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  1. Does a Kolobanov's lose its luster when gained via seal clubbing? It does not, in fact, and it looks quite nice pinned on my nice new warm seal skin coat that matches the seal skin hat, boots and gloves. It was the first match of the evening, so it was nice to have such a good one. Now, to be fair, I had the following things going in my favor: I drove a top tier KV-1 on Himmelsdorf Encounter sufficient teammates actually pushed the hill teammates who went to the cap area managed to reset when needed and gave their lives to do so I got some lucky bounces that T1 HT at the end had the stock gun dem tracks! Did 2,398 damage, and my armor absorbed 3,975 damage. After the match I actually complimented a couple people on both teams for a good game - I'm sure that BDR guy was pissed he only tracked me - and specifically I thanked the resetters for resetting. Some of these people were honest-to-God bad players, but they did the right thing and were new, so I figured a little positive reinforcement couldn't hurt. The video: http://youtu.be/1_1dvaXut7M The replay: http://wotreplays.com/site/1098661#himmelsdorf-florbfnarb-kv-1 The end-of-game screenshots:
  2. I'll be reviewing the ST-I using the same format as Garbads recent Tier 8 Heavy reviews. Let's kick it off with a screenshot: And here are some replays to get you going: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6q0u1ZVlzzkbDlwTHotaW1VM3c&usp=sharing SKILLS, CONSUMABLES & EQUIPMENT: Automatic Fire Extinguisher, Repair Kit, First Aid Kid VStab, Rammer, Vents/GLD Sixth Sense, BiA, Repairs, Snap Shot, Jack-of-all-Trades, Clutch Breaking, Smooth Ride, Off-Road Driving, Adrenaline Rush, Safe Stowage The ST-I is a straight-up brawler, pusher and damage soaker. As such the skills, equipment and consumables you load up with should work to enhance your firepower and ability to soak damage. FIREPOWER: + Good AP round, great HEAT round + Decent accuracy and RoF + -8 degrees of gun depression, the best of any USSR heavy (33% better than the IS-7 and IS-4) - Poor aim-time and dispersion Conclusion: The ST-I slots into the game as a replacement for the old Tier 9 IS-4. However, compared to the old IS-4 the ST-I has a vastly superior weapon with improved accuracy and penetration coupled with a formidable HEAT shell. These advantages are further boosted by superior gun depression, the best of any USSR heavy, which allow this vehicle to function effectively in a hull-down position. Compared to the IS-8, the ST-I reloads a little slower but in other respects is more flexible. PROTECTION: + Extremely thick, well-sloped top-turret with small, tough weakspot + Thick, well-sloped UFP, Small LFP, Driver's Hatch well armoured + Thick, sloped side armour, Big rollers and Skirt Armour Sheet + Low Profile - LFP not well sloped Conclusion: Once upgraded, the ST-I is an extremely tough tank. The UFP is pretty durable and the LFP is quite easy to hide due to it's small size (As you can see from the image below, the LFP of the E-75 is roughly twice as large). The turret is extremely tough for opponents to penetrate due to thick, highly sloped armour, a solid mantlet and the commander's cupola weak-spot being a small, sloped target. Furthermore, the side armour is similarly resistat due to huge rollers and armour skirts coupled with thick side hull armour that eat rounds and spit out 0-damage penetrations. MOBILITY: + Off-road performance not much different from on-road performance - Low top-speed - Poor acceleration and manoeuvrability - Poor hull and turret traverse Conclusion: The ST-I is pretty sluggish and certainly won't win any awards when it comes to getting around. Mediums and Lights will not have a tricky time circling you, although they may find themselves having trouble penetrating your side and rear armour if you continue to traverse and move around. About the only good thing that can be said about the ST-I's mobility is that it's performance does not deteriorate dramatically in off-road conditions. COMPARED TO PEERS: + Superior turret + Great gun + Good all-round armour - Poor mobility Conclusion: Although the ST-I is less mobile than some of it's peers nor as accurate or hard-hitting as others, overall it's extremely though package. Against most lower-tier vehicles it's basically an unstoppable force as the strong all-round armour makes it very hard to damage consistently. Even many same-tier or higher tier vehicles can have a tough time with the ST-I and only Tier 10 TDs can generally treat the ST-I's armour with disdain. In particular the combination of good gun depression and an extremely strong turret make a hull-down ST-I very hard to dig out without suffering damage in return. TACTICS: + Brutalise lower-tier vehicles with your combination of superior fire-power and armour + Abuse hull-down positions with your unobtanium turret + Use side-scraping to soak shots while dishing out damage + Control choke-points and push hard CONCLUSION: The ST-I is an extremely powerful tier 9 heavy, capable of dominating and carrying even in tier 10 matches. The combination of strong armour with a great gun is offset only by poor mobility and even in that regard the ST-I suffers nowhere nears as much as notable slugs like the T95. A HISTORIC RETROSPECTIVE: This final section serves to provide a historic perspective on the ST-I with regards to it's presence in World of Tanks. Believe it or not, when this tank arrived on 0.7.3 it was not a particularly formidable replacement for the IS-4 and was not held in much regard. This was due to a combination of the the armour normalisation parameters and the penetration characteristics of the weaponry in the game at the time. At the time of its addition, the armour of the ST-I was actually pretty easy to penetrate thanks to a combination of the generous armour normalisation parameters and the higher penetration values of the weapons it faced on tier 9 and tier 10 tanks. Furthermore, the artillery the ST-I faced had a field day hitting the large, flat-topped turret and the vehicles poor mobility further exacerbated the issue. Happily, time has been kind to the ST-I. Patch 0.8.0 introduced a significant armour normalisation buff that made it much more difficult for guns in the 260mm penetration range to damage the ST-I, especially at range. The ST-I finally hit its stride with patch 0.8.6 with the nerfing of artillery and most high-tier penetration values. The changes to artillery have made the ST-I significantly more durable while the penetration nerfs have enabled the ST-I to finally boast truly solid frontal armour. As a result of the recent changes the ST-I has gone from being something of an ugly duckling to a truly formidable tier 9 heavy and is arguably the strongest tier 9 heavy now thanks to the most recent changes. EDIT: Added replays, I forgot to put them in the first time around. EDIT: Corrected some points thanks to SilverforceX
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