The announcement of double-barreled vehicles sparked a keen interest among novices and veterans alike, offering unusual and exciting gameplay. After a series of tests and adjustments, we're finally ready to introduce this highly-anticipated branch of double-barreled heavy tanks. But first, a brief historical overview.
Looking Back in Time
The development of armored vehicles with twin guns began between the First and Second World Wars. The greatest progress in this field was achieved by Soviet engineers who developed several projects of double-barreled tanks during World War II. In 1939, testing of the first Soviet double-barreled tank, which received the KV-U-0 index, was successful, and by 1941, there were two projects: the T-34-3 and the KV-7.
Why Did These Prototypes Never Leave the Drawing Board?
Two key factors prevented Soviet engineers from bringing them to life in metal:
- Inconvenient and complex operation and maintenance. The ergonomics of these vehicles were worse than those of standard single-barrel tanks. Due to the complexity of the design, the probability of their failure was also higher.
- High manufacturing cost. Taking into account the costs of developing and creating new production lines, it was more economical to make two "regular" single-barrel tanks than one double-barreled colossus.
However, double-barreled tanks were considered an innovative and breakthrough technical solution for their time. They would have had a higher chance of successfully defeating a target and were designed to play an important role on the battlefield — to break through the enemy's defenses or to hold back their advance.
Both of the above constraints were not in-game obstacles for creating a new branch, so we’ve reinforced and developed the ideas of the Soviet engineers. In creating these vehicles, we’ve taken into account many nuances and tried to comply with all principles of the construction of such tanks. For example, all double-barreled tanks have an extended track platform, improved chassis, enlarged turrets, etc. All vehicles are not only correct from an engineering point of view, but have also retained the visual features of the Soviet tank-building school.
Meet the Double-Barreled Heavies!
Researching the new sub-branch of double-barreled Soviet heavy tanks starts with the KV-3 at Tier VII. You’ll be able to move along the heavy branch or research these new double-barreled predators. In Update 1.7.1, the following three new vehicles will storm the battlefield:
- The IS-2-II (Tier VIII)
- The IS-3-II (Tier IX)
- The ST-II (Tier X)
Let's take a look at each tank individually.
Although its name has the abbreviation of the legendary IS, the tank in its components is more similar to the KV-3, which, like the IS-2-II, was equipped with a 100 mm gun. Although it doesn't pack much damage, the IS-2-II is a versatile vehicle and a good training platform.
In addition, the 100 mm guns are comfortable to shoot, which helps you to better master their mechanics. It takes a shorter time to prepare for the shot, and the penalty after a double shot is also reduced.
With this tank you have access to all three shooting modes — cyclic, sequential, and double-shot. Given this is a transitional stage to a new branch, it is a good opportunity to practice using the cyclic (regular) mode to get used to some of the nuances of having two guns on your vehicle. Let's review its mechanics.
Cyclic (regular): firing one gun that reloads after each shot
When you want to shoot at an enemy vehicle, just aim and fire, as with any regular tank. After shooting the active, let’s say, left gun, it starts reloading. The second one (the right gun) now becomes active. When the left gun is loaded, take a shot with the right gun. Then the right gun starts reloading, the left one becomes active again, and the cycle repeats. The principle of shooting is like any other tank, only with the additional movement of the aiming camera.
Remember: the cyclic mode allows you to shoot the same way you do with other tanks, without having to learn additional moves.
Starting from Tier IX, the characteristics of vehicles begin to noticeably improve. You will find that you have more armor and more firepower from both single and double shots. The IS-3-II has two 122 mm guns with 390 alpha damage each. Just like most Soviet tanks, it boasts a solid, bouncy turret which absorbs much damage. However, with increasing armor, the mobility of the tank is slightly reduced, though it remains fairly mobile, which is something you should take advantage of.
All three shooting modes are still available to you, including sequential — you'll probably use it as often as cyclic.
Sequential: Shooting both guns alternately
After shooting the active left gun, the camera shifts, but you can’t fire the second gun right away. The timer on the left shows when you can shoot. When it finishes, you can fire from the second gun. Remember though that the loading of the first gun will be interrupted, and the sequential loading of both shells will start over.
The fabulous ST-II crowns the branch — the most famous tank of the entire trinity, and the only one that existed in reality. Also, it was the ST-II that our players have long been asking to be added to the game.
All characteristics of this Tier X tank—alpha damage, penetration, armor—are at their maximum values among all vehicles in the entire branch, which makes the ST-II the ultimate brawler. This is a full-fledged heavy tank, which will be a huge problem for the enemy, even with little support.
If properly used, its tough hull with well-sloped armor will easily deflect enemy rounds. The ST-II is equipped with two 122 mm guns with 440 points of alpha damage. Keep in mind that the top speed of this goliath is rather low, so decide in advance on which section of the map you will battle—you won't be able to quickly change the flank.
The ability to make a crushing double shot is very satisfying, but don’t forget the ST-II boasts three shooting modes, like the other two tanks.
Simultaneous shots from two guns (double shot)
You need to hold the left mouse button to prepare the shot (this takes a few seconds). The reloading progress timer is displayed inside the scope area. When the preparation is complete, a double shot automatically occurs. If you release the left mouse button before the preparation ends, the process will reset.
This mechanic doesn’t allow a player to load both barrels, select a target, and fire at will. Firing both barrels has some serious drawbacks — as illustrated in the following point.
After a double shot, both guns are blocked for several seconds, during which they won’t be able to fire or reload. Once the guns become available, they are loaded in turn. After loading both guns, a double shot can be made again. There is no restriction on the number of double shots you can make.
Spamming double shots isn’t always the right choice. With so many different shooting modes at your disposal, be sure to consider the situation on the battlefield and play accordingly!
The crew of all three double-barreled vehicles consists of five crew members, including two loaders:
- Commander (Radio Operator)
- Two Loaders
Consider this when operating these tanks.
We’re sure that these mighty Soviet double-barreled tanks will bring a breath of fresh air and many new tactical possibilities for your gameplay. Good luck on the battlefield, Commanders!