Should tanks be able to cross all terrain?

Real time World War II combat simulation
Quitch
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Should tanks be able to cross all terrain?

Post by Quitch » Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:56 pm

I suspect this is more to do with the lack of pathfinding that anything else, but tanks are simply the best force in the game by a mile. They can beat infantry, they can beat other tanks, and they often tend to be the best unit to beat AT guns with! (hoping that removing HE from guns that shouldn't have it will resolve this, assuming infantry learn to ignore AP shells)

Many of the downsides of the tank are not represented here. They cross rivers, when rivers should stop them. They drift through woods, when woods should present a nightmare of getting bogged down and stuck. Fields are never wet, never muddy nightmares.

Andy Brown
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Re: Should tanks be able to cross all terrain?

Post by Andy Brown » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:40 pm

Quitch wrote:... tanks are simply the best force in the game by a mile. They can beat infantry, they can beat other tanks, and they often tend to be the best unit to beat AT guns with! ...
Try sending them through the panzerfaust-armed late war German infantry without their own grunts in support.

Unfortunately, there are too many German squads without panzerfausts to guarantee this is what you'll be up against. Giving the grenades an anti-armour capability might make a difference.

Andy

Quitch
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Post by Quitch » Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:33 am

I agree. Letting infantry get too close to tanks should be a risk, but it currently isn't. Anyway, the panzerfaust teams tend to fire as they see you, which often means attacking the front armour and that means it's not a worry at all.

Hell, for that reason alone it's best to ensure they're NOT supressed so they fire ASAP rather than once you're past.

IIRC, weren't enemy infantry to be kept away from tanks because, one they were on top of an unsupported tank, infantry could destroy it with relative ease??

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:40 am

Quitch wrote: IIRC, weren't enemy infantry to be kept away from tanks because, one they were on top of an unsupported tank, infantry could destroy it with relative ease??
I think it would make the game more fun if infantry could disable tanks somehow so that you'd have to be more careful but I can't think what you could reasonably do to a WWII tank if you were an infantryman? And you'd have to be very brave to leap up on to a tank in the middle of a battle.

If anyone knows of any instances of how infantry could stop a tank I'd be very interested to hear!

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Post by Garnier » Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:49 pm

They would lay antitank mines, they would dig pits and hide and then when the tanks drove over they would throw grenades on the tracks, then they could jump up top and pry open the hatch.

Panzerfausts were used as I have said elsewhere among the infantry but not as a soldier's only weapon. Usually they would just have them on their backs and fight with rifles. When a tank came they would shoot.

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Post by TheKangaroo » Fri Oct 14, 2005 6:33 pm

Well, opening the top hatch and hurling in a grenade of course is the most obvious way, although that is among the most dangerous things to do. Another possibility might have been to spray a burst with a SMG in through any opening you find, although this, too, is pretty dangerous and doesn't guarantee success.
I know the German infantry later in the war had so-called 'Panzerwurfminen' (Antitank throwing mines) which looked pretty much like a thrown bazooka-rocket. I know the Allies had something similar though I don't know what exactly they used, but anyway the best way to use such a device would be to throw it on the ventilation-openings of the engine or to the turret in case the tank in question was known to carry ammunition inside its turret.

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Post by Quitch » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:21 am

The Allies had "sticky bombs" and infantry hated them as the user got stuck to them as often as the tank.

I think the solution to the tank problem is not in making it easier to beat, but making it harder to move it through some of the rougher terrain like woods, and especially rivers.

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Post by Fighter_Ace » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:34 am

Check out these links for some way cool WWII anti-tank weapons and information on other WWII tactics:

- http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,1 ... P,,00.html

- http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/ww ... trine.aspx

- http://www.answers.com/topic/anti-tank <-- read further down :D
My thanks and best regards to all my former submitters.

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Post by Guest » Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:32 am

Sean O'Connor wrote: If anyone knows of any instances of how infantry could stop a tank I'd be very interested to hear!
The most simple antitank weapon is a bag full of explosives. Throw one under a tanks thread and boom. Firefight doesn't simulate thrown tracks, so this might not be workable either way. It probably would not be a big deal to check whether the tank can still move?

Finns had Molotovs coctails, which were effective against early war armor. It was a bottle filled with flammable liquid and a method for setting it aflame (burning rag being the most famous I think). Early Russian tanks had big openings for engine exhaust. The tactic here was to throw one on the exhaust grills, causing flaming liquid to drop inside the engine and halt the tank. Since the early war engineering was so bad, in some cases Finns threw a track on enemy tank with a birch log. On some other occassions the defensive actions were more desperate, and men were forced to laep from building roofs onto enemy tanks to plant explosives.

