Tuesday, 30 April 2013

World of tanks patch 8.5 T-70 review

Previously when I was talking about the T-60 I mentioned that it lacks a sweetener to make it worth to go that route. I stand corrected - the T-70 (and T-80) is actually decent, even if not a definite keeper.

Heavier than the T-60, the T-70 is non the less more powerful - at 16 hp/per ton, the T-70 is having much easier time with traveling at its top speed of 45 kmph. Small terrain bumps don't stop you dead, even though the ground clearance is still low. Of course its nowhere near the BT-7, but its no slouch by any means. The hull traverse and turret traverse speed are also good. There is no pivot turning, but the radius is very small anyway.

The armour department is where the T-70 shines. 35mm of well sloped UFP means that autoguns do nothing  and even bigger calibers have issues. The turret is protected by a 50mm mantlet that sometimes stops shells even from 75mm guns. All in all, that means it has the 2nd best armour of all tier 3 tanks, barring the french AMX. The drivers hatch is in fact even thicker than the rest, instead of being a weak spot, its 50mm of sloped armour. Sides are, only 15mm though, so be careful with howitzers and pz I Cs. While the T-70 performs quite admirably as a panzer I C exterminator (due to the imprevious front and good traverse speed) don't let it get into your head - you are still vulnerable.

Gun department - Why Hello mister 45mm VT 42! Its a a gun that can be found on the T-46, T-50, A20 and T-50-2. Its qualities are already proven. 75mm penetration at tier 3 is quite respectable. Stats are the same as with the T-46 - you get slightly slower RoF though. The gun is fully capable of engaging anything from tier 2 to tier 5, though, mind you - pack some APCR for things like KV-1s. You get 90 shells for it - there is no reason NOT to carry 20-30 APCR. Its not all cozy though. The T-70 has abysmal gun depression - 4 degrees. That makes it very tricky to use in hilly terrain.

All in all, what do we get?

Well...we get a tank that is...balanced. Good, but not great armour, acceptable agility, decent armament. It does not shine...but you will always be relevant in the game, even if its full of tier 5s. Of course its up to you to make it shine.

Future inclusion in the British tree - the Vickers A1E1 Independent

Well then - all this fuss about interwar heavy tanks as low tier premiums can't be complete without the British right? After all when you ask the T35 and the T28 "Who's your daddy?", the answer is simple - they both point at the Vickers A1E1 Independent.

The Independent was a series of 1, literally a land battleship that was supposed to be able to take and hold ground on its own. The plans were supposedly sold/stolen and once they reached the Soviet Union - the T35 and T28 were born. Needless to say - similarities are obvious, though the A1E1 is indeed the older, WW1 in mind design, and it shows.

So...the Independent(Yeah...they actually meant it with the name - I'm a strong independent Tank that needs no infantry to take that hill!)

At 34 tons and a 370 HP engine, with a top speed of 32 kmph - its identical in power output to the T35. Being 2 meters shorter should make it a biiiit more maneuverable.

Armour wise things are also roughly the same - 28mm being the thickest, though the front lacks a decent slope, while the T35 has at least some. Basically expect to dread encounters with Pz I Cs, not that any non french low tier tank doesn't....

The armament is a single 47mm gun. While its a 5 turret design, unlike the T35 it has only one cannon - rest are MG turrets. That means the Vickers can be readily implemented in the game without needing any major adjustments - only model, stats and price. The 3 Pounder gun (versions can be seen already ingame) limits it to tier 2 however - the MK I has barely 38 mm of penetration and the 3 pdr MK II - 43mm. In the gun department - the soviet designs beat the Vickers hands down.

So... - M1921 as tier 2/3, Vickers as tier 2, T35 as tier 3/4 (if multigun support is introduced  tier 4 will be ok for it- I mean you get a derp gun and 2x 51mm penetrating guns that can also load APCR for 90mm)  Any bets?

Future inclusion in the soviet tree - the T35 heavy tank

Well then, since we started mentioning the interwar big projects with the M1921, its a shame not to go beyond the Iron Curtain right?

Lo and behold the benefits of ruling a country so big that only the British empire in its prime outmatched in size. The T35 - a tank that was more or less a propaganda vehicle, yet non the less received a full line of 60 vehicles. Damn right, where other smaller countries would, you know, try to  get tanks that were multi functional - the Soviet Union has one that was made pretty much only to look awesome on Red Army parades...and it did indeed look awesome.

