Welcome to part 2 of the 2021 Romanian tech tree proposal!
Part 1 has received very positive feedback, so I was very happy to make the second article. Big thanks to all of you for the support! It’s highly appreciated!
The old tech tree that I used in part 1. Click here for full quality.
The version 2.0 tree I am using for part 2. For full quality, see here.
Please read part 1 if you haven’t already, since it covers important general information about the tech tree (such as historical accuracy, vehicle originality, etc.), as well as the tank destroyer branch.
As you can see, I’ve made an improved tech tree version (’’version 2.0’’). That’s because in the meantime, I’ve come up with a better idea for the high tiers, which gets the tech tree rid of its old problems. Many thanks to tanks-encyclopedia.com’s member Doom_Pyramid for providing me with archive information about the high tier mediums!
In this article, I will first use the format of the old tech tree. At the end, I will compare it to the version 2.0 tech tree to show you why the latter would work better.
Medium tank branch
This time we’ll take a look at the medium tank branch Romania could get in World of Tanks. Romanian heavy tanks are also possible, stay tuned to see how.
The Romanian MT line contains many historically important vehicles which were not only mass produced, but also saw action during World War 2 and Cold War events. It also contains some proposed designs as well as a tank reconstructed from historical possibilities, which was mentioned in a book, the R-4 (more about it down below).
Comparison between the medium tank and tank destroyer branches
Compared to the TD line, the mediums will (mostly) be less original in terms of design, even though there are also some completely new looking tanks. In terms of gameplay, however, some of the tanks would be at least somewhat unique.
Tiers 8, 9 and especially 10 will be interesting in design as well; they’ve got an interesting history.
Just like with most Romanian TDs, most of the MTs will have the disadvantage of having poor gun depression (-5°). Some of them rely on armor, others possessing the TD line’s common feature of weak armor and strong guns.
Note: The tech tree is actually at an early development stage, since the archives have only been researched very little, which means that there are certainly new vehicles to be discovered, which can improve and enlarge the tree!
Let’s see what this branch brings us.
Tier 1: R-1
At tier 1 we get the R-1, which is a Romanian-Czechoslovakian tankette. I’ve already described it in part 1, but I will do it here again for the sake of it.
In 1936, Romania bought 35 AH-IV export tankettes from Czechoslovakia. The R-1, as known in Romanian service, was a version designed specially for Romania. It was different from the original AH-IV, as it had thinner armor, a lighter engine and was missing the commander’s cupola.
Romania wanted to produce the vehicle itself and bought a license for it. One prototype was made in Romania, but serial production was never started.
Here’s how it would play in WoT:
It would be the fastest tier 1 tank, with a top speed of 45 km/h, but would have the weakest gun in terms of penetration (a 7.92 mm heavy machine gun). A possible gun upgrade would be a 20 mm cannon, used on an AH-IV version called AH-IV-C. It’s not known, however, if that version was ever intended for Romania.
An alternative tier 1 candidate could be the Disston tractor tank which uses a 37 mm gun. It was marketed to Romania, but it’s not known whether any were sold.
Tier 2: R-2
Up a tier we get the R-2, which in-game would be a modified version of the Panzer 35(t). Here’s some history first:
Left: R-2c variant. Right: standard R-2. This helps seeing the visual differences of the R-2c’s turret and hull rear.
The Panzer 35(t), called R-2 in Romanian service, was the most numerous tank of the Romanian army during World War 2. It saw action, mostly on the Eastern Front, in places like Odessa and Stalingrad. It was later modified to a tank destroyer, the TACAM R-2, which is part of the proposed Romanian TD branch. The R-2 would therefore be a very important vehicle for the tech tree, historically speaking.
This vehicle wouldn’t be a straight-out Panzer 35(t) clone, however, since it would be different both visually and stat-wise.
There are two R-2 versions that are different from the standard variant: the R-2a and the R-2c.
The R-2a was an improved version with better armor, engine and radio, which Romania wanted to buy from Škoda, but couldn’t due to the Germans preventing it, after they had occupied Czechoslovakia. Then we have the R-2c, which had a modified hull rear as well as a different turret rear and used cemented armor, hence the ‘c’ in the name.
