So I’ve had a chance to briefly play all the Italian heavy tanks now and I thought I’d share my experience with them all for anyone thinking of grinding up the tree:
Carro P.88 (Tier VII)
Ever wanted a Tiger (P) that’s faster, with less durability and a worse gun? Well this tank will be your best friend. Decent mobility, a below average gun, alright armour. Also has one of the best camoflage values I’ve seen on a heavy tank for some reason (you can get it to around 16% when stationary if you have a crew for it) but that doesn’t really do an awful lot for the tank.
The stock gun with the top turret is actually a pretty decent choice, if it weren’t for the lacklustre penetration (it’s effectively the same gun the Tier VII Italian medium gets).
The top gun is basically the top gun from the Tiger (P) but it handles much worse due to the horrendous accuracy. The Tiger (P)‘s gun isn’t great but at least it can remain relevant when uptiered because the gun can be somewhat consistent. Not with this tank. Horrible accuracy and bad DPM, the only upside to this gun from the stock gun is the penetration. I think the stock gun with the top turret is the better option.
The mobility is pretty decent for a heavy, but the traverse speed is really terrible, especially when with the stock tracks. You don’t need the upgraded tracks to fit any of the modules but by god you’ll want to get them to make the traverse speed bearable. Bad traverse seems to be a trend for these heavy tanks for some reason.
Armour is very eh. The upper plate is decent (about 170mm effective) and the turret placement allows you to peek pretty nicely but the turret is the bane of this tank. It can’t take shots anywhere except the mantlet. The lower plate is also pretty weak and fairly big.
Overall, it’s nowhere near as good as other Tier VII heavies. Only the Tiger (P) really stoops as low as this tank, and even then I’d rather play the Tiger (P) because I find the gun to be more consistent, and the armour is thicker. It also has the hp to tank much more hits.
Equipment wise, a rotation device, gun rammer, and vents/coated optics are you best bet. I went for optics because the view range is also really bad (350m) but it’s up to you.
Progetto 54 (Tier VIII)
A fairly fast heavy with awful DPM but a fairly nice gun and a half decent armour scheme.
The gun doesn’t hit that hard, but it feels really nice to use. Idk what it is but I love how it feels. I use vert. Stabs. and rotation device to tighten the dispersion so maybe that plays a part to it, but I love the gun handling.
Unfortunately, the reload is downright tragic. Base it’s around 12s when the tank hasn’t depleted the magazine at all. To put that into perspective, the Obj. 274a fires 1.5 rounds more per minute with the same alpha. Hell, some of the hard hitting TD s at Tier VIII like the Skorpion G reload faster than you do. You will not be able to out-DPM anything, except maybe a British light tank lol.
The magazine potential of 960 doesn’t really make up for this either, especially when you have to wait for 15s for the first shell to load if you unload everything. Only go deep into the magazine if you absolutely HAVE to.
One thing to note is that the stock gun and the top gun are identical in every way except for the penetration values and a very slightly faster reload on one of the shells. 202 pen is also acceptable for a stock gun, so it may be worth sticking with it and unlocking everything else first.
Traverse is again, terrible. And now it’s even more noticeable because the tank is much faster, so the traverse really lets it down. Other than that, the speed and acceleration are really good for a heavy. Think AMX 50 100 kind of speed.
Armour again is eh. It’s very similar to the 53TP, except the turret I find to be less consistent. Because the turret is very boxy and not curved at all, it suffers in the same way the Maus turret does. The turret armour is around 230mm effective, which isn’t enough to stop high tier round from destroying it frontally. Bear this in mind.
Overall, the tank is pretty decent. If the DPM was higher I’d say it would be one of the best heavies at Tier VIII, but the glacial reload really holds it back.
Progetto 66 (Tier IX)
A weird hybrid between the M103 and the Conqueror that doesn’t fit either ones playstyle. But hey, at least you don’t fall too far behind DPM wise here.
There are two main guns to grind for on this tank. The upgraded 105mm has the better penetration but has god awful aimtime for a 320 alpha gun at this tier and has barely better DPM than the stock gun. If you must have the better penetration though I guess it’s the better choice.
The 120mm gun is what I recommend. It hits harder, the DPM becomes somewhat acceptable and the penetration is still decent at 242. The reload on this gun funnily enough is about the same as the stock gun, but you just get 80 extra alpha. It doesn’t have nearly the handling of the Conqueror or the M103 but with the equipment mentioned earlier the bloom is very tight and so the gun feels pretty satisfying. You also have the autoreloader to finish off enemies in a pinch, which is useful, and a 1200 clip is much more threatening.
Mobility is above average, but not the same level at the Tier VIII. I’d compare it to the M103 in terms of how it feels. It’s fast enough to get where it needs to go and do what it needs to do. The traverse is still bad but it’s actually manageable unlike the previous tanks, so I guess it’s got that going for it.
Armour is again, quite average. The hull is actually fairly weak for Tier IX standards, with only around 210mm effective armour everywhere over the front (laughs in E75). But the turret is pretty tough and you have -9 gun depression to use it. It’s not a Conqueror turret though – the two flat plates next to the gun can be penned by gold fairly consistently.
Overall I love this tank. It by far is not the most competitive tank at its tier but it’s solid, and the gun is significantly better than the Tier VIII. I think the Conqueror or the AMX M4 51 are much better at being heavies, but the gun is really fun on the Progetto 66.
Rhinoceronte (Tier X)
This is it. The big daddy. 490 alpha on an autoreloader with god tier accuracy and aim time for a heavy :0 sounds incredible. However…
The gun is really, really deceiving. The dispersion values are absolutely dreadful – like Grille 15 levels of terrible. This basically makes the gun incredibly fickle and hard to use outside of sitting still trying to fire, and everyone knows at high tier you just don’t do that in a heavy tank. The alpha is nice with an autoreloader, but the reload on the gun is so bad that it doesn’t feel nice enough. You’re always crying for the shells to load in faster to be able to deal with things in front of you. If you can drag out fights long enough, the gun can work pretty well. But for fast engagements, it really, really sucks. And whilst 490 alpha is decent, a lot of heavies at Tier X have higher, sometimes with a better reload as well. So the gun, not great, even if it looks like it is.
Mobility is okay. It’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it certainly isn’t slow. Again, think M103 kind of mobility with a better top speed. Again though, many heavies at this tier have not only nicer armour schemes but are faster, such as the IS-7. It’s alright, but in most cases it isn’t enough for the plays you want to make.
Armour is actually pretty good. The hull is around 250mm everywhere – it has no lower plate weakspot. This makes it excellent against Tier VIII tanks as some of them cannot deal with you at all frontally, even with gold. Even Tier IX and X tanks will struggle without gold, but as soon as someone loads the gold, your armour turns to paper. It’s similar to the Type 5 Heavy in the sense of its armour is incredible until someone dabs the 2 key. The turret is stronger, but is also much the same. It can work against even gold if you’re on a ridge line using all the gun depression, but honestly that doesn’t happen often enough to rely on it.
It’s a fairly mediocre Tier X. It’s armour is too easy to counter, it isn’t fast enough, and the gun doesn’t perform as well as you’d like. The autoreloader is very satisfying to pull off when you get it, but that doesn’t happen in 99% of games. The reload is also really shocking for the alpha, and you always really feel it. It’s really not good enough to justify playing over anything else, unless you’re really in love with the auto loader.
So that’s it! If anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to put it in the comments. I’m sure I’m missing some information somewhere!