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Author Topic: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?  (Read 2856 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #30 on: 03 August 2021, 13:54:35 »
AFTER the publication of Total Warfare, Pillboxing became a viable option, and with it, most of your assault class tanks were no longer hyperexpensive (in BV) white-elephants...provided you're willing to embrace pillboxing as a strategy.  They're not intended to keep advancing or moving, they're intended to be parked, and left in place.

In your opinion . . . a company of heavy/assault armor can do a terrifying Lyran Wall of Steel impersonation.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #31 on: 03 August 2021, 18:20:41 »
In your opinion . . . a company of heavy/assault armor can do a terrifying Lyran Wall of Steel impersonation.


at equal BV for a couple of rounds, sure.  Then it just impersonates a wall of bunkers, since immobilizing them is easier to achieve, than knocking them out entirely.
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chanman

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #32 on: 03 August 2021, 20:45:35 »

at equal BV for a couple of rounds, sure.  Then it just impersonates a wall of bunkers, since immobilizing them is easier to achieve, than knocking them out entirely.

So it's just the BAOR's Chieftains during the Cold War or a number of the heavy panzers in WW2. Find a good location to break down in and hope Red Team runs out of T-34s/T-55s before they can close the distance or you run out of ammo...

Cannonshop

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #33 on: 03 August 2021, 21:50:49 »
So it's just the BAOR's Chieftains during the Cold War or a number of the heavy panzers in WW2. Find a good location to break down in and hope Red Team runs out of T-34s/T-55s before they can close the distance or you run out of ammo...

Pretty much.  It's still something better than they had in the BMR days-it's a viable tactic you can build a plan around instead of a budget-buster that you can't.

Mind I still prefer the faster, more lethal play we had with the old rules.  Managing a battalion-sized combat in under 8 hours without having to oversimplify stats was kind of neat, it really highlit the difference between 'mission kill' and 'annihilated to razor-blades', but the trade off at the time was learning NOT to play every unit as a funny-looking battlemech-heavier wasn't automatically the right choice and static defense was a loser when fires worked they way they did in BMR.  One inferno, it hits the hex if it doesn't hit you, you either survive and move, or you die if you stay.

a much more fluid sort of combat.  Harder to manage if you're only using two mapsheets, so you end up needing large map layouts to have enough room even for slower units, which made for a more aggressive game if you wanted to make it out the other side.  I understand why they made the changes to a system where vees played more like 'mechs *(at least in terms of how they take damage) and eliminated fires, artillery and minefields from the core rules.

but I miss being able to play out any sized land engagement using one thirty dollar book, and I kind of miss the raw speed at which we could resolve fights using vehicles-they got decisive quickly, which meant being on your toes a lot more, and a lot more shepherding your units and resources to get to the other end of the scenario.



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DevianID

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #34 on: 04 August 2021, 18:50:00 »
One of the things i like most is the forced withdrawal rules.  In said rules, immobilized vehicles are removed, making gameplay much faster.  All vehicles get a substantial BV reduction so making immobilized count as killed is a great equalizer, along with removing the bogus rotor damage reduction Vtols get.

Kovax

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #35 on: 11 August 2021, 11:09:48 »
I think the "forced withdrawl" rule for vehicles is excessively harsh.  If you're immobile, but well behind the battle line and not in any immediate danger while you contribute fire, you're not going to bail and rely on your starched uniform to protect you from enemy fire.  Once the armor runs out on ANY location (or down to < 5 points), THEN you clearly want to bail, because you probably won't survive the next round of incoming fire.  An alternative would be to require a piloting skill check for morale each turn that an immobile vehicle takes enemy fire, to see if the crew is willing to stay, with an auto-fail if the armor is breached.

In my opinion, hexes on fire should have a SMALL chance each turn of incinerating any vehicle within, but not as drastic as in the old rules.

DevianID

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #36 on: 11 August 2021, 16:18:02 »
The forced withdrawal rules counting immobilized as killed makes a lot of sense unless you are up against a force unable to hurt you, or are well defended in friendly territory, or are fighting to the death.  So you would not be using the forced withdrawal rules in those scenarios.

I like to think that an immobilized tank will get arty or bombed fairly quickly, even if you dont have such weapons in play at the moment, hence the counting as killed.

