Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (Full Version)

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KarlXII -> Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/18/2013 12:39:57 PM)

What is really the benefit of using Antitanks ? Apart from the obvious attributes, do they have any special ability like Always firing first when being attacked by tanks or anything ?

RPKUPK -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/19/2013 1:33:39 AM)

From the manual:
AT Weapons are designed and used primary against enemy armour. Even selfpropelled
anti-tank units are less flexible and versatile than tanks, because they
are less effective against soft targets. Also, most of them are equipped with a fixed
turret, which makes them less suited for the offensive (attacking a tank with a fixed turret
AT results in an initiative penalty to the AT unit). But they excel in a defensive role, effectively
protecting choke points from an enemy armour breakthrough. They are also much cheaper to
produce, and so can be valuable assets in case resources are scarce.

Anti-tank units are CHEAPER than tanks and are best used at ambush against armor ONLY. They are terrible against infantry period. They should be kept ONLY on clear or countryside hexes unless STRONGLY backed up by experienced artillery. I think initiative and experience factors are very important when being attacked. Certainly in a classic ambush situation the anti-tank will fire first. Once spotted their utility diminishes and the enemy infantry come calling (so "shoot and scoot!"). They are useful to "cleanup" attacked weakened enemy armor--a great way for them to gain experience which makes them more useful and survivable down the line. I utilize one or two at most as tanks are much more versatile. I find converting an anti-tank unit to self-propelled enhances usefulness. Because of these factors they take some focused nurturing.
The perfect spot for anti-tank unit is on a clear hex behind a river road crossing!
They can be fun though.
More and more I am utilizing the 88AA that can be used as AA AND anti-tank (very effective against enemy armor) with the weakness of being towed. Lucky you are when you get a towed 88 that gets an extra hex movement bonus award!
I wonder if anyone can remind me of the extra command to be able to place/deploy an 88AA in anti-tank mode.
I'm sure you want to hear from staff...good luck with that.

KarlXII -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/19/2013 3:56:42 PM)

Thanks for the answer. In Another post I read they get +3 in initiative. That was what I was looking for.
Personally I would rather buy a Elephant than a Panther or Tiger. Panther seems underpowered in comparison.

RPKUPK -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/19/2013 9:11:53 PM)

Don't know where the +3 comes from. Each anti-tank unit has its own initiative such as 6 for 7.5cm Pak 40 whereas a Jagdtiger has an initiative of 13. Experience gives the unit initiative bonus. It may be as simple as the unit with the higher initiative fires first outside of an unspotted ambush situation. Perhaps enemy initiative is affected by defensive/offensive fire from artillery, I don't know.
It is confusing, because a brand new inexperienced unit appears to have the same initiative as a very experienced unit. I have requested but got no response, twice, to a change in the game mechanics to show updated unit data that reflects the bonus awards the unit has received. Right now, one has to right click the unit, pull up battle history then place mouse pointer over the hero. I would like the data updated on the unit data seen at right click, or have it appear with placement of mouse arrow over unit strength factor.
The Elefant is a great '43 anti-tank unit but is slow and useful against armor only. Surprisingly, in the '44 and '45 battles there are a lot of mobile battles and tanks excel at that AND are effective against infantry. Like I say, anti-tank units are fun but as the years go by you are allowed fewer and fewer units and I utilize fewer and fewer of them. Too bad there aren't more scenarios (at least one or two) where you can deploy most if not all of your units. Then you can haul out those rusting anti-tank units and use them more!
The Elefant in addition to being slow has very poor infantry attack factors and low close defense numbers. The Panther has anti-tank abilities slightly less than the Elefant yet has high mobility factor.
I have asked a Matrix Games staff and a Legion of Merit member to comment.

terje439 -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/20/2013 12:36:00 AM)

Here is how I see things on this;
First, you need to divide the AT in two group, the AT guns and the TDs.

The AT guns are slow, and need a truck to be able to move in the offense, and hence are very vulnerable when in their trucks. However they do dig in quite well, and can have a good entrenchment value. They are however still very easily destroyed by infantry, but against armoured vehicles they are real killers.
Pro - very good against armour, digs in well
Con - weak against infantry, slow moving and needs transports.

The TDs are basically turretless tanks. They move well, work well against armour, defend VERY well against armour, and as already mentioned, are cheaper than the equivalent tanks. They do however not dig in very well, and in rough terrain (hills, cities, forests, swamps etc) they are very exposed to infantry attacks. The higher TDs, are however well suited to attack infantry in the open, but they cannot defend against them.
Pro - good speed, good against armour, higher levels can attack infantry in the open
Con - are very vulnerable in rough terrain, vulnerable to aircrafts.

