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Waffentrager auf Pz IV Review

WTaufPz4 TDs GermanTanks Accuracy Playstyle Stats Winrate RNG Review Solopubbing

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General_von_Nuben #1 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 17:48

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Last night, I finished my WT auf Pz 4 grind. While the experience is still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my impressions about this TD, as well as an overall assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.

I have a soft spot in my heart for German TDs, so I was immensely looking forward to playing this tank. I started the game on the Jagdtiger line, so I was very excited to revisit German TDs when 8.9 came out. The RhB Waffentrager at Tier 8 was a sheer joy to play, even solopubbing. Since the WT auf Pz 4 sees almost the same MM with a much better gun, I thought my Tier 9 experience would be similarly strong.

I have played my WoT career largely at the solopub level, and I wanted to do the same for my WT grind. In recent months I've been able to pull high 50% to low 60% winrates on most tanks while solopubbing.

Not so with the WT auf Pz 4. I am almost embarrassed to say I finished out with a perfectly split 50% W/L grind, 52 wins, 52 losses. I partially attribute this to the fact that I played the whole grind over the x5 weekend, but I think it also has to do with the fact that this is not an easy TD to play alone.

Still, despite the poor W/L record, I inflicted incredible amounts of damage with this TD, with 3047 average damage per game, 958 average XP and a 3.92 KDR over that period, . I had 10 games over 6000 damage and achieved Ace Tanker (on a loss) with 7195 damage. I provide a link to that game here: http://www.wotreplay...50bb010000.html

In this light, I never felt that I was doing "badly" with this TD. I was almost always the last man on my team to die, and I was determined to do as much damage as possible before getting knocked out.

With that preface behind us, let's talk about what makes this TD strong, and how to leverage its strengths. First off, the Jagdtiger gun is simply amazing. With 0.33 accuracy, 2.1 aimtime, 9.25 second reload (with all perks and rammer), 560 average damage, 276 pen and a screaming 1200 m/s shell velocity (1500 m/s with gold) you can reliably nail targets well over 500m away.

Second, your mobility is quite good, allowing you to get into favorable sniping positions faster than the Jagdtiger.

Third, you have a fully-rotating turret, which confers many obvious benefits, especially the ability to keep a camo net and binos activated while acquiring new targets with a stationary hull.

Fourth, you have an incredible 410m view range, which allows you both to see approaching enemies before they see you, as well as to snipe all the enemies your allies have spotted.

Fifth, your camo is decent. It's not outright amazing like the RhB, but it's usually good enough to stay safe while firing at range.

Sixth, you're a glorified heavy AA gun on tracks, so you get outstanding upward elevation angles, allowing you to easily acquire targets when your hull is pointed downward.

Before understanding how to leverage those strengths, it's important to understand this TD's weaknesses, which are many. First, you have NO ARMOR. That's not an exaggeration. I had NO bounces during my entire 104-game grind. NONE. If you're hit, you're gonna feel it, every time. Worse, you have a Tier 5 engine which seems to take up the entire hull, so virtually every shot will: (1) Destroy the engine, rendering you motionless; and (2) Have a very good chance of setting you on fire. And your "turret" has 20mm of armor. So anything that hits that is going to do full damage, too. Second, you are open-topped, so you must always watch out for arty. Splash will murder you and a direct hit will do full damage.

Second, your gun depression is strange. You have 2 degrees frontally (out over the front hull), but if you turn sideways and aim over the side hull, you get about 5 degrees. For a TD that relies exclusively on not being spotted or hit, you MUST learn to fire with gun depression, and with this thing, that means firing from very strange positions, like horizontally, over even backwards (where you get maximum gun depression). And even when fully utilizing your depression, you still only get about 5 degrees, so you can't really hunker down like a Jagdtiger or T34. You can only work in "moderately" hilly terrain, and you need to know the maps to know the best firing positions.

Weighing the pros against the cons, we see that this TD is not a brawler by any means. You can only play a dynamic game if you have full support and can spare a damaging hit (using your 1600 HP pool as armor), commonly in clutch situations or when the game is already a rout.

