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Skybird 01-07-2012 05:13 AM

Fighting in SBP-PE in WWII-style
Edited June 2013:

The forum software ruins this text time and again when I tried to post a clean version of it. I therefor post a link to a PDF now that allow the interested to read it oinline, download it, print it - fully formatted.


Its a Dropbox link. When it does not work, tell me.

Gorshkov 01-07-2012 05:56 AM

Think about wonderful SFK42 game with amazing mods! There you can fight realistic WW2 battles driving historical tanks! You can play it all for only 20 bucks buying SFK42 here at Gamersgate. You don't have to pay five-six times more for graphically old-fashioned toy and next being forced to make some spells and hexes to transform it into "WW2 tanksim".

Play quickly and easily what you really like to play!

frinik 01-07-2012 12:27 PM

Early Post War Tanking
Skybird what you have done with your interesting post is very informative although I must say that you are pursuing the wrong tack.I think trying to recreate a WWII style war or sim with SPB is not really realistic at least in the atmosphere sense of the word.I think modern tanks lack the iconic flavour or design that WWII buffs look for in a tank sim.However what you have done is much more interesting in the sense that a lot of us are left yearning for a tank sim that would cover tank warfare from 1950 till 1970.There are none.It's either WWII or the 70s and beyond or bust!

For those of us interested in fighting tanks with some of the improvements that came after 1945 but before tank warfare became a press button war with all the technological improvements in thermal imagery, satellite guidances, computer assisted firing systems and super ammo that came with the 70s there's nothing, no sim on the Israeli-Arab wars where tanks like the M-60, Chieftains, T-55s, 72s, AMX Centurion tanks played a prominent role nor Korea etc.I think your suggestion to tone down the tanks in SPB and just keep basic features with perhaps gun stabilisation retained as it came in the 50s and laser sighting would go a long satisfying those of us with a craving for recreating tank warfare in the 50s and 60s for which there's with absolutely no sim or game made for that period.So you have given us( with SPB) a very worthy idea!:up:

On the other hand re WWII somehow your plan I guess won't meet that much enthusiasm.But SPB is a wonderful sim which can stand on it's own and has nothing to envy to WWII tanking.

Re SF you and I disagree on it's value but I respect your opinion and understand where you are coming from.That being said for those who like that sim is where the afficionados meet on a forum.

Anyway thanks for ressurecting that sticky because it's really great for the fans and shows how versatile SPB can be!

What you said about 2000 metres being the absolute limit for WWII tanks is not correct.Late war German tanks crews reported multiple kills with the Panzer VI ausf., B( improperly valled King Tiger( Koenigstiger) or Tiger II), the Jagdpanther and Nashorn at ranges of 3000 to 3500 metres.However these were the exceptions more than the rule and only the Germans had the combination of guns, optics, trained crews and doctrine( long range kills) required to achieve such feats.The average tanks battles were typically fought at 700 metres rabnge in WWII.


Skybird 01-07-2012 04:20 PM


it'S okay,what you said I already knew in 2009, when I originally wrote that essay. Back then somebody had made "Viller's Bocage", a map trying to catch the typical looks of those WWII French rolling landscapes. He also released a mission following the examples I had described. At eSim forums, some people at least found it interesting, and very very different from SBP standard. Let's face it - it is very difficult to fight, win and survive in a battle fought like I described, even more if you add a weather scheme with mist and limited visibility - then it becomes real scary. And that difficulty was for the main what I wanted to demonstrate. Personally, I do not do like that in SBP anymore. How different and more difficult it is you now expereince with the new playable T-72 in SBP, and it's almost WWII-looking interior. A rolling coffin designed in a cheap way to survive just the first few minutes of a battle - not to give the crew a real chnane to live by the end of the war.

When the essay originally was posted, TvT and SF also had just arrived, and it was an answer to some people complaining or saying that these games were oh so "realistic" in presenting a "simulation" of real WWII type tank combat, or they said they would kill for getting the opportunity to play a tanksim like that, but there were none. The latter I wanted to show that they can get closer to it by "absuing" SBP the way I outlined.

