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Winter Patch - Current state of doctrinal armour

30 Apr 2020, 04:12 AM
#1
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 273

I want to open a thread to discuss the current state of USF doctrinal armour, specifically the 'Easy 8' Sherman and the Pershing. In regards to the Shermans: It feels to me that they lack clear defined roles that is typical from all other USF armour suffering from the cliche "jack of all trades, master of none". The Pershing meanwhile is a Allied Panther with a better gun to kill infantry which could and should be made available as a default tank once all tech is unlocked and researched. Similar to a King Tiger.

Not saying that this is a bad thing but all USF tanks typically have a defined role which makes it kind of pointless to get a jack of all trades vehicle when you can get the defined vehicle for the role you lack.

Easy 8. The E8 has suffered a lot of nerfs since its inception going from overuse to never used anymore. Why is that? I have done some testing and here are my thoughts. The description of this tank says "Can engage all targets, fires effectively while moving" so I assume the role this tank is supposed to provide is jack of all trades but it does nothing well.

The 76mm_easy8 gun is unable to kill infantry effectively. There is no AoE on the gun which is the equivalent of shooting infantry with an anti-tank gun. Only on direct hits will infantry ever die, only 1 model will die with no splash and its rare occurrence (1/3 shots). The radius on the E8 is supposed to be 2 and the similarly priced Panzer4 ausf J is 2.5 but the Panzer4 seems to be able to kill more than 1 model per shot.

So is it supposed to engage tanks? At only 20MP and 5F cheaper than an M36, it lacks the penetration, HVAP-T and range of the M36. While gaining access to better armour, slightly more health and smoke launcher. Its clear to me that this tank has been made to engage armour but the M36 is simply a much better option at the same price range.

Finally if this tank is supposed to be a flanking tank then why does it have 0.75 moving accuracy? This is the same as all other USF tanks. Its supposed to have the superior HVSS suspension. It also does not have any abilities to assist in being a flanking tank such as flanking speed from the M10 or additional penetration such as HVAP shells. Axis panzers have access to blitz which helps flanking.

I suggest to fix the E8's current position is to reduce penetration by 10-15 points, increase moving accuracy due to its special HVSS suspension from 0.75 to 0.9. Give it flanking speed ability. Fix its splash issue with the E8 as that seems to be a bug. I will be reporting this in the Winter Patch bug list as well.



The 76 doctrinal Sherman from USF seems to suffer from a similar issue of not being able to engage infantry effectively. I have not done much research but I know that tank doesn't feel good to use and I would rather have an M36 Jackson. The ability to change ammo is nice but I would much rather have the option of HE and AP rather than AP and Super AP.



Pershing. I think the Pershing should be a unit that all USF players can call in after all tech has been unlocked similar to how OKW players can call in a King Tiger. In terms of statistics, the Pershing is priced like a heavy tank but is actually a glorified medium tank. The stats are similar to a Panther but with a slightly higher cost and a better gun against infantry. I would recommend reducing the AI capabilities of the tank slightly (such as lowering radius from 4 to 3.5) if its made available to all USF players.

While the Heavy Calvary commander was made with the Pershing to sell it, I think its time is long over and the Pershing should be made available to all players as a 'ultimate' tank similar to the OKW King Tiger. Replace the call-in ability with an E8 so it can still retain the role of heavy calvary.

Some stats for comparison:





2 May 2020, 01:57 AM
#2
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 273

I tried using the E8 again and it still doesn't feel good to use. Against other mediums like the Panzer 4, it feels on equal footing. Against Panther, feels slightly worse as it should for its lowered cost. Although the cost is about 22% less MP and 32% less fuel. It doesn't feel 22%-32% weaker. It feels 40-50% weaker. I hope that can visualize how weak it feels.

I can see the strengths that this tank has. Its very similar to the panther as I've mentioned. Strong frontal armour, up to 3 MGs to attack infantry. However, it does not have the penetration the Panther has nor the armour the Panther. Regarding armour: The Panther has frontal armour that is very good against tanks it goes up against. The E8 has very good frontal armour but against the tanks it must fight, it is not that great. I can see this tank being very strong if able to flank an unsupported elefant or Jagdtiger but the Sherman can do the same job at a cheaper cost.

When I play with this commander, I think to myself. If I need AI, whats my best choice? I choose normal Sherman or AAHT as they do AI pretty well. If I need AT what do I go? I choose M36 because it can attack safely from range to gain vet, has superior penetration, and access to HVAP-T shells for increased damage and penetration.

As a flanking tank, I look to the T-34 as the best example of a flanking tank. Cheap cost, Ramming Speed ability, dinky gun that can barely penetrate frontal armour but at least has a chance with rear armour. The E8 does not excel in any of these categories. It does not have any supporting abilities, it does not have a cheap cost and it has high penetration which is useless if you're going to attack the rear.

