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 Post subject: 3 Armor And AT Guns
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
Armor and AT Gun Selections

Now that you have the basics of the units experience and morale and know that they are not all just
the same and that some of them are going to be better then others. Let us now spend a bit of time
to look at some of the other types of units and see what we can do to make the most of them.

Below we have the data sheet for a PzKpfw III H German Tank. Lets note a few things about it so we
can dig into the data that we are going to cover. Note the Command stats of 82 for Armor and the
lesser numbers for infantry and artillery. Also note that this unit has good stats for experience and
moral. So this unit is not a slacker or a fanatic but is rather average for its time period.


Look at the amount of ammo this tank has and note that it has only 1 APCR round. That is not going
to give you a lot of special ammo to shoot. Your going to be using the normal ammo and of that you
have a larger load out of AP ammo for killing hard targets (armored). You have a fair amount of HE
to use against soft targets (infantry and guns).

Lets look at this tank a bit closer. On the left we have the tanks size this is a number that will give you some idea of how large a unit is. The higher this number the bigger the unit is. The smaller the number the smaller the unit is. This is important in that smaller units are much harder to hit when
standing still and even harder to hit when they are moving. This is why shooting a moving Armored
Car can be so difficult. Its a small target moving at speed.

The next set of numbers is the Fire Control and Range Finder ratings for the unit. These numbers are
useful if you have several models that are similar and are trying to make a choice as to which one will be the most effective. These numbers represent things about the unit such as optics, gun stabilization,the gun mounting, and other factors that while knowing about them makes you more knowledgeable it is not necessary to know them in great detail for the purpose of this game. Suffice it to say the higher the numbers the better. At times an upgraded in models of the same basic unit will only have a fire control or range finder upgrade making it different then similar models. Other differences could be only in armor or even ammo load outs. Consider this carefully when you are selecting possible tanks and guns for purchase. Also be aware that the game offers a large amount of armor and many of the tanks that are offered in the game are only upgrades to the same base model of tank. In some cases they may have similar stats and only an ammo load or other minor difference. This is often a case of the real world tank being upgraded in ways that are not necessary for game play purposes such as engine type or make. Different hatches or storage layouts which would account for the different model designation but no real game play differences.

Lets take a look at the Penetration numbers for the PzKpfw III H 50mm Main gun.


When firing HE ammo this gun will still penetrate weak armor and is useful even if you have used all of your AP ammo. As you can see it will still be able to kill most Armored Cars and Half Tracks with out needing to fire AP ammo at them. And it does not lose penetration at longer ranges like it would
with AP ammo. Since we can not choose what ammo is fired this is only useful in that you can still
use this tank to take on a light armor unit even after it has expended its AP ammo.

Moving to the next set of numbers we see the AP ammo listed. As you can see the range plays a big
factor in the ability to penetrate the armor of the target. The farther away it is the less likely you will get penetration which is necessary to score a killing shot. Using this table we can also figure out with
a little bit of work what the numbers would be at ranges not listed For example at 15 hexes the number would be roughly in the range of 65 or 66 while not perfect data it is good enough for our needs so that we can compare it to other guns and the armor rating of the enemy tanks. By using this table you can figure out at what range your guns will have good chance of scoring kills on enemy armor. This is helpful in setting the range at which you open fire. It would do you no good to fire if you can't get a kill so save the ammo and wait until you can get some killing shots.

Note that the APCR ammo has a big penetration number but is only good at shorter ranges. While I am not going to cover the different types of ammo and the differences that make them work the way they do. You want to be aware that the APCR ammo is of limited quantity and of limited use since you can not choose when to fire it. The game will decide when this ammo is used. What you need to know is that the big penetration that APCR ammo offers you is limited. Do not use that data to select your guns since once that ammo is expended you will be using the AP ammo. Keep in mind that the max penetration numbers in the purchase menu list the AP ammo and not the APCR ammo. So even this Panzer has some ability to make a killing shot on armor it can not normally penetrate using AP ammo. Don't fall into the trap of assuming you can buy lesser model guns or tanks and use this APCR ammo to kill the enemy. Think of it as bonus ammo don't assume you will have enough of it to make due.

Some guns have Heat ammo provided for them and like APCR ammo it is often limited in quantity and is not re-loadable once it is gone. Recoilless rifles often have heat ammo and some Artillery guns may have Heat ammo and can often kill tanks. While often cheaper, guns that feature Heat ammo as the main ammo supply are not always desired in quantity when a lot of armor is expected to be encountered. Try and stick to the basics here and go with a good AP penetration gun rather then rely on the limited special ammo as a means of defeating tanks.

