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Tiger II Impressions


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Jasio #1 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 21:56

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Hmm,

So I figured after about 130 matches in my King Tiger it's about time I put down some impressions about that tank. Obviously I'll be re-stating some well known facts, but also giving my own personal impression of how the tank performs.

Guns:
Long 88 - I loved this gun on my Tiger I so very very much, especially with some big fixes to the balance post-patch, I regularly use my Tiger has a money maker/exp grinder. However, it is rather under powered for the Tiger II, don't get me wrong I love the accuracy and the rate of fire but it is a weapon that requires a lot of thought and sniping to make use of in the Tiger II. Did I ever regret upgrading to the 105's? No. But the 88 taught me a lot about weak spots on other tanks which translated very well to the 105mm guns.

Short 105 - Considering that the long 105 only gains a small boost in penetration, the move to the short 105mm was a revelation for me. I was at times quite frustrated with my Tiger II and its 88 but the short 105 made the tank far more enjoyable. It's a great gun; most of my matches were with it and I had no problems sniping tanks at extreme range with it, in many cases with very good accuracy. This gun also allowed me to (finally) put a sizable dent in IS-3's and make an IS-4 think twice about how it wanted to approach me (when it didn't bounce, learning the IS-4's weak spots was painful). Overall, it's a good gun - I realize the Russian 122mm hits harder but with a stabilizer and rammer I found that destroying IS/IS3's are long/medium range was not a problem.

Long 105 - So I finally grinded the necessary experience (on premium) to get the long 105mm. It wasn't a huge improvement over the short 105, but the improved accuracy and the extra ~25mm of penetration seemed to be "just enough" to penetrate IS-4's frontally at close/medium range when aimed properly. The stabilizer, and rammer are a must-have item in my opinion to off set the large alpha damage the S-70 gun can put down on any tank. If I was to make a suggestion? Either increase the penetration on the long 105 by several more mm (~another 15-20mm) or simply bump up its damange by another 35-50 points. There's always room for improvement but I'm not one to complain. I choose to stick with the Tiger II line and I'll live with the performance of the long 105, I adapted my fighting technique to make use of the guns excellent range and accuracy.

Armor:
Personally, I think the Tiger II is an upside down American T29/T32/T34. The American tanks have a lot of turret armor, but weak hulls. The Germans have weak turrets (Tiger II) and strong hulls. The Russian tanks seem to get the best of both worlds in most cases.

Turret - The obvious weak spot of the Tiger II's. With the upgraded turret I am getting less module dammage but its still the biggest issue with the tank. In order to use that long 105 I have to expose part of my turret, and snipers love to take advantage of that weakness of the Tiger II. There isn't really any benefit to the "hull down" position for a Tiger II because its too tall, and has plenty of hull armor for most engagements. But that turret which sticks out of bushes/rocks when you peek is potentially the end of you. If a player is waiting for you to pop out and his shot penetrates your turret... chances are your gun will jam or your loaded will die and that's a bit of a problem with the long-105mm which loses its accuracy and rate of fire. In that case I usually retreat towards a more defensive position and cover arty or try to snipe medium tanks from cover, engaging heavies at that point is pointless since I can't hold my own with poor rate of fire. Pointing your turret in the direction of the hostiles helps as it exposes the thickest part - the sides really are quite thin and easy to penetrate; its by far my favorite way to kill Tiger II's in my StuG. If I had any suggestions? Another 10-15mm to the side armor wouldn't hurt.

Hull - No real complaints, positioning is always important like any other tank. It's pretty easy to track the Tiger II but my crew seems to repair my tracks pretty quickly and the long 105 is a very angry response to whomever tracked me. I can only remember two situations where I was lit on fire, or lost my fuel tanks. Track/ammo damage is by far the most common.

Modules:
Pretty obvious here, with its turret exposed your ammo rack and loader (sometimes commander) die. I can't say that I've had *huge* problems with this but then again I play defensively most of the time and snipe, excercising a lot of caution when moving forward. Scouts are extremely important for Tiger II's - just like for artillery.

However, I've noticed that my modules tend to have a bi-polar personality. I either lose one module, or they all decide to go at once. The latter can be very troublesome given the tanks tall stance and slow speed.

Speed/Performance:
It's a slow tank. I've learned to live with that. At least it doesn't put me in a situation where I'm the heavy at the front. I realize that the Tiger II is gimped in terms of its top speed - another 5km/h would be nice but I realize that it probably will never happen and learned to live with the draw backs of the tank.