On SF and TvT, I would prefer to not comment here and tpoday, becasue my references to that stuff only came due to the destruicvie handling of the debate by Gorshkov - my references are triggered in direct reply to his almost trolling comments here and especially in the SBP resources thread. I took heavy Flak back then for the SF review, since it listed several points why I did not like that game and gave up on it, it all became quite hostile on a level I experienced as quite personal, but I stick to the points of criticism i listed there. I just will not revive that ugly old debate. Neal decided to not post/publish it formally (the text is a pre-released draft), as it originally was planned - the air was too hot, at least I assume that was the motivation, and I can understand it.

You are right on the atmosphere thing, for people willing to kill for a WWII sim due to its looks, my considerations cannot be satisfying even when using one of those very few WWII-skins that are available for mostly the Leopards . But for me, immersion has also a lot to do with functionality, handling, tactics and sounds. I see SBP as superior in these regards, and so I wrote down how far one can move towards old-fashioned tanking battles with SBP withgout any computerised hightech gadgets

On rare occasions I still received feedback on the old posting of that essay, asking why the text was so much corrupted and split into several parts/posts. Well, I just wanted to repair it today. And without Gorshkov provocating me in three different threads and having posted several even false things about SBP, nothing about the difference of patches and upgrades and about Steel Fury and the old review would have been added into this thread, at least not by me.

I'm glad if the essay motivates you to try something new in SBP, and if it doesn'T or you prefer any of the now several WWII tank games released over the past three years, then I am fine with that too and wish you a good time with the title of your choice! :yeah: My enthusiasm for SBP you please forgive me, I am known for it, and after five years and that long review I did on it back then, people even expect it from me now. :D :haha: I know about it's weaknesses, too, and there are several ones for sure. It's just not as much fun to post about them - that makes more sense in the eSim forums. I doubt they read in this silent graveyard of a forum. :-?

Gorshkov 01-07-2012 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by Skybird (Post 1816999)
SFK42...? Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942...???

"Think about..."

Yes, think about it indeed - and bnetter think about it twice and three times before parting from your money, no matter how little it is.

You don't need to think twice - "Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942" is five times cheaper than artificially advertised as WW2 tanksim SBPro PE civilian toy. Well, you should rather think five times before buying SBPro PE. In "Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942" you get right out the box: realistic tanks, realistic theater of military operations with correct historical background and much better graphics than found in SBPro PE oldie. You don't need any poor tweaking!

You buy, you download, you install and you play WW2 tank battles - as simple as it is! :rock:


Originally Posted by Skybird (Post 1816999)
"There you can fight realistic WWII battles..."

Yeah. Sure.

Oh, great - Skybird is right! Indeed, realistic does not mean ridiculously transforming Leopard-2A6 into Tiger! Beware - in SBPro PE toy no even 1950s vintage tank is playable. It will be looking like derision to play Leo-2 and Abrams artificially "castrated" with thermal sights, gun stabilization, using auxiliary sights as primary sights but still with their armors being ten times thicker than those found in WW2 tanks. :rotfl2:


Originally Posted by Skybird (Post 1816999)
"Play quickly and easily what you really like to play!"

Play something that disappeared surprisingly fast from the scene and never was much asked for again on 2nd hand market.

ROTFL! "Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942" is still up and running! Here you are links to community sites:


You can download plenty of FREE MODS from there transforming "Steel Fury Kharkov 1942" into a fully-fledged realistic WW2 tanksim featuring many playable tanks, self propelled guns - not any ersatz toys.

Of course don't take into account any Skybird's reviews of SFK42. It's wasting of your time to read them. ;)

frinik 01-07-2012 08:10 PM

To Gorschkov
Gorschkov I don't want to get into a shouting argument with you but I think you are going over the top!

I happen to have both SPB(since 2009) and Steel Fury( since 2008) and I love both but I don't confuse apples and oranges.SPB is a real simulator not a simulation game as SF.It's not perfect but good enough for many Nato armies and the gaming version is also far superior to anything else on the market currently.SABoW looks interesting and I am considering pruchasing it but I don't think it's meant to compete in any way with SPB but just giving a take on a different era with tanks you don't find in other titles including SPB.

I play Steel Fury much more than SPB because WWII is more to my liking and I have 6 installations of the game on 2 laptops and a deskptop.If you care to share your love of that game then join us on SF forum and make a valuable contribution and share the latest mods and missions.I am there very much present and active under the same handle.

