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British guns in WoT


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StClement #1 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

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Hi guys. I've got a huge amount of feedback out of a very modest post count on this forum. I'd like to thank everyone who has replied to my earlier threads, it's brought my game on immensely. I'm still a very average player, but it's not for lack of information or tips. It's much appreciated.  :Smile_Default: I'm quite sure that without your help I'd still be struggling to grind enough experience to get past the fifth tier!

I've unlocked the majority of British guns now- only the 105 and 120's to go. I've got to confess to being very disappointed with their performance in the game, though.

They are, allegedly, fast firing with excellent penetration, which gives the theoretical ability to deal massive amounts of cumulative damage.

The trouble is they don't seem to behave that way in the game. Moreover, even if they performed as advertised, they're a very poor match for the models they're mounted to.

The high rate of fire requires an opposing model to remain exposed to it, something that the small, closed maps don't generally encourage. If the opponent can duck back into cover until his weapon rearms then it's aim time, not reloading time, that limits the rate of fire. The British weapons don't hold any advantage here- the 75mm, 76mm and even 90mm tier 6 weapons all have the same 2.3 second aim time that the British 6lb (57mm) gun has, for example. This holds true at every tier, for every vehicle class.

Already, the theoretical damage per minute score isn't generally achievable. However, that's only the first link in the actual performance chain. To deal damage the weapon must first penetrate the target. Sticking with the 6lb, T6 weapon, we see it has very average penetration- 110mm. Most T6 weapons are considerably higher, the exceptions are only slightly lower. Shooting at the same target, the British weapons have normal aim time and average to low penetration. They deal considerably below average damage and frequently fail to penetrate, meaning that the British model has to hit more often to keep pace with opposing weapons. This puts the British player at a considerable disadvantage.

It's when we consider the rest of the model that the imbalance really becomes apparent. Players aren't shooting at the same targets. British vehicles tend to be slower and less well armoured than their opposition. The T6 Churchill is one of the slowest vehicles in the game, with only average armour for it's tier. The T6 Cromwell, probably the most popular British tank, is seriously lacking in protection, although it is, admittedly, very fast. To score damage against heavily armoured opponents the British player has to shoot at small, vulnerable areas of the opposing models. With equal or greater penetrating weapons, but a much less armoured target, opponents need only aim at the British tank- a hit is enough, penetration is more or less assured. And that's without considering the 'features' WG has given the British models- massive frontal weakspots on the Churchill, for example, or the Centurion's apparently external ammunition stowage system!

It definitely affects your game experience. Opposing medium and even light tanks are comfortable getting into slugging matches with British heavies. It's beyond a joke when you realise that a Caernarvon can be penetrated at will by almost every vehicle on it's tier, but still has to aim at weak spots on the enemy lights!

The behaviour of vehicles in the game is well known and understood by the developers. I refuse to believe that the performance of British weapons was any kind of surprise to them; which rather begs the question, why have they inflicted such ineffective weapons onto the entire British line?

ApocalypseSquad #2 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

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I've found them all pretty good.  There are some hidden stats that also impact on a gun's performance.  Dispersion on move, dispersion on traverse, etc.  I think the Brits on the whole do well here.  

In the Caernarvon with the 20pdr 'b' barrel, for example, I found I was able to easily engage multiple targets switching between them as opportunities presented themselves.  Not something you can do in an IS3...

My one gripe would be with the accuracy of some of them.  E.g., the 17 pdr in the AT-15A.  It has a very small dispersion circle, but seems to spray rounds around randomly anywhere within that circle.  Not good when you have to aim for weak spots at range.

Other "less accurate" guns seem to much more reliably send the shot straight down the middle...

jagdcommander #3 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

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I'm quite enjoying my Churchill 1, which I certainly didn't expect as I was just going through the British tree for some variety, but have decided to stay with it. However, historically, we designed tanks for infantry support rather than tank-to-tank battles and our tanks weren't produced in the volumes of Russian or American tanks or with the quality of the German vehicles. While the game doesn't replicate (or intend to) real facts about all tanks, the lack of firepower from the British tank guns seems to be one factor which in relation to the other nations is historically close to the mark.

smudo1 #4 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

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Honestly, I didn't really have a problem penetrating enemy tanks with the Churchills top gun (145 mm pen btw), and the speed wasn't as much a disadvantage as I thought at the beginning! This keeps you from getting too close to the enemy, and when you angle the tank it more or less impenetrable if you're on top of the list. If you're somewhere at the bottom, nearly every shot will go through your armor, but that's something that happens to every tank!