R-2 tanks at the Škoda Works before being delivered to Romania. Photo source: Wikipedia
The in-game R-2 would be a combination of the R-2a and R-2c, using features of both, making it an improved version of the Panzer 35(t) or LT vz. 35, which would also be visually different.
Tier 3: VDC R-35
tanks-encyclopedia.com illustration of the VDC R-35 using the T-26’s turret.
VDC R-35 using the enlarged R-35 turret.
The VDC R-35 (Vânătorul de care R-35 – ’’R-35 tank hunter’’) was a tank destroyer version of the French R-35 tank, which had been in the Romanian army since 1939. The modification featured a 45 mm Soviet 20K gun, a 47 mm Romanian-produced Schneider gun having also been proposed. The serial production variant used an extended turret of the R-35, while one prototype used the T-26’s turret, both being options in the game. The VDC R-35 saw action after the 1944 royal coup d’état, which put Romania on the allied side.
VDC R-35 next to destroyed Tiger II tanks in Znojmo, present-day Czech Republic. This photo kind of gave me shivers when I first saw it.
The only surviving part of a VDC R-35 is a turret owned by a private collector from Slovakia.
In World of Tanks, it could either be a tier 2 or 3 light tank (even though it’s historically considered a TD, classing it as a LT would be more fitting – Wargaming have changed the historical class of many vehicles already in WoT). At tier 2, it would be overpowered, having both very strong armor as well as one of the strongest guns of its tier. At tier 3, this wouldn’t be the case. Its armor (being as effective as 60 mm) could hold up to some tier 3 vehicles, but tier 4s would easily be able to go through it. Its bad mobility would make it a pretty bad tank tier-for-tier, so it’s going to be one of those vehicles you’d prefer getting over as soon as possible. It would still work well as a tier 3.
The VDC R-35 can actually be played in the game as an R-35 remodel made by Classic’s Workshop, check it out here.
Tier 4: R-3
The Škoda T-21, on which the R-3 would have been based.
Moving on to tier 4, we get a tank that was planned to be produced in Romania, the R-3.
In 1940, the Kingdom of Romania sought to modernize its army by acquiring a new tank. The chosen vehicle was the Škoda T-21, since Romanian tank crews already had experience with the similar R-2. Germany, however, refused to deliver any vehicles because Romania was not yet part of the Axis. After joining the Axis in 1941, Romania placed a new order for 216 tanks, which Germany didn’t deliver due to limited resources.
Romania eventually tried to produce a local version of the tank, designated R-3, but the project was never materialized. A later order of 287 tanks was refused again, but Germany eventually delivered other tanks, like Panzer 35(t)s, Panzer 38(t)s, Panzer IIIs and IVs and StuG IIIs.
In World of Tanks, the vehicle would stat-wise be similar to the ST vz. 39 (47mm gun, thinner armor but higher top speed) and would fit as a tier 4 MT.
Tier 5: R-4
And here comes the reconstructed tank I was talking about above: the ‘R-4’. Let’s take a look at what this vehicle could have looked like, using some history to back up this possible design.
British historian Mark Axworthy writes in his book Third Axis Fourth Ally that Romania wanted to produce a tank comparable to the T-34 during World War 2. That’s because after the Axis defeat at Stalingrad, the country sought for ways to improve its tank force, the R-2 having been obsolete by then. Romania’s wartime leader, Marshal Ion Antonescu, was the one who came up with the proposal. The project was eventually scrapped and Romania produced the Mareșal and TACAM tank destroyers instead, since they were more adequate for the country’s industry.
Currently, no blueprints of this proposed vehicle have been found. Therefore, I have made an interpretation of what an attempt to produce such a tank could have looked like, based on historical possibilities. This vehicle can historically-speaking be compared to the Italian Progetto 46, which didn’t exist in drawings, but is modeled based on a general’s description. The difference is that the Progetto uses some unhistorical stuff in WoT, while the R-4 I’m proposing is based on purely historical possibilities.
