle even more.

I still want to go for all Decisive's in 1942, but am pretty sure I will radically focus on getting Marginals for most of 43 and begin to focus on getting losses in the latter years as I will back away damaged unit to an area of the map that does not get accosted by the enemy and will actually let the enemy take over my territory without losing units as much as possible.

I was hoping not to have to upgrade all my units to Tiger's but I do not see how I can continue playing with Pz3's or 4's into 1944 as i have played with Albert Kerscher in my Manstein playthrough. I just do not see the viability of Pz3's or 4's based on my lack of experience and enemies boldness in their attack.

Really beginning to feel that pinch as I am sure most players feel by the end of 1942, as well as I am sure the soldiers felt trekking around in this equipment on an ever increasing Soviet armor tidal wave.

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:34 am
by JaM2013
kinda shame PC doesnt represent these tanks in more accurate manner.. For example PzIVD was much superior tank to PzIIIF in terms of firepower - Yes, PZIIIF had higher velocity gun, but its penetrative power was very low at distances over 500m. PzIVD while having low velocity gun, had very good accuracy at 500m (low velocity did not mean high dispersion, 7.5cm kwK37 have very low dispersion actually), while at 500m 7.5cm KwK37 could penetrate 39mm at 30degrees from vertical, while 3.7cm kwk 36 only 29mm (same conditions).

high muzzle velocity is only advantage when firing at moving targets, but that alone was always problematic with simple optical sights..

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:15 pm
by Elkarlo
I had a mix of both in my first play through. Found the 3s just weren't worth much in 43. While the 4s weren't great but still usable in 43. But both by 44 can't be in the main battle line. Any Soviet heavy tank, even the 34s, given 2-3 attacks can destroy a pz 4.
This play though I'm going with mostly 4s and a handful of 3s

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:55 pm
by codman
While it was probably debated in the past, I wonder if part of the problem with the 3's and 4's is because their stats are hard coded so that they can never progress beyond a certain point. Now one can make that point about all of the tanks/AT units in the game but "if" there are certain game mechanics that have to happen based on the hard coded data, would it be possible to identify a single trait and allow it to increase based on experience. For instance, if initiative is the value that the game code uses most often for it's calculations, then it might make sense to bump the default up by 1 for every 2 stars of experience. This could reflect a more experienced crew that utilizes the vehicle to it's highest level. Currently when you over-strength it seems that you are just using a larger hammer to cause more damage. We all know that heroes are nice but it is the application of "multiple stars" that really gets the job done. Where Goose and some others are playing on prestige starved campaigns (with or without the soft cap) something like this could allow the use of 3's and 4's ( and other tank/AT units as well ) longer (43, 44 and 45) as their experience would no longer be capped.


Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:28 am
by hugh2711
I find that my choice is determined by the fact that p3's are available as SE long before p4's hence my strategy has grown around having p3's immediately rather than p4's and of course you want se tanks as soon as possible to farm and hero, you cant afford to waste that time before p4's become usable (the early ones are weaker in terms of taking losses).

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:39 pm
by MaxDoge
A bit late to the discussion but I've had this debate in my head recently as well. After taking everything into account I concluded that PzIV was the clear winner and that PzIII was not worth investing in. PzIV just completely dominates soft targets and that smaller period where PzIII is slightly stronger and tankier it's not too difficult to deal with enemy armor, until PzIVF or PzIVG comes rolling out. You'll probably be suppressing enemy armor before you hit them anyway so that slight difference doesn't matter, instead of PzIII I like to use Panzerjager if I want to hit them hard during this early period, I currently have one with +2 Attack which is ideal. 88s are a no-brainer if I want to basically one shot them but they need a decent setup first and some babysitting, so for this period I just prefer to use Stukas to erase the few dangerous enemy armor units while my PzIVs just sweep up all the soft targets. Russian tanks are extremely tanky but as a last resort they can be suppressed and pushed into close terrain where their immense defense values are completely negated so even infantry can get rid of them.

DEEP DIVE on Pz3 tank

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:44 pm
by goose_2
OK, I have been doing a lot of thinking on the various variants of the Pz3, and here are my detailed thoughts and analysis:

1) Pz3F: This is the first Pz3 that you can buy, and has the exact same hard attack as the Pz4D but greater defense. This is 2 greater defense than the Pz38(t) and Pz4D. 2 points don't seem like much, but in 1940 every defensive point counts. This already sets up the Pz3F to be your leading tank killer, because less likely to take damage.
Final assessment: Nice to have a better tank to play with that is better than the Pz38(t) and as such like to have 2 in my core, most likely SE units.

