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KV-1 Circle of Death February 24, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks, YouTube.
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5 comments

Another silly World of Tanks video.  This time, the durability of the KV-1 demonstrated.

On the Westfield map, I committed one of my usual errors and got too far ahead of the pack.  I was going to run down an impertinent T-28.  Instead I found myself getting flanked by a Hetzer and a Stuart who seemed determined to run around my back side.

Direct link to the video, so you can view it in a larger window.

That Wolverine that rammed the Hetzer about half way through… and died… helped me out some, though I am not sure why he didn’t just hang back and pop my two friends as they came around the circle.

In the end, I got the two kills and went on to get three more in the match, including that T-28 and a Grille.

However, my comrades in arms were not doing very well and I ended up getting swamped by the other team.

Competing Against the Gold Standard in Heavy Tanks February 4, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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10 comments

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?

Big Guns, Slow Tanks, and Crew Training January 7, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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Now into tier VI with the KV-2 and the JgPz IV, I am no longer earning a new tank to drive every week.  Proportionally you just need more credits and more experience to move up tiers the higher you get.  Those who climbed all the way into tier X deserve their free T-shirts.

I do not play enough… just hit 1000 battles mark… or well enough… 50% win ratio is coin flip time… to vault up that high any time soon.  My goal for this year is to obtain a tier IX vehicle.

Still, there are advances to be made.  The KV-2 started out with the 122mm U-11 gun.

122mm KV-2

122mm KV-2

But I managed to finally earn enough experience to get the 152mm M-10 gun plus the upgrades needed to support it.  The big “derp” gun was mine at last.

152mm KV-2

152mm KV-2

And it worked as advertised.  I managed to one-shot a lightly damaged Churchill on my first outing, catching it broadside as it crossed a street I was camping.  Very satisfying.

Of course, it was just a Churchill.  That model is the staple of the British heavy tank line, which is enough to make me avoid the British heavy tank line.  I love shooting them, but couldn’t see myself driving one.  What crap tanks.  If I went for the British tree, it would be to get one of those fast and annoying Cromwells.  They are always sneaking up on my flank.

The shiny fun of the 152mm gun started to wear off pretty quickly though.  It is really a gun for a specific environment.  If a city map, or at least a map with some confined space, comes up in the match maker, where engagement ranges are close, I am pretty good.  But a wide open map where I might have to engage people at a distance and where I do not have a place to run and hide… and go make a sandwich… while the 152 reloads, then things tend to go less well.  I get lit up with hits like a pinball machine, the first of which inevitable breaks a track, rendering me immobile.

And the 152 isn’t always up to the job even in close quarters.  I had a heavily damaged T-29 come around the corner at one point, allowing me to fire on him at spitting distance.  But I got the “it bounced off” message.  And then came that embarrassing moment where I am reloading and backing up and waiting for the inevitable pain as his turret slewed around and he opened fire.  He lived, I died.

Comedy isn’t always pretty.

So I spent a chunk of time on Sunday working to get enough experience to the 107mm ZiS-6 gun which, among its virtues, looks even more ridiculous on the KV-2 than the other two guns.

107mm KV-2

107mm KV-2

It is like the Pinocchio tank, and I have been telling people I am ‘leet. (And generally, not only is my nose long but my pants… or at least my engine compartment… is often on fire.)

This gun is much more to my liking.  It is more accurate.  I can hit things at range now and again.  It has better penetration, so things I hit usually feel it.  It reloads fast enough that I can get off more than 4 or 5 shots a match.  And it is lighter, which means the whole tank is lighter, so I can move a bit faster.  With the 152mm gun mounted I swear I had a KV-1S pass me while in reverse.

Of course, that 107mm gun was kind of expensive in experience, so I cheated a bit by converting some experience from my gold Churchill III tank.

Wait, what?

Wasn’t I just denigrating the British heavy tanks because of the Churchill?

Yes I was.  And I still feel that way in general.  I enjoy shooting a Churchill with my KV-1 or my StuG. III… or especially with my KV-2… more than driving one.  And I am not going to start on the British tank tree any time soon.  But the premium Churchill III has certain advantages of which I was previously unaware.

Over at The Mittani there is an article up comparing the relative merits of the tier V premium tanks in the game.  Premium tanks are the ones you buy with the RMT currency, gold, which you must acquire with real world cash.