So I’m proposing the following scenario:
Since Germany was able to deliver Panzer IIIs and IVs to Romania, the delivery of R-3s would theoretically have been possible too. What I imagined is Romania having been able to acquire the R-3 and modify it to make it more effective, instead of developing a tank from scratch, which would have been a hard challenge for the country’s industry at the time.
This new up-gunned version of the tank would have been called R-4, as a continuation of the R-3 project. The name is provisional. To have a bigger gun fit in the turret, it would have been extended, like Romania did with the VDC R-35. The gun could have been either a Romanian or German 75 mm or a captured Soviet 76.2 or 57 mm. In WoT, the frontal armor could probably be increased from 30 mm to 50 mm. The tank would get a gun depression of -5°, -7° or -8°, depending on what gun you use.
Keep in mind that all of this is pure speculation, but the archives still need to be researched!
If Wargaming decides to add this vehicle, they should clearly point out in its description that it’s based on speculation, instead of promoting it as a historical vehicle, as they did with other ’what if’-tanks (of which there are plenty in WoT – the R-4 would be nothing new, but would have some history behind it, unlike other such vehicles. I’d call it a ‘historical fake’).
Tier 6 and 7: CLT 34-120 and CLT 34-150
I’ve put those two together since they’re kind of a duo.
Interpretation of the CLT 34-150. Note that CLT 34-120 would have a different (smaller) turret. Standard T-34 in the background for comparison.
During the campaign on the Eastern Front, Romania had captured various Soviet tanks, among them being two T-34s. They were referred to as C.L.T. 34 in Romanian documents. One of them (the one being used in this tech tree) was the T-34E STZ variant that has an up-armored front (typically 60 mm) and weighs 33 tonnes (~36 short tons). Here is a photograph of it, found by tanks-encyclopedia.com members:
It was proposed to rearm those with 120 and 150 mm howitzers to make them more effective. This would have required changing their turrets. Eventually, the project was cancelled because at the time, the needed recoil parts for said guns were not available in Romania, and the new turrets were too difficult to produce. If the vehicles had been modified, it would have been a similar conversion to the VDC R-35 and the T-26/37 (tier 2 premium).
Now, here’s how these tanks would look like in WoT:
At first, you might think they’re a bunch of clones because they have ’’T-34’’ in their names. This wouldn’t be the case at all, however, since they’re different from the standard T-34 in every possible way, pretty much. Not only do they have different playstyles due to the very different guns, but they differ a lot visually since their turrets would be completely new. The hull armor would also be thicker (60 mm compared to 45 mm). The frontal turret armor would also reach 60 mm in the game.
The CLT 34-120 would play similarly to some other mediums at tier 6. I’ve seen many people use derp guns on M4A3E2s, also M4A3E8s and T-34-85s, sometimes even Cromwells.
It’s not known what 120 mm gun was meant for this tank, but based on the guns that were available in Romania at the time, it can be deduced. It could have been a 122 mm captured Soviet howitzer, such as the M1938 M-30, which was also used on the early prototypes of the Mareșal tank destroyer. There was also a Romanian-produced 120 mm gun, the Reșița Model 1942, which, however, was not really a howitzer, but a mortar, so I’m not sure it could be used (some SPGs use mortars in WoT – not sure they’d work on tanks though). The well-angled 60 mm hull armor will give the tank around 85-90 mm of effective armor. The standard T-34’s guns could also be stock gun options. Giving the vehicle a gun upgrade that isn’t a howitzer, such as one of the 75 mm guns that were available in Romania at the time, would be unhistorical, but could probably be added to give the tank a bigger diversity of gun choices. An example is the Romanian-designed 75 mm Reșița, which has penetration values comparable to the Strv 74 and the 40TP’s guns.
The CLT 34-150 at tier 7 would be a unique tank playstyle-wise, since it’s the only tier 7 medium tank to get a derp gun of such a high caliber. There are other tier 7 meds with derp gun options, but they’re smaller 105-122 mm guns that are bad tier-for-tier, so no one uses them. The CLT 34-150 would get a 150 mm, as its name suggests, which could deal up to 700 HP of damage, this with very low penetration, of course (don’t expect a KV-2/SU-152/O-Ni type of gun). It would also be visually different from its tier 6 predecessor, having a bigger turret for the bigger howitzer. The 150 mm gun is not specified; a possibility would be the 15 cm sIG 33 howitzer produced by Romania’s Axis ally Germany.
