As i won the race to the Kranvagn against @Joyrider216, my destiny was now to write this review.
Yea, grinding entire line from tier 5 to tier 10 in 8 days. Only modules was free XPd. You can imagine how exhausted i am.
Here we go, anyways.
Im pleb and skipped them with free XP. They are generally quite average tanks. Tier 1 is hilarous not just by its looks, but also because it can actually somehow sidescrape against autocannons. Tier 2-3 are OK generalists, while Lago reminds me lots of that Czech tier 4 trash...which doesnt seem like very good tank.
Wont rate them because i havent played them, expect for 1 match with tier 1.
Tier 5: Strv m/42
This is where the line starts to get somewhat more interesting. At first, the tank doesnt seem very special. Tier 5 mediums that are not derp Pz IV H / M4 or T-34 are often considered quite mediocre. The Strv has however two interesting advantages: alpha and -15 degrees of depression.
The alpha is very nice: 50% higher than most mediums in same tier, and almost twice higher than T-34! This allows the tank to simply outtrade tier 5 mediums in peek-a-boo fights. The -15 degrees of depression is simply amazing. Its so good, in fact, that i almost never had any need of more depression, i could just peek from any ridge. Heck, i rarely got to even use the full -15 depression.
The gun handling is surprisingly nice for such high alpha gun. Might also help because the tank isnt very fast, but its mobile enough. It has few flaws, though. The armor is already useless; dont expect to reliably bully any tier 3´apart from maybe Pz 1 Cs. If you have played the tier 6 premium Swede, you might know that it has severe problems with modules: ammorack can be destroyed easily, engine is on front and also damaged easily. Well, unfortunate news: this thing has same hull, and the module damage carries over. I got ammoracked from full/semi-full HP in 3 out of 20 matches i played with it, so that is something to watch out for. Penetration can be really annoying aswell, especially on tier 7 matches where 140mm gold pen is simply very mediocre.
Its not amazing tank, but definely not bad either. Alteast its not like some awful tier 5 meds such as G1 R or Skoda T-24.
Tier 6: Strv 74
This thing is great, and definely one of the highlights in the line. It has okay at best mobility, same hull as tier 5 (and again, module damages are problem) and pretty huge M103-esque turret that has practically no armor. How its amazing? Well, it keeps the -15 degrees of depression, and...man, what a gun it has.
It might not have very high DPM but i would argue that its gun is probably the best tier 6 medium gun. It has very solid bloom values even without VStabs. Combine its mobility with that and its effective dispersion values on move are like twice better than that of Cromwell. The aim time is VERY good aswell (1,7 seconds), and its accuracy beats most TDs in the tier. And ofc -15 depression.
The tank can snipe like a boss, and snapshot very effectively from ridges. While its turret might be tall, its odd design means that when you use your depression and crest from hill its actually not that big of a target. The tank however suffers in CqC especially against stuff like Cromwell. Avoid brawling against most things. Just support 2nd line or even 3rd line. The accuracy is so good. Be aware though because the shell velocity actually isnt that good.
It does have same module problems as tier 5, and as its tall and has trash armor, its food for arty. Extra caution must be taken since the tank sits on same tier as O-I and KV-2, which can easily oneshot this thing.
It was very pleasant tank to grind. I enjoyed it, and i would expect most of you enjoy it even more.
Tier 7: Leo
The Leo is...odd tank. Its weird fusion between T20 and A-44. Thats how i would best describe it. Most seem to hate it for some reason and prefer the 7.5cm. Imo, its certainly not that bad as everyone says.
The 10cm is best way to go with this tank. It first seem like terrible gun, but imo its best way to go. The 7.5cm makes Leo just a mediocre Comet that has better top speed. Not worth it. One huge mistake you could do with this tank is going into ridgeline, then aim ~5 seconds, shoot, and retreat. Like with Strv 74. Thats NOT how you do it with Leo, however. The aim time is titanic, and turret is quite large (and gun is located low), so you will lose huge chunk of HP when you do so. The gun handling + accuracy + low pen means that this thing seriously struggles against targets with armor. So how you play it?
You want to avoid stuff with armor, unless you can reliably circle it or attack its side so you dont get focused. Find a cover, and use peek-a-boo tactics. This is where Leo truly shines: it can easily outtrade every tier 7 and lower medium. You might lose 150, but you do 300 to them. Despite its poor traverse speed, its surprisingly decent flanker. Getting into sides is also helpful due to poor penetration. You can ofc use ridges, but attack only when you enemy isnt focusing on you.
This tank can be quite effective in wolfpacks with mediums that has good DPM. Generally you shouldnt go alone anywhere due to long reload and low DPM. While it might be very akward to play at first, and can ocassionaly cause severe frustation, Leo can be also fun to play and certainly has very unique playstyle. Its not AMAZING, but its better than most tier 7 mediums.
