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KB-4, the bunker (with tracks and a engine)
 
Since there is no KV-4 topic on wotlabs yet and it does get tons of hate.
 
Here it is: A topic for this awesum 107 ton masterpiece of soviet engineering!
 
Overal:
The KV4 is the first true super-heavy tank combining massive weight, thick all-round armor, a powerfull gun and dreadfull speed in 1 package.
 
The most redeeming factors of the KV4 are its size and massive weight (and armor). 
At 107 ton it is:
- 7 tons heavier as an KV-5
- 15 tons heavier as an E75
- 22 tons lighter as an E100
- 2x heavier an IS-3
 
Only the Maus and E100 beiing heavier, while it weights almost 2x more as most `normal` tanks...
This thing is huge and heavy, all the weight is because its huge and it has tons of (side) armor.
 
The armor:
This is where the KV4 trully shines, the KV4 is by far the thoughest tier 8 tank, easy surpassing KV5, KT, T28 and Proto in terms of thoughness in large part due to its amazing side armor, 150mm flat side armor (upper half) or 130mm covered by 20mm track armor.

maV73J7.jpg

 
Unagled a KV4 has thus 150mm armor
This means that an KV4 has after E100 and Maus the best side armor of the game 
(KV5 is technically better, but its riddled with weakspots so nobody shoots the hull...) 
 
values below are for the 130mm side armor, the part above the track is in general a bit stronger as the numbers below
 
Angle: 70 65 60 55 50
Armor against AP: 328 280 247 222 204
Armor against APCR: 367 306 265 236 214
Armor against HEAT: 576 470 400 351  316
 
So even when angled 55 deg its sides are still an impressive 220 vs AP while at 65 deg its virtually immuum to anything
but tier 10 TDs and high tier APCR shells.
 
Its front armor is really thick, 180mm, but minimal sloping (google says 30 deg seems a bit high, but ok), however, it does get the autobounce plate and because of the small sloping, angling become much more effective.
 
Compare 
180mm 0 deg backwards and 30 deg sideways = 199 vs AP
with 
180mm 30 deg backwards and 30 deg sideways = 224 vs AP
 
This means that an KV4, standing in the open, can angle about 55 deg and become immuum too 200 pen guns (front is 234, side above track 233, side below tracks 222)
When angling this way, an IS6 with APCR can not penetrate the KV-4 hull, front becomes 245 while sides are 249 / 236
 
The major weakness lies in its turret armor, while the turret itself is actually quite though compared to many same tier vehicles, its still weakish, it does have a few nice features:
- it has a thick mantle, overlapping partial with underlieing armor (90mm thick), making it immuum to HEAT and ~270 effective vs AP(CR)
- the `weakspot` on top is 180mm
- the turret face is mostly 180mm but spherical, making it ~210mm effective on the curved parts
- the side are 150mm and steep angled backwards, meaning just like an E75, the turret is also when angled a little is still realy though
 
It does have a weak turret ring though and people who know where to shoot can and will penetrate the turret fairly easy

kv4turrets.png
 

TL:DR armor wise the KV4 is an absolute brute, guns with less as 200mm pen will find an KV4 very hard to penetrate in almost any situation while premium tanks like KV5, IS6 or Super pershing will need to shoot gold (and even then IS6 and KV5 will strugle A LOT). When a KV4 can sidescrape and (paritally) hide its turret front its almost unkillable
 
Firepower:

Good, but nothing impressive the pro`s:
- high pen AP penetration, 227mm beiing among the highest after Lowe (235) and T34 (248)
- ridiculous APCR pen, 289mm, for just 10 gold (instead of 12 gold like KT, IS3, T32, etc)
- good shell speed, in between IS3 and King Tiger (1043ms for AP and 1304ms for APCR)
- decent alpha dmg, 320 is equal to most other tier 8 heavys
- ok accuracy, while the accuracy is not that good, its still better as VK-A, T32, IS3 etc 
also the high penetration compensates a lot (when aming for KT lfp, and hitting ufp you still have a good chance of 
penetrating)
 
Neutral:
- acceptable dpm, while dpm is not its strength (and one of the lowest in tier, lowe, T34, Caern and M6 beiing the only with worse dpm) the high penetration / ok accuracy will minimize random bounces / misses.The difference in dpm is afterall not that massive, A VK-A or T32 who miss or bounce 1 shot have equal dpm as a KV4 who hits all
 
