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2ACW Tanks Summary

2018.07.24 01:55 PM_Me_Alaska_Pics 2ACW Tanks Summary

Hello everyone! I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m really liking the new Gfx in the aircraft tech trees of the CSA and AUS, if you haven’t already seen them, you should take a look. As you may know, I’ve made suggestions in the past for each faction to have a unique tank tech tree and Gfx, just like we now have for the aircraft.
Today I’ve decided to put together a summary of the suggestions I have for each factions in the 2nd American Civil War, mostly stemming from my series of posts about potential tanks for each faction. If you want more detail and context, you can read those first, but If you don’t want to read all those, what I’m proposing in a nutshell is that each major faction (sorry, Hawaii) get its own unique equipment:
Part 1: Tree Layout and Descriptions
So you can see the progression, here are what I think the trees should look like for the AUS, CSA, PSA, and New England.
You'll note that each has the "Ford" as the weltkrieg-era tank, representing either the Ford 3-ton or Ford Mk I. The T95 is retained as the super-heavy tank for each faction, as I was unfortunately unable to find a worthy replacements for the mighty doom turtle.
I noticed that someone decided to write descriptions for the tanks in the German tech tree, and a number of other pieces of equipment have custom descriptions as well, so I decided to write some for the tanks I'm proposing. If these succeed in giving any of you readers who haven't read my previous posts an idea of what they are, then they'll probably work well to inform players who don't read our subreddit of the lore I've come up with here.
If any of these are too long to fit, let me know. I don't know what the character limit is before the text starts to go over the edges.
Designed by John Walter Christie in the late 1920s, the M1928 was a light, turretless and extremely fast tank which attracted international attention because of its speed.
The M1928 design was considered to be the simplest to produce of Christie’s existing designs, and thus was produced in small numbers by the AUS pending the finalization of a superior design.
With no more than ½” of armor and provision for only heavy machine guns or light cannon, the M1928’s saving grace was its speed; The tank’s V-12 engine could propel it to more than 40 miles per hour.
The M1931 was another of Christie’s designs, being essentially a variant of the M1928 with the same armor and powertrain but with the armament mounted in a fully rotating turret.
As produced by the AUS, numerous weapons were fitted; .50 Caliber machine guns, 20mm autocannons, short 37mm guns, and even Hotchkiss 6-pounders.
One of Christie’s final designs, the M1942 reverted to its inventor’s favored configuration: The 37mm main gun was mounted in the front hull with limited traverse, the armor was thin but rather well-angled, and high mobility was retained through the use of a powerful V12 engine.
Christie’s M1932 design was originally intended to fly through the use of a detachable propeller and biplane wings, and thus was powered by an immense 750 horsepower Hispano-Suiza V12.
The military leadership of the AUS did not believe flying tanks to be practical, but realized that the M1932’s high power-to-weight ratio would allow it to carry more armor without sacrificing speed. This was especially true given that the design was turretless, meaning the extra armor only needed to cover a limited surface area.
With two inches of additional frontal armor and a hull-mounted 75mm howitzer as its main armament, the M1932 represented a significant step up from the M1928 and M1931.
Just as with the M1932, Christie’s M1935 design used a Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine and was intended for airborne use, though this was deemed frivolous and the tank was made to take several inches of additional armor.
The M1935’s main improvement over its predecessor lay in its armament; a long 75mm gun.
With Christie retiring due to failing health, tank design in the AUS began to be dominated by army men like Jacob L. Devers and George S. Patton.
To replace the various Christie designs in service, these men opted to design a new tank, known as the T23, with a powerful 3-inch (76mm) cannon mounted in the turret, good armor protection, and a new torsion-bar suspension system to replace the bulky Christie system. The design was later standardized as the M27.
To replace the M27, an enlarged design designated T26 was designed by the army engineers of the AUS. This design featured a much larger turret mounting a new 3.75-inch (95mm) gun, and several prototypes were created with varying levels of protection.
Eventually, the slowest but most heavily armored of these, the T26E5, was selected for production, and was standardized as M45.
Initially designed by John Walter Christie as a heavily armed airborne tank, the M1934 was superficially similar to the French Char B, featuring a long hull with a short 75mm or 76mm gun mounted in the bow, and a turret carrying a 20mm or 37mm autocannon.
Due to its heavy firepower, the design was considered by the Patriotic Army for use as a breakthrough tank.
