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★ ★ ★ STG Guard Review: Bringing down the Soviet hammer! ★ ★ ★

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Scorpiany #1 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:05

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En guarde! Stalin shall guide thy shells to victory; blasting through the enemy lines. Come, strongmen. The battle awaits!

 

In this guide, I shall cover all of the various Pros and Cons of the STG Guard, outline the most optimal ammo / consumable / equipment loadout and give you a general overview of its gameplay style. We'll also take a look into the gun and armor performance. We'll finally wrap up by comparing it to other Tier 8 Medium Tanks and giving the tank a final rating. Let's get started, shall we?


 

Table of Contents:

  • General overview (Pros and Cons)
  • Equipment, ammo and consumable layout
  • Gun performance
  • Armor layout
  • Gameplay style
  • Comparison to other same-class tanks of its Tier
  • Overall Rating

 

General Overview (Basically a TL;DR of the rest of the guide):

 

Pros:

 Punchy gun for a medium tank, without the typical downsides of 390 alpha

 Reasonable turret armor does decently against same Tier tanks

 Surprisingly accurate if fully aimed in

 Fully traversable turret can be a nice surprise for Obj. 416 players

 Fairly solid tank traverse speeds

 Low profile makes it harder to hit & gives it good camouflage values

 

Neutrals:

 Mediocre gun depression of 6 degrees

 Feels rather sluggish for a medium tank; despite good ground resistances

 Gun handling is pretty poor on the move, although is rather decent when only turning the turret

 Average hit points

 Penetration is far from great. You may have a heavy tank's alpha damage, but definitely not their penetration.

 

Cons:

Θ The hull armor is absolutely terrible; and will very rarely bounce anything.

Θ 370m of View Range is pretty poor for a medium tank, and the vehicle really struggles to reach the maximum 445m spotting distance

Θ The DPM is absolutely excruciating. Even with equipment, your reload will still be around 11.5 seconds. Every miss is very painful

 

Gun Reliability dVUMD7l.png The gun is usually well behaved, but can be let down by the gun handling & penetration.
Frontal Armor dVUMD7l.png The frontal armor is... Decent. The turret will serve you decently enough, but the hull is pretty damn bad.
Overall Armor y1d5RXc.png The side armor isn't overmatched, but usually doesn't do more than that. Overall, it's a pretty cheesy tank.
Survivability dVUMD7l.png Mediocre overall armor and HP doesn't do the tank many favors when it comes to surviving, although being low profile helps avoid a few shells.
Flexibility dVUMD7l.png Even though the tank is a decent overall package, it seems mediocre in many areas.
Mobility dVUMD7l.png It's definitely not sluggish like a Super Pershing, but it still can struggle to get up to speed at times.
Agility dVUMD7l.png The traverse speeds are fairly solid, which is good for flanking, but the acceleration can still make such maneuvers unnecessarily difficult.
Fear Factor dVUMD7l.png 390 alpha damage makes enemy tanks think twice about poking, but after you shoot you're no threat - The DPM is just too bad to fight back.
Short-Term Impact dVUMD7l.png A punchy gun helps you get the job done against enemy tanks, but you just can't go ham to win a flank quickly.
Long-Term Influence amiqh7i.png The reasonable combination of characteristics usually holds up in the long run, even if it can't do anything crazy in the short term.
Carry Potential dVUMD7l.png This sadly isn't a carry tank in the grande scheme of things. In the right circumstances, it can outplay its opponents using its stealth and alpha damage, but the utter lack of DPM and very poor hull armor lets the tank down sometimes.
Profitability amiqh7i.png The shells aren't too expensive, but they're not as cheap as the M4 Rev's are either. It's a decent tank with a decent gun though, so you can usually make some reasonable Credits from it.

 


 

Equipment:

 

Gun Rammer (Recommended)If you can mount a Gun Rammer, you should. The DPM on this tank is tragic enough.

 

Coated Optics (Recommended): 370 pretty poor for a medium tank, and really could use a boost. I like to move around a lot in mine, so having Coated Optics helps me plan my approach better while playing aggressively.

 

Vertical Stabilizer (Recommended): Similar to the Gun Rammer, if you can mount a Vertical Stabilizer on a tank, you should. The gun handling becomes very passable with a Stabilizer.

 

Binocular Telescope: If you want to set up ambushes at longer ranges using the low profile and solid accuracy of the tank, then Binocular Telescope can help you compensate for the poor View Range. Drop Coated Optics if you wish to use Binocs.


 

Ammo:

 

My ammo layout on the STG Guard is 17 AP, 15 APCR & 3 HE.

 

The penetration on the gun can become quite lackluster against higher Tier opponents, so you should carry a health amount of APCR. The gun is high enough caliber for HE to be useful, so you can carry between 3-5 of those if you find them useful.


 

Consumables:

 

Small First Aid Kit (Recommended): The tank is rather compact, so crew can get knocked out. It hasn't happened too often to me, although it's definitely a consistent possibility.

 

Small Repair Kit (Recommended): The tank is extremely easy to kill if it gets tracked, due to the lack of any hull armor or DPM. Don't risk it.

