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is KV-5 a good tank?


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Primace #1 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 14:43

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Is this good?

Development began in June 1941 at the Leningrad Kirov Plant and was completed by August, but plans were interrupted due to the complicated situation on the front. The KV-5 was to utilize some components of the KV-1. A new turret was designed, incorporating the 107-mm ZIS-6 gun. Two roadwheels and a single support roller were to be added on each side. A new 1,200 h.p. diesel engine was being developed for the vehicle, however it was not completed in time and was replaced with two V-2K engines. 

So here are the known changes to the KV-5 as they stand in testing atm:

Standard shell penetration increased from 167 to 218 mm
Premium shell penetration increased from 219 to 243 mm
Damage caused by the projectile increased from 300 to 330
Damage per minute increased from 2190 to 2429.2
Reload time reduced from 8.219 to 8.151s
Rate of fire increased from 7.30 to 7.361
Accuracy increases from 0.416 to 0.412
Aiming time reduced from 2.74 to 2.68s
Now sees Tier X
Changes in the front armor:

Bottom plate increased from 210 to 220 mm,
Driver’s turret armor increased from 180 to 200 mm
Radio operator’s turret armor from 150 to 200 mm
Upper front plate increased from 180 to 220 mm
Main turret front armor increased from 180 to 220 mm
Commander’s hatch increased from 150 to 190 mm
Changes in the rear armor:

Main turret side armor reduced from 180 to 150 mm
Main turret rear armor from 180 to 120 mm
Upper rear hull armor decreased from 145 to 95 mm
Lower rear hull armor decreased from 243 to 93 mm


The KV-5 has been a longstanding favorite of many older players like myself for some time now, longer than most of the current player base has even known about the game. Fantastic preferential matchmaking, blistering rate of fire, armor that used to be easily handled to block insane amounts of damage, and the ability to wrestle most other tanks into submission were always it's strengths. If it had great penetration back in it's limelight years, it would indeed have been far too overpowered.


But in the nearly 6 years since the tank was removed from the store in patch 0.7.5, the game has continued to evolve while the KV-5 remained generally unchanged. The way the game is played today no longer suits the KV-5's strengths, and brutally punishes it's weaknesses. I know this is going to sound like a crybaby session here, but at least hear me out. I'm going to address each of the KV-5's strengths and weaknesses, treatment compared to similar tanks in it's bracket, and hopefully, make some reasonable suggestions to bring it back to par.



... It's a heavy tank, not a scout, nothing to be said here.



...... Again, heavy tank... one of the heaviest and largest... no changes needed here either.



The KV-5 is slow to start, and can be a racer downhill, but it never felt, then or now, too fast or too slow. I'd say it's mobility is just right, and should remain unchanged.



THEN - Nigh impenetrable against anything it met that wasn't firing gold, with the exception of the, then, small number of players who knew of it's weaknesses. Even then, a skilled operator could easily avoid most damage through appropriate maneuvering. Anything that made it past, well, that's what the extra HP is for. Does this sound over powered? Well yes, it does, but that's why it's gun was so poor, to balance that out. 

NOW - While the armor was slightly buffed with it's recent high definition remodeling, with the key word being SLIGHTLY, it remained largely unchanged from it's original layout. What's more, with the more recent additions to the game in both premium and standard lines, many tanks now have far greater alpha and penetration that it's older contemporaries, allowing them to easily negate the KV-5's armor, weak spot or not, as most of it's strongest armor doesn't benefit from any kind of sloping. This is to say nothing of the now commonplace habit of 'dabbing 2'. As for the weak spots, well, everyone knows where they are, and in most cases, they are easily exploited, rendering the KV-5's once legendary survivability mediocre at best by today's standards.



THEN - Effective caliber and great fire rate, tempered by low penetration and poor accuracy, this was effectively a tier six gun on a tier eight tank. This combination kept the KV-5 from being a sniper, forcing it to use it's armor to close the distance and brawl it out. This reduction in damage output, especially against heavy opponents, is what kept the KV-5 from being entirely over powered.

