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ThomChen114

Challenger - challenging

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I love my Firefly, it's a punchy tier 6 MT with the great 17-pdr gun which makes up for the lack of armor (understandable since its a Sherman platform), but while it isn't the fastest it is still mobile. 

i thought i'd bite the bullet and move up to the Challenger, the tier 7 TD. and it's just as bad as i've heard.

before the introduction of the new British TD line, the T25/2 was the only tank destroyer at tier 7 with a turret. and i've heard complaints that people have with the T25/2 in regards to the mobility and firepower. i didn't have much of a problem with the T25/2, it was fairly mobile, the 90mm gun while compared to the 105mm the T25 AT could mount didn't have as much alpha damage compared to any of the other tier 7 TDs, it did the job. 

all i can say is that the Challenger makes the T25/2 look good. and i will be comparing these two TDs as they are the most similar 

let's start with the platform:

it's fast (52 kph), being based off a Cromwell chassis, but turns poorly. this makes it not ideal at close range and is almost as helpless as a turretless tank destroyer when it gets circled. but this is a similar case with the T25/2 (which is faster at 56 kph). but the turret traverse  on the Challenger is reminiscent of a battleship, making the Challenger more vulnerable at close range than the T25/2 (16 d/s vs 18 d/s) 

another issue with the Challenger is the complete lack of armor anywhere, not helped by the tall height and large size of the turret. the number of times a moving IS w/ the 122mm gun could snapshot the turret of a hulldown Challenger is enough to demonstrate. the T25/2 had at least a gun mantlet and wasn't as tall a target and could actually hulldown effectively as was the flavor of the US tank line. 

now to the firepower. with the 17-pdr AT gun it has some of the worst DPS of any of the tier 7 TDs (150), with only the E-25 being lower (135) but that's not an issue because its the E-25. the T25/2 with the 90mm gun does 240 average with its 90mm AP.

the penetration with the 17-pdr AT AP shell at 171mm is better than the 90mm....by 1mm. with the APCR that bumps up to 239mm for the 17-pdr, but the 90mm gets a better 258mm pen. both TDs do struggle with tier 8-9 HTs and heavily armored TDs, but the Challenger will have a tougher time doing any appreciable damage, let alone do enough damage.

the advertised DPM of the Challenger is 2194 compared to the 1869 of the T25/2, but that's if you can even get the Challenger to plink away undisturbed at a leisurely rate, not getting shot at in return. which is something that rarely happens in the Challenger since it has atrociously poor camo rating and struggles to find anywhere it can hide in aside from the thickest foliage cover, which is sometimes not enough to hide this thing (it's like that tall kid in class who sticks out in a group)

i am starting to come to grips with the Challenger and its many limitations and what few advantages it had. doesn't mean i enjoy it

http://wotreplays.com/site/2107304#stalingrad-thomchen114-challenger

the above was one of my better performance in the Challenger (thus the Ace)

i can only hope the Charioteer is worth the grind after the Challenger

 

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Challenger really should have the 20pdr as top gun, but for some reason incomprehensible to me because WG it gets a crap gun on a crap chassis with crap turret traverse speed. Especially considering T7 TD as a class have awesome firepower, except for this toilet with a 10mm lid.

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For me it feels and plays very much like Comet 1vs1 you won't survive, it's not the best of the tier and the gun's alpha and penetration are lacking but the gun compensate you with rate of fire that you can abuse if you put yourself in the right position which might not always be easy but you'll be reworded when you do, play it just like Comet but not as aggressive the gun need to fire throughout the battle and spam apcr if you can afford it.  

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For me it feels and plays very much like Comet 1vs1 you won't survive, it's not the best of the tier and the gun's alpha and penetration are lacking but the gun compensate you with rate of fire that you can abuse if you put yourself in the right position which might not always be easy but you'll be reworded when you do, play it just like Comet but not as aggressive the gun need to fire throughout the battle and spam apcr if you can afford it.  

sure it plays like the Comet...with a wounded driver, jammed and swollen turret and dump the mantlet. i have more options with the Comet (flank, outmanuever, dogfight, etc) that is not available in the Challenger. the Challenger does seem to need the APCR more in order to stay competitive

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For me it feels and plays very much like Comet 1vs1 you won't survive, it's not the best of the tier and the gun's alpha and penetration are lacking but the gun compensate you with rate of fire that you can abuse if you put yourself in the right position which might not always be easy but you'll be reworded when you do, play it just like Comet but not as aggressive the gun need to fire throughout the battle and spam apcr if you can afford it.  

