Welcome to Steelbeasts.com

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

lavictoireestlavie

Steel Beasts Armor Modelling

Will there be any adjustments on the way armor is modeled in Steel Beasts ? Are armor profiles being updated ? Some "tank enthusiasts" doubted that tanks such as the Leopard 2E could attain turret LOS thicknesses of 1300+ mm KE and 2300+ mm HE.

I am also somewhat surprised by these relatively high values. Are these estimates realistic?

675px-Leopardo2E_armour.jpg

689px-M1A2_SEP_frontLOS.jpg

687px-Challenger2protection.jpg

700px-T90armour.jpg

687px-T80armour.jpg

o1bVJJj.jpg

Edited by lavictoireestlavie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SB's armour values are estimates, the ammunition datas are estimates.

Are these "true" values- don't know.

Would it help to give esim true values? No, as they would not be able to use/publish them.

But combination of estimates used, produces results that are pretty close to real life experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're talking about RHA equivalents here, not the actual tickness of an armor. For example, the frontal wedge of the Leo 2A5+ is "mostly hollow" (except for the parts that aren't, which are the crucial parts). It'd designed as a non-explosive reactive armor to create a maximum of lateral forces on an APFSDS penetrator with the intent to bend it until it shatters, so that the remaining (Leo 2A4) passive armor can handle the force. To the extent that the shattering occurs it could cut maybe a third to half the length of the incoming penetrator; if the penetrator has en energy of, say, 850mm RHA equivalent, and thus loses 350mm of that RHAe value when transiting the wedge applique, and the remaining passive armor has a rating of, say, 750mm, the resulting protective value would be 1100mm to achieve the desired effect of protection against a specific type of penetrator.

Thicker penetrators might not shatter at all while traveling through the wedge, so the actual effect might be as little as 50mm RHAe. But thicker penetrators are usually shorter too, and they might not even penetrate a "naked" Leo 2A4. In this case it doesn't matter how much overpowered the value is since the base armor is sufficient anyway.

All that said, trying to come up with a single dimension - RHA equivalent - for increasingly complex armor arrays that involve different defeat mechanisms against different types of attack is approaching its limits.

I cannot rule out that one day we'll need to come up with a different method for the vulnerability model / damage calculations. But even then the question is, are the necessary data actually available for all the vehicles that Steel Beasts models (that is, available through open sources, standardized (so that they are comparable), or can they at least be estimated with a reasonable degree of confidence and a reasonable amount of research effort).

Ultimately the purpose of Steel Beasts is to deliver results that support the training purposes for which it is designed. If you want The Truth, go and attend a Philosophy course at university.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just to drive home the point, here's what a longrod penetrator looks like when it's broken up by a steel plate:

VcdOeaV.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

as for the other armour values,

T-90A might be a bit too low, BDD and RHA steel was used for the estimates, and drawings from fire&steel, when it could be using a better composite. in the drawings i have, it is simply listed as "protective fillings"

figures for the T-90MS was published as about 850mm vs KE, and 1200mm vs HEAT.

these figures are actually +-35 degree figures which means the front LOS figures would be

frighteningly high, in the order of 1000mm vs KE and 1460mm vs HEAT.

much of this however is thanks to the new relikt ERA.

pkhefCE.jpg

all of these figures are % reduction of penetration.

T-90A in SB uses only K5 ERA, which has only a 20% reduction in power vs KE,

and it's currently not simulated in SB whether ERA bricks are missing or not.

in real life after the casettes are "spent" the front armour is drastically reduced.

also, since it's an explosive, if it's not stored, it will rot and not work properly.

and if the russians "forget" to apply the ERA the results will be disastrous. it happened in chechnya, the russians didn't fit their T-80s with explosive elements for the ERA, and ended up losing a lot of tanks because of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

for the M1A2 SEP, again, these are front LOS angles. the 30 degree values would be about 820mm vs KE, which is not unreasonable given that it's got a heavier turret than even the M1A1 AIM. it is also stated that the M1A2 has a "more efficient" armour package over the M1A1(HA). and similarly the M1A2 SEP is heavier than the original M1A2.

in any case, original M1A2 would probably be in the 650-750mm range,

M1A2 SEP in the 700-850mm range.

the reported figures for the M1A1 HA according zaloga is 600mm and 1300mm over the front 60 degree arc.

which makes the M1A1(HA) impervious to all russian 125mm rounds, and all ATGMs.

the challenger 2, if you look at interior pictures, you'll see that the armour ends just behind the loaders vision block.

which means the LOS armour from the front is around 950mm thick, and from a 30 degree off angle it's about 840mm. also, the coverplate consists of 2 50mm plates.

there's only one figure for the challenger that i could find, from the Simon dunstan osprey pamphlet which states "According to US sources, the protection over the frontal arc of both challenger and the M1A1 abrams is equivalent to about 1000mm RHA"

this figure is most likely HEAT. it's also for the challenger 1. challenger 2 armour was "improved" .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

T-80U, again uses K5 ERA, so just by that would get a boost of about ~250mm (depending on the round fired at it) in the non-K5 protected areas, you can see the armour is close to T-72B level, which is reported to be 520mm so those figures are not at all unreasonably high.