NOW - Well.... it's not a good situation. With it's armor being less effective against the current lineup, it has a much harder time closing the distance to be able to engage effectively, and even when it does, effective fire is rare in the current state. Tanks like the IS-6 have managed to hold their own, with a 122mm gun with 175mm of armor piercing penetration, and a decent high explosive shell for tight spots, the IS-6 can still hit hard, especially if it can take advantage of over matching and it's large caliber explosives. While the KV-5 has good fire rate and damage per minute, it's comparatively low caliber, penetration, and accuracy, put it at a distinct disadvantage, especially against some of the newer tanks it has to contend with, such as the Defender, even at point blank range. It's caliber is insufficient to over match some armor or cause appreciable damage with high explosive, as the IS-6 is capable of. Now indeed, it has premium armor piercing composite rigid ammunition, bumping it's penetration to 219mm at 100 meters, but even that is insufficient for the task, as the limited accuracy makes putting those shots on target at even 100 meters range a matter of luck, and in close combat, you can still expect a 50% or less chance of going through many of these newer vehicles. 



THEN - As a preferential tank, the KV-5 was a tier eight that never saw tier tens, which allowed it to make up for it's sub-standard firepower by engaging mostly lower tiered opponents, sixes and sevens. Against tanks of the same tier, the KV-5 still had a struggle on it's hands. 

NOW - With the new template based matchmaking system, the KV-5 has lost it's last saving grace. Sure, it still never sees tier tens, but it also rarely sees sixes and sevens. It's pitted, instead, against fellow tier eights, few of which have preferential matchmaking, and therefore, lack the weaknesses imposed on the KV-5. This has resulted in most KV-5 drivers resorting to a full premium ammunition load-out to be able to compensate, but even that is rarely effective, especially against the newer tanks. More importantly, it defeats the point of having a premium tank in the first place, as you will lose money playing this tank in such a manner. It's armor is often rendered ineffective as the average penetration of tier eight tanks has swelled well over the 180mm of the KV-5's thickest armor, and those who might bounce, are more than accurate enough to easily exploit the weak spots regardless of what the operator does to mitigate it.



My one suggestion is simple and to the point - Bring the KV-5's gun closer to being on par with it's contemporaries. It's not unheard of, after all, the Super Pershing, T-54 First Prototype, and several other tier eight premiums have seen their penetration, damage per minute, and accuracy values increased in recent patches. Even the Panther Mit 8.8cm, having an 88mm gun and being often toted as the WORST tier eight premium, has 203mm of penetration on it's standard shells. I'm not suggesting something radical, like 250mm penetration on it's standard shells, or even 200mm, but the current 167mm of penetration the KV-5 has is entirely insufficient in the game's current setup. I'm suggesting giving it an appropriate penetration for a 107mm gun that is often faced with well in excess of 200mm of armor to contest, say something around 180mm or 190mm, as was done with the T-54 First Prototype's 100mm gun. In addition, I would also suggest increasing it's accuracy, as it's current value prevents it from being able to effectively utilize enemy weak points to any advantage. With just these two changes, and nothing more, the KV-5 would be more capable of holding it's own against the higher tiers it currently encounters, without making it too powerful against the rare numbers of lower tier tanks it now sees. 


If you've made it this far, I thank you for your time, patience, and consideration. I hope you will agree that this game would be lesser for the loss to see this legend of years past fade into total obsolescence, another victim of the ever more obvious power creep currently evolving in the game.

The KV-5 is one of the older tier 8 premium heavy tanks in World of Tanks.  Its massive size, odd armor scheme, and atypical gun for a Russian tank makes it interesting to play.  This World of Tanks KV-5 guide goes over the tank’s strengths, weaknesses, and tactics to use to excel in the KV-5.  Personally the KV-5 was my first tier 8 premium tank and in the early days are looked at differently.  It started out as the “poor mans” tier 8 premium since it was inferior to the Löwe in almost every way.  Over the years it has received several buffs and is considered an excellent tier 8 premium in today’s game.


The KV-5 equips the 107mm ZiS-6M gun on a tier 8 heavy tank.  This is strange for a Russian heavy since they often have hard hitting guns for their tier with decent penetration.  The KV-5 however has neither since this gun is found on much lower tier Russian heavy tanks.  Each AP/APCR shell does 300 damage while HE does a measly 360 damage.  Penetration can be brutal with only 167mm AP penetration and 219mm APCR penetration.  Fortunately the KV-5 only sees up to tier 9 tanks so you won’t be trying to fight against tier 10’s with 167mm standard penetration.

