WZ-111G FT Mastery Dissection

Random Mastery Discussion

By:

IrmaBecx

So today, randomly, I managed to Ace the WZ-111G FT.

Feeling proud of myself, I uploaded the replay to the archive, and since it’s there, I thought I’d go through it and explain what I was thinking, in order to illuminate some aspects of WZ-111G FT driving.

This is the tank performing at it’s best, in spite of being driven by a noob who isn’t even sure if I actually like it or not yet:

So first off, you note both teams have some strong tanks, but nothing too bad to deal with. The one difference is, we have two strong Mediums, and I’m always going to try to support an Object 140 “Terror”. So the first plan is following our Mediums left, best case managing a quick cap of B, or failing that, C.

Seeing our Meds quickly scout the C cap area and finding it empty, I head for B to gauge my chances. Red Heavys start getting spotted at A, and an IS-7 driving past tells me I’m safe for the moment. No one should have a shot at me.

The bulk of the reds are on the other side, so my target is the Object 268 pushing forward. Sneak out and get a shot in, then back up into cover ready to take out the 268 while noting the E100 behind it. This is my next target, I know I have a 704 on my right, and that’s not going to stand up to an E100 on it’s own.

268 gets taken out, and I quickly have to switch focus to my left, seeing the reds approaching. I shoot the Chieftain Mk VI, then back up again.

By this point, there is a line forming between the two teams, and I am basically in the middle of ours. That’s not where I want to be, I want to move to the right flank and support the 704.

*

The poor think look to have taken a big hit, and seeing the E100 charging around the corner two blocks up, I move forward. I have both hitpoints and armor, so it’s better it shoots at me, so we can keep two guns in the game.

Turns out I make a good trade. I’m on a slight backward slope, optimising the armour, and the E100 doesn’t have much of a shot. It bounces off harmlessly. For once, mine flies true, effortlessly smashing through the flat turret face.

E100 backs off, and this isn’t really the position I want to be in anymore. The 704 is in cover, and I see the team calling for help on the left. I’d rather fight the E100 from two angles, but moving up there’s that Mk VI in the way, and it’s not necessarily a one shot.

It does have to go, because it’s putting our remaining Heavys in a crossfire, and they’re not going to last long. A tad over 700 hitpoints means an HE round could take it out, but it has to really penetrate. You’ll see me hold off changing ammo until the very last second, realising I have a straight rear shot, and won’t get a better one if I tried.

The HE round penetrates clearing the Mk VI, and I take a return shot from it’s allies for my trouble, so it’s time to back off.

The E100 has of course taken the opportunity to push our 704, and this is a risky move, because chasing after it, I am passing open ground and the reds will have shots at me.

I’m hoping they’ll be occupied with my team, or that my camo will save me or something, and no one fires at me. The 704 is sadly beyond salvation, but has left the E100 a one shot, and it is now a threat to our caps.

I need to take it out, and so of course the first shot bounces. I should be able to take one 15 cm hit if I have to, and start backing off to get cover. But here is where your best bet is going forward, with a bit of distance my lower plate is exposed, but moving closer I can get under the gun of the tall E100, leaving nothing much but the huge gun mantlet to shoot at, and the massive shot bounces again.

Still, I would have taken the damage to clear a tier X tank, and I would have gotten away with it. My next shot takes out the E100.

*

You will note I’ve not been far away from the B cap all game, and I knew what I was doing risking an early cap. The counter ticks over 1000, and it’s a win, just as my last remaining teammate falls.

It’s the Mastery. It’s a 1200 XP Mastery, which is pretty cheap, but I was still satisfied with my driving. You’ll also see me get a few charges out of the speed boost throughout; that’s a really useful consumable.

You’ll see me get a few lucky bounces, but I have also put myself in positions to get lucky. Backing away after clearing the Chieftain is the classic return shot failure; I’m too far out, and so when I turn to reverse into cover, the angled side plate and side of the huge gun mantlet flatten out, and are easy pens for most anyone. If I had just reversed, that would have bounced for sure.

You might have argued I didn’t do enough to support the left flank, but if I had, I think I would have had to trade more hitpoints, and we would have been flanked from the right. You have to know your limitations, and in an environment like this, you could be halfway around the block with your camo reset after 15 seconds of reload, ready to pop up unannounced.

But yea, a win is a win. We established map control early on, and kept it through the game; all we had to do was fend them off. It’s not always people will play Supremacy in this way; they will attack unnecessarily, or people won’t react to the red team pushing in force on one flank.

Dynasty’s Pearl is not my ideal map for this tank, but the game does I think show off some of it’s features. The mobility is good for such a slow tank. The front plate sometimes bounces big guns. And you can go after big game like tier X SuperHeavys, but you don’t want to do it alone, and if you can help it not straight from the front.

You will also have to expect the gun to let you down once in a while, missing or bouncing easy shots. Make sure you don’t gamble too much on each hit; sometimes I’ll not land a single shot all game. It will happen; sketchy gun handling being the main balancing factor of this tank.

*

So yeah. I think that’s quite enough patting myself on the back, and I’m happy with the golden M although it feels more like a banner of perseverance than singular achievement.

If you think the big gun chess game looks fascinating, then what you see is precisely what you get. I think making your mind up about what the WZ-111G FT is, is easy, the problem I have is what you would actually need it for.

For me, that’s not printing Masteries. It’s harassing tier X Heavy tanks and TDs, and as shown I do sometimes get away with it.

I can tell you choosing that path will significantly decrease your chances of survival, but it’s what makes lugging that huge tier X 152 mm around worthwhile for me.

You will note the stated reason is not “I enjoy the 152 mm playstyle”, and that is not an oversight. I am still a bit of a reluctant Tank Destroyer over here.

But yeah; the tank works.

Advertisements

A Few Thoughts on the Mutz

Return Of The Mutz?

By:

IrmaBecx

So you have a week left to decide if you need a Swiss bear in your life.

And really, don’t you? It’s basically a Premium Indien-Panzer, and everyone loves the Indien.

Well, everyone who actually drives it, that is. It’s not ever been a super popular tank.

But it has always had a strong following, because the IndyPanzer makes all the sense in the world. A miniature Löwe turret and 90 mm armour all around. A sensible diesel engine to work positions. A high quality 9 cm weapon. It’s just a really good all rounder that hull downs and side scrapes super well.

If you take all that 90 mm goodness away, and settle for a bit of troll upper plate and a gun mantlet, slap a fancy green paintjob with a bear on the side on it, then that’s the Panzer 58 “Mutz”. Firepower is the exact same, but being 5 tons lighter, the Mutz is a lot more agile. Specific power and traverse are both better, as is the aimtime so you can trade shots faster.

