Friday, August 7, 2015

Tier 6 British medium tank, Cromwell - Tank Review

Currently one of my favorite and best performing tanks,

Full Stats

the Cromwell has one of the highest potentials/skill ceilings of all tier 6 medium tanks, and can easily execute many roles. The reason is obvious - the Cromwell is a balance of excellent and consistent firepower and amazing speed comparable to light tanks. The only things it truly lacks, in my opinion, are armor and gun handling. Everything else about the tank is simply outstanding.

The Cromwell has many strong points, but I believe its main strength is its mobility. It has a hp/t ratio of about 23, along with a staggering top speed of 64 km/h. This means that it can easily leave behind any other tier 6 medium, and keep up with quite a few light tanks as well (most notably the T37). The speed really comes in handy not only in flanking and evading fire while escaping and attacking, but also allowing the Cromwell to get to initial positions before many opponent tanks. This can be a huge positions in securing positions in the middle of the map, allowing you to dominate areas rather than being dominated by opponents already in those areas.

Due to the Cromwell's rather good camouflage, slim profile, high mobility, and decent view range I like to use the Binocular Telescope as one of my 3 equipment pieces, making the Cromwell an excellent scout. Due to my disliking of the luck/risks involved in very aggressive active scouting, I use Binoculars over coated optics. Furthermore, coated optics, in my opinion, does not give enough view range bonus to outspot most enemies. I like to quickly flex to and park in a key bush or piece of cover, following by abusing vision mechanics. This playstyle has worked out well for me so far, and has made my Cromwell the first tank in my garage to have 3 beautiful marks of excellence. Those skilled in active scouting, however, should definitely give it a try and check out its effectiveness.

The Cromwell has a very powerful gun: arguably the best gun a tier 6 medium can offer, it allows the Cromwell to dominate in both mid to long range support and close range skirmishing/flanking.

The top gun, the 75mm Vickers HV, has decent alpha damage, 135, and a great rate of fire of 15.38 base. With my configuration of Vents, Rammer, and 100% crew, my reload time is a mere 3.29 seconds. This makes my DPM about 2450, making the Cromwell's DPM rival tanks like the M4A3E8 and A-43. The Cromwell however, unlike the A-43 and E8, gets good 145mm penetration, excellent 208mm APCR penetration, and has good accuracy at 0.36. The aim time, on paper is only 2.3 seconds. Furthermore, the Cromwell does not suffer from mediocre gun depression -  it has 8 degrees with the top gun. The gun is nothing but good news, except for its handling and dispersion.

With 0.24 dispersion on the move and while turning the tank, as well as 4 dispersion after firing and 0.14 dispersion on turret traverse, the gun has pretty awful dispersion which can be a severely limiting factor for those without well trained crews. Training smooth ride and snap shot immediately as a first set of skills for the driver and gunner, respectively, is imperative especially as this tank has no access to a vertical stabilizer. Some people also opt to use a GLD to further alleviate the aim time after dispersion, but I feel that vents are a better all around boost, and the GLD is not too helpful due to the low on-paper aim time in the first place.

A good crew will make up for the bad dispersion, however. When sniping in the Cromwell, take care in leading your targets as the gun has rather low shell velocity. Autoaim is generally a bad idea due to the shell velocity, and should only be used if the opposing tank is not moving or is at extremely close range and you need to focus more on evasive driving (as if in circling).

The one thing that the Cromwell lacks in is armor. The Cromwell has a healthy amount of hitpoints, 750, but the armor itself is not thick or sloped well. Furthermore, the turret has no gun mantle and is unsloped. The Cromwell, unfortunately, also suffers from a fair bit of module damage/crew death, most notably the ammo rack, gun, gunner, and driver. Therefore, the tank should retreat when situations become too much of a brawl, or it has attracted too much attention from the enemy team. The tank must rely on speed and vision-abusing tactics as its defense. The ammo rack can often be damaged from the front, so getting the safe stowage perk on the loader is a good choice.

The Cromwell, due to its mobility and firepower, can easily do well in almost any matchup, as long as it puts itself into the right situation. Even tier 8 tanks can be dealt with due to the Cromwell's high speed and agility. In situations where mm has placed you on the bottom of the matchup, simply be more careful in engaging opponents and try to act more like a light tank/scout. I've found that playing like a usual light tank allows the Cromwell to help its team a lot even in the worst of matchups.

Overall, this tank is very much a keeper for me and became one of my most consistent performing tanks after I played and learned how to use it. Now that I have fully trained my first set of crews, including sixth sense, I am really liking this tank and use it a lot in tier 6 strongholds as well as random battles and platoons. It is one of the strongest mediums in the game and will easily bring in a lot of fun.

Happy weekend tankers,

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