A discussion about a Ground mode without CAS

Now this is something that comes up from time to time, and gets the same rasult, that gets completly ignored by GAijin, despite being one of the major issues in the game.

What is that? The CAS in ground mode.

First of all, what does CAS mean? It means Close Air Support. You might ask, why is the naming of this important.
Let’s look at the last word, the “support”!

Now in many games, like in Battlefield, there is a “support” class. Their role is, to supply ammunition, repair vehicles/structures, or even build structures. They are equipped with support weapons, such as suppressive machineguns with high capacity magazines, or belts.
They are not meant to do much of the fighting, they are -as the name suggests- supports.

Now how does the “support” looks like in this game? Well, calling it support reminds me about a famous Monty Python’s scene, where King Arthur fights agains the Black Knight. When he shops down an arm of the Knight, the Knight responds with “tis but a scratch”. Now calling CAS support is the same as calling a loss of an arm a “scratch”!

But why?

Let’s examine the capabilities of ground vehicles, and CAS (so planes, helicopters, and drones).

The issues start with the mobility. A fast tank, or better, an armored car can get to ~100 km/h or roads, but with heavier vehicles, we can assume a 40-50 km/h speed. However, in an actual battle, even more modern MBTs will drive slowly. But for the same of the argument, i will stuck with a 45 km/h speed.
What is the average speed of an airplane? 450 km/h sounds right, for WWII propeller aircrafts at least.
Now, you don’t really have to be a genious in maths to know that it is a good 10x advantage for planes. Minimum.

Now, where can these vehicles move? For tanks, it is simple, on the ground, and some lighter ones can swim, but it is rarely used in this game.
Where can we find planes? In the air, of course. And again, you don’t have to be a genious to realise, that planes have an advantage here too.

Due to this, an aircraft can attack a tank from various angles, for example from above, where the armor is thin. Depending on the weapons (and now i am only talking about MGs or cannons on the planes), and the actual tank, an aircraft can easily knock out a tank, sometimes even from the front!
Also, do not forget, that these planes often have multiple of these cannons, with high rate of fire, so accuracy, and small damage/shot is not an issue, when you can fire 10s or even 100s of bullets every second at your opponent. Even if it does not destroy the tank, it is likely to seriously injure the crew, or knock out modules, such as engine, or tracks, in which case, the tank has completly lost it’s -already low- mobility.
Now add rockets, missiles, and bombs to the aircraft, and they can destroy a tank from kilometers away, without the tan ever noticing the aircraft.

Oh, but i hear you, if -and the thing is on IF- a tank sees the aircraft, it can fight back.
Ahm, yeaaah.
What weapons do a tank have agains aircrafts?
The main gun? Yes, you can fore it every 5-10 seconds.
MGs? Most of them are low calibre, that will not do much damage. Even the roof mounted ones are not guaranteed to be high calibre (I am looking at you, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France), that again, if you have a roof mounted MG at all.

The firepower differenc is just too much in favour of the plane.

And again, all this is assuming that you:
a, notice the plane
b, have the opportnity to engage it
c, the plane catually flies in a way, that you can have a chance of hitting it

Even if all these are met, it is still favouring the plane, and will result in the destruction of the tank, and not the plane.

Most of the time you are pre-occupied with, you know, fighting other tanks, getting into positions, or finding targets.

Even if you hit a plane, multiple times, it is very likely to remain operational, and in many cases when the plane gets fatally damaged, it can still shoot at you/fire rockets/drop bombs.

Ahaa, i hear you! “You can spawn with SPAA!”
This is just not a solution for several reasons.
a, You don’t have an (effective) SPAA unlocked
b, the tech tree you play now does not have an effective SPAA at that BR
c, you just don’t want to play SPAA, or you are just bad with them
d, you spawned with SPAA, and you got absolutely destroyed by a plane a second afer your spawnprotection expired

Even with an SPAA, the same problems are present, just not that much as on other tanks. In an exchange, you get more, different problems.

With a cannon SPAA, you just have a limited range of ~2km, but an optimal engagement range of a km or so. Even if you have a radar. The reason is just simple maths. assume a 1000 m/s autocannon shell (whoch is way faster than the average), it still takes 2s to reach the plane, which is plenty of time, to change the flight of the plane to dodge the shells, while it takes a second, or less to shoot a quick salvo with your plane at an SPAA. If the plane has bombs, or rockets, this time is even less.

