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Panzer9Supertiger

Guide to the B1; a misunderstood tank?

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I wanted to share this on the Wot labs forums, to get some more feedback on a guide I wrote on the B1 on the WoT forums a while back, and considering most of the posters here are very good players, I'm hoping I can get some more input from good players.
 

A guide to the B1
Hello, and welcome to the guide on how to not fail in what is widely considered one of the worst tanks in the game, the B1. Many hate it, due to the weak gun. But for me, it has  one of my highest win/rates of all my tanks. But before we get to that...
About me:
I'll say this right now, I am not, I repeat, NOT, gud@tanks. I'm not even average, or not yet, at least. My  noobmeter is here. As you can see, overall, I have a 47% win/rate(OK, as of 7/22/13 it is now 48%, but you get the idea). There are worse, mind you, but it is below average. This said, it is going up fairly quickly. So take whatever I say with a grain of salt.
OK, we are past that.
The B1 in real life
Before we get into the WoT B1, we have to understand the B1 it was based off of. If I may quote the wiki:
"Development was started in 1921. Due to extended trials the vehicle did not enter service until 1934. A total of 403 tanks in two basic modifications were manufactured from 1935 through 1940."
Now that dosen't say as much as I would like it to say, so I'll add to it:
The B1 is generally recognized as the first heavy tank, though the Char 2C and T-35 are also contenders. It had a 47mm main gun, with a 75mm howitzer in the hull. The 75mm had poor armor penetration with HE rounds, and only a few APHE rounds were available for it. However, the 47mm could knock out either the Panzer III or BT-7, the B1's projected rivals. There were 2 modifications, a B1 with 50mm of armor, and a B1 bis with 60mm of armor. A B1 ter with 70mm of armor was planned, but only 2 prototypes where made. During the Battle of France, while the French army had a poor showing in general, the B1 did quite well. Most where abandoned due to breakdown, or knocked out by German airpower or anti-tank guns. When the B1's did meet German armor, they tended to do well against the Panzer Is, IIs, IIIs with the 37mm, and IVs with the short 75mm. In one indecent, on 16 May a single tank, Eure, frontally attacked and destroyed thirteen German tanks lying in ambush in Stonne, all of them Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs, in the course of a few minutes. The tank safely returned despite being hit 140 times. Similarly, in his book Panzer Leader, Heinz Guderian related an incident, which took place during a tank battle south of Juniville: "While the tank battle was in progress, I attempted, in vain, to destroy a Char B with a captured 47-mm anti-tank gun; all the shells I fired at it simply bounced harmlessly off its thick armor. Our 37-mm and 20-mm guns were equally ineffective against this adversary. As a result, we inevitably suffered sadly heavy casualties". It is generally agreed that the 1 man turret was the greatest flaw, it gave the commander too many jobs, when he needed to focus on commanding the tank. But 1 man turrets were cheap, nad B1s were already putting a strain on French industry as is. B1's were also used by Germany, in limited numbers, but I won't get into that.
Some pics:

eamh51.jpg

Knocked out B1

2nrpyso.jpg

B1 in museum
The B1 in-game
Ah, so screw real life, you want to know how good this thing is at internet tanks! Lets cover a few things:
Note:
This tank has very good MM. It never sees tier 6s, and most of the time is in tier 4 battles. So keep that in mind.
Armor:8/10
You have it. 60mm front and side, and 55mm in the rear. The front also has a nice slope to it. But you do have weakspots. The turret is weak, but the gun mantel is big, and the turret itself is so small that you can almost ignore this. That 75mm gun I was talking about? Not only is it useless, it is a big, glaring weakspot in the front. So what do you do? Angle your armor. Your tracks can and will eat shots, and will block your hull , like your bigger brother, the ARL-44.
Firepower: 5/10
This is why some (ignorant) people hate this tank. You have the same 47mm gun you knew and (hopefully) loved on the D2. This is fine for most tier 4s and 3s, but tier 5s, especially tanks like the AT-2 and KV-1, will laugh at it. But you faced these tanks in the D2 anyway, so you aren't losing a lot. All said, good RoF, good accuracy, bad alpha, bad pen.
Speed: 5.5/10
This tank is very sluggish stock. I'll say that right now. But with the top engine, it has very good maneuverability for a heavy, and you will reach your top speed quickly. However, this top speed is a not-so impressive 30 kph. In short, you won't be winning any races, but you can get to where you're going.
Radio: 9/10
A tier 9 radio on a tier 4 tank. Must I say more?
View Range: 4/10
I won't go into detail, but it is pretty lacking.

