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the STB-1 – Panzer Vor!
STB1_garage

The STB-1 is the Japanese tier 10 medium tank. its renowned for being extremely Gorgeous to look at, having the highest Damage per Minute of any vehicle in the game, and Shells that seem to enjoy hitting the ground on fully aimed shots.

The STB-1 was the first Prototype for the Japanese Type 74 Tank, a Japanese version based on the same Chassis as the Leopard 1, the tank also has the same 105mm L7 gun common on most tier 10 medium tanks. However, while being Similar in design to the Leopard 1, it has several significant differences that define the tank as a unique and very different tank to drive from the Leopard.

 

Firepower:

As has been already stated, the STB has the best DPM (Damage per minute) of any vehicle in the game. In its most optimal setup, it has a reload of just 6.32 seconds, with an alpha damage of 390. This is a very potent combination, and can be used to your advantage, often allowing you to get up to 3 shots into tanks like the E100, or some tier 10 TDs, before they are able to reload one shell. The damage numbers stack up: up to 1170 alpha damage in return for only one 750 damage shot from an E100. This is an advantage that other L7 armed tanks do not have, most often their reloads being 7 seconds or longer. the extra second means that they are likely to only get two shots into an E100 before he reloads, and sometimes not even two into tanks such as the IS-7, while the STB is able to get two into an IS-7 before he reloads.

Of course, this advantage is not without its consequences: the Gun has very poor handling. This does not show up on the in game stats alone, the gun handling issues are in the soft stats for the gun. What this means is that when the tank is moving, or turning its turret, the reticule blooms to a much larger circle than other tanks. This in itself may sound fine, after all, it only has a 2.3-second aiming time, however that is not the case, since aim time actually shows the time the reticule takes to reach one third of its maximum size. This still means that when those 2.3 seconds are up, the gun is still much less accurate than most other tier 10 medium guns, even on tanks with the same aim time, if they have better soft stats for their gun. This means that the gun still has to aim that last third, making it very slow to aim and often not fully aimed in when the player fires. This leads to shells missing quite often, earning the tank its reputation for having a very derpy gun.

It is not all bad though, when fully aimed in the STB is actually fairly accurate. It won’t win a sniping war with a Leopard or an FV4202, but it’s accurate enough to hit the lower plates of heavies at longer ranges.

The STB-1 has one other party piece to bring to the table in the firepower department: Gun Depression. At -10 degrees, this tank has extremely good depression, this gives it a very strong edge in hill fighting, allowing you to only expose your turret, which is very small, to enemies to fire at them from over a ridge. This is an extremely useful advantage, but there will be more on that later.

 

To sum up the firepower, it’s good. The gun is most effective at short-medium ranges where it can put the DPM to good use, but not have to spend ages aiming in on weak spots

 

Protection:

The STB-1 is a medium tank, so by definition it is not going to have amazing armour. This is even truer when it is based on the Chassis of the Leopard 1. However, unlike the leopard, the armour is actually able to bounce a few shots. The Upper front plate is only 110mm thick, but it’s also angled at an extremely steep angle, allowing you to promote bounces if you angle the armour. The side is a rather terrible 35mm thick, making sidescraping difficult, though not impossible; the STB can get some pretty troll bounces in an effective sidescrape, but as a rule do not expect to bounce much off the hull in general.

The Turret is far stronger than the hull and an extremely welcome upgrade over the previous tanks in the line. While only being 132mm thick, it is sloped at extreme angles making it very effective. there is however, an armor hole behind the gun meaning that shooting the STB directly where the gun is can do damage. The Turret is also very small, meaning that when sitting hull down abusing that glorious gun depression, enemies trying to shoot you back will have very little in the way of turret to shoot at, making them miss more often than hit, and even when hitting it is likely to bounce.

The turret can still be penetrated, but it is nowhere near as reliable as an Object 140s turret, for example. However, it is good enough for medium range engagements due to its size and angle, with its weak spot being small enough for enemies to reliably hit.

 

To Sum up: it’s a Medium tank. It’s not supposed to rely on its armor to keep it out of trouble, but it is able to bounce lower tier shots if well angled and the Turret is strong enough to keep you safe in hull down situations, which is a very important aspect of the tank and one major downside of the tanks before it.

 

Setup – Crew, Equipment and Consumables

When setting up a tank with crew and equipment the general idea is to either maximize the tanks strengths of Minimize its weaknesses. For example, when setting up a light tank its main strengths are its camo and view range, so crew and equipment choices will reflect that – Camo and view range skills, with Optics for equipment. For an IS-7, its main strengths are its strong armour, mobility, and high alpha damage on its gun. These things cannot be improved per se, meaning that crew and equipment setups will be based on minimizing its weaknesses – being the terrible gun accuracy, reload, and aim time. It is not very common that you can enhance a tank’s strengths while also minimizing its weaknesses. The STB-1 is one of those tanks where this is possible.

