I strongly recommend a thorough reading of this article by The Chieftan:
There is a LOT there including a lot of testing results of various allied rounds used against various parts of the Panther. The sum of it is that while there wasn't a lot that could penetrate the front of the Panther, there was a whole heck of a lot (down to 37mm APC rounds at 500m and 57mm and 75mm m4s at 1500m) that would penetrate the sides and rear of the Panther.
There is also a bunch of discussion about the effects of hardened steel. The Germans made it much harder to penetrate, but spalling was a huge issue. On the other hand the US steel was much softer, making a penetration easier but less lethal. Considering the US was able to replace tanks, but that trained (and particularly trained and experienced) crews are harder to replace this actually works out quite well, as can be seen in the results of the more experienced US m4/75mm crews at Arracourt.
As to cost? Pretty much useless information, probably from the parts of both allies and Germans but in particular on the German side. When there is rationing, shortages that have to be resolved with allocations, and slave labor involved, and a complete lack of open exchange rates, it is probably impossible to evaluate the cost of military materiale in Nazi Germany. That affects the US as well, but without as many factors since there was no slave labor and much fewer shortages.
Wow wow i have seen a lot of myths but this thread lol
1) Sherman wasn't "cheap".
It actually costed (basic old hull 75mm gun) slighly more than panzer 4 ausf H, the most expensive panzer 4 with skirts, high velocity gun, improved hull armored, rounded turret skirts.
The Easy 8 costed roughly 2k US dollar less than Panther ausf G equivalent from reichmarks.
2) The extra hatch was introduced as stopgap solution for the burning issues.
It has never been used in Europe (post Italy where early shermans served of course), but hey, it was there, so ok.
It actually took some time before a knocked out tank will catch fire with proper upgrades.
3) The USF doctrine was NOT what held Sherman back. As much flawed as usf tank doctrine looked, it was immidiatly abandoned from Normandy, where Tigers and Panthers gave 75mm Shermans quite a beating. The issued was that the m1 76mm gun implemented in 1944 was way behind the german kwk40 l/48 implemented in 1942.
It had roughly same caliber and longer barrel. It was much more restrictive and reduced of a lpt the turret traverse. AND STILL the kwk40 had far higher muzzle velocity.
In real life Sherman was a Tank that 2 generation behind the Panther.
It was a different tank. And in many ways a superior and much more fleshed out weapon system than the Panther.
ALL the Sherman variants, with the possible exception to the Jumbo, were remarkably reliable. Also they were useable from the desserts of North Africa to the jungles of the Pacific, and easily transportable and reparable in all those locations, which was important considering the sources of parts, etc were always an ocean plus at least another several hundred miles.
It was more produce-able as well. With 50,000 variants made, coupled with much higher reliability, means it was eminently available to the troops. A tank that shows up is always superior to the one that doesn't. And by late '44, with the 76mm gun it was equal to or superior to anything it would face up to and including late model PIVs (the ones that were working, not the ones that broke), and, in the hands of a trained crew, likely to take out a Panther, because what matters more is the quality of the crew, not the tank. At this stage the Panthers, assuming they had fuel, might still break down in a prolonged engagement (Germany was short of the specified alloys for the drive wheel, and the ones they could produce did not last more than a couple of hundred kilometers.)
See the battle of Arracourt: 75 Mark IVs and 107 Mark Vs vs 190 m4s (almost all 75mm), 38 m18s (76mm) and 77 Stuarts. The results were a lopsided smacking of the Panthers.
After war analysis showed that by far the deciding factor in a tank engagement were NOT armor and gun, but who got off the first shot. The 75mm was capable of punching through the side armor of a Panther and its turret. More to the point, the Sherman was more likely to actually show up!
Here is a video on how to use a mortar in ARMA (realistic).
I'm always curious about how mortars are portrayed in games.
I assume standing around and waiting for your superiors to tell you to move your artilerry piece o.05 inches to the left wouldn't make a great game, so we don't really get to see much of them in games.