With a 100% crew and no equipment the accuracy is .42 and the aiming stats are decent for a Russian heavy.  The redeeming aspect of the KV-5’s gun is the excellent reload time.  With 7.3 rounds per minute you achieve 2,190 DPM without any equipment.  For a tier 8 heavy this is at the top of the class by a decent margin.  When you factor in not seeing tier 10 tanks the gun starts to look a little better given the poor penetration.  After all if you can’t penetrate a tank you won’t be doing any damage.

With all things considered the gun is best for fighting tanks without a lot of armor.  Tanks with easy to hit weak spots are also capable of being taken on confidently.  Some tanks to avoid are the E-75, KV-4, Object 252U, T32, Jagdtiger, etc.  Tanks like these will need to be flanked to cause reliable damage even with APCR in play.

The KV-5’s armor scheme is both good, bad, and unique all at the same time.  The KV-5 has very thick armor across all sides of the tank that gives it excellent protection for its tier.  Tier 9 tanks will be able to penetrate a lot areas if they have their top guns.  Tier 6-8 tanks will need to focus on specific weak spots to achieve sustained damage.  The armor layout begs a KV-5 driver to always keep moving and to slightly angle at all times.  This is due to two mini-turrets located on the front hull that are easy targets.  The infamous radio mans turret is in this area and if hit towards the center of it any tank the KV-5 faces can cause easy damage.

The turret is also a weak spot for tankers that know to shoot the flattest areas.  While the turret looks intimating it is neither thick or angled enough to protect it from tier 8-9 shots.  So while the KV-5’s armor is well above average across the front, sides, and rear.  It suffers from having multiple weak spots if you allow people to aim at them.  Keep moving and turning slightly and you’ll cause people to hold their shots trying to hit these specific areas.  On the other hand if you sit still or drive in a straight line you will be frustrated with its armor.


For a tank this massive the KV-5 as a surprising amount of mobility.  The top speed sits at 40 km/h which provides a huge ramming potential on any downhill descents.  The power to weight ratio before equip sits at 12.01 hp/t which is on the lower end.  On flat ground it is high enough to get close to your top speed but climbing hills is problematic.  Traverse speeds for your hull and turret are also somewhat slow which needs to be accounted for.

Keep in mind the poor mobility climbing hills and avoid driving through large open spaces.  The large size combined with sometimes poor mobility can prove fatal.  On the flip side setting yourself up to push around smaller tanks is both fun and effective in the KV-5.

Miscellaneous Attributes
The KV-5’s best miscellaneous attribute is its 1,780 health pool.  This is one of the larger amounts at tier 8 and helps with staying in the fight.  Even if you are facing an enemy that knows your weak spots your HP is high enough to mitigate some damage taken.  With a gun depression of 7 degrees you do struggle fighting over hill terrain.  This combined with the large size of the tank sees you avoiding being the aggressor over hills.  Your view range of 350m is also at the bottom for tier 8 tanks and is a huge drawback.  As a premium tank the shell cost of 270 credits for AP leaving a huge profit margin.  Don’t be afraid to sprinkle in APCR shells but make sure that you will land hits since they cost 4,400 credits.

Playing as a KV-5 is sometimes a selfless act of being a punching bag for your team.  With your armor, HP, and decent mobility you often are in the thick of things.  Your gun performs well in these scenarios since you have great DPM and closer up you can land your shots where you need to.  Do be careful engaging tier 9 heavies and tank destroyers since your armor loses some effectiveness.  You also struggle to penetrate them as reliably as you would like from the front.

I find the KV-5 is best played when top tier as a super aggressive first pusher tank.  Make sure you have support and take the fight to the enemy.  Please make sure to avoid open areas and places where you take fire from outside sources.  When you are pitted against tier 9’s play a little safer to start with and look for an opening.  Don’t be afraid to push out but be careful as to what you will get hit by.  Some tier 9 tank destroyers can take off 750 damage easily while some tier 9 heavies will have too much armor.

Greetings all tankers great and small!

I recently acquired the KV-5 for the sum of 5,250 gold in the Black Friday sale, and decided to write a guide and review. I realise that this would have been more useful a week ago when the sale was actually on but hey :) I'm still making this so that any current owners - or future owners - can benefit. This is my first time writing a review so if you liked it, let me know and chuck us an upvote, and I'll try to do another at some time. Any and all feedback is welcome though. 


