The GW-E100 is based on the chassis of the E-100. The E-Series was an attempt to standardize the German tank production late in the war. The goal was to create an easier and cheaper to produce line of vehicles for different purposes. The GW-E100 never reached the prototype stage.
The GW-E100 has the following main properties which also greatly influence skills and equipment:
Worst mobility of all tier 10 artillery (but not by much since the arty nerf in 0.8.6)
Good amount of HE damage per hit (3rd place amongst the other t10 artillery)
Can absorb more HE damage than any other t10 SPGs (not sure about British CGC though)
The G.W.E100 is more or less a jack of all trades but only achieves the top scores when it comes to ramming enemies, something nobody is really interested in when playing artillery. The accuracy is good enough to hit quite consistently (0.84 and 7sec aim-time) and the splash radius is also ok, which allows you to damage tanks hiding behind cover. A hitrate of 40% is possible with this SPG, but in every discipline you will find artillery pieces that perform better.
Before we can spread our love in form of 21cm HE presents on the battlefields, we have to outfit this juggernaut with the right equipment and teach the crew some tricks. Useful mods will also be mentioned.
Equipment and consumables for the GW-E100
To increase the mobility and overall performance of your G.W.E100 play with chocolate. It increases overall crew performance by 10% including accuracy, aim-time and mobility.
The choices for equipment on artillery in general are quite clear: Enhanced gun laying drive for faster aiming and rammer for faster reload. Now you may ask optics - WTF? The one who spots first, will shoot first or can run for cover ... and sometimes it even happens that artillery has to scout. In the second half of the match some tanks are also driving around with a dead commander. With BIA, optics, chocolate, recon and situational awareness the G.W.E100 reaches ~447m viewrange.
Furthermore camo on many SPG's tier 7 and above it's mostly useless (see camo values below). This SPG has a camo value nearly as bad as the Maus, so there is absolutely no sense in wasting a slot for a camo net (every hull movement negates the effect by the way), and if you 're spotted, your team f***** it up in most cases.
Camo values for tier 10 SPGs in % for standing/moving/firing - source:
G.W.E100 - 1.7 - 0.9 – 0,1 -> Camo as a skill is useless for this enormous artillery. Your main sources of concealment should be bushes and hard cover anyway.
Here is an example of how you can use your view-range:
Optics + arty (Note: The replay function/xvm is slightly bugged - blue circle should be at 445m and damage counter is also incorrect)
I have also seen some players who mounted a spall liner on their SPGs. This is a really bad idea, because it decreases your mobility even more. It weights 1 metric ton for a GW-E100 and makes avoiding incoming counter artillery fire or infighting more difficult.
By simply moving right after you fired, you're pretty much safe from counter fire.
Crew skills and Perks
The first crew skill for the whole crew should always be BIA (in a SPG), it increases every aspect of crew and vehicle performance by 5%. After that you are going to pick individual skills and perks for the crew members.
Commander – he should take 6th sense a his second skill.
Repair makes a good 3rd skill followed by Recon and Camo.
Gunner - Snap shot right after BIA as the 2nd skill. The aiming circle doesn't become that big while moving the hull, so less time is wasted with aiming, even a fraction of a second will make the difference sometimes. This is followed by Repair and then Camo (useless as it is). Sadly there arn't any other options that make much sense, Dead-eye only works with AP + APCR and the accuracy and penetration of the GW-E100 isn't good enough to fire AP at tier 10 tanks on a regular basis. On the other hand I might switch Dead-eye with Camo when reaching the 5th skill.
Radio Operator - Aside from Situational Awareness there arn't that many useful skills, so stick with BIA, Repair and Situational Awereness., which increases your view-range by 3%, or ~12m, camo as the 4th skill. The skills that extend the radio range are fairly useless because the maps are to small.
Driver - As 2nd skill take Smooth Ride followed by Clutch-Braking, Off Raod Driving and Repair. Smooth Ride also "makes sense" for artillery as it works like a Vertical Stabilizer, reducing the reticle bloom a little and saving some aim-time.
Another important aspect is the re-positioning after u fired your shot. Clutch Braking and Offroad Driving skills in that order improve your mobility. It will make it harder to counter you even if you re in a G.W.E100, proper terrain utilization and evasive action right after you fired is needed of course.
