Observations on Tanks (Full Version)

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Invictus -> Observations on Tanks (7/3/2009 12:53:40 AM)

I recently got this game, and overall, I think it's pretty solid. The linearity of the game limits it, but I suppose it's hard to fit the entire eastern front onto a single game.

Anyways, I have a few observations on some of the peculiarities of tanks in this game.

1. The 2cm gun (Panzer II, halftrack, AA gun, and AA tanks) appears to be almost too good against infantry. It pretty much annihilates whole squads in a matter of seconds. Outside of vehicle MG/flame range, there's nothing that dominates infantry like the 2cm. Interestingly enough, it seems like the bigger the gun (and the lower the fire rate), the worse it performs against infantry, especially out in the open. Against wooden buildings, big guns do OK, but I'd still take the 2cm over a 152mm.

2. A lot of tanks can't seem to load the right ammunition. That is, it switches to HE rounds even when there's an enemy tank right down the block. This problem is the most frustrating with the SU-152 which starts off right HE rounds and takes forever to reload. How stupid would it be to start off with HE round knowing that the main reason for your units is to hunt some Cats. [;)]

3. Control of the vehicle orientation isn't that smooth. A lot of time, the tanks spin around doing nothing, or it chooses to orient the vehicle even though the turret is already aimed at the enemy, thereby delaying its shot. Eventually it orients itself facing straight at the enemy tank, but the funny thing is that this direct orientation isn't the best one. Since the game takes into account angle of the armor, the optimal orientation is actually slightly turned from the enemy at something like 15-20 degrees, so that the orientation angle gives a bit more protection.

4. I think heavy tanks are way too powerful. They come with all the combat power, but none of their actual real-life flaws such as poor mechanical reliability and availability. Also, since the amount of units is limited, lighter tanks can't easily win using numerical advantage. The high end German tanks seem to be the most problematic, especially the Tiger II. Against the AI, it's relatively easy to win entire late war operations with a single Tiger II unit and nothing else. Also, heavy tanks (and the Panther) have an unreasonably high amount of survivability against infantry close assault (something like 98% in the open, and 90%+ in the city).




Invictus -> RE: Observations on Tanks (7/4/2009 9:55:03 PM)

I tried the real infantry mod. While it's pretty good, 2cm guns still dominate infantry. Playing the grand campaign on Heroic as the Germans, I bought one Panzer II, and one 2cm command car, and after the first two operation, both units combined scored 95 infantry kills!




rich12545 -> RE: Observations on Tanks (7/5/2009 2:53:02 AM)

I think it's possible to modify the strength of these units.  They're all txt files I believe.




Invictus -> RE: Observations on Tanks (7/8/2009 3:44:13 PM)

I've also noticed that the Panther is astonishingly powerful. It's gun is much stronger than the Tiger I's gun (which by comparison is pretty weak), and almost as strong as the 8.8 L/71. While in actuality, it was better than the 8.8 L/55, I don't think it was that much better. I've seen the soviet captured panther destroy tigers with a single HE shot at the front, and it can even destroy the King Tiger from the front (with a Yellow Shot). In addition, compared to the Tiger I, the Panther has just as good frontal armor. Overall, the cost is balanced, since the Panther costs 40 points more than the Tiger I, although historically, the Tiger cost almost twice as much as the Panther, took longer to produce, and was more rare. However, what's surprising is that the Panther costs less than the IS-2, while being significantly superior in everything except for side armor.

