Tag Archives: BDR G1B

Heavy Tanks and Big Guns

It was a good weekend for tanks.

The match maker smiled upon me and my win/loss ratio tilted in favor of wins.

This was enhanced by a couple of matches where the generic loud-mouth on chat who died first and spent the rest of the time telling us how we were going to lose because we didn’t follow/support/obey them, ended up having to watch us win by using the very tactics they said would guarantee a loss.

That never gets old.

On the progress front, Potshot and I were able to carry on with our French heavy tank spree.

Potshot and I stalking...

Potshot and I stalking…

Despite some comedy moments, the fully upgraded BDR G1B is turning out to be a formidable tank.

I bet the KV-1 can't do this!

I bet the KV-1 can’t do this!

As Potshot noted, the 90mm gun makes a big difference.  It does a lot of damage and will plow through most armor on which it can draw a bead.  This has lead to some really good matches.

Not bad for a defeat

Not bad for a defeat

Part of it is people do not seem to expect much from the BDR.  The “egg” is dismissed as an easy target.  People get greedy trying to get a cheap kill.

I have had any number of opposing tanks sit in the open shooting at me, thinking they’ll do me in without injury once I come out of cover.  I had one M4 driver rail at me for being a “wallet warrior” since I was clearly using premium ammo.  I caught him broadside, where he was sitting and waiting for me, which knocked him down under 20% health and set him on fire.  The fire, in turn, finished him off… something I always enjoy.  However, no premium ammo was involved.  That stuff is expensive and I am an avowed cheapskate.

And part of my cheapness this past weekend came from having dropped a lot of credits on a new vehicle.  I am now officially in tier VII, having finally made it to the KV-3.

It looks like my T-150...

It looks like my T-150…

I literally missed the KV-3 being half price by one day.  As I was getting close, I checked the price and it was ~700K credits.  And then when I got that last bit of experience and trained for it, the price had jumped to ~1.4 million credits.

Ouch.

I had the credits… and I can always make more driving the Type 59… but the KV-3 is the most expensive tank I have purchased so far.  And once I got it out in matches… well… it played a lot like my T-150.

The profile is very close

No, really, it looks like a T-150

Well, a lot like the fully upgraded version of the T-150 at least.  (The base T-150 played like the KV-1.)

And well it might.  Since I was low on credits, I moved all the accessory equipment… camo net, binocular telescope, large gun rammer… over from the T-150.  I stole the 107mm gun from my KV-2.  That is the same gun I have on the T-150.  All of which left those other two vehicles less than useful and makes me wonder whether I should hang on to them or not.

The T-150 plays better in general, but the KV-2 can be, as I said, comedy gold with the 152mm gun.  Though, to be honest, I haven’t played the KV-2 at all since I got the T-150, and with the T-150 I was primarily focused on getting to the KV-3.  And now I am focused on upgrading the KV-3, so I suspect that one or both of those tanks should probably be sold off, if only to save me the gold price of another garage slot.

The argument for keeping at least one of those two is that with 5 person crews, I couldn’t just transfer either group en masse to the KV-3.  The T-150 crew already has the first skill/perk, band of brothers, which needs everybody in the crew to have it for it to be in effect.

Meanwhile, the heavier armor of the KV-3 seems to suit my “village idiot” play style.  I managed to get the upgraded suspension and the heavier turret, making me even more heavily armored.

Looking less like the T-150 now

Looking less like the T-150 now

So when I wander out into the open and get myself killed, I now seem to survive long enough to take a few opponents with me.

Sailing the river Styx in good company

Sailing the river Styx in good company

In the picture above, my wreck sits amongst my victims.  I was sitting in the open, killing a TD when I noticed the Panther-M10 sitting behind me, shooting into my backside.  I slowly brought the turret around and killed him in two shots.  While that was going on, a Black Prince rammed me and then sat there shooting into my flank until I turned and killed him.  I was immobile at that point, so turned and got off a hit on another foe before artillery finally did me in.

That’s a tough tank.

Now I have to work on getting to the bigger guns and the better engines.  We shall see if the match maker remains kind to me and whether or not this tank really fits me.  I am a bit apprehensive, if only because the next tank in the Soviet heavy KV tree is the KV-4, which has some mixed press.  Heavy armor and an accurate top gun are good, but we’re definitely sailing deep into “slow and as big as a house” territory with this big boy.

Of course, the BDR G1B has mixed press as well, and I find it to be fun, so we shall see.

Kill of the Day – The Cliff Diving BDR G1B

The match maker frowned upon us, and put Earl, myself, and Potshot at the bottom of the list on everybody’s favorite map, Dragon Ridge.

Earl, in his Grille, could hang back.  But Potshot and I were rolling in BDR G1Bs and needed to get into the thick of things to make a contribution.

We followed a T29 down one flank, hoping that we could use him as cover to get in our own shots.  However we ended up facing a host of enemies, and things did not end well.

Direct link here.  Best watched in a larger format.  Available up to 720p.

At the 15 second mark you can see my BDR exploding vigorously.

And then what appears to be a Chinese T-34-1 comes around and sends Potshot (who tanks under the nom de guerre 9Ball) to his demise.

The most dramatic death yet for Les Chars de Combustion.  No fire, just lots of water.