Bear in mind that these marks are in relation to other, tier 7-9 heavy tanks, not in comparison to all tanks in the game!


So sit back in your easy chairs, relax, maybe crack open a cold one - and let me take you through armour, firepower and mobility (as well as general gameplay tips), before we use the gavel of tanking law and order, and give the final verdict!



ARMOUR: 8/10

This tank has a fantastic armour profile - if you know how to use it. And that is a big if. As is typical for its other counterparts on the KV line, it relies on its boxy, thick, angle-able armour to be effective, as opposed to the pike-nose IS series.


However, it does have the small problem of having two rather large cylinders attached to its front. These are your weak spots. Don't be too worried, though - trigger-happy reds will still need at least 180 mm of pen to get through the weakest bits, and at least 200 for a reliable pen when you're angled.


The areas around your gun mantlet (the turret face) are relatively weak too - again, an angry enemy will need 180 mm of pen when shooting it dead on and about 20 more if you're angled up. Your cupola can be penned with 170 mm of pen (but it is tough to hit). All these areas would perhaps be best described as 'troll'. But still... how do you get the armour profile to work if it's got more holes than a wedge of Swiss cheese? 


Sidescrape, sidescrape, SIDESCRAPE! I'll go into more detail in the gameplay section - but let's just say it's ridiculously easy to get your side armour above 300 mm. If you know how to sidescrape, you will make a killing with this thing. 


8/10 overall - it loses one for its weak spots and one for its weak turret face.



Considering that this is a heavy tank weighing almost exactly 100 tonnes, it has decent (maybe even good?) mobility. Of course, it's stil onlyl a 7/10 because your base traverse is a rather lacklustre 21-ish degrees per second (which is still more than the 17 deg/s base value of its rival the KV-4). You aren't going to be blitzing through corners like an F1 car in any case. This tank can, however, hit an impressive 40 km/h, and can break 45 down a hill.


This gives the KV-5 its secret weapon - ramming. Oh. My. God. This thing can ram like a BEAST! Pretty much anything under 100 HP (except maybe a VK 100.01 (P)) is a nearly guaranteed ram kill if you're above 30 km/h, and that's not to be scoffed at!  Against lights and mediums, you can get into the hundreds easily, especially if they're moving. Beware - you're not going to be changing direction anytime soon with 23 deg/s of traverse, so aim early, aim well, swig some vodka and pray to ya boi Stalin for maximum gulag-sending!


7/10 - it would have been a 5, but the good top speed bumps it up by one, and the invaluable ramming ability salvages another mark. Keep in mind this mark is in relation to other heavies! I'm not comparing it to an Ru 251 :D



Now this is an interesting one. You have a choice of two guns (IS-6 owners will experience some déjà vu). Here are the raw, nude numbers:


107 mm Zis-6M (AP/APCR/HE): 320/270/400 damage, 167/219/54 pen, 6.78 round/min, 2169 DPM. 

107 mm Zis-6D (APCR/HEAT/HE): 320/270/400 damage, 219/250/54 pen, 5.35 round/min, 1711 DPM (this gun costs a crippling 100 XP!)


Both have .384 base dispersion; they have 2.78 and 2.74 base aim times respectively (it feels like a more accurate gun on the battlefield though). Both can elevate their guns from -7 to +22 degrees (which is respectable for a Soviet heavy).  In all respects they are pretty much the same, except when it comes penetration and ammo types.


Which should you go for? Well, ask yourself this: can you wait 2.3 seconds for a shot that will actually go in? Think about it. Before buying, I thought I would only run the high RoF Zis-6M; but after actually playing some battles, I now believe the high-pen Zis-6D is the best option.


I personally don't mind the wait since I feel it's not really a DPM-centric tank anyway - side scraping lends itself to more of a peek-a-boom play style. Besides, 167 pen at tier VIII is really just not enough for a heavy, and it's not like you're going to be getting flank shots - you'll be deep in heavy alley, frontally facing down enemy heavies (and some of them could be tier IX... gulp). The low-pen Zis-6M is a great weapon against tier VII and most of tier VIII, but it just doesn't have the pen to deal with heavy tanks. There is also the fact that APCR has a higher shell velocity than AP, so your standard ammo flies faster, allowing you to hit moving targets more accurately. Your HEAT is slower, but still flies 8 m/s quicker than the AP on the Zis-6M. 