So the Mutz is a more volatile vehicle, and you know that works both ways. You either burn down your enemies, or you go down in flames. Driving it is more like a tier VIII AMX Proto than anything else; more reminiscent of the PTA than a souped up Indien.

You can pick one up for 10K gold and grind your own equipment; that’s not a bad deal at all. Throw some more gold at it to get the bear camo, which I have to say would be a must for me.

*

So that’s the easy part. The Pz 58 is a very straightforward tank, and even more straightforward drive. You flank the enemy, you find hull down spots, you build your damage over time as you bounce return shots off the mantlet. Super easy.

The thing is, not only does that super ease come at the price of some experience, but tier VIII is a hostile place. 90 mm is a Light tank gun at tier VIII these days; proper Mediums have at least 100 mm or even larger. Other tank classes have experienced the same inflation of higher calibers, you have to count on facing 120 and 150 mm opponents every game.

The hard part, then, is convincing anyone they actually need one.

I still say having a tier VIII Premium Medium to grind your credits is always a good idea, because it teaches good gameplay habits while also offering a break from dreary Heavys. But there are some very sensible options you’ll want to consider first.

Like the SuperPershing. That is a proven performer by now. The T-54 Mod 1, Hype 59, or Hypetton likewise. There are the exotic French; you can even get an autoloader. So the question is, why would you choose the Panzer 58 Mutz instead of any of those? Because I also think when it comes to tier VIII Premium Mediums, there’s no reason to be driving anything other than exactly what you want.

*

First of all, there is an argument the Pz 58 is actually a pretty unique vehicle, in exactly the same way the tier IX AMX Prototype is. It’s a Leopard, only with a gun mantlet.

The only Premium tanks I would say are comparable are the CDC and the Panther 8.8, but neither of them have that solid piece of metal around the gun the Mutz does. You might say if you want more speed and less gun mantlet, go for the CDC. If you want better gun handling and less gun mantlet, go for the Panther 8.8. If you want more gun mantlet, there’s always the SuperPershing.

But just like the AMX Premier, the Mutz has that one thing you always wished your Leo 1 or PTA did; the ability to bounce shots right smack in the face. And just like the AMX, it makes some tradeoffs from actual Leopard stats to get it; the Mutz isn’t quite as fast as those other tanks. And the firepower is tier standard, not quite as ferocious as a Leo.

If you like working ridgelines, the Mutz is the right tank. And it doesn’t really have a lot of competition, in it’s role.

*

So yeah; you could make the argument to get the Mutz specifically. But for what reason?

I may be a gold noob, but I think 10K gold is a lot of money to be paying for something you don’t get a lot of use out if.

You can always buy tanks and stash them away for when you “git gud”, but what is the underlying rationale? What are you buying a Mutz for?

The logic is, any tank that is high risk/high reward will likely be a good investment for the future. You’ll want to look for two things; tanks that have a bit of a threshold in terms of skill, and tanks that aren’t limited by mobility. The last part I find especially; what fast Mediums and Light tanks do is they open up a wealth of possibilities, some of which you only come to realise with experience.

And the Mutz is exactly that kind of tank. You need to be alert when driving it, keping track of your enemies, minding your positional play, and working through the motions to keep from getting hit. Just being able to relocate and go where you are needed becomes more and more important as your understanding of the overall strategic situation increases.

So the reason you buy a Mutz is you want to be a better driver. It’s that simple. And if all you need to make bank is a gun mantlet, then you probably have a Mutz already.

*

Driving Mediums isn’t all that difficult, and the Mutz can do the same exact things a lot of Mediums can. Also, if you want to be doing 50 at tier VIII, you don’t even have to drive a Medium tank anymore, you could be in a TD, or even a Heavy.

The specific thing the Mutz does well is hull down, gun depression ridge fighting; peeking, poking, and baiting. If you’re not interested in that, then this is the wrong tank for you. If you are looking for something easy to drive that amasses credits comfortably, then likewise look elsewhere.

The Pz 58 is not for everyone. I think many, if not most players will get a lot more out of driving something else. But, I also think all players have something to learn from the Mutz, and there is real fun to be had driving it.

If you’re new to the Cult of Indien-Panzer, and you are looking for something Premium to work on your playstyle without a lot of training wheels on it, then I would say it’s either this or the CDC.

And this one has a gun mantlet.

*

“Okay, Irma” I hear someone saying. “so where is your Mutz?”

It’s a fair question. I didn’t pick one up last time around, which was around three months ago.

And I don’t think I will this time either.

If the Mutz had dropped a few years ago, I would have loved it unconditionally. I would have driven hundreds and hundreds of games in it by now. You would likely have heard me repeatedly claim it was the best tank in the game.

I get like that.

But now, I don’t really feel the Mutz is where I’m at as a player. That’s not saying I don’t want one. It’s not saying it wouldn’t add anything to my collection; I don’t have the CDC for one thing. And CDC versus Mutz? Not sure I would pick the French solution there.

The main reason, really, is I bought the AMX Premier. It’s like the big sister of the Pz 58, and it is quite possibly the finest tier IX Medium tank in the game.

But yeah… The Mutz is a great drive, and I do still want to own one some day. Just not today.

Swiss bear ready for action. The last real Swiss bear was shot in 1904, and again in 2013.

So here it is:

The Mutz is a great tank, but you need to have a few skills to make it perform. Make no mistake about that; the thing has thin armour at tier VIII, and needs a careful driver.

The Mutz mainly survives by excellent mobility, it really is superbly agile even though it tops out at 50. If you think your Ru 251 or CDC is missing a gun mantlet, then the Mutz trades some speed for a few patches of very useable armour. Specifically useable for fighting on ridgelines.

The best thing about the Mutz is it is one of those “high ceiling” tanks that will keep challenging you as a player almost regardless of how good you get, and I think everyone would benefit from having a go in one once in a while.

The problem is I don’t think a lot of players actually need one in their lives, and it’s definitely not favoured in the current game meta. I think you have to be a little bit against the grain to be a Mutz driver. It’s a “thinking man’s tank” if there ever was one.

If you think the Pz 58 Mutz looks really cool, then that may be enough for you. If you are unsure about the actual drive, fortunately, there is the sure-fire way to find out if you have what it takes or not: all you do is grind out the Indien-Panzer and drive that for a while.

When you start feeling the old IndyPanzer is kind of sluggish, and you’re not really using the hull armour at all, you are Mutz material for sure.

