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Stridsvagn 74

MBT Mode: Armored Warfare Gamemode Draft for Feedback

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MBT Mode: Armored Warfare Experimental Gamemode

Wotlabs Introduction

Look, I started playing AW because I wanted high tier WoT medium combat on steroids. Instead, I got blind, slow and badly armored turtles with derp guns. This post is going to advocate for a MBT vs MBT mode where tanks can actually play a bit more like WoT. This is what I have so far.

Hello All,

I made this post with the intention of trying to develop a grassroot gamer movement towards lobbying Armored Warfare to experiment with the creation of a MBT-orientated mode. Right now, there is a lot of conflict over the direction of the game. Armored Warfare wanted to put all classes in from real life, including AFVs and SPGs. However, these vehicles are not designed to be as good for an MBT role as a MBT, or designed for combat of this type at all. Therefore,  MBTs are severely gimped compared to real life, but some say that they are still overperforming compared to other vehicles. This idea seeks to create a mode involving MBTs that ticks all the boxes of high tier medium gameplay from WoT, which is in my mind the definition of fast paced MBT "fun". Simply put, right now MBTs feel like modern KV-2s. Them fighting each other as a mode with more logical mechanics (while still very fun and anti-campy)  for penetration, damage, spotting and mobility, would be a perfect idea for Armored Warfare to try. It is my dream to see the Armored Warfare developers try this idea as a way of satisfying the players who did not come for slow, blind as bat MBTs street fighting at 20m,  while preserving balance in normal random battles.

In this post, I want to cover all the aspects of the game mode, and an example of 5 in-game or soon to be in-game low-mid tier MBTs that could be used to attempt this idea. If I were the developers upon implementing this mode, I would make it a lot like Domination from WoT in the sense that the tanks are given and waiting in the garage, but to encourage active testing, make the rewards for playing very high, maybe premium tank level, or with bonus damage or a bit of gold thrown in to encourage big queues. 

Proper Ammunition Mechanics

Firstly, let's talk penetration mechanics. Some of this could apply to random battles in mixed mode, but I did not write this section for them.

Basically, the way ammunition is implemented in Armored Warfare leads to a variety of issues for MBT vs MBT.

Firstly, many top tiers lack high explosive ammunition, which is a serious issue, as in real life HEAT is used as HE on some modern MBTs. HESH works completely opposite to what it should, having less damage and penetration than HE, for module damage, is blatantly false and runs counter to the design of HESH. As well, the misconception that  AP normalizes a certain amount at any angle is kept from world of tanks, which leads to a variety of issues.

I have taken this knowledge from many dtic documents and online catalogues of postwar Yugoslavian penetration tests, as well as Swedish firing trials on the Stridsvagn 103, as well as descriptions of modern ammunition types, and the heavy work done on HESH by Vollketten and MadestCat.

Here is a brief series of anecdotes about ballistics.

The Stridsvagn 103 in real life had fantastic armor for when it was designed. It works on the principle of ricochet, where heavily sloped armor is far more effective than its line of sight thickness would suggest. Shells tend to "slide" a bit on small slopes, and a lot on very angled slopes,  It was designed to have thick enough armor to avoid the backplate effect, where heavily sloped and thin armor is less effective than line of sight, which is caused by very large shells hitting very thin armor, represented in some games as "overmatch". The Strv 103 could perform ricochets on all APDS shells, including the higher penetration ones coming from another Strv 103, which had about 10% more LoS perforation than the same ammunition fired from the gun on a M60 or Leopard 1. In-game with normalization of AP, which does not strictly exist unless you compensate for the backplate effect, the Stridsvagn 103 has about 150mm of line of sight armor, realistically none for the tier (probably tier 5). However, it should bounce all non-APFSDS kinetic rounds. This is a severe problem.

 As well, we can draw conclusions from looking at penetration tests of a T-55. Although the T-55's upper plate has 200mm line of sight penetration, in real life it is viewed to offer better protection than all but highly sloped areas of the turret front, which is over 200mm at its absolute flattest and weakest. Clearly, an effect exists in real life, when armor is not subject to backplate overmatch, that sloped armor provides a greater-than-line of sight protection. I, for the purposes of this article, will call this effect anti-normalization.

