RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Twilight 2000 Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-26-2022, 08:23 AM
Tegyrius's Avatar
Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
This Sourcebook Kills Fascists
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 904
Default Does 4e change the viability calculus for a tank-centered campaign?

Once every 1d6 months or so, I'll raise periscope over on RPG.net to see if anything of interest is being discussed. Today, I noticed this thread on running a tank-focused campaign in a post-apoc world. This prompted some thoughts on the viability of such a campaign in T2k.

Long-time forum denizens or capable search engine operators will no doubt recall or find several threads on this topic from previous editions. We've generally concluded that running a tank is a loser's game for PCs due to the logistical issues of fuel, parts, and main gun ammo, as well as the tactical issue of being a huge effing target. However, I don't think we've taken a detailed look at the issue in the light of 4e, so let's see if the dead horse has a few more resonant thumps left in it.

With a limited selection of tanks available in the 4e core rules, I chose to focus my initial work on the T-72.

Fuel Economy



... so, in terms of fuel economy, the 4e rules give us roughly equivalent fuel economy over distance when running on diesel, but are much more favorable if we retain the conceit of diesel engines being converted to alcohol fuel. Interestingly, 4e's road movement speed is significantly lower than 2e's.

Fuel Production

But what about those stills? Well, let's look at the means of alcohol fuel production in 2e and 4e:



Again, 4e is considerably more generous/forgiving, assuming both a 2e party and a 4e party are using mobile facilities. What becomes a crushing logistical impossibility in 2e is actually kind of feasible in 4e... at least, from a strict numbers perspective.

More thoughts to come, assuming productive discussion, but this is already plenty long for an initial post.

- C.
__________________
Clayton A. Oliver • Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-26-2022, 10:32 AM
Ewan Ewan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 153
Default

This is really interesting and the sort of details I like seeing and gives an interesting perspective on running a campaign.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-26-2022, 09:10 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 517
Default

Agree with Ewan.

I'm in favour of PCs having vehicles, or at least trying to keep them. I acknowledge all of the "issues", but there's no reason it can't be successful if played well.

I think generally 4e is pretty excellent. I've only just gotten to gaming "vehicles" in my game. But i am expecting the rules to be good and solid. I'm looking forward to my first few vehicle encounters and seeing how they go. Happy to compare notes in this thread.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-26-2022, 11:34 PM
bash's Avatar
bash bash is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 157
Default

While it seems like 4E makes a tank slightly more practical in terms of fuel I'm not sure it helps with the other factors of parts, main gun ammo, or being a big target. I think the biggest problem after fuel is parts. I'd guess their treads would be the first thing to go. By 2000 any tanks left in Poland would have been in combat for almost five years with two being post-TDM with few if any fresh from the factory part replacements.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-27-2022, 05:35 PM
Tegyrius's Avatar
Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
This Sourcebook Kills Fascists
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 904
Default

Well, this game in all its editions is much more post-apoc adventure survival fantasy than excruciatingly-accurate simulation (Apotheosis Saga, anyone?). So treads and lube aren't usually tracked to the level of tank extinction. But let's talk about the mechanics of mechanical issues for our hypothetical T-72 owners.


Maintenance v2

A T-72 requires 14 hours of maintenance per week. Potential breakdowns occur every 8 hours of movement or combat, rolled against the vehicle's Wear value (10% for like-new, to 100% if it's on its last legs). If there's potential for a breakdown, the mechanic who did the last maintenance rolls a Difficult Mechanic check to see if his work prevented the breakdown.

Assuming a well-optimized but not maxed mechanic PC (Strength 8, Mechanic 8), a Difficult Mechanic check has an 80% chance of success.


Maintenance v4

Every vehicle requires the same amount of maintenance: 6 hours per week in which it was driven at least one hex on the overland map. Maintenance requires a successful Tech roll. Failure reduces Reliability by 1 (with most vehicles maxing out at Reliability 5, so you have some margin for error).

Assuming a well-optimized but not maxed Mechanic PC (Intelligence d10, Tech d10), a Tech roll has a 75% chance of success.


Parts and Repair v2

A well-buried rule indicates that parts need to come from a vehicle identical to the one being repaired. Furthermore, there's some text indicating that parts are also component-specific (engine, main gun, radio, etc.). There are no explicit rules for scrounging or buying parts.

No roll is required to cannibalize a donor vehicle's component for parts. However, if the component is damaged, there's a 30% chance that the part is useless.

A character who's a capable machinist (or gunsmith, for ordnance repair) may also fabricate mechanical parts with a successful skill check andaccess to a machine shop.

Most repairs require 1d10 parts (1d5 for minor breakdowns).

Damage is tracked by vehicle component, with most components having two states: OK or inoperable/destroyed. A few have an intermediate damaged-but-still-partially-functional state.


Parts and Repair v4

"Vehicle parts" are generic - when needed, a bolt, brake cable, or turbocharger materializes out of the quantum foam of your mechanic's spares box.

