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WilShire

Arty AP vs. HE shells

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Hi all, first time posting on this forum so be gentle.

 

As an arty player who is just starting to break into the higher arty tiers, I was wondering what the situations would be to use AP shells as opposed to HE.

 

I know that certain arty, like the Obj. 261, excel with AP shells and they are very useful to use on that, but the situation I am currently in is that I am driving the FV3805, and don't have the top gun on it yet.  I'm using the gun from the FV207, whose HE shell values are 1250 damage and 90 pen, and AP values are 750 damage and 258 pen.  It is a quite accurate gun (0.70m dispersion) and I was wondering with this gun while I'm stuck with it if there are any situations where AP would be worth it.

 

Thanks for any input!

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Arty is already to rng dependent to risk the possibility of wasting a shot on a tracking blow or a total miss.

 

I.e it makes RNG even more evil though if you do hit I would hate to be the peon on the other end of a M53/55 AP penetration.

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There isnt much sense in using AP beside some special cases with ~250mm pen on a t9 arti.

 

Best used in situations where its clear that u ll get rushed by a light/med soon and you cant be sure to take him out with HE, but a penetrating AP hit will kill him. That ofc requires enough time to load AP, good map awareness and positioning so that he must pass in front of your gun to get you. Furthermore you got to make sure that you can get your gun down at close range. For that you need a small bump or obstacle on the ground and position your ass on it, while the front stays down.

 

- hitting moving lights/meds is "hard" enough, so shooting AP is nonsense and HE sometimes even penetrates if you time your shot right and SerB smiles on you

- heavies and TDs at t8-10 usually have too much armor for ~250mm pen, you cant aim for weakspots. So you need a minimum of ~300mm AP and that you ll only get at t10 with arti. And even 300mm often isnt enough

- only exceptions are facist box tanks, american + french heavies showing you the side all the time. Russian heavies even from the side ... at t9-10 they have very bouncy turrets and in most cases low profile

 

 

 

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AP/HEAT should be reserved for situations where the enemy team is camping and you have a good chance to pen their mantlet at a bad angle... because thats where your shell usually lands. its rare to get a pen shot that isnt against the front glacis or frontal turret in most SPGs since most do not have the arc to land on top armor reliably. 

 

good examples would be any map with heavy chokepoints, Airfield in the rocks, El halluf north hill, Fisherman's bay in the town, etc.

basically any time you see tanks camping and giving you a chance to shoot without having to re-aim, and your ret is well closed (so no 900m shots)

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Not an arty player myself, but I did learn a few tips from some pro arty players' videos(yes, there're dedicated videos playing arty with commentaries):

 

TL;DR - When in doubt, load HE.

 

Since the point of arty is dishing out as much damage as possible at the mercy of RNGeus. Only shoot AP if ALL the following conditions meet:

 

1. Shooting HE will sure be a non-penetration hit. This is why shooting AP is worthwhile in the first place. An E-100 facing you with frontal armor, probably equipped with spall liner, is AP-worth. A Foch 155 is not (moves fast, large soft roof, either miss & splash or just roof-pen).

 

2. The range should be close enough so that accuracy can be ensured. Remember that hitting gun barrel, mantle and tracks w/ AP = 0 damage. I don't have any good rule-of-thumb numbers for now. <600m might be a good starting point of shooting AP I guess. Relocate closer to the frontline if you must (which increases you hit ratio with HE, too).

 

3. Decent base penetration & accuracy. Obj 261 is the clear winner here. Load food to increase accuracy if you can afford it.

 

Hope this helps anyway.

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I dabble in the clickers from time to time.  Mainly when I'm too drunk to function or drank enough that my hand eye coordination suffers.  M44 with AP rounds is a source for much rage and I'm trying to grind up to the Conqueror GC as well, only to the FV207 after rage selling and free XP'ing past the abysmal 5.5 carrier. 

 

The major things about HE vs AP boil down to the RNG.  If you use AP there is no splash so that near miss that would have done some damage and track damage with an HE shell will do absolutely nothing with an AP miss.  Then you have the randomness that comes to play, aimed at the back deck on a tank that's tracked/stationary and it's still a good chance that the shell goes high or low.  And then if it's AP and does hit there's the chance of a track shot.  Not very fun when your 700+ damage is eaten by a track, gun barrel or mantlet. 

 

HE is the go to mainly because it will always do a bit of damage.  Either by direct hit or a near miss you'll still do damage.  Near misses will track as well making it easier on your team to get a few shots in where as if you load AP, you're pretty much turning yourself into a cross map Tank Destroyer with abysmal accuracy.  That's not to say it doesn't have it's time or place.  Early on in the match after you get to your position and can pre-aim at known chokepoints for instance.

 

Also with a little communication it can be beneficial due to the lack of splash damage.  Friendly heavy is getting beaten up a bit and is covering behind a rock, two other enemies on the other side of said rock getting ready to push around and take him out.  HE shells don't discriminate with their splash damage so taking a shot at someone close to a friendly isn't an optimal situation, but if you can get said friendly to track them and back up a bit the AP shell direct hit won't run the risk of friendly damage.  But again, if it misses you do no damage at all so it's a risk/reward type of thing. 

 

Then take into account the reload on most artillery.  With a fast loading tank you can switch back and forth at your leisure but in something with a 30-40+ reload this method isn't as feasible.  So you have an HE shell loaded great, direct hits or near misses will do damage, but if you find yourself loading AP for a certain situation and that situation changes in the time it takes to load the shell it can hinder your ability to react to the change.  For example say I'm in a FV207.  Fired HE, loading an AP shell for an enemy playing on the corner with a friendly heavy.  In the time it takes me to load that shell an enemy light has managed to break past, flank, take out the friendly and is now making a beeline for my position.  If the HE was loaded I can look to hit him or at least get it close enough to him that it hopefully kills him or takes out his tracks so a friendly can follow through.  But with the AP shell loaded my options are now limited to making sure I hit him with the shot. 

 

HE is a jack of all trades shell and can be used for multiple situations

AP is a specialized tool that can be used in certain scenarios. 

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Its a shame the M44 doesnt have AP :D

Bah HEAT rounds then.  the pitfalls of posting from work and trying to go off memory

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Yeah, its just random as hell. But at Tier V/VI its actually pretty good compared to high tiers (Not that much more pen, but a lot of spaced armor and tough turrets).

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I would assume HE would be the best simply because splash damage. Am I correct?

mostly yes, because its a rare player with the patience and skill to do otherwise. 

loading HE in an arty is like choosing the KV-2 over the T150 at tier 6.   you trade DPM for possible DPM and zero penetration concerns. 

 

a good arty player that has a reasonable team should be able to trail along a flank about 450m range and use AP/HEAT on camping enemy tanks. each pen will do ~5 times the damage of an HE round. with an average 30% hit rate... well the math is obvious. however the situation is not always that easy to obtain. 

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mostly yes, because its a rare player with the patience and skill to do otherwise. 

loading HE in an arty is like choosing the KV-2 over the T150 at tier 6.   you trade DPM for possible DPM and zero penetration concerns. 

 

a good arty player that has a reasonable team should be able to trail along a flank about 450m range and use AP/HEAT on camping enemy tanks. each pen will do ~5 times the damage of an HE round. with an average 30% hit rate... well the math is obvious. however the situation is not always that easy to obtain. 

 

most arty would be doing one third to one half an ap round of damage a shot with HE

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