The penetration data for these guns is offered up for AT guns and other guns that offer any sort of penetration so if you look back you can see that even that Rifle Squad we looked at early on had a weapon that could penetrate armor. We now know what to look for in our armor and our guns to make some simple and quick checks to make sure we are going to buy the right tanks and the right guns to do the job.

To do this we will need to go and look at what the other player is going to be able to buy. While he has several options to choose from and you can not be sure he will buy the things you might choose, you can get a feel from checking his options if the units your looking to purchase will be adequate to the task your asking them to do. While buying more impressive tanks like Tigers or Kv's would be nice you seldom have the points to buy them in quantity. Your opponent has this same problem. So what you want to insure is that you select something that is going to give you good value for the points spent and allow you to buy enough of them to make a difference. In armor combat quantity has a quality of its own. While those Tigers are heavily armored and have that fearsome 88mm gun that is a known tank buster at ranges that are far beyond most tanks guns. They suffer from the fact you can not buy enough of them. You are better served to have 17 Pz Iv G's then you are to have 5 or 6 Tigers. This is because the best way to kill the heavy tanks is to swarm them Even a Tiger or KV will fall to 17 guns bouncing rounds off the front hull armor. The armor may hold out but it is doubtful the crew will see it that way and they will bail out before a lucky shot takes them out. The lesson here is that more guns is often better then bigger guns. Lets get back to looking at the enemy tank and how we can use its data to confirm we are going to choose the right tank to fight it.

Here we have a potential enemy tank that our PzKpfq III H might face. Noted is the armor stats for this model. Each model of tank may have different numbers so never assume the numbers are the
same if you buy a different model of T-34.


The Armor is listed as Turret armor and Hull armor and gives numbers for each along with the slope data of the armor plates. With out doing a lot of math we can still make use of these numbers. Factoring in slope of the armor will really make this a rather messy affair and is not really necessary although it does make a difference as far as the games calculations are concerned. What we want to look for when checking to see if our PzKpfq III H will be able to kill the T-34 m41 is the most likely
armor we are going to get to shoot at. That would be the front hull and front turret armor. Looking at the side armor rating is secondary since most tanks offer weaker side armor and if we can get the needed penetration into the frontal armor we should be able to get it on the side armor. Lets do a side by side look at the gun data and the armor data.


A fast look at the numbers. Front hull of 47 and front turret of 52 our gun can score a kill shot at
anything under 30 hexes. So yes we have a tank that can kill the T-34 m41 at ranges that are likely
going to be longer then the ones we see in actual battle, If we want to double check our own tanks
data we can see that despite the T-34 m41 having a gun that lists APCR and Heat ammo it does not
have any ammo of that type so it is not a threat. The data for our Pz III H for hull armor is 62 and for the turret is 42, Checking the T-34's gun data we can see that the T-34 will have to close to less then 20 hexes to get a kill on our hull armor and while it can take our turret out at 30 or more hexes the odds are that they will have to get closer to us before they start shooting and scoring kills. This gives the German tanks an advantage in range, If you also checked and compared the Fire Control and Range Finder numbers you will know that the German tank is going to be slightly more accurate when it does fire then the T-34. Now there one last thing you should keep in mind. Since we know we can get a kill at 30 hexes you really do not want to fire at that range since your probably not going to get a hit all that often. There are other factors that come in to play such as the armor slope and facing of the tank. So just because the data shows you could score a kill shot if you managed to hit, It will often be better for you to wait and let the enemy get closer to you. This is up to you. But from this sort of number checking we can see we have a 10 hex advantage over the enemy and if we factor in the likely misses that will happen at these ranges we can afford to wait until they are about 20 hexes away, Your own hit chance will have improved and you know you will have a larger number of kills then the enemy will be getting even at that range since his own penetration numbers are near the limits of the gun. Learning to exploit this data is what will make you a better player then the ones who buy the cool looking tanks or the ones he has read about in some book or saw in a movie.

