Despite the claims about armor the Churchill III does take considerably more effort to kill with an SU-26 than a Churchill I does. Hits on the engine deck still nasty them up but they are considerably more survivable than their non-Premium brethren. They seem to end up dead just as often, though this is more because their drivers seem to expose them, or simply can't find cover big enough to protect the entire length of the hull.
Since Wargaming has various special offers on some Premium Tanks over the Fesitive period, we here at TMC we thought we'd help players out with an overview to a number of Premium Tanks currently available from the in game store.
We'll start off this series looking at Tier V tanks.
The T-25 is a German Medium tank. The vehicle is actually designed by Skoda and maintains some of its Czech design heritage seen in other Skoda tanks.
Most on the EU server dismiss the tank as under-armoured and generally not very good, so it's a rare sight. And the complaints about its armour are certainly accurate. While there are more lightly armored Tier V tanks, 60mm on the turret front and 50mm on the hull is nothing to brag about. On the other hand, it's got 610 hitpoints, which helps to offset the apparent vulnerability. And, less armour means more speed. Between the low weight and the large 450hp engine, the T-25 can hit 60kph, making it the fastest tank of the tier. It is more of a drag racer than a rally car, though - neither its turret nor track traverse is stellar, at 22 and 30 degrees per second, respectively.
Offensively, the tank packs a 75mm cannon capable of 14 RPM with 110 damage and .41 accuracy. In most respects, it's similar to other 75 and 76mm cannons of the tier. However, its penetration sets it apart, at 116mm even with regular ammo. Moreover, it (and most of the other tanks we'll review) have exceptionally high premium ammo penetration, at 167 in this case. That lets it damage the Tier 6 and even Tier 7 tanks it can face without much issue, even head on. On a final note, the gun is also capable of 10 degrees of depression, far in excess of most German designs. That gives you the ability to go hull-down and fight in the style of an American tank if necessary. You're also a great spotter for artillery, with a high powered radio giving you 710m signal range.
The question, then, is whether you want one.
Absolutely! The downsides are minor, and despite them the tank is fun to play. Low operations costs and high earning potential mean you can run Premium ammo all the time with no qualms, though even without that it's great. And as a perk, the tank is a perfect grinding platform for an E-50M crew, a theme we'll revisit throughout this article.
Matilda Black Prince
The Black Prince was a converted Matilda Mk II featuring an A27 Turret. It's a strange tank.
Defensively, the Black Prince is like an overweight M4 Sherman, with 76mm of frontal turret armour, but also 75mm on the hull as well. Like the T-25, it has 610 hitpoints. Unfortunately, it's slow. Unlike the T-25, it's heavy and gets a weak engine, and thus tops out at a mere 22kph.
Offensively, the gun is interesting. 110mm of penetration puts it nearly on par with the T-25 and above average for similarly sized cannons. However, it trades shell damage (a mere 75) for a blistering 26 rounds per minute. You'll drive enemies back through sheer volume of fire. I may be making it sound better than it is, though. While it's anecdotal, my average XP per battle in this tank is the lowest of all the Tier V premiums I own. Like the T-25, the gun gets a large bonus with premium ammo, but more favorable matchmaking means you never face Tier VII tanks and so rarely find yourself needing it.
Once again we ask, why would you want this? It's slow and the armour is nothing to write home about. It can be used to grind crews (for the FV4202 in this case, should you have one), but would we even want to? Well... it's fun, in its own perverse way. A platoon of three is akin to geriatrics with M60s mounted on their zimmer frames, if you can imagine, funny until their combined fire mows you down. And like the T-25 it's cheap to run, so despite the mediocrity you will rarely lose money playing it.
The T14 is a prototype US Heavy Tank and a hidden gem in the Tier V Premium selection. Typical of American tanks, it has a lightly armoured (although well angled) hull with a mere 50mm, but the turret offers 110mm, some of the thickest on any Tier V tank. Like other Tier V premiums, it has an edge in hitpoints over its normal counterparts, although a much smaller one than the mediums receive - 690 hitpoints compared, compared to the 600 of the American T1 Heavy. With a large engine, it's fast, capable of 34kph.
Unfortunately, you pay for the good defenses with a relatively weak offense. The gun fires 110 damage shells at just shy of 16 RPM, similar to the T-25, but at a mere 92mm of penetration. That's enough to penetrate against mediums, but against other heavies you'll often need to place shots with more care to avoid bouncing... but the gun doesn't let you, given a rather mediocre .46 accuracy. It's not the worst Tier V gun available, but it's close.