To bring back to my original point. The E8 doesn't feel good to use. It doesn't have a role it can do well. I dare say it is outclassed by the normal Sherman as it has access to HE. Here are my proposed set of changes that can make this a better tank to use and a better tank to use equates to a more fun commander.

With 1v1's in mind and without making this tank too overtly powerful here are a set of changes to choose from:

Set 1
- Moving accuracy to 0.9
- Give it access to change shells similar to default Sherman. HE Shells are exactly the same, AP shells will be the current penetration values.

This set embraces the existing Sherman's role and becomes a direct upgrade at an increased cost. Special HVSS suspension gives it better moving accuracy.

Set 2
- Gains flanking speed ability at vet 0.
- Reduce cost by 20MP and 10F.
- Reduce penetration by 30 across all ranges. (200/165/155 to 170/135/125)

Fully embrace the role of the flanking AT role. Similar to a more heavily armoured but more expensive M10. While the E8 has 3 machine guns, penetration is not par with the M10 and it still suffers from the lack of HVAP forcing it into the flanking role. Side effect is you gain a tank with a speed boost ability on cooldown that can relocate very quickly. Two vet 1 radio net enabled E8's with speed boost may become problematic in 1v1.

Set 3
- Add M10 HVAP ability at vet 0.
- Increase cost by 30MP and 10F.
- Frontal armour reduced by 20.
- Target size increased to 24.
- Reduce penetration by 50 on short range and 20 across mid/long ranges. (200/165/155 to 150/145/135). HVAP values bring it up to (210/203/189)

Cost is now slightly higher than the M36 Jackson. It is an alternative choice to the M36 Jackson with less penetration and range but 3 MGs and radio net with multiple shermans. Penetration is lowered but better with the HVAP ability.

Set 4
- Moving accuracy to 0.9
- Radius increased from 2 to 2.5

Similar to Set 1, this improves it to be a direct replacement to the Sherman. I prefer Set 1 over this one though.

2 May 2020, 03:29 AM
#3
avatar of ShadowLinkX37
Director of Moderation Badge

Posts: 4045 | Subs: 3

There's a lot to unpack here but the issue I see with these suggestions is the attempt to buff the doctrinal shermans when the tanks themselves are already performing fine. They're just outclassed by a nondoctrinal monster tank destroyer.

The easy 8s can trade very effectively with either p4 variant but still lose to a panther. Where as the jackson can put both to shame with proper support.

The doctrinal sherman role is intended to spam and overwhelm your opponent with 1 type of tank, but there is no reason to dive and risk hitting mines or going into snare range when the jackson shuts everything down from 60 regardless.

Ontop of that unless the sherman variants are buffed hilariously they will always see less use because the panther is nondoctrinal. 99% of the lack of medium play in teamgames is because of the panther shutting them down, and so require TD spam, and in return warrant the 70 range TDs. The shermans may see some use in 1v1 where mobility is far more important than durability and DPS, but even then they'll always be limited due to the panthers current state.

As far as the pershing with all the tech constructed, unless you want it to be the RNG fest and disappointment that is the KT state, I suggest not.

EDIT:Also gonna point out that the jackson reload stat on that sheet is incorrect (unless it's portraying vet 3 in that case I don't know). The jackson has a fast "reload" but is one of the few tanks in the game that have a sizeable "wind up" and "wind down" timer which makes them fire slower. "aim time" is also a factor that needs to be taken into account.
2 May 2020, 18:17 PM
#4
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 273

There's a lot to unpack here but the issue I see with these suggestions is the attempt to buff the doctrinal shermans when the tanks themselves are already performing fine. They're just outclassed by a nondoctrinal monster tank destroyer.

The easy 8s can trade very effectively with either p4 variant but still lose to a panther. Where as the jackson can put both to shame with proper support.

The doctrinal sherman role is intended to spam and overwhelm your opponent with 1 type of tank, but there is no reason to dive and risk hitting mines or going into snare range when the jackson shuts everything down from 60 regardless.

Ontop of that unless the sherman variants are buffed hilariously they will always see less use because the panther is nondoctrinal. 99% of the lack of medium play in teamgames is because of the panther shutting them down, and so require TD spam, and in return warrant the 70 range TDs. The shermans may see some use in 1v1 where mobility is far more important than durability and DPS, but even then they'll always be limited due to the panthers current state.

As far as the pershing with all the tech constructed, unless you want it to be the RNG fest and disappointment that is the KT state, I suggest not.

EDIT:Also gonna point out that the jackson reload stat on that sheet is incorrect (unless it's portraying vet 3 in that case I don't know). The jackson has a fast "reload" but is one of the few tanks in the game that have a sizeable "wind up" and "wind down" timer which makes them fire slower. "aim time" is also a factor that needs to be taken into account.