Tanks to look out for:
Certain tanks you should behave certain ways around. These tanks are:
Tier 3:
T-70, danger level, 2/10
Mean little tier 3, it's frontal armor can bounce some of your shots, and has a 45mm that can sting as well
D2, danger level, 1/10
Your little brother can hurt you with the same 47mm you have, and the frontal armor isn't bad, either.
Tier 3 TDs, danger level, 3/10
These can pen you somewhat reliably, but you can hurt them dearly, as well.
Tier 4:
M3 Lee, danger level, 4/10
Regarded as even worse then the B1, treat this tank with caution. It's 75mm has high alpha, and can make your HP vanish fairly quickly. But It's cake if you get it in the side.
AMX 40, danger level, 6/10
Look out for these things. Yes, they will sometimes bounce off you. But their armor is fantastic for a tier 4, so either get it in the rear, or aim for the driver's hatch/cupola.
Matilda, danger level, 7/10
LOOK OUT FOR THESE THINGS. I cannot stress that enough. The gun, while it does not have impressive alpha, will pen you most, if not all, the time. And if you aren't running gold (I don't) you have to get it in the rear, or aim for weakspots.
Panzer III, danger level, 4.5/10
Fast, and have good frontal armor. However, the guns will struggle against you and turret and side armor is weak.
Tier 4 TDs, danger level, 6/10
This is like tier 3 TDs, but worse. Same rules apply, with one exception.
Hetzer, danger level, 7/10
These things are dangerous. The 60mm of sloped frontal armor will bounce all of your shots, and the only weaknesses are the lower plate, or the driver's hatch. If they are running the 105 derp, they can one-shot you. So how do you fight them? Get up close, and side scrape them. With 20mm side and 6mm rear armor, they will die quickly.
Tier 5:
Nearly everything here, but these few are really bad:
StuG III, danger level, 8/10
Hard hitting TD that WILL pen you with the L/70 and can one-shot you with the 105. However, you can pen it anywhere but the upper superstructure. Aim for the lower hull for a chance of lighting it on fire.
M4/ Panzer IV, danger level, 9/10
Mediums with 105 derps, and most of the time will bounce your shots. Either aim for the lower plate or flank.
Tier 5 Heavy Tanks, danger level, 9/10
These are really bad. You will bounce off their fronts, and even the sides are difficult. Aim well, though, and you CAN hurt them with AP. One exception noted below.
AT-2, danger level, 9.5/10
Good luck hurting this thing. Even with gold, good luck penning this thing anywhere. The most you can do is track it to make it easier to hit for friendly arty/bigger tanks.
KV-1 danger level, 10/10
DO NOT FIGHT ALONE. Yes, you CAN pen the rear with gold. But that's it. Even if you track it, it has a turret, you're still screwed. You can annoy it, to take attention off an ally that can hurt it, but that's it.
Edit: Upon request, here is the T-28:
danger level, 5/10
They are the size of a bus, have no camo, and no armor. So why fear them? The can move quickly, and the gun is more or less the same 57mm that the KV-1 and T-34 have. Try to angle, and shoot it first, you can even use HE on it, if you have any.

Conclusion:
The B1 is a good tank in the right (or sometimes, even the wrong) hands.Great HP, Great armor, workable gun, workable speed, it can actually depress, it's just a good tank. In the future, when mutli-gun control is added, it will be a great tank, because with a 75mm derp, it can actually hurt some of those scary tier 5s.
Final rating: 8/10.