M1 Light Tank
The M1 Light Tank was a copy of the Federal M1 Combat Car, which originated in the early 1930’s as a design for the Cavalry. Because tanks were by law only to be allocated to the Infantry, the designation “Combat Car” was used as a loophole to allow the Cavalry to receive a design functionally identical to the Infantry’s M2 Light Tank.
A number of M1 “Cars” were captured by syndicalist forces early in the Civil War, and production commenced at several factories pending the design of a proper light tank for the CSA. The design was often modified with applique armor and the substitution of paired auto engines for the original Continental radial.
M3 Berkman
Based off designs by John K. Christmas for an improved M2 Light Tank, the M3 Berkman was armed with a 37mm anti-tank gun plus two .30 caliber machine guns, and was powered by a pair of Buick inline-eight auto engines.
The first prototype was nicknamed “Berkman” after the late leader of the CSA, and the nickname stuck, eventually being worked into the official designation.
M7 Debs
The M7 Light Tank originates from the T7E5, an improved variant of the T7E1 Medium Tank. Featuring a more compact hull than its predecessor, and a new turret mounting a 75mm gun, the T7E5 was evaluated against the T9 (later M9) Medium Tank with disappointing results. The T9 won out, but several of the evaluating officers preferred the T7E5 due to its smaller size, lower weight, and similarity to the M3 Berkman.
Thus, the T7E5 was proposed to be used as a reconnaissance and support tank, and after several modifications to reduce its weight, the M7 Debs was standardized and placed into production.
T7E1 Medium Tank
The T7E1 Medium Tank was designed by General John K. Christmas as an improved derivative of the M3 Berkman. The T7E1 used the same engine and suspension as the M3, but with an extended hull and thicker armor. A larger turret housed three men and the same 37mm gun, although space was reserved to mount the larger French 47mm or British 57mm guns.
Testing revealed that the T7E1 was underpowered, and the handful built were converted into self-propelled artillery.
M9 Reed
The M9 Reed originated from a project to create a suspension capable of equalling the performance of the famous Christie suspension used on AUS tanks during the Civil War.
The excellent torsion-bar suspension borne from this was used for a new medium tank chassis (designated T9), which triumphed in competitive trials against General Christmas’s T7E5 design.
Initial production variants used the same turret as the T7E1, and were armed with the British 57mm gun. Later models (M9A2 onwards) used a turret derived from that of the T7E5, carrying a 75mm gun. Other improvements over the design’s lifetime included thicker and more radically sloped armor, as well as a new diesel engine.
T12 Medium Tank
While the M9 Reed was popular with the armed forces of the CSA and proved to be effective in combat, the CSA’s intelligence community became convinced that the Entente powers were equipping their armies with a new heavy tank designed to be impervious to 75mm gunfire. Thus, in late 1943 the Military Automotive Union began work on a derivative of the M9 Reed with a wider hull. This allowed the installation of a much larger turret carrying a 100mm gun.
The design was never standardized and only saw limited service before being withdrawn in favor of the M40 “Gilman.”
In early 1944 Charles F. Gilman, a civilian engineer in the MAU who had been involved in designing the T12 Medium Tank, opined that the new medium tank had the same capabilities as the M1 Goldman, and was inferior to the new T32 while only being slightly cheaper than either of the heavies.
To resolve this apparent problem, Gilman himself designed a new tank which could replace both the heavy and medium designs. The design incorporated the T32’s turret and armament, but instead used the hull of the T12, albeit modified to hold an improved engine and increased armor.
Gilman’s proposal to end the distinction between heavy and medium tanks was met with opposition, but the Central Chamber Committee was sufficiently swayed by his arguments that further development of heavy tanks was placed on hold, never to be restarted. Gilman’s Design (designated T40, and later standardized as M40) was approved as a replacement for the T12.
T2 Heavy Tank
When the 2nd American Civil War began, the Union of Britain supplied a small number of “Independent II” heavy tanks to the CSA. The Independent II was a heavily modified variant of the pre-revolution Vickers A1E1 “Independent.”
General Maurice Rose was favorable to the Independent II (and heavy tanks in general) and asked for the Military Automotive Union (MAU) to produce a similar tank in the CSA. Progress was slow, and the resulting “T2 Heavy Tank” was obsolete by the time the sole prototype was completed.