The STB-1s main advantage is its incredible DPM, while its main weakness is its bad gun handling. This means that the tank can be setup in such a way that capitalizes on the DPM while also minimizing the gun handling at the same time. This also makes, for myself at least, the STB a rather unique setup in terms of crew, equipment, and consumable choices.

 

Crew

The crew on the STB, in order to work effectively off the bat, needs to be at least completed the second skill and working on the third. Here is how I have it set up:
Crew

Commander: Sixth Sense, Brothers in Arms, repairs, Camo

Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap shot, Repairs, Camo

Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth ride, Repairs, Camo

Loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Repairs, Camo

 

I said this was a unique setup for me. The reason for this is I generally don’t think BIA is a necessary skill until the fourth skill at least, as a medium player preferring gun skills, repairs, and camo as the first three. However, when I retrained my type 61 crew to the STB, which was at the time just on its third skill, I picked BIA as the first skill. This is why the STB works best with two full skills at least, allowing you to use BIA and sixth sense. My reasoning behind BIA is again, maximising strengths and minimizing weaknesses. It’s also there to compliment other setup choices I have made as well.

Second skill, obvious, gunnery skills. Snap shot and smooth ride, very useful skills, also very much needed on a tank like the STB. I don’t feel as if I need to explain choosing sixth sense, as for the loader he obviously has a fairly limited number of useful skills, so safe stowage is always a welcome addition.

Third skill: repairs. This is a very, very valuable skill. If not anything else, being able to get your tracks repaired and moving as soon as possible after being tracked is very useful. I generally train repairs as the first skill on most tanks. The fact that I have it as the third skill here is a good indication of how much the STB’s crew has broken my trend.

We’re back to normal for the fourth skill. Camouflage. The tank is a medium tank, and since it has low armor the best other way to stay safe is to stay hidden. If you can spot the enemy before he spots you, you gain the advantage of a free shot into him. If you can stay hidden AFTER firing, you have an even bigger advantage as the enemy cannot fire back at you.

 

Equipment

Most tier 10 medium tanks use the standard Gun rammer, Vertical Stabilizer, and coated optics for their equipment setups. I do know players that use this setup on their STB, but I don’t think it is the best setup for the tank. I replace the coated optics with Improved Ventilation:

equipment

My reasoning for this is again, maximizing strengths while minimizing weaknesses. The Vents will help with the gun handling for the tank, while also improving the reload further. This effect stacks with Brothers in Arms, giving more reason to use that crew skill. Neither of these are very effective on their own, but together they can make a noticeable difference on the gun handling, while lowering the reload from 6.9 seconds to 6.6 seconds. It also has the added bonus of increasing the often-overlooked 410m view range the STB has, again stacking with Brothers in Arms.

 

Consumables

Following the trend of unique set-ups, my consumables for the STB are not very different from the crew and equipment setups:

consumables
This is the only tank I run large repair and medkits in random battles with. I did not start with running them, but I got into many situations where the tank got ammo racked and tracked in the same shot, so to avoid having to choose between the two to repair (which usually ended up in the track being repaired due to reflexes) I instead put a large repair kit on. the Med kit was kept off for a rather long time, but the tank kept losing its driver twice in a row during games, so in order to diminish this effect I used a large medkit to get the bonus of giving crew members more durability it contains.

The third slot is also interesting, I run Onigiri as the third Consumable. Again, this is done in the interest of minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strengths. Food gives a flat 10% bonus to all crew skills. This means that when using food in game I am making the tank even more accurate, lowering the derpy gun handling even more, and increasing the reload even further. With the combined effects of a Rammer, Vents, BIA, and food, the reload on the STB-1 is down to an astonishing 6.32 seconds. The difference between running food and not is actually very noticeable, so much that it surprised me how more accurate the tank felt. Food also gives the added bonus of taking the View range, which is 432m without food, up to the maximum view range of 445m. Extra view range is never an unwelcome thing.

Obviously, this makes the tank very expensive to run. Fortunately, for me, when running a premium account I am still able to break even on most games playing the STB, but it is perfectly understandable if you are on a budget and cannot afford to run this sort of setup, I recommend just running the standard Repair kit, med kit, and fire extinguisher. But if you are able to blow some cash, Food is the most important to pick, in all honesty the other two large kits are not essential and more for convenience purposes. I do find that the STB does not catch fire very often; if it does catch fire, it is only through the back of the tank. In general, if you are exposing your rear to the enemy you are probably doing something wrong, so the most common way I get set on fire in the tank is from arty hits that go through my engine deck.

