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Old July 19th, 2022, 06:08 AM

Jorma Jorma is offline
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Default A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

Hi everyone,

I played Steel Panthers 2 for years and years. I played dozens of battles and two or three 30-or-so-battle campaigns. A few days ago, I installed SPMBT and started a campaign, and since I am a huge Steel Panthers 2 fan, I wanted to share some thoughts.

First of all, I find the infantry very difficult to kill. In SP2, shooting at infantry with a machine gun in an open area was very lethal. Now, I can spend rounds shooting at infantry in the open, and what usually happens is that the targets just shoot and kill my machine gun. Now I get better results with snipers and artillery. The artillery is not very effective, but it routs the infantry. I have read the manual, and it reminds the players that the distances are quite long since the squares are 50 yards. I think that is acceptable. However, it is difficult to get that Normandy beach feeling when the enemy soldiers are able to just walk over to my machine gun nests in a completely open area.

I have a bad headache today and I am not in the best of mood, because yesterday I grinded a 72-round battle in which I killed 1300 enemy soldiers. Including my own casualties, that means that there were around 1600 soldiers killed in less and 2½ or 4 hours of gametime. And it was a draw. The battle took me the whole day, because I was waiting for the game to end since the 40th round. I ran out of all ammunition, and I had to reammo my tanks and snipers, and I lost all my infantry, because there were enemy infantry almost everywhere. I just had to grind and grind and grind. It was not enjoyable, and I do not know if I want to continue the campaign to face another swarm of hundreds of soldiers followed by more soldiers while I spend a couple dozens of rounds to shoot some of them, then leave to get more ammo, then go back and shoot at enemy. Sometimes with no effect.

What I enjoyed in Steel Panthers 2 was that the modern battlefield is a deadly place. Now, the infantry is able to walk through machinegun fire with very minimal losses as long as they keep a cool head.

Sorry for ranting, but I seriously have a headache.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

Thank goodness there's that magic button:



Nobody should think the Preferences Screen's settings are set in stone. Some guy even reduced those settings to simulate various seasonal/climate/day/night/rain/scorching-sun conditions.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 10:34 AM

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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

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Thank goodness there's that magic button:



Nobody should think the Preferences Screen's settings are set in stone. Some guy even reduced those settings to simulate various seasonal/climate/day/night/rain/scorching-sun conditions.
Thank you, RightDeve. I am curious: Are those the percentages that you use in your games?
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Old July 19th, 2022, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

Hello. Infantry are hard to hammer with machine guns when they move slowly. Machine guns must fire from a distance greater than 10 or 12 hexes, depending on the range of enemy weapons.
Artillery is effective when guided by a spotter.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 02:28 PM

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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

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Hello. Infantry are hard to hammer with machine guns when they move slowly. Machine guns must fire from a distance greater than 10 or 12 hexes, depending on the range of enemy weapons.
Artillery is effective when guided by a spotter.
Most of my experienced Merkava IV tanks spent all their machine gun ammo and explosive rounds firing direct fire upon infantry and that had very little effect. Imagine shooting all the ammo that a modern quality tank has at common grunts in packed formations, in the desert, and seeing that it was pretty useless.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

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Originally Posted by Roman View Post
Hello. Infantry are hard to hammer with machine guns when they move slowly. Machine guns must fire from a distance greater than 10 or 12 hexes, depending on the range of enemy weapons.
Artillery is effective when guided by a spotter.
Most of my experienced Merkava IV tanks spent all their machine gun ammo and explosive rounds firing direct fire upon infantry and that had very little effect. Imagine shooting all the ammo that a modern quality tank has at common grunts in packed formations, in the desert, and seeing that it was pretty useless.
The Merkavas are deadly. It would be necessary to see the conditions of the terrain, against which infantry was faced, distance.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 04:34 PM

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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