2) Pz3G: Does anyone use these? These come at the same time as the Pz3H so I have only used them in multiplayer as sometimes they are the units you are given, but try and upgrade as soon as possible.
Final Assessment: Nothing to assess.

3) Pz3H: +2 increase in hard attack and Defense and +1 to Initiative. In my opinion this is the best upgrade in the game as it makes this your primary tank killer. It lasts you almost all of 41 Grand Campaign and its increases are immediately helpful with absolutely no down grade of anything except ammo count.
Final Assessment: Best Upgrade in Pz3 path because it comes at the right time and provides the right kind of improvements to handle the Russian horde.

4) Pz3J and 3J/1: J with +2 Hard attack increase and J/1 with +2 Defense and +2 Initiative increase. I still will upgrade often some of my Front line units to have that extra attack and defense, but the -5 decrease in fuel becomes very difficult to deal with in the increasing inclement weather of the latter scenarios.
Final Assessment: Nice to have as an option but enough of important decrease with the improved increases to make the upgrade decision debatable and as such not a sure thing.

5) Pz3N: Best Soft Attack on a tank until the Maus comes out towards the end of 1945. And it comes at the perfect time when the roles between Pz4's and Pz3's switches. Pz4's start out as your soft shredders but as of the advent of the Pz4F/2 they quickly become your go to Tank Killer. As such I typically upgraded 1 or 2 of my Pz3's to an N to have them settle into their soft attack role. +4 Soft attack -2 Hard Attack +2 Def -3 Initiative
Final Assessment: Is it enough to switch the role of this tired tank before you can finally upgrade them to a Tiger or Panther. This is definitely debatable. In my Super Hard playthrough, just did this to one of my SE Tanks.

6) Pz3L: +2 Hard Attack, +2 Def, +3 Fuel. This is the track to take if you are hoping to hit their tanks effectively. Just shy of what the Pz4G can do, which is also available at this point. In my Super Hard playthrough I used this track for 2 of my SE Pz3's. It has helped solidify my attack on their hard units.
Final Assessment: This is about the best a Pz3 can get, but it really is feeling its age at this point and you are counting the days when you can upgrade to the Tiger's necessary to rule the battlefield.

7) Pz3M: +1 Hard Attack +2 Def. This is the end of the line and comes just days before you can upgrade your tanks to Tiger's. As such I have not upgraded to this dead end on any of my playthroughs. I am however going to on my Super Hard Playthrough as I need all I can get to fight off the last battle of 1942. (I plan on holding back 1 core and 1 SE Pz3N to immediately upgrade and deploy once the Tiger upgrade becomes available.)
Final Assessment: Tiger's please?

Ok so those are my detailed thoughts on the various Pz3 Upgrades in game as far as the Grand Campaign goes. (Maybe those who have concentrated on the other Campaigns have come to different conclusions.)

I would love to hear your thoughts, and as such am looking forward to the discussion.

Blessings...and as always...Stay Lutheran My Friends. :mrgreen:

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:26 pm
by captainjack
The 3s are only a useful improvement over the other tanks at a time when you can make do quite well without tanks so you can often avoid them altogether. However, the 3N is quite useful for soft targets, light tanks and transports (and it comes in just about the time the Char B's low HA is becoming a problem). The 3N also can be converted to a 3L or 3M (and back) for minimal cost - probably not so good for your double Rommel playthrough, but on other settings this is occasionally useful to get the best from a vehicle with limited remaining life.

I'm pretty near certain that the most cost effective option for a 3 is to avoid any in-series upgrades (since you never get this cost back when if you convert it to another series). Your options are then to use it for a short while to get some easy experience before conversion or convert it to a 4 at the first opportunity. For an SE either convert it to a 4 immediately or sell it.

Whether I do this or not, depends a lot on what personal mission(s) I have, but since you get so many captured and awarded tanks you may never need to buy a Panzer 3 anyway, so you can often do without unless you choose to to keep your SE units in-series for as long as possible.

Re: Pz3's versus Pz4's thoughts

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:02 pm
by dalfrede
I play with Nico's equipment file. Has a Pz3E available in '39. Not as SE though.
I keep four through '39 to 42. In '43 I start upgrading to Tigers.

I don't buy any Pz4's, the extra defense is the reason for Pz3.

The changes in PzC2 will make this question even more interesting, and important.