StuGs and Marders oh my

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Kerensky
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StuGs and Marders oh my

Post by Kerensky » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:04 pm

Seeing the Russian threads are taking off and are fairly healthy discussions, I wanted to hear some thoughts about some of the German Assault Guns.
This is another area of the game that, I think, could use some attention and luv.

So my basic understanding is that StuGs had a strong presence in Mid and Late War (1942+) and that they were primarily good anti-tank units but some had the capacity for bunker busting and urban combat (StuH42).

Currently, and as before we have to make the best use of existing assets before we ask for new toys, we have a StuGIIIA, StuGIIIB, StuG IIIG, IIIF, IIIF/8, StuH42, and StuGIV. There's also Marders I'll get to later.

I'm not comfortable with how similar the stats are to the three StuG IIIs, I feel the StuH42 and StuGIV are seriously underpowered, and I think the artillery IIIA and IIIB need a stronger presence in the game.

First question, would it be historically wrong to make these units more viable?
If no, then let me propose my idea for the StuG family and everyone else can also add their input.

StuGIIIA: Remove the nopurchase flag, give it slightly improved stats to encourage use as an alternate early self propelled artillery piece, a counterpart to the Sturmpanzer.
This will be the starter unit people can acquire around France, and then it will grow and upgrade as the years of the campaign progress.

StuGIIIB: Not fundamentally different than the IIIA, but a clear upgrade over it. Becomes available roughly around the time the player gets to Greece and that part of the war.

This artillery line of StuGs will not see growth until the StuH42 appears 1942 and then the StuGIV which debutes in 1943. Where the StuH42 is the high soft attack model, the StuGIV is a high hard attack model. This is in their ATG role, in their artillery role they will both be somewhat similar 2 range guns.

StuGIIIF: Appears early 1942, where the Marders (I'll get to them later) are the lightly armored, quick moving assault guns, the StuG is tougher, slower, and has higher stamina(larger ammo total)

StuGIIIF/8: Appears mid 1942, pretty much a direct upgrade over the StuGIIIF.

StuGIIIG: Appears 1943 and is a fairly significant upgrade over the F/8. Think of it as a cheaper alternative to a Panzer III or Panzer IV, with slightly better tank killing power, but drastically worse close defense and soft attack.


Marder Line: Marder IIA, Marder IID, Marder IIIH, Marder IIIM.

I really like the unique looking Marders (I personally think the Marder II and Marder IIIH are two of the coolest looking units in the game) we have in Panzer Corps, but their stat differences are marginal at best and insignificant at worst. Were these units really that similar historically? From what I know off the top of my head, they really weren't. I mean, one of them doesn't even have an machine gun(Marder IIIM I think), but their SA and CD are all the same.

Marder IIA:
First version to appear, comes out sometime around late 1941.

Marder IID:
Sidegrade to the IIA, appears in early 1942, while the IIA is slower(5), better armored, and higher stamina(higher ammo total), the IID is quicker(6), lighter armored, and lower stamina.

Marder IIIH:
Mid to Late 1942 appearance. Highest armor of all the Marders (that shield graphic you see on the unit isn't just there for looks you know), somewhat multipurpose with all around decent hard attack and soft attack, compared to the other Marders that is.

Marder IIIM:
Early 1943 appearance. More special purpose than the Marder IIIH, the IIIM will have increased stats over the IIIH, but at the sacrifice of it's soft attack value and close defense (no machine gun).


So, thoughts?

deducter
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Post by deducter » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:22 pm

Don't know anything about the Marders, but I was just thinking about the German assault guns! Historically they were the most numerous vehicles, and really very good at their jobs. I think they killed the most Russian tanks out of all the German units. I did notice that the current StuH42 and the StuIV have an "assault" mode too, which is nifty, but the stats are quite pathetically low. All I know is, these units should be designed as a cheap ~200-300 prestige unit, with artillery mode and a assault mode with much higher anti-armor stats. StuH42 should probably have 6 ammo slot too, to make it more viable.