Look at the sheer size of it! Yeah its no Baneblade, but let's cut the russians some slack, its only lacking 2-3 guns from the coveted "11 barrels of hell".

Now, the T35 has been mentioned more than a few times already, but I'd say there is a good chance we will see it soon enough - the prewar behemoths would make excellent low tier premiums. The tank is already modeled by Wargaming - the screenshot above is old news. I'd say it was simply not its time yet, but we are nothing if patient...except when it comes to arty nerfs.

So...about the T35 - first of all ,its huge! Like, nearly ToG/Maus huge. So if you need a bridge/street blocker for cheap - that's your man...I mean tank. At 45 tons with a 500 HP engine (11hp/ton) and a top speed of 30 kmph, its not exactly a speeder, and well, given its size I dare not ask about the traverse. However keep in mind that we are talking about tier 3 (4 is a bit too much for it) - once you get those 45 tons rolling, the train has no breaks - ramming at low tiers might get a new meaning.

Armour wise its going to suffer from windy weather - 30mm is the thickest. Basically everything will damage, as if its smaller cousin T-28 did not show it already.

Finally guns...I'll be the first to say - the T35 will be most fun once multi gun/turret support comes out. You have a total of 5 turrets and 3 cannons - short 76mm, and a pair of 45mm 20k. The other 2 are machinegun turrets(read - weakspots...on a tank that is a giant weakspot to begin with) Unfortunately the placement is such, that in most cases you will be able to align only 2 guns at a single target. You may refer to the layout graphic above to see what I mean. Still, depending on the traverse of the 45mm turrets, you may be able to fire a full broadside at someone if you angle at 30-45 degrees...Unfortunately we'd likely see this without multi-gun support - which would suck, but such is life. I mean the latter would mean a major rehaul - you'd need to include ALL gunners and loaders as well as the extra damaged guns and turrets IU...a lot of work indeed. Coaxial secondary guns are a piece of cake in comparison.

Thats it then...as WG says...when its done.

Friday, 26 April 2013

World of tanks 8.5 T-60 light tank review

Right then, after playing some fights in the T-60 in the live server I believe I can give it its due.

Right now my verdict is...mediocre.

So, what do we get with the T-60? As we all know a good tank is a blend of armour, firepower and speed. Let's see how it fares in those 3.

First things first - in terms of speed and maneuverability its not impressive. The engine gets you there yes, but mostly at speed of 30 kmph. The tank loses speed quickly when maneuvering. The low ground clearance (30sm) rears its ugly head when you are faced with obstacles - even railroad tracks can stop you dead better than tank traps. Basically, you are not going anywhere  in a hurry and that will hurt you a lot.

In terms of defensiveness things are a bit better. The tank is very small, and hard to hit, especially at distance. The extreme slope of the UFP and the gun mantlet make you all but immune to autocannons from the front - a lot of ordinary guns will have issues penetrating as well, unless they hit below the gun shield or in the driver's hatch. The overmatching of the UFP that so many people were worried about was not an issue, at least for me. Only things with 75mm guns(read T18 and AT-2) could manage it, but its not as if any tier 2 tank can withstand those in the first place.

Finally we come to firepower.

In the firepower department things are less than impressive. Gun depression is very poor. So is the choice of guns. You have two options - the 20mm TnSH or the 37mm Zis-19. The Zis gun is a nerfed version of the one in the BT-2 and the T-26(I believe that's because the devs are trying to represent the fact that its a 1 man turret) You get  low RoF - 22 rpm, compared to the 26 for the other two soviet tier 2s and poor aiming time - 2.5 seconds. Combined with the fact that there is no separate gunner(who's skills would be enhanced by commander bonus in the BT-2 and T-26) it means that the T-60 aims very slowly, in addition to the lack of gun depression and low RoF.

The TnSh on the other hand is like a watered down version of the Mauser gun on the Pz I C - half the ammo in a clip, half the shots per burst, 50% bigger aim time...but you get a bit more damage per hit so its working in close combat. However, the T-60 often gets in fights with tier 3 tanks, where 28mm penetration is way too little.

To conclude - The T-60 is simply not impressive, and inferior to its rivals in the Soviet line. It needs either a buff, or the Pz I treatment - that is limit it to tier 2 battles. Giving it an improved 23mm VJa autocannon might be a good step - it will certainly make it distinct and give it a spot. Right now it lacks one.


