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So, a long time ago I wished for a Mauerbrecher, the tier 8 "mini maus" that could. I eventually wound up getting one not long before the IS-3A fiasco struck, and I quit playing WOT in solidarity with guys like 4Tankers and others. Ultimately Wargaming has amended enough things with enough people I've tentatively come back to playing after a long time away. So, where does that leave me with the "mighty" Mauerbrecher? Well...

The Mauerbrecher (meaning "wall breaker" in German, shortened to "MB" in most chat) is a tier 8 German premium heavy tank, offering super heavy tank aesthetics and similar performance, with an added boost to crew training and credit farming. That's where the good ends really. The MB is a slow, ponderous XP pinata not unlike the TOG II*, but without the DPM. The MB was declared one of the worst tier 8 premium tanks by community wizard QuickyBaby, and I wholly agree with him. This tank is no good. In fact, it may just be terrible. why do I play it so much?

Perhaps it's just my bizarre personality, or my love/hate relationship with the game, but I've come to realize two very important things about the MB. The first, is that with it's giant cannon it is a lot of fun to shoot at overly confident tanks and royally mess them up with it's huge alpha damage. The second, it is incredibly fun to shoot AT the MB. Granted, I don't get that chance too often (as nobody plays this slab of gray garbage much anymore), but when you can shoot at something like the MB and farm one for huge damage, that's an immense credit and XP payout for whoever ultimately bags the tank.

With that in mind, the meta has also shifted considerably- the MB is too slow to lead any charge, so as an MB player I'm allowed much more flexibility to serve as a second-line fighter, or to fill in the gaps in the battle at close quarters as needed- and no one complains. Unlike some more "influential" tanks, I don't feel any stress or pressure while playing the MB- if we win or lose, it's very doubtful it was due to anything I did or didn't do in the thing, especially when it sees tier 10 tanks most battles.

So, I head out there, load my standard rounds, and set a course for my "spot" on the map, usually the heavy tank brawling spot, and I fight there until my team either wins or loses. If we win, fantastic- if we lose, it's fine- I know for sure someone else had a whale of a game taking down my MB, and while it's hard to call that a charitable act, that's kinda how I see it. As a premium tank, unless I fire premium rounds (something I never have to do with a cannon that big), I make credits no matter what, so I'm never losing anything in the exchange.

That, and while it isn't a good tank- it has glaring weak points, a problematic at best armor profile, a slow-firing gun, and a plodding pace- it is still fun to play in a weird sort of way. Landing a shot on all but the heaviest of tanks is almost a guaranteed penetrating shot for big damage- making every pull of the trigger immensely satisfying. The MB is twice as tall as most other tanks, and it has a neat trick for when Soviet tanks decide to move in close- angle that giant gun right down onto the top of their turrets- where oddly enough there isn't nearly as much armor. Almost like the Soviet engineers that cooked them up never expected them to fight against an entirely fictional German tank that would be shooting at them from above. It's the sum of the little things that make the MB an enjoyable thing for me that I play pretty regularly now.

Anyway, that's my excuse for playing this terribad tank, posted in such a way I can link it out to those that ask me what is so terribly wrong with me when I say that I play it on purpose. Many thanks for reading!

Maklarr4000 Dec 30 '19 · Rate: 5 · Comments: 1 · Tags: tank, germany, world of tanks, tanks, mauerbrecher
So, I've been thinking about premium tanks that I don't have, for whatever reason, but would like to get at some point. Then I remembered I have a website where I could post said list for the amusement of others who might be in the same boat as me, or better still, might have them and could offer me some insight.

So, without further ado, the top 5 Premium Tanks I want in World of Tanks!

Number 5, the Mauerbrecher!