About the meds: I really enjoyed playing the Cromwell (just sold it for Comet during the special, but I guess I'll buy it back again somewhen), the only thing I had to keep in mind was to play it more or less like a light tank - keep moving, keep turning and NEVER STOP if you're not 100 % sure that noone is aiming at you! Due to the nice accuracy of the gun hitting targets even while driving around full speed worked a lot better than expected!

And at least up to Cromwell think about this: Due to the low Alpha-Damage and the (accused) low penetration value enemies will ofter underestimate it and concentrate on other targets - your chance to shoot them down just as you wish, killed more than one KV-1S like that, even while facing him directly!

steview162 #5 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

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I ha e have a feeling the whole brut brit tree is planned as a prem ammo farm.

Edit lol, damn those fancy new fangled phones

Edited by steview162, 26 February 2013 - 05:24 PM.


MadInAShed #6 Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:32 PM

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The black prince was one of my favourite tanks of the brits so far, quick firing gun with a well armoured tank. The caern was one of my least favourites, until i relaised that the stock conqueoror is exactly the same as the caern but with higher tier battles...until you get the big gun on the conq prepare yourself for hateful hateful battles!

StClement #7 Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

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View Postjagdcommander, on 26 February 2013 - 02:24 PM, said:

I'm quite enjoying my Churchill 1, which I certainly didn't expect as I was just going through the British tree for some variety, but have decided to stay with it. However, historically, we designed tanks for infantry support rather than tank-to-tank battles and our tanks weren't produced in the volumes of Russian or American tanks or with the quality of the German vehicles. While the game doesn't replicate (or intend to) real facts about all tanks, the lack of firepower from the British tank guns seems to be one factor which in relation to the other nations is historically close to the mark.

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Ch I, mate. The BP is even better, if you want to keep grinding?

However, two things come to mind. Firstly, we did rather well with our infantry tanks, their weapons were well suited to their role. Historically, they were fit for purpose. They also, in the Churchills case, mounted exactly the same weapons as those mass produced American tanks!

Secondly, this is a game with an arcade, shoot-em-up focus. There are no infantry or AT guns to contend with- thank the Gods!  :Smile_blinky: - so discussions of historical accuracy should be put into context here. The beach buggy mobility of fantasy tanks with battlecruiser armament is a well established feature of the game already; hobbling the British line with ineffective weapons simply because historically, the anti-tank role was only a small part of what British tanks were required to perform, makes no sense at all.

StClement #8 Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

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View Poststeview162, on 26 February 2013 - 02:26 PM, said:

I ha e a feeling the whole brut tree is planned as a prem ammo farm.

I have a feeling you may be right...  :Smile_ohmy:

StClement #9 Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

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View PostApocalypseSquad, on 26 February 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

I've found them all pretty good.  There are some hidden stats that also impact on a gun's performance.  Dispersion on move, dispersion on traverse, etc.  I think the Brits on the whole do well here.  

In the Caernarvon with the 20pdr 'b' barrel, for example, I found I was able to easily engage multiple targets switching between them as opportunities presented themselves.  Not something you can do in an IS3...

My one gripe would be with the accuracy of some of them.  E.g., the 17 pdr in the AT-15A.  It has a very small dispersion circle, but seems to spray rounds around randomly anywhere within that circle.  Not good when you have to aim for weak spots at range.

Other "less accurate" guns seem to much more reliably send the shot straight down the middle...

Rofl!  :Smile_teethhappy: Konspiracy korner- I reckon you might have something there! I'm moving up the Soviet tank destroyer tree as well. Although I'm having some real problems adopting to the TD style, (mainly finger trouble), the guns they mount seem a lot more accurate than their posted stats. I can reliably hit a light tank on the other side of the El Halluf valley with them- I struggle to hit heavies at half that range with the supposedly identical American equivalent... (Zis-3 76mm vs M1A1 75mm).

jagdcommander #10 Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:51 PM

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View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Ch I, mate. The BP is even better, if you want to keep grinding?

However, two things come to mind. Firstly, we did rather well with our infantry tanks, their weapons were well suited to their role. Historically, they were fit for purpose. They also, in the Churchills case, mounted exactly the same weapons as those mass produced American tanks!