M1 Goldman
The failure of the T2 Heavy only caused General Rose to press harder for a competitive heavy tank design, and when the M9 Reed entered service, it was proposed that a new heavy tank to be built on the same chassis.
Initial attempts at creating such a vehicle were fraught with problems, but eventually the T3E1 Heavy tank appeared, armed with a long 4-inch naval gun and two .50 caliber machine guns in a turret adapted from a Federal design discovered after the end of the civil war. This tank was standardized as M1 and given the nickname “Goldman.” Improvements made during the production run included slightly thicker turret armor and a new, lightweight 100mm main gun.
T32 Heavy Tank
While the M1 Goldman proved to be effective on the battlefield, the fact that it originated from a medium tank chassis led to some officers considering it only a stopgap design until a proper heavy tank could be made.
A number of projects were initiated by the MAU to design advanced components for a new heavy tank, and the results of these led to the prototype T32 being assembled in mid-1944. With a 280mm thick gun mantlet, and sloped 130mm frontal armor, the T32 was quite well protected for its time. The armament was also impressive, consisting of a much more powerful derivative of the 100mm gun used on late production M1 Goldmans.
However, the required standard of reliability was never achieved with the tanks novel diesel-electric drivetrain, and this flaw combined with changing priorities within the military of the CSA ensured that the T32 never entered series production.
Holt Tractor Tank
Designed making use of patents held by the Holt Company for armored tractors, the Holt Tractor tank was just that; An armored tractor with several modifications to improve its mobility, and a cylindrical armored turret housing a 6-pounder gun.
The M1938 began as an attempt to produce the Japanese Type 95 Ha-go under license. However, a number of changes to the original design were specified by the army.
Both the turret and hull of the M1938 were made of cast steel and were larger than on the original Type 95, with thicker armor compared to the original as well. The armament comprised a Browning-designed 37mm autocannon, complimented by two .30 caliber machine guns.
Vickers Mk VIIIB
The culmination of a series of light tanks designed by the Anglo-Canadian Vickers Company, The Mark VIIIB incorporated well-sloped armor and a two-man turret mounting a dual-purpose 8-pounder (65mm) gun.
The Pacific States acquired a production license for the Mark VIIIB in order to replace the M1938, as it was not deemed worthwhile to develop a brand new light tank.
Holt G.E. II
In 1917, the Holt company designed a tank for the U.S. Army which was known as the Gas-Electric. As implied by its name, it used an electric transmission system, and was armed with a 75mm howitzer and several machine guns.
The design was rejected by the U.S. Army in 1917, but after the PSA’s declaration of independence, it was proposed that a similar design be built, with more modern engines and the main gun mounted in a turret.
Holt Heavy Draisine
Originally designed to fulfill a request by the armed forces of the PSA for a heavy armored train, the Heavy Draisine was meant to operate on or off the rails by mounting either rail bogies or specially designed tracked chassis.
The Heavy Draisine used two marine engines to drive electric generators, which in turn powered a pair of electric motors in each track assembly. A large turret housing three men, a 3-inch cannon and a machine gun was mounted between the tracks, with the driver and another machine gunner in another cabin forward.
Holt Heavy Tank Mark II
After the PSA’s declaration of independence, the Holt company offered to put their expertise in vehicle design at the service of the new government.
One design proposed by Holt, known as the Mark II, was a 50-ton to be tank built using a chassis similar to Holt’s Heavy SPG designs from the mid-1920s. The design featured a long 3-inch gun mounted in a cast turret, a hull-mounted 37mm gun, heavy armor, and an aircraft radial engine to provide power.
Holt Heavy Tank Mark V
After the PSA’s declaration of independence, the Holt company offered to put their expertise in vehicle design at the service of the new government.
One design proposed by Holt, known as the Mark V, was to be built using a 60-ton chassis originally designed for a heavy excavating machine. This design featured a 5-inch coast defense gun as its main armament, and extremely thick armor.
New England:
T1 Cunningham
Designed in the late 1920s as a cheap light infantry tank for the U.S. Army, the Cunningham T1 featured a short 37mm gun, no more than ⅜” thick armor, and a two man crew. Several variants were designed, with increased armor and firepower, but none were produced in quantity.
In 1937, the newly-independent nation of New England considered having the Cunningham company resurrect the T1 design to equip its nascent armed forces.
T2 Medium
Initially designed in the late 1920s as a medium tank for the U.S. Army, the T2 featured a full inch of frontal armor, a clip-fed 47mm cannon, and good mobility thanks to its 330 horsepower aircraft engine.