 

Automatic Fire Extinguisher (Recommended)Fires don't seem to be much of an issue, although knowing how Soviet tanks are (Especially one with such a cheesy hull), it seems like a pretty dangerous risk to take to drop the Fire Extinguisher.

 

Combat Rations: The gun handling on the tank isn't great - Neither is the aim time, acceleration or View Range. The overall boost from Combat Rations can be nice to have; although it won't make any ground-breaking differences in the tank's abilities.



Guns:

 

The STG Guard gets a nice and punchy gun for a medium tank, at the cost of mostly mediocre characteristics beyond the accuracy & alpha damage.

 

Below, I've compared the STG Guard's gun to the medium tank you're most reminded of when you look at the tank - The Obj. 416. On the left is the Guard's cannon, on the right is the Obj. 416's gun. A blue value is superior, whilst a green value is relatively tied (Within 5% of the other value). (Please note that all values are "stock", prior to any equipment mounting)

 

Guns: Guard (122mm) Obj. 416 (100mm)
Rate of Fire: 4.47 7.82

Aiming Time:

2.40 2.21
Accuracy: .32 .35
DPM: 1,743.06 2,502.86
Penetration: 212/248/61 201/330/50
Damage: 390/390/530 320/320/420
Shell Velocity: 880/1,000/880 895/895/895
Soft Stats: .21/.21/.12 .12/.12/.12
Gun Angles: -6/+17 -3/+15
Ammo Capacity: 35 35

                          

 

The verdict? The STG Guard doesn't really have much going for it other than alpha damage over the Obj. 416. It is important to note that even though the STG Guard's gun depression is much better than the Obj. 416's terrible 3 degrees, it's still far from great at a mere 6 degrees.

 

Overall, the Obj. 416 will take far less time aiming, and be constantly putting out many more shells than the STG Guard can even dream of. The Obj. 416 will have the DPM to take down its opponents, the gun handling & aiming time to snap shells in and overall just outperform the STG Guard in this regard. And unlike the STG Guard's poor penetration, the Obj. 416 has amazing HEAT shells with 330mm of penetration to go through even the heaviest of armor in Tier 10 battles.


 

How to play it:

 

The STG can be played in 2 distinct ways - An aggressive peek-a-boom tank, or a mid-ranged support tank. Personally, I prefer the more aggressive of the playstyles; making sure that when I'm reloaded, I can always easily get a shot off.

 

However, due to the awkward rear-mounted turret, limited gun depression and poor hull armor, there's nothing wrong with playing a bit more carefully and just waiting for more opportunistic shots. The only concern is that if you sit back for too long, your poor DPM will let you down once your team begins to push.



Comparison to same-Tier Medium Tanks:

 

HP: Average. 

1,350 HP is a very standard amount of hitpoints for a Tier 8 medium.

Armor:  Average. 

This certainly isn't a Super Pershing, Mod 1 or even Primo Victoria; but the the armor can still get you through when played well.

Mobility: Average.

As has been the theme for this tank, the mobility is just average. It's more mobile than the slowest of mediums, but it doesn't stand out in any way.

DPM: Very bad.

Whilst the rate of fire isn't quite as terrible as the T-44's or T-34-2's guns, it's not that much better either. The DPM is one of the worst parts of this tank, and you feel as though you're missing many opportunities to put otherwise easy shots into exposed enemy tanks.

Penetration: Average.

This tank's penetration isn't great for a Tier 8 medium, and even though it's reasonably better than some other medium tank 122mm's at this Tier, it still has competition such as the M4 Rev which prevent it from being anything different.

Alpha damage: Best in class.

390 alpha damage is absolutely wonderful to have on a medium tank, and it's amongst the highest; tied with all of the other 122mm's.

Aiming Speed: Bad.

2.4 second aiming time with mediocre gun handling stats means that this is no snap-shotter. It's just fine for a 122mm, but other Tier 8 mediums won't take quite as long to aim in (Although won't have nearly as much of a punch, with the exception of the Obj. 416)

Gun Handling: Bad. 

As with the aiming time, while the gun handling is very reasonable for a 122mm, it's not going to stand up to most other Tier 8 mediums; especially its direct counterpart at Tier 8, the Obj. 416.

Accuracy: Best in class.

0.32 accuracy is the best you'll find on a Tier 8 medium tank, tied alongside the Panther 88.

Shell Velocity: Average. 

The shell velocity is perfectly average. It's definitely not a sniper's dream in this regard, despite having solid accuracy.

View Range: Worst in class.

370m of View Range is... Bad. Very bad. It's not a completely disaster at Tier 8 as a whole, but compared to other medium tanks, it really falls behind.

Camo Value: Very good.

The STG Guard is a very stealthy vehicle, and whilst it's not quite the camo'd up sniper that the Obj. 416 is, it's not far from it either.

Battle effectiveness: Good.

The tank is reasonably well-rounded, and has a nice & punchy gun for a Tier 8 medium. Even though most of the characteristics are very average, the decent turret armor and very good accuracy help it stand out just that little bit... It needs it too, with that tragic DPM.