In some games, we don't see a mortar at all. We just hear the characteristic whistle and the explosion that can't really hurt us because "plot"
And in some games, we get to utilize friendly mortars in the form of flares or signalling smoke. I remember playing the new COD campaign and the artillery hit the mark with 100% accuracy. I imagine before shooting the operator jumped into the air and spun 360 degrees.
So with that, can anyone give me some stats about artillery (mortars particularly)? How effective were they in an active battle? How were they even aimed and fired? How can someone look at a particularly colored plume of smoke and say "welp, gotta shoot over there."?
Thanks for any answers.
It gets more complicated than the below description, but that is a good starting point. For the rest you can start with the linked wikipedia article.
Circular Error Probability:
If the CEP of a weapons system is 100 meters, then: "if a given bomb design has a CEP of 100 metres (330 ft), when 100 are targeted at the same point, 50 will fall within a 100 m circle around their average impact point."
From what I have been reading, modern artillery can probably manage 10m at over 10km with well maintained equipment and a good Forward Observer. This equipment did not exist in WW2.
Remember that projectiles are affected by the environment, and air has different properties at different temperatures and humidity, plus wind, etc. Also, the quality control of the mass production in that time was not as good as today, and that would go for all sorts of relevant factors that affect CONSISTENCY of results; the manufacture and wear of the weapon tube/sights/mounting, of the shell, of the propellant. (The Germans had a lot of quality issues with the products of slave labor, despite lots of QC inspections. The slave laborers, many of whom expected to die anyway, were motivated to find ways to sabotage material in ways that would still pass QC. There are a lot more stories by allied soldiers of German "duds" than vice versa.)
Calculations of the environmental effects and of trajectory had to be done for each fire mission. The Germans had a high degree of training for their officers for this, but it meant that they were accurate but slower to respond. And they were organized at a lower level of command, which in one sense sped up response but also made larger fire missions harder to coordinate.
The US on the other hand had the organizations of artillery higher up, but sped up the response with technology. Myriad fire solutions were cranked out beforehand using mathematicians in the US (and later with early computers) and printed onto "tapes" that were kept in a book. A fire officer could take out the premeasured tapes for the given (or close) conditions, lay them out on the map between their location and the fire coordinates, and have the required firing solution already calculate (including time-to-target). This meant fast response and great accuracy if the maps and the locations were good to begin with.
What it also allowed was a decentralized (and thus very fast) coordination of time-on-target solutions. If a mission is required on a certain coordinate at a certain time, each unit could independently determine their own fire solution to achieve that. 80mm mortars, 105mm, 155mm and 203mm howitzers could all arrive at the same time even though they each would have a different flight time.
Germans soldiers do not have fond memories of allied artillery.
Here are some threads on these topics:
An alternate proposal for COH3:
Balance it more for team play.
I know I know.... But hear me out.
Successful games today are built around some team play. And team games, even without balance, are still the most popular game modes in COH1 and 2, with far more player-hours.
And I say balance it for that because the community is more than capable of balancing a 1v1 mod and it is a lot easier to get 2 people to agree on using such a mod in competition than to get 4, 6 or 8 to agree on a mod for team modes.
the arty spamfest in coh1 teamgames were much worse. the lategame minigame was about who is able to put a v1 on the calliopes or howitzers, mostly by trying to find a not-mined route with a bike, or who can kill the repair and medic bunkers more efficiently on the other side.
no, i don't miss that
I still play a lot of team games and you are overstating it some. The artyfests existed for two reasons... On the axis side the mobility of the artillery, like stukas and hummels, (Stukas??? Did he say stukas? thank god such a cancerous unit doesn't exist in COH2!
) negated the ability to counter them with arty. Unless of course the other player sucked. The allied arty became dependent because invisible paks, hardened bunkers, suppressing MGs and perma-vet meant you absolutely had to be able to soften a target or force it to move in order to make any progress. But destroying was still more possible for axis than US. A v1 or 280mm would wipe any arty once you got vision. The same cannot be said for eliminating an 88, which I guess balanced for the recon and no-vision on-maps of the allies.
