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M103

M103

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Charcharo #1 Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:27 PM

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Hello and welcome to the M103, the tier 9 heavy tank of the USA. This vehicle is a departure from the hull-down monsters that the T29 and T32 were. It is a more mobile vehicle that relies on firepower and positioning to deal death to its enemies.
Previous tank: T32

Next tank: T110E5

http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/topic/112277-t110e5/

Tank specs:
2yWRyNV.png
Tech tree:
74t1wA9.png
Overview:
The M103 has a punishing but somewhat short stock grind. Just bought, almost nothing is carried over from the T32. The first thing EVERY M103 driver must do is research the T122 gun and mount it. After that though... engine is required for T110 and tracks arent needed but make a good difference for the tank. The best turret is also quite nice of an upgrade. The final gun is awesome, though not necessarily needed, because it is automatically researched once the T110E5 is researched. It is completely possible to research the E5 and end the M103 grind with just the T122, but that does limit the vehicle's potential.
The upgraded M103 boasts improved mobility compared to the T32. It does not have a great top speed, but it reaches it quickly and keeps it well enough. Flanking and supporting medium tanks is a possibility. Agility at close ranges and pivot turning also help in city fights.
Armour on the M103 is ... good. At long ranges, the tank can be very hard to penetrate. The turret is well sloped and has a big mantlet that can deflect incoming TD shots. Decent enough gun depression, whilst lower then on the T32, does allow the M103 to use hull down tactics. However, there are many weak spots to both hull and turret amour. The turret cheeks and commander's hatch, the lower hull plate and side and rear armour can easily be penetrated. Artillery can really screw up the day of every M103 driver with a good splash damage roll. The tank is also VERY big, which means that flanking enemies will have a very big and squishy target to damage.
Firepower is dependant on gun. The 105mm gun is not even worth discussing, It should be upgraded ASAP. The 120mm T122 cannon offers decent enough penetration and DPM, workable accuracy and aim time. It works. However, the best M58 12cm gun is awesome. It is the same gun the T110E5 uses, and it has great penetration, good accuracy and good DPM. The M103 can easily outmatch most tier 9 heavy tanks in a firefight. Good gun depression and mobility only help the player get the most out of this awesome weapon.
All in all, the M103 is a good assault and defense tank. Its good armour, good agility and maneuverability, good gun depression and great gun really do make for a solid multi-roll heavy tank. It can overwhelm enemies and push, snipe to cover medium tanks, flank slower TDs and heavies and even go into hull down. It prepare players very well for the versatility of the T110E5.
Price: 3 640 000
Camouflage: Bad
Gun Depression: -8°/+15°°

Pros:
- Accurate, high RoF and DPM gun with great penetration.
- Decent mobility and agility.
- Armour strong points can bounce powerful rounds.
- Turret can be incredibly hard to penetrate at long distances.
- Decent gun depression.
Cons:
- Side and rear armor of hull and turret might are highly armoured tissue paper .
- Not great damage per shot.
- Prone to various critical hits, ammo rack damage and being set on fire.
- Armor has weak spots that can be penetrated even with 140mm of penetration.
 

Designation:
1.Warrior 2. Steel wall 3. Sniper 4. Support 5. Heavy armour slayer
 

Crew:
1. Commander (also a radioman) 
2. Gunner 
3. Driver 
4. Loader 

5. Loader 
 

Modules:
Hull:
Armor scheme currently in use:

Spoiler


203/51/38
The hull is ... well... I deem it satisfactory. Lower plate can be penetrated by 170+ pen guns reliably, and upper plate may get penetrated from 225 pen, HOWEVER, its beak can easily deflect 240 pen rounds and the shape is relatively odd and irregular. At range, the hull can be quite bouncy.

 

Suspension:
T97E1 / Max.capacity 57.5 / Turn speed 26 deg per sec.