And now, tier 8. After the mid-tiers, which were just proposed designs, we get back to historically important vehicles, which are found among both low and high tiers in the Romanian MT branch.
Tier 8: MLI-84 (Note: This tank is only used in the old tech tree shown in the beginning of the article, as I’ve replaced it with the TR-77 in the new version 2.0 tree, which is a lot more similar to the tier 9 and 10 vehicles)
The MLI-84 is an IFV most likely developed in the late 70s in the Socialist Republic of Romania. Although officially, it was designed in 1982, there were talks of an MLI vehicle as early as 1978, so its history likely started earlier. Keep in mind that Romanian armored vehicles were technologically obsolete for their era, as already stated in part 1, so they would fit in WoT’s timeframe, just like the French 1977-designed Char Futur 4 did.
The MLI-84’s model was the 1961-designed Soviet BMP-1, but there were differences between them. The Romanian vehicle used a modified chassis that was longer than the BMP-1’s. That is because the MLI-84 used an improved engine, which was bigger and needed more room. It saw mass production, 178 of them having been built, and it might have seen action in the 1989 Romanian Revolution.
The gun it uses is a 73 mm. It’s a smoothbore, which isn’t allowed in WoT, so in-game it’s going to be changed with a rifled gun like WG have already done with many tanks such as the LHMTV, the WZ-132 and multiple Soviet high tier prototypes.
In World of Tanks, it would be one of the ’’light medium tanks’’, like the Bourrasque or the BC 25t, having paper-thin armor, but very high top speed. Here’s a table I made that compares the MLI to some other tier 8 mediums and lights (the latter marked in grey):
As you can see, the MLI-84 would be a very mobile vehicle which sacrifices alpha damage for high penetration values. It has the common feature of Romanian tanks, namely having a poor gun depression of -5° (buffed from historical -4°). The premium HEAT ammunition has a real-life penetration value of 280-350 mm. In WoT, it would get the lowest historical value of 280 mm. This could be lowered, if needed. The reason for the very low alpha damage is the gun’s small caliber.
It would be a unique vehicle in terms of design, since nothing that looks quite like it currently exists in the game.
Let’s take a look at tiers 9 and 10 now. They are some interesting designs that show what it looks like when Western and Soviet tank designs melt together and create something new. This can especially be seen in the tier 10 vehicle.
Tier 9: TR-580 (or TR-77-580)
TR-580 at the National Military Museum in Bucharest. Source: Mircea87/Wikipedia
TR-580’s stock elongated turret, which looks Western-influenced. More on this turret down below.
Sometimes confused for a Romanian-produced T-55 because of the similar looks, the TR-580 (standing for ’’Romanian Tank with 580hp engine’’) is a Cold War tank produced independently by Romania, with some help from China and possibly Western collaboration (although, officially, the latter refused to help – more on this below). First, some history:
After Romania refused to take part in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, relations with the Soviet Union became really tense. Therefore, Romania had adopted a new national defense doctrine, since it feared getting invaded itself. Considering the cold relations with the Soviets, Romania didn’t acquire the license to produce a Soviet tank, so it had to develop a new tank by itself. This lead to the creation of the TR-580, which was designed having the T-55 in mind, but had some major differences from the Soviet vehicle. The tank was designed in the early 70s, the first prototype having been produced in 1974. It didn’t use advanced technology for its era.
The TR-580 uses a lengthened hull with six road wheels on each side (T-55 only has five). This is because the tank was designed to be equipped with an 800hp engine similar to the Leopard 1’s, which Romania wanted to acquire from West Germany. The Germans, however, refused to deliver the engine, since they didn’t want to help a communist country. As a result, the tank was equipped with a Romanian-built 580hp engine. The turret has a rounded roof, compared to the T-55’s flat roof with a peak.
