Shortly before this new patch was released, I just so happen to have been doing some simple but systematic tests of AFV losses, so I may as well share my test results. It seemed to me, as I think it did to a lot of players, that Panzer divisions were a bit too brittle, and I was wanting to understand why and see if potentially anything could be changed to make that less so.
Anyway, to get a rough empirical idea of what AFV losses were like, I set up two basic attacks using the beginning of the Stalingrad to Berlin scenario, one with a German attack and one with a Soviet attack. I repeated the same two attacks for 10 trials each and then looked at the losses that occurred on average over the trials.
Of course, you will get different particular results if you set up the battles differently, e.g. on different types of terrain or different fort levels or different numbers of attackers vs defenders. But the point is to look systematically at at least a few battles to see some average results and get rid of some of the random variation noise, and see what emerges from that.
1.01.09 patch testing
On the 1.01.09 patch, I got the following results. For the Soviet attack:
For the German attack:
In both cases, you can ignore the bottom parts with "double armor." That was an experiment for potential modding where I tried using the editor to double the armor on all AFVs across the board, and compared what losses were like in that case (higher armor increased AFV survivability substantially).
The thing to focus on are the average losses with vanilla armor.
The Soviets won 3 of their 7 attacks, and had average losses of 26 German AFVs to 71 Soviet AFVs across the 10 trials. In the defensive battles that Germany won, they had fairly good loss ratios of a bit more than 4 to 1 in their favor. However, in the defensive battles Germany was losing, they were taking about 1 to 1 loss ratios. And it is worth noting that a disproportionate share of the German losses in those battles were retreat losses, specifically - nearly 60% of the German losses in those 3 battles were retreat losses. And more than a quarter of the total German losses across all 10 of the battles were retreat losses, despite the fact that they won 7 of 10 of the battles and took 0 retreat losses in those battles they won!!!
For the German attacks, the Germans won 5 of 10 attacks (screenshot says 6 of 10, but it is actually 5) and had average losses of 89 German AFVs for 83 Soviet AFVs. Those are pretty even losses overall, clearly not a great trade for Germany. The fact that the losses were even is an indication that it was pretty tough for Germany to counterattack with Panzers under this patch in the StB scenario. What is also notable is that in contrast to when the Soviets were attacking, when the Germans were attacking there was a lot less difference in the AFV loss ratio between German wins and Soviet wins. In the 5 battles where Germany successfully attacked, they lost an average of 99 AFVs for 78 Soviet AFV losses. Whereas in the 5 where the German attack failed, there were an average of 68 German losses and 88 Soviet losses. In both cases the losses were not too far from even. Looks pretty different from the Soviet attacks, where in the Soviet attacks there was a massive difference in the loss ratios depending on who won the battle (much of which was explained by comparatively high German retreat losses).
1.01.15 patch testing
I repeated the exact same tests, with 10 trials each again, with the new beta patch.
The results were VERY different.
Results when Germany attacks:
Results when Soviets attack:
When Germans attacked, previously in the old patch they won 5 of 10 attacks and took on average basically even losses (89 German AFVs for 83 Soviet AFVs). Whereas now on the new patch, Germany won EVERY SINGLE ONE of their 10 attacks. Again, this was the exact same attack using the exact same save, the only difference being the patch versions. Germany lost an average of 52 AFVs across the 10 trials, while Soviets lost an average of 213, about a 4 to 1 ratio in Germany's favor. The Soviet losses were more than double than in the same attack in the previous patch, while German losses were a bit more than half as much as in the previous patch.
When Soviets attacked, in the previous patch they won the battle in 3 of 10 trials. Whereas in the new patch, Soviets lost EVERY SINGLE ONE of their 10 attacks. On average, Germany lost 26 AFVs and Soviets lost 208 AFVs, a ratio of 8 to 1 in favor of Germany. That certainly seems like a favorable trade for Germany, and is definitely way better than they were getting in the previous patch. Moreover, the Soviet losses were pretty high in absolute terms, especially on the last attack, where Soviets lost 300 AFVs, about 90% of their total AFVs in the battle.
So it should be quite clear that things are VERY different in the new patch with AFV combat, at least for this particular winter 1942-43 combat. If things are changed similarly in 1941, the balance of AFV combat should be much more in Germany's favor in 1941. It actually seems like it might actually even be to the point of being an over-correction.
Combat intensity and overall AFV losses/AFV brittleness
Even before this patch, it seemed subjectively like AFV losses might be too high. I am not some David Glantz expert historian or anything, so maybe this is completely historical, but even under the old patch, in my Stalingrad to Berlin scenario game (AAR here), the AFV losses in the first turns were like this:
And here is the AFV stockpile, Soviets down from 13k to 8k:
This meant that my total # of AFV as Soviets dropped by about 40% since the start of the scenario. Is that actually historical, that losses were that high? I dunno, like I said I am not David Glantz, but it does seem like a lot. I was attacking aggressively with my tanks, but I think Soviets more or less also historically attacked with their tanks and got them into combat?
That was with the old patch, so I do have some concern that with the new patch, AFV losses (in particular for the Soviets) may be even higher, to the point where Soviet AFV stockpiles may just completely evaporate in a fairly small number of turns, if they are actually used at all in combat.