By the time New England gained its independence, the design was unsuitable for use as a medium tank, but modifying the design to make it into an acceptable light tank was considered by the New English armed forces.
Vickers Mk VIIIB
The culmination of a series of light tanks designed by the Anglo-Canadian Vickers Company, The Mark VIIIB incorporated well-sloped armor and a two-man turret mounting a dual-purpose 8-pounder (65mm) gun.
In order to standardize arms production between New England and Canada, the New English Army eventually decided to adopt the Vickers as its main light tank.
Cunningham Buffalo
Designed by a team made up of former U.S. Army employees and engineers from the Cunningham company, the Buffalo was a private venture originally intended for export. The design recycled the turret of Cunningham’s T2 Medium design, but utilized a much lower and better-armored hull featuring Harry Knox’s vertical volute spring suspension.
When Canada occupied New England, the design was discovered, and both the New English and Canadian armies considered adopting it as their standard medium tank.
Spots marked “Player’s Choice” or “Generic” will either have the generic Gfx, because I wasn’t able to find anything that could go in there, or could possibly be made to show one of a number of designs that the player chooses, as proposed in my post dedicated to the PSA.
I included several vehicles here which aren’t in my original posts for each faction, so let me give you some more information:
The Christie M1934 is not the real name of the design in question, which was supposed to look like this. I’ve found no information whatsoever on this design aside from that illustration, so my description of it above is mostly speculative.
The T23/M27 draws inspiration from the T23E3 in OTL, and similarly the T26E5 would be very similar to the Jumbo Pershing that World of Tanks players will be familiar with. I used the Jumbo Pershing as the MBT instead of the heavy tank because I like to think that tank development in the AUS post-Christie would focus more on armor and firepower, hence their MBT would be a more armored version of the Pershing, instead of a more mobile one. Incidentally, if I had my way the Pershing wouldn’t be the level III heavy tank for the U.S. at all, because it was only designated a heavy tank OTL for propaganda purposes, IIRC.
The “3.75-Inch Gun” mentioned as the main armament of this tank is something I came up with due to the 90mm M3 not being invented in the Kaiserreich timeline (it was designed well after the Federal government usually collapses). Because the AUS see themselves as true Americans, I decided that their analogue of this gun should use imperial measurements, none of that international metric stuff.
On a similar note, the “8-pounder gun” mentioned as the main armament of the Vickers Mk VIIIB is a speculative weapon. Currently, Canada has the 2-pounder, 6-pounder, and 25-pounder in the game, which the UoB also has. These weapons were all developed shortly before WWII OTL, so I find it unlikely that the British exiles would come up with the exact same artillery designs as the Syndicalists after 10 years in exile.
My headcanon is that the British exiles might not have the resources to build both anti- tank guns and light artillery, so they might design a dual-purpose gun suitable for both roles. 65mm would be an acceptable caliber for this, and there was in fact a 65mm “8-pounder” developed during WWII in OTL, though there’s very little information to be had about it. Maybe I need to do a post about artillery in the KR timeline...
The Mk VIIIB itself would look very similar to Vickers’ Mk VIII “Harry Hopkins” Design from OTL, but with a slightly larger turret and the bigger 8-pounder gun.
New England also has the T14, which is a bit of a question mark. As I said in the comments of my post about New England & Canada, the point is that Heavy Tank II for Canada and New England should be a heavy infantry tank that isn’t the Churchill and which has a degree of American influence. I didn’t originally want to just use the T14, but I actually found out recently that the OTL T14 pilot was constructed by American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in Schenectady, New York, which gives it a bit more of a connection to New England.
Part 2: Events and Design Companies
To better explain the lore behind this, and to add extra flavor, I think there should be some events related to tanks in the 2nd American Civil War.
I think the first event related to all this that should fire (for each faction besides the Federal government) should explain the tank situation in each faction. This will be represented by an event where the primary designer for each faction approaches the government with their designs. If they choose to accept the offer, then they get a research bonus or added technology. If they refuse, they might get a different bonus. Here's how I think it should look:
Event Text: It seems that General Patton has invited one John W. Christie, a businessman and inventor from New Jersey, to design tanks for the Patriotic American Army. His designs are fast, light and fit General Patton’s theories about armored warfare perfectly. Furthermore, they are also rather simple, and Patton believes that we can build them in quantity even with our limited industrial base. Should we use his designs?