Secondly, this is a game with an arcade, shoot-em-up focus. There are no infantry or AT guns to contend with- thank the Gods!  :Smile_blinky: - so discussions of historical accuracy should be put into context here. The beach buggy mobility of fantasy tanks with battlecruiser armament is a well established feature of the game already; hobbling the British line with ineffective weapons simply because historically, the anti-tank role was only a small part of what British tanks were required to perform, makes no sense at all.

Yes - I understand what you're saying and agree that since there is no infantry, there needs to be some equality.

I'd like to upgrade to a Churchill Crocodile just for the special effects ;-)

dylanator911 #11 Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

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The British guns are good when used to their full effect, if met the right tanks.

Listy #12 Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

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You want a crappy gun? Go drive the T-44. 175mm of Pen at Tier 8. A 17Lbr does about that a tier or two earlier.

StClement #13 Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:19 PM

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:Smile_Default: Yep, pretty pants, but I'm not sure how that ties in with what I posted, Listy? The T-44 is faster and better armoured than the Centurion- it doesn't need the Cents penetration to hammer the Brit, while the Brit, assuming he hasn't already been ammo racked, absolutely needs the accuracy, penetration and (alleged) rate of fire to take down peer equivalents who he can't outrun and definitely can't outfight. You don't even have to move off the Soviet tech tree- every other vehicle on that tier has (virtually) the same or greater penetration than the supposedly high penetration Brit; only the Su 101 and the premium IS 6 have less, but they both dish out almost 400dam per penetration. Their 175pen will get past the Cents armour every time, from almost any angle. You know the reverse isn't true...

As for that 17lber- it can't reliably penetrate T7 heavies main armour- you have to aim for weak spots, which decent drivers will try and refuse you. Again, the reverse patently isn't true. Careful angling or sidescraping is needed to bounce even low penetration opponents. It's not always possible to do that one on one, much less when faced with several opponents. And facing several opponents is pretty much inevitable in many games, thanks to the BP being unable to keep up with it's fellows.

If you're saying that every model has advantages and disadvantages built in then of course you're correct. My point is that the supposed advantage of British tanks- the high pen, high rate of fire gun- lacks the penetration and usable rate of fire to offer that advantage. It seems to me that the models have, for the most part, been given disadvantages in game to compensate for a non existent weapon bonus.

Hollow_Knight #14 Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

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OP is right about the guns being pretty useless thanks to player tactics.  British heavies are WORTHLESS in corner play thanks to their terrible alpha damage (usually 0 thanks to the madness of armour sloping).  The fire rate is only an advantage in straight slugging match and unlike the awesome Matilda, the heavies just don't have the defences to survive out in the open.

What I can't figure out is this: The Matilda (admittedly a little bit OP for its tier, but not THAT much) is a tough little tank with a great gun that is accurate, quick firing and has penetration that'll get through almost anything in its tier.  On the downside it moves a little slower than most glaciers and the gun's damage will rarely shave more than 20% of an enemy tank's health with each hit.

The Churchills (The I, the VII and the Black Prince) on the other hand, are slow, weak (the armour is thick, but it's full of weak spots and barely sloped at all), their guns are lucky if they get away with ANY penetrations in a match and do very anaemic damage.  But they're fairly accurate and have good fire fate, so that's something... right?

smudo1 #15 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:26 PM

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I can't help, but I usually have quite nice matches in my Churchill VII, even when I'm not on top of the list!

Just stay in second line (not very difficult with that 'speed'  :Smile_veryhappy: ) and support the brawlers! You might not get that many kills, but you can deal lots of damage that way!

StClement #16 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

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:Smile-angry: Listy you sod! Were you driving your T-44 with another account tonight?

'Cause I've just bounced twice off the little f*ckers hull, failed to penetrate and got tracked, frontally penetrated and finished off with a parting shot right up my a*se! That's in my Caernarvon, fitted with the QQf 20lber, A barrel. 226mm penetration, according to my tech tree, vs 90mm hull. At a 45deg slope thats 127.3mm of armour- 98.6mm less than my 'average' penetration.  :facepalmic: Funnily enough his gun went straight through my glacis- 130mm; say 183.8mm with the 45deg slope. What were you saying about crap penetration? :Smile-tongue:

'Course red star armour works just like everyone elses! :Smile_trollface-3:

Listy #17 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:42 PM

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View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

:Smile_Default: Yep, pretty pants, but I'm not sure how that ties in with what I posted, Listy?

There's always someone worse off than you...

