Monday, June 29, 2015

Honest Thoughts/Review on SU-122-44

Hi again guys,
So today I decided to express my opinions on the SU-122-44. First, allow me to confess that I absolutely suck in Russian TDs. I have yet to gain a single MOE on any of them, including the SU-122-44 itself and the SU-100Y stronk box tonk. It's not that I don't have fun in them, I do, but I just can't seem to perform consistently in them. I'd much rather play tanks such as the Type 64 or E-25 as premium money makers. The SU-122-44, to my point of view, is a rather overrated tank for most pubbies. Yes there is no denying the amazing traverse speed, the ridiculous DPM and good alpha, and intimidating sloped armor front profile, as well as the high speed of relocation. There is absolutely no doubt that unicums or experienced players can easily abuse these features and yield amazing results in battle. I am not in way intending to demean or discredit the SU-122-44 itself as a tank.

However, for the average pubbie who looks to purchase a premium tank, I do not believe that this is a suitable tank. The problems of not having limited matchmaking (can meet tier 9s), having awful gun handling not helped by rather mediocre accuracy and a teeny gun arc, low penetration, and low view range will effectively bind quite a few people from reaching the SU-122-44's full advertised potential, frequently expressed on the World of Tanks Forums. Yes, the gun's DPM is completely off the charts compared to its peers for TDs at tier 7, but an agonizing 2.9 aim time, mediocre 0.41 accuracy, combined with a very low 175 penetration and horrible gun arc on a chassis with only 4 degrees of gun depression really hinders the capacity of the gun to really perform, especially against tier 9 tanks which it regularly sees. The armor, while good, will not bounce shots indefinitely for long periods of time or against competent opponents, or simply against people who have that special little APCR or HEAT round stock loaded up. And when you start getting penetrated, you simply don't have the HP for backup. I've seen too many players in random battles rushing into battle with their SU-122-44, with high confidence in their armor, only to see them get crushed like a typical medium tank who tries to brawl it out. Reserve the brawling for the heavies unless there's no other choice. Also, you should have a good crew to slap on the SU-122-44, as playing the SU without a good crew can be extremely unpleasant due to its characteristics of slow acceleration and poor gun handling/view range.

My opinions on playstyle:

Tier 7 - this is the tier where you can mostly rely on your armor. You can brawl it out as a heavy, but you still need to be cautious. Once you are tracked the second time, you are a dead cockroach, as the gun arc is too small to help the SU-122-44 defend against much without the hull being able to turn properly. Even though your armor is just as good as other tier 7 heavy tanks, your side armor and HP will not hold, so be careful and don't make yourself the center attraction for the enemy team. Put in a few shots in rapid succession, and when the enemy team starts to turn their turrets toward you, retreat and approach from another angle quickly or you may be annihilated very quickly by competent opponents. Otherwise, just have fun, and kill everything fast before they start killing you.

Tier 8 - you need to be more cautious in the area. Your armor is still good, but more than half of the enemy team now can easily bypass your well-sloped armor. Stay behind heavies, avoid heavy brawling, and sneak around to surprise distracted opponents with some raw DPM and alpha. Aiming for modules, especially the tracks and the engine, and help your team win many fights on the battlefield against your opponents. Don't limit yourself to sniping unless you can't find a tank group to be a part of.

Tier 9 - tier 9 is the biggest weakness of the SU-122-44. Armor of a tier 7 is highly irrelevant against almost every tank you face in this MM, and your gun will quickly become obsolete due to terrible handling and penetration against tanks where even aiming for weakspots is unreliable and a bad decision in general, since long exposure time is the last thing SU-122-44, or pretty much any TD at this mm level, wants. In this scenario you have to act as an opportunitist. Watch the minimap constantly, and see which areas you might have a chance to break through into enemy flanks, as well as always having an escape route planned. This may bore down to sheer luck in facing your opponents and/or the quality of your opponent's team, but don't be rash and die early as the lost of 3000 DPM is generally disliked by your teammates.

When fighting any vehicle, it is a good idea to aim only to the point where it won't miss, and generally refrain from engaging tanks where you have to aim for small weakpoints. After firing, angle your tank a bit, about 10 degrees, and move back and forth to mess up your opponent's aim. Don't ever engage on a hilly terrain or you will be completely outplayed. Use your repair kit very sparingly as it may be the only thing that prevents someone from killing you if you get tracked or engined.

My idea for equipment: Rammer, Vents, and Binoculars.

Camo Net isn't really a great idea on this tank since the camo is really good already, and after you fire you are almost always spotted anyway. I find GLD unnecessary because of the brawling playstyle I described above, but if you insist on sniping or the aim time is really bothering you, you can switch out vents for GLD. Binoculars because the tank's view range is poor, and when you spot you generally remain still. Optics doesn't work too well for this tank as the camo is easily enough for you to simply sit still while spotting.

My crew skills:
Sixth sense for the commander (unless you want to swap it out for repairs first), and the rest repairs. The tank's biggest weakness in combat, in my opinion, is getting tracked, so you want to train repairs to get untracked ASAP. After that, I'd train camo to improve assault skills, or snap shot and clutch braking to improve close-range brawling skills. It all depends on your choice of playstyle.

Thanks for reading; that'd be all for today. Good luck tanking.

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