Saturday, August 1, 2015

Stug IV Thoughts

Just a quick post,

Full Stats

On Wednesday, I finally completed the first set of Personal Missions and earned myself a shiny new Stug IV. I had previously heard many comments about it, few of them good. However, I had my OP E-25 crew, so why not try it? I slapped on my binocs, camo net, and a gun rammer and started battle.


Here's the link for the tank comparison between the Stug IV and the Stug III: Tank-Compare

Well, of all the amazing 8 games I've played in it so far, I have yet to get a true "sniping" map, unless you somehow count Pearl River. However, my impressions of the tank were not bad. Yes, the tank is inferior to the Stug III in many ways, but the pref MM is very helpful. Many tank destroyers are crippled or downright one-shotted when facing tier 7 and can deal very little damage in return, or at least have few opportunities to deal damage. The Stug IV will never meet tanks like the IS, KV-3, and SU-152, improving its survival rate overall.

Probably the greatest asset of the Stug IV, and the Stug III as well, is its amazing camo values. The Stug IV has just slightly inferior camo values to the Stug III, but if you have a good crew to slap on the Stug IV (it accepts crew just like premium tanks), you'd most likely be outfitted with several decent skills, most likely including camo. When hidden in a bush or placed at a long distance, the Stug IV can remain unspotted and continue to dish out some hurt with its accurate, rapid-fire gun. The view range is poor, at 310m, but a good crew and binoculars will negate this. I'd also recommend using a camo net to greatly decrease your conspicuity at all times when not relocating.

The gun of the Stug IV is quite high in potential effectiveness, due to the amazing 1.6 second aim time with a good 0.35 accuracy and a rather decent rate of fire of 16.22 rounds per minute. With the 100% crew provided with this tank and a gun rammer, this can be brought down to a 3.19 second reload time, and even shorter if vents/food/BIA are used. With this high ROF, and a whopping ammunition capacity of 61 rounds compared to the Stug III which only carries 36 rounds, the gun's high rate of fire makes up for its weaknesses over the Stug III's gun. Carry some APCR when you need it. -6 gun depression is average for its low profile, so around bumpy terrain you won't get trolled too often. The Stug IV does have a smaller gun arc than the Stug III, 10 degrees to the left and right compared to the Stug III having 15 degrees to the left and right. However, the Stug IV has a better aim time to compensate.

The Stug IV has inferior mobility compared to the Stug III. It's top speed forward is 38km compared to the Stug III's 40km, and due to the Stug IV being heavier and possessing a weaker engine than the Stug III, it's hp/t ratio is only 11.58 compared to the Stug III's 17.14. Furthermore, it has 44 degrees of traverse speed compared to the Stug III's 47 degrees per second. However, 44 degrees per second is still very fast a tier 5 TD, so there is not much of an issue there. Furthermore, the Stug IV has 0.8/1.0/1.9 terrain resistance values compared to the Stug III's 1.1/1.4/2.3 terrain resistance values. Therefore, on flat ground, the Stug IV can almost keep up to the Stug III. It will suffer when climbing slopes, however. Overall the Stug IV's mobility is average, but its traverse speed allows it to defend itself against potential flankers.

The Stug IV's armor, is very similar to the Stug III's. The 80mm listed armor values cover only parts of the lower hull and flat lower superstructure - the sloped portions are thinner and therefore are only more effective than the flat 80mm areas if the shot can autobounce. The Stug IV is moderately taller than the Stug III, a slight disadvantage. However, unlike the Stug III, the Stug IV has no problems of howitzer-wielding tanks flanking it and potentially one shotting it through its thin 30mm sides, because the Stug IV has very large 5mm thick side spaced armor skirts that cover the entire side, negating most HE damage from howitzers that could've easily one shotted the Stug III. It's rear armor is worse than the Stug III's however - 20mm compared to 30mm. However, the high traverse speed makes most instances of tanks flanking and shooting your rear nonexistent. Therefore, the Stug IV has overall better armor than the Stug III due to the side skirts, and due to the fact that the Stug IV will never see the tier 7 tanks that the Stug III can face. The Stug IV also has 360 hitpoints compared to the Stug III's 350.

I believe that the Stug IV's biggest two advantages over the Stug III are its preferential MM, and its ability to accept any german TD crew. The tank has no premium tank credit multiplier, or xp multiplier, but its ability to accept crew like a premium tank gives it an immediate crew advantage. The Stug IV is a decent tank and a nice addition for german TD line players who want to give their crew an extra daily double of exp. The tank may not be exceptional, but is a fair reward for the first set of personal missions.

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