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Obj 261 - a rapier among clubs

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The Object 261

a rapier among clubs

 

by Folterknecht [EU]

 

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I wont try to bore you with the history of this vehicle, as it never left the drawing board. Its development was a short one, based on the soviet IS7 in the mid/late 40s of the last century, only to be resurrected by Wargaming about 65 years later to safe the likes of Garbad from low blood pressure (hypotension).

 

 

As in my let us take a look at the main properties of this SPG.

 

the good

  • class leading accuracy of 0.66

  • good aim time of 6.5 sec

  • highest shell velocity of all high tier artis

  • high rate of fire, 28.3 sec reload for a maxed out crew with combat rations

  • 2nd best AP penetration in the game with 360mm, only the T92 is 10mm better

  • "good" mobility only surpassed by the french t10 arti Bat.-Châtillon 155 58

  • usefull in CW if you are good @261

 

the bad

  • "good" mobility post 0.8.6 is only medicore.

  • relativ low damage per shot

  • small splash radius and damage, though Waffles feel the pain

  • flat shell trajectory, worst of all higher tier artis. "No" shooting behind cover.

  • very long vehicle, which makes is hard to manouver in close combat or tight spots on the map

  • doesnt have the IS7s HE resistance

  • no radio operator to use for "situational awareness" and as a meat shield in close combat

 

and the perverse gun traverse

  • 5° to both sides or 10° overall is the worst in t10

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gun stats

 

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Crewskills & Equipment

 

Equipment is pretty simple, rammer and gun laying drive. Where I often run into arguments is the third slot. Camo net or Optics. As you might have guessed already, I'm finding camo not that important for high tier artis. Thats because of their bad base camo values and the fact that bushes and hardcover are the main sources of camo for SPGs anyway. Personally I even prefer repair. Camo will be my 5th skill on that arti.

 

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Here is a 0.9.0 replay showing an other situation, where spotting skills and optics paid off - ffw to ~9:20 the game overall is rather boring. It also demonstrates the limitations of the current spotting system, with it's long durations between checks on great distances (2 sec).

 

an other example regarding artis + optics:

 

optics + arti (*replay function/xvm is slightly bugged - blue circle should be at 445m and damage counter is also off)

 

 

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I prefer repair on big artis as it makes surving in tight situations a little more likely. Yes repair safed my ass in arti, it doesnt happen often though. I skilled my crews in high tier artis for CW, where a competent team usually keeps the scouts away during early and mid game, so camo is even less important.

 

 

For CW rations is a must on every arti. If someone is refusing to use them, kick him/her. Whether you are willing to use it in random or company is up to you. Always buy a few when there is a dicount on consumables. Otherwise use the removed speed gov. it will give a little extra boost when you need it.

 

In randoms I'm usually loading around  5-7 AP rounds, in CW its more like 4-5. The typical CW player just wont give that many opportunities  for clean AP shots and the risk of scoring 0 damage is higher with AP.

 

 

Skills

 

 

If you level up your crew from the S-51 or Su-18, dont want to spend gold or credits for retraining, than the first big picture will give a guideline, in which order to train your skills and perks.

 

BIA - for the whole crew as the first skill

 

 

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Loaders:

 

Safe Stowage for one loader adds 16.3 HP to the vanilla 130 HP of your ammo rack for 146.3 HP overall

 

Intuition for both loaders: This is the only Perk that is cumulativ. It adds ~17% a chance to switch instantly to the right shell type, without losing the loading progress. Overall it will give you a 34% chance with both loaders having that perk. Keep in mind the 360mm AP penetration and good accuracy.

 

After that is taken care of, you can go for repairs, adrenaline rush or camo.

 

Driver:

 

Increasing your mobility helps you to dodge counter arti, get in position faster and also makes it harder for enemies tanks to get you in close combat fighting.

 

Clutch Braking: Increases the traverse speed in case of the Obj 261 by 1.3°/s , 1.4°/s combined with BIA and 1.5°/s with BIA + rations

 

Off-Road Driving: better mobility ...

 

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Smooth Ride: Increases the accuracy when you moving. It 's not really that important for arti, just gives you a small bonus when in close combat firing on the move. As that skill is cumulative with Vstab, I assume that the size of the aiming circle doesnt get that big while moving, which might safe you a fraction of a second aimtime after moving.

 

After finishing the 4th skill you can go for rep or camo, though leaving smooth ride out entirely is ok in my opinion.

 

 

Gunner:

 

2nd skill for him should be on every arti Snap shot. It reduces the reticle bloom when traversing the barrel, so you safe some aimtime.

 

3rd perk in this case is Deadeye. Usually that isnt an arti skill, but the ability to fire AP effectively with the 261 makes it a solid choice by increasing the chance to score critical modul or crew damage.

 

4th and 5th skill: Depending whether you follow my earlier reasoning regarding repair and camo.

