For the Record: Sturmtiger – TD or SPG?
Hello everyone, today, we are going to talk about the Sturmtiger branch and how special will it be in the game – or, rather, how special could it be. Please keep in mind that this is just a proposition or an idea, certainly not a WG plan or anything like that. I think I won’t be far from the truth when I say Sturmtiger and its branch are one of the most awaited vehicles of all times. It was scheduled for implementation even before (as you can see above, a model actually exists for quite some time, you can see the same model on the Severogorsk map as an “easter egg”), but the developers never managed to balance it properly and it has been postponed (several times in fact). Why is it so popular? Well, it’s because it’s very, very special. You see, Sturmtiger (that being a popular name, it was actually called Sturmmörser Tiger) was an assault gun like no other. It had a 380mm (originally marine) rocket mortar of immense power. It was concieved as the ultimate fortification destroyer and assault gun – sure, the Russians had their ISU-152 “Zveroboy” (beast-killer), but this thing created HUGE craters, levelling entire city block with a single shot. If you watched Operation Think Tank, you might know that the weapon was also exceptionally pointless – the blat was so immense that the officer who oversaw the tests noted that there is really no point for it to have such a thick armor, because in order to avoid its own shell blast, the vehicle can’t even get close to the enemy, making the armor kinda useless. There are many other myths surrounding this vehicle, but as numerous credible authors state – stories from some books about duels between Sturmtigers and American tanks or that story where the Sturmtiger blasted 4 Shermans with one shell are most likely just fantasies. As you can imagine, something like this is very difficult to implement to World of Tanks. Here, you have heavily armored vehicle with a gun, that can probably instakill any tank in the game (based on its shell weight alone), but the shell is so slow and the gun is so inaccurate that it will probably be a nightmare to fire. So, how to implement it the best? Is it actually an artillery, or a tank destroyer (in game terms, that is)? You might have noticed that there is a poll running on FTR now, as to how would you like to see this vehicle in the game. Unsurprisingly, the tank destroyer form is in the lead, but I am actually quite surprised that so many (32 percent) want to see it as an artillery. Some say TD is the best because it doesn’t camp and the last thing anyone needs is 380mm shells landing on your heads across the map. Others say that there is no way how to balance this as a tank destroyer (too much alpha). Well, I say: why not have both? Assault gun class Those of you, who read FTR for a while might remember that months ago, there was some talk about creating an entirely new class of vehicles, the assault gun class. The basic idea about this class would be to combine the artillery and tank destroyers in one in some form and Sturmtiger was mentioned as one of the candidates for this. This idea is actually quite historical – in real life, the self-propelled guns of both Germans and Russians (but American ones too) were capable of both direct and indirect fire, often serving as artillery, switching to the tank destroyer mode only when required. Unfortunately, this idea was somehow “shelved”, because of the issues with its implementation. Right in the beginning (probably during alpha stage), developers actually tested having self-propelled guns such as SU-152 operating as both artillery and tank destroyer, with player switching between the modes. If I remember correctly, this idea was dropped because it was confusing for the player and instead, a simple arty/TD separation was adopted – this system is better game-wise, because it’s much simplier and easier to learn (imagine yourself after like 10 battles in the game wondering, should you switch to TD or to arty mode?), but it also creates situations, where a vehicle is forcibly press to do one one of those things and sometimes vehicles in the game, that in real life were more like artillery vehicles are introduced as TD’s and vice versa – for example T18 and T82 both were artillery vehicles (HMC), but so was for example the M8 and during the American light tank rebalance (in connection with the introduction of more US lights, that have been confirmed a while ago), it’s completely possible that for example the M5 Stuart will lose its M8 turret and howitzer, simply because in that form it was not a light tank, it was the M8 Scott HMC – an artillery vehicle. Either way, as I said, this idea was scrapped. For now, anyway. What does that mean for the Sturmtiger then? Here are the common arguments against Sturmtiger as an artillery vehicle and against Sturmtiger as a TD. Against TD: - TOO much alpha, insane 380mm rocket mortar - currently tank destroyers are dominating high tiers, it would mean introducing more (and very popular to boot) - complaints about alpha already being too high, a problem publicly acknowledged by Wargaming (hence the 8.11 TD nerf) - introducing more TD’s increases camping Against artillery: - current state of artillery, although probably not satisfactory, should not be remedied by simply adding more artillery branches, leaving the old ones “broken” (IF that is indeed the case, only Wargaming knowns) - wasting one of the most popular and expected vehicles for a class that is ignored/despised by a lot of players - 380mm shell death from above across the map - players were complaining about too much alpha of high-end guns and too much splash, so here would be a gun with even MORE splash nad more alpha - low curves would make the vehicle quite uncomfortable In addition, both options have this “speciality” of extremely slow shells. You see, in real life, the rocket velocity was not only constant, it was also not linear (the launcher “spat” the rocket at like 50 m/s and then the rocket blew a charge and accelerated to 250 m/s). With the amount of velocity reduction in World of Tanks (WoT shells obviously travel slower than the real life ones), we are theoretically looking at a shell, that could take as long as 2-3 seconds to cross Malinovka field. Close your eyes and Continue reading →