Let me rephrase what I said by lacking a spot. Its not just that its inferior to its mates. Its a technological dead end - there is no candy at the end of that line, you are tossed right back in the main tree. Pz I has the improved MM and the Pz I C as said candy. The T-60 has nothing on the table.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Future inclusion in the US tree the M1921 medium tank

While we wait for the patch to come, here's what's cooking in a recent vid from Wargaming called Uncle Sam's Tanks that you can watch on the WoT site when they are done with the patch.

This is the M1921 medium tank. If you've never seen or heard of it, that's because it never saw service. It was a eh, testbed vehicle much like the FV4202, made with the idea to try new techniques and gain experience in tank design.

At least its not another paper tank - it actually exists in the real world. Thus we do know what its capable of and how it will fit. The M1921  carries a 6 pounder gun, a 220 or 338 hp engine and weights 18.5 tons with a top speed(depending on the engine) of 26kmph. Armor values are unknown at the time, however judging by the extremely similar T1E1, its going to be 25mm at its thickest. All this means it can be a perfectly viable tier 2 or tier 3 tank, premium or not.

Eh, why tier 3? Well, let's look at ANOTHER tank with almost identical stats - the Vickers MK III which is also 18 tons, has a 6 pounder for main gun, 220 hp engine and armor values that at best will stop a strong gust of wind. Matter of fact, if the M1921 has one inch of sloped armor as UFP it will be perfectly adequately protected for both Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Its not exactly news - I mean you can see it in this screenshot of  supertest tank icons on the first row with other new US tanks, one of which - the T1E6 we already have ingame.

Better rev up those engines btw - patch will be ready for downloading in a matter of 1-2 hours.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The new arty in 8.6 and what does it mean for the game?

 On several occasions, patch 8.6 was called bombastic. Considering that the main content of it is artillery, the irony is not lost on all of us. In the next patch the much awaited expansion of the artillery  trees will happen, which should supposedly help arty's rather game breaking involvement at the moment.

First the russians.

They get two tanks - the SU122-A. It looks clearly superior to the SU 5, yet the armament(if the name is anything to guess by) would be a 122. My guess, is that this will take the place of the tier 5 SU 8, pushing the rest of the line with 1 tier up. Hey, if its fast, maneuverable and fast firing, I don't mind!

Next comes the SU-14-1. Basically a first draft version of the SU 14, with open top. As such, it will probably have the 203mm B-4 gun, giving it superior firepower to SU 8, yet well, with being a prototype SU 14, it would still be inferior to the current 203mm holders. That means the SU 14 proper and the S-51 will be pushed up to tier 8, and the object 212 and 261 will take tier 9 and 10 respectively. That means no more god guns on mid tier games. Not something I'd complain about believe me.

The french also receive 2 tanks - first one is AMX Obusier automoteur de 105, that seems to be based on the AMX 12t. It does not take a sharp mind to guess, that it will go on tier 4, since the current holder of tier 4 in the french line - is based on the AMX 13 series of light tanks - the progeny of the 12t series. That will push the french line up with one vehicle. Considering it only has 155mm guns, there won't be that much of a firepower difference in high tiers.

Next one shall take the place of a tier 9, after the Lorainne 155 51.
The BatChatillon155 (1955) pretty much means that we will get the  benefits of the Batchat 155 one at a time. First we get a fully revolving turret, and then at tier 10 we get an autoloader. Smooth transition eh?

The germans gets 3 new pieces, instead of two, so expect another branching off somewhere, or a premium artillery perhaps?

 This thing is the GW 10.5 CM Mk.IV(e) armed with a 105mm gun. I have the itching feeling that it will be tier 3, pushing the grille to tier 5. Not sure, just a a gut feeling.

This one looks more fun and for a reason - it has a turret. Pz.Sfl.IVb will probably fill in a role same as the the Churchill gun carrier - link from the tank lines to the artillery line. 105mm gun and a turret suggest very consistent(if not very damaging) fire.

And then we get the GW 210mm Elephant...Basically another GW based on the Tiger P hull. It will surely go at tier 8, again following the policy that the 200+mm guns will start from tier 8+.

The US SPG line gets two tanks as well - the M44 SPG will go at tier 7, pushing the M40/43 up to tier 8(no god guns below tier 8 policy)

 Aaaand then we get the M53/55 which is one hell of a special snowflake.
I mean, it has a turret...which is in reverse of the vehicle...Ok, let's just say it looks damn strange and leave it there. I'd say GW Panther on steroids but until we see the gun, nothing is certain.

 One more thing - RU server will have another Art of War contest for 8.5. While its not announced officially that means we'd get one too once 8.5 is up and running in EU and NA servers, so get ready to earn some ingame goodies.