I have generally eschewed the premium tanks.  I do have a Type 59, which I bought back when it was considered over-powered.  I have generally used it to earn credits or to just run out and play in the higher tiers when not working on a specific goal.  But that is the only one I have purchased up to this point.  I have a couple of others that were gifts to players at various points during the life of the game, most recently the T1E6.  But that accounts for all of the premium tanks in my garage.

So what changed my mind?

First, I had been unaware that you could move crews from your other tanks into a premium tank of the same nationality and type, so you can double up on you first daily win experience bonus for your crew.  And since I have been working on Russian heavy tanks, the Churchill III fit right in.

You see, the Churchill III is a Lend-Lease version of the Churchill, so it is in the Soviet tree and not the British.

Second, the Churchill III has an experience modifier that earns it more experience per match than its Soviet heavy counterparts.

And, third, when it comes to the match making algorithm, it is only ever put up against tanks that are tier VI or lower.  So while that QF 6 Pounder seems like a pop-gun amongst the heavy tanks, it has just enough penetration to do damage consistently.  And it fires much faster than the larger caliber guns on the field.

Finally, it was only 1,500 gold, so what the hell.  I bought it.

Churchill III

Churchill III

I bought it without a crew, put the camo net on it, bought the camo paint (it only adds 5% more to cover, but who knows when that 5% might make the different), clicked the “accelerated crew training” box, and moved the crew from my KV-1 over to it.

And I have not done too badly with it.  It does get chewed up by arty rather quickly and it shares the affinity for track damage that the KV series seems to.  And it is slow.

But the 6 Pounder does penetrate as advertised.  I have plinked away at more heavily gunned foes quite successfully, getting off 3-5 shots and ducking behind cover when it is time for them to fire.  And I do not seem to attract as much hate as the KV-2 on the battlefield.  I seem to be viewed as more of an easy victim with a small gun and will get singletons coming after me, only to pepper them to death with rapid fire.

The experience bonus seems to be in effect as well.  My average experience per match with the Churchill III is over 700.  Given my 50/50 win-loss rate and generally crap skills, that is pretty good.  And my KV-1 crew seems to be coming along nicely.  They were around 50% trained on their first secondary skills when I picked up the Churchill.  They are now closing in on 90%. (That climb from 90% to 100% seems pretty steep though.)

It will be nice to get a crew finished with a set of secondary skills finally.  I have half a dozen crews sitting between 50% and 80%.

I did turn off the accelerated crew training for a bit on Sunday to build up and convert some experience for the KV-2 gun upgrade.  But other than that, I have been working on crew training.

So that is where I stand at the moment, still investing in the Soviet heavy tank tree.

The KV-2 – Because Comedy Trumps December 28, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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Earlier in the week I was considering which path to take from the Soviet KV-1 heavy tank.  There were three options, the KV-1s, which seemed like the most popular choice, the T-150, which seemed like the best path to some really heavily armored Soviet beasts, and the KV-2, which seemed more like comic relief than a viable choice.

Yet here I am in possession of a new KV-2.

A stock KV-2

A stock KV-2

I still have a long ways to go until I get enough experience to buy the 152mm “derp” gun that can terrorize the field of battle.  But even with the stock 122mm piece, I can do a lot of damage.  My first shot ever was a nice hit broadside on a medium that blew up completely.  One shot, one kill.  I got the Reaper achievement, 3 or more one shot kills, in my second battle.

So it certainly has that going for it, even early on.

On the flip side, I have notice that people will go way out of their way to take a shot at you.  I have seen whole columns of tanks suddenly turn towards me as I become visible.  I cannot tell is this is a matter of joy at having a huge target to shoot at, or if it is more the sort of reaction one gets when a giant cockroach appears; Kill it! Kill it fast!

So I end up dead a lot.

The KV-2 as it often ends up

The KV-2 as it often ends up

Still, the one-shot aspect of things sort of makes up for it.  It seems that if I can catch a medium tank broadside, he’s dead in one shot.  And light tanks are often good from any angle if they will stop and let me draw a bead on them.

I have a ways to go to get to the 152mm fun gun.  To support it I am sure I need the upgraded tracks and turret, plus I should really get the engine upgrade.

KV-2 Upgrades

KV-2 Upgrades

The selling point though was that, with the KV-2, it turns out that the price of researching the T-150 is reduced to 13K experience from 24.5K.  So that path becomes a bit cheaper.  I wonder if that counts towards the research on the KV-1 line?

Anyway, it is the KV-2 path for me for a while now.

