Balancing Eastern tanks

In this thread you can discuss any thoughts you have about balance within the game. Does a particular unit need a specification changed? Is a stealth plane not stealthy enough? Do "Belli Bar" levels need to be changed? Let us know and discuss it all here.

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Sebastiaan
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Balancing Eastern tanks

#1 Post by Sebastiaan » Nov 10 2005

Playeing as Poland, I noticed that the Tanks I controled were significantly in lower strength then their western (german) counter part. While the western tanks have strengths of 58, eastern tanks are consistently at 31.

If strength is to represent the number of vehicals (squads) in a batalion, why are easern tanks (russion, chinese, etc) , which are usealy deployes in larger numbers compared to their western counter parts, represented with such a low strength?

Is it to make them systematicly inferior to the western tank batalions which are technologicaly more advanced?

besides the fact is creating a serious inbalance when west fughts eastern tanks, it also \becomes a problem when fighting infantry troops. Plaaying as mongolia, my tanks asses were kicked by engeneer units

a standard eastern engeneer unit has a hard attack of 26, ground defence of 33, strength of 35 and initiative of 6 . campare this to a standard easern tank like the T62 (strength 31, soft attack 24, ground defence 29 and initiative of 2) is is easy to understand why I got my ass kicked.

Because engeneers are also cheaper than tanks, this effectively makes engeneers fullfil the role of tanks better than the real tanks, which also cheaper and far more effective in close combat.
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Re: Balancing Eastern tanks

#2 Post by Balthagor » Nov 10 2005

Sebastiaan wrote:why are easern tanks (russion, chinese, etc) , which are usealy deployes in larger numbers compared to their western counter parts, represented with such a low strength?
31 is the normal size of a tank battalion in Russian or Chinese forces. That is how they organize their forces. They just tend to field more battalions.
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#3 Post by Sebastiaan » Nov 10 2005

Although organising troops in multiple small battalion sound like a good stratagy on the battlefield, in this game it is a big disadvantage due to stack limit and due to the inability of the AI to work effectivly with multiple tanks units at the same time.

Wouldn't it be, for game purposes more simple if all tank batalions have more or less the same batalion size, similar to airplanes? this would make it easier for players to compare them with each other, and would give eastern countries an unfair advantages
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#4 Post by Draken » Nov 10 2005

Sebastiaan wrote:Although organising troops in multiple small battalion sound like a good stratagy on the battlefield, in this game it is a big disadvantage due to stack limit and due to the inability of the AI to work effectivly with multiple tanks units at the same time.
Draken wrote:A couple of ideas for the Gold Edition :wink:

1) Stack limit. Instead of limiting the # of units, what it should be done is to limit the number of squad in a hex. It is not the same to have 7 garrison btns of 35 squads each (50%) than 7 garrison btns of 105 (150%) in the same hex.

From:
http://www.bgforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=5136

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#5 Post by Sebastiaan » Nov 10 2005

Well, that would be perfect. However but for the time beeing, it would be nice when all tanks had an equal strength number, therefore not discriminating eastern tank batalions
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#6 Post by Jan » May 30 2007

Sebastiaan wrote:(...)However but for the time beeing, it would be nice when all tanks had an equal strength number, therefore not discriminating eastern tank batalions
I fully support that idea and i even would add that every units from a given class should ahve the same strength no matter where it come from because even if it have been based on real life bayonet strength, the AI won't choose to reinforce the strength of her units to match her opponment's strength and prices don't reflect the lower strength of units.

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#7 Post by Feltan » May 31 2007

I think the current implementation is pretty accurate. The eastern countries field hordes of tank battalions -- but they are, as Chris pointed out, 31 vehicle battalions.

Part of the reason why they are smaller is that per doctrine, they are largely expendable. I mean that in the sense that they are committed to battle with the expectation that they will be consumed wearing down the opposition. Then comes the next wave, and the next.

That is how they intend to fight. There equipment is made for it. So is there organization. By contrast, Western nations tend to sustain and maintain their battalions for extended combat.

If you want Russian tank battalions to have 50 plus vehicles, you probably also want them to be Western tanks too. However, that isn't the way things are. If you want to play an eastern country, build scads of armor and don't waste resources repairing it after combat.

That is why during the Cold War the Soviets had over 190 divisions. They weren't expecting to have 190 after the war was over.