 

 

Commander:

 

2nd skill 6th sense, though I personally dont think that it's that important on arti compared to other tank classes.

 

Situational Awareness will give you 12.5m or 14.3m additional viewrange on the 261 depending on whether you use rations or not. Otherwise use repair or camo as alternatives.

 

 

 

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Playing the Obj 261

 

Coming from the Su-14and Obj 212 you will probably have no difficulties adjusting to the narrow gun traverse. Everyone else who used free XP to get it and never played this arti line before, is in for a rude awakening. Unlike the british, american or even french arti you really have to be carefull when setting your sights on a target. If you misjudge you can start the whole aiming process from the start, because the target moved out of your field of fire and therefore you ve go to move your hull. And even aiming to the edges of your traverse will often cause unwanted hull movement. So make use of the "X" key to lock your hull.

 

An other bad trait of the 261 is the flat trajectory. There really isnt much you can do about it, beside from shooting down from mountain tops. Shooting behind cover often isnt possible, you either live with that, look for an other target or you use your good mobility to get into a better firing position. Yes artis also have engine and tracks. If your team has map controll use it. That sometimes allows you to hit stone huggings tanks from the side at a near 90° angle, ideal for penetrations with AP (HE for french tanks or Leo) or at least high HE damage.

A side effect of the flat trajectory are shots that go short, because a blade of grass or other things got in the flight path. The 261 is ideally suited for beheading curious moles. The aiming "circle" of the 261 often more resembles an ellipse especially under 600m. So if you are in doubt place your shot a little farther out.

That all comes down to experience and practice, its manageable. There are people out there who will try to tell you otherwise, typically arti noobs driving T92 or Bat-arti without moving the hull the entire game. I only ask them , if they also manage a hitrate of 50% or a little higher. After that I m usually spared further nonsense of the same kind.

 

This high hitrate, relative fast reload and aimtime also makes the 261 usefull in CW for taking out low health tanks without risking return fire when the game is close, so that the high alpha/splash SPGs like the CGC dont have to waste their shells and your own low health tanks stay alive. These 3 traits also can come into play, when enemy tanks are hiding behind soft cover and you are working with concentrated fire. Sandriver the southern village around H/J -5/6. An enemy tank hides behind one of those houses? You count down with your arti partner(s), but shoot half a second early, take down the house and the big arti(s) will fuck up the camper which is now standing in the open.

 

What really makes the 261 special is the combination of ok mobility, fast reload + aimtime, good accuracy and the ability of shooting 360mm pen AP shells. The HE damage on the other hand is nothing to write home about as long as you dont penetrate, often only giving you around 500 damage per direct hit or less.

 

Your ability to reload under 30 sec makes it a valuable asset on maps like Mines or Cliff. And the mobility, good reload and aimtime are great if the FC wants flexibility. Of course I wouldnt field a 261 on Mountain Pass. Maps where everything usually bogs down to a camp fests are better suited for artis with a steep trajectory and big splash radius.

 

An other point worth mentioning here is the faster shell velocity compared to its peers, ~100 m/s faster than that of the CGC for example. So playing 261 before CW and CGC in CW (or the other way around) without a round or two for warm up, isnt the best idea usually.

 

Now some of you might think 360mm = auto pen = 1100 damage. You couldn't be more wrong. There are tanks and situations ingame, were even 460mm pen wouldn't be enough. Knowing at what target and when to shot AP is something you have to learn. Experience is the best teacher. I can only give a few generall pointers here.

 

Dont shoot (or load) AP:

  • at low health targets
  • at extreme ranges
  • at LTs – 102mm HE pen are usually enough to pen anyway. More ore less everything with light armor. If you don't pen you track them and a standing light in the open ...
  • at meds that are moving randomly and fast. An E50 or Patton poking over the same ridge every 8.673 sec is fair game. Russian meds are low profile and have bouncy turrets, stick to HE.
  • if its not clear which tank will be your next target
  • IS7, E3 frontally usually bounces, some goes for IS4 frontal turret. Now your accurcy is good, but not good enough to make sure to hit the front hull and not the turret front of an IS4.
  • If its likely that the enemy will show you his ass, when you are ready to shot. Often enough you will penetrate with HE. Even if that fails, you ll do more HE damage than usuall, because of thin armor there. Exceptions here are german t10 heavies, as even their rear armor is more than 100 mm thick. In case of the E100 there is of course the chance to pen the engine deck with HE.
  • E100s and Maus drivers who know how to side scrape.
  • T95s – frontally you usually bounce and hits from the side and rear with HE will often get a nice barbecue going or even penetrate. Who wants to miss that one?
  • ...

The mechanics for AP are the same as with tanks. As you can't really aim for weak spots with arti, you 'll need to gain experience and a carefull hand when you choose your targets. "Often" enough it's possible to achieve a penetration with HE, you just have to pick the right target and time it right. Of course Serb and his beloved 25% random bullshit generator also have a word in that.

