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"Mass tank Battles" Topic

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UshCha22 Sep 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

My normally sane co-author had decided that he wants a tank battle with 50 or so tanks on each side (at 1/144 scale).

This is for a club game with multiple players some of whom will barley know what a tank is, so the rules will need to be both credible and simple.

So between us we have come up with something that has passed the first play tests with more effectiveness than I though was possible. Obviously its really only suitable for 6/10/12mm models. The initial play test indicate a minimum of 3 companies a side is required so you are talking a lot of Tanks.

So IF it meets its initial promise and we think it's good enough, would there be any interest in this as a PDF for a small fee set?

donlowry22 Sep 2018 10:44 a.m. PST

What size table are you contemplating?

UshCha22 Sep 2018 11:20 a.m. PST

6ft by 8ft would seem to be about the minimum for 3 companies, that's roughly 30 tanks a side as a minimum. ground scale about 1mm to the meter.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

I'm sorry. When I hear "mass tank battles" I can't get past an image of AFVs in parade ground formation while Father Corby gives them absolution.

I know a command track which would have to have several sins forgiven.

coopman22 Sep 2018 4:18 p.m. PST

Yes, I would be interested in seeing what you have developed.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2018 4:29 p.m. PST

Sounds very, very interestring. Will you make the rules available? Also, who makes 1/144th tanks?


UshCha22 Sep 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

StoneMtnminis,AOTRS Shipyards at Shapeways, Time cast to mention two do the minis. It will be at least a few weeks before we are even sure we have achieved something suitable. Practically it would be first quarter next year.

Wolfhag22 Sep 2018 9:57 p.m. PST

At conventions, I've run many games with 1/144 scale models on a 6x8 and 6x9 foot table with up to 30 tanks per side. It seems to work best if the opponents are across from each other on the short side as there is more room for maneuver. Tanks were usually 4-6 to a player and 2-6 inch spacing. The scale we play is 1" = 25m so 6 feet = 1800m. It's a 1:1 game and we take into account individual shots, hit location, etc.


Legion 423 Sep 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

To have a modicum of "realism" the size of your game should, IMO, be based on the size of your table. Plus the scale of your models obviously … I.e. you should be able have a somewhat "accurate" game that at least reflects the AFVs', etc., ability to disperse and have some sort of spacing and intervals, etc.

It drives me crazy when I see a game with so much armor, etc., everybody is lined up shoulder to shoulder, fender to fender, hub to hub, etc. ! E.g. so often you see 40k games like this ! huh? And when they have Titans in a 40K game is just nuts to field those, IMO ! Unless your board is the size of the a basket ball court !

deephorse23 Sep 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

So IF it meets its initial promise and we think it's good enough, would there be any interest in this as a PDF for a small fee set?

You want us to buy a single scenario from you? No thanks, I can come up with my own ideas for free. Things like the various Rapid Fire scenario books I'm happy to pay for, but then they contain so much more than you seem to be offering.

donlowry23 Sep 2018 9:38 a.m. PST

I have a 5x8' table, but even in 6mm (1:300) scale I can't imagine fielding that many AFVs or even close to that in a 1:1 scenario. I'd have to really fudge the ground scale, which I don't like to do.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Sep 2018 10:05 a.m. PST


At our club we are thinking about a game with 200 Soviets attacking 50 or so Germans. T34s and Panzer IVs mostly.

This would be on a 6 x 12 table, using micro armor, so I'd look at you rrules. Current front runner is a simplified version of Fistful of TOWS 3.

Fred Cartwright23 Sep 2018 10:49 a.m. PST

You want us to buy a single scenario from you?

It is not for a scenario it is for the rules to run mass tank battles.

Mobius23 Sep 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

50 vehicles is not massive. A Soviet tank brigade has 61 vehicles.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2018 12:42 p.m. PST

Good luck with those players who barely know what a tank is!

UshCha23 Sep 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

donlowery, one of the requirements we already have is that like the real thing, tanks closer than 40m will be more readily hit.

One of the requirements is to stop the battle looking like a tank park so the ground scale need to stay at 1mm to 1m. At say 1mm to 25mm tanks would need to be less than 2mm apart and the model to ground scale would be even further off. As it is center to center tank spacing will be more like 50+ yards but that is not to bad in the real world and the look will not be stupid.