Stopping a tank is almost as good as destroying it: it makes for a really easy target for arty and at some point the crew will think about abandoning it and running. Unfortunately the crew also knows this, so they tend to shoot at anything that moves and looks like it might be a threat.

All of the above methods require close contact with tanks, which makes it inherently dangerous, especially if infantry accompanies the armor. Fortunately for us, early war tactics with tanks were still bad and Finland managed to stay independent.

Unless you want to create antitank ditches, dragons teeth and similar fixed defenses, easiest way to do this is to give infantry squads a few big bags of explosives with a range similar or slightly less to hand grenades, used only against enemy armor, guns or other such expensive targets.

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Post by benpark » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:37 pm

The German army had the "Hafthohlladung". It was a magnetic shaped charge. Image at this link about 3/4 of the way down:

http://www.theeasternfront.co.uk/infant ... eapons.htm

The many varieties of Panzerfausts also were used-also by Soviet forces who captured a great deal of them in the later years of the war.

The allies should have American "bazooka" teams, and the UK forces "PIAT" teams.

Japanese infantry AT capabilities were more rudimentary, and of a more improvisational variety. The use of the AFV was less widespread in the jungle, however.

Combat Mission has "tank hunter groups"-2-3 men armed with anti tank capabilities such as the above, and with small arms. This represents the small group removed from a squad to deal with AFV's.

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Post by benpark » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:39 pm

Tank speed is way too fast as well, overall.

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Andy
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Post by Andy » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:25 pm

there are bazooka and piat team, it just takes a while longer for them to come into use than the panzerfausts. one thing that is annoying me is that AT rilfes and HMGs look exactly the same - AT rifles dont even act like grenades if i foce them to fire at infantry cos i bought them instead of an HMG.....
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Andy Brown
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Post by Andy Brown » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:25 pm

Andy wrote:AT rifles dont even act like grenades if i foce them to fire at infantry cos i bought them instead of an HMG.....
Anti-tank rifles don't work like grenades mate. They were simply big rifles that fired armour piercing half-inch or 14.5 mm slugs at the highest speed possible (without breaking the firer's shoulder) at the AFV. Think of them as anti-AFV sniper rifles with limited range. It would usually be a waste of time to fire them at troops. The soldier would be better off using a normal rifle or SMG for that job.

They were also extremly heavy buggers to lug around a battlefield. The Brit Boys anti-tank rifle, for example, weighed 36 lbs (about 16 kg) which made them 50% heavier than a typical LMG.

Cheers,

Andy Brown

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Post by Andy Brown » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:33 pm

benpark wrote:Tank speed is way too fast as well, overall.
Are you sure about that? I've never had a problem with this. The data base contains maximum values for road and cross-country speeds and tanks seem to move as fast as they can from one position to another, which seems appropriate to me. "Speed is life", as the zoomies would say.

I do have a problem with the apparent inability of AFVs ( and troops as well, for that matter) to follow roads unless I personally shepherd them from point to point along one. I would have thought a bit of pathfinding code could make better use of roads.

Cheers,

Andy Brown

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Post by Grognard » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:31 am

Well - I have personal experience of infantry close assault on armor.
Not sure how relevant it is to ww2 european fighting though, as conditions are very different in our theatre.
This was in Angola in 1988.
To set the scene, this is Angolan 'bush', tropical/subtropical jungle with an average visibility of 30 metres, and waist-high grass.
A man can vanish just by crouching down.
Temperature averaged 40-45 C with a humidity of around 60%.
As a result armor (unless airconditioned) NEVER operated 'buttoned down'
My platoon (40 men) met a T55 (cuban tank) squadron of 3.
Encounter range was about 10 metres although we had heard them long before and were lurking like crazy.
All three commanders were sticking out the hatches and were shot at least 5 times each instantly.
Two tanks were killed by grenades tossed into the drivers hatch and the third by our local hero who jumped onto it, pulled the commander's body out and emptied his assault rifle into the top hatch.
I was told by another platoon that they met buttoned down tanks, detracked them with AT grenades into the tracks, jumped up and down on the MG's untill they bent, smeared mud (in plentiful and continuous supply in Angola) on the vision periscopes, and tapped meaningfully on the hatches untill the crew surrendered.
Not sure how applicable this is to European conditions though

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