View Full Version : TMA: Japanese Tanks

March 4 2014, 12:18:28 AM
Like the title says... strengths, weaknesses, how to play them, etc?

Lief Siddhe
March 4 2014, 02:37:50 AM
don't get hit

March 4 2014, 03:30:45 AM
I bought the Chi-Nu-Kai prior to the tree's release to prep a crew so I could skip the low-tier garbage, so my experience goes from there.

CNK - Meh. Very little to recommend it other than it trains a Japanese crew. Penetration and damage is good, but doesn't really make up for the other deficiencies. Stay back. Don't get shot.

Chi-To - Resoundingly mediocre. Good penetration, damage, rate of fire, and accuracy, but the platform is slow and poorly armored. Good gun handling, but you'll go nowhere fast. Not really a "true" medium. Not awful, though, it's certainly no ARL V39. Also you can call it the Cheeto. Stay back. Don't get shot.

Chi-Ri - Junk. Same gun as the Chi-To but in a three round drum feed with one second intra-drum and ~8.5 second inter-drum. You can almost never take full advantage of the intra-drum because your penetration and aim time are insufficient to just spam rounds unless you're at suicidally short range. You're nearly the size of a Tiger II but armored like a Sherman and speed is somewhere in between the two. Camo blows. Would be a much better tank if it ditched the autoloader for a conventional 90mm, at which point it would be a really crap version of the T20 instead of one of the worst mediums in a tier where mediums are awful. Stay way back. Way back.

STA-1 - Like a Pershing, but worse. You get more AP pen and a higher rate of fire in return for an inferior premium round, gun handling, armor, mobility, and module placement. I recall platooning with two acquaintances who were driving them, and one said "There is a good chance one of us is going to be ammo racked by arty." It happened twice over five games, so ~20%. Small sample size, but he'd clearly become accustomed to such things happening. I'm currently on it myself and even after eliting it I would not recommend. Frontal ammo rack, soft turret, large profile. Also, 2° positive depression when the gun is facing backwards thanks to the giant engine deck. Don't get chased, you won't be able to shoot back.

Type 61 - Haven't unlocked it, Shuko loves it to bits.

STB-1 - Fast, good rate of fire, great penetration, really poor gun handling. No personal experience.

March 4 2014, 03:46:46 AM
Damn... thanks for the info but that's disappointing :(

March 4 2014, 03:49:21 AM
I'll go ahead and do the top 3 (the only ones that are worth it) and borrow heavily from Oneechan, though I'm sure he won't mind.

Tier 8 - STA-1


+ Good mobility, joint with the centurion and trailing closely behind the Chinese & Russian tier 8s (of which the 416 is in a league of it's own)
+ Superb top gun, 3rd highest DPM and good AP & gold pen - regular AP can go through the frontal armour of most 8s
+ Great gun depression, tied for top with the M26, Indian & Centurion
+ Workable accuracy with food and BIA
+ Dispersion on turret movement is joint highest with the Panther II
+ Great camo, 3rd highest trailing behind the Chinese & Russians again
+ Above average view range and with optics, skills, food & BIA it's up to 480m which is more than enough combined with the camo to outspot nearly everything you'll commonly encounter
+ Unless you show them your arse you won't get set on fire (I was only set on fire once in 185 games, hence the food)


- No armour what-so-ever, don't rely on it at all even at extreme angles
- Dispersion on track movement is below average
- Crew members die from every other shot, the solution is to not get shot
- No armour means artillery will rape you, often doing full damage with HE
- The cupola is taller than you think, when forced into fighting at close range on hills the enemy will nearly always be able to shoot your cupola before you can get a shot on them
- Poor gun elevation, don't let anyone get above you
- Worthless rear gun depression, don't let anyone behind you
- Lack of burst and armour makes it worthless for team battles
- The gun fires down from slightly above the centre of the reticule meaning a portion of my shots aimed at frontal lower plates would go into the floor, though not sure if that applies to everyone


Play it like a Indian Panzer or a M26 Pershing without turret armor. Use the great pen, view range and depression to fight at middle to long range in the beginning and middle of the game while saving your HP, then become more aggressive in the late game. The camo & view range is more than useful in the early game to get the initial spots, especially on the centres of Komarin and Lakeville. Never get to close range unless you absolutely have to. The ROF is very good for a T8 so make sure you're getting in 2 shots every time those Russian 122's fire and don't be afraid to use heat on Tier 9s, especially the E-75.

