ATGW evasion rolls

Started by Dice Dad, 11 June 2022, 01:28:52 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Smartbomb

Quote from: flamingpig0 on 13 June 2022, 03:18:23 PMI would suggest that it might be any idea to reduce the cost of MCLOS systems in the army lists? they seem overpriced at the moment.

No arguments from me. I've messed with stats and costs to reflect better training, overcosting issues etc. You paid the same amount I did for the game presumably, so there's nothing to say you can't change anything you want.

flamingpig0

Quote from: Smartbomb on 13 June 2022, 05:06:00 PMNo arguments from me. I've messed with stats and costs to reflect better training, overcosting issues etc. You paid the same amount I did for the game presumably, so there's nothing to say you can't change anything you want.

True, but  I would rather have the Papal blessing than cause a schism
"I like coffee exceedingly..."
 H.P. Lovecraft

"We don't want your stupid tanks!"
Salah Askar,

Big Insect

The thing is ...

a). Something is useless if it doesn't hit (& MCLOS operators ATGW were not great at hitting targets - that is agreed). However ...
 
b). Something is very useful if it does substantial damage when it does hit, and at the time MCLOS ATGW came into their 'heyday' very few MBTs had Composite or ERA or similar armours and so they have no saves. So a hit with an MCLOS ATGW is usually devastating (an auto KO) for most in-period AFVs.
In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Arab Sagger (9M14 Malyutka) anti-tank missile teams destroyed over 800 IDF MBTs and other armoured vehicles - in just under 6 days of fighting - so not that ineffective. This was despite an on-target hit rate in single digit percentages, towards the end of the war. The Syrians only had a 25% hit rate at the beginning of the conflict with experienced crews, most of whom did not survive long once targeted by enemy artillery and mortar fire.

As Composite & ERA etc type armour becomes more prevalent we start to see SACLOS ATGW appearing - (NB: SACLOS is the 'default' level for ATGWs in the rules). The evolution of SACLOS ATGW had little to do with the introduction of Composite or ERA armour, it was a development based upon learnings from the live-fire experience from both the Arab-Israeli wars and Vietnam.
The benefits of SACLOS and other similar upgrades was also eventually negated by armour development and so we start to see other types of warheads and firing technologies moving forwards.

But all of this is partly why we continue to retain tank guns - rate of fire, ability to 'fire & forget', the 'cost effectiveness' of a tank shell v any type of ATGW, the need to protect trained/skilled crews on the battle field etc. are all good reasons why we still have MBTs. If you look back on developments both in the USA (such as the M60A2 'Starship' and Sheridan, both firing Shillelagh missiles and similar developments in the USSR) these were deemed not to be successful enough to warrant a whole-sale move to ATGWs over MBT guns, and for very good reasons.
We are seeing guided weaponry now being fired by the 'modern' generation of MBTS, with much higher on-target hit rates, but these are outside the scope of the rules (at present).

However, ATGWs do have significantly long ranges (when compared to MBT guns) - which means that their deployment at the rear of the battle line - hopefully out of harms way from enemy action (other than artillery/mortars & other ATGWs) makes they particularly important, in a combined arms perspective. Making a lot of the vehicle mounted ATGWs 'Dedicated' (in CWC-II) also significantly improves their battlefield effectiveness (& the 'realism' of how they should be played on-table). Also, the minimum 'arming' distance for ATGWs (20cm) - which is new to CWC-II - see page 50 - is actually quite generous (in the ATGWs favour) but that should also influence the use of ATGWs to a more 'historic' way of being used on the table-top.

This is an arms race folks - ATGWs are not super weapons. It is also one of the challenge of trying to cover a period as long as this, with such rapid weapons technology development. With a Piat at one end and Hellfire 'fire & forget' ATGW with Tandem warhead at the other  :)

I will review the costs of MCLOS ATGWs, but that is not going to be an immediate Errata action - just to manage expectations.

Hopefully the above is helpful ... but as stated elsewhere ... please play the game a few times, and then look at suggesting changing rules mechanism - as there is often a complex domino effect around any changes that need to be taken into consideration  ;)

Thanks
Mark

'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Gwydion

I have serious doubts about the '800 MBT and other armoured vehicles' claim. It comes from Soviet reports immediately following the war and probably involves as much propaganda as any realistic appreciation of performance.

Some versions claim 1,000 tanks!

I think it was the Egyptians in their initial defence against charging IDF tanks, eager to sort out the infantry, before the Egyptian heavy weapons crossed the Suez, that had c 25% hits. One in 3 Egyptian infantry had man portable anti-tank weapons in that first crossing, a significant proportion being AT-3 Sagger. Once the Israelis appreciated the danger they changed to a more all arms approach. The Syrians attacked more and didn't deploy the AT-3 as well.

So it is an arms race and you're unlikely to find someone with hindsight charging unsupported tanks against an ATGW line in open desert. But the Israelis weren't stupid they just hadn't realised the AT-3 was there in such numbers or what it could do. Once they did things changed.

The points cost of MCLOS doesn't really affect me as I don't bother with points values in making scenarios. So I'm pretty happy with how the thing works as it is.

What NLAW and Javelin may do is not relevant to a set of rules covering 1945 to early 90s.