IrmaBecx says the Pz 58 can be fantastic. Make sure you are the driver it will be fantastic for.

The WZ-111G FT Experience

WZ-111G FT Reflections

By:

IrmaBecx

So I’ve settled well into the last leg of the Chinese TD line grind. From here, it’s all driving a fully kitted out vehicle just stacking up the XP. I’d say I have at least a couple of hundred games to go, and now it’s all about maximising performance.

Because the number one problem I am having other than getting wrecked, is making the shots count.

I regularly snap the shot off too early, don’t let the gun settle, or just have it veer off in an unexpected direction.

Hull down against an IS-8

You might say the weapon is balanced to discourage sniping. Both the accuracy and the shell speed lets it down, so you really want to be at some kind of medium range.

Chinese tank philosophy is based on Russian, but it’s not the same. And what makes Chinese tanks work, isn’t always apparent from the numbers, although they are easy enough to read.

You really need to get out there and experience them in order to fully understand, and it’s always going to be about balance. Three tank nations are all about balance, Russian, American and Chinese. American balance means jack-of-all-trades, or more pointedly perhaps; mediocricy. Russian balance is not seeing a problem with one or more categories being overbalanced, even though nothing else is bad enough to remotely compensate.

Chinese balance is about the parts working together in a particular, and very specific way. For instance, you can’t put all your trust in a Chinese 130 mm gun; it will always have to rely on the other aspects of the vehicle working in harmonious unison to function properly. And that’s the reason the actual strengths are not always immediately apparent; they need to be seen in practice to appear clearly.

*

It’s the little things. Optimisation. Being at the right range. Having adequate cover to work from. Not overangling the armour. Negating the advantages of your opponents.

And once you learn to place yourself in these advantageous positions, you’ll start being more effective; sometimes able to outplay stronger opponents.

In this, I find something falls into place. The meta isn’t going to change, and being what it is, perhaps the WZ-111G FT isn’t the worst tank I could be in right now?

The front plate can bounce the biggest guns in the game. That’s no mean feat, and it means you can put yourself in situations where a tank like the Object 704 would only have their firepower to get them out if there.

Armour beats DPM every time, as long as you actually get the bounce.

So yeah; the armour is not the main strength of the tank, but it can be a massive strength when used properly. I’m not talking about clutch bounces in the endgame; I am talking about the easy, calculated bounces you get all through the game because you sized up your opposition properly, and positioned yourself accordingly.

Same thing with the weapon. Yeah, that is a tier X gun detuned a little for tier IX, meaning first of all a longer reload. This is not a DPM gun; it’s a maximise damage gun. Not only is the premium ammo hilariously expensive, there will in actuality be very, very few instances when you actually need to use it. That’s only against the very thickest armour in the game, easy to remember.

The thing is when to get the most out of your high explosive. You may have run a 152 before, but have you run a tier X 152?

If, like me, you haven’t, then 640 alpha is a little hard to get your head around. It’s not always the HE shell will actually do much difference, simply because they just don’t have enough hitpoints left. All you are doing is giving them a chance to survive a badly placed shot, that would likely have easily gone through with the 290 pen AP.

This makes it even more important to be ready to use the HE rounds when they can actually make a difference. Three things mostly: the flimsy armour target is a given, but do make sure you can actually land the shot. 3-500 HE damage is a lot less than you could have expected from an average AP round.

Second, if you smack some hull down tryhard with it, you can hit them for like 300 damage, even if they have lots of Russian bias. Third, finishing off low health tanks can also be efficient, but again, make sure you have a reasonable chance to land the shot. Someone with just a handful of hitpoints can still bounce the entirety of an AP shell, but they’re not going to live through any kind of  HE splash damage.

*

Because of this, I had the idea I’d try some ammo upgrades, actually. I plan to run both calibrated shells and supercharge.

That puts your HE pen just under 100 mm, and the AP well over 300. The HEAT shells, hilariously at 413 mm, and remember you still get 550 alpha with that. Six thousand eight hundred credits a pop, though…

At 1190 credits, the HE shells arent exactly dirt cheap, and not that much cheaper than the 1740 credit AP rounds. It’s more a case of every little helps.

The supercharge is an even greater upgrade, bumping your shell speed up to just under 1000 m/s, and luckily, all three ammo types travel at the same speed. Your standard AP will lose less penetration over distance, and also normalise better, which AP rounds already do pretty well.

Obviously, what I am trying to do is maximise the effectiveness of the rounds. Also, the gun firing slower will hopefully encourage me to stay a little further back, which I think might be beneficial. That means “curb the yolo tendency”, yes; precisely.

That’s all in theory. I am giving up gun handling, so maybe the added shell speed will only make me miss faster? I’m already having trouble placing the shots. And after a few games, I went back to the rammer, keeping the supercharge. Few games after that, and I dropped the supercharge too, opting for the shorter aimtime.

Because gun handling is really what is holding the tank back; that’s the balancing factor, not penetration values. You can boost the pen to some hilarious numbers, but I quickly found out that doesn’t equal effective numbers. Better shell speed I feel I got the most use out of, but none of these upgrades matter at all when I can’t actually hit the target.

Back to the drawing board. The new plan is just working on positioning and trying to stay in the game.

I found out I can brawl a little, sometimes jamming the front plate is their face is your best option. The problem is what to do after that. I get 15,2 second reload with a rammer; that’s not brawling friendly. Neither is your traverse speed. The armour isn’t really for brawling either, it’s for covering you a little so you can let the gun settle. After good positional play, taking care in placing your shots is the most important thing.

I can’t help thinking the WZ-113G FT is sort of a Hype 59 in reverse. Instead of taking a tier IX Russian tank and detuning it for tier VIII, they’ve taken a tier VIII Russian tank and detuned it for tier IX.

When you take on an opponent, you need to have all your ducks in a row; you have high alpha, average mobility, good concealment, and a bit of frontal armour to help you land the shot. The way to be successful is utilising all these at once; you cannot rely on any one variable to save the day.

So although the feel of the tank is distinctly Russian, it doesn’t have nearly as much bias. It very easily could have. If it had more DPM, more armour, or more mobility, the thing would be overpowered. Even strengthening the angled sides of the front plate would make a huge difference in performance.

*

But yeah. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to do better than a second class Mastery, and looking at the recent Blitzstars numbers, the WZ-111G FT outperforms similar tanks like the 704, the Jagdtiger, Foch, and SU-122-54 in every category. Early adopters don’t seem to be struggling with it at all.

And I am not either, out on the battlefield. My struggle is philosophical. I learned a few things the tank can do, but I’ve still not gotten my head around it. I don’t always know where to go and who to support, and doing things all on my own just never seems to work out.

