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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42» Forums » General

Subject: Guns - red front DR values rss

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Lukasz Biernat
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I know that blue front DR numbers were one of the most controversial design decisions in CoH games. And it has been decided, that from AtB v2, all guns will use red numbers for their front DR. To make them vulnerable to explosive shells, for historical accuracy, etc.

I think, the change would make the guns pretty much invulnerable (!)

Look at the counters for their red FP values. Those are really low, compared to blue ones. Previously. when a Panther stumbled upon an AT gun on the open field, it would just annihilate the gun with a single shot (13 or so blue FP vs 13 blue DR). The players didn't like it (historically unacurate).

Now, imagine. The greatest threat to AT gun? A tank with powerful gun firing powerful explosive rounds. IS-2 anyone? So, IS-2 stumbles upon an AT gun on the open field and...

So, IS-2 fires with a 7 FP red attack vs 13 red front DR... um... yes. A roll of 6 or greater is needed to hit. Not very impressive, right? And that's the best weapon for the job.
Short barreled tanks with 5 red FP need to be really lucky to score a hit. And if the ATG is in some cover (+2 DR) it may be invulnerable.

I think it's time for a reality check again. Red FP values on tanks and guns are really inferior to blue values. If you look on red FP values, you'll see that a 5 is the best they can usually do. The meanest players - Tiger and heavy soviet SPGs have 6 or 7. Flamethrowing tanks have respectable red FPs (8), but no range at all.

Old blue DR values of AT guns were not historically accurate, but at least you could usually destroy revealed AT guns with straight shots. I have the impression, that now it's going to be harder to destroy them.

Thoughts?
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Pavlos Germidis
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We are still thinking of reducing the front defense of AT guns.

I mean, an AT gun in the open is pretty much dead meat to anyone, even more if its a large gun without shield. At best it will be disrupted, most crewmen pinned down or cowering behind the shield. More likely it will be destroyed rapidly if fired upon. Still, sometimes, the Germans were able to jump off their Protze trucks in the middle of a road -under fire!-, unlimb their gun, bring it to bear and then destroy enemy tanks, all of it while being fired upon !

AT guns operated mostly from prepared positions, woodlands and other protected areas. AT guns where of generally small size, and utmost care was ensured so that it was camouflaged VERY effectively. That has already been taken in account in the defense value.

We are still making statistics checks about how red defense fares on the field. You are right, a small AT gun in a forest will be hard to kill.
Still, look at pictures of AT guns: you will see that they are almost invisible ! With a few branches and a good backdrop, only their firing flame could be spotted! Would that already be factored up in the red value, or not ?
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Lukasz Biernat
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On the other hand, big HE shell doesn't have to hit the gun directly to disable it. A close hit should be enough and the blast radius should do the trick.

Red DR of guns sounds like a good idea (I mean, infantry have a shot against them, at last!) but low red FP numbers could break things here.

It's pretty weird - '39 tanks have no problem in delivering 4-5 red FP - even ones without guns! And monsters like Brummbar or SU-122 have only 6? 1 point better than short barreled pz IV?

Maybe HE icon is needed. Units capable of firing HE ammo could be marked with a special icon that could be used for destroying fortifications/hinderances? There was a discussion about killing roadblocks with tank fire and rules that don't make sense. HE would also get benefits when firing at guns or small units like MG squads or mortars.
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Pavlos Germidis
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Brumbar has only 6 ? That's a mistake from my part. Should be 7.

Apart from this, perhaps if we look at things globally, we can iron out some differences. 5 red FP is for tanks with a rapid-firing 75mm gun, say, and at least one co-axial MG [yes, the MG counts as +1 in general]. The tank can fire twice in a round if it is German. Let's suppose it is.

We are in 1941, a soviet 45mm AT gun in the woods is spotted by a pzIV. The red FP of the panzer is 5, and the front defense of the AT gun is 13+2=5. The panzer needs a 10+ to hit. That's 3 in 12, 25% of chances. Two times. Not that bad. If the German player wishes to spend some CAP , the tank needs a 8+ to hit. That's almost 50% !!

That is firing at a 1 square meter camouflaged target, low in the undergrowth of the woods. During combat, with low visibility, cordite smoke, the stench and noise of the engine and all.

I think that ain't that bad !

If we look at a 8,8cm Flak in the open, in a hasty defense position (def=12+1=13), a T-34 76mm (5 red FP) would need a 8+ to hit the target. Not bad either. With CAP it goes up to 6+ (instant kill at 10+). Run for cover men !
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Marcin Woźniak
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I like HE icon - which would affect guns with equal or more than 75mm. Those would always attack flank defence of their target AND be able to destroy fortifications and hindrances (roadblocks and others). I think that would work great for Stug's, PzIVc and other infantry tanks and assault guns.
There should be no such possibility for PzIb or PzIIc!

