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pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 07:51
Having spend a considerable amount of time around the world's premium battle tank, the seemingly weak 40k counterparts egged me abit until I started considering their actual application.

Traditionally, tank combat has been compared to a game of chess; typically it is far less frantic than infantry combat and the 'pieces' tend to have a doctrine they adheer to. The right Tanks deployed in the right conditions (think open desert iraq) are nearly invulnerable to everything the ground can throw at them.

Now consider a typical 40k battlefield. I would guess a 4"-4" board at having a perimetre of 300 metres or so. History has taught us that whilst formidable, thrown into close quarters a tank can become more of a burden than a blessing. Think about the battlefield effects we can't precieve, such as smoke, rain and all the other lovely effects that inevidibly wind up in combat, now suddenly your 60 tonne box doesn't seem quite so tough.

Infantry weapons become much more of a threat at these ranges for tankers. In the modern context most 1st world squads are issued with tank busting equipment on a squad level, and whilst not the most destructive weapon, a decently placed AT4 rocket can knock the socks off a T72. Even the lowly RPG-7 has been able to disable a couple M1s over in Iraq.

Imagine now you have an 8"-8" table with a squadron of Vanquishers, until you could close the range they would be night untouchable. This is where scale really starts to show itself in 40k. To me, the CO of an armored company that would allow his tanks to operate at the range of a typical 40k game on mass deserves all the commisars 'blessings' betowed on him.

Puffin Magician
18-01-2006, 09:05
Having spend a considerable amount of time around the world's premium battle tankAh, been to Russia recently have we?

Tanks seem so pathetic and vulnerable in 40k because of the stupidly high amount of anti-tank weapons that basic infantry can get their hands on. It's not as if every 5th soldier in every/any army on the planet has the option of swapping his M-16 or AK-47 for a TOW Missile or souped-up Plasma Torch, and everyone being able to lug around an infinite amount of anti-tank grenades. Slash that squad back down to Lasguns/Bolters/Shootas and they don't seem so scary to tanks anymore.

The Main Battle Tank has evolved to kill other Battletanks, but still needs infantry support like their WWII predecessors. It's not practical to smother the tank with machine guns and foot-thick armour, and there'll always been vulnerable spots like the exhaust system, turret ring, cupolas, and locomotive assemblies. Even with all the laser-guided missiles and composite armour it still takes suprisingly little effort to take out a multi-million dollar vehicle.

Unfortunately 40k doesn't represent this very well and is simplified to "shoot it at the back because there's less armour there" and so tactics revolve around getting high-strength weapons to the sides and rear, rather than closing range to improve your guns' effectiveness, using fancier warhead types, or aiming at particularly vulnerable areas.


To me, the CO of an armored company that would allow his tanks to operate at the range of a typical 40k game on mass deserves all the commisars 'blessings' betowed on him.Remember that 40k is oriented towards smaller scaled games, and there's nothing skirmishy about 2700pts of Vanquishers. Don't forget about Siege units, which are designed specifically to operate in those ranges.

Griefbringer
18-01-2006, 09:14
Comparing modern tanks and modern anti-tank weapons with those of 40K might be a bit futile. There are 38 millennia of evolution and devolution in between.

So far, the last 4 millennia or so have seen a race between defensive systems (personal armour, fortifications, combat vehicles) and offensive systems, and their relation has varied during times - sometimes new weapons development has made some defensive systems obsolete, but then new defensive systems have been developed.

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 09:55
Ah, been to Russia recently have we?


ahahaha ahahahah ahahah aoooh whew thats a good one, Puffin you card.[/USA]


Tanks seem so pathetic and vulnerable in 40k because of the stupidly high amount of anti-tank weapons that basic infantry can get their hands on. It's not as if every 5th soldier in every/any army on the planet has the option of swapping his M-16 or AK-47 for a TOW Missile or souped-up Plasma Torch, and everyone being able to lug around an infinite amount of anti-tank grenades. Slash that squad back down to Lasguns/Bolters/Shootas and they don't seem so scary to tanks anymore.

You'd be suprised the amount of shoulder portable AT found in squads these days, the reason you don't see them in play in places like iraq is because theres no armor to combat, quartermasters don't people to use disposable tank weapons on insurgents, and people don't like to lug 14 lb tubes around with them on patrol for no reason.

I do know on certain exercises however we had two guys per 5 man section with AT-4 strapped to their backs, in a range such as that depicted in 40k thats a scary thought for a tanker.

If you chucked two first world armies at one another you'd probably see similar amounts of weapons as depicted in 40k




Remember that 40k is oriented towards smaller scaled games, and there's nothing skirmishy about 2700pts of Vanquishers. Don't forget about Siege units, which are designed specifically to operate in those ranges.

damn straight, but the typical game is aroune 1500 points and I've seen many an armored company fielded in that, many times without infantry support. One of the first things a tanker learns is never to get near an occupied position without infantry support. Despite the MBTs autonymous nature in close range situations they are still a support vehicle not an invulnerable death machine. in situations I'ev seen portrayed in 40k a good tank commander would hold back and wait for troops, perhaps softening up the target with some longe range fire.

So basically you'd just deploy the opposing team and have 4 or 5 battlecannon shots landing in their midst every turn.


Comparing modern tanks and modern anti-tank weapons with those of 40K might be a bit futile. There are 38 millennia of evolution and devolution in between.

