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In-depth Cromwell review by WaterWar

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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.

 

Pvbfcdy.png

 

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).

 

Z1DnrWV.png

 

Opch9UZ.png

 

 

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-8also 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. :P

 

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).

 

 

sSRRbKO.png

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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Good review, thanks.

 

Question though, does eGLD help with snapshot?  Thought it only helped when stationary.

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Good review, thanks.

 

Question though, does eGLD help with snapshot?  Thought it only helped when stationary.

vert stab for on the move, gld when stationary, vert stab is almost always a better choice though as it leaves gun bloom less making it aim faster by virtue of less to aim for max accuracy

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As Rex said it only hopes when sitting still/aiming in. When I write snap shot I also mean "shots that are almost not aimed in". :)

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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.

...

It is well hidden in the wall of text ;)

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Thank you for the review. I sure should grind my cromwell's crew the next few days. Still haven't the first crewskill done.

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Nice one! Good read. I especially like the analysis on the effect of crew skills/Consumables. Something i havent seen in any reviews.

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Thank you. It is something I thought I would add in as most people haven't considered their crew/consumables to that specific degree. This can hopefully also show people how they can fiddle with numbers themselves on other tanks :)

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Good DPM, but I prefer the easy 8 with its better gun handling and verstility.

 

On the Cromwell I'd go GLD/Rammer/Optics every time.

 

Vents are a waste and Binocs too as this tank is better moving.

 

It's a good tier 6 Strongholds choice for wolfpacking and flanking.

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Nice review Water.

 

Didnt RBS ask about more reviewers, and then they just ignore this?

Im puzzled.

I dont think he is ignoring me. I can see on the forums that my message hasn't even been read by him so I presume he is just busy :)

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RBS is off on a world tour right now, not playing tanks and generally being sane as I understand it.

 

I agree with everything shy of the choice of vents over rammer. That extra 10% dpm is fantastic when you have a medium range flank or a circle brawl situation, which I try to force whenever I can in the Cromwell.

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RBS is off on a world tour right now, not playing tanks and generally being sane as I understand it.

 

I agree with everything shy of the choice of vents over rammer. That extra 10% dpm is fantastic when you have a medium range flank or a circle brawl situation, which I try to force whenever I can in the Cromwell.

I thought he was doing something like that. No sweat though :P

 

I used to have rammer for the first 200 games but then I realised that I so rarely got to use the DPM to its fullest because the shots went flying left/right/centre hence why I swapped rammer for vents to make the shots actually count, rather than just spamming them all over the place :)

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If the Oliver could mount a vertical stab then I'd totally go for the GLD, Vstab, Optics loadout that I've heard advocated for bad gun handling tanks. However, I didn't find that vents (when I ran them for a bit instead of optics as a test) made enough of a difference to drop my usual setup for them. If I stacked them with BiA and Pudding then that might be a different story.

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If the Crommy could mount a VStab it would be borderline broken.  I wouldn't complain though. :P

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If I stacked them with BiA and Pudding then that might be a different story.

Exactly what I am doing with my Cromwell, otherwise I agree. If I were to train a new crew for my Cromwell I dont know if I would use vents or rammer. Personal preference though :P

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I'm one of those mad few who prefers the Comet to the Cromwell.

 

The Cromwell has insane speed, sure. The Comet fixes everything else though. Much comfier!

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I agree. Comet is better than the Cromwell for fighting. Gun depression, despersion values and still enough speed makes the Comet more comfortable to play.

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