Option 1: Of course, he is welcome! (Add technology: Light Tank II, Medium Tank I) (Add design company: U.S. Wheel Track Layer Corporation)
Option 2: We don’t need help from any Yankee! (+20 Political Power)
Notes: Christie’s company went under various names throughout his lifetime, and everything I’d read suggests that he renamed it to the U.S. Wheel Track Layer Corporation in the 20s or 30s, after it was originally The Front Drive Motor Company. Neither name rolls off the tongue nicely, and I’m not aware that either company had any specific logo that the game could use. On pictures of old Christie Fire engines, I’ve seen “CHRISTIE” in block text on the castings, which might work.
Giving the AUS a medium tank as early as 1937 might seem like a bit of an overbuff, but they would never have enough industry to produce it at the beginning, so I think it fits with the theme of the AUS being weak at the beginning of the Civil War, but having the potential to pick up more momentum than the other factions once they get their hands on more industry and resources. Also, the design I suggested as Medium Tank I for the AUS was built in 1932, so it can be justified that way as well.
Event Text: As our militias solidified their control over Pennsylvania, they captured a Federalist officer by the name of John K. Christmas. Christmas was assigned to the Army ordnance department and was involved in designing tanks. He’s offered to work for us and tell us all he knows of Federal tank designs if we can guarantee the safety of his family in Pittsburgh. In addition, General Maurice Rose has vouched for Christmas, as the two apparently knew each other in the old army.
Option 1: Make him a General of the People’s Army! (Add technology: Light Tank II, Add 2 -20% research bonus for tanks) (John Christmas is now available as a commander)
Option 2: We can’t trust him. Just assign him to the Auto Unions, under close supervision. (Add 1 -30% research bonus for tanks) (Gain +5% base stability)
Notes: Christmas in OTL was a Coast Artillery officer who served in France during WWI, and graduated from the U.S. Army War College, as well as the Command and General Staff school. In Kaiserreich, he might still have done these things, and would be very experienced with artillery, but would have no combat experience. Thus, if we made him a battlefield commander, he would probably only be level 1 or 2 for his stats, but could have the “Bearer of Artillery” or “Artillery specialist” traits, or perhaps “Engineer,” due to his experience designing vehicles. Someone would also have to come up with a portrait for the guy, as during all the research I’ve done on him, I’ve never once found a picture of him.
Event Text: After our declaration of independence, the Holt Manufacturing Company of Stockton, California has offered us their services. In addition to their famous artillery tractors, Holt also designed a number of tanks and other armored vehicles during and after the Weltkrieg. Shall we make use of their expertise in designing our own tanks?
Option 1: If you can build tractors, you can build tanks! (Add technology: Heavy Tank I) (Holt Manufacturing Company is now available as equipment designer)
Option 2: Those designs of theirs look a bit crude… (Gain base war support +5%)
New England
Event Text: During the past decade, James Cunningham, Son and Co. of Rochester, New York designed and produced several armored vehicles for the U.S. Army. It has come to the government’s attention that in the past few years, a number of laid-off employees of the U.S. Army were hired by their former colleagues at Cunningham, and they have been designing tanks which they intend to sell abroad. The latest of these designs, nicknamed “Buffalo,” has been praised as a world-class design by several officers in our armed forces. However, the Cunningham company is in poor financial shape, and they are demanding that we bail them out in exchange for rights to the design and cooperation in producing it. Should we do it?
Option 1: It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. Deal! (Gain National Spirit “Bailing Out Cunningham” which grants Consumer goods factories +2% for 100 days) (Add technology Light Tank II, Medium Tank I) (James Cunningham, Son and Co. is now available as a design company)
Option 2: We’ll pass. ( +10 Political Power)
Just like with the AUS, New England is getting an advantage by gaining a medium tank so early in the game, but it's mostly negated as they don’t have the industry to produce it right off the bat.
If New England accepts Cunningham, then Canada will also get an event:
Event Text: The Cunningham company in New England has come up with a new design for a medium tank, which they have nicknamed “Buffalo.” Several of our officers have inspected the design and expressed favorable opinions of it. Should we acquire the rights to the design?
