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ISU-152: Russian Bias

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This is a review on the ISU-152, the biased tier 8 Soviet tank destroyer.

 

First off, let's start off by saying that if you decided to start grinding this line, you did the right thing. The soviet TD line is nearly flawless and has few, if any bad tanks at all. Most stock grinds are surprisingly good, the tanks perform great, and are very enjoyable. As a bonus, which I'll get to later in the review, they pad your stats like no tomorrow.

 

Pros:

+ AMAZING alpha

+ AMAZING penetration

+ Great oversized gun mantlet with sweet armor

+ Good speed, considering it's an alpha monster

+ Good camo, especially considering it's based off of a heavy tank

+ Not as bad accuracy as the hardstat implies

 

Cons:

- Horrifying aim time

- Awful mobility

- Crewmen have a tendency to buy farms

- Not-so-good gun arc, terrible in combination with its aim time

- Poor armor when the gun mantlet isn't considered

 

The ISU, I dare say, is the only near-perfect tier 8 tank destroyer.

 

Speed

 

Unlike the majority of tier 8 TDs, it doesn't suffer from a critical dosage of "shit mobility" and can actually get around the map pretty well. Better than the T28, T28 Proto, AT 15, Ferdinand, and Rheinmetall-Borsig, but worse than the JgPanther II, SU-101, and AMX AC 48.

Better than the majority though worse than the best.

 

Gun

 

The firepower is unrivaled and unquestionably the best out of all tier 8 TDs. With 286mm pen, enough to put all other tier 8, even some tier 9 TDs to shame. In one shot you do almost TWICE the damage some tier 8 TDs do, more than 3 times the damage in the case of the AT 15.

750 alpha at tier 8 means you can cut off half the health of an enemy tier 8 tank in one shot. You can two-shot the majority of tier 8 tanks, with only a few requiring three such as the KV-5.

As a result, people are going to fear you like a devil in the closet. They'll be so scared they're gonna abandon the flank because they don't want to take a hit. And let's be honest, why would any tank, even a Maus, want to take a hit from the ISU?
Also, due to the sigma changes combined with your penetration letting you aim dead-center of most tanks you encounter, your accuracy isn't that bad. 0.39 base with only a 100% crew, no BiA or consumables is pretty decent. It's only slightly worse than an IS-3.

It's the aim time, however, that's a real pain to deal with. 3.4s, but with consumables, 100% crew, and GLD, you can cut it down to 2.75s, which is very manageable. Heck, you don't even need the consumables, considering the alpha and penetration you have, every shot is worth the time it takes to aim.

 

Camo

 

The camo is the third best out of all tier 8 TDs. Sitting at a very comfortable base 15.4%, it's only beaten by the significantly stealthier SU-101 (20.6%) and Rheinmetall-Borsig (22.5%.)

With external camo and 100% camo training, you have 32% camo while stationary in the open, meaning you can easily get to something like 70-80% in a bush. You have 7.1% camo while firing, which is still enough to stop people from spotting you at ~380m in a bush. Only at 340-350m should you be wary.

 

Armor

 

The armor, while not anywhere close to the "brawler" tier 8 TDs, even here it's infused with bias handcrafted by Stalin's most loyal followers.

While the armor looks very lame, even bad on paper, it's actually pretty good.

u5qqGzc.jpg

 

Red: Very hard to penetrate

Orange: Hard/not easy to penetrate

Green: Easy to penetrate

Blue: Tracks

 

Effectively 1/3 of the ISU's front is immune to damage, 1/4 is hard to damage, and the remaining ~2/5 are easy to penetrate or take no damage ("fuel tanks" and the tracks.)

Its armor, however, is only really effective at long range, where hitting it becomes increasingly hard. RNG will send shells into its tracks, miss it, or hit the gun mantlet. Because the mantlet is very near the center, you can't really pick one area on the ISU to aim at for a better chance of hitting and penetrating, so you're throwing the dice every time you fire at it.

It's not entirely worthless at close range, however. People who autoaim will point right into your mantlet, which saves you from damage surprisingly often.

 

Because of that gun mantlet, I'd say the ISU's effective health goes up by anywhere between 500 to 900, depending on the alpha of the guns you face.

Most guns in tier 8 do around 300-400 damage, which means you will ALWAYS win in a peekaboo contest. You will deal 1500 damage to them while they deal 600-800 damage to you.

 

Equipment, Consumables and Ammo

 

First of all, Gun Laying Drive and Rammer. Accept NO other substitutes. Period. End of line. Rine ends here.

Back on track, GLD will help manage the horrible 3.4s aim time. As earlier mentioned, you will need it to hit an enemy, as most of them react after being shot by your allies or after their sixth sense pops up. Every split second you're gonna need to make sure counts. That will be the difference between an enemy tank at half health and one that's dead just because of one shell.

