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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Forum Resources > Armchair Attacks! > Greatest/Best Tank of WW2

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Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 An archive of the WWII Forum's Greatest/Best Tank mini-contest.

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  #16  
Old 26 Mar 12, 08:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I think there are enough grey areas to use all those similar to the 37mm's as one class, even if some weapons were superior eg 2pdr. Perhaps add one point but in the greater scheme of things there would be little actual battlefield effect of changing one with another for 39-45 overall. If we were talking about 39-41 then a distinction should probably be made, but for all of WW2 I wouldn't bother.

In some categories I don't think most of us (all?) have enough knowledge of some tanks specs, eg ergonomics, to judge one against another on a scale. Likewise with maintenance. Are some tanks easy and some difficult? I can have a decent go at yes and no. Is a Valentine easier to maintain and keep in the field than an M4? I wouldn't know. Both are very good, but relative to each other?

Likewise, I would generally place German gun control systems and optics above their opponents. However, in the case of the Panther, the commander cannot control the rotation of the turret, and the gunner has very limited width of vision, thus leading to longer times to shoot at a taget once acquired (20-30 seconds iirc). How much of this is countered by the accuracy afforded by superior optics I wouldn't know? Probably depends on range.

This is why for some questions I would simply ask a yes/no question for some categories. Eg Sherman is easy to maintain, Tiger is not. Valentine is reliable, Panther is not.
One good point you do raise here that I want to answer, Nick.

Many members would either not feel comfortable, or not have the knowledge, to give some of these tanks a precise scaled rating relative to the others, against every one of the criteria. And while a bit of extra research is certainly to be encouraged, expecting members to do 14 hours worth on the relative minutae of each of the less familiar tanks would certainly not be reasonable.

Your suggested solution would work. I did actually have another solution in mind, that would also work (as I had indeed considered this issue already, from the very beginning) but the more I think about it the more appealing your idea seems, mainly on the virtue of its relative simplicity and the better workability of bracketing in certain areas. I may well end up adopting your ideas - or at least, my own adaptations of them - against some of the criteria. There are several days available to think it over.

I'd +1 again but the system won't let me yet. (I understand why that mechanism is in place but I do get frustrated with it sometimes. )
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  #17  
Old 26 Mar 12, 09:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
One good point you do raise here that I want to answer, Nick.

Many members would either not feel comfortable, or not have the knowledge, to give some of these tanks a precise scaled rating relative to the others, against every one of the criteria. And while a bit of extra research is certainly to be encouraged, expecting members to do 14 hours worth on the relative minutae of each of the less familiar tanks would certainly not be reasonable.

Your suggested solution would work. I did actually have another solution in mind, that would also work (as I had indeed considered this issue already, from the very beginning) but the more I think about it the more appealing your idea seems, mainly on the virtue of its relative simplicity and the better workability of bracketing in certain areas. I may well end up adopting your ideas - or at least, my own adaptations of them - against some of the criteria. There are several days available to think it over.

I'd +1 again but the system won't let me yet. (I understand why that mechanism is in place but I do get frustrated with it sometimes. )
Thanks.

Incremental scaling is possible in many cases, eg guns and armour, and should be used where possible imo.
Some is possible, eg mobility, but top speed and/or hp/ton is not always an indicator of mobility eg KV-1.
Some may be good, adequate or poor.
Some yes or no.

