Welcome to The Game Plan! Last week, Robin from PVP Super Friends discussed creating effective tank line-ups; this week, we’re zooming in on one particular vehicle which has been ranking highly on many top tankers’ lists – the T-54 Lightweight. There’s no doubt it’s seen a fair bit of play recently – with good reason – and after this article, you might just want to take it for a test drive yourself!
The T-54 Lightweight is a Tier VIII Russian Light Tank, and is the little brother of the T-54 Medium Tank. It is a quick and nimble tank, and although it is less agile than its Tier VIII Light Tank counterparts, it has an effective gun and good turret armour. This is one of the few light tanks which, when played correctly, will bounce most shots from enemy vehicles of the same tier.
When it was introduced in Patch 9.3, the T-54 Lightweight was nowhere near the effectiveness of the RU 251 and AMX 13 90 in the Wargaming League. The T-54 Lightweight is pretty much a very good tank, except it doesn’t have a long view range for a light tank, so it doesn’t do a good job when passive scouting. The vehicle is quick enough for active scouting, but it doesn’t accelerate as fast as the other light tanks of the same tier. Furthermore, the T-54 Lightweight has a relatively poor gun depression.
So what changed to make it so popular with players in the WGL Grand Finals 2015, and even make it the current meta in the League?
Patch 9.6 improved the characteristics of the T-54 Lightweight. Its HP was increased from 1200 to 1250; not much, but it helps. Terrain passability was greatly improved, which meant better acceleration. Reload and aiming time was reduced, and the gun dispersion of its already effective gun was also lessened. The 100mm APCR from the 100mm D-10t mod 1945 gun can penetrate 235 mm of armour, with an average damage of 250 per shot. Seven shots per minute can produce almost 2,000 damage per minute. Adding a Gun Rammer and Enhanced Gun-Laying Drive will again reduce the reload and aim time.
After those buffs, the T-54 Lightweight became a must-have vehicle for experienced players with aggressive playstyles. It now has the ability to change positions on the map quickly, get involved in the battle, move fast, outmanoeuvre the enemy, and inflict heavy damage. If handled properly in groups, the T-54 Lightweight will reward you with a win.