Coated Optics
Tank Gun Rammer
Vertical Stabilizer

Tier 9 - Type 61

Compared to the STA-1, the Type 61 improves in the following areas:

+ APCR as standard ammo
+ An above-average rate of fire for its gun calibre per tier
+ A bit faster, both in acceleration and top speed
+ Has the tiny bit of extra armour it needs for luck bounces
+ No longer has a huge, vulnerable engine deck that sticks out


- The rest of the tank becomes bigger;
- Its camouflage values are worse, the 2nd worst T9 medium camo
- It has a kind of low ammo count, reminds me of the Object 416
- The aim time and accuracy is poor without food & BIA

Overall, the Type 61 is more or less a direct upgrade to the STA-1. The playstyle is more or less the same: thanks to your good pen and decent accuracy you can snipe and penetrate same-tier heavies frontally without too much difficulty. You still have 10 degrees of gun depression which you can abuse greatly.
You become noticeably faster than the STA-1, allowing you to move around more effectively.

Coated Optics
Tank Gun Rammer
Vertical Stabilizer

Tier 10 - STB-1

The Pièce de Résistance.


+ Amazing gun depression for this tier and the best out of all tier 10 meds, tied with the FV4202
+ Good usable camouflage
+ Small size
+ Amazing rate of fire; 6.9s reload (6.75s with vents)
+ Semi-sturdy turret that pulls off some amazing bounces (and receives some amazing penetrations...)
+ Good enough speed and mobility to get the job done
+ Tiny bit more view range than most other mediums
+ Sexiest tank in the game

It combines a lot of good strengths with few real drawbacks. Its gun depression combined with rate of fire, good turret armor, and camo make it difficult to damage when it's hull down and at a safe distance.
The hull armor should obviously not be relied upon, as it's much too weak for this tier. It can pull some bounces, it just requires a lot of angling and luck.
The turret armor is what's really juicy, if inconsistent. The closer to the mantlet, the worse the armor gets, but it gets really strong near the edges of the front, and can even bounce tier 10 TD guns if the goddess of luck smiles upon you. It helps you make use of the gun depression as you have some insurance when the enemy shoots back.

It's also one of the smaller tier 10 meds, about 0.9 times as big as the Leopard 1.

Having only a bit slower reload than the T-62A but superior alpha damage (AND superior DPM, by 16 damage per minute more than the 62A) and much more usable gun depression means you're not as limited by the terrain. You can much easier peek out over a hill and only expose your turret then gently rape the enemy.
The speed and camo blend together wonderfully with the platform. It is roughly as fast as the T-62A and has about as much camo. You won't be pulling off any scouting miracles, but you're much harder to spot than your predecessor, the Type 61. You're also faster, so you feel much more like a medium tank than a slow French heavy.

However, there are some weaknesses to an otherwise very much jack-of-all-trades tank...


- Godawful aim time
- Shitty soft stats
- Ammo rack in the front of the hull
- Crap accuracy for an L7 gun

The first, glaring problem with the tank that I'm sure a lot of people experienced is the dispersion and aim time. On paper, it's 2.3s, the worst aim time on an L7 at tier 10, and with even worse dispersion to ensure you spend ages zooming in.
Even with GLD vents and a vertical stabilizer mounted, I can feel the aim time getting to me. It seems like you need a large amount of crew skills to fix how terrible the aim time is (BiA, snap shot, smooth ride, etc.) and even then it will still be bad.
As if the aim time isn't bad enough, your base accuracy isn't very impressive either. With the same accuracy at tier 8 as the STA-1, it's hardly impressive for an L7 cannon. That said, you are a mid range sniper/brawler, the accuracy is livable. Very unreliable at longer ranges, however.

