How Light Tanks are Underrated by Wargames Rules

I was talking to my mate Roland Davis about Light Tanks in WW2 and this is what he said …

I have never come across a set of [wargaming] rules that does light tanks justice. They always die at the first opportunity but in real life it was not like that, light vehicles usually suffered less casualties than heavier ones. I was able to do a bit of research on my theory using the NZ official histories, because they are so detailed. The cavalry regiment (in light tanks and carriers) consistently took fewer casualties than the infantry or armour battalions.

I think the problem is that in rules one side shoots and they stand still while the other side shoots but in real life the light vehicle would shoot (or sometimes just observe) and when it came time for the other side to shoot the light vehicle would not be there any more. Gamers (at least the ones I gamed with) forget that the reason for having light armour in the first place is that you can move before the other guy gets a good shot at you. This is why American M-18 Hellcats had some of the lightest armour and yet suffered the least casualties of any American armoured vehicles. The Germans, who must know more about the benefits of heavy armour than anyone, chose to put light armour on their post war vehicles rather than heavy armour (such as the Leopard tank). I don’t think they would have done this if they thought light armour would be certain death as soon as the shooting starts.

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