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Philo32b
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Are tanks really worthwhile?

Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:05 pm

The Armored Support trait that you get from a tank, which applies to the entire unit, is certainly valuable. But you can get that same trait much cheaper with armored cars. And armored cars have other benefits as well. Are tanks worth the extra cost over armored cars?


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The average of offen/def fire scores actually favors the armored car by one point. Armored cars have better initiative, rate of fire, speed, much better scouting (detect), and better patrol/evade. They are also less money to build and half the war supply. And as the Reds, with armored cars you never need to pay the 15 EP, 15 War Supply, and 50 rubles (and wait five months) to build a factory to make the cars, as with the tanks.

Tanks have better protection and assault values--not in doing more damage in assaults, but in causing more cohesion loss to the target. But not by very much over the armored car.

Tanks do have the Disruptor trait, though. I had previously misunderstood the Disruptor trait to cover all elements in the tank's unit. That would make the tank much more valuable than the armored car, but I now see that it applies only to the tank element itself. It's nice that the tank element itself would ignore entrenched levels when attacking, but that seems like a drop in the bucket when you consider the masses of elements that are involved in a RUS battle. So I'm not seeing the value in the extra cost for a tank. The armored cars get the valuable Armored Support trait the same as tanks, and that seems like enough.

Am I missing something?

Personally, I would like to see tanks as giving this Distruptor trait to other elements in the same unit. Perhaps not all of them--maybe the presence of a tank in the unit gives each other element a percentage chance of ignoring entrenchment, as some of the troops are able to follow the tank through the breach in the enemy's lines. Perhaps even make the percentages stack, so someone might include more than one tank in a unit to try to break heavily entrenched defenses.

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Orel
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Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:55 pm

Philo32b wrote:The Armored Support trait that you get from a tank, which applies to the entire unit, is certainly valuable. But you can get that same trait much cheaper with armored cars. And armored cars have other benefits as well. Are tanks worth the extra cost over armored cars?


Image


The average of offen/def fire scores actually favors the armored car by one point. Armored cars have better initiative, rate of fire, speed, much better scouting (detect), and better patrol/evade. They are also less money to build and half the war supply. And as the Reds, with armored cars you never need to pay the 15 EP, 15 War Supply, and 50 rubles (and wait five months) to build a factory to make the cars, as with the tanks.

Tanks have better protection and assault values--not in doing more damage in assaults, but in causing more cohesion loss to the target. But not by very much over the armored car.

Tanks do have the Disruptor trait, though. I had previously misunderstood the Disruptor trait to cover all elements in the tank's unit. That would make the tank much more valuable than the armored car, but I now see that it applies only to the tank element itself. It's nice that the tank element itself would ignore entrenched levels when attacking, but that seems like a drop in the bucket when you consider the masses of elements that are involved in a RUS battle. So I'm not seeing the value in the extra cost for a tank. The armored cars get the valuable Armored Support trait the same as tanks, and that seems like enough.

Am I missing something?

Personally, I would like to see tanks as giving this Distruptor trait to other elements in the same unit. Perhaps not all of them--maybe the presence of a tank in the unit gives each other element a percentage chance of ignoring entrenchment, as some of the troops are able to follow the tank through the breach in the enemy's lines. Perhaps even make the percentages stack, so someone might include more than one tank in a unit to try to break heavily entrenched defenses.


No, you are absolutely right. The only benefit in tanks is that they grant a 5% chance that the trenches are reduced by 1 level(each round? not sure here). In every other aspect they are inferior to armored cars. Armored cars have adequate speed and are cheaper than the heavy tanks in RUS. Light tanks, due to their disrupter ability and better speed, are probably better. In real life though, armored trains were better than either of these in most cases.

Realistically though, there is a problem in RUS: all tanks that the Whites possess are heavy tanks, whereas I believe in reality most of the tanks the Whites ordered were Whippets rather than the Mark series.
Heavy tanks are just too specialized to be effective in every case, as the British said "What makes the Whippet different from all other types of tanks? It can return from it on its own".

