Branching off from the Tier IV Type 1 Chi-He, this new line of the Japanese Tech Tree extends all the way to Tier X. It includes the first upper-tier Japanese TDs in the game, now available for you to command. But before we take a look at the six mighty vehicles coming your way in Update 1.20.1, let’s briefly describe their gameplay concept and key features.
Japanese Tank Destroyers: Strong All-Rounders
The gameplay of these new vehicles can hardly be considered unique. At the same time, however, they are noticeably different from both heavily armored assault TDs and sniping “glass cannons.”
These Japanese tank destroyers are versatile all-rounders with an optimal balance of frontal armor, decent firepower, and adequate mobility. They feature mighty high-caliber guns with good accuracy and aiming time. Their damage per shot is good—but certainly not as good as that of the best damage dealers. However, they have enough DPM to seriously hurt their opponents at both medium and short distances, providing support to allied heavies.
Armor and Dynamics
The frontal armor of the Tier VII–IX vehicles is thick enough (in some zones) to withstand some direct fire from same-tier opponents, but it’s not enough to operate as frontline brawlers. The only exception is the Tier X mastodon, whose armor allows you to confidently play on the first line. But even this mighty warrior needs to hide its vulnerable lower glacis plate using terrain irregularities.
The top speed of all the vehicles is average, while the reverse speed is great, relative to their frontal armor. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to react quickly to changes in battle and switch flanks, so you need to plan your routes ahead.
Now—back to the branch composition.
The Ho-Ni III and the Type 95 Ji-Ro
The first tank in the line is the Ho-Ni III. If you’ve enjoyed the German Tier V StuG III Ausf. G, playing the Ho-Ni III will feel familiar—but with an even more powerful and accurate gun. This vehicle lacks armor, so you should use ambush tactics to maximize your lifespan and thus contribute to your team’s victory.
Next up: the Tier VI Type 95 Ji-Ro. Its gameplay is similar to its predecessor’s but with a few modifications. The Type 95 Ji-Ro boasts high concealment values and a view range of 350 m. But due to the almost complete lack of armor, it will have to spend most of its lifetime in ambushes. The closest analog of this vehicle is the Soviet SU-100.
Tier VII–IX Vehicles: More Armor and Versatility
Starting from Tier VII, the gameplay concept of these Japanese TDs changes—they get sturdy frontal armor and even more respectable damage per shot!
The Chi-To SP has vulnerable zones in the frontal projection—big Commander’s cupolas, lower glacis plate—but it can already absorb standard shells from same-tier opponents. Try to use the terrain and turn your vehicle’s hull to decrease the impact angle, thus boosting your armor effectiveness and ricochet chances.
The Chi-To SP is maneuverable and can confidently follow heavy tanks carrying either a 75 mm or 105 mm cannon with decent damage per shot.
Roll out to the upper tiers in the Tier VIII Ho-Ri 2! This vehicle embodies the best qualities of Japanese TDs and balances its solid frontal armor with a hefty gun that has 400 HP of damage per shot.
The Ho-Ri 2 has two cupolas, one of which is at a very acute angle towards the enemy in front of you, so it won’t be easy to penetrate it. There are several other vulnerable zones in the lower and upper glacis plates, but only the best Tier VIII guns can penetrate them.
Another standout support vehicle waits for you in Tier IX. The Ho-Ri 1 is a serious damage dealer armed with a fearsome 149 mm gun with 650 HP of damage per shot—but a rather long (15.5 s) reload time. It has a big lower glacis plate that you’ll need to hide, but your opponents will have serious problems penetrating the upper part of the cabin. With its notable armor penetration values and adequate mobility, the Ho-Ri 1 has what it takes to be a true roving menace on the battlefield.
The Ho-Ri 3: The Crown Jewel of the New Line
All the hallmarks of the Japanese TD line culminate in the Ho-Ri 3. Its effective frontal armor is up to 300 mm, and its durability is 2,000 HP. The only true weak spot on the front of this mastodon is the lower glacis plate. The average damage per shot is 700 HP, and the standard AP shell has 305 mm of penetration, which is enough to bring down even Tier X tanks with a few shots.
Its huge profile and low camouflage values mean that staying at the back is not an option. The vehicle’s top speed is 35 km/h, and this is quite enough to arrive at key positions about the same time as allied heavies and provide them with significant fire support.
The Ho-Ri 3 can also be used as a mighty breakthrough vehicle, but use caution, since its lower plate is rather large. You should always make the most of the terrain, take advantageous positions, and turn your vehicle’s hull to decrease the impact angle.
Enjoy playing these versatile Japanese tank destroyers, Commanders!