Thanks for the input, I will have to change my spreadsheet to include aim time for reload speeds. I'm starting to understand that the E8 Sherman is not played because of the current state of the Panther. In all aspects, the E8 is pretty much a crappier version of the Panther at a reduced cost. The Panther faces difference tanks than the E8 would normally face which compounds the issue.

Normal Shermans did however see extensive use during the World Championship, being the most common USF tank to be deployed. If the E8 is changed to be a direct upgrade to the normal Sherman then I hypothesize players may consider the E8 again.

(Also notice that Rifle Company was picked once and the E8 was never built)

Stat source: https://www.coh2.org/news/102660/world-championship-match-stats#usf_meta

Edit: The HVSS suspension bonus is supposedly no scatter penalty while moving. The only tank in the game to have that according to this post https://www.coh2.org/topic/36347/cruzz-s-the-more-you-know

The benefit is that the gun is able to kill infantry better on the move but the gun on the E8 currently is garbage vs infantry so the bonus is insignificant.

Easy Eight has no scatter penalty on the move so it will be just as effective against infantry with the main gun standing still as moving
17 May 2020, 16:30 PM
#5
avatar of TomDRV

Posts: 112

My biggest bug with USF in the late game is my only sponge/screening unit is the rifleman. Sherman's get killed to quick to do it. So any strat starts with walking rifleman into a potenital meatgrinder

I know it's been said before but the USF need SOME armour that can take a hit, even if it has little in the way of firepower itself. It needs some vehicle to act as the keystone.

I agree that the Pershing should not be non-doc, it wouldn't be very historical anyway. But a Sherman jumbo would be perfect.

Most were made from scavenged armour plates from tank wrecks, could give vehicle crews an 'applique armour' ability for the Sherman that works like the UKF war speed construction (but a perm upgrade). Then only make it available if the Sherman is close to a vehicle wreck and the wreck is consumed when you do it. (Or if it's hard to code, give USF vehicle crews the scavenge ability which once performed unlocks one charge of the applique armour ability) Or just a call-in like the KT.

Would give the Sherman KT-level front armour and nerf mobility into the ground. Job done.

the 76mm sherman could be replaced with the easy eight to give that commander some flare (and removed from the game because it just squeases out the easy 8 that has character and could have it's own niche). Then make the easy-eight that ultra-mobile flanking Sherman it should be.

Then we have:
Regular jack-of-all trade sherman (normal sherman)
Uparmoured bullet sink sherman (but hard to get - got to scavenge) (Jumbo)
Ultra-fast anti-tank flanking sherman (doctrinal) (EZ8)


*Use the 76mm sherman (now removed) skin with a defensive style icon for the Jumbo

Now USF have a not-glass T4

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/US/m4a3e2-jumbo-assault-tank







16 Jun 2020, 18:04 PM
#6
avatar of UberHanz
Donator 11

Posts: 206 | Subs: 1

Very interesting and highly proficient read guys, thank you for sharing your insights. I also find it a pitty that the E8s (and therefore Rifle Commander) has no real spot in the current meta, and feel it would be easy to fix.

... increase moving accuracy due to its special HVSS suspension from 0.75 to 0.9. Give it flanking speed ability...

This direction i find most reasonable. Gives the E8 a dedicated purpose and the USF some potential versatility in late game, i.e. aggressive flanking. Right now US tank meta is extremely defensive, since rushing with the Jacksons is Kamikaze. Sometimes worth it but still.. somebody will have to explain that to the tank crews family..


17 Jun 2020, 22:21 PM
#7
avatar of James Hale

Posts: 574

@Applejack - it's cavalry, not Calvary. That's the hill Christ died on.

Interesting points however; the E8 certainly used to have 0.85 moving accuracy and so this must have been nerfed at some point. It also sounds like AoE has been reduced, with the E8 being forced into a dedicated AT role similar to a Panther. It always used to be a more generalist tank and was effective against most units.

I'm not in favour of the Pershing being made non-doctrinal though, and there isn't really historical justification for it (should you believe that matters).
18 Jun 2020, 09:22 AM
#8
avatar of James Hale

Posts: 574

jump backJump back to quoted post17 May 2020, 16:30 PMTomDRV
But a Sherman jumbo would be perfect.

Most were made from scavenged armour plates from tank wrecks, could give vehicle crews an 'applique armour' ability for the Sherman that works like the UKF war speed construction (but a perm upgrade). Then only make it available if the Sherman is close to a vehicle wreck and the wreck is consumed when you do it. (Or if it's hard to code, give USF vehicle crews the scavenge ability which once performed unlocks one charge of the applique armour ability) Or just a call-in like the KT.