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#8 Post by Jan » May 31 2007

the problem is that irl, where there were thousands battalion of 31 vehicle, there's no 7 unit limit per hexe, simply.

by the way, today's orbat ar not anymore thoses from Cold War era, even in Russia.

cheers,

Jan

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#9 Post by Balthagor » May 31 2007

But Russia does still use the 31 units per battalion pattern. (There will be some changes to how this is used in gameplay but opening inventories will still be @ 31 pieces per battalion for SR2020)
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#10 Post by Feltan » May 31 2007

Jan wrote:the problem is that irl, where there were thousands battalion of 31 vehicle, there's no 7 unit limit per hexe, simply.

by the way, today's orbat ar not anymore thoses from Cold War era, even in Russia.

cheers,

Jan
Jan,

Russia military doctrine is in transition. There are few reasons for this. First is financial. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union it has been financially impracticle to maintain 190+ divisions. Today, there is roughly 10% of that number if you include reserve forces. Hence, the Cold War doctrine of repeated echelons in wave assaults is also not practicle -- they simply don't have the forces to pull it off.

However, like other countries, tradition dies hard. The Russian forces today are in fact organized very similar to Cold War divisions, and the equipment philosophy is also similar. This paradox is further enflamed by the fact that the Russians have been careful observers of Gulf I and Gulf II combat. Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world, and it was literally taken apart within a few months of combat. It was also largely based on Soviet equipment and organization. The pre-war thinking in Russia is that the Iraqis would give a good account of themselves. However, with casualty ratios of 500:1, it was obvious to them that their pre-war thinking was wrong. There has been much published about this: a large shake up of doctrine is occurring.

The Russians and the Chinese are both moving toward brigade-combat-team organizations that are more nimble and sustainable. They are however quite far from having reached that goal. The Cold War equipment of both nations is not suited for such an organization; it simply can't be maintained for extended operations with adequate readiness rates. Additionally, and more importantly, their command, control and communications system are inadequate for the task -- not to mention the command and staff philosophy is still rooted in massed echelon combat.

The game has 31 vehicle tank battalions. Frankly, it is the least of their worries in real life -- and only a vestige of the problem they face. Modelling 31 vehicle battalions is a minimal implementation for SR2020 to reflect this transition and associated problems.

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Feltan
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#11 Post by Jan » May 31 2007

Feltan, i really appreciate your detailled answer and the time you dedicated to write it but the point it's not about real life orbats here but more about the 7 units stack limit that make irrevelant the usage of small battalion fielded by thousands, ingame it's a clear disadvantage, not only for ex wp nations, even french Leclerc battalions suffer of it.

by the way, without any relation with the game, it could be very interisting to discuss about the influence of iraquis slaughter on post cold war doctrine, mostly because i think that "(...)brigade-combat-team organizations(...)" are directly motivated by performance in ex yugoslavia of units equipped with "(...)Cold War equipment (...)not suited for(...)" that impressed General Eric Shineski when he took the command of the SFOR in Bosnia in 1997.

cheers,

Jan

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#12 Post by Feltan » May 31 2007

Jan,

The seven unit stacking limit I have just learned to live with. I sort of, kind of, rationalize it like this: In a 35 KM hex you could literally stack hundreds of battalions with little problem. However, the real question is how many battalions can simultaneously attack through a hexside which is less than 35 KM? The answer, I believe, is "about a brigade -- more than a battalion -- less than a division" Seven combat battalions would be a heavily reinforced brigade in anyone's army. So, despite the seeming artificial limit, I don't see the 7 unit restriction as terrible -- it is just undersirable.

The BCT structure the US is currently using traces its origins way before 1997. Even when I was on active duty in the eighties, there were test bed BCT's in Ft. Lewis and Ft. Irwin testing what eventually became the current orginization. And, to note, for some reason the satellite nations in the Warsaw Pact always did a better job maintaining their equipement than the Soviets. The old East German army had readiness rates comparable to many NATO countries, and stood in stark contrast to the Soviets.

Regards,
Feltan
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#13 Post by ainsworth74 » May 31 2007

Feltan wrote:And, to note, for some reason the satellite nations in the Warsaw Pact always did a better job maintaining their equipement than the Soviets. The old East German army had readiness rates comparable to many NATO countries, and stood in stark contrast to the Soviets.
Perhaps, because it was there land, homes and industry that was on the line in a conventional war in europe. After all part of the point of the Warsaw Pact was to act as a "Buffer" to a third invasion of russia. So the russians had less a reason to keep their readyness rates quite as high.
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#14 Post by moondrift » Jul 14 2007

course you could just build all the units with increased strength so they match the western counterparts, i know it takes longer but it solves your problem?

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