Promises-promises… The Su-101

The new Russian tank destroyer line in patch 8.0 was a great promise. The initial two new vehicles in Tier VII and VIII were not only fast and relatively well armored but they  had  great guns as well. The Su-100M and Su-101 had their inherent flaws, but the top weaponry still made them viable and interesting enough, candidates for keeping. Then Wargaming happened. All hail the next poor junk with the future 45 percent global win rate in World of Tanks!

Final update: E-50M armor scheme in the gallery

8.0 glacis armor wireframes arrived for the T110E5 and IS-7!

Hey, this is a good, perfectly grind-able new line!

That was my first impression, famous last words. Our joy was premature,  WG took away the heavy tank guns in the second version, so we have to make them work with the equivalent medium tank weapons from Tier IX. The Su-100M has to do with the TD-version of the 100 mm LB-1 gun from the T-44, the Su-101 has access to the top gun of the T-54 medium tank. The new TDs start from the Su-100, to unlock the Su-100M you will need 48 200 xp.

The Su-101 or Uralmash-1 had been finished after the war. The chassis was from the T-44. It wasn’t produced because the T-54 was available with the same gun in a fully rotating turret. The Su-102 was armed with the 122 mm D-25 gun.

The company probably did not realize why this was a major blow for a tank destroyer with rear-mounted superstructure and with such limited gun-movement. The new Tier VII and VIII tank destroyers are gutted, because at short, 20-30 meters range they cannot aim at the weaker lower front plates of heavy tanks anymore, and most heavies can bounce a gun with only 175 and 219 avg in their respective Tiers. That’s right, the Russian Tier VIII TD has less penetration and alpha damage than the IS-3, and it hasn’t got a turret and/or notable gun depression as saving grace.

A well-armored Tier VIII heavy can just drive into our face and finish us off, because we can only shoot at the upper hull or the turret.

And if this does not make the initial two TDs broken, the flaw-list of theirs surely will, because in the case of the Su-101 it’s as long as a Christmas wish-list of a nine-year old child.

Brace yourself

IS-7 8.0 armor update

We are dumbfounded. I admit, I was a bit worried about the IS-7 in 8.0. A nearly unstoppable sloped armor monster roamed in my vision. When we faced it on the test server, the results were shocking but in a different way. Now, either we are that dumb and  we had screwed up the previous tests that much, or Wargaming messed with the armor parameters without any transparency, again. No problem, that’s why we have tests for.

One tiny step forward, one big step back

What did we expect? An impregnable glacis armor and a tougher than ever lower front plate, wider angling options. But unlike American heavies we had tested, this tank seemed to not get the memo about the sloped armor compensation nerf, because we found the upper hull armor of the IS-7 not much different from the previous incarnations. It’s tough all right. The head-on optimised pike nose can be still penetrated casually by Tier X tank destroyer guns. Yeah, but this hasn’t got any news value. We have spotted a difference though. Russian tank hulls lose effective armor for the facing side of the pike nose when angled. This is still true.

However, this loss was reduced a bit in 8.0, sub-240 average penetration guns have very little if any chance to pierce this armor at any range and angle.

So far so good. We had expected a bit more than that, but that’s an improvement nevertheless. However, the disappointments did not end here. For the sake of order, I started to do some re-checking shots at the lower front plate of the IS-7, and this was the point where my jaws dropped. About 10 percent of the former armor was gone. One should expect somehow improved efficiency for a nicely sloped armor plate from the compensation nerf but nothing like that.

In fact, the LFP performed even poorer than in 7.2, when we had made the original IS-7 tests of ours. No improvement, not the same level, it was downgraded.

Randomgoddess is a heartless bitch or…?

The results were so bad that we repeated the LFP tests three times, then we switched back to live servers to find out if we had been mistaken that much before.  And it doesn’t seem like the case, the 7.5 version still behaved as it was supposed to be.

8.0 armor facing tactics

T110E5 8.0 armor update

Back to basics. The Tier X American heavy was the very first tank we had written about like five months ago. In this review, we focus on the changes coming in the next patch. I won’t talk and write much in this post, the tone meant to be more military-like. All Tier X armor protection schemes are going to be revised sooner or later. All right, let’s see the T110E5!  You can use the hull part for the T110E4 too.

