Tuesday, 26 December 2017

[non NWG] Matilda tanks in WW2 rules.

Thought I'd do something a bit off the beaten path today and look at something fun:

In various game rules how does the Matilda II tank hold up to German 37mm gun fire?

Any book on the topic will tell us that the Panzer III had to be very close to penetrate (though I also wager that the fact many German tanks were Panzer II adds to this in general story telling) so we're going to examine how that plays out in a handful of miniatures rules all of which are not made by me :-)

We're going to assume a shot at 100, 500 and 800 meters (point blank, "average" distance in Normandy and "long" range in Normandy) respectively and for games with split hit/penetration rolls, we're only looking at the penetration chance.
All shots are frontal.

If more than zero people read this, I may do it again using Sherman 76 vs Tigers later in the week. We'll see, I'm just in an Early War mood right now.

Fistful of TOWs 3
Models are platoons. (There are 1-to-1 options but I never found the game "felt" right that way)

Panzer IIIe gets 3 shots at 8" range and has 2 Penetration.
Matilda II has 5 armor on the front.

The scale is 1" = 100 meters, meaning our shots are taken at 1", 5" and 8" range.
The 1" shot is within half range, so it counts as Penetration 4 instead.

100 meter test: Panzer III hit rolls 1D6. On a 5 or 6, the Matilda crew must take a Morale check or bail out.

500 meter test: Panzer III has no effect.

800 meter test: Panzer III has less than no effect.

Conclusion: Not good news for our Panzer crew though with multiple shots per turn and the relatively low chances of passing Morale checks, they have an okay chance within 4".

Command Decision (1st)
Models are platoons but act more like individual tanks.

Scale is 1" equal 50 yards, so we'll be shooting at 2", 10" and 16" range.

Penetration is -1 at 2" and -2 at the other ranges (with accuracy dropping off massively for the 16" shot).

The Queen of the Desert sports 8 frontal armor.

100 meter test: A D10 roll of a 9 will Force the Matilda Back. A roll of a 10 will Damage it.

500 and 800 meter test: A D10 roll of a 10 will Force Back the Matilda.

Conclusion: Give it up Krauts. Closing to within 2" range and volley firing 37mm's will result in a lot of burned out Panzers en route.

Models are single tanks.

All distances are given in meters to begin with.

Penetration is 8 at 100 meters, 7 at 500 meters and 6 at 800 meters.

Matilda gets 6 frontal armor.

100 meter test: A D10 roll of 1 or 2 knocks out the Matilda. A roll of 3 Neutralizes it (unable to act this turn, suppressed the next) while a 4 or higher simply Suppresses it.

500 meter test: A D10 roll of 1 knocks out while a 2 Neutralizes.

800 meter test: A D10 roll of 9 or 10 Neutralizes.

Conclusion: Not great odds but they CAN kill it at 500 meters if you are feeling quite lucky.

Panzer War
Models are single tanks.

Distances are given in GSU which are half a meter each.

Penetration is 5 at 50 GSU, 4 at 250 GSU and 3 at 400 GSU when firing AP.
This is increased to 7, 4 and 2.5 when firing APCR.

Panzer War is fairly detailed in that shots can both experience substantial variation, often penetrating less than expected. Additionally different hit locations have rather different armor values.

100 meter test: Both ammo types will penetrate the tracks, even on a weak hit.
Critical hits (D6 roll of a 6 followed by at least a 4+) are needed to penetrate other locations in most cases.
APCR can penetrate parts of the turret if it does not suffer any deflection.

A Turret penetration will then need a 7+ (on a D10) to kill the tank and a 7+ (on a second D10) to knock out the tank commander).

500 meter test: Even with critical hits, it's unlikely to do any damage beyond tracking the tank.

800 meter test: As above.

Conclusion: Panzer crew is probably doomed, but the chance of knocking out a track does give some more options to the German player.
Also Panzer War has the penetration drop off much faster at range compared to Firefly.

Tank Charts
Models are single tanks.

Distances are given in meters.

100 meter penetration is 48, 500 meters is 39, 800 meters is 28.

Optionally, these can be varied up and down 10%.

100 meter test: From the front, the weakest hit location has 79 mm armor. Even with variation, there is zero chance whatsoever.

No need to conduct further tests.

Conclusion: Fritz go home.

So there you have it: Information that is of absolutely no value to anybody :-)

I didn't check Chain of Command, Crossfire or Troops, Weapons & Tactics since I don't really consider them tank games and I don't have a copy of Spearhead lying around any more.

Which result seemed to fit the best? Discuss as you see fit.