Big Insect

'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Big Insect

The rules are specific here folks

If the evade is into cover or out of LoS/LOF the target is unhittable & the shot is aborted - realistic IMHO as cover in this instance is High Area cover - so woods, orchards, BAUs - all the sort of things that not only block LOS but tangle guidewires, block beams etc. But this is no different from CWC-I.

In the open targets are always hittable - even if the score to hit ends up as 7+ - which does come under the "cannot make a target unhittable" statement, so in that instance they are hit on a 6.

NB: for targets that are a 'hit on a 6' anyway, and cannot make an evade move to somewhere where the ATGWs LoS/LoF is blocked, it is not worth evading - as you'll incur a command penalty to order those tanks the following turn.

TBF: this evasion mechanism has been around in CWC-I for c.20 years and generally seems to have worked quite well.
The introduction of Composite and ERA into the rules just effects the ability for ATGW to score hits, when they hit, it doesn't effect the tanks ability to evade.

Hope that makes sense?

Thanks
Mark

Of course you can only evade from frontal ATGW attacks -   
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Steve J

It does Mark, so thanks for that. When we played CWCI way back when, we used historical OOB's and frankly found the ATGW's pretty useless to be honest, compared to a tank. The latter was cheaper and could fire much more often (subject to die rolls of course). I should point out the we used the hits come off at the end of the Turn then, so it was damned hard to KO anything then, as the Russians found out to their cost against my Chieftain's. Now I use the hits stay on so things may be different games wise with ATGW.

Also on Germany, where the campaign was fought, there was enough cover for most units to be able to evade into safety, something that might not happen in say the Sinai. Worth considering this too.

IIRC there was a similar discussion on the old forum re: points cost vs effectiveness. Still we stuck with them due to the aforementioned use of historical OOB, despite them doing very little, if anything, during the campaign.
http://wwiiwargaming.blogspot.co.uk/

2017 Paint-Off - 2 x Winner!

Big Insect

QuoteIt does Mark, so thanks for that. When we played CWCI way back when, we used historical OOB's and frankly found the ATGW's pretty useless to be honest, compared to a tank. The latter was cheaper and could fire much more often (subject to die rolls of course). I should point out the we used the hits come off at the end of the Turn then, so it was damned hard to KO anything then, as the Russians found out to their cost against my Chieftain's. Now I use the hits stay on so things may be different games wise with ATGW.

Also on Germany, where the campaign was fought, there was enough cover for most units to be able to evade into safety, something that might not happen in say the Sinai. Worth considering this too.

IIRC there was a similar discussion on the old forum re: points cost vs effectiveness. Still we stuck with them due to the aforementioned use of historical OOB, despite them doing very little, if anything, during the campaign.

Many thanks Steve - good insights.

I suspect that one of the challenges with most table top CWC games is table size. The larger ATGWs have a significant range, and generally we tend to play them way to close to the front line. If you read the very good (all be it fictional) account of how things might have played out at a more granular level in a "Cold War turned Hot" situation - First Clash by Kenneth Macksay - you get the idea that the TOWs are generally deployed in such a way that they can hit the Soviet armour early (at long range) and then fall back, to maintain that tactical range advantage.

Most of us tend to play on c. 6ft b 4ft tables (or smaller) and even if we play on larger tables (& I have had the joy & privilege of playing on some of Richard Phillips -Cold War Commanders - c.20ft+ long tables. I am playing on another one this Saturday 25th June'22) the distance across the table cannot really get deeper than 6 feet - as you can only just about reach to the middle to move units at that depth.

The most effective game I played using ATGW was using a modern German Fallschirmjäger formation, defending an airport in Denmark against a combined East German and Polish naval assault. I had no armour (other than a few Wiesel's) and just a line of dug-in (elite) infantry with IATW, a few Dragon ATGW in the next line back and all the TOW deployed way back on the table edge.
The WarPact artillery turned out to be very ineffective (partly as my Snipers did a good job of suppressing the WarPact FAOs) and the terrain - being an airfield - gave me a wonderful open field of fire.
All my units were well dug-in and only visible once they fired. There my combined AT weapons worked very well.

I enjoy playing with a mass of MBTs like the next player - but I really enjoy using these 'lighter' formations to test out the 'edges' of the rules. My Dutch Marines have appeared on a number of tables, as have my US High Tech Light Infantry and US airborne. 6 x Sheridan light tanks, dug-in, on the edge of a wooded hill, with a clear field of fire in front of them, are an almost perfect killing machine (IMHO).  :D

Cheers
Mark
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Steve J

Good points about the table size there Mark. Ideally you would play down the length of a longer table, with the 6' being the width, to really allow for a proper defence in depth as mentioned. Sadly that is rarely and opportunity for any of us.

Another point I remembered from one great campaign we played, organised by a chap whose main area of interest was the Cold War in Germany, was that NATO was allowed to cut down woods, move farms etc to give them the fields of fire they wanted as well as channelling the Soviet attacks into killing grounds of their own chosing. I imagine then that the ATGW would come into their own much more.

But like most gamers, I love to see lots of tanks on the table, but it is always nice to have a different challenge like the one you mentioned.
http://wwiiwargaming.blogspot.co.uk/

2017 Paint-Off - 2 x Winner!