Fortunately Europe is a place where typical tank engagements are in the 500 to 1500m range. At 1800m width with a bit of careful use of terrain we can get ranges down and allow for a bit of maneuver. No point just chucking 100 models on the board to blast away at extreme range and nowhere to maneouver.

Lion in the Stars23 Sep 2018 6:39 p.m. PST

I've played Flames of War on a 6x8 with about 30 tanks a side. It worked. Yes, the tanks are pretty big compared to ground scale, that's a known issue.

Would definitely be better looking with smaller tanks.

I think rules-wise you're going to need to be pretty close to Flames of War detail level, so you may need to drop the buttoned/unbuttoned detail of Maneuver Group (I'd assume everyone is buttoned up!).

Walking Sailor23 Sep 2018 8:39 p.m. PST

An AAR would show what your rules can handle.

coopman23 Sep 2018 10:16 p.m. PST

In addition to buttoned up/unbuttoned, I feel that turret facings is also too much detail, IMO.
I use 3mm scale, and there are no turning turrets with them!

Legion 424 Sep 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

thumbs up

And IMO 6mm or even 3mm is much better for battles larger than a Company. Again, unless you have a HUGE board !

donlowry24 Sep 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

50 vehicles is not massive. A Soviet tank brigade has 61 vehicles.

What frontage would it have attacked on?

One of the requirements is to stop the battle looking like a tank park so the ground scale need to stay at 1mm to 1m.

If you used 6mm tanks (c. 1:300 scale) at a true 1:1 ground scale they would need to stay about 6 inches away from each other (50 yards) to be realistic.

1mm = 1m means a 1:1000 ground scale, vs. figure scale of c. 1:300 with 6mm minis (or c. 1:150 with 10/12mm). This would put your tanks about 2 inches apart! A bit of a stretch, but I suppose do-able with the 6mm. Depends on how much visual distortion (and building footprint distortion) you are willing to put up with.

UshCha24 Sep 2018 10:35 a.m. PST

Coopman, If turning turrets was not an issue in the real world we would all be having STUG's by now. EVEN world of tanks (and I'm definitely not into computor games) considers you need to turn turrets! Might as well glue them all on one base and movethen forward. No tactical thought neccessary.

coopman24 Sep 2018 11:24 a.m. PST

Ushcha, it has been done before. "Rapid Fire" does not take turret facing into account. "Stalins & Tigers" has a max. turret rotation travel for various tanks, but the turret's facing is not considered when the tank is being shot at (at least not that I noticed). I agree that this is a level of abstraction that some may not find acceptable. Different strokes for different folks. Having rotating turrets on small scale minis such as 6mm and 3mm is ridiculous in my opinion, and is not even possible with the one piece 3mm models. We are talking mass tank battles here, not a super-detailed tactical simulation. If you want that, play ASL, Lock n Load Tactical, Panzer or similar detailed rules. We can assume that the various tank commanders are doing what is necessary to position their vehicles to effectively fire on the enemy forces and themselves take advantage of any cover that may be present with their movement. If they are outflanked, the enemy will be firing at their flank or rear armor and suffer greater losses. It's the same as grand tactical Napoleonics, where the formations of the various brigades are considered to be up to the unit commanders and not the senior commander who is more concerned about where to commit his forces, not how many degrees his subordinate commanders' tank turrets can turn. A senior commander is not going to say, "Company C, do not move to the ridge on the left because your turrets can only turn 60 degrees". By the same token, a commander would not say, "Company C, move your maximum move straight ahead because the enemy platoon can't turn their turrets fast enough to fire on you this turn in that new position". That's all that I am going to say on the matter. I don't want to argue about it.

UshCha25 Sep 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

Cooperman, have you not read company manuals? It has a whole section on company and platoon formations denoting turret facing and hence where the optimum firepower is located. Personally I have no love to Rapid fire so would not consider it a good example to which to aspire too.

So after the initial formal play test last might with WWII, as it's a bit more complex, needing to stop to fire and the ranges are shorter. Basically T34/85's vs Panthers with a small additional Russian company to make it balance up and test a bit of asymmetry in the forces. Table was 8 ft. by 6 ft.

Result battle grinds to an interesting halt in a very Wargame (perhaps not that plausible) way with large numbers of casualties of one type or another.

