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The T34: A Review of the American Tier VIII Premium Heavy Tank

T34 Premium Tank Guide Review Tier VIII Premium T34 vs IS-6

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Aventre3 #1 Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:49 PM

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It is all about the gun.

 

History

 

Even though the M26 Pershing was designed to be a heavy tank in WWII to tackle new German tanks, it still proved inadequate against the new generation of tanks (like the Tiger II). The U.S. decided to try and develop an even heavier tank to counter these new threats. The project started by developing two closely related prototypes, the T29 and T30, which were based on the Pershing but the hull was elongated and a massive new turret was used. The primary difference between the two tanks was in gun, the T29 mounted a 105mm gun while the T30 carried a 155mm gun. The T30 also featured a more powerful engine and an extra loader for the gun, otherwise these tanks were very similar. The T34 was born when the Army took one T29 and one T30 and mounted a modified 120mm anti-aircraft gun which would have superior armor penetration compared to the previous guns. As an interesting note, the rounds for this gun weighed 50 lbs a piece. After the war in Europe was over, these tanks were still being worked on with the thought that they could be useful attacking Japanese bunkers. Some in the army were very nervous about fielding such massive tanks, but the war ended before they were ever used. The information learned from the T34 prototypes was particularly important for the development of the M103 heavy tank.



Look at that gun depression!

 

Overview

 

The T34 is one of the best Tier VIII Premium Tanks currently available in the game. On the forums the general argument for the top slot is between the T34 and the IS-6. They are both great tanks and the T34’s strength comes from its gun, which has fantastic penetration and rarely needs premium ammo (which can heavily eat into profits). In addition, this gun has one of the best damage per shot and the turret is heavily armored. The slow reload and aim time can be quite a headache though if you aren’t patient and mount the right equipment.



 

Pros

 

Great damage per shot (400 average damage same as M103 and E5)

Great penetration (248 AP, 297 APCR)

Great Turret Armor (hull down baby!)

Good Gun Depression (-10 deg)

Great Credit Earning Potential

 

Cons

 

Very Low Rate of Fire and Damage Per Minute (4 rounds per min, 1600 DPM)

Very Slow Aim Time (3.4 Seconds)

Weak Hull Armor

Generally a slow and sluggish tank

Low View Range



 

How To Play This Tank

 

The T34 is not a frontline, spearhead the assault, type of tank. This tank is much better as a defensive tank holding a spot on the map. The number one way to play this tank is hull down, that is, to hid your hull behind a hill, ridge, or dead tank and only have your strong turret exposed to the enemy. If you are hull down the turret front is near invincible from same tier tanks and only some Tier IX and X will easily damage you. The exception to this is the commanders hatch on the top of the turret which can be more easily penned. To prevent your cupola from being your down fall, wiggle your tank and turret between shots to make it hard to hit. Additionally, side scrapping is an option in this tank as the large treads can eat shots, though the thin side armor means that you should use caution when using this technique.  Once hull down you are going to be well protected and any tank approaching you can be reliable damaged from the front with AP. APCR is rarely needed.

 

This is why you should fear the T34: all that red and I'm about to eat a ~400 damage shell. This tank is almost in a perfect hull down spot, only a thin sliver of hull is showing. Notice I am aiming at that small sliver of hull, thats my best chance of damaging the T34 in my T26E4 Super Pershing from this position (I didn't try APCR).

 

Due to the weaker hull armor and lower maneuverability, this tanks doesn’t do as well in the open, so make sure you think ahead and select routes that will allow you to shine. Due to the low DPM is best to have friends nearby to help hold the red tanks back. This will also help prevent medium tanks from flanking you and tearing into your weaker hull armor.

 

In Tier X matches, it is best to hang back behind your higher tier heavies and play in a supporting role. The best part is that with this gun, you can still reliably contribute in any match and dealing damage for your team as you rake in the exp and credits. If you are top tier though, you can play a bit more aggressively, just take care to think about how to engage the enemy on your terms.



When driving the T34 it can be hard to tell when you are hull down. The best indicator is if you can barely see over the terrain to shoot, you are probably hull down.