So far, the last 4 millennia or so have seen a race between defensive systems (personal armour, fortifications, combat vehicles) and offensive systems, and their relation has varied during times - sometimes new weapons development has made some defensive systems obsolete, but then new defensive systems have been developed.


true but 40k is based on modern or near modern technology for a large part so its quite easy to draw paralels, i really doubt if humanity survives 40,000 years into the future that armored combat will still exist

notdakuningist
18-01-2006, 10:57
Good points made about the effective ranges of weapons. I've heard theories about the ranges in 40k being elastic so to speak. I beleive that this is due to the large scale everything has in 40k. A 40k board is better suited to platoon and squad level combat then it is to company level combat. I dunno, maybe warfare has changed just that much in the far future though.

Wolflord Havoc
18-01-2006, 11:43
In Bovington, in the UK there is a Tank Museum in which you can get into one or two tanks and the first thought that strikes you is....

"How the Hell do you fight this thing?"

Its cramped (with lots of things to bang into), Visiabilty is poor and god help you if you have to get out in a hurry.

And Vulnerability of Tanks to Infantry is not a new thing.

Since WW2 Infantry have had the ability to knock out Tanks at the squad and later, fire team level.

So I think it is right to expect infantry to blast tanks with shocking regularity.

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 12:15
Since WW2 Infantry have had the ability to knock out Tanks at the squad and later, fire team level.
.

try ww1 :P there were many instances of stormtroopers knocking out tanks at point blank range with grenades and flame throwers and such

Wolflord Havoc
18-01-2006, 12:40
Very True

But not every Section / Squad or Platoon had integral AT capability which was the point I was making.

And lets face it all the Germans had too do in WW1 (with out meaning to sound flipant about it) was to wait until......

A) The Tank Broke Down (very probable)
B) The Tank Got Stuck (Again very Probable)
C) The Crew got fumigated by the engine fumes and abandoned the tank
D) The Tank was hit by field artillery and internal spalling maimed or killed the crew. Aparently the same thing happened if hit by machine gun rounds!!
E) The Tank lost contact with freindly forces and decides to make its way back to its own lines.

However to most German Infantry it must have been quite scary having this multi ton monster bearing down on them even at a staggering 3 MPH.

It was not until late WW2 with the liberal use of PanzerFaust / PanzerSchreck within the German Army that basic infantry units got the ability to deal with tanks.

Puffin Magician
18-01-2006, 12:51
You'd be suprised the amount of shoulder portable AT found in squads these days.I must admit I'm not up to speed with weapon allocation to infantry, but I doubt every 5th soldier in the army has a spare rocket launcher laying next to his rifle. If they're not going to encounter an MBT around every corner, why be equipped with so many AT weapons?

One of the first things a tanker learns is never to get near an occupied position without infantry support.I used to play my Armoured Battlegroup without infantry support. I don't think of my tanks as invincible, I just wouldn't be using a Tank Army list if I wanted a bunch of footsloggers. It also leads to a more diverse list rather than using troops for little more than assault-deterrence and using your Russes to simply blast everything.

Also, you referred to the AT-4; I'm only familiar with the AT-4 Spigot and I assume that's not what you're talking about. And as much as I like the Leopard I, it certainly shows it's age when compared to a modern T-80.

notdakuningist
18-01-2006, 13:30
@puffin- The t-80 is dated, I believe that there is already another generation of tanks that exist past it. Currently I believe the ruskies are using newer model t-80's and t-90's as well as a wide mix of older tanks.
Please refer to the thread about imperial tank characteristics if you want to open the "which modern tank is better" can of worms.

Any comments about what they mean by "elastic ranges" for 40k?

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 13:46
I must admit I'm not up to speed with weapon allocation to infantry, but I doubt every 5th soldier in the army has a spare rocket launcher laying next to his rifle. If they're not going to encounter an MBT around every corner, why be equipped with so many AT weapons?
I used to play my Armoured Battlegroup without infantry support. I don't think of my tanks as invincible, I just wouldn't be using a Tank Army list if I wanted a bunch of footsloggers. It also leads to a more diverse list rather than using troops for little more than assault-deterrence and using your Russes to simply blast everything.

Also, you referred to the AT-4; I'm only familiar with the AT-4 Spigot and I assume that's not what you're talking about. And as much as I like the Leopard I, it certainly shows it's age when compared to a modern T-80.


the M136 AT4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-4) is my former employer's light/medium anti armor infantry weapon, its a pretty hot little toy but when compared to some of the bigger boys, ie the javelin, its begining to show its age. fact is, however, that they are lying around the US armories like cheeseburger wrapers.

your description of using infantry as deterence is quite true of the real world in many situations. Send an M1 out on patrol alone and its likely to take some heat, but have some ground pounders walking patrol next to it and the chance of encounter lowers dramatically.

The trick with Ruskie tanks is that they are designed by a 2nd world nation to outfit third world armies. Whilst they are hardy and don't require alot of training they lack the technological edge the NATO tanks possess (M1/STRV 122/Challenger II etc) The russian government also has alot less to spend on arms now than it used to thus programs are somewhat limited in what they can achieve in the modern era compared to the US. Basically, NATO tanks are for highly trained well equiped armies, Soviet tanks are for low tech trained ones who can fight en masse. I'd go further but given your knowledge of tanks I'm sure i'll just be talkin' to the dictionary. ;)

Puffin Magician
18-01-2006, 13:46
Despite the T-90 being newer, it's based on the T-72 [which is analogous to the T-34; simple, easy, not the best but mass-produceable] while the T-80 is based on the [frankly] better T-64.