You mean right behind a full HP bot staying in enemy base while your allies are busy? Challenger is too high to use some bushes, it's fucked when spotted (90% of time if enemies have 100% crew) and its RoF means way too long exposure time because you can't waste your time to hide between shots.

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sure it plays like the Comet...with a wounded driver, jammed and swollen turret and dump the mantlet. i have more options with the Comet (flank, outmanuever, dogfight, etc) that is not available in the Challenger. the Challenger does seem to need the APCR more in order to stay competitive

I didn't claim to say it's half the tank the Comet is, it does sit on Cromwell chassis you have the speed and gun depression,no need to enjoy it but you can use it sometimes.

You mean right behind a full HP bot staying in enemy base while your allies are busy? Challenger is too high to use some bushes, it's fucked when spotted (90% of time if enemies have 100% crew) and its RoF means way too long exposure time because you can't waste your time to hide between shots.

I'm too unskilled and retard to sit in bushes, profile is high and even worse is the slow turret traverse speed and bloom of bad gun that need to fully aim to maybe hit not speaking of penetrating with damage.

I feel there are worse grinds, this tank isn't the best td but it can play support rule and be irritating mosquito to already engaged tanks.

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It's fuckbad. It's one of the worst tanks I've ever played. 

Skip it, skip the whole damn line. It only gets worse past the Charioteer apparently.

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You can't have both a.low alpha and b.slow turret/gun traverse on a tank. Challenger have both, and worse- absolutely the crappiest armor on a T7 TD, possibly the worst camo of all T7 TD (AT15A may have worse), and low HP typical of same tier TD. What merits does this TD have? I don't see them actually I do, it leads to Charioteer, and it teaches you to NOT FUCKING PLAY THIS MORE THAN YOU NEED TO

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I can't figure why the top turret has less frontal armor and 200mm of armor on the back - what madness is this?  Would it not be better to have the stock turret (although a little heavier with less view range) with thicker frontal armor?

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I can't figure why the top turret has less frontal armor and 200mm of armor on the back - what madness is this?  Would it not be better to have the stock turret (although a little heavier with less view range) with thicker frontal armor?

The rear turret armor is actually a counterweight for the gun.

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Okay - that makes sense - but is the stock turret a better option? (like a Sherman Jumbo)

You may get the occasional freak bounce off the stock turret's stronger front, but 100mm of armor is straight punch-through for most tanks you'll face and your priority should not being hit in the first place anyways. You'll get way more mileage out of the extra 200 DPM, the improved viewrange, accuracy, aiming time, power-to-weight-ratio and turret traverse, given the nature of the vehicle, if you ask me. It's like fitting vents to the vehicle in exchange for some useless armor.

Wierdly enough, the stock turret has better aim bloom on turret movement, which, combined with the lower turret turning speed, could technically lead to better accuracy on the move than the top turret, but the aim bloom from moving your hull is so overwhelming, that the difference won't be noticible.

Edited by Madner Kami
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Whose genius idea was it to give .26 on the move and track traverse dispersion for such a small caliber gun? I was thinking of playing this tank as a disabled medium, but after looking at the soft stats I might just postpone buying this tank until they buff it in some way.

 

 

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Whose genius idea was it to give .26 on the move and track traverse dispersion for such a small caliber gun? I was thinking of playing this tank as a disabled medium, but after looking at the soft stats I might just postpone buying this tank until they buff it in some way.

 

 

Yeah that was my thought as well at first: "Hey, it's a turreted TD with an anemic gun (for a TD), but high mobility. Should play like a medium and the gun is a good gun if you were a medium, so it should be workable, right? Right?". I heard the horror stories, but the garage stats aren't as bad, quite the contrary even, as they hint at a highly mobile medium tank with a really good medium-tank gun, but a slow and oversized turret and the Cromwell has worse bloom while moving and still works great. And boy, was I in for a surprise... I was aware of the soft-stats before, I knew the 17 Pounder from a lot of tanks and found it a comfortable gun, even on the Black Prince (and my concerns with that gun on the BP is merely the lack of RoF) but never before was the expectation so far off from the reality and it hit me like a brick. Worst part is, the Charioteer is more of the same, until you get the L7A1, where the aimbloom is still horrible, but penetration, shell velocity and alpha are good enough to finally make the tank something to reckon with, instead of a bad joke, especially as you are not required to fully aim in all the time, even at closest ranges and side- or rear-shots anymore.

