World of Tanks Russian Heavy Line Guide
World of Tanks Russian Heavy Line Guide by Yab
Note about unlocks – I assume you will unlock new vehicles after you get listed upgrades. Imo no point to write down data of every upgrade avaible since you can see it in game.
tier 1: MS-1
Base tank. It is bad, really bad. On the other hand upgrades cost really low both exp and cr so most of the time you will be able to unlock and mount more then one part at a time. Best thing you can do, especially when having base crew is get and mount autocannon – best would be 23mm VJa. This way you will be making some damage every battle and thus earining more exp and cr. Also get other things maxed out, especially radio. When you level up crew a bit and get used a bit to game mechanic you can switch to 45mm gun – single shot only but relatively big damage and penetration.
Heavy tank line
tier 2: T-26
It is some upgrade from MS-1 but propably the worst vehicle in tier. It is slow, it has weak (even for its level) armor and guns are around the same as in BT-2 which is way more faster. Anyway, back to T-26. Start using 45mm as you base gun. You will have to drop autocannon sooner or later and with this tank it is best time for this. Get also engine upgrade – won’t cost much and tank won’t be so painfully slow. And once again get best radio. Turret upgrade will give several more hp points. And this is the beSt about it because armor is still pretty weak. Play tank generally in defensive role or in second line. Try to not engage with Pz II or BT-2 from close distances.
tier 3: T-46
First of all, all tier 3 tanks suck, so you will have to get used to it. Next thing – T-46 is propably the best tank in its tier. It is still pretty fast with nice acceleration and can mount 76mm howitzer. It is basically T-26 on BT-2 suspension, so armor will be still very weak. Although, speed is everything for light tank, you will be useless as scout without radio. You might want to play several rounds with base setup and see how it goes. Still, I recommend get best radio before engine. Basically, both radios and egines are first on a list of upgrades. Then get turret and 76mm howitzer and loaf only HE ammo. With this setup (best radio, best engine, 76mm gun and HE ammo) you can try to kill someone. Your targes are: open top vehicles (SPGs and low level TDs) and if you stay in base and act as interceptor, aim for light enemy scouts (including Pz III). You might be weaker than them but with HE ammo you will damage their subsystems and immobilize them so your team will blast enemies to next week.
tier 4: T-28
This tank is slightly different than previous ones and other tanks from tier 4 and in my opinion the best tier 4 tank when played well (however, it is hard do handle at first time). This is first tank with some “line fighting” capabilities. You shouldn’t scout with this tank. Basically it is more like highly mobile TD. So stay with wolfpack and try to do fast attacks from second line. Other than that, you will be still pretty good interceptor. You still have crappy armor, low HP and you are huge in size. However, T-28 can mount great guns (57mm for dogfighting and 85mm for TD role). Althought you can mount 76mm gun from T-46 as soon as you get this tank, it is not worthy upgrade, stay with base gun (it has slightly higher ROF than mentioned 76mm gun) and load only HE. Do interception missions. Next unlock 57mm gun and stay with it untill you get 85mm. After 57mm, get best engine. Radio is the same as in T-46 so mount it from the begining. Then you might need better suspension so you might unlock it or wait till it is really needed. I suggest you to unlock 85mm gun, but I don’t recommend mounting F-32 gun (third 76mm for this tank) – it really has sucky penetration (but nice ROF so on the other hand you can use it to shell enemies with HE). About 85mm gun – some might prefer upgraded 57mm gun instead 85mm. In my opinion, 57mm gun is better for interception but 85mm lets you act as a line tank/TD. So its up to you whatever playstyle you choose. Turret upgrade isn’t necessary to get better guns. Armor is around the same as well as traverse speed but it has slightly better slopes and it adds some hp. Its really up to you whether and when you get it. It is nice addition but this upgrade is not so crucial.