Places I would like to thank:
Lert's guide on writing guides
Wot wiki article

Also, this has been my first guide. So... how is it?

 

Any feedback on it?

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Gun is a peice of crap Vs anything not tier 4-.. lol

 

oh and if a B1 fights a matilda, the matilda will win everytime if the B1 isnt firing sprem, Matilda has 75mm + Spaced vs B1's 60ish pen

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Nice guide, here are some thoughts:

 

1.

"Note:
This tank has very good MM. It never sees tier 6s, and most of the time is in tier 4 battles. So keep that in mind."

 

Where did you get this information? When I played the tank it didn't have preferential MM, it could see tier VI. Only the premium B2 was limited to +1 MM. As far as I know that hasn't changed.

 

 

2.

"Hetzer, danger level, 7/10
These things are dangerous. The 60mm of sloped frontal armor will bounce all of your shots, and the only weaknesses are the lower plate, or the driver's hatch. If they are running the 105 derp, they can one-shot you. So how do you fight them? Get up close, and side scrape them. With 20mm side and 6mm rear armor, they will die quickly."

 

Have you ever tried this? A B1 is a snail while a Hetzer can turn on the spot very well. Unless a Hetzer player is beyond clueless or suffers from a bad case of tunnel vision, you won't be able to sidehug him. And even if you get him into a sidehug he will most likely escape from it before you get off your second shot.

 

 

3.

You might want to elaborate on the gun. If I remember correctly, its particular brand of awfulness stemmed from the combination of low pen + bad aiming time. If faced by well armored tanks you need to aim for weakspots but that takes forever with this piece of trash.

 

 

4.

There may be a silver lining to this tank (admittedly far in the future): WG has announced that they will eventually introduce multigun support. The B1 and Churchill I stand to be 2 of the main profiteurs since they finally get to use their powerful hullguns. Until that point the B1 will remain a painful grind designed to make you spent freexp.

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French tanks are difficult enough that they should not be the first line for a new player to grind.  Given that fact, we can assume the player can save some credits for this line.

 

Just like it's a good idea to save a few hundred thousand for camo net/binocs on a scout, it's a good idea to save some credits so you can spam gold on the tier 3-4 French tanks.  The combination of speed and penetration is so atrocious that they need every little bit they can get.

 

It's not so you can pad stats, but so you can make your grind several times faster and get out of them faster.  It makes a bigger difference than even on the infamous T69.

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Gun is a peice of crap Vs anything not tier 4-.. lol

 

oh and if a B1 fights a matilda, the matilda will win everytime if the B1 isnt firing sprem, Matilda has 75mm + Spaced vs B1's 60ish pen

As I said, then gun is inadequate vs tier 5s, however, you had to fight those same tier 5s in the D2 anyway. And it the B1, the top 47mm gets better aim time, RoF, etc. And yes, I will concede that Matilda is better in most ways, but then again, the Matilda has to fight things like the KV-1S.

 

Nice guide, here are some thoughts:

 

1.

"Note:

This tank has very good MM. It never sees tier 6s, and most of the time is in tier 4 battles. So keep that in mind."

 

Where did you get this information? When I played the tank it didn't have preferential MM, it could see tier VI. Only the premium B2 was limited to +1 MM. As far as I know that hasn't changed.

 

 

2.

"Hetzer, danger level, 7/10

These things are dangerous. The 60mm of sloped frontal armor will bounce all of your shots, and the only weaknesses are the lower plate, or the driver's hatch. If they are running the 105 derp, they can one-shot you. So how do you fight them? Get up close, and side scrape them. With 20mm side and 6mm rear armor, they will die quickly."

 

Have you ever tried this? A B1 is a snail while a Hetzer can turn on the spot very well. Unless a Hetzer player is beyond clueless or suffers from a bad case of tunnel vision, you won't be able to sidehug him. And even if you get him into a sidehug he will most likely escape from it before you get off your second shot.

