Japanese TD line proposal, Part III: premium candidates

Part I: https://thearmoredpatrol.com/2017/06/10/japanese-td-line-proposal-part-i/

Part II: https://thearmoredpatrol.com/2017/06/13/japanese-td-line-proposal-part-ii-tier-vi-x/

Hello again! I am sorry for being very late. I tried to finish the third part a week after the second one. However, I felt unmotivated to do so. After that happened many times, I eventually simply forgot about it. I am sorry if you have waited for so long, but better late than never, right?

Anyways, this is the third part of the Japanese TD line proposal. We handled the main branch in the last two parts. In this part, we will look at the potential premium candidates. While there has been lots of controversy with the premium vehicles recently, there is no arguing that there should be at least one crew trainer for each branch. Fortunately, there are quite a few premium TDs for the Japanese TD branch.

Chi-Ha long 12 cm SP (tier 6-7)

Generally, a tank has few criteria when chosen as a premium vehicle – it should be unique, interesting, be an useful crew trainer and not really fit the line itself. The 120 mm long gun armed Chi-Ha fits all of those criteria, which makes it in my opinion the best candidate as the first Japanese premium TD released before the arrival of the full branch.

There isn’t too much information about the vehicle. Fortunately, it is pretty self-explanatory as to what it actually is – a Chi-Ha hull with the 12 cm/45 10th Year Type naval gun mounted on it. It resembles the Waffenträger auf Panzer IV in that regard – a big gun on a small chassis that is found many, many tiers below. The vehicle was one of the many unusual late-war designs with the purpose of defending the main islands of Japan. At least one vehicle was built.

What is interesting about the vehicle is that the gun is mounted backwards on the hull, similarly to the Archer. Whether it had a full 360 degree arc is uncertain, as some sources state it had but other sources state that the gun was just bolted on the hull, intentionally pointing backwards. If implemented, I guess that decision is up to WG, and it should determine the vehicle tier. If it is implemented with a fixed gun, it should be added as a tier 6 vehicle, which would make it basically an hybrid of the Archer and the SU-100Y, which would make it like no other vehicle in the game. If it has a full firing arc, it should be a tier 7, and it would still stand out compared to its tier 7 peers by having one of the hardest hitting guns on its tier, and by far the hardest hitting gun of any TD with a turret.

Crew: 5-6 (giving it the layout of commander – driver – radioman – gunner – loader x2 so it would match the Ho-Ri III’s crew)

Weight: ~20 tons

Armor: 25 / 25 / 20 (hull)

Engine: 240 hp

Top speed: 15 / 40 (tier 6), 40 / 15 (tier 7, no point implementing inverted speed values here)

HP: 550 (tier 6), 800 (tier 7)

Gun: 12 cm/45 10th Year Type

Alpha damage: 400 / 400 / 480

Penetration: 190 / 215 / 55 mm (tier 6), 215 / 240 / 55 mm (tier 7)

I think this would be the best candidate as the premium vehicle before the arrival of the full branch, just because it is very unique and also potentially has a matching crew layout to the tier 10 vehicle.


Ji-Ro (tier 5)

One of the two designs of converting the Type 95 Ro-Go (in World of Tanks, still known as “Type 95 Heavy”) into a tank destroyer. This variant carries a Type 92 105 mm gun on a rear-mounted casemate. This gun is already in-game as a stock gun of the tier 6-8 Japanese heavies.

The gun, which has 175 mm penetration and 300 alpha damage in-game sounds stupidly powerful for a tier 5 TD. However, keep in mind that the S35 CA is on the same tier and carries a comparable gun. Nevertheless, the Hi-Ro, being based on the hull of the Type 95, is likely slow and has paper-thin armor, just like the S35 CA, so the vehicle should fit into the tier 5. It does one thing well, hits hard, but sacrifices basically everything for it. It would technically work as a tier 6 tank, but unless one wants a Churchill GC with more alpha damage but worse accuracy, worse penetration, armor penetrable by HE shells and even worse mobility, I think the vehicle would be more efficient at tier 5.

Crew: probably around 5-6

Weight: ~25 – 30 tons (rough estimation)

Armor: 35 / 30 / 25

Engine: 290 hp

Top speed: 22 / 10

HP: 350

Gun: 10cm cannon Type 92

Alpha damage: 300 / 300 / 360

Penetration: 175 / 201 / 53

Basically Japanese version of the S35 CA – very high alpha damage and penetration but poor… everything else. It also would be a good candidate as a first premium tank for the Japanese TD line.

Experimental 120 mm TD (tier 5)

Another TD based on the Type 95 Ro-Go. This version has a licensed 120 mm French Schneider gun with a shell velocity of 600 m/s. Unlike the Ji-Ro, this TD has a front mounted gun with no casemate.

This one is tricky to balance. The 105 mm Type 92 already pushes its limits at tier 5, but an 120 mm gun would be even trickier to balance. On the other hand, it would face similar problems at tier 6, and given the poor shell velocity, the gun likely has worse penetration than the Type 92 10 cm.