 

Personal Experience

 

This is my most played tank in the game with just over 700 battles and my WR hovers around 61%. Additionally this was my first premium tank ever and it took some talking myself up to the price tag, but it was so worth it. This tank has been my primary mechanism for financing my Tier IX and X tanks. I think this is definitely one of the best (if not THE best) credit earners in the game especially as premium ammo is so rarely used. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I used a premium shell in this tank. I carry 22 AP, 6 APCR (I've never gotten close to using them all), and 6 HE (though I might decrease this a little). At first I was worried that this was a small number of shells, but the rate of fire is slow and I've never had an issue. After driving medium tanks, switching to this slow and methodical play style can take a little getting used to, but it is well worth it.

 

I have both the IS-6 and the T34 and really enjoy them both. In my hands, the IS-6 is a little bit better at winning, but I think the T34 brings in more credits per game. Here is a simplified break-down of the comparison. While the IS-6 gives you armor for noobs, the T34’s armor needs to be played more thoughtfully, employing hull down. The accuracy and penetration of the IS-6’s gun can be rage inducing at times, while the T34 gives you the gun for noobs. Many games you don’t even need to think about weakspots, take time to aim and you can put an AP round through just about anything.

 

I’ve had some memorable games in this tank and remember a few times coming out top in damage in Tier IX and X matches. In one Tier IX match, I was hull down on Rockfield and I held back the red tanks up at the top of the hill while most of my team pushed down below. While I was wishing for more support, I managed to wriggle and shake bouncing 20 of 26 shots and held the line while dishing out damage.

 
Great Battle: Personal Results
Great Battle: Team Results
Great Battle: Credits
 

Equipment

 

Rammer (10% faster reload)

Vertical Stabilizer (20% reduction of aiming circle size)

Gun Laying Drive (10% faster aiming when stationary)

 

With so many battles in this tank, my thoughts on equipment have changed and currently everything I do is about limiting the slow reload and aim time. I used to run Vents instead of GLD, but find that this combination works better for me, and I use Cola to get up crew skills. Tool box might also be something of interest, but I think the consumables can take care of run of the mill repairs. The view range is so low, that I wouldn’t bother trying to compensate for it, just stay near the action.



 

Consumables

 

Repair, Multi-use Repair, and Cola.

 

I used to run Adrenalin instead of Cola, but the reload time is so slow that the increased reload speed of Adrenalin runs out after a shot or two. I decided I’d rather have all around better reload than 30s worth. It is also a bonus that the Cola helps the tank in so many other areas to make it aim faster, increase accuracy, increase mobility, etc. It took me a while to decide to go to Cola for the expense, but I think it helps improve the credit earning of the tank and makes it a bit more enjoyable to play as well. And the fact that premium ammo is so rarely used, I don’t mind burning a few credits on Cola to buff the tank.



 

Priority Crew Skills

I think the best skills for this tank (and most tanks) are Smooth Ride, Smooth Turret Traverse and Repairs. When fully trained these skills reduce dispersion by 5% while on the move, 10% during a turret traverse, and 20% faster repairs, respectively. Again the first 2 are all about making the gun better and with the repairs trained, there are times when I used to use a repair kit for tracks but I now find I may not need to use a consumable. Close Combat Master and Breakthrough might also be useful to help the maneuverability of the tank in closer quarters brawling.

 

 

Further Reading

 

Definitely check out Str8UpJack’s gameplay video of the T34 where he talks about how to tell if you are hull down and shows some nice gameplay. And a big thanks to Str8Up for allowing me to show his video here.


For general advice on Premium Tanks and a list of my reviews please see:

http://forum.wotblitz.com/index.php?/topic/10416-is-a-premium-tank-right-for-you-a-guide-to-premium-tanks/


Edited by Aventre3, 23 February 2015 - 06:37 PM.

For advice and review of Premium Tanks, please see this post.