- on the move accuracy / bloom, 0,23 / 0,23 is not good but, compared to IS6 .23/.23, IS3 and T32 have .21/.21, KT and KV5 .18/.18, VK-A .2/.2, however the low turning speed and overall slugishness make the bloom suprising good (for its stats)
 
Cons:
- terrible aim time, 3,4 is on par with IS3 and T34, which both deal more alpha dmg, this is a real con, on close range or vs weakly armored targets its not that much of a problem, but when aiming on small weakspots or on long range it gets a problem.
- bad gun depression, -6 is not cripling like the -2 of the SU-101, but for suchs a tall tank it poor.... (and coupled with bad mobility it makes the KV4 a bad take for hillfighting)

TL:DR: Firepower wise an KV4 is above average, while no KT or IS3, the combination of superior penetration and better accuracy off-set the the bad aim time and lowish dpm, giving it firepower wise
 an edge over tanks like the T32 and VK-A (especially against though targets or on long range)
 
Mobility:
short and simple: bad

Despite an massive 1200 hp engine (one of the strongest engines of the game) its still slow, straight line speed is suprising good (given its weigth) accelaration is `acceptable` (for a heavy), but the turning speed is Maus-like terrible, also climbing hills and passing swamps are no strenghts of a KV4.
 
When going from A to B over roads its ok, but forget about flanking, climbing hills or driving through swamps
 
Soft stats: Nothing special, bloom and gun depression got mentioned already 
 
Special note: its viewrange with 350m is (quite) bad, coupled with terrible camo (its the size of an house afterall) means you will be spotted first and get hit before you even see whats shooting you. Tanks like an KT have also bad camo, but they atleast have good viewrange (400m vs 350m is a big difference)

How to equip:
 
(my own equipment and crew):

shot_095.jpg

Crew:
- repair, repair, repair, you are sidescraping all the time so get detracked all the time 5x 100% repair skill is minimum
- 6e sense (obvious)
- driving skills, off-road to compensate terrible passiblity and clutch braking to slightly buf awefull turning speed
- gun handling skills, because the on the move accuracy is mostly bad because of bloom stats and not because of accuracy /
mobility depends the 2 gun handling skills make a nice (positive) difference
 
For the rest it doesnt matter, i went with safe-stowage / adrenaline rush (both usefull)all other perks dont matter much.
 
If you have a 4e skill crew, re-training to BIA is highly adviced, but since mine is only 50% 3e skill its too early to retrain yet (i myself will retrain once they hit 40% 4e skill, assuming i will play KV4 and KV5 some more next weeks / months this should be doable)
 
Consumables:
- prem fire extinghuisher, this thing burns, a lot, so it needs it (KV`s are burning even more as Panther or Tigers...)
- rep / first aid, im cheap so i use basic, but prem is ofc always better
 
Ammo:
Some HE (3) for Waffles and 10 APCR for tier 10 fights, the rest (37) AP, AP is good enough for almost anything, 
 
Equipment:
- Rammer (obivous)
- V-Stab (obvious)
- Vents, KV4 can really use a small dpm / aim time / mobility buff, using optics on a KV4 is idiotic and GLD
simply offers to little (the mobility and dpm are bigger problems as the aim time) if you dont want vents, its GLD, but vents is plain and simple better
How to play:

1: Angle, always angle 55 deg vs tier 7 / 8, 60 deg vs tier 8 TDs and tier 9, 65 deg vs high pen guns You can not achieve immunity vs high pens guns, so you will always show a weak spot, angling is however needed to bait people into shooting  your side
 
2: drive zig zag towards an enemy, this way your armor is thougher and you may bounce with your sides (zig zag as a ship, not T-50-2, so make 30m left, 30m right, 30m left, and wait with turning till the other guy shoots (you also make the frontal profile a little smaller this way and make hitting turret weakspots harder)
 
3: Sidescrape, sidescrape!! bait shots with your side, reverse out of cover and shoot
 
4: when not possible to sidescrape, angle and go hull down, and try sticking your rear out of cover this will bait a lot of shots which would otherwise hit / penetrate your turret
 
