Aren't light tanks utterly useless?

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You can easily tweak that by increasing the hp(strength) of an armor unit.
not so easily, this would result in tank divisions with only tanks being extremely strong in current stat bonuses, since the hp is one of the biggest reasons players don't do that.
 
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not so easily, this would result in tank divisions with only tanks being extremely strong in current stat bonuses, since the hp is one of the biggest reasons players don't do that.

I'd think the low organization and the horrifying cost of 100% of your losses being tanks would prevent most folks from fielding tank-only divisions.

In any case I wouldn't suggest giving tank battalions a full 25 hp. Maybe 10, which would increase the loss rate by about 400%?
 
Isn't it HP lost at a divisional level? And by raising HP of an armor unit, you will actually reduce the losses of equipment (less equipment per HP)?
I believe based on the wiki and my own tinkering with modding it is proportional to the HP the battalions are contributing to the division.

As with all things HOI4, it is entirely possible I'm wrong since the math isn't exposed for me to look at.
 
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I believe based on the wiki and my own tinkering with modding it is proportional to the HP the battalions are contributing to the division.

As with all things HOI4, it is entirely possible I'm wrong since the math isn't exposed for me to look at.
interesting, I always assumed it was proportional to the proportion of each equipment in the division.
 
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I believe based on the wiki and my own tinkering with modding it is proportional to the HP the battalions are contributing to the division.

As with all things HOI4, it is entirely possible I'm wrong since the math isn't exposed for me to look at.
If this was the case then armoured division losses would be totally dominated by infantry losses. As it stands, all explanations of combat I have seen, and personal experience, suggests that losses are simply proportional to the equipment and manpower totals of the division. ie if you take 1 HP of losses on a 100 HP division then you lose 1% of everything. This probably not the way it should work since armoured divisions always took more tank losses than other stuff but it isn't obvious how Paradox could make this work other than by some magic rules about tank losses.
 
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If this was the case then armoured division losses would be totally dominated by infantry losses. As it stands, all explanations of combat I have seen, and personal experience, suggests that losses are simply proportional to the equipment and manpower totals of the division. ie if you take 1 HP of losses on a 100 HP division then you lose 1% of everything. This probably not the way it should work since armoured divisions always took more tank losses than other stuff but it isn't obvious how Paradox could make this work other than by some magic rules about tank losses.
True. Losses of first echelon equipment, like tanks and scout vehicles, were always proportionally larger than losses of manpower, artillery or supply train. Among manpower, mech/mot infantry losses were higher than average, since they were used more offensively than others, together with tanks.
 
That's why some people in HOI4 MP prefer to ban Space Marine (Infantry + Tanks) : as that would force them to arm infantry with AT and reduce the resources they can put on tanks and aircraft.
HOI multiplayer community banned "space marines" for the specific reason that under old patches 8INF+2HTD+support AA divisions sitting on a river were unbreakable by any division (even 15HT+5 MEC meta of the day), and those were cheap enough that France and SOV could fill entire frontline with them.
Essentially the Axis just couldn`t advance, and games weren`t interesting. That was a quirk of old patches, and essentially ban was just carried over.
In real-life though, the only reason why everybody built light tanks was because they could not afford medium tanks before the war starts in sufficient numbers. Nobody would give the budgets you want for that, so you had a choice: either you choose a lot of light tanks or very few medium tanks or a tiny amount of heavy tanks. In HOI4, you can mobilize your industry years before the war starts, so it's not as much of a concern.
The reason was actually much simpler, the engine tech simply couldn`t give enough power, so either armored but very slow, or anti-bullet armor but speed to get places.
Once engines improved in mid-30s, everyone decided to upgrade.
In modern history, light tanks still exist: only now they are called Infantry-Fighting Vehicles, such as the "Bradley Fighting Vehicle" or Soviet BMP series. Wherever a modern tank is too expensive to deploy, you use an IFV.
That is wrong. AFVs are there to haul and support infantry. It is a separate unrelated role.
1. Light tanks should cost about 30-50% of medium tanks, as they did historically. That's why for example the French chose to build light R-35/H-35: compared to the medium S-35 they were 3 times cheaper.
Light tanks weren`t actually much cheaper. Compare $39,6 for Chaffie with $44k for M4 sherman. One specific country`s pricing quirks isn`t a good comparison there.
Soviet prices are a mess, but overal BT-7 wasn`t 3 times more cheap then T-34 either.
Even absurdly striped down version of light tank, Pz2 wasn`t even twise as cheap as Pz3.
Light tanks should be a great option when you're fighting on a vast frontline with subpar enemies. On the Western Front: the frontlines are too dense so they wouldn't do well. In China or USSR: they would, because there you have a lot more options where to attack. They're basically a cheaper medium tank trading cost for combat ability.
Well, that explains why Soviet union rushed development and mass scale deployment of 32-tonne main tank (T-34) and 42 tonne "breakthrough" tank (KV-1), right?
The biggest issue with light tanks is that they are introduced to the game as a separate category from the very beginning. The first generations of light tanks are actually just tanks and the biggest issue is upgrading from light to medium tanks is seen as a division redesign. This is most clear in the German armed forces where pz I and pz II aren't there because they wanted a light tank, they are there as the main body of the panzer divisions. The game, by making them a different category, forces them to be treated as something they are not. It would be nice if the divisions structure didn't work like this. I can say the same for the Soviets. The main tank sequence for the Soviet Union is T24-BT5-BT7-T34 and that isn't a switch from light to medium tanks it is just development progression of tanks.
There was never a category of "just tanks" till 1960s, because heavy tanks were present. And while treating light-medium progression as having upgrade your divisions is on paper unreasonable, having to do introduce a separate "downgrade role" of your support roles from "medium" to lighter tanks like T-70, Chaffie, M3, ex, is pure insanity.
I believe that the game has a really big issue with low tank losses in combat. One of the characteristics of armoured combat was massively higher losses amongst the tanks than other divisional elements. In particular, much higher losses of the tanks themselves. In the real world it wasn't unusual to see German Panzer divisions with tiny numbers of operational tanks whilst otherwise being still a perfectly serviceable unit. Reflecting this in game would require an entirely new mechanism so isn't really something that modders can address.
That is only if you mix infantry grunts and logistic/comms/maintenance, ex people under a single category.
historically, light tanks were used because they were what was available. The Spanish Civil War showed that the idea of machine-gun only tanks was obsolescent, and every country was developing heavier tanks armed with more effective weaponry, including in an anti-tank role.
Machine-gun only tanks weren`t something that anybody purposefully tried to develop even in 20s, it was purely a stop-gap or industrial problem thing even during 20s.
The problem in HOI4 though is in how terrain bonuses are tied to unit type, and not to equipment type. A battalion receives terrain bonuses/penalties, equipment does not. So you can't make wide-tracked Soviet tanks better in certain terrain than narrow-tracked German ones. You'd have to apply a battalion bonus, which then means that the Soviet battalions would be magically better in that terrain than German ones, even if the soviet battalion was using captured German tanks. Which doesn't make a lot of sense.
The entire "Soviet tanks had wide tracks" BS needs to finally die. Soviets designed T-34 for 0,62kg/cm2 Germans designed Pz4 for 0,69kg/cm2.
At the end of their carrier T-34 had 0,83 kg/cm2 and Pz-4 had 0,89 kg/cm2
The difference was always negligible, and the more or less only issue was that Germans were increasing weight of their already in production vehicles faster.
It might be better to have "tank" and "heavy tank" units, rather than "light", "medium", "heavy". It might not be better. The British tank system of "infantry tank" and "cruiser tank" doesn't really fit too well in HOI4's light/medium/heavy, but I can't think of an alternative classification that would be as straightforward for equipment building. Especially when things like the tank designer are/are not included, depending on what DLC the players have.
light/recon tank (including tankettes and some heavier armoured cars), cruiser/cavalry/medium tank, infantry/assault/heavy tank, might be a more workable model, but is still not ideal.

