StuGs and Marders oh my

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ffl310
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Post by ffl310 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:41 pm

Ryben wrote:
ffl310 wrote: For the Marder series... How to replicate the Ambush/Retreat doctrine ? Quite hard with the game philosophy.
Not sure if this could be modelled in the current engine but a solution could be giving them a very high initiative value if attacked by other units, but lowering dreatically if you are using them offensively.

This could reflect the fact that Marders and such were succesfully employed in defence (firing from prepared positions and laying ambushes) but were disastrous if trying to use them as a tank in offensive maneuvers.


Absolutely.
Bonus depending on terrain could also be an option. Normandy boccage, etc and Malus when in open field ?

edahl1980
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Post by edahl1980 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Molve wrote:
TigerIII wrote:I love how people complained about Bagration because Soviet had so many IS2's
While they themself fielded King Tigers only.
I think that is because they fielded the King Tigers expecting to totally dominate the field. Having the opposition field almost nothing but IS-2 diminishes that feeling.

Remember: this game is much about the fantasy of a power trip; not so much about actual history.
Where is the fun if every battle ends up in total destruction of the opposition?
I like to struggle, i like to see my army shatter into pieces in the end. That is the way the war was.
Besides, bagration wasnt that difficult. Only difference from previous maps was you had to think, you couldnt just drive forward.
Now they nerfed Bagration so that TigerII can destroy T-34-85. Woohoo. Boring...

Some1
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Re: StuGs and Marders oh my

Post by Some1 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:58 pm

Kerensky wrote: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).
To my knowledge the original role of the StuGs was direct heavy fire support of (advancing) infantry, e.g. destroying of strongpoints, MG nests and massing of troops. So basicly it was a cost-effective replacement of the Panzer IV (A-F1), which freed up the Panzer IV to go tank hunting. The StuG was also harder to hit due to reduced heigh and better ballistic shape. And as it advanced together with infantry, the walking speed and the mostly static targets (compared to tanks) reduced the inititive penality caused by the fixed gun mounting. And the accompanying infantry would hinder the enemy infantry from ambushing the StuG (where in-game the StuG would have to use its CD instead of GD value).

As it is impossible to model the historic role of the StuGs in the game (at least without making it a different game), the best compromise might be to allow mode switching for all StuGs. This would also work for the StuGs III A-E, as the StuK. 37 L/24 was also equiped with shaped-charge anti-tank ammunition (whose effect does not depend on the propellant power). Furthermore the mode switch to anti-tank should happen automatically in case the StuG is attacked by enemy tanks or anti-tank units. This happens also in reality where the artillery (also the towed variants) will try to defend itself by acting as a PAK by direct-fire using either shaped-charge grenades or allegedly in case of 155 mm artillery use any grenade (even without the fuse) but with maximum propellant charge.
=> Allow mode switching between artillery and anti-tank for all StuGs

The tank destroyer variants were just equiped with a longer barrel to allow use of more (powerfull) propellant and by this achieve better penetration of the armor piercing shells.
As all variants of StuG III and IV shared the same caliber and were equiped with HE-frag shells, the cannons of those StuGs should cause the same damage against soft targets.
=> Change the SA of StuG III-F to G to the same value as the '7.5 cm FK 16 nA' and the Stugs III-A&B => SA = 7
Kerensky wrote: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.
The StuGs III F-G were also in reality very similar. The F was the first with a longer gun for tank hunting, and the F/8 introduced the further improved and final gun. The G had originally only some minor improvements e.g. side hull skirts angainst anti-tank rifles.

Starting Mid-1944 the G variant was further upgraded:
  • - A 'Topfblende' style gun mantle was used which provided a better ballistic protection => Slightly increased GD
    - A coaxial MG was added which could be fired without exposing the machine-gunner (snipers) => Increase SA by 1
    - Close-in defense weapon "Nahverteidigungswaffe" in the hull roof (for 90mm NbK 39, but also allows use of pistol HE-frag grenades against surrounding infantry) => Increased CD
    - Remote controlled MG was added to the hull roof against surrounding infantry => Increased CD
=> Either replace the StuG III-G with the upgraded version and make it available starting mid 1944, or add a StuG III-G-1944 variant (i don't know if it had a specific name like e.g. StuG III-G/2)

The StuG IV used the StuG III-G superstructure, so it was of the same unit class and should also have the same SA and HA values as the StuG III-G. Due to this there should also be a StuG IV-1944 variant using the improved StuG III-G-1944 superstructure.
=> Change the StuG IV to the same unit class as the StuG III-G (anti-tank), and add an artillery mode

The StuH 42 having the same SA value as the '10.5 cm leFH 18' is fine. The HA value is also fine if the StuH 42 is used in artillery mode in the game. In direct-fire mode it would use its shaped charge grenades, so the HA value should be higher, and due to its caliber of 10.5cm also higher than the HA value of StuG III A-E in direct fire mode.
=> Add an direct-fire (anti-tank) mode with improved HA and kill instead of surpress