I'm not planning on discussing it much [why discuss modern armour in yet another IG thread], just trying to fight the bias that exists because of the past half-century conditioning Westerners have received to hate everything west of Japan and east of Berlin.

Edit:
they lack the technological edge the NATO tanks possessWhoa, back the truck up there for a moment please! I don't want to keep derailing the thread but take a look-see (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t80tank.htm) here, if you will.

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 14:44
Edit:Whoa, back the truck up there for a moment please! I don't want to keep derailing the thread but take a look-see (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t80tank.htm) here, if you will.

yea thats a common mistake, soviet tanks look pretty on paper but Iraq and Chechnya have proven them to be a mediocre vehicle. They are far inferior to the previously mentioned MBTs which were designed to combat them en masse

notdakuningist
18-01-2006, 15:00
"I'm not planning on discussing it much [why discuss modern armour in yet another IG thread], just trying to fight the bias that exists because of the past half-century conditioning Westerners have received to hate everything west of Japan and east of Berlin."

Because at full capabilities they are inferior and with the current russian logistics and budget problems many have fallen into disrepair.
I still respect them though.

Robot 2000
18-01-2006, 15:20
Iraq and Chechnya are hardly good models of tank warfare, but I digress from the topic. 40k isn't really best suited to portraying large scale tank warfare IMO, and the most realistic version of armoured operations you could do on a normal size table is probably an infantry company with 3 MBT's, a couble of APC's and a couple of infantry platoons supporting them.

Puffin Magician
18-01-2006, 15:43
soviet tanks look pretty on paper but Iraq and Chechnya have proven them to be a mediocre vehicle.

at full capabilities they are inferior and with the current russian logistics and budget problems many have fallen into disrepair.Must... resist... off-topic discussion... Gah, I have no self-control. You both are receiving pimpslaps in my imagination.

Iraq proved that even decent battle tanks are worthless if the people controlling them don't use it properly. Chechnya proved to stay the hell away from cities if you're in a tank. You could say the same for any armoured vehicle on the planet.

You can't blame socio-economic collapse for a tank's performance; the Abrams and LeoII wouldn't be that stellar either if they were crewed by neanderthals, not equipped properly, and went up against tanks at least 1 generation newer than themselves.

So if by "inferior" you mean unable to match Western equivalents because of rubbish crews and a lack of proper maintenance, then I agree with you, yes. We can't do anything else but refer to how they look on paper because, sadly, there were no colossal tank battles in central Europe to prove anything.

Wolflord Havoc
18-01-2006, 16:22
The Big problem we have here is that tank warfare is not represented very well in the game of 40K.

Basically if your in a tank you are much much more visable than an infantry soldier (Duh!). Also your visability is very much degraded - unless you stick your head out of the top and become the new weak spot. In fact this was the main cause of Israeli Tank commander casulties during the 6 day war and is why British Shermans during WW2 in most cases removed the pintle mounted .30 / .50 cal Machine Guns.

The History of the Tank is dotted with tales of Determined Infantry equipped with AT weapons stopping Tank formations usually because they were fighting on a battle field which was not an open plane and with out Infantry support.

In 40K you can trundle about the battlefield shooting infantry units with impunity because you can see them. This would not be the case in reality. You would have to use some form of Night fighting rule when playing tanks vs Infantry in order to shoot them unless Infantry were directly supporting the tank. In fact it would be interesting if we could come up with some rules for this???? Well perhaps save these for freindly Guard vs Guard Games.

Also it is wrong to compare the T72 with the Abrams/Challenger's of this world, but even if we match the T72 up against the Later M60s, Leapard 1s and Chieftens it is still out matched. Also we have to take into account the difference's between the crews. The NATO crews where for the large part proffessional Soldiers while the Soviets were Conscripts and again history is chock full of examples of what happens (for the most part) when one meets the other.

I can only think of one example of where inferior Tanks crewed by superior soldiers meet and defeated Superior Tanks crewed by Inferior troops and this was when early war German MkIIIs and MkIVs (or worse) meet and generally defeated the much better T34 series of tanks.

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 16:34
Must... resist... off-topic discussion... . Chechnya proved to stay the hell away from cities if you're in a tank. You could say the same for any armoured vehicle on the planet.


The fighting in the iraqi cities is just as hectic, if not more so, the insurgents are better trained and equiped than their chechnyan counterparts and yet there hasn't been a single M1 destroyed to insurgent fire.

NATO tanks operate just fine in urban environments given the proper support, they are close to immune to the RPG-7 which the T-80 and 90 are most certainly not ( I believe in the battle of bahgdad one M1 sustained over thirty RPG shots and lugged on)

The fact still remains that the tactical doctrine of NATO was to combat mass amounts of Soviet armor whilst having very few tanks themselves and the Soviet's doctrine basically consisteded of a phalanx of armor rolling through Fulda, swamping down the nato tanks, quite similar to how they dealt with the heavier german tanks during the mid stages of WW2.

I have no idea what the Black Eagle is going to perform like but given it has been developed in a post Soviet Russia I would suspect is still won't measure up to the its multi billion dollar counterparts in the west.