Loader - Safe Stowage should be the 2nd skill for one loader because artillery are prone to ammo-rack explosions when hit or splashed. The other loader specific perks (adrenaline rush and intuition) are also usefull from time to time so one should use them. With 0.8.6 AP shells on GW-E100 became more useful with a buff to 303mm pen (+60mm). That's why I recommend putting Intuition on both loaders now. Intuition is the only perk which is cumulative giving you 34% chance (if both loaders have it - 2x17%), to switch to another shell type without losing your loading progress.
Aside from that just take repair and after that camo.
Regarding Repair - It's also makes sense for artillery. If enemy artillery or a tank in close combat tracks you, it often helps you to survive these tricky situations by getting them up faster. First time you will use your repair kit of course but after that this skill can save you. I often encountered enemies that where really surprised how fast I had my tracks up and started to turn the 21cm of doom into their face. It won't help against good players but the less gifted ones are in for a surprise.
The following mods can really help you to become a better arti player:
Reload timer and shell travel timer
zoom mod (original source - Russian WoT forum)
XVM shows who is really dangerous in the enemy team and should be taken care of first and the minimap mods included are also helpfull*
The old serverside crosshair (original source - Russian WoT forum) from 0.7.4 and before („caps-lock+0“) is also a must have in my opinion. The difference between client and server can be really big especially for players with ping above 70ms or an unstable ping. So I strongly advise to use it for better accuracy. The current implementation by WG leaves much to be desired. It's too jumpy for playing tanks or even aiming with artillery in close combat.
*A few words regarding XVM-stats:
What I 'd like to address is how some arti owners try to use especially the stats in XVM. No one is arguing the fact, that it is usefull to take out the most dangerous enemies, the question is at what cost? Not to long ago I had a memorable game in one of my artillery. The whole game some red scrubs tried to counter me, they didn't even manage to damage my tracks. They were so obsessed with that purple color in XVM and countering, that my team had more or less nothing to worry about from their direction. On the other hand, I did damage by shooting enemy tanks.
And the same can often be observed with tanks. Sure it's easier to harass a tank instead of playing counter arty, though the result will often be the same. You don't help your team with such nonsense. If that blue or purple player is as easy to hit as other targets go for him, but focusing on 100 m² of the map 80% of the game, because some purple over target marker is grinning at you , won't increase your chances to win, in most cases the opposite is true. A unicum without a team to support him or acting as meatshields is pretty easy to kill, if your team has a few players left. Even Emu87 (EU server pubstar) managed a Kolobanov medal only every ~2000 games.
Another benefit from looking at the colors in XVM - check out the enemy artillery player when the counter runs down at the start. Is he red or yellow? If that's the case you have a higher the chance of countering him yourself, if the game allows it. These guys tend to go to their favorite spot and never press "W" or "D" the entire game.
Playing the G.W.E100
... isn't that much different from GW-Tiger. The most important thing for me is to position these slow moving and turning giants in a way that doesn't hinder acceleration or even support it. That means stay on solid or at least moderately soft ground. Areas on the map that have a high ground resistance will make you an easy target for enemy counterfire or approaching enemy tanks because it slows you down even more. You can improve your mobility by parking these artillery on small bumps in the terrain which gives you a nice speed boost when moving down from them after your shots. Don't park your artillery in terrain depressions unless they are big enough for unhindered movement after every shot, climbing out of there is a really a time consuming operation.
After you gained some speed also turn slightly left or right or even move backward right after your shot. Movement patterns make you predictable and easier to counter.
Also avoid flattening trees, walls, fences or other stuff as it gives away your position. Otherwise you might end up like the poor noob in the pictures below, he got "countered" before even firing his first shot.
Shooting and aiming with the G.W.E100 is similar to the GW-Tiger except that you have a bigger gun traverse, 6° to each side compared 5° on the G.W.-Tiger. Most of the time you have to use HE shells, nevertheless some AP can also come in handy from time to time. Don't worry you can carry 30 shells so you won't run out of ammo. The G.W.E100 sadly „only“ has 303mm penetration with AP and the accuracy on greater distances isn't that good either, which makes HE the ammo type of choice. You can try to shoot the sides of E100s and Maus with AP but all other tier 10 tanks are ether hard to hit or have to much armor to penetrate them reliable from greater distances (AMX50B is of course also easy to penetrate but quite mobile). AP on the GW-E100 works good in in-fights or city fights when you can suprise your enemies or against mediums in close range sometimes, but that is often like Russian roulette, so better stick with HE there and maybe ram them if you managed to track the them (~87,5 t is your weight, don't forget that).