A successful Tech roll when scavenging a vehicle yields one part per success rolled, -1 for a destroyed vehicle. Parts are considered to be "common," which means a 67% chance of availability in a typical settlement.

Only one part is needed to repair a destroyed item, though each repair only restores 1 Reliability per success, so thorough work will likely consume more than one part. Restoring reduced Reliability on an item that wasn't fully destroyed doesn't consume any parts.

A vehicle's Reliability score covers its overall structural integrity, its transmission, and its engine. Weapons, radios, and other subsystems either have their own Reliability tracks or have OK/inoperable states.

- C.
__________________
Clayton A. Oliver • Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-27-2022, 06:10 PM
Spartan-117
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

With the above in mind, I think 4e does make it easier to play a tank-centric campaign, since nit-noid details of keeping the tank up and running is sufficiently abstracted. A PC mechanic could take a lot of pride in keeping 'the beast' repaired and working, which gives the player a nice raison d'être to be part of the party.

I mean, imagine being a STR 8 Mechanic 8 PC and being told repeatedly, - no, don't bother rolling, you don't have the exact part need... why show up for the next session if that happening multiple times in a game?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-27-2022, 06:45 PM
Tegyrius's Avatar
Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
This Sourcebook Kills Fascists
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 904
Default

That is a strong argument for troupe-style play in which everyone has a primary combat/adventuring PC and a secondary support PC. Or just for the GM to not be an ass about denying a character a chance to do their thing.


So our last resource obstacle for running a tank-focused party is ammo. How's that work out in v2 versus v4?

Ammo v2

2nd edition provides varying availability levels for different ammo types.

125mm HE is common (80% chance of being available in cities, 70% in towns, 30% in villages).

125mm HEAT is scarce (60% in cities, 40% in towns, 20% in villages).

125mm sabot is rare (20% in cities, 10% in towns).

12.7mm and 7.62x54mm for the MGs are both common.


Ammo v4

As a broad category, all non-guided heavy weapon ammo is scarce (33% chance of availability in any settlement).

All small arms ammo is common (67% chance of availability in any settlement).

In both cases, chance of availability is for the broad category of item. The referee decides whether a specific sought-after model/type/caliber from that category is available. The West Possum Trot Trading Post may be fresh out of 125mm HEAT, but surely 122mm howitzer mustard agent shells are close enough for government work, right?


ETA: And here's a price comparison for main gun ammo:




Really, that last paragraph captures it. Ammo availability, perhaps more than any other resource, will be subject to referee judgement and fiat, even with strict adherence to the framework of the rules.

- C.
__________________
Clayton A. Oliver • Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson

Last edited by Tegyrius; 12-04-2022 at 09:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-27-2022, 08:31 PM
Green Monkey Green Monkey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
Default Tank carriers

Hi all,

Very interesting thread. We rolled the M1 in a 4th edition campaign (which is way too easy to roll and ended up being the only radio and night vision that a group of 5 players/10 characters started with) so this is topical and I appreciate inputs.

Some questions that have come up in our group that I'd be interested in your thoughts on:

1. How often has anyone used tank carriers. Our group generally moves the tank on a trailer (this was probably originally inspired by the Ukrainian tractors)? The tank is under a tarp and actually has its silhouette disguised to look like soviet SPA.
2. How far away can someone hear an M1 driving, especially given hills, wood, other terrain. Scouting team on dirt bike often moves ahead of the truck which is towing the tank.

Also, very much agree ammo becomes a constraint at some point. So far only two rounds of 120mm have been fired, both times special occasions.......

None of us have any real world experience with tanks so we have really had to wing it.......
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-28-2022, 12:08 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,249
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Monkey View Post
How far away can someone hear an M1 driving, especially given hills, wood, other terrain. Scouting team on dirt bike often moves ahead of the truck which is towing the tank.
No first-hand experience here either, but I seem to recall reading in Team Yankee and/or Red Storm Rising that the Abrams' gas turbine engines are quieter than it contemporaries' diesel engines. IIRC, this feature was used as a plot point- a company or so of Abrams was able to outflank a Soviet formation and catch it completely be surprise by moving quickly and stealthily along a forest access road or some such. I don't know how realistic that was. Hopefully, someone with RL tank experience can enlighten us.

-
__________________
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 11-28-2022 at 12:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-28-2022, 03:47 PM
Heffe Heffe is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 225
Default

Definitely an interesting thread. Regarding ammo and parts - I've spent a completely unreasonable amount of time studying the 4e OrBat info. Out of curiosity, I went back into the 2e books to find OrBat info for comparison, and it seems like there's a few items of note:

1. Units in 4e tend to be a little more consistent in terms of their manpower still available. Where a division in the older editions might have anywhere from a few hundred men to ~5000, in 4e they generally have somewhere between 1-3k personnel. 4e brigades typically have between 400-1200 manpower.
2. The older editions seem to mention tanks exclusively for vehicles. 4e, by contrast, simply mentions "Combat Vehicles". Looking at the US 1st Cav in particular, in the older versions it had a combined 48 tanks. In 4e, it's listed with 47 combat vehicles. Other units, when there's a comparison available, can vary drastically.

