note: this is a draft, if you are reading this, don't mention it in the Discord Server xd
Tank building Guide
In this page you can learn the basic principles of tank building, design and philosophy. From it's tactical role in the battlefield, all the way to the logistics and strategic importance in the major theater.
The tank since it's introduction in 1916, it's role has being break through fortify enemy lines, and as the tank evolved, took also the role of the cavalry of ancient times of exploiting enemy's weak points and even develop unique roles in the battlefield as technology progressed.
With this history in mind, you know need to fill a certain role in your army, and as history has shown multiple times, carpet bombing your enemy won't guarantee a surrender.
The first thing to notice when building a tank is the holy trinity of tank design: Mobility, Armor and Firepower
You can have a balance on the three axis and make what most people call a medium tank or MBT (Main Battle Tank). [RL Example: M1A2 Abrams]
You can sacrifice one of the three in favor of the other two, for example, Mobility for Armor and Firepower, making a Heavy Tank. [RL Example: German Maus]
Or sacrifice Armor in favor of Mobility and Firepower, making a Self Propelled Gun or Tank Destroyer. [RL Example: M1128 Stryker]
Once you have decided what kind of balance you need for your tank, now here are some of the general approaches you need to take when starting to build for the first time:
1.-Follow the survivability onion. [Insert Image here]
2.- Most of the armor goes to the front, as that's the way the enemy is (generally), and train your crews to always face the enemy, even in retreats.
3.- Tanks have three main compartments: Crew, Turret and Engine. The order of this can vary from country to country. The most common is the one already mention, but you can find a different order or even mix up compartments. [In modern days, Israel's Merkava is a Engine/Turret/Crew design, thinking in crew survivability]
4.- Select your suspension method. You can have tracks, wheels or even go hover, but keep in mind that each one have advantages and disadvantages, like tracks can help you sort difficult terrain at the cost of max speed, wheels give you the mobility at cost of sorting obstacles, and hover tech does the same as wheels but in a sci-fi way and at the cost of your armor (remember that most of the tank's weight it is armor)
5.- Weaponry for the designated mission. Are you going to take a nice 30mm Chaingun , that's good against infantry, lightly armored vehicles and aircrafts, to a battle where the enemy forces compose of long range 120mm Gauss cannons, super heavy armor and supported by naval artillery? No, right? Weaponry is one of the most impressive and important aspects of the tank, you need to choose the proper gun, for the proper battle, is not efficient to take a Rh130 when you are facing mostly infantry and light vehicles. Various types of weapons can fill multiple roles.
4.- Designing the mobility aspect. This can be rather difficult, as there are three major layers of mobility, these being: Tactical, Operational and Strategic.
a) Tactical mobility implies how fast is your tank, how fast can it turn, how does it sort obstacles.
b) Operational mobility implies how far you're tank can go, how many rounds it carries, how many supplies does it carry on it own, what terrain can sort (very different to cross a desert or hill terrain, to a mountainous terrain or a river).
c) Strategic mobility implies how you carry your tank forces to battle, how many supplies do you need to keep your forces efficient, how big and heavy is your tank.
-| These aspects can affect drastically the efficiency of the tank you're designing. You can have the best tank in the entire world, but it's to big to fit in your carrying vessels to take it wherever it needs to be, or is the best tank for your logistics but is so small and light that even a 57mm anti-aircraft gun can take them out with ease, losing more than you can produce.
-| Mobility in it self is another balance triangle you need to sort out to be as efficient as possible, not jeopardizing combat and logistics effectiveness. This can be achieve in various forms, but none is perfect for all kinds of tanks.
-| The first steps for the mobility design will be to chose a weight limit, size of vehicle, type of engine and fuel tanks. Most of the tank systems are in the engine compartment, but these can be spread out in the tank itself, but these kind of design comes with the added cost of maintenance and repair, not the same to change the entire engine compartment with all the systems than repair the transmission at the front, the fuel under the turret, the final drive on the engine, etc. These can be classified as Operational and Strategic mobility problems, but there are many more to encounter once you went through the battlefield.
-| Many issues can be found on tanks after tests and combat, your tank will only be perfect to your doctrine after various versions and subsequent redesigns.
5.- Redundancy. You need backups to your systems, to make sure your tank comes back home, have various gunsights, multiple periscopes, extra parts for field repairs, etc.
There always new things to learn, and remember that your philosophy and doctrine can be far different to that of your enemy, there's always room for improvement.
Now that you have all your parameters for the tank you want, let's start design the blueprint.
You can start like every ship you build in SE, with a landing gear and a tower of blocks. You'll start with the floor of your tank, normally you wouldn't armor up this part, unless your enemy makes extensive use of anti-tank landmines, so 4 to 12 mm will do the job. Start by setting down the width of your tank, most designs have 3.5 meters wide (7 blocks), but this can vary from country to country, some might have 3 meter wide (6 blocks) or 4 meters (8 blocks), even more or less wide. After you decide your width, subtract the size width or your wheels/tracks, most tanks go for only one set of wheels on each side, commonly 1 or 2 blocks wide per set of tracks/wheels. But this can go up to 4 blocks, although rare, this means tanks have two sets of wide wheels on each side.