Retained characteristics of the T110E5 in patch 8.0

  • The T110E5 is relatively small and mobile for a heavy tank. It’s a light-weight compromise design which concentrates its armor on the front. The frontal armor has mixed zones of especially strong and weaker parts. It’s very hard to use its armor strengths, because there is always a con for a pro.
  • Mobility is at least as important part of the protection as the armor itself
  • Angling of the egg-shaped hull is possible, although it’s not recommended against every opponent and in every situation. See details later.
  • There are three main vulnerable zones we should focus on: the lower front plate, the commanders cupola and the hull sides.

Armor changes in general for 8.0

  • The sloped parts of front armor are now stronger by a rough 10 percent
  • The upper front plate or glacis now gives reliable protection against all Tier X tank guns. Only Tier X TD guns has considerable chance to penetrate it.
  • The lower front plate and the cupola got a very bit tougher.
  • Against non-overmatching (at least by a factor of two) projectiles with 200+ avg pen the hull side armor allows angling up to 25 degrees. Sub-200 avg pen guns allow angling for the sides up to 30-35 degrees. Approaching an opponent behind a corner is less risky for the sides (and for the ammo rack behind them) now.
  • Weak spots against AP and HEAT (gold ammo) are most similar.

The T110E5 hull armor in 8.0

Effective armor changes for 8.0 – Tier IX

All right, I know that lot of things were asked for in the previous days. I can always do promises, but the test servers are not really cooperative. It’s almost impossible to get online before the late evening hours when ordinary fellas go to sleep, so things moves a bit slowly this time. Maybe if our Russian friends get finally bored then our work will begin at earnest. Until then, let’s take a look at the 8.0 sloped armor changes in Tier X.

The rules again, skip if you remember them from the last posts

  1. Most numbers are calculated, but they correspond with gameplay experience and previous test results. Basically, effective armor thickness is the same as we call WoT-equivalent armor, an armor value a gun with the same average penetration has 50 percent chance to defeat at short-range without side angle. Our “seven shot protection numbers” are usually lower than these by 10-15 percent.
  2. The average compensation for AP against sloped armor is 8 degrees at this time (confirmed by Storm in 7.3), this will be lowered to 5 degrees in 8.0
  3. It’s recommended to multiply the WoT-equivalent armor values by 1.2 to measure if your gun is up to that particular target and armor plate.
  4. 8.0 will affect the compensation of lateral angle the same way as vertical, it will be halved. Tanks with two-dimensional slope (IS-3/7/8) will gain more head-on effective armor than the rest.
  5. 40-45 degrees side angle means about extra 1.25X multiplier for effective armor, although  thin sides (80 mm and below) at such high angles  usually become vulnerable.
  6. 70 degrees slope means auto-bounce unless the thickness of the armor is overmatched by a factor of three by the projectile caliber. Thicker armor with 70 degrees slope and above does not receive any previous normalisation.

Tier IX armor changes

Hills are my armor – The T29 heavy tank

The test server patch is downloading right now. If you are lucky and persistent enough, you can squeeze yourself among thousands of curious Russians and try out the new toys. We have another ordinary article before we start to work on the test server again. Our pick is the T29, because we can demonstrate hull-down tactics and terrain usage with it. Coming up, the T29 in World of Tanks.

Object 263 front armor is in the gallery

Battleship turret is missing, did anyone see it?

The T29 in World of Tanks is the first real American heavy tank. We always looked at the Tier VII heavy with respect. It’s pretty big tank, the hull is long and wide, the turret looks especially impressive. It’s like you are driving an armored cruiser on land. Now, the eight ever built T29/34s were research vehicles, not actual combat prototypes. The whole purpose of the development was the tryout of future heavy tank components like engines and transmission, suspension, guns, etc. The first tank did not appear before 1947. In fact, the T32 had been finished first, a year earlier. The T29/34 never saw service in real life, but the work on them lead to the M103 Cold War  heavy tank in the 50s.

The T29 is in an interesting position in World of Tanks, because it was placed in the same Tier as the German Tiger tank which had been appeared in 1942, the Russian IS heavy tank which fought in 1944-45 and so on. The US heavy tank development was much less abundant of vehicles during the Second World War. The American  had comparable protection and firepower to the German King Tiger in real life. The T29 in World of Tanks stayed in the term of capacities a bit above the same Tier counterparts until the Tiger P appeared, and I still count it as a Tier 7.5. My best ever fight was in a T29, long before the age of replays. I ended up with 11 kills, 2k non-premium experience and a my very first Kolobanov medal. A T29 can do that.

But to be good in the T29 you have to learn to live with the terrain. In other words, how to leapfrog between hull-down positions?