But you have the counters you seem to want right in COH2. You can counter the arty piece without shenanigans. But because of that it is impossible to keep static arty alive. Off-maps coupled with recon mean a destroyed investment, so no one makes them. So you are left with a mobile (mostly rocket) arty meta, and every side that doesn't have them cries until they get one.
I am a big ww2 history buff, and I hadn't heard much of Calliopes or Land Mattress until I saw them in the COH franchise. Allied artillery was excellent, accurate, responsive, and available in great supply. But that isn't modeled effectively in COH2.
I forgot another aspect where I think COH1 was better... pacing.
While COH2 has improved, it had a really small "mid" game. In COH1 it was rare to have a 9 minute tank, which could only be done when focusing and on the right map, and even then you had to sacrifice a lot to get it and it could lose to things available in mid-game.
Most late games didn't start until 20 minutes in and in a very contested game and your mid game units were still quite necessary.
COH2 for years had a very short mid-game, in part because the late game was so lethal. But that also messed with the balance because the point system was still based on a 3 VP system with 500 points and 3 second ticks... IOW the game would last as long but since you reached late game so quickly much of the game had to be played in the "late game" phase. This makes late game imbalances feel even more pronounced.
(Coming from a COH1 lover who really really wanted and still wants to love COH2. But just doesn't.)
COH1 (the good)- Vanilla balance is really close, and is that way through different levels of game skill and knowledge, though there are certainly points where the balance shits back and forth.
Vanilla does a great job of balance with many little differences adding up to a whole different feel in the two factions without having to add huge gimmicks. Both sides have MGs, mortars, tank destroyers, tanks, scout vehicles, HTs, etc, but they are slightly different ones, and often in different tiers.
I think the resource system and popcap system lends to a lot more strategic andtactical interplay. Popcap means there is another way to try and defeat your opponent (and a consequence to capturing/losing territory).
COH1 is really responsive. Is it just me? because I can't switch between the two without realizing I have to click a second time often for things to happen (throw grenades, dodge, etc.)
- Too much invisibility.
- A lot of brit and PE stuff. Some I find particularly galling.
- That PE can break the VP point system, or break a strat point in seconds that took much much longer to repair (the repair also had to be undisturbed or it reset).
- Snipers (the god forsaken mini game you had to play while playing COH)
COH2 (the good)
- gaining veterancy from doing damage (though perhaps not from receiving damage)
- I especially like that you gain more veterancy for killing higher vets of a unit.
- QoL - seeing your units and their status, reverse button,
The bad -
Way too much difference for difference's sake. Which is why it took things they really wanted to avoid to try and add some balance, like adding a mortar to US, an MG to OKW, etc.
Too many skillplanes.
Armourwise, I think the only difference is that in coh1 the border between front and rear was always in the middle, while in coh2 some vehicles have more frontal armour than rear one.
As for the callin thing, why don't we just put it in the "both game did it wrong" category instead of arguing which implementation was the worst one?
I would also add AI to that category. It's absolutely awful in both games and I say that knowing how hard it is to implement it well.
Is is really true that the front/back armor in COH2 is weighted towards more frontal? That is horrible!
I would have argued that the opposite should be the case (maybe 30% front, 70% rear) in order to at least attempt to model that side armor on a lot of the tanks with "super armor" really only had it on the front and not the sides. If you then think the side is too thin you can up the rear armor a bit. (Panthers were eminently penetratable if hit from the side. To model their side armor as a significant proportion of their frontal armor might be why some think them so cancerous, particularly when they could move fast.)
Re: AI - This is a really hard one to fix. The more complex you make a game the less likely you can make an AI that will function well. Terrain, cover, variable strengths of weapons, vet, vision, etc are all things that are hard enough for a "smart" human to consider, but hard to make algorithms to handle, and once you do, easy to counter once someone figures them out.