The terrain was not perfect but we were not really sure what the perfect terrain for this type of action was, it needs to be a bit artificial to keep battle ranges down and the interest up.

So 3 companies (40 tanks a side) are doable in 3 hrs and this was the initial play test. Minor tweaking only and that allowed the game to be speeded up without further over simplification.

The key simplifications were for interest vs our standard rules (no point publishing the rules I will put out a free bulletin and QR sheet of the changes). The changes were surprisingly much less than we assumed we would need.

1) Elimination of buttoned up/un buttoned.
2) Tank fire/observation arc 90 degrees, scale drawings confirmed this was simple and formations to optimise firepower were similar to those in the manuals.
2) Removal of the increased accuracy for second shot at same target (too hard to track with 40 tanks a side).
3) Basic element is a platoon of 3 to 5 tanks.
3) Smoke dischargers were not modelled; this was done as it was considered adding further decisions beyond the comfortable level for the client audience. It would work for a more capable audience.
4) The High speed none firing/spotting move was restricted to a maximum of 1000m, more to again to reduce the decision load on the client audience. This permitted sufficent maneouverability to stop it becoming a tedious dice rolling excercsie where it is impossible to get inside the opponents decision loop.

Mobius25 Sep 2018 7:09 a.m. PST

donlowery, one of the requirements we already have is that like the real thing, tanks closer than 40m will be more readily hit.
Why is that?
In my rules it only makes it easier to switch to new targets. Once a tank is targeted another tank 40m or 400m away doesn't change the odds.
In our large tank battles the Russians usually attack in echelons so a brigade may have 2 or 3 echelons. Thus the width is not too wide for a normal sized table.

UshCha25 Sep 2018 8:44 a.m. PST

mobious, technicaly if you hit a tank then another within 40m is almost impossible to miss. Ergo getting closer than 40m to anothet tank in the real world is not good.

This is a VERY simplified game, so to stop dreaded tank parks while keeping it VERY SIMPLISTIC we have abused the defenition and just made it easier to hit tanks closer than 40m. It is incorrect, but it is in my opinion better than having visually unacceptabel tank parks without unduely constraining the players to account for unforseen circumstances.

Wolfhag25 Sep 2018 3:59 p.m. PST

I think that historically if you hit a target at a certain range any new target that is +/-50m-100m would be the same elevation as the previous shot so you are "Ranged In" on targets at that particular range. That's why you stay away from destroyed tanks on the battlefield because someone may already be zeroed in for it.

Ushcha, if you are designating formations for each unit wouldn't that automatically designate the direction their turret would point without needing to rotate it on the model?

I think if you are playing larger battles and abstracting much of the tactical nuances you still need a way to determine who shots first or ambush. How do you plan to do that by using timing or activations?


Mobius25 Sep 2018 6:11 p.m. PST

I really don't think you need to determine who shoots first. Natural odds generally normalize this out. Plus, players can sometimes game the who shoots first mechanic in a Price is Right like game theory. Like, you shoot the guy who has the next possible shot, not the guy who just shot and missed.

Wolfhag25 Sep 2018 7:42 p.m. PST

Regarding the first shot and battlefield success:
Here are some sources (with quotes) that repeat the "the side that shoots first, wins" rule. Almost all deal with WWII.

Natural odds may normalize it out but that won't take into account W. Europe where the Germans were mostly on the defense and better able to get off the first shot and the Allies were rarely on the defense.

Armored Thunderbolt by Steven Zaloga, pg. 230 + Panther vs Sherman by Steven Zaloga, pg. 67

link vs Sherman%3A Battle of the Bulge 1944 BRL&f=false)

(both refer to a 1954 U.S. Army Ballistics Research Lab study titled "Data on World War II Tank Engagements: Involving the U.S. Third and Fourth Armored Divisions")

"The study concluded that the single most important factor in tank-versus-tank fighting was which side spotted the enemy first, engaged first, and hit first."

A Survey of Tank Warfare in Europe from D-Day to 12th August 1944 prepared by H.G. Gee, Army Operational Research Group
PDF link

The success attending the side who fired first (pg. 5)

"The values in Table 5 give further emphasis to the fact that the side having numerical superiority which fired first was invariably successful. In the cases where the sides were evenly matched the first shot appears to have had a significant bearing upon the outcome."