Since your opponent has the option to buy other tanks you should spend the time to do this sort of
check on each of his options so that you can insure your own tanks are capable and that the ranges
you open fire at are within that tank or guns ability to score kills. Once you start doing this sooner or
latter your going to reach the point where you no longer have to check you will know it from previous
encounters with that nations equipment. This same sort of check should be done when you are
looking at buying AT guns. The whole point of this is to provide you with solid information as to what
your own limits are so that you do not open fire too soon. It gives you insight as to what tactics the enemy will have to use to get killing shots on you and what you need to get killing shots on him.
Remember that just because you can see an enemy tank at 30 hexes you may not be able to kill it or
even hit it.

Knowing this will save your ammo and will allow you to hold your own fire until you can score hits
that will kill. The last item of note here is that by doing this sort of thing you can save points by not
wasting them on buying armor that is much more powerful and more expensive then you need too.
This should mean not only more armor is available to you but that you can now afford to by Armor
Cars or other units that might be part of an agreed upon limit for your battle. No point in going for a
more expensive tank when you can have more of the ones that are capable of doing the job. It is all
about saving points and taking advantage of the time you spend learning the numbers to give you the
important information of what ranges are going to allow you to take those shots that will score kills.

This same data and method of selection applies to Anti Tank Guns and Tank Destroyers


 Post subject: Re: 3 Armor And AT Guns
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
Deploying AT Gun Defenses.

In another section I told you about placing the guns in a narrow cone of los to limit the amount
of op fire and return fire they would be subject to once discovered. In this last section I showed
you how to select guns that could at the very least score kills against the armor the enemy was
going to be bringing to the battle. Hopefully you took those lessons to heart. Your AT guns
are the best means of killing enemy armor cheaply and effectively. Fighting tank on tank is not
a cost effective way to kill tanks. It often results in a trading of high value units as both sides
start to lose tanks. This is why you want to avoid tank on tank duels. There are better ways to
kill tanks then offering your own tanks up to the enemy in a possible trade off.

When you buy AT guns you need to buy more then just the guns. You will also need transport for
them so they can be pulled from the area once they are spotted. There is no point in leaving them
to die. You will also need to buy Machine guns and either some infantry or at least some light AT
weapons such as Anti tank rifles or bazookas and maybe even a lt mortar or med mortar to support
the guns. Use the trick of digging them by setting them to defend state and then after they are dug in
set the state back to advance. This will allow them the bonus of being dug in but also allow them to
move if you need to move them with out the need to issue orders first. Note that if you do pick
them up with a vehicle that enters that hex and use the L key from the vehicle it may not matter if
the gun is dug in or not.

You are going to do this the right way and your going to kill tanks or your not going to do it at all.
That's not a threat, It is a statement of fact. If you just toss out the guns and dig them in your going
to lose them before they will allowed to shoot at armor. The enemy is not going to just parade his
armor out in front of your guns so you can shoot at them. He is going to send cheap scout cars out
and he is going to send out his recon probes which may be Armor cars, Half tracks, light tanks and
maybe even men who were sent with them in a truck. This is proper recon. They are out looking
for the guns and your positions. This is what happens. Your guns need to be kept safe until they
have a chance to shoot at the armor. It is not a good idea to use a 30 to 50 point gun to kill a 6
point car and a 15 point scout team and call it a fair trade off when your gun is taken out after
showing itself. Your giving the enemy easy and cheap points that will be added to his score at the
end of the game. If this is what you have been doing or if this is what you think you should do.
Your losing a lot more then you are winning or your playing people who are even more foolish then
you are. Remember this is a game of math. Points are part of that math. Don't give them away
cheap and easy and don't waste them on stuff that is not worth it. And don't get suckered into
breaking that rule when someone in a forum some place says they do it all the time and it works for
them. For all you know he has been playing his 10 year old sister. Points are points. Don't give
yours away with out a fight.

Ok so you understand why you buy these support weapons for the AT guns. This works with Inf Guns
too. Now how do you use them to get what you need out of that block of points you just spent to
make this a points earning endeavor. You need to locate the guns in a place where the enemy
armor is going to come through. It may not be that road that looks so easy to drive down it may
not even be that set of woods on the right side of the road. You need to spend time and look at this
from the standpoint of the other player. Where would you go if you were attacking this area.
Would you go through the woods or drive down the road knowing that the enemy is looking to kill
you? Probably not. If your enemy is at at least a decent player he is not going to do it either. So
do you have a better idea of where you might need to put the guns now? I would hope so. If your
still at a loss as to where and what to do. Lets look at something else first. Can you make it so the
enemy has to take a given route to get to you with his armor? Are there swamps, mud, cliffs or
terrain that makes use of armor difficult for them? Can you add mines or dragons teeth to the battle
to help channel his forces into an area where you can kill them? All of this stuff is dependent on the
map and the terrain your on. I can not tell you where to set up. But picking the location is not that
hard. Think of where you might go and start there. Lets take a look at a map and where some of
the more obvious routes are and where the enemy player may chose to go rather then doing the
obvious. Obviously each map is different and each situation is different but hopefully with a little of
help I can offer in this example you will begin to look a bit harder at where to put the guns to make
them as effective as possible. Odds are it is not going to be where you might think.


