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"Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW !

 
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"Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 3/9/2021 1:59:44 PM   
BlueTemplar


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So in my game I lucked out with an Ancient Archive giving me the Extreme Vehicles tech round <44.

At first very happy about it and pushing my Model Council in that direction, I'm now realizing that I'm unsure what to *actually* use it *for*.

----

EDIT : The following using this Tank Design Calculator :
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4959387

----

Clearly not against the enemy infantry, where the best units my opponents have are in (40mm) Combat Armor (though preparing for Heavy Combat Armour (60mm) might be a good idea),
with Small Arms (20mm) (with Laser Rifles still being far away).

So, an "optimal" tank counter to that would be :
60mm Howitzer for 100% penetration
200mm Plating for the maximum -90% enemy penetration penalty

But with the Design Values that I rolled (98-105-84), a Heavy Tank (actually a "Tank Destroyer" - though I'm not likely to get as good design rolls at first - since I don't care about Hard Attack here) seems to be the best,
as not only it has the fastest speed with only a -40% Movement Modifier,
it can even afford to equip a 150mm Howitzer for an extra punch without slowing down.

A Monitor Tank would be slower (-70% Movement Modifier), and even weaker (on average, with 85-85-85 design rolls), even with the "bonus" 180mm Howitzer ! (Not to mention more expensive to field and operate !)

----

Ok, so let's see about an antitank role :

My opponents currently operate 60mm (Howitzer) (Light) Tanks with 50mm (Steel) Plating.
Let's future-proof this to a 105mm (High Velocity Gun) (Medium) Tank with 200mm (Steel) Plating.

So, an "optimal" tank counter to that would be :
240mm High Velocity Gun for 100% penetration
400mm (Steel) Plating (can't go higher) for a -74% enemy penetration penalty
(and a -85% enemy penetration penalty against those 60mm Howitzers)

But there's just a tiny little issue here :
for that (85-85-85) Monitor Tank this results in a whopping -90% Movement modifier !
This just won't do.

The best our Heavy Tank (98-105-84) can do is :
180mm HVG for -10% penetration
300mm (Steel) Plating for a -65% enemy penetration penalty vs a 105mm HVG (and -80% vs 60mm Hwz).
With a -50% movement modifier... which is tolerable I guess ?

Meanwhile a (85-85-85) Monitor with 300mm Steel Plating has to go down to a gun of... well it just can't do better than -70% movement modifier, even with a 25mm peashooter.

Heavy Tank wins again !

----

Ok, clearly some extra techs are needed to make a Monitor Tank worthwhile... (or maybe I have to hope for better than average design rolls ?)

1.) I'm 2 military techs away from Advanced Chemistry (with 1/4 chances to discover one missing tech) for Polymer Armour (and then later this way, Electric Engines), but Heavy Tank might come out on top again ?

2.) I'm only 2 military techs away (with 2/4 chances to discover the 2 missing techs) from Atomics for Tactical Nuke (I'll have some Radioactives soon), which sounds very tempting, and Monitor Tank might be the only one to be able to carry them -
(supposedly Automated Turrets can too, but I couldn't design one in my previous game despite having the techs)
- but Nuclear Plant + Tactical Nuke are probably quite expensive to research ?

3.) I'm the same 2 techs away from Energetics and their Laser Rifles -> Laser Guns, which sounds less tempting (especially since I've been completely neglecting my basic infantry this game, relying on machineguns instead), and is probably as expensive, and Heavy Tank might come out on top again ?

EDIT : 4.) See what I'm going to get for Monitor Tank Design Rolls first ?

What do you think ?

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 3/27/2021 4:39:00 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/9/2021 2:42:18 PM   
zgrssd

 

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I see only one reason for the Monitor - Tank destroying.

Everything up to Advanced Combat Armor can be defeated with the 60mm Howitzer of a light tank.
Infantry armor caps out at 100mm for Advaned Battledress. So medium tanks can easily squash them with no callibre modifier in play for the infantry. And even light tanks propably still do well at a -40% penalty.

On the defense side, Small weapon cap out at 50mm Equivalent, Walker weapons at 100mm.
With the Exception of Hollow Charge weapons, wich are 100mm/200mm equivalents.
So 100mm armor already gives any infantry weapon short of a hollow charge weapon -50% callibre modifier.

For defeating tanks however, you need the maximum amount of armor and the highest MM High Velocity gun you can carry. And nothing can carry heavier armor or a bigger gun then the Monitor Tank/Landkrezer P1000 "Ratte".
I also heard they are capable of firing the Nuclear Artillery Shell from their main guns, but no idea how exactly that works.

