Weaker M1?

Discussion in 'World At War 85 Series' started by Jams F. Jones, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Jams F. Jones

    Jams F. Jones Member

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    In comparing the first version M1 counter with the revised counter, it appears it has lost some of its advantage over the T72. For example, it no longer has a range advantage. It appears then that the M1 tactics that worked in Version won't hold for WAW85. Please advise.
     
  2. MkV

    MkV Member

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    M1 or M1A1?
     
  3. Jams F. Jones

    Jams F. Jones Member

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    The counters in Version 1 are not labeled as MI or M1A1. They are just labeled Abrams.
     
  4. MkV

    MkV Member

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    I never played the original, What were the tactics you used?
     
  5. Jams F. Jones

    Jams F. Jones Member

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    Tactics that take advantage of the Abrams range and fire power (10-4-4) over the T-72 (7-4-5). With these vales the Abrams can can score a hit on the T-72 before it closes to its effective range. It also had a higher hit probability than the T-72. With the different values the abrams has in WAW 85, it doesn't seem to be the same powerful beast.
     
  6. MkV

    MkV Member

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    Yeah, those sound like M1A1's with the 120mm. The Leopard 2's can do that. The M1 with the 105mm has to be more careful.
     
  7. Jams F. Jones

    Jams F. Jones Member

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    You're right. Since the A1 was in production from 1986-1992, the values on the M1 counter in WAW85 are more accurate than the Abrams counter in Version 1.
     
  8. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Member

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    Awesome!!!! as I love a more accurate game
     
  9. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    Hi! You have actually hit the core of why the old game and the new game are incompatible: the counter values were redesigned pretty much from the ground up using an algorithm based on weapon caliber, range, penetration, etc. The M-1 here is the original, and is armed with virtually the same quick-loading NATO 105mm gun standard on many of the NATO tanks at the time, and in the series (e.g. West German Leopard-1s and Danish Centurions).

    During the design stage of WaW85, after rebuilding all the unit values, it turned out that the M-1 in the new game had a longer printed range than the old game (11 new versus 10 old), while the Soviet 125mm smoothbore-armed tanks went from 7 to 12. Out of the gate that made sense: the NATO 105mm had a much shorter maximum range than the Soviet 125mm smoothbore.

    Why the big change in the T-72 range? Simply put: improved optics. The more I dug into why the old game had a printed range of 7 (1000 yards) - and I did have to dig - I found that the decision might have been made that the Soviet optics were ineffective beyond 1000 yards because of bad optics. (In the end I did run across that anecdotally, but never found any published metrics on exactly how bad the optics might have been).

    But that appeared to have been an issue with the T-72A. Which was replaced by the T-72B - with, ironically, improved optics - well before 1985 (to my research and knowledge). And the game most assuredly is set in 1985. So, although I do not have a model number on the T-72 counters, they are T-72Bs. :) Also the East Germans get T-72Bs rather than T-72Ms - now there I played the “alternate history” card and assumed the Soviets would re-arm their allies with non-export versions of the T-72.

    [However, despite all this: what you will also notice once you get the game is that the Soviets have T-80s in the main game of Storming the Gap, rather than T-72s.]

    So now things are turned around a bit: the Soviets have a slight printed-range advantage of one hex. But more importantly, a point blank (half-printed) range advantage of 6 versus 5. That is where the tactical rubber meets the road. Coupled with that is the M-1s platoons have 4 firepower dice to the Soviet platoon's 3, as the NATO 105 was quick to manually load, while the auto-loader on the Soviet 125mm guns was slower. More dice means more potential hits. :)

    But no tank platoon works in a vacuum. The M-1 platoon is more than simply the range of the guns on its individual tanks, because the platoon as a group has much better Move & Fire capabilities than its Pact opponents. It can move up to half its movement and STILL fire at full strength. Up to full movement? It loses only 1 firepower die, leaving it 3. The Soviet tanks lose a firepower die if they move at all (leaving only 2) and lose two if the move more than half move (leaving only 1 die!). The tactics of an M-1 are different now, but it still has all its advantages.

