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Sherman v Pz IV, is there a rating problem?
#11
(02-22-2017, 07:46 PM)leonard Wrote:  +/- 1 on the result will not make a big difference.

I'm not sure what you mean by "big" difference, but I submit that doubling a hit probability (which means a step loss at least) is big, significant, a rose by any other name.

As Peter pointed out, changing from a 12 needed to hit (NtH) to an 11+ (a change of '1') doubles the probability.  Changing from an 11+ NtH to a 10+ NtH likewise doubles the hit probability (from 3:36 to 6:36).  Unless the armor contingent in the scenario is insignificant, such a change in hit probability is certainly "differential."  

These changes, in my opinion, do not fall in to the "twice nothing is still nothing" category such as, for example, one might claim in D&D/Pathfinder by expanding a critical hit result (on a d20) from 20 to 19-20 (dbl from 1:20 to 1:10) and where the differential is not hit/kill (as in AT fire in PG) but only single damage vs. double damage (which could be meaningless as far as actual effect on the target). I'm not suggesting that dbling critical threat range in PF/D&D is meaningless, only that, in comparison, the PG dbling effect as noted above is far more significant in terms of reducing the target's ability to continue the fight.

I maintain that a better simulation of German armor systems (crew/machine) vis-a-vis US/UK (or anyone else) effectiveness would be to modify the presumption of (Heer/SS) efficiency and/or tank leaders.  This is an easy and rules-ready means to simulate that German crews in later war years were not - necessarily - capable of rapid/accurate fire and/or coordinated and effective effort.  But, when they were, Allied armor suffered.  

  
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#12
Quid enim putatis? I never said the probability is linear. Specifically it is a 1 in 6 base point on the rise slope of a bell curve with 36 total possibilities. The question Matt presented appears to be, why was the overall Allied-Axis kill ration at 3:2 (which becomes 4:3 without the Stuarts and "assorted"). Much better than what the Sherman vs. PzKwIVh matchup reflected in the game system? (Matt should correct me, if I'm wrong.)

The mathematical hit ratios in the game of a Sherman/75 vs. various the PzKwIV, come out to be:
  • 1 PzKwIVe to 1 Sherman
  • 2 PzKwIVf2 to 3 Shermans
  • 2 PzKwIVg (conspicuously absent from AaD) to 5 Shermans
  • 2 PzKwIVh to 7 Shermans
Since you brought it up, if one uses an linear operation (d20), and starting at 15% hits on parity (AT-Armor), the hit numbers go down. More importantly, the hit ration only climbs to 2 Shermans per PzKwIVh, rather than the 3.5 Shermans hit before. So I think the upward slope of the probability bell curve is important here.

The most important question is, how close is this to real probabilities is the probable game outcome. After that is are those results really what is desired. After all, there is a fair amount of obvious fudging in the game system. We have all read the oft quoted, poorly referenced note that it took 5 Shermans to kill one Tiger/Panther. (The notation is unspecific as to 5 Shermans involved or lost.) On the other hand, in 1946, the U.S. Army did a study of tank-on-tank actions from 1944 involving the 3rd & 4th Armored Divisions. The average loss ratio was 3.6 PzKwIV/Panthers per Sherman. Soviet and British reviews and AARs, also gave good numbers to the Shermans, but not as good as the 1946 study.
... actually you Americans are probably the most dangerous people in the world. This is because you treat war as a job, and your culture has an excellent work ethic.
-- paraphrased from John Keegan's Fields of Battle

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#13
I have to admit that the removal of efficiency in late war scenarios has a much better intuitive "feel" as it is a reflection of the crew's deterioration. At this point I am leaning in that direction. The panzer crews fighting after the Bulge simply weren't the same quality as those who fought in Normandy.
No "minor" country left behind...
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#14
(02-23-2017, 02:51 AM)Poor Yorek Wrote: I'm not sure what you mean by "big" difference, but I submit that doubling a hit probability (which means a step loss at least) is big, significant, a rose by any other name.
Your calculation is correct but average numbers and statistics don't have much to do with the feel of a scenario. Within a single scenario, die rolling results generally are quite "catastrophic" and far from the average. The tendencies you indicate will need tens and tens of scenarios to be felt. In that sense, I still think it won't change the world.