And last thing HOI4 needs is more battalion types just for the sake of it.
And how would you handle "downgrading" support units to lighter tanks like T-70, Chaffie, M3 ?
I can see why there is a cost to upgrade from light to medium, but I can`t see a justifiable reson somebody needs to pay to downgrade their lighter units, so they kept being, well, light.
If this was the case then armoured division losses would be totally dominated by infantry losses. As it stands, all explanations of combat I have seen, and personal experience, suggests that losses are simply proportional to the equipment and manpower totals of the division. ie if you take 1 HP of losses on a 100 HP division then you lose 1% of everything. This probably not the way it should work since armoured divisions always took more tank losses than other stuff but it isn't obvious how Paradox could make this work other than by some magic rules about tank losses.
So, if we switch around tanks to have 25HP and infantry 2 HP, for 5tank+5INF division, will it make any difference in loses suffered?
 
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The reason was actually much simpler, the engine tech simply couldn`t give enough power, so either armored but very slow, or anti-bullet armor but speed to get places.
Once engines improved in mid-30s, everyone decided to upgrade.
If there's a will, there's a way.

You had old aircraft engines, similar to those mounted on BTs. They were costly, but power on its own was never an issue. Worst comes to worst, if the Germans can make ship engines able to move a Panzerschiff like "Admiral Graf Spee" then they could also make big tank engines. They'd be inefficient, but possible.

That is wrong. AFVs are there to haul and support infantry. It is a separate unrelated role.

Very much related actually. A little carrying capacity is just an extra thing. The real combat capacity of light tanks & IFVs is quite comparable, and I bet relative costs of modern vehicles classified as tanks vs IFV is comparable to a medium vs light at the very least.

Light tanks weren`t actually much cheaper. Compare $39,6 for Chaffie with $44k for M4 sherman. One specific country`s pricing quirks isn`t a good comparison there.
Soviet prices are a mess, but overal BT-7 wasn`t 3 times more cheap then T-34 either.

A Chaffee is better armed than a French medium S-35 and has the same weight as a Pz. IIIE. A Chaffee is actually more of a medium than a light tank, in the context of the war as a whole.

A M3 light tank costed $32,000 while an M5A1 costed $26000, and that came at a price of a very expensive engine.


Even absurdly striped down version of light tank, Pz2 wasn`t even twise as cheap as Pz3.
Actually a Pz. IIB or Pz IIF was half the price of a Pz III or Pz IV.

Well, that explains why Soviet union rushed development and mass scale deployment of 32-tonne main tank (T-34) and 42 tonne "breakthrough" tank (KV-1), right?

Before the T-34 & KV-1 you had T-28s that were "Breakthrough" tanks.