    In the end the M-1 platoons are really good combatants in this game - its just that there are never enough of them. :) Thats where the game comes into its own. Again, no tank platoon fights in a vacuum, and what we found out in testing is that the M-1s are still powerful, in fact the most powerful piece in the US combined arms puzzle. For, after I redid the values, we found in testing that it is still combined arms that wins it for the US: you NEED the infantry with their TOWs and Dragons, you NEED that extra M-901, and the mortars and artillery. And as a combined arms team, the US are really powerful despite their numbers. But those numbers are their weakness and you have to compensate for that if you start taking casualties by maneuvering to minimize your exposure and maximize damage to the Soviets. The tactics will be different but I hope you like trying them as much as we have testing them! :)
     
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  10. Jams F. Jones

    Jams F. Jones Member

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    Thanks for the very clear explanation for the change in the values. Can the same rationale be applied to why the T72 and T80 have a higher To Hit Probability than the M1 in WAW 85?
     
  11. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    My pleasure!

    Yes: all the 120mm- (NATO) or 125mm-armed (Warsaw Pact) tank platoons in the game have a To Hit of 4, meaning (of course) a 4 or higher is a hit. While the M-1 and the other the NATO 105-armed tank platoons has a To Hit of 5.

    FWIW during development, I set attributes for an M-1A1 platoon, armed with the 120mm. It would make for the best tank platoon in the game. However - not until 1986... ;-)
     
  12. seneffe1

    seneffe1 Member

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    A very interesting thread. I'm just starting to play with the new rules and I like them a lot. Re the specific point here about the firepower of the M1/IPM1 (105mm) vs its 125mm gunned Soviet counterparts- I think there are quite few factors to take into account.

    It is certainly true that the models of T64, T72 and T80 available in 1985 did feature significantly improved optics/rangefinding equipment compared to their originals. However, these was still well below the standard of devices found in the M1 and M60A3 and some other NATO tanks. Tank models built in client countries eg Poland and Yugoslavia, whilst often denigrated as inferior to the Soviet-built ones, actually had much key equipment (including optics) made in their own countries to a higher spec and build quality than Soviet ones. So decent firepower factors for Warsaw Pact allies are not out of place- East German T55s had Carl Zeiss optics not far off the quality used by the Bundeswehr for example.

    Another point is that optics/rangefinding are of course only part of the gunnery equation. Another key factor is the equipment for fire control computation.once the range has been taken. In this respect all of the NATO tanks fitted/refitted with the latest fire control computers would be able to achieve far higher accuracy than their Soviet counterparts.

    Finally there is another physical factor which counted against the Soviets in particular (more so than some of the Pact allies) and which significantly reduced the real maximum effective range of Soviet tank guns. This was the relatively poor quality of main armament ammunition propellant, which burned less regularly than Western equivalents, and created inaccuracy at greater ranges. Again, some of the Warsaw Pact countries which produced their own ammunition did so to a higher standard. Soviet guns themselves were absolutely excellent, and the kinetic penetrators pretty good too, but getting them on target in battle was more problematic.
     
  13. JoMikel

    JoMikel Member

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    Ха ха ха. Очередная диванная аналитика от американского ватника. Советы были хуже потому что я так хочу.
    I don't know where you got that information. Can you share the source? Because I have completely different information. This game does not take into account the presence of a loading machine, does not take into account the possibility of firing ATGM, does not take into account more mobile dimensions of Soviet tanks. Without a doubt, the M1 is an excellent armored vehicle, but to think that it surpassed the Soviet machine in firepower, it's stupid. And all obvious advantage of the Soviet tank will be neutralized by two cards of activation of M1, against one card at councils.
     
  14. MkV

    MkV Member

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    In a straight up fight with both at normal range the Soviets have a slight advantage vs a 105mm armed M1. the M1 rolls more dice, but hits on one number less. This works out to the M1's chances are 20% for zero hits, 40% for 1 hit 30% for 2 hits 10%, for 3 hits, and 1% for 4 hits. The T-80 has 13% for zero hits, 38% for 1 hit, 38% for 2 hits, 13% for 3 hits, and No chance for 4 hits. They both have the same armor save, so that is a wash. Where it gets REALLY skewed is the double activation for the M1. This is supposed to reflect better command and control flexibility, but ends up greatly affecting weapon effectiveness. NATO ends up double dipping their rate of fire as it is calculated into their number of dice then doubled for "command and control" advantages. This sometimes becomes painfully obvious as the Soviet Player watches NATO run around and blast away while they sit there ops complete. It's fixable, but at the expense of simplicity. Unfortunately, this is the price you pay to keep a game fast and playable.
     
  15. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    Hi guys, i want to respond but am in full WBC prep mode. I will have a keyboard tonight or tomorrow though. :)
     

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