Yes, it's under-powered. Yes, virtually no one plays this anymore. Yes, it's basically been reduced to a bad meme, but... I still want one. I really want a trainer for the full maus crew, and though it's not a performance machine at tier 8, I've been surprised by it when I've played against it. Though it's weak spots are pretty blatant and obnoxious, the few Mauerbrecher players I've seen have become masters of wiggling around so hitting these spots accurately is difficult, even at close range. That draws in tanks that see it and become overconfident (me, in two different cases) at which point the "MB" pounds you into the dust. I thought I was invincible in my Defender- until the Mauerbrecher caved in the roof of my turret. That's when I thought "man, I think I've missed the boat on this one..." As this one debuted right at the end of 2017, it's likely to hit the scene again this year, and again in the future, so I'm sure I'll be able to get my own "MB" sooner than later.

Number 4, the Großtraktor (Grosstraktor) Krupp!

Ah, the G. - Traktor... it's at tier 3, it has a weak gun, it has soft armor, it has low mobility. It is rarely seen because it is trash that is pretty much never sold. But, though I can't really explain why, I do want one. It's such an oddity, and such a rarity that I'd like one to tool around in "for the lols" if that makes any sense. I've got a few tanks, (the Turan, Sentinel, and TOG II all come to mind) that I play almost entirely to be silly in, WN8 be damned, and there is something kinda cathartic in that. To add a tank to my collection that is basically impossible to do well in, but still throws people for a loop because of how strange it is, well, that sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Number 3, the AMX M4 mle. 49 Liberté (Liberte)!

This one is more of my bad timing, and being broke part of the time. When the Liberte debuted (alongside it's non-nationally painted twin) Wargaming was kind enough to give them out as a rental to players to try out, as people were really on the fence about the idea of a French heavy tank being any good. Bear in mind, the AMX-50 drum-loaders were the best we had at the time, and they were ambush predators, not brawlers. At any rate, I got my rental of the Liberte, loaded into a few games, and gave it a spin.

I'm not sure if it was my connection, the matchmaker, the alignment of the stars, or what... but I didn't do well. In fact, after suffering ammo-racks, fires, and multiple downed crewmen, I was worried the tank was a dud. I looked to the other Liberte drivers around me, as there were many trying out their rentals as I was... it wasn't a pretty sight. It seemed no one could play the tank well, and I chalked it up to the tank being terrible, and never played it again.

Flash forward to September of 2017, and I had the pleasure of visiting a friend, and playing WOT with them locally (I'll let you sound off if you so choose sir). This gentleman wasn't a fool like me, and realized the Liberte's potential- he had bought one. He let me take it for a spin (with his 4-skill French heavy seal-clubbing crew no less) and I got a steel-wall on my first time out in it. I played another few rounds on his account, and a terrible cloud descended on me. What had I done? I had of course realized the Liberte wasn't terrible in the weeks and months following it's initial release, but playing those couple games really did open my eyes as to how absolutely broken the tank was in the right positions.

...of course, the next time the Liberte was offered, it was rather expensive, and I didn't have the money. Then when it was offered at Christmastime, I passed in favor of the other deal, which knowing Wargaming, I'll probably never see again. Will I get the Liberte? I guess that depends on if Wargaming chooses to sell it again, and if it's locked behind a massive bundle paywall- though I like to think we'll see it yet this year. Hopefully not right after all my bills come due...

Number 2, the Panzer 38H!

The tier 2 mini-maus, the Panzer 38H is just the French Hotchkiss H35 tankette, but in German markings, but... oh man, the armor, the gun, the crew... it's a dream machine for whoever's driving it, and a nightmare for anyone up against it. I remember many a game at tier 2 where half the team would be unable to penetrate the Panzer 38H's, even with premium rounds because their guns were just too weak to do the job. Even my reliable curb-stomper the FCM-36 couldn't out-swing the Panzer 38H. Even with gold rounds you weren't guaranteed to do much of anything to it... well, except make it angry! I think this has been on my "wish list" since the very beginning- I don't know that I'd even play it much, but to have the tank that kicked my butt so many times in the past seems sort of cathartic.

Number 1, the BT-SV!

