Is this the direction we’re headed? Removal of armour entirely and 1990 rts style health bars?
Why does armour have to be meaningless, I don’t understand.
The penetration system breaks down above medium tanks.
It works well below medium tanks because the swing in penetration between tiers is so big: a Stuart's all but impervious to a 222 at range, small arms barely scratch the 222. Armour is actual, proper protection.
With mediums up, bad penetration chances are 60%, 70%, that sort of thing. Armour becomes a pretty unreliable defence: your Pershing might bounce for days or it might evaporate in moments. As the vehicle's player you have to plan for the worst case scenario and vice versa for the opponent, so you get vehicles that suck for both
Therefore, the balance direction for vehicles over 250 armour continually shifts from armour to health: health is consistent and predictable.
The only alternative system I can think of is to drive armour up
instead of down: giving heavy tanks like the Tiger and IS-2 about 900 frontal armour but only 720 HP.
Tank destroyers would almost certainly need switchable rounds, deflection damage or batshit penetration in that case.