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  1. DISCLAIMER: There has now been even more changes to the light tanks, with the introduction of tier X light tanks - so this guide is now no longer up-to-date. However, you can still use it as a guide for how to compare different sets of light tanks with each other. There have been quite a few changes in relation to the tier VIII scout tanks recently. Three new scouts were added not too long ago in patch 9.3 and the newly released 9.6 patch has rebalanced/buffed some of the scouts. Recently a question was asked in the Ask a Purple Poster-section about what scouts were the best. This question ‘inspired’ me to create an in-depth analysis to help everyone understand how all the tier VIII scouts differ from each other – which is what you see here. I own all five of the tier VIII scouts (AMX 1390, RU251, T49, T54 lwt and WZ-132) and have played ‘the old guard’ extensively. I have however only recently acquired the T54 lwt and T49 (<50 battles) but through my experience with the game and scout tanks especially I feel qualified enough to talk about them and their playstyle anyway. I will in the beginning of this comparison look at the raw stats and hard numbers (similar to my T28 HTC and Cromwell reviews) and how they differ between the five different scouts. I will round off with a look at how the playstyles differ between the scouts. This is NOT a review of all five scouts so I will NOT be talking about crew skills and equipment. I will NOT announce “one scout to rule them all” as that is just stupid. My aim is simply to inform you about the difference between the scouts. This way you can make your own assessment of what tank is best for what you want to achieve. Camouflage values are taken from wotinfo.net. The dispersion values are taken from Tank Inspector and they DO take commander bonus into account. All other numbers are taken from tank-compare.com and do (as far as I know) NOT take the commander bonus into account. Also, I use commas instead of full-stops in the tables because I use a Danish version of Excel, so I apologies for whatever inconvenience it might cause you. Without further ado, let us get on with it! Mobility First thing we should look at is the mobility of the scouts. It is one of the most important factors of a scout tank, as the mobility allows them to get the early spots, change position depending on situation, exploit gaps in enemy defensive lines and acquire flanking shots on enemy tanks. By looking at the above table you can see that all the scouts are highly mobile with a specific power of >20 hp/t and excellent speed limits and traverse speeds. The RU251 is without a doubt the fastest of the scouts with a top speed of 80 km/h and with a specific power of 24.2 hp/t it is easy to achieve this top speed. It is even possible to exceed this limit while going down slopes. It is hard to separate the remaining scouts as they all have similar speed limits and specific powers. The T49 appears to be second fastest but is let down by having the worst terrain resistance values of all scouts. You will only reach top speed going downhill or on hard terrain, otherwise you will cruise around at a solid 60-odd km/h like with the other scouts. When looking at the manoeuvrability when not going in a straight line, the WZ-132 wins closely followed by the T54 lwt.. The WZ-132 has an amazing hull traverse of 56 deg/s and a turret traverse of 48 deg/s. Combine this with the lowest overall terrain resistance values of any scout and the WZ-132 just dances around the battlefield with little effort. It is possible to keep a high speed even doing the weirdest manoeuvers allowing you to circle enemy TD’s and heavy tanks with ease. The same can be said of the T54 lwt. although it is not quite up to the levels of the WZ-132. The T49 and RU251 are both solid in manoeuvrability, and they are the only two scouts that can pivot, but they just can’t keep up with the two Soviet hovercrafts. The AMX 1390 comes off with the short stick in regards to mobility. It has the joint-lowest top speed, worse hull traverse and below-average terrain resistance values. It is still more than capable of moving around the battlefield, but it will be left in the dust by the other scouts when competing for those early positions or when circling tanks. Good thing the 1390 has a trick up its sleeve – but more on that later. Scout-ability Now for second important factor of a scout tank: the scout-ability. It is the job of a scout tank to scout out the enemy positions. This is easiest if you can remain hidden and simply out-spot the enemy by having a better effective view range or by hiding in a bush. If you want to have a rough idea of how to calculate your effective view range, have a look at my other guide that deals with camouflage values and spotting range: All the scouts have a view range of 400 m, except for the T54 lwt. that only has 390 m. This is a quite standard view range for high tier tanks as you can find several mediums with the same view range. The strength of the scout tanks lies in the camouflage values. All scout tanks in the game have the same camouflage value while moving as they do while stationary. Combine this with low camouflage values and you have some quite stealthy machines. The AMX 1390 takes the crown as the stealthiest scout with an amazing camouflage value of 17.67 %. The RU251 is following in a close second with 17.39 % with the WZ-132 lacking a bit further behind with 16.70 %. TheT-54 lwt. and T49 both have quite poor (for a scout) camouflage values of <16 %. It is worth pointing out that I have not touched upon the camouflage values upon firing as they are all poor (<4%). If you want to stay hidden while firing (with any tank really) you need to be outside view range or be double/triple bushed up. Now, these values do not tell the full story as the physical size of the vehicle will also affect the scout-ability. The smaller a scout is, the easier it is to hide in bushes and small terrain features and if it is slim enough you can sneak through tighter gaps (the doors leading into the monastery yard on Abbey is a perfect example). The images below compare the sizes of the five scouts from a side on view (coloured ‘shadows’) and a top down view (only the outlines). I want to thank RoneryKim, Keezoo, Nurkus and Letchy for feedback on the images. Sadly we ended up with four different opinions so I have chosen to show all four different versions of the side view image (indecision much D:). The top two are aligned to the front drive wheel and the bottom two are aligned to centre mass. You, the reader, can just look at whichever you find the best/clearest/most informative (click on them for large version). The AMX 1390 is blue, RU251 is green, WZ-132 is red, T54 lwt. is yellow and finally the T49 is black. It is clear from the images that the AMX 1390 is the smallest vehicle of the bunch. It is shortest, narrowest and with the lowest height (but that not by much). This, combined with the excellent camouflage values, makes the AMX 1390 a sneaky machine that can hide in a lot of bushes and move around undetected. In the middle of the size park we have the RU251 and WZ-132. They have the same width but RU251 is slightly longer (it is the longest of all) while the WZ-132 is slightly taller. Finally the T54 lwt. and T49 are the overall largest vehicles. They, again, have the same width but the T49 is tallest and the T54 lwt. is longest, only slightly less than the RU251. So in terms of overall scout-ability the T-54 lwt. and T49 come off with the shortest stick with the worst view range, worst camouflage values and worse sizes, while the AMX 1390 sneaks in on top with the best camouflage value and superior size. Survivability Sadly it is not often you can stay unspotted all game in a light tank so eventually you will have to fight other tanks. Because of this the survivability of the scout tanks along with their firepower can be a significant aspect to consider. The survivability of scout tanks depends on two things: not being hit in the first place and then having the armour/HP to survive the hit. Not being hit in the first place ties back into what we have already discussed – the manoeuvrability and size of the vehicle. A small and nimble target can be hard to hit and this is the type of protection that the all scouts rely on. They are all small-ish targets with varying degrees of manoeuvrability/mobility and this allows them to dodge incoming shells to great effect. This is sadly their only/best defence as they have no armour to speak off whatsoever (with one exception). The RU251 is overmatchable by >75 mm guns; the AMX 1390 will be overmatched by any >120 mm gun; The T49 is a large target and overmatchable by any >114 mm gun; The WZ-132 has a slightly stronger upper plate that requires >150 mm guns to overmatch and the turret front can only be overmatched by the FV215b (183) firing AP – the sides and