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Open discussion on IR battling

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Open discussion on IR battling

Old 09-02-2021, 03:34 PM
  #176  
Ex_Pat_Tanker
 
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You started with "I think we should instead look at other ways to improve what we now have" - and then immediately started going off talking about features like ammo counters, random damage effects and simulating the effects of different calibres - all of which will require new control boards to be designed and manufactured?
The average range of tank combat in my experience is at such short distances that the variability in IR emitters used by the various systems will negate any meaningful attempt to filter the light in a consistent way, so I don't see this as a viable option either. Maybe others with larger playing fields and/or a smaller variety of systems would have more success?

Looking at the 4 things you wanted to accomplish:

Allow the simulation of lightly armored tank destroyers with powerful guns. The current 'rules' do not prevent me from using my M18. I can be fast, hit as hard as anything else, and still very vulnerable to return fire.
(You can complain about me using my M16 halftrack here, but the counter argument to that is a King Tiger being showered in 50cal will soon become a mission kill by virtue of losing all of its periscopes, not to mention removing the head of anyone peaking out of a hatch)

Allow the simulation of assault tanks with massive armor but only a moderate gun. Why would I want to drive my M4 Jumbo now, if its 75mm gun was crippled as you proposed? - I'm simply going to take my Pershing or King Tiger instead.

It would allow for IFVs with negligible armor and just a handful of potentially deadly anti-tank missiles. - Again, what is the point of taking an IFV in the first place? Just take a tank with a massive gun, or one with a missile system.

Hopefully, result in much more interesting and somewhat more realistic battle games. To take tankme's point - As soon as you start to deviate from accepted standards, you risk appealing to only a smaller subset of an already small crowd. How many people do you think you need to stage these interesting and realistic battles? Because if you are needing a big group, you'll be expecting people to travel long distances, and there has to be an easy to meet minimum standard for people to be willing to do this.

I'm many of us here are all for having a practical discussion of how to make tank battles better, but starting that conversation with "everyone needs FPV", or "here is a system that I just dreamed up, that I have no means of producing (and whose logic is flawed to begin with)" isn't going to result in anything more than polite indifference at best.
Likewise, discussion of lasers and airsoft is non-starter for any club or venue that is required to hold any kind of public liability insurance ('Laser Tag' systems use the same IR gear we do, FYI).

Many of us here have done our little experiments over the years, and those of us who are still here came to the same conclusion - while the 'Tamiya system' isn't brilliant, it is simple and it does work reliably. Even if a new magical system appeared on the market that addressed gun calibre vs armour thickness, scale speeds, low cost, easy of installation, and all of that other wish list stuff, people are still going to play peak-a-boo around the corners of buildings until the other team is dead. If you take away the cover, it's over rather quickly and even less 'fun and engaging' - unless you hold the game on something like a football pitch, in which case its now a long drawn out exercise in frustration because not everyone's hit LED's will be visible at longer ranges, people will be aiming high and not hitting anything, and so on.

I have seen almost no discussion around how the 'game' itself could be made better, but this is the one thing we can change:
- Repair tanks are a nice idea, but not every system has that feature, and the ones that do don't send the same signal. How do we get around this?
- Tank recovery battles at Danville were fun, but needed some pretty beefy equipment to make it work - a stock WPL truck hauling a converted Bruder flatbed ain't going to last more than a few feet no matter how smooth the playing surface! Is there another way to do this?
- Could unarmed APC's be used to 'capture' objectives on a battlefield? Have an Arduino based system that sends a signal that changes the display on an LCD to signify ownership of that point? This will give the teams a reason to have to move from the cover of their favourite building. (That's surely got to be easier than completely redoing the mechanics of the tank battle system...?)
- Cut the battlefield up with bridges of different weight classes - restrict the mobility of the bigger tanks and make the lighter tanks/armoured cars more relevant, thereby by making the game more 'realistic'.
- Simulate fuel consumption / shortages by making the heavy tanks run on a smaller battery! (can't see many King Tiger owners agreeing to this, but thought I'd toss it out there for the lulz).

