Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Opinions of the BT-7A

Honestly, the most enjoyable result of the BT-7A giveway event was the use of my PzKpfw I C to club extremely hard. It was dirty, yes, but incredibly fun. ;)
However, I did play my BT-7A for a few games, and it definitely is the best free tank WG has given to me so far, perhaps even better than the Tetrarch (which we are getting again through the Gauntlet missions this month, anyway). Not only is it competitive compared to its peers, but it can do hilarious things in all matchups with its 75mm derp gun and 37 hp/t ratio.

The BT-7A's gun, by itself, actually isn't that impressive, especially when looking at the M2 Medium and the T-46 with their arguably better 75mm derp guns. The BT-7A's gun has slightly worse ROF and accuracy than the above two tanks, as well as much worse gun depression. Furthermore, the BT-7A has no premium ammunition available. However, the BT-7A has the absolutely insane mobility of the BT series. With a 37 hp/t ratio, it can exploit the weak spots and flank much, much better than the M2 Medium and even the T-46. In close range 1v1 engagements, the BT-7A can very easily avoid fire from its opponent by circling and flanking it, while other light tanks may struggle to keep up the speed to evade the enemy tank's gun. The BT-7A can simply shoot once with its high caliber HE to track and immobilize any enemy, and proceed to go to town, while other light tanks at the tier will have to fire at least 2-3 perfect shots to track and retrack the opponent each time. When flanking and harassing, the BT-7A's relatively slow top speed of 51 km is irrelevant.

The tank's sheer mobility and 75mm howitzer make an effective tank even in a matchup with tier 5 heavies. It may not be able to penetrate them, but HE will be able to continually track and harass them while your higher tier allies finish them off. If you are a competent driver, no heavy tank will be able to stop you from flanking them. You may not rack up a huge amount of damage against heavily armored tanks, but you can easily track them and earn a huge amount of assistance damage. However, long charges and aggressive active scouting should not be attempted regularly as the BT-7A has a top speed of only 51km, the HP pool of a tier 3, and 290m view range. The BT-7A also isn't the smallest tank especially compared to tanks like the PzKpfw I C. Stay in your role of a precision ambusher, and leave the scouting to better light tank peers unless your team has nothing better.

Overall, the BT-7A's playstyle is quite similar to the American Tier 8 Light Tank T49, with the differences being the BT-7A having more staying power (due to better DPM and ROF) and engine power/acceleration, compared to the T49, in exchange for not having advantages of good gun depression and view range. Therefore, the BT-7A is more of a support/assault tank while the T49 is a derp ambusher/support scout/ridge poker with 10 degrees of gun depression. The BT-7A may not earn a huge amount of credits or train crew well with only 3 crew slots, but can take advantage of pre-existing Russian light tank crews and is a fun tank and trophy in a player's collection/garage. Selling it is completely not worth it, even if you really dislike it, especially because it only sells for 1000 credits.

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