rear are overmatchable by >105 mm guns; finally there is the T-54 lwt. that has really strong armour for a light tank: Upper plate of 80 mm and a turret front of impressive 160 mm in the thickest part. This means the T54 lwt. can’t be overmatched except on the side (by a FV215b (183) firing AP) and rear armour. The T54 lwt. experiences quite a few troll bounces, especially off the turret, and this greatly increases the survivability against low-pen guns (other scout tanks). The T54 lwt. has a significant edge over the other scout tanks when in a brawl, even considering the large size. The WZ-132 has a slight edge over the other three scouts as you can sometimes experience troll-bounces off a strongly angled upper plate or turret front – it is still not anywhere close to the T54 lwt.. Another thing to consider is the health pool of the scout tanks. They all range between 1100 HP (AMX 1390 and T49) and 1250 HP (T54 lwt.). It may not seem like a big difference, but those extra 150 HP have a great impact. Quite a few medium tank and heavy tank guns in tier VIII to X have around 390-400 alpha, so in three shots you will, on average, have received damage worth 1170 HP and 1200 HP. This means that the AMX 1390 and T49 will 9/10 times die after taking three hits from these tanks. The WZ-132 is slightly better off with 1150 HP, but you will still die more often than not. Now the RU251 has a 50% chance of surviving three hits as it has 1200 HP, but the T54 will more often than not survive the three hits with the health pool of 1250 HP. If looking at the alpha of TDs then the difference in health pool does not mean as much. All the scouts can on average survive a hit from most TDs but will die from the second hit. The only exception is the JpzE100 and FV215b (183)/FV4005 firing AP. They have roughly 40-60% chance of one-hitting scouts depending on the damage roll. So all in all, the T54 lwt. is hands-down the best scout in terms of survivability in active combat. It has the health and the armour to survive that bit longer than the others. I would argue that the T49 is the worst at surviving being shot at because of the poor armour and large size. Firepower Little disclaimer before I start on this last analysis section: The WZ-132 has two viable choices for guns: a 100 mm and 85 mm. It has been discussed over and over which gun you should use and when. The tl:dr is that it comes down to personal taste. I will discuss the characteristics of both guns for convenience. I will, where needed, be calling the WZ-132 either WZ-100 or WZ-85 depending on the gun. Right, with that out of the way let us continue! Now we will have a look at the final aspect of the scout tanks: the firepower. Being able to fight back and directly influencing the battle by taking out key targets is an important job for a scout tank. The T49 is an odd scout and will be looked at in isolation: It is odd in that it is armed with a 152 mm derp gun that can only fire HE and HEAT rounds. It unsurprisingly has the worst gun handling by a long shot: worst aim time, worst accuracy and worst dispersion on turret traversal. The shots need to be fully aimed if you want a chance to hit anything further away than 100 m. The T49 has a plus side in that it can frontally damage every tank it can meet. The HE shell will simply detonate on the surface of most tanks and deal anything between 100 and 500 HP worth of damage on non-penetrating shots. If you manage to get around the rear of most tanks or shoot at lightly armoured targets you will be able to penetrate the HE shell (assuming it hits) and will deal around 800-1000 HP worth of damage and wreck several internal modules. The low rate of fire can be both a curse and a blessing. You don’t need to expose your tank that often to do damage. You simply pop around a corner, let the aiming reticule settle slightly and then hope for luck and fire. Then while you are reloading you can relocate and find another target to annoy. The flip side is that if you are caught on a reload you can’t really do much to defend yourself and you will be killed. Now, when looking at the other scout tanks we find some more traditional guns. The AMX 1390 is different in that it has a 6-round autoloader whereas the other three scouts just have traditional single-fire guns. They all deal about the same amount of damage (240-250 HP) with the WZ-85 lacking behind (200 HP). The penetration is also quite similar between them, with AP penetrations varying between 170 mm (AMX 1390) and 190 mm (RU251 and WZ-100). The gold penetration is a bit more varied – both in terms of ammunition type and penetration. The AMX 1390 has the best premium round (248 mm of APCR pen) with the WZ-100 following closely behind (244 mm of APCR pen). The RU251 has more penetration (250 mm) but it is HEAT so it has no normalisation and can be absorbed by spaced armour. Therefore I rank it as worse than the two others. The WZ-85 and T54 lwt. are on the short side with 230 mm HEAT pen and 235 mm APCR pen respectively. The RU251 has two unique aspects in regards to ammunition: it has over 100 mm of pen with the HESH (HE) round. All the other scouts have <50 mm of HE pen (T49 not included). This allows the RU251 to easier wreck lightly armoured targets. The RU251 also has faster shell speed with the HEAT round compared to AP rounds whereas the WZ-85 and other HEAT tanks usually have the same or worse shell speed. This means that at range, it can be worth changing to HEAT on the RU251 simply because it makes leading targets easier (also there is no penetration loss). Before the 9.6 patch the RU251 had the best DPM of all the scouts by a long shot. Now after the T54 lwt. and WZ-132 were buffed in 9.6 the DPM difference is not as big as before. The RU251 still has the best DPM with 2323 DPM, but the WZ-85 is following closely behind with 2222 DPM. The T54 lwt. and WZ-100 are both lacking a bit behind with 2000 and 1898 DPM respectively. The AMX 1390 has terrible DPM (1552), but that is down to the autoloader gun. It is able to dish out 1440 damage in around 13 seconds which is an immense burst power but it is left with a reload of around 40 seconds where it can’t shoot. Now, you can have all the DPM is the world but if the gun is inaccurate or with bad gun handling then you can’t use the DPM – and this is where the recent buff to the WZ-132 is important. The dispersion values of the WZ-132 were buffed by around 12% which now puts it in pole position, especially when mounting the 85 mm. The T54 lwt. (also buffed) is close behind with excellent dispersion values while the RU251 is now left a bit in the dust as it was not buffed. The AMX 1390 has poor gun handling and is competing with the T49 as the worst. The T49 has worse dispersion from turret traverse (double that of the AMX 1390) while the AMX 1390 has the worst dispersion from hull traverse. The aim times and accuracy generally follow the trend of the dispersion values, so they just enforce/highlight the differences between the scouts. The final thing to discuss before I wrap up is the elevation angles of scouts. Here the AMX 1390 is worse by a long shot. It can depress the gun by 6 degrees which is average, but it can only raise the gun 9 degrees leaving it with a full range of motion of only 15 degrees (oscillating turrets ftw). The other NATO scout tanks can depress their guns 10 degrees while the soviet designs can only depress their guns 5 degrees. They can all (besides AMX 1390) elevate between 17-20 degrees which is quite solid. So in this department the NATO tanks form a sandwich on either side of the Soviet designs. Playstyles I will now conclude this comparison with a brief discussion on how each tier VIII scout plays different. This will basically act as a summary of all the above sections. The Ninja Assassin: The AMX 1390 has great burst damage, decent mobility, small size and excellent camouflage which allows it to move undetected around the battlefield. Once it has found an isolated tank it can strike from the shadows and deal a crushing blow to the unsuspecting enemy. The AMX 1390 uses its speed to retreat back in the shadows before the enemies can zero their sights. Here it will reload, relocate and prepare a new strike on the next target. The AMX 1390 is the Ninja Assassin of the scouts The Derp Ambush: The T49 is wide, tall and it has a big gun. ‘Murica! It can use the decent camouflage to hide in a bush and prepare a strike on an unsuspecting enemy. After sending a 152 mm shell towards the enemy it can relocate and setup a new ambush. It can also use the mobility to move around the battlefield in close quarters and ambush unsuspecting enemies with a surprise 152 mm to the butt. Of course the T49 will not always behave itself, but when it does it can wreak havoc. The T49 is the Derp Ambush of the scouts. The Glass Cannon: The RU251 is lightning fast and can use the mobility to get into the good spotting bushes early on. It can also use the mobility