Option 1: Why not? We need all the tanks we can get! (Political power -10, Add license production; Cunningham Buffalo (New England, Medium Tank I), Add 1 -50% research bonus for tanks)
Option 2: Not bad, but we can do better on our own. (Political power +10)
As you probably noticed, this would require a few new design companies to be added, and I'm not sure as to whether they should be given to the player by the events, or simply made available by the events.
The AUS needs to have Christie's company, the U.S. Wheel Track Layer Corporation. Because Christie's designs were often low, fast and turretless, I would have his company grant bonuses to the maximum speed, breakthrough and production cost of tanks, at the expense of soft and/or hard attack. As I mentioned above, unless someone finds a better logo, Christie's company would probably have to be represented by CHRISTIE in block letters.
New England would get Cunningham (or rather James Cunningham, Son and Company, to use their full name) as an available tank designer. I think they should give bonuses to production cost, owing to the low-cost nature of their interwar designs. It could also be argued that Cunningham's favored rear-turret layout would lend itself to a higher defense stat, as the crew have the engine between themselves and shells coming from the front. For their logo, Cunningham could use either of the logos seen here.
The PSA would get Holt Manufacturing Company, which would probably also give bonuses to production cost, owing to most of their designs originating from tractors or other civilian vehicles. Due to Holt's continued existence in the late 30s being alternate history (see my PSA post for more details), we might be able to design a speculative logo for Holt, perhaps based on this version they used in 1912.
Of course, since Caterpillar was the successor company to Holt in OTL, they would have to be removed from their current position as light tank designer for the Federal government if this were to become canon. Possible replacements are FMC Corp. and International Harvester.
Part 3: Miscellany
During the course of my research into the Cunningham company, I discovered that they also had a division that produced aircraft, known as "Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation." The operation only produced a few aircraft, definitely not enough for it to be a design company, but perhaps if New England agrees to bail out Cunningham, the aircraft division might be resurrected, triggering an event that gives New England a bonus for researching aircraft, probably for fighters or CAS planes, something small.
Another potential design company I've found is Washington Iron Works, which made steam engines, cranes and logging machinery up until 1986 at its factory in Seattle. Given that in OTL they converted surplus tanks into self-propelled cranes and logging equipment, I think they could be a tank designer for the PSA. They also have a really neat logo.
Yet another potential design company I found for the PSA while researching west coast industry is Todd-Pacific Shipyards. With facilities in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Los Angeles, Todd-Pacific was one of the most prolific shipbuilders of the Pacific Coast, and as a part of the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, they constructed numerous destroyers, transport ships and escort carriers for the U.S. Navy in OTL.
I wanted to try my hand at creating my own tank gfx based on the ideas I've presented, but so far as I know, the .dds files the game uses for the images would need to be edited/created in photoshop, and unfortunately I don't have access to that program anymore. If anyone else knows of another way to draw .dds images, please let me know.
submitted by PM_Me_Alaska_Pics to Kaiserreich [link] [comments]

2017.10.19 17:10 Falcolumbarius The 2017 Guide to Talismans and Premiums - UK Air

In light of the yearly Anniversary sale where all talismans are 50% off, I made a series of talisman guides for RB Air last year that were received positively by the community. Since they were still being referenced as recently as a few weeks ago, I have chosen to continue the series this year by updating last year’s guides to reflect newly introduced planes, flight models, battle ratings, and any meta shifts seen in Air.
This guide focuses solely on Tier 4 candidates for talismans and premium planes/packs. It is geared towards those who want to use fighters to grind their trees, as I am a staunch believer in using fighters to grind rather than attackers or bombers. Not only do fighters fit the Air RB meta the most, but they teach you skills such as ACM, energy management, and teamwork - all of which are crucial to succeeding in jet combat. Despite the fact that I don’t endorse “alternative methods” of grinding, I will include a note about them at the end of each nation’s post.
Be on the lookout for the other nations’ guides, as all will be receiving their own dedicated post. I have already posted 2017’s US Air Guide, German Air Guide, and USSR Air Guide.
