Having established that there’s a good points cost model for units in Seven Days for the River Rhine, and also having established that we can’t just port things over sight unseen from Team Yankee, it’s time to actually do this.

Let’s stat out some S Tanks!

Where We Stand

So first of all, a huge amount of this is speculative, because we don’t have actual battlefield data on the S Tank, because NATO and the Warsaw Pact never game to blows, nor did Sweden decide that it wanted to refight the Great Northern War or some such. So much of this is on paper, and here’s where we have to make a decision as to the balance between gameplay and accuracy.

If this was the Warthunder forums, we’d pick accuracy, and break our security clearances to do it.

But in the spirit of The Plastic Pressgang, the historical podcast I’m a part of…we’re going for fun.

To reiterate our goal – we want a good tank, not a great tank. I want a unit that lets me field my weird little tanks, and have a reason for them to be there rather than just taking Centurions, but not something that’s so good that when the Leopard 2 comes out, Sweden doesn’t go “Yeah, let’s just go with those.”

So let’s get cracking.


We don’t exactly have battlefield data for the S Tank, but we do have some information about it. It was equipped with 40-70mm of armor, which is wildly thin, but because of the extreme slope, the practical “line of sight” thickness of the armor is a much less toe-curling 192mm to 337mm. For comparison, the Centurion’s armor is 50-152mm thick, and the M60 Patton sits at about 109mm (258mm LOS).

Where’s that put us?

In the 13 to 14 range, alongside the S Tanks contemporaries – the Centurion, the Patton, the Leopard 1, etc. And, as predicted, squarely inside that range where Team Yankee’s armor values are a little bit unhelpful. Battlefront places the S Tank at a relatively weak 12, while also featuring that rather impressively thick LOS armor rating in it’s technical material in the back of the new Nordic Forces book.

The Centurion is a 13, so lets go with that for the moment. That’ll put the side armor at 11.


The S Tank was equipped with a Bofors 105mm L74 rifled main gun. This was based off a Royal Ordinance 105mm main gun that was used in the Centurion and as a variant in the Leopard 1. The Swedish version produced by Bofors had a longer tube for increased muzzle velocity and accuracy. 7DRR gives the Centurion a Weapon value of 9, and the Leopard 1 a 10, and going past that puts us into Leopard 2, Challenger and M1A1 territory, so for the moment, let’s assume a 10. More dangerous than the Centurion, but also less flexible, as the gun is obviously fixed forward.

The weapon also had an autoloader, but that was primarily to make up for the smaller crew and in trials it took slightly longer to acquire its targets than some other turreted tanks, so let’s consider that a wash.

To Hit

The S Tank was equipped with a stabilizer, but not the advanced stabilizers that allowed firing on the move, as with modern MBTs, even if the S Tank design was capable of doing so. Most NATO tanks save for the very modern ones (and the last retrofit of the Leopard 1A5) have a To Hit of 5+, so we’re going to go with that here as well. There’s no disadvantage to the S Tanks design, but it’s intended to be non-inferior, not superior, to the accuracy of a turreted tank with appropriate stabilization.


Realistically, Sweden was much more aligned with NATO than it was the Warsaw Pact, and the S Tank did make some substantial allowances for crew survivability, so we’re going to treat it like a NATO tank for the purposes of both Morale and the consequences of being penetrated.

Special Rules

Here’s where things get tricky. First, lets go through the ones that we do know:

Fast: The S Tank was the first MBT equipped with a turbine engine, but it’s actually slightly slower than the Leopard 1, and not all that close to the tanks 7DRR considers “Fast” tanks, like the Leopard 2 or M1. So as tempting as it is, the answer for this is “No”. There is an asteriskhere – the S Tank is fast in reverse. In game terms, this means that the S Tank can use the “Rapid” and “Rapid Road” movement speeds when going backwards, in contrast to most tanks which may only use their “Normal” speed.

Thermal: I can find no evidence that the S Tank had thermal optics before it was retired, and none of the tanks of the comparable era do, so the answer for this one is “No.”

Special Armor: Here I have to go back and forth a little bit. The fixed nature of the S Tank turret allows a metal grid to be placed in the front of the tank, potentially protecting it from HEAT rounds.

But this is a far cry from genuine reactive armor, fancy composite materials, etc. Additionally, not all S Tanks were fitted with these (you can find ample photos of ones without it). So we’re going to roll that into the armor rating for the tank itself, and we’re not giving the S Tank Special Armor.

Special-Special Rules

The issue with the S Tank is what rules it should have that, as both a revolutionary tank design out of step with the other Western design schemes or those of the Warsaw Pact, and one that was a technological dead end, there aren’t rules for elsewhere in the game. One of these has already been mentioned – the fact that the vehicle is more than happy to go in reverse at fairly high speeds. But there’s two others that are sort of combined together in my mind – the very low profile of the tank itself, combined with the unique transmission and suspension system which allowed the tank to “tilt”, elevating or depressing the entire tank instead of just the gun, allowing it to hug the terrain rather well. This was sort of the idea behind the S Tank – the best way to not get destroyed was to not be hit in the first place.