If you 're getting rushed by tanks and you can't run away, which is most of the time, park the rear of your vehicle on a slight bump in the road or ground to compensate for the bad gun depression (0°).
Aiming with the GW-E100 … well there is no way to describe it properly, it comes down to experience and practice. I can only give some hints. The german „21cm Mörser 18/2“ takes the 2nd spot in the arc of trajectory*. While the Obj 261 has a flat trajectory often resulting in shells that fall short, the G.W.E100 after 0.8.6 has the 2nd highest firing arc. What does this mean for aiming? When you shot a stationary target lets say a King Tiger or E-75 the upper front plate or turret front where the gun emerges from the turret are probably the best spots to aim. The Obj 261 on the other hand will aim at the turret roof. And always keep in mind the difference between server-side cross-hair and client-side. The server-side cross-hair is lagging behind the client-side in most cases at least for people with a higher ping (50ms+) or when there was a packet loss or lag spike.
And what about that battle assistant mod you might ask - well, it's s***. There is only one situation where this mod is better compared to WG standard aiming, shooting at tanks standing still on flat terrain - the easy shots. The perspective used in this mod makes it very hard to judge where to aim when the tank is moving especially when it isn't directy into your direction or perpendicularly to your aim. There are two other negative aspects in regards to the mod, that are ignored mostly:
It compresses and warps the aiming circle compared to the top-down view, which otherwise can give you hints where to aim by the form of the ellipse/circle (terrain depression, bumps, hills and so on)
When only parts of the target are visible and the rest of it is hidden behind some rocks or other hard cover, the ability to easily point at these open parts of the tank often misleads artillery players into taking shots they shouldn't take in the first place. With low tiers artilleries and reloads under 20 sec it's not that bad, but if your reload is 40 sec or longer it becomes a problem. In these cases it's often good to check if other targets are available or wait with that shot.
The first video is one of my best rounds, in terms of experience earned, in the GW-E100, scoring more than 1800XP and 7 Kills on Swamp in a random battle from February 2012
The second video is one of the notorious "PTS-Arty-Parties". It was really fun to take part in those, as long as you are in the right team. The replay is pretty old from beginning of 2012, taking place on El Halluf – enjoy!
The two videos are from the 0.7.1.1 game version. Sadly I wasn't able to capture the in-game sound there.
Something more recent - 0.9.0 - with some commentary from me (sound volume is very low). As I don't have an internet connection fast enough to upload YT videos, I don't have something else to offer. Though that way you can compare pre and post 0.8.6 GW-E gameplay.
A word regarding the arti rebalance that happend with 0.8.6. Overall the G.W.E100 didn't suffer that much from it compared to other top tiers SPGs, the thing I noticed is a slightly worse aimtime and a little longer reload. On the other hand the buff to ~300mm AP penetration was something usefull. As it is now arti accuracy is slightly worse as before 0.8.6 at least for the top tier SPGs - can't comment on lower tiers in general, I don't play them. Beside the bad mobility the G.W.E100 is a good allrounder, but not really suited for CW. Specialists like the CGC or 261 are often more usefull there.
And what about the german SPG line as a whole? In my opinion it has two "highlights" the Grille and the GW-Panther. Both are excellent SPGs for their tier, especially the GW-Panther is a must have for the SPG-Missions in my opinion.
And what about the Hummel, I heard it is a beast?! Well that was probobably an oldtimer remembering the WoT beta. The Hummel after patch 0.8.6 is only a shadow of it's former glory: inaccurate, long shell travel time, relative flat trajectory and with +3° of gun "erection" useless when it comes to close combat. About the german tier 8 and 9 artis ... I don't want to speak about them, it's wasted time - get yourself a M40/M43, M53/55 or a FV207 instead.
So should you go down the german SPG line to tier 10?
If you are looking for a SPG to use in CW - no. First get the CGC, the Obj. 261 and the M53/M55 (the T92 is a desater after 0.8.6).
If you want to have some arti fun, it's best to stop at the GW-Panther for most people. Me and my 2000 battles in the G.W.E100 is a different thing. It was my first tier 8 (now 10) arti back in 2011, researched it initially for CW and I got used to it's limitations by now.
I hope you gained something from this write up. A big thank you to PityFool [NA] for spell checking this - your inner grammar nazi rocks!
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