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Author Topic: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?  (Read 3046 times)

Kovax

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #60 on: 13 October 2021, 08:59:48 »
To give you some idea of how much variation there was in bailing from a tank, here are two WW2 examples:

Hungarian tankers were instructed to abandon their Italian-made Ansaldo tankettes (purchased for training purposes, but fielded against the Soviets due to delays and shortages of their "real" M-38 "Toldi" tanks) and run for cover if enemy armor was sighted in the vicinity.  You were far safer out of the vehicle than in it, mobile or otherwise, and the trained crew was considered far more valuable than the tankette.  Incidentally, how many Ethiopians with spears does it take to knock out an Italian tankette?  Apparently about a dozen, who used their spears as levers to flip the tank upside down.  With machines such as these, you clearly need to bail BEFORE engaging the enemy.  They even make Quiksell products look good by comparison.

On the opposite extreme, one Soviet tank was knocked out by German AT guns, and the battle pushed forward, leaving the wrecked tank far behind German lines.  A week later, Soviet artillery seemed to be homing in with uncanny accuracy on German supply convoys and HQ units in the area, until someone realized that the "abandoned" Soviet tank hadn't been checked out.  Turns out, at least one of the surviving crewmen had remained with the vehicle for all that time despite the summer heat and rotting bodies, and was using the radio (yes, an actual FUNCTIONAL radio in a T-34) to call in the artillery strikes.  Some people need to be forcibly pried out of their immobilized tanks, because they just don't know when to leave.

I find a simplistic rule to be unrealistic, whether it's to bail unconditionally if the tank is immobilized, or allowing the crew of an immobile vehicle to continue fighting to the death in a clearly suicidal manner.  There needs to be some nuanced flexibility or randomness.

Cannonshop

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #61 on: 13 October 2021, 10:50:39 »
To give you some idea of how much variation there was in bailing from a tank, here are two WW2 examples:

Hungarian tankers were instructed to abandon their Italian-made Ansaldo tankettes (purchased for training purposes, but fielded against the Soviets due to delays and shortages of their "real" M-38 "Toldi" tanks) and run for cover if enemy armor was sighted in the vicinity.  You were far safer out of the vehicle than in it, mobile or otherwise, and the trained crew was considered far more valuable than the tankette.  Incidentally, how many Ethiopians with spears does it take to knock out an Italian tankette?  Apparently about a dozen, who used their spears as levers to flip the tank upside down.  With machines such as these, you clearly need to bail BEFORE engaging the enemy.  They even make Quiksell products look good by comparison.

On the opposite extreme, one Soviet tank was knocked out by German AT guns, and the battle pushed forward, leaving the wrecked tank far behind German lines.  A week later, Soviet artillery seemed to be homing in with uncanny accuracy on German supply convoys and HQ units in the area, until someone realized that the "abandoned" Soviet tank hadn't been checked out.  Turns out, at least one of the surviving crewmen had remained with the vehicle for all that time despite the summer heat and rotting bodies, and was using the radio (yes, an actual FUNCTIONAL radio in a T-34) to call in the artillery strikes.  Some people need to be forcibly pried out of their immobilized tanks, because they just don't know when to leave.

I find a simplistic rule to be unrealistic, whether it's to bail unconditionally if the tank is immobilized, or allowing the crew of an immobile vehicle to continue fighting to the death in a clearly suicidal manner.  There needs to be some nuanced flexibility or randomness.

There's a thing we don't have except in some optional/scenario/house rules, and that's a morale or 'guts check'-which would model what you're describing, but isn't available in standard play outside of pregenerated scenarios, established campaigns, or agreed upon house rules.

mainly, it's not something that wasn't considered, it was-but with the number of rules and calculations the game already uses, it would've been an unnecessary addition to an already complicated system.

Going with the BASELINE rules we have, and not the various scenario options, but straight up, single-book Total Warfare rules, what I outlined in earlier posts is correct-the rules in TW favor pillboxing, and that's not a bad thing, because it gives your assault grade tanks a role that they can perform in your forces better than something else does (though not better than many actual BATTLEMECHS).

I've SEEN what it looks like when, following the rules, an entire classification of units is rendered effectively a waste of time-this was what happened with Assault Tanks in pre-Total Warfare play-because they were too slow to be useful for attack, and too soft to hold a fixed defensive line.

Pillboxing (parking) is the strategy that makes it worth taking a 3/5 or slower tank, it gives it a function, it gives it a role.  that role isn't necessarily universal-but then, you don't see helicopters doing well in vacuum or hovercraft in submerged underwater play doing well either-for playing offense, an assault tank isn't worth much, but it's a fantastic DEFENSIVE player and a real asset if you use it the way the rules actually work to justify the BV expense-that is, as a semi-mobile bunker that is still cheaper than most Battlemechs of equal tech, that can anchor your line and free your mobile units to do mobile unit things.