< Message edited by zgrssd -- 3/9/2021 2:43:38 PM >

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/9/2021 4:25:49 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Yeah, but as you can see, with early techs at least, a Heavy Tank carries that HVG and Steel Plating "better" than a Monitor Tank ! (Probably since the Monitor Tank doesn't get an extra tier of diesel engine.)

I had designed a Tactical Nuke Monitor Tank in my first game, but didn't get the opportunity to try it out before winning... (IIRC they get something like 100 shots per combat round, which makes misleading the low Attack (& Defense ?) that the Calculator shows.)

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 3/9/2021 4:26:30 PM >

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/9/2021 5:37:53 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Ok, let's see with Polymer Armour this time :

----

Against the enemy infantry :

60mm Howitzer for 100% penetration
200mm Polymer Plating for the maximum -90% enemy penetration penalty

This time it's the Medium Tank (86-98-85) that leads with -10% move,
the Heavy Tank (98-105-84) close behind with -15% move (and worse soft HP, but better attack & defense),
and the Monitor (85-85-85) still the worst with -30% move (and way worse stats).
(In all 3 cases, the 60mm Howitzer could be upgraded "for free movement" to a 88mm.)

----

Antitank role :

My opponents currently operate 60mm (Howitzer) (Light) Tanks with 50mm (Steel) Plating.
Let's future-proof this to a 105mm (High Velocity Gun) (Medium) Tank with 200mm (Steel) Plating.

So, an "optimal" tank counter to the second one would be :
240mm High Velocity Gun for 100% penetration
400mm (Polymer) Plating (can't go higher) for a -74% enemy penetration penalty
(and a -85% enemy penetration penalty against those 60mm Howitzers)

For that (85-85-85) Monitor Tank this results in a -60% Movement modifier - yikes.

The best our Heavy Tank (98-105-84) can do is :
180mm HVG for -10% penetration
300mm (Polymer) Plating for a -65% enemy penetration penalty vs a 105mm HVG (and -80% vs 60mm Hwz).
Like a champ, he carries this with a mere -20% move.

Meanwhile a similarly equipped (85-85-85) Monitor slows down to a barely tolerable -50% crawl, with worse stats across the board to boot !

Yeah, that lack of Monitor-only Diesel engine tier again.
*All* the previous tank tiers get a new size of diesel engine to go with their new sizes of calibre and plating, but not the Monitor... an oversight or by design ?
It kind of sucks considering the Monitor is the only tank that you have to research !

And looking down the line, the only engine exclusive to the Monitor is the Triple Nuclear (Fusion) Engine. Quite a long way off, though it neatly has the same per-requisite as the Tactical Nuke...

Yeah, so it kind of looks like that the "earliest" that a Monitor might be useful is if also rushing TacNuke.

The only other situation that I can think of is if an opponent *also* really likes big tanks, and the max 180mm Gun / 300mm plating of a Heavy Tank just doesn't cut it. But you'll need either Polymer Plating or to rely on Strategic (rail?) Movement to move that tank.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/9/2021 11:03:35 PM   
zgrssd

 

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I have another idea for a use - as universal heavy tank.
See, the large Howitzer should have so much firepower, it actually might be good at killing lighter tanks even at -50% Hard Damage values. And it can still kill Infantry.
And as I understand it, it should have the same penetration for Calibre calculations as a similar mm HV gun.

But overall, there is not much use for a superheavy tank if the enemy is not even fielding medium tanks.

< Message edited by zgrssd -- 3/9/2021 11:05:53 PM >

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/10/2021 9:29:15 AM   
BlueTemplar


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Yeah, this isn't Civilization, where units fight one on one and the best defender in the stack is picked to defend against the attacker...

But with such a bad malus, aren't you still better off just using 2 "combined forces" lighter tanks ?

Trying with more average conditions, with all tanks at (85-85-85), still with Side Skirts, but this time no Cluster Bombs (since they aren't on the direct path to Monitor) :

You can either have :
For a total move mod of -30% :

----

Largest calibre (180mm) Heavy Tanks, with 100mm of Steel Armor :

The anti-infantry one with :
Soft HP : 458, Soft Attack : 680, Soft Defense : 340
Hard HP : 859, Hard Attack : 340, Hard Defense : 227
For a cost of 145 Metal and 116 IP.
(And a corresponding best Medium Tank is only 13% worse on Soft HP * Soft Attack for 21% less expensive.)