 

 

3.

You might want to elaborate on the gun. If I remember correctly, its particular brand of awfulness stemmed from the combination of low pen + bad aiming time. If faced by well armored tanks you need to aim for weakspots but that takes forever with this piece of trash.

 

 

4.

There may be a silver lining to this tank (admittedly far in the future): WG has announced that they will eventually introduce multigun support. The B1 and Churchill I stand to be 2 of the main profiteurs since they finally get to use their powerful hullguns. Until that point the B1 will remain a painful grind designed to make you spent freexp.

1. If you don't believe me, you can look at the wiki here. If you played it before it got that, it must have been terrible.

2. I find the mobility of the B1 on par with the Tiger H, low speed cap, but accelerates quickly. The maneuverability is also nice. I've done it before, hell, I once did it in my T-70, but I admit I never checked the driver's stats to see how competent he was.

3. I found the aimtime quite good (and so did the wiki editors), and the pen, while it is low, is only 1mm weaker then the 50mm on the much loved Panzer III.

4. That's completely up to you. Some tanks will work for some people, some won't. I, for one perform at sub-bot level on my Tiger H, but some people love that tank.

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Nice guide, here are some thoughts:

 

1.

"Note:

This tank has very good MM. It never sees tier 6s, and most of the time is in tier 4 battles. So keep that in mind."

 

Where did you get this information? When I played the tank it didn't have preferential MM, it could see tier VI. Only the premium B2 was limited to +1 MM. As far as I know that hasn't changed.

 

 

Yeah, it's correct, the B1 has 4-5 matchmaking.

 

The Pz. B2 has even more preferential MM, it only sees tier 4.

 

 

The B1 is, sadly, likely to remain a complete shocker of a tank, even if multi-gun support comes, the hull 75mm has zero traverse so you are unlikely to be able to put it to use, even if it becomes available.

 

Like all the low tier french tanks the B1 is completely outclassed, incapable of dealing with even most of its tiermates without premium ammo, and the supposed advantage of its front armour is largely rendered irrelevant by its enormous size, weak turret, ineffectual gun, and sluggish performance meaning it is easily flanked and destroyed, just like in real life.

 

 

There is a reason why this is the only non premium tank to get preferential matchmaking.

 

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All I know is I found this tank to be inferior in every way to the AMX 40, and, well, you know what people think about the duck ... though I have a weird fondness for it. :beard:

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I found it suprisingly good. The soft stats are excelent.

 

The gun is crap, but I took ~15 APCR and it was enough for most of the games.

 

Still, I spent some free Exp, because it's a bit boring to play.

 

 

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I've done pretty good on the B1, though not enough games in it to actually qualify for ranking (barely 250, hah!).  It does okay, but the fact that it has a dinky gun makes it difficult, especially when you run into T-28s or Hetzers.

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The B1 is, sadly, likely to remain a complete shocker of a tank, even if multi-gun support comes, the hull 75mm has zero traverse so you are unlikely to be able to put it to use, even if it becomes available.

IIRC the hull gun has about 1 degree of traverse horozontally so that the gunner could fine tune the aim without having to rotate the tank again! But again, the 7.5 degrees traverse on the AT7 is already horrible...

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Man, I don't know.  I know every person has a tank they do well in that others don't but this thing is atrocious.

 

If there is one on my team, I assume we are playing with 14 tanks instead of 15.  I look forward to finding one on the opposing side because it's easy to kill, has a lot of HP and can't hurt me back.

 

I'm no expert, but I wanted to get through it as fast as I could.

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I've only ever rage-sold two vehicles in this game and the B1 was one of them. I'm glad some people can stomach this steaming POS but, to me, it is the antithesis of what a tank should be. It had a hard time competing in Tier 4 battles and in up-tiered battles it was just a barely mobile HP pool with inadequate firepower.

