Double barreled tanks are a new unique concept in the game, and as they share autoreloader type mechanics, there isn’t any heavy tank you can directly compare to it. However, for the sake of a review I’ll be comparing these new tanks to their most similar counterparts at the tier and tell You if the new line is worth it.
As to how good these tanks are, I personally feel that we should approach these tanks in reverse tier-wise, as it kinda sorts them from worst to the best.
After reviewing these vehicles, we will look at the grind.
Tier X – ST-II
The ST-II is the ultimate double barreled tank you will be going for. Beginning at tier VIII and leading to tier X, the new double barreled tanks are unique concepts that have a very specific and at times highly rewarding playstyle, but it doesn’t mean they are good, and as far as the ST-II is concerned, it is far from that.
ST-II has some bizarre firepower, and I like to call “hit or miss”.
- Gun handling works rather well, it doesn’t take long to aim (thanks to amazing soft stats) and the accuracy is alright.
- One exceptional but relatively useless factor is that the turret traverse soft stats are insanely good, when turning the turret you barely (if any at all) lose any accuracy and don’t have to re-aim, but there is a pretty big caveat – turret traverse is pretty bad, so if a tank is trying to get a quick peek at you, you will likely fail to turn fast enough to face him.
- When firing on the move, ST-II seems alright at it, some shots might miss but it isn’t rare for a double shot to hit things on the move at relatively large distances. Where this tank
- Great at peek-a-boo exchanges with nearly 900 guaranteed alpha (as long as both shells penetrate).
- -8 gun depression is handy. Makes a lot of advantageous positions unusable for other Soviet vehicles actually usable.
- Gun reload is meh compared to other tanks at the tier, cannot mount tank gun rammer and that somewhat cripples 1v1 potential unless you can manage to succesfully double shot.
- Personally, I found it extremely confusing when single shotting both guns, as after firing a single gun the camera “snaps” to the other, which is sometimes very disorienting.
Overall, it can definitely work at tier X, especially when under cover by your teammates. 900 alpha damage with double shots will make this gun system rather fun to play, albeit sometimes rather infuriating.
As far as armor is concerned, it is the same as the regular ST-I. The tank cannot reliably get hull down as the massive cupola is always visible and isn’t very hard to penetrate (albeit you can use your both guns to cover it up, but risk getting guns disabled). When it comes to the hull, thanks to the shape it is rather hard to properly sidescrape and upper plate has a very obvious weakspot.
Side hull armor is rather decent, but isn’t something you can rely on with the side upper plate armor being angled to the sides, meaning any kind of sidescraping will be futile.
The mobility is really underwhelming and is my main concern with this tank. The top speed is really low and the tank doesn’t accelerate very well, and while it can do 40 km/h, it isn’t consistent and can dip well below that.
ST-II is rather underwhelming compared to other tier Xs, but can still be competitive provided it is allowed to exchange with other tanks and reload both shells often. While the firepower can be quite fun and effective, mediocre armor and mobility really doesn’t let this tank shine.
IS-3-II is a lot better tier for tier compared to the ST-II. It loses a lot of those weakspots and maintains rather competitive firepower advantage, making this a quite decent tier 9.
There isn’t much to say about the firepower. Guns work very similarly to the tier 8 premium Object 703. The reload time is competitive, albeit marginally, and the handling behaves rather well. Overall, it is very similar to ST-II and will be rather fun to play with at tier 9. Oh and it gets good gun depression, something that will help a lot when it comes to armor protection.
This is where IS-3-II completely outshines the ST-II. The turret armor is very good, and this makes it rather hard to penetrate without high-pen premium shells. The cupola is very small and with some wiggling it can be quite hard to hit. Hull armor is also IS-3 type (hence the name), but a lot thicker, and having bounced some premium shells off of upper plate, it works rather well. If you can manage to use your good gun depression and get hull down, the turret armor becomes very very effective, having bounced even premium spamming Strv 103B’s multiple times.
If you like the IS-3’s mobility, this tank is basically the same. Acceleration is decent but top speed is not great.
IS-3-II is actually a really decent tier IX heavy. Having the ability to double shot with decent handling, reload time and effective armor, this is a far better tank tier for tier compared to the ST-II.
Shall we leave the best for last?
The IS-2-II has amazing handling and reload on its guns, great double shot charge time and also rather alright armor.
The gun handling is very good for a heavy tank, with really good aim time, accuracy and amazing fast double shot preparation time. Pair that with rather fast reload time for 300 alpha damage, you can have 600 alpha damage bombs ready within 15 s., meaning most 1v1 fights, as long as you are careful with your double shot, are easy to win. Did I mention the gun depression is quite good?
The turret is quite great and will be hard to penetrate thanks to small weakspot and relatively high thickness. However, I wouldn’t count on the hull armor, as it is only 100mm thick and most tier 8s shouldn’t have much trouble penetrating you. If you can get to utilize your gun depression, this is again a quite great hull down warrior.
While top speed rather sucks at 34 km/h, it will consistently maintain that speed. It’s not the best but definitely not the worst and it doesn’t feel very sluggish.
IS-2-II is a rather great tier 8 heavy. Having great firepower with fantastic handling and DPM, armor that can work in situations but with mediocre mobility to compensate, this tank is quite enjoyable when it comes to fighting medium tanks or in hull down positions.
While the new double gun mechanic can be very fun and effective, the ultimate reward is rather underwhelming. If you have everything grinded out, this is obviously going to be your next tank line.
If you are half way finished through the game, I would consider grinding it, it can be competitively decent, really fun but it’s up to you to test it out.
As a new player, avoid this line. While it has some good tanks leading to tier X, it ultimately isn’t worth the effort.
To unlock the vehicle on the KV-3, you will need 51.300k XP.
The 85mm gun at tier 8 is really not good. While WG has buffed the penetration to decent levels, the alpha damage and the inability to mount tank gun rammer will hurt a lot, meaning you have to get the top gun fast (and it isn’t very expensive).
With the top gun unlocked, you can choose to grind the IS-3-II with stock turret or spend another 17k XP to get the better turret. While theoretically the stock turret isn’t horrible, if you are planning to grind this tank, get the turret. This will significantly buff the survivability and firepower of this tank with faster aiming time, reload, accuracy and double shot charge time.
Suspension isn’t required to fully kit out the tank, skip it.
Grind the IS-3-II next or fully kit out IS-2-II if you really like it.
RESEARCH COST TO UNLOCK NECESSARY MODULES (WITH TURRET) AND IS-3-II: 201.060 XP
ST-II costs 217.000k XP to research, sorry for cutting it out of the frame.
To start with, avoid the optional (red in pictures) 122mm gun.
It is far too expensive to be considered an upgrade of any sorts. Also, you cannot mount the upgraded turret with the optional 122mm gun without upgrading suspension unless you use torsion bars, and the stock turret is not very good.
Since none of double barreled tanks can mount a rammer, this is your advised progression:
100mm gun -> Enhanced turret -> Mount torsion bars in equipment screen -> Top 122mm gun
This will require 90k XP in total and is a far better choice than wasting another 49k on a worthless optional 122mm gun.
Here it depends on what you personally want, the ST-II or a fully upgraded IS-3-II.
RESEARCH COST TO UNLOCK NECESSARY MODULES (WITHOUT OPTIONAL GUN AND SUSPENSION) AND ST-II: 307.800 XP