[War Thunder] The Mighty Wart Hunter

Doleco

phalanges mortis
Validated User
I've tried the naval part of War Thunder since I'm not really happy with where World of Warships is going. It's interesting, particularly the realistic mode, but I think it's in a very precarious place right now and I think they need to add more ships and open up the engagement ranges a bit before I'll spend more time.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
I've tried the naval part of War Thunder since I'm not really happy with where World of Warships is going. It's interesting, particularly the realistic mode, but I think it's in a very precarious place right now and I think they need to add more ships and open up the engagement ranges a bit before I'll spend more time.
Did you get to play the 'encounter' map? It mostly plays out as a destroyer shootout at what I'd call ranges of 4-8 km. Scoring is by killing NPC ships that are parked in the other team's rear areas.

I don't think it's very well implemented at the moment. In particular the game timer is rather short for the distances that need to be crossed. And it's kind of mean to have nowhere practical for boats to reload torpedoes, though really the map is just not for boats. And there's only the one map for the mode at present. But I think it's a lot more spacious than even the biggest of the point-capture maps, so it has that.

(Not sure what happens when the light cruisers get in, I've never yet played above BR 3.7.)
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
Just started the Italian tree. Very interesting.

The Italian 47mm cannon is a great gun. Fires fairly flat and kills nearly everything it hits. It doesn't lose it's charm until the heavy British and and the Char B1 bis turns up. The thing to experience though is how slow the Italians are. You really have to think about what you intend to do and not lose concentration. The 47mm generally knocks out anything of up to battle rating 2.0 in one shot and the gun fires fast enough that the second and finishing shot is usually there before the target can recover if it doesn't kill it on the first go. A nice touch is some of the armoured cars get the same gun. Although they bounce around horribly after each shot and just after stopping, if you plan your moves correctly there's no problem.

Like everything the armour is nothing but the mediums have survived one or two shots with only half the crew dead. The mediums have four crew which makes them so much better than the French tiddlers with their sad little 37mm bunker-guns.
The real shocker to me was the L33. This has a 20mm semi-automatic, but this things penetrates everything in its level and will kill a lot of things with one shot to centre of mass. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.

I was quite looking forward to the first semovente but it has a dreadful lob that makes medium range shots difficult. It's as slow as the other tracked vehicles, the Italians can hardly climb most hills and flat out refuse to go up some steep slopes, and the gun has a rather limited traverse. Worse is the standard ammunition is useless; I put two shots into the front of a Crusader of all things to no effect and this was the armour piercing round! However you do get HEAT eventually but the gun loads slowly so you may not survive long enough to get another shot if you're in a target-rich area.
All in all I'm having a ball although I do enjoy the lower end of the scale. Not only that but after seven hours of solid play I've only died to one bomb. I don't know what's changed but it's made the game a lot better.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
The British 'Archer' is a special sort of ugly.
Of all the vehicles to pick to place a huge gun on backwards the British chose their slowest vehicle in reverse. You have to dance a sort of jig to get into firing position and this movement is eye-catching I can woefully report. Twice I've been whacked trying to inch into position.
The vehicle has no turret, but the huge 17 pounder gun traverses by hand wheels. I think they are very small hand wheels. Vehicles can easily transit your front and you can't traverse the gun fast enough to catch them.
It has exceptional range when you are in position and have something in your sights. However it only has 20mm or armour so anything can kill you at that same range. An Italian 47mm gun one-shot the poor thing at over 800m.
The much vaunted ability to reposition is in reality impossible. As it takes you a lot of jiggling about to get into position again your chances of setting up again without being blundered onto are nil. As it's the slowest vehicle in the game going forward you can't meaningfully change position after killing something as you know they know where you are and are now after you. You have to set up in a good spot and fight it out until you are killed. Occasionally you realise the game has played out that no one comes your way and you spend fifteen minutes looking at an empty screen.
And then you are strafed! :D
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Huh, I remember the Archer not being quite that much of a pig to use.

But then, I was using it in Arcade battles...


It's been a bit since I changed any of my vehicle lineups, because I'm in the grindy place where I'm trying to fully upgrade BR 3.3-3.7 boats before stepping into their successors. But my latest, greenest addition is the PGH-2 Tucumcari, a one-off American hydrofoil gunboat.