In short, from a ammo supply/spare parts perspective, I'd expect 4e to be somewhat similar to the outlook in the older editions. Though as you've noted, 4e's spare parts rules tend to be a little more forgiving than prior editions.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-28-2023, 03:52 AM
Ewan Ewan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 153
Default

Over the last week based on the excellent initial post by Tegyrius I have started to build a spreadsheet re fuel logistics for the 4th Edition rules.

My initial view is shown below and it's still a WIP so any comments and suggestions are welcome.
Attached Images
  
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-28-2023, 10:38 AM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 144
Default

As a completely off topic aside, even post-apocalypse, diesel should still be available in any oil producing area since it doesn't take a chemical engineering PhD and a full scale refinery to extract diesel from light sweet crude. For example, in West Texas / eastern New Mexico, I would expect diesel to be more generally available than ethanol or methanol.

The challenge with gasoline is low molecular weight alkanes / hydrocarbons have a horrible octane number (40-60) and suffer from pre-detonation and knock in modern high compression engines, and the additives that go into modern fuel blends ARE complex. Even something like tetra-ethyl lead requires a functional chemical industry to produce.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-06-2024, 02:55 PM
Sith's Avatar
Sith Sith is offline
Registered Amuser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 69
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Monkey View Post
2. How far away can someone hear an M1 driving, especially given hills, wood, other terrain. Scouting team on dirt bike often moves ahead of the truck which is towing the tank.
I was a tanker for a long time and operated M1s in both desert and temperate forest environments.

In general, the Abrams tank is much more quiet than anything else out there. I have had tanks driving around behind me (tank facing me at about 100 meters) and not heard them until they started turning (making the metal in the track “squeal”). Instances like that are not uncommon, but it’s also not the rule.

Terrain and weather will have a significant impact, plus the direction of the tank matters. The exhaust vents out the back, hence, a lot of noise too. It’s much quieter from the front by a significant margin.

The RPMs matter too, that engine can get very loud when the driver “guns” the accelerator. If the tank is sprinting or starting up a hill then it can get pretty noisy.

As mentioned above, the tracks can make a lot of noise when turning, not as much as a diesel engine but it’s not insignificant either. Also, the condition of the tracks can make a difference… brand new track pads on a paved surface can be much quieter.

From a crew perspective, you wont hear anything except your own tank and the comms… as expected.

From a Cav Scout perspective, Abrams tanks are a little harder to hear approaching but not impossible (terrain and weather dependant). It was significantly easier to hear the older M60A3 diesel engines in all environments.

As far as how far away you can hear it? There are too many variables to slap a number on that. Just generally, and Abrams is “harder” to hear… you can translate that as you like into character detection rolls. But gotta remember too, tanks rarely travel alone, Bradleys and M113s have diesel engines.
__________________
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-07-2024, 01:38 AM
Homer Homer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 242
Default

I’d second that. An M1 idling in an assembly area or moving in a straight line on a road or smooth ground is pretty hard to pick out, especially if there’s wind or other ambient noise. The turbine is pretty quiet once it’s running smooth. But, they make a very distinctive whine when spooling up, and there’s still track and suspension noise (what you really hear) when they’re going cross country, maneuvering, or have loose or old track. One nice thing compared to the M60s and some other diesels is they don’t kick out a puff of smoke when they gear up or down (like climbing up out of turret defilade). That’s a nice cue to know about where to look.

Diesels are louder than turbines, but most western stuff is generally quieter than Soviet/Warpac kit of the same type. The first time I heard a BMP I was sound asleep- the layed out on top of the HMMWV, done with my turn pulling security, actually got hot chow, wrapped in my woobie on day 9 of NTC sleep- awakening to what sounded like a couple of skidder engines being run full blast along with an out of balance washer, then realizing it was an OPFOR BMP (real one) moving past our position. No hiding that one, the whole platoon was woken up. On another occasion we got to hear a real BTR. Louder than any 18 wheeler.

Last edited by Homer; 01-07-2024 at 03:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-18-2024, 11:09 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Ruhr Area, Germany
Posts: 327
Smile

Yeah, Pact stuff is much louder. They did not sound-insulate their vehicles at all and with muffler mostly missing completely, it's louder on the inside and much louder on the outside.

I was fondly surprised how loud - or not - the Marder was. It certainly wasn't as quite as the Luchs, famous for its quiet approaches and drive-bys. However, you could hide an idling Marder pretty well and even driving one, ambient noises would mask it to a certain degree. In the dark, it could be much closer than one thought, if untrained, and its thermal optics was quite good in the A3 version. I appreciated the optics during training and I've seen photos from the current war that show Russian MBTs younger than out Marder 1A3 with optics that seem to be worse, sometimes a lot.
__________________
Liber et infractus
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-25-2024, 02:39 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 144
Default

Re: viability revised…I don’t think diesel would be nearly as rare as avgas or regular gas. Basically any well producing sweet crude produces a diesel fraction that is not difficult to extract (compared to manufacturing 94 octane gasoline).
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.