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People that play or follow World of Tanks Blitz, the cross-platform counterpart, or are just really good at staying in the loop may have noticed the developers of World of Tanks Blitz adding Swedish heavy tanks into WoTB. This could very well be an attempt at closing the parity gap between the two games. But if that is the case, WoT has some work to do in that department too. The main thing that sticks out at me is the branch of Japanese tank destroyers that arrived several patches ago inside WoTB. When they get added they would obviously, or at least, in my opinion, adjust these vehicles to suit the PC meta better.
The Japanese tank destroyer branch in WoTB branches off of the Chi-To, the chassis is on a higher tier tank, the Chi-To SPG. Now when it comes to adding this to the game, the developers have a surplus of options for how they can do this. They could, for instance, use the Ha-Go chassis, move it up a tier and make the Ho-Ru. They can also do the same and make the Ho-Ni out of the Chi-Ha, the Ku-Se out of the Ke-Ho, but things aren’t so straightforward at tier VI. There is no tier V Japanese tank that has historically been made into a tank destroyer. But we are talking about WoT, so that gives them more possibilities, not less. They could move everything up just by dividing the Ho-Ni into up to three different tanks, they could just as easily add the Na-To, or they can choose something they do often as it is, and just make up a tank that seems like a logical stopgap.
In WoTB, the Chi-To SPG is similar to the JagdPanther, it is a very mobile tank with a good gun, and great gun depression. Its 10.5cm gun has a 7.29 second reload with 310 average damage and 215 standard armor penetration. It has a top speed of 45 km/h, and more than enough engine power and terrain resistance to reach it. It has 150mm of frontal armor, the same as the CS-44’s turret, but it is less angled, that should give you an idea what the armor on this tank is like.
Chi-To SPG as seen in WoTB
At tier VIII, there is the Ho-Ri Type I, which uses the previous 10.5cm gun in the stock configuration. This is where the branch starts to come into its own, and comparisons to other branches are not as easy to make. It’s a fast tank like its predecessor and has 190mm of armor, which is enough to make a lot of bounces happen. The mainstay gun on this tank is the Gun 12cm Gun type 10, with 4.8 seconds aim time, a 9.78 second reload, that has 248 armor penetration, and does 400 damage on average.
Ho-Ri Type I as seen in WoTB
The Ho-Ri Type II at tier IX is for the most part just the Ho-Ri Type I but the gun is in the rear of the tank, it even has the same frontal armor of 190mm. 190mm, as it is, is not super reliable armor for a tier VIII tank, so that is less useful at tier IX. For example, the T-44 has 190mm of armor on the turret. This tank is certainly not going to bounce shots as often as the Chi-To SPG provided they are both getting same-tier matchmaking. It only goes 37 km/h and the developers of WoTB stated that it is a speedy tank, this is where a lot of problems might come from if this tank got added tomorrow. It carries the 14.9cm Gun Type 89 when maxed. With this gun, it has 290 standard penetration, does 560 damage every 13.42 seconds, and has a 5 second aim time.
Ho-Ri Type II
Note this image is from War Thunder, but there is effectively no appearance difference so I am just gonna go with it.
The Ho-Ri Type III has less gun depression than the rest of its line. (The Chi-To SPG having 10 degrees, and the others having 8) But, its unimpressive 6 degrees is not really the end of the world. It’s 250mm of frontal armor will usually not stop premium ammunition, and it’s a really gigantic and ugly tank, making it not suitable for frontline combat in the first place. If 250mm of armor sounds like a lot, that’s because most of the 250mm plates you bounce off are well angled, but this tank’s armor is about as well angled as the Tiger (P). Its 14.9cm Gun Type 96 has 3.7 seconds aim time, an 11.5 second reload, and does 560 damage on average. With premium ammunition, it has 380mm of armor penetration, which is the best that WoTB has ever seen. That is 40mm less than the armor penetration of the JagdPanzer E-100 (PC) that has 420, the highest penetration of anything on PC, provided you use premium ammunition.
Ho-Ri Type III as seen on WoTB
If these tanks get added sometime in the future I would expect them to lower the penetration. The devs of WoTB say that these are fast tanks, and that makes sense, after all, their game doesn’t have armored cars in it. I would not be surprised if their speed got buffed, but they could just as easily say they are slow tanks in the update video. I didn’t think Japanese heavy tanks were a possibility. The gun depression of Swedish heavies does not have a niche to occupy in WoTB given how flat the maps are, but they made the jump from WoTB to PC, and that makes it seem a lot more likely that the Japanese tank destroyers might cross the gap in the other direction sometime soon.