 

I'll eventually be going up the French heavy line, but I'll free XP past the B1. My handful of battles in it was more than enough to convince me that this is one vehicle in the game I have absolutely no desire to play ever again.

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I don't hate it because hate is bad.  I do dislike it intensly.  Perhaps some of the people who did like it could be more specific about what they did that made the tank work better.

 

You see, when I'm in a D2, and Tier III with the same gun as the Tier IV heavy - people really don't expect much out of you.  When you're top tank, people's expectations are raised.  So, although you see approximately the same teir spread as the T3 precursor, the expectations are changed while your capability remains approximately the same.  10k to go and I hope the next one is more fun.

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I don't hate it because hate is bad.  I do dislike it intensly.  Perhaps some of the people who did like it could be more specific about what they did that made the tank work better.

 

You see, when I'm in a D2, and Tier III with the same gun as the Tier IV heavy - people really don't expect much out of you.  When you're top tank, people's expectations are raised.  So, although you see approximately the same teir spread as the T3 precursor, the expectations are changed while your capability remains approximately the same.  10k to go and I hope the next one is more fun.

 

Spam APCR, avoid Hetzers.

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I have only used free XP to research tanks twice. The first time was researching the B1 because, you know, fuck a bunch of D2. That thing sucks and I was simply done dealing with it.

The second time was researching the BDR because, you know, fuck a bunch of B1. That thing sucks and I was simply done dealing with it. So I did what I never do and what nobody should ever do, unless they too are suffering through the French shittanks, and burned about 11k free XP to research the BDR.

And that, I expect, is why WG continues to intentionally make the low tier French tanks suck.

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This tank is a POS & I was happy to get rid of it when I unlocked the tier 5.  The gun is horrible!  I played 36 games in this tank with a 55% win rate & earned Ace tanker.  The sole reason I did pretty well in this tank was I had experience & knew who to fight.  Once you get the top engine, this tank can actually move pretty good which helps you choose the battles you wish to fight.  I used a hell of alot of gold ammo in this thing because the gun SUCKS!

If WOT actually gets the 75mm hull gun to work AND this tank stays in tier 4, it will be a brutally good tank.

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This tank is a POS & I was happy to get rid of it when I unlocked the tier 5. The gun is horrible! I played 36 games in this tank with a 55% win rate & earned Ace tanker. The sole reason I did pretty well in this tank was I had experience & knew who to fight. Once you get the top engine, this tank can actually move pretty good which helps you choose the battles you wish to fight. I used a hell of alot of gold ammo in this thing because the gun SUCKS!

If WOT actually gets the 75mm hull gun to work AND this tank stays in tier 4, it will be a brutally good tank.

Agreed. That would be quite a powerful gun.

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I guess I must be a weirdo, I kept mine. It's never going to make me any money (although it did win me some gold during that heavy tank marathon thingy a while back), because I always carry 50 rounds of APCR for the fast firing gun, but I don't care, I have other tanks for making credits. It's just intensely satisfying to have a good game in this tank when everyone else looks down on it so much.

 

And I put the inscription "Terrible" on the front and side, because it's hilarious to think that might be the last thing the enemy might see before I peck them to death.

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Thanks for the guide. I found it helped make the grind not too bad. One good thing about the B1 is that the threshold for a Mastery badge is pretty low. I think I got one with about 850 raw XP.

 

I'm now struggling on the BDR, with a rubbish crew (couldn't be bothered staying on the B1 for any longer)  and without the top gun it's pretty awful. 

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There is a reason why this is the only non premium tank to get preferential matchmaking.

D.W. 2 gets the same matchmaking as the B1.

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I actually have a big soft spot for the B1.  It's all about picking your battles; as long as you're not fight a tier 5 heavy or a Matilda or... another B1, you can wreck face with this tank.  It has surprising mobility for a low-tier heavy, so angling your armor on the fly is very possible.

 

Plus it's adorable, for a heavy.  =D

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