Soft stats are one thing that particularly fuck this tank over. Hard.
Other than the aforementioned terrible dispersion, you also have some horrible terrain resistance. 1, 1.1, and 2.2 on hard, medium, and soft terrain, respectively. Only slightly better than the E-50M's 1.1, 1.3, and 2.3. It's almost twice as bad as the T-62A's 0.5, 0.6, and 1.4.
What this means is that your 20 hp/t is effectively a lot less than 20 hp/t. Still, you reach your speed limit at an acceptable pace and don't lose too much speed while moving around.
The tracks also take an awfully long time to repair. I had only 50% repairs on the Type 61 and the tracks repaired in 4-5 seconds, but on the STB-1 they repair in 7-8 seconds.

Lastly, other than the weak hull armor which equals easy module damage, your ammo rack is in your hull. It's relatively easy to avoid being shot because you can go hull down, but it still exists there for those times you have to show your hull. Even worse, because the lower part of your turret is a shot trap, rarely shells can be redirected from your turret into your hull and damage your ammo rack that way.

Improved Ventilation
Tank Gun Rammer
Vertical Stabilizer


The STB-1 is very damn flexible in its role.
Its view range (combined with optics if you can stand the aim time) and camo give it some scouting capabilities, but its top speed and kind of long size prevent it from being too good at it. Its gun depression and rate of fire lets it do a great job hull down, but its unreliable turret and lacking accuracy keep it in check from being indestructible when behind a hill.
Overall, it's a beefed-up STA-1. You snipe at around 300-380m, go hull down to abuse your gun depression and small profile, and relocate when your position becomes jinxed.
The gun depression, enjoyable camouflage and speed, with lovable rate of fire combine all into a good package of a tank that's good, fun to play, and won't usually be caught in a bad situation because it almost always has an option, be it to scout, go hull down, flank, or just support.

March 4 2014, 04:22:58 AM
The aim time and accuracy really ruin the fun of STB. Even with all the crew skills, stab, vents and food it's so bad that I don't find it enjoyable to play. If the turret armor was more like T62, meaning a lot more consistent, then you could try and work around the accuracy by going closer.

I kind of hoped more from the tank, but, for me, Leo and T62 are better tanks.

March 4 2014, 06:48:18 PM
Got to tier 3.
sold it.

Dr Halberstam
March 5 2014, 11:49:56 AM
I started with the Chi-He (tier 4 med), it was nothing spectacular. Good gun, good depression.

Chi-Nu gun handling is terribad. EGLD notwithstanding, I needed to aim a lot, especially if firing after moving. Mobility is nice, gun depression helps. But the whole tank is so soft (made worse by large size and mediocre hp pool) that it really starts to be detrimental.
*everything* pens you, everywhere. Everything. Getting oneshotted by bigger derps (short 122 on KV-1, KV-1S) is a thing, HE from 105 derps (Sherman, Pz IV) also hurts a lot. I had tomatoes firing AP (!) from a derp PzIV pen me.
It just really hurts, like how someone posted earlier, that you cant walk away from any engagement where you get shot at without taking damage, unless you get very lucky.

I am now in the Chi-To, but tbh do not even know why any more, apart from maybe the whole Japanese novelty factor. It is for some reason a better experience than the Chi-Nu, even though its still super soft, even bigger, and it faces bigger guns. Maybe its just a streak of good luck. Relatively big hp pool (820, allows for taking two 122 punches and staying operational) helps a lot, also gun is kinda OK with fast reload and enough pen.

Like posted above, staying safely far back, preferably hulldown (not like your turret armor is worth a damn, though, just to present a smaller target) is paramount.

I suspect the Chi-Ri will be all the above taken to an extreme. I dread it already.