I usually ship my tanks independently of my main forces, and add them to divisions when I have to conduct a breakthrough against well entrenched troops.
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andatiep
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Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:21 pm

We were concerned about this tank limits. :(

Next patch will have the tanks more interesting (yet still at a WWI level). The disrupt ability/attribute will then display : "This element will inflict an opposing element a higher cohesion loss and chance of routing. It will also remove one entrenchment level to the enemy stack during each battle."
That is to say the 5% chance Orel was talking about will be set to 100%, otherwise it never happen and the main tanks interest is gone.
Most of their replacements will also come "for free" once you have Tank factories.
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Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:38 pm

Once I've finished making my current AJE scenario I'm actually going to play some AGEOD games for a while. RUS looks great - the first on my list.
Nice to see improvements are still being made.

Cheers,
Chris

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:57 pm

Hobbes wrote:Once I've finished making my current AJE scenario I'm actually going to play some AGEOD games for a while. RUS looks great - the first on my list.
Nice to see improvements are still being made.

Cheers,
Chris


I would advise you to wait for the next patch/upgrade for a nice come back, even if you should then put it at the end of your list... ;)
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ERISS
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Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:49 am

andatiep wrote: the tanks more interesting (yet still at a WWI level).
the 5% disrupt chance will be set to 100%
Most of their replacements will also come "for free" once you have Tank factories.

100% disrupt is much, first tanks were not so reliable. 90% should be better. So you have to put 2 tanks if you want reliability (99% at least one breach).
Replacements for free? I hope you won't make those factories like tank synthesizers Star-Trek way. :)

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Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:01 pm

ERISS wrote:100% disrupt is much, first tanks were not so reliable. 90% should be better. So you have to put 2 tanks if you want reliability (99% at least one breach).
Replacements for free? I hope you won't make those factories like tank synthesizers Star-Trek way. :)


Exactly, the first tanks were not reliable. But right now we are playing with tanks that were upgraded versions of the first tanks, so 100% is justified. Plus, we have to keep in mind that even a "fortified line" of the RCW is just a plain WWI trench of a man's height with barbed wire.
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Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:00 am

Orel wrote:Exactly, the first tanks were not reliable. But right now we are playing with tanks that were upgraded versions of the first tanks, so 100% is justified. Plus, we have to keep in mind that even a "fortified line" of the RCW is just a plain WWI trench of a man's height with barbed wire.

Okay, but I said 90% for I know these are some better tanks than "first ones", for first ones were only 85% reliable in combat (Chemin des Dames 1917, against wired tranches). Did allied give them their better tanks, or old ones..., and russian made tanks immediatly as good as french newly researched ones?

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:41 pm

ERISS wrote:Okay, but I said 90% for I know these are some better tanks than "first ones", for first ones were only 85% reliable in combat (Chemin des Dames 1917, against wired tranches). Did allied give them their better tanks, or old ones..., and russian made tanks immediatly as good as french newly researched ones?


No, Russians received tanks from the British generally, of the improved types. These were improved types of the Mark series and tanks from the Whippet series. Very few were from the French.

According to the information available to me, the tanks fought on the North, North-West and South fronts. These tanks were heavy tanks Mark V and medium tanks Whippet Mark A and Mark B. First 12 tanks(6 Whippets and 6 Mark V) were unloaded in March 1919. According to British data, the Armed Forces of the South of Russia (AFSR) had in 1920 57 Mark V and 17 Mark A Whippets. Reds had captured 4 Renault tanks during the French Odessa evacuation, that were attempted to be used on 26 June against the AFSR, leading to their capture by the Whites.

10 Renault tanks arrived in Vladivostok for the American units there, but these were stolen by the railroad workers and transferred to the partisans in the area. Probably this was planned out by the commander of these forces Mr. Graves, who by the information I have secretly supported the Reds and interfered with the Whites.

