Historical Matchmaker

For years, SerB’s answer to a request for buffing or nerfing stats like HP or matchmaker weights was “show me a document where is says the historical matchmaker weight”. Of course, such a feat was impossible. That is, until today! Among many other interesting items in the CIA’s FOIA database, there is an alleged Soviet document giving the combat potential of domestic and potential enemy weapons. The section that interests us is, of course, “Tanks and Self Propelled Artillery, Infantry Combat Vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers”.

Although this was a report written in 1977, it still includes a number of vehicles we consider low. Starting at the very bottom, once we get past the IFVs, we have the SU-76 (in the “potential enemy” section, so likely a Chinese one) with a rating of only 0.32. Rather fitting for a “tier 3″ vehicle. From here, we must jump all the way to tier 5, with the Type T-34 (marked only as T-34 with 76 mm gun, but in the Chinese section) with a rating of 0.43 and SU-85, with a rating of 0.48. Seems that no other “tier 5″ vehicles made it into post-war service. So far so good, WG’s tier model seems to follow reality with two data points. Let’s move on to tier 6.

At tier 6, we have the T-34-85 (0.49), SU-100 (0.55). Seems that, like in WoT, the numbers are stacked towards anti-tank performance. Having a turret only earns the T-34-85 0.01 additional points over the SU-85. However, there is still correlation between tier increase and combat potential increase. The system works!

Heading up a tier, we finally get a larger selection. The IS-2M (even though it’s not really in the game, but I doubt a one-plate upper glacis would have scared anyone in the 70s) scores a hefty 0.7 points. The rest of the tanks in this tier are lights: the M41 Walker Bulldog (joining us in patch 9.3) at 0.36 points, Type 62 at 0.42 points and…AMX 13 75 at 0.8 points!? OP FRENCH AUTOLOADERS NERF PLZ

Going up a tier once more, we hit the ISU-152, stripped of its fearsome BL-10 at 0.79 points, IS-3 at 0.83 points, T-44 at 0.75 points, and AMX 13 90 at a mystifying 0.54 points. The Type 59, which enjoys preferential matchmaking at this tier certainly has not earned it, with an astronomical score of 0.9 points. Still, if you strip out those pesky light tanks, Wargaming’s system works.

Tier 9 is where things get interesting, as we get into post-war tanks. The T-54 earns 0.87-0.9 points, depending on configuration. The SU-122-54 (abbreviated to just SU-122) earns a meager 0.6 points. The T-10M (IS-8 in game) has a whopping 1.51 points to its name!

Now, tier ten, the one you’ve all been waiting for! The Americans have two whole contestants here, the regular M48A1 Patton with a single point and Clan Wars reward M60A1 Patton that beats it narrowly at 1.1. The Leopard 1 also scores 1.1 points. The Soviet showing at this tier is not exceptional, as the T-62, even with the smoothbore gun absent in the same, only manages one point even.

So there you have it, aside from outliers like the SU-122-54, IS-8, and light tanks, the system work! Wargaming’s hammering of tanks into rigid tiers more or less follows the evaluation of actual military professionals.

42 thoughts on “Historical Matchmaker

  1. ive check the document and what impressed me the most was the very last mentioning of “division capabilities”

    which clearly stated a huge lack in some parts of western units (0,86 on us infantry) and especially western allies as british french and canadians as far as this rating goes would have served best as meatshields (0,39 0,23 and 0,2).

    even czech units werent that bad with 0.75

    • well Czech were in case of 3th war in role of meat shield . Expected losses were 75 to 80% :) so our role in future war was just to die and give soviets time to mount counteroffensive

  2. That is very odd that the AMX 13 90 gets .54 according to the Soviets when its predecessor gets gets .8. It seems a rather strange development if they’re going by anti-tank performance, since the 13 90 was capable of firing much more effective HEAT rounds. On the other hand if the Soviets expected that they would be able to increase protection from enemy HEAT weaponry with explosive reactive armor (According to wikipedia it says they were at least researching it during the era) then the AMX 13 75 might be more dangerous given that it would be firing conventional armor piercing rounds, instead of shaped charge ammunition. But obviously I am no expert, and that is probably wrong. They would have had composite armor at the very least, so that would be another explanation.