All this being said, I tend to buy (I've not bought Allied commander as I enjoy playing the underdog) 1 PzJg1 rather early, and another quickly thereafter. In the first two years I do not use them very actively, but allow them to gain experience by killing off weakened non entrenched units. When you are able to get the Marders and StuGs, things change. For one, they are really effective at killing of fortresses/strongpoints, and they can be quite lethal against tanks. I never upgrade to the Ferdinand/Elephant, as it is too slow. When the JagdPanther arrives however, I go straight for it. This to me is the pinnacle of the TD design. It is fast, it can attack infantry well, and it is lethal to enemy tanks. The upgrade to JagdTiger is NOT a good idea imo, as it is slower. In my last -45 Seelowe, my mobile force consisted of 4xMaus, 4xPanther, 3xKingTiger and 6xJagdPanther. The trick with the JagdPanther is to make sure it is only attacked by enemy armoured units, and not leave it in vulnerable positions.

As to TDs vs Tanks. The tanks are usually more versatile, that is true, but the TDs tend to be better tank killers, and as mentioned, they are cheaper, something that makes a difference in the higher difficulties. However you will not succeed with nothing but TDs, as they will be chewed up by enemy infantry if left in the wrong positions. As I see it, the tanks are split in two, the heavies and the mediums. The Heavies for me usually follows a line like this;
PzIV - >Tiger -> KingTiger -> Maus
The medium line is;
PzIII -> Panther
I will usually use the heavies to breech the enemy line, use the mediums to strike deeper into the enemy line, and allow the TDs to mop up what remains of the enemy line.


KarlXII -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/20/2013 6:30:54 AM)

You talk about digging in well and not so well. Where in the manual does it say that different types of units have different conditions for digging in ?
The manual does not even state if any hexes gives different defense values (better entrenchment) except stating that cities, Forests and Mountains attacks against the Close combat value.

Apart from that, thanks for your post [:)]

VPaulus -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/20/2013 12:49:52 PM)

You can also check this recent thread in Slitherine forum:

catwhoorg -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/20/2013 1:45:40 PM)

I'm certainly using more Anti-tank (tracked and gun) in the desert campaign than in the original PC campaigns.

They are my best bet (outside of a whole lot of air) against those Matilda IIs.

terje439 -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/20/2013 7:17:23 PM)


ORIGINAL: karlxii

You talk about digging in well and not so well. Where in the manual does it say that different types of units have different conditions for digging in ?
The manual does not even state if any hexes gives different defense values (better entrenchment) except stating that cities, Forests and Mountains attacks against the Close combat value.

Apart from that, thanks for your post [:)]

Not sure, never read the manual, gone by trial and error [:)]
But as a rule of thumb, any vehicle is poor at digging in (tanks, tds, recon, trucks), while "foot"-units are quite good at it (infantry, AA, AT, artillery (to some extent).


RPKUPK -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/22/2013 12:30:37 AM)

Interesting distinctions, thanks.
Like I said I have been utilizing the dual use 88AA more and more. AA AND anti-tank. I'll have to observe its entrenchment tendencies.
I have seen self-propelled Jagdtigers dig in -- in a city hex -- to 4 entrenchment which ain't bad, better than panzers stuck at 2. Towed anti-tanks start off at 3 it seems. I wonder how high each would entrench to, that is, towed vs. self-propelled.

RPKUPK -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/22/2013 9:36:53 PM)

I don't get some experienced players saying they use a core force in the later war years of "six jagdpanthers", etc., Well, yeah. A great fighting unit...but they had to get there. The German anti-tank and self-propelled unit's initiative is very frequently LOWER than the enemy Russian tank...say the T-34/40 or KV1A tanks that appear quite early. I am loath to carry any more than one or two AT MOST of AT or TD units--they ARE useful in unspotted entrenched hexes behind a river defense situation but they are NOT good offensive units with their lower initiative that means that they stand a good chance of firing SECOND in an attack on enemy armor.
They are more or less a curiosity than useful. They require a LOT of nurturing. If there were battles that allowed MORE units in bigger mapped areas, etc., then it would make sense to buy, nurture and carry more of these units. With a slimmed down high fighter core to survive the '44 and '45 Russian air tsunamis, give me a mobile versatile Panther or Tiger any time over a limited AT or TD.
Perhaps the game designers can add AT or TD units -- as some already do -- as AUXILIARY (!!) units, to battles, then players could manage their core without the added burden of long term AT/TD nurture.

terje439 -> RE: Benefit of Antitanks vs Tanks ? (6/23/2013 7:23:21 PM)

Get 3+ experience levels on a JagdPanther and try it out, I think you will understand why they are a good choice, espsesially on higher difficulty levels as the prestige gain there is lower [;)]


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