T97E2 / Max.capacity 62.5 / Turn speed 28 deg per sec.
Stock suspension should be upgraded. The T97E2 can carry all the modules and equipment a M103 may need... but its ground resistance and other soft stats are fairly bad.
 

Engine:
Continental AV-1790-5B – 875 h.p. – 20% chance of fire
AOI-1490 – 875 h.p. – 20% chance of fire

Stock engine is not too bad, but you will need to research the best engine on your way to the T110E5. It makes the M103 much more mobile. It wont win any speed races, but acceleration, climbing and maneuvering will become noticeably better.
 

Radio:
AN/GRC-3 – range 410 meters

AN/GRC-7 – range 745 meters

Stock radio is just plain bad. Should be upgraded quickly.
 

Turrets:
M89
Armor: 127/127/51
Rotation: 32 degrees/second
View range: 380m

T140
Armor: 127/127/51
Rotation: 32 degrees/second
View range: 390m

Stock turret and upgraded turret have a few key differences: the upgraded one allows the tank to mount the best gun, gives the tank more view range and health and has a smaller weakspot. Otherwise, they are mostly the same. Offer extremely good protection at mid and long ranges due to angled sides and a big mantlet... however up close, the turret cheeks and the commander's hatch can be penetrated.
They are also very big turrets and shots from the side can be extremely dangerous.
 

Guns:
105mm T5E1
RoF: 6,12
Penetration: 198/245/53
Average damage: 320/320/420
Accuracy (100m): 0,4
Aim time: 2,3 sec

This gun was great on tier 7. Decent enough on tier 8... but on tier 9... it is just painful. Still, better then what the ST-I has to go through :D. I suggest you... try to somehow win games and do damage.
The APCR round is good, but running with it is expensive. The other 2 guns are MUCH better.
 

120mm T122
RoF: 5,26
Penetration: 242/340/60
Average damage: 400/400/515
Accuracy (100m): 0,4
Aim time: 2,6 sec

Finally a workable gun! This thing can go through all tier 9 tank's weak spots and even tier 10 weak spots. It is slightly slower to aim, but is otherwise an almost straight upgrade from the 105mm gun. It also deals 80 more damage per shot.
The really big question is... can you play the M103 with just this gun and not " waste " almost 60k xp? Yes, you can. The gun is good enough for tier 9 and it will serve you well... but using it means you arent using the M103's full potential.

 

120mm M58
RoF: 5,36
Penetration: 259/340/60
Average damage: 400/400/515
Accuracy (100m): 0,37
Aim time: 2,3 sec

This gun is awesome. Great penetration and good combined with good aim time make this gun deadly at medium and long ranges. The DPM it can churn out can also make it very effective at close ranges too, provided you can turn the battle into a slug fest or there are multiple targets for it to shoot.

Do mind the peculiarities of the gold ammunition. It is HEAT, which means it does not get normalization and is much less effective against spaced armour. This makes it less effective against heavily sloped tanks (compared to APCR that is) or track shots, but thankfully it does not lose penetration with distance.

The real qustion is, is it worth it to "waste" 60k XP on it then to not research the T110E5 quicker? Well... I dont know. Depends on you. Is it really much better then the T122? Yes, it is. But the difference is from "good enough" (T122) to "excellent" (M58) gun. I personally unlocked it, because I already liked the M103 and wanted to play more battles, train my crew a little more on it and get the most out of the tank. Others say they can play fine with the T122, and they are not lying. 
 

Comparison with its peers:
M103 vs WZ-111 1-4
The M103 has similar overall protection to the WZ 111. It has much better gun depression, accuracy and aim time when compared to the Chinese. The 111 does however have better damage per shot, is faster and more agile and with better camo.

M103 vs E-75
The E-75 is more heavily armoured then the 103, deals more damage per shot and has the same gun depression. The amercian does have better penetration and DPM and agility though.

Proposed Upgrade Path:
1. 120mm T122
2. Radio
3. Turret
4. Suspension
5. Engine
6. Optional : Best gun.

