Tanks in CEAW

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DDave
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Tanks in CEAW

Post by DDave » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:39 pm

I don't really see the historical amount of 57000 russian T-34 tanks (/76 and /85) being built in CEAW. The germans will just bomb them to pieces. The T-34 shocked the germans and Hitler said in talks with Mannerheim that if he had known he had to destroy 50 000 tanks he would have thought a second time before invading Russia.
The only thing shocking the german now is the shock troops, the guards. Oh and the winter... ;) But "the Soviet Union had 25,664[2] or 25,481[3] armoured fighting vehicles on 1 June 1941 before it entered the war." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_tan ... rld_War_II

I also think tanks in general are quite weak in CEAW, and they are generally quite easy to take out by infantry alone.
What are your thoughts on the tank situation in CEAW? Working as intended, historically correct and so on? I wouldn't mind an overrun ability, ie the ability to attack two or more times in a turn.

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Re: Tanks in CEAW

Post by Rasputitsa » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:14 pm

DDave wrote:I don't really see the historical amount of 57000 russian T-34 tanks (/76 and /85) being built in CEAW. The germans will just bomb them to pieces. The T-34 shocked the germans and Hitler said in talks with Mannerheim that if he had known he had to destroy 50 000 tanks he would have thought a second time before invading Russia.
The only thing shocking the german now is the shock troops, the guards. Oh and the winter... ;) But "the Soviet Union had 25,664[2] or 25,481[3] armoured fighting vehicles on 1 June 1941 before it entered the war." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_tan ... rld_War_II

I also think tanks in general are quite weak in CEAW, and they are generally quite easy to take out by infantry alone.
What are your thoughts on the tank situation in CEAW? Working as intended, historically correct and so on? I wouldn't mind an overrun ability, ie the ability to attack two or more times in a turn.
The 50,000 tanks (I think it was more like 20,000 in Guderian's warning) that Hitler was surprised about were not T34 (only 1000 of them in 1941) and most of the other types were of limited value. The tank in WW2 had a fairly short independent supremacy and for most of the later war period had to operate as part of a combined arms force and were reluctant to act alone.

CEaW is probably quite accurate in simulating most of the war period, however, there was a period, during the early war years, when infantry had little effective anti-tank capability and was subject to 'tank fright', being likely to panic at the mere report of tanks. :)

DDave
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Post by DDave » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:25 pm

Well you had the KV tanks as well, big beasts that the pioneer troops had to destroy by hand so to speak. The point is however, that there is no incentive to build a lot of tanks for the russians. The problem may be the scale and the cost, you can not swarm the map with tanks and have a few survive to do some real damage.
I don't have a problem with the germans destroying a lot of weak tanks and a few T-34s during the summer of 41, but the russian player does not have any tanks on the map and will generally not build any. In 42 and 43 there are 28000 T-34s built historically.
I don't see any player in CEAW building a lot of tanks at that period in the game. I don't see the biggest tank battle of all time, Kursk, happening in july 43.

And no, it doesn't do it for me to imagine that the infantry units and the mechs have tanks embedded in the corps. ;)

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Re: Tanks in CEAW

Post by Kragdob » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:54 pm

DDave wrote:I also think tanks in general are quite weak in CEAW, and they are generally quite easy to take out by infantry alone.
What are your thoughts on the tank situation in CEAW? Working as intended, historically correct and so on? I wouldn't mind an overrun ability, ie the ability to attack two or more times in a turn.
I agree that tanks are weak compared to history. Both in attack and defense.

For example:
For tests I did for other game I had 15 Tiger I tanks smashing an American '44 battalion in 'clear' terrain (clear is also some minor forrest, villages, hills etc. so you still have some places to hide/place bazooka/AT teams etc.)
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

DDave
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Post by DDave » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:15 pm

Yes, the Tiger tank had between a 5:1 to 10:1 kill ratio. In CEAW german tanks will never get that ratio because there simply aren't that many allied tanks built!
What we see is instead the russians building hordes of almost as efficient, but cheaper, mechs. Mechs also seem to have better air defense than tanks, correct me if I'm wrong. So, we get loads and loads of russian mechs.
That's quite ironic however, considering that the russians didn't have that many trucks (well comparatively) and they didn't have any armored personel carriers. Without 200,000 american lend lease trucks, and a great number of jeeps, tractors etc, they would not even have gotten to Berlin as fast as they did!

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Post by Cybvep » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:52 pm

MECHs probably include some tanks as well. Most mechanised or even motorised formations IRL had them, after all.

There were situations when tanks operated alone, but in the end combined arms ruled the day. In-game Armoured unit probably has infantry and artillery components as well. In fact, it would be quite stupid if it wasn't the case... Don't treat them as if the Tigers were the only component of the whole corps.

This game is extremely abstract, but I think that it represents units on the strategic scale quite well (remember that it is NOT a tactical game). You don't see all-INF, all-ARM or all-MECH armies, which is good and realistic. Combining aircraft and land units is the key to victory, which is also realistic.