to move around the battlefield with ease and exploit holes in the enemy lines to wreak havoc. It has an excellent gun with great DPM that can easily cause a lot of hurt. With three viable rounds it can adapt to any situation it might be presented with. The downside is that it has no armour and it will take damage if hit. The RU251 is the Glass Cannon of the scouts. The Fighter: T54 lwt. has the best armour of all scouts. It is possible to bounce a lot of low penetration guns, especially if hull down. This is good as the large size, mediocre camouflage and low view range will often force it to fight other tanks. It has a good gun with a healthy punch and good gun handling, allowing it to brawl like a pocket medium tank and bully other scout tanks. The T54 lwt. is The Fighter of the scouts. The Scout: The WZ-132 has superb mobility, a small size and great camouflage values which allow it to scout out the enemy positions with great ease. It has the mobility to move around and constantly gather intelligence on enemy movements. It has given up on the armour of the T54 lwt. in order to achieve this great scouting platform. The WZ-132 is The Scout of the scouts. Overall I feel WG has done a good job at making each scout feel unique in some way. The AMX 1390 has the autoloader, the T49 has the derp, the RU251 has the speed, the T54 lwt. has the armour and the WZ-132 is the pure scout. I hope you enjoyed this comparison. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask/discuss. I would not be surprised if I have missed something or neglected to point something out, so feel free to help me cover the holes. Also, no Youtube video this time. EDIT: stupid typos EDIT2 (August 2015): Be aware that my article here makes an error in the traverse speeds. In reality the traverse speeds are also dependant on what engine you have equiped as the listed traverse speeds are with the standard engine. For more detial, read through the comments of this guide, especially Xen's.
  2. T28 Heavy Tank Concept Review So I just unlocked the T28 Heavy Tank Concept (T28 HTC or Concept for short) as a reward for completing the second set of personal missions. I have played a few games (17 at time of publication) to test it out. I thought I would write this review for those of you who are not sure if they want this tank or not or just curious as to what this tank can (not) do. If you want to know the history of the tank, you need to look elsewhere. All I know is that it is an early concept/proposal of how the T28/T95 should look. The tank only existed as a wooden model and WG built the in-game tank from (images of) that. There is an article on FTR explaining it in more detail. I will in this review go through different aspects of the T28 HTC as it is portrayed in patch 9.5 including characteristics of the gun and tank, what equipment/consumable to use, skills to consider and finally the play style of this tank. I will try to keep it as concise as possible. You are free to skip the sections that you have no interest in or already know. Characteristics In the following section all the numbers and characteristics are given with 100% crew taken into account and are taken from “Tank Inspector”. Armour: This tank is all about the armour – it is what makes the T28 HTC the tank it is, which is not surprising considering it is related to the T28 and T95 tanks. The armour thickness is listed as 203/101/50 mm on the front/side/rear respectively. This is however not telling the full story of the armour layout. The only part of the tank that is 203 mm thick is the ‘lower plate’ and a strip of armour on either side of the gun. The upper plate is actually between 51 and 64 mm thick. This may sound like weak armour, but the angling of the armour is where the ‘protection’ lies. The whole upper plate is angled at around 75 degrees with the upper part angled slightly less (1-2 degrees) than the lower part. This heavy angling means that AP and APCR will auto-bounce the upper plate. This type of protection has a significant advantage but also a significant disadvantage. The advantage is that since the armour relies on auto-bounce angles rather than raw thickness you can bounce high pen guns shooting AP or APCR. HEAT doesn’t auto-bounce at these angles, so if you are hit by HEAT with a pen of 250 mm or more it will go straight through your upper plate (and lower plate, but more on that in a second). The disadvantage of the sloped armour is that once the enemies have an angle of impact of less than auto-bounce (by shooting down onto your tank) your armour is useless. The sides are a uniform 102 mms thick with near vertical profiles. If an enemy manages to get around your side you will be in serious trouble. Your rear armour is a worthless 50 mm thick, but then again you should ideally not be shot here in the first place so it is not a big problem. Now, what IS a big problem with this armour is that any gun with >200 mm of pen can go straight through your ‘lower plate’ as it is 203 mm thick with no angling worth mentioning. Another problem is all the damn MG- and viewports on this tank. They are everywhere and they can all be shot if you are facing straight at an enemy. The two on the sides of the tank are only 102 mm’s thick and present a large surface to shoot - similar to the cupola on all of the British AT tank destroyers. Some wiggling can throw off the aim of some players, but the tank traverses so slowly it is limited in effectiveness. Fortunately the T28 HTC can actually relatively easy hide the weak spots (something the British cannot do as easily). The gun traverses a whole 30 degrees to either side, which allows you to angle your tank and hide at least one of the MG ports behind the hull of the tank. Since the MG ports are located quite far back on the tank, you can hide the other MG port behind a building while still being able to shoot at the enemy. If done perfectly then you present a near-impenetrable tank to every same-tier gun you might face. Also, since this tank is still quite rare, a lot of people have NO CLUE where to shoot, even though the MG- and view ports are visible to them. This means that they will spray shots straight into your front plates in a panic to stop you. I’ve had quite a few laughs as tanks panic trying to pen me. I had a WT Pz IV loading APCR and bouncing my upper plate because he had no clue that he could just go straight through the lower plate. Quite amusing I must admit. The picture below shows the angling and corner placement in practice, although only in principle. I over angled the tank a bit in my rush to get a nice picture. I have one last piece of bad news in regards to the armour of this tank, and that is the roof. It is only 25 mm thick and stretches along the whole length of this tank (see picture below). This means you can be triple overmatched by any >76mm gun and arty will have a field day if they hit the top of your tank. The overmatch is not that big of a problem, but the arty vulnerability is a huge negative as you are a slow, fat target that they will shoot at – a lot. Mobility: The mobility is again staying true to how the T28 and T95 behave: This tank is no speed demon and turns like the Titanic. It has a top speed of 29 km/h going forward and 10 km/h in reverse. The traverse speed is a whopping 18 degrees/s. It has a decent (for the armour and tier) HP/t ratio of 13.71. I noticed that when accelerating on hard terrain it felt like it reached the top speed quickly and kept the speed as long as you went in a straight line. As soon as you want to turn this thing you have to clear your calendar for the next two days. Also, stay as far away from any soft or medium terrain you can. This tank has a horrendous terrain resistance of 1.438/2.014/2.493 on hard/medium/soft terrain respectively. I made the mistake once of driving into some soft terrain. I never made it out of there. The only positive thing I can say about the mobility is that this tank can pivot – and even that doesn’t help on the horrible traverse. Gun: The T28 HTC uses a 105 mm gun that is almost identical to the one found on the T32 but with a ROF buff. It has a healthy penetration of 181/224/53 mm with a decent alpha of 320/320/420 for AP/APCR/HP respectively. The alpha is above average for a tier 7 TD and can really hurt lower tier tanks. The penetration is slightly below average, but it can load a healthy APCR round that can go through the front most of the targets you will face. Some tanks will require weak spot knowledge, but it has an accuracy of 0.384 which is decent for weak spot sniping at medium ranges (this is before the 9.6 accuracy changes, mind). The rate of fire is 6.257 RPM which equals a reload of 9.589 seconds (without a rammer). This leaves you with a DPM of just over 2000 which increases to 2224.8 DPM with a gun rammer. Quite decent for the tier but nothing fantastic either. The gun depression of this tank is -4 degrees which can be quite tricky to work with