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I/JG54_chuishan

Personal research analysis & suggestions for the development of Tank Crew DLC

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Hello everyone!
This is my first post on this forum…and I would like to share some of my game experience with you guys on the newly released Tank Crew DLC. And it will be a VERY long post.
First, I want to show my sincerest respect and gratitude to the staff who created the Tank Crew.  You have done a marvelous job!  With detailed resurrection of interior, accurate modeling and exquisite animation, Tank Crew definitely provides a tempting choice for WWII tank simulation players. Comparing to older simulations like Steel Fury Kharkov 1942 and T-34 Vs Tiger, Tank Crew stands out for its excellent graphics and multiplayer system, while comparing to new generations like War Thunder, Tank Crew distinguishes itself in accuracy of simulation. For me, I can’t help imagining that one day, IL-2 Sturmovik would become the most accurate and most popular tank simulation platform. That outlook is really exciting!!

 

Tiger_131_7527880196.jpg


While Tank Crew is still at EA stage, I want to talk about some small issues dealing with details. (Mostly about the new german Tiger Tank) These details may have a great potential to improve in the upcoming versions. Of course my opinions all come from my personal research and analysis. Hope that these suggestions will be helpful to the development of Tank Crew.

 

I will divide my suggestions into 4 sections: Engine management and driving experience, Observation and Field of View, Environment and Effect, and finally Game play improvement suggestions.

 

My references include: 
1.D.656/27 Tigerfibel   Herausgeben AM1.8 1943 Vom Generalinspekteur Der Panzertruppen
2.David Fletcher  Tank Museum  Tiger tank _ Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I Ausf. E (SdKfz 181) _ owner's workshop manual-Haynes (2011)
3. Bob Carruthers - Tiger I The Official Wartime Crew Manual (2013, Pen and Sword)(English translation of Tigerfibel, contains recognition manual and gun’s penetration charts)

 

20180731230242.png

20180731225735.png

 

Download Link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DnogKA-lF1RJ6sDKXXVH3h8XwiqsXjfV/view?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xF9mLxomgr8rpe69NsaSmQeuH43TLJNu/view?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HTXvxRRX5QPv6i9nLUpNlRR7duDl0BTk/view?usp=sharing

 

These materials are from those who used to operate the Tiger in Germany 1943 and those who are operating the Tiger ‘131’ in Tank Museum, Great Britain Nowadays. So these information is quite valuable and reliable.

 

Let’s begin.

 

1.     Engine management and driving experience

For the time being there seems no engine management setting in Tank Crew for the Tiger, one can easily put his foot down and make the engine roar at 3000 RPM. However, this type of driving is strictly prohibited in Tigerfibel.

 

Do not race her over 3000 rpm ever, otherwise she will overheat. The water boils, the oil ceases to lubricate, the bearings, pistons and valves burn and freeze - the dance is over

                            ----D.656/27 Tigerfibel Page.38

 

It seems to me that a full set of engine management system is necessary, just like the one for piston-engined aircraft. You have to watch the oil temperature, water temperature, RPM… And learn to care for your tank. If you treat it violently, the tank will treat you the same. Comparing to its counterparts (Say T-34/85 or IS-2), Tiger is a very complex machine, as Stevan Vase----One of the staff who took part in restoring the Tiger ‘131’ said: The Germans were trying to push the envelop of materials technology for the period. Some of the materials they used were on the limit for the mechanical systems that make up the vehicle, final drives being a particular weak point.( Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual  Page 85)

However this professional in engineering also said: (Tiger tank) is not the slow lumbering beast portrayed in many books and films. It has the same mobility and ground pressure as a Pzkpfw IV. The vehicle is very agile and when driving correctly it is quite fast for its size and age. ( Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual  Page 85)

 

QQ_20180731183024.jpg

3000RPM-----Need for Speed:)

 

20180731230028.png

Driver's seat on Tiger 131

 

It’s not difficult to conclude that Tiger I is a tank which requires adequate skills and care to unleash its mighty power. Problems like engine flameout, overheating and difficulty in changing gear when driving improperly can be added to the game to make the Tiger I closer to the reality.