The first bit is easily solved.

The second…I have some ideas. There are a couple ways I have come up to represent this:

  • Give the tank a bonus to its armor, rolling “Hard to Hit” and “Hard to Hit in a way that kills you” into one concept.
  • Essentially give the tank perpetual cover – it’s at -1 to hit.
  • Give the tank perpetual stacking cover – it’s at -1 to hit, and -2 if it’s lurking in cover.

I’m a little wary of the first one, as it is quite abstract. The second one was inspired by some of the Too Fat Lardies games, particularly the skirmisher rules for Sharpe Practice, wherein they always get cover, under the assumption that they’re finding little places to hide in the terrain that aren’t represented on the tabletop, but are there in real life. That’s sort of the idea – there’s scatter, etc. that our short little tank can hide behind that wouldn’t “count” as cover for a turreted vehicle.

The problem with that is just saying “They’re always in cover” means a tank with thermal optics potentially entirely negates that bonus, which is both a touch disappointing, and also I’m not fully sure is correct.

The third is quite powerful – that means that most tanks in the game will be missing a fair amount more than they hit the S Tank, but is nice for two reasons: Thermal equipment lessens the effect but doesn’t eliminate it, and also it prevents the somewhat game-y outcome where the S Tank, always benefitting from cover, doesn’t bother to actually be in real cover. So rather than hide in the woods, the S Tanks sit out in the clear, because why not? And also, it frees up precious cover for Centurions, infantry, etc. And I dislike gamey outcomes in a project like this.

Consulting my most likely opponent, we settled on the third one.

But what do these cost? After all, we can’t use our statistical model to estimate the value for rules that don’t exist yet.

But when we look at other special rules – Thermal, Fast and Special, the points increases for those are 5.25, 6.08 and 5.07 respectively, suggesting that most special rules are worth about five points each, or in this case, 10 points total for the two notable oddities of the S Tank.

I’d argue that’s a little steep for the moving backwards thing, which feels much more situation than moving faster always, or being able to negate cover of HEAT. But I’d also say it’s probably a little cheap for the other effect, which in essence reduces the enemy’s To Hit by 1, which would lower the cost of a tank by about 10 points. So perhaps we call it a wash – it’s possible we’re off by a few points, but that’s close enough to get us into play testing.

One thing we haven’t touched on is the disadvantage of the S Tank. While there are “Fixed Forward” guns in the game, none of them are on main battle tanks. You could conceptualize this as every main battle tank in the game except the S Tank having the “Turret” special rule – which following our rough guidelines would be worth about 5 points. I think this makes a reasonable amount of sense – turreted tanks are far less likely to need to move (incurring a penalty to shoot) than fixed gun tanks are. There’s one fixed-gun German tank, though it’s a light tank, the Jpgz Kanone.

If we plug that tank into our formula, and ignore that it moves slightly faster as a light tank but has slightly worse morale, neither one of which is in the formula, we get a predicted points value of 27.661 – let’s call it 28. The actual cost of that tank, with the fixed forward rule? 23 points. The difference there is, ah…five points. So yeah, let’s stick with that.

Run the Numbers

Plugging all of this into our equation from yesterday, we have the points of an S Tank equal to:

0.6026 + 13(2.2095) + 10(6.1978) + 5(-9.8076) + 0(5.2551) + 0(6.0816) + 0(5.0728)+5+5-5 = 47.2661 points. Let’s round down to 47.

That’s a fairly hefty number. Within the “Frontline tanks for minor powers” tier, that’s 11 points more expensive than a Centurion, and two more than a Leopard A1 – though markedly less expensive than the Leopard 1A5, which has special armor (and more armor) and a better to-hit. It seems like it’s on the higher end of that tier, but that’s because the rules for it are genuinely pretty unique. It also makes the eight of them that come in the Swedish starter force for Team Yankee, plus two helicopters and three anti-tank trucks, an absurdly good value for a starting 7DRR army. Like, that’s probably all the Swedes you’ll ever need.

Not that that stopped me from picking up some Centurions.

Have we overshot? Maybe. Maybe not. Stay tuned for some playtesting. And if you have thoughts on other ways to approach this, please do let me know – I’m hardly an armor expert, and there are several leaps in intuition here – a couple different decisions, like say a front armor of 12 and a weapon value of 9, and we’ve shed eight points. Similarly, the costing for the special rules is, to be frank, more than a little hand waved, though I tried to err on the side of overcosted vs. undercosted.

What About BP?

In the second post in this series, I noted that BP is essentially derived from the points cost of a unit. Now we have a points cost, so what’s the BP for an S Tank?

Turns out the model for this is very good, with the points of a unit explaining 98.4% of the variability in BP. It’s a really lovely fit.

The formula is just BP = 0.24412 + Pts*0.12332. So for the S Tank, 6.072975…let’s call it an even 6 BP.



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