Tanks are all about balancing firepower, mobility, and armor. The M4 and T-34 are good examples of this balance whereas other tanks will make various compromises on one leg to devote additional mass to the other two. On paper the Churchill I sacrifices a great deal of mobility for higher than average firepower and armor. The Challenger's historical analysis of the Churchill makes for a glowing review but doesn't translate well to its in-game effectiveness. For comparative purposes I will use quotes from Mr. Cutland's article when citing differences in implementation.
Suspension of disbelief
The Churchill I has tracks that go around the tank with no guards. Any track that is exposed attracts a great deal of fire, both targeted and incidental. Because the treads stick out so far in front of the main hull, you cannot pop out to fire without risking suspension hits in advance of your own turret exposure. The Churchill is an exception to my preference for track tanking. I rarely leave the house without my steel toe boots, and I'm not a fan of leaving the hangar in a tank with its drive train flapping in the breeze like a set of HP bearing trucknuts either.
While a Churchill might only do 14Mph, it would be able to do that speed on any surface it didn’t sink in.
While no tanks get stuck in mud in WoT, the high torque does not translate into game implementation. The Churchill I is no better at hill climbing than any other slow, heavy tank.
Neck braCES NOW STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Mark III has welded turret and 6 pounder main gun
The discrepancy in weapon selection and naming scheme is a matter of turret upgrade implementation. The Churchill I in WoT would compete unfavorably with other Tier 5 heavies if it were limited to historically accurate weaponry for the Mark III turret upgrade, never mind that the Mk.III is a completely different hull. The gun depression of the 75mm Vickers HV in the Churchill III turret is 4' at best and the maximum elevation is a mere 12'. While few tanks have truly outstanding vertical gun ranges, the Churchill, using the only competitive gun, is limited to a mere 16' total elevation control. This is the same as the AMX 12t. In order to mount the 75mm Vickers HV, you must use the Churchill III turret, which has a better view range but thinner frontal armor contrary to this statement.
The Mark III*
As all the guns shared a common mounting system a few MKIII’s had 75mm’s fitted. These were used by the 6th guards armoured Brigade in Normandy; they also had added armour on the turret.
Lower-end guns have better elevation and declination characteristics but with a considerable reduction in firepower. Small rocks and gradient changes are enough to elevate the front of the tank beyond the point of targeting opponents directly in front of it with the Vickers. When fighting on uneven ground the Churchill I must frequently be maneuvered just to bring the target into vertical range.
Walk for your life!
The Churchill has a 39 ton weight limit and a 25.7 km/h speed limit, which is difficult to reach even driving downhill. Compared to the T1 Heavy at 57.9 tons and a 35.4 km/h speed limit, the Churchill I makes an inferior ram tank. While speed limits do not tell the whole story, the T1's best engine develops nearly three times the horsepower of the Churchill I's.
Due to the tank's low agility and vulnerability to flanking, using it in a sniping role is recommended.
It's not blood, it's liquid pride
The Churchill I has the most HP of any Tier 5 non-premium tank and will survive a number of hits on pure "buffer tanking." The claim of 177mm frontal hull armor is misleading, since not only is that a maximum covering only a small portion of the hull, but the tank is riddled with weak points.
The tank with the lowest crew casualty rate was the Churchill.
The British tree in WoT is marked by very weak modules and the Churchill I loses modules and crew at an alarming rate even against standard AT shells. Expect the Churchill I to be given priority targeting by artillery due to its low maneuverability and propensity to suffer multiple criticals.
In real world tanks, crew casualties were frequently caused by fire, which isn't a consideration in WoT. Unfortunately, the additional side crew escape hatches in the Churchill I hull do not aid in crew survivability in-game. Since every crew member on the Churchill I seems to have their own personal thin patch of armor, one can expect multiple crew fatalities per match.
The gun is pretty good right?
The 75mm Vickers HV compares favorably to other tier 5 heavy tank guns, though it may feel like it's strapped to a static emplacement at times. Large, slow moving tanks make stable gun platforms, and the Churchill I is an exceedingly stable gun platform, but it must remain exposed during reloads to maximize the fire rate. It has little difficulty hitting targets on the move after the dispersion buff, though others also have little difficulty hitting it back. While the Churchill is nearly invulnerable against tier 3 and 4 tanks and against inexperienced players, the 8.6 accuracy buff makes it exceptionally easy to aim for the Churchill's numerous weak points.