The vehicle saw serial production. According to different sources, between 400 and 600 were built, of which 100-200 were delivered to Iraq. They saw action in the 1989 Romanian Revolution and very likely (although not confirmed) in the 1980 Iran-Iraq war, as well as later conflicts involving Iraq (possibly up to recent years).
TR-580 in action in an iconic 1989 revolution photo.
Here are some more stats of the vehicle, that show how it would play in World of Tanks:
The hull had a whopping 200 mm of frontal armor, which was achieved by mounting an extra 100 mm plate. Of course, 200 mm of frontal hull armor would be too much even for a tier 10 medium, let alone a tier 9. It would be reduced to 100 mm by removing the aforementioned extra armor plate. This wouldn’t be unhistorical, since at first, the mounting of an extra armor plate was considered controversial and the first prototypes didn’t even use it.
Then what about the turret armor? Well, its front also had a whopping amount of armor: 320 mm. You might think this would make the tank OP, right? An Object 430U turret at tier 9? Well, no, this wouldn’t be the case. The TR-580’s turret has two cupolas, both of which are weakspots, unlike the Object 430U’s cupolas. Also, when comparing the Object 430U’s effective turret armor (300mm of actual armor) to that of some tier 9 Soviet mediums (which only have 240 mm of actual armor), you’ll see that their effective armor is pretty much the same, reaching from about 300 to 550 mm. Even if the Object 430U’s turret is much stronger on paper, it’s not very different from that of tier 9 mediums. So the TR-580 would fit at tier 9 with no problems. You can use the website tanks.gg to view said tanks’ 3D models and compare their armor.
What about the mobility? On paper, the TR-580 reaches 50 km/h. This top speed limit is the same as on the Obj. 430 and Obj. 430U, but would take longer to reach, as the TR-580 weighs more. Compare this to the T-54’s 56 km/h top speed, despite the T-54 having better hull armor (120 mm) and about the same effective turret armor.
And how about the gun? The TR-580 used a Romanian 100 mm A308 rifled gun, which, according to some sources, was similar in penetration to the Soviet 100 mm D-10T, which is used by the T-54 and only has 201 mm of in-game standard penetration. The TR-580’s gun would get around 240 mm of penetration (comparable to other tier 9 and 10 mediums), as it’s the same gun the tier 10 Romanian MT uses, although worse in rounds per minute and dispersion. It gets -5° of gun depression. The stock gun could be the 100 mm M1975/77, of which the A308 was a modified version.
Turret options? Some TR prototypes used a turret with an elongated rear (photo above), which was armor-wise the same as the T-55’s (205 mm). This would be the stock turret, with the 320 mm one being the upgrade. You’d need to upgrade the turret to mount the top gun.
Tier 10: TR-800 (or TR-77-800)
Drawing of what the TR-800 would look like in WoT, based on multiple photographs. Not to be confused with the later, more modern TR-85/TR-85-800 main battle tank that is not being implemented.
Now, when seeing the drawing above, you might wonder, what the hell is that? A Leopard 1 combined with a TR-580? Let’s look at its history.
As already stated above, the TR-580 was designed having a German 800hp (up to 860hp) engine in mind. This engine was eventually acquired in the 1970s by reverse engineering. According to a book written by Ion M. Pacepa, a Romanian general who defected to the USA (highest-ranking intelligence official to have ever defected from the Eastern Block), the engine was obtained through espionage as well as assistance from West Germany. This was probably because Romania had a period of appreciation in the West after refusing to invade Czechoslovakia and distancing itself from the Eastern Bloc. The 800hp engine was likely mounted on some TR-77s/TR-580s and eventually contributed to the creation of the later, more modern TR-85 (not being added).
A TR-77 prototype with the lengthened turret and extended engine deck. From Tanks Encyclopedia. That’s how the tier 10 would look like in WoT, but with the extra visual details from my above drawing.
As you can see in the photo above, the TR-77-800 had clear Western influences. It used an extended turret rear, similar to what you see on Western tanks such as the Leopard 1 or the American Patton series. Not only that, but it also used an extended engine deck like you see on the Leopard. The photo below shows an even more similar version:
Leopard hull with TR-580 turret???