 

Besides, there are also some unique features that make the Tiger I different in driving comparing to soviet tanks . When Tiger turns, it can’t lock up one side of its track. As it is described on Page 92 Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual:

 

‘Steering is two-stage in that there are two turn radius available-- half and full lock. The turn radius is also dependent on the engaged gear, whereby a tighter turn is given by a lower gear. By design, it is not possible to fully lock a track with this tank.’

 

QQ_20180731183135.gif

Tiger in Tank Crew can do lock-track turns

 

 

20180731230212.png

Driver instructions on Tigerfibel

 

20180731230222.png

Chapter on turning in Tigerfibel

 

Also, neutral turns is available on Tiger I.

 

‘Neutral turns(one track driving forward and the other driving in reverse) are possible with the Tiger when the transfer box is in neutral. A black button is located on the side of the transmission, which locks the transmission ensuring that a true neutral turn is achieved.’

 

Finally, the driver can not get his head or body out of the tank while driving in the same time because the driver’s hatch is not right above his head.

 

‘It is impossible to drive the tank with your head out of the driver’s hatch.’

         ------ Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual Page 47

 

There are many other interesting features about driving the Tiger. For example, when transmission has been thoroughly warmed up, you can start the tank by skipping the 1st and 2nd gear without using the clutch.(Tigerfibel Page 40) .Further descriptions can be found on Tigerfibel. These features are part of the Tiger I, I hope that the studio can take these features into considerations and make the vehicle even more accurate.

Besides, if it is possible, recreating the manual gear box on all the tanks will be a really good improvement. Many of the interesting features above can only be shown when manual gear box is available. Driving a tank will no longer be a child’s play with WASD, but a real challenge for the driver’s skills.

 

QQ_20180731183038.jpg

 

Edited by I/JG54_chuishan
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pretty cool thread.

 

now I'm not a tanks guy, but if the devs are comitted to making this a true tank-sim, then they should definitely consider these issues.

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2.     Observation and Field of View

As far as I am concerned, the simulation of observation on Tiger for the time being is really fantastic. Especially for those periscopes. However, there’s surly details that can be improved.

 

One of the most important issues is the Turmzeilfernrohr 9b binocular gunsight used by the gunner.

According to the illustrations on Tigerfibel, this particular gunsight should provide a reticle with a round field of view. Only the inner part of Striches, distance markers and numbers can be seen, while the outer circle is covered in shade(looks black). It feels just like the scope mounted on a marksman’s rifle.

 

main-qimg-24b4b1c2b3b5478c25180ad2abf5a8

4d12f6fefa4180e3f8c34c12c394ff2d8a3051f9

Basically this is what you can get

20180731230233.png

Original drawings on Tigerfibel

image.jpg

From Osprey Duel M4 Vs Panther(Panther uses the same gunsight as Tiger)

 

It seems that in the Tank Crew, vision of german gunners is a bit too good, plenty of area which should be covered in shade is transparent.

 

QQ_20180731183046.jpg

In Tank Crew

 

Also, according to Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual and   http://tigertank181.com/08_tzf9b_gunsights.htm  the Turmzeilfernrohr 9b binocular gunsight mounted on Tiger I is a fixed-magnification gunsight. That is to say, the gunner cannot make any alteration like Zoom in/zoom out.  Actually, what gunner can only do to his FOV is interocular adjustment----  by rotating cranked eyepieces.  The left side telescope is preset for battle condition. Right telescope serves both the 8.8 cm gun and coaxial MG.

 

QQ_20180731183116.jpg

Zoom in function that actually did not exist

 

Also, due to the narrowness of TZF 9b sight’s FOV, (only 25°) and its magnification(x2.5), it should be impossible to see much of the gun barrel in the gunsight. In fact, only a little bit of the muzzle brake of the gun can be observed in the sight.

 

Tiger-_TZF9_C3.jpg

05illustrations010j_fs_fs.jpg

Page_103.jpg

Page_105.jpg

The Turmzeilfernrohr 9b binocular gunsight & installation illustrations

 

QQ_20180730235443.png

Optics data of  Turmzeilfernrohr 9b binocular gunsight

 

These features are REALLY important. Apart from mobilization, fire control is the most important function of a tank. Hope that these information will be helpful.

