Elefant stats and performance

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Panzer Corps Design, Panzer Corps Moderators

Post Reply
El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2096
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Elefant stats and performance

Post by El_Condoro » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:23 am

This has been discussed in the thread about the 4 new MP maps but I thought I'd bring it up in its own thread.

To me, the Elefant seems way too strong. I am playing two games where they are featuring prominently: Dneiper and Steamroller against Iron (?). In the former both my opponent and I are upgrading the towed ATs to Elefants immediately and they are untouchable by the Russians, even when surrounded. In Steamroller I have had numerous chances to surround them with good tanks, including the leader IS-II and hit one with artillery, then run it out of ammo and then have free hits from a IS-II and an ISU-152. Whilst I could reduce it to 2 points I am yet to see an Elefant retreat/surrender.

Historically they were not used much, had mechanical problems and did not have a MG. Yet, in PzC they have a 5 SA. It has been suggested that infantry, especially conscripts, are the way to deal with them in the game. I know it's a game and historical accuracy seems a long way down the list of priorities sometimes but that doesn't sound 'right' to me.

In short, I believe the Elefant needs a stat nerf, not a price increase. What do you think?

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 7251
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Post by Kerensky » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:51 am

At first I was somewhat inclined to agree, but after some experience I'm not so sure. Much as the King Tiger requires unorthodox strategies to engage, so too does the Elephant. Namely, the best way to take out the Elephant is to not take out the Elephant, but to destroy its escort and support units.
The Germans noted a fundamental flaw in their armored vehicles, particularly the Elefant. Although excellent against any Soviet tank at long to medium range, they lacked secondary armament and were vulnerable to attacks from Soviet slit trenches, once they were separated from the heavy machine gun protection of the lighter tanks, vehicles and infantry. Guderian noted in his diary:

Once they had broken through into the enemy's infantry zone they literally had to go quail-shooting with cannons. They did not manage to neutralise, let alone destroy, the enemy's rifle and machine guns, so that our own infantry was unable to follow up behind them. By the time they reached the Soviet artillery they were on their own.
I've played the new maps several times, but especially on Steamroller against Steel the Germans really seem to be at a disadvantage. I (as the Germans) played it against soldier and lost, and then he (as the Germans) played it and lost!

The Elephant is just too slow(4 speed), with too low stamina (poor ammunition and fuel), and relatively weak SA (5 SA is laughed at by Guards 1943 or even cheaper Bridge Engineers with their excellent 8 GD) to get the job done. Sure it'll wreck T-34/43s and even T-34/85s like nobody's business, but then that's its job, and a good Soviet player will use the high mobility of their armor to literally outrun the Elephant.

And woe to the Elephant who dares to try and hold on to CLOSE terrain, even mere Conscripts beat them here, and Guards 1943 just completely gut them.

soldier
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:31 am

Post by soldier » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:12 pm

They are the strongest german unit but as Kerensky mentions, have a list of weaknesses that you can try to exploit. Your going to need combined arms, especially airforce once you decide to take them on. Follow up with artillery and your own heavy tank killers and you might be chance to continue. I've lost my fair share.

I do notice that they are pressed into service in the steamroller scenario because the traditional assault tanks (Tiger and Panther) are not really up to the job and suffer heavy losses in combat. So it falls to Elephant to take on the IS 1's, ISU 122's and KV 85's because there the only one that can do it and remain in good shape. There also cheaper so your forced to rely on them as your main battle tank and this affects the rest of your army.
I think it does highlight some balance issues in the scenario and the german/soviet line up of 1943

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 7251
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Post by Kerensky » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:08 pm

During at DLC 1943 testing, which really brings the Tiger I to the forefront, I realized...

If the Nashorn and Elephant are armed with an 88mm and so is the Tiger I, why do the two former have 24 HA and the later only has 17? Were their 88s really that different? Obviously Tiger I isn't going to get the same 24 HA, but at the same time the Panther's 75mm supposedly had better penetration than the Tiger I's 88, which is how the game is currently modeled.

