Darin Sunley
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The tactical role of a dedicated, cheap anti-infantry armored vehicle is not something the existing units have explored, really. There is an archaic (modern-day with minimal enhancements) IFV in Ogre Minatures, but this seems quite different, and possibly quite tactically interesting. Not a vehicle for supporting and moving infantry, but a specialized anti-infantry vehicle, designed for the sole task of digging out dug-in infantry. Historically, this is the role tanks were invented for, during World War 1.

I can think of a few specific requirements: I would like it to have an attack strength that is at least 3, and ideally a multiple of 3. This would be very useful for digging 3-strength (and therefore 3-defense) infantry pieces out of cover. I would also like it to have a movement of at least M2 - it needs to be able to keep pace with infantry, and ideally outrun them, at least in clear terrain. Taking the statline provided by eltf177 in this thread on the SJGames forum - http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=142746 - as a starting point, and using the Cobb Calculator - http://www.hcobb.com/gev/formcalc.html - to figure the cost:

M2 D2 A2 R1 (AP only, doubles in overruns, moves like a light tank) -> 1.45 VPs / 0.5 AUs.

I can purchase 4 of these to go up against a 3-strength infantry platoon. They can dump 8 attack factors into the hex, which isn't quite enough if the infantry are dug into a town, and barely enough if they're dug into forest.

M2 D2 A3 R1 (AP only, doubles in overruns, moves like a light tank) -> 2 VPs / 0.5 AUs.

I can purchase 3 of these for the price of an infantry platoon. Now I can make a 1-1 attack against a 3-strength dug into a town. Now we're cooking with lithium deuteride! (It's one of the key ingredients that makes a H-Bomb an order of magnitude more explosive given the same quantity of fissibles. Look it up.) On the downside, they can make a 1-1 attack right back.

I would really like to have a defense value of 6. Virtually unheard of in game terms (only the Superheavy Tank comes close, at 5, and many consider it to be overpowered), but it would reduce the counter-fire from the town-entrenched 3-strength INF platoon to a paltry 1-2. I don't know if I can get there in the Cobb calculator, while keeping this thing down to less than an AU in cost, let alone less than 0.5 AU.

And even if I could, this thing is starting to look like a Superheavy Tank with the big guns pulled and replaced with AP guns and more armor. Maybe it looks a little different too, like a rhomboid-shaped WW1 British Mark V. Come to think of it, the purely AP armament matches the all-machine gun armament of the "Female" variants of those tanks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_V_tank), so there's a real historical precedent here. It's funny how thinking about a novel combat role can lead us right back to a unit with a real historical precedent:

Mark "L" Superheavy Tank (Female - Anti-Personnel):
M2 D6 A3 R1 (AP only, doubles in overruns, moves like a light tank)
2.67 VPs / 0.5 AUs.

[Represent using a WWI British Mark V (Female) tank miniature.]
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Barry Harvey
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These are fun ideas. The light version reminds of a Tanketto from Strontium Dog. (2000AD, art by Carlos Ezquerra).



The heavy version sounds similar to one of 40k's Land Raider variants, which incidentally take their looks from WW1 tanks. The precise type replaces its sponson-mounted anti-tank laser cannons for a large amount of machine guns giving it a huge short-range anti-personel capability.

(I would include a picture but I like my kneecaps as they are)

What about options that could negate cover modifiers?

Flame-thrower tanks would have short range but be effective against infantry. One of the Command and Conquer computer games had them.

An assault gun that fired a fuel-air explosive shell would allow an attack at range. Safer than having to close with the enemy infantry.
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Darin Sunley
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The infantry are all wearing heavy power armor and, if they're dug in, remain combat effective even if you drop a Fat Man or Little Boy in their general vicinity. Flamethrowers won't even make them uncomfortable.

And the hexes are 1500 meters across.

Given all that, AP guns probably are firing Fuel Air Explosive rounds. They actually match the description of AP in this game very well - they can be shot about a mile, they're strong enough to crack the few centimeters of BPC on infantry powersuits, CPs, and trucks, but not enough to crack the significantly thicker armor on GEVs, tanks, or Ogres.

This is one of the things I absolutely love about this game: the sheer scale of everything. Most tactical games pare their firepower and weapons ranges down to Napoleonic levels to keep things cinematic [and fit everything on a single map]. Ogre units in typical combat never even have direct visual LOS to each other. [In this regard it's more like a modern naval combat game.]

But the mushroom clouds make up for the lack of real close quarters fighting, I think.
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Darin Sunley
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Originally Posted by eltf177:
The Mark L is nice but expensive. But I can see Nihon building the lighter units in mass to use against dug-in Chinese Militia...