Tier 8: EMIL I
The first heavy tank in the line. Other than good gun depression, this tank has absolutely nothing in common with Leo, so you have to drastically change your playstyle. The EMIL I prepares you for the rest of the line, because this is how the heavies will play out.
EMIL I has -12 depression, which is very nice. However, it also has something that earlier tanks didnt have: turret armor. And man, how good the turret armor is. When EMIL is in hulldown position and abusing its amazing depression, its turret can reach ~300 EA which means that it can bounce even tier X TDs! Be careful, though, since the turret has weak "cheeks". Turn the turret little bit and either of cheeks becomes major weakspot. The tank has cupolas on the oscillating part of turret. They are very weak but fortunately very small. One cool trick is to elevate gun when you reload, since it will completely hide the cupolas. However, be careful, since mantle is now "weakspot", as it can be penned with "only" 250mm pen if you raise your gun. However doing so means that you are literally immune to everything with less than 250 pen when hulldown.
It also has autoloader, which sounds good at first. However, overall the gun is quite mediocre. Gun handling is puke, probably even worse than 50 100 (but you can safely aim when hulldown because the tank isnt size of barn and has no armor, so thats something). 240mm gold pen is terrible, too. The tank is not slow but it feels like snail when coming from Leo. Its much slower than 50 100 and generally wont never reach even 40 on flat ground. Combine "meh" mobility with poor penetration and gun handling and you have tank that will really suffer in tier 10 match.
The tank's playstyle is quite straightforward. Go to ridge, show your epic turret, empty your clip, and retreat. Avoid going to cities if possible because the tank has huge problem with coming out from corners. Dont expect to do anything when sidescraping because everything can overmatch its absolutely joke 20mm side armor. The turret is also mid-mounted so peeking from corners can be tricky. Bully mediums and lowtiers. Especially for lowtiers this tank can be absolute terror because they cant damage you while you can rip them apart in few seconds.
One thing that is very cool about this tank is that its TINY! Its smaller than most mediums and weights less than T-54 Lightweight (!!!). The small size can be very helpful against arties; but at same time horrible side and rear armor aswell as low HP will mean that even splash of arty will do huge damage. The tank has probably best camo among all heavies in the game; in fact, i believe it might be better than some of the fattest mediums but i could be wrong. Its certainly unique and fun tank that will prepare you for the rest of the line. The gun can be very frustating sometimes, but you cant have everything. Remember how 50 100 has twice less gun depression, is (literally!) twice as fat and has no armor, so ofc you cant have as good clip potential as it does.
Tier 9: EMIL II
The EMIL II is evolution to EMIL I, and generally plays alot like it. It prepares you for the apex of the line, the Kranvagn. However, we are not quite there yet, even if the tank is similar; it can be very well compared to Kranvagn as 50 120 can be compard to 50B: gimped version of tier 10. As a little relief, its better than 50 120.
Main improvement over EMIL 1 is increased magazine damage, even more ridiculous turret armor and side armor that is overmatchable only by 183 AP shells. The armor is amazing on this tank: i think i averaged ~1,6k blocked damage with it. Thats absolutely lethal, considering its not as slow as stuff like VK B or Type 4. The acceleration is extremely sluggish though; dont expect the tank to go much faster than 35-40 on flat ground. Even after Himmelsdorf's hill the tank's speed bleeds to 45 quite fast when going on just flat ground without turning the tank. Mobility is still acceptable regardless.
The turret armor is insane, though. Its possible to just go into ridge and sit there thanks to turret and still having awesome -12 depression, because on tier 9 already you have such good turret that even infamous Jagdpanzer E100's 420blazeit HEAT rounds cant go reliably through from it from almost anywhere. The only expection is paper-thin but extremely tiny cupolas, and like with EMIL I you can just raise the gun during reload, and unlike EMIL 1 even the mantle is so strong that it can reliably block non-TD gold shells when fully rised. Against TDs its better to rise the gun just slightly so the mantle dont get exposed too much.
There is one problem about the tank, and that is the...gun. There is only one good thing about the gun, and that is 1600 clip potential that in right situation can be devasting indeed. However, despite autoloader the gun is probably good contender for one of the worst guns in its tier.
First off, the potato gun handling is still a thing on EMIL I, which is kinda annoying. Like EMIL I, EMIL II has actually very poor shell velocity for APCR (but still alright overall) on its standard rounds; however, unlike EMIL I, it cant improve its shell velocity with gold, because its gold ammo is HEAT with 840 m/s shell velocity. Thats quite bad actually. Then there is new problem, and that is reload time. EMIL I's 30 sec magazine and 3 sec intra reload was bearable. EMIL II's whopping 40 seconds of magazine reload aswell as 3.33 seconds of intra reload seriously hampers the ability to rack up damage quickly. It wouldnt be as bad if the gun wasnt so derpy and if the (gold) pen wouldnt be that bad. On quick matches, dont expect to do much damage. Oh and did i mention it has gun elevation of pre-buff 50 120?
