The new branch of mediums covers three periods of Italian tank design: the timid first steps, the catch-up and post-war, western-oriented.
The timid first steps: Out in front in terms of tank design at the time was the French. The Italian tanks drew inspiration from, or more blatantly copied, French designs but over time experimented with their own ideas. Distinguishing features were light armor and var-ious gun calibers.
Catch-up Phase: Attempting to reach the standard set by the most developed tank-building nations, it was about more firepower and thicker armor. Originally started to pro-duce heavies, it was actually mediums that made it off the production line.
Post-war, Western-oriented: Now it was all about mobility, excellent firepower, good angles of depression and insignificant armor. How times had changed...
Tiers I–VII Overview
The first thing you will notice straight off the bat is the choice between the M14/41 and L6/40 at Tier II. Similar when it boils down to game characteristics, both tanks left a huge mark in Ital-ian armored vehicular history. We’re paying homage to them by adding both for you to try. The M14/41 won’t impress you with its speed, but can show who’s who to its piers working a solid 47mm gun. The L6/40 sports excellent for its tier speed and a 20 mm machine gun. Learn more about these mass-produced duo and their elder brethren and get ready to work your way up the Italian tree!
Tier VIII and Upwards – Autoreloader
You’re free to use higher-tier Italians as a single shot tank, or as a clip thanks to a new loading mechanic. Basically, it's a combination of a drum and single shot system. As soon as you fire, the drum begins to reload. The more shells you have in the clip, the faster it loads the empty part of the magazine. The first shell takes the longest to reload, and it speeds up from there. If you fire again, before the shell is reloaded, the reloading is interrupted and starts anew.
“How can I leverage it then,” you ask? Here’s a simple tip: analyze what’s happening on the bat-tlefield and use the drum situationally. Empty your clip when you know you'll have time to reload. Single-shot when you need to get someone down to where they can then be clipped out. This way, you can offer sustained fire and your enemy won’t know where you're at in terms of re-loading. Besides, you never have to worry about managing your clip reload—it always starts re-loading when you fire. Now that we’re done with the autoreloader basics, let’s take a closer look at vehicles that come with it.
Tier VIII – P.44 Pantera
Let’s kick things off with the Tier VIII P.44 Pantera—the first in the branch to have that feature you’ve all been waiting for – the auto-reloading drum.
The Pantera was one of the variants sparked by a project that was developed during the Second World War. Work on the medium tank never made it past the preliminary design stage.
With a long-barreled 90mm cannon, good depression and mobility, it can occupy advantageous positions. The new mechanic means that the tank can feel more at home at close and medium distances but just be cautious when at long-range.
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Tier IX – Prototipo Standard B
Stemming from a group of prototypes developed and manufactured during the Kampfpanzer Standard program which Italy first took part in in 1958. In collaboration with Ingeniuerbüro Warn-eke, Rheinstahl Hanomag, Henschel and Rheinmetall, only two models were produced under the program. After extensive testing, preference was given to the group “A” prototypes, which after further work came to be known more commonly as the Leopard 1.
The first post-WWII tank in the Italian tree, it bears a striking resemblance to the German proto-type Leopard in terms of dimensions and silhouette. As with the Pantera, the Prototipo also fea-tures the new mechanic. Possessing a 105mm gun and a similar angles of depression, this tank could be seen as the direct descendant of the Tier X Progetto. This means you can hone your tactics in preparation for unlocking the Tier X steel beast.
As with the Pantera, the tank performs well at close and medium distances but the Leopard’s inherent weak armor still means you need to be careful.
Prototipo Standard B
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Tier X – Progetto M40 mod 65
In 1969, a military delegation from Italy visited Germany to discuss purchasing Leopard tanks. However, not all the delegates agreed with the idea of acquiring foreign tanks. The Italian military and constructers outlined their basic wishes: decent depression, cast turret and gun mantlet and the powerful Mitsubishi engine. Their wishes resulted in the creation of a small, light, mobile but well protected tank.
During the design process, British and Soviet developments were taken into account. Other than further drawings and blueprints, the tank never went any further.
Futuristic form and better gun characteristic with the new mechanics make it possible to fully unleash the skills acquired from the tanks further down the tech branch and the Italian premium. The Progetto M40 mod 65’s good depression and mobility will help you occupy advantageous positions on the battlefield. As at Tiers VIII and IX, the tank performs well at close to medium dis-tances but the armor isn’t something to be relied upon, other than possible bouncing of shells from the hull and turret.
Progetto M40 mod 65
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The models of the Italian vehicles above are not finalised yet.
With the Italian tech tree, a new Premium consumable will be implemented. No, it’s not pizza as you’d assume, but the pinnacle of Italian cuisine: Spaghetti. Let’s hope it doesn’t get tangled in any machinery.
As you can see, these high-tier tanks have a consistent play style meaning each progression up the branch won’t be jarring and the skills you hone at Tier VIII will benefit you at Tier X.
2. Shaping the Frontline: the Game Mode Returns as an In-Game Event
World of Tanks has passed the first wave of its 1.0.1 Common Test, where everyone got a chance to test the new incarnation of Frontline. For the second Common Test, we’ve decided to alter our approach, based on the assumption that Frontline may become more exciting as a time-limited in-game event, with all respective mechanics.
Planned to be released as part of the forthcoming update, the “Frontline: Road to Glory” event will offer revised game mechanics, which start testing today as part of 1.0.1’s Common Test 2. That said, let’s examine it in more detail.
Scheduling and Vehicles
“Road to Glory” kicks off shortly after the release of 1.01 and will be available during the following weeks. Just like with the version being tested at our Common Tests, the release version will be limited to Tier VIII machines only.
Your journey through the event will include 30 levels to reach, and passing every level will grant you valuable loot. Now let’s see how it works. At the end of every battle, you’re given a title identical to real-life military ranks. Starting from a Private and ending up with a General, the title you get depends on your performance and input.
With each title comes a respective amount of Fame Points spent on unlocking new levels, which happens automatically. Passing each level, in its turn, will give you Supply Points that you can spend on unlocking and upgrading battle consumables, and an extra reward (those will get better and better with your progress).
Second Tour of Duty
If you’d like to relive the experience, you can apply a special “Prestige” option that will totally reset your progression, allowing to blaze the warpath once again and earn the same rewards once again.
More to it, going for this option will grant you a special reward that will, among others, add Bonds to your wallet. And it’s not just the chance to head back into battle—this reward will improve each time you retake the challenge.
By the way, “Prestige” can be used three times throughout the four-week event, meaning you can earn x3 as many rewards.
Additions to Your Tank Fleet
Unlike the testing stage, where you only have standard tanks at your disposal, Frontline’s release version gives you two rental Tier VIII tanks exclusively for the event.
“Frontline: Road to Glory” has the opportunity to become a challenging and exciting event, and to reach that, some balance and gameplay tweaks may be needed. The current list and value of the rewards you’ll be earning, as well as the currently implemented mechanics, are not finalised and will be fine-tuned as we gather more player feedback and stats.