This is all my opinion from what I have seen; some people would probably rather have the extra DPM, but I'll take the higher pen weapon.


I am giving firepower a 7/10 because I don't have any major problems with it - on the contrary, I quite like it. Still, damage is a little on the low side for a Soviet heavy, so I'm knocking off one for that. I'll also take two marks for the fact that you have to trade DPM for pen, which isn't quite ideal. All in all, though, the Zis-6M is decent and the 6D is quite good.



I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO LEARN HOW TO SIDESCRAPE! If you don't know how to do this, just sell the damn tank - that's how important it is! Even if you do know, brush up on it, because it will be the difference between victory, glory, fame and women - or tanking despair and depression. For those of you who don't know, here's a quick description of how to scrape them sides:


Drive up to an object, line up the side of your hull with the side of the object, traverse your tank slightly (about 20 degrees or so) so that your rear drive wheel sticks out from behind the edge. Move back to get your shot and then move in for cover. Rinse and repeat. Here's a visual representation:

Image result for sidescrape


This simple description does not do justice to how much of an art form it is, so check out these videos :) 


Another technique you can use is something I like to think of as my own invention (but experienced players do it all the time, almost subconsciously, and I myself stole it from someone, so it's really not my own invention) is a tactic I call the "Bait 'n' turn in". Yes, it's a stupid name, but whatever. In it's most basic form, it works like this.


Lets say you're driving across a field in your new KV-5. Suddenly, you see someone straight to your right aiming a shot at you! :ohmy: If you don't do something, it's going to hit you dead-on, at a 90 degree angle to your side armour, and pen! :ohmy::ohmy::ohmy: What do you do? Immediately turn sharply to your right. You bounce the shot and save the day; ladies swoon, and all applaud. :medal:


So what did you just do? You effectively turned in towards the shot, didn't you? What that does is increase the effective armour through angling. Your opponent is still aiming at your juicy side, but due to your turn towards them, it very quickly goes from juicy to auto-bounce. It won't always work, but you'd be surprised how effective it can be, especially with a little RNG on your side. Some things to keep in mind when doing this:


1. Don't turn too far and start driving directly at your opponent.

Doing this will automatically switch their aiming point from your unangled side to your unangled front.  This won't get you a bounce.  No bounce=no saving the day=no ladies swooning=no applause=:arta: Remember, you always want them to be looking at your side as their target, so keep it oriented somewhat towards them. Don't turn any further than about 20 degrees from them. Am I even making sense? Let me know if I'm not...


2. Repeat it on your approach.

Don't just do it once. If they don't shoot, turn away from them, presenting your side to them again, and turn in again, and repeat it irregularly and quickly. 


3. Build up a bit of speed when you're going to do this.

Don't ask why, but this works better when you're moving... I know that your traverse is the same if you're stationary, but hey. So this sort of means...


4. ... it works better if you're a little further away.

You get more chances to turn away, more chances to turn towards, and more chance that they'll mess up their shot.


5. It works best against guns with bad accuracy.

Obviously. It's way easier against a .410 dispersion gun, than it is against a .300 dispersion weapon. Actually it's surprisingly easier.


Here's another tactic. I mentioned that the KV-5 is a great rammer - so ram! Hold on, hold on... bear a few points in mind.


In general:


1. Don't YOLO charge just for a tempting-looking ram on a [edited]...


2​. ...only try to use your ram if you have back-up that can give you covering fire.


3. Don't bother getting up close and personal for a ram if the target is full health...


4. ...use it as a finisher, preferably in combo with one of your 107 mm shells.


I know that advice might sound sort of unhelpful and obvious, but ramming is a really hit-and-miss thing (no pun intended). Use your judgement when deciding if you want to go for a ram. The most important thing to remember is that it's a finisher, not a starter. If you get up lose and personal, they can punch through your weak spots with prammo - however troll they may be, at that range, you can't do much - and either your sub-par DPM, or sub-par pen will start to hurt you.