That said, the tank is able to make money even on a loss, like most premiums, and is fun to play. Generous matchmaking means it only faces other Tier V and Tier VI tanks, which helps mitigate the weak gun. Keeping with the theme, it's a decent platform to grind a T110E5 crew in, especially if you don't have a T34 heavy.
This is the only Tier V Premium I don't personally own so my experiences on it are taken from other players comments and seeing them on the other end of my gun sight. In my experience, it's extremely rare to see this tank being used.
The tank has the same 610 hitpoints across all Tier V premim medium tanks. It's got 76mm of frontal turret armour like the M4 Sherman, but also has 76mm on the front and sides of the hull, giving it a bit of an edge in durability. Relatively few flat surfaces help keep it alive as well. While the turret and track traverse are excellent, it's on the slow side thanks to the heavier armor and only does 38kph.
The gun is another version of the QF 6-pounder found on the Black Prince and Churchill III, with 75 shell damage and 26 rounds per minute. Fittingly for an older version of the gun, penetration is a bit lower at 105, and it is slightly less accurate at .43. The Ram II shares the tendency of the T-25 to face Tier VII tanks occasionally, so you may want to take advantage of the 170 penetration offered by Premium ammo.
Long before the British were introduced to World of Tanks, the Soviet Tree features two Lend Lease examples of British Tanks and one of these was the Churchill III.
It's worth noting right off the bat that the tank's description is misleading - it doesn't have 176mm of armour anywhere but the tiny area surrounding the machine gun port. The rest of the hull armour is a mere 76mm, and the turret isn't much better, with 88mm to the front and sides. On the other hand, it's got 700 hitpoints, the highest of any Tier V tank, so you'll be able to soak in a few more shots that your weak armour fails to stop. Try to stick to cover, as you're fairly slow at 28kph and artillery find you to be a crunchy snack.
For shooting back, we've got yet another version of the QF 6-pounder. It's most similar to that of the Ram II, with the slightly lower penetration and accuracy. Unlike the Ram II, though, you get Tier VI max matchmaking, so the premium ammo can be left at home.
There is one other lesser known feature of this tank, and it's a feature that makes it a stand-out. It gets a 1.3x XP modifier, which makes it a great farmer of free XP and an excellent platform for grinding soviet heavy tank crews. To give you an idea of the effectiveness of the bonus, my average XP per battle with this tank is 845, which is exceptionally high for a Tier V tank. Like the rest of these tanks, ammo and repair costs are low as well, keeping the profits flowing.
Last on the list is the Matilda IV. It's a Soviet medium, the game's other entry in the Lend-Lease program. It's essentially a British Tier IV Matilda, but with more hitpoints.
Avid players of the British line will know that "it's a Matilda" is not a stellar endorsement. Like the Ram II, it's well armoured Tier V medium, with 75mm all around the turret and 75mm frontal hull, and once again has 610 hitpoints. It pays for the defenses by making the Ram II look fast, though, clocking in at just 25kph top speed.
The gun is miserable as well. Like most 76mm cannons, it deals 110 damage per shot at a little over 16 rounds per minute, with .41m accuracy. Unfortunately, the penetration is even lower than the T14, at a mere 86. Even worse, premium ammo gives little benefit here. With 102 penetration, you'll simply penetrate just as well as other Tier V tanks, instead of laughing while you blow holes in a Tier VII. The one upside is the 1.71s aim time, and exceptional depression, at 14 degrees.
So what's the point of this tank? Say it with me - crew grinding! Like any other premium, you can drop any crew from the appropriate country and tank type in and go without retraining
I personally enjoy playing this tank despite its deficiencies, and have maintained a 60% win ratio with it in 250 battles. It may be an acquired taste, though, and the terrible gun means it requires a particular talent and knowledge of weak spots to do well in.
Should I get one of these tanks?
If you have the gold and want something different, then go for it. They're all perfect for grinding crews for Tier X tanks, cheap to run and nearly always make a profit. They're fun in their own way and naturally, work exceptionally well in platoons.
No review would be complete without answering the question of "which is best?" I'm going to have to go with the Churchill III. Speed and bad armour aside, the 1.3x XP modifier is a huge draw, especially attached as it is to a gun capable of plenty of damage. That said, I own all but the Ram II, and enjoy them all.