That’s user error. And it’s more fatal in a tank that needs a holistic rather than static approach.

You may think the tank looks nothing if not static, but it really isn’t. If this was a “sniper tank”, it would have less armour and more firepower. It doesn’t; it has frontal armour. And so the way to make the tank work is using it; or more precisely knowing when you can use it.

Being a bit of a Yolo-artist, I have sized the armour up against practically every tier IX and X gun in the game, and the reality is it sometimes works. But you really have to manoeuvre to get the best out of it, and it’s not your main strength. Neither is your derpy old 152. Definitely not your mobility.

Your strength is having a reasonably mobile, and reasonably armoured, and reasonably accurate, high alpha Tank Destroyer. That’s no surprise to me in retrospect, being a Chinese tank connoisseur. It’s just been surprisingly difficult to understand in the first place.

Creeping ever closer to the halfway point of reaching tier X, that’s about as far as I’ve come. It’s not groundbreaking stuff. The only change I did is running speed boost instead of adremaline, and carrying a few more HE shells.

Around 200 more games to look forward to, but what I’m really looking forward to is the tier X. I have the feeling the WZ-111G FT won’t see a lot of fights once I unlock that, because this is a classic example of “why would you not just drive the stronger vehicle?”

It’s not a lot of upgrades to look forward to. 500 more DPM. 30 mm of frontal armour. 300 more hitpoints. 3 Km/h, and 2 degrees of traverse. Oh, and you get much better dispersion. It’s just an upgrade of the existing vehicle; not conceptually different in any way. It’s even the same size.

But the 113G FT is the tank I wanted to drive, and I am not expecting it to be magical in any way. It’s just a big box with a gun on it, and it’s going to play the same as the tier IX, only top tier and a little more effectively.

If you like these lumbering, big gun TDs, then the tier X is going to be more of the same, and that’s a good thing. If you can drive one, you can drive the other. For me, not entirely comfortable at tier IX but performing all right, I guess I’m still hoping the WZ-113G FT is going to be something the WZ-111G FT is not. That may seem like a lot of hope to be hanging on such small changes in numbers.

 But it’s all I have. Remember the decision to grind the whole line wasn’t exactly rational in the first place.

*

Where does this leave us?

Well, the tank is solid. Even a noob like me, who has never driven a tank like this before, can make it work.

But it does take work. Working at the limits of your mobility to stay proactive, learning your armour profile, and timing your reloads.

You can of course hang out at the very back using your favourite camp sites, but then you’re not utilising the armour, and you’ll have some trouble landing your shots.

I said before I think there are better tier IX TDs, but I also said they are some of the absolute most powerful tanks in the game. And I think most people will find something to suit them long before they start eyeing this one, unless they have a particular reason to.

The WZ-111G FT does have a little, and very narrow niche all it’s own at tier IX, I’m just not sure I can imagine the kind of player it would be the perfect fit for. Except of course someone who doesn’t want to drive a Russian tank, but still wants the 152 mm experience.

I don’t know that a couple of hundred more games in the WZ is going to change my impression of it significantly. I am not expecting some kind of epiphany, or anything.

And yet; even though I don’t really have anything to say about it, I can’t seem to stop talking about it. It occupies my mind.

All I can say with any kind of confidence, is the tank works fine. The Chinese TD line doesn’t take a nose dive towards the end, it’s good all the way through.

Chinese TDs Evaluation Part I

Chinese TD Line Evaluation I: Tiers VI Through VIII

By:

IrmaBecx

So I answered a random question last night, advising someone that the first part of the Chinese TD line is a safe bet to grind.

Yeah. I though I’d stop whining about not wanting to be a camper, and try to get some perspective.

I don’t feel any remorse for my recommendation either. And so I just thought I’d assemble some general impressions and expand on why I think it’s a solid bet, even taking into account the two existing Russian TD lines.

We will not include Premiums like the ISU-130, because that way we won’t have to mention the fact the reason we own the WZ-120-1G FT is because it’s hilariously overpowered. These tanks are not that; there is basically no comparison to the Premium tank in the tech tree at all. The 120-1G FT is a turbocharged tier IX Medium in disguise with a rapid fire tier X 122 mm. Don’t expect anything like that.

But yeah. Unless you’ve done it already, the worst part of the Chinese TD grind is actually having to drive the boring Type T-34 to start it off.

*

The actual line starts off with fast, sneaky agile tanks with Ciinese Medium tank weaponry, and the higher you get, you will start trading mobility for frontal armour and tier X guns. You can pretty much tell from the stats, and my experience has not been different.

The first two tanks are pretty fast, topping out around 50 and they have really good firepower. What you’re not going to see, is the camo values are some of the best in the game. Wargaming doesn’t publish these numbers, but I am 100% sure, thanks to the tireless work of AFK veteran Frodo Nifinger. You can find his reasearch HERE ; go educate yourselves, people.

These numbers, then, are the truth:

The tier VI WZ-131G FT has almost 43% camo stationary, a tad over 26% on the move. That’s among the sneakiest tanks in the game.

The tier VII T-34-2G FT has 46.43%. That is the sneakiest tank in the game, and yes that means outperforming the E25. By almost 1%.

Thest tanks are pretty small too, especially the tier VII. I wonder where they put all those 122 mm shells it carries?

If the SU-122-44 was terrifying back in 2015, the D-25 off the T-34-2 is the new gold standard. It may be an old design, but they have done a proper upgrade, everything about it is just better. And with almost 200 mm of standard penetration, the firepower is massive.

And yes; the WZ-120-1G FT is right on the level of the tier VI. But we said we weren’t going to mention that.

So then what happens is you get a tier X 130 mm, and the thing hits hard. I mean really hard. The trade off for all this firepower, is your mobility is not at all on the same level. You also get a bit of frontal armour.

Now, you would think the added armour means you can move closer to the enemy, but that’s all wrong. The armouring doesn’t mean you can be more aggressive, it compensates your mobility. Unless you are going to execute someone, you always want to maintain distance with the WZ-111-1G FT. If you are going to fight close up, make sure it’s not against someone with high penetration values.

Once you learn to stay at a bit of range, you will find the WZ-111-1G FT is actually pretty mobile for a 35 Km/h tank. It’s not super powerful, but it is literally a Heavy tank without the turret, meaning it’s not actually very heavy.

The important thing about a 130 is that it’s not a 122. It’s not basically a 122. It’s different from a 122. A 122 always has to compentsate for not being a 130 in some way.