 

Rammer will shorten your reload by 1 and a half second. With a 100% crew and no other bonuses, your reload is roughly 16.85 seconds. With 100% crew and rammer, it goes down to 15.38.

Once again, every second you have the opportunity to deal damage, take it.

 

The third slot depends on what you prefer.

Binocs works great, 380m base view range with binocs becomes 475m view range, enough to spot heavies at max spotting range. Enough to counter the camo of a lot of medium tanks and spot them at around 420m, too.

However, your gun arc is pretty small, and you should generally have your targets spotted for you, rather than being the one spotting them yourself. You won't be able to use them so much.

Optics work at all times, but it only adds up to 418m, due to your lacking base stat. And once again, you shouldn't be the one spotting your own targets.

 

Camo net would be a good candidate, but it suffers from the same problem as binocs, you can only use them after not moving for 3 seconds, and it will stop working while turning your hull.

With camo training, you're already pretty much invisible in a bush anyway. The only real bonus you get is that your camo while firing goes from 7.2% to 10.5%, not much.

 

Vents only give a 2.5% bonus to everything, not that useful other than the aimtime, small accuracy buff, and slightly faster reload.

 

Personally, I went with binocs. I felt like it helped me spot mediums that were trying to get to me, plus made heavies easily visible for me. It also helped increase my average XP since some targets were within my own view range.

 

 

Consumables are pretty standard. Repair kit, med kit, auto fire extinguisher for the economist. Premium versions of said kits apply if you have money to throw away.

However, this tank GREATLY benefits from premium food. 5% faster everything is very appealing on a tank with such extremes like this.

You can easily change the fire extinguisher for premium food. Though your module placement is not the greatest, you don't catch fire that much. I only remember a select few games where I caught fire, and most of the time I didn't lose any important modules, only my radio and maybe my ammo rack would be damaged, but I still had my repair kit 80% of the time to save it.

 

I went with repair kit, med kit, and premium food, in that order.

 

 

Ammo would be pretty straightforward, were it not for the fact you have kinda few shells. 20 shells, while more than enough for carrying a team and easily getting a good average damage, means you can't carry much HE or APCR if you're gonna load mostly AP.

Again, an economist setup would be 14 AP, 5 APCR, 1 HE. You will rarely need to load an HE shell except for guaranteeing a cap reset. Versus super-paper tanks like arty you already have enough alpha to oneshot every single SPG in the game, even with a minimum damage roll. Generally if you see a Waffenträger, you won't wanna wait 15 seconds just to deal 200 more damage because you're swapping to HE. Just fire AP/APCR.

If you wanna do like I did and maximize my DPG, I swapped my AP and APCR loadout. 14 APCR, 5 AP, 1 HE.

APCR has way better shell velocity and has that little bit of extra pen to get through some hard targets such as the E-100's turret, E-75 UFP, guaranteeing a pen on the IS-8, IS-6, M103, ST-I, IS-4, or penetrating the turret of later soviet mediums.

 

 

Crew skills

 

By the time you get to the ISU, you should have at least 2 or 3 crew skills. Camo and sixth sense are standard for a TD, and should of course be the first skills.

 

This is my 268 crew, but it was used on the ISU with 2 skills:

 

w78knQH.jpg

 

Generally you'll want to go with survival skills except for your driver, who should get Clutch Breaking or Off-Road. Preventative Maintenance won't be of much use.

Designated Target on the gunner is pretty great. 2 seconds extra time to see the enemy can let you get another shot in easily.

Adrenaline Rush is just a bonus since your loader has no useful skills, due to the commander being the radio operator.

Repair is important, but doesn't have huge priority. You shouldn't be getting tracked much, and if you are, you should be at a safe distance to repair it. If you're point blank being tracked by a medium, you're gonna get circled and fucked either way, you just aren't fast enough.

 

 

Stat padding effect

 

Finally we got to the most delicious part about the ISU.

Spoilered due to epeen

Due to the amazing alpha, you can easily get tons of kills in this tank by just shooting half-health tanks. Because you also meet tier 6 tanks (and tier 7 TDs) you can also oneshot a lot of tanks, which is both hilarious and disgustingly imbalanced at the same time.

Just doing two shots a game, you do a tier 8 heavy's health in damage... and I averaged TWICE of that. In fact, I managed more than 3 times the ISU's health in damage.

 

BwzwzHF.jpg

 

I managed better DPG than Garbad, who averaged 2,444 (425 battles.) Better than kewei, who managed 2,882 (77 battles.)

Whether this is something to brag about or not, I dunno, but according to vbaddict...

I have the second highest WN7 with it.
I have the second highest WN8 with it.

I have the third highest average damage with it.

I have the highest damage ratio in it.

 

The ISU is such a great padding vehicle. The sheer damage, kills, and sometimes even spots you can get with it are ridiculous. I would say that per-tier it's way better than the 268, even the 704, even though I love the 704 much more than the ISU.