This is a small 100 x 40 map I chose it because it offers you a limited amount of area to have to deal
with yet it also represents a map that would be hard to defend against armor. There is enough open
ground to make armor useful and lots of places for armor to hide.

Lets start with this map and assume that we are on the right side and have control of both of the
villages that are on the crossroads. The enemy is coming in from the left of the map and will be the
standard infantry force with tanks and recon and so on. So you can reasonable expect to see scout
teams with cars and half tracks maybe an armor car or two and then some infantry come up. After
that you expect to see some armor come up. At some point if the enemy really wants to advance
they will have to use that armor to bust your lines and rush into the gaps they have created. If they
are content to just use infantry on you pull your AT guns out of the battle and set them to the rear.
There is no point in using those guns even if they do have HE to fire on Infantry units.

Rather then show you were to put your forces I will first show you how I might attack this map.
There are lots of options other then the standard hay diddle diddle right up the middle that some
players would try. I really don't like that sort of attack since it is so lacking in creative effort but
there are times when it works and should never be ruled out.

Now with out giving you ton of info that you might have for a game on this map you can assume no
only what I gave you above but that Armor is not the main forces in action here so you did not spend
a lot on armor or AT guns since the expected mode of play for both sides is mostly infantry (or at
least that was the agreed on arrangement during pre game talks) But there is at least a platoon of
armor out there in the form of tanks. Half Tracks were not part of the limits but Armor Cars where
so you don't expect to see them since the points would be better spent on some tanks. There may be
only 1 or two depending on how the points fell but most of the armor you will see is going to be a
tank of some sort and you expect to see them working with the Infantry to clear the way for the
enemy infantry advances

This is more of the standard means of attack in this sort of terrain. A bull rush of armor is going to be
easy meat if they try to go it alone with out infantry there are just too many woods and hiding spots
for guns to make bringing the armor out into the open and just driving forward a wise idea. So you
plan to deal with the Enemy armor in a way that assumes they will have support units with them.
Red line is the start line. You are on the right side of that line the enemy on the left.
The two blue circles are the Victory areas you must hold. Visibility is set to 30 so that there is a
line of trees that do not block los so those single tree hexes do not block los and you can place AT
guns 1 hex into the woods and see out of them to shoot. You can also be seen. Smoke is also not a
force field so you can shoot through most single hex smoke screens.


I want you to study this map a bit and select spots where your going to put your infantry and where
you think you can get the most out a section of AT guns which you also have a section of MG's and a
infantry AT team working with them in support. You have 2 AT guns 2 MG's and 3 ATR teams with
bazooka or panzerfausts of some sort. The range on the ATR teams is low so you expect to only be
able to shoot at enemy units at very close range, You have other forces to put in the village and
woods and your only concern here is where do you set up your AT screen to get some shots on the
enemy armor when it shows itself.

Keep in mind that there is an extremely good chance your going to see scouts and infantry long
before you see any tanks. That means plopping those AT guns down in an area where they can
cover the open areas is probably not going to be effective. If a cheap car is not used a scout team
might just see it long before it gets any shots on armor. Even if you can pull it out before the enemy
kills it your position was compromised and you have to move and set up again in the rear.

Where are you going to put your guns? Are you going to split them up or are you going to keep
them together as a section? Where are you going to be killing tanks? You got your plan. Lets
look at what I think. And see if they are even close. Bet they are not even close to the same!


 Post subject: Re: 3 Armor And AT Guns
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
The Red Dots are the AT guns The Yellow Dots the Mg's and Pink Dots the ATR teams. The Green
boxes are the expected Kill Zones. Ranges would be close in and unless a high percentage shot was
offered at a longer range it would not be taken. I want dead tanks not exposed guns. The options to
pull out of these positions is maintained since I have good cover for the transport to come in and pick
them up.