Also it is wrong to compare the T72 with the Abrams/Challenger's of this world, but even if we match the T72 up against the Later M60s, Leapard 1s and Chieftens it is still out matched. Also we have to take into account the difference's between the crews. The NATO crews where for the large part proffessional Soldiers while the Soviets were Conscripts and again history is chock full of examples of what happens (for the most part) when one meets the other.

I can only think of one example of where inferior Tanks crewed by superior soldiers meet and defeated Superior Tanks crewed by Inferior troops and this was when early war German MkIIIs and MkIVs (or worse) meet and generally defeated the much better T34 series of tanks.


Plus the Leopards, chieftens and such were developed to combat mass formations of Soviet armor whilst being few in numbers themselves :) I'm not going to include the 60 because it was a horrible peace of **** and a disgrace to it's namesake

another example of lower generation tanks beating higher ones would be when the krauts brought in the new Leo 2s the Leo 1 crews kicked their asses because they had been trained in the bolt buckets for a much longer time.

El_Machinae
18-01-2006, 17:10
Either that, or while the table distances are linear, the 'realistic' distances are geometic.

Puffin Magician
18-01-2006, 18:20
Also it is wrong to compare the T72 with the Abrams...Nobody has, the T-72 isn't supposed to be a superb tank. Quantity has a quality all it's own, remember? ;) NATO's plan to stop a wave of Soviet armour was to drop tactical nukes on them* - since we didn't have thousands upon thousands of tanks on our side of the wall to stop the Reds.

*At least that's what Tom Clancy says, and I believe him.

...there hasn't been a single M1 destroyed to insurgent fire.It's not really a surprise that there's not much info about insurgents destroying a 70-ton tank with a "made with pride in the U.S.A." sticker on it, but a war's a war and propeganda is important... Some googling resulted in 2 seperate instances however: March 26 2003 [2 lost], and October 28 2003.

Abrams are close to immune to the RPG-7 which the T-80 and -90 are most certainly not..."Close to immune" is just as invulnerable as "not immune". The 'bram is a very tough cookie but it's not impregnable. A tank isn't much of a tank if it's crew has escaped, it's on fire, and it can't move; they don't need to be destroyed to be made ineffective.

I could go on for ages but I'm already sorry for derailing the thread this badly. I don't recall there ever being a Soviet Tank + Soviet Crew vs. NATO Tank + NATO Crew so we could speculate and provide somewhat applicable examples until our fingertips hurt and still be nowhere closer to a conclusion. I <3s my Soviet armour and that's that. :)

You would have to use some form of Night fighting rule when playing tanks vs Infantry in order to shoot them unless Infantry were directly supporting the tank. In fact it would be interesting if we could come up with some rules for this?That's actually a very interesting idea, but I'm afraid I like my tanks too much to try that more than a few times. Nightfight + Tanks = unhappy tank commanders.

LostTemplar
18-01-2006, 18:41
The real vulnerability from Tanks in the wh40k universe depends solely on the fact that the rules regarding the vehicles have made them simplistic to the fullest. For instance, I'm all out for every single trooper armed with a heavy weapon having to roll 2 dices for armour penetration, but only use the smallest of them. Why?

Because it'd make tanks more surviveable. General tank-carried weaponery would bypass this restriction and just the current rules, because tanks are (mostly) made to destroy other tanks.

Another simple example, would be to perhaps, just modify the damage tables. Hell, everytime a weapon just glances a vehicle, it already impedes it from shooting. it souldn't really be the case! In my oppinion a fumble, (a roll of 1) should never do anything (IE: An automatic miss), and that should be well clear.

I could open an exception to the Penetrating/Ordenance chart, but all I'd do, would be to downgrade the Crew Stunned to a Crew shaken (It'd still prevent it from shooting, it'd be a fumble, but not a fumble as bad as the Glancing one).

The problem with Tanks (If there is one, they tend to be rather good) lies in but a couple of things.

1. Their vulnerability to a Heavy Weapon (As It should)
2. The proliferation of these Heavy Weapons all over the field.

PS: As for the Soviet vs Nato Tanks issue.

The t-80 was developed to counter-act the Abraams. Sadly, what people always forget, is that rarely have the two actually met. Everytime they did met, it was never a tank on tank affair, but rather a:

Tank + Helicopter Support + Artilery support banging down on loosened tank formations.

I question the idea that a Abraams could indeed survive a hit from a -russian- T-80 (Not the ones sold to other contries), without not being rendered inoperational.

Anyone with a knowledge for simple physics can easilly demonstrate that the kinetic energy deployed by the incoming shell, will always heavilly damage the tank it'll hit upon.

Of course, they say that the Abraams has armour designed to deflect this, but in all thruth, after the first or second shot it takes, its probably not very protective.

In a portrayed tank to tank battle, I'd say both are on an equal footing. anyone trying to prove otherwise, better have some hard, military evidence that it isn't so, and once more, I stress. I am not talking about soviet tanks sold to other contries.

I am speaking about the actual, state of the art combat vehicles used (even if they aren't many, due to economical reasons) by the -russian- armed forces.

And why dont' I mean the tanks used by other contries? Simple. Those are bypassed and already have finer, more advanced versions implemented, with all thegoogies. Basically, its like goign to fight Abraams A1 with A2's! The A1 will -obviously- be in trouble!

pyramid_head
18-01-2006, 19:00
The real vulnerability from Tanks in the wh40k universe depends solely on the fact that the rules regarding the vehicles have made them simplistic to the fullest. For instance, I'm all out for every single trooper armed with a heavy weapon having to roll 2 dices for armour penetration, but only use the smallest of them. Why?

