Thursday, 22 September 2016

World of Tanks - US Heavy Tank Guide

A guide to US Heavies Tiers 1-7

World of Tanks T29


Heavy tanks are the unstoppable monsters in World of Tanks, grinding forward to crush enemies under their steel tracks. All who stand in their path flee, or risk annihilation.

At least, that's how it's supposed to be.

All too often, heavy tanks are isolated, immobilised and hacked apart by enemy tanks that exploit their armour's weak spots. US heavies are particularly vulnerable in this regard, as they often only have impregnable armour on the front or turret, while the rest is relatively weak.

This is a guide to the US heavy line, including how to grind through the lower tiers until you get that sweet, sweet T29.

In case you need a refresher of the basics of tank warfare, check my (much) older post.

Tier 1/2 - T1 Cunningham & T2 Medium Tank

These two tanks are fairly similar in their play style and, like a lot of tier 1's and 2's, probably the best advice would be just grind through them to tier 3. It shouldn't take very long at all; pick your fights carefully, stay with the pack and try to cause as much damage as possible before you're taken out.

Tier 3 - M2 Medium Tank

This is where things get a lot more fun. The armour admittedly isn't great (although it is partially sloping), and that tall silhouette doesn't help with concealment.

That 75 mm howitzer though. Ooh you should see the 75 mm howitzer, Maximus. Load it up with HE shells and this tank becomes extremely deadly. Think of the Sherman with its 105 howitzer and you'll get the idea. Point, aim, blow up enemy tank.

With that gun at Tier 3, you should be one/two-shotting tanks your tier or below, and the HE shells mean you can disable enemies a good deal more powerful. It can't penetrate armour though, so be careful.

Tier 4 - M3 Lee

World of Tanks M3
Ugly bastard innit?

Often considered one of the worst tanks in the game, the M3 Lee gets a lot of hate for its large silhouette, crappy armour and the almost criminal lack of turret. It's the last medium in the heavy line and, sadly, isn't brilliant.

The Lee should be played more like Tank Destroyer; staying at the back of the advance, sniping at anyone foolish enough to reveal themselves. Its 75mm guns are irritatingly inaccurate though, so make sure your aiming reticule is the smallest it can be before opening fire.

Sounds terrible I know, but advancing ahead of the pack without a turret will see you surrounded, tracked and destroyed. You can't really brawl, so don't bother. Still, you can cause a significant amount of damage if you find yourself at the top of the tier list.


Tier 5 – T1 Heavy

Huzzah! You’ve made it to the first heavy tank in the US line! It ain’t half bad neither.

One of the first things you’ll notice is its armour value.


‘Oooh 101mm armour thickness!’ you’ll say, drooling over the keyboard. You are indeed correct to drool in such a manner; that thickness is nigh-on impregnable in the right circumstances.

Sadly, that’s just the front of the tank. The sides and rear will crumble like cardboard left out in the rain.


World of Tanks T29 aiming
Dammit man, get out of the way!
In fact, you should always face this tank towards the enemy. If they hit your massive, bus-sized sides, you’re probably screwed. It’s a good introduction to US heavy tanks, as they need to be positioned correctly to survive astonishing amounts of damage.


In terms of research paths, I’d recommend this order:



1.    Tracks – you’ll need more suspension to take on the later upgrades. Plus, you turn faster.

2.    Turret – so you can fit the upgraded gun.

3.    Weapon – that 76mm M1A1 has decent penetration and ROF, even if it lacks significant alpha damage. It’s the same gun as the one on the M4 Sherman, so that’s a boon if you’ve already gone down the medium path.

4.    Engine – you can reach a decent top speed, good for ramming.

5.    Radio – not incredibly important on a heavy, but useful nonetheless.



Tier 6 - M6


World of Tanks M6
Yep, can't really miss those sides.



The tiers get higher, and the grind gets longer. Welcome to free-to-play!


What you’ve got with the M6 is, essentially, an upgraded T1 Heavy. It’s effectively the same tank, and play style shouldn’t differ at all really. Keep your front facing towards the enemy, don’t let them see anything else.


Sadly, your 76mm will seem like a peashooter in this tier, as you’ll regularly face off against higher tiers with terrifying armour values. That being so, get the 90mm M3 gun as soon as possible!


The 90mm will mean you can at least damage higher tier tanks without all your shells bouncing off, while at lower tiers you will be a real monster.


Keep going, you’re almost at the T29!



Tier 7 – T29


Here’s where the real fun begins. This tank is whole new beast altogether.

 As well as 102mm front hull armour, it also has 279mm turret armour. What this means is that almost nothing will be able to penetrate that turret armour – seriously. This leads onto a technique synonymous with US Heavies – hull down.


World of Tanks T29 hull down
Yeah, hit my turret guys, that'll work...!



Hull down is basically where only the turret of the tank is visible to the enemy. Coupled with great gun depression, in this manner a T29 can hold a defensive position indefinitely. I managed to hold off several tier 8’s and 9’s using this tactic, and we ended up winning. They just couldn’t penetrate the turret armour. Granted, if they had any sense they would have just rushed me, but still.

In that scenario I also had the 105mm upgraded gun, which is very expensive but incredibly effective. The starting 90mm again puts you at a disadvantage compared to others in your tier, so I recommend getting the upgrade as soon as possible.


Remember that your hull armour is, for your tier, essentially worthless, so always go hull down if you can. You need to be defensive with this tank, unless you are top of the board. Pick your position carefully, and hold it at all costs.


World of Tanks SPG
What every heavy really wants to see...




Phew. I think that’s about enough for now. The next tiers are all variations on the same theme as the T29, with the same tactics but better guns n armour. You get the idea.


 



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