I am davidblader from the EU server and I want to share with you my newest proposal of a Romanian tech tree for World of Tanks. Multiple community members have shown proposals for such a tech tree over the last years, but here is my newest proposal, which, in my opinion, is the best we can make of the currently available material on Romanian tanks:
Tech tree image I made. Click here for full quality.
Why a Romanian tech tree?
There are multiple reasons why I think that a Romanian tree would be a great addition to the game:
First of all, it would contain some of the most unique vehicles in the game, both in terms of playstyle and design. There are unique high tiers as well as mid-tiers, the more unique branch being the TDs. Especially interesting are the two tier 10s. The tree will also contain many so-called ’’meme tanks’’ which the community will surely find very fun. Therefore, the Romanian tech tree will be attractive for the playerbase.
Secondly, Romania has a big historical contribution to the Second World War, some historians like Mark Axworthy and Dennis Deletant considering it Germany’s most important ally, or at least as important as Italy. And while I’m aware that World of Tanks isn’t supposed to be a historical World War 2 simulator, that’s the era where most of the game’s tanks come from.
Also, there is an important Romanian community in World of Tanks. This, along with the uniqueness of the vehicles, would mean that adding this tech tree would not only make a big part of the community happy, but also benefit Wargaming.
The tech tree is historical for World of Tanks standards, since the big majority of its vehicles were either produced or at least proposed. Out of the 14 tech tree vehicles, only one (the tier 5 MT) is partially (!) unhistorical, since it’s not exactly known what it would have looked like, so it is reconstructed based on historical possibilities. Its historical accuracy is higher than the Italian Progetto 46, which didn’t exist in blueprints, but is based on a general’s description of what the tank should look like, which means it does have some history behind it. There aren’t any made up tanks, like you’d find in some (or rather, in most) tech trees currently in the game.
All in all, I’d say my proposed Romanian tree is more historical than the Polish, Italian and maybe even Japanese tech trees, not to mention China.
Note: The tech tree is actually at an early development stage, since the archives have only been researched very little, which means that there are certainly new vehicles to be discovered, which can improve and enlarge the tree! In my opinion, the tree Romania could currently get is pretty impressive considering how little research has been put into the country’s tanks so far.
Tier 1-7 vehicles are from the interwar period and World War 2, while tiers 8-10 are Cold War tanks. They are from the 70s and early 80s, so they fit in the World of Tanks timeframe, the French tier 9 Char Futur 4 being from 1977 and still having made it (note that Romania’s armor was technologically obsolete compared to France’s or other nations currently in the game).
Vehicle originality (’’are there any clones?’’)
There are neither clones, nor fakes in this tech tree.
The vehicles are either fully original or foreign tanks modified to the point where they can’t be called clones (this includes the T-34 versions you see at tiers 6 and 7 – the tier 7 would actually be unique in terms of gameplay). I’d even say the TD branch is 100% original. So, unlike the Chinese tree, I’d say this proposal is original overall, with no gaps having to be filled by unmodified T-34/T-54/whatever copies, or by fully made-up tanks like we see in the Polish tree. The tier 5 MT, that I’ve already talked about above, is what I’d call a ’’historical fake’’ (more info on it coming in the MT line article).
Let’s start looking at the tech tree now, shall we?
Tank destroyer line
I will start with the more unique branch: the TDs. Romanian tank destroyers generally have weak armor, but high speeds and strong guns. This line would bring some unique kinds of vehicles like the game has never seen before.
TD lines now start at tier 4, but I’ve included tier 2 and 3 vehicles as collectors’ tanks for historical value purposes.
Tier 1: R-1
Recreation of an R-1 at a 2015 tank festival in the Czech Republic.
At tier 1 we have the R-1 light tank, which was a modified version of the Czechoslovakian AH-IV, an export tankette. 35 were bought by the Romanians, who had also bought the license for the vehicle, having produced a prototype themselves, although mass production was never started.
Differences to the original vehicle were the missing cupola, as well as a lighter engine and a thinner armor, which decreased the R-1’s weight. The vehicles saw action on the Eastern Front.
The tank has a top speed of 45 km/h and uses a 7.92 mm heavy machine gun. Its front armor is of 12 mm. It’s going to be the fastest of its tier, but will have the weakest gun in terms of penetration.
Another tier 1 candidate could be the Disston tractor tank which uses a 37 mm gun. It was marketed to Romania, but it’s not known whether any were sold.