65 HE pen may not sound a whole lot better than a 122, but it is more reliable, and the thing is the higher alpha makes the shots worth it more often, not to mention you can smack someone for 800 damage.

You will also almost never have to fire a HEAT round in this thing. The penetration values are simply outstanding. This makes proper armour selection easier; it’s basically just AP or HE, and in a desperate situation or against Russian bias you just load the HEAT right away, because it’s so seldom.

Gun handling is also remarkably good on the tier VIII, I’ve managed some really high damage games in mine, and it’s not all that difficult. Once you get a feel for what distance you need to be at, this is a pretty easy tank to be really effective in, and although the armour is more troll than thick, it will always end up keeping you in the game longer.

*

After that, it’s another step in the exact same direction. The last two tanks in the line are nothing like the three first; like the Jagdtiger compared to the Jägeru. You have definitely gone past the line between Heavy and Super-Heavy.

The tier X is a Super Heavy TD that takes the direction of the tier VIII to it’s logical conclusion. A big box with strong frontal armour and 3000 DPM worth of tier X 152 mm. If not for the somewhar dodgy gunhandling, you’d go through every time. ANd when you have driven the first three tanks, this will all be very clear to you, and I think you will feel confident in deciding whether you want to actually finish the line.

In that sense also, I feel saying the first three tanks are a very solid proposition is true, because none of this stuff is rocket science. The tanks will all feel awkward at first, but maxed out you will have settled into their various speeds no problem. The weaponry is all strong and easy to learn, if somewhat sketchy actually putting every round on target. It’s a reasonable trade off.

*

I’ll not bore you with philosophising further, I’ll just summary the main points.

Chinese tanks are based on Russian ones. That means there will always be similarities, and if your main takeaway is that’s totally boring, then you can safely disregard them.

The constructive takeaway is once you learn the ways in which Chinese tanks aren’t as overpowered as Russian tanks; and remember we’re all in denial about the the WZ-120-1G FT, the rest of it is always going to be pretty good. It won’t be hard to learn. It’s going to work pretty well. And my experience is, beyond the super obvious shortcomings, these tanks really have absolutely nothing to slow then down.

Philosophically, you may want to just lower your expectations a bit in terms of originality. This is not ground breaking stuff. This is the destillation of stuff that really, really works. That’s all it will take.

And personally, I do enjoy Chinese tanks more than Russian ones on average, becuase they are more straightforward in their abilities, without anything really seeming completely foolproof. The very epitome of your own skill ultimately deciding your success.

IrmaBecx says I told you grinding the first three Chinese TDs is a safe proposition. They are going to be good.

I’ll stand by that.

The Reluctant Tank Destroyer

Black Sheep? The WZ-111G FT

By:

IrmaBecx

So starting this, I have maybe 130 game until I get to tier IX, and someone just asked me whether it’s good or not.

My straight answer is I think it is, but I’m not really looking forward to finding out.

Why? I mean, that’s still a 111 chassis; my favourite Chinese Heavy tank. What’s wrong with it?

*

Here’s the deal. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it at all, I just think it looks too much like a tier IX ISU; the ISU being the reason I don’t own the “Hillbilly Tenk” Object 268, even though I really like it.

I just think ISU’s are too campy, and I much prefer living with two degrees of gun depression at 50 km/h.

So I have to ask myself: what I am doing gringing a TD line that by the looks of it ends in two gigant Chinese ISU ripoffs?

The tier X you can make the case it’s a different sort of tank, at least a little, but not even I can claim the WZ-111G FT is anything other than a tier IX ISU-152; it even has the sun visor over the gun. I can say it’s a WZ-111 with the casemate lifted off the WZ-113G FT all I want; it’s not going to change anything.

And so that’s my problem. I’m just not sure I’m going to enjoy grinding almost half a million XP in the thing.

*

There is also the fact tier IX Tank Destroyers are some of the most powerful vehicles in the game, not to mention some of my most beloved tanks. The Foch and the SU-122-54 “Barracuda” especially. Neither of them give a damn about tier X matchmaking; it’s just more damage. My Foch eats Russian Bias for breakfast. Even Bias-7.

The WZ-111G FT doesn’t do fifty, it doesn’t have 20 horsepower per ton, and it doesn’t have monstrous DPM. What do you get in return?

Well, you get a 200 mm, angled front plate. That’s pretty good. And you get an upgraded 152 mm ML-20, meaning 640 alpha. It’s a pretty good upgrade too; two hundred and ninety mm of penetration. That’s better than the BL-10.

Not by much. But still better.

And that’s pretty much it. You don’t have great damage output – although keep in mind we are comparing to some of the absolute highest DPM tanks in the game here; you don’t have great mobility, you don’t have superb gun handling; it’s all pretty average.

Add to this the thing is as big as a barn, and it doesn’t have super strong side armour.

So yeah; that’s the bad news, in a nut shell.

I still think the WZ-111G FT is going to be a good tank. I’ll even bet after grinding almost half a million XP in mine, I’ll have a pretty good idea of how to drive it. In fact, I think I’ll need to do a few hundred games in the tier IX before I’ll be able to drive the tier X properly.

That’s my plan, anyway. And I am getting the WZ-113G FT. Because it looks so silly and endearing.

*

I dropped some Premium time yesterday and just got down to it. Once you get comfortable with the tier VIII, it can do some real heavy lifting; I had quite a few top damage losses, some upwards of 4-5000 damage.

And you inherit the same 130 mm main armament when you unlock the tier IX, as well as both engines. The only things you need to grind out are the tracks and the 152 mm top gun, although we are talking almost 100.000 XP to get there.

Me, I think life’s too short. I pay to train the crew on tier IX and X tanks, and after maybe a dozen games, I just wasn’t feeling the 130 mm anymore.

It’s not that it doesn’t work. I just think the tank is balanced around the bigger gun. I had the same feeling going from the tier IX Foch to the tier X Foch (155); the big gun simply fits the tank better in it’s tier. So I spent some of the gold I’ve been saving up to get the 152 mm early.

Otherwise, the new tank feels familiar after 175 games in the WZ-111-1G FT. It’s basically the same chassis with a different casemate, and with 200 mm of frontal armour, you can actually get a fair amount of bounces. Not to mention the huge gun mantlet, which has between 5 and 700 mm of effective, spaced armour. Note also it’s offset to your right, so you’ll want to kee your cover on your left if you can help it to minimise exposure.

But as soon as you angle past six degrees, you’ll be flattening out the slanted sides of the casemate, which are only 80 mm, and pretty much everyone you’ll meet can go straight through. Same thing with the lower glacis; it’s 120 mm and it won’t give you more than 175 mm of effective armour no matter what you do.

