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Top of the Tree: IS-4

Commanders,

After two weeks of celebrating German precision in the last Top of the Tree special, the time has come to try out something different. In this edition we will be putting raw power before fine engineering! That’s right, for the next 2 weeks we’ll be focusing on Soviet heavy tanks!

Follow the research line leading to the IS-4 and enjoy great discounts and Crew XP bonuses:

 

50% discount on purchase of the following Soviet vehicles:

II T-26
III T-46
IV T-28
V KV-1

 

 

30% discount on purchase of the following Soviet vehicles:

VI T-150
VII KV-3
VIII KV-4
IX ST-I
X IS-4

 

+50% Crew XP bonus on all vehicles discounted in the special

Your crews will be also very excited about the new toys in your garage!

 

These bonuses will be available from 1 April at 07:10 until 15 April at 07:00 CEST (UTC +2).

 

IS-4


“Roll out? More like ‘Roll through!’ ”

 

In-Game Performance

The IS-4 can be described as a very well-rounded tank with decent values in most aspects. The highlight of this vehicle is definitely its gun which has relatively good alpha damage potential, aiming time and penetration values. Moreover, it’s also quite accurate for a Soviet tank. Make no mistake however – Soviet standards of accuracy differ greatly from the ones you may be accustomed to if you have played tanks of other nations. When we say “quite accurate by Soviet standards,” we mean “rather less accurate” by American standards and “a piece of junk” by German ones. Hence, if you want to get this vehicle, abandon all hopes of using it as the team’s sniper.

Another great feature of this vehicle is the armour. Even though the frontal plate is only 140 mm thick, it is very well sloped. As a result, the effective armour thickness is much greater than it looks on paper and there is a high chance of incoming fire ricocheting. It is worth mentioning at this point that the vehicle’s sides are also very well armoured, sporting a total of 160 mm thick plating – a feature which is quite useful in the heat of the battle. However, the strongest part of the tank is its outstanding turret: not only does it have great armour-thickness values on all sides, it is also well sloped on its front, making it very difficult to penetrate.

As you  know, there is no perfect tank and the IS-4 is not free from flaws . One of the most obvious drawbacks this vehicle suffers from is its bad mobility. The tank does not accelerate too well and its turning speed is simply dreadful. On top of that, even though the frontal upper plate is quite decent in terms of protection, the lower glacis can’t be relied on – it’s relatively large and can be penetrated by pretty much anything fired at it. In addition to this, having your front penetrated quite often results in the driver being knocked out. Needless to say, this may cause a lot of complications, especially if you’re busy fending off an opponent who is more mobile than you.

All in all, the IS-4 is a quite well-rounded tank that performs quite nicely but does not really have any extraordinary qualities that  distinguish it in any way. As a result, it’s not the easiest vehicle to master and can cause a lot of frustration, so, as ever, the right tactic is key to success.

 

Tactics

The IS-4 can be described as a text book example of a first-line assault vehicle. Its role on the battlefield is very rigid and any attempts at utilizing it differently will most likely end in a spectacular disaster. The tank is too inaccurate to be an effective sniper and too slow to act as a flanker. As a result, it will never perform well unless you play it as a pure, ironclad, frontline breaker/defender. That is why when you enter a battle in the IS-4, you have to assume the role of the team’s hammer – a rough, unsophisticated, brutal weapon which only exists  to smash, crush and destroy the enemy with raw force. It is your undisputed responsibility to make direct contact with the enemy, brawl in close quarters, break enemy defenses and defend strategic positions by any means necessary. If you refuse to act accordingly, you will be a major liability to your team and most likely one of the decisive factors in the team’s defeat. The IS-4’s place is always in the first line of the front. Always.

Being in the right place at the right time, however, is not enough to be effective. Bearing in mind the vehicle’s setbacks and strong points, you also need to adjust your combat routine accordingly. First and foremost, you need to protect your lower glacis. It is the biggest weak spot your vehicle has. Therefore, hull-down should be your primary manoeuvre – find a pile of rubble, a wreck or a rock and use it as a shield to protect your lower plate. Driving into a deep bomb crater can work as well. In case there is nothing you can use for that purpose, angle your tank towards incoming fire. This way you’ll increase the chance to ricochet incoming shells and avoid damage. Depending on the situation, moving your hull around can also work to your benefit, as it will make it more difficult for the enemy to aim.

Also, having really strong armour on the sides, the IS-4 is also very effective in side-scraping. 

If you’d like to learn how to perform the armour angling and side-scraping manoeuvres, check out the appropriate episode in the Tank Academy article series.

Also, please be advised that the hull-down manoeuvre will be covered shortly in the upcoming episode of the series as well, so don’t forget to visit the website regularly.

 

In order to maximise your performance on the battlefield, we suggest installing the following equipment:
       
Improved Ventilation Class 3   Large-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer   Vertical Stabiliser Mk 2

 

 

In addition, your crew members should learn the following skills and perks:
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Driver width="52" width="52"
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As always, please consider the setup for both the equipment and crew skills as suggestions. Feel free to experiment on your own and choose what you think works best for you.

 

Roll out, Commanders!

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