The above photo shows a TR-85, the successor of the TR-77-800. The Leopard-like rear can clearly be seen. It might have been used on late-built TR-77 versions equipped with the 800hp engine, making the late TR-77-800 a transition vehicle between the TR-77 and TR-85. This design shows the likely collaboration between Romania and West Germany, which led to a new looking vehicle that combined Western and Soviet tank designing. Something very interesting indeed, I don’t think anything of this kind is seen in World of Tanks (except for the probably fake Chinese 59-Patton).
The elongated turret used by the tier 10 TR-800 is the same as the one shown above, but with 320 mm of frontal armor. That turret was used on TR-77 prototypes, but had weaker armor (as stated above), and was replaced by the 320 mm turret you see on the tier 9 TR-580. It’s likely that the elongated turret was at first considered to be up-armored and used for serial production, but it got replaced by the round one, possibly to ease the construction.
Let’s take a look at what the TR-800 would look like in the game. I’d say the differences between the TR-580 and TR-800 can be compared to those between the Swedish tier 9 and 10 TDs, the Strv 103-0 and Strv 103B:
• Both use the same gun, but the TR-800 would get better dispersion and rounds per minute stats due to its more spacious turret. Additionally, more ammo.
• The TR-800 uses an engine better by up to 280hp, which allows it to reach its top speed of 50 km/h faster, or maybe even increases it by a few km/h.
• The hull armor of the TR-800 could be buffed. The historical 200 mm would be too much, so it could get 120 or maybe 150 mm at its most. This could depend on how the gun gets balanced (the higher the penetration, the lower the armor and vice versa).
• The TR-800 may also have better radio and optics, possibly obtained through collaboration with West Germany
• There would be a lot of visual differences. The TR-800 has the Leopard-like hull/turret rear. It could also get a bustle attached to the turret rear for a better looking design, as well as side skirts, which the TR-580 could not have in the game. On the other hand, the TR-580 could get an external fuel tank attached to the back of the vehicle, which wouldn’t fit with the TR-800’s Leopard rear. Another minor difference would be that the road wheels are positioned in a different way.
Overall, the TR-800 would be a TR-580 improved in every possible way. It would have a unique looking design that in my opinion would look very cool as well. Playstyle-wise, it could be compared to some other tier 10 mediums, but would combine features of more of them. It would get a gun depression of -5°, would have armor that on paper is similar to the Object 430U’s, but weaker, and mobility wise it could be compared to a Centurion AX or a bit better.
Unrelated, but interesting side note:
Something similar happened in Yugoslavia, another country that had distanced itself from the Eastern Bloc (they weren’t even part of it). They made a prototype called M-320, which combined features of Soviet and American tanks:
Old tech tree vs improved ’’version 2.0’’ tech tree
Like I said in the beginning of the article, I have made some modifications to the old tech tree’s high tier vehicles. Namely, the MLI-84 gets replaced with the TR-77, because the MLI-84 is very different from tiers 9/10 and would not fit in the branch playstyle-wise. Here’s how the TR-77 would look like:
As already stated above, the TR-77 (the name used for prototypes, while the serial production tank was called TR-580) used a much weaker turret in terms of armor. It seems to be identical to the T-55’s turret, which can be seen in photographs.
The tank in the above photo is a TR-77, which can be seen by the extended engine deck (not found on T-55s or on serial production TR-580s). Now look at the turret. Remember how I said the TR-580 uses a rounded-roof turret? The one used by the TR-77 is clearly different, having a flat roof with a peak and a flat gun mantlet, just like the T-55’s one, as can be seen in the photo. This indicates the turret was not up-armored to 320 mm. This claim is not only backed up by photos, but also by documents, which state that the TR-77 prototypes were not that different in weight from the T-55, unlike the TR-580 was (which was heavier by up to 10 tonnes). This also shows the TR-77 only had 100 mm of frontal hull armor, compared to the TR-580’s 200 mm.
