Nicolas Michon
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[ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 01:27

Hello,

I should first preface this by saying that the armored vehicle rules look very interesting - and have quite a lot of detail.

However, there are some things that are missing or a bit oversimplified IMHO (sorry, I've designed a module for a WWIII squad-level game), and may be worth considering at least as optional rules.

The one most "serious" issue is the lack of HEAT degrading armor (reactive armor / composite armor) in the system. Indeed, PCs and NPCs will be using AT rocket launchers, and having to face, say, a T-72BV will require them to try and hit it where there are no ERA bricks. A nice tactical challenge .... Or to find some way to dispose of the tank by other means.

A very simple way to handle it would be to give vehicles with such armor two values : one against kinetic rounds (APDS / APFSDS / APDU), one against HEAT (and HESH) rounds - for reactive armor, marked (RA), the reactive armor on the facing has fully detonated and is ineffective on 1-3 on 1D6.

A related issue is that (for long range combat), HEAT rounds lose accuracy significantly faster than APFSDS rounds. For instance, according to the 2002 French platoon leader manual, an AMX 30 B2 had an effective range of 2,500 m with APFSDS (OFL in French lingo), but only 1,800 m with HEAT (OCC for the French acronym).

Still on the armored combat front, and related to the turret issue raised by another player (a point I do agree with), it may be worth putting in some kind of provision for hull down positions (on hills or behind walls, hillocks, etc) - which does require having a turret location system (if you're hull down, hits to the hull are ignored).

Last, it would not be difficult to put a bit more detail on both stabilization and fire control - which are independent components. For instance, one could (at least) distinguish between single-axis stabilization (ie Warsaw Pact stabilization - reducing penalty by one), and dual-axis stabilization (NATO stabilized vehicles - removing it). Likewise, fire contriol systems ranged from primitive calculators and coincidence sights (level 1), to Pact laser rangefinders / computerized systems or early NATO systems (level 2), to NATO full computerized suites (level 3). The way to handle it would be to provide that the range band is reduced by the fire control level (1, 2 or 3).

A lot of this could be put on a page of optional rules. One way to save space, incidentally, would be to remove the stats next to each weapon / vehicle and only keep the table. The current setup does eat up valuable page space :-D

The reactive armor / differential stabilization has enough of an impact that a simple platoon level game like WaW 85 models it - so it would be a bit curious for the detail-oriented TW 2000 not to have it - at least as an option for the "threadhead" players that seem to abound on this forum.

Best,

Nicolas
 
aspqrz
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 03:21

And WarPac tanks should be at a significant disadvantage in Hull Down positions due to their lower profile forcing them to expose more of their turret and hull compared to NATO tanks (except the S Tank, or course!).

Phil McGregor
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Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
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omnipus
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 05:18

I appreciate that they have simplified some aspects, even if inaccurate, since vehicle combat is after all not the core of the game, nor should be. The fire control aspect seemed like a good example of this, to me -- not quite right, no, but functional and more or less correct for people who maybe don't know a lot about how these things work.

An argument could certainly be made that there aren't enough reactive armor blocks left in the world to worry about.

The rest, I agree with. I found it strange that the stat blocks for every vehicle make HEAT superior in range/accuracy and generally penetration as well. This seems like a simple mistake. I think the separation of "penetration" from "damage" would help. APDS with high pen (degrading over range), low damage, HEAT with generally lower pen (not degrading), higher damage, lower range.

I could go either way on whether it's worth making distinctions about composite armor. Again, it is a game not primarily about tank combat. It's not very fun to have one RPG, hit a tank with it, and have it do nothing -- even if it might be realistic. I think it comes down to your players at your table -- if you have a group intimately familiar with such things, then yeah, probably including that sort of thing is good. If not, it's probably only going to be annoying to your players.

While we're here, though, I do think that almost all of the side armor values seemed crazy high compared to reality.
 
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 11:13

I should first preface this by saying that the armored vehicle rules look very interesting - and have quite a lot of detail.

However, there are some things that are missing or a bit oversimplified IMHO (sorry, I've designed a module for a WWIII squad-level game), and may be worth considering at least as optional rules.

The one most "serious" issue is the lack of HEAT degrading armor (reactive armor / composite armor) in the system. Indeed, PCs and NPCs will be using AT rocket launchers, and having to face, say, a T-72BV will require them to try and hit it where there are no ERA bricks. A nice tactical challenge .... Or to find some way to dispose of the tank by other means.

