The pancake was boiled down to smithereens with an egg on the other face of the moon, while a submarine was hunting reeds along the milky way's signpost, ranting about Pikachu's hamburger fire typhoon.
Therefore heavy tanks need a slight
range nerf. In my humble opinion of course.
More seriously, WALL OF TEXT, BEWARE!
The reasons why I am for a slight reduction of the so-called heavy tanks, AKA modern MBT that have had their range increased namely:
- LEO2 tree
- Abrams M1A1
- KPz 70
- T-80 tree
- T-64BV1) Heavy tanks variety.
Of this list, only two are real issues: T-80s
, due to their combination of high firepower, accuracy, defence, mobility and range
are slow and therefore not as good as the others at kiting, and lack AP10 needed to knock down their heavy opponents, while their lack the needed mobility to hit the sides. They are very good at falling back though, but there is always a limit, and fuel becomes an issue rather fast. Abrams
suffer from the same problems, with lighter armour, and fewer ammunitions. AMX-32
can't take any opponent head on and while they have good speed to compensate for their armour, it's the same as the one of a Leo2. KPz 70
are good in mobile warfare due to their speed and stabilizers but suffer from average accuracy and weak frontal armour, meaning rapid death when facing retaliation fire. T-72
s are overpriced for what they do and have many issues listed in other threads, and the T-64
is just average in everything, making it balanced but weak when facing AP 10 weapons. Balance between tanks of a same faction is a bit saddening, causing identical armies to be fielded.TL;DRwalloftextOMG: Most heavy tanks that have been buffed have weaknesses. Only some are "the whole package" with their only weaknesses being the same as the ones of other heavy tanks, aka "weak sides".
Due to the semi-realistic nature of the game, the numbers regarding these stats can't be altered much without throwing away most of the lore. Balance wouldn't go further than +1, -1 to certain stats. Basically, LEO2s will always be better than their counterparts, T-80s will always be better than the two others (but that's a bit less of an issue, as they are almost the only PACT heavy tanks). What would a range reduction bring for the balance between each heavy tank?
With a shorter efficient range, the price differences between each tank would come back as a deciding factor. Depending on the role you want to use them in, you'll chose a heavy for it's stats. Leo 2s as mobile hard hitters, Challengers as damage sponges and defenders, Abrams as an in between, AMX-32s as ambushers (with a bigger chance of escaping retaliation), KPz 70s as offensive support. I won't speak for PACT. My experience on their "secondary" heavies is a bit smaller, and I don't want so say crap. Currently, the price of LEO2s is above the others, but their efficiency goes way above the price differences, mainly explained in 2).
Small balance changes are to be done still between each tanks (Price of some units, like the T-72.) but reducing the range increase would make them closer to each other already. Balance thread about them is here
.2) Now, what's the real issue with the increased range?
The range increase caused the heavy tanks to be jack of all trades, master of all. While taking down a heavy tank isn't an issue
with usual tactics, other heavies can do that job like of any other unit, harder, better, faster (stronger
). Basically, the main threat a heavy has to fear is an other heavy. The reasons are mainly those:
- For a medium tank
to inflict damage on a heavy tank, three factors have to be taken into account: First they must pass the range difference. Of course, it is generally doable with smart movement and Wargame's rule number 1: Win the recon war. Why this isn't always doable is because of field reasons: You can lose the recon war, your opponent will generally be situated in favourable areas (open fields) while his flanks are secured by very cheap units. If (s)he finds herself in a dangerous situation, moving back while shooting is easy to pull off (stabilizers) and theoretically can decimate your units before they even get in range. That's generally what happens when you use a combined force of heavies and mediums against an average/good opponent: Either your heavy gets knock down by more numerous heavies then your medium/light tanks get killed, or your opponent retreats, killing the mediums, then destroys the heavies with superior numbers.
Second: When you finally get in range, you have to go through the armour. Side armour will occasional suffer a bit but due to speed it's really rare to manage having sights on the sides, and front armour is just unbreakable.
Third: One-shot. When you are finally in efficient range for your heavy tanks, you have to take into account that the heavies will have increased AP. And this generally means 1 hit 1 kill, whatever the armour may be. For mediums with acceptable armour to survive a hit, they have to have their front facing: Quite hard when you try to hit the sides.
- For ATGMs
to destroy an heavy tank, they have to hit the sides of the said tank, or overpower the front. Now ATGMs have many weaknesses that heavies are extremely good at exploiting. To counter an ATGM launcher, you can make it lose it's missile in flight with: Menacing it (cause it to move), stun/destroy it while the missile is in flight, break line of sight (LoS) by using terrain or move in and out of range until they run out of ammo or your opponent turns them off. With the increased range, stunning/destroying the ATGM platform becomes child's play: Most ATGMs have the same range as the main gun. We could argue that ATGMs are good distractions, but that would be ignoring their price as to have an acceptably reliable ATGM, quite a few points have to be spent. Unreliable ones will just be ignored. Add to that that unlike any other unit, ATGMs become visible, even in cover, while shooting, and you find yourself with vulnerable, not adaptable units that can't do what it is supposed to do.
. Ah, that's a strange thing. Before heavy tanks became the main attraction in a battle, battles generally spread quite a bit. Anti-air coverage wasn't always homogeneous, due to how stretch the lines were. Heavy tanks reduced the scale of battles to generally one or two spots. AA coverage now only has 3 areas to cover: The one or two main battle forces, and Command Vehicles. In short: There aren't any weak point where helicopters could enter and harass to pick off some units here and there. That's a tactical tool to the bin due to the reduction of the scale of battles.