Colt Ward

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #37 on: 11 August 2021, 19:14:57 »
The forced withdrawal rules counting immobilized as killed makes a lot of sense unless you are up against a force unable to hurt you, or are well defended in friendly territory, or are fighting to the death.  So you would not be using the forced withdrawal rules in those scenarios.

I like to think that an immobilized tank will get arty or bombed fairly quickly, even if you dont have such weapons in play at the moment, hence the counting as killed.

You are conflating mission kill with actually killed . . . and some of the tanks are now armored bricks or have special tricks.  FREX, a Pixiu that is down to 0 MP rather than the immobile still has some protections and a decent amount of armor.  No reason to abandon it until as pointed out the armor starts getting thin.
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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #38 on: 12 August 2021, 10:08:07 »
While the idea of immobilization being an instant kill is pretty excessive, I think it's fair that some crews would take their chances outside the vehicle rather than stay in an unmoving target someone's clearly dialed in, no matter how much armor they have left, even in cases where staying put would actually be the optimal choice from a survival standpoint. Plenty of historical examples of crews bailing from largely functional vehicles (though the armoring situation of BT somewhat changes the calculation made in comparison to IRL), much less mobility-killed ones.

Maybe a dice roll? Perhaps it can even be folded into the fire-death rules. Roll a dice for each vee that meets one of a number of conditions (fire in the tile, immobilized, etc.), with a modifier for each condition that applies. If the die meets the target the vee is "killed". The crew decided to bail, the vehicle caught fire and the crew bailed/died, whatever.
« Last Edit: 12 August 2021, 10:18:32 by Adastra »

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #39 on: 13 August 2021, 16:11:50 »
I like to think that an immobilized tank will get arty or bombed fairly quickly, even if you dont have such weapons in play at the moment, hence the counting as killed.
Agreed.

I think the more realistic interpretation is that they crew "powers down" & stops shooting v/s actually jumping out into a flak filled battlefield.
Same effect to the tank & the game w/o the logic of "you get out of the tank that still has 50+ armor?"

That armor doesn't last long when you don't get movement bonuses & might be subject to the -4 immobile penalty or setting the hex on fire.

I can see some scenarios where they stand the the last man & stay in shooting but those would be the exception v/s norm.
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Marveryn

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #40 on: 13 August 2021, 16:38:20 »
Agreed.

I think the more realistic interpretation is that they crew "powers down" & stops shooting v/s actually jumping out into a flak filled battlefield.
Same effect to the tank & the game w/o the logic of "you get out of the tank that still has 50+ armor?"

That armor doesn't last long when you don't get movement bonuses & might be subject to the -4 immobile penalty or setting the hex on fire.

I can see some scenarios where they stand the the last man & stay in shooting but those would be the exception v/s norm.
i can see in some scenario crew power down there tank as a sign of surrender.  much like mech powerdown is. 

House Davie Merc

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #41 on: 02 October 2021, 19:44:25 »
Yes .
Of all the canon vehicles in the game if I could change one thing about one vehicle I would find a way
to put a turret on the standard LRM carrier .  Once someone wins initiative and
flanks an LRM carrier it has no way to respond outside of the forward arc .

Put a turret on it and presto-it's always a threat . Sure it has minimum range issues
but it can still respond with a serious threat .

idea weenie

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #42 on: 03 October 2021, 10:56:59 »
An SRM carrier would definitely want to puts its weapons into a turret.  The SRM carrier only has a range of 9 hexes, so it is extremely likely for its Front-mounted SRM-6 array to be out of arc if it tries to openly engage someone, and its extremely thin armor means it has to hide the entire time it is approaching an opponent.  It has to get into close range to use its weapons, so has to either hide very well, or hope that nobody shoots it when it is visible.  An LRM carrier can at least respond when being fired at, the SRM Carrier has to hope the opponent rolls poorly.

Tactically, SRM Carriers might be more of a terrain denial rather than a combat unit.  If you show one SRM Carrier heading into a cluster of woods or other cover, you can almost guarantee that your opponent will stay away from that part of the map during the entire game. An LRM Carrier has to show itself to engage/harass opponents, and SRM Carrier just has to exist.

(3025 era SRM Carrier = 60-tonner 3/5 vehicle with 12 pts armor on each facing, carries ten SRM-6 launchers and 6 shots for each)

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #43 on: 03 October 2021, 11:09:19 »
Now now, if your LRM Carrier got flanked, you did something wrong with your tactics & its not the LRM Carriers fault.   :P

In all seriousness, I don't disagree that a turret would be useful, but at the same time, I tend to overload on "bodyguards".