A very simple way to handle it would be to give vehicles with such armor two values : one against kinetic rounds (APDS / APFSDS / APDU), one against HEAT (and HESH) rounds - for reactive armor, marked (RA), the reactive armor on the facing has fully detonated and is ineffective on 1-3 on 1D6.

A related issue is that (for long range combat), HEAT rounds lose accuracy significantly faster than APFSDS rounds. For instance, according to the 2002 French platoon leader manual, an AMX 30 B2 had an effective range of 2,500 m with APFSDS (OFL in French lingo), but only 1,800 m with HEAT (OCC for the French acronym).

Still on the armored combat front, and related to the turret issue raised by another player (a point I do agree with), it may be worth putting in some kind of provision for hull down positions (on hills or behind walls, hillocks, etc) - which does require having a turret location system (if you're hull down, hits to the hull are ignored).

Last, it would not be difficult to put a bit more detail on both stabilization and fire control - which are independent components. For instance, one could (at least) distinguish between single-axis stabilization (ie Warsaw Pact stabilization - reducing penalty by one), and dual-axis stabilization (NATO stabilized vehicles - removing it). Likewise, fire contriol systems ranged from primitive calculators and coincidence sights (level 1), to Pact laser rangefinders / computerized systems or early NATO systems (level 2), to NATO full computerized suites (level 3). The way to handle it would be to provide that the range band is reduced by the fire control level (1, 2 or 3).

I agree on all particulars ... managing a meagre supply of ERA blocks would add an interesting component to the gameplay.

Add to this, the issue of differentiating turret and hull armour and perhaps a few other bits and bobs, and I'd be good!

An optional rules section would be great; failing that, following up with "vehicles" supplement with more vehicles and optional vehicle combat rules would be a splendid alternative.
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Tomas
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 12:07

As in all things, there's a balance between detail and playability to be struck. This is primarily a game about survival, not tank battles. That said, basic rules for reactive armor will likely be included in the final game (we have rules, they just need tweaking). As for the rest, advanced vehicle combat rules could certainly be a good subject for a future module, it could even a community-created one under Free League Workshop.
Fria Ligan
 
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 12:46

As in all things, there's a balance between detail and playability to be struck. This is primarily a game about survival, not tank battles. That said, basic rules for reactive armor will likely be included in the final game (we have rules, they just need tweaking). As for the rest, advanced vehicle combat rules could certainly be a good subject for a future module, it could even a community-created one under Free League Workshop.

Lovely!

Of course, the game in general, and the base game in particular, is not about tank combat — it is quite as it should that the core rules not have rules to cover tank combat in any appreciable detail.

However, I can easily see how a fair number of players might want to take a game that way.

Therefore — seeing a book in print in the near future that covers vehicles and vehicle combat in some detail would be highly desirable!
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Qboid
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 17:39

Tanks in WW2 could be disabled with a molotov onto the engine cover vents.
Would modern MOPP protected tanks have this weakness?
 
swedishtrex
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 19:51

As in all things, there's a balance between detail and playability to be struck. This is primarily a game about survival, not tank battles. That said, basic rules for reactive armor will likely be included in the final game (we have rules, they just need tweaking). As for the rest, advanced vehicle combat rules could certainly be a good subject for a future module, it could even a community-created one under Free League Workshop.
This is the best answer to most questions about systems in the game, yes the basic rules might not cover everything especially for you guys who like it crunchy (i do not) but i also see openings for advanced rules much like the advanced combat rules for forgotten lands and what could be better than a whole book dedicated to vehicles and advanced vehicle combat!

win for everyone if its done like this.
 
AEB
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 02:19

Tanks in WW2 could be disabled with a molotov onto the engine cover vents.
Would modern MOPP protected tanks have this weakness?
A molotov wouldn't disable or destroy a buttoned up MBT or IFV. However the vehicles of TW2000 are rundown, jury-rigged, barely functional, gear covered junkers, so I could see a molotov doing serious damage (or at least setting all the exterior cargo on fire).

What a molotov can also do is blind a buttoned up MBT or IFV if it hits the vision systems.

I added the molotov cocktail to the missing weapons thread for this reason.
 
Qboid
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Re: [ALPHA] Some suggestions for armored combat

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 14:59

^^ Thank you.

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