Hello everyone, recently, one old discussion came up in the Czech section – Type 59 versus T-34-3 (can’t find the link though). A Wargaming employee was basically saying these tanks are about the same while a player was arguing the Type 59 is clearly superior. But how is it really? Type 59 has the reputation of being an awesome vehicle, while T-34-3 has… well, not much of a reputation and I haven’t seen so many of those driving around. Well, let’s have a look then. I took the press account I still have and took both for a spin. I tested both under similiar circumstances (100 percent crews, full similiar equipment – both had the rammer, stabilizer and gun laying drive, regular consumables). Furthermore, I don’t own either of these vehicles, but I am very familiar with the T-54, which the Type 59 closely resembles, so it’s not like I haven’t played with a “T-54 clone” before. T-34-3 Now, I am sure you all are familiar with the basic T-54 clone layout. Agile, heavily sloped frontal armor, very thick frontal turret, decent gun, but usually poor depression and meh mobility. I am pleased to say, this has not changed for the T-34-3. It’s still a T-54 clone (and I obviously mean that in game terms, not historical terms), but there is one significant difference: the 122mm gun. Balance-wise, the vehicle is actually not bad. When you look at the winrate comparison (“new method of evaluating tanks”) on wot-news for the T-34-3, you will see that its winrate curve matches the player winrate curve almost perfectly, which means it’s neither overpowered nor underpowered in general terms. That is good. As next step, we can compare it to the other tier 8 premium Chinese tank, the Type 59. The linked data is a bit obsolete, the Chinese 122mm HEAT for example got nerfed from 300 to 250 penetration, but it’s enough for you to get the idea. I played a few battles in the T-34-3 (that part where you need tons of battles to understand whether the tank sits with you or not is mostly not true, at least not when you know what you played the same type of vehicle before and know some of the “T-54 tricks”). And how good is it? Well… it’s actually not as bad as I expected it to be. Both the Type 59 and T-34-3 have limited MM, so they don’t get to see tier 10 vehicles, which is good, but as you can imagine, in battles where most of the vehicles are tier 9, they are badly outclassed. The main problem with the T-34-3 is its gun and its properties. It’s the classic 122mm D-25 gun (just renamed and… you know, a bit tweaked) and as such, it has extremely poor accuracy (0,46) and aim time (3,4s). Its regular penetration (175) however is quite sufficient for this vehicle. Its biggest flaw however is its poor depression (-3). I wrote about the T-34-3 even before and noticed this issue even back then on the test server. In regular battles on live server, the issue is not as prevalent (given the fact that it was tested in “real” conditions and not on test server sandbox versus 15 other T-34-3 tanks), but it is there. And how bad is it? It’s bad. Very bad. Take for example the Sand River defense. You practically can’t use the dunes to your advantage as cover, because in order to bring its gun to bear, the vehicle has to practically cross the dune to the other side. The elevation is not as bad, but the problem is, this tank also doesn’t have very thick frontal armor and relies heavily on its slope. When you cross the dune and “park” on the enemy side facing your opponent, in order to aim your gun, you have to position your hull slightly down the slope, which largely negates the upper frontal plate slope (the UFP is already weaker than on the Type 59 – 90mm compared to 100mm), making the tank more prone to damage. Furthermore, the gun is problematic even on regular maps, where every bump can send the gun aiming towards the sky. This is especially a problem on maps with a lot of bumps, for example the new Japanese map I had this issue several times. “Oh, look, a Hellcat, easy target for my 122mm! And close too – should be easy. Ready, aim and… sorry mister bird, I didn’t see you up there”. The aim time is atrocious even with equipment and forget accurate fire with this gun, it’s a short-medium range brawler. Here however comes another flaw of this vehicle. While it is about as nimble (in terms of hull rotation) as the Type 59, it accelerates somewhat slower and you most likely will not be able to “circle” your opponent like this, because the vehicle is simply sluggish. The accuracy on the movie is terrible as you can imagine and I really wouldn’t want to be driving this tank without full equipment and 100 percent crew. Poor gun depression along with mediocre mobility and a bit weaker armor means you actually have to know what you are doing when driving this tank. It is not a vehicle for beginners and it requires some good planning and tactic changes. For example, during the abovementioned Sand River defense, there is this exactly one spot where the tank is well positioned and when driving out of cover, you get to quickly peek out, fire a round (with a lot of luck you might even hit something) and retreat. As for its durability, it’s a bit of a problem. I got ammo-racked a lot (I mean, to yellow – not as in explosion ammorack) and the driver also got killed fairly easily. You can avoid it by not sticking out your hull that much, but again, poor depression. But despite all these flaws, the tank actually worked somewhat for me and I had three kills for example in first battle alone. The gun has a potential to do MASSIVE damage (if the tank is not killed fast) and it’s very dangerous if left unchecked (for example you and your teammates focus on someone else). This tank in capable hands should definitely not be underestimated. Type 59 Well… what can I say, the legendary Type 59. We all know it and those players veteran enough probably remember the “Type 59 flood”, the nightmares of which probably haunt Wargaming to this day. It’s probably pointless to describe the vehicle (if you are interested, you can check the comparison yet again). It’s basically a T-54 one Continue reading →

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