Hey guys! For some reason, I felt like writing a review on my newest premium tank, the T26E4. Most of you already have it, but on the off-chance that someone is on the verge of buying it, I thought I'd post a quick review to help them make their decision.
I'll break the review down into separate sections - Overall Performance/Intro, Gun, Turret, Hull/Mobility, some techniques I've found that help, and finally a couple of replays. For those who can't be bothered reading the whole review, I'll add a short pros/cons list at the end.
If you're wondering to believe what I say or not about the tank, FYI at the time of writing I have 176 battles in it with a 55% WR. Was up at 57% for a while but I've had a streak of bad luck
Also want to thank Spacewolf for proof-reading!
So, without further ado, I'll start
The T26E4 is a medium tank that plays like a heavy. It is one of those tanks that you can either have a fantastic game in, or an absolutely terrible game. Since your sides are paper thin, you have to rely on your team mates to stop yourself getting flanked. This, of course, is something you can't control and is why you either have ripper games or just absolute failures. Platooning with a good player will help reduce this problem, of course.
When you have a good, supportive team, you will be blown away by how much you can troll the enemy with your frontal armour, and be a major contributor to winning the game. This is not a tank where you hide behind others; you use your frontal armour to help push or hold flanks instead, and absorb shots from enemies for your less-armoured allies.
Your gun is good, but definitely not amazing, and you have worse mobility than quite a few other equal tier heavies (IS-3 for example).
You also have a great amount of HP for a medium tank (1500), which is more than some heavies at the same tier, and it also makes a decent amount of credits, with an average game (~1200 damage) generating around 25k credits, or a nice game (~2000 damage) generating up to 40k without premium.
Like Serb, you will be rolling in money if you use a premium account. I've made 85-90k profit in a single game (total reward was 100k but had repair and ammo bills).
The best word to describe the gun is 'meh'. It certainly isn't bad, but it's quite underpowered in terms of pen. Here are the stats:
Average Damage: 240/240/320
Aim Time: 2.3 seconds
As you can see, if you don't spam gold you only have 170mm to work with. This might seem terrible at first, but if you know your weak spots, you can pen most of them quite easily. Of course you will have to spam some gold, especially when facing T9 tanks. Luckily, the gold rounds have quite nice pen (258mm) so you can treat it pretty much like a normal T8 gun. The gun has a decent rate of fire, and with a fully trained crew I have my reload down to 6.92 seconds.
One problem with the gun is that it is a medium tank gun. So in the scenario that you are trading shots with heavies, such as the IS-6 (which has a sub 10 second reload), if he pens you every time, he will win (assuming you both start with full HP). Thankfully, if you know how to use your armour you can bounce pretty much every shot from the IS-6 (especially if he is only shooting standard ammo).
Of course, tanks with higher pen will have an easier time penning so that's something you need to watch out for. Gold rounds are quite expensive, but using a few here and there won't affect your profits too much, and in most cases it's possible to get through a whole game without using any gold.
On the other hand, the T26E4 is a medium destroyer, if you can stop yourself getting flanked.
The gun accuracy is not bad, at 0.38. Since this is a medium tank gun, for some comparison, the guns on the Panther II has an accuracy of 0.32 or 0.34 depending on whether you use the 7,5 cm Kw.K. L/100 or 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71, respectively. The top gun on the standard Pershing has 0.37 accuracy (90 mm Gun T15E2M2), while the STA-1's top gun has 0.36 accuracy (90 mm Gun Type 61).
You can see that it's not as accurate as the others, but it won't stop you from getting a few nice mid range snipes, and it's very easy to hit weak spots up close.
Aim time is good, at 2.3 seconds. Compared to the afore-mentioned tanks, the Panther II's 8.8cm gun has a 2.7 aim time, the 7.5cm has a 2.1 aim time, the Pershing has 2.3 sec aim time, and the STA-1 has 2.3 sec aim time.
Like hellvn mentioned in a comment below, the gun has good bloom values and does feel more accurate than 0.38. You can see how accurate it is on the run in the first video.
The turret on the tank is good and bad. The good is that the face of the turret is very well protected with layers of metal stacked on top of each other, making it very hard to pen (practically impossible for equal-tier tanks, with armour ranging from 302mm-340mm, according to Tank Inspector). This is good against bad players, but any competent tanker will know that they can shoot the hatch on top of the tank from the front, or shoot the turret cheeks.
The following image (pinched from wotguru.com), although for the older version of the T26E4, still shows the general idea of where you want to shoot:
You can shoot pretty much anywhere you like on the side of the tank and pen, so I won't bother with any detail on that.
Turret traverse is quite slow, at 24 deg/s. It won't affect combat until your turret is damaged, or you have to turn to stop a scout circling you. It bites you in the bum then
Now, the great thing about this tank is how far you can point its gun down. -10 degrees is great, especially when hill fighting.
For someone like myself who has mainly played Russian tanks, this is just awesome. For this reason I have decided to give the turret 7 out of 10. Of course your opinions will vary, and those who are coming from tanks like the Comet probably won't really understand why I appreciate that -10 depression so much
According to crazib, since the HD re-work of the tank, the cupolas on the turret are a little more bouncy than usual. I personally never bounce any shots up there but who knows
The hull, in my opinion, is what is either going to make you love or hate the tank. It has awesome spaced armour on the front which will absorb loads of high-tier gun shots, but sadly the sides are paper thin, at only 76mm thick. This of course means no sidescraping :|
The frontal hull's spaced armour will absorb many poorly aimed shots. Problem is that it has a machine gun port on the front (refer to the image above) that is only 75mm of armour. Although small, if you sit still it's very easy to hit this. Obviously the best way to make it hard for someone to shoot you there is to continuously move around. If you keep this hard to hit, you'll quite regularly get lucky and absorb hits frontally from things like the RHM, and I've even absorbed a T95 shot 3 times in a row.
Now, this nice armour comes at a price. Mobility. You are an absolute SLUG. Downhill you'll hit a decent speed of 40kph, but crawling uphill you'll grind down to around 10kph. Flat ground you can average 28-30kph. Hull traverse isn't too bad, but the speed will cause you to lose some games since you can't turn fast enough to stop a death-circling scout or fast medium. It also makes it painful to move long distances around the map, especially if the base is being captured.
Getting shot in the engine area will result in frequent engine damage (which is probably the worst kind of damage you can get in this tank) or fire. Just don't get shot there, ok? :p
I found I've rarely been tracked in this tank, so they must have a quite high damage threshold. Then again it's so slow that you don't need to track it
I rated the hull 7/10 since I have absorbed some pretty insane shots. Lost 3 points for mobility.
Always, and I mean always, point your front towards the enemy. don't angle much at all because that 76mm side armour won't bounce anything. In this tank you have to rely on that spaced armour on the front. Always wiggle your hull and turret so the machine gun port and the hatches on the roof can't get shot as easily.
You need to learn how to use the front armour effectively, and one trick I've found is to use it to fake moving out behind a wall. Since you have quite a good chance of absorbing anything shot at you, poke it out and hope that your enemy will shoot at it. If they do, continue to move out and have fun wrecking them (you MUST keep an eye on where the machine gun port is. You will pay if you're not careful about it!).
I generally use my T26E4 to lead a push through a flank, and to test for sharks when no tanks are visible. Once the enemy is engaged with other heavies, I slowly move myself around to another point where I can shoot their sides, or, depending on what I'm facing, will brawl frontally with them.
At all costs, DON'T LET YOURSELF GET FLANKED! Keep an eye on that mini-map for scouts or mediums sneaking around.
If you think you know where any SPG shots are coming from, try to position yourself towards that direction so any arty shots hopefully hit the spaced armour on front of your tank, not the engine deck.I've been 1 shotted (1500HP) by a scumbag once because I wasn't sure where the shot was coming from, and he hit the top of my engine deck
This tank is also an ideal support tank. Popping in and out between your higher tier allies shots to put in an extra ~200 damage is an immense help. The 3rd replay shows how me and a VK45.02b single-handedly (well, double-handedly :p) fought off 6 tanks and went on to win the game.
Equipment & Consumables:
Thanks to the advice of the pros here on the forums, I am currently running Vents, Verts, and Gun Rammer. For consumables, I always equip a Small Repair Kit, Small First Aid Kit, and either Manual or Auto Fire Extinguisher (depending on how many credits I have at the time).
+ Great frontal armour
+ Great gun depression
+ Great frontal armour
+ Good turret
+ Pretty good money maker
+ Great frontal armour
+ Did I mention that it has great frontal armour?
- Bad side armour
- Sub-par pen
Overall Rating: 8/10
Yes, I know that I rated most of the subsections 7/10, but there's something about this tank that I really like. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just fun. And it looks great too (maybe that's where the extra 1 came from) :p
I can definitely recommend this tank. It is reliable and fun to play if you are used to heavies. However, if you get it expecting medium performance, you will be disappointed.
Here are some vids of me playing. First vid was when I aced it, and the second vid is to prove that you CAN get through games without firing any gold, and the last shows how it can be very effective at T9 for support. Please note I'm not a unicum so I've made plenty of green/yellow mistakes, if you think there's anything I could've done better, let me know!
Please note that the first video was when I was very new to the tank (had not yet earned a M.O.E or had much experience driving it). That's why I was so hesitant and unsure at first. After the game developed I warmed up and started carrying more. Skip to 4:02 to see more action.
Second game was good but I got sloppy at the end when I knew we were going to win and gave my side to the SPG and medium tank down below the castle, who almost killed me and damaged my turret. That is what you must not do
Finally the last third game was an absolute gold spamming mess. I hate spamming that much gold, but in situations like that you don't want to be bouncing anything! Action starts at 2:20.
So that sums up my quick review. Would like to say again, big thanks to Spacewolf for taking precious time out of his tanking session to have a look at it!
Also, any feedback is very welcome for if I ever write another review :p
Edited by Proloser, 19 August 2015 - 11:49 AM.