Talisman Recommendations:
Tempest Mk.V: This plane is an underrated gem of the tree despite being stupidly good. Often overlooked in favor of Spitfires, the Tempest V boasts a mix of highly desirable flight qualities. For those familiar with the Typhoon, the Tempest Mk.V follows a similar playstyle but it is much more dynamic than its predecessor. Due to the amazing speed at low/medium altitudes coupled with a competitive climb up to 5K, the Mk.V is able to retain a competitive advantage in some manner against almost anything that it might face. It also has surprisingly good maneuverability (acceptable roll rate, decent turn rate) and vertical performance. Due to the Mk.V’s incredible energy retention, you are generally free to use a combination of BnZ tactics and energy fighting to counter your opposition, regardless of what they might be. Since the Tempest Mk.V is a multi-faceted aircraft capable of excelling in many roles (it's not a pure BnZ plane, or a pure energy fighter), you generally want to familiarize yourself with enemy planes and their limitations (e.g. baiting Doras and Tas into high speed dives so they compress, taking La-9s into high speed dives where you can turn better, dragging 109s to the deck where you can easily outrun them, etc). Perhaps the only limitation of the plane is that it’s intended for low-medium altitudes (under 5K meters) and can struggle to remain competitive on maps that have a high-alt meta such as Norway. However, due to the Spitfire’s popularity, you are generally able to rely on your teammates to force the enemy down and are able to capitalize on that. While this plane may not be the de facto grinding choice, it’s an excellent alternative for those who value flexibility and high speed.
Spitfire LF Mk.IX: This nefarious variant of the Spitfire is the one and only “Spacefire”, since it received this moniker by virtue of its monstrous climb rate. As is typical for most Merlin Spitfires, although it doesn’t possess the best energy retention in the vertical it is still capable of demolishing just about anything that maneuvers with it in any axis. Due to a very low wingloading and high engine power, the LF.9 is capable of masking its energy and tricking opponents into maneuvering when they shouldn’t. While it will win just about any prolonged turnfight or maneuvering engagement, the LF Mk.IX’s pitfall is speed and high-speed energy retention. As such, it can be easily countered by the faster, better accelerating planes it encounters at its MM. However, the majority of players will fly their planes incorrectly, throwing away their advantages to play into your hand, thus making the LF.9 an effective machine - probably more effective than it has any right being. This plane obviously earns its place as a candidate for a talisman.
Spitfire F Mk.XIVe: Representing the first Griffon a UK player will encounter, the Mk.XIVe is a departure from the turnfighting meta that the LF.IX is steeped in. Because of this, many players do poorly in Mk.14s compared to the LF.9 and end up preferring the latter. However, this is simply because they are flying it wrong, as the Mk.14e is a clear upgrade in the game, just as it was IRL. Although the Mk.14 doesn’t climb as well or turn as tightly, it is more adept at fighting in the vertical and boasts a significant speed increase, with an improvement in horizontal energy retention. These are all more valuable qualities when fighting fast enemies like Doras, La-7s, and P-47s who will generally shy away from pure turning engagements. The Mk.XIVe presents the UK player with the quintessential energy fighter, and its dominance is only threatened by other Spitfires, the G.56, and the occasional smart 109 pilot - although intelligent pilots of faster planes will not succumb to a dogfight which they will surely lose. Overall, I rate this as a definitively better plane than LF.9, but because the LF.9 has the lower-skill floor, it caters to the natural tendency of turnfighting everything.
Spitfire F Mk.22: Although the Mk.22 has similar engine performance to the earlier Mk.XIVe and XVIIIe, it gains revised wings which allow a better dive speed, agility, and roll rate at higher speeds. It is also armed with 4x Hispano Mk.Vs, which will make short work of most targets, but can be unreliable against US heavy bombers on Hokkaido. At a BR of 6.3, it does run into jets often, but it also seems to get downtiered 50% of the time to Hokkaido matches against the US. Flying it is straightforward, as it fits the typical energy fighter outline that all Griffons adhere to. Although it doesn’t present the best value for your GE on this list due to the BR and MM it receives, it’s still a solid choice.
Premium Recommendations:
Spitfire F Mk.XIVc: Largely identical to the in-tree Mk.XIVe, with minor speed and climb differences, and a different 3D model with the earlier canopy style. This variant also has 4x 7.62s in place of the 2x .50 MGs as its secondary armament. The analysis provided for the Mk.XIVe largely applies here.
Spitfire FR Mk.XIVe: This is an excellent plane, as it is far more than “just” a Griffon Spitfire. This variant has clipped-wings, which allow for terrific roll rate and agility that the standard Mk.XIVe simply lacks. While this comes at the cost of turn radius, the FR 14 is able to keep up with Fw 190s as they defensively fly, and there is simply nothing they can do to get you off their six. The clipped wings also allow for a noticeable - albeit small - speed increase over non-clipped Griffons, and likewise reduce your climb by a negligible amount. Overall this is an excellent plane that is worth the pack’s entry cost. Just don’t expect automatic wins by turnfighting everything.
