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Unicum's Guide to Snub-Nosed Bias (KV-1 w/ 122mm U-11) (Revision 6-22-19)

KV-1 Guide 122mm howitzer

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haxmachine21 #1 Posted Jun 22 2019 - 20:16


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Revised version of the KV-1 with the 122mm gun, completed on 6-22-19. Reason for revision: The new derp gun HE mechanics are now accounted for (i.e derp gun HE now does less damage against the more heavily armored parts of the target tank).


The KV-1 is a real classic, having existed since World of Tanks was first created. And, in my opinion, it is the best heavy tank a new player can get their hands on. It’s a fan favorite, very versatile, and it leads to further Russian beasts like the KV-2 and the IS.

However, this guide will focus on a certain kind of KV-1…the trollish one mounted with the massive 122mm U-11 howitzer. Known in real life as the Object 229, a single prototype was created in 1941 and proved, but never taken into real service. In game, it has its ups and downs, and here they are.



--Great, all-around armor. Also has great angled armor, especially in the rock-solid turret.

--Fairly large HP pool of 840.

--Excellent selection of guns (But I will, again, focus on the 122mm howitzer).

--Can side-scrape effectively.

--The 122mm gun is exceedingly brutal, capable of one-shotting some equal tier enemies and badly mauling others.

--HE has excellent pen (61mm) which can pen quite a few enemies, including some mediums.

--HEAT is even more impressive, having 140mm of pen, which is outstanding for a tier 5 derp gun.




--Slow and sluggish, meaning you’re an easy arty target.

--Has its fair share of frontal weakpoints.

--Terrible view range.

--Painfully long reload and aim time on the 122mm gun. It’s not uncommon to miss a shot at close range.

--HEAT shells are extremely expensive.


The KV-1 is very user-friendly, and can be fairly forgiving of your mistakes. Thick armor, great gun selection, large HP pool, and leading onto some pretty powerful Russian heavies, the KV-1 is the ideal choice for a new player as their first heavy tank, helping said newbie get the hang of heavy tank gameplay.

However, a new change is that derp gun HE will now do less damage against the more heavily armored spots on a target tank. Be aware of this, and aim for any weakspot/weaker armor you can find, or just simply go for tracking shots. Avoid shooting at an enemy’s turret, as you will do less than 100 damage and MAYBE get 1 module hit. If you need to, memorize the locations of the strongest armor/weakspots on the tanks you encounter most. Knowing where to hit and where to avoid is now one of the most important things you need to remember.


At tier 5, the KV-1 is a horrifying enemy to face…especially with the 122mm howitzer mounted. You can feast on the tears of T67 and Chaffee players as you effortlessly 1-shot them with HE rounds, and you can revel in the rage of medium and heavy tank players as you pummel them with HEAT. And thanks to your heavy armor and health, you can be fairly aggressive. When top tier, the KV-1 is one of the most fun tanks you can play!


Mid tier is a different story. While you can still act as a heavy, you need to be more careful of the movements you make. Your armor isn’t as tough when faced with the likes of the HT.No.VI, M6, and Churchill VII. However, your howitzer’s HE is still a potent weapon. Use it to track your enemies for your allies and cause massive module damage. And, when against mediums, use HEAT if you want to and tear off half of their health in one hit. Just as a note, use your heavier allies as cover and simply assist them with keeping enemies in place. Just because you are lower tier doesn’t mean that you can’t pull your own weight.


Bottom tier can be very painful for a KV-1. Your armor is like paper at this tier, and you don’t have much health to spare. Just like with mid-tier, support your heavier allies and use your HE to track your enemies and farm gross amounts of assist damage. One big upside you still have is your ability to deal out heaps of damage to light tanks and TDs. Indeed, the tier 7 light tanks should fear you, as your HE is more than capable of going right through their thin armor, dealing out 450 damage and destroying up to 4 or 5 modules. Also, do not rely on your HEAT rounds when bottom tier. While the 140mm of pen can easily go through some of the tier 7 mediums and the occasional heavy you will encounter, that will add up to one heck of an expensive game, so regulate the amount of HEAT you use.




For modules, focus mostly on assisting your derp gun. Use modules like Rammer and Improved Rotation. Then, grab Improved Hardening to increase your durability in prolonged engagements.

Consumables should be the usual suspects: Repair Kit, Extinguisher, and First Aid.

For ammunition, go with 40 HE rounds and 20 HEAT rounds.


Skills are usually flexible. However, to start out with, go for 6th Sense, Intuition, Deadeye, Controlled Impact, and Call for Vengeance (ß This helps more than you think, especially if you’re more teamplay-focused.). The 2nd round of skills should be Recon, Clutch Braking, and Snap Shot, then give the Loader and Radio Operator Repairs. 3rd Round should be BiA, and the 4th should be used to get Repairs on everyone else, and then give the RO Situational Awareness and Loader Safe Stowage.



Finally, here are some replay results and pointers:

http://wotreplays.eu/site/4626141#widepark-haxmachine21-kv-1 (Top tier KV-1 gameplay)

http://wotreplays.eu/site/4625776#ensk-haxmachine21-kv-1 (KV-1 at mid tier)

http://wotreplays.eu/site/4863557#widepark-haxmachine21-kv-1 (Radley Walters’s gameplay)



--Remember to stick with your teammates. ONLY if you’re top tier do I kinda-sorta agree with going alone.

--When you’re bottom tier, don’t look to deal out a lot of damage. Focus instead on tracking shots, as the modular damage and tracking will help your team quickly overcome most enemies.

--Finally, if you DON’T want to use the 122mm U-11 howitzer, there are other choices. The 85mm gun does excellent and consistent damage with great pen, and the 57mm gun has outstanding pen and a great RoF.


There you have it! Good luck on the battlefield!

Edited by haxmachine21, Aug 03 2020 - 18:08.

haxmachine21 #2 Posted Apr 21 2020 - 20:39


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Changes made due to 1.9. KV-1's health increased to 840.



--Changes made to reflect the KV-1's health increase. This means it is more durable in low-tier situations.

haxmachine21 #3 Posted Aug 03 2020 - 18:09


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Since the KV-1 has lost the ability to use a Laying Drive as of Update 1.10, I am changing the recommendation to Improved Rotation and then switching out Spall Liner with Improved Hardening.

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