In World of Tanks, the TR-77 would be the branch’s tier 8. Its stock turret would be identical to the T-55 turret, while the top turret is the Western-influenced elongated-rear one (same armor), also used by some prototypes, which improves gun dispersion and rounds per minute, as well as ammo capacity. Both would have a frontal armor of 205 mm. The top gun would be the above-mentioned TR-580’s stock gun, while the TR-77’s stock gun could be an unmodified Soviet D-10T version with lower penetration.
But wait, since the T-54 is a tier 9, wouldn’t a tank with T-55 armor be OP at tier 8?
Not at all! The T-54 actually has better turret armor in WoT (240 mm). Below is a comparison between the TR-77 and another tier 8 medium, the Centurion I, which shows the TR-77 would be a balanced vehicle at tier 8:
As you can see, the TR-77 would work very well at tier 8. It would have lower penetration, but better alpha damage than the Centurion.
That’s how it would look in the game:
And that’s how the tier 9 TR-580 would look, possibly without side skirts:
As you can see, the tier 8 is different, having the elongated turret, extended engine deck and no external fuel tank. Both of them, especially the fully-upgraded TR-77 and stock TR-580 look extremely different from the Soviet T-55, the only thing in common being the TR-77’s stock turret.
What happens to the MLI-84?
It could be a tier 10 light tank, researchable from the tier 9 MT. Its gun can be balanced to work at tier 10 (its historical penetration is more than enough) and its top speed is comparable to that of other tier 10 LTs. Some might think it’s too big in size to work as a LT, but it’s actually smaller than the Sheridan and possibly the Rhm. Panzerwagen.
If Wargaming decides it can’t be put at tier 10 without its own LT branch, it can simply be removed from the tech tree altogether, so it’s not a problem.
Better idea of what the Romanian tech tree (v. 2.0) looks like visually.
Tier 8 premium crew trainer(s) and other premiums
There are two possible tier 8 premium candidates I propose. One of them would be stronger, the other one weaker than the standard tier 8 TR-77.
The weaker one is the TR-77 FP (‘’first prototype’’). It’s basically a stock version of the TR-77 and TR-580. It has the same turret armor as the TR-77 and the stock TR-580, but uses the T-55 turret and the stock gun/engine/radio/tracks. The same story as with the Polish 50TP prototype and 50TP, or the Chinese Type 59 and WZ-120.
The stronger one is the TR-77M. As already explained, the TR-77 prototypes had an extended engine deck (which was then removed from the TR-580), because they were supposed to be equipped with the 800hp engine. The TR-77M would be a fully upgraded TR-77, but with the engine of the tier 10 TR-800. Basically a ’’fast TR-77’’.
What the TR-77 FP would look like in WoT, but also with the extended engine deck. TR-77M would also look the same, but could get the elongated turret. Illustration by tanks-encyclopedia.com.
Third candidate? According to Ion M. Pacepa, whom I’ve mentioned above, there was a Romanian Cold War tank project called Cega, which was supposed to be delivered to Libya. That vehicle is way too unknown to be added to WoT, however. It was probably just a TR version made for Libya and its name was a combination of Ceaușescu and Gadaffi, the countries’ dictators at the time. It’s not needed in the tech tree anyway, since the MT branch is complete and two tier 8 premium candidates already exist, but I’ve just decided to mention it here.
Other premiums? As you can see in the tech tree image, there are possible tier 2 and 3 premium lights. The tier 2 T-26/37 was a Romanian proposal to equip captured Soviet T-26s with 37 mm guns for ammunition purposes. Nothing special, doesn’t need to be added, but I just put it in there. The Flakpanzer Mareșal was a German proposal. The Germans wanted to buy several Mareșal chassis for their army and equip them with two twin 37 mm guns. A similar proposal was made to equip the Hetzer’s chassis with a Flakpanzer Kugelblitz turret and twin guns. Neither of them were made. Wargaming will probably only add tier 8 premiums anyway, but the Flakpanzer Mareșal would make a nice tier 3 gift tank, comparable to the American MTLS-1G14.
Romanian heavy and light tank branches?