Nothing says "stay away" like a Demolisher or Saladin in the back quarter, or the Nightstar/Gunslinger/Awesome that is standing on top of the hill the LRM Carrier is hiding behind.
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House Davie Merc

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #44 on: 03 October 2021, 21:14:33 »
Now now, if your LRM Carrier got flanked, you did something wrong with your tactics & its not the LRM Carriers fault.   :P

In all seriousness, I don't disagree that a turret would be useful, but at the same time, I tend to overload on "bodyguards".

Nothing says "stay away" like a Demolisher or Saladin in the back quarter, or the Nightstar/Gunslinger/Awesome that is standing on top of the hill the LRM Carrier is hiding behind.

I've had this discussion with other players on this board. My point of view defers from many .
If the standard rules are in use - even IF you have a body guard for the LRM carrier and it takes out an
attacker in a single salvo-the attacker STILL gets to fire at the LRM carrier if in range and view .
Given the limitations of game balance and that Battle Value is frequently used -if you spend BV points on
a mostly static "body guard" is it worth it when the attacker still gets that shot ?
Keeping it behind a hill is a quality tactic-especially with something like an Awesome on that hill.
That hill can still get flanked by units that you just can't stop.

Given the option of a turret-instead of an LRM carrier and bodyguard-you could instead field multiple
LRM carriers with turrets to guard each other better AND put out more indirect fire for the same BV .


Also-given that an attacker still gets that last shot under standard rules -which is a better defending
unit for the battle value :
Choice A-a Hunchback with an AC/20 that stands with the unit it guards.
Choice B-A Phoenix Hawk PXH-1 that uses it's speed to chase down specific
threats before they can close on the unit that needs guarded .

MY POV is often different .  I'd rather have multiple cheap LRM carriers with turrets ,and I'd rather my guarding
mechs go out and target the threat before it approaches .

DevianID

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #45 on: 05 October 2021, 03:55:01 »
I mean, as I said before turrets are 'fine' for some mission parameters.  An LRM only weapons carrier is not meant to engage at short range; being flanked is impossible at range... At range 7, if you are dialed into your opponent head on, then the opponent must move 8 hexes by the shortest route to clear your firing arc--meaning they can get into your hex easier than they can clear your arc.  At further range, the geometry stays the same; it is always 1 hex easier to stand on top of an LRM carrier than it is to clear its arc.  Now, sometimes you might straddle 2 arcs as a gameplay 'exploit' by taking advantage that on a hex map the LRM carrier can not perform slight turns (similar to how you can box units in due to the edge of the map being an impassable cliff), but as soon as you use hexless terrain the arc of fire is pretty much impossible to clear by normal units, compared to just running into minimum range.  Obviously if you lose init then you can never flank an LRM carrier with 1 unit.

House Davie Merc

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #46 on: 06 October 2021, 19:48:00 »
I mean, as I said before turrets are 'fine' for some mission parameters.  An LRM only weapons carrier is not meant to engage at short range; being flanked is impossible at range... At range 7, if you are dialed into your opponent head on, then the opponent must move 8 hexes by the shortest route to clear your firing arc--meaning they can get into your hex easier than they can clear your arc.  At further range, the geometry stays the same; it is always 1 hex easier to stand on top of an LRM carrier than it is to clear its arc.  Now, sometimes you might straddle 2 arcs as a gameplay 'exploit' by taking advantage that on a hex map the LRM carrier can not perform slight turns (similar to how you can box units in due to the edge of the map being an impassable cliff), but as soon as you use hexless terrain the arc of fire is pretty much impossible to clear by normal units, compared to just running into minimum range.  Obviously if you lose init then you can never flank an LRM carrier with 1 unit.
Flanking a unit is not usually an act carried out within a single round .  It's something you set up for and wait until either you
win initiative or an opportunity presents itself . If you are the one trying to set up for an attack run you don't do so by
getting head on while setting up - unless forcing the opponent to change facing takes the opponents fire away from units
you don't want shot at . As for the other factors of distance,even in 3025 there are units fast enough to make it happen .
It's quite possible to outflank an LRM carrier at range .
If you want LRM carriers to cover each other at close ranges-you separate them by several hexes to nullify minimum range . 