5: Ram where possible, a KV4 is 107 ton, has 180mm front armor and got a 1200 hp engine, nothing except a Maus and E100 can take a ram, even most heavy tanks take ridiculous ram dmg. Because your so heavy, also low speed rams are effective both for breaking enemy tracks (and prevent flanking) and for dealing dmg. When beiing flanked, swing your rear toward them
 so they hit your side
 
6: Dont hesitate to fight tier 9 heavys head on, you have the penetration, armor and hp to take on any tier 9 heavy, it might require some gold shells, but only a conqueror can easy penetrate you / gun you down, all others have bad dpm, HEAT gold shells or no armor. A proper played KV4 is more then capable of stopping enemy E75 / St-1 / VK-P from advancing. This is especially important when your team doesnt have much tier 9 heavys while the other side does
 
Also, never sit back and snipe, your a brute with 0 camo, your purpose is to take a beating and show yourself
and never sit unagled, always angle atleast 20 deg (439mm effective vs HEAT, track part is 576 vs HEAT so even Jp-E100
gold wont penetrate your side)

My stats after 200 games:

shot_094.jpg

 
Some replays (played only 10 or so games with 9.3):
- Ruinberg, sidescraping vs IS8 and some tier 8 heavys, initially i hang back a little, when i see middle road is taken and the enemy KV4 doesnt push, i go forward and block 4 enemy tanks, stopping them, team overruns rest of the map and simple win
 
 
- Live oaks, i rush village, sidescrape vs IS7, kill Panther II, go back to base and fairly easy win (went back a bit too late though)
 
 
- Kharkov, i go with a few weakish tanks to the circle, with gold spam i manage to stop an advancing VK-P and some tier 8 after that i just `block` them, my team wins on the rest of the map and easy win 
(i deal almost no dmg and basically just sit there, i still contributed to the win though)(also ISU assault gun, leading from the front, yolo)
 
 
- Again Kharkov, tier 10 fight, same as previous, this time E100 and E75, but they also refuse to attack me
 
 
edit: fixed broken link
Edited by GehakteMolen

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You seem to be forgetting about the lower plate. It's almost impossible to hide due to the size, and a flat 160mm. It's either you have to give them your side when angling, or the lower plate. You're really only immune to 198 penetration and lower guns at the most with it, and that's ignoring the fact that the turret is 180mm that can't be angled; if you tried to angle it, those flat side cheeks aren't autobounce anymore. No, the armor does not justify the poor mobility and absolutely, all around horrendous gun.

 

If I were to buy it back, I would at least like a 40kph top speed downhill, and something in the range of 1800 DPM. There's no justifiable reasoning for it being that bad. As it stands, I'll take an IS-3, T32, or even Tiger II over it any day.

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You seem to be forgetting about the lower plate. It's almost impossible to hide due to the size, and a flat 160mm. It's either you have to give them your side when angling, or the lower plate. You're really only immune to 198 penetration and lower guns at the most with it, and that's ignoring the fact that the turret is 180mm that can't be angled; if you tried to angle it, those flat side cheeks aren't autobounce anymore. No, the armor does not justify the poor mobility and absolutely, all around horrendous gun.

 

If I were to buy it back, I would at least like a 40kph top speed downhill, and something in the range of 1800 DPM. There's no justifiable reasoning for it being that bad. As it stands, I'll take an IS-3, T32, or even Tiger II over it any day.

If you angle 35 deg lfp becomes 208mm vs AP while side behind tracks is still 225 (UFP would be 234 this way and side sbove tracks 236)

 

turret is also stronger as 180mm, since its mostly spaced armor (180 + 100) or sloped (the ``bulbs``) only the ring is weak, however most shoot the thing on top, which is not that hard to hit

 

ps: the gun is far form horrendous, its after KT and IS3 the best gun of any tier 8 heavy** its way better as VK-A / T32, 110 gains a small rof advantage (6 vs 5.4) and better aim time, but at the cost of penetration and shell speed

 

**lowe gets really too low dpm, however the laser accuracy and 235 pen do minimize random bounces / misses

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One thing to note is that not a single one of your opponents in any of the four replays switches to gold.

That, and the PantherII's 203mm penetration gun effortlessly going through both your lower plate and cupola.

I suppose the meta could be different, haven't played on EU for a long time now.