Also, what's interesting is if you use the scenario editor and edit a flat map such as the one with the Reichstag and pit Shermans vs. captured T-34s, the Shermans rout all 14 T-34 with only 1 or 2 shermans destroyed.




sgreen -> RE: Observations on Tanks (3/15/2010 2:29:20 AM)

I've also noticed that the 2cm guns (all of them) are extremely good against infantry, however they can be easily countered if you have any AT capability. As for the panther tank, I've never quite relied on them h2h against other tanks, they don't seem to survive as well as the tiger tanks




vonB -> RE: Observations on Tanks (3/15/2010 1:38:16 PM)

Yes, interesting comments, and on the whole I agree, though not in every particular. I would choose a Tiger I over a Panther, as general survivability seems to be better in my own experience. In real life, the angled front armour of the Panther could give better AP shot deflection than the vertical plate of the Tiger I, but the Tiger did have superior steel quality. Where the Panther is particularly vulnerable is side and rear. As to the relative merits of the 88 and the 75, looking at the ballistics for each weapon, the 75 had a higher muzzle velocity but a lighter projectile. This translates to a slightly better penetration power for the 75 at shorter ranges, but the 88 will be more effective at longer ranges.

I totally agree about the 20mm cannon. If I want to decimate infantry, then it's the best (though tank flame throwers are just wicked!). On the whole, I find the infantry killing power of armour too strong. It's not the fact that a big gun and 2 MG's are not potent, but I would question the accuracy. This should translate into suppression rather than obliteration.

On the whole, I think the real life modelling isn't too bad, and the psych model is excellent. There are some glaring exceptions though.

I wouldn't take on an IS2 H2H with a Panther. The only advantage I can see is the higher rate of fire of the Panther, but front to front, I would bet on the IS2 winning.

Vehicle orientation can be a bit of a pain. When they complete a manouvre, they can finish at a different orientation to the direction in which they were travelling. All you can do is make sure you keep tabs on them and adust as necessary, but in the heat of battle it can be easy to miss... until it's too late ;) However this is much better in CC5.

As to survivability against infantry, the Soviets were much inferior to the Germans, and more so as the war went on. Drive a troop of German tanks into Russian infantry and the chances of survival are quite good. Try and do that with a troop of Russian tanks against German infantry and see whether you come out as well (if at all).

The SU-152 as far as I know is primarily an infantry support weapon using HE. It wasn't designed as a tank killer as such, though it is devastatingly effective as one if you can survive long enough to compensate for the low rate of fire. I guess it's not too unrealistic to expect them to have HE by default at the start of an engagement, but even a direct hit with a 152mm HE round on anything is going to make it very sore...

A long time ago, I remember doing some mucking about. I wanted to see how different tanks measured up against each other. On an open terrain, with 15 Tiger II's and 15 IS2's, the IS2' s would invariably dominate. The 122 having that bit more ko power than the 88 against the heavy armour on both sides. Even with 15 Jadgtigers, the result still favoured the IS2's, with the very poor rate of fire of the Jagdtiger. But I think most of this is quite accurate.

Where I think the modelling is not so good is in how cannon perform against armour. This is not done using tables of weapon capabilities (i.e. real life physics), so you can get what I think are absurd results. I would not put much odds on a 50mm taking out a KV, even at close'ish ranges, but they can do so even at longer ranges, though bear in mind that the area of a Close Combat battle is quite close on the whole, and the 'philosophy' of Close Combat is to present just that. It was never designed as a Tank Sim, but as a Platoon level combat simulator with supporting heavy weapons. Playing infantry only engagements delivers a more realistic combat simulation. As far as I know, there is still nothing better out there...

Your comments have prompted me to do a bit more mucking about, though after playing the game for over 10 years, I wonder how much more mucking about I can do ;) I am interested to see if I can replicate some of your experiences, as some of them do not seem to tally with my own, but memory can be unreliable sometimes, my own especially ;)




sgreen -> RE: Observations on Tanks (3/16/2010 1:32:10 AM)

quad 50 cal AA halftrack is also very powerful, equal to the 20mm.




hank -> RE: Observations on Tanks (2/14/2011 8:43:44 PM)

I'm a very new newbie ... I've only been playing CC a few days but have many years experience with other games. I have CC:WaR but I think the mechanics are the same regarding my observation on maneuvering tanks (primarily Shermans, M10s and M18s)

... OP's comment:
3. Control of the vehicle orientation isn't that smooth. A lot of time, the tanks spin around doing nothing, or it chooses to orient the vehicle even though the turret is already aimed at the enemy, thereby delaying its shot. Eventually it orients itself facing straight at the enemy tank, but the funny thing is that this direct orientation isn't the best one. Since the game takes into account angle of the armor, the optimal orientation is actually slightly turned from the enemy at something like 15-20 degrees, so that the orientation angle gives a bit more protection.

