Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Cogitations of the T-54 First Prototype

So, I bought the T-54 Prototype after the FCM 50T was not on sale.
After I wrote a HUGE article in the WoT Forum explaining how it was a weak tonk too.
So, I'm a hyprocrite. Apologies for that.

Full Stats

But after personally experiencing the playstyle of this tank, I realized that the tank isn't bad. Yes, it's not in any way OP, or even a great tank, but it is fun to play, trains my crew, prints decent credits, and serves its purpose as a bully/harasser tank.

What to expect of its armor?




Well, the armor of this tank is what most would buy the tank for. Something about the description of the T-54's infamous hull and better side armor to boot, with a rather troll turret as well, is definitely appealing. However, I've experienced a massive amount of premium ammo spam against me whenever I played this tank. Not even my (late) Jagdtiger 8.8 received this amount of premium ammo receiving when I was going hull down in it. So, you can expect your armor to be mostly reliable against tier 6s and 7s, and somewhat reliable to tier 8s, but I'd classify the hull armor as generally less intimidating than the Tiger II's upper plate. I found out that my armor efficiency was much better during sidescraping due to the good flat 90mm side armor with tracks as reinforcement.

The turret has rather good armor; however the roof is extremely thin, overmatchable even by 45mm caliber guns, and some tanks may just be able to penetrate through your gun mantlet as there is nothing behind it. You definitely should not get too close in a fight with taller tanks, especially as they can aim down on your upper plate as well. However, the cheeks of the turret are very tough and nearly impervious to enemy fire. If you somehow manage to get hull down with your mediocre -6 gun depression, you can move side to side and your opponent will have a hard time doing any damage. The lower plate is fairly strong; however, most guns with over 210mm penetration can penetrate it easily even with heavy angling. The upper plate can bounce up to 220mm pen guns reliably, but be careful at the point as people may start aiming down on it and penetrating it like nothing. And 1300 HP is not enough to make up for losing your armor advantage.

The gun doesn't have much to brag about. Everything about the gun is average except for the mediocre penetration of only 175mm. You have to be quick to realize which tanks you can fight from the front and which ones require alternative strategy, or you may get rekt. The APCR round is fine at 235mm penetration, and the DPM and rate of fire is simply average. Be careful as the gun handles rather poorly - get vertical stabilizer and make sure to aim as much as you can before shooting. Overall, the gun gets the job done in most situations, if not particularly well. One thing to notice is that you only have 34 rounds - be careful with how you take and use your shots or you may end up regretting it later if the game progresses far enough.

The mobility of this tank is surprisingly fine. Considering it has just as much armor as a Tiger II, or even better, the traverse speed is great at 42 degrees and will prevent most flankers from getting your side - which is good, especially because you often get ammo rack and engine damage there if penetrated in the middle or back. The turret can also keep up at 40 degrees per second traverse. The acceleration feels sluggish, almost as slow as a T29, but it can reach a fairly good speed at 44km and maneuver well, perfect for dogfighting and aggressive maneuvers. It can't flank very well, but it's good enough to sneak in side shots to distracted/surprised enemies.

I feel like this tank is a slightly inferior T-44 in most MM cases except when top tier. In a tier 8 game, you can rely on your armor as much as a heavy tank, but in tier 9 games you have to be more careful in the targets you choose to face. In tier 10 games, you'd definitely start to wish you had more mobility instead of nearly negligible armor against the opponents you'll face. In tier 10 games, I like to play as a harasser and light tank/medium tank hunter, as well as helping perform flanking maneuvers, but only if I receive quick support. In tier 9 games I still generally play as a heavy, sidescraping more than simple angling to ensure bounces. If I must I can play more like a medium tank, and try to get around my opponents and taking routes that aren't as brawl heavy.

Overall, I believe that this tank is a directly nerfed T-44 outside of the armor aspect. It can get the job done, and perform excellently in the right situation, but generally serves its purpose as a premium tank - slightly under the performance of the regular counterpart tank, but it can be a fun and powerful tank to play in its own right, if not exceptional. The armor holds up well but can be a tough blessing when almost everything else about the tank is rather gimped. I'd recommend this to a starting player who doesn't want to spend too much on a premium tank, and dislikes the potentially powerful but rather unreliable playstyle of the IS-6.

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