It's fast in a straight line! It's armor is almost invincible! It's gun is terrible! It's a meme machine that runs on dreams, and only players who are super-old-school have this thing. As such, it's almost never seen in the wild- and when it is, it's planted squarely above the hole where the seals come out of the ice. Much like the Panzer I.C, I think this one is probably more fun to drive around in than to fight with. The fact it can go super fast in a (relatively) straight line, while also sporting enough armor to keep you alive while doing it... I don't know, the troll-level antics you could get up to could be tons of fun. It's tier 3, it's not like anyone is playing seriously at tier 3 anyway- I sure don't!

So, that's my list of tanks I want! Is it a good list? Tell me in the comments why or why not, and if you've got any tips, feedback, or suggestions, I am all ears! Thanks so much for reading!
A few years back, I cemented my claim that the tier 5 Churchill III tank was the best premium tank for beginner and novice players to World of Tanks.

My rationale for this was based on a number of factors, including price, armor, speed, skill-at-tier, club potential, and more. However, since I made that claim so long ago, World of Tanks has dramatically changed, with new tanks, new skills, new skins, new equipment, and even a new match maker algorithm. It's time to see if the Churchill III is still the best "beginner" premium tank.


Back when I was a newer player, the Churchill III was among the first premium tanks I ever got, and I still have a ton of games in it, though I don't play it as much anymore. One factor that was very important for me back when I made my claim was the price of the vehicle. If you want to buy this vehicle, it's only $10 in the store, though it regularly goes on special, and has been available for free during campaigns and things in the past as well. It is also perpetually available- it has been in the premium shop since it's debut and has never left. Were my decision based solely on the merits of the vehicle, I would argue the Canadian Ram II is a superior vehicle for the price, but since I have been playing the Ram II has only been for sale for 20 days in total. For $10, you can get this tank anytime you might like.

So, what about the tank's combat characteristics? In my opinion, it has everything a beginner will really need to get going, and really learn the game's mechanics. It has a cannon that works equally well at close to relatively long distance; though it's not terribly destructive, it is able to punch through most armor at tier 5, some armor at tier 6, and accurate enough to hit weak spots on tier 7 tanks it may yet encounter.

The tank's armor isn't great, rather flat and unremarkable, but the Churchill is great in that it is a "box" shape, making it easy to begin learning how to manipulate angles to your advantage, and begin side-scraping like a pro to deflect shots off your armor. Likewise, the turret is very square as well, meaning it's easy to play with the angles to start bouncing shells.

Finally, the Churchill is slow- not devastatingly slow like some super-heavy vehicles (the TOG and some TDs come to mind) but also it is far too slow for a beginner player to rush off into trouble. Many new and potentially inexperienced players tend to run down the middle, moving into spots experienced players will be waiting for them to pick them off in a couple shots. It's not much fun for the new player either- they last a few seconds in game before they are blown to pieces- not a great way to spend a battle, and for many they may not even see what they're doing wrong. The Churchill physically cannot rush, so it must work in support of other vehicles, or as the lead vehicle in a charge- in either case, it's something the rest of the team will be able to work around and benefit from more so than a scout tank that dies instantly without taking a shot.

The Churchill also has a good amount of hit points, 700 in total, that afford it several hits from even large tank destroyers and artillery without destroying the vehicle. This affords the new player time to not only react, but to learn from their actions- to be able to see what it is they may have done that got them hit in the first place, correcting their behavior as they get better at the game.

But, the big question- does the Churchill III still hold up as my #1 choice for beginners? Well, not really.

The biggest problem facing the Churchill III is the matchmaker algorithm, which now places tier 5 tanks in the bottom of games with tier 6 and 7 tanks. Though the Churchill can succeed in these battles, the volume of more experienced players fighting against them (as opposed to when the tank fought almost exclusively at tier 5) means new players will be exploited by not only better tanks, but much better players as well. In a one-on-one battle, I can think of no means by which a Churchill III tank could best a German E-25 tank destroyer, one of the (if not the) most over-powered vehicles in the game. Due to their popularity, the E-25's are a common enemy, as are other popular offerings like the American T-29 and Soviet KV-2, both of which can reduce or even totally destroy a Churchill III in a single shot. For that reason, the tank I reluctantly recommend to newcomers is the Valentine II.