... reply:
Vehicle orientation can be a bit of a pain. When they complete a manouvre, they can finish at a different orientation to the direction in which they were travelling. All you can do is make sure you keep tabs on them and adust as necessary, but in the heat of battle it can be easy to miss... until it's too late ;) However this is much better in CC5.

I've seen this occur also (several times now). I've pulled up next to a building with a Panther's side to me and its turret pointed away from me ... had the fire command in progress as my tank inched past the wall and when the green line and target pointer hit Green, I pulled the trigger and watched the turret turn to face the enemy but no shot. Instead, it proceeded to rotate the hull around (slowly) while I sat helpless watching the Panther's turret rotate suddenly ... and bang it got off the first shot while my tank sat there trying to line up the hull front to it before it would shoot. Now, in reality I should have got a shot off and been able to back up but no; or got off two shots to his one and hope his first shot did not hit the mark. (I think I recounted that correctly: the Panther shot even though the hull was not rotated in alignment ... but I'll check that again)

A long sob story (I know) ... but, is there any tweeks to change this? I've seen where you can change the armored qualities and I may explore that but I'd rather leave it as close to stock as I can.

It would be nice if you could tell your armor to fire as soon as the gun is laid on target regardless of the hull orientation ... or to let it turn the hull ... (like a ctrl+left mouse click)




Tejszd -> RE: Observations on Tanks (2/15/2011 12:00:03 AM)

make sure you are using the latest beta release as the path finding should be much better. Though there probably will always be some stories to tell about the green driver/gunner who cost the crew their lives by doing something stupid....






hank -> RE: Observations on Tanks (2/19/2011 11:18:42 PM)

I've confirmed the statement below now ... I had it happen several times this afternoon. I even aligned my Sherman so it only had to rotate the front of the hull maybe 30 to 45 degrees after it cleared the wall of a building ... which it proceeded to do even though it did not have to because ... IT has a turret ... and the Panther with its arse pointed toward me and its turret pointed away from me rotated its turret ... while also rotating its hull ... and came around and got the shot off that blew my Sherman away ... no way that should happen

what I don't understand is why can the Panther fire a shot off when the hull is not aligned with the barrel but the Sherman can't ??? I thought one of the few things a Sherman could do at least as well as a German tank was rotate the gun and get a shot off. If you can't maneuver a Sherman (or M18) to the back side of a German tank to get a shot at its soft spot ... how are you going to take out a German tank with your tanks? About the only thing that I've had kill Panthers is a bazooka or a mortar barrage.

This has me thinking of applying a mod (from this web site http://closecombat.matrixgames.com/) that reduces the Panthers effectiveness even though I don't really want to.

Has anyone had any experience with this mod?

OH, and yes I'm now using the latest beta patch

"I've seen this occur also (several times now). I've pulled up next to a building with a Panther's side to me and its turret pointed away from me ... had the fire command in progress as my tank inched past the wall and when the green line and target pointer hit Green, I pulled the trigger and watched the turret turn to face the enemy but no shot. Instead, it proceeded to rotate the hull around (slowly) while I sat helpless watching the Panther's turret rotate suddenly ... and bang it got off the first shot while my tank sat there trying to line up the hull front to it before it would shoot. Now, in reality I should have got a shot off and been able to back up but no; or got off two shots to his one and hope his first shot did not hit the mark. (I think I recounted that correctly: the Panther shot even though the hull was not rotated in alignment ... but I'll check that again) "







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