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).