We have an update for you regarding the beta. There has been no word on the beta for a few weeks because we ran into some serious issue with one thing we're working on and we needed to solve it before releasing it live.
Anyway, there has been negative feedback on the introduction of the PzB39 in the last beta. The most criticized thing was that the rifle overperformed in comparison to its real-life performance. We explained why it was implemented that way but people still complained abou the same thing nonetheless. Then someone was really loud and used a lot of bad words and exageration to express their disaproval of return of the treadbreaker ability and there were also some bugs connected with the rifle itself. On the other hand there were people who supported the idea of an AT rifle squad in Wehrmacht faction. It was quite lucky that we discovered a solution that will (hopefully) receive a better feedback than the PzB39.
We got our hands on a functioning model of GrB39. For those of you who are not familiar with it and don't want to waste time reading on Wikipedia about this thing, here is a short info:
Panzerbüchse 39 (PzB39) was ineffective against anything that had stronger armor than a Halftrack so later they were upgraded/rebuilt into Granatbüchse 39 (GrB39). The rifle was (by adjusting its barrel) turned into a grenade launching rifle, with a variety of available ammunition. The grenades used a shaped charge so their penetrative potential was the same regardless of distance. There were 30mm, 46mm and 61mm variants of grenades which could penetrate up to 70mm, 93mm and 125mm of steel respectively and also some other types of grenades that could be fired such as smoke grenades or anti-personel grenades.
So now Wehrmacht has an early squad armed with one GrB39:
The squad is mostly similar to the PzB39 squad from Beta v4:
- 4 men
- 1x MP40, 2xKar98, 1xGrB39
- basic range of GrB39 is 65
- can build sandbags/barbedwires
- Point capture speed 0.75
- Cost 240MP
However the squad differs in available abilities:
The GrB39 fires by default 30mm AT grenades - these are effective vs lightly armored targets such as Jeeps, Armored Cars, Halftracks and to some extend even against light tanks. Due to the fact that these AT grenades carry shaped charge, they have not AoE and thus are quite inefective vs infantry (if you manage to directly hit a soldier with the grenade, it will kill him but the chance for such a hit is low). Abilities of the squad are focused on usage of different types of ammunition.
In the piture the first ability from left is (as you probably guessed already) a 30mm anti-personel grenade. It behaves similarly to other HE riflenades in the game - it has good accuracy vs soldiers in buildings and vs emplacements but still has trouble hitting infantry that is not garrisoned. Use these grenades to decrew emplacements or clear garrisoned troops inside buildings from distance. It can be fired at non-garrisoned squads too but the shot is likely to miss, land away from the squad and deal limited to none damage but if the RNG is with you, you might get lucky enough to hit the center of the squad and deal serious damage too. This ability costs 20 ammo and is available by default.
Second ability enables you to fire a 46mm AT grenade. The basic 30mm AT grenade is very ineffective vs medium tanks, this grenade can reliably penetrate any medium tank and deal serious damage. This ability costs 50 ammo and is available after the Assault phase upgrade is finished.
Last ability allows you to fire a smoke grenade. You can use it defensively (fire it at own troops to avoid getting hit) or offensively (at emplacements/MG teams) to allow safe approach to your infantry. This ability costs 15 ammo and is available by default.
The weapon model came with specific projectile models for the smoke, 30mm, 46mm and even the 61mm grenades. This means we could implement the 61mm version too but with the penetration potential of 125mm of steel we considered it too strong and decided to leave it out from the game.
This part is for people who have some knowledge of the engine and the damage system in the game. I will "hide" this by spoiler tag because I am worried that people without the required knowledge will just freak out about it because of not understanding the whole thing.TL;DR version
: You don't need to read the spoiler part if you don't know how to use Corsix.
Now a little bit about the gun itself. Shaped charge grenades would never "bounce off" they would always explode on impact (unless it would be a defective piece) and the armor would either be weak enough to get penetrated, or strong enough to withstand the explosion. Maybe because of this the gun does not even have a "bounce off" animation. This creates a little problem in the game engine - the game creates the appropriate explosion effect only if a grenade penetrates or hits the ground. If the grenade gets into a situation where it does not penetrate you will not see the typical bounced off shell (the animation is not there, as mentioned above) but the game does not show any explosion either which results in a weird situation where you can positively see that the shot reached the target but there is not explosion and no damage to the target either, leading to pretty understandable "WTF???" moment. This means that the grenades are set to always penetrate any target (in order to the shot to always create the explosion effect). Those of you who now start to freak out in panic that a 30mm AT grenade will kill their Super Pershing - calm down. The effectiveness of the gun is set in damage dealt to targets. So yes, the 30mm grenade always penetrates any tank (if it hits, ofcourse), no matter if it is Chaffee or Pershing, however the grenade deals good damage to Chaffee (about 1/3 of HP) but damage to Pershing is about 0.005 (so practically no damage). We set the grenades in such a way that they deal good damage to things to which they should be able to deal damage, but about 0 damage to things they should not be able to harm.
The problem here is that in the game we can set different penetration for front and rear hits but we cannot set different damage for front and rear hits. So in ideal case the default 30mm AT grenade should deal no damage to Shermans if they hit the tank frontaly but should be able to penetrate the tank if they hit from rear. The engine does not allow this so gun simply works the way that the default AT grenade is effective vs armored targets up to the tier of light tanks but deals little damage to medium tanks and practically no damage to heavy tanks. The 46mm grenade (ability) is very effective vs light vehicles, does good damage to medium tanks (usually about 50-60% of max HP) and can deals some small damage even to heavy tanks (but nothing substantial).
So no need for comments from certain individual about how "bullshit and unrealistic it is that this or that cannot penetrate this or that from rear". We know that, but this is the best we can get.
The squad is still without any camouflage options. This is intentional. We would like this squad to be a support unit in the early game and not an ambush unit. The GrB39 has a range of 65 but the squad itself has view range of 60. So if you want to use its full potential combine it with Volks or some other unit who will go ahead and spot for targets. Other AT squads can camouflage to increase their accuracy - this squad cannot use camo so to compensate for it, they have a bit higher accuracy by default. On the other hand the opponent can always see them and so he knows where to be careful with early vehicles. The GrB39 can miss and has accuracy penalty vs moving targets so once you spot the squad with your vehicles you can either decide to retreat (and not risk your unit) or you can try to attack them - in either way, keeping your vehicles on the move gives them better chance to avoid being hit. For GrB39 still applies that the closer the target, the easier it is to hit it so if you decide to attack the squad with a vehicle, rushing directly towards them might not be the best idea.
We will try to release the next beta in few days. We mainly need to balance out the accuracy of the unit vs early game vehicles and the damage it deals to these units. Sofar the hit-to-kill ratio is set in similar way as it is for PaK36 - Jeeps can be one-shotted, HTs, armored cars, light tanks take 2 shots (maximum 3).
That is all for now