I bet this is not even close to where you set up your guns. I will bet that you plan to try and kill
tanks at the very first village. Am I right. You wanted to stop those tanks from getting at you and
you wanted to do it as soon as you could do it. What your missing is that the enemy is not going to
show you that stuff. The first thing you will deal with is the scouts then the infantry squads and if he
really needs it the armor may pop out take a shot and pull back leaving you looking at the infantry on
your turn. Odds are you will never see a tank except in a replay or as a listing in the combat log
showing it came out fired a shot or two and then went away again.

Alright now you know why I did not set up in the first village. Why I picked the place I did was
simple. It controls entry into the second village from two of the most likely areas where the enemy
who has just taken the first village will be coming from. What... You didn't count on holding the first
village and fighting to the death to hold hold it? Nope. I figured even at best I could only put half
of my forces in each village that meant I was already at a 2:1 disadvantage in the villages. At the
very least I could expect to hurt the enemy but not stop him. The woods are too close and there are
three areas where the enemy can get really close before they move into the village proper. It would
not of offered me a good chance to hold. I took the view that if I could bleed the enemy as they took
the first village, kill off most of his scouts and cars and leave him mostly with infantry and armor as
they took on the second village I could begin to score some kills on his armor. Let me show you a
pair of maps. The first is a rough idea of where I expect to see the enemy attack.


The top most route bypasses the 1st village and is risky to place armor in due to the amount of
woods and low los. I would expect to see mostly infantry up there, Its just flat out poor terrain to
move armor in. Any armor up there would require a strong infantry escort just to transit the woods.

The center area leads to the woods that control this portion of the map. In this area I expect to see
infantry used in mass looking to take and clear the wood as well as hold it for the attack on the second
village. I would expect a heavy infantry attack into this set of woods.

The bottom two routes lead right at the first village and as I mentioned above I feel the woods are so
close to that village that holding it is just not going to be the likely outcome of a fight over it. What it
does offer the defender is a chance to shoot up some units and pull back into the woods behind the
village which is going to control the bottom half of the map. Similar to the woods in the north I think
that bringing armor in there is going to require a strong infantry escorts and the los is in the
defenders favor. Fighting in the woods would become a bloody and close range affair that makes
tank use hard to pull off. I do think the defender on this one needs to hold that woods with as
strong a force as possible since as you can see it does open up a good way to get at the second village.

Does the kill zone I laid out start to make a bit more sense to you now that I have shown you what I
think the enemy is likely to attempt? Does your plan and placement seem to offer you shots on the
enemy armor or do you think maybe I may have a point here and that if you placed them forward
that they may not of lived long enough to get more then a few shots at Infantry units before they
were killed? While it is not possible to account for every possible plan or even be sure what the
enemy player is going to do before he does it. I can say this. If you place your guns in the rear you
do have a better chance to move them to block the enemy approach. If you place them forward you
may or may not be given the chance to pull them out if there is no armor to shoot at. Tough choices
but the main thing to take from this sort of thing is the knowledge that giving your self options is
better then a stand and die defense that may work or is going to fail big time. You need to consider
how to at least prevent a loss. If you can't score a win you at least want to score a draw. To do
that keeping your options open is the best way to do it. Avoid setting up a door step defense that
puts everything into stopping the enemy as he is kicking in the first door. Allow for the use of terrain
and time to take a toll on the enemy forces. Bleed them in the beginning and then hammer them
once they are hurt. Any counter attack you make to take up lost ground is going to stand a better
chance if you have bled the enemy hard and still have a good portion of your best units left to add to
your counter attack forces.

In this next map I am going to show you where I would be looking to put up the most fight.


The top area would be there to slow any attack that came in from that area but since it bypasses the
first village to take that route I would not expect it to be the first choice of most players. This does
not mean that an attack from that area could not done and result in a major victory as you come into
take the troops in the first village from the rear. But I would not expect most players to try it.

The bottom area is where I would put up a big show of defending the village but be at all times ready
to fall back into the woods. I would then fight in the woods to prevent pursuit. I would take the fight
here willingly if the enemy wanted to follow me in. Gold spot close in to the village is a sure thing,
The enemy is going to get in there at some point and I want them to pay for that if I have artillery to
spare. It will also assist me in buying time to make a break and pull into the woods when I do leave
the village. They enemy is going to capture burning rubble and not a building.