Thus, you must be a sniper, and in this role--with adequate spotting and good positioning--you can be absolutely devastating. Find a spot behind a rock or building, park sideways or backwards, wait for targets to light up, back out from cover, aim in quickly and launch the pain. As soon as you fire, drive back behind your cover. I found this to be the best way to play this TD. You always must remember that you have no armor, and that means minimizing your exposure time. Get back to cover IMMEDIATELY after firing. Never chance it. And of course, sixth sense is an absolute must with this TD.

Your teammates might complain that you're a "camper" for playing the way you must with the WT auf Pz 4. But you really have no chance but to be conservative; you cannot lead attacks and you cannot be on the front line. If you are, you will be instantly vaporized.

In the few games I had with platoon support from a medium or scout, I was able to provide crushing DPM at great range (thank you, 410m view range) without being spotted. In the games I had with fail teams (which were many), I had to wait around and play reactively, sniping things that came within my own view range. Naturally, those never ended well, despite huge amounts of damage dealt.

About equipment, you want to play to your strengths: (1) DPM, (2) View range; and (3) Chance of being spotted. In that light, I ran mine with rammer, optics and camo net. I chose optics over binos because by the time I get into firing position, stuff has already been spotted, and with optics I found I could spot things while moving into position, something I couldn't do with binos. Camo net is fantastic because you don't always have to move your hull to acquire new targets. That maximizes your invisibility factor, and for a tank with no armor, that is your best protection.

About perks, I chose options that again played to my strengths. The commander MUST have sixth sense, with recon and camo also being important (view range/invisibility are your friends). Brothers in arms is also handy if you have a multi-skill crew. My gunner had full snap shot to abuse the turret, as well as deadeye to abuse the DPM. My driver had smooth ride to let me aim faster once I got into position (and since you're constantly jostling your hull around to get gun depression), as well as camo. My radioman had full situational awareness and camo, which really helped with the view range and invisibility. One of my loaders had safe stowage from an earlier grind, which I kept to prevent the odd ammo rack (never happened, thankfully). I rounded the loaders out with camo, BiA and repair, although repair isn't really relevant for a tank that shouldn't be getting hit in the first place.

I had no objections to playing this TD as a pure-grade support sniper. Indeed, I had little choice since I solopubbed virtually the entire grind. My experience was partially exhilarating and partially frustrating. It was exhilarating to deal so much damage with such a great gun. But it was frustrating to lose so much despite my efforts. This is not an easy TD to play by any means, and unless you have skilled platoon mates to provide the spots you need, you will be at the mercy of fail teams no matter how much damage you do.

I also found greater RNG trolling from the gun than I did from the same gun mounted on the Jagdtiger. While the WT auf Pz 4's gun has the same accuracy (0.33) and a better aimtime (2.1 versus 2.3) on paper, I found myself missing fully-aimed shots far more than I ever did with the Jagdtiger. The shot trajectory is also different from the Jagdtiger. Shots seem to fire DOWNWARD through the reticle, from top to bottom. This often resulted in shots hitting the tracks for no damage when aimed at the side hull. Lateral deviation was also quite severe, with many shots veering wide left or right on fully center-aimed reticles, often resulting in track shots and bounces. I also bounced far more with the "identical" WT gun variant than I ever did with the Jagdtiger, which I always valued for its reliable penetration and accuracy. This was extremely frustrating, especially on risky "must-make" shots and kill shots. Whether this was just "bad luck," "confirmation bias" or a shadow Soviet check on this gun's extremely good performance I will never know.

All in all, I would say that this TD is not for the casual player, and it can only be effective with superior spotting support.

Orodruin #2 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 17:53

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View PostGeneral_von_Nuben, on Nov 12 2013 - 17:48, said:

Still, despite the poor W/L record...

Don't be too hard on yourself.  50% is a miracle WR for some tanks, and/or some tankers, at certain times.

Good review.  Enjoyed it.  +1 to you, Sir.