    Did the Chinese really keep Su-76s in service up to the 1970s too? Or did the report just want to be thorough and list as many opposition vehicles as would be practical?

    It is also a pity that most of the Western heavy tanks are out of service by such a stage, comparing them to the T-10 would have been interesting.

    • Yes, I would have liked to see the Pershing or some kind of Sherman variant in there. Oh well. Maybe I will someday dig up a WWII equivalent study. I have only heard whispers of its existance.

    • Reason for the 13/75′s higher rating was that it was given a quad-mount antitank missile launcher above the gun. So the missiles earned it that ranking, not the gun.

      • I guess it could carry them as the 75mm was lighter?

        I got my first mark on my 13 75 after exactly 30 battles.
        Not sure if that makes it OP or total fail as a tank.

  3. And what about “players” (mechanized divisions)?

    West German = 1.3
    Soviet = up to 1.18
    US = 1.1
    Netherlands = 0.94
    Danish = 0.92
    French = 0.79
    Czech = 0.75
    East German = 0.75
    Belgian = 0.68
    Polish = 0.67 (Siemkaaaaaaaaa!)

    Many things makes sense suddenly XD …

    • Dude… learn to read…
      US = 1.23
      polish = 0.51
      east german = 0.72
      czech = 0.63
      UK = 0.77

        • Different??? Dude… use common sense please. Each nation uses different terms to describe the same “units”. In hungary we call the “mechanized division” “lövészdandár” (which is very different from the english version) [or you can call it "páncélos hadosztály", "harckocsi zászlóalj", etc.]

          Next time look up those “divisions” and what they are made of.

          • I served the czech army. Mechanized and motor-rifle division are the nearest possible – division based on mechanized infantry with about one third of tanks.

    • Well, I think the low potential of polish divisions results from the soviet thinking that we were “politically unstable” :) And yes, our army was big, but shitty armed. We used T-34-85′s (modified M2 version) also in 70′s.

      • To clarify, it means not willing to go to any war, especially against the west and possibility of backstabbing.

    • But those numbers, having been made in ’77, can’t possibly take into account doctrine…

      The French one for large scale conflict, post-war, has always been geared towards fast movement and hit&run. Perhaps over-compensating for the exact opposite doctrine in WWII.
      If they Soviets were all about steamrolling through Europe, they would just push through French defenses with ease, because it’s not the French way to stay put and defend.

      Similar case for Norway and Sweden. All they were tasked to do was delay the Soviets in time for the US to get there. They wouldn’t really get good scores, as it would be skirmishes and attrition warfare to delay the Soviets.

      I wouldn’t rely on those numbers too much. They probably don’t paint the whole picture.

        • Odd that the French and UK scored so low, given that in the 1970′s their Divisions included provision of Tactical Nuclear Weapons to slow the Soviet advance, and deny it territory.

          • Well that’s just the thing, except Germany, which was tasked with holding the line at all costs, other West-European countries were tasked with slowing down the advance.
            Making the Soviets bleed for every kilometer they take.
            The Soviets must have seen the material made for that doctrine, and decided they could crush them with ease. Which they would have in a straight up fight to the death, but we would never have fought like that.

            The UK having such a low score is even more odd, since their tanks where meant to be used in a much more static manner than the others.

  4. Well… according to this document there were air forces to. So if we don’t use planes and tanks on the same battlefield then this document is irrelevant IMO.

  5. And everyone remember… “The combat capabilities of the T-55 tank, whose combat potential equals 1.0, have been used as the unit for the calculations.”

  6. Since I know that Jingles reads FTR, I would just like to let him know that us WoTlabbers do not actually hate him, and would like to formally invite him to visit the forums.