[Example Image here]
Next up, you set up the length of the tank. and as the previous note, most tanks have an 8 meter long hulls (16 blocks), and like everything on this guide, this vary. Can be shorter or longer.
[Example Image Here]
Once you have the floor of your tank, you start designing the compartments. You can start from the back or the front, whatever you feel is easier to begin. In either start, tanks always have the armor at the front. It's up to you to decide were the engine, turret and crew goes.
The classic set up would be Crew-Turret-Engine.
[Example Image here]
There's the Merkava set up, that is Engine-Turret-Crew.
[Example Image Here]
Or a very rare set up of Engine-Crew-Turret.
[Example Image Here]
Chose the set up that better fits you doctrine and needs.
Next up, let's design the engine layout. There's infinite ways to arrange your engine, you can put engines in line, in parallel, mix it, or come up with a unique layout. Think what's the best way to survive a shoot to the engine, as that's the most common way to disable a tank without killing the crew, or crating a massive exposition with a hit to the ammo rack.
After a successful engine was design, let's jump to the crew compartment. This part of the tank should be well protected from enemy fire, as it houses the most vital system in the tank, it's operators. You can add armor later on on the design process, but first let's decide how many crew members you want in your tank. Taking into the account the kind of systems in your tank, you can have as little as one crew man per tank, but this is not always effective, as one person can't keep up with the massive amounts of information from the battlefield, keep focus on where to drive avoiding obstacles and hard terrain, and to aim the gun correctly, choose the right type of ammunition or even work on a jammed gun.
Most design can go with a 4 man crew, this being commander, driver, gunner and loader. Like the paragraph above says, enough technology can substitute various crew man job, like auto loaders, self driving technology, automated turrets, etc.
So, let's say you need a 1 man crew to do all 3 jobs of a regular soviet style tank. The compartment then must have at least one seat, and a bit of side armor and front or rear depending on your compartment design. If your design is big enough, you can spare a few screens displaying useful data, like gearbox status or damage reports. You can also add some decoration and even some systems, depending on the kind on strategy design you're following. ODST1109Adrian — hoy a las 2:15 With a great crew compartment designed, it's time to design the overall turret basket. You can follow the traditional western tank design and put crew there, or follow the most radical design modern armies are taking of unmanned turrets. Also check if your tank needs a bustle autoloader or a basket autoloader.
Here is where things get more complicated, gun placement. Depending on what kind of ammo storage you need, your gun can benefit more form a direct connect to the ammo, or use some sort of interconnection to the ammo rack. After this process, you'll need to chose your first redundant system in the turret, weapon elevation system, however you need it to be, single or doble. Remember that redundant systems use more space and weight in the tank.
Next up is the gunsights of your gun. These can be as simple to add a camera to the side of the barrel, or as complex as a full night vision device, thermal sight, rangefinder, etc. Use as many systems as you need, and remember to add redundancy if you wish for it.
Once you have most of your compartments ready, we can start to add armor and the tracks/wheels of your tank.
We start by the suspension, for this example we will be using tracks. First, we will add a idler/sprocket wheel at the very front, facing forward, this wheel needs to have a strength power enough to help it sort ditches and trenches, as well very high angle hills or mountains. Obstacles, after all. Next, we add the sets of wheels. As many as you need, making sure strength is high enough to make the tank not hit the ground, but not too strong as it can mess with the recoil or can't traverse the terrain properly. And finally, a last idler/sprocket wheel at the back, facing backwards, and with the same characteristics of the forward one. Remember that idler/sprocket wheels need a much lower max speed as this wheels are the ones that help you climb that steep hill.
Now, the armor. We commonly start with the front, and like the general approach number one, frontal armor is the thickest of all sides, so here you put most of your armor to protect it form hits and avoid penetration. You can have as much as a total of 1000mm of protection, or if you have the engine at the front, you can have as little as just to make the engine stop that round from getting into your crew compartment, like a Merkava. For the sides, you can have as much as to stop a few lower caliber rounds, like 30mm, or as little as a small fire arm. This can be accomplished with armor as thin as 12mm, or as thick as 50mm. The back can follow this same principle, but the recommended thick is half of your side armor. And roof can be follow the same as the back, if you get flanked a lot by boots on the ground (which means you are something wrong in your strategy) you can add more to the roof.
Armor can be tricky to add, and even make a tank look a bit weird some times, so try and try again until you find something you like.
Finally, add details and functionality to your exterior, this being lights, storage boxes, a bit of bolts, and color paint. A good tank always comes with nice paint jobs. Or a solid color also works. Add stuff until you found it good enough or perfect.
The naming of a tank can always vary. You can call it whatever you want, after some important general, a distinct region of you country, an animal, or just call it “Tank n.1”
With this we reach the end of the guide. Hope you found it useful. If you have any questions, you can always ask for help in the community's Discord server.
A bit outdated guide to AWG Convinent Weapons Pack (CWP): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ieml5Ug4vQ
All feedback is welcome at ODST1109Adrian#8766