I'm sure the various clubs have tried different things over the years, but I haven't seen any discussion around what works or doesn't for a long while? Does anyone actually care about this any more, or are we all treating club meetings as more of a social event these days? (That's pretty much where I'm at anyway)

Last edited by Ex_Pat_Tanker; 09-02-2021 at 03:39 PM. Reason: grammer
Old 09-03-2021, 03:14 AM
  #177  
oldwolf75
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You make many good points. I especially like your thoughts on fuel supply, restrictive bridges, capture of terrain and tank recovery. Perhaps some combination of these. Requiring the winning team to simultaneously control by occupation several different locations would force them to keep several vehicles alive at the end. Having designated recovery depots for each team, that knocked out vehicles must be returned to before they can be put back into play. Using team tanks to drag knocked out vehicles to the recovery areas (might as well give those tow cables a workout) would probably work better than flatbeds. Since most model tanks dont have a neutral gear some kind of free rolling, tracked, towable substitutes might replace the knocked out vehicle, which would be hand carried to the recovery area to await getting back in the game. This would save wear and tear on the players nicely detailed model too.

Assuming your observation that discussion such as this hasn't been taking place for a while, perhaps it is time for some brain storming. It is always nice to see what others are thinking.
Old 09-03-2021, 03:51 AM
  #178  
Ex_Pat_Tanker
 
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Speaking from personal experience, we usually get 10 to 15 members show up for a club meeting. Of that maybe 4 or 5 of us will have a half hearted 'battle' for 10 or 15 mins before we get bored and go back to drinking coffee and chatting. I'm less bothered about how to make things better for the 4 or 5, as we have already crossed the first hurdle of wanting to build a combat capable tank - what is needed is to find away of making the rest of the group feel like this is something they want to get involved in.
Old 09-03-2021, 04:08 AM
  #179  
cleong
 
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I have taken part in ACE’s Rolling Thunder battle scenarios and they do add a lot of depth to the game, by incorporating tactics and objectives beyond the usual “last team standing” outcomes. However it requires a large battlefield like Danville, otherwise your tactical options are limited by lack of manoeuvring room.

However the complexity made it stressful for me, but combat is stressful so it is definitely more realistic!
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Old 09-03-2021, 04:11 AM
  #180  
Ex_Pat_Tanker
 
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Rolling Thunder seems to have been the only attempt (at least in the English speaking world) at moving things beyond 'team deathmatch' type game play in any significant way, sadly they came up with it after I left the US so I never got to experience it first hand
Old 09-03-2021, 05:24 AM
  #181  
oldwolf75
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Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker View Post
Speaking from personal experience, we usually get 10 to 15 members show up for a club meeting. Of that maybe 4 or 5 of us will have a half hearted 'battle' for 10 or 15 mins before we get bored and go back to drinking coffee and chatting. I'm less bothered about how to make things better for the 4 or 5, as we have already crossed the first hurdle of wanting to build a combat capable tank - what is needed is to find away of making the rest of the group feel like this is something they want to get involved in.
Well, there is nothing wrong with people showing up just to chat about other aspects of the hobby. They obviously like that, they show up. As for getting more people interested in the battle aspect, I think you do that by making it better for the 4 or 5. Right now you say the battles are boring and participation is halfhearted. Others wont join in unless they see people having fun with it. Make it fun, more will join.
Old 09-03-2021, 06:30 AM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by oldwolf75 View Post
I think you do that by making it better for the 4 or 5. Right now you say the battles are boring and participation is halfhearted. Others wont join in unless they see people having fun with it. Make it fun, more will join.
I think we're talking at crossed purposes - my point was if you only focus on improving the experience of the 4 or 5, the rest aren't going to be motivated to join in. If the game has a broad enough appeal to get the rest involved, the 4 or 5 would be there anyway.
We get bored quickly because there is only 4 or 5 of us doing it. That is not enough to do anything organised - from previous experience in the Detroit club, we really needed 8 or 10 players to have enough tanks involved that it becomes a challenge to keep track of everybody and make things interesting. With just 4 tanks, everybody is camping behind houses waiting for somebody else to make a move.
Old 09-03-2021, 07:35 AM
  #183  
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I have to agree with that, the few battles that I've attended had very poor turnout so there were only six tanks on the battlefield at the biggest of them. It just becomes a button mashing free for all until you get to the last tank standing. I didn't find that much fun. This is just a personal opinion, but I think that to have a successful tank battle that is enjoyed by all you would need at least ten tanks minimum.
Old 09-03-2021, 07:41 AM
  #184  
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Here's my two cents worth. I've only been to a hand full of club battles, so my experience is limited.