Romanian heavies are possible, but not as a separate branch (unless you add clones to complete the MT branch, which no one would want).
As some of you might know, before the Object 430U was added to WoT, there were discussions to class it as a HT instead of a MT because of its HT-like armor values. This means that, theoretically, the TR-77, TR-580 and TR-800 could be classed as HTs, considering their armor and speed values are also comparable to those of heavy tanks.
Thus, Romania would get a light-medium-heavy line, like Sweden and Poland did when they were introduced. It would be introduced along with the TD line, just like in Sweden’s case. This would probably be better than having a full MT line, since it would make the TR tanks even more different from the T-55, as if they weren’t already. From what I see, pretty much every tech tree in the game has got a heavy tank line (Italian and Czechoslovakian ones are coming as well), so Wargaming might consider it a requirement for new tech trees to include heavy tanks, which the Romanian one can include.
What about a light tank branch?
With the currently available material on Romanian tanks, it’s hard to believe a LT branch could be made for the MLI-84. The only other Romanian light tanks that I can think of are wheeled vehicles, namely up-gunned versions of the TAB-77 armed with a 73 or 30 mm gun. There is only one problem with those vehicles…. they are APCs (armored personnel carriers):
TAB-77 with 73 mm gun. Photo source: https://rumaniamilitary.wordpress.com/tag/mli-84/
APCs wouldn’t really fit in World of Tanks, since they’re very big in size, which makes them easy to hit, as well as bad passive scouters. I don’t see why anyone would choose a branch made of APCs over the French wheeled tanks, since the latter are clearly much better. I don’t know whether Wargaming would want to add more wheelies anyway, considering the shitstorm they’ve generated.
So, unfortunately, a Romanian LT branch is pretty much impossible right now even if APCs were added, since you can’t combine them with the tracked MLI-84. Keep in mind that the archives still need to be researched, though.
Romania is definitely a solid candidate among nations that could be added to World of Tanks.
The medium branch (or light-medium-heavy branch) is surely not as unique in terms of playstyle as the Romanian TD branch, but still has some interesting vehicles that could make it. If Romania gets added, I’d say it would be best if both branches got introduced at the same time, like with Sweden, since it would be a shame to add the LT-MT-HT-branch alone at first, without the more unique TDs.
I don’t think the Romanian tech tree has problems, at least not big ones. The only thing that could be somewhat of a problem is that in both the TD and MT branches, the tier 7 and tier 8 are different in terms of gameplay. However, like I’ve already said in part 1, that’s also the case for other branches currently in the game (Leo vs Emil 1, Chi-Ri vs STA-1 being examples). What really matters is that tiers 8-10 should be similar in playstyle and design – and in the Romanian TD and LT-MT-HT branches, they are.
Like I’ve also mentioned in part 1, the proposed Romanian tree is more historically accurate than certain other trees currently in World of Tanks.
You guys have told me I’ve balanced the TD line very well, so I hope you think the same of the LT-MT-HT-line, since I did my best doing so. If more archive research is done, I’m sure the tree can be enlarged. But even so, I am impressed with the tech tree Romania can currently create, considering how little the country’s tanks have been researched.
I really hope the developers are going to take this tech tree proposal into consideration as a future addition to the game.
Notice us, Wargaming! We’re ready to roll onto the battlefields of World of Tanks!
Thank you all for reading! I might make a part 3, where I show all the researchable modules, as well as other things like emblems, colors, camouflages and so on. I’m waiting to read your comments and see your feedback and criticism. If you have any ideas on how the branch could be improved, leave them down below.
The following sources were used in the making of the Romanian tree (part 1 and 2):
• archive documents, part of which were found by tanks-encyclopedia.com members (special thanks to Doom_Pyramid for helping me with the TRs!)
• the archive-based book Third Axis Fourth Ally by Mark Axworthy
• the document-based book Armata română și evoluția armei tancuri
• the book Tanks of Hitler’s Eastern Allies 1941-45 by Steven Zaloga
• articles from tanks-encyclopedia.com that also use archives as their source
• some info from worldwar2.ro, rumaniamilitary.wordpress.com and ftr.wot-news.com