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Tanks & Infantry in same hex - 6/3/2000 10:05:00 AM   
tow-2

 

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Just a little tactical tip for all commanders out there, which also begs a question: I'm sure by now most folks have noticed how effective and devastating that fire can be against tanks w/riders - it frequently can wipe out 50-75% of the riders in a single burst from a squad or MG (and I don't mean from a close assault)!! But has anyone else noticed how much more effective fire is on the infantry when you target a tank in a hex with dismounted grunts in same? You can routinely get similar results, usually 4-6 casualties in that first salvo or two! I can almost never get that kind of result from direct fire of any kind on infantry. I usually look for this situation when picking targets to shoot at - it's incredibly effective and takes out much more of the enemy than targeting the infantry themselves. So what's causing this additional effectiveness? The heavy losses to tank riders, I can see - but dismounted infantry that just happen to be in the same hex? I'd actually expect a bit of a defensive bonus from having a vehicle to hide behind, much like the manual says a wreck affords to infantry units. ------------------ Regards, Marc

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- 6/6/2000 12:40:00 AM   
Grumble

 

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IMHO, it might be simulating a couple things. First, AFV's ALWAYS draw all kinds of fire-that's why infantry like to steer clear of them whenever possible. This might be a way of "forcing" the players to spread out their forces. Secondly, the game may be demonstrating the instinct of using the vehicle as shelter, if infantry don't steer clear and are closeby, and the dangers of bunching (the vehicle makes a good aiming point).

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- 6/6/2000 12:59:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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Interesting concept, Grumble. The size of the tank also gives a good reference point for the enemy in their firing. Interesting indeed. tow-2 also brings up an interesting point that I don't honestly remember noticing before, but I will now. Wild Bill ------------------ Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games

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- 6/6/2000 12:59:00 AM   
Wild Bill

 

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Interesting concept, Grumble. The size of the tank also gives a good reference point for the enemy in their firing. Interesting indeed. tow-2 also brings up an interesting point that I don't honestly remember noticing before, but I will now. Wild Bill ------------------ Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games

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- 6/6/2000 4:33:00 AM   
Antonescu

 

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You can say that again! A.

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- 6/6/2000 7:09:00 AM   
victorhauser

 

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Seeing is Believing... I've also observed the enormous collateral damage from small arms and MG fire done to infantry occupying the same hex as an AFV. I have no problem with the concept of such fire "scraping" riders off an AFV and causing significant damage in the process. But when shooting at the AFV with small arms and MGs becomes the preferred method of killing infantry occupying the same hex due to collateral damage (because targeting the infantry itself is less effective), then something is not working as it should.

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- 6/6/2000 10:20:00 AM   
Dean Robb

 

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The only justification I can see for the high rate of ricochet kills is that the infantry's defensive effort is focused toward the incoming fire...leaving their backsides exposed to the ricochets. Of course, if it were me, I'd be hiding UNDER the tank and shooting between the bogies...

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- 6/6/2000 12:42:00 PM   
Belaja smert

 

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quote:

Originally posted by victorhauser: Seeing is Believing... I've also observed the enormous collateral damage from small arms and MG fire done to infantry occupying the same hex as an AFV. I have no problem with the concept of such fire "scraping" riders off an AFV and causing significant damage in the process. But when shooting at the AFV with small arms and MGs becomes the preferred method of killing infantry occupying the same hex due to collateral damage (because targeting the infantry itself is less effective), then something is not working as it should.
I agree. Collateral damage to infantry is too common. Shouldn´t a single infantry unit in the hex be able to stay clear of the tank, thus avoiding collateral damage? Belaja smert

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- 6/6/2000 7:50:00 PM   
Paul Vebber


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Collateral damage in general is being looked at, maybe not for this patch but for the 2nd one. The general idea is that the game unnaturally "quantizes" targets as squads in hexes. In reality you just see a bunch of troops out there, you don't shoot at a particular squad, but a concentration of troops "out over there". Sometimes your troopers shoot at dense concentrations and you get extra "collateral damage" other times you shoot at what turns out to be one guy. With just infantry out there, no particular spot is really that much more "inviting" than any other, so fire tends to be distributed over a rather wide area, dispite the fact the graphic shows it as all going into a hex. A tank in a hex tends to be a focal point that calls attention to a specifc spot. Now the shooters have a specific reference point and will tend to concentrate their attention on the area immediately around it. Any infantry that happen to be there will tend to spotted and engaged more quickly and by greater fire than if they were alone in the hex. That is why infantry tended to avoid being immediately near a tank if they could help it. As to hiding under the tank, unless its a wreck and you KNOW its not going anywhere, I challenge anybody to go "shoot between the bogey wheels" when the tank might start moving at any moment :-) Troops will use wrecks for cover becasue they are stationary and the troops know it. Live tanks are fire magnets and increase the "eyes on target" of the eenmey making the immediate vicinity VERY dangerous. I hope that helps explain why wrecks are "cover" and live tanks are "anti-cover" [This message has been edited by Paul Vebber (edited 06-06-2000).]