Success of side which fired first (pg. 17)

"Thus on 77% of occasions, success attended the side which fired first"

Warriors Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting by Douglas Macgregor, pg. 30]link

"In the desert, warfare is a gunfight. The side that shoots first wins."

"Every tanker going through the Armor Course at Ft. Knox is taught the "gunslinger" mentality: "He who shoots first wins." The success of the M1 family of tanks is the direct result of the ability to accomplish this."

Myths of American Armor in WWII by Nicholas Moran aka 3star
YouTube link

This has some good information on data fighting larger modern engagements and computing kills per minute:
PDF link


Wolfhag25 Sep 2018 9:18 p.m. PST

I got interrupted and was not able to finish editing the message in time. I'll redo it if anyone has a question or needs clarification.


UshCha25 Sep 2018 11:53 p.m. PST

Wolfhag, the basic observation sequence of Maneouver Group remains more or less the same (turret down has been removed for simplicity) but basicaly in a logical sequence you get the "overwatch" as wargamers call it without the need for extra rules. Also as Mobius notes there are impacts which mitigate the effect. However the key is always to attack an area with a local superiority, as we use similar tanks the "strength" of the force is equal to the number of tanks squared so 3 tanks to 4 gives 9 vs 16 so the first shot is not always a lose for the force being shot at.

Regarding formations, we did look at that but we considerd it would be hard to get players used to keeping a very formal array and in some places it would look and be daft. By letting players design their own formations, not hard, just turn a few turrets like you did when you were a kid playing with tanks, you get a tolerable representation. Thats why we went to a 90 arc for fire.

The worse sin is that we are going to have to bring in a unit integrity rule, either radius 300m from a designated "Platoon leder" or a maximum distance between tanks of the platoon. Both have merits from a game stanpont but are artificial, and are not a patch on the real rules. However its going to be hard to get a Nap[olionic player into the subtle mindset of radios in other than very simple terms.

Any body have a preference for either of the systems above (distance between or command radius) and if so for what reason?

Mobius26 Sep 2018 6:29 a.m. PST

Wolfhag, I don't mean all units on the table fire at the same time. What we do is divide who fires when into classes. Bore sighted, acquired targets go first, then stationary, then shift moving, then slow moving, then full moving. In this there is a sighting qualifier. In some cases one group cannot even sight the other. So they are left out of the firing.

However, fire within each class is considered simultaneous this the results generally will apply to all. But, rarely do two tanks destroy each other because of all the other random events involved. That is always been something I wanted to avoid.
I'd rather let the odds of destruction variation be used to decide who lives and who dies rather than a draw quickness factor and turn it into an armor version of Shoot Out at the OK Corral.

Of, course this system isn't perfect as it would not produce the same outcome as what happened in the combat between the Panther and Pershing near the Cologne cathedral.

Like I mentioned knowing in what order each and every tank fires does lead to gamesmanship of firing at a tank who is still to fire in the same turn.

In addition according to O.R.S. 2 Report No. 17, Analysis of German Tank Casualties in France, 6th June 44 and Michael Kenny will back me up on this in the survey 79% of hits on Panthers were from the side and 75% were knocked out. So include that in your odds of who shoots first equation. Tanks hit from the side generally aren't firing first to their side.

Thomas Thomas26 Sep 2018 10:43 a.m. PST

Mobius your basic mechanism for firing "by class" is sound. You can break ties by letting better troop quality shoot first.

Platoon level turret issues can be modeled by just giving turreted vehicles all round fire and non-turret restricted to frontal arc.

Angle of deflection can be handled by using a 90 degree "flat front" arc.

At platoon level large tank actions can simulated with reasonable accuracy and simplicity. Footprint of miniature accounts for size of platoon (so you don't need to use 6mm).

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

Steve Wilcox26 Sep 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

In addition according to O.R.S. 2 Report No. 17, Analysis of German Tank Casualties in France, 6th June 44 and Michael Kenny will back me up on this in the survey 79% of hits on Panthers were from the side and 75% were knocked out.
As a matter of clarification, it looks to me like 68% of the hits were on the side, 79% of the penetrations were on the side, and 87% of the side hits penetrated. Page 207 (333 of the pdf).
The report is online, but the pdf file is large (32.1 MB) and may time-out at the direct link:
So I would right-click and "save link as…". :)

Steve Wilcox26 Sep 2018 1:54 p.m. PST

If anyone is having trouble with the link not loading:
PDF link

Mobius26 Sep 2018 3:46 p.m. PST

OK side and rear were about 79%. About 89% of side and rear hits penetrated. So how are you going to win a gun fight if you are shot from ambush?