That being said bashing SPB and taunting Skybird as you are doing is not only immature but jerkish!You dislike SPB or find it overpriced then as Skybird suggested either don't purchase it and don't play it.It's your choice and it's fine.But plugging SABoW by bashing SPB on it's own sticky really does not impress me.

Graviteam makes good games in their own right on a string budget and they make it clear that they are offering something different not trying to compete head on against be it SPB or any other game.

Finally the issue of the price is up to every individual to decide whether they want to part with their money for a sim or a game or not.None of your business.If you feel that SPB is fleecing you it's your right but you've made your point now grow up and let it go!:down:

Skybird 01-07-2012 08:35 PM


while I appreciate your assistance, I only say: don't feed the trolls. It took me some time, the past three days, to realise that I was dealing with one. But then I also got PMs today telling me he darkened other forums here, too.

So don't waste your time. It's enough that I did, here, and in one or two other threads.

Gorshkov 01-08-2012 08:10 AM


Originally Posted by frinik (Post 1817361)
Gorschkov I don't want to get into a shouting argument with you but I think you are going over the top!

No. I have only tried to explain basic facts about Graviteam games versus SBPro PE game to other folks. In this thread it is primarily aimed at underlining basic difference between WW2 tanksim game which "Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942" really is and other game features modern tank combat but being masqueraded as "WW2 tank sim".


Originally Posted by frinik (Post 1817361)
I happen to have both SPB(since 2009) and Steel Fury( since 2008) and I love both but I don't confuse apples and oranges. SPB is a real simulator not a simulation game as SF.It's not perfect but good enough for many Nato armies and the gaming version is also far superior to anything else on the market currently.

Maybe SBPro is real tank simulator but my point is SBPro PE is vastly downgraded stuff being only simple graphically old-fashioned game made for civilian market and sold under "military grade SBPro simulator" fame. Therefore it is very important not to confuse SBPro with SBPro PE!


Originally Posted by frinik (Post 1817361)
SABoW looks interesting and I am considering pruchasing it but I don't think it's meant to compete in any way with SPB but just giving a take on a different era with tanks you don't find in other titles including SPB.

Yet I think exactly the opposite! I think SA:BoW is good simulator of modern tank warfare with great tactical planning capabilities added. Of course most modern tanks are not present there (yet!) but anyway playing it you can experience such things night fighting using IR sights which was impossible during WW2 except some experiments in this area with Panther-G tanks in 1945 or ballistic computer available in M60A1 - stuff that did not exist during WW2. As a result SA:BoW game engine is capable of handling modern tank warfare well in my opinion.


Originally Posted by frinik (Post 1817361)
If you care to share your love of that game then join us on SF forum and make a valuable contribution and share the latest mods and missions.I am there very much present and active under the same handle.

So please explain to me one thing: Is this forum dedicated to SBPro PE game only or to entire tanksim games genre? If the latter is a case it sounds strange to ask me to go away to different forum. Maybe you should ask Skybird to go to eSim games forum, too?


Originally Posted by frinik (Post 1817361)
But plugging SABoW by bashing SPB on it's own sticky really does not impress me.

In this particular thread someone tried to advertise SBPro PE as a "WW2 tank sim" so I went in and presented my opinions about another tanksim which is real WW2-era tanksim along with all its advantages over "SBPro PE WW2" artificial construction. Additionally price argument is very important here for possible future buyers as I think.

frinik 01-08-2012 09:19 AM

Gorschkov I think you need to read posts and titles carefully before you make inaccurate and jumping-to-conclusions comments like Skybird trying to sell SPB as a WWII sim.He said no such thing and only you seem to have miscontrued what he wrote.The title of his post is "Fighting in SPB-PE in WWII Style".He made is clear that for those trying to recreate the WWII style of tanking in SPB-PE they can follow the steps what he explained.He never said nor pretended that SPB-PE was anything but a modern tank simulator.

Re my invitation to join our forum it's not meant to take you away from this forum but simply to inform you and others that if don't read much about SF on this particular forum it's because we have our own , very lively forum on to you if you want to join and " show your stated interest for SF".