Carius
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Post by Carius » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:24 pm

There is no difference between the StugIIIA or B except for changes to the chassis. All StugIIIs should be placed in the Antitank gun group and not in the Artillary group. They were used as close support direct fire weapons not behind the line indirect fire artillary.

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Post by El_Condoro » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:34 am

Although I agree with their historical role, I wouldn't agree with putting all PzC StuGs in the AT type. The type in PzC is more about how a unit attacks than its role. Currently, an ART type StuG can attack without fear of retaliation. If it is made an AT type it will suffer return fire from its target thus reducing its value still further.

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Post by Carius » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:54 am

The stugIIIb in 1941 was designed to take return fire with the 50mm amour it had. At the time, it had more amour than any of the other panzers in that time period. You have the SturmpazerI for close support artillary and it does it better than the StugIII due to the greater hitting power of the gun.

Razz1
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Post by Razz1 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:48 am

Actually you have the Name of the ping images switched.

Stuh 42 should be: the 105mm Howitzer StuG_IV.png

Values should be:
Initiative 3 Soft Attack 9 Hard Attack 5


StuG IV should be: 75mm L/43 StuH42_AT.png

Values should be:
Initiative 4 Soft Attack 5 Hard Attack 13

The images themselves are correct but the name is technically wrong.

Also, the cost should be the same. Perhaps even increase it by 10 % to 330
Last edited by Razz1 on Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Razz1 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:54 am

The Panzer (38t) should be considered an AT unit. Why? Because it's longivity in the game and in WW II was real short.

They were used to directly upgrade to Marders. Just change the class as in the AA and AT patch mod.

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Post by rezaf » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:07 am

For the Pz38(t), it's irrelevant and incorrect, though. It's a tank.
The only reason it's useful is that you then can upgrade to the AT line of units that were based on it's chassis.
Which also makes little sense, imo, because the prestige cost shouldn't reflect the actual "raw material" involved, or should it?
_____
rezaf

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Post by skarczew » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:40 pm

First question, would it be historically wrong to make these units more viable?
No, it would not. StuGs were bread&butter, workhorse of the Wehrmacht.
Although I agree with their historical role, I wouldn't agree with putting all PzC StuGs in the AT type. The type in PzC is more about how a unit attacks than its role. Currently, an ART type StuG can attack without fear of retaliation. If it is made an AT type it will suffer return fire from its target thus reducing its value still further.
I agree. StuGs should be useful and visible in the game.

Btw: Historically, StuGs were assigned to the artillery arm of Wehrmacht. So not everything is bad at it looks :D .
For the Pz38(t), it's irrelevant and incorrect, though. It's a tank.
The only reason it's useful is that you then can upgrade to the AT line of units that were based on it's chassis.
Yep, it was tank. If there is some problem with Pz38(t), it should be solved in the other way, rather than moving it between groups (I doubt it would help).
Last edited by skarczew on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by soldier » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:41 pm

Agree with skarczews post above.

Unfortunately there are some odd GD statistics in Panzer Corps, almost across the board now that I've had some time to look at them.

Jgd panzer IV/48 GD 11
Hetzer GD 10
Marder III M GD 10
Stug III F GD 14

Jagd Panzer IV/48 was much more heavily armoured than the Marder (which was truly a tin can in comparison) and was much closer to the stug (but considerably more sloped). Compare these to some of the tanks and more questions come to mind. Hate to say it but the original PG stats were more accurate in my opinion, especially in this area. This is from PG forever

Jgd panzer IV/48 GD 13
Hetzer GD 14
Marder III M GD 7
Stug III F GD 10

With the exception of Hetzer (which was also sloped but much smaller and lighter) there pretty good, Its one of things that attracted me to the original game, eg making use of equipment that the Generals really had. I love Panzer Corps and hate to criticize as it has made many improvements but unfortunately its quite inconsistent in this area.

I wish the developers luck if their going to make adjustments.

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Post by Longasc » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:45 pm

4-14
5-X

That's the Soft - Hard attack values of most German StuGs and other turretless tank destroyers.
Tanks do better and even Infantry does better if terms of soft attack capabilities.