Upgrades:
I believe that the following are the best three upgrades for the Tiger II from personal experience: Spall liner, Stabilizer, and Rammer. This reduces the chance of catastrophic damage to the tank, improves your already fairly quick aim time, and allows you to dish out an additional round per minute.

With crew upgrades I choose (in this order): Repair, Camo, Fire. As I've previously stated I have only burned on several occasions, not enough to warrant training my firefighting skills up. The camo on the other hand seems to help with long range sniping.

Playstyle:

I'll be quite honest- defending/"camping" is the best way to play the Tiger II. I am not suggesting that you park your beast 50m from where you started and wait from the baddies to come to you - but rather learn the best spots to place your tank so that you can cover a large field of view with your gun to cover incoming scouts/mediums but stay relatively close to base to cover arty or at least stop a cap long enough for your team to cap their base.

The Difference Between "Camping" and Playing Defensively:
In my opinion campers are those who sit and idle for most of the map in and around their base without ever moving, or assisting their team mates. They'll watch the match unfold but not move to respond based on what's happening, instead they'll just sit and wait. Although you can safely say that Campinovka is an exception to this; I don't want to start a flame-war because I realize that Campinovka is... special.

So what is a defensive style then? Well... generally I move between 3-4 spots that allow me to take advantage of my guns range and accuracy but cover known bottlenecks or paths for incoming targets. I generally play "mid-field" and try to slow down or stop any tanks that get through and try to make a run for the arty. I've been called a camper on several occasions- despite raking up 7-8 kills on those rounds. *Some* players don't seem to realize the difference between a defensive player who stops 7 tanks, from a player who sits in a bush and tries to shot a tank that comes into his line of sight but once gone, doesn't move away. There should be one heavy that stays behind to help cover the artillery from anyone who squeezes through and makes a dash for the base. I've noticed that the sight of a Tiger II on the defense stops/slows down many assaults because they turn their attention to me rather than the arty or capping. I'm sure many players can attest to rounds where you win with a 100% cap and the other team loses by literally 4-5% (95% cap) - the extra precious seconds are the difference between a draw (lose) and a win.

So with the Tiger II it's really a game of duck and hide - expose yourself only to shoot a target you're almost certain you can damage (~1000credits/shot). Don't move up too far at first and use the mini-map to your advantage to figure out the best position to place your tank in. Look for known bottlenecks and tank routes for mediums/scouts. The Tiger II might not be an IS-4 which can plow through most scenarios, but I can guarantee you that I'll slow that IS-4 down until support/arty/timeout/cap. As a lot of artillery/heavy players can agree- playing arty while owning a heavy is a great combination as you learn the arties blind spots and then take advantage of them with your heavy tanks.

Fights out in open fields/plains/anywhere where range is a factor the Tiger II is a fantastic tank. I really do enjoy driving it. In city fights it's a bit of a gamble. If I come across a Ferdinand/ISU/JTiger/Objekt I usually retreat to a safe sniping position. With IS-4's I also look for cover and take pot shots whenever I can. IS-3's aren't a big problem most of the time and killing other King Tiger's one on one is just a matter of who kills who's gunner/loader first.

Money-Making:
It's a love-hate relationship. On premium I can make as much as 38-39k/match (minus ammo/repairs = ~20k) or lose as much as 7-8k if I die. The more cautiously I play the Tiger II the more money I make. I let the enemy come to me, reveal an opening for a good shot and take it. I push only when I know it's safe - or if I notice an opening on the mini-map where there is no build-up of heavy tanks. But like all higher tier heavies making money depends on luck and experience.

Top-Enemies:
I won't lie. I've been killed by StuG's with HE and assaulted by a pair of PzIV's or T34-85's to death. It happens. But if I were to choose a list of tanks I am extra careful with? I'd be as follows:
- IS7/Maus (this is quite obvious).
- IS-4 (wait for an opening, such as when his side is revealed or rear, if not, aim for the front, and aim very low - I've taken IS-4's down 15-18% frontally like this).
- VK45 (I hate going up against these... hit it from the side or rear if possible- if not, I won't waste my time and will go find something else to kill).
- T54 (This is quite obvious, mean gun, high speed, low profile, slanted armor... aim for the tracks, and then try to drop a round into his ass- if you survive that long).
- Panther II (Mean gun when fully upgraded, great sniper... aim for turret to jam his gun/damage it, or aim for sides/rear to maximum damage. No problems penetrating the front, but it doesn't do sufficient damage).
- JTiger/Ferdinand (I don't fight these unless I can get around them or snipe at range).
- ISU/Objkect (See above, although if you aim to the right (their left) of their gun mantle [driver port], you'd be surprised how squishy they can be (20-25%/shot if lucky)).