Competing Against the Gold Standard in Heavy Tanks

In its element, the Char B1 is not a bad tank.

Desert B1

Desert B1

The B1 is a tier IV heavy tank, a tier that is otherwise bereft of tanks in that class.  The only exception is the captured German version of the tank, which got yanked back when the French line was introduced.

In a match where tier IV is the top, the B1 can truly fill the heavy tank role.  It has enough armor and hit points to press forward in the vanguard.  While not speedy it can move.   Its best gun can damage anything it can hit, is reasonably accurate, and fires quickly.  And the turret rotation speed and gun depression make it a very versatile gun platform.  You can track anybody and peek over terrain to take shots at people quite well.

Potshot and I rolled out in our twin B1s quite a few times over the weekend and did very well.

As long as we were in a tier IV.

Tier V matches, on the other hand, were not so pleasant.  Once you get to tier V then suddenly a lot of people have a heavy tank to toss into the match.  You have the T1, the T14, the Churchill I, the Churchill III, and the KV-1.

Well, actually, none of those are insurmountable.  None but the KV-1 that is.

I keep 20 rounds of premium APCR ammo in the B1 for those matches.  At 800 credits a shot, expensive for tier IV, I use them sparingly.  But I am happy enough to pump them into an unwitting Churchill or T14.  It can be the difference between victory and destruction.  That does, on occasion, put me at a credit deficit at the end of the match, but generally I want experience, which you get for damage done, more than credits.

The only heavy I do not bother throwing expensive ammo at any more is the KV-1.  Unless I get very lucky, every shot is a bounce.  If I am going to just harass a KV-1, I might as well do it with cheap ammo.  And some times I can get a track shot so the KV-1 will be still while I pound fruitlessly on his armor.

Potshot and I ran a series of matches with the B1 because we were looking to get into the next French heavy tank, the BDR G1B.

Getting to that, we felt, would help us contend with those tier V heavies.

And after an evening of matches, we had the experience and the credits to make the leap to the next tier.  We trained up, bought the tanks, outfitted them, and rolled out for our first battle.

Matching Outfits

Matching Outfits

And, of course, we were slaughtered.

My BDR, minutes later

My BDR, minutes later

The BDR G1B does not have a reputation as a great tier V heavy tank.

A Flying Shit House

(image source)

Certainly in stock BDRs out in a field of tier V and tier VI tanks, this piece of French craftsmanship seems to be more of a moving target than a threat.  Even Wargaming.net has its doubts about the tank.  It lists out its drawbacks:

  • Poor armor
  • Slow rate of fire
  • Sluggish speed
  • Depressing gun depression

And the damn thing is so under powered stock that a camo net is too heavy to equip.  Sorry, if I put this pile of cloth on your tank, it will cease to move!

When driving this tank, your team mates either pity you or completely fail to understand your actions.  I had one light tank driver raging at me for being a heavy tank and not charging ahead.  The nicest thing he called me was a “camper.”  (And why is that an insult?  There are any number of vehicles in the game that are best used from cover, though you wouldn’t know it from the way some people blather on.)

Of course, just a bit later a KV-1S that I had been playing hide and seek with got a clear aim at me and blew me up in one shot.  I had previously avoided being damaged, which illustrates why I wasn’t out in front leading the charge.  The BDR is more of an upgunned medium tank without the mobility.

I am told that the BDR gets better once you get the 90mm gun.  I have a ways to go on that.  But even when I get there, the BDR will still not be a tank for the front of the charge.  It will have to hold back and take shots of opportunity.

The BDR has its place and its play style.

Its main problem is what Potshot called “The KV-1 index” of capabilities.

The KV-1 was my first heavy tank.  It may be one of my favorite tanks in the game.  I still play mine regularly.  It behaves exactly as you would expect a heavy tank should.  It is slow, heavily armored, and can carry a big enough gun to damage everything it faces.  And because of this, it is very popular.  You run into a lot of them in matches.

A lot of KV-1 heavies

A lot of KV-1 heavies

I see more KV-1 heavy matches than I ever saw Type 59s at the height of their dominance.  That makes it the yardstick by which every other tier V heavy tank is measured.

And if you count derivatives of the KV-1, the KV-2, the KV-1S, and the T-150, it starts to look like a Russian dominated world out there in tier V and VI heavy tanks.

Which is kind of the way of things.  The Soviet Union clearly went to heavy tanks earlier and better than any other tank producing nation.  The French were there first with the B1, but the KV-1 owns that.  Later the Germans showed up with the Tiger and the British with the Churchill line.  But the early KV-1 had everything you expected in about the right measure.  I would cackle with glee when my KV-1 came across some non-Soviet heavy tank.  They were generally meat.

Which is why I cringe when the BDR gets dropped into a match with a pile of KV-1 heavies.  I am now the meat.

But still I persist.

Our clan is Les Chars de Combustion (which Wargaming.net corrected for us, free of charge!).  Our goal is to explore the French tank tree.  The burning tank is our logo and our motto is “La Lutte Continue!”  The struggle continues indeed!

Soon though, I will have the 90mm gun in the BDR.  Then I hope to be able to fend off the rampaging hoard of KV-1 heavies.  And then it will be on to the ARL-44, and everything will be great!

Right?