Tier 2: TACAM R-1
TACAM R-1 interpretation made by me a few years ago
Based on the aforementioned R-1, the TACAM R-1 is going to be a tier 2 collectors’ tank destroyer.
After the Axis defeat at Stalingrad, the Romanians had up-gunned multiple of their available tanks, turning them to TDs. The TACAM R-1 was a proposal to equip the R-1 with a 45 mm gun. Since the vehicle’s turret was too small, it would have been changed with an armored casemate, similar to the Marder TDs and the other TACAMs. It was never produced, having been deemed obsolete.
Tier 3: TACAM T-60
The tier 3 collectors’ tank destroyer is a vehicle of historical importance: the TACAM T-60.
A number of 34 were built on the chassis of captured T-60 tanks, using 76.2 mm guns. They saw action on the Eastern Front. Some sources claim that up to 57 vehicles were produced, according to the now inactive ftr-wot.blogspot.com. The vehicle also had an improved version, the TACAM T-60A, with thicker frontal hull armor and better road wheels.
In the game, it would play similarly to the Marder II, but would have lower penetration values (around 70 mm) and low gun depression (-5°). It has a decent speed of 40 km/h.
According to the aforementioned site, some sources also mention the 57 mm ZiS-2 gun being used, as well as a 105 mm howitzer variant, but none of this is confirmed. If true, the TACAM T-60 could become the tier 4 TD, from which the branch starts off, making the currently proposed tier 4, the TACAM R-2, the tier 3 collectors’ vehicle. This would be good, as the TACAM T-60 would get a variety of guns which you could choose from depending on the playstyle you prefer (either derp or high-penetration fast reloading 57 mm).
Tier 4: TACAM R-2
The actual TD branch starts off at tier 4 with another historically important vehicle, the TACAM R-2.
Built on the chassis of R-2 tanks (Pz. 35(t)s in Romanian service), it saw action in the war after the 1944 royal coup d’état, which put Romania on the allied side. 21 were built.
The gun it used was the 76.2 mm ZiS-3, which is also found on the Soviet tier 4 TD, the SU-76M, as its stock gun. There were proposals to up-gun the vehicle, proposed guns being the Romanian 75 mm Reșița or a German 8.8 cm.
The 75 mm Reșița would be its top gun. It would have very high penetration values for a tier 4 (see the tier 5 vehicle), therefore making the TACAM R-2 a true glass cannon, since it is basically crap in every other way. It has got slow speed (25-30 km/h), paper armor, very high profile, low concealment rate and poor gun depression (-5°). The strong gun would make up for those disadvantages.
The proposed 8.8 cm gun would be too much for a tier 4, so I’ve made that vehicle a tier 5 premium, the TACAM R-2 88.
Tier 5: Mareșal M-04
Sources: tanks-encyclopedia.com (upper image), Wikipedia (lower image). Note: The lower image may also be the M-05 prototype.
The best-known Romanian WW2 vehicle was the Mareșal tank destroyer, credited for having inspired the Hetzer. Its name translates to marshal, in honor of Romania’s wartime leader, marshal Ion Antonescu. It saw limited serial production, but never saw action because of the advancing Soviet Army that stopped its production. 7 prototypes (called M-00 to M-06) and a near-complete Series 0 of 10 vehicles were produced. Additionally, 90 vehicles (Series 1 and 2) were in their very early phase of production, with components having been made for them.
It will be the first truly unique vehicle in the branch. And why is that? Because of its incredibly low profile of just over 1,5 m!
Comparison between a StuG III G, a Hetzer and the Mareșal M-04 prototype (right), showing the Romanian vehicle’s insanely small proportions.
The tank will have about the same height as the Renault UE 57, the French tier 3 TD, if not even smaller. This means that with a fully maxed crew you will reach the maximum concealment value of 1000. Not only that, but it also makes the vehicle difficult to hit.
The tank uses a 75 mm Reșița gun, which would get an in-game penetration of around 150 mm, like the StuG III G’s top gun, or maybe even higher. Another gun option would be a 122 mm howitzer, which was used by the earlier Mareșal prototypes. The top speed limit would be of 45 km/h. Frontal armor would be 20 mm, but very well angled, so you could pull off a few lucky bounces. Another interesting aspect is the crew of only two men (which would be a disadvantage in the game). The vehicle’s downside is the gun depression of just -5°, which is a general disadvantage of Romanian TDs and also MTs.
The M-05 prototype could also be the tier 5 candidate, but I’ve chosen the M-04 because of visual differences to the tier 6, which is another Mareșal version.
