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T28 Concept review by WaterWar

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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. 
 
G8I7VPB.png
 
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.
 
CqPtsTB.png
 
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.
 
6nmvjrr.png
 
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.
 
vwvOuGj.png
 
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 :P
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:

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When I looked at the in-game stats, they seemed to suggest 170 pen and 300 damage... maybe my mods were showing incorrect values.

Must be mods because I just went and double checked in-game and the values are as they are shown in tank inspector. :P

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Must be mods because I just went and double checked in-game and the values are as they are shown in tank inspector. :P

Oh I was certain you are correct. When I saw that they were 170/300 with a rof of 6, I was pretty disappointed. But thankfully thats not the case :D

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You mentioned that HEAT doesn't autobounce, yet it does at angles greater than or equal to 85°.

 

Great review, now I know where to shoot them :^)

I meant that HEAT doesn't auto-bounce on the T28 Concept upper plate. I was maybe not clear enough with that particular phrase :P

EDIT: Now fixed in the review.

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Good review. I just recently got the tank and played around 15 games today. One thing I find fairly common is the gun getting broken quite frequently by people shooting and getting lucky try to pen it. I had a 1v7 situation and I backed myself into the corner of the map almost won, but they broke my gun several times and I was struggling to hit them. Had 3k dmg and 5.6k dmg blocked by armor in that game was top tier the tank is a blast as long as they dont fire HE at you.

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I like it more than the other T28s, though that's a pretty low bar. Would be nice if it could get some more HP, it's frustrating to get blasted by arty after only one or two shots. Not like you can do anything to avoid it at the speeds it is capable of. It's in a similar situation to the pre-buff AT-15A, lacking both preferential matchmaking and a hitpoint pool that's competitive.

 

Currently running rammer/EGLD/vents on mine.

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Indeed, but that is only possible at short ranges. The T28 concept has a decent profile so that only a few tanks really tower above it. 

Your best bet of penning is loading some gold (210+ mm pen) and going through the lower plate at whatever angle. 

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Yes, I would say so but considering it has no pref MM I would like to see it have just that bit extra HP to be perfectly balanced.

We have the AT15A that has more HP and pref MM. The AT15A is similar to the T28 concept in the role that they fill on their team.

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The upper plate holds up well, as it relies on autobounce rather than raw thickness. Everything else is easily pennable by most tier 9's. The lower plate is only 200 mm thick and near-vertical so that can be penned with ease. 

The gun is good enough for tier 9 games. It has a decently strong APCR round that can go through any weakspot you may encounter. 

 

I have still some decent games at tier 9, but it is not easy and I have had several 0 dmg games where I just get stomped on the moment I show my tank. The speed doesn't allow you to flex around as it is needed. You just have to hope you don't meet the big guns or tough targets on your flank. 

 

If they gave this tank preferential MM I would play it a lot more. The risk of having several tier 9 games in a row is not a fun prospect.

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It seems like the tank will have its fun moments, and that's all I really play the game for anymore anyway... Just those fun moments.

 

I just need to complete MT-15 and LT-14/15 then I'll have it, so hopefully within the next couple days.

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This thing looks like it could be a monster....damnit, now I have to actually to the stupid missions....THANKS WATERWAR

 

 

Same.

My antisocial self will have to look for help with completing the damn STUG IV LT and arty  missions. :(

Oh, and get a TD higher tierd than the JP I.

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Yes, I would say so but considering it has no pref MM I would like to see it have just that bit extra HP to be perfectly balanced.

We have the AT15A that has more HP and pref MM. The AT15A is similar to the T28 concept in the role that they fill on their team.

 

But without making any extra credits, why would they balance it like a premium. It should be balanced like any other regular tank imo.

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But without making any extra credits, why would they balance it like a premium. It should be balanced like any other regular tank imo.

Im not sure why they didnt make these tanks very good for their tier since very few will be driving them, please fill us in on the t55a, if it is as good as the t54 ill grind for it :)

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