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#1 Jefthro2

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:21 AM

I,m wondering how to approach the availability of specialised anti tank ammunition in world war 2 within the context of Mein Panzer. I've completed a number of web searches to try and grasp an idea of its availibility but wondered how other people approach this in their games.

Thanks

Jefthro

#2 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 01:49 PM

In my games, when I use specialized ammo, I have 2 approaches. 

 

German APCR - This was Tungsten and a bit more rare so I use only 1 or 2 rounds per tank per game - if I use it at all.  It is up to you to figure out how to keep track of this with a marker or something so you know which tanks have used it and which still have some left.  After late '43 the availability of this ammo was almost nil since the Germans needed it for industry. 

 

German HEAT - In my games, this is primarily used by short barreled 75s such as Panzer IV D or F-1, Panzer IIIN, or Infantry Guns.  I usually don't have a limit on usage if we agree to use it.  It does give these guns a bit more oomph.

 

Other countries - I do this sometimes but not as often.  For the Russian SU-152 I like to have a few rounds of HVAP per vehicle to give them the necessary punch to handle Tigers and Panthers.

Basically it is up to you to determine the ammo availability for a particular scenario.  In many scenarios, I don't use any special ammo at all.  It just depends on what I want the game to do.

I hope this helps.

Have a great day!

 

Pete



#3 Jefthro2

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:53 AM

Thanks Pete

This is a very useful reply. I tend to ration the availability of the specialised ammunition. I have a copy of army lists from the 1980s which lists which vehicles are allowed specialist ammunition and it is often only one round (in game terms). I believe that it was common practice to issue American tank destroyers with the specialist ammunition first and others did their best to get hold of some rounds if they could.
I know that the old WRG rules allow three rounds of specialist ammo and ASL relies on a dice roll for it,s availbility.
So limiting its use seems to be the order of the day.
When we play the player activating to fire has to declare which ammunition is being loaded so that if it's a miss then it's wasted, I tend to give the players some counters and they distribute this amongst the eligible tanks. So that those expecting trouble may have the better ammo of course this isn't always the case.

Thanks again for your reply.

Jim

#4 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:08 PM

Hi Jim

 

Yes, in my games the use of specialized ammunition is declared prior to the die roll.  In general, the Germans will use their APCR for the second shot when they get a +2 to the hit roll for shooting 2 or more times at the same target.  We call the APCR "The Silver Bullet".

Pete



#5 Cpt M

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:32 PM

"I believe that it was common practice to issue American tank destroyers with the specialist ammunition first and others did their best to get hold of some rounds if they could."

 

That was the generally held belief.  However, examination of the logistical records shows no real preference was in place once the once the 76.2mm armed M4s became commonplace.



#6 Bob Benge

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:26 PM

In game that I run I have tried a couple of different ideas.The easiest for me was to have a certain number rolled on the to-hit indicate that the tank was out of special ammo. I would then use a small chit or a colored puff ball placed next to the tank to indicate it was out of special ammo. I also require calling out of firing of special ammo prior to rolling.

 

Example: Prior to game I indicate to the US player that a to-hit roll of 15 or greater will result in their APCR ammo being expended.

 

Honestly it is hard to get an accurate accounting for any nation on what the load outs were as the standard went out the window in the supply depots. Use your best judgement in your game and don't let the rounds really dictate your game to much.

 

Hope this helps! :)


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#7 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for your input Bob.  Having a die roll decide availability is another good way to do it.  The lower the die roll to run out of the special ammo, the more rare it is or the higher the roll the more that is available.  That could work very well and give a little bit of uncertainty as to how much is really on board each tank.

 

Pete



#8 Bob Benge

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:54 PM

My Pleasure Pete! :)


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#9 Mark 1

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:00 PM


"I believe that it was common practice to issue American tank destroyers with the specialist ammunition first and others did their best to get hold of some rounds if they could."

 

That was the generally held belief.  However, examination of the logistical records shows no real preference was in place once the once the 76.2mm armed M4s became commonplace.

I believe both perspectives are correct, depending on how one looks at the question.