The anti-tank one with :
Soft HP : 458, Soft Attack : 170, Soft Defense : 85
Hard HP : 859, Hard Attack : 680, Hard Defense : 453
For a cost of 145 Metal and 144 IP.

----

OR you can have a "glass cannon" Monitor with a 300mm gun and a ridiculously weak 5mm Steel Plating :

Howitzer version :
Soft HP : 277, Soft Attack : 1020, Soft Defense : 510
Hard HP : 255, Hard Attack : 510, Hard Defense : 340
For a cost of 105 Metal and 90 IP.
(9% weaker than the Hwz Heavy on Soft HP * Soft Attack)
(2.2 times weaker than the Hwz Heavy on Hard HP * Hard Attack)
(for a -25% lower cost)

High Velocity Gun version :
Soft HP : 277, Soft Attack : 255, Soft Defense : 127
Hard HP : 255, Hard Attack : 1020, Hard Defense : 680
For a cost of 105 Metal and 126 IP.
(2.2 times weaker than the Heavy on Hard HP * Hard Attack for a 1.25 times lower cost.)

Hmm, are the combat values always used like HP * (Attack OR Defense) ?

So, it's not so much about using 2 weaker, cheaper, lighter tanks, as for the same movement modifier the Monitors end up weaker and cheaper than the Heavies ! (As could have been expected from that issue with no "Monitor" Diesel/Electric Engine...)

But then comparing them 1 on 1 :
Clearly, the HVG "glass" Monitor isn't worth it, but the Howitzer one might be ?
So a stack of HVG Heavies with Howitzer Monitors ?

No, the issue is that the Heavy Howitzer is still better, as its 100mm armor are going to fare way better against small arms infantry than the 5mm armor of the Monitor Howitzer.

And even against Tanks, taking the very best situation for the Monitor of attacking another Monitor with 400mm armor :

Hard HP * Hard Attack * (Calibre / Armor) :
For the Heavy Howitzer :
859 * 340 * (180 / 400) = 131k
For the Monitor Howitzer :
255 * 510 * (300 / 400) = 96k
The Heavy is still 36% better !

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 3/10/2021 9:32:58 AM >

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Any roles for Early Monitor Tank ? - 3/10/2021 10:16:12 AM   
BlueTemplar


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Hmm, redoing this because it occurred to me that picking a only -30% movement penalty wasn't "fair" to the Monitors (or even Heavies, as the Mediums seem to be almost as good ?).

Let's up this to a -50% movement penalty, now we have :
Heavies with a 180mm Weapon, 200mm armor,
Monitors with a 300mm Weapon, 50mm armor :

Heavy Howitzer :
Soft HP : 662, Soft Attack : 680, Soft Defense : 340
Hard HP : 1539, Hard Attack : 340, Hard Defense : 227
For a cost of 190 Metal and 134 IP.
Soft HP * Soft Attack = 450k
Hard HP * Hard Attack = 523k

Monitor Howitzer :
Soft HP : 366, Soft Attack : 1020, Soft Defense : 510
Hard HP : 553, Hard Attack : 510, Hard Defense : 340
For a cost of 143 Metal and 123 IP.
Soft HP * Soft Attack = 373k
Hard HP * Hard Attack = 282k

Now the Monitor is :
1.22 times cheaper
1.21 times weaker on soft attack
1.85 times weaker on hard attack
than the Heavy.

Attacking a 400mm Monitor,
Heavy : 523k * (180/400) = 235k
Monitor : 282k * (300/400) = 212k
The monitor fares 1.11 times worse than the heavy.

Hmm, yeah, now the Monitor seems to be more cost-effective (but this is a *really* extreme case !).
But there's still the issue of defending against small arms (and light tanks!) with 200mm armor for the heavy compared to the 50mm armor of the monitor.

So, unless you're (early on!) against a monitor-only opponent (at which point : why are you even using Howitzers and not High Velocity Guns ?), it's not worth it...

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 3/27/2021 4:37:56 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Ok, so yeah, I had badly misunderstood how the attack and defense values worked :
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4980151

But maybe multiplying HP by the attack values might be still useful as a general "rule of thumb" for effectiveness ..?

----

Anyway, now to the highlight of the show : the Tactical Nuke Monitor !

I'll leave the whole story with screenshots to the (future) AAR (managed to get it by round ~80), but it works pretty darn well !
Wiping whole stacks at once with its 100 attacks per combat round !!