Krontimus #3 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 17:58

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Good read. +1, will definitely help out in grinding my by-the-next-year Waffentrager E-100.
Any chance you'll also give a review to the tier 10 TD? I would read that as well.

Razavn #4 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:02

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I've had a similar experience in mine (averaging 3650 dpg mostly solo) after over 100 battles.
.
I'm running binos over optics but I feel that optics are definitely a good choice. I just tend to sit still longer so I find more use out of the binos.
.
As for the depression, I've actually taken to driving it in reverse when I'm moving up to a firing position, in addition to limiting exposure (rear-mounted turret) and increasing the gun depression it also means that if you get spotted you can go forwards and get out of the line of fire faster.
.
One aggravating point that I didn't notice you mention is that the Wft Pz IV (not sure about the Borsig) can take turret damage/destruction but since it doesn't have a turret "module" you cannot repair it with a standard repair kit (haven't checked the large one). I'm honestly not sure if this is a bug or not but it is definitely aggravating when your turret gets jammed for 20 sec and you can't fix it.
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Edit: I should probably add I've platooned probably about 20 ish games and have fired significant amounts of APCR (the 1500 m/s shell velocity allows you to hit targets before they can roll back into cover) and have managed about a 61% ish WR, without the platoons and gold that would probably drop a bit as this tank does not carry well. It is very map and team dependent due to its fragility.
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Edit #2: Your post editor sucks WG...not even going to hide the goddamn periods this time.
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Edit #3: I should add that an excellent position if you aren't in danger of being spotted is to actually roll down a hill (like on El Halluf). Your elevation is much better than your depression and doing so allows you to hit both the base of the hill and the top.

Edited by Razavn, Nov 12 2013 - 18:20.


General_von_Nuben #5 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:09

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View PostKrontimus, on Nov 12 2013 - 17:58, said:

Good read. +1, will definitely help out in grinding my by-the-next-month Waffentrager E-100.

Any chance you'll also give a review to the tier 10 TD? I would read that as well.

I'd be happy to do a review for the WTE100 once I play it some on the live server.  I did about 50 games on the test with it and found it absolutely devastating, much more effective than the WT auf Pz 4.

View PostRazavn, on Nov 12 2013 - 18:02, said:

I've had a similar experience in mine (averaging 3600+ dpg mostly solo) after over 100 battles.
I'm running binos over optics but I feel that optics are definitely a good choice. I just tend to sit still longer so I find more use out of the binos.
As for the depression, I've actually taken to driving it in reverse when I'm moving up to a firing position, in addition to limiting exposure (rear-mounted turret) and increasing the gun depression it also means that if you get spotted you can go forwards and get out of the line of fire faster.
One aggravating point that I didn't notice you mention is that the Wft Pz IV (not sure about the Borsig) can take turret damage/destruction but since it doesn't have a turret "module" you cannot repair it with a standard repair kit (haven't checked the large one). I'm honestly not sure if this is a bug or not but it is definitely aggravating when your turret gets jammed for 20 sec and you can't fix it.
Edit: I should probably add I've platooned probably about 20 ish games and have fired significant amounts of APCR (the 1500 m/s shell velocity allows you to hit targets before they can roll back into cover) and have managed about a 60% ish WR, without the platoons and gold that would probably drop a bit as this tank does not carry well. It is very map and team dependent due to its fragility.

Good to know you've had a similar experience.  Yes, I commonly used the "rear-end-first" approach to getting into firing position, both for the depression advantage and the ability to get outta Dodge rapidly after you fire.

I encountered the jammed turret problem a couple times, too.  I was like : "Why can't I repair this thing?  Oh, there's no module."  I don't remember if the RhB had a repairable module for it since I never took a hit that jammed it with that tank.  I got shot at a LOT less when playing the RhB due to its astounding camo value.  The Soviet Balancing Bureau is going to do something about that very soon, I'm sure.