 

So obviously, you can’t do ‘Scrolling to zoom in’ staff in the real life as in Tank Crew, as well as using the gunsight to spot targets at range. You may say that if the gunner’s ability to observe is so seriously restricted, how can he pinpoint the target?

 

That’s why you need a commander. And this is what I am going to talk about next.

In WWII, most German tank models like Pzkpfw IV, Pzkpfw III, including Tiger, had a crew of five. Comparing to soviet tanks, germans put a special seat for commander. The responsibility of a commander, as described on page 81, Tigerfibel:

 

Only your clarity of thought, your assured order will give life to the Panzer, direction to speed, decisive impact to the projectile. You hold a hand full of trump cards, now learn to play the game.

 

It is clearly indicated that commanders make judgments according to the situation of the combat, and give orders to his crew members. What are his judgments and orders based on? The answer is obvious: observation. The commander on Tiger I has the widest field of view and best optics for observation. What he has to do is to observe, to judge, and to give orders.

 

To be honest, I think that the commander position in Tank Crew still has plenty of space to improve, especially dealing with observation ability. For the time being, there is no optics for commander to use in Tank Crew. In reality, commanders were all equipment with a standard Doppelfernrohr 6x30 binocular, and the cupolar also has a support for a Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope. This device is an optics with 50°field of view and a magnification of x10. The performance of this device is much more better than the gunner’s TZF 9b gunsight. It allows the commander to accurately spot target at range and measure the range of the target for the gunner. The more accurate target information provided by the commander is, the faster and more efficient the gunner can pick out the target and unleash the mighty power of the 8.8cm KwK 36/L56 gun.

 

20180731225648.png

Layout of commander's cupolar you can see the support for Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope

 

6x30.jpg

Doppelfernrohr 6x30 Service glasses

 

main-qimg-00b8b0c79c572705de966ee6086db3

s-l500.jpg

s-l500_1.jpg

WW2-_German-_Scherenfernrohr-_SF-14-_Com

Some images of Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope

 

scherenfernrohr.jpg

Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope mounted on a StuG III 

WW2-_German-_Scherenfernrohr-_SF-14-_Com

Drawings from Skoda showing Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope mount on a Hetzer

KGr_Hq_Zoo_FIw_O-2_GYEBSOc_V1m_Ud60_58_z

Sight image of Scherenfernrohr S.F.14/Z scissors telescope

 

 

As you can see, the commander can easily take his advantage of observation ability to enhance the performance of the whole crew. He can order the driver to angle the tank’s front armor when target spotted; He can order the radio operator to call for backup when target spotted; He can order the loader to load different types of shells when different types of targets are spotted; Finally, he can have a clear mind about what is going on now on the battlefield. Good ability to observe is really important in multiplayer mode. Who will like to sit in a position with no weapon and even doesn’t match the view of the gunner? Improving the observation ability of the commander will significantly enhance the game experience of players sitting in the cupolar and make them feel important in that position.

 

 

 

3.     Environment and Effect

Thanks to the original ground texture and map setup from IL-2 Sturmovik, the environment setting of Tank Crew is pretty good. However, regarding to effects, there’s some detail that may be improved.

 

Personally, I think that the ground friction is a bit too small for Tank Crew. I can even drive a T-34 off road and make J turns at a high speed.  May be making the ground softer will be an option. Besides, the vibration and shaking in the tank when driving around is not so strong. This effect can be reinforced as it is a big factor affecting observation and fire control. Tiger tank is equipped with a marching lock to counter the effect of vibration, that shows how significant the effect is.

 

Finally, it is the collision model. When I say collision model, I mean collision between tanks as well as collision with the ground. For the time being, tanks are at a status of a little bit ‘bouncing around’. For example, when I stop the Tiger to fire, the vehicle bounced, and the rear of the tank even bounced a little off the ground… I don’t think that’s what a piece of metal weighing nearly 60 tons can do… The same happened when two tanks collided, they also bounced around…

 

QQ_20180731212202.gif

Bouncing Tiger

 

May be a close look at videos of Tiger 131 at Bovington Tank Museum will help developers capture the Tiger’s movement.

 

 

4.     Game play improvement suggestions.

In this part I would like to share some of my ‘what if’s and suggestions on the development of Tank Crew with you guys.