 

Overall, I give this tank a very solid 8.5/10. VERY good strengths, not so bad weaknesses. Amazingly fun vehicle when elite, good for padding stats if you're into that.

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Guess I should buy it back, only managed a measly 2450 average damage, then again i didn't shoot gold all the time :verysmug:

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ISU is an awesome tank but it cant compete with the Roomba, im just hoping bad pubbies ruin the new tds stats so WG dont nerf it soon..

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ISU is very good and amazing tank, but its not much better as at15 or Jp-II

 

that said, i have around 2600-2700 avg dmg in it mostly (95%) played before 8.6, thats not much better as my JP2 or At15 avg (at15 is played after 8.6 though, so that one is a little inflated)

 

Calling ISU russian bias or so is imo bs, ISU was never really considered OP (pre-nerf / pre-remodel version of Ferdinand (with the 470 dmg gun) was much more feared as an ISU...). And while its direct enemy, the ferdinand is nerfed, lots of other (powerfull) t8 tds where introduced, the accuracy buff really helped it out BUT it also made it much easier to avoid hitting the gunmantle, and in general shooting distances went up aswell (neglecting a lot of the accuracy gain)

 

ps: BL-10 is no longer as random as it used to be, and thats good, coz it was really a lotery gun (just browse some old topics of the BL-10 :P)

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I did better in my AT15 than in the ISU. I hated that aimtime, and everytime I tried long-range sniping i miss half the time.

But the Object 704 does it for me. Better aimtime, more accurate, and above all semi-troll frontal armor made it enjoyable.

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There is absolutely no way the Roomba isn't getting nerfed by 9.0. With the 12.8's high rof and pen, it's so overpowering that most will avoid your side of the map if you're spotted. Granted when my friends and I run triple ISU-152 platoons they avoid our complete side of the map, but two Roombas and a 50 100 in a platoon is an even nastier combination. I had a 73% winrate in it until we lost three in a row last night, but it should be relatively easy to maintain a 65-70% winrate in it for the next 120'ish games until I unlock the T9. 

 

I used to love the 152, but until they nerf the Roomba I am going to enjoy the hell out of it. :)

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I'm def going to try binocs instead of optics. I've played roughly 20 games with optics and never really felt like I was in a good position where they came to use. I generally prefer optics over binos considering I play so much MT's and I've wrestled with the idea on how to play TD's now and I'm not 100% sure if optics would be better if I adapted the playstyle to it but I just feel like TD's aren't really made to be played "flexible" but rather rely on solid supporting roles and more passive peek-a-boom situations. I would run optics if I had food + BIA + viewrange skills though.

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Thanks for the review. Based on your statements i replaced the camonet with a GLD and this fixes some of the horrible aimtime (now running binocs+rammer+gld).

I do believe however that the BL10 is the very best gun in the game for tracking enemy tanks. In some games, it seems to be the sole purpose for it.

I've been racking up more tracking assistance damage with this tank than in any other..

 

On another note.. I was just about to rage-sell it and rage-dismiss the crew (yes i've done that, and no, it does not help subdue the fit of rage) a while ago after 6 consecutive matches where i absolutely could not hit a single tank even at point blank range, until i found out i accidentally put in my KV1 gunner when transferring the crew back from my SU122-44.. >:|

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I do believe however that the BL10 is the very best gun in the game for tracking enemy tanks. In some games, it seems to be the sole purpose for it.

 

It is, most tanks you come across that you hit in the side get tracked instantly, even if you do no damage to them.

Which is why track shots in it are better than other tanks, at least. If you drive anything else and hit tracks only, it's unlikely you'll track the enemy.

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its funny when you go back and buy tanks you missed and expecially when your more skilled, i re bought this for the third time, and it seems very different to 5k games ago when i was grinding it. And its funny how you can pen all with apcr when in t 8 and t9 , one thing i have noticed is this thing trolls me so much, i once shot 10 times and only 4 penned at 500 metres :( its one of those tanks you have to aim in middle and needs to hit a tank thats 30% exposed, Hrmm my map deployment has changed so much,

 

i got 5k dpg twice in 5 games which i never hit before lols. such a stat padder

now to the rhoomba fans, i am a full time wte user so no bias here..

the rhomba with the 150 and gold just does not compare to the isu for starters its HEAT has anoying shell velocity and struggles to pen,

many bounces i find with the 150, plus the rhomba is slower which pisses me off, id rather pen twice as many then have a turret tbh

 

why do i love it more then t 10s because you can just pen anything at t8,t9 t10 requires much more finess, plus more scrubs in low tiers very juicy for my tonk.

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Thought id revive a gud poast about the ISU in light of the recent appreciation thread, and share some my gud results from when I was grinding the tank back in my GMONK days.

 

Spoiler

1D7TQra.png

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Yw54H9I.png

Thankfully since the 0.8.6? update, you can somewhat predict the shell dispersion better. Its less of a crapshoot lol

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