And technically the Russians had a project of their own that was supposed to play the role of tanks but never did: the Jeffery-Poplavko armored car, that was designated to take apart barbed wire lines and work just like a tank. These were planned for the major 1917 offensive by the Russian Army, but thanks to the February revolution this did not happen.
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Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:10 pm

So it means that there were no tanks in the Eastern Whites side... :blink:
Currently the game provide many american (but actually displayed as British Mark...) tanks in Vladivostok and the Whites can fight with them in Siberia, Ural and Volga...
Maybe we should keep White tanks only for the Western Whites...
...Or maybe we could provide tanks in the East only if the Western High Command (Janin and Co) keep its support to the Whites in Siberia (so only if the Eastern White player don't chose the new Option Military Dictatorship which lead to a clash between Janin&Czech vs the White leadership). Whithout this clash, we could suppose that Western troops would provide tanks there (and Graves would maybe not have the feelings to let its tanks to the less wrong side:neener :) .

Besides this, Orel, do you have any informations about the tanks the reds succeed to produce themselves. If their copy of the Renault was challenging the British Marks ? And after all, to fix a probable date of production. For now, the Red tank factories options arrive in june 1919, so Reds tanks could start to arrive 3 months later in early october 1919. When are the first reports of Red tanks used on the fronts ?
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:58 am

andatiep wrote:So it means that there were no tanks in the Eastern Whites side... :blink:
Currently the game provide many american (but actually displayed as British Mark...) tanks in Vladivostok and the Whites can fight with them in Siberia, Ural and Volga...
Maybe we should keep White tanks only for the Western Whites...
...Or maybe we could provide tanks in the East only if the Western High Command (Janin and Co) keep its support to the Whites in Siberia (so only if the Eastern White player don't chose the new Option Military Dictatorship which lead to a clash between Janin&Czech vs the White leadership). Whithout this clash, we could suppose that Western troops would provide tanks there (and Graves would maybe not have the feelings to let its tanks to the less wrong side:neener :) .

Besides this, Orel, do you have any informations about the tanks the reds succeed to produce themselves. If their copy of the Renault was challenging the British Marks ? And after all, to fix a probable date of production. For now, the Red tank factories options arrive in june 1919, so Reds tanks could start to arrive 3 months later in early october 1919. When are the first reports of Red tanks used on the fronts ?


Janin was a representative of the French mostly. As far as I understand, the Whites had warmer relations with the British, which were the ones responsible for most of the aid, that had their own independent of the French policy towards the Whites. Kolchak probably never received tanks since he never ordered them for his army: at least I could not find such information. At the same time, despite Janin's dislike Kolchak had received other forms of war supplies from the allies, such as uniforms, rifles, cannons and bullets. Even the Americans sent some supplies, despite Grave's actions. So, personally, what I think should be done is Kolchak should be given the opportunity to buy tanks via an event.

Towards the possibility of producing tanks by the Reds, I am sceptical. A perfect example of this is the story of the Renault Ft-17 that the Reds captured in Odessa and tried to copy. First it arrived to Moscow: it was found that it could not move by itself since it lacked some of its parts. Ok, the Reds order a second tank to be sent to Moscow, that could participate in the parade on the 1st of May. The parade passed, the "movable" tank was sent back to the frontline, where it along with the other 2 that were outside of Moscow were captured in June 1919 by the Whites. The one that was sent to Moscow first was sent to Nizhniy Novgorod, in order to be copied. When it arrived, the Reds found out that on the way to the factory, even more parts of the tank were stolen. It did not even have an engine, a transmission box, plus it arrived in a taken apart state without any documentation, so I do not think anyone even knew how to put it back together. But even then, the Reds managed to find two French engineers that supported the Communist party and used to work for Renault: they took two Renault trucks, and started using those parts as models for the the tank. The commissar from the Red department that would overlook this project, would constantly try to "help" the engineers and workers in their task, by using course language and his Mauser pistol to motvate them. Finally, by the beginning of 1920 they make an experimental tank that was sent for testing, that lasted until the end of 1920. In 1921, the Reds finally made 15 tanks, that never saw action in the Civil war but participated in the parade celebrating the end of it.