Razavn #6 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:14

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View PostGeneral_von_Nuben, on Nov 12 2013 - 18:09, said:

I'd be happy to do a review for the WTE100 once I play it some on the live server.  I did about 50 games on the test with it and found it absolutely devastating, much more effective than the WT auf Pz 4.
Good to know you've had a similar experience.  Yes, I commonly used the "rear-end-first" approach to getting into firing position, both for the depression advantage and the ability to get outta Dodge rapidly after you fire.
I encountered the jammed turret problem a couple times, too.  I was like : "Why can't I repair this thing?  Oh, there's no module."  I don't remember if the RhB had a repairable module for it since I never took a hit that jammed it with that tank.  I got shot at a LOT less when playing the RhB due to its astounding camo value.  The Soviet Balancing Bureau is going to do something about that very soon, I'm sure.
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I will say that late game this thing excels at mopping up tanks if you have managed to conserve your HP the rest of the time. Its fairly accurate right after stopping and even on the move if your target is fairly close and the chassis is fast enough to reset cap if needed or to hunt down the last few remaining red tanks.
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The fully traversable turret is also fantastically helpful if mediums get designs on circling you as they are in for a nasty surprise. The turret + hull rotation is such that it is nearly impossible to circle effectively. The 560 alpha is no joke either and is great at mopping 30% or less vehicles and you can do it every 9.2 sec.
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I did manage to actually bounce a shot from an IS8 once (10 minutes ago) as he hit my track and not my hull. Sadly that shot was followed by one that killed the engine and the driver simultaneously before I could kill him :(

Edited by Razavn, Nov 12 2013 - 18:24.


Dalroi #7 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:17

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View PostGeneral_von_Nuben, on Nov 12 2013 - 17:48, said:

Second, your gun depression is strange. You have 2 degrees frontally (out over the front hull), but if you turn sideways and aim over the side hull, you get about 5 degrees. For a TD that relies exclusively on not being spotted or hit, you MUST learn to fire with gun depression, and with this thing, that means firing from very strange positions, like horizontally, over even backwards (where you get maximum gun depression).

Ahhhhh... that explains a lot. I did wonder why some people were playing those things the way they did. Thx.

CelticArchangel #8 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:21

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No one should ever complain that you're camping when the situation calls for it. I haven't had my tier 8 RhB TW for very long, and was already put in a match where I was the solo tier 8, with the rest being 7's and 6's. I had to tell off a Hellcat because he believed that JUST BECAUSE I was a tier 8 means I need to be in front taking the hits... and not in the rear providing support fire like him.  :sceptic:  I've already witnessed several WT100s going the front line and bitching they didn't get cover fire while being one-shotted, and then calling the team various sorts of names and screaming for everyone to "uninstall" because they didn't know how to play. :facepalm:

Razavn #9 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:26

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View PostCelticArchangel, on Nov 12 2013 - 18:21, said:

No one should ever complain that you're camping when the situation calls for it. I haven't had my tier 8 RhB TW for very long, and was already put in a match where I was the solo tier 8, with the rest being 7's and 6's. I had to tell off a Hellcat because he believed that JUST BECAUSE I was a tier 8 means I need to be in front taking the hits... and not in the rear providing support fire like him.  :sceptic:  I've already witnessed several WT100s going the front line and bitching they didn't get cover fire while being one-shotted, and then calling the team various sorts of names and screaming for everyone to "uninstall" because they didn't know how to play. :facepalm:

Yeah...people don't always understand that top tier does not always equal meat shield. I had a Tiger II on Ensk complain that I wasn't "leading the push."  I don't remember what his stats were but with a comment like that I'm assuming bad...very, very bad.

DudeWhereIsMyTank #10 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:37

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I am amazed you did entire grind in just 1 weekend!
Was it 2 days or 3?

I liked this TD on the test server.

amaROenuZ #11 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 18:40

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Your review fails to mention one very important part of the TD.

