Daily Archives: November 5, 2012

Punching Holes in British Tin

One thing you have to give Wargaming.net is that they just keep moving forward with World of Tanks.  Just a few weeks back we had the big 8.0 patch that revamped a lot of the graphics and introduced new physics to the game.  And now this past week we got the 8.1 patch which, in addition to fixes and improvements, introduced a whole new national tank tree.

We can now drive British tanks.

A basic light/medium and medium/heavy tree was introduced.

Initial British Tree

I expect that, like the French tank tree they previously added to the game, we will see that expanded over time.  And that is one of the things that Wargaming.net does very well.  They dig through data on prototypes and low production models and field modifications and come up with some amazing variations to flesh out national tank tree options.

Of course, if you are a purist, some of this may rankle.  I have heard complaints about tanks that never left the drawing board, tanks facing each other that never crossed barrels in real life, and proliferation of models that were extremely rare in real life if they were produced.  The WoT forums are full of this sort of thing along with discussions over details like armor quality, thickness, angles, and such.  A lot of people are very keen on the subject.

And I admit to being a bit of a purist.  I mentally note configurations that were proposed but which never really got out to production or tank models where there are many times more of them in game than ever existed in reality.  But I am also capable of letting go of that and seeing the great job that has been done giving players variety and balancing fun and playability with realism.

Plus, I have to admit, seeing some of the tanks that were just prototypes brought to life is pretty darn cool.  I like it.

But I have wandered off from the topic of the day, which is really about blowing up British tanks.

With the introduction of the British tree, everybody was handed a tier 1 British tank, the Medium Mk. I.  Of course, everybody wanted to try out their new toy and so these tanks were in the majority in most of the tier I battles over the weekend.  Another case of many more being in game than were ever produced in the real world.  But hey, fun!

I took my turn in the Medium Mk. I.

Rolling out on the Abbey map

I had enough free experience to upgrade this guy, but I stopped short of going to the next tier.  First, I still want to work up the German tank destroyer line a bit more.  But second, I thought it would be much more fun to hunt all these new tanks while they were still factory fresh.

So I went back to my ridiculously upgraded Panzerjäger I.  And the lower tier British tanks have such thin armor that it is a tank destroyer’s delight.  I happily two-shotted many a thin skinned cruiser tank.  I had two 8-kill battles in my flyweight TD.

I actually saw Mrrx online and chatted with him a bit.  As you can see from his post, he clearly had the same plan for at least part of the weekend, to take advantage of this target rich environment.

Of course, not everybody was a push over.  People were definitely throwing together their own twinked versions of these new tanks.

Serious enough for camo and an emblem

I tried some of my other tier I and II tanks.  The crew of my MS-1, pictured in the background above, was sadly under trained an unable to take advantage of their equipment.  But my American M2 Light Tank fared pretty well, since it was fully upgraded and I had spent the gold for a fully trained crew back when I bought it.

Another flaming British wreck

Since it was also a 5x experience bonus weekend (for your first victory each day in each tank) I ran through a lot of my different model, and I found British tanks all over.  Only at the higher tiers, when I ran my Type 59, were the Brits not over represented.

Brits to the left, more to the right

Not that the British tanks are bad.  When used badly, they were fodder for my tank destroyers.  They are clearly not designed to go toe-to-toe with other tanks.  I had three cruisers rush my Hetzer straight on and was able to knock off all three without and serious damage.

On the other hand, a pair of cruisers that knew what they were doing pretty much circle strafed my Hetzer to death, plinking away and me as I tried to bring my gun to bear.  My driver needs to get his clutch braking skill up to snuff.  An unsupported TD… and I was way out on left covering the flank of our advance… can be taken apart handily by these quick Brits.

It remains to be seen how these new tanks will fit into the mix.  There are already a series of fast tanks… both the Russian and US light tanks are pretty speedy… available.  The Brits seem to be a bit better gunned but not as well armored.  Once the newness wears off, they might not be out in such numbers.

Big Brits in the Desert

And I still have to decide if I want to explore the British tank tree.  That is one of my problems with World of Tanks, that there are so many choices and I really want to try them all.

Of course, I am concerned about the realism of these new tanks.  If I don’t get a random message every so often telling me the electrical system has gone down or that the clutch throw out bearing has cracked again, I am not sure I can believe these tanks are really British.