Ricochets are also strictly copied and pasted mechanic wise from WoT, which is simply false compared to reality. Let me begin by saying that APFSDS ricocheting at 20 degrees is absurd. has about a 60% chance of ricochet at 8 degrees from flat, but it will not bounce up into a turret ring, or penetrate anything more than heavy shrapnel. Simply put, it breaks up after initial penetration / impact. This was the idea behind Leopard 1A5 spaced armor on the turret, intended to shatter APFSDS rounds. A realistic system would be to implement a ricochet angle of 8 degrees, then reduce penetration to about 30mm post-ricochet, with reduced damage. Spaced armor should give a % chance of shattering the round, and be double the effective thickness + 1/2 of the thickness of the air gap, reducing penetration for the next layer, due to round tumble. This should also apply to tracks.


Dozer blades in real life as spaced armor, 10mm on the Strv 103. In-game they appear to count as far more.


In a MBT only-gamemode, i feel to increase the slight angling potential (still works, technically)) that overmatch could be completly removed.

Before I launch into detailed summaries, here is an outline of how I would change ammunition types in addition to APFSDS. I would:

1.       Implement normalization and anti-normalization as a % based on impact angle, not a angle value. This allows for more effect at heavy angles, but less effect at small angles.

2.       Create HESH as what it is, a armor defeating round that does more damage than other types, but has less penetration than APFSDS or HEAT

3.       Create modern HEAT as what it is, effective versus slabs of steel and with explosive power upon non-penetration, while creating older HEAT as what it is, an effective against very thick unsloped steel with no explosive non-penetration.

4.       Create APFSDS as what it is, a sloped-armor ignoring kinetic penetration type. This also leads to giving APDS realistic ricochet mechanics.

5.       Rework HE into current HESH mechanics, which makes a lot of real-life and in-game sense if HESH was changed.

Check Order

This describes which order penetration checks would be done in, which is vitally important with normalization and anti-normalization.

1.       Impact angle ricochet check. If the angle is over the ricochet angle (degrees) in the table, it ricochets. If 2nd impact with "continues on: shell action, repeat step 1, if not proceed to step 2.

2.       Perform normalization/anti-normalization. If the new angle is over 90 degrees or more, it bounces off. If the angle is less than 90, calculate the slope of the armor and check with penetration.

3.       If it penetrates, it does damage. If not, it bounces.

4.       Perform RNG calculation for base damage then modify damage by the modules hit (120% due to ammo rack hit, 90% due to engine hit) ect.

This check order obviously omits anything other than steel armor with no spaced armor/era/composites, ect, , and damage modifiers biased on modules hit.


HESH does not actually have a penetration value in real life. Regardless of calibre, it will only "blow in" plate of up to about 50mm of armor. However, it is not designed to do such a thing. HESH works by sending a pancake of the inside side of an armor plate flying into the crew compartment due to a impact on the outside. This effect, as a general rule, was effective from about 1.2 calibre rule (effective versus 1.2 times the thickness of armor compared to the diameter of the gun) up to about 1.3 in late HESH. Due to the shape of the explosion against the armor plate, HESH also performs better versus heavily sloped armor plate, until it fails to fuze at about 85 degrees, glancing off the armor plate. HESH performs very badly versus spaced armor and tracks, while being ineffective aside from exterior splash to composite armor and ERA.

The correct way to implement HESH in-game would be somewhat as follows.

·         Assign 60% normalization to HESH shells. 60% of the impact angle is cancelled by the slope-negating impact.

·         Assign penetration of 1.2 times shell diameter. This is the exact number mention in a dtic document overview. Make the damage superior to the damage of HEAT and AP, while keeping it below the damage of HE.

·         Upon non-penetration, assign a negative exponential  splash damage curve, starting at 50% of the damage of a penetration hit, becoming fully ineffective at triple the shell caliber.


HEAT in the early years was an ammunition that kept its penetration at range, excellent at dealing with unsloped slabs of steel armor. However, it suffered tremendously to spaced armor and tracks, as well as against high angle surfaces. Modern HEAT keeps to these general principles, albeit with better slope performance,, but can also be used as high explosive, and works far better against angles compared to early HEAT.

The correct way to implement HEAT would be to split it in-game into early and late functionality.