Soviets simply
 
HOI multiplayer community banned "space marines" for the specific reason that under old patches 8INF+2HTD+support AA divisions sitting on a river were unbreakable by any division (even 15HT+5 MEC meta of the day), and those were cheap enough that France and SOV could fill entire frontline with them.
Essentially the Axis just couldn`t advance, and games weren`t interesting. That was a quirk of old patches, and essentially ban was just carried over.
The "space marine" problem is sort of returned in single player. As the Soviets you can now relatively easily deploy a full front-line of infantry + 1HTD + support AA where, due to MIOs, you can now have the HTD gain maximum armour bonuses for the unit against everything Germany deploys and hence make an appalling mess of the Axis Barbarossa offensive. This still works on high difficulty and maximum enhanced Germany. These divisions can even hold (in SP) on the border against a truly massive onslaught and behind revers they don't even need to be monitored (just give them orders and leave them to it)

There was never a category of "just tanks" till 1960s, because heavy tanks were present. And while treating light-medium progression as having upgrade your divisions is on paper unreasonable, having to do introduce a separate "downgrade role" of your support roles from "medium" to lighter tanks like T-70, Chaffie, M3, ex, is pure insanity.
My intent was that there were multiple categories of which one is what the tank warfare theorists would have just called tanks with the side variants of infantry tank and tracked armoured car (recce vehicle). My point is those early "light tanks" and later "medium tanks" would definitely not be considered different categories by usage, just obsolete vehicles and current vehicles.
So, if we switch around tanks to have 25HP and infantry 2 HP, for 5tank+5INF division, will it make any difference in loses suffered?
No, losses would be the same, but it would massively change the motivation for particular build combinations. As it stands the hit point allocations kind of work to motivate realistic battalion mixes. Unfortunately, the low hit point sub-units have more than one motivation. Some things have low hit points because their presence doesn't make the division more durable and some are present because they would tend to suffer high attrition especially if operating on their own. This means the game cannot read any extra detail into the hit points of a sub-unit. In modern warfare we only have one tank type, not because the types merged, but because the other two types became impractical and meaningless.
 
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If there's a will, there's a way.

You had old aircraft engines, similar to those mounted on BTs. They were costly, but power on its own was never an issue. Worst comes to worst, if the Germans can make ship engines able to move a Panzerschiff like "Admiral Graf Spee" then they could also make big tank engines. They'd be inefficient, but possible.
You unfortunately don`t realise that aircraft engines were used in tanks. The only issue is that tank version were down-trottled to get usable amount of time before overhaul/maintenance. It is acceptable to do maintenance on aircraft engine every 20-40 hours of work, however it`s unacceptable for tank.
Soviet V2, for example was an offshot of aircraft diesel engine.
You may claim that "power is not an issue", however compare FCM 2C to King Tiger to Leopard 2 (all 3 in 70t category) and you will see that absolutely power was the issue. The larger the engine, the larger amount of armor you need to cover that space.
Very much related actually. A little carrying capacity is just an extra thing. The real combat capacity of light tanks & IFVs is quite comparable, and I bet relative costs of modern vehicles classified as tanks vs IFV is comparable to a medium vs light at the very least.
That is plain false. IFVs were replacing MT-LB, M113 APC and similar armored troop carrier vehicles. They exist to haul infantry, and work with modern MBTs, to carry their support infantry. They are not a cheap version of tank, they do a different function, togather with modern 50+ tonne tanks. And modern generation of IFV is build on chasis of modern MBTs, so those come in 50+ tonne class. Nor are they cheaper then tanks.
A Chaffee is better armed than a French medium S-35 and has the same weight as a Pz. IIIE. A Chaffee is actually more of a medium than a light tank, in the context of the war as a whole.
We can of course look at French Heavy B1 tank, that weighted 25 tonne, and reclasify 34-ish tonne M4E8 sherman, 32 tonne 85mm T-34-85 and 43-ish Panther (all with far more capable gun too) as a super-heavy tanks if we want, but most people just accept that vehicles in same class got heavier over time.
A M3 light tank costed $32,000 while an M5A1 costed $26000, and that came at a price of a very expensive engine.

Still 73% and 60%.
Actually a Pz. IIB or Pz IIF was half the price of a Pz III or Pz IV.
52k RM vs 96k is still 55%, however I consede here. Still Pz. II is the least capable light tank of it`s time.

So instead of 30-50%, the "proper" price bracket is 55-90%.
Before the T-34 & KV-1 you had T-28s that were "Breakthrough" tanks.

