For the Record: Salvaging the Brummbär/Sturmtiger Line
Hello everyone, recently, Storm openly confirmed that the Sturmtiger will not be implemented. From what I heard on Russian server – it’s connected to an incident, where on the supertest, Storm took a Sturmtiger for a spin and out of three shots, he oneshotted IS-7, Maus and E-100. Whether that’s true – well, that’s not confirmed, but it would certainly explain his distaste for such a gamebreaking vehicle. Regardless, it’s true that a 380mm rocket mortar cannot effectively be balanced in the game, at least using “regular” rules. Sure, you could just give it a small alpha (on 183mm level), but that would be strange and illogical. Plus, it seems that’s already decided, so now the real question is, what to do with the rest of the line? Well… for starters, it has to be realized that by getting rid of the Sturmtiger, you are most likely getting rid of tier 8 and 9 as well. Early Wargaming thoughts, confirmed by Storm, were along the lines of: Tier 8 – Sturmpanzer Ferdinand (basically a Ferdinand with 210mm mortar) Tier 9 – Sturmpanzer Bär Tier 10 – Sturmtiger All three have massive guns, starting with the 210mm, that, while a derp, would likely be just as hard to balance on its tier (imagine a 210mm shell landing on your tier 6). The Bär has a 305mm howitzer/mortar (good luck balancing that against tier 7 vehicles), so it’s likely that these candidates took a trip to the “scrapped” folder along with their tier 10 brother. Lower tiers however are entirely salvageable. Tier 5,6 and 7 would likely be SIG33, Sturmpanzer IV (incorrectly known as Brummbär, that name was apparently not used historically) and Sturmpanzer Panther, which is basically a Panther with a 150mm short howitzer in the turret, it looks like this: And yes, that is actually a historical project. The 150mm gun itself does not have exactly stellar properties (do not be fooled by the caliber, the gun was not that powerful – the HEAT shell could only penetrate some 150mm of armor) – in fact, the Brummbär was confirmed to be “fine” with it, so we can assume everything from the line up to tier 7 is useable and we are now missing only tier 8,9 and 10. Replacements It’s worth noting that considering the difficulty of finding high tier candidates for third German line, it’s much more likely that the vehicles, such as the Brummbär, will be turned into premium tanks. That would however be a shame, as (unlike other, paper projects), these self-propelled guns had their role in the war and really fought. Thus, what could be done is this: - scrap the tier 7 as well - replace tier 7-9 with Waffenträgers (specifically Ardelt, Steyr and Panther) - make StuG Maus a tier 10 Thus, you would create a “hybrid” line, filled with derp on low tiers and Waffenträgers on high tiers. Sure, you might ask: “Do we really need more Waffenträgers?” – and the answer is likely “no”, but it is the only way (including paper projects) of salvaging the line by putting something that actually can be balanced on high tiers. Tier 7-8 There were many proposals and poject to put a big gun (88mm, 128mm and even 150mm) on cheap chassis, usually based on or connected to the 38t and 38d platforms, the first being the hull of the – by then obsolete – Panzer 38t, the latter being a wider hull, based on the 38t technology, but modified for German production, since the original 38t chassis – considered to be one of the three chassis to be produced by the end of the war along with Panther and Tiger II – was specifically designed for Czechoslovak production methods that couldn’t be replicated without difficulty in the Reich. Some of the 88mm Waffenträgers were actually produced, the Ardelt one fought in the final days of war. Another example would be the one by Steyr. Performance-wise, they would likely be on par with the current RhB Waffenträger, only smaller, more mobile, but with less firepower. Ideal tier 7-8. No armor of course, but a traverseable gun. Could be done. The Steyr vehicle above for example was built on the 38t platform, was equipped with a 180hp engine and weighed around 10 tons. If you are interested in more details, I wrote about them here. Tier 9 Here, we’d have a Waffenträger Panther, ideally the Skorpion, because it has a cool name and generally is recognizable. There were several (actually, many) variants of various guns on the Panther chassis – one you already have in the game, the “GW Panther”, which was one of the Waffenträgers. Medium armor, Panther-mobility, but a nice 128mm (or even 150mm) gun would give us the similiar type of gameplay we already have with the Panzer IV Waffenträger. The vehicle would likely be a bit bigger (which means worse camouflage), but yea. In any case, if you are interested in this vehicle, I wrote a more detailed article in the past. Tier 10 Well, the only realistic German tier 10 TD candidate left is the Sturmgeschütz Maus. Please note that the above is only my impression of the design, noone really knows what it looked like. I wrote about it earlier and it was met with mixed results, but basically, it could be anything between an oversized Jagdpanther (heavy armor, mediocre mobility, sniper gun) to a dedicated sniper. Conclusion The problem of such a setup would be that it would offer three separate types of gameplay: derp with heavy armor, sniper with light armor (tier 7-9) and something inbetween on tier 10. That is not exactly desirable, but I do believe this is the only way of salvaging the line. Making premiums of the midtier vehicles… well, a lot of people would likely feel “cheated” that Wargaming is selling historical vehicles for profit (the current rule is that premium tanks are to be predominantly paper projects), which is also not good. Any solution (including “not implementing them at all”) has some major drawbacks in any case: - not implementing Brummbär at all: you have a historically important vehicle missing - implementing as a premium: “AMAGAD GREEDY WG FUUUUU” - implementing as a “stub” (only a side branch that enters the main branch at tier 6 for example): that thing is currently very much frowned upon as Wargaming makes money on high tiers, such lines (that are easily accessible) are not very profitable from what the developers said - implementing a full line: “Frankenstein!” so in the end, I do believe what I have written above to be an acceptable compromise.