Because it'd make tanks more surviveable. General tank-carried weaponery would bypass this restriction and just the current rules, because tanks are (mostly) made to destroy other tanks.

Another simple example, would be to perhaps, just modify the damage tables. Hell, everytime a weapon just glances a vehicle, it already impedes it from shooting. it souldn't really be the case! In my oppinion a fumble, (a roll of 1) should never do anything (IE: An automatic miss), and that should be well clear.

I could open an exception to the Penetrating/Ordenance chart, but all I'd do, would be to downgrade the Crew Stunned to a Crew shaken (It'd still prevent it from shooting, it'd be a fumble, but not a fumble as bad as the Glancing one).

The problem with Tanks (If there is one, they tend to be rather good) lies in but a couple of things.

1. Their vulnerability to a Heavy Weapon (As It should)
2. The proliferation of these Heavy Weapons all over the field.

PS: As for the Soviet vs Nato Tanks issue.

The t-80 was developed to counter-act the Abraams. Sadly, what people always forget, is that rarely have the two actually met. Everytime they did met, it was never a tank on tank affair, but rather a:

Tank + Helicopter Support + Artilery support banging down on loosened tank formations.

I question the idea that a Abraams could indeed survive a hit from a -russian- T-80 (Not the ones sold to other contries), without not being rendered inoperational.

Anyone with a knowledge for simple physics can easilly demonstrate that the kinetic energy deployed by the incoming shell, will always heavilly damage the tank it'll hit upon.

Of course, they say that the Abraams has armour designed to deflect this, but in all thruth, after the first or second shot it takes, its probably not very protective.

In a portrayed tank to tank battle, I'd say both are on an equal footing. anyone trying to prove otherwise, better have some hard, military evidence that it isn't so, and once more, I stress. I am not talking about soviet tanks sold to other contries.

I am speaking about the actual, state of the art combat vehicles used (even if they aren't many, due to economical reasons) by the -russian- armed forces.

And why dont' I mean the tanks used by other contries? Simple. Those are bypassed and already have finer, more advanced versions implemented, with all thegoogies. Basically, its like goign to fight Abraams A1 with A2's! The A1 will -obviously- be in trouble!


The T80 was released before the Abrams became mainstream and I'm fairly certain it employs the same gun as the T72.

T80s were encountered in the first gulf war and proved less than stellar in their performance and the iraqi army was not just a band of goons with guns.

I keep repeating but the I'll say it again the soviet tanks were designed for MASS PRODUCTION whilst the US and NATO tanks were designed to be used in small numbers against a numerically superior force, there is no soviet tank in service which can hope to go head to head with any first world militaries MBT and come out on top.

Just look at all the armor packages employed, soviet armor is fairly conventional with added KONTAKT and ERA armor types whilst the US uses Uranium and the british and Germans have Chobam. the latter three are quite capable of stopping a SABOT round whilst the modern SABOT will quite happily lance through both KONTAKT and ERA.

I would also say given the differences of the A1 and A2's it would come down to skills of the crew rather than the vehicles themselves, the differences are mainly internal targetting and NV hardware, the new one however gets lots of crazy addons.

Axel
18-01-2006, 19:40
A) The Tank Broke Down (very probable)
B) The Tank Got Stuck (Again very Probable)
C) The Crew got fumigated by the engine fumes and abandoned the tank
D) The Tank was hit by field artillery and internal spalling maimed or killed the crew. Aparently the same thing happened if hit by machine gun rounds!!
E) The Tank lost contact with freindly forces and decides to make its way back to its own lines.

I agree with D, though the reason here is not traditional heavy artillery shelling the no mans land, but because special tank hunting squads were formed from light field artillery. These would rush forward, often into the range of infantry fire, unload and then take out the tanks.

Iuris
19-01-2006, 06:54
Heavy tanks are heavy tanks. When you put so much armour around a big gun, everyone is going to have some trouble.

However, while the M1 is a most impressive tank, I feel people here fail to appreciate what really makes this tank so dangerous: its high tech equipment. And the army it's deployed in.

The abrams electronics and sensors are what makes the trouble for the enemy. When faced with low tech opponents (all the US is taking on nowadays), these gadgets count. They permit high accuracy while moving at full speed, help the crew fight as if they were not limited by "vision slits" and so on.

The armour, while very impressive, is not immune to everything. While the tank may be very hard to destroy, it can still be disabled, even by the humble RPG 7. Also, note that friendly fire has shown that the M1 armour is not immune to modern weaponry.

The main thing is, however, that tank to tank warfare is rather a thing of the past. Helicopters and attack planes are the true threat to tanks nowadays. And with the US superiority in these areas, the enemy rarrely has the chance to fight on even ground. This creates an illusion of invulnerability that is not completely justified. Just imagine this: what would happen if an Abrams were to take on another Abrams?

In the end, the best way of fighting the M1 would be to starve it. Get those fuel trucks, get those ammo trucks. Remember, we had a situation of supertanks that were practically impossible to destroy by the opponents with cheaper tanks. WWII. And the cheaper Shermans and T34s won the battle - because those tigers and panthers died of thirst.

P.S. If anyone has any info, has there ever been a test of Abrams vs. Warthog? The GAU 8 versus the mightiest armou, now that would be a sight...

notdakuningist
19-01-2006, 14:11
Warthog > Then any land based equipment

I'm in ADA, and those flying tanks like the warthog and the Frogfoot scare the hell out of me.

