This is our final text in a series of introductory articles before Update 9.22 rolls out, and today we’re looking at the third major addition to the USSR Tech Tree.
The defensive nature of tank destroyers always persuaded tankers to act with caution when joining an attacking group, often opting for a safe spot somewhere near the friendly base. It’s the go-to approach, like with the Tortoise or T95, and it’s proven to be effective throughout the years.
To diversify the gameplay spectrum for this class, we’ll introduce a new line of Soviet tank destroyers that’ll make you rethink everything you thought you knew about TDs.
Starting from 13 February, 2018, USSR TDs will be capable of multiple battlefield roles, as the game introduces a new line of assault tank destroyers. The branch will start with the SU-100M1 at Tier VII, going through to the SU-101 at Tier VIII.
The next Tier will feature an important shift we’ve made to add balance to this line. The Object 263, which tops the current branch, will move a step down to Tier IX, leaving a free spot for the new king of the hill—Object 268 v.4.
Just like with the new mediums and heavies, all four vehicles will get rear-mounted guns, good speed countered by low manoeuvring skills, and robust frontal armour.
The Needed Shift
The 263 had initially been designed as a pure assault vehicle, but it had several issues stopping it from reaching its full potential. Its low-effective frontal armour made it shy away from close encounters, while an open cabin made it vulnerable to HE shells. Conversely, the vehicle has great penetration values, so players tried to use it from distance to hunt spotted enemies.
With the revised specs, the Object 263 will fit the new line, paving the way to the new top-tier TD.
Meeting the Comrade
The Object 268 v.4 encapsulates the whole line. All-in-all, it’s a true pack animal effective in group attacks, but can turn into an easy prey, if left on its own. We’ll try to cover the Object’s main traits below.
The gun is especially effective in open fights and isn’t best at long-range shootouts. The penetration values are as high as 293mm with AP and 360mm with APCR. Alpha damage is 650, putting the Object somewhere in the middle regarding pure firepower. Still, you’ll be able to bite off a decent chunk of hit points from an enemy. However, the 17-second reload time will make you find cover each time you’ve fired another round, so a “peek-a-boo” tactic suits the vehicle best.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re covered during reloading
One of the strongest arguments for closing in on an enemy is the Object’s armour. The effective thickness of the upper plate exceeds 330mm, while the superstructure is around 340mm. But don’t get overly confident: there’s a 250mm thick hatch that can easily be penetrated by an accurate shot, so try not to expose it.
The lower plate deserves a separate mention, as it consists of two parts. The upper one is basically a fortress wall, boasting 345mm of effective thickness. The lower part actually reminds us of what a common plate is like with 240mm. So, standing far enough from your rivals will make you an easy target, and it’s another argument for closing the distance, where vehicles with low gun depression values just won’t be able to reach it.
Pro Tip: Always go for close fights.
As mentioned, the Object can accelerate to 50 km/h swiftly, which is more of a medium tank’s characteristic. But low manoeuvrability turns the vehicle into a freight train, which moves fast with an extremely high turning radius. It means you will greatly depend on the support of your teammates, because enemy medium tanks can easily dance around you.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re well covered by allies.
How to play
Go full ahead: Use the Object’s dynamics to your advantage whenever you get the chance. Your role is to lead the pack, guarded by your teammates.
Avoid duels: There’s a high chance you will fail in a one-on-one encounter, especially if your opponent is manoeuvrable enough.
Mind your weak spots: There aren’t many soft spots when it comes to frontal armour. However, an experienced tanker will surely embrace given opportunities. Play active, but smart.