in some locations but as long as you stay on flat ground (cities) you won’t have any trouble. A combination of low bloom values (see picture below) and low speed in general results in overall good gun handling. I didn’t experience problems with having to wait long for my aiming reticule to settle. Visibility: I have played without 6th sense so I haven’t been able to get a good feel for the camouflage, but I expect the values to be horrific. You are not going to be camouflage sniping anyone unless you are outside of spotting range. The T28 HTC has a healthy view range of 370 meters which when combined with binoculars will allow you to out spot some enemies. Misc.: This tank sadly has standard MM spread which means it will see tier 9 games. I’ve found that you can still make an impact, as your armour relies on auto-bounce rather than raw thickness. Your health pool of 880 HP is middle of the park for the tier (although significantly less than both the AT-15A and AT7 – your main competitors), but will leave you struggling in high tier games. This tank would be godlike if it had a health pool similar to the AT-7 as it would be able to take a beating AND still survive more than four penetrating shots. Equipment and consumables Equipment: The equipment setup is quite standard for this tank. I have a Large-Caliber rammer, Enhanced Gun Laying Drive and toolbox installed on mine. You can argue for swapping out the toolbox with vents or binoculars, but that comes down to how you want to play your tank. I play mine as a brawler, meaning I will be tracked over and over and I want to have the tracks back up ASAP. Consumables: I run a standard consumable set. I have not had any problems with module damage or crew deaths (besides a commander once in a while from shots into the million MG- and view ports). In fact, according to Tank Inspector the T28 HTC has increased module health on all internal modules. A nice little plus as it means you will not be ammo racked that often. You can, to some effect, use a premium repair kit as it will allow you to repair your tracks even quicker. Skills Since this is a premium tank you can use whatever American TD crew you might already have. If you, like me, do not play American TD’s and your T28 HTC therefore will have a dedicated crew then I recommend the following skills: You need mobility skills as you want to improve on the horrendous mobility of this tank. This means Clutch Breaking and Off-Road Driving for the driver together with repairs for everyone else. I Safe Storage is not a priority as the ammo rack is quite healthy, so just pick what you feel like. Tactics Because of the poor mobility I found that you don’t have a lot of tactical options available to you. You are too slow to react to changing conditions during the fight, so you need to be able to anticipate where you will be needed the most during the countdown timer. Pick and flank and make sure you win it or delay it enough for your team mates to flank behind. My general tactic in this tank is to go to the nearest brawling/city area where I then find myself a building/rock where I can use the traverse of the tank to hide the weak spots. I work down the enemies in that location while tanking shots. If you find yourself top tier you can easily lead a charge straight into the enemy – as long as you make sure they don’t have shots on your side/rear armour. The 8-line on Himmelsdorf is fantastic for YOLO-pushes. Once the area you are in is cleared you can enjoy the scenery while the battle moves faster than you. Base camping is sadly not a bad option on some larger maps like Redshire. You need to be careful not to be isolated because that will end in your death. You do not have the traverse to prevent people from circling you, so you need team mates to slap anyone trying to get on your back/sides. Also, avoid arty like the fucking plague. They will shit all over you the moment you are spotted (as I’ve found out one too many times on Redshire and Prokhorovka). If they have arty you need to find a spot that is at least partly arty safe, while still leaving you part of the game. Summary and verdict Just to summarise this review in a few pros and cons: ++Good armour ++Wide gun traverse +Decent gun and DPM ~Possible to hide major weakspots ~Celebrity status in most games because of rarity -Low gun depression -Team dependant -Large weakspots --Slow traverse --Arty magnet I personally like the tank as it is a tank where the armour actually works within the tier. You can truly bully people as they have limited knowledge of your tank, or you can even be able to hide your weak spots making them waste their shells on you. The mobility is frustrating at times and arty focus is never nice. Speaking of focus, a lot of people want to look at your tank and ask you questions which can be annoying at times, but also quite fun Overall I will keep this tank as a relaxing “I don’t give a fuck and you can try all you want to pen me”-tank that I play when I am tired and don’t want to concentrate. I hope you enjoyed this review and learned something new. If you have any feedback and/or questions I will be more than happy to listen/answer them to the best of my ability. Here is a small accompanying video commentary from my YouTube-channel:
  3. Introduction The third campaign is now over and I hope you all had a good and fun experience; hopefully whilst winning a reward tank! As some of you may know, Orrie and I were the main field commanders for the lovely KITTY-clan during the campaign. For those of you who are not familiar with KITTY (shame on you if that is the case :3), we are a clan who do not participate in Clan Wars (CW). This means that most KITTY members that played during the campaign had little to no experience in CW. Surprisingly that couldn’t be felt as much as one would think. Everyone followed orders with a level of discipline that rivals even the better CW-clans on EU. It made it a joy to be a KITTY commander! It was the first time Orrie played as a field commander (he did a great job!) and this, combined with the in-experience of the KITTYs, resulted in us all talking about tactics, manoeuvres and how to handle different in-game situations on several occasions whenever something new arose. I thought I would put pen to paper and write this article in order to share the main pointers of what we discussed for any aspiring Field Commander (FC). I have added videos for some of the points (hidden by spoiler tags) where I have taken a replay from one of the CW battles to show you what I mean with a practical example. DISCALAIMER: Before I start I would like to mention a few things: Firstly, I am not claiming to be the reincarnation of Montgomery or Rommel, there are plenty of more talented FC’s out there. Secondly, there are different ‘schools of thought’ in regards to commanding (just like you see with managers for sports teams). Some FC’s like to give freedom to players, others just want it all to be ‘NEAT UND TIDY’ and disciplined - this can also be said for the tactics. Some FC’s like to be aggressive while others passive, there is no one correct answer and this means that what I write in this thread is NOT the only way to do it – but it is the WaterWay© of doing it Creating tactics The first thing you need to do is to acquire a tactic for the map you will be fighting on (Note: In clan wars you will know the map in advance!). You can either: 1. Use an already existing tactic 2. Modify an existing tactic or 3. Create your own from scratch. I personally prefer a mix of #2 and #3 but when I started FC-ing I mainly used #1 and #2. The important thing is that you use a tactic you are comfortable with. There are a few things to keep in mind for the tactics (either modified or built from scratch): An important aspect behind any tactic is to have a purpose with your tactic. Don’t make a tactic without any idea of what you are trying to achieve (besides victory of course). Do you want to dominate the vision game and thereby restrict enemy movements? Do you want to let them have map control but force them through a kill zone? Do you want a long and slow battle where you use arty to weather them down? Do you want a fast strike in order to prevent the enemy arty from having an impact? Do you want to be proactive or reactive? I am personally a HUGE fan of the principle of Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), keeping your tactic simple allows everyone else to easily understand the tactic. It is important to make sure your team understands the idea behind the tactic. If they know what you are trying to accomplish they can help you during the game with information, independent thought and you will function better as a team overall. It also means that your soldiers will be able to react faster to different situations that might arise during the battles - ideally without you even giving orders. I have seen examples of field commanders trying too hard to be the new Monty or