WZ-120, Initial Impressions!

 

WZ-120 / 100 mm 60-100T

By:

IrmaBecx

 

So late last night I finished the T-34-2 grind and unlocked the WZ-120.

In case you didn’t know, this is actually the “real” Type 59, a Chinese copy of the Russian T-54/T-55 tank; WZ-120 being the factory designation.

And it shows. The WZ-120 is very similar to both the tier VIII Hype and the T-54, main difference being the mudguards sit slightly higher, and of course the armament. Otherwise, you got the same angled front plate/rounded turret configuration the other two tanks have. Plus of course once you have unlocked all the modules, you can choose between running a 100 mm or 122 mm main armament.

But you don’t have to. If you are 100% certain you aren’t going to keep the WZ-120 and are just grinding your way through to the 121, you can finish the grind using the tier IX 100 mm 60-100T, which is the second gun from stock, and the WZ-120-2 turret.

This is the version I am currently driving. I don’t even have stage I equipment on it because of the timers.

 

Wooo! New tank! Note the familiar Type 59 gun.

 

The Numbers Game

First off, let’s look at the stats and see what we can learn from them.

If you compare the 60-100T-equipped WZ to the T-54 running the D-10T2C, which is the “Obj 140-gun”, and the one  use on my T-54, initially things don’t look so good. The T-54 has the WZ beat in almost every category.

The WZ-120 has better shell velocity, faster aimtime, slightly better specific power, better ground resistances on everything but soft terrain like mud or wading through water, 50 more hitpoints, and the turret front is 20 mm thicker. Everything else is exactly the same, or worse.

But this is an intermediate gun, so really, the better comparison would be a T-54 running the 100 mm LB-1. And if you make that comparison, things don’t look nearly as bleak.

The Chinese 60-100T has the LB-1 beat in everything except caliber and alpha damage. It shoots faster, penetrates deeper, aims faster, and has higher velocity. The accuracy is also slightly worse, but on the whole, the Chinese knockoff is actually superior.

Dropping the 60.000 XP on the next 100 mm is going to give you the familiar 310 alpha, but otherwise it’s not a massive upgrade. You will get 215 mm of penetration and 140 more DPM with slightly worse accuracy, but the aimtime is the same.

So yeah. Without the 120 mm, the WZ-120 is a Chinese T-54. Which, you know, is one of the best tanks in the game, so even if you think the WZ is slightly inferior, that still doesn’t make it a bad tank.

The icing on the cake is all the Chinese 100 mm guns have APCR for WN8-rounds instead of the finnicky HEAT. Yes, you will have lower pen numbers, but you will also have more reliable penetration against tracks and spaced armour.

 

The Drive

As you may recall, I was late getting into Russian Mediums because I used to hate getting wrecked by them so much I had appointed them my personal nemeses (yes, that is the plural form of “nemesis”, not a spelling mistake), and so I don’t have thousands of games worth of practice driving them.

I mean I do all right in my T-54, but if you want to learn something really useful, you should prolly contact your nearest Unicum instead.

I will say this though; there isn’t a whole lot of difference between driving a T-54 and driving the WZ-120, and if you can drive one you can drive the other. Coming from the T-34-2, the mobility and aimtime both feel familiar, and the thing is pretty fast as long as it doesn’t have to wade through mud or climb a hill.

Working with 280 alpha against tier X Heavy tanks isn’t a lot of fun, and you will find yourself in the situation of having to keep your head down to avoid taking big hits, and having to play a bit more aggressive to be able to put out enough damage.

Just like the T-34-2, my feeling is the WZ-120 isn’t nearly as weak or complicated to drive as I imagined it would be. I kind of like it already, and although three hundred and ninety three thousand XP may sound like it’s going to take forever to grind through, I really don’t think it’s going to be all that bad.

Once you get the turret, top engine, tracks, and the 60-100T gun researched, you are pretty much on the home stretch.

 

The grind looks grindy at first, but the shortcut will save almost 120.000 XP.

 

The Future

“But Irma,” I hear you ask; “what about the fabled 120 mm?”

Well, I have more than 100k XP before I get to that one myself, but returning to the “bench racing” for a moment, basically three things are going to happen.

First, you will have to give up the comfy 5 degrees of gun depression you have gotten used to. The 60-122T only gets 3 degrees.

Second, you will have less DPM but higher alpha, and you will have to deal with HEAT shells instead of APCR.

And third, your aimtime will be even faster, just a tad above one second.

 

Final Thoughts

Having just compared the WZ-120 to the T-54, it’s hard to argue these tanks aren’t just Chinese knockoffs of Russian designs, and I have stated numerous times if you are of that persuasion, then there really is no reason at all to “go Chinese” for you. I am sure these tanks will turn out to be a huge disappointment.

For me though, the good mobility, quick aimtime, and high alpha guns make the Chinese Mediums a joy to drive, and after a handful of games with 100% crew and the intermediate gun, the WZ-120 is no exception. I feel secure in the knowledge the tank will only get better and better as the timers run down and the XP accumulates.

And if I find the 122 mm is too much of a hassle, I can always go back to the 100 mm variant to finish the grind. But as I also stated numerous times, I think that would be doing myself a disservice, because once I get to the 121 I won’t have a choice, so why not get all the practice I can while I’m grinding anyway?

275.000 XP is going to take a while, and by the time I am finished, I’m sure my WZ-120 will have Vstabs on it already. My impression so far is that that’s not going to be a waste of spare parts.

I like this tank.

 

TLDR

So yeah, Irma likes the WZ-120. That doesn’t mean you will, but it’s not hard to figure out. It’s basically a Chinese T-54 with a 120 mm gun on it. Or not. At tier IX you still have the choice of running a regular 100 mm.

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