Three Way Split on the KV-1 Tree December 24, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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I have been playing and enjoying the KV-1 Soviet heavy tank.  After the effort of getting there, is nice to be able to take a punch. I have gotten a few of the requisite “Steel Wall” awards for taking many hits in a battle.  In one engagement I took 42 hits from a set of light and medium tanks as I rolled up a flank.

Happy Holiday KV-1

Happy Holiday KV-1

So I settled in to enjoy the KV-1 and its heavy armor and decent gun, knowing that training for its successor was going to be a while.

Time moves on, and I have played a chunk of World of Tanks and have found myself suddenly in possession of enough experience to start in on the next tank in the Russian heavy tree.  The thing is, from the KV-1 there are three choices.

The Three Faces of KV

The Three Faces of KV

The three choices are the KV-1S, the KV-2, and the T-150.

On the surface, the choice is easy.  I go with the KV-1S, which a lot of people choose, get gun upgrades and continue on to the mighty IS line of heavy tanks.  I lose some armor protection, but it seems to be the popular choices, which generally means the best one, or at least the safest one.

The KV-2 primary appeal is the giant 152mm “derp” gun which can one-shot so many lesser vehicles.  To bring that gun to bear though, you have to deal with a vehicle that is huge, slow, awkward, and almost comic to look at.

The KV-2

The KV-2

It looks like the sort of thing that a young boy would produce if asked to draw a tank with a big gun.

And then there is the T-150, which seems to to primarily offer a more interesting gun, the 107mm ZiS-6, along with a more powerful engine which, presumably, also mean a little more speed on the battlefield.

The KV-2 seems to be the least attractive option.  Aside from comic appeal, there is much to say against it, not the least of which is that as a step on the tree it is essentially a dead end.  You go from it to the T-150, so it can be safely skipped.

The KV-1S, as I said, seems to be the popular choice.  While it has less armor that the KV-1, it has the big gun and leads to the very heavy Russian tanks.  It also can be uses as a stepping stone to the T-44, T54, T-62 series of main battle tanks.

But the T-150 has that interesting gun, and it leads to its own line of heavy tanks, derivatives and improvements on the KV line, all slightly less well armored but interesting none the less.

So which one should I choose?  That is the Christmas question.

Half Price Jagdpanzer IV December 17, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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5 comments

I have not been very good at climbing the tiers in World of Tanks.

It is easy to climb up a short ways.  It tanks minutes to get to tier II, and not much more to get to tier III.  Even tier IV can be had with an evening’s undisturbed focus and a 50-50 win streak.  But once you get to tier V, impulse buy time is over and you have to focus a bit.

And so it was that I got my Hetzer in short order, but had to work a bit to get my StuG III.  Likewise, even with a pile of converted experience, I had to do my time in the Russian T-28 before I could get into a KV-1.  But I got there.

KV-1 blasts away!

KV-1 blasts away!

And then there is tier VI.

The experience is, of course, incrementally greater.  But it also becomes the point where… for me at least… the cost in credits for the vehicle itself begins to become an obstacle.  I can bring myself, in times of great need… heh… to use a bit of gold to convert experience on elite tanks into universal experience.  But gold for credits seems like a waste.  And there is so much else on which to spend credits.

So while I did eventually earn all the experience and trained for the Jagdpanzer IV, the next stop on the German tank destroyer line after the StuG III, I never purchased one.  I needed to train it to make the StuG III an elite tank, at which point I turned on accelerated crew experience.  But the JgPz IV is 910K credits, which is a lot when you still spend time playing lower tier tanks.

I did actually save up that much, then looked at all those credits and decided to spend it on upgrades for my current tanks.  Camo nets and binocular periscopes all around!  I have a pretty well fitted PzJg I in the tier II bracket.  And I haven’t had that many credits since, as there always seems to be an upgrade I want to buy.

This past weekend was the Battle of the Bulge event on the North American server which, aside from reminding us of countless poorly written weight loss articles that appear in the paper this time of year, also meant a 50% boost to crew training speed and a variety of discounts on tanks that Wargaming.net felt embodied the spirit of the event.

As I was looking at research on my various vehicles over the course of the weekend, I saw that the JgPz IV was on the half price list and that I happened to have just enough credits to get it.  And so I bought my first tier VI tank.

Factory fresh JgPz IV

Factory fresh JgPz IV

And then I was out of credits and pretty much out of experience with a completely stock new tank.  I did opt for the fully trained crew.  Again, I think that is worthwhile in tanks I expect to spend a long time playing.  Better to get the crew started on their supplementary skills.  I also noticed that camo paint was half price as part of the weekend event, so I applied that.