Soviets simply
Ok, so what was the logic building the heaviest medium of it`s time and the largest heavy tank and heavy SPG fleet by considerable margin, if supposedly large front is good for light tanks? Why continue development&deployment of IS, IS-2, ISU, IS-3? Why Germans, that entered without heavy tank, followed suit, and went for 43 tonne "medium" and 56 tonne Heavy?
Have both mustache men&advisors just over-dozed on hard alkohol, or was there a method behind apparent madness?
The "space marine" problem is sort of returned in single player. As the Soviets you can now relatively easily deploy a full front-line of infantry + 1HTD + support AA where, due to MIOs, you can now have the HTD gain maximum armour bonuses for the unit against everything Germany deploys and hence make an appalling mess of the Axis Barbarossa offensive. This still works on high difficulty and maximum enhanced Germany. These divisions can even hold (in SP) on the border against a truly massive onslaught and behind revers they don't even need to be monitored (just give them orders and leave them to it)
Or, you can deploy any other decent infantry division template, with same result.
AI is bad, defending in a static line is good, what else is new?
My intent was that there were multiple categories of which one is what the tank warfare theorists would have just called tanks with the side variants of infantry tank and tracked armoured car (recce vehicle). My point is those early "light tanks" and later "medium tanks" would definitely not be considered different categories by usage, just obsolete vehicles and current vehicles.
So what`s Chaffie or Walker Buldog to a "current" M26, T-70 to "current" T-34-85 or T-44, Pz2 luchs to Panther?
No, losses would be the same, but it would massively change the motivation for particular build combinations. As it stands the hit point allocations kind of work to motivate realistic battalion mixes. Unfortunately, the low hit point sub-units have more than one motivation. Some things have low hit points because their presence doesn't make the division more durable and some are present because they would tend to suffer high attrition especially if operating on their own. This means the game cannot read any extra detail into the hit points of a sub-unit.
Ok, apparently mechanics doesn`t work as I expected :confused:
In modern warfare we only have one tank type, not because the types merged, but because the other two types became impractical and meaningless.
Not really. We still have big gun turret on wheels like AMX-10 RC, M1128 Stryker, ex, light tanks like K21-105, Sabrah Light Tank, ex. Then of course "Russian style" 40-50 tonne MBTs and "Western style" 70 tonne MBTs.
I only tried to list modern stuff obviously. It`s like we hit a hard reset a century later.
 
I'm pretty sure equipment loss scaled with hp in previous HOI4 iterations, but it appears this has changed. Just spent a couple hours tweaking unit hp and grinding combat and losses now appear to be entirely based on the ratio of equipment in the unit. Even increasing a subunit's hp to absurd levels doesn't budge the loss numbers.

So if you want to increase tank losses I guess you'd have to look at reducing tank reliability. That would make attrition more painful, and those losses are usually already much higher than combat losses.
 
I'd think the low organization and the horrifying cost of 100% of your losses being tanks would prevent most folks from fielding tank-only divisions.

In any case I wouldn't suggest giving tank battalions a full 25 hp. Maybe 10, which would increase the loss rate by about 400%?
not sure. the more hp you have, the less those losses would be felt. keep in mind that if you have pure tanks, getting huge armor and ridiculous hardness are both trivial. players don't do this due to the hp...the more you add, the closer it is to viable. i don't know where that line is, but at some point people will make tank-only divs and they will be overtuned. whether it's 10 hp or 20+ i couldn't say.
 
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You unfortunately don`t realise that aircraft engines were used in tanks. The only issue is that tank version were down-trottled to get usable amount of time before overhaul/maintenance. It is acceptable to do maintenance on aircraft engine every 20-40 hours of work, however it`s unacceptable for tank.
Soviet V2, for example was an offshot of aircraft diesel engine.
You may claim that "power is not an issue", however compare FCM 2C to King Tiger to Leopard 2 (all 3 in 70t category) and you will see that absolutely power was the issue. The larger the engine, the larger amount of armor you need to cover that space.

Well, it depends on what the tank is used for. The British weren't stupid when they came up with the concept of "Cruiser tanks" and "Infantry tanks" as the operational radius of each would be very different.

A heavy tank is not designed for deep breakthroughs, it's job is to break the frontline and then get refueled/serviced. It's a 1-attack tank, so requirements to service it are not as much of an issue.

That is plain false. IFVs were replacing MT-LB, M113 APC and similar armored troop carrier vehicles. They exist to haul infantry, and work with modern MBTs, to carry their support infantry. They are not a cheap version of tank, they do a different function, togather with modern 50+ tonne tanks. And modern generation of IFV is build on chasis of modern MBTs, so those come in 50+ tonne class. Nor are they cheaper then tanks.

In theory yes.

In practice: we don't see modern light tanks. We see a mix of heavies and mediums, but no lights. The niche that was taken by light tanks had to be occupied by something: so in reality IFVs (not APCs) are what became the successor of light tanks. Whether they frame it that way or not, is a different story.

We can of course look at French Heavy B1 tank, that weighted 25 tonne, and reclasify 34-ish tonne M4E8 sherman, 32 tonne 85mm T-34-85 and 43-ish Panther (all with far more capable gun too) as a super-heavy tanks if we want, but most people just accept that vehicles in same class got heavier over time.

The classfications of "medium tank" and "light tank" are very unclear, everyone understands something of their own.

From a production cost perspective: M24 Chaffee is not a light tank, B1 Bis is not a medium tank, a T-34-85 & Pz. V Panther are mediums.

From an armament perspective: a M24 Chaffee, B1 Bis, Pz. V Panther and T-34-85 are all mediums. While a Matilda and Valentine are light tanks.

From a weight perspective: A Panther is a heavy, while the rest are mediums.

For HOI4: I would argue that the production cost perspective should be adapted as the main one, with armament perspective as auxiliary.

Still 73% and 60%.

52k RM vs 96k is still 55%, however I consede here. Still Pz. II is the least capable light tank of it`s time.

So instead of 30-50%, the "proper" price bracket is 55-90%.
German tank prices are always listed without armament, optics, radios.

Add about 20% on top of that for armament, for German tanks, and you'll get right to 50% on the dot.

Ok, so what was the logic building the heaviest medium of it`s time and the largest heavy tank and heavy SPG fleet by considerable margin, if supposedly large front is good for light tanks? Why continue development&deployment of IS, IS-2, ISU, IS-3? Why Germans, that entered without heavy tank, followed suit, and went for 43 tonne "medium" and 56 tonne Heavy?
Have both mustache men&advisors just over-dozed on hard alkohol, or was there a method behind apparent madness?
It's like asking "Why did my coworker buy a Ferrari when a Ford sedan is good enough to get him to work". Everyone wants the best without realizing that you may overpay for the value.