1.       Early HEAT would have poor sloped armor performance, with a ricochet angle of 64 degrees, but about much more penetration than APDS. It would have slower velocity compared to APDS, bounce against all spaced armor and keep its penetration at range. It would also have lower damage than APDS, as it can penetrate turrets as well as any hull from a good angle.

Late HEAT would function similarly, but would

1.       Have amazing penetration versus steel, but bounce on ERA, spaced armor or composites, giving HE-like splash damage. (Bar any sort of Tandem missile)

2.       It would perform well versus slopes, with 74 degrees initial ricochet, suprior to early HEAT by 12 degrees. It would have significantly more damage than APFSDS to compensate for poor anti-MBT effectiveness in regards to penetration.


APDS and APFSDS are both the kinetic penetrators of their respective tiers. Pre APDS and APDS would do more damage than early HEAT. Although they would have worse penetration, they fly faster and perform versus sloped armor, being not useless when combined with the damage bonus. Pre APDS and APDS both have a ricochet angle of 76 degrees, which means that they can attack highly sloped hulls better. I imagine that it some manner the backplate and antinormalzation effects cancel out, which means that in game terms all AP ammunition could ignore slope like APFSDS. Alternativly, for Pre-APFSDS, a antinormalisation of about 10% could be realistically applied. APFSDS ignores slope like HEAT and becomes the lower damage high pen alternative, while low tiers use APDS for more damage and reliability compared to early HEAT.


HE would work very similarly to in-game HESH as of current mechanics. It would have no slope modifier, penetration of  1/2 of caliber of the gun, but cause lots of splash and module damage.


  • Spotting would be very simple in MBT mode. Firstly, more true open range, hilly MBT terrain would be nice, with little to no buildings or rocks, but with undulations providing advance. This would allow for hulldown locations, still utilized in doctrine. I would compare this idea to maps like "Sand River" in World of Tanks.
  • Spotting rules would be as such. This is intended to keep MBTs at longer range initially when "sniping", but to allow advances.
  •  All tanks are given the same view range. The view range would be very high, of high tier AFVs. This is due to it being impossible to justify the level of optics on modern MBTs compared to one another.
  • Tank camouflage rating is a factor of vehicle height. Short tanks get good ratings. Tank camo rating of high tier AFVs. This is logical.
  • Tanks are fully spotted when  they fire a shot.
  • Unlimited render range.
  • Tanks must break line of sight with the enemy for 5 seconds to become unspotted.
  • This means that camping in a bush at the back would be impossible, as you would have nowhere to go, and cover would be useless when you have fired. Using ridges and moving up to advantageous positions would be necessary, like for real MBTs


Mobility would be a factor of very few things, as some things, such as transmission efficiency and torque, while play into power to weight and acceleration, cannot be found for all tanks.

1.       Historical forward and reverse speeds. Many tanks do not have them right now. Road speed would be used.

2.       Power to weight would determine acceleration, and when the vehicle can hit its top speed.

3.       Hull traverse would be historical. Although difficult to find, most data can be uncovered.

4.       Turret traverse would be historical.

5.       No  arbitrary terrain resistance would exist. All tanks would be given the same amount, although terrain resistance could be changed depending on ground pressure, it is more understandable to use few values.

Fire Control

Although view range is the same for all vehicles simply because it is hard to verify , fire control can be decided by real aspects of the tank. 


Dispersion, although it should be extremely small compared to real life. M60 Pattons could not hit a barn sized stationary target from a higher speed than 9 km/h. The Conqueror had firing disabled past a speed of 1.5 mph. However dispersion can mimic reality in relative levels for tank vs tank. Tanks with good stabilization can be more accurate on the move, and vice versa. No tank should have a dispersion worse than a current tier 6 MBT

Aim Time

Aim time should be decided by the quality of the ballistic computers or rangefinders on the tanks. No aim time should be extremely long, of over 2.5 seconds, with about 1.3 being "great".


Accuracy should depend on the mechanical accuracy of the gun. Some, like the 115mm Soviet smoothbore, should be less accurate than the L7 105mm gun.

Depression / Elevation

Unlike what is currently in game, all tanks would have historical gun depression and elevation.