Conclusion:
So - I've ranted on forever, but in the end I have to say that I really do enjoy my Tiger II. After soft-wipe I plan to try the Russian line but I am still unsure if I wouldn't rather stick to the Tiger II now that I am familiar with its play style. I don't plan to move beyond the Tiger II line - too many experience points (~150k) which I'd rather put into trying out the American and Russian lines. Are the Russian tanks OP? Well - yes and no. The IS-4/IS-7 are by far the most challenging tanks for me to engage, granted both are one and two tiers above me so I shouldn't expect to destroy them with ease. But I've killed my fair share of IS-4's and also seen some amazing IS-3/IS-4 drivers absolutely demolish me (and my team); both sides have their better/worse players. Do I wish the Tiger II was faster, hit a bit harder, and had a bit more armor? Yes - but that's a given for anyone who drives their favorite tank around and gets frustrated (from time to time) when they get steam rolled by a more organized team "If only I had 100 more HP... if only I could reload a bit faster... if only I could deflect more shots" - I'm sure every tanker has the same opinion about their favorite machines. I know the forums are quite rife with bias, stating that the Russian tanks are better in most/all cases... and I have to agree, but the Tiger II has been a fun challenge and its great to win a fight knowing that you've taken out an IS-4 or an IS-3 and turned the tide of the fight through tactics and positioning.

I realize that other Tiger II drivers might not agree- everyone has their own opinions and experiences but it's not all bad. It could always be better, but when that long 105 destroys an enemy tank from extremely long range I just have to grin.

zayack #2 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 22:18

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You seem to enjoy the KT but most people dont and i can understand why. In my JP never once has the idea of a KT being anything more then barely a threat to me cross my mind when I got a ferd they went from barley a threat to easy kills that i felt sorry for. they should increase the pen of the long 105 to around 230 or something because even with it most KTs have trouble getting threw my front and the 128 chews apart everything and the high profile of KTs just makes them an easier target at range where the pen of there gun is reduced making it even harder for them to hurt me. IS-3s are more dangerous to me because there fast enough to successfully circle strafe me. but it seems they can be pretty good if played well which most people cant do.

CommissarRykov #3 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 22:21

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Excellent post I am currently working to get my Tiger II only need 40000 more experience! :Smile-playing: To be honest I find a lot of German Tank players love to complain so it is hard to tell legitimate complaints from rants about what they think the tank should be like. Glad to see this post though as it makes me eager to get my Tiger II now. :Smile_great:

ISDVirulence #4 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 22:33

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Really good sitrep on the Tiger II.  And pretty much everything I think about the tank as well.  Good...yes.  But just not quite up to the edge of it's counterparts for it's necessary role.

Well done.   :Smile-izmena:

bojanski #5 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 22:34

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Great post, I agree with the most of it, but you seem to "click" with the KT like me and you've put that into words.
KT is a very good tank, which has it's pros and cons, but eventually every tank has its flaws. It's just up to the player knowing how to use the tank up to its potential.

JohnHenry #6 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 22:44

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I only researched the long 105 recently - I like putting some damage on those hated IS's. I was playing it with the 88 and struck some XP with the help of premium. Like all German tanks I have played so far, it is absolute piece of crap until it is fully upgraded. You need enormous amounts of XP before it is competetive.

In my oppinion, it is underpowered, because it has more weakspost, than strongposts. Anyone can penetrate the turret from any side at variety of ranges, sides, rear and if you know where to aim you can blow through front aswell. Hell, even t1 heavy took 200hp with an ap round to the front (or side hit at an extreme angle).

NEMESIS #7 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 23:01

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I`ve got over 600 battles in the KT now and i agree with your post except maybe the part about the stong hull sure the armor value is there but it almost never bounces anything from tier 8 and above,only thing it bounces is up to tier 6 and maybe some 7`s but thats it thats my main complain there,i`m going to give the is3 a shot see how that is.

Overall i love the KT not so much due to its performance which is overall very good except the armor but due to its coolness factor its just the most awesome looking tank of them all :).

