A KV-3 with a Big Gun

The goal for World of Tanks this year is to get into a tier IX vehicle.  Not a particularly steep goal, given a whole year, unless you take into account my divided play style (German TDs along with Soviet and French heavies, plus dalliances with US light tanks, SPGs, and such) and the fact that I do not play all that much.  I am good for a few games in the evening and maybe a longer stretch if we platoon up on Saturday night.

With that in mind, I decided that I was going to try to blow through the KV-3 as quickly as possible.  I would buy the minimum upgrades and just drive for the KV-4.  I figured I would be spending a long time with the KV-4 in any case, better to get started on it as early as possible.

Not that I was very speedy about it (see play style above), but after a month of the KV-3 I had purchased the minimum upgrades to make it useful and get to the jumping off point for the KV-4, I had enough experience.

And then I looked at the price in credits for the KV-4 and realized that, after buying and equipping the Jagpanther and the ARL-44, I was a bit short when it came to the price tag.  About 1.2 million credits short.  Not an insurmountable goal to reach, but one that will take me a while.  So I splurged and upgraded the KV-3 so that the KV-4 is the only thing left on its tree.  The main deal was getting the 122mm D-25T gun.  That is the big gun on the KV-3, and is distinguished by its muzzle brake.

122mm - note the muzzle brake

122mm – note the muzzle brake

So with a new toy, of course I had to take it out for a spin.  And luck was with me, as I drew one of my favorite maps, the El Halluf encounter battle.

I like this map because it makes sense to me.

It is yet another “take the hill” map.  Unlike, say, Himmelsdorf, where the hill offers no advantage when it comes to the actual capture point (I’ve been on teams that have lost while still taking the hill many times), taking the hill in El Halluf will actually give you an advantage.  The hill overlooks the contested cap, so at a minimum holding the hill lets you keep the other side off the cap.

El Halluf and the Hill

El Halluf and the Hill

So every El Halluf encounter battle starts off with a rush to the hill where the heavies go toe-to-toe while the mediums dart in and out, the TDs snipe at any exposed parts, and arty tries to rain death over the various obstacles.  And I was the top heavy on our side, so it was up the hill for me.

It was myself with a T-43, a Cromwell and a StuG III running up the hill from side I to face an IS, a T29, a KV-3 (with the smaller gun), and a T-34-85.

The StuG III got potted by arty almost right away (a Hummel and an SU-8) but the three of us remaining managed to jink around enough while getting in hits and pulling the other side out just far enough to take their shots so that our TDs could get in a shot now and again as well.

And aside from the Cromwell just begging me to shoot him in the back of the turret by blocking my shots all the time, and a Three Stooges moment when we all tried to crest the hill and squeeze through the gap at the top together, it worked.  The 122mm gun tore into the other side and did huge amounts of damage.  I was able to absorb the return fire, keeping myself angled.

We cleared the hill top.  The mediums chases the T-34-85 down the other side while I got into an arty shadow to help cover a couple of team mates who had crept onto the cap.  I managed to get in a couple more hits, including a long range shot at a Jagpanther that was making a last moment run to try to defend the cap.

We won.  I got the top score along with Sniper and Steel Wall badges, all of which made me quite happy.  It also made me feel cocky and invulnerable and I ended up dying fast on the next two maps.  Every fight is the same, every fight is different.  But once I settled down, I started doing okay again.

I will be driving the KV-3 for a while now as I build up credits and experience to get into tier VIII.  So it is a good thing that the big gun does its job.

The pictures in this gallery were taken via the replay option.  I wasn’t taking pictures and zooming so far out mid-battle.  I particularly like the last picture in the gallery, as it shows that the muzzle brake is taken into account for graphics when the gun is fired.

By the way, this is why I really like the replay option.  I do not go back and look at most of my fights, but being able to review a really memorable fight like this is very nice.  Plus, screen shots.

12 thoughts on “A KV-3 with a Big Gun

  1. HarbingerZero

    Not only is it taken into account for the graphics, but in a recent Q&A on the Russian forums, SerB said that it plays a part in the mechanics for a tank “revealing” itself when it shoots. WoT gets some criticism for its lack of realism in some places (and rightly so) but there are a good number of things they get right that I admire.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @HZ – Yeah, WG.net is in a pinch when it comes to realism vs. playability. I was in a match last night where somebody was raging about being hit by “phantom shots” or some such. I tried to point out that the enemy TD was hanging back and letting his team spot for him… like a PRO. His opinion was that if it can hit him, he should see it. Cover is always problematic when decided by an equation. I think we’ve all had somebody so close as to fill our reticule disappear on us.

    On the flip side, if people wanted realism, then at least 10% of the tanks just wouldn’t run at the start of a match, tanks would stay “tracked” for the whole match, and any that were so so struck and in an exposed position would be abandoned by their crew.


  3. HarbingerZero

    Yeah there are a lot of things like those you list that just come down to judgment calls on WG’s part. I may be a bit of a homer, but I think they have done very well overall.

    The cover mechanic and disappearing tanks (yeah we’ve all had those lol) is one of those things that is just not up to part either in realism or gameplay right now, but its also one of the things that is currently being overhauled, so at least its something they are willing to spend some time and money to take another shot at it.


  4. Drebin

    @Everyone: http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/64652-mechanics-wot-camo-and-vision-mechanics-guide

    @HG: The bit I dragged out of this was the following:
    “When you fire your cannon, your tank loses about 75% of it’s current Camo rating. It varies based on cannon size and if the cannon has a muzzle brake.”

    I recall an explanation from Overlord’s blog that muzzle brakes raise the loss of camo rating because of the venting of hot gasses to either side makes it a bright dumbbell-line effect, rather then a bright spot-cloud effect.