So your best bets are sidescraping, the "Bait 'n' turn in", and the ram as a close-range finish.


Here are two videos by Bushka on Blitz specifically about the KV-5:





ARMOUR: 8/10




OVERALL: 7.3/10


You know, I don't think 7.3 does this tank justice. I suppose it's true what they say - we're more than the sum of our parts. And the same goes for our tanks. 





Thank you all for reading! If you liked it, let me know, and if you have any other feedback, let me know too! If people enjoyed it, I'll make more.


Thank you and goodbye -  and until next time, goodbye!


Hmm. That doesn't work, does it? Anyway...




Edited by Primace, Mar 11 2019 - 14:45.

Primace #2 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 14:47

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and it can't do a damn thing to type 4 heavy, so it is garbage(don't say try to flank, you know it can't even pen 70% of type 4's sides and 40% of its rear)

Edited by Primace, Mar 11 2019 - 14:48.

mbrolin #3 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 14:47

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For what it's worth, I love my KV-5 and is my most consistent Experience gainer in my Garage. Even with the R2D2 turret, if you keep moving, people still have have a hard time penetrating it. I get tons of bounces. Recent bounced over 4500 damage in it. I know the pen is low, but the DPM is exceptional. I just flank other heavies in it, and not care about getting hits. With the dpm, I usually win out and the number of bounces is amazing. But I am also a freak who best tank is the KV-4. So there is that. Thinking of buying the KV-4 back. 

Primace #4 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 14:49

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View Postmbrolin, on Mar 11 2019 - 08:47, said:

For what it's worth, I love my KV-5 and is my most consistent Experience gainer in my Garage. Even with the R2D2 turret, if you keep moving, people still have have a hard time penetrating it. I get tons of bounces. Recent bounced over 4500 damage in it. I know the pen is low, but the DPM is exceptional. I just flank other heavies in it, and not care about getting hits. With the dpm, I usually win out and the number of bounces is amazing. But I am also a freak who best tank is the KV-4. So there is that. Thinking of buying the KV-4 back. 


what is KV-4, I am the man living in the past, IS-4 is the best tier IX

_Tsavo_ #5 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 14:51


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The KV-5 has been left in the dust in terms of being competitive in pubs.  It's rare you see one anymore, as pref 8 MM is basically 5/10, and those 5 tier 9s and a fair amount of tier 8s added since the KV-5 was launched are high pen and basically turn the KV-5 into experience and credits to be farmed by the enemy team.


It has some meme-potential as a KV-15 (that is, a 3 man KV-5 platoon) but again, it's still all but obsolete in the current game.  Low pen, slow, and with glaring weaknesses that tanks 2 tiers under can pen, but it rarely sees tanks 2 tiers under it anymore.  


The KV-5 was balanced back when Pref 8 MM vehicles saw tiers 5 to 9 and templates were not even on horizon.  They would get to eat lower tier tanks all the time and had armor that, in most games, was resilient enough to warrant the mediocre pen gun.


Now?  It faces stuff that only looks at it like food.  Mine has gathered dust and hasn't seen a pub match in years.  


So, no, the KV-5 is not a good tank anymore.  

Edited by _Tsavo_, Mar 11 2019 - 14:53.

GeorgePreddy #6 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 15:40


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Gold spamming is required to pen much with it... and gold ammo is about to get murdered... of course, that's a 2 edged sword for a heavy as it will take more nerfed gold ammo to kill a KV-5 as well.


Reverse side scraping is somewhat fun with it (presenting angled trolly butt armor while hiding R2D2).


It could be fun in FL due to even tiering if it weren't so terribly s-l-o-o-o-o-w.


Having said all that, my solo pubs winrate with it is 56.35%... pref MM helps a lot.







Devil__Anse #7 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 16:05

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 IF they ever get off their butts with a legitimate MM fix and it is top tier then yes it can be a legitimate tank.  with the current MM dumpster fire unfortunately it is not.  

Cowcat137 #8 Posted Mar 11 2019 - 18:11


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They just can't fix these PMM tanks. IS-6 has exact same issues.  Bad enough you are always bottom tier in a PMM tank, the tier eights have to fight Skorpions and Defenders, and SU 130PM's, and Patriots, and Lorraine 40Ts, and 50TP's, and Progettos.    It's silly.

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