This really isn't a bad state of affairs, especially compared to where those slower vehicles really fell back in the day when your entire hit chart could be printed on the same facing as your record sheet for quick reference in ten or even twelve point type-and everything was a lot more lethal to tanks.  at THAT time, 3/5 was a movement profile you might as well have left it in the cargo on the dropship, or scrapped it for cash to buy something you could actually USE.

no longer the case, now it has a role and does that role passably well enough to justify the BV2, where before it didn't even meet justification for BV1.

I harp on movement profile, because unlike with 'mechs, on Tanks that's more your definition of role.

1/2, 2/3, or 3/5 is an Assault defense platform, it can't match gunnery to TMM-the TMM is always lower than the penalty for reaching it to your gunnery, so it shoots optimally from a fixed position.

4/6 to 5/8 is where you find most of your 'useful' heavy tracked tanks that can play offense-because it can match TMM to Gunnery Penalty, or even get slightly better if you can cruise in a straight line without needing to climb a hill, but it's not SUPER defensed and needs decent armor to make up for the fact most opfor are better gunners than that.  The absolute 'floor' for being competent on the attack, is 4/6 for this reason-it's the lowest base movement profile you can reasonably expect to be able to shoot on the same turn you're moving with some prayer of hitting what you're shooting at.  It's also a profile at which you can TAKE a motive hit and still limp to a good shooting position before putting it in park.  5/8 is better on tracks because it lets you reach a ridge or woodline faster, and it's a speed that lets you do some actual manuevering before you're immobilized.

5/8 is also about where most of your tanks cross the heavy/medium to Light barrier-faster than 5/8 and you're either running enough XL engine to be more expensive than an equivalent 'mech, or you're running REALLY light on armor and/or payload and in a role that is probably better served with a low-=end medium 'mech or a REALLY fast hovertank.

It's all about your role, see?  Where's your budget? how much can you afford to lose and still win the objective?

which, a Morale system might really help with, but it's not a priority for development because it really DOES hit into a tight niche, and most halfway awake scenario designers will have something in place.

Getting aggressive with an Alacorn, Demolisher, Behemoth, or Von Luckner is handing your opponent an engraved invitation to defeat you, playing them as what they are (bunkers that sling a LOT of firepower and take forever to crack), otoh, works really, really well for YOUR side, not theirs.  On the same hook, though, There ARE tanks you CAN play offense with successfully (that aren't hovertanks.)

Myrmidon
Manticore
Patton
Rommel

these play both offense and defense competently-if you use them competently.  It's possible to get good results playing Myrms aggressively, it's POSSIBLE to ruin someone's day with a lance of aggressively played Mantis or Pattons, or even Rommels.  Likewise for the Po and a few others, but it's grounded in their movement profile as much as their weapons fit.

The key with success using Vees in a primary role, is to accept you're going to lose units.  a LOT of players have a 'zero defects' mentality and are extremely risk-averse, such players should probably not use conventional vehicles of any sort, because they will be disappointed.  Getting too used to using ANY 'optional rule' whether it's forced withdrawal, or the 'improved survivability tables' from TacOps, is a mistake, because it limits who you can play the game with, and generates blind-spots where you can be blind-sided by someone who didn't agree to your favorite optional rules or house rules.

*(this is also not a new thing.  I used to routinely spank players who leaned on Maxtech's munchkin options when playing in venues where those were NOT an option and everyone had to play according to the core book-because they weren't used to it and habitually did things that only work under those optional rules.  Keep in mind that I WAS the 'conventional forces' guy in my area, and often ran 'battlmech poor' at a time when the conventional tabletop wisdom was that vehicles were 'useless' and 'too vulnerable'.)







"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
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go home from us in peace.
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Daryk

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #62 on: 13 October 2021, 18:08:51 »
*snip*
...and free your mobile units to do mobile unit things.
Amen brother!  Preach it!  :rockon:

Cannonshop

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Re: Is the benefit of a turret on a tank worth the cost?
« Reply #63 on: 13 October 2021, 22:40:03 »
Amen brother!  Preach it!  :rockon:
I think I need to back off on the preach, actually.  A decent portion of my successes has been letting people on the other side of the table make mistakes-like taking their Alacorns for a joyride instead of fighting from fixed positions where they'd have the advantage.

please, guys, flank your alacorns like they're hovercraft for me!!  :D

ahem.

Like I said, I need to back off on the preaching. 

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams