The American heavy line has been around for eternity now, and whether you came from the T110E5 meta, or from when the T30 used to be a Tier 10 heavy tank, it’s hard to deny that it remains a popular and beginner-friendly line to go down.
However, the game’s changed quite a bit since those days, and powercreep has hit some of the tanks such as the T110E5 pretty hard. How has the rest of the line faired in the current state of the game? Let’s find out.
We’re going to go over each tank, quickly taking a look at the equipment to use on each tank, their unique gameplay features, whether they’re worth keeping in the game, and an overall rating of that vehicle. We will only be covering Tier 5-10 vehicles, unless the Tier 4 and below have some wild gameplay features that make them worth having.
Tier 4 and Below:
The American heavy line has some pleasant tanks before the real grind begins, with the M2 Light at Tier 2 being an absolute monstrous seal clubber, and the Tier 4 T6 Medium playing like a Tier 4 Sherman with Pref MM. Both of these tanks are absolutely worth keeping if you’re going to be seal clubbing. If you do keep them, use the 37mm gun on the M2 Light, and the 105mm howitzer on the T6 Medium.
Rating: 7/10 (Very Good)
Gameplay: The T1 Heavy is a surprisingly mobile, high DPM heavy tank with the gameplay of a medium. The armor isn’t great, but can still bounce a few shells in a good matchup. The real strength of this tank comes from having a gun very similar to that on the T67, albeit with worse characteristics overall. It’s a solid, high DPM gun with great gun depression and elevation angles which allows the T1 Heavy to deal with just about any tank it comes across. Combine that with the fact that the tank is pretty quick with a big chunk of HP, and you can put out some really solid results. It will generally play like a very thick medium tank, supporting the heavies and reacting to the battle, but not doing any kind of wild flanking maneuvers either.
Equipment: Rammer + Optics are a must-have, with the 3rd slot being your choice of either Vents or Improved Rotation Mechanism. There are no equipment bonuses on Tier 5’s, so which slot you put them into doesn’t matter here.
Worth Keeping?: Yes! If you do Tier 5 tournaments, the T1 Heavy is a well-rounded option that can do fairly well, especially on maps where you may find yourself fighting against other heavies, but may need extra flexibility (think Encounter modes with reduced cap times).
Rating: 7/10 (Very Good)
Gameplay: The M6 generally keeps the same gameplay as the T1 Heavy as far as its flexibility goes, but it does make a few sacrifices. Your DPM doesn’t change despite moving up a Tier, and you’re losing a bit of agility. Your armor is also identical despite moving up a full Tier. However, you gain a 90mm cannon with solid penetration, better accuracy and gun handling values than the T1 Heavy had. You’re still going to be a supporting heavy, but now you can afford to take on a few more frontal engagements with your sheer firepower. Make sure to take on a bit more of a poke-and-shoot kind of gameplay however, since your longer reload means you can’t afford to remain exposed after your first shot.
Equipment: Rammer + Optics remain a must-have, with the 3rd slot again either being Vents (this time in the bonus slot) or Improved Rotation Mechanism. The HP buff in the bonus slot could potentially be worthwhile since it’s a low Tier tank where your HP will stretch a lot more, but whether it’s worth it is very debatable. I found that it simply isn’t worth giving up IRM or even Vents for.
Worth Keeping?: No. Despite being given the same overall rating as the T1 Heavy, the M6 is not going to serve a competitive niche in the same way that the T1 Heavy could in tournaments, or even Tier 6 Strongholds. There are more competitive tanks at Tier 6, and for tournaments, the KV-2 and ARL-44 will take the spotlight away from the M6. The ARL-44 provides very similar gameplay, but with stronger frontal armor, and a 105mm cannon with 330 APCR alpha, something that proves to be absolutely devastating to fight against. The DPM on that gun isn’t even worse when you shoot APCR, since you’re getting an extra 30 alpha damage on the APCR.
Rating: 7.5/10 (Very Good)
Gameplay: The T29 is the first true hull-down heavy of this line, and comes with quite the substantial change in gameplay style. Rather than playing like a thick medium, suddenly you’re a slow, trundling hull-down beast. You’re going to find a ridgeline to make use of, and absolutely dominate from there. Your gun loses a substantial amount of DPM, especially given that you’re moving up a Tier, and you sacrifice most of your mobility. However, you gain incredible turret armor, and really solid alpha damage and penetration. You even have respectable view range for the first time in this line.
