As far as I understand, vehicle armor protects the other components of a tile that’s hit directly by a collision, while a shock absorber protects the components of a tile against shock propagated from the tile directly hit (with the propagation potentially being through several tiles).
Furthermore, shock absorbers and armor seems to be mutually exclusive.
This leads me to the questionable construction/functionality of bonnets in CDDA cars that have “bumbers”, such as most military vehicles. These bonnets hide the engine and are “protected” by armor, but is there actually anything that does hit these tiles directly?
The reason for this question is that I get my reinforced headlights smashed up all the time (using precious duct tape to repair), while the “bumper” parts get some minor damage from the actual collisions (which is to be expected).
It seems to me that a cataclysmic vehicle intended to be capable of taking hits should have plating on the front, potentially on the back (if intended to be reversed into enemies), have shock absorbers on all interior tiles, have all parts that do not have to be on the exterior (such as the engine) placed on inside tiles where they’re protected by shock absorbers, and a judgement call whether the side exterior tiles should have armor (side collisions, attacks by zombies), or shock absorbers (to protect against the front/back shock waves).
Bonnets seem like a useless wasted extra row of tiles with equipment protected against non existent direct abuse while unprotected against the common indirect one.
I realize pre-cataclysmic vehicles should follow pre-cataclysmic pattern (and include deformation zones), but player built/modified one should obviously be tailored to the new situation (and the game’s peculiarities).
After ripping out the military armor on the interior bonnet tiles and replacing it with shock absorbers my reinforced headlights haven’t been smashed up, while some other components have (including a shock absorber), so that move looks like a preliminary success.