BTW, I am not happy at all with early StugIII poor ability of destroying light Soviet tanks (with 5/2 AV). 2 Blue AV is really poor against 13-14 DV, especially considering how good Soviet 45 mm gun is.
I do not think that odds were even between Stug and BT or T26b.
In French campaign, 75mm short barreled guns were said to be most effective of all German PanzerKanones in destroying French heavy CharB1's.

And early Stugs were used not only as infantry destroyers.

 
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Lukasz Biernat
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HE icon would solve many problems that people have with the game. And there would be more difference with units.

Right now, infantry fire and MGs are more effective with red FP than most of the guns that fire explosive shells.

Guns with more than 5 red FP (very rare!) have huge AP costs to fire, and that makes them even worse than MGs.
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Marcin Woźniak
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I hope Uwe will see this thread (actually I am sure he will, as he sees everything and responds to everything) ;)
 
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Pavlos Germidis
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MarcinW wrote:
[...]

BTW, I am not happy at all with early StugIII poor ability of destroying light Soviet tanks (with 5/2 AV). 2 Blue AV is really poor against 13-14 DV, especially considering how good Soviet 45 mm gun is.
I do not think that odds were even between Stug and BT or T26b.
In French campaign, 75mm short barreled guns were said to be most effective of all German PanzerKanones in destroying French heavy CharB1's.

And early Stugs were used not only as infantry destroyers.



The 5/2 is used so as to illustrate that the standard issue of ammunition at that time did not include many HEAT shells, nor many AP shells. The penetration of a High Explosive (red FP) 75mm shell fired from a low velocity gun (L24 here), is pathetic.
In the french campaign (on which I am designing a game right now), the pzIVC/D were issued with very few AP shells, and were notoriously short on them in every engagement. What you say about the efficiency of the L24 75mm AP shell is true... when there IS such a shell !
More efficient HEAT shells (because they were many types) were more commonplace, if my memory serves me well, from 1942 on. I tend to find that the HEAT shell efficiency is under-modelled -but that's another story.

Early StuGs where infantry/ MG nests/ light fortification destroyers. They had the training, the sights and the ammo load for this purpose. Now, if a StuGIIIb had 3 HEAT shells and was threatened by a KV-1 at short range... All this changed with the StuGIII F8, of course.
 
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Lukasz Biernat
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And again - without marking STUG III as a HE capable weapon platform, this SPG is LESS efficient MG/gun nest destroyer than any MG.

French SA-18 gun mounted on polish armored cars was designed for clearing obstacles and MG nests with 37mm explosive shells, right? Too bad that with 3 red FP it can clear nothing
 
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uwe eickert
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We are still discussing the shield issue, because it bothers me also. I think that an HE icon may work well, but we need to keep it very simple.

If a unit has an HE icon, it automatically fires against a units flank defense. Similar to mortars. So mortars could have the same symbol and the rules would be streamlined. Hmm....

Dang, this is really late in the game.

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Pavlos Germidis
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Biernath_John wrote:
And again - without marking STUG III as a HE capable weapon platform, this SPG is LESS efficient MG/gun nest destroyer than any MG.

French SA-18 gun mounted on polish armored cars was designed for clearing obstacles and MG nests with 37mm explosive shells, right? Too bad that with 3 red FP it can clear nothing


The StuGIII should/will have 5 FP. The MG34 has 4.

The thing with HE ammo and its efficiency as a support weapon is a subject of debate, even in the military circles of the day. Didn't the British even not manufacture HE ammo for their 40mm 2pdnr, judging that with that caliber, the HE content would be ridiculous ? They used 3 or 3.7 inch instead.
As for the French, we still wonder: the theory was that the SA18 37mm would be able to clear MG nests. But would it ? What was the reason for arming the R-35s and Hotchkiss with such ridiculous weapons ? Look at this thread if you read french: http://atf40.forumculture.net/t1090-le-37mm-sa18. The British may well have been right, it reeks of lobbying and industrial exploitation/ incompetence.
Basically, the whole concept of infantry tank was flawed. The weapon in the tank was flawed too. And the 37mm tanks where anyhow following the heavier breach tanks -B1, D1/D2- armed with 47mm/75mm guns (later 105mm with the B40 prototype). The idea of infantry tank was just to have an armored vehicle to carry infantry weapons -and shoot at maximum 400meters. Of course, in CoH, you can always use your 37mm at close range -where you are still invulnerable- and have the +3 bonus.