*Returns Puffins mental pimpslap and is amazed that a random t-80's turret flys off as it explodes due to the force. :-)

So according to both nurglitch and machinae the scale really isn't elastic per se, so wouldn't that account for the weakness of tanks so close to enemy infantry and other vehicles where their range becomes meaningless?

Darius Rhiannon
19-01-2006, 14:35
Well any tank is vulnarable in close.

For example during the Angolan-South African war numerous soviet tanks T34, T55 and T62 were destroyed in the dense Angolan bush by the wheeled South African Fighting Vehicles. These wheeled fighting vehicles were mainly French Panhard Armoured Cars upgunned with 90mm guns and Ratel infantry fighting vehicles with the same gun. Thse guns were unstabilsed so the armoured cars had to stop before shooting.

The close engagement ranges (the areas of Angola were most of the combat took place were flat and had lots of bushes) meant that the tanks were often not aware of the armoured cars until after the cars had already fired.

So in short, a tank which cannot see its enemy before its enemy can see it tends to turn into a death trap.

notdakuningist
19-01-2006, 15:11
Good example, having a main weapon that can fire from two miles isn't any better than an at rocket with about three hundred meter range when you're that close.

Getz
19-01-2006, 20:42
All this T80 vs Abrams stuff is beginning to sound like the Imperial Tank Characteristics thread.

Lets Face Facts chaps. The T80 was the Russian Equivalent of the Leopard 1, M60 and Cheiftain - it was better than any of them. The Russian equivalent of the Challenger, Abrams and Leopard II series was stillborn due to the collapse of the Soviet Block. Ive seen a photo one of the prototypes and it clearly had composite armour like the aformentioned tanks, and the Russian 125mm smoothbore is an excellent piece of kit as it is, but I suspect a new weapon would have been worked up for the new tank.

Apples and Oranges, it's like comparing a Challenger to an M60.

Furthermore, as Iuris has already pointed out, the US army has not not had to suffer the discomfortof not having local Air Superiority since the Korean war. In those circumstances the Iraqi tankforce was all but decimated before it even made contact with the Allied Armoured Spearheads...

The fighting in a Eurpoean Cold War scenario would be very different. Needless to say, the Russian had a very effective and powerful airforce at their disposal (lets not forget that the general consensus in Nato was that Mig 29 > F16 and Su 27 > F15 - the next generation of Nato aircraft deisgned to redress this balance are only just entering service now) and many of the US air support "Wonder weapons" may have show up a bit in Europe.

Did you know, for example, that the A10 has no all weather avionics gear? Not a problem in the clear skys of the Missle East but Cloudy eastern Europe an A10 strike force would have trouble even finding the enemy (a problem identified by many Nato Military analysts at the time, demonstrated in the Balkans but never rectified).

Similarly, the original versions of the AH-64 Apache had nomast mounted sensors! An almost unforgivable design flaw in an attack helicopter (admittedly now rectified)...

Not to mention that the Ruskis had all those Su-25 Attack planes and the not-at-all-famous-for-it's-brutal-effectiveness-in-Afganistan Mi 24 Hinds (or the Hokums and Havocs that appeared just before the end of the Cold war)

The general assumption here seems to be that in a Cold war tank battle everything would go Nato's way and itwould be a straight shooting match as the Hordes of T72s rolled on. Hell no! It wouldnt be anything like that at all. There would be a never ending tryst for Air Superiority and round the clock low level ground attacks by both sides attempting to wipe out as many enemy Ground assets as possible. Under those circumstances the Russian policy of being 90% as good but out numbering you ten to one seems a lot more dangerous...

Besides the Russians knew what they were doing. Thier tank design philosophy was based as much on their WWII experience as ours was. Facing off against the German Big Cats left the Western nations determined to never be outgunned again. As such they repeated the German "overmatch" policy towards Russian tank design (as well evidenced by the appearance of the US M103 and British Conqueror heavy tanks in the wake of the IS 3) and thats not all they borrowed. If you look at pretty much all the Nato Cold War MBT designs you'll see they closely follow the blueprint of the Panther - about 45-50 tons, strong (but not excessive) armour, reasonable mobility and a relatively small high Velocity anti Tank gun capable of defeating any known enemy armour (the chief exception is the Chieftain tank which is conceptially more akin to the Tiger). This is no surprise as the Centurion was designed during WWII to match the Panther, then endlessly updated and the M60 was directly descended from the M26 (via the M46, M47 and M48) which was similary a WWII design...

The Russians, however, viewed things differently. During WWII they had succeeded because their vehicles were "good enough" (unlike British and US designs which were clearly "not good enough") to negate the Germans Technical advantage and then overcome the enemy through force of arms. Their cold war MBT design policy followed the Pattern of the T34, being simple, relatively light (35-40 tons), only adequately armoured but well armed and available in very large numbers. On top of that there was a separate Heavy Tank series which were not all that much bigger (the IS-3 was only 45 tons, the subsequent production developments never exceeded 60 tons) but were qualtively superior to their Western Counterparts until the Chieftain came along in the 70's - by which time the Russians were abandoning Heavies anyway.

the_yuk
19-01-2006, 21:52
Just a thought but perhaps it would be wise for us tank lovers to open a discussion up in random musings, to get all this tank talk out of our systems?

