Game Theory: A Tank's Biggest Weakness...is Itself

A Tank's Biggest Weakness...is Itself

Gaijin Entertainment, makers of the game War Thunder, flew me out to Texas to try out some authentic WWII tanks. They then CHALLENGED me to compare the in-game tanks with the real things. So, how does their virtual MMO tank warfare game stack up on the battlefield of Game Theory? Time to FIND OUT!

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This is a pretty poor episode overall.

Take the comparison you showed between an in-game model and a picture which show differences that's not really relevant due to first the number of different variants of Sherman and the you have in field modifications that externally many tanks of the same model would look different.

And while it could be said that would make maintenance harder which was one of the Sherman's strong points as long as the engine, transmission, drivetrain etc are the same no problem and all those components are internal.

Maintenance and break downs were an issue for all tanks in WW2, and the Germans had just as many problems if not more.

Just because this was their event, I insured that I was given free reign to say whatever I wanted to. Like a good researcher I would never have agreed to this if my results were going to be compromised. In fact it made me want to be more critical just to keep my integrity intact!

Methinks the Game Theorist doth protest too much. "Oh man guys you wouldn't believe how totally objective I was. Such integrity. Much lack of bias."

Come on man. You're trying so hard to not appear biased, that it's coming across as really insincere...

Early US tanks couldn't fight other tanks head on, but that's because they weren't designed to. The early thinking was that tanks fought infantry, and tank destroyer fought tanks. In hindsight, this was wrong, but the US came up with their doctrine before tank battles were really a thing. Infantry didn't have much in the way of weapons that could stop tanks, so light armour and light guns were all that seemed to be needed.

Also biggest weakness is itself? Huh...I would have said something about the limited visibility, especially when buttoned up. Looks like you play, at least in large part, in 3rd person, which is a massive step up.

thaluikhain:
Early US tanks couldn't fight other tanks head on, but that's because they weren't designed to. The early thinking was that tanks fought infantry, and tank destroyer fought tanks. In hindsight, this was wrong, but the US came up with their doctrine before tank battles were really a thing. Infantry didn't have much in the way of weapons that could stop tanks, so light armour and light guns were all that seemed to be needed.

Also biggest weakness is itself? Huh...I would have said something about the limited visibility, especially when buttoned up. Looks like you play, at least in large part, in 3rd person, which is a massive step up.

In Warthunder ground forces there are 3 modes arcade, realistic and simulator all are similar except in simulator you get no enemy icons and you have buttoned up view only.

P-89 Scorpion:

thaluikhain:
Early US tanks couldn't fight other tanks head on, but that's because they weren't designed to. The early thinking was that tanks fought infantry, and tank destroyer fought tanks. In hindsight, this was wrong, but the US came up with their doctrine before tank battles were really a thing. Infantry didn't have much in the way of weapons that could stop tanks, so light armour and light guns were all that seemed to be needed.

Also biggest weakness is itself? Huh...I would have said something about the limited visibility, especially when buttoned up. Looks like you play, at least in large part, in 3rd person, which is a massive step up.

In Warthunder ground forces there are 3 modes arcade, realistic and simulator all are similar except in simulator you get no enemy icons and you have buttoned up view only.

Ah, ok, that sounds pretty cool.

thaluikhain:

Also biggest weakness is itself? Huh...I would have said something about the limited visibility, especially when buttoned up. Looks like you play, at least in large part, in 3rd person, which is a massive step up.

Actually, one of the big advantages the Werchmacht had, especially over the Soviets, was the great amount of visibility offered by well-armored commanders' cupolas, giving tank commanders an excellent view of the developing battle even when the hatches were closed under enemy fire. Compare this to the Soviet T-34s which basically gave the commander a periscope and a limited range of movement in the turret, effectively limiting range of vision to... directly in front of the tank, leading to incidents such as four different tank commanders reporting engaging four separate Tiger tanks, when in reality, they were all engaging the same tank (this lead to inflated kill claims on the Soviet side obviously enough). This problem was solved later in the war by the Americans and not until the postwar period by the Soviets. The British never really had to worry about it since their tanks all had either similarly good visibility to their German counterparts or in the case of the infantry tanks had so much fucking armor everywhere that a tank commander could reliably use his hatch for frontal cover in the heat of battle to poke his head out and not have to worry too much about being shot.

That intro. Gotta love those good old American guns. Aren't they just so reliable in the field?

There's a reason that Great Britain won't adopt American machine guns.

Spartan448:
Compare this to the Soviet T-34s which basically gave the commander a periscope and a limited range of movement in the turret, effectively limiting range of vision to... directly in front of the tank, leading to incidents such as four different tank commanders reporting engaging four separate Tiger tanks, when in reality, they were all engaging the same tank (this lead to inflated kill claims on the Soviet side obviously enough).

Easy mistake to make, though. The Luftwafte had the same problem against the RAF in the confusion of dogfighting.

Spartan448:
That intro. Gotta love those good old American guns. Aren't they just so reliable in the field?

There's a reason that Great Britain won't adopt American machine guns.

What, like the M2 Browning?

I like this sort of light hearted nitpicking. Ill have to go and check out some past episodes.

American machine guns of the time were no less reliable than their contemporaries and certainly not the least reliable.
The idea of fiddling with a stubborn loading mechanism while being charged by enemies with functional guns gives me chills.

thaluikhain:

Easy mistake to make, though. The Luftwafte had the same problem against the RAF in the confusion of dogfighting.

Especially during the Battle of Britain. I seem to remember that the first Focke-Wulf 190 was captured when a Gruppkommander landed at RAF Pembry thinking he was in France.

thaluikhain:
Early US tanks couldn't fight other tanks head on, but that's because they weren't designed to. The early thinking was that tanks fought infantry, and tank destroyer fought tanks. In hindsight, this was wrong, but the US came up with their doctrine before tank battles were really a thing. Infantry didn't have much in the way of weapons that could stop tanks, so light armour and light guns were all that seemed to be needed.

Except that plan worked immensely well since the majority of US tanks spent their time supporting infantry instead of fighting opposing tanks and it was what the M4s gun excelled at.

 

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