We’re ready to add an entire Italian tank destroyer branch to the game, Commanders!
This branch will consist of six researchable vehicles, from Tier V through Tier X. Starting from Tier VII, all new TDs will have strong frontal armor, excellent gun depression angles, and an autoloader with unusual implementation as a unique gameplay feature. Read on to find out more!
Italian Tank Destroyers: Well-Armored, Dangerous, and Unusual
Researching the new branch of Italian tank destroyers starts from the Tier IV P26/40 medium tank. You will need approximately 12,650 XP to unlock the branch-opening vehicle, the Semovente M41. Almost all of these Italian TDs existed as design projects, and some of them even had physical prototypes. Thanks to surviving blueprints and archive materials, we've taken these forgotten concepts to the next level and recreated six historical in-game machines as they might have existed in real life.
This new branch features decent frontal armor and excellent gun depression angles. You would probably expect these vehicles to be equipped with an autoreloading system, as well, like Italian medium or heavy tanks. But here’s the big surprise: High-tier Italian tank destroyers come with a magazine loading system that offers up a completely new playstyle! We’ll give you more information about this mechanic using a Tier X vehicle as an example. But let's first take a look at the lineup!
The Semovente M41 and the Semovente M43 Bassotto
The new branch kicks off with the Semovente M41, which is a Tier V transitional vehicle. It is equipped with a non-rotating cabin instead of a turret, as well as a 75 mm gun. With a 350 m view range and great concealment values, this vehicle is a born Tier V master of camouflage and offers exciting stealthy gameplay.
Sitting at Tier VI, the Semovente M43 Bassotto is somewhat of an improved version of the previous vehicle. It can brag about a more powerful 102 mm gun with good accuracy and penetration values. Alternatively, you can equip the 105 mm Tier VII gun with HE gameplay. The vehicle’s frontal armor is also more solid. Both vehicles are rather slow and rely on a stealthy playstyle using their great concealment values.
The SMV CC-56
The next Italian newcomer is the SMV CC-56, which is noticeably different from its predecessors. Starting with this TD, the branch begins to take on its main features, offering you an idea of what the gameplay of the high-tier vehicles will be.
The SMV CC-56 is equipped with a rotating turret but limited turret traverse angles (30 degrees to either side, 60 degrees in total). The turret and frontal armor are quite solid, so you can rely on them in close-range combat. However, what makes this vehicle so dangerous is its 105 mm gun that features an autoloader with a non-standard configuration (more on that below), as well as good depression and elevation angles (–10/+20 degrees).
The SMV CC-67
Now for the high-tier tanks! Let’s start with the menacing SMV CC-67, which embodies all the finest qualities of Italian tank destroyers. This vehicle also has a rotating turret, but its turret traverse angles is an impressive 70 degrees (35 degrees to either side).
The vehicle’s other characteristics are also evolving. The frontal hull and turret armor is even stronger, and the vehicle’s mobility is increasing, as well. The Tier VIII vehicle has a higher top speed, reverse speed, engine power, power-to-weight, and even traverse values. Although the SMV CC-67 can move from one flank to another, it will take you some time, so you’ll need to choose the right direction in battle. Its 120 mm gun with an autoloader and –10 degrees of gun depression make it easier to go hull-down, take a shot, and withdraw into cover for a few seconds so that enemies can’t hit your weak spots.
The Controcarro 1 Mk. 2
All of the above-mentioned gameplay features continue to evolve, making the Controcarro 1 Mk. 2 an incredibly dangerous opponent in close- and mid-range combat. The vehicle’s partial turret traverse and average mobility are counterbalanced by its excellent frontal armor and good gun handling. Its menacing and high-DPM 127 mm gun boasts 80 degrees of turret traverse angles (40 degrees to either side) and an autoloader that causes 490 HP of alpha damage.
The Controcarro 3 Minotauro
As the crown jewel of the new line, this Italian minotaur has key battle parameters similar to those of other high-tier TDs, but this is where they reach their maximum. Like its brothers-in-arms, this vehicle has excellent frontal hull armor and few weak spots, meaning that it can easily repel enemy shells and save your precious HP in a one-on-one duel.
The rotating turret tops out at 90 degrees of total turret traverse angles, with 45 degrees to either side! The gun depression angles of –10 degrees are also good. The accuracy of the 130 mm gun is not too impressive, but its aiming time is very decent for this caliber, especially compared to other heavy tanks and tank destroyers with comparable guns. The penetration values are also more similar to those of heavy tanks rather than tank destroyers. This does not make firing from a long distance very comfortable, so the Minotauro will feel right at home on the front line as a powerful breakthrough vehicle. With its respectable 530 HP of alpha damage, it will perform brilliantly in both frontal assaults and positional hull-down duels, assisting heavies and putting pressure on the enemy in close combat.
The vehicle’s top speed of 30 km/h and its acceleration remain competitive compared to heavy tanks. It can confidently follow other allies to support them on the flanks.
And now, meet the branch’s real superpower: its unique autoloader!
Not Your Classic Autoloader: How It Works
Unlike high-tier medium and heavy Italian tanks, Tier VII–X tank destroyers are equipped with a drum-type autoloader. However, this is not the classic autoloader that you might play on some popular French vehicles. Let's see how it works using the Controcarro 3 Minotauro as an example.
The autoloader has five shells with 530 HP of alpha damage. The full reload time is 24 seconds, and between shots—surprise! — a whopping eight seconds! This may seem strange on paper, but in practice, an autoloader with these unique parameters is perfect for trying out new tactics and keeping your opponents on their toes.
Always remember that you should treat this vehicle like a standard tank with a normal cyclic gun. Its alpha damage is equal to that of alpha heavies, but with a reload time of eight seconds, it’s faster than many brawlers, such as the IS-7 or the 60TP Lewandowskiego. This means that you can jump into a 1v1 duel and come out victorious, thanks to your huge in-clip DPM—up to 2650 HP!—and excellent frontal armor. One drum is enough to outshoot most of your opponents, even those with large HP pools.
Of course, you will have to pay for all of those shots with a reload that takes 24 seconds. Consider it a kind of delayed penalty for unleashing your devastating in-clip DPM. On the other hand, 24 seconds isn’t that bad. After all, the cooldown won’t take you out of the game for a very long time. Also, don’t forget that you have excellent frontal armor. While reloading, try to face your opponents frontally while hiding your lower plate so they have a harder time punishing you.
If you have a few shells left and the combat situation is favorable (meaning you can potentially do more damage), simply skip your drum to fully reload it. In just 24 seconds, you will have five shells with nice alpha at your disposal. Your rate of fire will probably be higher than that of your opponents, and they won't even know how many shots you have left! Whether or not to reload your full clip will be an easier decision in this vehicle than it would be in other autoloaders, so you will be perfectly capable of quickly adapting as the battle progresses.
This autoloader concept makes the Controcarro 3 Minotauro a unique and versatile vehicle that is sure to challenge its commander. You’ll need to get used to the Minotauro’s temper, but if you succeed, you will have a real king of the hill on any map.
If you are ready to take on this challenge, go ahead! It all depends on you!