The Valentine II is comparable to the Churchill in many ways, it features pretty good armor, a gun that's okay at tier, and it doesn't cost much of anything (less then $10). The Valentine II cannot see tanks above tier 4, meaning it will only ever fight at-tier opponents and lower, which is really what new players need to fight with- other players who are at their same level, and not have to be David defeating Goliath every game as is the new norm. It's biggest drawback is the speed- the Valentine is a terribly slow vehicle, and for it's size and damage output, it really does feel too slow to be useful in some games. All the same, to train crew-members, get extra silver to spend on your other vehicles, and to make the most of your games as you advance forward.

This isn't to say that the Churchill III isn't still an excellent choice, and I still do recommend it, though not necessarily to brand new players as I once did so long ago.
This month saw the release of another American M4 Sherman tank at tier 6, adding to an already crowded harem of M4 derivatives from the heavy and powerful M4 Jumbo, to the pointed and dangerous Easy Eight, over to the rare and unusual FURY! tank. But, how does the Thunderbolt VII compare? Well...


I bought the Thunderbolt VII shortly after it was released. Positive reviews on the tank, and the notion that it would include a "Zero Skill" Brothers-in-arms crew was an enormous bonus, and for less than $20, you can hardly go wrong. The Thunderbolt itself is an amalgam- featuring very good frontal and turret armor, with a little "shoulder armor" to boost it around corners- though I would compare it more to an up-armored "FURY!" than either of the other Tier-6 M4 Shermans.

I really like this tank for it's sheer "run around in" quality. It doesn't excel in any single area, which makes it a jack-of-all-trades sort of vehicle, able to fight well enough with most vehicles it will face, and defend itself against attacks of at-tier and lower vehicles. It's not terribly fast, but it's certainly not slow either.

As premium tanks go, it's an exceptional trainer with a lot of perks, and is just a lot of fun to play around in. I highly recommend this tank!

Are we still rating these? 5/5, very good tank, can't go wrong on this one.
So, it's been a while now, and the Czech tanks are no longer news of any sort now- totally eclipsed by Sweden and the Mauschen mini-maus that was just released in 1.19.1. So, being the weirdo I am, I'm going to take a quick look at the ST vz. 39/V-8-H tank, the tier 4 Czech medium tank, and what you can do with it.

Historically speaking, the ST vz 39, also known as the V-8-H tank, was little more than a footnote in World War Two. Commissioned by the Czech government in 1937, the tank was designed and built by ČKD, who created two prototypes that were tested a few times, managed to survive the war and were then scrapped as most cool things were back then after they ceased to be useful.

But, enough history, what can the tank do in World of Tanks? Well, at tier 4, the ST vz 39 is lightly armored, and packs a gun with moderate penetration and damage- comparable in many regards to the Panzer III ausf. J tank, though not quite as speedy. In terms of matchmaking, the ST vz 39 is a mixed bag, varying from good matchups where it can use it's good penetration and passable frontal armor to bash in the heads of tier 3 opponents, and bad matchups where it has to stare down KV-1s at tier 5.

For me, the St vz 39 was a grind of a tank to get through. It is not a brawler tank, nor does it have the penetration and accuracy to snipe- so it's best just offset the firing line, taking safe shots as it's able. It's armor is not great, so it has to rely on significant cover to survive a battle. However, this means you don't get too many experience points, and so you have to play it over and over again.

To maximize my XP earnings, I loaded a healthy dose of APCR rounds, and pushed towards the top gun as fast as I could. This is not a profitable tank, so I was fine losing the credits on premium ammo. It also makes it much more satisfying to play, as you can (finally) knock holes into more heavily armored targets.