As far as contribution to tank design perhaps I should have raised the points value. The Churchill was the first tank to have regenerative steering, and still used today. Another first is that its gearbox and differential allows the tank to make neutral turns, again still in use today. It was also the first tank to be specifically equipped with a weapon to take advantage of the first discarding sabot shells, still a premier tank killer today. Having one element that directly positively impacts on tank design is an achievement, having three is superb. Still, I stand by the fact that we are discussing WW2 only, and therefore a designs impact on WW2 tanks only should be considered, even though it could negatively impact on my 'best'.
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  #18  
Old 26 Mar 12, 09:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Incremental scaling is possible in many cases, eg guns and armour, and should be used where possible imo.
Some is possible, eg mobility, but top speed and/or hp/ton is not always an indicator of mobility eg KV-1.
Some may be good, adequate or poor.
Some yes or no."
Yes, I'll be having a close look at all of those alternatives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"As far as contribution to tank design perhaps I should have raised the points value."
It's not going to be finalized until just before the deadline - one week from when this thread was opened - so plenty of time for you to declare a change of mind on any of your points, if you wish. (I've been changing my mind on a few items since this whole thing started, and I could do so again, so why not? ) Not to mention the ideas of other members on these things, to be considered too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
" ... Still, I stand by the fact that we are discussing WW2 only, and therefore a designs impact on WW2 tanks only should be considered."
That's one area where we won't agree at all. Still, we can't expect to agree on every single detail, now can we?
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  #19  
Old 27 Mar 12, 00:43
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Where I'm at with the weightings ....

.... at the moment.

Just to give you all a bit of an idea where my thinking sits at this point:


1. Firepower (30 points)

2. Mobility (30 points)

3. Protection & Survivability (30 points)

4. Balance of Firepower/Mobility/Protection (30 points)

5. 'Soft' factors impacting efficiency (30 points)

6. The ‘edge’ factor and Psychological elements (20 points)

7. Actual performance in battle (40 points)

8. Contribution to the advancement of tank design (20 points)

9. Value to the user nation/s and/or to the Allied/Axis cause (30 points)

10. Effort/cost of routine running & maintenance, and repair in the field (20 points)

11. Transportability & deployment issues, considering overall situation & needs of the user nation/s (20 points)

12. Production & consumption of resources (20 points)

(Note that while 'Actual performance in battle' has the highest points of any single criterion in my model, the first four criteria all relate to fundamental combat attributes and the balance of same - the 'Holy Trinity' if you like - and collectively these are worth 120 points.

... exactly how the points for each of the 12 criteria will be divvied up ... still thinking about that but so far, Nick's input in particular has been very helpful with that particular aspect and I agree with him that we should adjust the method in accordance with the nature of each criterion and what members are likely to be able to work out. Therefore, we can mix the options. They might include, but not necessarily be exclusive to:
  • Incremental scale in descending order of merit, with top points for the tank that scores highest and 0 points for the tank at the bottom.
  • Creating a smaller number of brackets with varying point values and slotting each tank into the bracket we believe it belongs.
  • Worded options such as 'Yes' and 'No'; or 'Above Average', 'Average' and 'Below Average' (and other variations of this idea).
My current thinking is also that in each of the polls (one for each criterion), I will simply ask members to vote for the one tank design that, in their opinion, meets that particular criterion better than all the other tanks. This will decide the 'champion' for each criterion.
Further details such as rankings, brackets and word-answers for each of the other 20 tanks will be asked for in the posts. If some members do not fully answer with these details, my intent at this stage is to arrive at the secondary results based on an 'average' derived from the answers of those who do. So I'll have some extra collating work at the end.
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  #20  
Old 27 Mar 12, 07:58
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Having looked at the criteria, I'm going to offer my suggestions.

First, split them into two groups (a) fighting, and (b) economic.

Within the fighting factors (the first 7), the first three are weighted about right, soft factors should be halved as this truly is both subjective and something the user can make considerable allowance for or even ignore if they don't know any better. The "edge" factor is also weighted too high, but it is something every design should have. The only one that is completely OTT and should be dropped is "actual performance in battle" ("battlefield performance" is shorter btw) as the tank has little or no influence on how commanders and generals chose to use it. Neither blame nor praise can be attached to the machine if Numbnuts or Macguyver are using it.