Hull-down and 8.0 armor guide

Effective armor changes for 8.0 – Tier VIII

We are still waiting for the new Russian tank destroyers in 8.0. In the meantime, let’s continue our review about the sloped armor changes for the next patch. Tier VIII is the level where things get interesting. We will have superior tanks,  we will have obsolescent tanks, life gets harder for each Tier when facing one level higher armor. This new system seems to shepherd everybody towards the Tier X “superguns”. Details of the next big WG money-squeeze.

8.0 effective armor values are converted by 5 degrees average compensation instead of 4 for both tables. After our own lenghty test experience and information provided by Storm in 7.3, we have sticked with 8 degrees for 7.5.

For the sake of order, I repeat the rules

  1. Most numbers are calculated, but they correspond with gameplay experience and previous test results. Basically, effective armor thickness is the same as we call WoT-equivalent armor, an armor value a gun with the same average penetration has 50 percent chance to defeat at short-range without side angle. Our “seven shot protection numbers” are usually lower than these by 10-15 percent.
  2. The average compensation for AP against sloped armor is 8 degrees at this time (confirmed by Storm in 7.3), this will be lowered to 5 degrees in 8.0
  3. The game calculates overmatch-effect more than one way. If a gun has double the average penetration than the nominal thickness of the armor, the current compensation will increase to 10 degrees, probably less in the upcoming version. However, this difference is minor (5-10 mm).
  4. It’s recommended to multiply the WoT-equivalent armor values by 1.2 to measure if your gun is up to that particular target and armor plate.
  5. 40-45 degrees side angle means about extra 1.25X multiplier for effective armor, although  thin sides (80 mm and below) at such high angles  usually become vulnerable.

Additional remarks

  1. In some cases the exact thickness/slope in the game is unknown for me. I used the seven shot protection test value of us instead of the calculated 50% WoT-equivalent.
  2. 8.0 will affect the compensation of lateral angle the same way as vertical, it will be halved. Tanks with two-dimensional slope (IS-3/7/8) will gain more head-on effective armor than the rest.
  3. 70 degrees slope means autobounce unless the thickness of the armor is overmatched by a factor of three by the projectile caliber. Thicker armor with 70 degrees slope and above does not receive any previous normalisation (confirmed by Tiger 60 mm /74 degrees glacis test- all bounced, shot-trap penetrations on UFP).

Tier VIII changes

Biomechanical nightmare – The Object 268

We have seen plain ugly tanks like the KV-4, sleek, futuristic beasts  like the french “hammerhead” TDs. Some tanks have character and menace in their ugliness like the T110E4 has. The Object 268 in World of tanks is none of above, it’s bewildering for me. The new Russian Tier X tank destroyer looks like it had been grown in a lab instead of assembling in a factory. A strange fuse of biological and mechanical components, the rangefinder is almost Gigerian. Now I know what a terrific weapon lies behind the weird looks, I feel just more insecure if a predator like this is lurking on the same map.

The first results for Jagdpanther II

This TD lives close to its prey

The way I see it, the Object 268 is great tank destroyer for “pubs”. The turreted T110E4 took the second-line assault/supporter role on CW. The 268 doesn’t play  like the previous Object 704. The most similar Russian TD is probably the Su-100 with the 122 mm D-2-5S gun. Like the Tier VI TD, the Object 268 is fast and it has good maneuverability, a definite improvement over the 704. The turn speed is inferior to the Su-100, but both forward and reverse acceleration are superior. The closest TD in the terms of mobility is probably the Jagdpanther. The 268 can keep up with fast heavies and most mediums, and its gun packs a tremendous punch like the Su-100-122 does in its own tier, except the Tier X is much more accurate.

Is it just me or the ingame version looks flatter?

The Object 268 lives a “more active” life than the 704. It’s not a bush-sniper equipped with the usual camouflage net and binoculars, or at least less so. If you want to do the same “gallery-shooting”, that’s waste of its potential. It can rush for forward overwatch positions and greet the advancing heavies with unexpectedly early and heavy firepower. It has the speed and agility not only to get into trouble fast, it can reposition in time. 268s in the right hands can have a higher win rate in random games, because they can be so adaptive to the events of the actual map.

Like the Su-100-122, the favorite tactics of the 268 are lurking around map chokepoints, waiting for the opportunity to finish off or flank a damaged/occupied tank. Overall,  it is not only a great support vehicle but a deadly hunter of hurt prey, regardless to the Tier and size. I know from painful experience, that a well-coordinated platoon of 268s watching the back of each other can be a quick end to any tank.

Gun and recommended equipment