Outlaw289
19-01-2006, 23:36
Ah, been to Russia recently have we?

Are you talking about the Nizhny Tagil Obiekt 775 MBT? Otherwise, I don't think Russia has premium MBTs. Damn effective ones for their price and when compared to their historical competitors, but not premier tanks

the_yuk
20-01-2006, 03:18
ATM the ruskies have a huge 152mm tank gun in development, witch is to be mounted into a fully automated turret, the crew are all in the chasis. I think one of the tanks its to go in is to be the T-95? It has also been suggested that it be fitted to the black eagle tanks to save money, although teh black eagle is just a T-80 with better turret.
Soviet tanks have Two huge advatages over western tanks like the abrams...

-The use of auto loader systems
-An extremely low profile.

Another point is how cheap teh russian tanks are in comparison. I have heard though that the export version of russian tanks are sub par even to the versions in russian service.

GodofWarTx
20-01-2006, 16:18
I cant imagine there is a high motivation in a money-starved, morale sapped russian tank brigade nowadays anymore.

Also, one of the reasons the russians pulled out of Afganistan is the Hind proved to be extremely vulnerable to the majahadeen (spelling) wielding Stinger Missle Systems provided by you-know-who. I believe several Hinds were brought down in the rugged terrain out there, and it got to a point that some of the mujahadeen were fearlessly perched up on hillcrests as soon as rotor blades were heard echoing along the valleys.


The elastic range system of 40k implies that at each range "incriment" might mean different things. I'll have to find the white dwarf on this, but basically 48 inches is a good mile to 2 miles distant, while 24 inches is 300-400 yards distant , and 12 inches is 100 yards or less. Base-to-base implies the combatants are close enough to use personal sidearms, very close shooting, as well as hand to hand.

Tank warfare in 40k is interesting, one because all the sponsons must fire at the same target, including such things as the heavy flamers on a baal predator. Very odd indeed.The doctrines for the armoured company list bring tank warfare up to a high level of competency that you might want, with heavy armor, highly accurate ordinance, and truely defensive sponsons that shoot at charging enemies. I think armored warfare is better represented in 40k than epic, simply because epic simplifies things even further.

Nurglitch
20-01-2006, 20:43
The elastic range system of 40k implies that at each range "incriment" might mean different things. I'll have to find the white dwarf on this, but basically 48 inches is a good mile to 2 miles distant, while 24 inches is 300-400 yards distant , and 12 inches is 100 yards or less. Base-to-base implies the combatants are close enough to use personal sidearms, very close shooting, as well as hand to hand. I think that's why W40k has an unstated scale, because this sort of thing doesn't make sense. Unless you're going with a linear scale, you're going to end up with situations where the represented distance between models will change while the actual board distance remains the same.

Let me explain: Suppose that out to 12" represents 100y and out to 24" represents 300y. That means that from 18"-24" a distance of 2" on the board will represent 50y. At 8"-12" a distance of 2" will represent about 16.6y.

So where two units (A & B) attack a third unit (C) in the shooting phase, and those units are arranged so that the only difference between the spatial relation of A to C and B to C is that in the former all models in C lie between 18"-24" away from A, and in the latter all models in C lie between 8"-12" away from B. Think of it like: A------------B-------------C

Now during that shooting phase any model in unit C that is 2" closer to unit A than any other model in unit C will really be about 50y closer to unit A than any other model. During the same shooting phase, any model in unit C that is 2" closer to unit B than any other model in unit C will really be about 16.6y.

The same two models 2" apart in unit C will be represented as being both 50y and 16.6y apart during that same turn. As these things go, that doesn't make sense.

Warden
21-01-2006, 00:09
ATM the ruskies have a huge 152mm tank gun in development, witch is to be mounted into a fully automated turret, the crew are all in the chasis. I think one of the tanks its to go in is to be the T-95? It has also been suggested that it be fitted to the black eagle tanks to save money, although teh black eagle is just a T-80 with better turret.
Soviet tanks have Two huge advatages over western tanks like the abrams...

-The use of auto loader systems
-An extremely low profile.

Another point is how cheap teh russian tanks are in comparison. I have heard though that the export version of russian tanks are sub par even to the versions in russian service.

This tank has been on the drawing board for years, much like the new Black eagle MBT, it will never be produced.

Outlaw289
21-01-2006, 00:29
America is designing a Nizhny Tagil Obiekt 775 like tank. I saw it on the military channel or Discovery times.

it looks like an Abrams with an extremely low profile. There are no crew in the turret, just a long auto-loaded gun, and both crew site side by side where a driver would normally be.

Kinda stupid, having no one in the turret

pyramid_head
21-01-2006, 02:25
-The use of auto loader systems

.

autoloaders are not an advantage, they chew up crew and jam which a loader does not.

the_yuk
21-01-2006, 03:57
Its an advantage until someting goes wrong. The main difference with modern tanks in reality is who has the best targeting computer, most other features are so similar it dosnt make much difference. Dont mind my abrams bashing I have never liked the tanks my self, and am of the opinion that the only reason they are so good is due to the fact it is a combination of materials and parts from other countries tanks.

Outlaw289
21-01-2006, 05:39
I personally think human loaders are better.