Mobility is practically the same as the tier VIII; you are missing a bit of specific power since the tank is heavier, but otherwise they move about the same, meaning again it’s pretty fast for such a slow tank. It doesn’t brawl terribly well, but I have come out on top a few times.

I’d love to say the 152 mm weapon is magnificent, but that is an old artillery piece they hung in there, and it struggles with both accuracy and shell speed; a classic Russian style high caliber gun. Still, landing those 640 alpha hits is of course satisfying, and if you manage to get a penetrating HE hit; which isn’t all that hard with 90 mm of penetration, you can hit them for almost 1000.

*

It’s early days yet, and I am still finding my legs with the new tank. You may recall I never drove the SU/ISU-152 or the Object 704, and I’m sure someone who did will find theirs much quicker.

The WZ-111G FT is not a Foch. It’s not a turretless Medium. And it’s not really a turretless Heavy tank either like I was hoping; it doesn’t quite have the armour, and with a 15 second reload, you don’t really want to fight people up close. One miss or bounce and you are combat ineffective for half a minute.

You would think it’s impossible to get a bounce with almost 300 mm of standard penetration, but you’ll be surprised. I know I was.

So what’s the final word?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with the tank. However, if you are in the market for a tier IX Tank Destroyer, again there’s no special reason to choose the Chinese option; there are several tanks out there you might very well consider first.

On it’s own terms, you have everything you need. A massive 152 mm weapon, a solid 200 mm front plate, and enough speed to move around a bit and get into cover. That’s by no means groundbreaking stuff.

But it does work. As long as you keep your enemies in front, use a bit of gun depression to max out your armour profile, work from cover, and hide your lower plate, you’ll do fine.

Once I got the tier VIII upgraded, it wasn’t long before I got into the playstyle; wrestling the awkward hull around to keep the gun in the game, and I am hoping the same thing will happen with the tier IX.

I’ll be honest and say I wish it had either a little more mobility, or a little more DPM, but that’s nothing to do with the tank. It’s because I still want it to do things it was never designed to do.

So yeah, I’m not a hundred percent sold on the WZ-111G FT. Not because there’s anything at all wrong with it, but because I’m still not sure it’s the right tank for me.

Will it be the right tank for you?

I don’t see why not. It’s kind of a long grind if you don’t spend some resources on it, and these tanks are pretty expensive to drive, especially if you miss a few shots. Still; the worst thing I can think to say about it is that it’s not very original as a concept, and perhaps not the most wildly exciting drive in the game.

Once again, that’s not a glowing endorsement, and I don’t mean it to be. I think there are better Tank Destroyers at tier IX. At least, there are more dynamic Tank Destroyers at tier IX. But if you enjoy Chinese tanks on the whole, and all you want is a big gun and a bit of frontal armour, then the WZ-111G FT is precisely that.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

*

A small point: I’ve been driving the WZ-111G FT with stage I equipment only; rammer, improved modules, and improved optics, so I have a few more degrees of traverse, 5% more bounces, stronger tracks, and better gun handling to look forward to.

Right now, in fact. I spent my last hard earned million on most of that last night, now running stage II equipment plus Vstabs.

The WZ performs well enough without it, but the gun handling really can use all the help it can get. With 640 alpha, you only have to hit like three shots, or land two clean HE hits to do almost 2000 damage.

Looking forward to see how it performs now, but I really should spend some time grinding the, well, eight million or so I need to pay for the tier X once I get there. Also like I said the ammunition isn’t exactly cheap, nor are the repairs.

I don’t think I’ve knowingly fired a HEAT shell in the 111G FT yet, but if you need to punch through the front of a pesky IS-7 turret, or a Maus front plate or something, that’s going to cost you almost seven thousand credits. You can of course save yourself a whole lot of expenses by not getting hit and placing your shots properly. And with a 15 second reload, you may not really get a lot of use out of adrenaline.

*

HELLO!
My Name Is: NOT AN ISU

So maybe I’m nitpicking here. I know for a fact I’m wanting the WZ-111G FT to be something it just isn’t, or at least isn’t quite.

And that’s the wrong way to approach a new tank. What you want to do is approach it on it’s own terms; try to find out what it’s all about, and then you learn to play to it’s strengths.

That’s not what I’m doing. I am still driving it like a Medium tank that can’t do Medium tank jobs.

Really, all you need to do is learn to place your shots properly, and when you can rely on the armour and when you can’t. Oh, and of course hide the lower plate. That’s not rocket science, and I don’t believe any of my colleagues have the slightest problem adapting to the playstyle.

In terms of variety, the WZ is the right tank for my collection. It’s a medium paced Tank Destroyer with a 152 mm main armament and a bit of frontal armour to cover my worst mistakes. It could be teaching me new things instead of being a source of frustration.

But it’s very clear a lot of that frustration isn’t with what the tank does, but rather what the tank is. I just can’t get over the whole ISU camper thing.

So the philosophical thing to do is just say “fXck it” and accept things for what they are. Get over myself, as it were. I mean, I’m not getting rid of it. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s all in my head.

The final word, then, is if you’re not a pretentious tank philosopher like me, you’ll have no trouble at all with the WZ-111G FT. It’s a powerful tank, and it doesn’t have any bad points that aren’t immediately obvious and can be worked around.

IrmaBecx says who knows; maybe there is a little bit of ISU camper in all of us?

At The Crossroads: WZ-111-1G FT

Chinese TD Grind: WZ-111-1G FT

By:

IrmaBecx

So I have arrived at the mid point of the new Chinese TD line, represented by the mighty WZ-111-1G FT.

Well. It certainly looks mighty. Imposing, even.

You may not think so, and I will admit my view is a bit skewed on account of the WZ-111 being my favourite tier VIII Heavy tank. The FT variant looks just like it, only with a square box on top instead of a turret, and of course that huge 130 mm main armament. It literally looks like they took the actual, existing WZ-111 prototype, which has a steel box instead of a turret for testing, and poked a naval gun through the front of it.

But no matter your personal opinion regarding Soviet era Brutalist aesthetics, the 111-1G FT is a well put together vehicle, and it has already found a few proponents. I figure, once I grind it up to full spec, I’ll be joining those people.

In a way, I already have. I drove a few handfuls of games on my press account, and fully loaded, the thing can be a blast to drive; even though it will only do 35 km/h and turns like a Chinese Heavy tank.

But that’s one thing. I drive plenty of loaner tanks on there I would never even consider grinding for my own account, some of them quite regularly.