Equipment: Vstabs and Rammer are going to become a must. The third slot will heavily depend on what you want from the tank. Since you’re going to play on ridgelines often, you may be quite aggressive, so Optics can remain a viable option. Vents in the bonus slot will continue to help the gun behave that little bit better. However, this is the first tank where I wouldn’t recommend the Rotation Mechanism, rather recommending the Improved Aiming Unit instead. The lackluster DPM and poor accuracy means that you need to make the most out of each shell, and since you’re generally playing from ridgelines, you’re not going to have very close ranged shots either. The Improved Aiming Unit will help the gun perform a lot more nicely, especially if you have the Bounty version.
Worth Keeping?: Yes. The T29 has a legendary name for a reason, and for competitive purposes, and even for missions, it remains an absolutely incredible tank to have. The reason why the overall rating is barely higher than the T1 Heavy / M6, is because of the substantial sacrifices you’re making to gain those strengths. Carrying battles isn’t any easier in the T29, even if you feel like you have a much more substantial presence. The T1 Heavy and M6 had the mobility and DPM to react to the battle and provide consistent performance throughout. The T29 is moreso a “hold the line” sort of tank, taking a key position and remaining there for a fair period until it’s relatively clear.
Rating: 6.5/10 (Good)
Gameplay: The T32 is actually very decent after the buffs, and makes a couple of key improvements to the T29’s gun that actually make it a very pleasant gameplay experience. The DPM is substantially better than the T29, and actually decent DPM for Tier 8. The gun handling on turret traverse is also much nicer, which makes taking shots a lot quicker, allowing you to snap shells in from a ridge rather than having to re-aim your gun each time you switch targets. It still remains a hull-down, hold the line sort of vehicle, but with even a beefy upper plate, in a good matchup you can afford to play a supporting role with your heavies, looking for small terrain elevations to angle your upper plate. However, in a bad matchup, you will be forced to hold position from a ridgeline, and with the penetration only improving a little bit on your AP shells and not at all on the APCR shells, you will struggle to penetrate higher Tiered tanks unless your allies can help distract them.
Equipment: The same equipment as the T29 applies, with VStabs and Rammer being a must-have, and the third slot being Vents in the bonus slot, Optics or the Aiming Unit. Since you have 400m of base View Range, with a good crew and equipment, you could have over 460m of View Range without Coated Optics, so you could easily drop Optics for something else. However, that also means you’ll have some of the best View Range in the battles you play in, so if you chose to run Optics still, you could spot tanks extremely effectively from the ridgelines you play at, and out-spot even many medium tanks.
Worth Keeping? Yes. After the buffs, the T32 remains a tank worthwhile having, and for Tier 8 tournaments and even Strongholds, it can make for a great “hold the line” sort of tank. Its DPM is now in line with other heavies, which means it can actually pose a real threat from the ridgelines it plays on. However, you likely won’t find yourself playing it in Random Battles very much, unlike the T29.
Rating: 7/10 (Very Good)
Gameplay: The M103 is a strange one, the first tank to become a mish-mash of the previous tanks. The mobility improves substantially over the T29 / T32, and the DPM makes a substantial improvement too. However, this is the first American Heavy (and actually first tank since the Tier 1) to have anything less than 10 degrees of gun depression, only having 8 degrees instead. The turret armor is also weird. While it’s great when you’re using your gun depression, as soon as you’re caught on level ground, you have a giant cupola that can be penned by just about everything, and there’s even a strip of armor directly above the armor that can be overmatched by most other Tier 9 heavy tanks, even 120mm guns. Lastly, you actually lose 10m of view range from the T32!
What this means is the M103 makes a very solid supporting heavy tank, with great DPM and a solid gun overall, and will continue to play on ridgelines effectively, but will require a lot more careful gameplay than some of the previous tanks. Your turret armor will only work if you’re using all of your gun depression, and even then your turret has to be directly facing your opponents, since the sides become extremely weak as soon as you turn them. Having less view range than the T32, and worse reverse speed going back to the 12 km/h that most of the line was used to, means that you’re vulnerable if you’re caught out. You won’t be out-spotting tanks anymore, you don’t have the reverse speed to get away from a position, and you don’t have nearly the same kind of turret armor to allow you to just dominate from a ridgeline. You’ll almost begin playing this tank like a thick medium tank again, or a supporting heavy. You’ll find yourself reacting to the battle a lot more like you did with the M6 or even T1 Heavy, except being cautious to conserve your HP and avoiding some of the steep ridges that the previous tanks could play on since you now only have 8 degrees of gun depression.
Equipment: VStabs and Rammer remain the theme, with the 3rd slot either being Vents in the bonus slot, or IRM. I would no longer recommend Optics, since the gameplay of the tank becomes much more heavily reliant on the gun, rather than the platform as a whole. Even if you did use Optics, you wouldn’t be out-spotting anyone, like you would have been able to with the previous tanks.