The economic factors are a bit muddied. Factor 9 privileges several designs simply because they represent the bulk of their home nations' output. Drop it completely, or reduce the weighting to 5 points. Maintenance requirements needs to be beefed up. Not only does this cover the simplicity or complexity of routine maintenance, but the frequency at which major services need to be done. Transportation issues should reflect if the design had been compromised by transportation requirements as well as how readily transportable the vehicle is. Factor 12, production and resource consumption is a bit tricky - several designs were modified in response to changes in resource availability. I'd suggest splitting it into production factors and resource consumption factors. The latter should be penalised if scarce resources are consumed prodigiously, or rewarded if the design was changed to conserve the same. US designs are slightly handicapped here as the US was in a unique situation of not really having any scarcities (but I'm happy for people to prove me wrong on this statement).
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  #21  
Old 27 Mar 12, 08:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"Having looked at the criteria, I'm going to offer my suggestions."
All suggestions are welcome. They will receive due consideration, together will some possibility of implementation (in part or full, or modified somewhat); unless they are asking to make a substantial change to something that has already been set by a combination of expressed consensus and my determination in the previous thread.
In other words, if a decision is already past the deadline, further change will not be considered unless the case made for it is exceptional, it is further supported by consensus - or at least there is no opposition expressed - and it meets with my approval. I will state now that such further change is unlikely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"First, split them into two groups (a) fighting, and (b) economic."
You will no doubt notice that I have slightly re-arranged the sequence/numbering of these criteria so that we have the 'fighting' criteria (1-7) first and the 'economic/strategic' criteria (9-12) last, with criterion 8 floating on its own in between as I don't think it really fits either. Apart from this, I don't see how splitting them and calling them 'Group A' & 'Group B' (or whatever) is going to serve any useful purpose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"Within the fighting factors (the first 7), the first three are weighted about right, ... "
Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
" ... soft factors should be halved as this truly is both subjective and something the user can make considerable allowance for or even ignore if they don't know any better."
I'm not sure that soft factors can be ignored just because the user doesn't know any better but still, I take your belief on board, that the points value for this criterion should be reduced. Your suggestion on this is duly noted and I'll put it to the membership for a response.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"The "edge" factor is also weighted too high, but it is something every design should have."
Very well, I'll put that to the members also.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"The only one that is completely OTT and should be dropped is "actual performance in battle" ("battlefield performance" is shorter btw) as the tank has little or no influence on how commanders and generals chose to use it. Neither blame nor praise can be attached to the machine if Numbnuts or Macguyver are using it."
None of the criteria are going to be dropped now. If you wanted to suggest this, you should have done so some time during the almost 3 weeks that the previous thread - set up specifically to discuss the criteria - was running before that side of the decision-making process was closed. The deadline has expired.

However, you have caused me to re-think the title, which was originally worded that way to differentiate between real-life performance and the theoretical performance that might be expected based on a tank's fundamental attributes.

I'll change the title from 'Actual performance in battle' to 'Proven battlefield performance'. Thanks for the nudge on that.

Btw, I expect the membership to have at least some ability to differentiate between performance based on the proven functionality & effectiveness of the tank itself on the one hand; and extra positives or negatives that came about primarily due to manner of use/abuse on the other.
Of course there will be grey areas where it is hard to separate the two, but c'est la vie. This whole thing will have lots of grey areas anyway. All part of the fun, folks. Step right on board!


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"The economic factors are a bit muddied. Factor 9 privileges several designs simply because they represent the bulk of their home nations' output."
To an extent, yes, this is true. And?