Edited by Madner Kami
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Got around to actually buying the shit wagon.

After 50 battles with a 68% wr and 1.4k dpg I would have to say that the tank exceeded my extremely low expectations, but that's not really saying anything besides the fact that it is usable. Just extremely mediocre. 

Some things I noticed:

-Despite how terrible the turret traverse is it actually makes the tank much more flexible compared to other casement TDs.

-The on the move and track traverse bloom was as bad as I imagined. However, the 1.7 aimtime makes it a bit less painful. Still snapshots from over 200 m is a pain for such a small caliber gun. .32 accuracy and .10 turret traverse dispersion is also a nice bonus.

-DPM is sufficient in squeezing in a second shot when peeking. My set up of rammer and vents allows for a dpm of roughly 2600. However, it still pisses me off that the dpm compared to other tier 7 TDs is only middle of the pack with such a small caliber gun. Compared to all other tier 7 mediums it is top in dpm, but tier 7 mediums are already extremely mediocre and they have much more flexibility in other sectors such as hp, mobility, and gun stats.

-900 is pretty healthy for a tier 7 TD, but because I play the challenger as a pseudo medium tank it still feels lacking.

-Camo is pretty bad for a TD. I cannot stress this enough. Unless you are double bushed or out of view range don't rely on not being spotted in this tank. This is why you should not run a camo net. It's a waste of a equipment slot and playing the challenger like a camping TD will not win you games. I'm actually regretting going for camo as the first crew skills rather than repairs.

-I spam apcr in this tank quite frequently. This is especially needed if you want to increase and maintain your effective dpm in tier 8 and tier 9 games. However you will always make a profit in tier 7 games as 171 pen is sufficient for those tiers.

-10 degrees of gun depression is a saving grace for this tank. Even though the paper turret is boxy and large, I haven't had a problem baiting shots and because I try to keep exposure time a minimum it's not a game-breaking liability.

All in all I find it to be a bearable grind. Though that does not change the fact that this tank needs some major buffs to stay competitive in its tier. Either increase the dpm to E25 levels or give it the 20 pdr gun. 

Anyway, going to try to three mark the tank as I grind up to the charioteer.

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I used a camo net and camouflage trained crew on this TD , I highly recommend this set-up , otherwise you are so easily spotted

you also cannot fire untill the gun is fully aimed or you miss - the 1 missed shot was when i took a quick shot at Tiger and missed by a mile

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Well at least it isn't a french casemate or any casement for that matter. Now instead of being a godawful medium tank (in all considerable aspects) and a goodish TD, you can be a meh medium tank and a meh TD.

Now let's consider meta and I already have my pick. Being a T/25 that fires faster can't be all bad news.

Haven't played it, just postulations.

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On 1/30/2016 at 2:34 PM, Casas5591 said:

Well at least it isn't a french casemate or any casement for that matter. Now instead of being a godawful medium tank (in all considerable aspects) and a goodish TD, you can be a meh medium tank and a meh TD.

Now let's consider meta and I already have my pick. Being a T/25 that fires faster can't be all bad news.

Haven't played it, just postulations.

I've never touched the French TDs, only have the FCM Pak40 tier 3 prem atm, will probably train the crew to more than 1 skill/perk before i go down the French TD line

the Challenged is fast enough but should never be in the frontline if it can help it since its such a tall tank. and it doesn't react very well due to the low traverse of its turret and tracks

on paper while it seems to be nice to fire faster than the T25/2, the question is being able to realise that DPM before being shot back at, and that "accurate" 17-pdr gun has a nasty habit of missing a lot of shots right when you need it

i'd rather have the T25/2, had much more fun in that thing

here's a replay of me in an E25 and ripped apart an enemy Challenger after assassinating his SPG buddies in a match on Sacred Valley: http://wotreplays.com/site/2409650#sacred_valley-thomchen114-e_25

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So it got buffed very recently and I'm beginning to see a lot more of those in Randoms, than I used to (which basically means, that I am seeing them at all now). Is it actually in playable-territory now?

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8 hours ago, Madner Kami said:

So it got buffed very recently and I'm beginning to see a lot more of those in Randoms, than I used to (which basically means, that I am seeing them at all now). Is it actually in playable-territory now?

it's playable now maybe, but still probably not a tank worth keeping for long, especially considering the Charioteer that comes after

 

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From my experience grinding the tank, I want more turret traverse, just more turret traverse speed.

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