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Hello. Infantry are hard to hammer with machine guns when they move slowly. Machine guns must fire from a distance greater than 10 or 12 hexes, depending on the range of enemy weapons.
Artillery is effective when guided by a spotter.
Most of my experienced Merkava IV tanks spent all their machine gun ammo and explosive rounds firing direct fire upon infantry and that had very little effect. Imagine shooting all the ammo that a modern quality tank has at common grunts in packed formations, in the desert, and seeing that it was pretty useless.
The Merkavas are deadly. It would be necessary to see the conditions of the terrain, against which infantry was faced, distance.
Open, and I mean open, desert. Visibility 34. Palestinian Al Aqsa Group (more) and Militia Support (less). Distance was 400-500 yards, sometimes more, sometimes less. If I had known that there would be
ca. 2000 enemy soldiers, I would have been more stringent with the ammo use in the early rounds. The Merkavas were mostly sitting there shooting, shooting, shooting the open targets. In many cases, the targets were dug in, but having them run in the open did not chance the situation that much. The Merkavas were killing 0-2 men when they were dug in and 1-4 men per round when they were casually walking around. I can put a saved game here if you wish.
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Old July 19th, 2022, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

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Most of my experienced Merkava IV tanks spent all their machine gun ammo and explosive rounds firing direct fire upon infantry and that had very little effect. Imagine shooting all the ammo that a modern quality tank has at common grunts in packed formations, in the desert, and seeing that it was pretty useless.
The Merkavas are deadly. It would be necessary to see the conditions of the terrain, against which infantry was faced, distance.
Open, and I mean open, desert. Visibility 34. Palestinian Al Aqsa Group (more) and Militia Support (less). Distance was 400-500 yards, sometimes more, sometimes less. If I had known that there would be
ca. 2000 enemy soldiers, I would have been more stringent with the ammo use in the early rounds. The Merkavas were mostly sitting there shooting, shooting, shooting the open targets. In many cases, the targets were dug in, but having them run in the open did not chance the situation that much. The Merkavas were killing 0-2 men when they were dug in and 1-4 men per round when they were casually walking around. I can put a saved game here if you wish.
Al Aqsa commandos have 7 morale. That is why perhaps they advance despite the losses.
To finish off the infantry, perhaps it would have been good to have some machine guns, and with a Merkava platoon leader who has a radio to direct the artillery.
If you want you can share the file out of curiosity.
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Old July 20th, 2022, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

Someobservations from the saved game

1) Your map is gigantic for your force size!

2) Your force is not concentrated at one breakthrough point. You have split up into 2 little task forces it looks like, not within mutual supporting distance of each other.

3) Your enemy is the PLO which has no tanks or other long range A/T weaponry. Its a pure grunt force. And your force is not structured against grunts, its an anti-armour team.
- you have lots of dragon ATGM, expensive and of little use on an infantry opponent
- you have stingers, against an army with no air farce!
- your tank is the merkava M4M-, so no expensive LAHAT ATGM, but only 23 HEAT rounds. HEAT is half as effective as HE on grunts and may have a smaller or no blast radius.There is a Merk 4 variant with 24 HE, a few HEAT, and some Sabot which is a better prospect against irregular infantry and its 80 or so points cheaper per unit.
- Your core infantry seem to be paras, expensive...
- You have some spike NLOS launchers at 500 points a pop. If you were fighting one of the Arab armies with tanks, maybe worthwhile, but each of those means the PLO gets to buy about a company of its infantry. (as with each merkava..)
- Lots of large calibre arty which will create cover with shell craters for any surviving enemy in the beaten zone

I would suggest:
- Cut your map size down to something sensible for a company team/battalion(-) sized force. The regular 100x80 default map would do fine.
- I would structure on a company of mech inf + a platoon of the Merkava 4 that comes with the 24 HE rounds as my company team. Any dragon teams, I would convert to something else at the first opportunity, if there is no way of avoiding them. Dragon is not much good as short ranged. Perhaps convert some to TOW and attatch to the co HQ with an ammo truck and spare APC to cary them, assuming you are fighting other amies than PLO?. If only fighting the PLO - drop all ATGM, SAM, and NLOS ATGMs as high cost for no benefit.
- Its an assault. Against an army of light infantry with no signifigant long ranged anti-tank weaponry. (Might have the odd ATGM?). So you fight these the old fashioned way:

A) Concentrate your force in one breakthrough force at one point, probably smack in the middle of the map and plan to exploit out of the breach North and South after reaching the minefield (if found). Fuller's Plan 1919 and expanding torrent and all that.
B) Your artillery should be based on the 105mm and mortars as cheaper and also they dont crater the ground. Suppression is the main effect we are looking for here!
C) Plot your artillery on the breakthrough point. Plan on blowing a hole about 10-15 hexes wide. Plaster that area and 10 hexes deep with all the laight arty you have as you approach the breakthrough point. By the time your lead scouts get to the beaten zone, there should be plenty of enemy grunts running or stunned to mop up.
D) once your scouts are at your back edge of the beaten zone, start shifting it up the 3 hexes that causes only a .3 delay and your point force then follows the scouts through the barrage beaten zone.
E) As you move through the beaten zone that your artillery "lawnmower" has worked over, deal with random enemy forces and any mines found.
F) If/when you find mines, then use dismounted engineers that have followed your point troops in cheap APCs to clear.
You have bought bulldozers (slow!) and enigineer tanks (expensive!). Foot sappers are way cheaper, and basic M113s are also cheap. The artillery concentration will have produced enough dust to cover their deployment. At a pinch, you can move plain grunts into the mine hexes rater than bother with any engineers (I usually dont bother buying engineeers at all).
G) Once through the crust of the pie (the main enemy mine field(s) if any) - move out in an expanding torrent North and South and clear the objectives. Plan 1919 and all that.

Basically you have loads of mega-expensive toys costing 500 points a pop which are not contributing to anything as these are anti-armour assets and the enemy is a guerilla horde. You also were spread out into a couple of penny packets. That may have worked if it was the Egyptians or Syrians as they will buy tanks, PLO - not so much, and every 500 point toy is a company of defenders extra to them!

I had a look at your plotted arty and it seemed to be spread about pepper-potting random hexes deep in the enemy rear. As stated above - concentrate your artillery at the planned breakthrough point and "mow the lawn" with your troops following the creeping barrage. The PLO has no real ability to "snipe" the edges of your armoured phalanx from the sides with tank or ATGM fires. The Syrians or Egyptians maybe, so use smoke at the sides of the barrage for those nations.

If you do locate any PLO mortars your spike NLOS should be able to deal with those - but its a very expensive way to do counterbattery...

As to your problems with enemy infantry...

- As soon as you spot that there is enemy infantry somewhere, plot a lot of mortars etc on them as you move to deal with them
- Biff them up with tank HE and APC MG fires as and when spotted. See above - you chose the wrong merkava. (Also since the enemy has no real long range AT assets, you can park an ammo M113 by each tank if outside of RPG range so your low HE/HEAT count is no longer a problem).
- It was a stupendously large map, and the enemy was a grunt based force, yet though you had lots of dragons, stingers etc, I dont reccolect many machine gun teams. On a flat map like the save game, then take proper MMG/HMG (50 cal HMG teams are longer ranged) and move those up in cheap halftracks to just outside of LMG range. At least a couple per company team. Use to hose down the spotted enemy grunts from far away. MMG/LMG teams have a blast circle remember, so pay attention to any clumps of enemy grunts that are adjacent and the machine guns will "spread the joy" to thier neighbours.

- also you should concentrate on neutralising any enemy infantry that is spotted with your long range anti-infantry weaponry rather then going for destruction. Dug in infantry is not easy to destroy by fires. Unless you get to 1 hex range and shoot him in the face!. Fire at a section, then once you have gotten it to retreat status, move onto the next one and give it some of the good news. The more subordinates that are in a bad morale state, the less likely the AI will be able to rally them. Neutralised infantry wont be contributing to the battle. Dug in infantry may stay in thier trenches while your troops are far away, but will eventually run when you get close - or simply dismount a loaded APC beside a stunned (in rtreat or worse status) squad and have the dismounts shoot them from 1 hex away. Any enemy that are running away outside thier trenches will be cut to pieces by your barrage, or your MMG teams, tanks etc.