Friday, 12 April 2013

First glimpses of 8.6 artillery

Patch 8.5 is not yet out and stuff about 8.6 is already coming out. 
As you folks already know - 8.6 will be the batch to fix artillery....by expanding it to tier 10

First we have a new Batchat 155...that seems to be designed with a Patton hull? Not sure - gotta check that.

Now this one seems to be the SU 8's big brother...and something tells me this is the T35 chassis.

Aaaand finally, a GW tiger...built on a Tiger P hull. Um....okay I guess. Let's hope that's an actual vehicle and not WG recycling models again...Oh silly me of course its WG recycling models again!

Anyway, ranting aside, the arty expansion was long overdue. There has to be at least one more vehicle per arty line, probably on the lower tiers, pushing bigger calibers up in the tiers. Not sure of that, its just a hint.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

WoT funnies 4

Q: - Guys does the box of cola increase view range?
A: - Sure, the commander sits on it when peeking from the hatch.

Q:What is the light arty players see just before death?
A:Sixth sense skill.

During the physics testing, there was one occasion (now classified by WG) when 2(two) Raissenai heroes medals(earned for 14+kills in a game) were won in a single round. Both by the Westfield bridge.

Different tank thoughts at round start:
T50-2- Must reach arty!
Maus - Must reach hard cover!
T95 - Must reach end of white circle!

World of tanks 8.5 M60 Patton current stats and armour values.

Something makes me think the M60 is the least expected of the coming special Tier 10 tanks. Its quite similar to the M48 Patton - nothing new to see here except the IF searchlight on the turret.

I suppose that's not so bad actually - nobody will be disappointed - we just get another Patton tank with very similar behavior  A bit less hull armour, a bit more accurate gun with a tenth of a second faster aiming. All in all nothing new here, unlike the Magic Pancake Object 907 tank and the VK7201 K Fail Lowe. On the other hand the tank won't have any noticeable flaws like the above mentioned two - one being a rear turreted German heavy that got its armour nerfed already, and the other being a tier 10 medium tank that has only 220 penetration. 1 extra tier 10 is always good when Clan Wars come around. 

Saturday, 6 April 2013

World of tanks 8.5 VK7201 K Faillowe current stats and armour schematic.

I said it in the previous post and it turns out true - the VK7201 Fail Lowe was not so fail as expected.

The front got its armour nerfed - The UFP and LFP lost 40mm and the turret and mantlet another 40mm each. Alas, that means the VK7201 won't be the tank to bring Armour back to the german tech tree. Right now its on the level of the Maus, which as we know - can barely survive the modern guns and prem shells flying around. Damn shame but such is life.

At least otherwise the new Lowe seems untouched - 2500 HP, and the modules have the same stats as before. Its unlikely it will get its armor back. At any rate its still going to be a semi decent (if outright ugly) tank for random games. Its just that the extra Armour would have made it good for CW too.

World of tanks 8.5 Soviet tier 10 tank - Object 907

So, the Object 907 is finally revealed to the wider public.

Armour wise the pancake tank as its starting to get known, isn't that bad - the UFP is very well sloped, better than on the T62A for sure. The turret however is lacking - thickest parts are 228 mm which might not be enough to keep the tank safe. The tank has 2000 hit points and it looks juuust a bit more maneuverable than the T62A. Not much, just a tiny bit. Whether thats true remains to be seen.

However, its not all a bed of roses. The gun is the same as in the T62A - the 100mm D-54TS. HOWEVER, the Object 907 has no APCR ammo - its has to use normal AP. That leaves you with barely 219 penetration - same as the T54. Needless to say that's not enough for the tank to be an effective tier 10. Aim time and accuracy are a bit lower too. I'm not sure if its a mistake - the other two T-10s the VK7201 and the M60 Patton both have proper tier 10 guns. If its not the tank will be at a a disadvantage in Random fights, though it might be used as a T62A replacement in Clan wars when the T62s are locked.

Friday, 5 April 2013

World of tanks patch 8.6 A33 Excelsior - more information.

Called it! In the previous post I said the A33 will likely see the light of day in 8.6 and that it will most likely be a tier 5 Premium tank for the British line. What do ya know - it will be!

The A33 is listed as tier 5 Prem Heavy, at 1500 gold. The hull is fairly well armoured - 114 turret front, 114 hull front. The tank lacks a gun shield though, a common problem of the Cromwell from which it is derived. Still, the 114mm armour at a slight angle and distance will be hard to chew through for most tier 5 guns - the 75mm, 57mm especially. 76mm and 85mm will be able to with less of a hurdle.