tier 5: KV
Very important tank in this line with many “faces”. It is considered both as the worst and the best tier 5 tank. If you didn’t like KV, you should abaddon heavy tank line, because “KV style” will return later. Right now you have some nice armor for this tier and much hp – so this is your main advantages at the beggining. Generally unlocking path looks like this suspension->122mm howitzer->radio->better engine->turret->107mm gun->best engine. KV is slow and remains slow, so engines won’t make huge difference but only helps a little. 76mm S-54 still has not-so-great penetration for its tier but can hurt scouts badly and have nice ROF. However, with 122mm howitzer you actually can one-shot scouts and badly wound heavier vehicles. Since you will use HE ammo only with 122mm, stay at defend or go in second line. DO NOT ever drive alone with KV. DO NOT mount KV-2 turret untill you get guns for it. Althought it gives you nice hp boost, KV-2 turret has horrible traverse speed. So, when using this turret you really have to be focused with whom and when you fight first. Swing whole tank not just a turret – it will help you not to be circled around. Always angle toward enemy. 107mm gun is propably the best russian gun in game – it has nice penetration rating (it is possible to pierce KTiger frontal armor, although unlikely), not so bad ROF, big damage per shot and DPS. With this gun you are almost on par with tier 6 tanks, especially germans. You might now go in attack but again, try not to go in front line. About 152mm gun – it has huge damage, but very low ROF. However, with HE ammo it can damage badly even tier 10 tanks and one-shot tier 7 tanks. I didn’t like 152mm but there are some fans of it – even if you do huge damage, if you miss, you are dead. 107mm is more flexible. The choice between 152mm vs 107mm is like choosing what you want to be – SPG or TD. You have then 3 vehicles to unlock – KV-3, KV-1s and S-51. Both KV are heavy tanks and S-51 is SPG. You will need 144000 exp to unlock S-51 so unless you REALLY want this vehicle, I wouldn’t bother to unlock it and make KV elite. Well, at least for now. I suggest go for KV-3 for several reasons. Before going for KV-3 I suggest to demount 107mm gun and radio.
tier 6: KV-3
Lets start with bad news – KV-3 is slower than KV and traverse speed is the same. Now good news: it might not look like, but it is huge upgrade from KV. You have much more armor, turret traverse is faster (well, it isn’t the fastest either), you have more hp and you can still mount awesome 107mm gun. First thing you need it is suspension. Actually, it would be great if you have 6000 free exp when buying KV-3. This way you can mount from a start 107mm gun. DO NOT use other guns than 107mm with this tank (beside 85mm while gringing to suspension). 100mm is not worth it for those 8mm more penetration and 122mm is to expensive to upkeep and DPS will still be lower than in 107mm. After suspension get turret. It has more armor and gives nice hp boost. Now you have enough frontal armor to bounce 88mm L/56 and 75mm L/70 shells when you are angled. In other words – only Panther with best gun or Tiger (and up) with best gun will be able to shoot you in the front. Little worse with russians – 107mm, 100mm and 122mm guns have good chances against you from any direction. Also upgraded 85mm has more chances than german counterparts. You should have radio after KV so mount it (well, mount it at very beggining frankly). Last thing remaining is engine – get it (although it won’t help much). With KV-3 stay at defense. You might want to go with attack but you will be propably too slow and aiming time too low to keep up even with second line. DO NOT ever go alone anywhere. I’ll suggest to keep KV-3 as moneymaker. Anyway, before going for IS unlock both 100mm and 122mm guns – you will need them later.
tier 6: KV-1s
There are only two reasons to choose KV-1s over KV-3: 1)it is cheaper 2)it is faster. Actually, you will need to play it as medium tank not like heavy. Armor is around the same as in KV, so its pretty low for tier 6. Good thing that you will have slightly more HP than other tier 6 medium tanks. Gerenally stay with wolfpack and while fighting use always cover. About upgrades: bad thing is that you will loose 107mm gun. Radio is the same as in KV so mount it. Base gun, as usual, sucks but you can mount already unlocked 76mm S-54 or 122mm U-11 (howitzer). So again, go for 122mm howitzer (HE ammo only). However, if you feel good with manouvering, you can choose 76mm and try to flank enemies (you can do the same with 122mm howitzer but it has longer reload time). So actually first thing you need to unlock is suspension. Than go for engine – for this tank only speed is advantage. Then of course turret (it gives hp boost and is better armored having the same traverse speed so it is worth it). Now you have two guns: 85mm (which is neccessary to get IS) or 122mm. I suggest to stick to 85mm (or previous 122mm howitzer). 122mm gun has more penetration and more damage but low RoF. And what it is most important you won’t earn much (if ever) with 122mm, because shells are very expensive. However, get 122mm too before going for IS – you will need it. You can keep KV-1s as moneymaker but only if you had good performance with it.