I think that the only major failure of the game when it comes to representing land combat on the strategic/operational scale is the fact that you don't see encirclements very often. It's far, far too easy to avoid them and the players will simply respond to encirclement threat by moving their units to safe positions. Neither Fall Gelb nor Operation Barbarossa feature grand encirclements in CEAW (excluding some border garrisons) - it's usually a battle of annihilation. This is unfortunate, but it's far too late to change this.

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Post by Rasputitsa » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:02 pm

DDave wrote:Yes, the Tiger tank had between a 5:1 to 10:1 kill ratio. In CEAW german tanks will never get that ratio because there simply aren't that many allied tanks built!
What we see is instead the russians building hordes of almost as efficient, but cheaper, mechs. Mechs also seem to have better air defense than tanks, correct me if I'm wrong. So, we get loads and loads of russian mechs.
That's quite ironic however, considering that the russians didn't have that many trucks (well comparatively) and they didn't have any armored personel carriers. Without 200,000 american lend lease trucks, and a great number of jeeps, tractors etc, they would not even have gotten to Berlin as fast as they did!
200,000 was only the heavy trucks, including light trucks and jeeps the figure goes to nearly 500,000, depending on what source you read, Russians had lots of mech capability. There were never more than a comparatively small number of Tigers operational, at any one time, and most Allied tanks were destroyed by anti-tank guns, mines and infantry anti-tank weapons. Combined arms caused most of the damage and I'm not suggesting that there should be some hybrid tank/infantry unit, but tanks alone are not that strong in the later war period and at the unit scale of CEaW all armoured units will contain mechanised infantry in their TOE. :)

DDave
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Post by DDave » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:55 pm

Well yes, that's all fine and dandy. The russians did not have anything resembling the german Sdkfz 251 for their mechanized corps however, but they did have a lot of tanks. The german Tiger tank played a role in the war, they created the fear of panzers that you mention above. Allied troops saw Tigers everywhere, mistaking the PzIV for a Tiger and so on. The russians had the T-34 in huge numbers. That is not evident in CEAW. Or are you all building a lot of tanks when you play the russians? Or the americans for that matter?

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Post by richardsd » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:01 am

whilst CEAW is a strategic level game, you can certainly expect to see the relative numbers of ARM units to Tanks as is historical - well you will in 2.1

in earlier releases it was possible to exploit the game engine by the Russians building only MECH's, this is gone now as is the previous exploit of the Russian's building nothing but ARM and smashing the Axis Barbarossa

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Post by DDave » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:15 am

Interesting, good info, how is that gone however? There is a build limit or something? And are you talking single player or multiplayer?

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Post by Cybvep » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:28 am

DDave wrote:Interesting, good info, how is that gone however? There is a build limit or something? And are you talking single player or multiplayer?
It's not a hard cap. However, in the beta version it's much harder to supply large number of ARMs/MECHs than in 2.0 due to their additional PP and oil cost.

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Post by Rasputitsa » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:32 am

DDave wrote:Well yes, that's all fine and dandy. The russians did not have anything resembling the german Sdkfz 251 for their mechanized corps however, but they did have a lot of tanks. The german Tiger tank played a role in the war, they created the fear of panzers that you mention above. Allied troops saw Tigers everywhere, mistaking the PzIV for a Tiger and so on. The russians had the T-34 in huge numbers. That is not evident in CEAW. Or are you all building a lot of tanks when you play the russians? Or the americans for that matter?
'Tank fright' existed long before the Tiger, during the 1940 German breakthrough at Sedan a French officer reported shells landing near his position and that he thought that they might be tank shells (they weren't, the German tanks were still picking their way through the Ardennes). The report was taken to mean that German tanks had crossed the Meuse and there was large scale panic in the French lines, such that the French units preparing to move against the German engineers building bridges were so shaken by the sight of troops streaming past, heading for the rear, that the attack was cancelled. All this from just the mention of tanks, because the troops felt defenceless against them.

Later in the war Allied troops feared the Tiger and that fear magnified the number of Tigers that actually existed, but they still stood their ground, as they had weapons to fight back, when the Tigers got close enough, and in close fighting it was the Tiger crews turn to fear the results. Infantry tactics when confronted by tanks was to hunker down, use fire to strip the enemy supporting infantry from the tanks, then deal with the tanks at closer range if they pressed into their lines. Tanks were feared, but no longer were invulnerable to infantry attack, in close quarter fighting when alone, without infantry support.

The Russians may not have had a Sdkfz 251, but later in the war they weren't towing most of their guns with horses, as the Germans had to right up to the end of the war, because the Allies (East and West) had the trucks to be practically fully motorised, something the Germans never achieved.

Oil reserves limit the amount of Armour, or Mech units you might chose to build, especially as Axis, if you build too many of these units you may run down your oil stock.

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Post by PionUrpo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:19 am

I've always thought MECHs simply as a decently armored corps with less overall armor than ARM. Say for German ARM, 2 PzD + 1 Mot.D or PzGrenD. (Tank Armies for Soviets with, 2 Tank Corps + 1 Mechanized Corps)
For German MECH 1 PzD + 2 Mot.D/PzGrenD. Actually, it'd still be called a panzerkorps but meh... I don't think they had 'panzergrenadierkorps' anyway.