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"Drop it completely, or reduce the weighting to 5 points."
For reasons already covered, dropping a criterion will not be happening. The minimum number of points for any single criterion based on the current scale (which I fully intend to adopt) is 10. Therefore, unless you indicate otherwise, I'll put your proposal to the membership as being to reduce criterion #9, Value to the user nation/s and/or to the Allied/Axis cause from 30 points down to 10 points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"Maintenance requirements needs to be beefed up. Not only does this cover the simplicity or complexity of routine maintenance, but the frequency at which major services need to be done."
You didn't specify the size of the increase you'd like to see. However, I'll put forward your suggestion as a request to increase from 20 points to 30, unless you tell me you'd like to see 40.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
"Transportation issues should reflect if the design had been compromised by transportation requirements as well as how readily transportable the vehicle is."
If a design has been compromised or limited to make it more readily transportable, this should be captured adequately under other criteria, so far as I can see. Therefore at this point, I am not inclined to accept this change because I don't see the necessity for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Factor 12, production and resource consumption is a bit tricky - several designs were modified in response to changes in resource availability. I'd suggest splitting it into production factors and resource consumption factors. The latter should be penalised if scarce resources are consumed prodigiously, or rewarded if the design was changed to conserve the same. US designs are slightly handicapped here as the US was in a unique situation of not really having any scarcities (but I'm happy for people to prove me wrong on this statement)."
There will be no splitting of criteria. The only exception I'll consider will be if I receive substantial support to re-instate 'Reliability and Mechancial Stamina' to the status of a separate criterion in its own right. This request was placed by a member before the deadline but I have not yet seen whether a majority of members is for or against.

Having said this, when it comes to discussion of these matters in the poll thread there is no reason why you couldn't throw those factors into the pot for consideration by all.
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Last edited by panther3485; 27 Mar 12 at 10:47..
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Old 27 Mar 12, 10:33
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OK guys, here are the suggestions for points weightings from other members so far. These began with Nick, which - I should note - were offered before I posted my own preferences; and since then Nick has indicated a reasonable level of satisfaction with my preferred weightings but I think it's still useful to show his original suggestions for comparison purposes. wellsfargo also offered his weighting suggestions before I put up my own, so I'll show his too. After I expressed my preferences, broderickwells suggested some weighting changes also.

I'm displaying each member's suggested weightings in colours as shown by their names below; Nick in green; Dashy in green italic; wellsfargo in blue; JBark in this colour; and broderickwells in red. Please note also, that I am only showing the figures where they specifically differ from my own preferences, which remain in black in brackets. To help me quickly see how many times I get agreement with my own, I've added an asterisk for each one of those.


Nick the Noodle
Dashy
wellsfargo
broderickwells
JBark


1. Firepower (20) (20) (30)***

2. Mobility (20) (20) (30)***

3. Protection & Survivability (20) (20) (30)***

4. Balance of Firepower/Mobility/Protection (10) (10) (40) (10) (20) (30)

5. 'Soft' factors impacting efficiency (20) (20) (20) (20) (30)*

6. The ‘edge’ factor and Psychological elements (10) (10) (30) (10) (10) (20)

7. Proven battlefield performance (30) (10) (20) (40)**

8. Contribution to the advancement of tank design (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (20)

9. Value to the user nation/s and/or to the Allied/Axis cause (20) (10) (20) (30)**

10. Effort/cost of routine running & maintenance, and repair in the field (10) (10) (10) (30) (20)*

11. Transportability & deployment issues, considering overall situation & needs of the user nation/s (10) (10) (30) (20)**

12. Production & consumption of resources (10) (10) (10) (30) (20)*


That's about it so far. I'd like to see what other members think; whether they agree with my own weightings or some of the alternatives already submitted; or if they have different ideas of their own.


To all members: Thanks for your patience and co-operation, I know this has been dragging on for some time and I want to get the polls up and running soon - before the end of this coming week is my aim.

Best to all,
panther3485
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Last edited by panther3485; 28 Mar 12 at 07:00..
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Old 27 Mar 12, 12:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
To all members: Thanks for your patience and co-operation, I know this has been dragging on for some time and I want to get the polls up and running soon - before the end of this coming week is my aim.

Best to all,
panther3485
I'd rather take more time and get it right . I certainly do not feel it has been dragging on, but time just flies when discussing tanks .
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Old 27 Mar 12, 13:00
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Can I be fuscia? (How is that spelled?)