Plagis’ Spitfire LF Mk.IX: This is a limited-time pack offer LF.IX that is identical to the in-tree variant, but with 4x 7.7s in place of the 2x .50s. A good buy if you’re a collector, but there are other regular options in place of it. Note that even the LF.9s in other trees (US, USSR) have this armament, and not the 2x .50s of the in-tree UK plane.
Wyvern S.4: Most people erroneously think this is nothing more than a high-speed attacker. They couldn’t be more wrong, as the Wyvern is a superb low-altitude heavy fighter, with a never ending ammo supply for its cannons. Despite the poor performance at altitudes above 3K, it still climbs admirably up to 5-6K, at which point one must simply wait for the enemy team to lose altitude. It has pleasant flight characteristics at all speeds, but is extremely heavy, so maintaining high speed in the horizontal is a must while using slash-and-run attacks. Obviously, it has a great ordnance loadout with 16 RP-3s and a complement of bombs, so it is possible to run lucrative ground strikes if you insist on not experiencing the glory of the Wyvern Heavy Fighter.
Honorable Mentions:
Sea Fury FB.11: One of my favorite planes in the entire game, the Sea Fury FB.11 is a very effective plane when there is teamwork present. Even though this version of Sea Fury isn’t the legendary F.X whose performance figures are often mistakenly attributed to our FB.11 in-game, it still has incredible high-speed handling and maneuverability, amazing energy retention at high speeds at all altitudes, and is quite fast at low to medium altitudes. The Sea Fury offers several advantages over the Tempest Mk.V, namely superior high speed control and better performance at mid-high altitudes where the Tempest starts to choke. Disadvantages of the Sea Fury are its relatively low ammo capacity which requires trigger patience and good aim, but largely the abysmal maneuverability at lower air speeds due to its high wingloading. The Tempest Mk.V is more versatile in dogfights due to this facet, so choosing the Sea Fury over it is very much a personal preference.
Spitfire F Mk.24: Identical to the Mk.22 in regards to flight characteristics and armament, but gets the 150 Octane fuel modification that develops 300 more HP. Prior to the arrival of the P-51H, the Mk.24 was long considered the best prop in the game due to its incredible performance. It’s acceleration, while not as brutal as a Tempest II’s or P-51H, easily puts most other props to shame, and it has superlative handling and energy fighting qualities. It’s downside is that like all Griffon Spitfires, it is relatively slow in level flight, with poor high-speed energy retention on the deck. The 6.7 BR it’s at seemingly gets pulled into jet matches more often than 6.3, so some might favor the lower BR tradeoff for lower performance in a Mk.22 or even a Mk.XIV.
Tempest Mk.II: Although this is arguably the superior jet-killer to the Mk.22 or even the Mk.24, the Tempest Mk.II is an acquired taste, both in terms of flight style and MM. It does fly similarly to the Tempest Mk.V before it, but is less forgiving due to decreased agility at low speeds and the fact that it’s not as low-skill floor as a Griffon Spit. While it is one of the most potent jet-killers as far as props go, the matchmaking is still far from ideal, so it doesn’t get a broad recommendation from me.
Hornet F.3: I really, really wish I could recommend the Hornet F.3 wholeheartedly, but it seems that the plane’s FM is simply not what it should be, largely due to a very weak elevator. In addition, the armament is completely wrong, with an incorrect ammo count and the wrong guns installed on the plane (150 RPG/Mk.II Hispanos atm, should be 190 RPG/Mk.V Hispanos). Perhaps some day the FM will finally do justice to the real abilities of the plane. What the Hornet does have right now though, is an airspawn, superlative climb rate, and great speed. This means that despite the shitty, ahistorical FM you can still control the engagement, and in many cases, the entire enemy team. If this plane loses its airspawn with the current FM, it won't really be worth flying. But if it loses the airspawn after getting a significant FM revision? Well, things could drastically change for the better then.
If I was forced to pick just three recommendations from this list, I’d give the nod to the Tempest Mk.V, Spitfire F Mk.XIVe, and Spitfire FR Mk.XIVe pack.
Thanks for reading; the guides for Japan and Italy will both be released tomorrow!
I will happily offer further clarification in the comments section below, so if you have any questions, be sure to ask away.
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