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- 6/6/2000 8:47:00 PM   
Drake666

 

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I could see higher damage for infantry riding on a tank, but when infantry is not they would often bring up the rear of a tank for protection. I have more then one pic of German infantry bringing up the rear of a tank when they are assaulting or advanceing becouse it offers a lot more protection then being out in the open. A panther or a tiger are large tanks and it would not be hard for a 9 man infantry Sqd to hide behind.

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- 6/6/2000 8:53:00 PM   
Charles22

 

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I would like to counter, to some degree anyway, that foot units avoid tanks like the plague. All I know, is that I've seen what appear to be many actual combat films from WWII, particularly the Gerry ones, where an armored car or tank is in the city, shooting into burning buildings and what not, and the foot soldiers are crouching alongside the side that is opposite where the AFV is firing at. Perhaps, it's just that infantry have little regard for the "protection" of tanks in open areas, but when the areas is congested, such as in city fighting, they are more apt to worry about small arms fire, therefore be protected on one side anyway, than that they are worried about bumping into some hidden AT gun. Probably, whether the city has been reconned beforehand, to spot any tanks/AT guns, makes a big difference as to how the men think about the tanks. When we see infantry behind a tank side, we may be thinking that the infantry are there more for their own protection, but I think it's actually for the opposite reason; they are there to protect the tank from some nobody just running up and lobbing a Molotov Cocktail. For city fighting, I would think they would be looking more for the protection of buildings rather than that of tanks, so obviously the infantry stay by the tanks not for their own good, but since they're supposed to be there for the tank, they take advantage of what little cover they have and still escort.

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- 6/6/2000 10:12:00 PM   
Larry Holt

 

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I also think that close armor infantry cooperation was more common than portrayed. I know that the British army was loosely organized above the BN level prior to WWII. The army was essentially a group of battalions policing the empire. So BNs were not used to working together and this has colored many opinions. I've read that some US infantry companies "acquired" their own tanks. US tanks had external phones for infantry to communicate with the crews. (these were still on M60's up to the 80s but were dropped on M1s). I've seen pictures of infantry using the phone to direct the crew's fire. I beleive that much of the distrust of tanks by infantry is blustering. Its common for one arm/branch/service/etc. to complain/harp on/tease others. I believe that when the bullets were flying tanks did work in close (several meters) proximety to infantry. No infantry man would get right up next to or underneath a tank as he could be crushed but several meters away still provided some protection. As to the game and infantry in close proximety to tanks taking increased hits, I am undecided if this is realistic. I understand that the tank would draw increased fire and act as a marker to adjust fire but it also provided some protection. I've emailed some WWII vets about this. I'll see if their oral histories can shed any light on this subject. ------------------ An old soldier but not yet a faded one. OK, maybe just a bit faded.

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- 6/6/2000 10:53:00 PM   
Paul Vebber


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Let us know Larry! It was from reading oral history (World within War, Citizen soldiers, GI, and a couple others a can't remember the names of (but are generally a US slant admittedly) that the impression came from. When forced to do it, infantry tended to be near tanks for the tanks benefit and the cover afforded by the moving mass of steel in many infantryman's mind was more than countered by the volume of fire typically directed in its vicinity when the fur flew. 10 or 12 guys could not all be "in cover" behind a tank, or would be murderously concentrated. that's not to say it didn't happen, just that from the infantry point of view they where more vulnerable in that situation then if the tank wasn't around. That is not to say infantry didn't cooperate with tanks, A single GI behind a sherman talking on the intercom phone was vastly different than a whole squad trying to keep infantry from assaulting the tank in a city or wooded area. Personal expereince can greatly color these things. If you life was saved by being behind a tank at the right momment, your perception will be far different than someone who was wounded or had buddies killed moving along in the tanks wake. Its an interesting question, but one that likely really doesn't have a "right" answer.

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- 6/7/2000 1:20:00 AM   
Grumble

 

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Not to flog a dead equine, but there's some points here that are probably worth bringing out. First in regard to sources, apparently a lot of folks, including myself have seen footage of Deutsch and Russian soldiers riding "to battle" on tanks, etc. Research over the last 5-10 yrs of "combat footage" in WW2 has shown that for these two nationalities at least MUCH of this was staged for the cameras; in fact Russian historians dispute that there is ANY "actual" Red Army combat footage extant. Secondly, we shouldn't infer a use from a capability. Just because telephones/handholds were available doesn't mean they were used in battle. FWIW, my take on events is based on discussions with Russian, German and American veterans. Nearly all bemoaned tank/infantry cooperation. Opinions validated by AARs I've read. American vets that mentioned walking behind tanks putting them on target, noted it as exceptional-and usually suicidal for the troop on the phone. Not saying this doesn't need some tweaking; just that given the psychic tank/infantry cooperation in SP etal, that this could be looked at as a "gameism" limfac. Off my soapbox. [This message has been edited by Grumble (edited 06-06-2000).]

