For the Record: Potential Hull Upgrades: Soviet Heavy Tanks
Having already explored medium and light tank options, heavy tanks are the next logical choice. You should already be familiar with how this works, so let’s get to it. The first Soviet heavy tank is the KV-1, at tier 5. Its hull options were exhaustively explored in a previous article. I was going to suggest that the KV-1S hull be available as an upgrade to make the tank go a little faster than its current sluggish pace, but alas, the KV-1S (KV-85) was revealed to be a future tier 5 heavy tank literally today, making a lightened hull option very unlikely. The only remaining option is the KV-6 (KV-1 with 90 mm of hull armour) and KV-1 with additional armour screens (100 mm of hull armour). Both changes are rather predictable, a more armoured, slower tank. Going up a tier, we are faced with a whopping three heavy tanks. The first of the bunch is the KV-2. The KV-2 did not serve anywhere as long as the KV-1 did. It was too late for the war it was built for, and was not very useful in the opening stages of the next one. Its heavy gun and turret cut into the already slim weight resource of the KV, leading to a lack of additional armouring projects. The only extra hull that could be available for it is the model 1940 hull, which is different from the current one in minor visual details. The T-150 is up next. Only one tank was produced. As far as I am aware, no additional hulls were planned. Finally, we have the KV-1S. The only possible upgrade is slightly more side armour from using KV-1 hulls or a KV-85 hull with a slightly wider turret platform. Yawn. Turns out that tier 6, despite having the most heavy tanks, is the least interesting. Moving on. Tier 7 cuts back down to two heavies. The KV-3 was never built, so it’s very unlikely that it will get a second hull, but the IS is quite interesting! The “step” front armour the tank currently has is representative of the 1943 model. The later one had a better armour layout. Yes, the side armour actually gets thinner, but is positioned at a greater angle. The metal also changes from cast to rolled steel, but that isn’t reflected in the game. Up to tier 8. Here we have the IS-3, whose hull did perfectly fine in initial trials, and thus did not undergo any changes, and the KV-4, which is, well…complicated. You see, the KV-4 project had about 20 competing designs, but none were chosen, since when the war started, it turned out that the mythical German tanks it was supposed to defeat didn’t exist, rendering many projects completely pointless, including this tank and all of its guns. Out of all the projects with available blueprints, Wargaming chose Duhov’s tank, and Strukov’s turret as an upgrade. An upgrade to Strukov’s hull will increase the front armour from a formidable 180 mm to a slightly more formidable 183 mm. Not much of a difference. If WG decides to have some fun with it, there are certainly a lot of options available: the KV-4 has hulls with 125-190 mm of front armour and up to 55 kph projected top speed. My personal favourite would probably have to be the Mihailov version, as his tank weighed 86 tons and was projected to move at 50 kph. That, plus a super-heavy spall liner, plus Controlled Impact, is a recipe for serious fun. At tier 9, we have the IS-8. The tank served for 40 years, and was modernized a number of times, but the changes to the hull were negligible. The ST-I is less interesting, as it was never built, or even considered particularly valuable of a design. Since tier 10s have no researchable suspensions, the IS-4 and IS-7 are very unlikely to have additional hulls. That’s a shame, since they actually do have some. The IS-4 (or, rather, Object 701) hull is even already modelled. Those of you that have played before 0.7.3 might remember it as the tier 9 IS-4. The in-game IS-7 represents the 1948 model. There were a number of prototype models, and the 1946 one looks pretty different. The real difference in in the turret (check out that sweet rear MG in all of its remote-controlled glory), but the hull also changed. That’s it for Soviet heavy tanks. Join me next time as I take a look at tank destroyers and SPGs.