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

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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