And shermans vs Pz IVs will still need to set up crossfires to shift the balance...
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#15
(02-24-2017, 03:55 AM)leonard Wrote:
(02-23-2017, 02:51 AM)Poor Yorek Wrote: I'm not sure what you mean by "big" difference, but I submit that doubling a hit probability (which means a step loss at least) is big, significant, a rose by any other name.
Your calculation is correct but average numbers and statistics don't have much to do with the feel of a scenario. 

It is certainly a convenient segue to invoke a vague and undefinable term such as feel when confronted with facts in a quantifiable outcome game. Even so, one would have to be insensate not to feel an average doubling of step losses in any (single) scenario in which the armor contingent is significant (as I delimited in the post you cite).  And since feel presumably reflects actual experience vs. expectation (I feel I'm doing well in this scenario (by hitting more than is wont), or feel I'm getting jinxed, by hitting less than is wont)), right expectation vis-a-vis the statistics forms the normative.  
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#16
(02-24-2017, 04:30 AM)Poor Yorek Wrote: It is certainly a convenient segue to invoke a vague and undefinable term such as feel when confronted with facts in a quantifiable outcome game.

Let's face facts : It seems we agree on statistics, at least. It's just that I don't consider the outcome of these potential changes too seriously. Nothing "rédhibitoire" anyway (dunno the english word for that one...).
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#17
I should have posted these over here on PG-HQ as well but here are some of my cross-postings from there:


One more thought to the Sherman tank discussion, there were many types of Sherman tanks: M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A5, M4A6, M4(105), M4A1(76), M4A2(76), M4A3(75)W, M4A3(76)W, M4A3(105), M4A3E2.

The W stands for Wet Stowage and the E2s assault or jumbos came in both 75mm and 76mm types.

And of course this doesn't count all the engineer variations and the Allied types such as the Firefly and so on.

But interesting stuff. I think PG has offered most of these types of Sherman tanks over the years. Whether the DV/armor rating should be a 3 or a 4, is still up in the air but it shouldn't effect play either way.

But this got me thinking!

So I pulled out some other similar games to compare an American Sherman tank M4/75mm vs. a German PzIV.

Panzer Leader: M4/75mm AT factor 11 and DF/Armor 9 vs. PzIV AT factor 14 and DF/Armor 8.

Panzer Blitz: Hill of Death-Carentan: M4/75mm AT factor 13 and DF/Armor 10 vs PzIV AT factor 16 and DF/Armor 7.

Tank leader Western Front: M4/75mm AT factor 7 and DF/Armor 6 vs. PzIV AT factor 9 and DF/Armor 6.

Nations at War: White Star Rising: M4/75mm AT factor 3 and DF/Armor 3 vs. PzIV AT factor 3 and DF/Armor 3.

Panzer Grenadier: M4/75mm AT factor 5 and DF/Armor 3 vs. PzIV AT factor 6 and DF/Armor 5.

So, by going by these comparisons, I would say the PG Sherman tanks should move their DF/Armor rating from a 3 to a 4.

But against the German AT fire, I doubt even the 4 DV/armor will hold up. With a 4, I would feel better however.
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#18
I think the basic Sherman pretty clearly deserves a 4 armor rating, while the Panzer IV also pretty clearly deserves only a 3 armor rating.
The Sherman is much better protected.  With slope effects included, essentially the entire front (hull and turret) resists like 90mm of armor before any side angle is taken into account.
The Panzer IV has 80mm on the upper front hull only, essentially without slope, and has a much more vulnerable 50mm on the turret front.  The lower hull is also relatively weak, though a small area.

Compare the T-34 which gets a 5 in the game, and had 45 at 60 on the front glacis, which resists like 100mm vertical, but only 70mm on the turret front.