However, it also *really* doesn't work like a tank - in fact more like a rocket/missile artillery ?
(This is probably why the manual describes it as "This Tech allows you to design Artillery models that can launch small
nukes." ?)
EDIT : It still uses the Tank Tactics, rather than the Gun Tactics Commander skill.

First, on offense, it doesn't suffer the "Attack startup modifier" of -37% the first round and -25% the second round that the other tanks do.

No, wait, FIRST : it only fires for one round, then immediately retreats !
Even if it managed to let out all of its 100 attacks without suffering a retreat or kill hit, it does a "Special Unit Retreat" at the end of it.

Then, it never seems to be able to counter-attack ?

Also, since it's 100 attacks, you eventually get into diminishing returns attacking a small number of low "max attacked" value units (which seems to come from size and weight).
The monitor itself, as you could expect, gets huge values there (32 for mine).
And since the combat round happens by all the units doing their first attack, your monitor better have thick enough plating to get hit as few times as possible by all those attacking units !
Then comes the second "phase" where your monitor attacks, but the enemy units (get a chance to ?) counter-attack.
Then the "third phase" where it can attack freely without any counter-attacks left (but there you start to get into those diminishing returns).

I first tried with only a single TacNuke Monitor subunit in a battlegroup with 2 infantry "tokens" (before I was sure about the extra penalty on HP that units with less than 3 subunits get), but it regularly got "denied" during "phase one or two" by medium-sized enemy stacks (battlegroup's -15% to combat certainly didn't help !). It worked much better with 3 TacNuke Monitor subunits !

It gets worse on the tactical defense : despite in theory having a defense value for both hard and soft tactical attacks... it doesn't seem like the tacnuke monitor is even able to fire ! (Considering that the AI attacked me with ridiculously tiny units which didn't get wiped out, and even managed to kill an artillery truck.)

It's actually even worse : one really nice thing about only one round of attack, is that it only seems to consume one round worth of fuel ! And since the monitor consumes 13 times more than my light tank model...
But when on operational defensive, the tacnuke monitor seemingly spends its time driving all the 10 rounds of combat in circles, while the enemy spends their time playing "shoot the nuclear duck" ? (Hopefully it can still provide "body" protection for some time for the "backline" units, but I'm not even sure it does...)
Anyway, the result is that when defending alone (or almost alone), the result is a loss, and all the fuel in the tanks is spent.

Also, it doesn't actually seem to use *any* radioactives when firing, I thought that it was because with only 1 or 3 subunits the consumption might have been rounded down to 0, but maybe that's not the case ?
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4989545

Ok, I think that's it ?

Still, at least a picture of the "Terrorizer Mk.1" seems to be warranted :

And design logs :
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4984625

EDIT : Right, the cost : 209 Metal, 192 IP, 5 Machinery... and 872 fuel, only for filling it up the first time !

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 3/27/2021 4:52:37 PM >

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 3/27/2021 6:48:25 PM   
Pratapon51

 

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So does that mean Automated Turrets with Tactical Nuke Cannons are entirely useless?

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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 3/27/2021 7:07:21 PM   
BlueTemplar


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EDIT : Ok, I see what you mean, Automated Turrets can't move operationally, so they can't do operational offensives, right ?
So, if like Monitor Tanks, they can't even attack (or counter-attack) during operational defensives, then what use do they even have ?!?
Might explain why they still aren't really in the game ?

----
EDIT : previous comment :
----

Technically yes - because despite reportedly having been fixed in v1.07.01 I *still* wasn't able to make them !
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4939619
quote:

v1.07.01 – 07th January 2021
[...]
• Fixed a glitch for Tactical Nuke weapon, description of tech fixed and can now be used with Automated Turret as well *
[...]

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4923732
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4931840

Now, if those were finally *actually* added to the game, then I wouldn't expect them to be (on paper) any less or more useless than the Automated Turrets currently are compared to Monitor Tanks*. They're even on two separate, but parallel tech branches, though the Automated Turret one is more "useful" since it leads further.

*Actually, strike that, as I've shown in the posts above, Monitor Tanks *are* kind of useless (at least "early" on) without TacNukes (or maybe Fusion Engines ?), while Automated Turrets are hopefully not ?

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 3/27/2021 7:46:03 PM >

(in reply to Pratapon51)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 3/29/2021 1:19:36 AM   
Pratapon51

 

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Yep, that's what I meant.

