Tech Tree Tuesday – FV4005

The British turreted TD line is one of the most popular lines in the game owing to the massive alpha of the FV 4005. However, the line leading up to it is littered with some truly excellent tanks, which often bear little resemblance to their ultimate successor. In this Tech Tree Tuesday, we will take a look starting with the tier VI Achilles and working our way up to the notorious “horizontal arty” of the Barn.

Achilles:

The strawberry ice cream in the neapolitan that is the M10

The Achilles is an M10 that gets a 17pdr gun and is more or less what you’d expect based on that description

Pros
– Turreted
– Above average pen – Good gun handling and aim time – Accurate
– Good premium rounds – Good mobility
– Fairly high health for such a mobile TD

Cons
– Low alpha
– 5 degrees of gun depression – sub 90mm gun (can’t overmatch 30mm plates) – slow turret traverse
– Quite thin armor, especially side and rear – not exactly small

Comparable(ish) vehicles

Playstyle

If you have any experience with the American turreted TDs, then you already know how to play this vehicle. You are a second line support vehicle. Use terrain features to hide as much of your tank as possible and try to avoid being in someone’s gun sights. It’s a bit bland, but not bad.

Setting up the tank

Ammo
35/22/3 AP/APCR/HE You’ve got good AP and APCR shells and mediocre HE shells. Your AP will be sufficient most of the time, but always have a good supply of APCR for certain tier 8 vehicles.

Consumables
Med kit/repair kit/extinguishers or food. Premium version to taste except for fire extinguishers, which should always be auto.

Equipment
Rammer, IRM, IAU/GLD/Optics/Binos

Directives
I’d say save your bonds and not get directives below tier X aside from 6th Sense directive while training up a new commander.

Crew skills
Commander: 6th sense, BIA, camo
Gunner: snap shot, BIA, camo
Driver: camo, BIA, smooth ride, off road driving
Radio Op: camo, BIA, situational awareness
Loader: camo, BIA, safe stowage

Rating: 5/10

Challenger:

The only tank where the back of the turret is the strongest armor

Back in my day, the Challenger had a pitiful 17pdr and we liked it. Kids these days are spoiled by all their high-falutin 32pdr guns.

Pros
– Turreted* (see cons)
– High pen (both AP and APCR) – Above average DPM
– Above average alpha (280)
– Good gun handling and aim time
– 10 Degrees of gun depression
– Very mobile
– 20kph reverse speed
– Above average health – 200mm *rear
turret armor

Cons
Turret only traverses 60 degrees each way with top gun mounted (Traverses fully with 17pdr guns)
– Thinly armored (down to 10mm in places)
– Slow turret traverse
– Subpar camo values
– Low ammo count

Compare to similar vehicles

Playstyle As a mobile, turreted TD, you have a lot of flexibility to move about the battlefield and find sneaky angles. The limited frontal arc of the top gun does curtail this ability somewhat, though. Try to find spots that will let you keep firing unmolested, but don’t be afraid to take a more forward role as the battle progresses.

Setting up the tank

Ammo
17/10/3 AP/APCR/HE
Nothing much to say here other than if credits are no object, the downsides of firing all APCR are negligible.

Consumables
Med kit/repair kit/extinguishers or food. Premium version to taste except for fire extinguishers, which should always be auto.

Equipment
Rammer, IRM, Vents/Turbo/IAU/GLD/Binos
Rammer and IRM are no brainers to boost your DPM and traverse respectively. The last equipment slot is up to you with all of the equipment above providing valuable boosts depending on your playstyle.

Directives
I’d say save your bonds and not get directives below tier X aside from 6th Sense directive while training up a new commander.

Crew skills
Commander (gunner): 6th Sense, BIA, recon/camo
Gunner: snap shot, BIA, camo
Driver: smooth ride, BIA, camo, off road driving
Loader (x2, radio op (x1)): situational awareness, BIA, camo A weird crew layout. Make sure to save that extra loader for the tier X even though they won’t fit in the VIII or IX.

Rating: 7/10

Charioteer:

How did a medium sneak into my TD line?

