Since patch 1.13 dropped, HE shells have become much easier to penetrate, especially into sides where previously track would thwart them. This meant that although non-penning HE got nerfed with the patch, high pen HE received a significant buff. Additionally, the revised intuition skill makes switching shells much easier. That brings us to the topic of this post: the
The Centurion 7/1 gets an excellent 105mm gun with APCR and two version of HESH. We are going to ignore the standard HESH (105mm pen) because the premium HESH is a direct upgrade to it. Let's compare the APCR and HESH:
Here's the important takeaway: 210mm of pen is quite workable at tier IX, especially when fighting lower tier vehicles. With HESH now being more reliable than ever, the Cent 7/1 can treat its
premium "special" HESH shell as a lower pen, higher damage tradeoff only loading APCR for tougher enemies.
I believe that this is proof that giving tanks the choice between high pen/low dmg and low pen/high dmg is not only viable, but desirable! Firing mainly HESH from the cent right now makes the otherwise slow reload and semi-derpy gun handling feel justified. Regularly rolling for over 500 feels amazing on a med. Aside from the fact that the standard HESH is pointless when you have the
gold "special" HESH, I think the Cent 7/1 is a model of what could be.
Lower dmg on "special" shells could reduce gold spam, encourage WG to add back weakspots to reward skill, and be a pleasant buff to tanks like the AMX M4 49 which wilt to gold. Admittedly, superheavies would probably need a balance pass, as right now they are balanced around gold shells. But long term, this would be a great change for the health of the game.
Cent 7/1 APCR (high pen) vs HESH (high dmg) both being effective shows that giving
the 2 key "special" shells lower dmg to compensate for their higher pen (or more dmg for lower pen) is the way to go.