The current Panzer Corps scenarios and campaign is the core of the "StuG problem":
Especially in the offense we have to fight a lot of soft targets. Infantry supported by artillery is usually best for that, followed by tanks.
StuGs are BAD, 4 soft attack doesn't cut the mustard. They are also not supporting Infantry in any way. Except maybe protecting from tank attacks.

There is little we can do about this - also the slot issues, why put a StuG in a slot that a tank could fill if you have the prestige?

The StuH42 it is the only StuG I used with moderate success in Panzer Corps. It somewhat protects through suppression fire from Infantry and Tank attacks. It is the armored alternative to self-proppelled artillery like the Sturmpanzer I - not a StuG, but very good at what it does.

The other StuGs are basically an armored anti-tank gun. So bad at fighting squishy targets that they have to stand back. Just use Infantry or a Panzer, they also have more ammo.


-> The core of the problem is that there is not much point in the dedicated tank destroyers or anti-tank guns in our Panzer Corps campaign.


People already explained what role StuGs played in history. How to make them viable in Panzer Corps?

In Panzer General they were also useful as infantry killers and tank substitutes for this. In fact they had the same soft attack values (11 for the 75mm gun PzIII/IV versions) as the tanks.

But do we really want to have this for Panzer Corps as well?



My idea would be to give the AT-StuGs an artillery like suppression that persists AFTER the StuG attacked.
Plus a little extra ammo for them.
0-3 points suppression for a 10 STR StuG. Basically 1/2 most of the time.

This would support the Infantry following that attack, which would otherwise have wasted the suppression and actually made the attacking Infantry more vulnerable. The StuG support would have been a bad idea in this case.


AT-StuG example scenario:

10 American Paratroopers in Bastogne
-> attack 2x with Artillery. 4-5 units suppressed, 3 killed.
-> follow with a StuG attack. StuG kills say 2 units but leaves 1 suppressed.
-> Infantry attacks the 5 remaining enemy Infantry, 1 is suppressed already.


"Artillery-StuGs" should be modelled around the StuH42. They need a good soft attack otherwise they are too weak to be useful for providing defensive fire or suppression.

Tricky... not sure if lowering the price of StuGs or Marders would help them either.

deducter
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Post by deducter » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:21 pm

For the record, I actually did use the "assault" mode of the StuGIV recently to pick off a 1str SU-100 in a MP game. Sure it got destroyed on the counterattack, but this was great fun. So I'm just saying, a more viable "assault" mode would be pretty awesome.

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Post by Kerensky » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:00 am

Interesting, alright this will definitely be something to watch for in the future. Any additional comments are most welcome, feedback can only help our own research findings. :)
The whole point of these extensive balance changes is to strengthen existing content but also to pave the way for making new content around some of the areas that are somewhat under-represented in the current Panzer Corps campaign.

(Hint hint, changes to Soviet aircraft, Soviet tanks, German anti-tank weapons, announcing new DLC campaigns that put 14+ scenarios in a single year...)

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Post by Razz1 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:48 am

No one was buying the Marders and they were being killed too easily. So they raised the GD this patch to make them better.

The PZ38t being a AT class is where she belongs. The 38 T is only good for one scenario and then it is out classes.
There were thousands of them so the were converted to Marders.

This way you can start a campaign with the 38 T and bring up its experience, then upgrade it when the time comes.

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Post by impar » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:17 am

StuG...

The first ones were based on the chassis of the PzIII and the gun of the PzIV.
Not at home right now but according to an old PDF vPaulus made (dont think the stats have changed in 1.01):
Early PzIII
Initiative: 5
Ground Defense: 8
Close Defense: 2

Early PzIV
Initiative: 5
Soft Attack: 8
Hard Attack: 7

Early StugIII
Initiative: 3
Ground Defense: 10
Close Defense: 0
Soft Attack: 7
Hard Attack: 4

My interpretation of the values, Initiative has been reduced because of the lack of turret, Ground Defense has been increased because of the extra armour, Soft Attack and Close Defense have been reduced because of the lack of machine guns, Hard Attack was halved because... !?