It is too expensive. For these things to be a good value proposition, I really need to be able to buy a least 9 attack factors worth of them for 1 AU. But I don't think an A5 D6 R1 M2 AP-only unit fits into one AU.

Later:

Actually, it turns out it does:

Mark "L" Superheavy Tank (Female - Anti-Personnel) [Revised]:
M2 D6 A5 R1 (AP only, does not double in overruns, moves like a light tank)
2.95 VPs / 0.5 AUs.

[Represent using a WWI British Mark V (Female) tank miniature.]
 
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Stephan Beal
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HeatDeath wrote:

Actually, it turns out it does:

[b]Mark "L" Superheavy Tank (Female - Anti-Personnel) [Revised]:
M2 D6 A5 R1 (AP only, does not double in overruns, moves like a light tank)
2.95 VPs / 0.5 AUs.


Oooookay. That just demonstrates that the Cobb Algorithm has limits, and you just found one of them. There is no way in hell any mobile D6 unit with a non-0 attack score is gonna rate a measly 0.5AU. Playtest it and i think you'll find that their immunity against ATT2 is worth much more than that algorithm suggests.
 
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Darin Sunley
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Yeah, but their 3 attack is AP only. They literally can't do anything to anything but infantry. In an combined arms open battle, they're toast - the best they can do is temporarily distract 2 HVYs or 4 GEVs to hunt them down and blow them to kingdom come with complete impunity.

I see them as specialized siege-engines. I posted in a thread on the SJGames forum - http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=112785&highlight=... -about an idea for what a "fortress" would look like in Ogre - a ring of swamp, 3-5 hexes wide, surrounding a small island. the island is ringed with outward-firing howitzers, and the swamp is heavily salted with infantry.

These would be precisely the sort of specialized vehicles you would use to push into the swamp and dig out the infantry.

The other scenario I think these would be interesting in is a straight-up WW1 trench-warfare offensive. The map has a 5-6 hex-wide band of swamp running right down the middle, from north to south. Each side has a genuinely large quantity of infantry, and some howitzers, arrayed along the edge of the swamp band. On each turn, each side rolls a D6. On a 1-3, they get that many Mark Ls. Sometime before turn 15, they have to move their infantry into no-man's land, or they lose. Victory points are scored by getting infantry off the opposing side's edge.
 
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Stephan Beal
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HeatDeath wrote:
Yeah, but their 3 attack is AP only. They literally can't do anything to anything but infantry. In an combined arms open battle, they're toast - the best they can do is temporarily distract 2 HVYs or 4 GEVs to hunt them down and blow them to kingdom come with complete impunity.


That's 1/6th resp. 1/3rd of a standard defense force in the Basic Scenario, and AP guns can destroy a D0 CP. Give the attackers an attack force of, say 12 of these instead of an Ogre, and i'm willing to bet they'd make a good showing.
 
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Darin Sunley
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sgbeal wrote:
HeatDeath wrote:
Yeah, but their 3 attack is AP only. They literally can't do anything to anything but infantry. In an combined arms open battle, they're toast - the best they can do is temporarily distract 2 HVYs or 4 GEVs to hunt them down and blow them to kingdom come with complete impunity.


That's 1/6th resp. 1/3rd of a standard defense force in the Basic Scenario, and AP guns can destroy a D0 CP. Give the attackers an attack force of, say 12 of these instead of an Ogre, and i'm willing to bet they'd make a good showing.


Oh, I sincerely believe they would. But Smash-the-CP scenarios are the literal worst case for testing the balance of units costed using the Cobb Calculator. You can see that vividly in a much less extreme case than this:

Just try playing Smash-the-CP with 4 Mark Is instead of 1 Mark III. By the points, it's an even trade, but those Mark Is will roll straight through and around your defense, barely noticing that they're there.

In Smash-the-CP, the number of attackers has an impact on the balance that is far, far beyond their individual point values. I think, from a mathematical point of view, that the "square" exponential factor from Lanchester's Laws comes into effect. Splitting the attacker's AU value from 1 attacker to 4 turns a balanced scenario into a one-sided slaughter. Giving the attacker 12 units would be even more one-sided.

The inability of Mark Ls to affect armor would compensate for that somewhat, but not, I think, completely. They would indeed probably do very well - but that is merely a consequence of the fact that combat effectiveness in Smash-the-CP is very nonlinear when it comes to the number of attacking units, and not any particular weakness in the Cobb formulae themselves.
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