 

Overall Rating:

 

7/10 (Good)

 

The STG Guard is far from the next greatest tank, and isn't really even that much different from some of the tanks in the game. However, it still manages to put a fairly unique twist on an interesting combination of characteristics; something we usually don't see with 122mm guns.

 

It's also good to see WarGaming adding in a tank that isn't unbalanced in any way, and can be sold on proper merits; without just being overpowered or bad for the game. Frankly, I would love to see more Premium tanks such as this one - Those that have their Pros and Cons which properly balance eachother out... Without having excessive armor.

 

Would I buy it? If this is your thing, go ahead. There are a lot of interesting Premium tanks out there, so it's harder and harder for new ones to stand out. And while this doesn't completely change any metas, it's still cool to see a 122mm gun with such a good accuracy value; on an otherwise average platform.


 

Thanks for reading! I hope this guide was helpful! I genuinely wish all of you the very best of luck and fun, both in real life and on the battlefield.

 

This is an update of my previous guide formats. I have reorganized some of the data into tables and added a different method of listing information. Please let me know what you think!

 

(The mighty glory of the STG, keeping "Guard" over the Artics. Stalin looks down upon it, proudly.)

 


Edited by Scorpiany, Sep 17 2017 - 09:31.


Strike_Witch_Tomoko #2 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:09

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well said

HowitzerBlitzer #3 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:17

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Why does the ground texture look so crapon your computer?

Scorpiany #4 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:18

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View PostHowitzerBlitzer, on Sep 16 2017 - 16:17, said:

Why does the ground texture look so crapon your computer?

 

That's just how the terrain looks on top of some mountain. WG has some pretty lazy ground textures on some of the mountain goating spots (Although none are worse than Mountain Pass's A0 and D1 I suppose).

SilverEaglewing #5 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:30

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When scorpiany comes out with a review you know its gonna be good.

Lord_Hiney #6 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:40

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Very nice. Always glad to see your reviews. Keep up the good work!

saru_richard #7 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:41

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at least its balance 

Viper69 #8 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 00:46

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It looks uncharacteristically balanced for a Russian premium. Could we be seeing the pendulum of OP premiums swinging back? We will see. Thanks for this review scorp!

Scorpiany #9 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 01:14

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View PostViper69, on Sep 16 2017 - 16:46, said:

It looks uncharacteristically balanced for a Russian premium. Could we be seeing the pendulum of OP premiums swinging back? We will see. Thanks for this review scorp!

 

I agree, I was dreading what it might be like when I first heard it announced, but it turned out to be pretty nicely done actually! :)

Viper69 #10 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 01:49

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I'm on the fence as to if I will get it or not.

Necrolegion #11 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 07:25

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What's with the Tokyo Drift neon lights on all your tank reviews? Makes the review seem very rice racery.

 

See picture for reference!



Scorpiany #12 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 08:01

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View PostNecrolegion, on Sep 16 2017 - 23:25, said:

What's with the Tokyo Drift neon lights on all your tank reviews? Makes the review seem very rice racery.

 

See picture for reference!

Spoiler

 

 

Before WoT, I always used to play racing games; and I had fallen in love with having neons on my cars.

 

When I found a mod that gives tanks color-changing neons as well, I immediately went for it. I love them! :teethhappy:



_Brew_ #13 Posted Sep 17 2017 - 20:03

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View PostViper69, on Sep 16 2017 - 18:46, said:

It looks uncharacteristically balanced for a Russian premium. Could we be seeing the pendulum of OP premiums swinging back? We will see. Thanks for this review scorp!

 

Nah.  They are about to release a Tier 8 German heavy that is basically the VK 100.01 p with a 150mm gun on it.  

Viper69 #14 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 01:45

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View Post_Brew_, on Sep 17 2017 - 14:03, said:

 

Nah.  They are about to release a Tier 8 German heavy that is basically the VK 100.01 p with a 150mm gun on it.  

 

well there goes that theory. Guess I will get this one and that one. If you can't beat them...

IndygoEEI #15 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 04:10

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Please shoot all Guards in the back...

Da_Craw #16 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 16:20

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Got "reported" for penning one in the turret last night.  Apparently, they are impenetrable and it is cheating to use gold ammo.  Made my night.

jpli #17 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 01:16

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View PostScorpiany, on Sep 16 2017 - 18:05, said:

In this guide, I shall cover all of the various Pros and Cons of the STG Guard, outline the most optimal ammo / consumable / equipment loadout and give you a general overview of its gameplay style.

 

Hi,

 

Good job ! You make a good presentation of the tank.

I'm tempted to take it but I'm waiting to see what's going to be this week.
 
Cheers.
 

 

 



jpli #18 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 01:17

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View PostViper69, on Sep 16 2017 - 19:49, said:

I'm on the fence as to if I will get it or not.

 

Hi,

 

Welcome on board. :)

My main concern is that I have 2 Russians tier 6 premium to use so do I need a tier 8....

 

Cheers.

 

 



P_A_N_Z_E_R #19 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 01:31

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Nice tank..............to play against. Just added to my menu of things I tear apart in my PANZER. 

Beornotns #20 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 01:43

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Excellent article!  Thanks Scorpiany!

 

~B






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