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russian armor

The HM-38 needs a reload buff

8 May 2020, 22:52 PM
#1
avatar of Stein Grenadier

Posts: 69

We've been crunching numbers to update the spreadsheet resource, and, to summarize, the HM-38 quite literally takes more time to fire a barrage than a howitzer.

In terms of barrage completion times, the HM-38 quite literally stands out in its category.



Where 4-shell barrages from conventional mortars finish in 13-20 seconds, it takes more than twice that time to finish a 6-shell barrage. Quite literally comparable to a conventional howitzer, with none of the power or range.



Naturally, we tested the values. Assuming that the weapon to be used is both already set up, is firing in its firing cone, and that the timer only begins after the command is issued, and ends after the last shell is launched, the numbers you see are accurate, with a minor delay of <1 second due to input lag and trying to run a timer using the in-game clock (which doesn't exactly have milliseconds for us)

Stat-wise, the closest equivalent to the the HM-38's performance (in terms of AoE) is the USF Pack Howitzer.



However, the Pack Howitzer is non-doctrinal, has a longer barrage range (100 vs 120), is more accurate on said barrage and has multiple offensive utilities. It also executes its 4-shell barrage in less than half the time it takes for the HM-38 to finish its barrage, and both have the same autofire range of 80. For autofire performance the HM-38 has even worse accuracy than its barrage. Shell flight time is also shorter for the Pack Howitzer due to non-mortar trajectory.

In a way, the HM-38 can also be somewhat redeemed with its veterancy accuracy bonus, which puts its accuracy on par with the Pack Howitzer's (Which doesn't have any accuracy bonuses on vet whatsoever), however, it still retains its terrible fire rate.



For what the HM-38 is, its vet1 ability is available non-doctrinally at vet0 on the PM-41, and comparatively, with how accurate the PM-41 is (Second-most accurate mortar, after the LeiG), the HM-38's performance probably only comes from the fancy sound effect when the shell does land. There's almost no merit to getting the HM-38 if you already have a PM-41. The only thing that the HM-38 has over its competitor is the ability to fire smoke at longer distances.

In my opinion, the reload value needs to either be lowered so that it's literally not howitzer level, and hopefully, the vet1 ability will be changed to a different niche. That or a different rework entirely.

Thoughts?

The sheet where I got the images from is currently labeled Sheet12 in the spreadsheet I shared in a different thread. The primary contributor wants to add more usable numbers (along with tedious testing) before finally renaming it and considering it "released"
8 May 2020, 22:58 PM
#2
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 125

Holy fuck.

This explains why 120mm Mortar feels so bad to use.

It feels so slow and clunky and not effective for its cost as a doctrinal unit.

I remember it being good before but then they must have nerfed it somehow.
8 May 2020, 23:06 PM
#3
avatar of IntoTheRain

Posts: 34

While we're at it, the tooltip still says 10 pop while the unit itself is only 9.
8 May 2020, 23:25 PM
#4
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 8576 | Subs: 1

... There's almost no merit to getting the HM-38 if you already have a PM-41. The only thing that the HM-38 has over its competitor is the ability to fire smoke at longer distances.
...

The HE barrage also has more range than the PM-41.

Pak howitzer is also OP so it not a very good base for comparison.

Having that said HM-38 could use some changes.
8 May 2020, 23:47 PM
#5
avatar of distrofio

Posts: 2333

Pak howie its not a "conventionarl mortar" first.
Second. I dont want 6x 120mm shells raining in the same time as the PM41 because the first has a lot more of wiping potential and range.
Finally.
Another myth dies today. OST mortar takes longer to perform its barrages, compared to USF. Who knew.
9 May 2020, 00:06 AM
#6
9 May 2020, 00:19 AM
#7
avatar of elchino7
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 7209 | Subs: 1

Copy paste of opinion on previous threads



The 82mm perform better cause it's more efficient. The only question you have to make yourself is:

-Does the 20 extra range is gonna allow me to do something the normal mortar wouldn't allow me? Say parking it up behind a house and attacking someone who foolishly still tries to forward the medic HQ way to recklessly.
-How much micro can you allow yourself to spend in using mortars. Reminder that mortars are not as good on autofire and require the usage of barrage for them to be really good. All their vet doesn't provide any direct benefit towards auto attack or attack ground.