The USSR was a particular oddball. They were ultra-militarized: no other country could field 20,000 tanks by 1938, which is something nobody else could even dream of. As a result, they came to the idea of more expensive tanks a lot sooner: for them it was basically "an upgrade" compared to what they already had.

Then they entered the war, and when you're fighting a war, you get carried away with military production without second thoughts of "Do I actually need this". Not to mention that they started getting massive amounts of Lend-Lease that covered a lot of their other needs (tractors, trucks, food, etc.), so they could afford suboptimal overspending on tanks.

It would be more reasonable for them to build light SPGs like the Su-76, which were a lot cheaper and had similar firepower as T-34s or KV-1s if you ask me.


With the Germans, the case was more subtle. Originally they considered their Pz. IV as a heavy tank, and their issue was more about "How do we equip enough of our divisions with tanks", so they could afford an all-medium tank force.

Later, Germans, unlike Soviets, had to adapt to very different theatres of war with different requirements. They fought in North Africa, Western Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, and each of those theatres had their unique challenges. They could not optimize in the same way as the Soviets or French: if you build Eastern-front specialized equipment, it will fare poorly on the Western front and vice-versa. That's why they couldn't just mass produce cheap light tanks, they may not have fared well in Western Europe or Balkans.

See the British: their Churchills and Matildas were awesome for Western Europe sitzkrieg, but horrible for Africa.

Also by war end the Germans had concerns about having insufficient gas/oil, which was a unique challenge. If gas/oil is a bottleneck, it's best to field units that minimize oil consumption and maximize combat efficiency. Thus heavies became the optimal path for Germany, but not because of production cost.
 
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Ok, so what was the logic building the heaviest medium of it`s time and the largest heavy tank and heavy SPG fleet by considerable margin, if supposedly large front is good for light tanks? Why continue development&deployment of IS, IS-2, ISU, IS-3? Why Germans, that entered without heavy tank, followed suit, and went for 43 tonne "medium" and 56 tonne Heavy?
Have both mustache men&advisors just over-dozed on hard alkohol, or was there a method behind apparent madness?
Because the latest AT guns, that's why. When developed, the IS-3 was supposed to stop the PaK-43 projectile, the T-44 received the same requirements. The PaK-43 became a new benchmark for armor protection in the USSR. And even the design of light tanks could not avoid this. In 1943, when the threat of capture had passed, the USSR started looking at light tanks. The T-60, T-70 and even the new T-80 were a joke compared to the pre-war T-50, these tanks were ersatz tanks. The T-50 was supposed to be the main light tank that would replace the T-26 (this should also be reflected in the game in research and in the tank model). T-60/70/80 are just modifications of the T-40. In 1943, they planned to return the T-50 back to production, but by increasing its armor and installing a 76 mm S-54 cannon with ballistics from the 76 mm 3-K anti-aircraft gun, similar to the armor penetration with an 85 mm gun. The protection requirements increased so absurdly that in the end the light tank had to have armor with protection from the PaK-43, because of this the revival of the T-50 did not take place.
 
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I'm pretty sure equipment loss scaled with hp in previous HOI4 iterations, but it appears this has changed. Just spent a couple hours tweaking unit hp and grinding combat and losses now appear to be entirely based on the ratio of equipment in the unit. Even increasing a subunit's hp to absurd levels doesn't budge the loss numbers.

So if you want to increase tank losses I guess you'd have to look at reducing tank reliability. That would make attrition more painful, and those losses are usually already much higher than combat losses.
Reliability has no impact on combat losses. All it does is increase the number of tanks recovered from the battle.
 
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Reliability has no impact on combat losses. All it does is increase the number of tanks recovered from the battle.
Sure. Attrition is usually most of your equipment losses, so lowered reliability would lead to losing more tanks.

If what you are aiming for is increased combat losses specifically I'm out of ideas.
 
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There is no magic trick here, I think.

Just reduce as much as possible enemy attack, cover it with your defensive stat so you take less damage per hour and shorten the combat as much as possible so you get as few casualties as possible. Basically for an armored division against an infantry division, a lot of hardness, enough armor to protect against piercing, enough breakthrough to defend against enemy attack and all the soft attack you can put in. This will reduced combat loss as much as possible from the division standpoint, this doesn't means that it is wise as you might have increased your IC to a point you still take much more damage than having crappy stuff that will suffer more but cost far less.

The only way to find the better spot would be to test it directly in game.
 
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Well, it depends on what the tank is used for. The British weren't stupid when they came up with the concept of "Cruiser tanks" and "Infantry tanks" as the operational radius of each would be very different.

A heavy tank is not designed for deep breakthroughs, it's job is to break the frontline and then get refueled/serviced. It's a 1-attack tank, so requirements to service it are not as much of an issue.
Americans weren`t stupid designing long range air missle doctrine, it just needed a few more decades to actually work.
The brits designed doctrine that was obsoleted by new technology before it was ever implemented&used.
In theory yes.

