Chinese Heavy Tanks: The Showroom
So here I am, back on the Russian test server by kind invitation, looking at a fresh new batch of Chinese tanks. Heavy tanks.
Normally, I wouldn’t be very interested, but Chinese tanks are different. I like them. I bought the 121; now called the WZ-121, even though no one really needs 122 mm in a tier ten Medium tank, and I’ve had my Hype tanks for ages.
At a bit of distance, the WZ-113 looks like a generic Russian or Chinese Medium tank, but up close, you’ll see the difference in size. A nice, flat front plate, rounded turret, and thick side armour.
Taking it out for a drive, it’s doesn’t turn super quick, but it’s kind of fast once it gets going, and it’s a comfy drive. Four degrees of gun depression sounde terrible, but you get into it before long, and most Chinese are like that anyway. The armour will hold up if you use it proplerly; side scrape and hull down, and gun stats are pretty good.
I can say right off the bat the overall feeling I am getting from the WZ-113 is balance, not power. It’s not going to rule tier X. There is nothing that really stands out about it; everything is pretty good, and so you don’t really have any specific weaknesses other than standard ones like lower front plate, turret hatches, and not being able to turn like a Medium tank.
So yeah. The WZ-113 is the new tier X Heavy tank for me. It will do any Heavy tank job out there pretty well, it looks good, and it’s not very hard to drive. A real workhorse type of vehicle. You may think that makes it dull and uninspiring, I think it makes it comfortable and likeable. But with that settled, what about the other three tanks in the line?
Trying to get into a tier VII game on the test server is hopeless, but I had a go in the IS-2 in a training room. It’s not very quick, and gun depression is terrible, but it seems fine.
I’ve never driven the Russian IS-2, the IS, or the KV-1S, so I don’t really have a lot to compare with either way. I will say it doesn’t look terribly exciting, and I’ll be surprised if it turns out to be a favourite of mine.
That said, I don’t think it’s going to struggle either.
This one was a bit of a surprise. It’s basically an IS-2 with a pike nose and a tier IX 100 mm Medium tank gun on it. I managed to get into a couple of tier VIII games, didn’t necessaritly do too well, but the thing has some potential.
Again, it’s not very fast, but it gets around a bit, and it can put out the damage if you’ve got a bit of cover. I found the 100 mm a bit of a novelty, easy to work with, and it seems to be really stable on the move. 7.33 second reload with 310 alpha gives you tier IX Medium tank DPM.
The hull is sort of tall, and working with a pike nose is kind of a good news/bad news situation. I think if you manage to avoid getting shot a lot, you’ll be all right, but taking a few big hits will quickly put you out of commission. Working with a Medium tank gun means you will have to stay active to do good damage, which means taking more risks than you would need to with a higher alpha gun.
The WZ-111 Model 1-4
At tier IX, you will find what looks like an IS-8 or an IS-5. Yawn.
But wait, this one gets a 130 mm gun, just like an IS-7. It may not be quite as powerful, but it should certainly make the tier IX grind more comfortable.
In fact, there aren’t a lot of 130 mm guns in the game, especially not at tier IX. That means if you get comfortable working with the higher alpha, you’ll have a slight edge over people running lower calible weapons.
Again, I don’t think the WZ-111 model 1-4 is going to rule its tier, but it looks solid enough. I’ll have to drive it some more and try to get a better feel for it.
Having had a first look at the new Chinese Heavy tanks, the main attraction for me is still the WZ-113 at tier X, and since it’s a branch off the Medium line, I would consider it worth it to grind through to that one even if the other three tanks were terrible.
As it is, I don’t think they are, but they’re also not fantastically exciting. The top guns provice a bit of novel variety, but none of them really stands out to me as a definite winner in the making.
I hope to be proven wrong, and that one or more of the lower tier offerings turn out to be a new favourite of mine. If I had to guess, that might be the tier VIII, and if I had my wish, it would be the tier IX, but this time I’m not betting on it.
So yeah. Really excited about the WZ-113, mildly expectant about the rest of the line. I think at worst, they will turn out to be average.
Here’s hoping the WZ-111 1-4 will turn out to be a beast!