Rommel and failing hard. They often try to perform fancy tactics with several groups spread out across the map that has to all sorts of fancy manoeuvres, this often leaves people confused and without a clue on what is going on and this can lead to disaster. The simplest way to look at every battle is to make sure that you always have more guns active than the enemy. This means that you should try to avoid splitting your forces up into isolated groups of tanks that can’t support each other, your different units should be positioned around the map so that they can help each other if the enemy makes a large push on one flank. In order to help you with having the most guns active, you should build a tactic that provides you with ability to flex and react to different situations. Ensure that your forces are able to move around the map and selecting tanks that can provide you with mobility and tactical flexibility is a great help towards this (obviously!). The IS-3 is a great example of a flexible tank that can handle a great deal of situations; it has the health and gun to brawl, armour to delay an enemy push and it has the mobility to flex around the map (to a certain degree). Having this tank as your main force will give you the ability to react to different situations. My favourite tactic to use whilst trying to fulfil all of the above is a Blob™-tactic. A Blob™-tactic is most likely the simplest tactic you can use. I was first exposed to this thinking when I was in HDU (thank you Kabine!) and I LOVE(D) it so much that I’ve made it my trademark tactic. It works by having a large group of tanks (minimum 12+) that you move around the map. If the enemy has split their forces your blob should ALWAYS outgun them in the first engagement. This gives you a numerical advantage and then it is all about keeping your blob rolling to take out each pocket of enemy tanks. I personally love this tactic and use it whenever I can for several reasons: • When done right it is surprisingly hard to counter – especially if the enemy is not expecting it. • It is simple to understand - We have more tanks than they do so we destroy them with ease (KISS). • Easy to use - After a few battles with this tactic your soldiers will know it so well that it almost commands itself. Happened for us KITTYs after a few too many battles on Mines! • Most importantly - It is FUN to have these massive clashes with other forces that almost always end up in pure (yet controlled) mayhem. The Blob™ is not without weaknesses and doesn’t work on every map, but when it works, it works well. I have used this tactic to great effect on Mines; the spoiler below contains a video where you can see the tactic in action. No matter if you use a Blob™-tactic or another tactic, it is always important to ask yourself (or a commander buddy) the question: ‘If you use this tactic in a battle, what can happen? How would you counter it?’ This will provide you with insight into any potential weaknesses your tactic has and mentally prepare you for different situations that can arise during the battle. Of course you can’t - and shouldn’t - try to come up with a solution for EVERY POSSIBLE MOVE that might happen. Just make sure you are mentally prepared for the most obvious tactics the enemy might throw at you, if you find any glaring weaknesses whilst doing this then try and see if you can minimise the weakness with some tweaking or tank movements (flexing). Another important aspect with any tactic is to evaluate it after each battle - especially if it is a new tactic you are using. Sit back after the battle (win or loss) and discuss with your team about what worked and what didn’t, it is a bit more important to do after a loss (for obvious reasons). It is important that everyone involved is critical but constructive to help people improve/understand your tactic. Nobody can learn from mistakes unless they know they were mistakes in the first place. A final note: Don’t forget to mix the tactics up from time to time, especially if you play the same clan(s) on the same map over an extended period of time. If you use the same tactic over and over, the enemy team will eventually find a weakness and win. If you mix it up once in a while you will always keep the enemy guessing. During the battle Now for some tips and tricks for you to keep in mind during the actual battle. These tips will be shorter than the previous section as most of them are quite self-explanatory. They are (mostly) listed in no particular order. First and most importantly: Make sure your soldiers employ focus fire. It is your job as a FC to remind people to focus fire and if you are part of the engagement you should be the one calling the specific tank to focus. If you are not part of the main force you can/should dedicate a ‘flank officer’ to call out focus fire targets. In the spoiler below you can see how focus fire is important and why it can win battles: During the fighting it can get pretty hectic, it remains important to keep calm and be clear and concise with your orders. If you start mumbling, nobody will understand what you are saying and confusion will spread. Some commanders love to scream during battles but I personally hate it as it adds unnecessary stress to the situation, also make sure that if you’re explaining your next move (e.g. a push or flanking manoeuvre) that you make this perfectly clear. I personally say: “I will now explain what I want next, but don’t do it before I say GO/PUSH PUSH…” You should at all times during the battle acquire reconnaissance. You cannot act on something you don’t see, so make sure to have eyes on the most important approaches/areas to spot enemy movements. This also means you should make sure that enemies are still where they were last spotted. The intelligence gathering should not be putting your tanks in unnecessary danger. Everything can happen during a battle, so be ready to improvise. You can get SHIT spawns on your vital tanks, the enemy can do something unexpected and RNG in general. In the spoiler below is a video of how I had to improvise a battle on Westfield because of tanks spawning in bad locations. Do not be afraid to act because it ‘might lose the battle’. In most situations, especially unexpected ones, taking no action is often the worst you can do and WILL lose you battles rather than doing something with the potential of pulling out a win than do nothing and lose. To quote the wise words of Its_Matra: “Bad leaders don’t make bad decisions, bad leaders make no decisions” During the battle try to pay attention to enemy movements as it will give you hints to what they are planning. Experience helps a great deal with this point, but even people without experience can use this technique to some effect. If you see that their heavy force is moving away from an area (changing flanks) you can expect a push down another flank. This estimate will allow you to shuffle your tanks around so you can better handle a potential push on the other flank, again, experience helps with this aspect a lot as you know what people like to do in CW. You can see a practical example of reading the enemy movements by watching the video located in the spoiler below. You should aim to keep your forces undetected for as long as possible. If the enemy doesn’t know where you have your main force they will be reluctant to do a push – giving you time to prepare for your own push. Staying hidden is especially important if you use a mobile force (consisting mainly of medium or light tanks) that you shuffle around the map. This will keep the enemy guessing and give you the element of surprise when you push. The video in the spoiler below shows how I used this to my advantage on Sand River. One of the main differences for me between clan wars and random battles is the influence/importance of the cap circles - going for a base capture can be a viable tactic and sometimes it is the only way to win. It is not that uncommon on larger maps that both teams move clockwise/counter-clockwise of each other. This way both teams have the main force (8+ tanks) against a small defensive force (2-4 tanks) in the cap area of the opposition. This leads to a “cap fight” and can be quite tricky to handle. It boils down to who can get into the cap first and reset the best - IF you ever find yourself in this situation you should aim for getting at least 3-4 tanks inside the cap before you try to remove the defending tanks, this way you start accumulating cap points immediately and those few seconds can be crucial. If you don’t quite understand what I am trying to say then watch the video in the spoiler below where you can see it in practice. As a final note: I am a strong believer in learning by doing. Sure, theory crafting can be useful but you learn a lot better by simply DOING, just try out different tactics and expose yourself to different maps and enemy tactics. Strongholds are a great way to learn field commanding as there are no penalties if you lose. An all-purpose setup will give you enough tactical flexibility to learn the field commanding trade. If you have a more experienced commander buddy then you could ask him to give feedback during or after your battles, don’t be afraid to ask for help! I hope you all found this article interesting and helpful. If you have any feedback or comments feel free to ask away. This is by no means a definitive guide to commanding, but will hopefully work as a starting point for any new field commanders. I would like to end with a ‘thank you’ to its_matra for his help with proof-reading my article and coming up with suggestions for what could be done. Community tips and tricks If anyone has tips or tricks that they feel I missed or that they want to add, feel free. I will add the good ones to this “community” section of the OP and hopefully we can create a database for future aspiring commanders