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I'd play it if it had a better turret.

this,the turret totally ruins the kv4 for me

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The speed on this made me cry. The firepower is underwhelming. The fact that everybody with a brain just shoots gold straight into you face negates a lot of your armour. Nevertheless, it is the one selling point of this tank (it's funny when you are able to bounce tier X shells with a well angled tier VIII) ...

 

But it was not the tank for me. I had acceptable winrate and DPG in it but never much fun and ended up selling it before I had even finished the grind.

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Currently grinding this thing.  So relaxing to play.  Not the most exciting tank but definitely fun.  Top gun is surprisingly accurate at mid-long range meaning you can snipe when you're not top tier.  My least favorite aspect of this tank is the games when enemy arty shoots only at you, repeatedly, until you die.

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The speed on this made me cry. The firepower is underwhelming. The fact that everybody with a brain just shoots gold straight into you face negates a lot of your armour. Nevertheless, it is the one selling point of this tank (it's funny when you are able to bounce tier X shells with a well angled tier VIII) ...

 

But it was not the tank for me. I had acceptable winrate and DPG in it but never much fun and ended up selling it before I had even finished the grind.

 

Eeeeeyep. That about perfectly sums up my experience with it. It was even worse for me though, as on NA, even the retards spam gold like there's no tomorrow.

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One beautiful day i will plague my clan by grinding this tank in Skirmishes.  =D

I will probably run the 122mm with prem ammo to speed up the grind.

 

I have already forced them to carry my T28 and The T28 prototype (prototype was kind of ok performancewise tho)

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I would prefer playing Lowe 100 games in a row to playing KV-4 for 10 games over 5 days. Lowe is faster, has a solid turret, has gun depression, VASTLY superior gun handling, and only slightly less DPM.

 

The mobility isn't a problem if you have good armour around where your gun is  (T95, T30). The KV-4 does not have that. It lacks the speed to get to the heavy spots before being spotted and shot in the side (El Halluf, Cliff, etc. come to mind) on most maps, it lacks the power per ton and ground resistance to handle terrain as the KV-5 can, and the gun handling is ABYSMAL for its alpha/DPM.

 

So, Protection = Meh, turret gets shot to hell by anyone with a brain at tier 8+, and by every gold-slinger in any tank you will see.

Mobility = OH GOD WHY T95 HAS BETTER ACCELERATION/TURNING

Firepower = Not Great.

 

Overall = only fit for a few players who like the arthritic snapping turtle playstyle.

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the thing you have to remember is the kv4 leads to the STI, that is a selling point enough alone

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One thing to note is that not a single one of your opponents in any of the four replays switches to gold.

That, and the PantherII's 203mm penetration gun effortlessly going through both your lower plate and cupola.

I suppose the meta could be different, haven't played on EU for a long time now.

 

Yeah, the siema was stronk with that one, he camps on the most useless spot the entire game (in a bush near the road from city too base on life oaks) he deals like 2 hits dmg that game, and ofc both on me...

 

I'd play it if it had a better turret.

 

Eeeeeyep. That about perfectly sums up my experience with it. It was even worse for me though, as on NA, even the retards spam gold like there's no tomorrow.

 

I would prefer playing Lowe 100 games in a row to playing KV-4 for 10 games over 5 days. Lowe is faster, has a solid turret, has gun depression, VASTLY superior gun handling, and only slightly less DPM.

 

The mobility isn't a problem if you have good armour around where your gun is  (T95, T30). The KV-4 does not have that. It lacks the speed to get to the heavy spots before being spotted and shot in the side (El Halluf, Cliff, etc. come to mind) on most maps, it lacks the power per ton and ground resistance to handle terrain as the KV-5 can, and the gun handling is ABYSMAL for its alpha/DPM.

 

So, Protection = Meh, turret gets shot to hell by anyone with a brain at tier 8+, and by every gold-slinger in any tank you will see.

Mobility = OH GOD WHY T95 HAS BETTER ACCELERATION/TURNING

Firepower = Not Great.

 

Overall = only fit for a few players who like the arthritic snapping turtle playstyle.