The PGH-2 doesn't look like much for stats. At BR 3.3 it's got a small crew, less guns than the first-tier 'nasty' attack boat, and only slightly more top speed than fast conventional-type boats. But somehow it's startlingly powerful in action against boats. Maybe its post-war 40mm mount has some subtle advantage over earlier models?

Its biggest weakness aside from the light armament is also its theoretical main strength. The hydrofoils, as best I can tell, cannot be retracted (as they could on the real boat). With its unimpressive water-jet thrust, it's very easy to get the boat hopelessly stuck, either against a shore or simply by going too slow in shallow water that normal boats can safely navigate. Particularly egregious, there's one map where more often than not the PGH-2 starts dragging its foils immediately when you spawn in, and frequently gets entirely stuck before it can reach deeper water.

Can be frustrating, can be quite fun to play. PGH-2 sits at a poorly-supported spot in the US tech tree though. It's the only BR 3.3 naval unit in the whole tree, putting it at a very uncomfortable spot between the solid BR 3.0 PT boat based lineup and the BR 3.7 Clemson-class DDs and overwhelming LCS(L)(3) heavy gunboat. (And the top PT boat with its high-performance Mk. 16 torpedoes too.)
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
Back to the Germans, I've just got the Sturer Emil and you could actually probably pass this one by, although I have only just started it and all vehicles suck when new.
The Emil's problems lie in its gun; the 128mm are-you-kidding-me-this-thing-is-huge cannon. It's so big that it can hardly traverse, I'd give it a traverse of maybe 20º. The second problem is that for an anti-aircraft gun it doesn't fire as flat as the brilliant 88mm on the Nashorn, meaning you can miss and the Emil only carries 15 rounds for the gun. Now, it's rare to reload with these tricksy-sneaky tank destroyers because you're not supposed to go anywhere risky like bases.

Over to the Italians again, a big shout-out to the two initial semoventes; the 75mm and the 105mm. They're good even without HEAT and with HEAT they can reliably pop KV-1s at medium to long range. While essentially unarmoured, although I have had some survivals, the guns have a good traverse, the vehicles are low and sneaky. I got 7+2 kills with the 75mm just by shooting obliquely. They aren't fast but get there eventually.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
After seemingly vanishing for a bit, at least from my games, the Encounter type for naval battles is back. It doesn't seem like any of its problems have gone away...

The core of it is a clash of ships along a broad front, trying to push through to attack and sink NPC target ships behind each team's spawning areas. In practice, due to the amount of time it takes to cross the map, usually at most one or two destroyers in the game will actually score any victory points. Aircraft often choose to go after the victory targets instead of the enemy player ships, which is probably smart but maybe boring. Boats seldom get close enough to score, because they'd have to cross a spawning field full of enemy destroyers to do so, but they can have a good chance to torpedo some player ships if they're careful.

Back to the Germans, I've just got the Sturer Emil and you could actually probably pass this one by, although I have only just started it and all vehicles suck when new.
The Emil's problems lie in its gun; the 128mm are-you-kidding-me-this-thing-is-huge cannon. It's so big that it can hardly traverse, I'd give it a traverse of maybe 20º. The second problem is that for an anti-aircraft gun it doesn't fire as flat as the brilliant 88mm on the Nashorn, meaning you can miss and the Emil only carries 15 rounds for the gun. Now, it's rare to reload with these tricksy-sneaky tank destroyers because you're not supposed to go anywhere risky like bases.
On the AB side of things the somewhat less blistering fast muzzle velocity doesn't hurt so much, because elevation is trivialized by the play aids. But the rather poor reload speed and actually weaker penetration still makes it stack up dubiously against the Nashorn. It's got nearly unbeatable behind-armor effects, but that's more gratuitous than really helpful.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
While whining about the Emil's 15 rounds I just bought the Italian 90mm, which has 8 rounds! That fella makes you aim.
When using tank destroyers you really need the rangefinder. I set up, look to where the enemy will probably appear and range-find to a nearby rock or something. You just don't have the armour to shrug off a riposte if you miss.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
Any feelings about the upcoming addition of working air-search radar? When it comes around I'll probably play a few matches with the German radar-enabled night fighter, or maybe the US jet. (I'm not going to progress tanks far enough to get a radar-equipped SPAA any time soon.)
 
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