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- 6/7/2000 1:48:00 AM   
victorhauser

 

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I'm confused by the arguments here. The game treats infantry as easier targets for collateral damage when occupying the same hex as an AFV. In fact, it is easier to kill the infantry by shooting at the AFV rather than targeting the infantry itself. This is an observed phenomenon by us all. Is this something that is broken and needs to be fixed? Yes. Please fix this as soon as possible. Regardless of the arguments for and against infantry/AFV cooperation, and collateral damage, it should never be easier to kill something by targeting something else. If you want to make infantry easier to kill if they occupy the same hex as AFV, fine. But if so, then at least have the game target the infantry to do so instead of targeting the AFV to kill the infantry. (Although personally I oppose this since I think hexes are big enough and infantry are smart enough to make this a non-issue, or at most a truly "back-burner" issue.)

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- 6/7/2000 8:09:00 AM   
Dean Robb

 

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In the attack, it was common to lead with the tank and have infantry right behind - the tank was a moving shield for the infantry, and the infantry helped protect the tank's flank. That's why the M4 series had the phone handset on the rear, so the infantry could coordinate with the tank. Then again, the Sherman was really intended as an infantry support vehicle, not an anti-armor platform as tanks are today. In game terms, I'd think the tank would provide at least some cover from incoming small arms fire...the infantry would move to the other side of the tank from the incoming. I don't know of any literature where the infantry didn't want the tanks around because of their "fire magnet" properties. Doesn't mean there isn't any, just means I haven't seen it. Most of the reading I've done indicates that infantry tended to be very happy that there were tanks around. Of course, there tended to be LOTS more rifles around than AT guns . I can see it in game terms, where small arms are regularly employed against the tanks, though. [This message has been edited by Dean Robb (edited 06-06-2000).]

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- 6/8/2000 5:07:00 AM   
BA Evans

 

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I have found that shooting at hexes containing more than one unit causes tons more casualties. I especially like seeing three or four infantry squads in the same hex. When i shoot at one of these squads, I get casualties almost every shot. I often cause casualties from multiple squads as well. When ever more than one unit occupies a hex, all these units are MUCH more vulnerable to attack.

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- 6/8/2000 12:28:00 PM   
Wild Bill

 

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The answer is simple there, BA. The more infantry in a hex, the better the chance of hitting something. Of course you know that. Notice that as a squad is reduced in number it gets harder to kill. Less men, more cover, fewer targets. WB ------------------ In Arduis Fidelis Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games

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- 6/8/2000 12:29:00 PM   
Wild Bill

 

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To satisfy my own mind, I'll set up some situations and run a little test of my own. Nothing like seeing it with your own eyes. I'll be back..WB ------------------ In Arduis Fidelis Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games

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- 6/8/2000 1:00:00 PM   
Wild Bill

 

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Here are the Test results - Verdict. More infantry casualties without a tank in the hex than with one in the hex. I'll be happy to send this test to anyone who wants it. billw@thegamers.net ----------------- I just ran this test to confirm kills against infantry on a tank or in a hex without a tank present. Build 1.0 June 8, 2000 US vs German, July 44, clear terrain, clear weather, visibility 10 I bought a platoon of US Infantry and a platoon of M4A3 Tanks I bought a panzerschreck, a German Rifle Squad and a 7mm AT gun (German) I removed all US ammo to get an accurate check. They can be fire upon but won't fire back. 1. Test #1 I put Panzerschreck, German Squad and ATG each 4 hexes from a Sherman with a squad mounted on it. (total of three shermans and 3 squads, one for each German unit). Directed fire in each case at the tank, not the infantry. Someone said you get more infantry casualties if you shoot at the tank. I tried it that way. a. Panzerscheck fires 3 times. Killed tank, no infantry casualties. b. German Squad fired 5 times. Tank unharmed. 4 infantry killed after 5 shots. c. 75mm ATG fired 3 times. Tank killed, 3 infantry killed. 2. Test #2 I put Panzerschreck, German Squad and ATG each 4 hexes from a rifle squad without a tank in the hex. a. Panzerschreck will not fire AT weapon against infantry b. German Rifle squad fired 4 times. 1st shot - 3 kills 2nd shot - 2 kills 3rd shot - 2 kills American squad disperses c. 75mm ATG Fired 3 times. 1st shot - 3 kills 2nd shot - 2 kills 3rd shot - 2 kills American squad disperses. Now this test seems to indicate that the infantry suffers slightly greater casualties without a tank being present than with one in the hex. With a tank in the hex, the riders dismounted and there were some casualties, but no squad was totally dispersed. Without a tank in the hex, the two US rifle squds were dispersed totally with heavier casualties. My conclusion: Infantry on tanks or in a hex with a tank suffer less casualties than an infantry unit without a tank in the hex. Wild Bill ------------------ In Arduis Fidelis Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games