Maybe time to up gun the Tiger I and Panther D, A, and G perhaps. A lot of Allied and Soviet units been patched with higher GD as a result of early testing (first patch had a stealth change where the FireFly, Challenger, and Comet tanks all got +5 GD because of how badly they were being crushed by Jagdpanthers and King Tigers in late war scenarios, and the Soviets got their BIG overhaul in 1.04).

So while this did fix the issue of the highest end, late war German armor being too powerful, it somewhat neglected the middle range units.

At the same time, if we just boost the Panther and Tiger I attack ratings, what else are we breaking? It'll make the relatively unpopular Panzer IVH and J even MORE unpopular, for starters.

Tiger I HA increase from 17 to 18 (still under the Panther) might not be out of the question, but what really good is such a tiny change?

Needless to say, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Lut
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:44 pm

Post by Lut » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:06 pm

Good evening gents,

after reading a lot in the forum and plyaing even more PG and now PzC looking forward to to discuss with the "battle-harded-boys"...

i think we have to talk about two differnt types of JgPz and it should be also two available to purchase:

the "Ferdinand" - used at Kursk and (no close defence weapon!) - 01.05.1943
the "Elefant" - used after Kursk equipped with a MG-34 - 01.11.1943 or later

I think the hard attack value of the Elefant/Ferdinand is fine - also there GD.
But I would recommend to lower the CD to zero (Ferdinand) and to one (Elefant)

@kerensky
I would increase the initiative of the tiger from 11 to 12 to reflect that the tiger should aim/target selection is better and faster than the JPz. But HA of 18 would also be nice ;)

Question: but why is the HA of the Jagtiger only 21? first jagtiger were eqipped with the 88L71 gun (should be also 24) later models with the 128mm....

soldier
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:31 am

Post by soldier » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:39 pm

I think the better change at least in the steamroller scenario would be to lower the soviet 85mm HA to 16, which is one below the 88 and more inline with its actual historical performance. Elephant could have an initiative drop to compensate. This should make the prize German tanks appear a little tougher and give the lesser Pz IV's and Stugs more of a say.
The ISU 122 could also do with GD down to 22 (which is the same as the elephant) and some lower artillery stats in switch mode. Its too tough and versatile at the moment.
Maybe this could tweak the 43 line up without breaking anything. I'd leave tiger and panther as they are

billmv44
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:59 pm
Location: California

Post by billmv44 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:06 pm

Kerensky wrote:During at DLC 1943 testing, which really brings the Tiger I to the forefront, I realized...

If the Nashorn and Elephant are armed with an 88mm and so is the Tiger I, why do the two former have 24 HA and the later only has 17? Were their 88s really that different?
The Tiger I had a less powerful gun than the Elephant, Nashorn and Tiger II, but I don't think -7 HA represents the somewhat lesser performance of the . I would agree that an increase in Tiger I HA is probably warranted, but as mentioned, what else would that break or unbalance. Let's be careful.
Panzer Corps Beta Tester
Allied Corps Beta Tester

Longasc
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

Post by Longasc » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:45 pm

Lut wrote:the "Ferdinand" - used at Kursk and (no close defence weapon!) - 01.05.1943
the "Elefant" - used after Kursk equipped with a MG-34 - 01.11.1943 or later
Indeed the lack of a proper machine gun was probably the major problem of the early Ferdinand/Elefant.

The thing is... is it worth an extra unit just for Kursk?

Iscaran
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:12 pm

Post by Iscaran » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:06 pm

Maybe I can add something:
From: WW II BALLISTICS: Armor and Gunnery, by L. Bird and R. Livingston

A Tigers 88L56 @ 0 ° impact angle and 100m range is penetrating ~162mm of armor.
A Panthers 75L70 @0 ° impact angle and "0m range" (direct impact) is penetrating ~190mm. American test firing setups gave a 188mm penetration with this gun on such settings.

At longer distance though the panther gun looses penetration "quicker". I think above 1250m or so the Tiger gun actually is superior.