 

For ammo loadouts, simple. 33 AP, 15 HEAT, 2 HE. The HE is for emergency cap resets and Waffle turrets. I don’t actually fire much HEAT at all in my STB, even less than my other tier 10 mediums due to the fact that at longer ranges there’s a higher chance of the shell derping into some spaced armour.

 

Gameplay

In Gameplay terms, the STB cannot really be compared to any one tank. it’s a medium tank based on the Leopards chassis, but does not play like the Leo. The STB has much more holding power than the Leo – Holding power being the ability to stay in a position and fight it out before having to retreat to safety. The reason for this is not only because it has much more reliable armour than the leopard, but also because of its extremely high DPM. The fact it can get shots off far more frequently give it the ability to suppress enemies in a way tanks like the Leopard cannot. The Leo is also more of a scouty medium; the STB is far less effective at scouting than the Leopard. It can scout, like all mediums can, but is not as good at the dedicated scouting role. It has less overall camo, and is not as fast. The STB is very much a combat medium; it works best getting stuck in and putting its gun to work from hull down positions, compared to the Leos style of Shoot ’n’ Scoot. The Leo cannot brawl to save itself, the STB can. You can use this advantage. You can out DPM Russian mediums. Use this advantage.

 

I have been going on a lot about hull down. That’s because the STB is very, very good at it. Hull down, poking over ridges or hills at medium range is the single best thing the STB can do. You keep yourself in cover from direct fire, and can kill stuff on the other side of the hill that more often than not cannot hit you back. brilliant examples of excellent places to use this are the north hills of Westfield, on top of the hill on Mines (especially from the south spawn) and the North of Pearl river, where you can get hull shots on most other tanks on the top side whereas they have to overexpose themselves to shoot you back.

 

Here is an example of how you would use the gun depression:

hill Cresting
You can see me here cresting the hill in the north of Westfield to get shots on the enemies. I spy a T-34-2. I very easily have a shot on him; in fact, I have poked over a bit more than I need to.

Easy shot, yes? However, if he was looking at me this is what he would be seeing:

hill Cresting 2
There really is not much at all for him to shoot at there, and what there is to shoot at is either my turret or my upper hull at an extreme angle. If he fired at me, the only way he would penetrate is to get lucky and go through the armour hole behind the gun. However, because I could easily peek up above the ride, snap shot him, and back down with an absolutely tiny amount of my tank visible the window he would have with which to do that is very small.

 

Later in the same battle, the poor guy in the T-34-2 tries to poke over to get a shot. Look how far he has to expose himself to even hope to get a shot on me:
hill crest 3

The difference is, he is absolutely nowhere near able to get a shot on me yet, he would have to expose himself to my team behind (most notably the T110E3 sitting on the hill behind me) in order to have a hope in shooting at me. These are problems the STB just does not have to deal with, and are extremely useful advantages that should be abused whenever possible.

 

Here is a short Video demonstration of what can be done with the STB-1s gun depression. From the middle area on cliff, this is one of my favourite spots to use this tank in. the STB is always wanted in Clan wars for Cliff because of its ability to take this position and abuse it. There is also small demonstration of the DPM of the tank, as I cut down the Jagdtiger, the video also shows how well the STB can snap shot with this crew setup, and it is surprisingly good at it at these sorts of ranges.

I also have another video showing a full battle in the STB-1, on mines. Being lucky enough to get into a game with no Artillery, I was able to get up on the hill and use the gun depression and DPM of the tank in order to harass all the enemy tier 10 heavies trying to take the hill. Please note that I am not a professional or even amateur YouTube Commentator and my Microphone is not very suited to this sort of thing so my Commentary is not the best in the world

 

Replays:

 

For the Replays used in this review, they are here if you want to watch them:

Cliff: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066526#teams

Mines: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066528#stats

Westfield: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066531#stats – Yes I did get a little bit mad at our M53 for shooting me, though it was more the fact he said “deal with it” than shooting me himself, I don’t advocate reacting the way I did.

The WZ-111 is a tank that is the subject of much interest these days, and with good reason. It is the final reward for a lengthy month long grind. This article is designed to showcase the characteristics of the tank, and how it compares to its peers. Should you then decide that you are willing to grind a ridiculous 1050 kills for this glorious Chinese tank, this article will present everything I know about how to successfully play the WZ-111. I’m going to try and stay away from just copy-pasting values that one can look up ingame or on tank compare, and focus more on how those values play out in the field. So if you need to know the turret traverse or the hp/ton, take the time to look them up yourself. First things first, some quick answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked, and probably the ones you are wanting answered the most.