The Panzer IV with a 6-8 gun and 3 armor fights a Sherman with a 5-8 gun and 4 armor on even terms.  Which is right, they were entirely comparable in a duel, with the German having a better gun but worse protection.

The high armor rating of the Panzer IV seems to reflect an insufficient appreciation of how dated and poor its no slope armor layout was by the standards of either the mid to late war allies, or other late war German AFVs.  

The German late war tank destroyers get notably underpowered armor ratings.  For example, the Jagdpanther had superior armor to the Panther, in the sense of having just as impenetrable a front hull glacis, but without the 100-110mm turret front that was the Panther's weakest plate from the front.  In the game, the Jagdpanther is given the same armor rating as the late Panzer IV models, which is frankly insane.  The only thing they have in common is that the front plate thickness is 80mm, but the Panzer IVs is 80mm nearly vertical, with no slope effect benefit, while the Jagdpanther is 80mm at 55 degrees from the vertical, doubling its effective thickness.  Giving it just a 5 is like giving the T-34 a 2 armor rating.  It deserves more like a 7.  It took a US 90mm or British 17 pdr, or a Russian 122mm to defeat it from the front if the glacis was hit (nearly all the front area).  he gun mantlet has less slope but was 100mm thick to compensate, and is quite small, much smaller than the 50mm thick vertical turret front of the Panzer IV, which is half the thickness.

I get the impression that someone only saw the raw thicknesses, or just assumed that by late war so numerically important a tank as the panzer IV would have been uparmored.
Not how it works.  The IV was at the limit of the weight the chassis and drive train could reasonably handle at 80mm front hull thickness, and there was no way to improve its early war, pre-encounter with the T-34, boxy vertical armor layout, which was the least efficient possible for the weight.  The only way to get slope on that chassis was to take the turret off, which is exactly what the Germans did with the Jagdpanzer IV and IV-70.  Which in the game are again not given sufficient benefit for their sloped armor layout.  Yes the front plate was 60mm not 80, but at nearly 60 degrees slope, twice that effective thickness and therefore "proof" against Russian 76mm and US 75mm front the front.

Games like Combat Mission on the computer or Jim Day's Panzer 2nd edition get these things right.  Stock unmodded Panzer Grenadier does not.

For what it is worth...
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#19
Other examples of stock armor ratings that don't make much sense with actual armor thickness and slope taken into account include the US TDs.

In the game, they are pretty much all given a pretty pathetic "2" armor rating.  The Hellcat really only deserves a "1", since its armor was nowhere more than 18mm thick, being built entirely for speed.  But the entire front of the M-10 and basic M36 resist like 75mm of armor plate.  They are in fact somewhat better protected than a late war Panzer IV, from both front and side aspects, and had marginally superior protection to a late model L panzer III, for example.  The M36B1 had a full Sherman armor layout and deserves a 4 rating.

The Russian SP TDs are also underrated, especially the SU-100.  It was a beast of a late war tank dueler, the Russian Jagdpanther in effect.  Its 100mm gun was more capable than the 122mm on the IS-2, and its front armor was 75mm thick at nearly the same high angle from the vertical as the Jadg (50 degrees), giving it an effective thickness of nearly 5 inches of armor.

There are also clear mistakes in some of the towed AT gun AT ratings.  The US and Russian 57mm are given only 3-6 AT rating, for example, when they actually had superior penetration to the Russian 76L42 or the mid war US 75L38 before it got improved APCBC ammunition.  The British kept using 6 lber main armament tanks - and sending them lend lease to Russian - into 1943 because they considered it superior to the short 75 for AT work, while the 75 was better in an infantry support, HE tossing role.  By 1944, improved ammo for the US 75s put them in the same category as the 6 lber for armor penetration and this need was dropped, but the towed 57mm ATG still had just as much tank penetrating power as the 75mm on Shermans at that point.  It deserves more like a 5-7 rating than the pathetic 3-6 it is given.  It notably outperforms the German 50L60 that the game gives a 4 AT rating, firing a much heavier (longer) shell at an equal muzzle velocity.
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