A Tiger II 88L71 is stronger then a Panther gun - but I dont have any numbers atm (I dont have the complete book quoted above -only excerpts :-/).
The "fall off" with longer distance is even smaller here.

An elephant had the same gun as the Tiger II.

A Jagdtiger had an 128L56 which had slighlty smaller penetration at closest range compared to Tiger II but increased with distance. AFAIK it had the best long distance penetration of german tankguns.

So a 24 HA for elephant is way over the top if a Jagdtiger only got 21....maybe you got the numbers mixed up. That'be more fitting.

In terms of the game though one has also to take into account the initiative (which somewhat reflects "field performance") ....something the pure penetration numbers cannot simulate.

dragos
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:31 pm
Contact:

Post by dragos » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:27 pm

Longasc wrote: Indeed the lack of a proper machine gun was probably the major problem of the early Ferdinand/Elefant.

The thing is... is it worth an extra unit just for Kursk?
I'd say yes, because:

1) no need for a new unit graphic

2) Kursk was a major battle and in DLC 43 it covers several scenarios where you will have stick with Ferdinand

El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2096
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Post by El_Condoro » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:52 pm

I am still investigating this because in the Steamroller against Steel game I found it much easier to kill the leader SE KT than the Elefants.

One thing I have found is that there seems to be an error in the equipment.pzeqp for all SP AT. The trait for fixed turret units is 'fixt' but the trait column has 'fixedt'. Not sure if it's important but the following quote seems to indicate it is.
Rudankort in the traits thread wrote:"fixt" and "rott" stand for fixed turret/rotating turret respectively, and in the future initiative penalty (-3) will occur when a fixt unit attacks rott unit, but for now it is hard-coded for AT and tank classes.

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 7251
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Post by Kerensky » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:04 pm

The Elephant is pretty meh in DLC 1943, at least in my opinion. We'll see what our testers think once we start testing.
I'm only using one myself. They're great to combat large formations of Soviet armor that counterattack, but they really can't do anything else.

Why?

It's too expensive, 600 a pop for a dead end upgrade.
It requires resupply too often, with its low ammo AND fuel supply.
There are no Soviet units that require an Elephant to combat. Sure we'll see the KV-85 and IS-1 show up in late 1943, but for Kursk, the best Soviet armor is T-34/43, KV1-C, SU-76, and SU-152. The StuG IIIG is capable of handling these adversaries at a fraction of the cost (especially if people are upgrading their DLC 1942 StuG IIIF and IIIF/8s).

If we have a patch, it might be feasible to add a Ferdinand unit (same icon after all) but I wouldn't count on it, for a variety of reasons.

I'm personally thinking...
+2 HA for the Tiger I, increase to 19.
+1 HA for all Panther A, D, and G, increasing them all to 20.

I don't think we'll see an initiative change though, the German armor already has a serious advantage in initiative over contemporary Allied armor.

BTW as a small spoiler preview, Kursk isn't all Soviet tanks, tanks, and more TANKS. Expect ATG guns and entrenched infantry to show up en masse as well, and the Elephant just flounders against these targets. Elephant vs 57mm ATG is a 2-3 prediction. In favor of the Elephant sure, but that's still quite a bad deal.

deadtorius
General - Elite King Tiger
General - Elite King Tiger
Posts: 4176
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:41 am

Post by deadtorius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:58 am

Expect ATG guns and entrenched infantry to show up en masse as well, and the Elephant just flounders against these targets.
And so they should, Hitlers decision to hold off on the start of Citadel until the new Panther was ready gave the Russians plenty of time to dig in and hide their AT guns. Which they kept doing adding reinforcements more dug in positions and mine fields, wondering when the German offensive would begin.