In practice: we don't see modern light tanks. We see a mix of heavies and mediums, but no lights. The niche that was taken by light tanks had to be occupied by something: so in reality IFVs (not APCs) are what became the successor of light tanks. Whether they frame it that way or not, is a different story.
You claim there is a "light tank niche", I`d like some proof. APCs niche is hauling infantry around. Light tanks don`t do that.
The classfications of "medium tank" and "light tank" are very unclear, everyone understands something of their own.

From a production cost perspective: M24 Chaffee is not a light tank, B1 Bis is not a medium tank, a T-34-85 & Pz. V Panther are mediums.

From an armament perspective: a M24 Chaffee, B1 Bis, Pz. V Panther and T-34-85 are all mediums. While a Matilda and Valentine are light tanks.

From a weight perspective: A Panther is a heavy, while the rest are mediums.

For HOI4: I would argue that the production cost perspective should be adapted as the main one, with armament perspective as auxiliary.
You came up with a figure of price cost, but then decide that every light tank that doesn`t fit your figure just needs to be reclasified away, based on not fitting into your bracket. That`s not acceptable way to argue.
Just make your own "production cost clasification".
German tank prices are always listed without armament, optics, radios.

Add about 20% on top of that for armament, for German tanks, and you'll get right to 50% on the dot.
Oh and if it`s not German, just ignore it, right?
It's like asking "Why did my coworker buy a Ferrari when a Ford sedan is good enough to get him to work". Everyone wants the best without realizing that you may overpay for the value.
WW2 enginees and militaries were just goldplating to show off? That`s new.
The USSR was a particular oddball. They were ultra-militarized: no other country could field 20,000 tanks by 1938, which is something nobody else could even dream of. As a result, they came to the idea of more expensive tanks a lot sooner: for them it was basically "an upgrade" compared to what they already had.
That`s wrong, do you even know what is the reason behind T-34&KV being designed that way? (spoiler, it`s cost cutting)
Then they entered the war, and when you're fighting a war, you get carried away with military production without second thoughts of "Do I actually need this". Not to mention that they started getting massive amounts of Lend-Lease that covered a lot of their other needs (tractors, trucks, food, etc.), so they could afford suboptimal overspending on tanks.

It would be more reasonable for them to build light SPGs like the Su-76, which were a lot cheaper and had similar firepower as T-34s or KV-1s if you ask me.
I see. It`s a pretty "Russian" perspective, after all expirienced operators are cheap, numerous, and infinitely replaceable. I`ll give you that. However why didn`t Brits come with that wonderful perspective in their design, and instead were building expensive Matildas and Churchils?
With the Germans, the case was more subtle. Originally they considered their Pz. IV as a heavy tank, and their issue was more about "How do we equip enough of our divisions with tanks", so they could afford an all-medium tank force.
Most people by now realised that the reason Pz3&Pz4 existed in paralel was corruption&collusion of different manufacturers. Each could fulfil both roles, but 2 manufacturers needed separate models.
Later, Germans, unlike Soviets, had to adapt to very different theatres of war with different requirements. They fought in North Africa, Western Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, and each of those theatres had their unique challenges. They could not optimize in the same way as the Soviets or French: if you build Eastern-front specialized equipment, it will fare poorly on the Western front and vice-versa. That's why they couldn't just mass produce cheap light tanks, they may not have fared well in Western Europe or Balkans.
Ok, and how come Brits that had a world wide empire, didn`t adapt this flexible strategy?
See the British: their Churchills and Matildas were awesome for Western Europe sitzkrieg, but horrible for Africa.
The awesome sitzkrieg that Brits didn`t realise would not actually happen?
Also by war end the Germans had concerns about having insufficient gas/oil, which was a unique challenge. If gas/oil is a bottleneck, it's best to field units that minimize oil consumption and maximize combat efficiency. Thus heavies became the optimal path for Germany, but not because of production cost.
Sure, which is why they were trying to run production optimisation scheme, E-series.
Because the latest AT guns, that's why. When developed, the IS-3 was supposed to stop the PaK-43 projectile, the T-44 received the same requirements. The PaK-43 became a new benchmark for armor protection in the USSR. And even the design of light tanks could not avoid this. In 1943, when the threat of capture had passed, the USSR started looking at light tanks. The T-60, T-70 and even the new T-80 were a joke compared to the pre-war T-50, these tanks were ersatz tanks. The T-50 was supposed to be the main light tank that would replace the T-26 (this should also be reflected in the game in research and in the tank model). T-60/70/80 are just modifications of the T-40. In 1943, they planned to return the T-50 back to production, but by increasing its armor and installing a 76 mm S-54 cannon with ballistics from the 76 mm 3-K anti-aircraft gun, similar to the armor penetration with an 85 mm gun. The protection requirements increased so absurdly that in the end the light tank had to have armor with protection from the PaK-43, because of this the revival of the T-50 did not take place.
You claimed that "wide fronts are good for light tanks". I`m asking, why the opponents fighting on those wide fronts produced the heaviest stuff they could, while light armor fell by the wayside.
 
There is no magic trick here, I think.

Just reduce as much as possible enemy attack, cover it with your defensive stat so you take less damage per hour and shorten the combat as much as possible so you get as few casualties as possible. Basically for an armored division against an infantry division, a lot of hardness, enough armor to protect against piercing, enough breakthrough to defend against enemy attack and all the soft attack you can put in. This will reduced combat loss as much as possible from the division standpoint, this doesn't means that it is wise as you might have increased your IC to a point you still take much more damage than having crappy stuff that will suffer more but cost far less.

The only way to find the better spot would be to test it directly in game.