Don’t expect this tank to be some sort of overpowered tier 5 E 25, however, because it doesn’t have the E 25’s crazy rate of fire. Its top speed of 45 km/h (120hp top engine) would also be no match to the E 25’s 65 km/h (700hp engine).
The community would surely consider the Mareșal M-04 one of WoT’s biggest meme tanks, considering its extremely low profile (possibly smallest in the game, along with ELC EVEN 90), its derp gun option and its crew of two men.
Tier 6: Mareșal M-06
Source: ‘’Third Axis Fourth Ally’’ by Mark Axworthy
Note: The representation actually shows the M-05 prototype, which was more similar to the M-06 than any of the former prototypes.
At tier 6 we have the M-06 prototype, the last one constructed, which would have been the model for the biggest part of the series production vehicles.
The vehicle actually used the same 75 mm gun as the tier 5. Why did I put it at tier 6 then? Because unlike the previous prototypes, which had a crew of two, the M-06 had a crew of three, which would probably give the vehicle better gun stats in terms of rounds per minute and probably dispersion. It’s like with the StuG III G and the Jagdpanzer IV, which both use the 7,5 cm Pak 42 L/70 as a gun option, but the Jagdpanzer only takes 3.8 seconds to reload, while the StuG needs 4.5 seconds. The 122 mm derp could also be an option, but would surely not be as effective as at tier 5.
You might think the 75 mm gun is too weak for tier 6, but 150 mm of penetration are more than enough (the JgPz IV’s top gun only has 145 mm, in fact).
Other improvements are better optics and radio, as well as a much better top engine of 220hp (compared to the M-04’s 120hp one), which would help the M-06 reach its top speed faster, or maybe even increase the top speed.
Visually, the M-06 would also be different, as it used a new track model. It was probably also longer and wider than every previous prototype, as it needed room for the extra crew member.
Tier 7: Mareșal 150
My interpretation of what the Mareșal 150 could have looked like. Note that I’m not an expert, so sorry for any mistakes or unrealistic proportions.
Hetzer with 150 mm sIG 33 howitzer for comparison. Source: tanks-encyclopedia.com
A 1944 document found in the archives of the Romanian Army General Staff mentions two German tank specialists, Lieutenant-Colonels Ventz and Naymann, who speak about a self-propelled howitzer version of the Mareșal, using either a 122 or 150 mm gun (the latter probably being the German sIG 33). The vehicle would have carried both HE and HEAT rounds (for anti-tank purposes), which would make it an effective TD in the game.
Compared to the tier 5 and 6 vehicles, the crew increases to four, like on the tier 8-10 TDs. The concealment rate would decrease due to the higher profile. The height, however, would still be smaller than for most other tier 7 TDs, comparable to the M56 Scorpion or the T-34-2G FT. The howitzer would get -5 degrees of gun depression, buffed from the historical -4°. It would use the Mareșal M-06’s 220hp top engine, but would be slower (maybe 45 km/h) due to being heavier. The vehicle would be a true derp lord in WoT.
Note: The above-mentioned document also mentions the possibility of fitting a 75 mm M1931 Vickers gun for AT purposes on the Mareșal chassis. That could be the stock gun of the tier 5 vehicle.
Tier 8: MLI-100
The picture above is an interpretation
In 1978, there was a plan of producing a self-propelled AT gun on an ’MLI’ chassis in Romania, using a 100 mm gun. The MLI chassis referred to might be the MLI-84 infantry fighting vehicle, as shown in my interpretation above. This is not clear, however, since the MLI-84 was designed in 1982. Plans for it could have been developed earlier, though, so maybe the projectors already had the MLI-84’s chassis in mind. An alternative is that this vehicle would have used the somewhat similar chassis of the MLVM, an armored personnel carrier which was classified as an IFV (’’MLI’’ in Romanian) in the Romanian army.
Although the vehicle was never produced, it could have been an early planned version of the TAA, which is the tier 10 TD of the branch. It is not known whether the two are related, but it’s possible.
The ’MLI-100’ drawings are currently not known (the archives still need to be researched!), but it likely looks similar to the TAA. Based on its description, we could deduce what it would have looked like. The 100 mm gun is unspecified, but can be deduced from the ones that were available in Romania at the time. The hull’s approximate shape is also known, the remaining problem being the turret. It might have been similar to the TAA’s one, but it’s up to Wargaming to decide how they would model the tank, unless the archives give us answers at some point.
