Obj 140 Diary
Back in August last year I wrote about the Object 140. I called it a “fallen star” and all that, and I stated if this wasn’t the Obj 140, if it didn’t carry the stigma of having once been the best tank in the game and my most hated adversary, it could well have been the perfect Medium tank for me.
But, I wrote, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to disregard my past history with the 140.
It turns out I didn’t have to. Wargaming fixed it for me. By buffing the other Russian Medium tank, they have completely altered the position of the 140; now widely regarded as being super boring, pedestrian, plebeian, second rate; possibly even obsolete.
With this simple act of reverse psychology, it didn’t take very long before I found myself the owner of one. Spending spare parts on what used to be the finest Medium tank available is of course a no brainer, and I’ve since started driving it tentatively.
No. That’s a lie. I’ve started driving it like its tail was on fire.
Plain Jane “Century Oak” paintjob – Sneaky!
As is usual, I had a good run initially, but then reality started catching up with me. Tier X is a hostile environment, and I don’t have enough experience up there to carry a lot of games. Camping Tank Destroyers. Hordes of Heavy tanks. Hordes of camping Heavy tanks. Full health Mediums who push on you the second you take a big hit. No support.
But those are just exterior forces. There is a deeper problem here, and it’s not the matchmaking. It’s not the death star. It’s not my teammates.
The problem is I’ve not been playing very well lately.
I mean you can’t win them all. You can’t help people camping, or going the wrong way, or dying early, or bouncing their shots, and I do sometimes lose with top damage and the most kills on my team. But a lot of the time, I’m the one who gets killed early, because I’m out of position, because I’m too aggressive, and because I don’t think before I act.
And yet, those two out of five games I actually manage to win turn out to be some of the best games I’ve had in a long while.
Conventional tank wisdom dictates I should drop back down the tiers and drive something else, but I’m not really going to do that. First of all, I don’t want to. All I want to do is drive my new tier X tank, now that I finally got it kitted out with equipment and everything. And second, there is no doubt there is overlap between the things you learn in different tiers, but there is also a limit to how much you can actually learn about playing tier X from playing other tiers. And although the first reason may be slightly more important to me, I do feel the actual tier X gameplay is what I struggle with in the first place. Stuff that works in lower tiers doesn’t work up there.
And it is me. I know that because I see myself doing dumb things all the time and getting wrecked for it. I know, because I insist on driving Medium tanks even though they are the hardest to perform well in.
But yeah. Once you get that Russian bias working for you, it’s just fantastic. It’s not a lot of bias; just some amazing soft stats, and of course that tier leading DPM.
And I go looking for trouble. The Object 140 can take down any tank in the game in a one on one; I know that because I’ve taken them all on. My favourite thing in the game is brawling, and I think now at least I have about the best brawler I can get my hands on.
As I’ve said before, it’s not a lot of things that make the 140 work. The steep angle on the front plate. The accuracy on the move. The best camo rating of all tier X Mediums. The tank gives you some great tools to work with, but you will have to actually do the work. It takes at least a halfway decent driver to get results. You have to stay active; always be either moving, hiding, spotting, firing, or angling up to take a shot.
What fast tanks do really well is help you put thought into action. All you really need to do is make sure your thought are somewhat coherent, otherwise you’ll just drive yourself into oblivion. The thing is, the object 140 puts thought into action with such effortless ease it constantly ends up outpacing my train of thought.
That’s just a fancy way of saying I yolo too much, but at the same time it’s a hard balance to strike between being suicidal and being proactive. Working with the lowest alpha in tier X, you are going to heve to poke your head out a lot. You want to do 5000 damage? That means 16 to 20 penetrations doing the average number, depending on your ammo selection.
This is where all those little biases, or soft stats if you prefer, will start working for you. The rock steady stabilisation. The superb mobility. The overall small, sneaky, angular design and tier leading camo rating. The more you drive it, the more comfortable with, and; ultimately, reliant on them you will become.
You will be out there, riding down some gully, and someone gets spotted halfway across the map. Your turret is pointing in that direction anyway, but it’s not worth stopping for a shot. And then it hits you:
“Wait a minute… I’m in the Object 140!”
So you stick the auto aim on them, pull the trigger, and wham! ; the shot goes in. Next time you’ll be going full tilt at an IS-7, trying to get around it, and you will recall that shot. Gun is pointing at them anyway, so you take a snap shot, and it goes in too.
Pretty soon, you will be throwing out those speculative shots all the time, and a lot of them are going to fly true, because that’s what the 140 does. Your damage numbers are on the rise, and you are being more effective.
Then you will be barrelling down some other gully, and you’ll spot a big herd of Heavy tanks, putting you in a bad spot. And it hits you again:
“Oh, wait. I’m in the Object 140!”
“They won’t see me” you think, and so you just veer off towards the bushes, and you don’t get spotted. After a while you will start looking for those situations; surfing the viewrange of the enemy team, cutting it closer and closer, and likewise you will end up being more effective.
There will be all kinds of these “Obj 140 moments”, and with time they will become part of your gameplay. They will reassure you, give you confidence, and faith in your vehicle and gameplay both. This snap shot will go in. They won’t see me. I’m going to bounce the return shot. The front plate will hold up. My tracks will eat it. What all these moments add up to is the overall feeling of “I am going to get away with it”. And I think that very feeling is the reason I like driving the Object 140 so much.
So browsing through all my favourite tanks for todays batch of missions, I chose the 140. I’m on a day of premium time from the latest event, so I don’t have to worry about the credits. Clear all three messions in two battles, and then I just keep driving. Mix it up with the little Black Dog, which has a birthday and nets me 130.000 credits in one go.
Tank life is good.
And then it just sort of happens. I push the flank on fails creek against a Medium advantage, and hold the cap with just DPM and my front plate. Wreck them completely. I get the cap, and then move into the middle to circle a hapless Heavy tank trying to cap B and ending up the proverbial fish in the barrel. For my finale, I hit an insane snap shot at the drive wheel of an IS-7 trying to pull back into cover, keep it tracked and get the kill a few shots later.
It’s the Mastery. Almost 5K damage. Cap points earned and seized.
I ended the session with a player from a well known clan on the reds, so I had set myself up for a loss, but our desperate flanking manouver caught them by surprise and we pulled a win out from under them. Not going to pretend I am not a bit smug about that.
And so this has been my first 50 games in the Object 140. I’ve had some spectacular losses. I carried a game or two. Overall, the winrate is terrible so far, but I don’t care. Damage output is solid; second highest of all my tier X tanks. I’m sure it will work itself out over time.
Because the drive is fantastic. It has that quality that makes you feel like the more you push it, the more it’s going to step up to the challenge.
Perhaps it’s only naturall I should feel this way, driving a tank that is a miles better vehicle than I am a driver. And you might argue this is all just my trying to justify driving a mediocre tank to myself, but I am of the firm conviction no tank should have to be justified, except as an addition to your garage, and any such justifications are of course purely subjective.
I think I’ve made my subjective justifications pretty clear. The Object 140, to me, is the best Medium tank in the game. The fact no one else seems to think so only makes me like it more. Also I think it looks great.
So yeah. Object 140 moments. That’s what I live for these days. Prowling around in my Russian bias machine, looking to make the play that will turn the game around and get us the win.
I have all the tools I need to make it happen, all I need is some practice, and then I am finally going to git gud.
But most of all, I am having fun. There is no greater take away than that.
See you out there.
And if I’m in my 140, you know I’m going to go for the brawl.