Ok I'll correct myself, there might be something to take advantage of. Using Negro Negrito post here, you can split your armored division in two parts. One to get the most soft attack for the least IC you can put, with no regard for any other stats, basically a full LSPG div of 75 size, this behemoth won't be targeted as long as it is not facing a 38 width defending division, that is not really a common sight, as long as you provide "something else" as a fitting target nearby, for example a HT division going all in on armor, hardness and breakthrough with enough org to hold until the LSPG cleaned everything in front of them, you'll need to keep it small enough to have the two of them fitting in a two front attack on most common terrains. I don't have the game running right now so I can't figure its practicality, but in theory, you could get a better IC/manpower loss for tiles you push that with a more standard division. Of course these divisions will be very specialized as the HT will have a hard time exploiting the breakthrough and the LSPG will drain so much supply that you will probably need to withdraw them as soon as you can to avoid your whole army to run out of it, but creating division capable of running wild behind ennemy lines is already something quite easy to do. Nonetheless it is an intriguing idea.
 
Americans weren`t stupid designing long range air missle doctrine, it just needed a few more decades to actually work.
The brits designed doctrine that was obsoleted by new technology before it was ever implemented&used.
I would disagree. I would actually argue that the British had the universally best doctrine of all countries in WW2, especially when it came to tanks. A lot of it I personally see as an adaptation and continuation of German late WW1 doctrines.

The real issue was the implementation. For example, British tanks did not have soft-target ammunition (High-Explosive/HE) at all, until the Cromwell. So any British tank had Bren/Universal Carrier effectiveness when facing enemy infantry.

When you have issues like that: ahm no matter how good your doctrine is, it won't save you.

To pre-empt the discussion of whether German doctrine was better: Germans had a better doctrine for Germany. But universally, you can't really adapt Guderian's ideas to the Chinese theatre of war, while the British ideas: you actually could.

You claim there is a "light tank niche", I`d like some proof. APCs niche is hauling infantry around. Light tanks don`t do that.

IFVs and APCs are not the same thing. Although having examined the matter the most modern APCs(those with cannons over 20mm) also fall into the light tank category.

Ok here's my perspective: a tank is purely an armaments platform.

To understand the niches that exist, you need to understand the weapons system of infantry units, especially crew-manned ones, best to use WW2 as an example and then get to Modern times.

If we oversimplify, what do we see?

Rifles, LMGs, SMGs: not crew weapons, light enough to be carried by one individual so they do not require a platform.

Medium Machine gun (usually around 8mm): require a team of two guys just to carry it around. From hereon, it starts making sense to put this weapon on a transport.

Heavy Machine gun (9-15mm): requires more than a team of two usually, probably the last weapon one can carry around on foot

Light infantry support artillery (stemming from 37mm trench artillery from WW1): anti-machine gun nest killers that are comparable to a heavy machine gun in transportation difficulty.

Medium infantry support artillery (usually 75mm stemming from "Counter-assault" Russian WW1 cannons M.1913 then used by German stormtroopers as assault guns): also anti-machine gun nest killers that are barely transportable on foot.

Heavy infantry support artillery: this is something coming from WW2, specifically German SiG33 15cm infanteriegeschutz. An alternative to heavy mortars, trading cost for better accuracy.

Mortars: I won't touch these, as they are a cheap infantry support weapon that compensates with cheapness for accuracy. Mounting it on a AFV does not add much in terms of combat capacity (mortars don't fire directly, so a armor wouldn't allow it to be more accurate by being closer to enemy lines) but adds about 500% to cost (based on WW2 data).

Anything beyond this is accounted for in separate artillery units meant for ranged support, so it will be irrelevant.

All AFVs/tanks would do is, provide a mobile platform to the above.

Medium machine guns/Heavy machine guns: you originally had light tanks, then tankettes, then Armored personnel carriers (like the German Sdkfz. 250) as their platforms. Usually these weapons would be paired with infantry transport duty.

Light infantry support artillery: would be based on light tanks, most notably the Renault FT-17. Armor protection prevents it from being suppressed by enemy machine gun fire.

Medium infantry support artillery: would be put on medium tanks for the most part, although rarely you could see it fit on light tanks.

Heavy infantry support artillery is what heavy tanks are usually armed with.

In modern warfare:

MMGs are no longer mounted as a main weapon, thanks to new technology they became lighter so the logic for buying them an expensive platform has disappeared.

HMGs(10-15mm) get mounted on APCs and more recently, IMVs,, that also double as personnel carriers.

Light infantry support artillery got replaced by autocannons, chain guns or auto-grenade launchers of similar caliber (20-40mm) mounted on IFVs originally, and now being mounted on APCs at the cost of increased platform weight.

Medium infantry support artillery (75-90mm): at first disappeared because of being too heavy for IFVs and too light for tanks, but now is getting mounted on more modern IFVs at the cost of increased platform weight.

Heavy infantry support artillery (100+mm): is now what gets mounted on modern tanks, which basically replaced heavy tanks.

Having thought about it I guess I have to indeed revise my position. Originally light tanks were replaced by IFVs, but now their role is more and more getting taken over by APCs. APCs old role of carrying infantry is now more and more taken over by "Infantry Mobility Vehicles", which are simply cheaper.

Pretty much APCs, IFVs and IMVs all have two characteristics: troop carriers and weapons platforms. The difference is the cost. IFVs carry a heavier gun, APCs a lighter gun, IMVs carry the lightest gun. But each of them carries the same number of troops basically.