also, the T-80U has in fact 2 composite armour layouts,

here's one of them:

T-80U%2520model%2520.jpg

estimated to provide around 540-580mm vs KE at 35 degree off angle.

so again fairly close to the SB figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Also i quite sure that the above images include things behind the armor that act like protection, such as fuel tanks. witch is the reason why the m1 hull armor seems to be weaker in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The design of armour is always a trade off with firepower and mobility. To much of one will hamper the other. Traditionally hulls were to be kept out of LOS and therefore could be less well protected. However, Operations in the Urban Environment and the use of armour in peace support/enforcement and counter insurgency operations has led to an uparmouring of the hull. It may be possible that some of this is removed for warfighting to buy back mobility and speed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The design of armour is always a trade off with firepower and mobility. To much of one will hamper the other. Traditionally hulls were to be kept out of LOS and therefore could be less well protected. However, Operations in the Urban Environment and the use of armour in peace support/enforcement and counter insurgency operations has led to an uparmouring of the hull. It may be possible that some of this is removed for warfighting to buy back mobility and speed!

Armor kits are designed by nature to be (more or less...) removable. That way the end user can tailor the protection of his assets to balance between protection and mobility (average max speed, max range, accessibility that depends on the weight class and dimensions with the addon armor)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll qualify this by stating that I know it is opening a can of worms and that it's based on intuition of what subjectively makes sense rather than something that is more clinical. Clearly it's a tricky area and it would require consideration that something always will be fudged one way or the other.

It's not per se the armor calculations, but the way it would seem killed crews hand off duties instantaneously that affect results in counter-intuitive ways. In practice this means things like a sabot or HEAT round through a turret- I'll pick the cramped interior of the BMP-1 loaded with ammunition and little room for crew members to move around- don't really seem to delay and penalize crews because they are able to resume behavior and pick up each others' stations instantaneously, similar to the way the individual RPG launchers were picked up immediately by the next squad member when the infantry used to be sprites- you could knock them down one by one and see the next guy own it and pop up with it immediately.

I've seen it happen that several rounds through the BMP-1 (or other IFV) turret doesn't seem to kill or stun or penalize the crew, only for the vehicle to launch a missile and get a cheap shot on the attacker. It feels cheap because it seems a bit 'unfair' that a crew that suffers successive hits like that can turn the tables, often killing or damaging the attacker. It feels like the side that should be rewarded gets penalized, and vice-versa.

It often happens with a missile already in the air- you might see the missile jolt a little, but it's always the case as far as I can tell that either the gunner seems to recover very quickly or the next crew member in line takes over instantaneously, meaning that it's almost pointless to make the missile jolt like that at all; in practice it's little more than a visual effect that lasts for an instant, since the missile is virtually always recovered very fast as long as there is a live gunner to take over and steer it. The missile never seems to lose tracking unless the vehicle is killed or its LOS is obscured, but shooting the vehicle only affects the missile for a moment or two- it always corrects very quickly and still has a high probability to connect anyway.

To turn it around, it's similar when the player's own crews are knocked out but individual stations can be instantly occupied by another crew member without delay, or the way a human gunner can simultaneously peer through the optics while loading rounds (if say, the loader is disabled- the player can't fire while loading, but can still see what he's doing- you get a performance penalty by means of time delay to shoot again only). Computer crews won't complain in SP sessions, but I wonder what this might look like in MP games- does it seem sometimes unfair that enemy crews seem to recover a bit too fast from hits and turn the tables?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of so many simplifications that we made over the year. There are two reasons for such simplifications, either that programming a more realistic representation of reality would get rather messy, or as a form of abstraction. I'm not here to defend the current status; if we wanted to keep things exactly the way they are we could just as well pack up our stuff, go home, and start something entirely different.

That said, abstractions are everywhere in Steel Beasts. Usually they are rather subtle, this one may not be our greatest example. But I think the "crew takes over immediately" is a case where we needed both an abstraction and wanted to avoid a serious mess, which would explain why it hasn't yet been addressed. Because serious delays can result in all kinds of AI related issues. For example, if the driver of a vehicle in motion gets killed, maybe it should simply keep going - and over a cliff or into a known minefield, if necessary. But if this is the platoon leader's vehicle, the rest of the platoon should certainly avoid this kind of cruel fate. The same kind of logic (and possible complications as a result) could be applied to pretty much any other crew member. So, we would on the one hand need to make crew losses a lot more messy, and at the same time catch all the complications resulting from it to allow computer-controlled crews to eventually recover from it. In addition we need to take into account the reality of both single player mode with a teleporting player, and a multiplayer environment where people might decide to hop into the gunner's place just as it has been incapacitated.

I'm not saying that this is impossible to solve, but it's likely going to be messy. Messy usually is time-consuming to solve, and here we run into the same question as always when assigning a programmer to one of many different tasks that are all competing for the same scarce programming time. So we're looking at the cost of the solution (=time to get it done) and the possible benefit.

All I can say is that there's a looong laundry list of things to do. We won't be running out of work anytime soon. And for everything that we decide to tackle, we must reject or delay about 99 other items that we can't do instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

something simple would definitely go a long way. like a short stun for any surface with crew damage, or a longer stun when a crewmember is killed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now