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The Batignolles-Châtillion 25t, almost universally simplified down to ‘the Bat’ or ‘Batchat’ is the Tier X endpoint of the French Light/medium line. Hands down the fastest medium; since its rebalance to tier X, this French Assassin has maintained a comfortable niche in the end tier metagame for quite some time – thanks in no small part to the near universal experience of first reaching tier 8, and finding oneself clipped out by one, and wanting one. It’s the Paul Walker of tanks, and how you interpret that analogy is totally dependent on how you play it.

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T37

The latest, and perhaps greatest, addition to World of Tanks has been the introduction of the new Light Tanks. For the Americans, we’re given:

T37 (Tier 6)

M41 Walker Bulldog (Tier 7)

T49 (Tier 8)

I am going to start my light tank reviews on the American lights, as I am most familiar with these and their play styles right now and have played them the most. Today, we’re going to start with the new Tier 6 scout, the T37.

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Russian Tank Destroyers start off small. However, due to Russian bias game balance, they are equipped with oversized guns. The SU-85 originally carried the KV-5’s 107mm, however it was removed and replaced with the KV-13s 85mm due to the sheer ridiculousness of that gun at tier 5. The SU-100 carries both a 100mm (you don’t say) and the 122mm mounted on the IS. Both the SU-85 and SU-100 are small, low profile vehicles with good mobility, very high camouflage and decently sloped frontal armor with freakishly strong gun mantlets. After the tier 6 SU-100, the line splits in two. The newer line continues with the sloped armor and mobility theme with the SU-100M1, through the SU-101 and SU-122-54 to the Object 263, a fast tank with very heavy frontal armor, yet a somewhat anemic gun. The original line sacrifices armor and mobility for pure firepower and ambush camouflage. The tier 7 SU-152 can mount either a slow, inaccurate 152mm gun (dealing an incredible 700/700/950 with AP, HEAT and HE) or an improved 122mm gun which fires faster then most 90mm guns. The next 2 tanks are the ISU-152 and the Object 704, both mounting the 152mm BL-10, also known as the “finger of God. ” The apex of this line is the Object 268, a fairly fast and decently armored Tank Destroyer carrying an improved 152mm cannon and a cloaking device. The overall story of Russian Tank Destroyers is therefore the choice between mobility and armor (the Object 263 line), or firepower and alpha damage (The Object 704/268 line). Many players at tier 6 must wonder – what would it be like to have mobility, armor AND insane firepower? For the low, low price of 6750 gold, SerB has provided the answer. Enter the SU-122-44.

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Pershing
By hayhay58c - 07/28/14

The Pershing is a Tier XIII American medium tank, and is one of the 10 Tier XIII medium tanks available in the game. This tank carries the ubiquitous American 90mm gun, and is known for having a tough turret that can take a beating. The Americans are generally characterized as having excellent soft stats as well as excellent gun depression through all their tank lines, and certainly the Pershing is no exception. However, with 9 other tanks competing with the Pershing for the title of the best Tier XIII medium tank, how well does it fare? Let’s take a look!

Pershing

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Most of the tier 7 and below French tanks are fairly unexceptional. The low tiers, although well armored, are held back by their pathetic speeds and pathetic guns. With the arrival of tier 8, however, the French tech tree begins to come into its own. Lets take a closer look at the AMX 50 100, the first autoloading heavy and a true gem.

AMX 50 100

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The IS-3 is a Soviet heavy tank that, long ago, was considered by most to be far and away the best tier 8 in the game. Time has not treated the IS-3 well; as it has aged, its bouncinium armour has been weakened by the traitorous Belarusian developers, while, courtesy of power creep, it now faces more formidable opposition than ever before. Let’s take a look at what the IS-3 still has up its sleeve.

IS-3

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Type 64
By dualmaster333 - 07/01/14

Type 64: I look like a Hellcat but I’m really just a T21!

Type 64

The Type 64 is a Tier 6 Chinese premium light tank that sells for 3500 gold.  Upon release it garnered little attention – Tier 6 light tanks in general were poor.  Specifically, they were regularly placed into high tier battles where they were poorly equipped to contribute.  However, with update 9.1 the matchmaking spread for light tanks was modified.  Tier 6 lights will now only see up to tier 9 vehicles (previously it could see Tier 10 tanks).  I took the opportunity to try out a new tank as well as the new matchmaking.

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T110E4
By precambrian - 06/30/14

The T110E4 is the top of the current on-track discount event, so let’s take a look at how it performs in-game!

PROTECTION

T110E4 armor

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