1-30

2-30

3-30

4-20

5-20

6-10

7-20

8-10

9-20

10-20

11-20

12-20

I still would prefer mechanical stamina and reliability to be a separate category.
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Last edited by JBark; 27 Mar 12 at 13:17..
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  #25  
Old 27 Mar 12, 13:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I'd rather take more time and get it right . I certainly do not feel it has been dragging on, but time just flies when discussing tanks .
Nick, I feel exactly as you do about that but I'm also conscious of the probability that some members will tire of this process if they haven't already; and they just want to get stuck into the polls.

I agree totally that "getting it right" - or at least, as right as we reasonably can within the boundaries set (and allowing for the whims of a crusty old buzzard called panther3485) - is paramount. IIRC my original stated aim was to do this better than it has been done before at ACG. I hope we do achieve that.
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Old 27 Mar 12, 13:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
Can I be fuscia? (How is that spelled?)

1-30

2-30

3-30

4-20

5-20

6-10

7-20

8-10

9-20

10-20

11-20

12-20
I think it's spelled fuchsia. Anyway, I'll try to find a colour that stands out from the rest. Chances are it'll be close to fuchsia anyway. You'll look real purty!


Edit: OK John, done. See the edit to my post #22 above. (Remember, I only show the ones that differ from my own.)


To everybody: Hopefully, if we can get more members to pitch in I'll get a real feel for what you guys want. If my weighting on a criterion is consistently out-voted I'll be inclined to change in favour of the consensus that's established among you. If it's more divided, I may just keep my own weighting. We'll see. However, I am already detecting early signs that I could well be changing at least a couple of them.
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Last edited by panther3485; 27 Mar 12 at 13:36..
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Old 27 Mar 12, 13:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I still would prefer mechanical stamina and reliability to be a separate category.
Yeah John, I do hear ya.

I'm just waiting to see if there is support for that from other members. We'll need to get that pretty quick - say, within the next 24 hours or so - if it's going to be allowed because if it does happen, chances are everyone will want to have another bite at the weightings. I know I will.

If support doesn't materialize, as a last resort you might try arguing for a heavier loading on the mobility criterion to compensate. Not saying that's any more likely to be accepted though.


To everybody:
Btw, folks, the points weightings you offer me here are not set in concrete. You can change your minds any time you like between today and, say, Saturday 31 March. I'll make midnight Saturday night (my time, which is GMT + 8 hrs) the deadline for settling these weightings. Then perhaps a couple or so more days to finalize how each criterion will be applied in terms of scaling, bracketing, wording etc, before summarizing the whole deal and going to the polls. How does that sound for a schedule?
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Last edited by panther3485; 27 Mar 12 at 13:58..
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Old 27 Mar 12, 14:24
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I've had a re-read, a re-think. I'd forgotten that "soft factors" covered small details such as communications, vision devices, as well as creature comforts and ergonomics, so back up to 30. However, #4, balance is total bollocks. Either the design has provided good firepower, mobility and armour in any combination you like (eg T-34, M4), or it hasn't provided any (eg Mk I female). The latter is completely balanced - everything is crepe. However, as panther3485 has pointed out, too late to drop it, so absolute minimum value. Slight rethink on #8, but by viewing it as "how hard do the others have to work to catch up" it makes more sense.

1: 30
2: 30
3: 30
4: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
5: 30
6: 10
7: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
8: 10
9: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
10: 30
11: 30
12: 30
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Old 27 Mar 12, 19:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I've had a re-read, a re-think. I'd forgotten that "soft factors" covered small details such as communications, vision devices, as well as creature comforts and ergonomics, so back up to 30. However, #4, balance is total bollocks. Either the design has provided good firepower, mobility and armour in any combination you like (eg T-34, M4), or it hasn't provided any (eg Mk I female). The latter is completely balanced - everything is crepe. However, as panther3485 has pointed out, too late to drop it, so absolute minimum value. Slight rethink on #8, but by viewing it as "how hard do the others have to work to catch up" it makes more sense.

