Armour penetration bias or the magic number 160:
There are two important numbers to understand why I think there is a bias between allies and axis units concerning armour penetration. One is 160 and the other is 640. Why are those 2 numbers important? The 1st number is the penetration and armour value and the 2nd is health.
Pls note, all pen value numbers apply to far range, because they are the worst. Closer range leads to better pen-values.
Most t3 tanks have 640 health and most allied tanks have an armour of 160. To calculate if a hit pens the tank the penetration value of the attacking unit is divided by the armour value of the tank. So, if a unit has a 160 pen value and the armour has 160 armour the outcome is 1. So, any randomly generated number between 0 -1 will include 1, i.e. every hit will deal max damage of the weapon. Now most tanks deal 160 damage. Jacksons and Fireflies deal 200 dmg.
Now to the fun facts: PzSchreck weapons have also a 160 pen value, i.e. any hit will pen tanks with 160 or less armour, i.e. Jackson, Firefly, Sherman, T34/76…. 640 is a multiplier of 160, i.e. any unit dealing 160 Damage needs 4 hits to kill a tank with 640 health. And guess, PzSchreck have 40 damage which add up nicely to 640.
What about allied tanks and infantry? Despite the fact that Jackson and Fireflies deal more damage, it won’t result in less hits to destroy a 640 health tanks, i.e. Panzer IV. They will also need a 4th hits. Bazookas and Piats have a 110 pen value and PTRS only 70. Their damage ranges from 33 (Piats; 26 Bazookas) -14, PTRS.
While PzSchrecks scale to the late game due to their damage and pen abilities, allied counterparts play almost no role. Even if they pen rear side armour, they lack the damage of Schrecks.
AT-crew weapons have 160 Pen value so they are a little bit worse than a Jagdpanzer (170).
The graphs below show how penetration odds are distributed across different units. In the ‘odds to pen armour graph’ Dots show armour values of units and lines show the odds of the unit across different armour values. To determine the odds for a specific tank against another, find the dot (armour) of the to hit tank and look where the line of the other tank is. If you look at the green line (T34/76) you’ll find the dot at a 150. Now if you want to know the odds of a Brummbaer to pen the T34 search for the line of the Brummbear, i.e. red line, and determine the Y-value, i.e. about .66. So, 2 out of 3 shots the Brummbaer will pen the T34/76. Vice versa, the T34/76 will hit 1 out of 33 (Red dot – green line = .31 y-value).
If you wanna know how many hits are needed to bring a tank down look for the Pen-odds against the other unit and then look at lowest graph for the shots. E.g. T34/76 vs. Panzer IV. Odds for the T34 against P4 are .45. So we take .5 odds 160 DMG line. 640 health means 8 Hits needed to kill the P4. The other way around. P4 pen odds are .75. So last graph .75 odds line 160 DMG et voilà 6 shots. So the T34 will have to make 2 more shots just for pen reasons.
Important! Note these graphs do not include the odds of hitting a target. It shows what lies beyond hitting. They also do not show reload times and DPS!
Range of weapons. Range of weapons play (imho) at the current stage a little to no role in games with more than 2 players. With a speed 6+ for most tanks of they receive in worst case 2 hits to get to range 0. 2 Hits are not enough to bring down a tank at least u need 4 and Panther even need 6; all neglecting acc-odds.
Churchill: The Churchill is the only regular tank giving axis infantry unit a hard time to pen front side. The problem is, it’s so slow and has only a pen ability of 110 which makes it pretty poor to counter enemy tanks. With a speed of 4.8 it is significantly slower than other tanks. Even the Brummbaer has 5.7. So, getting the Churchill snared will make it slower than infantry. Because of its lack in damage, the Churchill can simply be ignored and kill after “the” storm or the attack. Its only useful if axis player attack it because they think it’s a threat.
In my opinion either allied infantry weapons need to scale to late game, i.e. their pen values must be at least 180 (Pz IV Armour) or reduce PzSchrecks pen value to 110. Schrecks still have a higher damage output justifying their increased costs.
TDs are a much bigger issue. It’s hard to find a solution for them without changing the overall mechanic. Allied TDs are much too vulnerable to any kind of AT enemy and are slower than a panther. Dealing “only” 200 damage doesn’t help them on 640-health tanks and they still need 5 hits on a Panther. Due to lack in pen chances it’s even 6 shots on average, still neglecting the odds to hit.
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