Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tank destroyers

I mentioned some time ago what great fun I've been having with the big derp gun on my Hetzer in World of Tanks. I still love it! I since went back and tried the Marder II again, as I'd promised myself (I dumped the British Medium 1 to make room for it). It's okay, but I don't love it. It's a great improvement over its predecessors, but after the great big gun on the Hetzer, I just don't really like the choice on the Marder. What seemed like reasonable damage when compared to the Panzerjaeger is just not exciting compared to the Hetzer. Maybe I've just got the wrong gun equipped. Also, my aimer seems pretty slow. I'll keep the Marder for a bit longer and see if it grows on me, but for now, it's just not hitting the spot. I said that I was going to get the StuG III after the Hetzer, but I'm afraid to, now, in case it does for the Hetzer what the Hetzer did for the Marder!

Meanwhile, in what is probably a case of sellers remorse, I'm sorry I sold the British Medium 1, because it had a pretty good gun for tier one, and also because (unlike most tier one tanks), it can shelter behind the wooden fences in Malinovka, but it's high enough to have the gun peeking over the top. You might not think a flimsy wooden fence is much defence, but believe you me, it is! The reason is that the fence hides the whole body of the tank, so you only have to be careful about hiding the turret behind bushes to be well camouflaged. Tanks that just sit in bushes can think themselves camouflaged, while in fact they may be unintentionally showing a bit of skirt. Secondly, unlike a bush, once you are spotted, the body is still shown as being unhittable, so enemy tanks aim at your small turret rather than your big prow, and are likely to put shots over your head. And thirdly, the body is shown as unhittable because in fact it cannot be hit while the picket fence is protecting it. Now it just takes one hit to blow the picket fence to kingdom come, but that's one hit you don't take, and it gives you time to haul ass once you've been spotted.

Anyway, for now that tank is gone.

I didn't mentioned in Hetzer Heroics that I had an artillery piece (or only mentioned it obliquely). Well, I had. An SU-18; a Russian piece of junk that hadn't the range to hit two thirds of the map and only tickled what it did hit. And only held 20 shells. I can't tell you how many battles I ended up in a scouting role with that tin can, simply because I ran out of shells. Anyway, I upgraded it to the SU-26. This was an improvement: better range, more room for shells, and a better gun, when I finally got it fully upgraded. All the same, I think that artillery is not for me. I'm glad to have played them, to get the insight into how they work and how to avoid getting hit by them, but I'm happy to have sold it.

And what I got in its place made me glad to be alive! The American T18, which I threatened to buy in Pay to Win, is finally in my stable. And it's everything I had hoped it would be. It's reasonably speedy and mobile. The frontal armour is great; enemies really need to get close to penetrate it. It has a couple of guns which pack a punch, and it behaves like the Hetzer in miniature, in many ways. One thing that puzzles me, though, is my choice of gun for this tank destroyer. Like the Hetzer, it has a howitzer that packs a real punch but reloads slowly; anything it penetrates it kills; but if it misses or ricochets, the enemy has plenty of time to outflank me and hit me from behind. And its accuracy is not such that it always hits, and its penetration is not something to write home about. Alternatively it can be equipped with a  two-pounder gun that has great penetration, and fast and accurate rate of fire, but doesn't do anything like the amount of damage the derp gun can. I assumed I'd want the derp gun, since that's what made the Hetzer such fun to play; but it turns out that I'm more comfortable with the two-pounder, for reasons I can't explain, because I don't quite know them, myself. Perhaps it's the slow speed at which the howitzer projectile leaves the barrel. It takes quite a while to reach its destination. I'm not sure if its much worse in that respect than the mighty Hetzer, though. Perhaps its the type of battles a tier two tank destroyer gets involved in. I don't know. Anyway, for now I'm experimenting with both guns.

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