Brissou #8 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 23:02

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KT should be a tier 7 heavy, and tiger should be tier 6 compared to other nations' analog tanks.

Lito #9 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 23:21

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Walls of text. You could have written that shorter, but good stuff anyways.

I am 40k xp out of Tiger II myself, cant wait to get that underpowered beast, hah! :]

Sarpadeon #10 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 23:49

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the front armor hull of the KT is good, but not nearly as good as the turret front of the american tanks

anything with 200+ average pen will pen the upper glacis roughly 50% of the time due to shell normalization(means roughly 10 degrees of slope are subtracted from the actual due to the round coring into the armor according to overlord) makes the effective armor of the upper glacis only 195mm(150/(Cos40).

antikondor #11 Posted Jan 07 2011 - 23:52

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My own experience closely mirrors that of the OP, but as you can see from my stats I am a novice in the KT and have yet to learn all aspects of it.

Baguette #12 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 00:15

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I honestly quit reading the rest of your review when i saw you made no mention of the pathetic mantlet armor on the turret. The frontal armor of the Turret really isn't bad, but when you consider the fact that the mantlet takes up something like 80% of that front turret, it's a crippling weakness. Tier 4's and 5's can not only penetrate with ease, but they can quite often damage modules/crew members since it's your turret that is being penetrated. If this was fixed i think the KT would be a great tank. Better then the is-3? No, but a worthy adversary if played right.

sinistersniper1 #13 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 00:17

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Agree with most of this, I kept my tiger 2 even though I got a 4502.  Still love the take but my biggest complaint is the module damage and fires (I do have a spall liner).  I have 2 guys at 100% firefighting, 3 at 85% and ALWAYS have a fire extinguisher(+25%) but often my fires hurt for about 70%-80% of my life.  Compared to my T32 USA heavy the module damage and fires are completely night and day different.  My T32(Also with a spall liner) rarely has any crew hurt, ammo rack has never once been hit and the other vital modules are rarely ever hit.

Irish_Cdn_Lad #14 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 00:56

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Well great post, agree with nearly all points, I'll add my 3 cent worth,

Have played over 150 battles in my KT and over 400 in my Tiger.

Yes the long 88 is a great gun on the Tiger, and been matched up in lower tier games seems favourable for the Tiger.
But as stated  it is weak with the KT, you do have to play defensive with it. I mostly snipe, or run in packs with eighter heavies or meds, Staying a bit back.
The 105's I don't have one yet. Didn't want to get the short one, as it didn't seem like much of an upgrade from 88. Grinding 62000 XP, so I'll do both at once for a big improvement. I hope.

I have also started the Russian tree and am presently at IS, with the big 122mm gun. That would probably compare with the 105, (which I haven't got) but on the IS its an awesome gun.
The IS is one tier lower so compares to Tiger.
My Average game on:
Tiger with 435 battles, 196 wins is 380 XP
King T with 157 battles, 62 wins is 469 XP
IS with 66 battles, 31 wins is 577 XP

I guess I'm showing that my IS is a better winning tanks than the two Tigers.
Yes, I'm a better player now, since getting my Tigers. Have been grinding up the Russian line in heavies and mediums.
Would say it has the hitting power of KT but Hit Points of Tiger.
I wont give up my Tigers, so I'm hoping that with the big 105, I can match my IS stats.
Maybe I should have upgraded to the short 105, to get used to the play style?
And go back and try and put my game experience to better use on my Tigers.

meuhbat #15 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 01:01

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View PostNEMESIS, on Jan 07 2011 - 23:01, said:

it almost never bounces anything from tier 8 and above,only thing it bounces is up to tier 6 and maybe some 7`s but thats it thats my main complain there,i`m going to give the is3 a shot see how that is.
IS3 does not bounce better, really... anything T7+ will penetrate his front hull with AP, and T6 too when aiming softspots. But his turret bounce more than KT so it can use the hull down position.
so if your oponent knows where to aim (KT mantle/turret, IS3 pike nose/hull) they are ~equal, exepted that KT front glacis is more reliable than IS3 turret to bounce shells (T7 and under, anything better will penetrate anyway).
for both tanks, until upgraded they are "bad", and IS3 struggles to reliably penetrate KT while KT can penetrate IS3 hull with its stock gun, but when upgraded and played right (close combat) IS3 maybe be better overall. but it needs the best gun (225pen instead of 175 ! 175 pen is just not enough, the 2nd best gun should have 200 not 175 -.-)

sharpeh #16 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 01:02

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I enjoyed the hell out of my KT. I still think it's stupid that it's mantle is as weak as it is.