NEVER build 2 of them. At 340mp and 9pop it's not worth unless you are in a team game and you can rely on your partners to cover for your investment.
If you found yourself not microing mortars, it might be better than the 82mm due to the extra range. Because even if the 82mm will fire more shells more accurately, if it's not firing at all it is not gonna be doing shit.

Regarding the mortar itself:

The performance is fine (after all other mortars were nerfed), it's the cost, popcap and veterancy that are not aligned with it.

-Vet value should be 50% more not 100% (this was basically their old value when the mortar had precision strike and 120dmg)

-Cost should go down to 310mp and 8 popcap.

-Barrage AoE profile should be equal to normal attack

9 May 2020, 01:08 AM
#8
avatar of SkysTheLimit

Posts: 2480 | Subs: 1


-Cost should go down to 310mp and 8 popcap.


+1

Doesn't need much, just a small cost adjustment
9 May 2020, 04:01 AM
#9
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 125



Against the green targets, wouldn't they take 50% less damage by being in directional cover from the mortar?

It did feel really lack luster vs the 2 squads of grens at the end though.
9 May 2020, 04:04 AM
#10
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 125

I don't think cost adjustment would help this mortar.

It just feels so bad to use. Its slow and clunky and ineffective at its role, it definitely needs an adjustment to its stats to be more in-line as a 'premium' mortar.

Also it used to cost 310MP and only used 5 pop.

https://coh2index.com/unit/soviet/hm_38_120mm_mortar_squad.html
9 May 2020, 04:13 AM
#11
avatar of distrofio

Posts: 2333

It is known that at max range this mortar has atrocious accuracy and spread.
9 May 2020, 04:43 AM
#12
avatar of Stein Grenadier

Posts: 69

The pack howitzer was chosen for comparison due to similar AoE profiles, and the fact it has more than 80 range on its barrage.

If we compare it to conventional mortars, its performance is still lacking despite the premium price tag. Where it loses in every respect aside from added range (Which can't be exploited due to its naturally worse accuracy), the AoE and the fact it can retreat with 1 man.

Frankly, a reduction of barrage size to 4 as well as reducing the reload amount by 2 second on the barrage would give a completion time of ~20.8375 seconds, which would put it on par with other mobile indirect fire units without touching any of its other aspects, and prevent it from literally taking as long as a howitzer to complete its barrage, which was more or less the only thing I'm after.
9 May 2020, 04:48 AM
#13
avatar of SkysTheLimit

Posts: 2480 | Subs: 1


Frankly, a reduction of barrage size to 4 as well as reducing the reload amount by 2 second on the barrage would give a completion time of ~20.8375 seconds, which would put it on par with other mobile indirect fire units without touching any of its other aspects, and prevent it from literally taking as long as a howitzer to complete its barrage, which was more or less the only thing I'm after.


That's very well put, and seems like a good idea. Would be nice if someone could test it in a similar fashion to how Stormjaeger did but with those numbers. I'm learning the mod tools but I'm not quite there yet

Would be great if we saw this change in a preview so we could test
9 May 2020, 06:00 AM
#14
avatar of distrofio

Posts: 2333

I understand your point OP but I don't see the issue the same way.
The price tag is always a hard discussion, because unit performance involves utility, a single 120mm shell will effectively force a retreat on most axis units. Increasing the firing rate reducing the reload time gives less time to react to the enemy.

Having longer barrages times means more land denial. Unlike the pak Howie, 120mm is very durable but also has better range than conventional mortars. It is more rng dependent but again, comparing it with pak Howie somehow the price is meant to disencourage its use or make it a costly decision. It's not a linear upgrade of mortars, i think it's a different kind of indirect fire. Vs buildings it's a monster

I don't think SU needs any indirect fire buffs, the faction itself is doing pretty well.
9 May 2020, 06:25 AM
#15
avatar of EffenNewbie

Posts: 1545

snip


Most of us agreed that 300 or 310, 8 pop, veterancy, and fixing the barrage AOE profile would be sufficient to make it okay. The unit was badly OP for most of its history so anything more than that would hit a lot of resistance. The AOE is larger than a normal mortar, so speeding up the barrage could return it to it's former wiping glory.
9 May 2020, 06:54 AM
#16
avatar of Aerohank

Posts: 2560 | Subs: 1

The 120mm mortar is a noob trap. It seduces you with 100 range, but what it doesn't tell you is that the unit actually only has 60 range for hitting anything smaller than a barn. So many people will just have it sit in the back firing at max range, hitting absolutely nothing. I don't actually find the unit that bad anymore since I realized this. The unit has a retreat function so you can be pretty agressive with it.
9 May 2020, 07:30 AM
#17
avatar of Darkpiatre

Posts: 176

This unit has a long history behind it. Arty of any type aren't something really fun in teamgames.