Aventre3 #2 Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:49 PM

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The "Great Battle" posted above isn't the highest damage or profits I've seen, but it is one of the highest net profits and also includes a nice Ace and Pools. This tank definitely can and has earned more in a great battle. One thing to take away from this is that I received very little damage and so had very low repair costs and the Consumables costs came only from the Cola, I didn't need to use a Repair kit. The Ammo costs are pure AP, no APCR was used. Also note this battle was run on a premium account.

 

Bad Battle: Team Results
Bad Battle: Credits

 

Here in this "Bad Battle" my team decided the best strategy was to go to the Lighthouse on Mines. By the time I realized that the tanks following me where no longer following me, I decided it was too late to alter my plans and got caught out by myself. I only landed 3 shots before being taken out so I had a high repair cost, low ammo cost, and used some repair kit in addition to cola for the consumables. Notice even with this terrible game running Cola and using a repair kit I still make 5k profit without premium.


Edited by Aventre3, 21 February 2015 - 11:20 PM.

For advice and review of Premium Tanks, please see this post.


_Virtus #3 Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:55 PM

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Nice review!

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Aventre3 #4 Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:56 PM

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View Postfelipethepato, on 21 February 2015 - 05:55 PM, said:

Nice review!

 

thanks!

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WouldChip #5 Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:12 PM

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Very nice. I'm a new T34 driver and these tips are definitely going to come in handy.

 

Thanks!


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_JEB_ #6 Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:17 PM

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Excellent review for this tank bud.  +1.  I have 340 battles in this tank and can bear witness of its credit making potential.

Serapth #7 Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:29 PM

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The T34 really makes you learn maps.  It was my first hull down required tank, so until then I hadn't paid a ton of attention.  I HATE Rockflield... It's a badly designed badly laid out map..l but it's godly in the T34, especially if you get the right side.  Seriously it's to the point where if I see that I got the right location I inow my team just won.  Even if I am bottom tier, we won.

 

Othermaps will make you groan...  Fort kinda blows, mines is a bit limited.  Both Desert maps can be awful, especially when idiots drive through the half walls that provide the only hull down cover on the map.  Lost Temple is pure win.

 

Pits a great tank, but it's highly dependent on the terrain.  It goes from mildly disappointing to downright OP, depending on the map.  On the other hand, the map dictates your strategy more so than even your teammates.



TheSaltyTanker #8 Posted 23 February 2015 - 07:42 PM

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Nice review. Good job from a fellow T-34 owner

Aventre3 #9 Posted 23 February 2015 - 10:52 PM

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View PostRich1509, on 23 February 2015 - 02:42 PM, said:

Nice review. Good job from a fellow T-34 owner

 

Thanks! But I hope you mean T34, the T-34 is the ground breaking Russian WWII tank that in game is the Tier 5 tech tree medium. 

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Aventre3 #10 Posted 23 February 2015 - 10:58 PM

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View PostWouldChip, on 23 February 2015 - 01:12 PM, said:

Very nice. I'm a new T34 driver and these tips are definitely going to come in handy.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Id like to hear some more feedback from you. Let me know if these tips help your game play or if there anything you'd like more help with. 

 

View PostCrazy_Jebediah, on 23 February 2015 - 01:17 PM, said:

Excellent review for this tank bud.  +1.  I have 340 battles in this tank and can bear witness of its credit making potential.

 

Thanks! It's nice to see other T34 drivers weighing in. Anything you think I missed?

 

View PostSerapth, on 23 February 2015 - 01:29 PM, said:

The T34 really makes you learn maps.  It was my first hull down required tank, so until then I hadn't paid a ton of attention.  I HATE Rockflield... It's a badly designed badly laid out map..l but it's godly in the T34, especially if you get the right side.  Seriously it's to the point where if I see that I got the right location I inow my team just won.  Even if I am bottom tier, we won.

 

Othermaps will make you groan...  Fort kinda blows, mines is a bit limited.  Both Desert maps can be awful, especially when idiots drive through the half walls that provide the only hull down cover on the map.  Lost Temple is pure win.

 

Pits a great tank, but it's highly dependent on the terrain.  It goes from mildly disappointing to downright OP, depending on the map.  On the other hand, the map dictates your strategy more so than even your teammates.

 

Even open maps can be beautiful if you receive a gift from RNG in the form of a dead tank to hull down on. 