  4. SUMMER 2015 UPDATE: I am now streaming. Find me on http://www.twitch.tv/mholding most days of the week :3 I thought I would create a specific thread for my YouTube channel in order to shamelessly promote show how to play certain tanks. I try to upload videos 2-3 times a week, but it depends on what games I have myself as I dont want to just upload videos for the sake of uploading them. I mainly play mediums and light tanks so that is what you will see me play. Throughout the videos I try to explain my thought process the best I can. Feedback on both gameplay and videos are more than welcome. Before you mention it, I have just bought a new microphone/headset that should allow me to improve the clarity and quality of the commentary audio. Here are some of my own personal favourites of the newer videos that I think highlight what my channel is about. If you like it go check my youtube channel out for more World of Tanks videos: World of tanks funtage - a video I made back when I was in QSF-E. Just made it for shits and giggles and it is inspired by the RNG-videos. Artillery rant - me ranting about why artillery is stupid. I get shot down from full health to no health in 2 seconds by three different artillery pieces who aren't even platooned. gg. Beating the odds twice - How to carry a 22%-team in an FCM 50t and how to carry a similarly bad team in a Tiger II (on the same map even). My first pools medal that happen to coincide with a Kolobanovs and Fadins medal and a stupidly high amount of RNG-luck in the end. Fadins medal in BatChat 25t - I get a fadins medal and where I use the mobility of the BatChat to have a good game Link to my youtube-channel (a lot of other videos though): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCky3AnLXGSQcr8p6wvV10PA Link to my World of tanks playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGcpk7WlCgnhvj3_kNC42BPRvlnhacF7c
  5. // IMPORTANT NEWS // IMPORTANT NEWS // IMPORTANT NEWS // IMPORTANT NEWS // My activity level during this summer has been incredibly poor - as some of you may have noticed already. The reason for my low activity is a mix between university work (master thesis), spending a lot of time with my GF (who lives in France, so lots of travelling is required) and training for the completion of an ironman next summer. This has left the clan without an active commander for TEN full weeks this summer, which is simply not good enough. First Nurkus and then Gary had to carry a lot of weight on their shoulders while I was off doing other stuff. I am forever grateful for their work and this clan would’ve been long dead if it hadn’t been for them. Unfortunately, my future does not look any better. I will still be busy with the aforementioned things. This is shit if you are the commander of a clan. I believe that a commander should be present as much as possible and be able to play and participate in most activities. I cannot offer this as a commander for this clan. Two weeks ago I was approached by FAME as they were looking for new field commanders and my name had been put forward a few times. I was offered the role as a normal field commander and therefore I will have less work to do. This is good for me because of my quite inconsistent activity levels. They know of my inconsistency and they don’t mind, which is good for me. I have decided to take their offer. This decision has not come easy. It really hasn’t. I had less trouble deciding to move to another country than I had with my decision as to whether I should join FAME or not. So much for “it is just pixel tanks” I suppose. I have spoken with Ronery, Matra, Gary and Koel and we have decided that it is best if we disband LAVA. RoneryKim has troubles with his arm (keeping him away from WoT entirely), Koel is busy being 1337_ESL_admin, Matra is limited in play time by work and family which leaves Gary alone to keep the ship running. This is not optimal as that is too much work for just one person. Therefore we have decided that we will be disbanding the clan. The clan will be disbanded at mid-day (Viking time) on Sunday the 23rd of August. We will be using all of our credit consumables and other bonus’ during the week, in order to pay as much back to you guys as possible. We will not be playing our defence-battles, but just let them pillage our SH. We will on top of that also pay out the gold to everyone (who wants it) who has collected more boxes than me. This means Gary, Xmen, Gasgadur, Jokobet, Devilhead, gan, breeze, moomeister and dolfie will receive 440 gold each. If you don’t want the gold then I will spread it out to the others. I want to thank all of you for joining us in this adventure. It has been a joy to play alongside you, it really has. I wish you all the best of luck in the future and I hope you will all fare well on the battlefields. I really enjoyed this adventure – I really did.
  6. Ok an Ace a day helps drive the badness away. http://wotreplays.com/site/1994912#erlenberg-oddbal1-amx_elc_bis This time 12,131 Wn8. Sound off... ;-) http://imgur.com/Mm5alWs
  7. WaterWar's replay review center Hello all and welcome. With this new replay subforum up and running I have decided to open op a "review center" where I will offer advice on YOUR replays. I have now made a mentoring thread where I offor mentoring to anyone, so if you are interested in longer and more in-depth feedback on your playstyle I suggest you head over there instead. This thread is quick feedback on just a few replays. WaterWar's mentoring: What you can expect from me I am a deep-purple player on the EU server where I have played a wide range of tanks (limited TD's though). My reviewing will be based on my own experiences with what works well on the EU-server. I will be providing explanations on what you should/could be doing better but also what you did do correctly. I will be constructive and will point out every mistake I can find - big or small. If I find a replay to have a particularly good lesson in it, I will (with your permission) upload it to my YouTube-channel where you can hear/watch me explain how I would handle the given situation and what you didn't do. I will review replays of light, medium and to some degree heavy tanks. I don't play TD's enough to have any real experience with them - so I don't want to start to review something I am not 100% comfortable with. Exception to this rule is the E-25 and the old British TD-line as I've played all of them. I will NOT be reviewing several replays from the same person - as that would give me a massive workload in no time. Therefore I would like you to only provide 1-3 replays. The more replays you provide, the longer I will take to review them. What I expect from you You should not pick a replay where you do well (purple levels) as the mistakes I can find in that will be limited. Try to pick games where you get into a situation you can't handle (i.e. a mistake) and/or where you don't know why you had a shit game and/or you are playing a tank where you are unsure if you played the map to the tanks strength (e.g. going Valley with E100 on El Halluf). Also I require patience as I am doing this for free (in-game donations are of course welcome ), so you wont get an instant review (give me a few days to a week). Since I am playing on the EU-server, with the EU-meta, not all of my comments will translate 100% to the NA server - especially not when discussing meta-gameplay. However the small scale tips/tricks will be fine. I leave it up to you to assess when/when not it is a meta-difference. I will try to focus on the smaller scale play, as that is (mostly) universal for all servers. Thanks to Folkerknecht for pointing this out. tl:dr What do I review? - Light tank, medium tank, heavy tank, British TD and E25 gameplay from all tiers. What server do you play on? - The EU server with the EU-meta. How many replays can I submit? - preferably one, but up to three will be ok. What is the price? - It is completely free. How long would I have to wait for your review? - at max up to a week. Do you like cats? - Cats furr Life!