My opinion is that 37mm HE ammo is pretty much useless. French tankmen like it because they could put a shell in each of their vest's pockets (!). A red FP of 3 for a 37mm is to my eyes justified. And let's not forget the constant clamoring of German troops asking for something heavier than the 75mm of their StuG: they got their wish 2 years later with the StuH42 and its 105mm Gun.
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Lukasz Biernat
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uweeickert wrote:
We are still discussing the shield issue, because it bothers me also. I think that an HE icon may work well, but we need to keep it very simple.

If a unit has an HE icon, it automatically fires against a units flank defense. Similar to mortars. So mortars could have the same symbol and the rules would be streamlined. Hmm....

Dang, this is really late in the game.



Don't be scared of the HE icon. You're already using flamethrower icon, right? That would mechanically be the same thing - attack flank.

About the efficiency of 37mm HE rounds I have no problem with Pavlos' explanation. I still believe, that HE icon is needed though - you don't have to put it on every HE capable counter, just the ones that really make the difference (75mm and larger calibers?)
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Marcin Woźniak
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uweeickert wrote:
We are still discussing the shield issue, because it bothers me also. I think that an HE icon may work well, but we need to keep it very simple.

If a unit has an HE icon, it automatically fires against a units flank defense. Similar to mortars. So mortars could have the same symbol and the rules would be streamlined. Hmm....

Dang, this is really late in the game.



And to make it the rule of thumb: all previous tank and gun counters that have 50mm or greater calliber can shoot into soft flank DR. Could not be more simple. Just one sentence in rulebook.
of course, soviet 45mm were pretty good MG nests destroyers as well once they missed close. But there should be some limit to this powerful ability.
And it would solve my issue with 88 as not enough effective against infantry. ;)
And Lukash's objections about short barrells of PzIVc/d/e or StuGs.
Early StuGs should have 2 different counters, based on type of ammo (as my answer to Pavlos). Those could do miracles with their 'puny' guns against Soviet light tank counterattacks, and now those miracles are not possible with mediocre 2 blue. (blue 14 is 'untouchable' not in SD). Early Eastern Front Barbarossa Stugs were the strong backbone of most attacks and defences, used as iron reserve were 88's were not available.
 
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Marcin Woźniak
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about similarity to mortars: exactly, mortars only advantage would be indirect fire (which is correct). In the open, I'd rather have 75mm field gun than mortar to stop infantry wave, but would definitely choose mortar once some hills are available.
 
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Lukasz Biernat
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Actually there is one thing different about the mortars, bseides indirect fire. THE AIRBURST.
 
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Pavlos Germidis
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MarcinW wrote:

And Lukash's objections about short barrells of PzIVc/d/e or StuGs.
Early StuGs should have 2 different counters, based on type of ammo (as my answer to Pavlos). Those could do miracles with their 'puny' guns against Soviet light tank counterattacks, and now those miracles are not possible with mediocre 2 blue. (blue 14 is 'untouchable' not in SD). Early Eastern Front Barbarossa Stugs were the strong backbone of most attacks and defences, used as iron reserve were 88's were not available.


...what we need then is a card called "Special Ammunition" or "rare ammo" etc. With this card, you can fire APCR/tungsten or Hollow Charge (Pzgr40 or Gr38Hl/A-B rounds) ammo that can increase your blue FP ratings (say +4). Two things though: the range is halfed, and the card is kept only on a 1D6>4. Could include soviet 45mm, 57mm and 76mm canister ammo as well in the card (red FP+2, range 3).
The use of that special ammo -historical as it is- allows for a more uncertain game as well: you don't know if the opponent has the special rounds or not, and what his FP can be at any moment.

Like it, Lukasz and Marcin ?

To get back to the "shrapnel" ability of large HE rounds.
- 37mm HE rounds contain about 25-40 grams of explosive
- 50mm 135-160grams (118 grams for some soviet 45mm)
- 57mm has 218 grams
- 75mm between 700 and 1118 grams
Where do we draw a line, if we have to ? 100 grams ? 250grams ? Soviet shells had thicker walling and hence worse shrapnel efficiency.
- And what happens if the target is in a bunker ? Do 20mm autocannons get the ability ? Does the quadruple flakvierling get it ?
- this ability is going to be tough on 2nd rate infantry too.
...even with all that, I am starting to get convinced too. Grudgingly so, though, because that means that all counters have to change.
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Marcin Woźniak
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75mm then.
Ammunition counters I do like. Discarding on 5 or 6 is a good idea. Unless we assume all guns are well equipped and 'disammunition counters' is what we look for.

and 37mm "HE" is something to be laughed at.
 
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Lukasz Biernat
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I really like the idea of special ammo cards/tokens. Very thematic.

As for the HE icon on counters... I would put HE icon on every unit that fired HE shells, even such laughable ones like SA-18. Here's why:

They have poor red FP values anyway, so you won't be able to destroy bunkers with it or obliterate infantry squads. It would give them some usefulness against gun/MG crews though, without being overpowered.