    @WA: Yeah, I was one of those that used to get worked up about that, then I had the epiphany that all old tank-heads get: Just a game sim, not RL. Then again, growing up in semi-rural Alberta did teach me that a RCMP cruiser could be idling not more than 50m off, behind two clumps of bushes, and you’d have no idea it was there until you rounded upon it, so YMMV on the 100m invisi-tank thing. Apparently, 50m is the absolute minimum, and you will detect at that range behind buildings and hills.

    That, and speaking of wanting realism…if I really wanted that, I would have free-XP’d through the Tiger P rather then waiting for a crew retraining special, like I am now. Could you imagine trying to drive a tank whose engine is likely to catch fire within the first 500m of travel, and will throw a track when turning at any sort of speed (or in place…)? The Tiger P: The EZ-Bake Oven of the tank world…


  5. Solf

    The biggest problem with WG and ‘realism’, imo, is that they refuse to disclose some critical numbers that are not really related to ‘reality’ (and are instead simply a balancing factor).

    Specifically — camo values. They say that they won’t disclose them (for some inane reason) but they also say that it is mainly related to your size. Which is, imo, completely untrue. It is in fact related to your class mainly (TDs typically being the best) and to some balancing that they’ve chosen to do (British Churchills and Black Prince are surprisingly stealthy — for no good ‘realistic’ reason I can see).

    (in Russian, sorry)

    @Wilhelm — btw, how do you play WoT? Do you pay subscription? I think you don’t? In which case I’m very surprised you have so little issues with in-game money. Even though you apparently get lots of daily bonuses, I think they don’t apply to credits? I’m lately stuck alternating between my T25/2 (US TD) and Lowe (and on the premium account to boot) because T25/2 gun is crap with non-premium ammo — and even disregarding premium ammo usage it looked like I’d have problems scraping together the amount I need for T28 Prototype by just playing T25/2 straight.


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – I can see their reasoning. With exact numbers people will to optimize. Some people will find a way to exploit the math. There is always a conflict between giving the customers data and letting them figure stuff out on their own.

    Back in the early days of TorilMUD you had to roll a character and play the first 20 levels with no numbers visible at all, just terms that represented ranges of numbers, like “good” or “average.” Did that make the game better? I am not sure, though they did do away with that later. And did that change make the game better? I could say for sure either.

    As for playing, I pay for premium, buying it in 30 day increments. I tend to play 4-8 matches a day. And I do have issues with in-game money, the credits. That was one of the points of this post, that I had the experience to train for the KV-4, but I only had 400K in credits, leaving me over 1.3 million credits shy of my goal.

    I do drive my Type 59 daily, which has low repair costs, so even a badly lost match ends up earning me 10K, and a good win can be an easy 40K credits.

    Also I am only up to tier VII… leaving aside the Type 59. Beyond that I hear that losing a match often means losing money. Where I stand I almost always make a little money, even on a loss. But I also don’t use consumables and shoot the few rounds of premium ammo I carry only when I think it will count in a match.


  7. Solf

    This being the interwebz you can count on dedicated people figuring numbers out — e.g. camo values in the link I’ve presented.

    At which point not disclosing these numbers ends up punishing the people who need help the most (in a way) — those who are not ‘hardcore enough’ to go sifting through the interwebz.

    But their worst offense here, imo, is misleading. Camo values maybe do have something to do with size (as they claim), but realistically if you try to guess based on that, you’ll be very wrong in many cases imo. Which is again bad for not-so-hardcore people.

    So if they disclose ‘view range’, I don’t see how there could be much harm in disclosing ‘camo value’ as well (which goes hand-in-hand really).

    re: money — ah, so you pay for premium :) That explains a lot then :) I know that today you’ve mentioned issues with credits, but I also remember earlier posts where you basically said something like “I can farm credits no problem” (I find it a problem for myself :)) — and even today you were short only because you’ve spent money on two other tanks.


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Solf – Yes, everybody has money problems, because nobody ever has enough money to do everything they want. My main limiting factor in earning credits is that I can only play so many matches before I want to go and do something else.

    I use the World of Tanks mobile app on my iPad to see immediate stats. That also gets me the news updates so I know what the weekend event specials are.

    For deeper stats I have been looking at WOTLabs lately. They have nice color graphs, though because of heavy traffic they only update your stats for your first request every day.


  9. Drebin

    You might want to try the XVM overlay mod then for stat evaluation. It’s local to the game only, but does give you a wealth of info on your daily stats.

    It can also be a little disappointing when you see that you have less than a 5% chance (as it calculates things) to win…which makes it a Han Solo moment when your team does. XD


  10. Sarzan

    Are you getting any matches where you are earning over 100k gross on your T59? Firing a lot of premium shells on it? Also to help bang for the buck, make sure you platoon with other tanks with similar matchmaking. The Type 59 has matchmaking similar to tier 7 tanks in that they will not fight tier 10 tanks as long as they are not platooned with one that can. Your chance at winning should be higher and thus your cash return better. Check the wot wiki for the chart.

    If you can stomach it, alternate between your standard and money maker accounts. It won’t seem like alot at a time but it adds up over time.

    My advice for leveling is to have a few lines you are interested in and simply do the daily doubles. Most of my lines progress that way and now I have a stable of mature tank lines that have progressed faster over time than they would have if I worked on a line straight up.

    Another consideration is to get the best gun in the current tank that is used by the next tank in the line, even if it’s not In the direct research path for the next tank. This way you should increase your chance of winning and hence cash flow on the current tank but give your next tank a leg up.

    Save your generic experience for smart upgrades like the next powerful gun, tracks to let you use better modules. Almost never is it good to use it to research the next tank unless you can’t stand the one you are currently in.

    Keep up the good fight and enjoy the posts!


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