BTW, thanks for getting a proper link to that PDF.

Lion in the Stars26 Sep 2018 5:27 p.m. PST

I really don't think you need to determine who shoots first. Natural odds generally normalize this out. Plus, players can sometimes game the who shoots first mechanic in a Price is Right like game theory. Like, you shoot the guy who has the next possible shot, not the guy who just shot and missed.

Opposed rolls work great for 'who shot first', and eliminates the game-ability of who to shoot.

donlowry26 Sep 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

I really don't think you need to determine who shoots first.

Seems essential to me. If I shoot you first, your chances of shooting me will certainly be diminished!

In my home-baked rules I give each type of AFV a priority rating: it's basically subjective, but based on things like 3-man turret over 2-man over 1-man, automatic weapons before semi-automatic before single-shot, speed of turret (if any) etc. Oh, and in my rules if you move you don't shoot (except maybe if you make a very small move and have a very quick gun/turret).

Mobius27 Sep 2018 3:53 a.m. PST

Opposed rolls work great for 'who shot first', and eliminates the game-ability of who to shoot.

But, we are on the subject of massed tank battles. What are you going to do, roll a d100 for each tank?

donlowry27 Sep 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

Well, for 1 thing, I'd resolve all the deployed ATG shots first, before the tanks.

UshCha27 Sep 2018 10:26 a.m. PST

Surely even the "dodgy commercial sets" can't get that wrong? It is pretty obvious however you do it, that the first shot has to go to a hidden unit that was in place for some time, over a recently arrived un-camoflarged weapon system. Seems a bit of a daft debate, a bit like debating "if you jump of a cliff do you fall?". Are some rules really that bad?

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2018 2:04 p.m. PST

You were doing so well for a while too. You can do this; I know you can. : )


Wolfhag27 Sep 2018 2:09 p.m. PST

I'd say command distance would be visual and radio communication. Visual would let command evaluate and make order changes with little or no delay. Without visual, he needs to wait for a SitRep and then radio new orders. Any number of things could happen or change, including his new orders being the wrong ones because of a new developments he is unaware of.


Lion in the Stars27 Sep 2018 4:19 p.m. PST

@Mobius: Well, Ambush Alley has you rolling per fireteam of infantry, die type depending on training.

Infinity has you rolling d20s, though 30 troops per side is definitely outside the usual constraints of Infinity.

Part time gamer27 Sep 2018 11:22 p.m. PST

IMHO 144 would probably that 'happy medium'. Between area needed and miniature detail.
I began my WW II armor with PSC 15mm- 1/100's, but if I could have found a reasonably priced supplier with a good selection first, I would have jumped at the idea of 144's.

Of course now you have "What a Tanker" and "Tanks" which I would say are basically armor skirmish games and 100's also.

I don't believe it was ever 'officially' stated, but aren't Axis & Allies 144?

UshCha28 Sep 2018 1:41 a.m. PST

Part time gamer, we having started on 1/72 went through them all 6mm, 10mm (JUST STARTING), 2MM and 15MM.
We opted for 12mm. 6mm too small, 10mm a bit small and very little in the range. 12mm, really only Minifigs( a wide but a bit poor at times) and CanDo, cheap exellent modern tanks and IFV's. 15mm (pre the modern plastic) too varid in scale and expensive. Now 15mm is an option but at Volume scale (how you percieve models) its twice the size of 12mm. A lot of 10mm has had scale creep and is now 1/144 )about 12mm) the figures were always 12mm anyway. So we got luck and 1/44 ended up ideal for us. In addition its ideal for 3D home and commercial printers.

So the decision is now final the Rules have been set, the changes are so minila its hardley worth even a bulettrin on its own.

The gane is VERY TARGETED as a specific audiance and changes are minimal.

