Freshman from an old warrior – The IS-4 on testserver

Probably it is the most waited change in World of Tanks patch 7.3. Although the E-75 can be better in 1v1 situations, the IS-4  is monstrous in World of Tanks. But does the Tier-raise keep the immense fear factor? How can hold on this old piece of steel among much stronger competitors? Does the nature of the IS-4 change in the new environment, and more importantly, does our gameplay have to change?  Many questions, but we have several answers on WOT Armory for those.

Update! EU-user Charcharo made a very nice comparative analysis about the IS-4 and other Tier10s. You can find it here on official forums.

Knowledge is power

But first I would make a (not unrelated..) personal remark about the connection between our tests and actually playing. There are tanks they haunt us, tanks we are afraid of in World of Tanks. Then we take one of those to a field test trip, map every bolt and weld on it, the personal bogeyman begins to look less scary. Weakspots we did not believe in before become alive. With our fresh gained confidence we throw ourself in a battle. The once renowned target appears before our crosshairs, we take one breath,  armed with the new knowledge we take a concentrated a shot. And guess what, it starts to work! And when the battle is over, we reassess what happened, and suddenly realize our previous little mistakes, those made a difference between a good shot and a bounce in the critical moment. This is how it works from the  inside.

Thicker sides than front?

I warn everybody, that I have no personal experience with driving a IS-4, so I always looked at it as a target. But here is something we can all agree on. What made the IS-4 so formidable in the battlefield were the “finger of the death” 130mm S-70 gun (for me, that gun it always looked odd at best in that turret) and the highly resistant side armor. IS-4 could pretty much ignore most things below its tier, unless it were attacked behind. American and german heavy tanks for example never had this luxury.

The historical armor scheme of the IS-4

IS-4 front armor scheme on the next page


Surprise post – The russian ST-I from the test server

Greetings to the WOT-community! We respectfully salute to our 10th thousand reader! For this occasion WOT Armory delivers an unusual report right from the current test server. A new 7.3 patch for Word of Tanks brings fresh blood into the russian heavy tank line. The most interesting among the new vehicles is maybe the ST-I heavy tank. This – by russian standards – unusual armored beast brings the promise to play it like an american tank.

But before we sink into the details

The information comes indirectly from russian official forums about penetration mechanics. User FrankyK on EU shared this with us:

The shell normalisation is really 8-10 degrees. Most shells have 8 degrees, only some shells 10 degrees. Storm and SerB confirmed this again in the RU forum.

  • The slope of the UFP of the IS-4 will be increased in the release version of 7.3 from 58° to 61°. In this way, the IS-4 will be as tough as the ST-I on the UFP.
  • So, the effective armour protection of the UFP of ST-I and IS-4 will be 232mm (confirms our test result for 225mm UFP immunity)

Considering, that many people are interested in not only the armor of the new tank, but the general handling, we have something for them, too. Here are several observations after comparative trials between the ST-I and the american premium Tier8 heavy tank. Why the T34? You will see.

  • The ST-I is small for a heavy tank, the turret is big, although heavily armored
  • The ST-I gun depression is excellent by russian standards. It’s 8 degree, less than on the T29/34 series, but equals to the M103 or the T110E5. This makes hiding the hull and showing only the strong turret easier
  • The tank is clumsy, it turns slowly, aims slowly, the turret rotates slowly. It’s mobility and fire control is most similar to the T34. Only it cannot pivot turn, although top speed is higher. During our test, the T34 had no problem at keeping up with the ST-I, unless the latter could accelerate over 35 km/h downhill

The soviet heavy line becomes more specialized

So do we get a russian hull down tank? A conception about the russian heavy tank tree split can be observed. The T-150 to IS-4 line contains mostly slower moving, bunker-like tanks, the KV-S to IS-7 line is the place for more mobile vehicles with less all around protection. The current IS-4 owners must be warned, that the replacement tanks look less versatile, at least for us. The IS-8 and the ST-I hold their own distinct strengths and weakness, one might choose between them wisely. But they won’t have the fear factor of the Tier9 IS-4 had. But why is that so?

On the next pages you will see, why!