 

(a.  Fighting with AI tanks in Quick mission builder

I think that Tank Crew can follow the pattern of IL-2. Creating Quick missions for AI combat. Then you will never get bored when driving tanks around. May be creating campaigns and careers of tank commanders in the future will also be a good idea!

 

(b. Commanding panel

How can you play a battle in multiplayer mode with someone you don’t know in a tank? May be a command menu is a solution. You can send quick messages with pre-set command like ’Load AP shell!’ or ‘Move to the right!’

 

(c.   Voice pack

This is mainly for effect. When the gun is loaded, you may hear an exciting roar from the loader:’ Geladen!!!’(loaded!!!) I do think that is fantastic. SFK1942 has such a voice pack, every order from the commander has voice recording. Such as: ‘Panzergranate laden!’(Armor-Piercing shell loaded!) This can make the combat even closer to the reality. And it feels good. All the standard orders and responds can be found in Tigerfibel.

 

 

 

Okay, I think that’s all I want to say in this post. We players of Chinese game community are eager to see the improvement and progress of the Tank Crew. I hope that my personal research and archive collection can help to make Tank Crew achieve excellence.

 

Finally, thank  III./JG5_a9305093  III./JG5_H517  III./JG5_ xshinel   for their kind assistance.

 

                  Cheers!

                               I/JG54_chuishan

          

P.S.  @Jason_Williams Would you please ask the developers of Tank Crew to have a look at this post? Thanks a lot :)

 

Edited by I/JG54_chuishan
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Really interesting post chuishan.   Hopefully,  as Tank Crew progresses a lot of these things can be incorporated into it.

 

Thank you for posting this. :salute:

 

   

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Looks like there's some excellent points here. Well worth taking into account as Tank Crew progresses. Maybe use another image hosting site though... much as I like gorgeous women the temptation to click on the dodgy ads is almost too much :mda:.

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I will bring up that it's very important to remember that this is literally the first public iteration of Tank Crew's early access, and the developers have stated that complex engine management is something they want to bring in.

 

As for the gunsight zoom we have right now, I'd really prefer that was left in, at least to some extent (maybe not as extreme as we have now, but some user-adjustable zoom is necessary). In a 2D game environment, you can't focus your eye on objects at different ranges, so you lose a lot of potential visual clarity at longer ranges. Being able to zoom our view in and out to a degree is an acceptable replacement for that capability.

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8 hours ago, 216th_Cat said:

Looks like there's some excellent points here. Well worth taking into account as Tank Crew progresses. Maybe use another image hosting site though... much as I like gorgeous women the temptation to click on the dodgy ads is almost too much :mda:.

Sorry for the inconvenience... I can only use image hosting site in China because I do not have a proper VPN... So... Sorry for that... I may try some other sites next time.

5 hours ago, Skeleboners said:

I will bring up that it's very important to remember that this is literally the first public iteration of Tank Crew's early access, and the developers have stated that complex engine management is something they want to bring in.

 

As for the gunsight zoom we have right now, I'd really prefer that was left in, at least to some extent (maybe not as extreme as we have now, but some user-adjustable zoom is necessary). In a 2D game environment, you can't focus your eye on objects at different ranges, so you lose a lot of potential visual clarity at longer ranges. Being able to zoom our view in and out to a degree is an acceptable replacement for that capability.

Well, I don't want to criticize or to be very picky about the situation now, and I am not urgent either. I just try to think about some possibilities in the future development. 

For the gunsight issue, I believe the developers will find a good solustion to balance the gameplay and historical facts. ;)

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I'd read this if the text didn't look like it was a cut/paste job meant for a ancient ad-hoc translator and monitor from the 90's with an oversized font and all it entails. Instead I skipped over all of it. Food for thought, OP.

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40 minutes ago, DetCord12B said:

I'd read this if the text didn't look like it was a cut/paste job meant for a ancient ad-hoc translator and monitor from the 90's with an oversized font and all it entails. Instead I skipped over all of it. Food for thought, OP.

Well, I wrote it all by myself except for quotes and citations without any assistance of translator of any kind. I believe it's a pity for you to skip it all over.