The middle set of woods is a going to turn into a kill zone that the enemy is going to win. I can not
put forces in there and expect to get out of there with out taking serious losses. So anything that
goes in there is not going to make it back out unless they are very lucky. This area would get one of
my artillery gold spots with no questions asked. Sooner or latter it will be owned by the enemy

My own armor would not of been part of the forces used to defend the first Village. I would of
counted on getting that village back during a counter attack after I had dealt with a part of the enemy
armor and hurt his infantry. This is a good example of not committing to the door step defense. I
would allow them to come in and try to eliminate as much of his forces as possible. I think it is fair to
assume that after 10 or so turns I would of at the very least been able to kill off some scouts and
some of his machine guns and a number of infantry squads with out taking to much loss myself. I
am not trying to hold so if I take too much fire I can run away. He is stuck moving forward if he
wants to take the victory areas.

Now I want to remind you that ALL of my advice centers around command and control play and the
reason I mention it here and now is simple. IF you take what I just told you about the attacking side
being at risk moving and the defender being able to fall back. None of that really works well in
games where Command and Control is off. The defender is at a disadvantage in those games not
the attacker.

Your AT defenses are just not going to be as effective in game with C&C off as they will in games
where it is on. When C&C is off you need more support and small los cones to even have any chance
of getting off an op fire shot and you may want to consider turning off the AT weapons and using only
on your turn and moving them immediately after firing them. You may also want to look a bit at the
use of Tank Destroyers rather then guns and transport since your not going to be able to make a
really efficient use of the guns when the attacker has the advantage.


 Post subject: Re: 3 Armor And AT Guns
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
Using Tank Destroyers.

Players may not like these units very much and I think the main reason is that they are a bit on the
expensive side and they are not tanks. Another reason could be that they are sometimes counted as
armor units and players would rather have tanks then tank destroyers. Fair enough if that is the

The one thing a tank destroyer has in most cases is a better gun on a faster method of transport.
Even if this is not the case players who are looking to buy AT guns might want to look at these units if
they are not subject to some sort of purchase limits. If you are not subject to limits you can use
these just as well as a gun and truck but you still need to give them some support units. Don't make
the same mistake that you make with the At guns and fail to support them. Don't expect to leave
them in a place where they are going to op fire. Tank Destroyers are for you to use on your turn to
shoot at enemy armor from a place that is unexpected. From a place that was empty ground when
the enemy last checked it. And that ground will be empty again once you shoot since your going to
move again before the enemy gets his turn. If you use them properly the enemy will never see one
of them except in a replay or combat log or in the end game roster.

“But they die too fast.” Well so do AT guns and Trucks if you let the enemy shoot at them. This is
key to using a tank destroyer. Not being there to take the return fire. Your not looking to get into a
duel with the enemy armor your looking to execute it in a cold blooded killing. You want to consider
how you place these units and take advantage of what they offer you. They are more or less a Self
Propelled AT gun. They are either mounted on a track vehicle of some sort or in portee on the bed of
a truck.

They give you the ability to move around quickly with an AT defense. You want to pick spots that
allow you to get good shots on the enemy armor and then run like the wind to get out of the return
fire that is going to come your way. This often means that you are only going to get one or two
shots before you need to move. To make this work you need to be in a place where you are not
going to need to move before firing or at best you need to move only one hex. You want to keep the
los cone small just like you do when placing an AT gun. This is done to keep op fires on it limited. You
also need to have some place to run after you shoot. Do not stay where you were even if more
shots seem to be in the pipeline next turn. The reason you want to move is that most tank
destroyers are open top units and even a mortar round will ruin your day much faster then it will a
tank or dug in gun.

Depending on the units you have to choose from some of them will not have any mgs on them, some
will. These can be used to keep infantry off of you but for the most part you need to keep other
units with these weapons. A scout and mg team make good units to send around with your tank
destroyers as do Armor cars with a scout team or FO riding on them. Your going to be moving
around a lot when you use these weapons systems your not going to stay in one area for very long so
the main reason you need support is for spotting and for recon of your routes. Your favorite target is
going to become the rear or side armor of a buttoned enemy tank. Your worst enemy is going to be
other tanks and artillery units that catch you with op fire or fall of rounds. Shooting and scooting to a
new spot is the way you use these units. They should never be counted on to op fire on the enemy
and should never be in the same place for very long. If the enemy sees them they are too easy to

You need to think of these units like you might a Sniper. They pop up make one shot kills and then
go into hiding while they look for a new place to shoot from. You do need to make your new place
some place far enough away from the last place that your not subject to taking artillery fire. These
units are soft units with thin armor. They are not tanks. They do not work well if you dig them in
and duel armor. They often tend to be rather tall and stick out just as much if not more then a tank
might. Some of them may be useful for long range killing shots if they mount an accurate powerful
gun but again they should never be in the same place for very long. They are not weapons you ever
want to show the enemy. He will make easy kills on them if left to shoot back at them.