Soviets didn't really have an equivalent for the MECH (as in game unit) except in early war when they had most armor in 'Mechanized Corps', their principal mobile unit. Those were wiped out or disbanded in '41 and in '42 the Tank Armies were adopted with Tank Corps and Mechanized Corps (smaller now) as sub units (~ Ger/WAllied divisions).

Everyone still needs the ingame MECH as it has much use, so I'd look at the Soviet MECH same as German with 1 TC + 2 MC.

Obviously, corps' don't always have the same amount of divisions but the game needs abstractions, and this is just my opinion.

As they said in earlier posts, trucks and jeeps count for mechanization too not just AFVs and IFVs. And you can still count the repair costs toward the 'huge' Soviet tank number as they never had everything on field in one time. Attacking with Soviets will cost a fair bit of unit steps.

EDIT// About the weakness, yes ARM is quite easily destroyed with with the help of bombers (due to the AT bonus). CEAW has somewhat different combat system from many other games anyway, and some rock-paper-scissors method is probably required to balance things out. In CEAW it's better to screen them with INF or MECHs to reduce the damage incase of counterattack.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:46 pm

When I attack with tanks I usually have them in the second line and use them to make a hole in the line. Then infantry and mech attack further and the tanks will again be in the second line.

Depleted tanks in the front line are magnets to enemy counter attacks.

I agree with what Pionurpo wrote. The use of armor, mech and infantry is an abstraction in GS to have different unit types. You have the same in most wargames. What you decide to build is up to you and your strategy.

Even infantry units had some tanks attached to them. Some were motorised (trucks, halftracks, wheeled etc.). Mech units in GS are used to be more heavily motorised units than infantry, but with less firepower than armored units.

You can think of the armor units as the ones having the heavy tanks like Tigers and mechs as units with light armored units.

So you can't count the number of armor corps in GS and compare it to the total number of tanks in the war for a country.

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Post by DDave » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:42 pm

Having trucks and jeeps make an infantry unit motorized, not mechanized. Sure, add mechanized artillery and other armored vehicle units (including tanks) to that unit and you could call it mechanized even if it has no APCs.

It's still very unsatisfying to simply imagine that there are tons of tanks embedded in infantry and mech units and we still don't get to see the russians building ARM in the game.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:07 pm

What I wrote was that units that would be designated as corps (NOT mech) in GS could have some kind of motorization.

So the GS units are somewhat simplified from the real units. This is done because the game is strategic and not tactical. It's corps based and not regiment / division based.

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Post by DDave » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:37 pm

Ah yes, my first sentence was a reply to PionUrpo, I should have been quoting him I suppose, sorry about that.

Anyway, conclusion, everyone is happy with ARM costing 80 PP, while not performing very well and being a weak target that needs protection? :) Yes I'm ranting a bit. :)

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Post by Rasputitsa » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:22 pm

DDave wrote:Ah yes, my first sentence was a reply to PionUrpo, I should have been quoting him I suppose, sorry about that.

Anyway, conclusion, everyone is happy with ARM costing 80 PP, while not performing very well and being a weak target that needs protection? :) Yes I'm ranting a bit. :)
Armour does perform well when it can romp into weakly held territory, but can be vulnerable if thrown into heavily defended areas, unless you work the opposition over with air and infantry units first, isn't that what happened , not saying that the game is perfect, but as a large scale Grand Strategy game, which is as necessarily abstracted as this one, it's doing quite well. :D

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Post by PionUrpo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:39 pm

Even mechanized units need trucks and jeeps to get anywhere, its not like the whole units are just tanks or apcs. But I admit, that's nitpicking.

Anyway, here's a map of Bagration: Image

I count six Tank Armies (3 Guards 3 regular) can't say how many would be in various reserves somewhere else, but 1/3 is the usual ratio I believe. That's quite doable ingame.
DDave wrote: Anyway, conclusion, everyone is happy with ARM costing 80 PP, while not performing very well and being a weak target that needs protection? :) Yes I'm ranting a bit. :)
It's vulnerable to counterattack but it can give whopping 10-15:1 (best I've seen have been 20+ to 1) making it an instakill unit. Those are very useful in certain situations. In GS2.0 the MECH + TAC horde could be more efficient but after the unit limits it's not quite as good idea anymore. So, instead of gazillion of Tank Armies go for balanced approach, esp. enough fighters to cover from bombing. Unless the game is going completely one-sided, bombing of rear-area ARM can't go on all the time.

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Post by Crazygunner1 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:38 am

Remember guys that you can get better tanks in a game as well by adapting research. Germans usually put their first research on infantry, fighter and perhaps general. That means if you as the Russians put yours on tank, they probably won´t be far behind your opponent at declaration of war. Perhaps even better sometimes due to random research, even though they don´t get as many points as the germans.

Don´t forget that the escence of Blitzkrieg was to attack on a weak point in the line to create a breakthrough and advance further in order for it to be successful. In 41 the germans succeded in doing this but there weren´t any "big" encirclements in 42 and certanly not in 43 at Kursk. At Kursk they attacked heavy fortified units....if you do that in GS the result will be the same as in real life, panzers will knock themselves bloody.

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