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- 6/8/2000 6:48:00 PM   
schmoe

 

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I was a tanker, and I have a few observations. 1. Tanks back up up a lot in combat. It isn't a good idea to be behind one when it does that. They can't see you if they are buttoned up, and sometimes they are in a hurry. By the way WB, that is something glaringly missing. Tanks have to turn around to move back in this game, making them easy targets. Not sure if it's possible to fix, though. 2. In Vietnam, they tended to be rpg magnets. Being close to an rpg when it goes off is kinda like being close to a grenade. They often didn't penetrate the tank, but it wasn't pleasant for anyone nearby. IMHO that would also be the case if a conventional AT round hit ... hundreds of itsy bitsy pieces of armor and projectile flying about whether it penetrates or not. Not as bad as an rpg, but not good. 3. Tanks were sometimes used to lead convoys. There were several reasons for this, but one was that if a tank runs over a mine the blast usually won't penetrate the crew compartment, whereas an apc or a Sheridan have less protection ... better to just sit on top in any case ...

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- 6/8/2000 8:42:00 PM   
Arralen


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I was a tanker, and I have a few observations. I was a Panzergrenadier, and have some observation, too - and as far as SPWaW is concerned, I have some stories I heard from those involved in the fighting... 1. Tanks back up up a lot in combat. It isn't a good idea to be behind one when it does that. They can't see you if they are buttoned up, and sometimes they are in a hurry. But modern tanks are MUCH faster than the WW2 ones ... especially "offroad". I wholeheartly agree that it's really healthier to stay about 20 meters away from a moving Leopard / Abrams, if not more Think you won't have much problems getting out of the way of a Sherman if it first crawls forward with 10 km/h, stopps and "hurries" backwards with 15 km/h .. or am I completely wrong here? By the way WB, that is something glaringly missing. Tanks have to turn around to move back in this game, making them easy targets. Not sure if it's possible to fix, though. I would really be glad to see this in the game - together with movement-point cost for turning the hull (right click) - maybe even for turning the turret (targetting with "F"). 2. In Vietnam, they tended to be rpg magnets. Being close to an rpg when it goes off is kinda like being close to a grenade. They often didn't penetrate the tank, but it wasn't pleasant for anyone nearby. IMHO that would also be the case if a conventional AT round hit ... hundreds of itsy bitsy pieces of armor and projectile flying about whether it penetrates or not. Not as bad as an rpg, but not good. But fighting in Vietnam was a bit different from that in Europe - if the tank in front of you was hit by a Panzerfaust / Bazooka, most likely you already where "going nose-down in the mud" because an MG open up upon you at the same moment - at least that's what the stories I heard suggest .. The "hide behind your tank"-tactic was applied mostly (if at all) when combined forces where to advance against infantery over long open ranges - better hiding behind a tank than having no cover at all .. and the tank won't back up much in such situations as well, as this wouldn't get him into cover as well. But this is from stories I heard years ago, and may not be accurate from faulty memory etc. Arralen

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- 6/8/2000 10:08:00 PM   
schmoe

 

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Arralen, I mostly agree with what you say. Where backing up is concerned, I was thinking about guys who are crouched right behind your tracks, which gives them very little reaction time. That happened a lot in Hue where you would have 10 or more guys hugging the tank as it moved slowly down a street. That actually works well at times, but in those situations it was worked out ahead of time and the tankers knew they couldn't back up. Of course if you start taking RPGs and the driver panics ... The last I heard, M1's ONLY carried sabot, so they wouldn't be much use in a city fight. I bet that would change quickly if we did much urban fighting, though.

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- 6/8/2000 10:41:00 PM   
Larry Holt

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Wild Bill: Here are the Test results - Verdict. More infantry casualties without a tank in the hex than with one in the hex. I'll be happy to send this test to anyone who wants it. billw@thegamers.net ----------------- ... I put Panzerschreck, German Squad and ATG each 4 hexes from a Sherman with a squad mounted on it. (total of three shermans and 3 squads, one for each German unit). ... Wild Bill
Bill, I think that you got the results you did based on the 4 hex range. At that range the rifles and MG are very accurate. I've seen the "more inf casualities when shooting at tanks" issue at longer ranges (15 hexes or so) I'll have to wait until tonight to test my theroy. ------------------ An old soldier but not yet a faded one. OK, maybe just a bit faded.

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