Hey everyone! I've spent a fair bit of time reading into the history of armored warfare, trying to come up with ways to add new vehicles to the game. A thorn in my side has been Assault SPGs, like the Sturmtiger or Churchill AVRE. They don't fit into the game, but what if they could?
Wargaming has said that they'd like to add these vehicles, trying a new gameplay concept every year or so, but haven't come up with a good solution. I thought I'd give it a go.
I've come up with a bunch of ideas, but they were all basically "arty but different", which invariably turned into "arty but more cancerous". This time, I tried to make them as TD-like as possible, and I think the result isn't awful.
Big gun TDs with a unique twist? I'll be honest: I'm not expecting you all to be enamored by this concept. Some will like it, some will not. Instead, I'm lowering the bar a bit:
If these tanks were added to the game, would you be okay with it?
I don't know if they make the game better, other than having more variety, but I don't think they'd make the game worse. I am not anticipating a positive response, but if I don't ask, then I won't know what people think. All I ask is that you try to keep things civil – if you don't like it, let me down gently.
Why is this a challenge?
For those not familiar, during WWII, a class of vehicles emerged which used artillery-class guns in a direct-fire role. Famous examples are the
Some tanks, like the SU-152, fit the game easily enough, but others aren't in the game for a good reason. The Churchill AVRE has a monstrous 290mm gun, and the Sturmtiger a 380mm gun. Even if you scaled their alpha damage like SPGs, we're talking about 2000+ alpha damage, which I don't need to convince you would be horrible for the game.
We have to throw convention out the window. Sub-210mm guns will follow a pretty regular scale, but beyond that guns will be balanced on a case-by-case basis. Monster-caliber guns don't follow any sort of linear scale, and will only hit a bit harder than the 210mm guns.
New Class: Assault Guns (AGs)
These tanks are 90% TD and 10% SPG. By being a new class, each team will have the same number (capped at 2 per team). You could even do something fancy, like cap SPG+AGs to 4 per team. These truly are TDs, though. This is like giving wheeled LTs their own class, even though they are just a special flavor of light tank.
Basically, they are TDs with a shell arc, but don't be mistaken – they will NOT play like arty, for one big reason: their maximum range is limited, between 400 and 500m. You can't sit in the back of the map, or even snipe – these steel beasts are made for close-quarters combat. Low gun elevation (35 degrees max) limits them to hitting front plates, not engine decks. In general, the shells will arc like a low-tier derp, like on the
The alpha will be high, but never as high as the biggest-gunned TD of that tier. Shell velocity will be reasonable, maybe 600-800 m/s, with high shell gravity making the arc. The guns will primarily fire AP, HEAT, and HE. The pen will scale with mediums and heavies instead of TDs; however, their large caliber and great normalization will give them good pen characteristics. The HE shells will have large splash radii, but worse pen than what TDs get and no stun – at tier 10, the T110E4 will have a scarier HE round than most AGs. You're expected to fire AP/HEAT. To make things interesting, their tracers are visible, just like with arties.
The overall accuracy and gun handling will be poor, on par with the less-accurate TDs of the tier. Stationary camo will be okay, but after-firing camo will be basically zero. View range is limited. Most AGs have casemates, but a few get turrets; in both cases, the armor is never better than "pretty good". Mobility varies, but will usually be on the slower end. Their HP pools will be on par with regular TDs.
Concrete Example: Sturmtiger 21
Historically, the Sturmtiger was first intended to equip a 210mm gun, before supply concerns forced them to design a new weapon. However, let's consider giving the Sturmtiger the 210mm gun, and have it at tier 10.
It fires AP, HEAT, and HE. Alpha damage is 900/900/1200 – very high, but not as high as a handful of other TDs. Pen is 260mm/320mm/80mm. (Side note: this means the AP round is better for overmatching, so goldspam is unwise). A 20s base reload gives this a pretty standard 2100 base DPM. 0.45 base accuracy is good enough in close quarters, but will only hit center of mass at range.
Mobility is pretty mediocre, with a top speed of 40 km/h and a P/W ratio of 10.15 hp/t. However, I'd give it pretty good hull traverse, say 30 deg/s. The frontal armor is a sloped 150mm plate, about 220mm effective, with a weaker LFP. It gets 2150 health, 370m view range, and camo values on par with a Jagdpanzer E 100 (that is to say, not very good). Lastly, with a max gun elevation of 30 degrees and a vertically mid-mounted gun, it'll be hard to shoot while completely hidden.
The gun behaves a bit unusually, because at close range you are more accurate, but at longer range the shell arc helps the shell aim down onto angled plates. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Although they can hit vehicles behind shallow cover, the window at which this is effective is very small, and only a handful of places on the map will be particularly useful.
If anything, these statistics make the tank a bit weak, but it's fine as a starting point for discussion. Would you play these tanks? Would you hate to play against them? Are they at least not as bad as arty? Let me know! I'm happy to discuss things.