 Alpha Damage tied to the calibre is a big part of this MBT mode. In real life, damage for a gun relates to the gun calibre (how big the shell is) and the type of ammunition (penetrates with an explosion, penetration or spalling) it fires. In-game, at low tiers, HESH>APDS>HEAT would be the system, due to HEAT being so much better in penetration for the era, and in late HESH > HEAT > APFSDS would be possible, but with HESH and HEAT less powerful penetration wise relative to the tanks involved.

I would set a base value of damage for each gun type related to the surface area of the bore of the gun, than have modifiers for damage depending on which rounds it fired. That could be for early tiers APDS damage. HESH, HE and HEAT damage could be based as a certain % off that damage, say 120% for HESH, 150% for HE and 80% for HEAT. Belowm for tanks, I simply have the base "AP" damage. Other damage (relative HEAT / HESH / HE %) could be calculated based on input from others. 

Here is a rundown visually of how this would look like for gun calibres that you can find on AW MBTs (eh, not really 76 or 85 past tier 1, 60 past tier 3) of now or the future.


It should be noted that some modules, like ammo rack durability, in this mod, would be modeled based on history. Wet stowage increases module durability for ammo racks, for example.

Balance Parameters

At the end of it, tanks must be balanced. Although you might say that with the many realistic mechanics above, tanks are impossible to balance, I say otherwise. Two main balance parameters exist. Tank health pool should be arbitrary, but not exceed a 20% range between smallest and lowest, due to playability concerns. Reload time can also be implemented as balance, as some guns, like the T-62s 115mm, would be unplayable, with 4 rounds/min and medium alpha damage.

Sample of Tanks

A MBT Mode that could be tested not long into the future to figure out if the mechanics described above could work as a game. It is all simple theory craft, if something, such as spotting, did not work, a current AW system could be put in, making more concessions to arcadism compared to realism until maximum fun is achieved. These 5 tanks below are very balanced compared to each other IRL. However, they are unique, with different playstyles and guns, making them good initial picks of a experimental mode. They are also all planned or implemented, which makes costs a lot lower

I would use the M60 Patton, AMX 30, Chieftain Mk.1, Type 69 and T-62.

Penetration Numbers:

In real life, no tank here, aside from the T-62 outside of 300m from a 105mm L7 and a Chieftain turret front, would have any armor. Penetration could be left to the developers, but in my eyes, an appropriate view on penetration should be that the heavier tanks (T-62, Type 69, Chieftain) should have reliable turrets and decent hulls, but with the flatter turrets  (T-62, Type 69) venerable to HEAT. The exact numbers would have to be tested. I imagine that 400mm for the best HEAT (AMX 30) and 290mm for the best APDS (Chieftain) would be enough.

Given 120% damage for HESH, 100% for APDS, 80% for HEAT and 150% for HE, here is what damage would look like with the tanks below.


M60 Patton

The American tank in the MBT mode. It is a big tank with terrible camo rating and with mediocre armor, but has good firepower and middle-of-the-road mobility, along with -10 gun depression.


Hull Traverse: 34.2 d/s

Turret Traverse: 24 d/s

Top Speed Forward  48 km/h

Top Speed Reverse 16 km/h

Power to Weight 15 hp/ton


105mm L28A1 APDS-T

105mm M456 HEAT

105mm M329A2 HEP-T (HESH)


Gun Depression -10

Gun Elevation +20

Base Damage 330

Stabilisation:  Good

Accuracy: High



Remember, no normalization and different pen values. 

AMX 30

This tank is the speedster of this MBT mode. It sacrifices all armor for mobility and good firepower. It is smaller than the M60, but still large than the Soviet-style tanks. It also retains good -8 gun depression. Of interest is that it has the same speed and acceleration going forwards and backwards. Very French.


Hull Traverse: 31.3 d/s

Turret Traverse: 22.5 d/s

Top Speed Forward  65 km/h

Top Speed Reverse  65 km/h (fully reversible gearbox)

Power to Weight: 20 hp/ton


105mm Obus G HEAT

105mm PH-105 HE


Gun Depression  -8

Gun Elevation +20

Base Damage 330

Stabilisation: Bad

Accuracy: High



Remember, no normalization and different pen values. 

Chieftain Mk.1

The Chieftain gains the best gun and most reliable armor in the mode for amazingly terrible mobility and mediocre camouflage, It has -10 gun depression, but struggles to keep up with other tanks.