tier 7: IS
“Feeling” of this tank is slightly different if you choose either KV-3 or KV-1s line. If you choose KV-1s line it is basically buffed up KV-1s – around the same mobility but more armor and much better gun (if you used 85mm in KV). However, you will need to grind a bit to get to 100mm at least and feel real difference. If you choose KV-3 line, at first IS can look like a downgrade – it actually has slightly less armor than KV-3 and you can’t mount 107mm gun anymore. You’ll need to change your gamestyle. First of all – IS is much more mobile than KV-3. In fact you play IS like oversized medium tank. It is propably one of the best allrounder in game (only tier 8 mediums beat it in allround role). Second – armor. Hull is pretty good armored, so when angled it will bounce several 88mm L/56 or 75mm L/70 shots but bounces will not be so consistant as in KV-3. Your weak spot is turret – only 100mm so it won’t stop much things. When playing KV-3 you propably sat in one choke point and took all the shots on front armor. In IS you can and should use cover as much as possible. You can play in any role, besides scouting and intercepting – defensive, main attack, attack on flanks. You can lead attack of medium tanks at flank of a map or going as spearhead of main attack, either as biggest tank in team or as heavy, battle “scout” for bigger tanks in wolfpack. Or you can support this mentioned heavy tanks and try to flank enemies on your path (so act as supporting medium tank). You can also stay in second line of course but you still need cover. Back to upgrades. If you took KV-3 line and my advices, you should have 100mm gun unlocked already. So mount it as soon as you buy tank and… this would be all when it comes to upgrades. Ok, now seriously. Right now IS is pretty good tank (with 100mm) but it doesn’t get much better later as other tanks are used to do. You can use 122mm guns but both are very expensive to upkeep and it is hard to make any profit with them, so I suggest to stick to 100mm. Don’t bother upgraded 85mm either. First get a radio – 700m should be enough for many fights. Then get engine – you will be more mobile. You can stick to this ultimate mobility and get suspension as third upgrade. Other way is: instead of engine get turret and second 122mm gun. Upgraded turret will give you +100 hp and some slightly better visibility range but armor stays the same and traverse speed is worse (but not so bad either). DO NOT install first 122mm gun – it has worse DPS than 100mm and shells are extremely expensive for this tier. You might want to consider second 122mm gun. It is the same as previous but with higher RoF. Actually, second 122mm gun has the highest DPS. But, as I mentioned, shell costs are high and it is hard to make profit, especially when you get destroyed. If you still choose 122mm gun, you should play more defensive or go in second line (or at least don’t rush in front of others). Even if you don’t want 122mm gun unlock it anyway – will need to IS-3. My final setup for IS was: 100mm gun, base turret, upgraded engine & suspension. This way you propably have the best offensive/allround setup for IS. IS is great against smaller tanks but it is very weak against tier 8+ vehicles. Also Tiger I with best gun is a big challenge – hard to say which tank will be better since Tiger have slighlty better firepower and more hp, so it all comes down to driver. Higher tier heavy tanks you should only flank and/or use HE. Oh, and as I mentioned – don’t bother with second 85mm gun unless you want elite tank or you have exp to waste. And last thing – although I highly DO NOT recommend this, you have some chances surviving alone thanks to mobility. So when you are left alone in one side of a map, don’t worry, focus and try to breakthrough to your teammates.
tier 8: IS-3
This tank is quite fast and nimble for its tier. However, not as much as IS. You also have some serious armor but only at the front so watch out at your sides and back. You can bounce 100mm & 122mm “IS guns” shells. There might be some problems with 88mm L/71 though. Worst thing is – you will struggle to pierce through King Tiger front armor until you get best gun while KTiger will pierce your front with any of its guns. First of all, you can mount: upgraded 122mm gun from IS, radio and engine, so do it. Your earnings and survivability will be much greater (as well as repair costs), so leave 100mm gun and stick to 122mm only. 100mm will be too much underpowered for this tier. Your ultimate goal is 122mm BL-9 gun. With this gun you can succesfully engage against KTiger without the need to look for a sweetspot. Moreover, BL-9 is able to pierce through front of tier 9 tanks (IS-4 is slightly easier to pierce there than VK4502). There are 2 ways to get the gun – upgrade turret then gun or upgrade suspension then the gun (BL-9 fits to both turrets). I chose turret way, since base turret has bad traverse speed. Upgraded turret has much better traverse speed (well, base turret sucks hard in this matter), slightly less armor in front but at better angle, better viewing range and it is lighter. It also gives you 90hp less – it’s a bug, will be fixed (however, this 90hp won’t make huge difference and repair costs drop this way). If you choose suspension way, upgrade turret – after all is better. If you choose turret way, get suspension. Now you are most mobile and have best armor and firepower for this tank. Last thing is radio – 700m with previous radio should be enough in most situations, so better radio hadn’t so much priority. As with IS, you can play IS-3 in any role. However, you are not so agile as IS, so you should plan your movement from cover to cover. A few thing worth to note – you will be propably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) tank in battlefield so this means you are huge bullet magnet. Don’t rush alone. Frankly, don’t rush at all. Just slowly advance and pick off distant targets that your scout light. Watch for enemy SPGs – they will hunt you in first place. IS-3 excels in one thing – it is real hammer against T-44. It won’t circle around IS-3 and you will bounce T-44’s shots a lot (but only front). You can also keep up with T-44 for some time. Anyway, when fighting against it, first of all destroy its tracks. When it comes to medium tanks – watch out for Panther because it can hurt you a lot with best guns. Another important thing – approaching to enemies and fighting against them when stationary. First of all, as I mentioned, your front is MUCH better armored than sides or rear so keep enemies in front of you. Second – with all previous tanks to use armor more effectively you were angling when approaching and shooting. However, if you look close to IS-3 front armor, you will notice its different shape – it’s called “pike nose”. It’s already angled, so angling in IS-3 won’t work. Moreover, angling IS-3 will make your armor less effective. So when approaching and fighting always keep perfect straight angle toward enemy. Before going for IS-4 demount BL-9 gun and radio. Or, if you feel comfortable with this tank and you have good survavibilty rate, leave it as new moneymaker.
