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Panzer is a great game and most of its armor combat model is detailed and accurate. However, there are several anomolies in the front armor values for certain German AFVs, that seem quite "off" given the actual historial thickness and slope of the relevant armor. Here I propose some tweaks to those values, to "patch" the most glaring "misses" in the values.
The biggest and one that others have already noted is the front turret armor value for the Panzer IVH and IVJ models. In the game this is given as 19 head on, 22 with side angle, giving the turret more resistance than the hull front. In reality the turret armor was only 50mm thick, while the hull was 80mm, and the turret had essentially no slope benefits. The previous models, G and F2, has the same turret armor, and in the game they are given 12 (straight ahead) and 14 (with side angle).
So, change 1 - the TF column Front for Panzer IV or J should read all 12s, and for Front-Side, same TF column should read all 14s.
Minor in comparison, the game gives the F2 model 16 TF from front side, then back down to 14 for the G model. The armor was identical. The F2 figure should be reduced to 14, like the G. Note that this only affects the Front-Side aspect TF values - the Front aspect already has a correct, uniform 12 rating.
Next, the StuG IV model historically had the same armor layout as the III, only the chassis and drive/engine were different. They were physically constructed from IIIG StuG superstructures on top of a IV chassis. It was not an uparmored vehicle, the reason to use the IV chassis had to do with spare production capacity, not a different armor layout. The game gives these a correct 16-17-16 TF and HF rating from the front aspect, but unaccountably increases this dramatically to 23-24-22 with front-side aspect. This is not justified. Use the 19-20-19 TF and HF figures from the IIIG for the StuG IV as well. (I suspect confusion with the Jagdpanzer IV values in this case).
The next glaring issue is that the front armor ratings of the Jagdpanzer IV/70 model are exactly the same as the ratings for the Jagdpanther. It is true that both had 80mm thickness on their glacis, but the Jagdpanther's glacis was sloped 55 degrees from the vertical, the Jagdpanzer IV/70 only 50 degrees (upper glacis) to 45 degrees (lower). The Panther has the same slope, thickness, and values as the Jagdpanther, showing those to be correct for the better slope. Note that the differences between the rise and fall lines also show the effects of 5 degree angle differences, which are not small when the initial angle is so large.
This means the Jagdpanzer IV/70 should have the following frontal armor values, for both TF and HF hit locations, front aspect -
level - 22, rise 26, fall 20.
for front-side aspect, use the following -
level 26, rise 30, fall 22.
A related issue is the Panther turret front, which right now is shown having the same resistance as the glacis plate (front hull), for level shots. In reality it was 110mm (turret) to 100mm with some curvature (mantlet), resisting like 114mm flat in either case - but the glacis was much tougher, resisting like 140mm vs a flat shot. The 26/32/22 figures for the hull are correct; the turret front figures are high. (To see this, compare the Tiger I front hull, which gets 20-21-20 and was 100mm thick without slope to speak of). Also, the Jagd-70 with angle reduced 5 degrees for a falling shot pretty much exactly matches the resistance of the Panther turret front, and we saw above that gets a 22. All that is explanation, here is the suggested revision -
Panther TF front aspect, all rows 22 (rather than 26).
Panther TF front-side aspect, all rows 24.
Only minor tweaks are needed to the Jagdpanzer IV (not 70), and anyone could skip the following as too minor to worry about, but I give my tweaked figures to be compatible with the above.
The front aspect TF and HF columns should read 19, 23, 17 - only the "rise" shot is reduced and only by 1 point.
The front-side aspect TF and HF columns should read 22,26,19, which are reductions of 1,2,1 respectively. As I said, minor. But it puts the ratings on the equivalent values for thickness and slope effects, as all of the above.
The biggest of these effects and the most justified is reducing the turret front thickness of the common late war Panzer IVs back to a realistic level, at which that tank will be vulnerable to Russian 76mm and US 75mm guns, as it was historically. The StuG IV is downgraded to equivalence with other StuGs, and the Jagdpanzer-70 is made intermediary between the original Jagd-IV and the Jagdpanther, instead of equaling the Jagdpanther in protection level. The Panther turret front becomes marginally more vulnerable to improved Allied guns in the late war (Russian 85mm, US 76mm), which in fact it was.
I present all of this as a "variant" because obviously it is up to the players whether to adopt my corrections. I think the Panzer IVH & J turret front is the most glaring case, and I would urge players to try out that change even if the others are rejected. It will make 1943 and later fights in which the Panzer IV features so often, much more historical.
I hope this is interesting...
- Last edited Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:45 am (Total Number of Edits: 6)
- Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:32 am
Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
Yes, this is interesting and helpful; thank you.
Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
Just what I was looking for.
Very thoughtful and insightful analysis for the vehicle values!
Understandably, there are many things that make up an armor value, not just thickness and slope, but I'd like to hear Jim Day's take on it before I change anything.
And I wouldn't call them 'corrections' as much as your interpretations of what the factors should be.
- Last edited Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:38 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:52 pm