When playing in the desert or wide open terrain with little to hide in you can still make use of these
weapons if you place them to the rear of your armor forces and use them to support the armor forces
but other then that you should not place them in places where they are the units the enemy sees as
the biggest threat to them.


 Post subject: Re: 3 Armor And AT Guns
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Playing In the Sandbox
After reading the last couple of posts you should know a bit more about how to pick your guns and what I
think is about the only way you can use them to actually score some kills on armor. As I noted this is really
dependent on the map and terrain. But the main lesson I wanted to impart was that AT guns and even Inf
guns are hard to deploy in areas where the enemy is going to draw them out by seeking to get them to op

This is not to say that some of these guns can score some good kills when left to op fire down a narrow los
cone from a sheltered position. That is one where the gun is screened from a lot of op fire from other
directions such as behind a building or hill or even some trees.

To makes these sort of weapons effective you have to keep the enemy from finding them until they are
ready to shoot. This more or less means you can't leave them to op fire in an area where the first cheap
car or truck is going to get it to revel itself. This is why I said you have to support it. If you have placed
the guns in good spots and have put some Mg's out to take care of those cheap cars before they get in
range of the guns you can keep them hidden as long as possible. IF you let them fire on the cars and trucks
then they will not be there when the time comes to shoot at the enemy armor.

Now part of this is because players have learned over the years that Armor is not only expensive but easily
destroyed. They actually will not use it in a historical manner by using it to lead an attack. They fear the
AT guns. I personally feel that is be not because there is a built in weakness or problem with he game. I
think this is because a good number of players have not played many games out in the open desert. I am
not saying this because my favorite mod happens to be the North Afrika mod. I am saying this because when
you fight in the desert you learn to handle your units as a formation that supports itself because there is no
real terrain to hide in. You have to be out in the open and you have to move and fight in a way that gives
each element of your formation support from the the other units. You have all seen these sort of attacks
in the movies. A group of tanks with men running alongside and behind them approaching the enemy lines
that are being hit by artillery fire. Classic movie battle scene. Guess what. That is how you do it. You
do what you can to locate any AT guns with your recon. But your never going to find them all. What you
do about the ones that you find only after you are out in the open is what is going to make the difference.

Unless you have wandered into a Battery or large group of AT guns odds are you looking at only a few guns
and they can be easily removed from the fight. Your tanks can continue to roll on if your using them right.
You have tanks that can fire smoke, HE and AP rounds as well as MG's unless your playing the British before
they had that capability. These alone can deal with the few AT guns that pop up. But you should also have
the AA guns and Infantry units along with these tanks moving forward. When an AT fires it becomes your
top priority to locate where it fired from. Even if you can't see it you can find out how far away it is and
from watching the replay if necessary from what direction it fired from. So even if you can't actually see it
you have some idea of where to start looking for it. You can send scouts and Infantry towards it and you
can haul out the armor cars and scout cars to see if you can get it to fire again. You can also fire some
smoke right away to screen off the los lines that the gun fired down to prevent it from getting more shots
on your armor while you search for it's exact location. Your attack is not held up by a single or section
of AT guns. This is armature play if you allow your whole advance to come to a crawl because a gun is
shooting at you. This is not what you should be allowing to happen. A single weapons should never be
allowed to halt your attack. Each turn you delay your attack because you fear loss of your tanks you are
giving time to your opponent to bring in reinforcements to the battle. Do not give them the luxury of time.

Lets look at what I am talking about here. Below is a Village that needs to be taken. The start lines are
close and the terrain is not all that open. Defender is ready and expecting an attack anywhere along the
line. So they are covering the whole map from top to bottom since there are more objectives to the rear
of this village. This just happens to be the first major objective in a larger battle.


Seems about normal. How about this one?


Oh yea.... We all seen that one over and over again. Standard smoke screen of an attacker who doesn't
know what he is doing. This is what I am taking about above about learning to play with terrain before
you can walk in the open. They have spent a lot of artillery on making a nice screen to walk up behind.
and this might be fine if all you had to do was walk forward and attack at a point of your choice and take
out the enemy there and just keep going. Not what is going to happen but that is the plan they had in mind
when they went with this screen.