As for the elephant I recall reading many years ago how they were so tough they could continue into the Russian defences, leaving their infantry escorts behind eating dirt. The lack of a bow MG was a definite problem as the crews reported seeing Soviet tank hunting infantry running about in front of them through the vision slits. Some of the crews resorted to getting LMG's off the infantry, opening the breach and shooting down the barrel. How is that for a field modification :shock: the later model did have the MG as its early deployment showed an obvious need for some kind of anti-infantry weaponry. And yes it was incredibly slow, perhaps that is where its name came from.

And since were bringing up design flaws, the early Panthers exceeded their original design specs by many tons (can't recall how many 20 or 30 tons comes to mind) and they were notorious for engine fires since they were underpowered.

Kind of reminds one of many of the British offensives in the desert using new tank designs rushed into the front line as well.

El_Condoro
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 2096
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:32 am

Post by El_Condoro » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:34 am

This might only be answered by Rudankort, but can anyone confirm that ATs get a -3 initiative penalty against turreted units? It doesn't show in the Ctrl-click combat predictor screen and shows the full initiative for a 'fixt' AT (such as the Elefant).

OmegaMan1
Captain - Bf 110D
Captain - Bf 110D
Posts: 892
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:42 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post by OmegaMan1 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:00 am

BTW as a small spoiler preview, Kursk isn't all Soviet tanks, tanks, and more TANKS.
Actually, according to recent studies of Kursk, the amount of armor present for the battle was a lot less than originally believed. So perhaps PzC can be on the cutting edge of history and have its scenarios feature a broader mix of unit types. (Although there has to be at least one big armored brawl scenario in the Kursk scenario set, if only because wargame tradition demands it!)

And as for El Condoro's comments about the invincibility of Elefants, I can verify his concerns because I'm playing the Steamroller vs. Steel MP game with him. The Elefant is indeed an almost indestructable brute; the only real way to defeat an Elefant, it seems, is to force it to use up its ammunition and then do a "surround and pound" until it either surrenders or is destroyed (which doesn't happen often). While this makes for an interesting challenge game-wise, it's also feels a bit too "super-powered" at times. :)

flakfernrohr
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:56 pm
Location: Texas

Post by flakfernrohr » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:13 am

The Elephants/Ferdinands had no means of close defense other than small arms of the crew at first and at Kursk. Whenever they were surrounded by Russian Infantry with no support for German ground troops, they fell like a ripe pear. After Kursk, a machine gun was mounted in them for close defense. Most of the rest of them wound up in Italy after Kursk (if not all that remained).

The Tiger I's 88 is not as effective against hard targets because it came with the shorter L/56 88mm. This was the largest that could be mounted in the turret. The King Tiger or Tiger II had the L/71 88mm and much greater range and penetration power thanks to a larger case, bigger round, longer barrel. Sometimes take a look at actual ammunition in pictures on the the internet and you will see the difference in the ammo itself. Personally I think all the L/70 75mm guns in PzC are under rated for hard targets and this includes the Panther. The Panther 75mm L/70 round was indeed smaller and the range was great but because of the size of the round being less dense and heavy than an L/71 88mm round, the physics make the Panther less effective on thick armor.

Compare a 7mm Magnum at 400 yards on soft skinned game and a 270 WCF at the same range. The penetration, internal damage and killing power is dramatically different. Larger bullet, faster, heavier and more dense.
Velocity, weight, aerodynamic balance and spin equal destruction or killing power at the target. Obviously with more Velocity (barrel length), more weight (88mm round vs. 75mm round) and aerodynamic balance through a longer barrel make the differences.

IF you want a real tank killer in the vanilla game, capture some SU 100's and paint them with German balkenkruz. Those SU 100's are deadly armor indeed in the game. I think they are better than the IS Stalin tanks and even the "Beast Killer", the ISU 152.
Old Timer Panzer General fan. Maybe a Volksturm soldier now. Did they let Volksturm drive Panzers?

Lut
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:44 pm

Post by Lut » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:52 am

i think all agree that the Elefant is a perfect tank-killer but why has it a CD of 2?

i do not see a reason for that - even with a machine gun... it should be not more than 1.

Post Reply

Return to “Panzer Corps”