tier 9: IS-4
Now this is the tank, where “KV style” returns. Although at first glance 35kmph for such a big tank might look like very fast, you are much more heavier and engines are too weak, so acceleration is pretty bad – like in KV tanks. Also traverse speeds both tank and turrets are low, so you are nowhere near to be nimble. But still, you are more mobile than VK4502. You have nice armor all-round so this is your main advantage (however, still sides and rear are weaker armored, but not so bad as in IS-3). Front armor has classic shape, so angle when facing enemy. Since you will be propably the biggest tank in a team, it is very important what you will do. As usual, you can do both – attack and defend. IS-4 will be better in defense but this way your team will be severely weaker in attack. Best thing is to stay in foreground of your base and keep an eye what is going around on a battlefield, the decide either to assault or to pull back. Other way might be defending in the beginning, fight off rushing enemies and then go to counter attack. A few tips to gameplay – you WILL BE huge bullet magnet, especially for SPG. DO NOT stand still in the middle of nowhere, use solid cover (so no camping in bushes, but staying behind some bulding). DO NOT drive alone – you will be easy prey to faster tanks, especially top mediums in open ground. When fighting against VK4502 remember that it has stronger armor in front of you but sides are thinner. VK can bounce shots from a front, even when you shoot at it with best guns, while you won’t bounce it shots. On the other hand, VK4502 has turret at the back and is slightly less mobile than you. Best thing is to find some cover, camp a little bit and make it come to you – it has to show whole silhouette when driving out of cover to shoot so it is possible to damage it in this way that VK turret will still be behind cover so it won’t shoot back. Now upgrades – you are able to mount BL-9 and better radio from a start but you won’t have enough free weight. So first of all is to get better suspension. Well, with base gun it might be rough grind there. After this mount parts from IS-3. Then get best gun, so better turret will be needed (mount it as soon as you get it). Then get engine (since it won’t help much is better to have tier 10 gun than best engine). In fact, tier 10 russian gun is better than german counterpart (but only by a small margin). When dealing against tier 10 tanks (Maus and IS-7) you will need 130mm gun. Maus might be pretty strong but it is slow so try to flank it. If you can’t, shoot at any part of a tank that is NOT angled toward you – so when Maus is aiming at you, shoot at the turret. Use cover! It is not so hard to win 1vs1 against Maus with some experience and when using cover. However, in open field you will be dead meat. Against IS-7 it might be little tricky – it is more mobile than you, but compared to Maus it has less armor. Best thing is try to get IS-7 with several other tanks. First off all, try to immobilize it by taking down its tracks. And then as usual, try to flank it and/or shoot at non angled piece of armor (excluding front). When IS-7 is facing toward you and is standing perfect straight toward you, aim at a turret. When it is angled, aim at the front (hard to describe, but with IS-7 it is the same case as with IS-3, so when angled, one part of frontal armor looses severely its effectiveness so it is easier to penetrate).
tier 10: IS-7
Yeah, the top Russian tank and propably the best tank in game. It is comeback to “IS style” of gameplay – you have good combination of firepower, maneuverability and armor. Since it is tier 10 tank, you don’t have to unlock anything at all. Hull armor is slightly thinner than in IS-4 but at better angles so in the end you will bounce more but as usual, watch out for sides and back. You also have “pike nose” shaped frontal armor, so apply IS-3 tactic when facing enemies. Although 50kmph sounds a lot but you are heavy (duh!) so you will rarely get max speed. Nevertheless, you will be much more nimble than IS-4. But remember, that traverse speeds and acceleration won’t be so great as in medium tanks, so don’t act like one. Again, you will be the ultimate bullet magnet and your armor might be not enough to stop everything so use cover. A lot. IS-7 will be perfect tank to lead attack but DO NOT drive alone – someone will join you anyway but don’t rush when failing to look what teammates are doing around you. However, you will be the best tank in team propably so your decisions will influence team performance. Once again best thing is to defend in foreground in the beginning of a battle, destroy whole enemy attack and then rush forward to kill leftovers. And for the last time – whatever you do, look at or even command your teammates – you are very strong but not invincible. And remember that every enemy want to destroy you, especially SPGs.