  8. UPDATE 19th of March: UPDATE 25th FEB: I will not take any more students for the time being. I already have more than enough so it is hard for me to give everyone the attention that they deserve. I thought I would start up this new sub-forum by offering my mentorship to anyone on the EU server. I already have a replay review center where I review replays from anyone, so if you are only interested in feedback on particular games I suggest you head over there instead. This thread is for longer mentorships than just a few replays. WaterWar's replay review center: What you can expect from me I am a deep-purple player on the EU server where I have played a wide range of tanks (limited TD's though). I play relatively aggresive, as I like to force the fight to the enemy and catch them of guard. You can check my YouTube channel for gameplay of how I play. My mentorship will be based on my own experiences with what works well on the EU-server. The standard procedure will be you platooning with me for an hour or so once a week (to avoid me burning out). I can also do an hour worth of discussion of game mechanics where we can load up a training-room for me to showcase different positions/maps/tricks/whatever. Other stuff can be arranged depending on my work load and your needs. I will during the session provide feedback on what you should/could be doing better but also what you did do correctly after each battle. I will be constructive and will point out the mistakes I can find important - big or small. I can mentor people in how to drive light, medium and to some degree heavy tanks. I don't play TD's enough to have any real experience with them - so I don't want to start to teach something I am not 100% comfortable with. Exception to this rule is the E-25 and the old British TD-line as I've played all of them. I will NOT be mentoring several players at the same time - as that would give me a massive workload in no time. Dont be afraid to ask if I can mentor you or not. If I am too loaded with stuff I will put you on a nice little waiting list, and then when I have time I will tell you. What I expect from you You should be able to take critism (obviously) and willing to learn. I do not want to mentor anyone who will question everything I say. You are allowed to disagree or question me, but if you disagree with everything I point out, then there is no point in me mentoring you. Also I require patience as I am doing this for free (in-game donations are of course welcome ), so if I one week can't mentor you, you just have to respect that. You should have TS installed so that you can hear me talk. I don't require you to have voice communications, but I require you to be able to listen to me. Real-time feedback is so much easier verbal than written. I have no expectations about your skill level - you are all welcome. HOWEVER: because of the high demand I have found for my services, I will not be mentoring anyone already with unicum or super unicum recent stats. There is simply so few things for me to help with that my time would be better spent on people more in need. What I do want is for you to have a general idea of WHAT you want to improve. We can have a session together where I try to spot any mistakes you might have, but if you have an idea yourself it will definitely help us both out. UPDATE 7th Feb: UPDATE 20th Feb: tl:dr What can I offer for mentorship? - Light tank, medium tank, heavy tank, British TD and E25 from all tiers (I-X). What server do you play on? - Both EU servers. How often do we meet per week? - Monday, Thursday and Saturday What is the price? - It is completely free. What level do I have to be? - Above bot-levels but playing below unicum recent. Do I need TS installed? - Yes, but only for you to listen to what I say. Do you like cats? - Cats furr Life! Current 'students': Artiach arthurwellsley AlexGG_72 BiddinWar Denizzje dk_dwwa (FCM 50t) Freud General_power_creep Katzenpipi LoverJoy MarauderMitch mydogspies Myranser Never2far Nilzatron Visn0r Sauerlandwalker Sertore That_Edge_Guy Twizted_steel Zefod42
  9. UPDATE 3rd of Nov 2014: I have found that whenever I update my OP with the new replays from vBaddict, the formatting goes to shit. This is because vBaddict only keeps track of my last 250 battles so the 251th battle would overwrite/remove the 1st battle (as least that is what I think is happening). I will now have the replays just posted in packs and/or singular games that I find worth sharing with you, but not worth a YouTube-treatment. There will not be a single list here in the OP, so you have to go looking for the replays you want. You can request replays, and I will either try and acquire some. Hello all and welcome to my replay thread. This is an additional/companion thread to my YouYube-video thread (). The difference between the two threads is that you dont get to hear my sexy voice over the gameplay in this thread. This means that the games I've posted here will be without any commentary on why I did certain things during the game. This again means that if you have ANY questions about any of my decisions, or think one of the replays would be worthy of my YouTube-replay commentary treatment, just say so and I will either explain or make a YouTube video commentating the replay. I will try and post as many games as possible for you to enjoy. They will mostly be medium and light tanks with some heavy tanks and occasionally TDs sprinkled in for diversity. For most replays I may add a small comment to explain a detail but don't expect it for every game. And yes, these games are cherry-picked to make me look as badass as possible not waste your time with all of my games where I potato or just play some boring tactic everyone knows about. I will make use of a series of "spoiler" tags to keep my thread NEAT UND TIDY with different categories for each tank class. Within each category the tanks are organised alphabetically and within each tank category the games are just added in running order. So if you for example want to find my BatChat games you go "Medium tanks" -> "BatChat" (I may add tier spoilers at some point, but we will see). Each "tank category" is split (by text) into the different patches so you can keep an eye on how 'new' the battles are. I will create a new post whenever I add a new replay where the links the post replays will be. Then I will also add the link to this "database" in the OP. Enough chit-chat. Here are my replays.
  10. I tried to submit this review to RBS two weeks ago, but no response so far so I decided to just put it up here. Enjoy Cromwell review by WaterWar The Cromwell is an iconic British medium/cruiser tank with great mobility for its time. It saw active combat during the later stages of WWII and the following years (1944-1955) with about 1000 tanks produced. In World of Tanks the Cromwell is a tier VI tank on the British medium line leading up to the (soon to be replaced) FV4202. It comes after the Crusader tank and leads to the Comet tank, which is quite fitting with development and abilities of these tanks during WWII. In this review I will go through different aspects of the Cromwell as it is portrayed in World of Tanks, including; characteristics of the gun and tank, recommended equipment/consumables, skills to consider and finally the play style of this tank. I will try to keep it as concise as possible, feel free to skip the sections that you have no interest in or already know. Characteristics In the following section all the numbers and characteristics are given with 100% crew taken into account and are taken from the “Tank Inspector” software. Mobility: This is the main strength of the Cromwell. It has an excellent top speed of 64 km/h (20 km/h reverse) on flat ground and going downhill you can even surpass this. This is significantly faster than other tier 6 mediums. Combine this with a power to weight ratio of 23.19 hp/t, hull traverse speed of 36 d/s and terrain resistance values of 0.86/0.96/1.73 on soft/medium/hard terrain respectively and the Cromwell becomes nimble and manoeuvrable tank. This allows the tank to easily relocate into strong positions and to counter enemy pushes around the battlefield. Circling isolated heavy tanks is also a joy. Armour: The Cromwell has next to no armour when compared to its counterparts. The hull has a thickness of 64/32/32mm and with no angle at all and prone to triple overmatching on the sides and rear from guns with a calibre greater than 122mm. The turret is slightly better armoured at 76/63/57mm but this is still not much good – on the plus side, at least it can’t get triple overmatched by any gun the Cromwell faces! The only way you are going to not take damage when you are hit is by some ‘freak’ angle on the turret or if the tracks absorb the shell. This means that the health pool of 750 HP will be used up quickly if under fire. Life is simple in the Cromwell: Don’t get hit or you die. Gun: The Cromwell uses a standard 75 mm gun. It does 135 hp of damage (175 hp with HE) with a penetration of 145/202/38 mm (AP/APCR/HE respectively). The premium round on the Cromwell allows it to remain competitive in higher tier games. The rate of fire is 16 rounds per minute which equates to a