Mortar are quite good against 4 man squad, and this one was a nightmare during years. I think it got destroyed at 12 pop and 360 mp at a point.

His stats doesn't show all the power such weapon can have on WhiteBall/Redball express for instance.

Price adjustment is fine but changing stats needs to be really precise.
9 May 2020, 07:59 AM
#18
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 1116 | Subs: 1

I understand your point OP but I don't see the issue the same way.
The price tag is always a hard discussion, because unit performance involves utility, a single 120mm shell will effectively force a retreat on most axis units. Increasing the firing rate reducing the reload time gives less time to react to the enemy.

Having longer barrages times means more land denial. Unlike the pak Howie, 120mm is very durable but also has better range than conventional mortars. It is more rng dependent but again, comparing it with pak Howie somehow the price is meant to disencourage its use or make it a costly decision. It's not a linear upgrade of mortars, i think it's a different kind of indirect fire. Vs buildings it's a monster

I don't think SU needs any indirect fire buffs, the faction itself is doing pretty well.


Vs buildings, the SOV standard mortar is better due to higher DPS. I am not sure how well the garrisons do because I only tested vs OST bunkers.


The big plus of the 120mm before the general mprtar rework was it's high wipe potential. Now that this has gone away there is not much left. The higher AoE is offset by the high scatter, top damage is the same. The +20 range on barrage is nice but then you have a high price tag and very slow ROF.
The whole damage profile screams that it is either an upgraded version of the standard mortar or at least boosted AI performance. Judging the AoE profile this still is true. If the shell hits, then it does a lot of health damage. But the time for the second shell is so long you cannot really use it. It hits even less versus moving infantry, softening the defensis before an assault does not really work either because only 2 shots max will hit before your opponent micros his units away and it takes ages to get the second barrage. And as already pointed out against buildings it is worse than the standard.For area denial it is honestly a quite weird unit. And the utility is (arguably) lower than with the standard mortar because you need to vet before getting the flare.

The only scenario where the 120mm really shines is if you shell the BG HQ of OKW as a FRP. There all the strengths come together, you'll wipe retreated infantry in the best case or hit the building worst case. And at all times, you make this building unusable because of the long barrage time. But that case is so specific that it just shows how niche the 120mm has become.

Two years ago I really loved the unit. Build even two in team games. But every time I used it now I had the feeling that a normal mortar or another conscript would have been better.
MMX
9 May 2020, 08:08 AM
#19
avatar of MMX

Posts: 274

great in-depth analysis! we need more solid work like this here in the forums to get some actual numbers on unit performance in order to finally clean up some of the myths and misconceptions that still haven't been properly debunked to date.
i've also been doing a brief comparison of the two soviet mortars recently in the "scatter this!" thread, although there the HM-38 didn't do as poorly as your numbers suggest (that being said i've accidentially used the wrong scatter profile for the PM-41 barrage (the non-mp clone), still have to update this).


Naturally, we tested the values. Assuming that the weapon to be used is both already set up, is firing in its firing cone, and that the timer only begins after the command is issued, and ends after the last shell is launched, the numbers you see are accurate, with a minor delay of <1 second due to input lag and trying to run a timer using the in-game clock (which doesn't exactly have milliseconds for us)


didn't check the other numbers yet, but i think you have an error in the time it takes to complete one barrage for the PM-41. my in-game testing (counting only the time between 1st and 4th shot) puts it at ~ 23 s instead of 13ish - pretty large discrepancy that makes the PM-41 look way better in comparison.

with respect to the vet3 performance, ive noticed you didn't apply the 20% reduction to the distance_scatter_ratio. is this intended? my (limited) testing on the scatter mechanics implied reduced scatter acts on that, too, although i'd be happy to know if you have more info on this.
9 May 2020, 08:16 AM
#20
avatar of Katitof

Posts: 15475 | Subs: 7

Well, its no secret that 120mm is a meme unit.
I can't imagine a single situation where I would want it over regular stock mortar in any 2v2 matchup on any map.
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