If their function would be the same, it would be logical that the cheapest option would be the the only one surviving, but given there is a difference, I would argue that anything in excess of the most basic weapon makes the troop carrier capacity secondary due to increased cost.


You came up with a figure of price cost, but then decide that every light tank that doesn`t fit your figure just needs to be reclasified away, based on not fitting into your bracket. That`s not acceptable way to argue.
Just make your own "production cost clasification".

I'd agree with your criticism, but it's not just production cost I referenced. It's also armament. 70mm+ I would argue is closer to a medium than a light tank.

Oh and if it`s not German, just ignore it, right?

Well the approach I advocate for works for the German, French, Soviet and to a lesser degree, American forces. The only exceptions that exist are the Japanese (I don't have data on their production costs) and British.

What the hell was wrong with British tanks, I have no idea, but somehow the British tanks costed 50% more than an American or German counterpart (Cromwell-Pz. IV-M4 Sherman). Similarly a British Vickers 6-ton costed 3 times more than a Soviet T-26, even though they were direct analogues. If somebody could explain in detail what was wrong with the British tanks or tank industry compared to everyone else's, I would be very grateful.

WW2 enginees and militaries were just goldplating to show off? That`s new.

Not really goldplating, but asking for the extra features they didn't really need, but which are nice to have.

That`s wrong, do you even know what is the reason behind T-34&KV being designed that way? (spoiler, it`s cost cutting)
My understanding for the T-34 a big influence was the Spanish Civil War experience where they encountered German PaK-35/36 guns and decided they need to have tanks that aren't that easy to kill by such weapons.

KV-1s: I will be honest, not as sure, but I would expect SCW experience also played a role, along with the desire to protect against potentially heavier AT artillery that could enter service.

I see. It`s a pretty "Russian" perspective, after all expirienced operators are cheap, numerous, and infinitely replaceable. I`ll give you that.

It is indeed a "Russian" perspective but for different reasons.

Russians are used to having low density of weapons on their frontline, their fronts are wider.

At the same time: it's not about operators being cheap, numerous, infinitely replaceable. Any tank is a fantastically expensive weapon worth a multiple of a cannon it mounts.

A truly "Russian" perspective would be not to build tanks at all, and instead direct resources to artillery) Which I do share actually, but only for the Russian front. In the West, Africa, Balkans, Pacific or China, you'd need a different approach.

However why didn`t Brits come with that wonderful perspective in their design, and instead were building expensive Matildas and Churchils?

Matildas and Churchills were "Infantry tanks" for the European theatre.

In Western Europe, expensive infantry tanks are the way to go, because the front is highly narrow: you only have a select number of areas where a terrain conditions are acceptable for an offensive. In a situation like this, you are guaranteed to meet a lot of AT guns per KM of frontline.

There were proposals to stop producing the Churchill, specifically because it fared poorly in the Libyan theatre of war, insufficient mobility first and foremost.

In Libya, you had a lot of unique theatre features. Lower vegetation/less trees obstructing visibility led to medium & heavy artillery having much higher effective distances of fire. At the same time, lack of railroads, higher effective distances of fire and the nature of highly maneuverable war required tanks to be very mobile and reliable, which is why the Matildas and Churchills did not perform well. The big exception when the Matilda performed well: was when they were deployed against the Italians that due to poverty simply did not have any artillery that could pierce them. Once German 88mm arrived: Matilda's honeymoon ended.

Probably the best AFV for Africa would be something like the American TD M18 Hellcat. But by the time they entered service, fighting happened in Europe, where they could not apply their advantages as effectively.

Most people by now realised that the reason Pz3&Pz4 existed in paralel was corruption&collusion of different manufacturers. Each could fulfil both roles, but 2 manufacturers needed separate models.

The Pz. IV was not supposed to exist in the first place. It was planned that the Pz. III would be the German medium tank, while the Pz. IV was supposed to have a niche role of a heavy tank providing artillery support: originally it like the Soviet T-28 was supposed to even have 2 machine gun secondary turrets.

But the Pz. III had a lot of production and reliability issues, so suddenly the Pz. IV emerged as more numerous.


The awesome sitzkrieg that Brits didn`t realise would not actually happen?

It definitely happened to an extent.

Germans were completely outmatched, deployed second-rate troops, had red air/allied air superiority, oil deficits and strategic destruction of their industries: and yet, in Italy they basically stopped the allies.

What happened in France is kind of a mystery to me (especially Falaise), but based on operation Market Garden that I am more familiar with, we kind of observe that even disjointed remnants of German forces managed to halt an allied tank corps offensive combined with 3 airborne divisions paradropped in the rear. Similarly, when the Germans tried to replicate their 1940 Ardennes operation in 1945, that failed miserably, despite no significant fortifications encountered.

Sure, which is why they were trying to run production optimisation scheme, E-series.
E-series never actually ran in production, I don't even think data on their production costs is available. I would refrain from discussing them, simply due to not having enough info.


You claimed that "wide fronts are good for light tanks". I`m asking, why the opponents fighting on those wide fronts produced the heaviest stuff they could, while light armor fell by the wayside.
Depends on what we mean by "heaviest stuff".

When it comes to KV-1 tanks: Soviets produced a very limited number of them of their total tank output.

When it comes to T-34s: honestly, their production was a mistake in Soviet circumstances in the numbers they were built.
 
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