One option would be decreasing the alpha damage to 360 or something like that. It would be a little easier to balance at tier 5, and it would be an even derpier alternative to the Ji-Ro.

Crew: probably around 5-6

Weight: ~25 – 30 tons (rough estimation)

Armor: 35 / 30 / 25

Engine: 290 hp

Top speed: 22 / 10

HP: 350

Gun: 12 cm Schneider Cannon

Alpha damage: 360 / 360 / 350

Penetration: 150 / 180 / 55

One of these vehicles would be used as a regular tier 5 as a link from the Japanese heavy to the TD line, and another one as a premium tank, like the Churchill GC in the British tree.


Other candidates and the tier 8 slot

Some vehicles that would potentially work as premium or reward vehicles, but have either lacking information, are questionable, etc etc.

Tier 8 candidates are very limited, unfortunately. Even a tier 8 premium heavy is potentially possible (O-Ni) if WG just reworks the Japanese heavy line properly, but as for TDs, there are almost no proper options.

Chi-Ri I TD and Chi-Ri II TD (tier 5-6)

Kuvahaun tulos haulle chi-ri 1 TD

Casemated TDs based on the chassis of the Chi-Ri Late (or Chi-Ri III, which resembles more closely the Chi-To than the original Chi-Ris). The only difference between them is the shape of the casemate at the back. The gun is the same 75 mm gun as on the Chi-Ri, though it is not known if it had an autoloader or not. It could be an attempt of reusing the autoloader mechanism on a casemated chassis, as it was considered a failure on the Chi-Ri II, but from what I recall, there is nothing that actually states this. Not much is known about these two and neither of them were built.

Either of them would work as a tier 5 premium (without autoloader), or tier 6 (with autoloader, which might as well be unhistorical), or as a reward tank.

Ho-Ro and Ho-Chi (tier 5-6)

Kuvahaun tulos haulle ho-ro


Kuvahaun tulos haulle ho-chi tank

Sketch of the Ho-Chi

The Ho-Ro uses a 150 mm howitzer on a Chi-Ha’s chassis, while the Ho-Chi is most likely an updated design with the improved 150 mm howitzer Type 96 (note the sketch erronously stating 155 mm), which is the same gun as the howitzer on the tier 6-8 Japanese heavies. The Ho-Ro was built in numbers and used, but the Ho-Chi probably remained in the drawings or a single prototype was built.

These vehicles fit the criteria of unique, interesting premium tanks that do not fit the main branch. The Ho-Ro already appears in War Thunder as a tank destroyer, so it is not a surprise that the Ho-Ro is often mentioned whenever the Japanese TDs are being discussed. However, there is one shortcoming – the Ho-Ro and the Ho-Chi were actually artillery vehicles, not actual TDs. Also when you factor the fact that the Sturmpanzer II, which is a very similar vehicle to the Ho-Ro, is also a TD in War Thunder but an arty in World of Tanks, it is logical to assume that the Ho-Ro and Ho-Chi both should be arties if implemented in World of Tanks.

So why are they even mentioned then? Well, the Japanese arty line from what I recall is very problematic to build (lack of candidates, would be odd jumping between JSDF and IJA arty designs, and calibers would vary a lot in tiers), and there is a good chance that WG will never ever introduce a new arty branch. Given those factors, it is very possible that the Japanese arty line will never appear in the game, which opens the possibility to use the Ho-Ro and the Ho-Chi as premium vehicles.

If implemented, the Ho-Ro would work as a tier 5. The Type 38 150 mm howitzer could have its alpha damage decreased to ~700 and penetration to 60, which would make it easier to balance at tier 5. It would be still able to one shot any tier 5 and many tier 6s if it penetrates. It would however have poor accuracy, long reload and no armor, so it would be extremely vulnerable during reloads. The Ho-Ro would also work as a tier 6 if the alpha was inflated to 910 like majority of the 150 mm howitzers, but I feel like the Ho-Chi is a better option for tier 6. It carries the same howitzer as the O-I, which means that the HE alpha is already set at 910 and is thus too much for a tier 5. Compared to the O-I or the KV-2, it would lack a turret and armor, but it would have way better gun stats and it would have much better concealment values.

These two tanks would work as “derp premiums”, something that doesn’t exist yet. However, whether adding more 150 mm derps into the game is a good idea is debatable.

Ho-Ri III production model (tier 8)

The only option for a tier 8 premium is this. As the Ho-Ri III was developed, the 125 mm armor plate was estimated to stress the suspension and hull so much that the vehicle would be slowed down significantly, which led to decreasing the armor of the upper plate from 125 mm to 70 mm. Basically, it would be like the Ho-Ri III but with thinner armor, and for balance reasons, worse penetration and way worse DPM and health. For more information about the Ho-Ri III, check the part 2.

I do not think the tier 8 premium is necessary for every possible branch, but if it is, then this is the best option. If WG however decides to open the door for recoilless rifles, then the Type 60 SPRG would very well fit as a tier 8 premium TD.

This was the final part of the Japanese TD line proposal! Thank you for reading!