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Great information! Hope it will help for future updates of the sim. Thanks for writing it + PDFs

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On 7/31/2018 at 6:24 PM, I/JG54_chuishan said:

Besides, there are also some unique features that make the Tiger I different in driving comparing to soviet tanks . When Tiger turns, it can’t lock up one side of its track. As it is described on Page 92 Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual:

 

‘Steering is two-stage in that there are two turn radius available-- half and full lock. The turn radius is also dependent on the engaged gear, whereby a tighter turn is given by a lower gear. By design, it is not possible to fully lock a track with this tank.’

 


Not by design of the steering wheel. But as far as I know it has two brakes (levers under the steering wheel) that could allow this.

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11 hours ago, Fliegel said:


Not by design of the steering wheel. But as far as I know it has two brakes (levers under the steering wheel) that could allow this.

Well... If you have a close look at Tiger's driver position, you can see that Tiger has a simple driver's lay-out the same as ordinary cars. Under the steering wheel there's only one clutch, one throttle, and one brake pedal. No extra lever or pedal. So what you said does not exist actually:)

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7 hours ago, I/JG54_chuishan said:

Well... If you have a close look at Tiger's driver position, you can see that Tiger has a simple driver's lay-out the same as ordinary cars. Under the steering wheel there's only one clutch, one throttle, and one brake pedal. No extra lever or pedal. So what you said does not exist actually:)


It does. Listen to the driver of the Tiger 131 in the video below. He said he only uses the wheel but there is also two steering stick to control the Tiger just like a normal tank.

PS: the drum on the left, that you can see moving (the part further from the driver) in The Tank Crew is the break controlled by the left stick (or the break pedal that controls both drums).

image.png.25f5dbbb8f0691091fb0ce1fabf958ab.png
 

 

Edited by Fliegel

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26 minutes ago, Fliegel said:


It does. Listen to the driver of the Tiger 131 in the video below. He said he only uses the wheel but there is also two steering stick to control the Tiger just like a normal tank.

PS: the drum on the left, that you can see moving (the part further from the driver) in The Tank Crew is the break controlled by the left stick (or the break pedal that controls both drums).

image.png.25f5dbbb8f0691091fb0ce1fabf958ab.png
 

 

Thanks for your research and attention:) I have a closer look at my material. There's indeed sticks for steering. However, they are clearly labeled as: Emergency Steering Levers. That is to say, in normal combat conditions, these two levers are not likely to be used----unless the steering wheel get some malfunction. And that also explains why the driver of Tiger 131 says he does not use them, right? Thank you for explaining this to me anyway. Let's see how developers will deal with these details.

And I have to say it is still not for sure if these two emergency steering sticks can make tracks fully locked when steering.

20180803205016.png

Edited by I/JG54_chuishan

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32 minutes ago, I/JG54_chuishan said:

Thanks for your research and attention:) I have a closer look at my material. There's indeed sticks for steering. However, they are clearly labeled as: Emergency Steering Levers. That is to say, in normal combat conditions, these two levers are not likely to be used----unless the steering wheel get some malfunction. And that also explains why the driver of Tiger 131 says he does not use them, right? Thank you for explaining this to me anyway. Let's see how developers will deal with these details.

And I have to say it is still not for sure if these two emergency steering sticks can make tracks fully locked when steering.

20180803205016.png


Yes, they were not meant as primary way to steer.

They are basically breaks for each tracks. That is how tanks used to steer (unless they have differential steering like the Tiger, Churchill and so on). They blocked one track. That is why he said "steer just like a normal tank" when talked about those sticks. I'm quite sure it could stop one track and it was the way it would then steer.

One thing I'm not sure of is how the differential works then. Does it redirect power to the unblocked track? Or does it just lose those power as you blokc the track (as a tank without differential steering).
 

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On 7/31/2018 at 7:54 PM, I/JG54_chuishan said:

Also, according to Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual and   http://tigertank181.com/08_tzf9b_gunsights.htm  the Turmzeilfernrohr 9b binocular gunsight mounted on Tiger I is a fixed-magnification gunsight. That is to say, the gunner cannot make any alteration like Zoom in/zoom out.  Actually, what gunner can only do to his FOV is interocular adjustment----  by rotating cranked eyepieces.  The left side telescope is preset for battle condition. Right telescope serves both the 8.8 cm gun and coaxial MG.