Though it's not terribly fast, I equipped mine with binoculars and a camo net all the same, and did manage to find myself in good spotting positions in some games. When possible, this is another great way to get a bunch of spotting damage XP, which will almost always outweigh the amount of damage you can do in this tank before getting shot to bits.

I know I said previously that the ST vz 39 was one of the worst tanks in the game several times before, and though I've backed it out of the "worst" position (there are some nice Swedish tanks in there now), I do not have fond memories of this tank for the most part. It isn't fast, it's gun isn't great, and the matchmaker hates this tank- placing you in tier 5 and occasionally even tier 6 games, in which case you are cannon fodder and little more. It's more frustrating than bad, much like the LT 38 before it. Thankfully, it does lead to some much more rewarding tanks further down the tech tree, so the painful grind is ultimately worth it.
Maklarr4000 Feb 25 '17 · Comments: 1 · Tags: cool, czech, game, tank, tanks, world of tanks, wot, st vz 39, v-8-h, tier 4
Wargaming announced that the M4 Improved would be for sale in a little bit, and as I've owned it for a while, I thought I'd give my thoughts on it, as well as some tips and tricks to keep prospective "M4-Imp" owners alive longer, and making the most of this machine from the beginning.

The history of the M4-Imrproved is unfortunately very brief. It was developed by <!--more--> the Detroit Arsenal as a means to build an "ultimate" version of the M4 Sherman, but it never got farther than a blueprint. A blueprint Wargaming has realized in virtual form, hooray!

The M4 Improved is, technically and statistically superior to the M4 Sherman at tier 5. It is faster, sports much better frontal armor, and well-angled side armor. But, what does that translate to in actual battles?

In my experience, the M4-Imp is very fast for it's size, leaving even many light tanks in it's dust. This means the M4-Imp can find very good positions very quickly, giving you and your team a serious spotting and firepower advantage.

The M4-Imp's biggest failing is in it's gun. While most love the M4 Sherman for it's 105-millimeter howitzer, the M4-Imp is stuck with the tier 4 75-millimeter M3 cannon, which isn't terribly accurate nor particularly powerful against heavy tanks and more heavily armored foes. The accuracy issues involved on the gun, in my experience, is that the shell usually flies somewhat down and to the right of the center of the reticule. It's a regular enough issue that you can usually use it to aim a little better.

The tank also features a remarkable feature, though hopefully you don't ever have to use it. Behind the turret, at the back half, is a glitch of sorts. I have on many occasions had shells pass through the back third of my turret. I'm not sure if it's the model, I'm not sure if it's the gun, but before the global chat was turned off, I was accused of cheating several times, as I'd dart between cover, and the shell would pass laterally through the back of the turret, before flying on to whatever was beyond. It wasn't every time, and I suspect it has something to do with speed and angle of the turret armor, but it's happened enough that I know it is there.

My best advice to new players is to treat this M4 like a scout until you've mastered it's combat quirks, and when possible, engage your enemies close to make up for the cannon's lack of penetration and accuracy. I carry 20 APCR shells for those bad bottom-tier games, which you will regularly see. For equipment, I advise a gun rammer and either coated optics or binoculars. I prefer coated optics, as I tend to be more mobile in the M4-Imp. Unlike other light tanks, this tank is considerably harder to hide.

Hopefully this helps some players who might be looking at the M4-Imp when its in the shop again. Good luck out there!