Historical M103


Like the contemporary British Conqueror tank, the M103 was designed to counter Soviet heavies such as the Josef Stalin tank or the T-10 if a conventional World War III broke out. Its long-ranged 120 mm cannon was designed to hit enemy tanks at extreme distances, but it was never used in combat. In 1953-1954 a series of 300 tanks, initially designated T43E1, were built by Chrysler at the Newark plant. Testing was unsatisfactory, and the tanks were all stored in August 1955. Only after recommending improvements, on 26 April 1956 the tank was standardized as the M103 Heavy Tank. Of the 300 T43E1s built, 80 went to the US Army (74 of which were rebuilt to M103 standard), and 220 were accepted by the US Marine Corps, to be used as infantry support, rebuilt to improved M103A1, then M103A2 standards. The successive versions of the M103 shared many components with the M47 and M48 Patton tanks and the M60, which, with the exception of the M60 (a main battle tank) were all considered 90 mm gun (medium) tanks. Tracks, rollers and suspension elements were the same, with some modification to take into account the greater weight. The engine and transmission were never modified enough to give the extra power needed for the greater weight of the M103, and as a result, the tank was relatively underpowered and the drive systems were fragile.

 


Edited by Charcharo, 06 August 2014 - 06:38 PM.


Brett50 #2 Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:21 PM

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Brilliant review as always, keep up the great work!

Omnichr0n #3 Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

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I really love this tank.

 

The armor is quite strong from the front, and can even hull down quite well even though the turret of the T32 is stronger. I've managed to soak 14k dmg with this tank using the mobility and hull down position. From the sides, the M103 really can't bounce much, unless you are very lucky.

 

The gun is accurate with a nice DPM and together with the mobility of this tank, you can get to good positions with little effort. The upgrade to the top gun was worth it for me at least as it performed much better for me.

 

A great allrounder imo. :smile:


Edited by Omnichr0n, 15 April 2014 - 11:26 AM.


GTO_PRO #4 Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:29 AM

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they changed M103 turret armor to 254\99\53 it was 127\127\53 i think before they buffed the frontal turret but weakend the sides  and now i dont know if its worth to go for the t110e5 if the m103 has same armor and maybe even a better turret same gun  just more hp thats the only big difference

Edited by GTO_PRO, 17 April 2014 - 11:30 AM.


Charcharo #5 Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:50 PM

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View PostGTO_PRO, on 17 April 2014 - 01:29 PM, said:

they changed M103 turret armor to 254\99\53 it was 127\127\53 i think before they buffed the frontal turret but weakend the sides  and now i dont know if its worth to go for the t110e5 if the m103 has same armor and maybe even a better turret same gun  just more hp thats the only big difference

The actual armor is almost the same really. They are only counting mantlet armor now :P



RedlineRailgunningRemmel #6 Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:01 PM

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Seems like the UFP is pretty much unreliable now, 200 pen seems enough to put holes in it so its not tomato proof anymore.

JD_STEEL #7 Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:52 AM

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Thank you for the nice review, I need to practice my new M103... ;)

orejaempezar #8 Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:56 AM

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This has been my first sight love since many, many time. I only freexped the first gun, everything else stock and it just works… great.

 

I pen reliably, the tank is maneouverable, the armor is efficient, the DPM is high… And still everything is going to get better with new tracks, engine, the best gun, and a 100% crew ( i retrained just for creds so they are still in 95 or so ) An the most curious thing is that i was full of bad expectations for changing the pure hulldown tactics of the T29 and T32 wich were also great tanks, but i am really astonished of how good this tank is.

 

I never keeped a T9, i prefer the credits for funding new branches or T10 but this one... is a keeper!



keyres #9 Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:09 PM

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View PostCharcharo, on 19 March 2014 - 06:27 PM, said:

Guns:

105mm T5E1
RoF: 6,12
Penetration: 198/245/53
Average damage: 400/400/515
Accuracy (100m): 0,4
Aim time: 2,3 sec

This gun was great on tier 7. Decent enough on tier 8... but on tier 9... it is just painful. Still, better then what the ST-I has to go through :D. I suggest you... try to somehow win games and do damage.
The APCR round is good, but running with it is expensive. The other 2 guns are MUCH better.