The Mark V was much harder to produce. It had certain parts that were specially designed for this tank, such as the engine, so producing it from scratch and in Communist Russia was hardly possible. Plus, the Reds never even tried to do so in real life, not even after the war had ended.

Aside from those two though, there was the model of Gulkevich's tank: based on an armored tractor of the American company Allis-Chalmers. There was only one such tank built, since as we could see on the example of the Renault tank, the Reds were hardly capable of developing the production of anything new, or even preserving the production of something old.

There was also the Austin-Kegress: an armored car with rubber caterpillar tracks that was supposed to enter production in 1917. 34 copies of pairs of Kegress's caterpillar tracks were produced in 1917, yet due to the revolutions this never had taken place. In 1919-20, the Reds managed to build 12 such armored cars that participated in the war, but they pretty much used what was already made before they came into power.

Realistically, I do not think that the Reds should get an opportunity to build tanks in the game: all of the Red army tanks that participated in the RCW were captured from the Whites. The only series they managed to make, were the 12 Austin-Kegress armored cars(whose parts were made before 1918) and 15 Russian Renaults that never saw action, and were not continued to be produced at all. The Reds frequently could not even make rifles, I recall from someone's memoirs how he, a White soldier, received a rifle captured from the Reds that was produced in 1919 by the Tula factory. It did not extract bullets as it was supposed to: and this is a simple Mosin rifle, what can be said about Red tanks then?

Seeing this, I would probably offer to consider the possiblity of making tanks and armored cars a capturable support unit.
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:04 am

Orel wrote:Janin was a representative of the French mostly. As far as I understand, the Whites had warmer relations with the British, which were the ones responsible for most of the aid, that had their own independent of the French policy towards the Whites. Kolchak probably never received tanks since he never ordered them for his army: at least I could not find such information. At the same time, despite Janin's dislike Kolchak had received other forms of war supplies from the allies, such as uniforms, rifles, cannons and bullets. Even the Americans sent some supplies, despite Grave's actions. So, personally, what I think should be done is Kolchak should be given the opportunity to buy tanks via an event.

Yes, that was the situation. But i think that if the Eastern White leadership have a clash with the Czech Legion and Janin (officially send by Paris AND London as Allied High Command), this would really make it more difficult to get long term and high quality support. Even Brits had an internal opposition to the intervention. The military dictatorship gave many arguments in the Western parliaments to stop the aid to the Whites. Besides this, the Czech legion controling the transiberian, i supposed they wouldn't care of giving the priority to this tanks coming on the opposite sens from the Vladivostock railroad... For the american tanks, Graves' mission was also focus on the protection of the Czech Legion exit, so he probably cared more about the situation and the opinion of the Czech Legion than the support of the White factions (So let's give up with american tanks if there is Kolchak, in the best case he throw it in the sea, in the worse he let it to the Reds like IRL).
So finally, the question is to find the chronological windows where Kolchak could have lobby (and so spend EPs in the game) the British in the Far-East (before London told them to give up) to give him british tanks...
That would mean an Option available from its Coup till end 1919, when the Brits stoped officially their massive aid, like other allies.
I will do it for the next patch/upgrade :-).

Orel wrote:Towards the possibility of producing tanks by the Reds, I am sceptical. [...] In 1921, the Reds finally made 15 tanks, that never saw action in the Civil war but participated in the parade celebrating the end of it.

Very nice informations, many thanks.

Orel wrote: [...] Seeing this, I would probably offer to consider the possiblity of making tanks and armored cars a capturable support unit.


I doubt that the very few captured "piece of tanks" could play a realistic role at the scale of the game, so the question now seems mostly to be :

If we want to keep this Red Tank factory Options in the game, what would have been the conditions required for the Reds to be able to do build tanks ?
Some first ideas, open to more :
- In general, historical reports show that if No Bolsheviks dictatorship (so a check of the new "Reds stay united" Option in summer 1918) it would have increase the factory workers and ingeneers will to the production (and less stolen pieces in the factories to feed the urbans). Besides this, the Revolution would have been much more attractive outside and among the middle class, so we could expect more international workers and ingeneers transfering or keeping "high techs" in Russia.
- Delay the display of the Option to early or middle 1920.
- Invasion of some western countries which could maybe be able to produce tanks (Connecting territories with the Hungarian revolution from 1919, or invasion of Poland in 1920) ?
- Red Aliens droping tanks from their spacebase ?
- ?
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:27 pm