It's harder to gauge the effectiveness of static units as you don't get to watch them kill things, and the AI rarely fields effective Auto-Turrets to break my armies on. I don't field Monitor Tanks without Fusion Engines, though, but usually the game is won by then and there's nothing to stop the doom-roll of 400mm-armored behemoths with Combined Beam Guns and V. Heavy Plasma Blasters.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 10:31:11 AM   
BlueTemplar


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I just noticed another difference with regular tanks : TacNuke Monitors and Micro Nuke RPGs have an "OVERRULE Kill %" of 50 listed in their Design Logs.

I suppose that this impacts the chances that a hit becomes a kill, but since the only thing we know about that is that normally overkill doesn't help getting a kill, it doesn't advance us much... I'd hazard a guess that the default hit=>kill % is lower than 50% ?

(in reply to Pratapon51)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 10:38:35 AM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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Default kill% is 12%, although it can be different depending on the weapon (like SAMs being extremely lethal against aircraft, or artillery having a reduced kill chance when supporting direct attacks).

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 1:15:33 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Thanks, I'm curious where you got that number from ?

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 2:27:41 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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Akrakorn on Saros' Discord decompiled the game executable and posted the info.
quote:

Base default kill chance: 12%
-Artillery/Rockets/Missiles: 5% (regardless of indirect/direct fire)
-Micronuke RPGs, Tactical Grenade Launcher (Monitor Tank): 50%
-Atomic Launcher: 30%
-ICBMs: 90%

I recall reading community discussions indicating artillery has an additional negative modifier to its chance to inflict non-pin hits during direct attack. If so, it should be noted in the combat log. SAM kill chances are listed in the manual section on anti-air weapons.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 3:08:08 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Thanks !

Interesting, there's no mention of "OVERRULE Kill %" in the Artillery & Rocket Design Logs...

quote:

I recall reading community discussions indicating artillery has an additional negative modifier to its chance to inflict non-pin hits during direct attack. If so, it should be noted in the combat log.

I don't remember such a thing. I only remember something listed in the logs about smaller morale and/or readiness impact from hits from artillery (IIRC both for ranged and normal ?).
(Also indirectly shows up there the 1/3 calibre modifier for artillery that also applies to normal combat, despite what the manual says.)

< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 5/16/2021 3:12:40 PM >

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 3:20:33 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

I just noticed another difference with regular tanks : TacNuke Monitors and Micro Nuke RPGs have an "OVERRULE Kill %" of 50 listed in their Design Logs.

I suppose that this impacts the chances that a hit becomes a kill, but since the only thing we know about that is that normally overkill doesn't help getting a kill, it doesn't advance us much... I'd hazard a guess that the default hit=>kill % is lower than 50% ?

I think you missread here:
It does not say "exceeding the defense value by a lot increases the chance for a kill hit."
It says "the change for a kill-hit is replaced by 50%".
So it uses 50% instead of the normal percentage.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

Akrakorn on Saros' Discord decompiled the game executable and posted the info.
quote:

Base default kill chance: 12%
-Artillery/Rockets/Missiles: 5% (regardless of indirect/direct fire)
-Micronuke RPGs, Tactical Grenade Launcher (Monitor Tank): 50%
-Atomic Launcher: 30%
-ICBMs: 90%

I recall reading community discussions indicating artillery has an additional negative modifier to its chance to inflict non-pin hits during direct attack. If so, it should be noted in the combat log. SAM kill chances are listed in the manual section on anti-air weapons.

Interesting figures, I am just not sure if he tried to simplify it to much.
Vic uses weighting distribution in a few places - the kill/pin/retreat would certainly be a good place for a weight based chance distribution.

(in reply to BlueTemplar)
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RE: "Early" Monitor Tank - TacNuke FTW ! - 5/16/2021 4:49:07 PM   
BlueTemplar


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I didn't, I was referring to this :
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4997848
quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic


quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

We don't know how the combat kill chance mechanic works. If kill chance is flat per attack and having a specific value of firepower split into 2 attacks means the game rolls for kill chance twice while the overall chance of scoring a hit remains the same, then 2 attacks is a lot better than one. On the other hand, if overkill on the attack score increases kill chance, then having multiple attacks might not be so much of an advantage, unless the targets have much lower HP compared to the attack value so hit chance is already very high.


overkill roll does not increase chance for a kill, so 2 attacks does indeed give an advantage.

attack scores might be slightly lower because the horsepower to weight ratio change.


(in reply to zgrssd)
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