 

Most people shoot my hull, not turret, and for some strange reason many people also insist on shooting the sides if i show them, or they autoaim on the gunmantle, which is to strong to penetrate for both AP and HEAT

 

ps: as long as the other guy is shooting HEAT as gold ammo its all fine, also, on tier 8 gold ammo spam is fairly rare, on tier 10 its way worse (my Maus and E100 get shot to bits by gold, KV3 / KV4 not so much)

 

ps ps: gun handling is not absymal, its better as VK-A or 110 for example and on par (or even better) as T32, the bloom is bad, but the speed is even worse, while the accuracy is also above average, giving it i guess the best ``on the move bloom`` of any tier 8 tank except for KT and Pershing (?)

 

Bloom is afterall something like: accuracy x (bloom stats x mobility) if the mobility is bad and the accuracy decent your bloom will also be good (see tortoise, the bloom stats are nothing special, the (lack) of speed and exceptional accuracy give if probably the best bloom stats of the game

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If you know how to shoot one KV series tank you know how to shoot them all: Machine gun port and lower plate. The KV-4 just adds insult to injury by removing the troll turret cheeks of the previous tanks.

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Just another 1000 XP to research the KV-4. I really look forward to it. Is the engine worth the XP or shall I shorten the grind to the ST-I?

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Just another 1000 XP to research the KV-4. I really look forward to it. Is the engine worth the XP or shall I shorten the grind to the ST-I?

 

The engine is imo a must, 1000 or 1200 hp on a 107 ton tank is a significant difference, even with elite engine its slow (especially turning is terrible) but with stock engine even moving in straight line becomse painfull

 

the upgraded turret adds like 7 ton extra, so you better get the turret as last (engine and gun first), i went gun first, because i really, really hate the 122mm, but if you can stand the 122, the engine would be the choice as first unlock

 

ps: the grind to get it elite is really long though, and you need the gun + engine + tracks (and turret) to really get everything out of it, if you lack any of those, you will either be undergunned, painfull slow, of underarmored (the stock turret is a fair bit weaker as the elite turret)

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Probably I will free XP the engine first, then gun and tracks and finally the turret. Or the gun first. When I compare the numbers it seems to drive like a Churchill III. I will get to know the answer soon :)

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The engine is imo a must, 1000 or 1200 hp on a 107 ton tank is a significant difference, even with elite engine its slow (especially turning is terrible) but with stock engine even moving in straight line becomse painfull

 

the upgraded turret adds like 7 ton extra, so you better get the turret as last (engine and gun first), i went gun first, because i really, really hate the 122mm, but if you can stand the 122, the engine would be the choice as first unlock

 

ps: the grind to get it elite is really long though, and you need the gun + engine + tracks (and turret) to really get everything out of it, if you lack any of those, you will either be undergunned, painfull slow, of underarmored (the stock turret is a fair bit weaker as the elite turret)

 

I got the turret before the engine as stock turret was painfully weak. Oops.

 

I loathe how it has so much worse ground resistance than KV-5, if it matched in ground resistance, it would no longer be a gold sink, and we can't have that, can we? After all, ST-I is inferior only to E-75 as Tier 9 heavy, right?

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Interesting Molen, nicely written.

 

I see at the end there you have a large amount of battles in the Ferdi, any chance of a similar essay on that?

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One beautiful day i will plague my clan by grinding this tank in Skirmishes.  =D

I will probably run the 122mm with prem ammo to speed up the grind.

 

I have already forced them to carry my T28 and The T28 prototype (prototype was kind of ok performancewise tho)

Lol - you should see our tier VIII lineups. During the last week I haven't played a single skirmish where we didn't have someone grinding his KV-4 ... Skirmishes is where people take their shitty tier VIIIs out of the closet.

 

Thankfully, most teams are too bad to exploit it ... and when you meet a good enemy once in a while, they tend to run weirdo lineups themselves. :verysmug:

 

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Interesting Molen, nicely written.

 

I see at the end there you have a large amount of battles in the Ferdi, any chance of a similar essay on that?

 

I havent played Ferdinand in like 1.5 years or so, and also sold it long, long ago, so my opinion regarding this wouldnt be that accurate.

 

The game is however slowly changing, making the ferdinand ``less bad`` as before (city maps are in general good for the ferdinand, so are corridors)

 

Perhaps if gold ammo gets a significant nerf i buy it back, bur for now, no :P

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