Pros
– High penetration (268mm)
– 10 degrees of gun depression – Very mobile
– 20kph reverse speed
– High shell velocity
– Extremely high pen HESH

Cons
– Low alpha (for a TD)
– Low caliber gun (for a TD)
– Premium shell is 210mm pen HESH, not a higher pen HEAT or APCR shell
– Below average gun handling
– Thinly armored
– 12 degrees of gun elevation

Compare with similar

Playstyle

This tank plays much like a combination TD and medium thanks to its fully traversable turret. Use the excellent mobility to reach good positions early. The fact you have a turret opens up many positions that would be difficult or impossible for most TDs.

The 268mm of standard pen will let you easily pen anything at your tier or lower and many things a tier or two higher. The 210 pen, 480dmg premium HESH shells can be especially useful against squishier targets, including almost everything below your tier. The HESH will get eaten up by tracks or spaced armor, so make sure you’re using the right shell for the right time. Lastly, be careful about high tier superheavies (Maus, Type 5, 279e, etc.). You don’t have access to an extremely high pen premium round, so you may struggle with these frontally.

As the game progresses, use the turret and mobility much like you would in a medium to flank enemies and find new angles. If you should find yourself behind an enemy, HESH away! Be very careful with how you expose yourself to fire. You have little armor, and, because you are a TD, little health.

Setting up the tank

Ammo
25/5/0 APCR/HESH/HESH
All the rounds on this tank are good, but you don’t have the ammo count to mix it up too much. The premium HESH shells are straight upgrades over the standard HESH, so if you are willing to pay the price, drop the standard HESH for gold. If you are a bit strapped on cash, 105mm pen HESH is still quite good.

Consumables
Med kit/repair kit/extinguishers or food. Premium version to taste except for fire extinguishers, which should always be auto.

Equipment
Rammer, IRM, Vents/Turbo/GLD/IAU/Binos
Rammer and IRM are no brainers to boost your DPM and traverse respectively. The last equipment slot is up to you with all of the equipment above providing valuable boosts depending on your playstyle.

Directives
I’d say save your bonds and not get directives below tier X aside from 6th Sense directive while training up a new commander.

Crew skills
Commander (gunner): 6th Sense, BIA, recon/camo
Gunner: snap shot, BIA, camo
Driver: smooth ride, BIA, camo, off road driving
Loader (radio op): situational awareness, BIA, camo

Rating: 8/10

FV4004 Conway:

I bet you never thought a 152mm mantlet at tier IX would troll you this much

The Conway is one of my favorite kinds of tanks: it has a choice of two viable guns. The first gun is a high DPM, lower alpha 120mm. The second is a rather odd 5.5 gun which hits for a unique 600dmg, 260mm pen AP round or a 770 alpha, 200mm pen HESH round. (The same gun as the Crusader SP, but not in ARTY form.) Effectively, you can make this tank either a Super Charioteer or a Baby Barn. This may make listing the pros and cons a bit confusing, but I’ll do my best

Pros
– Excellent DPM (120mm or 5.5in w/ HESH pens)
– Unique alpha (5.5in, 600dmg, can catch enemies off guard)
– High pen HESH (120mm – 120mm | 5.5in – 200mm)
– Good APCR round (120mm)
– Decent shell velocity (120mm) – High accuracy (120mm)
– Magic mantlet capable of sometimes bouncing shots it has no right to – Turreted (120mm – full traverse | 5.5in – 180 degree frontal arc) – 10 degrees gun depression

Cons
– 120mm gun can’t overmatch 40mm plates – Poor camo – 10 degrees gun elevation
– Poor armor
– Low HP
– Large

Compare with similar

Playstyle The Conway with the 120mm gun is a DPM monster with tremendous flexibility for a TD. Good mobility and a turret let it play a wide variety of positions and just spit out damage. However, don’t let this lull you into thinking you’re a medium. You still have low HP and poor armor. In a pinch, you can be medium-esque, but not for long. Keep enemies at range and abuse your excellent accuracy and DPM. This is easily the more consistent and reliable gun.
The Conway with the 5.5in gun is a curious machine. You are much less accurate than your 120mm version, but you are able to hit 50% harder. The HESH round isn’t the most amazing shell in the world, but with high pen and guaranteed damage, it’s worth slinging them a fair bit. If you have to be exposed to fire, try to trade 1 for 1 with lower alpha tanks and 2 for 1 with higher alpha ones.