damage-per-minute figure of 2165.9 - with a shot dispersion value of 0.345m at 100m. The gun depression is -8 degrees allowing you to fight on hills and ridges with good effect (still not to the level of some American tanks). Be aware that over the back of the tank, the Cromwell has +2 degree of gun depression. This means the Cromwell CAN NOT aim at target on level ground over the rear of the tank. All of above (minus the rear depression) makes the gun looks to be good, on paper. Sadly this is not the whole truth as the Cromwell has some bad hidden stats that result in poor gun handling. First off, the shell velocity is quite low (785 m/s) so it is hard to lead targets at range without significant practice. Secondly the bad accuracy bloom values after firing and on turret and hull movement (see image below) means that whenever this tank is moving the aiming reticule expands to a stupidly large size requiring you to aim for a long time when you stop moving. This leads to poor snapshotting - even at close range your shots will fly off into weird directions. You will want to do whatever you can do improve the gun handling (more on that later). Visibility: Camouflage is 14.6/11.1/4% (stationary/moving/firing) with a 100% crew. With a 100% camo crew the values are 26.43/20.09/5.5%, adding the Improved Ventilation equipment (vents), Brothers in Arms crew perk (BIA) and the Pudding and Tea (food) consumable on top and you get a great camouflage value of 28.2/21.44/7.73%. This helps the survivability of the tank and allows it to perform in a pseudo-scout role. The view range is a 360m which is standard for tier 6 mediums. Equipment and consumable Equipment: The only equipment that should really be considered for the Cromwell is Improved Ventilation, Gun Rammer, Gun-Laying Drive, Coated Optics and Binocular Telescope. Sadly the Cromwell cannot mount a vertical stabiliser (unlike the Sherman ‘Easy-8’ also at tier 6). Since the Cromwell is so mobile and has a decent view range you will want to mount Coated Optics as this gives it even more flexibility as a pseudo-scout (more on that later). Next you want to optimise the gun handling as much as possible so a gun-laying drive will help with the aim time and snapshotting ability of the gun. The third slot is up to personal preference and play style. Some people (such as Quickybaby) mount the Binocular Telescopes if you like to be a passive scout. I personally think that is wasting the biggest strength of the tank; mobility. The Cromwell should not be sitting still at any point if you are trying to scout. You can also go with a rammer for increased DPM or you can go with Improved Ventilation for a slight overall improvement on everything - including gun handling, view range and camouflage – of which the latter two help with the scouting role. I personally choose to mount vents, as I want to improve the gun handling as much as possible. I found that I am more often in a situation where I would need or want better gun handling compared to one where I can use the DPM of the tank to the fullest. A gun rammer only decreases your reload with 0.374 seconds so it’s not that big of a difference in my opinion. Consumables: For consumables there is nothing that special about the tank. If you feel like it you can drop the fire extinguisher for food or Improved Octane Fuel depending on how many credits you want to spend. Food helps more with the overall gun handling and stack with the bonuses from vents and any potential BIA perk. You don't get set on fire very often (engine is 20% fire chance), but it does happen from time to time and always in critical games where you need to carry hard. Such is RNGesus. Skills For crew skills, you will want to try and improve the gun handling as much as possible (smooth ride and snap) together with overall survivability perks (6th sense and safe storage), followed by camouflage and view range skills to help with the scouting abilities. You could consider training BIA when you are working on your 3rd skill, especially if you run with food and vents as they all stack together and help with the bad gun handling (it’s all about the gun handling). This is more of a personal preference as some people prefer to focus on other skills like driver skill and repairs. However: don't bother with repairs until 3rd or 4th skill as you have so little health you can't allow yourself to sit and wait for your tracks to get back on. If you are tracked you need to use your repair kit - if you are then tracked again you are dead anyway. Even with a full repair crew it takes 6-7 seconds to put the tracks back up which is a long time at this tier, so I wouldn’t bother with it (talking from experience here). Also I would argue clutch breaking is not needed on this tank because the traverse is already great, but again, this is an issue of personal taste. I would recommend the following set-up for a full three-skilled crew: Commander: BIA/6th sense/camo Driver: BIA/Smooth ride/camo Gunner: BIA/snap shot/camo Radio: BIA/situational awareness/camo Loader: BIA/Safe storage/camo For now let’s assume you have done everything you can to improve the gun handling (mounted vents and gun-laying drive; snap shot and smooth ride perks; added food as consumable). What improvement has this provided? Comparing the two images below and we can see that there is a significant difference of between 8% (hull blooms) and 17% (turret blooms). So if you want to go all in on improving gun handling it is also worth noting that by doing this you also improve the tank performance overall (with BIA, vents and food). Tactics The Cromwell is a flexible tank that can perform a set of different roles depending on map and team composition. It performs quite differently depending on whether you are top-tier or bottom-tier because of the combination of HP difference and bigger guns. Overall, I tend to follow the same general strategy when driving the Cromwell. Due to the excellent mobility and top speed of the Cromwell it performs well as a pseudo-scout or as a support for the friendly scouts in the early fights for key positions such as the central hill on Mines, the ‘doughnut’ on Cliff or Karelia etc. The scout-support role works no matter the tier but your aggression should differ depending on the tier. When you are bottom-tier it most likely that they have a scout the same tier as you or even a tier higher, in which case you would need to be more careful (emphasising the supportive nature). When top tier you can be more aggressive on the early positions. The pseudo-scout nature of the Cromwell works no matter the tier. Whenever I play my Cromwell I always go for an initial scouting run (assuming the map allows me to do it) as this gives both you and the team valuable information about enemy deployment. Based on this information I can move to the best position to help the team. When the battle has developed a bit you can start to flex around the map allowing you to support different flanks and exploit enemy defensive weaknesses to cause a lot of damage and kill key targets; remember that the Cromwell is a decent scout so keep using this to your advantage. End-game you can start ‘mopping up’ by killing isolated enemies and/or give on feeding your team with information (enemy positions, remaining health) whilst being a pain in the arse by driving around and being unpredictable. Now if you are top-tier you can be more aggressive and be more active in the fights, whereas if you are bottom tier, you are more a scout than a medium and have to play accordingly. Don’t forget that you have a small total of hit-points (by comparison) and can be killed in two shots by Russian 122mm guns, three shots by almost anything else when bottom tier. When top tier you can take a few more shots, but you still need to be opportunistic. Since the recent changes to maps have been more brawl-focused I want to add a small paragraph on how to handle that. When top tier you need to use your situational awareness to shoot at enemies when they are distracted by someone else and then pulling back before they can return fire. You can afford to take a hit from anything but 122mm guns and still be able to fight on. Avoid facing 122mm guns like the plague if you can, as they shave off 2/3 of your HP if they roll high. If you are bottom tier you need to be even more cautious and opportunistic as even more guns can kill you and you have a hard time penning most targets, even with APCR shells. I can't really add more than that as it’s primarily dependant on each individual battle/map/composition as how to move and where to find the holes. It eventually comes with practice and your situational awareness definitely helps with this. Summary Just to summarise this review in a few pros and cons: ++Excellent mobility +Good camouflage value (with camo crew) +Good penetration (with gold round) +8 degrees of gun depression -Slow shell travel time -Very thin armour -Can’t mount vertical stabiliser --Horrible gun handling characteristics I hope you enjoyed this review and learned something new. If you have any feedback and/or questions I will be more than happy to respond to them as best I can.
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