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Winnowing Down My Soviet Heavies February 19, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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One of the problems with World of Tanks is that, after a while, you can start to end up with a big pile of tanks in your garage.

And there are only so many tanks you can effectively play.

You get your daily bonus experience for your first win, you have crews you want to train up, you have tanks that are not yet fully equipped, and you want to get to that “next” tank at some point.

And so I found myself rather stretched when it came to Soviet heavy tanks once I acquired the KV-3.

I had a KV-1, a KV-2, a T-150, a KV-3, and a Churchill III all competing for my attention, in addition to the French experiment and my on again/off again affair with the German TDs. (Inching closer to that Jagpanther.)  Plus, keeping a tank means tying up valuable resources.  Extra equipment costs credits, and not all of it can be swapped without cost.  And garage slots cost money as well.  So I decided to trim one tank from the garage.

But which one?

The KV-3 is my newest acquisition and a stepping stone to my tier IX aspirations that were part of my 2013 goals.

I couldn’t drop that.

Looking less like the T-150 now

KV-3 on everybody’s favorite map

The Churchill III is a premium tank and has an experience bonus (1.3x) that makes it a good place to get a little extra training for my Soviet heavy tank crews.  So it was staying.

Churchill III

Churchill III

The KV-1 is just a fun tank to play.  In many ways it is the king of tier V.  And being down in that bracket means I can platoon with the rest of our clan more easily and still play a heavy.

I have you now BDR!

KV-1 gets the drop on a BDR

Which left the KV-2 and the T-150.  One of them would have to go.  And I was initially in favor of keeping the KV-2 for the same reasons I got it in the first place; it is just different from the other Soviet heavies I have.

152mm KV-2

152mm KV-2

Meanwhile, the T-150 seems to be a bridge of sameness between the KV-1 and the KV-3.  A stock T-150 looks exactly like a KV-1, while a stock KV-3 looks just like an upgraded T-150.  Why keep the one in the middle?

The only thing that kept me from dropping it right away was that I had trained up its crew so that they had their first skill (band of brothers) and were well into their second skill.  I was going to just re-certify them on the KV-3, but the new tank has an additional crew slot, and unless the whole crew has band of brothers, it does nothing.

But I stripped the T-150 of its equipment and left it sitting in the garage unplayed for a week or so.  But I also skipped playing the KV-2 for that week as well, so I began to consider selling them both.

And then I read an article about how to play the T-150.

I was particularly struck by the teaser line for the article.

You know how every tank description says not to lead, but instead back up another tank? This is the tank they back up.

That seemed to be the heavy tank role I was looking to play. So I decided to dive in and try it.

Unfortunately, purchasing the KV-3 and strained my credit balance a bit.  To really do this I needed to get some credits to equip the T-150.  And so I sold off the KV-2 and all of its equipment, moving the crew into the barracks.  That game me enough credits to add on the large caliber gun rammer and class 3 ventilation, improving my reload time and crew performance.  I did not have quite enough left for the large spall liner, but it is on the shopping list.

Then I went out and tried to apply what I had read.  And it mostly worked.

In random public matches it can be a challenge to get anybody to coordinate with you.  Still, when I end up at the top of the heap, saying “I am going up route X, follow me if you want to hide behind my bulk!” in chat before a match gets some cooperation going.  And what works for the T-150 seems to apply to the KV-3 as well.

The biggest change for me is getting used to seeing my tracks as a renewable shield rather than a vulnerable spot to be protected.  It still sucks when arty rains down on you though.  Gotta get that spall liner… and a fire extinguisher.

And when I am low on the list, I just find a higher tier heavy to hide behind and try and get in my licks that way.

Meanwhile, I have put the KV-2 crew into the Churchill III for now, training them up slowly (and swapping out the extra loader now and again to keep them caught up) as the potential crew for the KV-4.  Once I get there.

La Lutte Continue!

Comments»

1. pockie - February 19, 2013

Most of the time my KV-2 and T-150 idle in my garage too in favor of my KV-1, since the KV-1 seems to get top tier more often. But when I do take them out I’m more likely to use the KV-2, mainly because I find the T-150 more of a pain to use against tier 8s.

But if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you learn how to use the sidescraping technique, especially since you’re going up the KV line of Russian heavies. It really prolonged my lifespan immensely once I got the hang of it. It works wonders in the T-150 and basically makes you immune to anything short of arty when in a tier 6 battle.

2. pockie - February 19, 2013

By the way some people have done some calculations and concluded that spall liner is mostly useless, because it is not a flat reduction in damage (which is what is implied in the description). It’s supposedly an increase in armor absorption of damage instead. I’m not familiar with the exact mechanics but you can probably look it up on the forums, the post I saw calculated damage reduction on the order of low double figures only even on high tier arty shots.

3. Dà Chéng - February 20, 2013

I found that I can often get random public groupings to co-ordinate with me by making up a spurious statistic and mentioning it in chat at 15 seconds before the match starts. Enough time for them to ingest it, and subconsciously make a plan, not enough time to think critically about it and realize the statistic is invented. For instance, for Mines:
“64% of teams that win in this battleground capture and hold the hill at e5/e6″ or “69% of winning teams storm across the island” or ” 71% of winning teams capture the village” (I actually think the hill is most important in games with no artillery).

If, before the 15 second mark arrives, somebody else suggests a different strategy, I just keep quiet and follow their strategy, even if I don’t think it’s as good as mine. Following one strategy is better than following two.

4. pockie - February 20, 2013

By the way was nice seeing you in game in your KV-3! It was El Halluf and you absolutely decimated all our tanks that went up the hill. Too bad you later got tracked in the open (I think it was a lucky HE shell from my Pz4 >.<) and then pounded on by the rest of our team, was a close fight nonetheless.

5. Wilhelm Arcturus - February 20, 2013

@pockie – Ah, yes, I would have chatted more, but stuff was flying in my direction. I kind of wish they would let the match stay up for a min or two after it ends. Still, I think I got a hit on you up on the ridge by way of a greeting!

As for the battle, I got impatient and rolled a little too far out into the open where your side started to ring me like a particularly happy sounding bell. My tank was like a door knob, because everybody got a turn. I think I got Steel Wall again for that.

Earl was along for that battle in his new Hummel if I recall right.

6. pockie - February 21, 2013

I don’t think Earl was along, I remember being a bit surprised that you weren’t platooned. In fact I didn’t notice you were in the battle until you killed a tank and I saw the red message.

And damn that KV-3 armor, I wasted 2 HEAT shells on you before giving up and going back to HE,

7. Wilhelm Arcturus - February 21, 2013

@Pockie – Hrmm, I must be thinking of a different match. Somebody said “Hi” to me… I think the handle was Plik… in an El Haluff match when Earl was along. Along with the match ending quickly, the chat window fades pretty fast, so I often miss what people type during combat.

Yeah, the KV-3, when angled right, can bounce shots pretty well.

8. pockie - February 22, 2013

Hmm that was me >.< guess I was blind and just didn't notice Earl. Or it might have been I think of them as "Earl" and "Potshot" because of your posts and my brain just glossed over whatever their nick ingame was. I did miss you at the loading screen too after all…


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