Tarted up a bit

Tarted up a bit

But playing the JgPz IV in matches along with my StuG III, I could really feel the lack of extra equipment.  I got spotted a lot more easily and could not see targets as far away.  So I decided I needed more upgrades.  Since I did not yet have the credits to fully fit the new tank destroyer, I decided to borrow equipment from one of my old ones.  I looked down the list to see which well fitted vehicle I had not been playing as much.  And that was the Marder II.

Desert Marder II

Desert Marder II

While I have fun playing the Marder II, it is always the last on the list.  With the purchase of the JgPz IV, I now had five German tank destroyers.  And so I unfit the camo net, the binocular periscope, and the coated optics from the Marder II and mounted them on the new guy, bringing him up to spec.  That helped a lot.  I left the Marder II in the garage, just in case.  But for now it is out of play rotation.

I also managed to get the first gun upgrade for the JgPz IV, which was a slight improvement.

Upgunned PzJg IV

Upgunned PzJg IV

Note the giant TOG II* in the background, which started making an appearance in numbers this past weekend.  It was clearly put in game to make T-28 feel svelt.  It is a target begging to be shot.

Tempting, but he is on our team...

Tempting, but he is on our team…

I am still saving up for the big gun on the JgPz IV, the 88mm KwK 36, which is called the PaK 36 when used in an anti-tank role.  Once I have that, I will be invincible, right?

That will be a while though.  It is nearly 10K experience to get that, plus some cash.  And then it is another 60K experience to get to the Jagpanther.  But I am still moving forward, though I have been splitting my time with the KV-1 as well, both of which got a lot of crew training this past weekend.

The only other WoT item of note has to do with the router in our house, which decided it was time to lay down and die, but not before spending a few hours on Friday night acting erratically.  It would run for a bit, then reset itself, dropping my connection mid-battle.  Of course, this kept happening at the worst possible time.

I have you now BDR!

I have you now BDR!

Yeah, there I am, lined up for the kill… and the link is down.  The game let me shoot at my target, but nothing else happened.  So I took some screen shots of the KV-1 firing just to have them.  The picture at the top of the post is one.

When I finally reconnected, I was the one who was dead.

Fortunately, Fry’s is just a couple miles away and open until 10pm.  A new router was purchased and set up.  Tanks battles recommenced.

Love, Hate, and the T-28 December 11, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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16 comments

I mentioned before that one of the things about World of Tanks that keeps me going is the wide variety of tanks available to drive.  In fact, I have to remind myself to stay focused, lest I run off and train up to tier IV on yet another branch of yet another national tree.

I have been pretty dedicated to the German tank destroyer line.  My goal initially was to drive a Hetzer, having faced them so often.  That was easy enough and I pushed on to the StuG III, which is where I capped out.  I did actually train into the JgPz IV, making the StuG III an “elite” tank, but I never got around to buying the JgPz IV.  I saved up, but then spent it all on upgrades for my lesser tank destroyers.  Camo covers, the better to hide in ambush, and binocular periscopes and coated optics, the better to see you… and shoot you… before you can see me.  Not being seen and all that.

So I have been staying pretty faithful to that line, with occasional jaunts in other vehicles.  But as my desire to drive a Hetzer was stoked by getting shot by them so often, now being in the tank destroyer a new foe began to emerge.

Heavy tanks.

I bounced enough shots off of heavy tank armor to start to wonder what it might be like to be on the other side of that equation.  So I started looking at what the shortest route would be to get into a heavy tank.

The KV-1 seemed to be the heavy closest to my grasp.  I had already gotten to the first rung on the ladder via going elite with the MS-1.  There was a pool of experience sitting there that helped me bypass the T-26.  Then I converted a bit of experience from other elite tanks (which costs gold, the RMT currency), which let me jump over the T-46.

But it wasn’t enough to get me all the way to the KV-1.  Only one step stood in my way, but it was a big one. I would need to earn the 13,500 experience to train that by driving the KV-1’s predecessor on the Soviet heavy tree, the T-28.

Ah, the T-28!

I love the T-28… when I am driving my Hetzer or my StuG III.

The T-28 is as big as a barn and about as well armored.  It might as well wander the battlefield with a “free kill” sign hung over the gun.  I practically salivate when I see T-28s on the other side in a match.  It was a design from the early 30s when they still thought maybe tanks would be like land battleships.