 

The HVAP round shipped to ETO from September 1944 through about February 1945 were about evenly divided between 76mm ( ahem ... NOT 76.2mm ... no such caliber in the US Army inventory) and 3-inch ammunition.  As the 3-inch ammo was only used by TD gear ( 3-inch towed AT gun M5, M6 and M7, and GMC M10), that means from the starting point at least half of all HVAP projectiles were in ammunition issued to TD units. 

 

Of the remaining half, one might reasonably make a case of even distribution of 76mm HVAP ammo between the TD units in GMC M18 Hellcats, and tank units with Tank M4A1 76mm or M4A3 76mm Shermans.  It's a little hard to actually determine what "even distribution" would mean.  Most tank battalions had only a few 76mm Shermans, while TD battalions with M18 Hellcats had 100% M18 Hellcats.  I've never seen Ordnance supply reports on which units got how much ammo, or how much that translated in to per vehicle. But anecdotal statements do indicate that by January/February of 1945 most 76mm Sherman crews had received at least a handful of HVAP. 

 

The whole "handful" concept is key, though.  So here is a bit of data to support why it's REALLY just a handful of rounds.

 

Initial production orders for HVAP projectile T4, after the first test lots, were issued in late August, 1944.  This projectile was used in both 3-inch and 76mm ammunition.  The Ordnance requirements were for 20,000 initial total rounds, and then a target rate of 43,000 total rounds per month through the end of the year. 

 

Here is what was actually produced:

 

Month/Year__3-inch HVAP__76mm HVAP

Sep 1944______1,000________1,000
Oct  1944______2,000________1,000
Nov 1944______5,000________5,000
Dec 1944______5,000________5,000
Jan 1945______7,000________6,000
Feb 1945______6,000________6,000
Mar 1945______3,000________9,000
Apr  1945______3,000________5,000
May  1945_________0________6,000

 

In addition to these production numbers, the first 2,000 rounds from prototype production should also be counted.  1,000 rounds of 76mm T4 prototype rounds were transported by air to ETO in July, 1944, specifically for the test firings conducted in Isigny, France by 12th AG.  Whatever quantity remained after these tests was issued to the troops.  1,000 3-inch T4 prototype prototype rounds were also air-lifted to ETO in August, and these were also issued to the troops. After these first 2 lots, the remaining rounds, the production of which is shown above, came to ETO through normal shipping channels.

 

Given the great distances at which the US Army fought, normal shipping time for munitions from the US to ETO ran about 10 weeks.  So it was not until mid-January that total HVAP rounds received in ETO exceeded 2,000 per week.  And that's for both 3-inch and 76mm guns combined.

 

Given the number of 76mm armed tanks and tank destroyers in active units in ETO, the numbers do not provide for more than about 1-2 rounds of HVAP per week. Not per load-out, not on the racks and you role forward, but per week. Fire them off in an engagement on Monday, and you don't have 1-2 HVAP rounds, you have NO HVAP rounds in your racks for the rest of the week.  Of course it did not come through the supply chain to you in such an even flow every week ... just using the Monday vs. rest of the week as an illustration.  The more common scenario, per the anecdotal accounts I have read, is more like "we each received 3 (or 4, or 5) of the new souped-up AP (ie: HVAP) rounds on this date.  Never saw another one the whole war."

 

Now, how to account for it...

 

I have done it by allowing each unit (platoon, company, battalion ... make your choice depending on how available you want to make the ammo) to have 1 die worth.  If it's a D6 or a D10 you can choose per scenario. The player roles his die at the start of the game, and sets it aside as his record for that unit. Each time one of his tanks uses a special round, he turns the die one lower. When he runs out, he runs out.

 

It is by no means a perfect mechanism. After all, in combat the 2 remaining rounds can't teleport between tanks to be available exactly where and when they are needed.  And the unit and overall CO doesn't know exactly how many he has left across all of his tanks. So yes, imperfect. But it is very easy to track in-game, and avoids having to add yet another die role each and every time someone shoots.  I like a minimum of overhead and record keeping.  This gives a very simple mechanism for injecting the "precious few silver bullets" into a game.

 

Keep or disregard at your discretion.

 

-Mark


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