 

 

In the first video you can see me switching targets from the afk tank which was already shot at by my team, to the KingTiger at the start. The reasons are pretty simple:

  • ~35° angle at the afk hvy whom half the team was shooting at anyway
  • ~90° angle to the side of the KT + I was standing in an elevated position to him
  • no hull movement needed and so only a moment for adjusting my aim

 

This video demonstates pretty good the impact HE shells can have on lightly armored targets. Of course there is always some RNG involved. Now for the JpzE100, beside the fact the he wasn' taking any action to avoid my shells, waiting to get slaughtered:

  • nearly perfect frontal angle
  • slow moving
  • german box tank, not many rounded armor parts that can generate an auto bounce
  • good spotting work from that pubbie in his T95. For a change someone doing what I tell him in random.

The final part against the Tortoise and Bat-Arti was basic tank driving more or less.

 

The enemy TD suprised me a little by not taking the direct route from his last known position, a little unusuall for a pubbie. So we spot each other at the same time. That leaves my in a disadvantage as I have the much longer aimtime and I only have a ~60% chance to survive his first penetrating hit. So I have to hit him to even have a  chance to survive that encounter. I decide to gamble and aim, which pays off. After the Tortoise is dead, I move right away into the nearest thing that might give me cover, as I m not sure where the enemy arti is. After a few seconds there I move again, paying attention not to drive down the small fences in that area, avoiding giving my positions and intentions away.

 

The Bat-Arti is also in the better position when we spot each other, but I manage to get into cover before he pulls the trigger. What caused that arti to come after me the way he did - no idea - 180mm HE in the face is unhealthy. A better tanker would have chosen a different approach.

 

 

 

 

Now I wont go over the basics of positioning again as I already did that in the GW-E guide . And the mods I m using are also still the same:

  • Zoom in/out
  • Serverside crosshair (capslock+0) + J1mB0s
  • XVM incl. minimap mod and stats

What I 'd like to adress is how some arti owners try to use especially the stats in XVM. I would not call them arti players. No one is arguing the fact, that it is usefull to take out the most dangerous enemies. Now the question is at what cost? Not to long ago I had a game on Komarin in one of my artis. The whole game some red scrubs tried to counter me, they didnt even manage to damage my tracks. They were so obsessed with dat purple color in XVM and countering, that my team had more or less nothing to worry about from their direction. On the other hand, I did damage by shooting enemy tanks.

And the same can often be observed with tanks. Sure it's easier to harass a tank instead of playing counter arti, though the result will often be the same. You dont help your team with such nonsense. If that blue or purple player is as easy to hit as other targets go for him, but focussing on 100 m² of the map 80% of the game, because some purple over target marker is grinning at you , won't increase your chances to win, in most cases the opposite is true. A unicum without a team to support him or acting as meatshields is pretty easy to kill, if your team has a few players left. Even Emu87 (EU server pubstar) managed a Kolobanov medal only every ~2000 games.

 

An other benefit from looking at the colors in XVM - check out the enemy arti when the counter runs down at the start. Is he red or yellow? If that's the case you have a higher the chance of countering arti yourself, if the game allows it. These guys tend to go to their favorite spot and never press "W" or "D" the entire game.

 

Arti is a support weapon and supporting your team means having the minimap incresaed by ~4x at least, if you 're playing on a big screen and checking the minimap constantly, adjusting your priorities, ofc things like that KingTiger in the YT clip should never be left out .

 

You 'll also often find good FCs among arti players or the other way around. My advice in that regard, especially if you are new to the job as a field commander or dont have that much experience with it, take an other arti than the 261, if you plan to bring more than one SPG and different types. The 261 can be relativ fast paced compared to things like CGC or T92. Where splash damage is often good enough with a T92 or CGC, you have to play for direct hits with the 261.

 

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I'd say the AP is more effective than the T92's as you can actually hit stuff with it semi-reliably with it.

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already called gestapo to pick up ur family and rape them to death u fuckin arty whore.

 

 

Hi there, bye there.

 

-Private_Miros

 

 

Also, try not having 3200 arty games among your 10 most played tanks when you post something like this, that's just rubbing in the stupid.

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As for the rest. Arty is... unpleasant and evil. But to play it consistently and carry in it is still skill. The fact that baddies can point and click and do something is despicable but does not detract from that. And It's a well-written guide, so give it credit for what it is.

 

You can upvote Diastant and Bjshnog if you really can't hold yourself, but any further posts without content I will consider as cancer on this thread and sanction.

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I personally use as little AP as possible. I see it more as a fun way to play rather then serious. Its very amusing to hit somebody for 1000 HP, but even if you hit a track once you are behind (With 2 HE shells you will rarely do below 1100 DMG). And since this is arty you will often fail to pen BatChat/AMX 13 90 etc.