The StuG III-A and B were better armored, had less frontal target area and better ballistic shape compared to the tanks a the time the StuGs were introduced. And due to their shaped-charge shells (in direct-fire mode) the StuG were also efficient against tanks if used defensively.
=> A stronger presence would be realistic and welcome, a direct-fire (anti-tank) mode with improved HA and kill instead of surpress should do the trick
Kerensky wrote: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.
Sounds good, but please leave the SA as it is.
Kerensky wrote: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.
The StuG IV was basicly a StuG III using the Panzer IV instead of the Panzer III chassis, so it shouldn't be a dedicated artillery StuG.
Yes, please reduce the StuH 42 L/28 range from 3 to 2, as also the range of the '10.5 cm leFH 18' of 3 is wrong (but that a different topic). Compared to the 10.5 artillery, a range of 2 for the StuK 40 L/43 and L/48 of the StuG III F-G & IV in artillery-mode seems reasonable. Also the HA of the StuH 42 should be higher than of the StuG III A-E due to the bigger caliber and by that bigger diameter of the shaped charge.
Kerensky wrote: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.
The SA value of all 75mm StuGs should only be one below the Panzer IV (=7) due to the missing MG in early G version. The 1944 G version should have the same SA value as the Panzer IV, and most likely even a higher CD value (details see above).

impar
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Re: StuGs and Marders oh my

Post by impar » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:21 pm

Some1 wrote:The 1944 G version should have the same SA value as the Panzer IV, and most likely even a higher CD value...
IVD had two MGs.

Some1
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Re: StuGs and Marders oh my

Post by Some1 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:49 pm

impar wrote:
Some1 wrote:The 1944 G version should have the same SA value as the Panzer IV, and most likely even a higher CD value...
IVD had two MGs.
Yes, but please take a look at the P.C. SA values of the tanks equiped with 75mm guns. There you will see that the tank have the SA value of 8, which equals the SA of the '7.5 cm FK 16 nA' plus one. As all those tanks were equiped with two MGs (1x glacis plate, 1x coax), i assume that the unit SA value is the SA value of the gun plus one if the unit is equiped with at least one MG which can be used without exposing the machine-gunner to enemy fire.
If it would be +1 for every such machine gun, it would increase the damage as much as a caliber jump from 7,5 to 10,5 ('7.5 cm FK 16 nA' SA = 7, '10.5 cm leFH 18' SA = 9). And the P.C. equipment table would be in need of an update :wink:

This is also inline with the Panzer I as it was in P.C. 1.0. The SA value for the Panzer I in P.C. 1.0.1 is rather ridiculous. The Panzer I was never intended as a fighting vehicle, but to allow training of the future tank crews until the Panzer III and IV were available. And the Panzer II was also introduced as a stopgap measure due to further delays in the Panzer III and IV development/delivery.

This covers the tanks Panzer III-N up to Panther-G. It gets really interesting if you take a look at the other units...

impar
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Post by impar » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:13 pm

Assuming the 7,5 artillery piece had the same damage as the 7,5 of early IV, early StuG and IIIN.

The I SA has to be lowered.

Molve
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Post by Molve » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:44 am

I'm slowly coming to the realization that the way PC works, the best way to make support guns (like ATs or StuGs) is to take their capabilities into account when assigning stats to the infantry unit itself.

That is, not having ATs and StuGs as separate units at all, but to make (expensive) infantry variants with higher HA values or "built-in" artillery support (that counterattacks before the enemy gets to attack).

Of course, while this integrates these units in a way that makes them useful and "work right" that isn't the end of it.

This causes other problems that are possibly even larger, since it threatens the core goodness of Panzer General gameplay, i.e. the rock-paper-scissors interaction between armor, artillery and infantry. (Infantry with built-in AT and arty becomes much like a "super unit" with no weakness, which definitely isn't good)

So I definitely see why Slitherine isn't doing this.

But I do think mere unit value changes can't truly fix these issues. For AT what really is needed a core engine change that gives them some kind of edge, especially when used defensively. Perhaps initiative scores are doubled as long as the unit doesn't move? Then enemy tanks better stay at least one hex away! (Another way to put this would to make the game engine halve the Init once the unit moves; and edit the equipment to double the initial values. The game effect would be the same, but the latter approach would probably be easier to understand.)

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Post by miki » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:16 am

It's a matter of scale.

In Panzer Corps the unit scale is not very clear.

In the LCs it will be 7 unit per division (roughly regiment).

We can think of a unit being of only one type, because of confusing scale and unit picture, but there are a lot more inside them (specially if they are Divisions).

We can assume that every unit has numerous subunits inside it, and differente gear, from small arms to anti-tank guns, assault guns, arty... In fact, every and all units have numerous subunits inside them, not only infantry. For example, Assault Gun Brigades in 1944 incorporated one Grenadier Escort Company to protect the Stugs from infantry and AT attacks

Factoring all of it can take us to one different game, imho (which I think could be great).
Saludos
Miki

impar
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Post by impar » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:22 am

From here:
viewtopic.php?t=27824
impar wrote:As for anti-tanks, especially the towed variant, the problem lies in the concept itself. Their stats say they excel at destroying enemy armour and nothing more really. Even Panzerjagers cant compete with the versatility of a tank.