[quote="andatiep"]So it means that there were no tanks in the Eastern Whites side... :blink:
Currently the game provide many american (but actually displayed as British Mark...) tanks in Vladivostok and the Whites can fight with them in Siberia, Ural and Volga...
Maybe we should keep White tanks only for the Western Whites...
...Or maybe we could provide tanks in the East only if the Western High Command (Janin and Co) keep its support to the Whites in Siberia (so only if the Eastern White player don't chose the new Option Military Dictatorship which lead to a clash between Janin&Czech vs the White leadership). Whithout this clash, we could suppose that Western troops would provide tanks there (and Graves would maybe not have the feelings to let its tanks to the less wrong side:neener :) .
[quote="andatiep"]


I do not think we should exclude the possibillity of American tank shipments to anti-democratic Kolchak. After all the tanks in question were ordered, supplied and arrived in Russia well after Kolchak's coup. The tanks fell in the hands of Red partizans mostly due to the Supreme ruler's regime collapse caused by military defeats.
You can find some more details on the topic in my old post: http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?20432-American-tanks-for-White-Siberians&p=200739&highlight=#post200739

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:31 pm

andatiep wrote:So it means that there were no tanks in the Eastern Whites side... :blink:
Currently the game provide many american (but actually displayed as British Mark...) tanks in Vladivostok and the Whites can fight with them in Siberia, Ural and Volga...
Maybe we should keep White tanks only for the Western Whites...
...Or maybe we could provide tanks in the East only if the Western High Command (Janin and Co) keep its support to the Whites in Siberia (so only if the Eastern White player don't chose the new Option Military Dictatorship which lead to a clash between Janin&Czech vs the White leadership). Whithout this clash, we could suppose that Western troops would provide tanks there (and Graves would maybe not have the feelings to let its tanks to the less wrong side:neener :) .

Besides this, Orel, do you have any informations about the tanks the reds succeed to produce themselves. If their copy of the Renault was challenging the British Marks ? And after all, to fix a probable date of production. For now, the Red tank factories options arrive in june 1919, so Reds tanks could start to arrive 3 months later in early october 1919. When are the first reports of Red tanks used on the fronts ?


I do not think we should exclude the possibillity of American tank shipments to anti-democratic Kolchak. After all the tanks in question were ordered, supplied and arrived in Russia well after Kolchak's coup. The tanks fell in the hands of Red partizans mostly due to the Supreme ruler's regime collapse caused by military defeats.
You can find some more details on the topic in my old post: http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?20432-American-tanks-for-White-Siberians&p=200739&highlight=

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:48 pm

Krot wrote:I do not think we should exclude the possibillity of American tank shipments to anti-democratic Kolchak. After all the tanks in question were ordered, supplied and arrived in Russia well after Kolchak's coup. The tanks fell in the hands of Red partizans mostly due to the Supreme ruler's regime collapse caused by military defeats.
You can find some more details on the topic in my old post: http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?20432-American-tanks-for-White-Siberians&p=200739&highlight=


Again a lot's of interesting informations....

Finally changes could be :

- change the Eastern white tanks icons into French Renault tanks
- american tanks arrive in early 1920, whatever there is Kolchak or not BUT if there were a Kolchak regim and if it did falled, then it don't appear.
- no tank factory Option for eastern whites.


About the values of capture perc chance, Orel, note that tanks have already a 40% value (to compare : Armored trains are 50-60%) so it looks enough, isn't it ? And about making it a support unit, i remember some weird behaviours in the past when the armored trains was support unit so i wouldn't do this...
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:50 pm

andatiep wrote:Again a lot's of interesting informations....