Setting up the tank

Ammo
20/10/5(max) AP/APCR/HESH (120mm)|| 20/10/0 AP/HESH/HE (5.5in)
With the 120mm gun, this tank suffers a bit from a low ammo count. The HESH is good, but don’t take too much of it lest you run out of AP when needed. If credits are no object, the downsides of firing all APCR are negligible.
With the 5.5in, you have good AP pen, but lack a high pen premium round. Instead, you have a 200mm pen HESH round. Whether you want to play with more AP or pretend to be a mini-barn with HESH is up to you, but there is little to no reason to use the standard HE since the HESH is a strict upgrade over it aside from cost.

Consumables
Med kit/repair kit/extinguishers or food. Premium version to taste except for fire extinguishers, which should always be auto.

Equipment
Rammer, IRM, Vents/Turbo/GLD/Optics/IAU/Binos
Rammer and IRM are no brainers to boost your DPM and traverse respectively. The last equipment slot is up to you with all of the equipment above providing valuable boosts depending on your playstyle/which gun you have.

Directives
I’d say save your bonds and not get directives below tier X aside from 6th Sense directive while training up a new commander.

Crew skills
Commander: 6th Sense, BIA, recon/camo
Gunner: snap shot, BIA, camo
Driver: smooth ride, BIA, camo, off road driving
Loader (radio op): situational awareness, BIA, camo
You have the worst camo of any tier IX TD, so although camo is still nice, it is not as important as some other TDs. I’d argue for boosting view range and gun stats before camo, but the decision is yours.

Rating: 8/10

FV4005 Stage II:

Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station

Pros
– Can erase the moon (1750d/210p HESH or 1150d/310p AP) – Turreted
– Will do damage even if it doesn’t pen (provide you hit or are close)

Cons
– Can only erase one moon every half a minute
– Terrible gun handling and accuracy – Gun makes a big noise and a big boom which means people won’t expose themselves to you to trade 🙁 – Massive turret (hence the moniker of Barn) – Does not go backwards fast – Terrible armor, especially turret, gets HE penned a lot
– Priority target of ARTY, T49/Sheridans, and anything else firing HE
– Slow turret traverse – Turret does not fully traverse
– Worse camo than a Maus (2nd worst at tier X)

Playstyle Try to find as many free shots as you can. Don’t worry about penning as it will add up in the end. If you encounter any enemy tank and you have even one person supporting you, trade whatever HP you have left for 1700+ damage in one shot. Keep doing this as you need to until you either die, or the game has been won. Shoot at EBR’s and then post on the forum when you only do 400 damage to their wheels.

Setting up the tank

Ammo
15+/5/0 PremHESH/AP/HESH
AP shells can do well and will likely provide more consistent damage, but this tank is all about the HESH pens.

Consumables Med kit/repair kit/extinguishers or food. Premium version to taste except for fire extinguishers, which should always be auto.

Equipment IRM, turbocharge, GLD/IAU/rammer/vents

Directives
Things that help the gun aim better.

Crew skills
Commander (radio op): 6th Sense, BIA, situational awareness, recon
Gunner: snap shot, BIA, camo
Driver: smooth ride, BIA, off road driving
Loader (x2): repairs, BIA, camo
Despite being a TD, camo isn’t a priority. This tank has the second worst camo at tier X (worse than even the Maus), and no crew skill is going to make much of a difference. Improving your gun handling is your main priority. Annoyingly, the loader is no longer a radio op, but the commander now is, and you have a new loader to boot.

Rating: Meme/10 (it’s not good, but it can be fun)

This is a curious line with some genuinely unique and excellent vehicles in it. It’s almost a shame that it ends in such a one-trick pony of a tank destroyer. If you’re looking for some really solid mid/high tier tanks, this is a great line, but if you want a competitive tier X, look elsewhere. The barn is a meme: good for one (admittedly very fun to pull off) thing and terrible at almost everything else.

If I could make a change to the line, I’d love to give the barn access to the Badger’s (or maybe Tortoise’s) gun as a high DPM option like the Conway. Maybe shrink the turret a bit and give it full traverse when the small gun is equipped, and the FV could have a second life as a fun, unique tier X TD similar to a tier X hellcat.

This is unlikely to happen, though. At the time of this writing, the FV 4005 was the 6th most popular tier X tank over the past 60 days on the NA server. People love seeing those ridiculously high damage numbers (and still decent numbers even if you fail to pen). Popularity is a double edged sword, however, and the 183mm gun tanks are the frequent topic of ire for the playerbase who despise the massive “ruin your game without warning” capacity these guns have. Would an HE change kill the FV? Does the line need to change? What are your thoughts?

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