- I wouldnt bother dismounting as a reaction to fire from enemy grunts. As long as you are outside effective RPG range (and they dont have to many rounds in any case!) - stay mounted and use the APCs weapons. An APC with mounted grunts spots reasonably well anyway as long as it does not move too far (3-4 hexes a move perhaps). Firefights take time, so find the dug in grunt, splatter him with direct and indirec fires, then move up the APC when he is in retreat or worse state and fire from close range, but be ready to instantly back away or pop smoke if an unspotted enemy takes a pop at your loaded APC!. Israel has plenty of not too expensive APCs with several MGs etc, the really expensive ones with thermal sights (+cost!) may be useful in moderation (e.g used for the point of your spearhead only).

But basically you should try not to ever trade rifle fire with dug in infantry if your lads are out in the open.
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Old July 20th, 2022, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: A new player wants to share some of his thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post
Someobservations from the saved game

1) Your map is gigantic for your force size!

2) Your force is not concentrated at one breakthrough point. You have split up into 2 little task forces it looks like, not within mutual supporting distance of each other.

3) Your enemy is the PLO which has no tanks or other long range A/T weaponry. Its a pure grunt force. And your force is not structured against grunts, its an anti-armour team.
- you have lots of dragon ATGM, expensive and of little use on an infantry opponent
- you have stingers, against an army with no air farce!
- your tank is the merkava M4M-, so no expensive LAHAT ATGM, but only 23 HEAT rounds. HEAT is half as effective as HE on grunts and may have a smaller or no blast radius.There is a Merk 4 variant with 24 HE, a few HEAT, and some Sabot which is a better prospect against irregular infantry and its 80 or so points cheaper per unit.
- Your core infantry seem to be paras, expensive...
- You have some spike NLOS launchers at 500 points a pop. If you were fighting one of the Arab armies with tanks, maybe worthwhile, but each of those means the PLO gets to buy about a company of its infantry. (as with each merkava..)
- Lots of large calibre arty which will create cover with shell craters for any surviving enemy in the beaten zone

I would suggest:
- Cut your map size down to something sensible for a company team/battalion(-) sized force. The regular 100x80 default map would do fine.
- I would structure on a company of mech inf + a platoon of the Merkava 4 that comes with the 24 HE rounds as my company team. Any dragon teams, I would convert to something else at the first opportunity, if there is no way of avoiding them. Dragon is not much good as short ranged. Perhaps convert some to TOW and attatch to the co HQ with an ammo truck and spare APC to cary them, assuming you are fighting other amies than PLO?. If only fighting the PLO - drop all ATGM, SAM, and NLOS ATGMs as high cost for no benefit.
- Its an assault. Against an army of light infantry with no signifigant long ranged anti-tank weaponry. (Might have the odd ATGM?). So you fight these the old fashioned way:

A) Concentrate your force in one breakthrough force at one point, probably smack in the middle of the map and plan to exploit out of the breach North and South after reaching the minefield (if found). Fuller's Plan 1919 and expanding torrent and all that.
B) Your artillery should be based on the 105mm and mortars as cheaper and also they dont crater the ground. Suppression is the main effect we are looking for here!
C) Plot your artillery on the breakthrough point. Plan on blowing a hole about 10-15 hexes wide. Plaster that area and 10 hexes deep with all the laight arty you have as you approach the breakthrough point. By the time your lead scouts get to the beaten zone, there should be plenty of enemy grunts running or stunned to mop up.
D) once your scouts are at your back edge of the beaten zone, start shifting it up the 3 hexes that causes only a .3 delay and your point force then follows the scouts through the barrage beaten zone.
E) As you move through the beaten zone that your artillery "lawnmower" has worked over, deal with random enemy forces and any mines found.
F) If/when you find mines, then use dismounted engineers that have followed your point troops in cheap APCs to clear.
You have bought bulldozers (slow!) and enigineer tanks (expensive!). Foot sappers are way cheaper, and basic M113s are also cheap. The artillery concentration will have produced enough dust to cover their deployment. At a pinch, you can move plain grunts into the mine hexes rater than bother with any engineers (I usually dont bother buying engineeers at all).
G) Once through the crust of the pie (the main enemy mine field(s) if any) - move out in an expanding torrent North and South and clear the objectives. Plan 1919 and all that.