And about changing all the counters for the new HE rules: ditch the icon idea, and make a small simple red dot near the red FP number. That way, everyone could use a sharpie and update all his counters from SoS/PoH!
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Marcin Woźniak
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Lukash, I would have sent you to Mark Solonin's books, where he describes, how ineficient 37mm gun was in field, and how great a shrapnel difference it made to shoot at field gun win 45mm gun and 37mm.
With 37, basically, you just had to hit gun directly. On such occasion, you might have been lucky if you hit some crew and did to gun more damage than just piercing a shield.

With larger HE load (more than twice as much in Soviet 45) it could have been a 'near miss', as shrapnel power would be enough to suppress and or kill a crew, covering rectangle 10m wide and more than 70 long.

About AP 75mm used by KwK L24, I put somewhere 2 years ago data about kinetic energy of this one compared to KwK 37mm used by PzIIIe - and kinetic energy was 4 times larger. Given that large objects lose this energy slower 'on the flight', I assume that L24 is usually underappreciated. Given also, that it could hit an immobile target large 2x2m from 2km distance, with 90% accuracy I think it was really good early war weapon.

Probably all this black propaganda about its inefficiency was born in... German soldiers heads. I mean, they were constantly unhappy with early Eastern guns - and for a good reason. PzIV was their heaviest tool, and it looked like a toy compared to T34 and KV1 or 2.
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Lukasz Biernat
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I don't insist that 37 HE rounds were any good.
Wiki says:

Quote:
It was a simple but reliable weapon with a high rate of fire. It was primarily intended to be used against infantry and machine-gun nests, due to its low muzzle velocity which proscribed anti-armour use. Though armor penetration was poor, even as late as 1939 it was sufficient to combat light armoured vehicles. The gun was operated by one soldier, and found easy to use with a low incidence of jamming.


I thought that it could be useful against those MG nests - mainly because it was a quick firing, reliable weapon. It should be less useful against infantry squads (nonexistant blast radius vs napy soldiers spread over terrain).

With a red 3FP it could destroy bunkers with a lucky '12' roll, so maybe it's not such a good idea to give it HE capability after all.

On the other hand, SA-18 armed outdated Polish cars were able to destroy panzers. They might use AP ammo though.

I don't really care where the line is drawn, as long as HE blast effect is put in the game. Soviet 45mm sounds like a good start to me.

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Marcin Woźniak
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I always enjoy geek small talks. Your idea of HE RED DOT icon is great,as it enables easy homemade counter modification.
Of course for those that do not like dotting their precious counters, there could always be rule of thumb: more than 45 mm can attack guns' and MG's flank DV.

Germans used their 88's to silence enemy GUNS from large distances. During Barbarossa, Motorised Inf Das Reich Division captured Smoleńsk so quickly mainly due to perfect usage of AchtAchts as infantry support 'surgical' guns.
 
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Marcin Woźniak
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And to Pavlos: low rate infantry SHOULD be vulnerable to close miss by artillery, which is murderous, deafening and terrible.
I wouldn't give a dime for infantry platoon caught in the open by Flakvierlig (while said platoon WAS moving), but behind some obstacles it should be well protected.
In my opinion 5 Red, no HE.
and for example 88 should be devastating 6 red, HE. Quick rate of fire, high accuracy, large HE cannister (some perfectionistic German artillerymen even used AA ammunition with timefuses to explode above enemy columns). Both HE and AA in 88 were used since Civil War in Spain and were quite common.
 
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uwe eickert
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Pavlos,
this is your call, but I do like it. I think a HE symbol is better than just a red dot.
Uwe
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Pavlos Germidis
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...or we could just add the rule that any unit with a red FP higher than 4 will attack flank ?
The wording could be something akin to
"Units with red FP higher or equal to 5 attack the flank defense of the target unit, except if it is in fortification. Note: this is to simulate the shrapnel of heavier High Explosive shells."

This way, no need to add new symbols, and no need to add a new flamethrower rule -its already included here !
I mean, more than half the counters would need the new icon. Hardly convenient.
Still, we will have trouble with say, the panzer-grenadiers (5 red attack), the Su-76 (only 4 attack), the StuGIIIG (only 3 attack).
 
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Marcin Woźniak
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NO way.

Things like flaks, HMG's, Oerlikons and other low callibre fast shooting should ONLY attack front.

Heavy guns should be able to hit (especially against guns and MG nests) with lethal accuracy and efficiency. Near miss with those usually meant 'hit'. On the other hand, duckig under MG fire was a life - saver, and front plate of guns was there for a reason.

So what Your proposition, Pavlos, would solve, I am not sure, but it would also become a source of neverending complaints of geeks like me.

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