There is also the ammo problem.
If you run out of ammo with your plane, or get heavily damaged, you just fly back to your airfield in safety, wait 30 seconds, get resupplied, repaired, and you can go back to do your buisness.

With an SPAA, you need a friendly capture point. The issue is, that you don’t have a point, or you can’t get to it, you are essentially useless. Not only that, but a plane can safely get to a frindly airfield, while the SPAA usually can’t go there safely, again, if your team has a point to begin with.
Not only that, but on a point, you can’t repair your tank, maybe get back a crew member, but that’s it.
Resupplying ammunition also takes ages, and if your SPAA has only a single clip, and a few remaining rounds, in order to get more ammo, you have to shoot off the remaining ammo. So during the resupply process, you are useless. Also, if you move a bit, or your teammate pushes you, the process starts again.

What about missile SPAAs?
They are better with more accuracy, and much higer range. The issue with them is that they have very limited missiles, and even with those, it is not a guaranteed 1 hit.
With self homing missiles, there is also the issue, of the missile not locking at the target, or just missinag it completly.

Now, with SPAA, you also have the issue, of not being a real “tank”.
What do i mean?
If you only have anti-air missiles (like the Ozelot, and the japanese car), the only thing you can do against tanks is scouting. As soon as a tank arrives you are dead.
Those with missiles that are capabe of penetrating armor, or having autocannons are better, you can play them as quasi AFVs or TDs, but they are worse than a purpose-built ones.
Even the autocannon ones usually have limited high pen rounds, either as a small pure clip, or every 4-5 round being anti-armor.

Even the notable SPAAs that are good against armor, like the Marksman, Falcon, ZSU-57-2 (and it’s chinese version) are not a solution. Yes, they are this kind of “dual purpose”, but they have no armor, and limited against long range planes/tanks.

The other issue is, that the amount of effective SPAAs at a BR range are always smaller, than the number of effective planes. You might bring 1-2 SPAAs (and good luck with a nation that has very few SPAAs), yet you can bring up to 10s of planes in a BR range (potentially).
So if you manage to take down 1-3 planes, they will just come back, and as soon as they spawn, fire a barrage of missiles at you, and you are done.

Now things, like helicopters, and drones are even worse.
The drone spawns high in the air, and you can’s even lock your missiles onto it.
With the helicopter? You can just be outside of the SPAA range, and hunt down tanks, without ever risking your helicopter. Even if you get shot at, you can just hop behind a hill, and you are safe.
And not even talking about the helis eating multiple high calibre shots, and taking no damage.

The issue can be summed up as this:

A plane is almost always stronger, than a tank.
You can spend 1000s of hours to learn all the maps, the tanks, their weaknesses, the game mechanics, good spots on maps, but then there goes Jerry with his 40% win rate and absolutely annihilate you, because the skill required to operate a plan is much less, that the skill you need to operate a tank.
You see the map from above, you can spot tanks much easier, and if you have aerial weapons, like bombs, or big rockets, you don’t even have to hit the target.
At the other hand, as a tanker, there is veryy little, if any you can do against a plane.

Is this realistic?
Just look at the Highway of Death in Iraq.
However, too much realism is bad for this game. You can repair a torn apart gun barrel is 15 seconds, and it is not very realistic! I hope you get the point.

Every time there is a vote about this issue, the result is the exact same. Most people thinkg that CAS is unfair, and in fact, it is very unfair.

Okay, but what is the solution?

Some people says, just increase spawn costs of CAS. This is just a horrible idea. Why?
most matches are not equal, meaning one team will be much better than the other. This means, that the winning team will have more players, that play good, which means, that they get more kills in a tank. More kills = more spawnpoits.
If this is implemented, the losing team not only has to face off hords of enemy tanks, but hords of planes too, meanwhile, they have no player, that can spawn in an aircraft.
This would just make the balance of the 2 teams even worse.

A real solution?

Make 2 ground modes, both for arcade, AND realistic. One with CAS, and one without CAS.
This could look like this:
“Ground arcade - combined” and a normal “Ground arcade - ground only”.
Same for realistic, “Ground Realistic - combined” and “Ground realistic - ground only”.

This way, both part of the playerbas will be satisfied.
Those, who only want to play tanks in GROUND mode, can finally have their mode, where you need skill to play, and no skill players can keep their mode too.

Now, do i have evidence, that the players actually want 2 modes? Look:
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I don’t know man, playing Ozelot and hoping that other player is bad at the game because there’s no way I get a kill with Stingers on competent pilot is very fun

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What do you mean?

There’s already a very popular topic about the same thing:

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