For advice and review of Premium Tanks, please see this post.


thunderthies #11 Posted 23 February 2015 - 11:58 PM

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AWESOME review, Aventre! Keep em coming, man. 

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BAWS4050 #12 Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:06 AM

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Get Löwe, even better

Bobthebob5 #13 Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:02 AM

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Holly great mother of tanks.... This was awesome!! Im nearing my 1000th mark in my T34 and I can tell you explaining why it's a good tank is hard br with what you have provided now people can clearly see T34 is awesome. Thx avantre ad keep on reeking

 

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Aventre3 #14 Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:58 PM

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View Postthunderthies, on 23 February 2015 - 06:58 PM, said:

AWESOME review, Aventre! Keep em coming, man. 

 

View PostBobthebob5, on 23 February 2015 - 09:02 PM, said:

Holly great mother of tanks.... This was awesome!! Im nearing my 1000th mark in my T34 and I can tell you explaining why it's a good tank is hard br with what you have provided now people can clearly see T34 is awesome. Thx avantre ad keep on reeking

 

thanks!

For advice and review of Premium Tanks, please see this post.


Aventre3 #15 Posted 24 February 2015 - 02:59 PM

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View PostBAWS4050, on 23 February 2015 - 07:06 PM, said:

Get Löwe, even better

 

not sure exactly what you mean, but if I had one, I'd review it. Coming up soon are super pershing and ram II. 

For advice and review of Premium Tanks, please see this post.


krietenstein34 #16 Posted 24 February 2015 - 04:42 PM

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I have around 80 battles.   4 more losses than defeats.    I've been losing a lot, cause I  know at one point i was 6 or some over .500.  

 

It is a money maker. I've noticed if not patient, my shots won't pen. And if your in the wrong spot, it becomes scrap metal real fast.


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dorian666gray #17 Posted 27 February 2015 - 12:06 AM

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Good review. I'm impressed that some of you are able to succeed in this tank. I bought it on the recommendation of this forum and I find it an abomination so far. I feel sick that I wasted $30 or whatever on it when the Löwe I used to have on a different account was fun and could deal out punishment. I wanted something different on this account. So far I've played maybe 20 games and survived.......TWO. This and the piece of crap VK 45 have destroyed my 60% WR.
I've tried working on hull down techniques but every game....and I literally mean every single game....I'm the bottom tier against a bunch of tier x that not only can I not pen but they also blast through my turret like its glass.
Not sure how you guys do it, but I'll keep trying.

dorian666gray #18 Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:02 AM

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Loss after loss after loss in this tank. I don't know how you guys are suceeding in it, unless you're somehow the top tier tank every single game. I'm consistently on the bottom and I get penned by everything. Hull down doesn't matter - I get penned even wiggling the turret back and forth. It's slow. The RoF is absurd. I count on four, maybe six rounds and then I'm killed by some smart [edited]T-54. It has a powerful alpha for certain but I just played a game where my shell bounced off another bought tank - an IS-6. We traded volleys and he eventually won because of that first wasted shot. He even gave me a "ha!" as he blew me up.
Demoralizing.

Serapth #19 Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:37 AM

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View Postdorian666gray, on 28 February 2015 - 02:02 AM, said:

Loss after loss after loss in this tank. I don't know how you guys are suceeding in it, unless you're somehow the top tier tank every single game. I'm consistently on the bottom and I get penned by everything. Hull down doesn't matter - I get penned even wiggling the turret back and forth. It's slow. The RoF is absurd. I count on four, maybe six rounds and then I'm killed by some smart [edited]T-54. It has a powerful alpha for certain but I just played a game where my shell bounced off another bought tank - an IS-6. We traded volleys and he eventually won because of that first wasted shot. He even gave me a "ha!" as he blew me up.
Demoralizing.

You are doing hull down wrong then.  The turret on this thing will often bounce t95 shots at point blank range and bounces tier X like a champ.  You must be showing a bit of flank.



GandalfTehGray #20 Posted 28 February 2015 - 03:18 AM

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Send me a Friend request dorian will see what's going on with yours.

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