Basically you have loads of mega-expensive toys costing 500 points a pop which are not contributing to anything as these are anti-armour assets and the enemy is a guerilla horde. You also were spread out into a couple of penny packets. That may have worked if it was the Egyptians or Syrians as they will buy tanks, PLO - not so much, and every 500 point toy is a company of defenders extra to them!

I had a look at your plotted arty and it seemed to be spread about pepper-potting random hexes deep in the enemy rear. As stated above - concentrate your artillery at the planned breakthrough point and "mow the lawn" with your troops following the creeping barrage. The PLO has no real ability to "snipe" the edges of your armoured phalanx from the sides with tank or ATGM fires. The Syrians or Egyptians maybe, so use smoke at the sides of the barrage for those nations.

If you do locate any PLO mortars your spike NLOS should be able to deal with those - but its a very expensive way to do counterbattery...

As to your problems with enemy infantry...

- As soon as you spot that there is enemy infantry somewhere, plot a lot of mortars etc on them as you move to deal with them
- Biff them up with tank HE and APC MG fires as and when spotted. See above - you chose the wrong merkava. (Also since the enemy has no real long range AT assets, you can park an ammo M113 by each tank if outside of RPG range so your low HE/HEAT count is no longer a problem).
- It was a stupendously large map, and the enemy was a grunt based force, yet though you had lots of dragons, stingers etc, I dont reccolect many machine gun teams. On a flat map like the save game, then take proper MMG/HMG (50 cal HMG teams are longer ranged) and move those up in cheap halftracks to just outside of LMG range. At least a couple per company team. Use to hose down the spotted enemy grunts from far away. MMG/LMG teams have a blast circle remember, so pay attention to any clumps of enemy grunts that are adjacent and the machine guns will "spread the joy" to thier neighbours.

- also you should concentrate on neutralising any enemy infantry that is spotted with your long range anti-infantry weaponry rather then going for destruction. Dug in infantry is not easy to destroy by fires. Unless you get to 1 hex range and shoot him in the face!. Fire at a section, then once you have gotten it to retreat status, move onto the next one and give it some of the good news. The more subordinates that are in a bad morale state, the less likely the AI will be able to rally them. Neutralised infantry wont be contributing to the battle. Dug in infantry may stay in thier trenches while your troops are far away, but will eventually run when you get close - or simply dismount a loaded APC beside a stunned (in rtreat or worse status) squad and have the dismounts shoot them from 1 hex away. Any enemy that are running away outside thier trenches will be cut to pieces by your barrage, or your MMG teams, tanks etc.

- I wouldnt bother dismounting as a reaction to fire from enemy grunts. As long as you are outside effective RPG range (and they dont have to many rounds in any case!) - stay mounted and use the APCs weapons. An APC with mounted grunts spots reasonably well anyway as long as it does not move too far (3-4 hexes a move perhaps). Firefights take time, so find the dug in grunt, splatter him with direct and indirec fires, then move up the APC when he is in retreat or worse state and fire from close range, but be ready to instantly back away or pop smoke if an unspotted enemy takes a pop at your loaded APC!. Israel has plenty of not too expensive APCs with several MGs etc, the really expensive ones with thermal sights (+cost!) may be useful in moderation (e.g used for the point of your spearhead only).

But basically you should try not to ever trade rifle fire with dug in infantry if your lads are out in the open.
Nothing to add. Thanks for the tips.
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