Their role is one of support, PG and PzC solved the usefullness problem for other support classes giving them the ability to reactively support nearby troops, AD and Artillery.
My suggestion is to make AT units support nearby friendly troops, if those are attacked by an Hard target. No suppression.
Kerensky wrote:That idea has come up before, but honestly I'm not really comfortable with that it.
It works for arty and AD because they are indirect fire units and/or have ranged attack.

I just can't wrap my head around the idea of unit X being attacked from the North by unit Y and ATG unit Z south of unit X fires at unit Y.
impar wrote:Option A
Make that 2-hex fire available only for high-tier AT units. More than 7.5cm, for example. (Stug IIIB also has a 75mm and 1 range)
Option B
Support fire only if enemy hard unit is adjacent to the AT (1 range).
In that XYZ case, there wouldnt be support fire.

Option B is probably the best, otherwise a tank being supported by a Panzerjadger would be too awesome.

PS:
Then again;
- Awesome is good :wink:
- AT would have use (the point of this thread, no?)
- Combined arms principle would be satisfied

Ranta
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Post by Ranta » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:09 pm

Molve wrote:I'm slowly coming to the realization that the way PC works, the best way to make support guns (like ATs or StuGs) is to take their capabilities into account when assigning stats to the infantry unit itself.

That is, not having ATs and StuGs as separate units at all, but to make (expensive) infantry variants with higher HA values or "built-in" artillery support (that counterattacks before the enemy gets to attack).

Of course, while this integrates these units in a way that makes them useful and "work right" that isn't the end of it.

This causes other problems that are possibly even larger, since it threatens the core goodness of Panzer General gameplay, i.e. the rock-paper-scissors interaction between armor, artillery and infantry. (Infantry with built-in AT and arty becomes much like a "super unit" with no weakness, which definitely isn't good)

So I definitely see why Slitherine isn't doing this.

But I do think mere unit value changes can't truly fix these issues. For AT what really is needed a core engine change that gives them some kind of edge, especially when used defensively. Perhaps initiative scores are doubled as long as the unit doesn't move? Then enemy tanks better stay at least one hex away! (Another way to put this would to make the game engine halve the Init once the unit moves; and edit the equipment to double the initial values. The game effect would be the same, but the latter approach would probably be easier to understand.)
well, I thought about this idea, too. Old PG had it in some equipment files. While this has the drawback you mantioned, one could adapt their values to prevent super units.

e,g. a at gun with inf has less ha then a normal at gun, but more sa (though not the full sa form the inf), maybe the values could be calculated as the minimum (between the at unit and the inf) + 2/3 their difference values. Ofc course, these combined units need to have a relative high price then.

Otherwise, i woul realy recomment changes like supporting fire, reduced spotability(can only be spotted from an andjacent hex) or the iscussed high initiative bonus when defending

Best Reagards

Ranta

Some1
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Post by Some1 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:42 pm

impar wrote:
Kerensky wrote:That idea has come up before, but honestly I'm not really comfortable with that it.
It works for arty and AD because they are indirect fire units and/or have ranged attack.

I just can't wrap my head around the idea of unit X being attacked from the North by unit Y and ATG unit Z south of unit X fires at unit Y.
I don't see this as a problem. Unit Y has a range of 0 and so it needs to enter the hexfield of unit X fort attacking. Unit Z is neighbouring the contested hex field and shoots at unit Y. But for unit Z to be able to interfere, it would either need a weapons range of at least 1, or would need to also enter the hexfield.

And here is where my problem starts. Why should an anti-tank (AT) unit have a greater range than a tank unit of the same caliber? And if a neighbouring AT unit is able to give support, why shouldn't this also be possible for a (more mobile, higher initiative) tank unit? And moving into the hexfield for support might be semi-believable for highly mobile (medium) tanks and TDs, but surely not for towed AT guns. And what prevents the AT unit from supporting more than just infantry , e.g. other AT units or even tanks?

Furthermore, the attacking unit would and should be able to attack the interfering unit, opposite to the way it would work with artillery.

All in all, i have to agree with Molve and others.
- In theory, the ATs and StuGs units were embedded in the infantry unit, so basicly an infantry unit could be equiped with ATs and StuGs.
- In practice, this would destroy the rock-paper-scissor-ish way PG/PC works and would be a serious game breaker

So i don't see this as a feasible way to increase the value/usefulness of the AT class.
Nonetheless i also agree that the AT class could use an upgrade. But also not by 'arbitrary' fiddling around with the unit statistics. Please.

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Post by Kerensky » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:54 pm

You guys are going to be in for a treat. ;)

ffl310
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Post by ffl310 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Very interesting thread.
Can't wait to see the treat.

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Post by Razz1 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:37 am

You have to wait for HallOween. :)

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