Finally changes could be :

- change the Eastern white tanks icons into French Renault tanks
- american tanks arrive in early 1920, whatever there is Kolchak or not BUT if there were a Kolchak regim and if it did falled, then it don't appear.
- no tank factory Option for eastern whites.


About the values of capture perc chance, Orel, note that tanks have already a 40% value (to compare : Armored trains are 50-60%) so it looks enough, isn't it ? And about making it a support unit, i remember some weird behaviours in the past when the armored trains was support unit so i wouldn't do this...



I again think that a tank shipment event that could be chosen or not chosen for both the Western and Eastern Whites would be better. The event should probably exist starting from early 1919 for both factions, and it should be at the players' discretion: to buy tanks or not to buy them.

The main aspect to keep in mind with the Renault tank shipment to Vladivostok in 1920, is that it was not a shipment for the Whites: it was a shipment for the American troops in Vladivostok. So, it would have never reached the Eastern Whites no matter what, and Kolchak's death has nothing to do with this.

Towards the capture percentage and support units: I proposed for them to be support units since as far as I am aware, only support units could be captured as units: non-support units with a high capture percentage can be captured in the form of war supplies but not a unit itself. If a tank can be captured as a unit without being a support unit, then by all means keep it as a non-support unit.
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Taciturn Scot
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Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:49 am

I take it this new patch hasn't been released yet. (Currently 1.06a QF3) I'm a few months into my first grand campaign game as the Southern Whites and I have the options to build some British tanks but I'm not going to waste the points if tanks don't do much yet.

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John Sedgwick
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Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:42 pm

They are a bit of a white elephant in game as they were historically, which is to say they are costly out of all proportion to their usefulness and I would imagine tank combat actions were few and far between in the real war, but they look cool and that is important.
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Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne
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Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:55 am

Like aircraft, anything that slows down your infantry isn't worth dragging around. So light tanks and armoured cars are great additions to your forces. Heavy tanks have 15% movement for some reason and are completely worthless though.

(Personal aside: I think Aircraft and tanks should move at infantry speeds and have their stats adjusted for such luxury. Giving them realistic stats and speeds just leaves me to dump them in garrisons at all points)

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Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:59 pm

I like the realistic stats and speeds, I think it makes sense that these assets should stay in reserve and be used defensively until they're needed elsewhere, using the tanks only to crack hard-shelled nuts - although perhaps the range of aircraft could be extended one region to make them a bit more useful.

I think fast aircraft and tanks could make a fun mod, but realistically the units are in the game mostly for their cool factor and I like that the game models their historical limitations. Maybe there should be a tool tip that warns players these toys are probably not worth the money - I think I understand now why Kolchak never ordered any tanks :neener:
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Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne
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Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:28 am

Well, I guess keeping a brigade of heavy tanks for special assaults makes sense. The question is whether it messes up your frontage or not. Should/do tanks cost 0 frontage?

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le Anders
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Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:36 am

I always make sure my slow units, like airplanes and heavy stuff, are always assigned to travel by rail.

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Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:08 pm

If you look at the frontage points, you will see, that in most terrains, you need less frontage for tracked units (armor) that for wheeled units (Armored Cars). So that can be a factor, too. You can bring in more tanks (if you have enough to fill all frontage).
For example: Clear terrain with clear weather has 180 frontage points, tracked need 3 and wheeled need 4 points. So you can bring in 60 elements of tanks against 45 armor cars. Who will win this battle?

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Highlandcharge
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Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:39 am

Hi there guys, I have come late to this thread, I have played a few pbems and have used tanks as (like above) a heavy element that is transported to the front by train..

As the Southern whites I used British WWI tanks attached to my main army under Denikin to help assault heavily entrenched reds at Tzarstyn, when used they reduced the overall entrenchment level of the red army there (it tells you if they succeeded in reducing the lvl in the turn message box) due to there "disruptor" ability and I managed to defeat the reds, I don't think I would have won if I did not have the tanks, so I believe they are well worth it...

They excel as a heavy assault force attached to a corps or army looking to crack a heavily entrenched enemy, its best to get your army into place then to move the tanks up to the front by train, attach them to the army/corps and then to assault...

Thanks :)

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