1) Dead ground, hull down, buttoned unbuttoned ATG/ATGW's not covered.
3) Reaction, remove suppression/rection, EMERGENCY SPEED CHANGE. Reaction Markers now +2 per each and Max 2 markers per vehicle.
4) Fire is now by platoon, with tanks having 45 deg fire either side of barrel. No second shot factor, +1 for platoon with one or more tanks closer to another than 40m.
Immobilised simplified to a Suppression result, Neutralised to a suppression and 1 leadership, KO remains plus +2 to leadership.
5) command r5adious put in 1 tank designated as the "centre" vehicle and teanks cannot move out of 300mm radius. IF they are out they may use the next action to get back in or they are abandoned on the spot.

The rest is as per standard rules, far less of a change than we expected. 30 tanks in 21/2 hrs is good. Multiplayer with approx 100 tanks/side doable in a day with inexperienced players.

Thanks for the input. Cleaerly there are at least as many game variations wanted as players, one game would not fit all so publishing anything would be of little use to anybody.

I am working on the DRASTICAL reduced QR sheet specificaly for this game, so anbody with the proper rules can email me and get a copy free.

Wolfhag30 Sep 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

I'm on the same page as donlowery about anti-guns (and any concealed unit) firing first. Firing first is a big advantage. Not only does it give you an initiative advantage but historically (depending on the tactical advantage, weapons platform performance and crew speed differences) you could get 2 or even 3 shots off before the enemy could detect, engage and shoot back at you. In a short time, you could shift the odds against you from 3:1 to 1.5:1 before taking serious damage. It could also trigger a morale check. With the first shot advantage, you may also have the option of a "Shoot & Scoot" and disappear before the enemy can shoot back. I think that's some of the reasons that the side getting off the first shot normally won.

Anti-Tank Guns and Ambushes: Typically in an ambush, the target is detected well in advance giving the concealed crew time to engage. You may engage and have a chance to shoot at a target at 1200m but that is too far away to guarantee a first round hit and penetration. So what would a real crew do? Well, they'd continue to keep the gun on the target and "track" it until it came within range or presented a flank shot. When "tracking" a target you can fire in any future turn with no additional delay (you've already spent the time for range estimation, laying the gun and aim time). You are just waiting for the right time to trigger the ambush. Once ranged in, follow up shots at the same target for an unsuppressed 57mm or 75mm anti-tank gun could have a rate of fire every 4-6 seconds. Tracking allows a player to wait for the best shot.

These tactics and nuances are hard to portray in a game using a structured turn sequence, abstractions or binary activation results. Why? Because realistically the main factor determining initiative and speed between opponents (other than ambushes) is timing. There are many other factors that would affect the timing and prevail at the end (terrain, numbers, communications, crew training, morale, etc). Getting off the first shot does give you an initial initiative advantage but that could rapidly change.


Lion in the Stars30 Sep 2018 11:06 a.m. PST

@Mobius: With the changes Ushcha has mentioned, specifically firing by vehicle platoon, it'd be easy to roll a small handful of dice per platoon and count successes, Ambush Alley style.

If we were firing individually, I'd use d20s, max of 5 or 6 per model. (Infinity allows people to react during the other guy's turn, but shooting in reaction is at 1 die while active turn is usually 3 for a basic rifle)

donlowry30 Sep 2018 4:53 p.m. PST

Wolfhag: Also the ambushing ATG may already have ranged certain landmarks and know that when the attack reaches a certain tree, rock, whatever, it is at a certain range -- and the gun could be bore-sighted on said tree, rock, whatever.

And when I say ATG, it could well be a StuG, a TD or even a tank.

Wolfhag30 Sep 2018 9:11 p.m. PST

You are right. I left that out but I do have a rule for using a range card/known range. The ATG engages and tracks until the target gets to the known range spot which is normally not greater than one-second ToF. It fires at that point using Ranged In accuracy which eliminates the Range Estimation problem.

I think Panzer War bore sight rule simulates this fairly well.

Ranging in on a landmark is similar to Burst on Target fire control, almost any gun can do it.

Whenever we'd stop somewhere for a while we'd get out our 1:50,000 scale map, locate where we are, and then range card on different choke points or terrain features. Plotting azimuth to these locations with guns and crew-served weapons (tripods) allows rapid engagement of fairly accurate area fire shooting at night even without visual detection by the shooter.


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