Worth Keeping?: No. The M103 may be a fun tank for Random Battles, and obviously some people will still choose to keep it. However, it will serve no competitive benefit, so unless you enjoy playing it in Random Battles, it’s not really something that you’re going to need to keep around for any reason.
Rating: 5/10 (Average)
Gameplay: The T110E5 carries on the thick medium playstyle from the M103, but carries over many of the same flaws too. Your turret armor is unreliable, with a giant cupola that makes a lovely landing strip for HEAT shells. The mobility is decent, but still restrictive with the reverse speed, the view range is nothing special, and the gun depression remains only 8 degrees, so you can’t even use ridgelines to hide your cupola like you can with the M103. The gun does get a nice improvement in DPM and gun handling values, but seeing how the rest of the tank barely changes despite going up a full Tier, is it a worthwhile improvement? Not really, especially when you consider that you have worse hull-down capabilities than the M103 itself did. With the M103, your gun depression can completely hide your turret weakpoints, while with the E5 your cupola not only remains visible, but even remains a very large and easy to hit target. Even under full gun depression, it’s only 260mm of effective armor with more of a visible area than even the M103’s cupola had on flat ground.
As a result of this, the E5 loses everything that makes the M103 so decent, the versatility in going between supporting heavy, to a ridgeline tank. Suddenly, the tank is trying to play more of a medium tank role with the gun handling and DPM, but you’re no faster than the previous tank. These tanks aren’t so quick that the gun handling is super important, so while the E5 will definitely snap shells in better than the M103, it’s not going to transform the tank’s capabilities, especially since you are going up a full Tier too.
At the end of the day, the E5 is a tank that loses its unique purpose, trying to be a heavium like some of the other tanks in the line, but losing the characteristics that defined the T29, T32 and M103, the hull-down capabilities… And unlike the T1 Heavy or M6 Heavy, which actually were amongst the fastest heavies of their Tier, the T110E5 doesn’t come anywhere close to having the speed of a true heavium. The 113, WZ-111-5A, Obj. 277, Obj. 260 will completely run laps around the E5. Even the IS-7 and 279e will keep up with it surprisngly well… Except all of those tanks also have higher alpha damage, better hull-down capabilities, and less vulnerable ammo racks… And better reverse speeds. And then as far as hull-down heavies, or thick mediums go, the Super Conqueror / Chieftain defeat any hull-down role the E5 had, while the M48 Patton takes the thick medium role.
The E5 simply doesn’t have the life to it that the rest of the line had. I have a full review on the tank going into more detail as to why I believe the T110E5 to be only average, that you can check out here: ★ T110E5 – Review & Gameplay Guide ★
Equipment: Rammer and VStabs remain a must, with Improved Rotation Mechanism or Improved Aiming Unit being the most competitive third options. Vents in the bonus slot can also be useful. If you really want to embrace the heavium playstyle, you could use a Turbocharger and replace the Food / Fire Extinguisher with 105 Octane, but you must use the Turbo and Octane together. One on their own isn’t going to provide enough of a mobility change to be worth it. Plus, you’re making quite a few sacrifices to use this loadout, but the playstyle change you’ll receive might be worthwhile to people who enjoy the heavium playstyle, like it was worth it for me.
Worth Keeping?: No. If you want a flexible, thick medium, get the M48 Patton. If you want a hull-down heavy, get the Super Conqueror. If you want a proper heavium, get a Chinese or Soviet heavy.
The American hull-down heavy line remains a great tech tree to go down even in 2021, with the only real disappointment coming from the T110E5. Even the T32 and M103, which once were irrelevant tanks lost to powercreep, regained a life of their own with the buffs that received about a year ago.
As a whole, if you grind this line, you won’t be disappointed. It’s absolutely worth your time, with the only exception being the T110E5… But since even the M103 is a great tank for Random Battles, if you find yourself enjoying it, you’ll probably end up unlocking the T110E5 anyway.
If you only care about the Tier 10 experience, take the Super Conqueror line. If you’re looking for competitive tanks and various Tiers, the M2 Light, T6 Medium, T1 Heavy, T29 and T32 are all tanks worthwhile keeping that may serve tournament use If you want a fun, decent line to grind as a whole, almost every tank on this line fits that description. They’re not incredible tanks, but outside of the Tier 10, they’re all very decent tanks with an enjoyable gameplay experience and unique playstyle that other tanks of their respective Tiers can’t quite provide.
I hope this review is useful, and will help you decide as to whether or not the line is worth grinding, or which tanks you should consider keeping!