Armor Overrated

Real time World War II combat simulation
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What level of armor do you find most effective?

Poll ended at Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:08 am

The more Panzers the merrier.
4
57%
One tank is enough
2
29%
Artillery is the god of war.
1
14%
 
Total votes: 7

gprimos1
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Armor Overrated

Post by gprimos1 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:08 am

I just bought Firefight since I was into the Close Combat series and I love it.

The first couple of plays it seemed like tanks were too strong since infantry can't touch them and run away when they are near.

After a while though I noticed my tanks were always getting picked off by AT guns. One AT gun in the open basically makes them useless. I can't advance because they are scared of the gun and they seem to loose most shootouts with an AT gun. I end up having to fight most my battle with HE and infantry anyway to take out the guns. In addition, they are useless in actually killing enemy infantry since they have horrible targeting.

In response I started playing without any armor at all. I can buy four to five guns and some flamethrowers for the same price of two tanks. The guns seem to do a much better job at targeting and killing enemy infantry and as I mentioned they seem to win most fights against tanks. They move at about the same speed as regular infantry so they don't really slow down the advance. Combined with their high ammo capacity, they can throw a huge amount of firepower at the the enemy and suppress both squads and tanks alike. I found my infantry casualties drop dramatically for both attack and defense when I switched to this tactic.

The only thing I can think that tanks can actually do to contribute to a win is to rush the objective but that seems cheap. I am playing the game to engage and destroy an enemy force, not win on a technicality.

Any thoughts from the crowd on this tactic aside from its possible historical inaccuracy? Does this mean the units are unbalanced and if so what could be done to correct it?

Andy Brown
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Post by Andy Brown » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:31 am

I've always regarded Firefight as an infantry simulation. Tanks work well in the infantry support role but tank-on-tank and tank-on-ATG combat is pretty laughable, primarily because heavy weapon accuracy is so bad. A couple of tanks supporting an infantry assault, on the other hand, plays out fairly realistically if the player (deliberately) refrains from rushing the tanks against an enemy known to be helpless against them.

Battles involving panzerfausts/bazookas have a more authentic feel to them, IMO, as "last tank standing" no longer automatically guarantees victory.

I voted for "One Tank" above, although I usually go for two. Regardless, I usually find artillery causes the most enemy casualties, which I believe is historically consistent.

Cheers,

Andy Brown

Perturabo
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Post by Perturabo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:20 am

It would be nice if one of updates would finally make AFV combat more realistic and more playable.
The rushing is a pretty serious issue as even light tanks, tankettes and half-tracks are invulnerable to non-AT infantry. When no AT units are present, even a single half-track can take and hold the objective.
Also, AFVs can move on every terrain, which is another thing that makes them overpowered.
gprimos1 wrote:Any thoughts from the crowd on this tactic aside from its possible historical inaccuracy? Does this mean the units are unbalanced and if so what could be done to correct it?
I think that the main problem is organizational. The player commands a customized unit which may include any kind of force mix.
I think it would be better if the player would command a specific unit and could get some units attached to it.
...

gprimos1
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Post by gprimos1 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:26 am

Andy Brown wrote:I voted for "One Tank" above, although I usually go for two. Regardless, I usually find artillery causes the most enemy casualties, which I believe is historically consistent.
Andy, so you really consider the two tanks worth it? Do you go with main battle tanks or whatever is cheapest?

Andy Brown
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Post by Andy Brown » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:00 am

I tend to go with the cheapest tank that's historically justifiable. I won't use armoured cars because only in very rare cases did armoured cars provide direct support to infantry company assaults. Sometimes, I'll go with a platoon's worth of halftracks if I'm feeling particularly mech.

In general, I try to purchase an infantry company with appropriate armoured support. A single tank is probably the most cost-efficient use of purchase points but is usually hard to justify historically so I generally go for two, or sometimes three. I also use modded understrength squads (eg if historical full strength is ten men, I'll mod squads with maybe six and eight men as well) to make it easier to purchase a company's worth (usually nine) of rifle squads.

One thing that does annoy me about Firefight is that the purchase points are always the same for each level of difficulty. It would be nice to have a bit of variety here.

Cheers,

Andy

Perturabo
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Post by Perturabo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:47 pm

It would be nice to be able to mod points amount per difficulty. It would be nice to be for example use a full mechanized company with a tank platoon attached.
Or a full infantry company while we're at it.

Personally, I like using big tanks. very big tanks.
...

the space predator
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Post by the space predator » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:42 pm

I have constated, that if you have less tank than your ennemy, i mean more then 1 or two less, if your tank aren't heavy, you will have trouble facing ennemy as AI will charge your infantry and all your guy will flee away and will be easy to kill. if you have enough tank, you can face ennemy's tank and avoid this case.

Personally, I prefer use "mostly tank". FF can be win only whit infantry, but it's not an infantry-only game. Tank & infantry needs to go together to create a great machine to destroy AI!
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TheKangaroo
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Post by TheKangaroo » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:51 pm

You could counter the tank superiority by modding all sides to have access to at least one type of rifle squad equipped with Panzerfausts or Bazookas. That will stop the tank rush tactics cold in its tracks (pun intended) when your tank trying to route a rifle squad catches some HEAT right in its face.

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Legacy
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Post by Legacy » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:03 pm

I use the cheapest tanks that have a big gun on them, and send infantry out first to spot the ATGs and field arty, then use smoke or HE to suppress that(or take it with infantry if at all possible), before sweeping tanks around it or into a position to counter it effectively. I actually find tank-on-tank combat in this game somewhat fun, too. Maybe I'm missing the point, but anything that allows me to kill bunches of them and win is great in my book. I'm particularly fond of running enemy infantry over with my vehicles, since the guns are a bit inaccurate.
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the space predator
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Post by the space predator » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:27 pm

TheKangaroo wrote:You could counter the tank superiority by modding all sides to have access to at least one type of rifle squad equipped with Panzerfausts or Bazookas. That will stop the tank rush tactics cold in its tracks (pun intended) when your tank trying to route a rifle squad catches some HEAT right in its face
I have already try this, but the bazooka/panzerfausts aren't really effective as they miss there shot most of the time and as they are slow to shoot again.
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Andy Brown
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Post by Andy Brown » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:10 pm

the space predator wrote:I have already try this, but the bazooka/panzerfausts aren't really effective as they miss there shot most of the time and as they are slow to shoot again.
But that, at least, is realistic, whereas the inaccuracy of tank main armament and ATGs is a bit of a joke.

The solution, of course, is to use lots of them :)

Andy

Perturabo
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Post by Perturabo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:03 am

TheKangaroo wrote:You could counter the tank superiority by modding all sides to have access to at least one type of rifle squad equipped with Panzerfausts or Bazookas. That will stop the tank rush tactics cold in its tracks (pun intended) when your tank trying to route a rifle squad catches some HEAT right in its face.
I used to do it from time to time. It has too high range for anti-tank assault. Also, half tracks should be possible to destroy even with anti-personal grenades.
...

TheKangaroo
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Post by TheKangaroo » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:54 pm

I was neither saying that it was a perfect solution nor that the aspect couldn't be improved in the game itself, I was just trying to offer a currently walkable path of reducing the problem's impact.

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