Yakumo_san #17 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 01:25

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MY KT is a very nice tank. I enjoy it a lot. Engagements at long range often bode well for me. I do not find shots hitting my gun mantlet that much, and they do more like bounce on the turret sides or on the front glacis.
They story is different whenever arty hits me though, I always have like 2 Modules going up (usually gun and ammorack) and my Gunner and Loader buying farms for 3rd world countries.
People who usually have at  it on me with HE rounds do wreck my crew quite a bit, and mysteriously, my engine often gets damaged via FRONTAL shots...

Still, the long 105mm is one heck of a nice gun. Like the OP, I have found IS-4s to be nice targets when they're actually busy doing something else or being piloted by half asleep drivers. VKs can be penetrated at times on the frontal glacis (get an angle from the hill to negate the slope and you can basically penetrate from afar).

So I'll be keeping my KT. I'll be even happier when they fix it's mantle. Oh, and even happier when i get better speed.

Jasio #18 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 01:58

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View PostTerminator98, on Jan 08 2011 - 01:25, said:

MY KT is a very nice tank. I enjoy it a lot. Engagements at long range often bode well for me. I do not find shots hitting my gun mantlet that much, and they do more like bounce on the turret sides or on the front glacis.
While I have experienced issues with the thin mantlet, I noticed that the more cautious I got and the more time I spent figuring out good spots to place my tank, the less of an issue the mantlet became. That being said, a shot to the mantlet can still be devastating and if possible a buff would be appreciated. However I do not believe its enough to make the tank not fun, rather I enjoy the challenge even if it means I perform worse on average exp/battle than IS drivers. What can I say? I like the look of the tank, I love the "rip" of the 105mm went it fires, and I don't mind losing... its a game right?

View PostTerminator98, on Jan 08 2011 - 01:25, said:

They story is different whenever arty hits me though, I always have like 2 Modules going up (usually gun and ammorack) and my Gunner and Loader buying farms for 3rd world countries.
People who usually have at  it on me with HE rounds do wreck my crew quite a bit, and mysteriously, my engine often gets damaged via FRONTAL shots...
Arty is always an issue, however I've had games where I've taken 4-5 direct arty hits and kept on going fine losing a total of maybe 500-600hp; of course those are rare occasions. I generally duck and hide anyway, but a direct hit from a Hummel, or anything larger can really hurt. But the more you duck and cover between rocks/buildings the less the arty will come after you, they'd rather kill something that's more out in the open.

View PostTerminator98, on Jan 08 2011 - 01:25, said:

Still, the long 105mm is one heck of a nice gun. Like the OP, I have found IS-4s to be nice targets when they're actually busy doing something else or being piloted by half asleep drivers. VKs can be penetrated at times on the frontal glacis (get an angle from the hill to negate the slope and you can basically penetrate from afar).

So I'll be keeping my KT. I'll be even happier when they fix it's mantle. Oh, and even happier when i get better speed.

Well said. We can always hope for improvements to the mantlet. Whether they introduce them or not, I still enjoy my Tiger II problems and all because when you have one of those "perfect" rounds where your shots hit hard, and you rack up kills you can't help but love the tank for what it *can* do. I never expect to survive 100% of the time, I'm happy with a 50% survival rate so long as I have fun.

Not having played anything KV-3 or higher I cannot judge the IS tanks from an owners point of view. I do have a fully upgraded KV and it is a pretty interesting tank to play. I'm not far off a KV-3 and might grind towards an IS over the next few days as a nice change of pace.

Vahal #19 Posted Jan 08 2011 - 05:07

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Even a SU85B is good when you stay hidden. that's the problem, we find the KT quite good until spotted. And that the start of the sad cry.

Warton #20 Posted Jan 09 2011 - 23:14

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My first impression about the Tiger2 is very bad. I know I can't really judge from 20 matches, but I don't have much success with it.

The 88 mm gun was ok for the Tiger, but I find it very weak for this tank. I get too many bounces, even on smaller tanks. And it is a constant fear  :Smile-hiding: that I got spotted and then everyone is shooting at me, I can't get back to cover, because:
  • tracks felt down, or
  • engine is shot, or
  • both of the above, or
  • the turret is too high for that specific cover.

or I can't counter fire because:
  • my turret is shot, or
  • my gun is destroyed, or
  • both of the above.





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