Would give the Sherman KT-level front armour and nerf mobility into the ground. Job done.

Whilst I don't necessarily disagree with adding the Jumbo in some form, the issue is that it would require a new model. From what I understand Relic are running a skeleton crew on supporting this game and are highly unlikely to do any new modelling or animation work for the game.
21 Jun 2020, 17:28 PM
#9
avatar of TomDRV

Posts: 112


Whilst I don't necessarily disagree with adding the Jumbo in some form, the issue is that it would require a new model. From what I understand Relic are running a skeleton crew on supporting this game and are highly unlikely to do any new modelling or animation work for the game.


They didn't look much different . . . a lot like the 76mm sherman in-game now.

my 2cents is use the 76mm sherman skin (esp. if it's removed and replaced with E8) and make a shield/elephant icon similar to the sword for assault tommies
28 Jul 2020, 04:10 AM
#10
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 273

Took a break from the game and came back. No changes to the E8. I am sad that it is still bad despite it being so iconic.
6 Nov 2020, 18:31 PM
#11
avatar of TomDRV

Posts: 112

Realized I need to update with something I posted a few days ago ^ I like Applejack's suggestions too btw.
Also disclaimer I'm not a highly ranked player and might therefore be on a different planet.

1. Easy 8 given all the changes applejack suggested and HVAP removed from M4(76)

2. Give M4s the ability to upgrade to 76mms w/ sandbag armour (increases armour to make shreks and lighter AT unreliable) (for a manpower & fuel cost or could be a vet2 thing like Panther armour buff)

I'm thinking like something from the COH1 blizkrieg mod, in ultra late game USF can harden their armour with global upgrades.

3. To differentiate the AT brawler M4A3E8 from the Jacky more, Jacky can now self spot when stationary and can only fire when stationary. Perhaps a 1sec set up time like the OKW halftrack. Then the jacky acts far more as an open-topped AT gun on tracks that must be stopped to engage, while other tanks in the lineup compliment as brawlers. Wild idea, would it break the game?

4.
- Make M10 non-doc.
- Remove the Sherman urban assault package upgrade and rationalize as the Dozer 105 sherman.
- Increase the occurrence of M4A3E8s & M4(105) Shermans in the commanders

6. AppleJack, your M10 suggestions look confusing to me? I think it's because IRL the M10 had a worse gun than the jacky. Could it be reworked to essentially a non-doc budget easy 8 which trades armour & MGs for a lower price point? (They had the same 76mm after-all).

Then the USF armour line-up looks like:

MAJ (t4):
- M4 Sherman: All-rounder (upgradeable to 76mm and sandbag armour)
- M8 Scott
- M10 Wolverine: The brawling and earlier alternative to the Jackson. Outclassed by Easy 8, but much cheaper. So still relevant if both are available.
- M36 Jackson: Changed to fire only when stationary and can self-spot when stationary. Fast repositioning and long ranged defensive AT sniper. (perhaps a 0.5 sec set up time like OKW HT)

Could potentially lock jackson & 76mm upgrade behind a tier 4.5 tech.

DOCTRINALS (unlocked with t4):
- M4A3E8 Sherman (doctrinal): Fast, flanking anti-tank Sherman.
- M4 105 Dozer Sherman (doctrinal): AI Sherman

Gives USF a strategy other than rifleman screen to take damage late game by toughening up their armour for late game threats. Availability of M10s & M4(76)s encourages a more balanced combined arms force instead of rifle blob to soak damage backed up by Jacksons. Also retains the jacksons awesome tank-destroying ability but restricting it so that it's best use as defensive AT (As in real life). Can't chase down units or brawl And other armoured units must be used in offensive situations.

Just to clarify the differences between M10, M4(76) and M4A3E8
- M4A3E8 (doctrinal): Single ammo type AP focused, flank speed, more armour & faster
- M10 (non-doc): Single ammo type + HVAP, flank speed: Basically a budget easy 8 without the armour & MGs but added HVAP.
- M4(76) (non-doc): M4 sherman with AP & HE rounds. AP rounds are more potent, but receives HE nerf in return. A very late game up-gunned sherman to stay relevant vs Panzer 4s & panthers at the expense of being less wipey. Sandbags (seperate or joint upgrade) on the front make them more resistant to panzershreks & snares.

Doctrines (M10 & M4(76) now non-doc):

Urban Assault: Given 105 dozer Sherman (assault package removed)
Mechanised: Given 105 Dozer Sherman (Reserve Armour removed)

Armor: Given Easy 8 (M10 removed) now has Easy 8 & 105 Dozer - so very armour!
Rifle Company: Stay with Easy 8

Heavy Cav: Stays with Pershing

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