It is damn sexy.

ramfire #12 Posted Nov 12 2013 - 19:20

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Currently on the tier 7 new german td.I have yet to be able to PEN a KV4 and trust me ive tried lots of differing directions so RNG hates me.  ( lots of tracking and critical hits but no damage).Also i find with the 128 on this TD when it hits wow it hits and horrible when it does nothing.Also I threw some HE out and at about 400+meters I dont seem to get over 250 damage  sometimes more most of the times not.  ( all targets td spg or tank)It floats in an arc not a straight shot and tends to over shoot rather then under.I think its a bit to much glass should have some kind of damage reduction maybe 10%.I find i am able to do at times up to 3k damage but i average about 1k damage.Also its reload rate of 11.9 seconds is fine but I think 15 shells is a bit low for ammo should get at least 20.
yes this is off topic and great job on the grind :)

Edited by ramfire, Nov 12 2013 - 19:22.


LyWang #13 Posted Dec 05 2013 - 19:26

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View PostRazavn, on Nov 12 2013 - 18:02, said:

I've had a similar experience in mine (averaging 3650 dpg mostly solo) after over 100 battles.
.
I'm running binos over optics but I feel that optics are definitely a good choice. I just tend to sit still longer so I find more use out of the binos.
.
As for the depression, I've actually taken to driving it in reverse when I'm moving up to a firing position, in addition to limiting exposure (rear-mounted turret) and increasing the gun depression it also means that if you get spotted you can go forwards and get out of the line of fire faster.
.
One aggravating point that I didn't notice you mention is that the Wft Pz IV (not sure about the Borsig) can take turret damage/destruction but since it doesn't have a turret "module" you cannot repair it with a standard repair kit (haven't checked the large one). I'm honestly not sure if this is a bug or not but it is definitely aggravating when your turret gets jammed for 20 sec and you can't fix it.
.
Edit: I should probably add I've platooned probably about 20 ish games and have fired significant amounts of APCR (the 1500 m/s shell velocity allows you to hit targets before they can roll back into cover) and have managed about a 61% ish WR, without the platoons and gold that would probably drop a bit as this tank does not carry well. It is very map and team dependent due to its fragility.
.
Edit #2: Your post editor sucks WG...not even going to hide the goddamn periods this time.
.
Edit #3: I should add that an excellent position if you aren't in danger of being spotted is to actually roll down a hill (like on El Halluf). Your elevation is much better than your depression and doing so allows you to hit both the base of the hill and the top.

I did encounter turret destruction before but I did repair it with the Large Repair Kit. So if economically possible, I recommend to bring Large Repair Kit on this tank.

corous #14 Posted Dec 05 2013 - 20:00

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Thx for the very detailed report

KKdreamer #15 Posted Dec 08 2013 - 01:54

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This guide is amazing.
I just purchased the WT auf PZ IV yesterday and I have many issues with this tank, but after reading this I have pulled my 43% winrate to a good 55%.
The grind for the upgraded 128mm is tough but I am already quite close to it, needless to say, all thanks to your guidance.
+1 for you, my good sir.

C3rb3rus #16 Posted Dec 28 2013 - 12:19

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I hated it, in the beginning. After getting it fully upgraded, with decent 3 perk/skill crew, and figured things out, its cool.

Forget the Rhm when you start playing it and mind that, as you probably already know, everyone wants a piece of it. Think of it as the official arty magnet, always imagine everyone is aiming at you. The common sense of the 10 second attention span after you take cover can extend for the sake of free easy damage, YOLO means BOOM. Well, any YOLO means boom, but whatever.

Show your engine, everyone will love it. Except you. Be stupid and don't take an auto fire extinguisher, because arty will fire duds at you.

And for the lolz, you can impale other tanks with your gun.

 



Swayin #17 Posted Jan 30 2014 - 23:20

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Great post, thanks ... was horrified to find the gun depression to be what it is, and am finding myself  cursing in some of my former haunts because my gun wont drop enough to fire at targets.

Averli #18 Posted Jan 30 2014 - 23:33

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100 battles to grind a ten eh

kampfer91 #19 Posted Jan 31 2014 - 00:04

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What do you think about the 15cm? i'm currently using it .

sabre715 #20 Posted Apr 07 2014 - 22:56

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+1 Great review! =P will read any of your future reviews!







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