In this case, however, it’s a no-brainer. The thing is basically my two favourite Heavy tanks in the game melted into one minus a turret. You get the pike nose. The big, burly 130 mm. Even a bit of spaced armour along the side. What’s not to like?

For me, I mean?

So yeah, it’s slow; but it’s not that slow, and it’s all perfectly within reason considering the overall strength of the tank.If you work it properly, for the first time you will have armour you can actually angle up to get some calculated bounces.

Sometimes.

If you read my preview, you’ll know you won’t see a lot more than 200-250 mm of effective armour frontally, except when backing into cover around a corner. It really does turn like a Chinese Heavy; meaning not very well, but in this case you don’t have a turret to help point the gun in the right direction.

So yeah. It’s big, it’s unwieldy, and it’s not really as well armoured as you would think. But the weaponry, as always, is excellent. I was sure the stock gun was going to be a tired old D-25, but it’s actually a Medium tank gun, again off the WZ-120. Being a bit of a gold noob, however, I dropped around 90.000 free XP to get the engine and top gun early.

Grinding casemate TDs is frustrating. But I have like 300 crew XP boosters, so I will at least get a little help doing it; I don’t feel like spending gold on a tier VIII crew.

*

After maybe 20 games, it’s hard to see the actual vehicle for what it is behind all the frustration it causes. Being a support vehicle means you are reliant on your team to help you out with things like spotting and fending off raiding Light and Medium tanks, especially while you are doing the grind.

And I think perhaps tier VIII is where people are going to start balking, because even fully maxed out, this tank has a different style from the previous two; it’s very recognisably a Heavy tank, only without a turret.

That may of course not be very novel. If you’ve done a few TD grinds already, I’m sure you will have driven something similar, and my friends and colleagues say they have no problems adapting to the playstyle.

Chinese Heavy tanks, though, aren’t always as heavily armoured as you may think, and since you have this awkward box to deal with, it’s not easy to find positions to work from other than a big rock  or a house with a tree or a bush beside it.

I only drove one Chinese tank that is a complete monster, and that’s the Premium WZ-120-1G FT. These days, that’s not a surprise to anyone; Premium tanks outperforming tech tree tanks. And I don’t think there’s any question it will outperform the WZ-111-1G FT, but it’s also a different style of tank, a true turretless Medium that can blitz through flanks, brawl other tanks, and shove it’s front plate in people’s faces and burn them down.

The 111-1G FT one is not that. Even fully upgraded with your favourite combat loadout, it just doesn’t have the mobility and armour to do the things the Premium tank can do, and if you expect it to, you are going to be disappointed.

*

20 more games, and I’m almost done getting the crew in shape; less than 10% left to grind. I also managed two cheeky Masteries, very likely because not a lot of people are driving the tank yet, although I do see another one almost every game I play.

And just like the previous two, I’m in no real hurry to finish the grind. Just as well since I have about 140.000 XP to go.

But as I said, tier VIII is a sort of turning point, going from small and sneaky, highly mobile tanks with Medium tank guns, to slow and lumbering beasts with proper Tank Destroyer weaponry.

I’m not so sure I’m into that. I mean, there’s a reason I never drove the SU and ISU-152.

But I’m also not doing too badly in the WZ-111-1G FT. And I know the reason I’m not having much luck in the tier X WZ-113G FT on the press account, is I just don’t know how to drive a top tier TD that doesn’t do 50 km/h, properly.

Grinding it out is going to teach me that, and it starts right here at tier VIII. If you try to bully people, you will get smashed. If you don’t check your angles, you will get caught in crossfire. And you don’t have the mobility to get yourself out of sticky situations, you will have to look to your team for support and protection. The way to be successful in this tank is supporting your teammates, not trying to carry the whole game by yourself.

*

So what’s the final word? Should you grind the new Chinese TDs?

I would say, the first three tanks; yes. Absolutely. They don’t look like much, but they are quite powerful machines, and basically all they need is a little careful positional play and resetting the camo to be successful.

Tier VIII is the turning point. The line goes from highly mobile with excellent camo to slow and lumbering with huge guns, and I think if you like the WZ-111-1G FT better than the first two tanks in line, you’re all set to continue up all the way to tier X. If you think it’s too slow and boring, then you might want to give the rest of the line a miss.

I wrote before, looking at the tier X offering, there are at least three tanks you should consider first. The Object 263 “Yolo Wagon”, the AMX 50 Foch (155), and the Object 268 “Hillbilly Tenk”. The thing is, if you have all those, then you don’t actually need the tier X Chinese TD.

Me, I’m going to get there. Eventually. But I’m in no actual hurry to continue the grind, becuase I’m enjoying learning new things in the WZ-111-1G FT. You may already know these things I am learning. If you’ve driven a few of the French, German and Russian TDs already, you will know what this line is all about. I am basically remedying my lack of ISU experience over here.

But if you like the simple balanced nature of other Chinese tanks, then I am sure you will find one or two favourites among the Tank Destroyers as well. They take a little getting used to, and they are support vehicles, not “None-Shall-Pass” powerhouses, or roving, raiding flankers.

Especially not this one. It’s just a 130 mm WZ-111 without a turret.

*

I feel like I am waffling a bit here.

It’s probably because I don’t have a lot to say about the actual drive; how to make the thing work.

And I am having a few reservations.

The WZ-111-1G FT is a great drive once you get it all upgraded, but I’m not so sure it’s actually what I want. And I am even less sure about the tier IX and X. I tell myself I need to go through the entire grind before I learn how to play these tanks properly, but as a Medium driver at heart, I am diverging from my core playstyle, and a lot of the time I get myself knocked out early trying to make these tanks do things they simply weren’t designed to do.

My stated reason for grinding all the way to tier X is pure pig-headedness; I want to grind it because it’s so expensive, and because it looks so endearingly silly. That’s not super rational.

But I have also been feeling like I’m stagnating as a player, and maybe driving something different will be the cure?

“Different” may also be an overstatement. There’s really nothing new about these tanks, they are all made up from parts of existing vehicles.

Sometimes, those parts turn out to be more than the sum of themselves, and although I’m not feeling that about the 111-1G FT quite yet, this is the tank I was looking forward to; the one I wanted to fall for, and it’s not even fully upgraded yet.

IrmeBecx says I do love a 130 mm main armament.

Perhaps that’s enough for now?

Tinfoil Medium TD? The T-34-2G FT

Chinese TD Grind: T-34-2G FT

By:

IrmaBecx

So I finished the WZ grind, and bought myself a brand new T-34-2G FT. Played two games with 75% crew and stage 1 equipment, so I can’t say very much about it yet, but I can say I am looking forward to it.