 

QQ_20180731183116.jpg

Zoom in function that actually did not exist

 

Also, due to the narrowness of TZF 9b sight’s FOV, (only 25°) and its magnification(x2.5), it should be impossible to see much of the gun barrel in the gunsight. In fact, only a little bit of the muzzle brake of the gun can be observed in the sight.

@Jason_Williams

 

 

 

Another problem with in-game TZF 9b is that it does not have magnification at all when playing in VR. It makes sighting virtually impossible without using zoom. I have not played without Oculus so not sure if it VR related problem only.

Edited by DB605
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The steering levers are there to allow the tank to pivot on one track (like it does ingame). If using the steering wheel only, the Tiger can turn at 2 different radii per gear, I would imagine half-lock uses the first radius, full lock engages the transmission to turn at the tightest radius for that gear. 

Using the steering levers was not advised as it put extra strain on the transmission.

In normal conditions you do not need to ever use the steering levers as the Tiger's width is 3.56m, and the smallest turning radius in first gear is 3.57m, hence it is already turning pivoting on a track, just through the transmission. Now remember that the Tiger can also neutral steer (which it can't ingame), so technically the minimum turning radius is 1.78m (half the Tiger's width). The steering brakes are only ever to be used if there is a failure of the differential steering system. 

 

Untitled.png.b0d5fa02c66dd0d5b030db9524665de1.png

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I found this video where we can see the driver and the open hatch.  It is on 1'40".

 

 

Maybe some modification to driver's position? ?

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On 8/7/2018 at 11:31 AM, 6./ZG26_Gielow said:

I found this video where we can see the driver and the open hatch.  It is on 1'40".

 

 

Maybe some modification to driver's position? ?

Well. No. Actually you can find loads of photos and videos showing a crew member out of the driver's hatch when Tiger is moving. However it;s just another crew member(not the driver himself)sitting on the shelf next to the driver's seat to guide the driver. You can find related description in my PDF's above

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On 8/8/2018 at 7:58 AM, I/JG54_chuishan said:

Well. No. Actually you can find loads of photos and videos showing a crew member out of the driver's hatch when Tiger is moving. However it;s just another crew member(not the driver himself)sitting on the shelf next to the driver's seat to guide the driver. You can find related description in my PDF's above


I had no idea! I mean it came to my mind but I refused that as it seemed to me there isn't enough space. Apparently  there is.
Is it known which member usually do that?

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4 hours ago, Fliegel said:


I had no idea! I mean it came to my mind but I refused that as it seemed to me there isn't enough space. Apparently  there is.
Is it known which member usually do that?

Eh... I have to say I don't know either! :) However, we can make some deduction.

20180810184248.png

This picture was taken by the British after they got Tiger 131. You can clearly see that the man on the driver's seat could sit comfortably. Though he was leaning a bit backwards, there's still some room over his head. You can see that it's really roomy. So, just imagine: how can you drive your car with your head out of the window over your head? Your seated height is just not enough for you to get your head out of the window and you can't stand up because you have to operate the pedals. This happens on Tiger. And the hatch is not right over your head.

Finally, this feature is described by the restorers of Tiger 131, so I think it is reliable.( You can refer to Tiger tank _ owner's workshop manual  Page 47)

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On 8/5/2018 at 3:39 AM, RoflSeal said:

... the Tiger can also neutral steer (which it can't ingame), so technically the minimum turning radius is 1.78m (half the Tiger's width).

 

Actually, in neutral one track runs forward and the other runs in reverse (neutral turn) so the turn radius is zero meters.  This could be quite handy in the game.

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55 minutes ago, chuter said:

 

Actually, in neutral one track runs forward and the other runs in reverse (neutral turn) so the turn radius is zero meters.  This could be quite handy in the game.

No because the circle it makes with the tracks is a diameter equal to the tanks width, so the turning radius is half that.

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There is also this book, 'TIGER! The Tiger Tank: A British View'

 

An analysis  of  the Tiger captured in N Africa. Lots of data, tho not always correct, and drawings.

 

 

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