It gives you an extra guy on the tank, he isn't as fragile as the auto-loader (and his task can be done by another crewmember is worse comes to worst), and the extra supplies needed to feed/clothe that guy wouldn't be a problem, as tanks move with big ol supply columns with them anyway

AgentZero
21-01-2006, 05:50
[Iraq proved that even decent battle tanks are worthless if the people controlling them don't use it properly.
.

The Soviet/Russian built tanks in the Iraq conflict had inferior range compared to the US/British main tanks.
The Iraqi tanks also lacked the low light/infrared technology the Western ones had.
Regardless of who is piloting the tanks for Iraq they're not winning anything because they don't have the weapon range and they can't operate in various light/environment settings.

Yuk
American main battle tank.
That tank has a human loading the main gun many times faster then any autoloader can. Autoloading is NOT an advantage. Not even near a huge one.
Recheck your sources. Autoloaders take several seconds beyond the human six second loader. You might want to research what happened in Iraq with regards to fire rates at close range. Autoloaders got their teeth kicked in.
The main gun is targeted and fired by a human, not a computer. Computers and stabilizing systems make it easier to fire, but doesn't replace the human's job.
I think you need to take a trip to the Patton Tank Museum and then work your way up.

The Challenger's Commander was the "computer targeting system".
He designated the next target while the gunner was working on the first one. The computer system aligned the gun to the next target after the first target was fired upon , the human did the rest of the work, and the cycle continues as required.
This isn't the Terminator, people are still doing the work.

Don't talk about autoloaders anymore.


Don't try to make sense of tanks in 40k. There is no sense.
4x4, 4x6,4x8 tables just do not have the geographic requirements for
such things. It's not just the tanks, it's everything. A Bolter only shoots 24 inches? A gun with a real world range of 48 yards is crap. Remember, Marine height = @6 feet. 24 x 6 divided by 3 = 48 = poop.
So right off the bat you're dealing with a really good case of suspension of belief/reality.
Missile launchers have a range of 98 yards? Daunte Culpepper can throw 60 yard passes. Just get NFL players to toss weapons. It'd be cheaper!
Then you get the "elastic" ranges thrown in and everything gets even weirder :wtf:

So , you have to suspend reality a lot to play the game. Trying to relate real world vehicles to the game just makes the madness more madder:D

Getz
21-01-2006, 13:17
Don't talk about autoloaders anymore.


Actually, most of the people here seem to have got the point of autoloaders completely wrong. It's not to make the gun better or faster. It's to reduce the Tank silhouette without making the tank impossible to operate, and also to make Russian Manpower go further.

The big weakness of the T62 (predecessor to the T72) was it's low profile hull and Turret was too cramped for a four man crew to operate. By adopting an autoloader for the next generation of tanks the Russians were able to give their tanks even lower profiles whilst give the reduced crew much more space to operate (which is not to say the T72 isn't cramped - it is - but not as much as the T62).

Also, consider a platoon of three typical Nato tanks with a crew of four requires twelve crewmen to man it. Typical modern Russian tanks with a crew of three can get four tank crews out of twelve men - for the same number of personel the Russians can crew an extra tank...

Now multiply that up across and army group...

I still stand by the fact that Iraq does not provide us with a fair and balanced assessment of the T72's capabilities as a battle tank. The T72M being used by the Iraqis was the export version and is stripped of virtually all it's high technology, and the Russians did not design their vehicles to win under conditions of total enemy air superiority, outnumbered by more modern MBTs. The Republican Guard Armoured Forces were broken by allied bombing and Helicopter Gunships, not by tank actions. But the Soviet union had access to Attack aircraft anf Helicopters at least as potent as ours and no one in Nato believes that even the most modern tank in the world can stand up to repeated air attack.

wighti
21-01-2006, 13:44
You'd be suprised the amount of shoulder portable AT found in squads these days, the reason you don't see them in play in places like iraq is because theres no armor to combat, quartermasters don't people to use disposable tank weapons on insurgents, and people don't like to lug 14 lb tubes around with them on patrol for no reason.

I do know on certain exercises however we had two guys per 5 man section with AT-4 strapped to their backs, in a range such as that depicted in 40k thats a scary thought for a tanker.

If you chucked two first world armies at one another you'd probably see similar amounts of weapons as depicted in 40k

Have to agree with this.

From personal experience, I did my stint in the army here in Finland(Mandatory service for us blokes), and while I was in the mortar company, each mortar squad was issued with a light rocket launcher, perhaps not strong enough to punch through the armour of a modern battle tank, but still strong enough to blow the tracks if needed.

Getz
21-01-2006, 17:10
Also, one of the reasons the russians pulled out of Afganistan is the Hind proved to be extremely vulnerable to the majahadeen (spelling) wielding Stinger Missle Systems provided by you-know-who. I believe several Hinds were brought down in the rugged terrain out there, and it got to a point that some of the mujahadeen were fearlessly perched up on hillcrests as soon as rotor blades were heard echoing along the valleys.


Just noticed this comment, presumably made in reference to my statement that Nato armour would be just as vulnerable to Russian Airpower as there's has proven to be to ours...

Are you aware that the Hind is considerably better armoured than any Nato helicopter yet in service (it's also formidably fast and agile, especially considering the age and size of the basic design - it won many speed and altitude records when it was first introduced) and The Russians had access to SAM systems entirely comparable to the Stinger (they captured so many in Afganistan they were able to perform extensive analysis on Nato small SAM technology). If the Hind was vulnerable to Stingers, then the Apache and Blackhawk would prove doubly so to Russian SAMs.