BirdofPrey

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #47 on: 07 October 2021, 05:43:36 »
Nothing says "stay away" like a Demolisher . . . or the Nightstar. . . standing on top of the hill the LRM Carrier is hiding behind.
Why does this sound familiar?

= = =
Anyway at the ranges an LRM fires from, if someone gets in close enough the carrier can't properly preemptively maneuver, you already screwed up, and a turret isn't much remedy to the situation.  At the effective range of LRMs, the firing arc is dozens of hexes wide, when you get in close enough it's a problem for the carrier, you're also inside minimum range anyway.
I tend to like turrets on everything, but an LRM carrier has the least need.


Also, per the slightly earlier discussion:  I think immobilized units being automatically removed seems a bit much.  I am one of those people who runs the brick tanks, and it's actually not that hard to disable the tank, but chewing through all that armor DOES take quite a bit of time.  An assault tank is very much still a pretty large threat even once it is immobilized, though brick tank tactics do basically require a turret since you can count on not being able to turn again after round 3 or 4.
Counterpoint, though is when somebody decides to bring Inferno IVs to make the problem go away.

Kovax

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #48 on: 07 October 2021, 12:36:07 »
As said, putting a turret on an LRM Carrier is just a way of trying to salvage some shred of hope out of an already lost cause.  If you get into a situation where need the turret, chances are that the minimum range penalty is going to make your shots all but pointless anyway.  The tonnage of a turret is better spent on either armor or more LRMs.

The SRM Carrier could very well use a turret and sacrifice an SRM launcher or two for it.  You're still going to lose the SRM Carrier to a flanking opponent, but with a turret you can be sure that the enemy is going to pay dearly for it.

In either case, a Locust can still do a tap-dance on top of your vehicle, and turret or not, there's not a whole lot you can do about it unless you have a second tank or a 'Mech nearby to swat it.

DevianID

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #49 on: 08 October 2021, 02:07:31 »
For some historical context, on the 'Thunder run' an abrams was immobilized.  They scuttled and bombed the tank, despite the tank not being penetrated and the crew being fine.  So immobilized causing a tank to bail/power down/whatever isnt very harsh at all honestly--in missions where forced withdrawal rules are in play.

Keep in mind tanks get a BV discount, and often dont pay for high mobility like mechs with MASC or jumpjets or higher speeds do.  Thus you can easily get 2x the tonnage of tanks with double or more the firepower of an equal weight mech of the same BV.  A stock Dragon 1N at 1125 is a Bulldog and Bulldog ac/2 (1129 bv).  Forced withdrawal has a bigger effect on slower stupidly high armor tanks that get proportionately better discounts on BV, like the Behemoth (Armor) with 1406 BV for 21 tons of armor on a 2/3 turret platform.  This tank is cheaper than a zeus 6T and is in the Thunderbolt/Archer range--when parked in the middle of the map it should be clear that this tank overperforms in standard games of battletech, and is a good candidate for early retirement via forced withdrawal--otherwise an immobilized behemoth barely notices any degradation in performance when immobilized due to how btech games on mapsheets work.

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #50 on: 08 October 2021, 08:57:59 »
There should be some forced withdrawal mechanism in the game, but not an instant and automatic bail or mission kill for immobilization.  It needs some nuance to it, such as a morale check or an armor check each turn it takes fire.

I would think that with a lance of tanks parked on a ridge and pouring long-range fire onto a target, one of them taking a track hit and getting immobilized wouldn't be cause for abandoning an otherwise healthy vehicle and the mission while the rest of the lance was right there with them.  Once the rest of the lance moves on, the immobile tank starts losing a lot of armor, or someone starts dumping artillery or Inferno rounds on it, then the crew would almost certainly wish to find a nicer place to hang out.  Until then, I'd give the crew reasonable odds of staying with the vehicle.

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #51 on: 08 October 2021, 13:37:59 »
I'm going to start calling the continued manning and fighting of an immobilized tank "Fury Syndrome."  Love the movie, but in reality an immobilized tank is referred to as a "mobility kill."  Emphasis on kill because the crew would be dumb to stay inside a big sitting duck.
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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #52 on: 08 October 2021, 13:54:16 »
I'm going to start calling the continued manning and fighting of an immobilized tank "Fury Syndrome."  Love the movie, but in reality an immobilized tank is referred to as a "mobility kill."  Emphasis on kill because the crew would be dumb to stay inside a big sitting duck.
Two points:
- How important is the mission objective, might have to keep firing
- Is the outside really safer?
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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #53 on: 08 October 2021, 13:57:32 »
Two points:
- How important is the mission objective, might have to keep firing
- Is the outside really safer?