The vehicle would have paper armor, fast or at least decent speed and probably -5 degrees of gun depression, although that could be higher, considering the tier 10 TAA’s stats.
Keep in mind that the name ’’MLI-100’’ is provisional. An alternative would be ’’TAA-100’’, since TAA is an abbreviation for ’’self-propelled AT gun’’, but this would mean renaming the tier 10 to TAA-125 due to the gun’s caliber.
Tier 9: OAPR 89
At tier 9 we get the OAPR 89, which is a mass-produced vehicle of the Cold War era. It is based on the chassis of the MLI-84, the Romanian infantry fighting vehicle, uses the turret of the Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika, and carries a 122 mm gun.
Its production actually started in 1987, which would be a problem for WoT, but the tank was designed much earlier, since the need of such a vehicle was discussed as early as 1978, making it fit in the WoT timeframe. Not to mention that the 2S1 Gvozdika, which was this vehicle’s model, was designed in the 1950s.
The gun, which is actually a howitzer, was also able to fire HEAT for anti-tank purposes. Its HEAT round, which would be the premium shell in the game, has a historical penetration of over 400 mm, which would be nerfed to around 330-350 mm, like on the Swedish TDs, making this vehicle one of the paper-thin-armored, but fast TDs (60 km/h) with strong guns. The gun depression would be -5° (buffed from historical -3°), again, a common disadvantage of Romanian tanks.
Note: The OAPR 89 and MLI-100 could probably switch places in the tech tree, depending on how they are balanced. This may be a better option, since the ‘MLI-100’ and TAA could be related and more similar in gameplay.
And now, for the crown jewel of the Romanian tank destroyer line…
Tier 10: TAA
TAA drawings. Source: tanks-encyclopedia.com
3D model made by Giganaut, click here to view it.
The TAA (Tun Antitanc Autopropulsat) was a tank destroyer project most likely developed in the late 1970s. Considering Romania’s already mentioned obsolete armored vehicle technology, the TAA wasn’t modern for its time. It had a laser rangefinder (so did the Strv 103B, which is in the game), but nothing more of the kind.
It featured an autoloader and a 125 mm gun.
The most unique detail about the TAA’s design is its extremely narrow turret, even narrower than the one found on the Concept 1B, the American tier 9 premium HT (compare their 3D models).
The exact gun it would have used is not known. In case it was a smoothbore (which are not allowed in WoT), it can be replaced with a rifled gun, like WG did to the other tanks in the game.
The TAA would be a unique tier 10 vehicle in World of Tanks. Its turret, which is already difficult to hit frontally, due to its narrowness, is protected by an anti-HEAT mantlet, which covers a good part of it, leaving the turret’s upper part and cheeks as weakspots. Apart from that, the armor is paper-thin, except for possibly the frontal hull, which is depicted as being thicker in the drawings.
The gun depression of -7° is decent, compared to most other Romanian TDs, and allows the TAA to go hull down in certain situations. The TAA could even be effective in city combat, sometimes. Imagine a situation where you go hull down (not in the meaning of only hiding your lower plate, but hiding the whole hull), so the enemies can only see your turret. You’d unload your magazine into their tanks, while they try shooting at your turret’s weakspot, which you could prevent by moving back and forth.
The alpha damage per shot would be of 400, considering the gun’s caliber. It’s up to WG to decide how many rounds it gets in its magazine and how fast the magazine reload and reload between shells will be. Of course, it will be balanced in a way which makes its autoloader unique, and which makes it different from the Foch B and doesn’t make it the new WT auf E100. Who knows, WG could maybe even give it a fully new autoloading mechanic, like the Italians got the autoreloader.
All in all, it will be a very unique vehicle for the game, with mostly weak armor but decent gun depression and decent speed (probably around 50 km/h), as well as an autoloader. Its playstyle could be a completely new one, never before seen in the game. It would make the Romanian tank destroyers an attractive branch to play, along with its many other unique vehicles.
Summary of the tank destroyer line
This potential Romanian TD line could be one of the most unique in the game.
It has a big number of fun meme vehicles starting at tier 4 with the TACAM R-2, which is crap in every way except for the monster gun at its tier (just in terms of penetration, not alpha damage). At tier 5 and 6 we get the Mareșals which are probably the smallest tanks in the game in terms of height (along with ELC EVEN 90), which would make them funny, especially with their derp gun options. Then at tier 7 we get a mini derp lord, basically a tank with a gun bigger than itself 🙂
Finally, we get the TAA, one of the most unique and in my opinion also one of the coolest looking tanks in the game. If the tier 8 MLI-100 (or ’’TAA-100’’) gets balanced as a tier 9, the vehicles could play very similarly. The MLI-100 could maybe get the TAA’s 125 mm gun as its top gun, but without an autoloader, or could have an autoloader itself, but would stick to its 100 mm gun.
