Morale Inside the Tank!

Morale Inside The Tank.

The veritable M1 Abrams is a powerhouse of a tank. The M1 is arguably one of the best in the world, especially in terms of armor ratings.

In 1985 that was definitive. What would it take to make a crew bail out of a fine tank such as this?

Let us explore via LNL Publishing Heroes of the Gap title, set in a hypothetical 1985 WWIII.

The M1 has the following rating for Armor:

Front,     Side,     Rear.

16,    10,    6/7 (turret/hull)

Assume that the unit was fired upon by one of the following vehicles:

T-80 or T-72 both which have a penetration capability or damage impact of 13 at range 1-20 and 1-15 respectively. The BMP 2 with its deadly ATGM has a penetration of 16 at all ranges.

In the LNL game you compare penetration v defense rating and roll a 1d6 each, net off the totals and subtract one from the other. If we assume an average of 3 for each roller we can ignore the 1d6 and just focus on the Penetration/Damage (note there are catastrophic hits, and dude round factors but for the sake of simplicity we will ignore them).

More often than not unless hit on the rear the M1 will not be killed or knocked out from any of these weapon systems, as even a BMP2 with its 16 rating would only force a morale check to see if the unit shakes.

This morale check is taken against a 2d6 roll with a equal to or less than being a save. M1’s have a high morale of 7. Thus the M1 has a 54% of saving (6 results out of a possible 11). But wait. a 45% chance of shaking? Interestingly in LNL if you are shaken twice then a crew will bail out or abandon the tank!

Now if the result of the combat was not ‘equal’ but still less than the M1′ units armor rating, the tank must make a morale check and adjust the morale roll to its benefit with the difference between the Attackers penetration factor and the defense factor.

So for a T80 we would subtract 3 from the Morale check, reducing the chances of a shake result to 36% from 45%. Oh and box cars are always a shake FYI.

So for that to happen twice the chances are in fact fairly high! What are the chances of a BMP or say that T-80 causing 2 shakes? Well the first thing they need to do is survive to make that second shot.

Lets see how another title handles it.

In GMT’s Panzer, every shot that hits is assessed for bail out (Penetrating hits that inflict Damage, or Track hits etc roll under duress for a survival bail out.), a bail out is as good as dead, the AFV is not able to be used and you receive no crew counter for cannon fodder. Only VP count is different.

The base chance is 30% for bail out. If the bail roll is equal to or les than 30% then the men do indeed bail out! Adjustments made for experience etc.

So this is a significantly lower chance of a bail out for WWII tanks! This bail out mechanism is pretty high however when we start rolling for EVERY hit, penetrating or other wise per turn. Therefore more chances to bail out will increase likelihood of such an event.

In both cases we see modern and WWII era vehicles being subject to seemingly high bail potentialities.

I do not know what the net % chance is of a M1 suffering an abandon tank bail out, but the odds look surprisingly high. WWII vehicles I can live with that happening, given what we know historically.

I had posted a question on BGG about this topic and had some interesting answers, but the net impression, was yes, bails would happen more than we think, even more so with untrained crews in WWII.

Does anyone have other experiences with tactical level games for bail outs they can share? If so will gladly add them here.

2 thoughts on “Morale Inside the Tank!

  1. My brother was a Platoon Leader in the 7th Cav in the first Desert Storm. They loved their tanks. Took great care in making sure they were in the best ready condition and even modifying them in several un-authorized ways to make them even better. He never really got into specifics on what they did, but it improved their rate of fire and speed.

    He did say combat was even easier than target practice. Goes to show, if you train tough, no mater what you run into will be just another day at the range.

    1. Love it. Good data! One thing that the Modern series of LNL lacks I think is a more accurate reflection of the rate of fire of these M1 type vehicles. But it would not be much of a scenario if all the bad guys brewed up in the first turn!

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