I always battle with the inertia setting on. I know it puts me at a disadvantage, but it seems more "real" to me. I'm in it for the fun, so winning is not my main goal.
At those club battles, FRAG and DAK, we have played with different scenarios and altered the IR emitters and receivers to spice up the battle experience. As long as everybody is in agreement on the system or strategy, it all works well. Lots of fun is had. Imagination is the only limit.

I have heard that the folks in San Diego have installed high power LED emitters in their modern tanks and have confirmed kills at 150 feet. That seems like plenty of range for our battles. Lasers sound sexy, but are not really practical for club battles and not needed with the kill range the San Diego folks are achieving. .

The best battles always have more people involved. Some kind of magic happens when there are 6 or more per team. Keeping it simple makes it easy to involve more people.
Old 09-03-2021, 08:06 AM
  #185  
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Very interesting thread, lots of interesting input. I'll put in my 2 cents worth as a newbie IR tank guy. Many years ago I stumbled across the Danville Tank Museum hosting IR tank battles and being a hard core R/C airplane guy it sounded interesting. As a kid back in the late 60's and 70's I was an avid plastic modeler and to this day still really enjoy building plastic kits. I found the group at Danville a super friendly bunch and very welcoming to both myself & my wife after our first visit. We ended up buying a Tamiya 1/16 Sherman just so we could try out the IR tank world. Now 6 or 7 years later I have 6 1/16 tank models built and a Tamiya Tiger II still in the box.
I still really enjoy attending Danville to see what new models have been built, and to "talk shop" with the modelers but I usually don't even get involved in the actual battles. I find them very unrealistic and the really good tankers seem to have found every conceivable way to beat the system.
I remember several years ago the event had so many new tankers that the club actually took the time to have a "class" for us newbies on how to be successful out on the battle field which included all the quirks in the system and how to beat them.
I have no idea on how to make the battles more fun, that is a tough problem! Until then I just enjoy the good company at Danville and continue to enjoy building the models.
Old 09-03-2021, 08:18 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker View Post
Speaking from personal experience, we usually get 10 to 15 members show up for a club meeting. Of that maybe 4 or 5 of us will have a half hearted 'battle' for 10 or 15 mins before we get bored and go back to drinking coffee and chatting. I'm less bothered about how to make things better for the 4 or 5, as we have already crossed the first hurdle of wanting to build a combat capable tank - what is needed is to find away of making the rest of the group feel like this is something they want to get involved in.
This has been my experience also except less total members showing up. The alternate Saturday and Sunday battles, but I work Sundays so there is only 6 total battle days I can attend a year with my club. Then there are Saturday driving events so that cuts into tank time also.
Old 09-03-2021, 09:05 AM
  #187  
Ex_Pat_Tanker
 
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Originally Posted by 1qaz View Post
I find them very unrealistic and the really good tankers seem to have found every conceivable way to beat the system.
I noticed this on my trip down there, most of the regular crowd curbed their more 'competitive' practices, but there was still some hokey stuff like reversing up a slope to point the top of the IR receiver (i.e. a blind spot) at the enemy while waiting for the reload period to expire...

In my mind this is a reason for the '4 or 5' to not go galloping off ahead of everyone else, because they will end up in a place where newcomers won't be able to compete. I saw this in another club I was in - treating it like a serious competition, with more powerful emitters, go-faster gearboxes and 'questionable' sensor locations, all adding up to them wiping the floor with anyone who wasn't willing to go to those extremes.

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