The gun however is the 75mm mk V, with barely 91mm penetration. the RoF is impressive - allmost 17 shots but that still leaves the tank undergunned. Gun depression is very impressive - 13 +20. Basically that means the A33 will be best used with terrain. High ground will give you the slope your designers forgot, and deny it to your foes. Pack some prem shells, and you are good to go.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wot 8.5 possible British tank - A33 Excelsior

Just like the Sexton, the Excelsior is old news. We've had the render and some screenshots for many months.

However, with the recent leak of  tank descriptions for 8.5 it seems it will finally see the servers.

To quote:
At the end of 1942, the Churchill tank's armament was deemed insufficient. New tanks, the A31, A32, and A33 were developed as new infantry tanks. The A33 was developed by the English Electric Company. The LMS Company participated in the development of suspension for a new tank. Two vehicles, which differed greatly from each other, were manufactured. The A33 was set to go into production, but in 1943 the decision to cancel mass production of the Churchill was reversed, and the order for the A33 was not placed."

Its not a paper tank too  - its quite real and can be seen in a museum.

The ingame model is done, so getting in actually IN the game was a matter of preference for WG.

Still, I don't think we will get the A33 in 8.5 but rather in 8.6 - right now it would be released for supertesters only. But I digress, back on topic.

The A33 was effectively a big version of the Cromwell and derived from it. Crew of 5, 45 tons, 40 kmph top speed, 600 HP engine. the Max armor was 114 mm, and if the render is any source - that would be the turret front and the LFT and flat frontal part. Not too bad, not too good either. After all, as someone on the forums said - For the British tankers, sloped armor is something that happened to the enemy. I'm not sure of the effectiveness of those side skirts, if they are side skirts at all - notice the hatch? Looks like Churchill I/ III type of hull. Anyway those stats a lone don't tell us much, except that the tank will fit okay in tier 5,6 and maaaybe 7. What's important here, is whether it will be a premium tank or not -since thats what will decide the armament. In its historical configuration, it gets the 75mm HV gun, that has barely 91 AP penetration. Needless to say that makes it a poor choice in anything but tier 5, besides the british already have a tier 6 Premium tank. I do believe the tank will be tier 5, despite the nominally thick armor. Time will tell.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

World of tanks 8.5 New Premium artillery - tier 3 Sexton

The Sexton is old news by now actually, we've known about it since 8.3, and it was included in 8.4 test server, in the hands of supertesters only however.

With a crew of 6 (two loaders) it will bring at first glance, quite decent bang for its buck - I expect the price to be between 900 and 1000 gold.

Armor won't be a pushover - 50mm front, 30 sides, means that tier 2/3 tanks won't have a free kill when they see you.  Top speed of 40 kmph with 400 hp engine will give it speed, though don't expect to be able to do Batchat 155 trolling pre nerf style. 
     The gun is a 25 pounder with 112 shells 0,47 acc, 7.5s reload before modules(!!) and 5,1s aim time, again before modules and  280/180 damage for HE and AP(Ap as prem rounds) Penetration values unknown. Don't expect splash damage. View range is decent - 360m, but its an open top vehicle, radio range is 570 - again acceptable for tier 3. 

All in all, in this configuration, the Sexton appears to be quite comfortable to play in, even superior to some regular tier 3 artillery - what it lacks in damage per shot, is equalized by the rate of fire, accuracy and armor. Oh yes - if is 30 tons ramming in close combat will be viable defensive tactic too.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Wot 8.5 Indienpanzer stats leak and HD screenshots

Its a beauty isn't it? Look at those curves! After so many angular boxy tanks, finally a time comes in a man's life when he wants something with curves.And well, that time is now, because I do want that tank in my garage.

Right then, on topic - what can we discern about the Indienpanzer? Superior armor to the Panther II, better gun, LESS health, probably more mobile, but until we get the test server and full module list, one can't be sure. Right now an elite panther II has a bit more power to weight ratio. Panther II will also get a bit more view range - it seems there is no 2nd turret for the Indienpanzer. Cammo value is unknown. What I'm thinking of right now is the french FCM 50t tank. The Indienpanzer will likely have abilities and playstyle very similar to it, right down to the identical gun.  Good armor slope, however, if combined with gun depression can give us our first german hill fighter, capable of outdoing the american meds at their job. We will see soon enough. Test server should arrive in a few days.