- I'll ignore infantry
in this post for the sake of simplicity, but in short: Infantry is a tool that works against heavy tanks, simply because of an absurd game mechanic abuse where units don't hesitate to go at full speed through plains while shot at. I don't call this strategy.TL;DR: Other units can do the job. Just not as reliably as other heavies, by a wide margin. There has to be considerable effort spent to take down heavies with other units, while the one managing the heavies simply does that, manage his heavies. Due to the game point mechanic, to take down a heavy with a non heavy, in optimal situations, you will lose around 25-50% of the cost in points of the Heavy's cost. If things go wrong, well you lost quite a lot of points. Heavy hunting with heavies will mean you will kill with 0 losses or will lose with 0 inflicted, only damaged units that can be repaired.Now, how would reducing the range affect all of this?
With a reduced range, kiting smaller tanks would require more effort. Heavies will still be better, as they should, but it won't be that easy to wipe out a force before they get in range. When they reach range, the increased AP won't be that strong (I'd need FLX here for the math) and "probably" wouldn't mean one shot, one kill at medium range.
Most atgms would have a range advantage back over their targets. This means that either the heavies have to approach to take down the atgm, or that artillery has to be called, or other means to silence the threat. This means that armies would need to be more varied, and more tactics would be used. The side with the bigger advantage in this would be the NATO
with most of it's ATGMs currently in heavy tank range.
Due to a shorter range, armies would have to be more spread out to cover more ground. This would make AAA coverage harder, and helicopters back in the game to their rightful useful place, instead of things to call when you have already won the battle.
There would be no need for infantry stupid drop, so maybe a possible fix could be interesting in that aspect without breaking the game.
In short, more varied units on the battlefield.3) Tactical VS Strategical.
Side note: TACTICS are small scale decisions, STRATEGIES are big scale decisions. You could call that Micro VS Macro. A tactic is, for example, to have infantry units moving forward while your flamer tank is behind. A strategy would be to call artillery on a wood before attacking it with your force.
Now those aren't mutually exclusive. But in the current meta, Tactics > strategies. Due to the predominance of heavies, the scale of combat became smaller, closer. People that tend to plan overall strategies will be totally outdone by people who manage their heavies, due to the Jack of all trades aspect, mainly.
A very well thought plan will go wrong if you can't manage your heavies as well as the other guy.
In the Old meta, Strategy > Tactics. Tactics could be occasional thorns on the side, and with good opponents, were more of a lethal stab, but it was occasional.
Due to the efficiency range, as said before, they cover a lot of ground. Due to the reduction of battle scale, there is less room for focusing on one point of a battlefield to pierce through. More units on the ground = more interest in the battles.
Also, due to the binary way skirmishes are played (you lose all, I win all, or the other way round) the losss of your heavy tanks means defeat, both in points and in strategical versatility. Without heavies on your side, you can't reliably counter heavies. Heavies becoming so focal to a battle, instead of the sum of all units, is wrong.
If the heavies tanks was reduced, units wouldn't have a huge gap between each other. Strategies and tactics would be equal with a small advantage for tactics, but that's fine. Heavies wouldn't just counter everything with minimal planning, but standard clicking effort, due to their obvious and understandable advantages. Macro players would have as many chances as micro players. [If I wanted a game where controlling a handful of units was enough, I'd go play StarCraft]4) What's wrong with reducing the tanks range / Possible side effects
- ATGM dominance. Quite a few posts ago, I showed a list of the changes it would bring to the ATGM world. Basically, most NATO atgms would find a use, while PACT atgms, generally weaker and less accurate would keep their range advantage. Only rare ATGM platforms could become too strong, and could be treated individually to have a bit less accuracy.
- Swarms/rush is back. It's a possibility that we see hordes of crappy units back in a more regular basis, but as far as I know, most of us have learnt how to manage heavies to counter them (and I countered them with challengers Post-patch.), people have learnt and gained experience. Also, there would still be a range advantage over them, and now that repairs are slower, it's easier to make a rush stall by not facing it. Better players would still beat you with a rush, but they would beat you with other tactics too. You should still have an edge over hordes with a better range and better tanks overall.
-Technical issues. No unit currently has a 2100m range. I don't know how the engine would react.
These are the three only "possible" drawbacks I see.5) Other possibilities to counter heavies dominance.
- Buffing ATGMs range. As far as I see this, it's a fake solution. On most maps, there aren't many places where this can be an advantage. On the maps where this is working as intended, it would become effective against too many types of targets. The tactical implication of up scaling atgm ranges iare bigger than the ones of reducing heavy range.
- Buffing "modern" medium tanks would solve the situations of tanks VS tanks. However, this game isn't supposed to be world of tanks. There are many units that would still be suffering from the heavy tanks range. To me
it seems like a realistic solution, but a half step that would require many deep changes in the game's units balance.
- General reduction of AP by 1. This would only serve heavy VS medium battles, while possibly weakening against rushes/hordes. It would also unbalance certain tanks, and make long range tank battles look derp. Other untis that aren't tanks would remain unaffected.
- OtherSide note: I may have missed a few points. That's what happens with long posts.