How about this one?


Red is HE Fire white is smoke. The battle area where you plan to destroy the enemy is screened off and
when you come forward out of the center woods your shooting at everything that tries to fire on your units.
Any unit that shows itself is taken under fire by several units and is simply overwhelmed. This is how you
bring out your armor and move it forward with the infantry as seen in the Movies. Your own AA guns and Inf
Guns can be brought up to cover any units that try to break into the smoke screens and get a flank on your
attacks. Your rolling forward with the objective of creating a hole to move through in a hurry. None of that
poking around looking for a weak spot and going the other way when you find the enemy. Your going head
on into the defense in a small area with maximum firepower and effect. The very speed and concentration of
your attack is what carries you forward. The enemy is not allowed to maneuver units in to help since any
thing that gets in front of you is attacked by almost everything you have. Your not pushing units out of the
way your flat out destroying them as you advance and your not being polite about it and killing them off one
at a time. Your killing whole formations in one turn as you move forward with everything you have starting
as soon as you begin to roll. This is the sort of attack you will learn to use and control when you play in
the open terrain with nothing to hide in. Its a outright deliberate attack right at the objective nothing nice
or pretty about it. You have the fire power to do this all you need is the will to take some losses in the
front ranks and a few losses from time to time from lucky shots the enemy can get in. But at the end
of the battle the enemy will be shattered with nothing left to call an army. The key to doing this is to
not smoke your own line of travel. If you laid smoke where you plan to go your just as blind as the enemy
and your support weapons to the rear can not help you. Save the smoke to blind the enemy on your
flanks not to your front where your own guns are doing the killing.

Now you do not lead with your armor in this sort of attack. But you do use it out in the open
You lead with your scouts and cars and Armor cars followed by foot scouts leading walking Infantry units
forward who are backed up by your armor firing over the heads of your own infantry. Your Artillery is
falling where the enemy front lines are and you are going to follow it right on to the objectives in mass.
Your AA units and other support weapons will cover the flanks as necessary and move with the mass
as needed. This is how you move and fight in the open. One unit not 100 single units. Every thing
goes at once and they all go where the scouts go its just a matter of how long it takes to destroy all
that is in your path. Think of this as a steam roller surging forward. It can be stopped but not from
the front. And not by the units that are still 2 turns away from reaching the point is was at this turn.
This is a rolling offensive force that goes where it wants to go when it wants to go there.

This is also what a Panzer division coming at you looks like. Combined arms force moving at 10 miles
per hour with all guns firing is a very hard thing to stop in its tracks.

Ok sounds cool looks cool when you see it but how do I learn to use this stuff.

Simple Play a few games on a blank map. I suggest desert but you can do it in Russia on grass just
leave out all the terrain and fight out in the open. No holes to hide in or tress to protect you. Do that
a few times and sooner or latter your going to learn things that will allow you to fight in terrain at a much
higher level. You will learn that you don't need terrain as much as you think you do and you will learn to
take advantage of it in ways that were not readily apparent when it was in abundance. Learn the timing
needed to allow the artillery to do its job and learn to cover your flanks as you move forward. Learn to
set the ranges on your units that your advancing in a way that all of your formation is set to advance a
line of fire centered on the front of the attack. Don't turn off or keep low range on the units in the rear
let those units join in to the fight. Remember its not only suppression your looking for here it is the
utter destruction of everything in your path. As you actually hit the enemy front lines any units that
were pinned or routed are easily overrun and any units that were to the rear of those units are now
under the Artillery barrage that is proceeding you as you advance. Your pounding the ground with HE
before you walk over it and your coming in all guns firing on everything that shows itself to you.

But what about when it is the enemy's turn? Won't I get slaughtered out in the open or from an
attack through the flanking smoke screen? Nope, Every unit you have is ready to op fire since
you did not use up all the shots on them. This means that as each unit that shows it self to fire on
you is looking at taking op fires from several units. The only way you can hurt yourself is to agree
to lower op fire settings in the pre game negotiations. Something that often favors the attacker but
in this case would hurt you as the attacker since your counting on the op fires to defend you when it
is not your turn. Your going to overwhelm the defenders op fires by shear force and count on the
op fire to defend you.

Now to really make this work keep a mobile reserve on each flank of the attack in the advent that
the enemy makes the attempt to get into your flanks as you advance. That is where the weak point
of your forces are now. I'll cover that in another post.


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