    What simply ticks a few of us off is that he occasionally gives advice that isn’t quite the best in our opinion, such as using the 20 pdr. on the Cent 7/1. We don’t hold anything against you or QB beyond that (well, perhaps a few E 50 fans for what QB said).

    We would genuinely like to see our community expand and grow to encompass more players, and gather any further opinions on matters that could be potentially valuable contributions. We very much understand that to not do so would be to shoot ourselves in the foot over a petty, childish, and completely unfounded dislike.

    sorry for going off topic SS, but I couldn’t think of a better place to state this

    • To be fair to Jingles, he accepts he does get things wrong (often).
      His point with the 20pdr was iircc that due to teamwork in platoons making it easier to outplay (flank shoot them when distracted etc) enemies, the decreased pen is less of an issue and the higher DPM is more effective.
      He did later change his mind, and told us so, that the 105 was the best gun and that his earlier opinion (!) was contrary to his current opinion.

      It is just his opinions in cases like this. I’m sure there are players that would / do play better with the 20pdr.

      I don’t have either Centurion yet, but you have a similar situation on the Tiger II.
      The 105 has more pen but less DPM than the 88.
      The 88′s pen is sufficient (and actually slightly better than T32′s pen, (AP)).
      Which gun to take?
      I found that the Increased DPM on the 88 gave me ~650 extra damage per match on average. So it is the gun I use.
      Asking on the forums, those that replied were split roughly 50-50 with their preferences.

      • Of course, anyone who isn’t a scrub will test to find out what works for them instead of blindly following what ‘mr random guy on YouTube’ says.

      • In random battle?
        Take as much bloody penetration as you can in contrast of what vehicles you will face, and what your speed is.

        It generally means take the best possible penetration, but there are counter examples, like the ARL 44 and V39 . The 105mm remains the better choice over the too long 90mm
        Wz-132 has better dpm with the 85mm than the 100mm , and what you can do with 180-something penetration, you can do with 170-something.

        Taking the 20 pounder on the Centurion is a mistake in random-no-platoon, because you are simply too slow to properly flank and use the dpm, and you can’t rely on the 14 other tomatoes and baddies with you to do anything.
        In platoon, it’s debatable though.

      • “Wz-132 has better dpm with the 85mm than the 100mm , and what you can do with 180-something penetration, you can do with 170-something.”

        Nope, 85mm uses AP, HEAT which is much worse for sniping (especially sides) and 10 or so penetration is a big difference at higher tiers, 100mm is far superior due to AP, APCR, higher shell velocity and alpha damage (light tanks have low hp so you must use any advantage in trading 1-1 shots while snapshotting. Also 100mm tracks tanks in one shot most of the time while 85 might need two. In short before HEAT nerf 85mm was better now 100mm is (85mm is almost useless in other game modes now). Higher alpha is almost always advantage because it takes fewer actions (and exposure time).

  7. Hmm that’s very interesting, would be cool to see how they calculate the numbers and all the stuff they take into account

    • “DPM”, “ROF”, “armor” stats, etc. combined and compared. Mostly.

  8. “Now, tier ten, the one you’ve all been waiting for! The Americans have two whole contestants here, the regular M48A1 Patton with a single point and Clan Wars reward M60A1 Patton that beats it narrowly at 1.1.”

    Actually wasnt the M60 in game the plain old M60. A1 has a much stronger turret etc. http://www.battletanks.com/m60a1e1.htm

    Yeah this was my biggest gripe. The 60a1 was before the T62 and Obj 140 I thought and it had a amazing 300ish mm turret with barely a tumor. As well as 110mm hull@65 degrees

  9. So the left side represents actual enemy (ussr, warsaw pact countries) and right side possible enemy (actual allies like Canada, western EU). Interesting, I wonder if us military have up to date table…

  10. “The T-10M (IS-8 in game) has a whopping 1.51 points to its name!”

    I think it has such high correlation number because it was modernized to fight against modern tanks of that time (in ’60s).