RE SABoW not being meant as a competitor to SPB-PE; it's not me saying it but nobody less than Vladimir Zelevnyii, CEO of Graviteam, who stated so during an interview with Panzerfaust on another forum. I think he knows better than you don't you think????? He said his combo rts-sim is meant to recreate tank warfare in conflicts either forgotten or neglected and is specifically designed for tanks of the late sixties and early seventies.SPB 's territory is completely different and the 2 sims have totally different concepts and strategies.About the only thing they have in common is that they can be played on a pc and focus on tanks...

Finally your constant advertisement of SABoW interjected with derogative comments about SPB.You can make a case for SABoW without destroying yoru credibility by trying to tarnish the image of another game you dislike...Your sales pitch is not only overdone and abusive but also sounds more like bashing than selling.

What I find interesting is that a guy like you who in the past seemed to have only been involved in subsims based on your past posts has become a born-again tank sim afficionado???Very odd indeed....

Sledgehammer427 01-09-2012 08:01 PM

Sky, I'm looking into getting SBP:PE for my birthday coming up.

I was wondering how often you do these 'spartan' matches? I've always been a fan of making things more difficult like you have shown to bring the ease back into the modern systems. if you can work a gun using auxiliary sights, then it's just a babystep or two forward to using the laser rangefinders and thermal imaging equipment.

What would be cool is to see matches using the settings you described still going on. :up:

Skybird 01-10-2012 06:29 AM

I think they were tried by several people after that essay, two years ago, but almost all people left it behind again, probably. So have I, for the reason I already said: it is extremely difficult to fight, survive and win this way. Also, it is too tempting to use all the gizzmos the beasts are equipped with anyway, and still, in a typical cold war scenario you would expect to fight (on NATO's side) in numerical inferiority anyway, 1:3 and worse, so you already have your hands full with work.

Also, players may be tempted to "use" the assumed strength they gain from sitting in a heavily armoured Wetsern tank like the M1A1HA or even the Leopard-2E or Strv-122. One can fall into the trap and think "I have this thick skin, I just sit still and aim and fire, and just swallow every round the enemy is lobbying at me". For some hits, if you are lucky, this may work, but when you allow to take fire, even if it doe snot kill you, the likelihood that you lose laser range finders, thermal imagers and gunner'S primary sight early is quite high - and then you automatically are back to the secondary sights as described above. Also, while some of the Western tanks are hilariously thick armoured, THEY ALL HAVE WEAK SPOTS - and every round flying has a random chance to stray off a bit from it's aim point and find this weak spot by intention of the gunner, or by luck. So: even in a Leo-2E or Challenger-2 you can get killed by the first hit you eat. Does not happen often - but it could happen every time you are under fire.

Some tips, if you go with it: if you want to do old-fashioned gunning duels, leave it to switching off lasers, thermals, maybe lead, and see what this already does for you. You probably already find it satisfactory to leave it to this, instead of fiddling around with the map themes for example, as I described. Be aware that ammo choice in the mission editor is very important, a SABOT from late 70s is something totally different than a SABOT from late 90s, the difference can be that between night and day. Very interesting is to turn tanks-cenarios into IFV-scenarios, maybe IFVs or APCs even with small callibre only - you increase the chance that you get long-lasting duels in which you guys really battle it out in long-lasting firefights, wild shoot-outs like at the OK Chorral. It gets even more dramatic when being in woods (tanks in woods, okay...)! And for the novice: after having satisfied your initial curiosity and checked all vehicles, in the beginning chose one good tank, I recommend the Leopard-2A5 or higher, and then stick with it for a longer time to come, and play your missions by replacing it's playable MBTs with this tank type you have chosen. Learn this one inside out until normal and emergency procedures are second nature and you can command and control this tank and the platoon blindly - the real challenge in SBP is not the tanks' handling, but the geography, making best use of terrain, tactical panning, route-finding, locating good battle positions, timing of forces and actions. You can focus on these the more the less your concentration gets destracted by needing to think about how to do this and that with your tank.

By training the first days and weeks like this, you will see benefit in all other vehicles as well that you board later. And finally, do not try to command a batallion, not even a company. That you can do later. Start with small scale stuff: sections, and platoons. Doing platoon scenarios without the map function, is great, it can be a blast, really. For companies, you already need to do some "wargaming" on the map. However, SBP has the power to calculate scenarios the size of several batallions. Whether that makes sense allways, is something different.

