Northeast Atlanta Gaming

October 11, 2010

Merkavas and More

I’ve been  thinking along the lines of a set of Israeli armor that could span most of the period that Israel has been fighting and for now this is it. It includes tanks misrepresented in the AIW stock set and tanks whose combat ratings should be changed, based on a modern understanding of their armor and firepower. The Merkava is the tank in most need of change, as it was seriously underrated by Avalon Hill.

Also included are 90mm M48s and 20 pounder Centurions, as these played a major role in the Six Day War. Very few of the weapons  had been converted by then. It was in 1973 that essentially all M48s had 105mm guns and the Centurions had been converted to the Sho’t. The weapons presented date from prior to 1956, but do not really include the tanks of 1948. So, yes, incomplete, but spanning more tanks and types than any post before, are the tanks of Israel.


September 29, 2010

“The Iron Cavalry” by Ralph Zumbro

Filed under: Armor,Books — foodnearsnellville @ 12:46 pm
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I like this book. At times, scenes are imagined but there is a wealth of detail and a refreshing, sassy tone to the book that makes it accessible to those of us in the modern age. In terms of history, it gets better as it goes along; the more modern the era the more compelling the narrative is.

Definitely worth looking for in the used section of the local bookstore, or perhaps Amazon.

August 30, 2010

“Chariots of the Desert”, by David Eshel

I’ve read a number of books about the various parts of this conflict, and I’m looking hard for a first person account of the Six Day War I read as a teen (all I can recall are bits and pieces, though). This book came recommended somewhere. It could be Tanknet, it could just be on the dozens of forums I’ve read looking for tank stats. This book though has to be  the best narrative that focuses on the development of the Israeli Tank Corps. It is particularly useful to the historian or wargamer in its wealth of detail. It lists all the  tanks used by the Israelis and then discusses the tanks they faced. A good appendix covers the T-62, for example.

As far as I know, the book is not in print, but is relatively easy to find as a used copy in the usual places, such as

August 20, 2010

The Black Eagle

Filed under: Armor,Counters — foodnearsnellville @ 11:17 am
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Yes, it’s a tank that was only a mock up at a trade show, with a turret that contained nothing, but what if it were real? It probably would have had AIW stats that that looked something  like this:

To note, stats and the line art for the silhouette taken from Vasily Fofanov’s site, so the counter has content copyrighted by him.

August 17, 2010

Building British Forces, and maybe Tanknet doesn’t suck after all.

Filed under: Armor,Weapons — foodnearsnellville @ 10:30 am
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I’m starting to collect images of British forces currently. An issue though: is the Scimitar’s 30mm Rarden really a H weapon? 10 H 8? The range seems okay, but shouldn’t it have a ranking a bit more like the Bushmaster cannon on the M2 Bradley? Was there no armor piercing shell for the Rarden?

I have been trying to get a login on Tanknet for at least a year, and this morning, waking up, waiting to fight my hell with their “send a message” prompt, I see this:

No “please send a message” prompt. No beyond hell login issues. Glory hallelujah!

August 13, 2010

1980 US Armored Cavalry Squads, Regiments and Helicopters: Plenty of Cobras.

I’m a little inundated by the task of building American armies currently, and normally I publish sheets along with explanations of the same. But I’m into working on mechanized infantry and tank battalions and wanted to just publish the sheets for the cavalry and helicopters and come back with explanatory PDFs after the fact.

These sheets (with the exception of Sheet A version 2) have been prepared with Dan Fraser’s TO&E as amended by TO&Es found in the Yahoo TO&E page. The biggest issue with cavalry is the number of tanks simply didn’t fit. So we added a second unit of tanks per troop to make it work. There were only 6 M109s in the Yahoo TO&E, so only 1 battery of SP artillery, instead of 2.  M113s, whether 3 or 4 are being used, are being treated as the same. M113 ACAV’s (upgunned to 4 vehicles) are given as an option. Dragons on the main sheets are being treated as a reload. The unit that fires them should place the reload under the counter to  be used. The unit can use its own firepower and shoot the reload in the same turn. If you don’t like that, an implementation of Dragons as a section are given in the options sheet.

M60A3s are given as options, but the M60A3 often did not arrive at units until 1981 (and then, often in the TTS version). Stingers first became available in 1981. They are provided as reloads.

According to Sabot Dave, M113-TOWs didn’t appear in his unit until 1981. You can replace the M901s with M113 TOWs if you like. M113 TOWs were actually on the Yahoo TO&E, but I didn’t get that in my first read, or attempt at these sheets.

The Helicopter sheet shows a variety of Cobras, including the generic Cobra of AIW and more specific Cobra versions. My reading of the stats of the AIW Cobra are that it has a minigun and a single hardpoint with 17 HEAT rockets. It is firing these rockets singly, or perhaps in pairs. I’m saying this because the 20 mm varieties of Cobra weren’t available in 1976, and there is no other way to account for the 12 A 6 rating of the stock Cobra. There is no other way to explain, why, when the Cobra has 4 hardpoints mounting 2 TOWS each, that the stock Cobra is claimed to be able to add as many as 6 TOW missiles.

In the middle 1970s, Cobras were being upgraded to provide TOW missile capability. These conversions started roughly in 1976 and were finished in 1981 with the AH-1F Cobra. The AH-1G is the Cobra of Vietnam. It cannot mount TOW missiles. It can mount 2.75″ rockets, either HE or HEAT. It can mount 1 external machine gun, either 20mm or minigun (more causes vibration issues). It has 4 hard points, so 4 extras is the maximum it can have. This could be a M197, a set of HEAT missiles, and two sets of HE missiles. HEAT missiles never run out (a simplification, but in essence my interpretation of the 12 A 6 rating of AIW). HE missiles are fired once and the counter discarded.

For other varieties, the loads can be: AH-1S anything. AH-1P anything. AH-1E anything but 2.75″ rockets. AH-1F anything.

The loadout counters are to be placed under the Cobra/other helicopter to be used. Those of you that are clever can use the loadouts to customize UH-1 Hueys, if you wish. Just be sure to have historic justification for your experiments or your game mates might not be so impressed. The OH-58 can carry a single minigun, if desired.

The Sheet A v 2 was my first cut at Sabot Dave’s actual Cavalry unit in 1980. Consider this an ongoing experiment, where I’ll be posting more sheets as I know more.

Building Units:

To make a regiment, combine 3 copies of Sheet A or Sheet A version 2 with Sheet C. Sheet B contains options for Sheet A. Sheet D are helicopters, and hardpoint mounted arms that can be used to swap out or customize the generics on the Cav sheets.

Note: Sheet D has been updated with a range correction for the 7.62mm minigun. Corrected Sabot Dave sheet is US Sheet Av3.pdf

80USA Sheet A

80USA Sheet B

80USA Sheet C

80USA Sheet D

80USA Sheet Av2

80USA Sheet Av3

August 6, 2010

Armor and slope effects

Filed under: Armor — foodnearsnellville @ 12:26 am
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One of the factors that made the T-34 a great tank in its day was thick and well sloped armor. I’ve always taken it for granted that this kind of technique was good for tanks, but the why of it was something I never seriously thought about. Until now. Knowing both armor thickness and slope is important in calculating defense factors.

The geometry is pretty straightforward. Line segment CD is perpendicular to the armor plate and is the thickness of the plate. The line segment CE is how much armor a projectile traveling in a straight line must penetrate. CE is related to CD by the cosine of the angle ECD, which by a variety of ways, can be shown to be the angle α.

Continuing will give you a listing of a program to calculate effective RHAs for any given slope.

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