View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

The T-44 is faster and better armoured than the Centurion- it doesn't need the Cents penetration to hammer the Brit, while the Brit, assuming he hasn't already been ammo racked, absolutely needs the accuracy, penetration and (alleged) rate of fire to take down peer equivalents who he can't outrun and definitely can't outfight. You don't even have to move off the Soviet tech tree- every other vehicle on that tier has (virtually) the same or greater penetration than the supposedly high penetration Brit; only the Su 101 and the premium IS 6 have less, but they both dish out almost 400dam per penetration. Their 175pen will get past the Cents armour every time, from almost any angle. You know the reverse isn't true...

I see a different story. I tested a cent on the test server, and have been playing about with the Caernvon both of which use 20Pdr's. I don't use gold ammo on the test server, as I feel that gives a false impression of the tank.
Equally when I platoon I normally use my T44 and my platoon mate uses a Cent.

I see a great tank, that can be horribly effective, and has a far superior gun to the T44.

View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

As for that 17lber- it can't reliably penetrate T7 heavies main armour- you have to aim for weak spots, which decent drivers will try and refuse you. Again, the reverse patently isn't true. Careful angling or sidescraping is needed to bounce even low penetration opponents. It's not always possible to do that one on one, much less when faced with several opponents. And facing several opponents is pretty much inevitable in many games, thanks to the BP being unable to keep up with it's fellows.

I have a very different experince with the Black Prince. My best games to date have all been Tier 9 games (note: I'm not saying that a 17Lbr can kill tier 9's). As long as you're not being thick with the 17Lbr (IE: shooting agaisnt the gun mantle) you can normally poke shells through the hull.
The armour is startlingly good on the Black Prince, just make sure you cock you hull a little, so they blew your tracks off? Meh.

View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

If you're saying that every model has advantages and disadvantages built in then of course you're correct. My point is that the supposed advantage of British tanks- the high pen, high rate of fire gun- lacks the penetration and usable rate of fire to offer that advantage. It seems to me that the models have, for the most part, been given disadvantages in game to compensate for a non existent weapon bonus.

See I have a differnt philosphy, I don't play normally. People who expect peek-a-boo will be upset when facing me. I'm happy to charge round a corner where someone is waiting and then slice him in half. Or just wait until he stick his nose out and then say good bye to the Idler wheel! If you approach the corner at an angle you can normally slope your armour well enough to deflect his shot then he has a long retreat to get out of the hail storm of AP rounds your slaming into him. now I'd like a bit more penetration (who wouldn't?) but I don't see it as bad as any people here say it is.
Equally the speed of aiming and ROF allow me to engauge mutliple targets engaging in pop out and shoot tactics.
I have possibly the highest WR in my Black Prince of any of my current or past tanks. Its obscene, and I'm surpised (and happy) its not been nerfed yet.

The odd thing is nearlly every British tank seems to be a case of you either do unbelivably well in it, or it sucks.

Listy #18 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

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View PostStClement, on 26 February 2013 - 11:27 PM, said:

:Smile-angry: Listy you sod! Were you driving your T-44 with another account tonight?

'Cause I've just bounced twice off the little f*ckers hull, failed to penetrate and got tracked, frontally penetrated and finished off with a parting shot right up my a*se! That's in my Caernarvon, fitted with the QQf 20lber, A barrel. 226mm penetration, according to my tech tree, vs 90mm hull. At a 45deg slope thats 127.3mm of armour- 98.6mm less than my 'average' penetration.  :facepalmic: Funnily enough his gun went straight through my glacis- 130mm; say 183.8mm with the 45deg slope. What were you saying about crap penetration? :Smile-tongue:

'Course red star armour works just like everyone elses! :Smile_trollface-3:

Not me, I'm at work. My old job I could have gotten away with WOT at work as that PC was far better, but this PC is too utterly crap.

In a game not so long ago I was shooting at an IS-3 with my T44, my mates Cent was longer range than me. I bounced 10 rounds off, his all went through.

custardSPARTA #19 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:50 PM

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Horses for courses mate to be honest in my experience

Church I - Awesome up there with the KV
Cromwell  - In a pack just like the Type 59 brilliant
Centurian - I do not know yet it feels like good fun but I am not sure
Caenarvon - Fun stats are good but I do not feel as confidant as if I was driving the IS3

The guns are for sure different, for example find yourself invisible in the Centurian or Caenarvon and you can dish out staggering ammounts of damage be seen and you are fubar.

LimaBravo #20 Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:58 PM

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& what were you playing OP to get this experience?