I’ve been reading through “Battle” by Charles Grant. It is his version of a simple WW2 wargame. Lets face it. All of Mr Grant’s wargame rules were simple. That is not a bad thing. His methodology is sound. Each vehicle has a defense value. You roll 2 dice to hit, with each target number being progressively higher the farther the target is away from the shooter. If a hit is scored, you roll 2 dice again and add the guns strike value. If the total is greater than the target’s defense value, the target is destroyed. Simple. Now, part of the issue I take with this method is that side armor of many vehicles are significantly less than the frontal armor. Some of the defense values are suspect as well.
Here is a great example. A Panther tank has significant frontal armor and weak side armor. The frontal armor is sloped as well. Most games today do not adequately take into account the effect of sloped armor. The front hull armor is just 80mm but is sloped at 55 degrees. There is a formula to figure out the effective armor across the slope.
Tn is the normal thickness.
S is the armor slope in degrees.
Where Te is the effective armor. When worked out, the Panther’s effective armor is 140mm on the hull. The turret has a flat 100mm of armor with 80mm on the sides. The hull sides are only 50mm. So what do we do with all of this? Well, to start, we have a base number of 7 as or target number. The reason for 7? It is the average dice roll of 2 dice. To that we add the effective armor in centimeters. Now, we have to consider that the turret has a different armor value than the hull. We can accept this and use a hit location die roll. 1-2 the turret is hit. 3-6 the hull is hit. Or we can average the two numbers. 1/3 of the value is based on the turret and the other 2/3 is based on the hull. So a frontal attack on a Panther would have to defeat ((14X2)+10)/3+7=20 defense. The side armor is ((5X2)+8)/3+7=13. The strike value of a Panther is the gun penetration in cm. At 100 yards it is roughly 14. At 500 yards it is 12. At 1000 yards it is 11. At 1500 yards it is 10 and at 2000 yards it is 9.
Other quick comparisons. The Tiger 1 has a front defense of 18 and a side defense of 15. Sherman has a front defense of 16 and a side defense of 12. The strike value of the Sherman’s 75mm gun would be 8/7/6/5/4. At 1000 yards, it could destroy a Panther side on but from the front, there would be no chance to destroy the tank at any range. The later guns including the American 76.2mm and the British 17 pounder were more than adequate, at least at close range and even farther away in the case of the latter.
Chances to hit can be graded at 5 or better at 100 yards, 6 or better at 500 yards, 7 or better at 1000 yards, 8 or better at 1500 yards and 9 or better at 2000 yards. If the tank moves at up to half speed there should be a dice penalty of -2. If it moves full the penalty should be doubled as it is very difficult to fire on the move like that.