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  1. So, before we get to the boring details, let's just start off by acknowledging that it's a very attractive vehicle. It even has temple-mounted machine guns. And here's after I reinstalled my custom camo masks. Now, actual information. Mind you, I've only played a few matches so far, as I unlocked the vehicle all of two days ago (finally), but the easiest way I can sum things up for you is a mix of IS-7, IS-4, and Chinese 110. Stat sheet comparison between IS-4, Object 260, and IS-7. With but a couple exceptions, the hull is an IS-7. Seems to be the same pike, same lower plate, same raw thickness, same sides, same 30mm skirts, etc. The sides behind the skirts aren't curved like the IS-7, rather they are a linear slope meeting with a vertical plate, which results in a tiny bit more unsloped armor low on the side hull, but this does not seem a consequential difference. The thing that does seem to matter is the triangular plate over the driver's head. It's 45mm instead of the IS-7's 140mm. It is sharply sloped, yes, but you can still get some rounds through there that wouldn't go through on the IS-7. The turret trends more towards the IS-4 than the IS-7. It is quite strong frontally, but shares the 30mm roof that is easy to overmatch, though it is both a bit higher up and not sloped forward like the IS-3/IS-4, making for a more difficult shot. The cheeks are mildly sloped but a whopping 350mm thick, so will largely not be a concern. The sloping bits above and below them are a very sharply sloped 170mm, similarly quite strong. The biggest problem is that the turret has a large overhang, and this overhang can serve as a shot trap that redirects rounds into the 45 and 30mm armor sections below it. I have had a few rounds do this very thing. It's not common and it doesn't ruin the vehicle, but it is something to keep in mind. The mantlet has a small, flat 250mm section and a well sloped 150mm top and bottom, covering an exceptionally large zero armor hole surrounded by more 350mm armor. The starboard cupola is 120mm, but well sloped and quite small. Turret sides are lightly sloped and range from quite strong to decent in three horizontal bands of armor measuring 185mm, 210mm, and 240mm (top to bottom). Overall the turret isn't as good as the IS-7's (what tank's is?), but it is still solid. The two things that most readily set the 260 apart from its sisters are the mobility and gun. The gun is somewhat akin to the IS-4's, save that it is much less clumsy and fires APCR primary. HEAT and HE are the same. The APCR has slightly lower effective penetration than the IS-4's AP round, but is 34% faster at 1,259 m/s. It's not quite tier 10 medium velocity, but it's markedly faster than any standard AP (and many premium APCR) round. Also, like tier 10 mediums, it has very low penetration dropoff of only 15mm. The best improvement is the handling. It blooms less and aims faster, more like an E5's gun than the IS-7's. Unfortunately you can only carry 30 rounds, and unlike the IS-7 there is no "strictly better" round, so you may find yourself out of the type of ammo you really want more often than other vehicles. I currently carry 20/8/2. Gun depression is -5° instead of the -6° of the IS-7 and IS-4. Not great, but workable. The reason I referenced the 110 earlier is, like the 110 vs the IS-3, the 260 trades the IS-7's raw damage for better DPM and more precision. The gun handling is sufficiently good that I have not mounted an EGLD on top of the Vstab, but rather vents. Optics could be useful as well. To taste, I suppose. The most attractive part of the tank, I think, is the mobility. The terrain resistance values aren't stellar, but they're not the "shopping cart in the mud" values the IS-7 has, and you get an additional 14.3% horsepower, as much as the 50B, while weighing about 7 tons less than the IS-7. While the IS-7 requires a downhill slope, a good tailwind, and rocket assist to reach its top speed, the 260 will actually see the far side of 50 kph now and then. An IS-7 hull, even one slightly weakened, moving around at that speed is an intoxicating thing. I've always found it a cruel irony that the heavy capping the Soviet "speed" tree isn't fast, but manages to be better protected than the "armor" heavy (which is also not fast). The 260 is mobile enough to, I venture to say, deserve the "heavium" tag. I've not raced it against a 50B yet, but I think it would acquit itself reasonably well. It certainly outstrips IS-7s. Does it make extra cash? - No Does it take any Soviet heavy crew? - Yes. Commander (radio op), gunner, driver, loader. Matches the IS-4's layout. Is it a better IS-7/IS-4? - I don't think that's a good way to think about it. It is sufficiently different from its sisters, trading some good traits for other good traits, that calling it a better or worse anything is insufficiently nuanced. If anything I would call it a tier 10 110, though there is difference enough to warrant an asterisk on that comparison. Was it worth it? - I'm going to cop out on answering this. The value of your time and the enjoyment you'll get out of the vehicle are subjective measures, I can't decide that for you. I can say that I think the vehicle is solid and has use. It's not a useless crappy trinket like the Stug IV. I would not look askance at its use in CW. For all the cash, XP, premium time, equipment, consumables, female crew members, and tanks I got, I would say the missions were worthwhile to me. Obligatory .gif - Some replays, cherry-picked for damage dealt to make myself look better. I vouch not for the strategic or tactical decisions made, I can't be held responsible for past-me's actions.
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