Why? Is it not just a tier VII SU-100?

Well, maybe. But it reminds me a lot more of another Russian Tank Destroyer, actually: The fabulous “Baby Barracuda” SU-100M1, which is both one of my most memorable grinds to date, and one of my absolute favourite tanks.

This, then, is a T-34-2 chassis with either a Medium tank 100 mm, or a WZ Heavy tank 122 mm on it. Increduously, it’s even smaller than the WZ-131G FT, but the 131 is a shortened, lightened T-54/Type 59 chassis, and the T-34-2 is basically just a glorified T-34-85.

With the noob crew, the thing doesn’t turn so well, and the huge reticule bounces all over the place as you drive around, but the thing will still do 50. Especially since I dropped some free XP on unlocking the engine and tracks…

But yeah, It got me excited. As soon as my crew gets their act together, and I drop like three quarters of a million worth of equipment on it, it’s going to sharpen up noticeably, and I’m hoping it will be kind of like driving the SU-122-54 at tier VII once that’s all done.

I can feel it tugging at the reins.

Sadly, when you first roll out, it’s going to be like driving a stock Medium tank with a jammed turret. Again it’s fast once it gets going; you’ll be used to that from Chinese tanks by now.

The stock gun is actually not the top gun off the WZ-131G FT. It’s a 60-100T; that’s the second gun off the WZ-120, and it is a step up from the tier VI. Then you get a 122, and yeah; it’s a Chinese D-25. It’s pretty much a WZ-111 gun without the APCR standard, and your shell speed will take a hit because of that.

Still, it also has about 800 more DPM than a Heavy tank…

A small prediction here. Almost all tanks are balanced around their top modules, and tier VII is where running something other than the top gun starts becoming iffy. I think the 100 mm will prove comfortable enough for grinding, but I also think the 122 mm will be outright better. I don’t expect the stock gun to be as viable.

But yeah… this is going to be a turretless Medium.

*

Turretless Mediums aren’t a huge segment, and it’s pretty much all strong performers already. The main competition are going to be “Stalin’s Hammer”; the old SU-122-44, and the aforementioned “Baby Barracuda”.

The SU-100M1 I would say is better, plain and simple. But it’s also super awkward with only 2 degrees of gun depression, and a lot of players just can’t get their head around it.

The SU-122-44 has been powercreeped a bit; having a 175-pen 122 mm at tier VII isn’t all that anymore. The upgraded Chinese D-25T is noticeably sharper almost all around.

But the main difference is these other two tanks have actual, useable armour. Even using your class-leading five degrees of gun depression, you’re not going to get more than 160 mm of effective armour out of that 70 mm front plate, and you can of couse try side scraping, just remember the upper sides will be overmatched by a 152 mm, and the lower sides by a 100 mm.

So the question is, will the T-34-2G FT be up to the task?

*

About 50 games in, I’m not doing too badly, but I am still struggling with the thing.

I only just got the crew all trained, and I got all the equipment on it, but it’s like I still haven’t found my balance yet. The weapon still bounces all over the place, and I often have trouble keeping on target. Add to this the slow-motion shell speed, and you will find the gun is quite derpy.

Normally, that would mean get a little closer, but that’s not really a good idea in this tank. It does bounce shots, but not nearly as much as you would like, and I find myself doing bad trades all the time. Tank Destroyers don’t have a lot of hitpoints to begin with, and you really don’t want to get into straight up hitpoint trading.

The problem is, you don’t have enough frontal armour. If you position to take a shot and you are spotted, you will take a hit. And if you are the only one spotted, you are likely to take several.

You have the mobility to take on Medium and Light tanks up close; I’ve had some proper brawls and came out on top. But if you try to storm the flank early, you’ll just end up getting decimated, and if you don’t get knocked out straight away, you will most likely have taken heavy damage.

I tried staying in place a few times, which does work, but it’s no fun, and you are basically trusting your team to do the actual work as far as spotting and controlling the map. If they don’t, you’ll just be stuck at the back.

But this is a support vehicle. In the best of all worlds, you will be moving around with your team, and taking sneaky shots at enemies while they are kept busy by your teammates.

*

So yeah, that’s about as far as I got.

Even though it’s been a bit of a struggle, I do like the little T-34-2. It reminds me of the Medium version, and of tanks I enjoy, like the SU-122-54 and WZ-120 1G FT.

But it also has a different flavour they do. If the Premium monster is a turretless T-54, this one is more like a turretless STA-1.

It’s a fun drive. It’s just I haven’t really figured out how to play it properly yet, and maybe that’s not so strange. It’s been years and years since I drove the Jagdpanzers and the SU-100, and I never drove those big campy TDs at all.

It just feels counter intuitive to me to stay at the back in a tank that does 50 km/h.

But with no frontal armour and an eight second plus reload, you’re not exactly going to bully anyone except stock tier VI:es, and the aimtime isn’t exactly razor sharp either, meaning you pretty much want to be stationary when you take the shot. That means playing support, and once you get comfortable with the controls, the T-34-2G FT turns out to be a highly effective support tank.

*

So where does this all leave us?

I’m not sure.

I have been talking to people about the new TD line, and those discussions haven’t been like I imagined they would be.

People seem to like them. I hadn’t been expecting that.

I wan’t to say I like them too only I couldn’t tell you why, but that’s just not true. The lower tier offerings are likeable tanks, simple as that.

Here’s a tentative recommendation:

If you are looking for a bit of middle tier fun, and you are already messing around with Chinese tanks, then I would say you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving the Tank Destroyers a go. Tiers VI and VII are highly mobile tanks with excellent firepower and camouflage, leading up to the tier VIII, which trades a bit of agility for a bit of armour and a long barrel 130 mm. Straightforward stuff.

After that, I’m sure you’ll be able to make up your own mind about the last two tanks in the line, and if you’re not feeling it, just let it go and grind something else.

As I’ve said before, if you think these tanks look boring, then you can safely give them a pass, because there’s really nothing there beneath the surface. What you see is pretty much all you get.

Personally though, I am all over the T-34-2G FT. I had a few of good games in it already, and just like the big Barracuda or the SU-100M1, it seems the more you push towards the edge of mindless yolo, the more stuff you’ll get away with.

The armour just isn’t to be relied on; you’ll need to use your hitpoints instead, but that really is the only issue. And if you’ve driven a low riding Jagdpanzer style TD before, it’s not all that difficult to drive. And it’s fun. Proper fun.

IrmaBecx says the T-34-2G FT may not look like much, but if you give it a chance, it may very well end up winning you over.