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I'm loading less and less AP nowadays. I think down to two shells now. Tired of missing my targets and when I hit bouncing them (tops of E100s included).

 

I'm also finding myself running out of ammo much more frequently now. Don't fire haphazardly at all, but that 30 second reload (as opposed to my T92's 43) and faster aim time just lets me let the shells fly more quickly.

 

Very well-written and will give my crew specs some second thoughts now.

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FTFY

 

Can't have some random scumbag cancer-class player thinking they did damage with skill, while assuming their target had the choice of taking cover and didn't take it. "Stay arty safe." Yeah, right.

 

What has that to do with what I wrote? Ofc its up to you to test it out for yourself, penning a Maus or E100 who s sidescraping and doing it right.

 

 

 

 

I personally use as little AP as possible. I see it more as a fun way to play rather then serious. Its very amusing to hit somebody for 1000 HP, but even if you hit a track once you are behind (With 2 HE shells you will rarely do below 1100 DMG). And since this is arty you will often fail to pen BatChat/AMX 13 90 etc.

 

I wrote:

 

"Dont shoot (or load) AP: ...

 

at LTs – 102mm HE pen are usually enough to pen anyway. More ore less everything with light armor. If you don't pen you track them and a standing light in the open ..."

 

And a Batchat is just a LT with the medium label assigned by WG

 

 

I'm loading less and less AP nowadays. I think down to two shells now. Tired of missing my targets and when I hit bouncing them (tops of E100s included).

 

Pay attention to the angle the target has to your gun or shell flight path. Penetration mechanics with AP are the same for every tank class ;)

 

I'm also finding myself running out of ammo much more frequently now. Don't fire haphazardly at all, but that 30 second reload (as opposed to my T92's 43) and faster aim time just lets me let the shells fly more quickly.

 

I usually get along just fine with the 18 shells. But the game is a different one on the NA server, not THAT static.

 

Very well-written and will give my crew specs some second thoughts now.

 

thx

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What has that to do with what I wrote? Ofc its up to you to test it out for yourself, penning a Maus or E100 who s sidescraping and doing it right.

 

I said it because I definitely know how to sidescrape in my E100, but there are a lot of times when I have to rush across an open area and risk getting hit by arty, or when I'm pinned by a TD that can hit me directly as well as an SPG aiming at my rear or side. I understand your point, but I just really hate arty, and I'm really glad I'm still green according to XVM.

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I'm loading less and less AP nowadays. I think down to two shells now. Tired of missing my targets and when I hit bouncing them (tops of E100s included).

 

Pay attention to the angle the target has to your gun or shell flight path. Penetration mechanics with AP are the same for every tank class ;)

 

Yes, I noticed that after my first E-100 bounce. That one was vs. an E-100 straight on. Reticle is still huge, so no chance to aim for any specific spots on the target, but it happened to just ping off of that tank like it was a marshmallow. All part of the learning curve. Now I take a closer look at both the targets themselves (French are so soft ... as are so many TDs) as well as angle.

 

 

I'm also finding myself running out of ammo much more frequently now. Don't fire haphazardly at all, but that 30 second reload (as opposed to my T92's 43) and faster aim time just lets me let the shells fly more quickly.

 

I usually get along just fine with the 18 shells. But the game is a different one on the NA server, not THAT static.

 

Always interesting just how differently battles on the different servers play. I have a very low-battle-count alt on the RU server. Intent was to get up to the M4 or so and just run around at that point and see how different the playstyle is there. Supposedly its completely the wild west, everyone for himself. Someday I'll d/l the RU client again and re-start.

 

 

Very well-written and will give my crew specs some second thoughts now.

 

thx

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Arty is really unpleasant for me. What's worse, you only make crap experience every game, even when you are doing 3k and winning you maybe make what? 700-750 base xp?  It destroys my stats, is so team and RNG dependent that I want to tear my hair out. 

BUT I decided I wanted to garage one tier X arty just to have it.  I am not a great arty player, I ran food and shot gold ammo to speed up the pace of the grind, but I finally picked up the 261 yesterday and so far am really enjoying it. 

It is such a divergence from the fat ass, big gun Russian blap machines.  You do get AP pens fairly regularly, and the increased shell speed, mobility, low arc and quick aimtime really give it a flavor all its own.  At a flat 2 rounds a minute you can still fire regularly too.  I can actually make some silver, be mobile across the battlefield, and provide regular support which makes for a much more active and tactical playstyle.

So two things. 1) I will likely never grind another arty line again, just too expensive, time consuming, repetitive in play style. But 2) I am glad I garaged a single tier X arty and that it was the 261 where I can enjoy an active arty play style, have to think critically about positioning and shell type, and can make some silver each game. 

Thanks for posting this. 

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