1: 30
2: 30
3: 30
4: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
5: 30
6: 10
7: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
8: 10
9: 5 (or 10 if 5 is impossible)
10: 30
11: 30
12: 30
Hi brod,

Regarding the points, no, we're not doing 5, 15, 25 etc. Only 10, 20, 30 or 40 for each criterion. Mainly for simplicity and the multiples of 10 allow half points if we decide to use them (i.e. 1/2 point increments if we have 10 or 1-1/2 if we have 30); but also to stay in line with the originally established boundary, that the highest weighting should not exceed the lowest by more than a factor of x4. I guess we could have had 5, 10, 15 and 20 just as easily but I had settled on 20 as the 'default' loading because on an incremental scale (in those places where we choose to use it), it best fits the number of tanks we'll be evaluating. As you know, we have 21 tanks to assess and if you include 0 for the lowest, there's a 'whole number' score for each one.

No worries about the re-think. I'm about to head off to work shortly so I'll make the adjustments for you when I get home later today. I'll also pick up on, and answer, one or two of the matters you have raised here.

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Last edited by panther3485; 27 Mar 12 at 19:10..
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Old 27 Mar 12, 22:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
1. Firepower
The end purpose of having the tank there. Relatively important tactically to mission accomplishment. Operationally and strategically....?

Quote:
2. Mobility
Taken how? Tactically? Operationally? Strategically? There are different kinds of mobility. Tactically it is combination of automotive performance and the ground suspension interface.
Operationally, it is one of reliability, fuel milage, crew stamina, and road performance.
Strategically it is a question of size and weight.

Quote:
3. Protection & Survivability
In terms of crew survivability post damaging hit or just ability to take hits and continue to perform? That is, are we worrying about the crew living after the tank is penetrated or just about its ability to take and survive hits?


Quote:
4. Balance of Firepower/Mobility/Protection
Statistical double counting of the above. This measure is redundant and therefore irrelevant unless taken solely as the mean with kurotosis of the curve taken into accountof the above. Example: We give 1 to 3 a weight of 20 each. One tank has a score of 20, 5, 5. Another has a score of 10, 10 , 10. Which is better balanced? Taken as say, a graph like Simpkin did might work here but as a seperate measure standing alone it is irrelevant.


Quote:
5. Battle efficiency & user friendliness
Add in crew equipment, maintainability, level of maintence (ie maintenance load on the crew). This is actually a very important measure and probably as critical a one as firepower, mobility, and protection in combination.

Quote:
6. The ‘edge’ factor and Psychological elements
If you are looking at this in comparison to other tanks it is another redundant statistical value. This would become apparent (or its lack thereof) comparing the raw scores alone. If you are measuring some sort of "fear factor" then it is of minor or no importance.

Quote:
7. Actual performance in battle
This one will be somewhat hard to measure. You will have to have a weighting for the potential opponets it fought. Also you have to account for the amount of time in service where it could have actually seen combat.

Quote:
8. Value to the user nation/s and/or to the Allied/Axis cause
Subjective and definitely a smaller value than direct measures.

Quote:
9. Reliability & mechanical stamina
I would think this would include other measures such as amount of support (like fuel) required, ability to be recovered, etc. Thus it should include some degree of amount of support the vehicle required to operate.

Quote:
10. Effort/cost of routine running & maintenance, and repair in the field
This is as important as firepower, mobility, and protection. A vehicle that sits in a maintenance shop most of the time is nearly worthless. If the maintenance load on the crew is high then there is a good chance it goes undone much of the time.

Quote:
11. Transportability & deployment issues, considering overall situation & needs of the user nation/s
This defines strategic mobility. It is blended into item 2. Again, it appears to be statistical double counting.

Quote:
12. Production & consumption of resources
It might also include the amount of training a crew requires to operate the vehicle.

Quote:
13. Contribution to the advancement of tank design
Minor on the whole I should think. Many of the vehicles that made advances in tank design and construction never went beyond prototypes. I'd say that while relevant to the advancement of the art they were unimportant in any other way. Therefore this category is largely irrelevant.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 27 Mar 12 at 22:23..
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