Train shooting from secondary sights and using the TC's override options from all beginning on. This is the most difficult side of handling the tanks, but in battle, you WILL run into situations were you depend on these procedures and your competence to run them.

Oh, and much of your playing time should be over the map, before the mission starts. Very much time. The better your plan, the more detailed it is, the more eventualities you have calculated in routes and conditions, the better your chances. Spend the time and learn how to develope a good plan especially when you command a bigger force, a company, lay dpown that plan in conditioned routes and embark conditions from battle positions, calculate for eventualities and arty strikes. Stay mobile, do not sit it out - arty will get you. When the enemy has become aware of your platoon sitting in this place, it'S time to start the countdown until you get moving again.

And then the obvious stuff: even when being in the offensive, when advancing from a battleposition on a hill, do not just drive forward, BUT PULL BACK until you are fully covered, then stay low between high spots and advance in the valleys between hilltops. Stay stealthy. Make it a habit to never advance over hilltops, where possible. You make yourself visible against the clear sky, and you first expose your vulnerable belly, and then your vulnerable roof. Not good.

Do listening stops: stop and switch off the engine when you want to hear where the enemy is, maybe.

For the tank types, in their wikipedia they have diagrams for most tanks showing the scheme of armour by which they are protected, and where their weak spots are. Learn them even when the military teaches its gunners that they should put the crosshairs on the centre of mass in general - the weak spot is somethign you can go after only when the targets fills the entire sight, so to speak.

Thermal sights are no x-rays of infinite reach. They are modelled quite nicely in SBP.

On some vehicles, there is discussion on how they are modelled. While there are some known bugs, for the most these controversies ariose from people having misled expectations on the vehicle. But the sim, so claims eSim with pride, allows to reveal unknown implications of a vehicle'S characteristics by giving the best data they could find the best assessing they can come up with by insider'S experience. For example the Challenger-2 has a known problem with the driver'S hatch, which the MoD tried to cover in a hurry when it was revealed, at least the C2-version represented in SBP, and it is also known that the gun is lacking punch for several technical reasons, and the old ammo it uses. This made the C2 not the uber-tank some players expected, it is superior to Eastern tanks, but just one of several good tanks on the Western tanks - not the ultimate dominator.

Learn the map interface from all beginning on! You cannot do good plans if you cannot handle the map screen. The interface for mission editor and mission planning essentially is the same. It also is a very easy-to-handle-interface, the control logic speaks for itself once you got into the concept.

When you have problems with bridges and minefields, report back! :salute:

Note that infantry AI currently is far from being ideal, same for helicopters.

Don'T get frustrated - you will ge tkilled very often in the beginning, and not even know why, and from where. Use the after action report AAR feature, and use it always and frequently, switch it to "all units being visible" and "display vehicles instead of formation icons". It helps to understand your tactical mistakes and the genberal pattern of movements that took place. The AAR cannot be overemphasized. It's also great fun. From it'S map, you can always jump into the real world and see the scene of the crime smoking during any point of replay. It also helps to analyse who hit whom and where. If you wonder why this shot did this and not that, zoom in, and see where it punctured the hull - this often is the explanation already.

mr. whukid 01-16-2012 12:44 AM

I used to drool over how awesome that game looks.. and then I read the price tag.. :dead:

Chucky 01-16-2012 05:32 AM


Originally Posted by mr. whukid (Post 1822093)
I used to drool over how awesome that game looks.. and then I read the price tag.. :dead:

That was where I was.I really wanted a modern land based armoured warfare sim but the price put me off.

Then I looked at how many games I bought over a year and thought that it's about the same cost as 2 grade A game titles.

SB Pro has been on my hard disc since I bought it over 3 years ago.Dozens of other games I have bought are not.

If you have a great interest in the subject matter and you think it's awesome then think about it.

Skybird 05-31-2013 06:28 PM

Since the forum software has messed up the text again last time I tried to get a working version online, I now post a link to the thing as PDF. You can read it online, download it, print it.

Fully formatted. :)

LINK: SBP and WWII (2009)

Let me know if it does not work. It's Dropbox.

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