Now, however, it was going to be me at the helm with a “shoot me” sign hung over the gun.  But I wanted to get to a KV-1, so I gritted my teeth, invested as little as I could in the beast, and headed out to battle.  How bad could it be, right?  After all, for all its size and thin armor, it does at least have a pretty big gun for a tier IV tank.  A nice 76mm piece.

T28 with the 76mm gun

T28 with the 76mm gun

That was before I tried to shoot something with the 76mm gun.

In the game, part of the sighting system is a reticule that shows the potential area where your shot will go.  You get a nice little marker to put where you want it to hit, but the accuracy of the gun itself and the motion of your vehicle impact the potential cone of fire.  And, of course, the further away your target, the bigger the effective cone is by the time the shell reaches it.

When you stop though, and aim the gun and sit still for a little bit, that cone of fire contracts, the reticule draws in nice and tight around your aim point, and you are good to go with a high probability of a hit.

Unless, of course, you are driving the T-28 with that big gun.  I would stop, draw a bead, and wait for the reticule to close up… and wait… and it would move in a little bit… and I would wait… and it would stubbornly remain big enough to take in a large barn… or a T-28… and I would curse and finally shoot and watch the shell explode nowhere close to where I aimed.

Large is a relative term of course, and I have been spoiled by the very accurate guns on the German tank destroyers, where the reticule closes in nice and tight and you can snipe at long range with a reasonable expectation of a hit.  Add in the fact that I did not opt for a 100% trained crew (the T-28 has 7 crew members, and you pay in gold per person) and it was pretty clear that to hit anything with that gun with any regularity, I was going to have to get up close and personal.

One thing I will give the T-28, it moves well for a big fellow.  It is as fast as most of the light tanks it faces, except for that one goddam French taxi cab, the ELC AMX, that races all over the place with seeming impunity.  Of course, the T-28 is fast because it is armored like a light tank, while the big-as-a-barn aspect of the thing makes it considerably easier to hit.

If I could close with an enemy and hit them with the big gun, I could do some serious damage.  However, I am not alone in loving to see a big fat T-28 in my sights.  The thing is a shot magnet as people see the “easy kill” sign.

The natural state of the T-28

The natural state of the T-28

I died early and often.

This was not helped by the fact that the matching system seemed to be biased against giving the T-28 any possible advantage.

The biggstest smallest tank on the list

The biggstest smallest tank on the list

Finally, I decided to forgo some of my experience headway, largely provided by matches where my side went on to win after my early and entirely expected destruction, and trained for the 57mm ZiS-4 gun.  While it doesn’t do the damage or have the penetration of the 76mm gun, it is far more accurate.  This allowed me to actually provide a net benefit to my side in matches.

57mm... not compensating at all

57mm… not compensating at all

I slogged on with the monster, actually doing okay with it once I fully resigned myself to its considerable limitations.  The 57mm gun let me hang back and shoot past the heavies in the vanguard… which was where I was aiming to be eventually… and actually survive for a while.

After an evening, a morning, and an afternoon of matches… with some time out now and again for the StuG III and some other tanks… I finally hit the mark and was able to train up to drive the KV-1.

A fresh KV-1

A fresh KV-1

I spent the experience, then bought a KV-1, opting to shell out the gold for a 100% trained crew this time.  You can spend a long time at tier V… or what seems like a long time to me… so I felt it was a worthwhile investment. I did not have enough experience to invest in any upgrades, so I took my showroom stock KV-1 out on its first engagement.

And, of course, got the crap shot out of me.

A not so fresh KV-1

A not so fresh KV-1

Being in a heavy does not make you invincible.

And the KV-1 is slow… slow to the point that you can move forward, or you can turn, but you really cannot do both at once.  But it can take a punch and even the default gun is good and more accurate than the one on the T-28.  Soon I was doing better in the KV-1.

KV-1 like a champ!

KV-1 like a champ!

Having made it to my goal, I decided not to waste a garage slot on a tank I could not see myself ever using on purpose again.  I right clicked and select the “sell” option.  Bye-bye T-28.

And then I looked again and saw it still sitting there.  Somehow I managed to miss-click.  I sold the KV-1.

the emotional impact

the emotional impact

ARRGH!!!

At least I sent the crew to the barracks, so I did not have to purchase another gold crew.  But that mistake would eat up all my remaining cash.  I wouldn’t be buying any upgrades for the KV-1 for a while.

The final revenge of the T-28.

I sold the T-28 before buying the new KV-1, just to avoid a repeat performance.

Now to grind away for that 85mm gun on the KV-1.