World of Tanks is, by no means, a drab game. Despite being set in a war-torn hell of endless armored conflict, the vehicles and the environments are actually quite vibrant. One thing that has eluded gamers was a splash of color for their vehicles. Though WOT allows players to select camouflage schemes and apply various emblems, the emblems are small and limited, and the camouflage schemes are all historically accurate to the time period. Though there's nothing inherently wrong with this, it meant that there were only about 7 ways you can customize your tank, and by the numbers alone, it meant that your customization was shared by many, many more players. For many years now, WOT has held a hard-line stance on making things as historically accurate as possible... well, that seems to be changing... <!--more-->

I believe the change of heart began in August of  2015 when WOT reversed a change they had made to British desert "dazzle" camouflage. The camo scheme in game had a brilliant blue color to it's blue stripes, and WOT had toned it down to be more historically accurate. Players complained, and they reversed course, keeping the brighter, more vibrant blue schemes instead. This was the beginning.

After that, there was the lovely machine you see above, the "Ripper Patton", now called the "Patton Korea" or "Patton KR". It is historically accurate. In the Korean war, many tank units were permitted to decorate their tanks in ferocious ways, like the in-game Patton KR is- and the people loved it. Though the Patton KR is a fine combatant, the notion that it was this gonzo color scheme in a sea of feldgrau gray and olive drab green meant that it stuck out a lot. Thanks to the game's spotting engine, the camo did not affect performance at all. The notion of "unique" camo schemes seems to have led WOT onto a moneymaker, and they were quick to capitalize on this newfound gain.

Their next attempt came in the form of the more conservative Panzer 58 Mutz, a Swiss vehicle with good stats in game, and a peaceful historical background. The guys at WOT gave it a "unique bear camo" which while not outrageous by any means, was not historically accurate- the first major deviation on the PC version of the game.

So, naturally, a follow-up was needed, this time in the form of the Rheinmetall Skorpion G, a premium tank destroyer. The original "blank" version is below, but they ultimately went with the "scorpion" scheme for all of them across the game, pictured under that. This was an even greater deviation from form than the Mutz, as the base color was no longer historically accurate. Wargaming had finally broken away from just making paper panzers, they were now decorating them in awesome ways too.

So, things were finally looking up, and people began looking forward to more and more outlandish color schemes. Wow, they sure did deliver!

Their latest deviations from historical norms came in the form of the Patriot and Liberte tanks, both very patriotic tanks, one from the USA, the other from France.

This has rekindled hopes that not only will Wargaming continue to make wild and outlandish things, but also take some community input on how to make camouflage even better for everyone. One of the most requested, black, is now available (for a price, of course) but immense progress has been made. Many of these tanks would have been unthinkable less than a year ago. It is good that a game already so vibrant in other ways is getting a much-needed splash of color!

Maklarr4000 Dec 5 '16 · Comments: 1 · Tags: game, tank, tanks, world of tanks, wot, patriot, mutz, skorpion, camouflage, camo
No, they aren't gifted with the power to speak with the dead... no, these are tanks that claim to be Heavy Tanks, but are really just Medium tanks with delusions of grandeur. These are my picks for tanks that should be able to charge in and clean house, but are better left a little behind the firing line...

To begin this journey of mediocrity, we start with the opener for the German Heavy tank line, the Durchbruchswagen 2 (pictured above). The DW2, as it's known ... more
In World of Tanks, there are a number of "grinder" tanks. These vehicles are characterized by large volumes of modules or points needed to advance to the next vehicle, or have a feature that makes playing them a chore rather than fun. Tanks like the maligned AMX 40 for example.

One tank that I see gets called a "grinder" tank more often than not is the Tier 3 American M2 Medium tank.

The M2 Medium is a historical oddity. It was one of the largest tanks ... more
Maklarr4000 Oct 24 '16 · Rate: 2 · Tags: tank, tanks, world of tanks, wot, m2 medium, rating, america
In World of Tanks, a class system has been in place since the beginning to keep tanks of various abilities matched up properly in battle with their respective opponents. However, this has a few drawbacks as you go down in tier.

Before tier 5, there are no truly robust heavy tanks- they arrive... more
Maklarr4000 Sep 22 '16 · Rate: 5 · Comments: 1 · Tags: wot, world of tanks, tanks, heavy, techincal heavy tank, list, guide, opinion, soviet, french, clone
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