Overall, the branch is very original in terms of tank design and gameplay, would include vehicles very fun to play and probably a whole new playstyle at tier 10, making it attractive to grind through. It also contains historically important vehicles and is historically accurate compared to many other branches in WoT.
Premium tank destroyers and crew trainers
As you can see, some of the premium TDs in the image are further Mareșal versions. I am fully aware that having such tanks in the branch is fun, but adding too many of them would be annoying for the game. I am not saying that they must be added, or anything, so please don’t spam the comments with this (WG would probably only add one TD and one MT premium as crew trainers anyway). They’re just vehicles that could be in the game, but don’t need to.
The Mareșal M-00 is the first-built prototype. It’s the smallest in size, uses the 122 mm howitzer and gets the weakest engine (85hp). Would be the hardest to hit out of every Mareșal version. It wouldn’t be necessary, but it is a possible vehicle.
Mareșal M-02 used a 120hp engine, but was the lightest prototype (~6.4t, compared to the M-05’s 10t). They both use 120hp engines, so the much lighter M-02 could get a top speed of 50-55 km/h, compared to the M-05’s 45 km/h. Basically a tier 6 E 25 with a derp. Not necessary (I don’t think the community would want anything like this), but possible, so I just decided to put it there.
The TACAM R-2 88 I’ve already described above, while TACAM T-38 is similar to the TACAM R-2 (uses its stock gun), but is based on the Panzer 38(t).
The Mareșal 122 is a possible crew trainer. It’s basically the same as the tier 7 Mareșal 150, but with the 122 mm proposed howitzer. Could either be a tier 5 or 6 depending on how the gun is balanced (it’s not the same 122 mm as on the prototypes). It has a crew of 4, just like the tier 7-10 vehicles in the branch.
Then there is the somewhat problematic, but possible tier 8 premium crew trainer I propose. The Garoafa is basically the Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika, which was used by Romania as well. Its name means ’’carnation’’ in Romanian, as does gvozdika in Russian (funny name for a tank, I know). I don’t know whether the name Garoafa was actually used by the army; if it wasn’t, just call it the Gvozdika. The problem is that it would be almost the same as the OAPR 89 which is the tier 8/9 standard TD. It has a visually different hull, though, which is also shorter. The other problem is that it’s Soviet, not Romanian, but this might not be that big of a deal actually, since it doesn’t have a place in the Soviet tree, which means it could as well be added to another nation without being considered a clone. If the Garoafa is considered problematic, remember that the tier 6 Mareșal 122 is also a potential crew trainer. After all, when Czechoslovakia and Sweden were added, they also only had tier 6 premiums.
The premium mediums/lights will be described in the second part.
Romanian 2S1 Gvozdika. Source: Artileria română în date și imagini
Problems with the branch (?)
The branch I’m proposing has both pros and cons, the pros being the already mentioned gameplay uniqueness and vehicle design originality. But it might also have some (in my opinion small) problems, and here they come:
First of all, the already mentioned problems of the tier 8 premium candidate. Not a big deal, if you ask me, due to the arguments already mentioned above, but they’re still there. I want you to remember, though, that only little research has been made so far, so there are big chances that a better candidate will be found, along with many other tanks.
Something else that some people might consider a problem is that the tier 7 is very different in playstyle to the tier 8. I personally don’t see this as a problem, considering that it’s the case with a lot of branches currently in the game (Leo vs Emil I, Chi-Ri vs STA-1 for example). What really matters is that the tier 8-10 vehicles should be similar in gameplay – and in this tank destroyer branch, they are.
That’s pretty much all there is to say.
Thank you all for reading! Stay tuned for the MT line article, which is coming in a few days! I’m waiting to read your comments and see your feedback and criticism. If you have ideas on how the branch could be improved, leave them down below.
The following sources were used in the making of this article:
- archive documents, part of which were found by tanks-encyclopedia.com members
- the book Third Axis Fourth Ally (itself based on archives) by Mark Axworthy, Cornel Scafeș and Cristian Crăciunoiu
- articles from tanks-encyclopedia.com, themselves based on archive sources
- some info from worldwar2.ro and ftr.wot-news.com