 

Small Mistake - the damage of that gun is 320/320/420 not 400/400/515.



Tank_n_Spank #10 Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:20 AM

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M103 is a pretty nice tank. Had fun with it. But I didn't keep it. Even though it's a good tank, Its problem is that it's up against some pretty steep competition at tier 9. I would rank the E75/ST-1 above it tbh. Maybe if it was slightly more mobile it would be up there with them.

Edited by Tank_n_Spank, 25 June 2014 - 01:24 AM.


GibMeister #11 Posted 09 July 2014 - 01:51 PM

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I don't know people can say the T32 is good, I hate it and have been grinding it for so long now its driving me mad. Well let me clarify that, the tank is good but the gun is hopeless at T9 and 10. 198 pen is no good for a heavy, it works at T8 but thats it, in T9/10 battles I usually just die real quick having fired loads of rounds which bounced off everything, even my gold bounces a lot. I can't wait to get the M103, another 16K xp to go though! Thanks for telling me the M103 gets the same crap gun to start with! Looks like I will need to save up some Free XP.

Raffy5 #12 Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

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Thanks for the nice review.

 

Just 2 days ago I unlocked and bought it, free exp-ed the gun and turret. Now the rest of the grind begins.



GibMeister #13 Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:39 AM

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I have just researched it and bought it, hooray, thats the boring grind of the T32 over with! I really hated that tank, although my WR of 58% will make you think otherwise, but trust me I may have a 58% WR in the T32 but it felt like a 30% WR, that gun is just so awful and the tank is so sluggish, anyway its gone, problem is I had to sell all my modules etc to pay for the M103 so now I have a totally stock M103 with that damned rubbish gun from the T32 - doh!

Luckily I am now quite skilled at fighting tier 9 and 10s with a puny gun, so my WR is still 100% in the M103 even with that bad gun - yes I only cause some damage by aiming at weakspots at close range, long range its so inaccurate it misses mostly, if it hits it bounces. I have had to use a few gold rounds to make sure I pen so i can get some XP to research the next gun.

 

Anyway, on a more positive note, even stock the M103 is better than the T32 in my opinion, it seems to move about a lot better, armour doesnt seem that good, everyone aims for my LFP which seems easier to hit than the T32s. So far I have a good feeling that when I get it fully upgraded its going to be far superior.

 

So if you are grinding the T32, have heart the grind seems to be worth it!



Cepheid1 #14 Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:24 AM

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I hopped back in M103 after getting T110E5, put a 2-3 skill crew in it and gave them the usual heavy skills.

last time I played M103 was before HD Model. 

 

still a great tank, it can do everything. It is no E-75 nor an IS-8. a typical Jack of all trades. Perfect for me...

 

What I noticed and I knew that it would come this way is the worse turret armor. Hull was never reliable but with HD model the turret is shaped worse than before:

 

The "cheeks" are wider and less angled

The "forehead" (armor above mantlet) is taller and less angled

 

And those are the areas I mostly get penned. They aim at your copula and either they miss you entirely or they pen your copula or the "forehead". Before HD Model the "forehead" was very hard to pen so they had to hit your tiny copula. Now it is: "aim at the general direction of te copula."

 

 

So I get pens more often, hulldown can be tricky due to the turret, IMO T29, 32, 34, 30 are WAAAAAY better hulldowners.  But this tank with T32 turret armor would be soooooo OP.

 

 

So you have to live with the armor.But the awesome gun allows you to pop out shoot and retreat in a very short time, Hellcat style. Then use the mobility to deliver the damage where needed. And if you are alone, you can still spot for yourself, still bounce a few shots, still hurt the enemy and will still be able to retreat.  ST-1, E-75, VK4502 cant do that, i.e.

