For the Record: About the Firefly Line
Hello everyone, today, we are going to take a look at how the Firefly line could look. After all, both Storm and EU representatives confirmed that this line will come this year. But before we start: Please keep in mind that no composition has been officially confirmed and no ETA is currently known, other than it will not be in 9.1 or 9.2 (as far as I know, even developers aren’t sure when exactly will it come). Thus, it’s completely pointless to ask “when will it come” in comments. Got it? Okay, let’s have a look at it. Now, normally, the composithe only thing that we actually do know about this line is that it will have Firefly in it and it will end with a tier 10. Other than that, nothing. Earlier, it was referred to (probably incorrectly) as a “Lend-Lease” line, but despite the claims of the “LL models being ready for quite some time already”, I find that not very likely that it will in fact really be a line, defined by the “lend-lease” vehicles (or “Commonwealth” ones, like the Sentinel). First, any models, that have been “done for quite some time” are most likely done in the original resolution/polygon count, which means they are basically worthless and the entire model has to be remade from scratch for the HD quality (we do know the Firefly line will be HD, as the last new tanks, made in the “original” quality were the split StuG and Panzer IV’s from 9.0). Second reason is that the amount of LL/Commonwealth vehicles, suitable for such a branch, is very limited. There is the Firefly and there are the Sentinel tanks, everything else is either a copy, a renamed identical vehicle or very lowtier, none of which is very useful when creating a branch. Consider this: Out of several branches possible, including as attractive stuff as for example more French tanks, Wargaming picked the Firefly line. That means the line itself has to be fairly original, vehicles in it not being simply copies. There has to be more, otherwise something else would have been picked. Here, we run into a problem. Original Lend-Lease and Commonwealth vehicles effectively end with tier 6. The Sentinel had an advanced version called Thunderbolt with a 25pdr gun (derp Sentinel) and the last model (ACIV) was equipped with a 17pdr AT gun. Its armor makes it effectively tier 6 though (don’t overestimate the 17pdr). 330 horsepower engine (in fact, 3 engines) for 28 tons, 65mm armor and a 17pdr, that’s tier 6 material, just like the Firefly (which could theoretically be tier 7, but I have a bad feeling about the armor of the thing). Which leaves us with empty tier 7,8,9 and 10. Nothing. Nada. Tier 10 could theoretically be Vickers MBT, but since there are apparently other plans for that particular tank (as in, possible replacement for the FV4202), this variant is unlikely. Even IF it happened, you still have to fill tiers 8 and 9 (if Firefly was pushed to tier 7) and there are literally no candidates for that. No, no Vickers MBT prototypes, they were practically identical to Vickers MBT Mk.I. So, here’s what I think will happen. Tier 6 – Firefly Tier 7 – Avenger/Challenger Tier 8 – Charioteer Tier 9 – FV4004 “Conway” Tier 10 – FV4005 Stage 2 Think about it. Replacing the upper part of the branch with tank destroyers is a perfect solution. Just to be clear what we are talking about: Avenger/Challenger A 17pdr tank destroyer on Cromwell chassis, 32 tons, 102mm frontal armor, 17pdr gun in a rotating turret, 600hp engine. Read more on Wikipedia. Challenger Avenger (would serve as an alternative turret) Charioteer A tank turretted tank destroyer design, based on Cromwell chassis with a 20pdr gun. Perfect tier 8 candidate. FV4004 “Conway” An experimental vehicle based on Centurion chassis, equipped with a 120mm gun. FYI, the turret armor is 132mm thick (19 deg slope) FV4005 Stage 2 183mm gun (yep, the one you already know) on Centurion chassis (if you are thinking Stage 1 – the one with 183mm autoloader – forget it, that will not be implemented, I asked). I am not sure how thick the superstructure (turret) actually is, but don’t expect miracles, I think it was 100mm or so. Now, before you start freaking out, think about it – in fact, I think it’s the only solution, that can happen. There are no hightier candidates for another British medium branch apart from the Vickers, combining the medium line with a turretted tank destroyer line is the logical step. - all these designs have turrets and relatively light armor, relying on their guns (and partially mobility) to get around - all these designs are quite original and cannot be called copies of existing vehicles - the gameplay remains basically consistent throughout the branch gameplay despite the “MT – TD” jump - practically the only solution for high tiers (the only one I could figure out at least) So, what do you think?