Hull Traverse: Not Yet Known

Turret Traverse:  20 d/s

Top Speed Forward 40 km/h

Top Speed Reverse  16 km/h

Power to Weight  8.1 hp/ton


120mm L15 APDS

120mm L31 HESH


Gun Depression  -10

Gun Elevation  +20

Base Damage  432

Stabilisation: Good

Accuracy: Medium




Remember, no normalization and different pen values. 

Type 69

The Type 69 is the Chinese tank in the mode. A stealthy tank with great DPM, but suffers with lower armor like the M60, as well as poor gun depression, damage and penetration.


Hull Traverse: Not Yet Known

Turret Traverse:  17 d/s

Top Speed Forward  50 km/h

Top Speed Reverse 7km/h

Power to Weight  16 hp/ton


100mm 3UBK4 HEAT

100mm 3BM6 APDS

100mm 3UOF10 HE


Gun Depression  -5

Gun Elevation +18

Base Damage 300

Stabilisation: Good

Accuracy: Medium

Armor (121b is a Type 69 with a later 105mm gun instead)


Remember, no normalization and different pen values. 


The T-62 in the Soviet tank of the mode. It has plenty of turret armor and stealth, but lacks gun handling and has the second worst mobility. It can do damage, but is very uncomfortable to play.


Hull Traverse:  Not Yet Known

Turret Traverse:  17 d/s

Top Speed Forward  50 km/h

Top Speed Reverse 7 km/h

Power to Weight 14.5 hp/ton


115mm 3BM3 APDS

115mm 3BK4 HEAT

115mm 3OF11 HE


Gun Depression -4

Gun Elevation +16

Base Damage 396

Stabilisation:  Bad

Accuracy: Good

Armor (T-62a is a T-62 with a 100mm)


Remember, no normalization and different pen values. 


So there you have it. Wall of text complete. Please post comments, critiques and suggestions below, or tell me to screw off. I spent quite a bit of time in a hugbox making this, its time for honest opinions. :drunk:

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Obviously walls of text do not do well here, but I am going to post a few more things. I have seen so many shitposts get more views and comments, even in the limited AW section. If you do not like it, fune, and even post a TLDR if you TLDR, but do not just click, see wall, click out please. 

Here is my current view on penetration for shell types. To see the mechanics in action, see everything but the first tab.



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18 hours ago, allenmark00 said:

Well most of your ideas sounds viable...except for the penetration cap on HESH. I'll need to reread this later on today.

Penetration or damage cap? The penetration cap is strictly real based of Dtic documents, and the damage curve is my own doing and can change. 

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The idea is great, but your idea has slim to none chances of being implemented in AW, it offers less profit for my.com.

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58 minutes ago, Paaranoja said:

The idea is great, but your idea has slim to none chances of being implemented in AW, it offers less profit for my.com.

Good idea.. I should probably figure out how this can make money... 1 tank free and buy the others... or something. 

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Just now, Stridsvagn 74 said:

Good idea.. I should probably figure out how this can make money... 1 tank free and buy the others... or something. 

imho best bet would be a completely new game. It would be more realistic than AW and less than Steelbeasts.

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59 minutes ago, Paaranoja said:

imho best bet would be a completely new game. It would be more realistic than AW and less than Steelbeasts.

Probably, but that will not happen imho. If it cannot be packed into AW, I doubt that they would ever bother. Mail.fu will not see a more realistic option as profitable. 

As it stands right now, this mode only takes coding, not any modeling. Its relatively cheap. 

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AW are introducing custom battles at some point in the near future. It could well be that this will allow you to restrict the classes you want in them.

That would at least allow for MBT only battles.

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9 hours ago, Krollin said:

AW are introducing custom battles at some point in the near future. It could well be that this will allow you to restrict the classes you want in them.

That would at least allow for MBT only battles.

But they still do keep all their gimps. 

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I was very disappointed with the Custom Game mode, no way to restrict what tanks people can play etc.

Obviously you can not add players who don't take the tanks you want in the match but that can cause things to take too long when setting up.

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nice wall of text, good ideas, but mail.ru actually have problem with AW right now, they were expecting more ppl to play (in Russia first of all), they will not risk  



despite that they got unofficial proposal from WG,  (seems serb wants all tank'z money in his pocket :D ). 

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