Beauty without the inner beast – The IS-6 protection report

Give a slab of steel to a russian engineer, it doesn’t matter, what he makes from it, the product will look like a tank. But what a great-looking one! I mean, no one really doubts, that in this game with such oriental roots,  all members of the KV- and IS-family will be present sooner or later. The less-known IS-6 arrives in patch 7.4 as a Tier8 premium heavy tank, but from what we have seen on the test server, I seriously doubt, that it will be a hit as a money-maker.  WoT Armory makes its case about the IS-6 premium heavy tank.

Players with experience buy premium tanks for two major reasons

First, they want to make ingame currency for the upkeep of their higher tier tanks. The turning point of self-sustainability lies somewhere around Tier7, some tanks can collect the silver for the next, higher-level vehicle, others can’t. From to patch to patch WG tries to squeeze out more and more real-life currency by open or secret nerfing of credit multipliers, by rolling back cheap farming strategies like HE-nerf for mid-tier tanks with howitzers below 15cm calibre, and so on. And hey presto, the Type is back in a time-limited sale pack.

These days, if someone asks for a cheap and effective farm tank, my humble answer is the Stug, still. But the time of my personal arch-moneymakers – the M4A3E2 and E8 – is over. They still gain silver, but too much effort in a forever screwed matchmaking, to little income. The company does not want to feel yourself good in mid-tiers.

Two birds, one stone

All right, less monologue, more content. The other factor of a personal premium tank strategy is the crew-training (that won’t work with chinese, obviously).

We can use any tank crew from the same nation and vehicle class in a premium tank, without retraining and lose of efficiency. In short, we can make silver and level the crew of our elite tank crews at once.

Even if we make only the daily doubles, that is four times the experience for a single crew, and with the arrival of the 7.2 skills and perks no amount of experience is enough anymore. Well played, Wargaming.

These are the two criteria of a premium tank. Buying is a strategic choice. If we ride a IS-7 in Clan Wars, and we want to solve our credit-problems and want to accelerate the skill-earning at once, the IS-6 might be a solution. The tank itself is perfectly good-looking, the cool factor will boost the sales among younger players, but a long series of BUTs starts here. if we look through the factors, they are making a premium tank good, we can see, that the IS-6 just does not cut it.

Buy it or not?

Full-contact sportsman – The IS-3 protection report

I have a confession to make, I’ve sinned…For days I could not think about anything else than Diablo 3, tanks are not cool anymore. Just kidding:-). Although something has to be done with the poll results, because russian steel always triumphs there, IS tank after IS… Today’s guest star, the IS-3 is long known in World of Tanks, but it is still a force to be dealt with. It had terrified the West once, the noise of its tracks shook the military world, literally.

Instead of a lengthy tirade about the historical importance of the IS-3 in tank development, I would share a short true story. The german Prinz Eugen warship had been taken under allied control shortly after the war. As the german officers watched the victory parade footage, the sight of american and british tanks were followed by their mock serenade, whistling and laughs. However, when the footage started to show the new russian heavy tanks with unearthly shape thundering through the streets of Berlin, dead silence emerged. Pale faces of the german naval officers starred the screen, eyes wide open. The spectre of utter defeat was looming around the room. They lost, and they know it.

Driving russian tanks in WOT are not for shy tankers, it’s a full-contact sport

The IS-series are assault tanks, designed for breakthrough operations. You fight from the first line, because you can take it, your strikes are merciless, there is nothing you cannot crush under your conquering feet (tracks). To be successful in the IS-3 people need a great deal of bravado. In a IS-3 you won’t get away with clean sheet, but time and again the tank will take an incredible amount of punishment, and will live to tell the story.

Among Tier8 heavy tanks the IS-3 is the smallest,  it is among the lightest. It has clearly good mobility when fully upgraded, and the BL-9 has the punch to threaten all but some endgame vehicles frontally. Besides the powerful alpha strike, the main strengths of the IS-3 are the low silhouette and the good all-around armor protection. Same tier heavy tanks might have better frontal armor or more accurate weaponry, but overall the IS-3 has one of the most effective combos in its own tier.

The armor characteristics of the IS-3

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