"Inside the tank" is small and cramped, the enemy knows where you are, and you're stuck in one place.  "Outside the tank" is the rest of the known universe, so there's plenty of space to either run or hide.
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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #54 on: 08 October 2021, 14:04:48 »
"Inside the tank" is small and cramped, the enemy knows where you are, and you're stuck in one place.  "Outside the tank" is the rest of the known universe, so there's plenty of space to either run or hide.
With BT armor, any immobilized tank is effectively a bunker, now running out of the bunker......
If either option pays off will really depend upon which types of weapons the enemy is using.
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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #55 on: 11 October 2021, 10:39:16 »
Most of the times, yes

There are factors to be considered:

- the slower the unit is, it is more important to have a turret because you can move in different directions and still fire 360 degrees. Faster units have more MPs to spend and get to firing position but could use these movement points to increase its defense or to reach a target's rear arc, for example

- shorter range weapons also benefit more from turrets because your target can get to a position that you cannot fire at it. In case of long range weapons you can easily keep your target in your desired arc.

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #56 on: 11 October 2021, 14:32:11 »
I'm going to start calling the continued manning and fighting of an immobilized tank "Fury Syndrome."  Love the movie, but in reality an immobilized tank is referred to as a "mobility kill."  Emphasis on kill because the crew would be dumb to stay inside a big sitting duck.

That film was one of my fave, re tank combat..   

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #57 on: 11 October 2021, 23:45:29 »
Quote
That film was one of my fave, re tank combat..

I really liked Fury, but even at the time I thought it was pretty lucky that german attack force decided not to bring any anti tank weapons they no doubt carried at the end of the movie.  They interviewed a sherman tanker when the movie came out, and he liked the movie but stated flatly the SS would have just panzerfaust'd the immobilized sherman in short order instead of having this bloody standoff showdown.

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #58 on: 12 October 2021, 10:07:26 »
While I agree that an immobilized vehicle would end up as a "mission kill" at some point, one immobile vehicle in a lance of parked vehicles shouldn't be at significantly more risk than the rest of the lance, but BT rules make it so with the -4 to-be-hit penalty.  At some point, the lance is going to want to move on, and at that point, the immobile vehicle should become a "mission kill", because it can't keep up with the formation.  As long as it's parked in a spot with nearby support, and not taking much fire, the crew shouldn't feel any exceptional pressure to bail out of their metal pillbox and trust to their flak jackets to protect them.

To utilize the WW2 example, an unsupported tank would eventually be taken out by infantry infiltrating through the terrain into a favorable position for portable Anti-tank weapons, or be knocked out once proper AT guns were eventually brought into range and set up.  The SAME would be true for an unsupported tank that wasn't immobilized.  Most tanks were deployed as tank platoons of 3-6 vehicles, rather than individually, so one isolated tank operating independently is already an anomaly.  With another tank or two (or 3 or more) in support, the situation for the immobilized tank's crew would be no less safe than that of the remaining mobile units.  Depending on the flow of the battle, either the unit would have to be abandoned once the position became unsafe for ANY tank, or else the battle would push forward and the crew would eventually attempt a field repair or make their way back to base as best they could, while the abandoned vehicle was towed back for repair or cut apart for scrap.

Possibilities in BT might include a morale check at the end of the turn it's immobilized, on any subsequent turn that there are no friendly units within 3 hexes (a malus to the roll if there are no units in support), as well as any later turn that the immobilized unit takes fire if the armor is below 12 points on the side that took damage (crew bails if 2D6 is higher than remaining armor, with modifiers).

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #59 on: 12 October 2021, 17:17:08 »
Immobilzed tanks are usually a death trap, but how fast it become the deathtrap is usually depend on individual cases. If a T-34 is immobilized before even a german mark 4 tank, it is dead already. But if the same tank is immobilized when the most of enemy armored forces are either killed or in retreat, and if your side is winning, then it can expect higher survival rate and even expect for the chance to repair and return to service.