Its not hard to play, just find ridge and try to rack up damage. Generally focus on targets with lesser armor so you can do more reliably damage, since you want to pen as many shots you can. Be careful with arty, though oneshots wont happen as much since side is 60 instead of pathetic 20 of EMIL I. Facehugging works very well since the hull is very low and turret is super tough. Generally never be caught alone because the long reload means that you are food for tank with good DPM. Flanking is this tank's big weakness as the turret traverse is pitifully slow; like super-heavy levels of slow. Interesting fact: you can facehug E5, and then pen it directly from UFP if you shoot HEAT at right section because depression is so good (works with tier 10 aswell). That is very hilarous when you get into situation to actually abuse it.
Like rest of the line, i didnt play it stock, but i totally suggest saving some free XP, since having only 10,5 hp/ton (!) with stock engine and EMIL I's gun at tier 9 sounds absolutely awful. The tank is not bad, its alright. The armor is fantastic when hulldown, its sluggish but not terribly slow. The gun is overall quite terrible but since it has 1600 clip potential it still can (sometimes) do its job. This thing has even more armor than EMIL I, but since EMIL I has little less frustating gun, aswell as the small size makes it unique, i prefer it over EMIL II.
Tier 10: Kranvagn
I already mentioned that EMIL II to Kranvagn is similar as AMX 50 120 is to AMX 50 B. And as AMX 50 B is awesome, Kranvagn has to be also great, right? Atleast i wasnt dissapointed when i thought it like that.
Considering how similar it looks to EMIL II, its not surprising at all it also plays quite similarly. Kranvagn has insane turret armor, just like EMIL II, however the extra 10mm means that is almost completely immune to ANY non-HE shell in the game when abusing its -12 depression. Its quite safe to say that right here we have the very best turret armor in the game. Kranvagn still got cupolas but like with EMILs, its possible to hide them completely by just elevating the gun few degrees.
Kran is notably faster than EMIL II: it can reach 45-50 on longer run in flat and it can actually reach its top speed sometimes with help of sloped terrain. Generally, its still quite sluggish in terms of acceleration. The mobility can be directly compared to IS-7, apart from Kran being more nimble and keeping its top speed more reliably as it has less terrain resistance.
Biggest improvement over EMIL II is gun, and overall the main reason why i like this tank much more than EMIL II. The gun still has poor pen and the 300mm HEAT pen means that this thing can struggle against superheavies, but other than that the gun is not even "bad". Accuracy and bloom values are WAY better than EMIL II (0.02 better accuracy and 0.05 (!) better bloom on moving, turning the hull and turning the turret). The intra reload is 3 seconds instead of 3.33, and magazine reload is down from sub-40 seconds to ~30 seconds. Thats huge difference. Turret traverse speed is also much better.
With better mobility, more health and much shorter reload Kranvagn doesnt rely on its teammates as much as EMIL II does, though i suggest still not to get caught alone, as you can get yoloed if you are in hulldown position with no support. The tank is fast enough to keep up with mediums most of time, and it can even flank slow heavies quite nicely due to improved speed, agility and turret traverse.
Playstyle itself is really similar to EMIL II: just find ridge, bully with your turret armor, dump your clip, dont get caught when reloading and repeat. Facehug when you get opportunity, because again; your hull is very low and turret is very tough. Being careful with arty is important because the tank can still get oneshotted by them as it has low HP and thin roof and side armor. While generally you want to fight on ridgelines its not definely impossible to help typical heavies on places like Himmelsdorf's banana alley, as long as you can somehow abuse your turret, but be careful with low pen as HEAT struggles to pen stuff like Maus or E100.
I love this tank, its quite fun to play. The gun can be still quite frustating at times but it feels quite satisfying after having quite potato gun handling on 3 tiers in row. The only thing i hate on Kranvagn is poor gold pen but as i am used to super trash premium AP of Type 5 that basically cant even pen E100 flat turret cheeks reliably (and has no option to flank either!) its not that bad. And WG actually managed to properly balance a tier 10 for very long time (last time we got actually balanced tier 10 was Centurion AX and that was just a replacement to old, arquably UP tier 10 and not part of new line..), im fucking impressed, well done. Im glad it didnt arrive on the state it was on test server because that was super retarded.
The line is quite fun and interesting. The good thing about it is that the grind is not terrible apart from maybe stock grinds (not my problem because i skipped them with free XP, teehee ). There is no terrible tank in the line which is quite nice, and drastic changes in playstyle made it very exciting, it almost felt like i played multiple different lines.
It is definely worth grinding, assuming you want tanks from each nation (just in case T-44-100 kind of marathon happens again) and Kranvagn is fun and unique tier 10, which for atleast pubs is quite potent tank.