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:26 am

Interestingly the StuG IIIG was the most produced version: From December 1942– April 1945. 7,720 produced, 173 converted from Pz.Kpfw. III chassis.
It was also the final model of the StuG series.

What does that mean?

No StuGs in STALINGRAD or SEALION 42, they first appear in the KURSK/ITALY scenarios in F, F/8 and G versions (Jan 1943) and are immediately outclassed. 313 Prestige for StuG IIIG vs 468 for a much better Elefant!


Maybe increase Soft Attack by +1 for all Marders/StuGs?
The Panzer III chassis was quite agile, despite the lack of a turret and extra armor platings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StuG_IV
(StuG IV, I know: " During the Führer Conference of August 19–22, 1943, after the battle of Kursk, Hitler had seen reports of the StuG III performing superior to the Panzer IV within certain restraints of how they were deployed. Convinced that a tank-hunter version would be superior to the tank version, Hitler planned to switch Panzer IV production to "Panzerjäger IV" production as soon as possible.")

I feel the way to make StuGs more useful is to make them a bit more tank-like. IMO by raising their soft attack values. Their restraints would still be the initiative penalty on the attack and the weaker close defense.[/b]

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Post by miki » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:02 pm

Hi gents

Stugs must have the same Attack factors (soft and hard) that tanks armed with same main gun. Close assault and initiative (on attack) can be inferior to tanks because lack of turret and no coaxial mg (but they weren't unarmed against infantry because a smg and later one lmg was given to the crew. Also later models had an automatic MG mounted in a turret on the roof).

Stugs were used as close artillary support, both in direct and indirect fire, for infantry et al. Stugs were used also, and mainly, in all roles which a gun on tracks could be used: as panzerjager (excelled here thanks to superior optics and low profile) or tank (original tank units in tank divisons were filled with Stugs as losses grew up, while the lack of turret was a fault only in the offensive). See Jentz's Panzertruppen for details.

BTW, they were part of the Artillery arm, until the end of the war, only because it was the only way artillerymen could gain the knight cross.

So Stugs must be better than actually depicted in PC, imho.
Saludos
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Post by miki » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:35 pm

No one was buying the Marders and they were being killed too easily. So they raised the GD this patch to make them better.

...

This looks like an arbitrary measure. This way you can arbitrarily tweak any and all unit stats if players performance doesn't match historical records??

Ground defense stat is "mostly" made from armour (including slope, iron quality, etc)? Is tactical use of units taken in consideration?
Saludos
Miki

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Post by Longasc » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Miki you make an excellent point, the top mounted MG was afaik for the StuG III from 1944 which is fairly late.

The lack of turret gets depicted in Panzer Corps and Panzer General in the AT unit attack penalty and weaker close defense.
The main difference between both games is the soft attack value, Panzer Corps has lower Soft Attack while Panzer General has the same values as the tank equivalents.

Most posting here are quite buff grognards so the question is rather how StuGs and Marders can be made more viable in a way that reflects their historic use and importance.


What would you suggest to make StuGs to behave more like they were used historically in the Panzer Corps game, THAT's the question.

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Post by edahl1980 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:35 pm

One big mistake in panzer corps is that when a 10 strenght Stalin tank attack a 10 strenght jagdpanther the stalin tank will be victorious. This was not the case on the battlefield. Matter of fact the Jagdpanther was almost unbeatable unless the attackers came in from the sides.

As for the marder, it never was a winner on the battlefield.
It had one strenght, its gun. And even that was not sufficient against many Soviet armored vehicles. Their downside was their weak armor that was very vulnerable to artillery fire, air attack and even infantry at close range.

The Stug on the other side was a winner on the battlefield. It had good armor, good gun, low silhouette. It was the perfect infantry support vehicle. And unlike the marder it was hard to improvise in order to destroy a Stug. The stug should be able to function as both artillery and AT gun, kind of like the 88 is a AA/AT.

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