When someone mentions tier 8 tds, we normally think of the skorpion or the su-130pm, the TDs that seem to overshadow every other tier 8 TD in the game. For most TDs, this is definitely the case. The Ferdinand, for example, cannot hope to compete with the skorpion or the su. However, one tier 8 TD has remained relevant since it was released.
That TD is the UDES. With its high-pen gun, unique siege mode capability, impeccable camouflage, and ok view range, and brilliant speed, the UDES seems to be able to do it all. While it has absolutely no armor, its tiny size and great camo rating allow it to sneak around, using any bush that it can find.
First of all, what makes me qualified to write this review? I would consider myself an OK player, definitely not the best, but not terrible. My recent win rate is around 52 percent and I have two gun marks on the UDES, while being a free to play player (I get rentals for prem tanks sometimes and I bought the patriot for bonds). I never use premium consumables and only use a rammer directive when I can afford it. While I have recon, situational awareness, and full came, I don't even have BIA yet. Here is my account profile:
The gun: Quite possibly the best and most reliable gun on a tier 8 tank, this gun would be decent on almost any tier 10 tank. The pen of 288 is best in class at tier 8 and is almost the best in tier 9 as well, only being beaten out by the tier 9 Swedish tank destroyer. While its DPM is certainly not the best, even in siege mode, the firepower slot definitely gives the UDES an extra boost. My UDES rips apart enemies with an 8.7 second reload. Shell velocity is very good, at 1385 m/s on standard rounds and almost 1500 m/s on prem rounds. In addition, the aim time is basically nonexistent, and this allows you to aim fully to the 0.24 base accuracy that the UDES has before taking a shot. This accuracy, combined with the quick aim time, the shell velocity, and the great pen, makes this gun the most reliable out of any tier 8 tank while also being a great anti-EBRer. However, this doesn't come without costs. In order to obtain this impeccable accuracy, the UDES must invest two seconds into switching into siege mode, where the speed of the tank slows to a painful 5 km/h. However, the UDES does not suffer as much as the later Swedish TDs in siege mode. The gun is not fixed to the tank and can elevate 20 degrees, which allows the UDES to peek just the gun over rocks in order to get sneaky shots on its enemies. If used in this capacity, the UDES becomes extremely hard to dig out while consistently chipping away at its enemies. Also, this flexibility allows the UDES to use ridgelines very well, helping the UDES excel on almost every map.
The speed: When outside of the siege mode, this tank is the most mobile tank destroyer at tier 8. A 70 km/h top speed with a power to weight of over 30 allows the UDES to race into position (as QB would say), set up the binos, and quickly spot its enemies while remaining unspotted. Also, the speed and camo rating allow this tank to act as a pseudo-light when needed. This has resulted in many great games for me on open maps like malinovka and Prokhorova. You'll have to watch out for the traverse speed, as it is pretty slow when not in siege mode. This makes sharp turns difficult.
The camo: With a camo net, this tank's camo reaches close to 70 percent for me, meaning that I can often remain unspotted until the proxy spot when in a bush. When moving, my camo stays at above 30 percent, letting me move into position sneakily. People often say that the UDES sucks on city maps. While this definitely is the case, the UDES can still be very useful. Many times, I've set up in a bush covering a lane and provided valuable intelligence to my team while also doing damage. I had a 5k combined game (for my second gun mark) on Ensk, where I sat in a tiny bush covering the main road and lit up every tank crossing the thoroughfare. You don't even need a bush to do well! Even without a bush, the 70 percent camo lets you sit in the open and spot! It's quite broken TBH. Also, my camo is 15 percent when firing, meaning that I can fire at most distances over 400 meters without getting spotted, even when I am in the open. Also, double bushing is very useful with this tank.
View Range: 350 meters is certainly not the best in the biz. However, with recon, situational, and binos, I can reach up to 460 meters of view. This, combined with the great camo, allows me to outspot almost every tank in the game. However, watch out for the lights with CVS, those can really kill your camo when bushing.
Armor: None, except against three stock tanks: The MT-25, Setter, and AMX 13 57. However, I find that ridgelines and rocks are impenetrable and often block enemy shells. The siege mode of the UDES allows you to use these with maximum effect. Just try not to get hit. Every other aspect of this tank will help you with that.
Summary: Everything is good about this tank, except armor. However, the other stats of this tank help alleviate the lack of armor and make this tank outstanding. This tank is great for a free to play player because of the nice standard pen and consistent results it provides.
Comparison: When compared to other tech tree TDs, this UDES is 100% the best. When compared to premium TDs, the UDES's closest competitors are the Su-130, skorp, and strv s1. The UDES still competes with these tanks. It is the most sneaky, has the best gun in terms of pen and accuracy, and has around the same DPM as all of them. It is also the most mobile, which I find is vital when playing a sneaky TD. This makes the UDES the most flexible, as it can scout confidently, much better than all of the prem TDs.
How to play-
Open Maps: Set up in a bush. You can be ahead of other TDs because of your good camo. Shoot tanks. Use double bushing when necessary. Or, you can set up in a forward bush, using your speed to get there and your camo and view to scout. In late game, you can act as a scout with your camo and view, shooting at tanks with double bushing.
City Maps: Set up in a corridor, as far away as possible. Gauge your view ranks and see where you can set up to spot while being unspotted. You can wait for your allies to shoot, or you can shoot and pull back. Rinse and repeat. For Ensk, there are many bushes you can set up along the city and in the field. For Himmels, you can use the sniper positions along the center to shoot, or cover the rails with your view and camo.
The Grind: Pretty easy overall, the tier 5 is not the best, but alpha is good. The tier 7 is not the greatest as well. However, this tank makes it all worth it. When you first unlock this tank, you have to work with a 90mm gun. It has good dpm but bad alpha and pen. It's workable. Unlock the suspension first and mount your equips. Then the grind for the top gun commences. 60k exp is not cheap, but its doable. Then, go for the engines.
TLDR: Get the UDES! It's the best tier 8 TD if u know how to play it!