For the Record: Armored Cars and Halftracks in WoT – Part 1: Appearance
Hello everyone, recently, Storm admitted that Wargaming is considering wheeled vehicles and halftracks are considered for World of Tanks. He however did mention that a significant obstacle in their implementation is the fear that these vehicles would not be very popular. Let’s have a look at what the popularity of this type of vehicles might be influenced by. There are two large influences on the popularity of the vehicle: looks and gameplay. This part will focus on the looks, to, you know, lure you towards the idea, because I genuinely think that some of the armored cars and halftracks are really, really good looking. Appearance sells. That is not to be contested, it is logical enough. You wouldn’t eat food that looks like shit no matter how good it tastes (well, at least most people wouldn’t) for example. World of Tanks vehicles are actually no different. Some tanks look so ugly/ridiculous they are almost “cult” vehicles (AMX40), others are just really, really bland. What I am trying to say, in order to lure people to play the entirely new class of vehicles, they have to be at least attractive. Most people imagine armored cars like this: And you would be right. This is the Soviet BA-20 armored car and we’ll get to that one later. But that’s of course not all there is. Armored cars and halftracks can be sexy! Check this bad boy right here: This is the T-13 Hornet B proposal, fitted with a 75mm gun. An American 8-wheel armored car, powered by a 265hp engine (for 7,5 tons, not bad). I don’t know about you, but I think this looks sexy as hell. A prototype was actually made (without the 75mm gun) and it could go as fast as 90 km/h. Terrain passability? No problem! You can read about the Hornet here, if you are interested. I personally am partial towards 8-wheeler armored cars and gun trucks. But six-wheelers can be very interesting as well. This is the T17 Deerhound, another American armored car, a 6-wheel version of the original T17. Equipped with a 37mm gun, this is easily a tier 3-4 vehicle. And the eight-wheeled Boardhound monster of course, this time with a 57mm gun, that could go as fast as 80 km/h. There are actually many really good looking armored cars and halftracks from various nations. Thanks to Listy, Madestcat, CaptianNemo, Vollketten and Karika for helping me out with some of the nice designs. The Germans, Americans and the British used the armored cars and halftracks extensively in the war (we’ll talk about that a bit later), mostly for recon and to support infantry. The Germans of course had their Sdkfz 234 series of armored cars with various armament versions, including the 75mm PaK 40. This family of vehicles includes also the famous “Puma” armored car. The American armored cars were mostly 4- or 6-wheelers and I showed some of them above. One thing worth noting is the T55E1 Gun Motor Carriage, an attempt to mate a 3inch (76mm) gun (the same thing that the Wolverine uses) with an 8-wheel suspension. 76mm gun going 80 km/h? Yes, please. The British of course cannot stay far behind. One of the most famous and best looking British armored cars was the Alvis Saladin. With up to 32mm of armor, maximum speed of 76 km/h and a 76mm gun capable of firing HESH ammunition, it would make a very nasty and mean scout. Here, a British AEC Mk.III with a 6pdr Or perhaps something Hungarian? Csaba armored car is well-known and relatively boring. But – this is a proposed Hunor armored car from 1940. I think it looks kinda cool. The Italians used the armored cars extensively as well. There were multiple versions of various guntrucks with guns up to 90mm for example. And of course, then there are the halftrack vehicles. The biggest users of those were the Germans and Americans (with Russians recieving halftracks as lend-lease). There are some pretty interesting versions as well, for example the German Sdkfz 251 with a 75mm PaK 40: Another halftrack (7,5 cm PaK 44 auf 3t Zgkw) was for example equipped with the 75mm L/70 AT gun. There were halftracks equipped with 88mm guns as well, up to the 88mm L/71. This is the 8,8 cm FlaK 37 (Sf) auf Fgst. s.Zugkraftwagen 18t (Sd.Kfz. 9): And here’s a drawing of the Italian 90mm halftrack project: Generally speaking, while the later armored cars could serve as scouts, while halftracks would likely end up as tank destroyers (or, alternatively, SPG’s). Regarding halftracks specifically, we’ve put together a table of available models we could come up with. It’s not sorted out, it’s just halftracks armed with various stuff (disregard the recoilless guns in the tree). So, what do you think? Sounds interesting? I hope it does. In the next part, I’ll talk about game mechanics and how these vehicles could be implemented in the game.