 

And thats what this tank is about. It works in every moment of the game, you will never be helpless.

 

A true allrounder. 

 



beercritch #15 Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:47 AM

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I am very surprised by the mixed comments on this tank. It seems like its a bit of a marmite.

 

For me, maybe I have just had poor games, but it under performs dreadfully. The armour is a joke, mobility is poor, the canon is OK but it pens less reliably than the Russian tier 9 tanks and is not as accurate as the German. It may have been a good tank once, but today its purely a grind to the tier 10.

 

I have had good games. In fact I have done very well with a win rate around 55% and an average XP just under 900, but only very few of these games "felt" like good games. For me I think the biggest problem is the tracks. You pop out from behind cover to get your snap shot in and some tiddly little tank hits you and knocks out your tracks. its not a chance to lose tracks; simply every time you are hit you lose your tracks. It makes it almost impossible to play as a high tier heavy as you need to take a few hits for the team.

 

All in all a tank that I can not possibly recommend. 

 

 



GibMeister #16 Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:32 PM

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Hmm, just got it a week ago, put the second gun on which is helping a lot, seems okay, yes armour doesnt compare to my E75 but it does bounce a few shots now and then. Will make full judgement when its fully upgraded...which maybe some time!

no_name_cro #17 Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:40 AM

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Just bought it. Armor is troll but nothing reliable, I used 105mm and luckily didn't got into tier 10 game, if pen worked alpha didn't, everyone will trade shots. Mobility is good, even stock much  better than T32. What I don't understand is why M103 has worse view range than T32?

tajj7 #18 Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

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Yeh I don't get why the view range is worse. 

 

I just got it on Monday, liking it so far, free XP'd the second gun and the turret. Still need the tracks and engine and obviously the top gun. 

 

I'm liking it so far, it's an odd 'heavy' though, not really there to tank shots it's more like force an ST-1 or E-75 to miss or get a troll bounce, hit them twice and then f*ck off somewhere else. 

 

Fat medium maybe or 'support heavy'

 

If you they are like hulldown or sidescraping just go "Nope, not today" and again f*ck off somewhere else.

 

Mobility is very good even stock so looking forward to the tracks + engine.

 

I think it's maybe not a carry tank because the armour is unreliable, won't be able to take a beating like an ST-I or E-75 but more likely to bounce than most mediums, but not with the mobility they have to avoid shots especially with it's weak sides..   

 

Reckon though fairly easy to do a fair whack of damage with it due it's DPM + mobility + decent gun stats + high health + the troll bounce.

 

Gun handling seems pretty decent even though the second gun has a fairly large aim time the dispersion on turning/moving seems fairly small so that seems to allow you to dart out punch a cupola and dart back, then if the opponents rush their shot it seems to bounce. 

 

It's the kind of tank where you can dart around town maps keeping team mates alive, but if they are all dead it will struggle more because even hull down the turret is pretty easy to pen

 

Handful of games though so far so maybe I just got lucky but had a couple of games nearing 4k damage already which isn't bad for a fairly stock tank. 



no_name_cro #19 Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:46 PM

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Armor is killing me. sigh.

tajj7 #20 Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

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View Postno_name_cro, on 05 August 2014 - 10:46 PM, said:

Armor is killing me. sigh.

 

Key I've found is don't let them have time to aim at weak spots.

 

Stay in motion, snap shot, then is they rush shots they hit the more bouncy parts. 

 

That is if you are close up, at range it will bounce quite a lot. 

 

Think this playstyle will get easier with the top gun that has more pen (so less need to hit weakspots) faster aim time and more accuracy so will be better at snap shots. Plus the extra mobility from the top engine/tracks will also help.

 

I think it's one of those stay in motion 'hit the big enemy heavy before he has a chance to fully aim at you' tanks compared to your slug it out types like the E-75.

 

You can also afford to miss a shot more than an E-75 or ST-I can for example because it;s only a 8-9 second reload compared to a 12 plus one. 

 

 







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