Today we are taking a closer look at one of the latest additions to the Soviet in-game tank arsenal. This vehicle has been anticipated by the Community quite strongly, especially by those players who follow the USSR heavy tanks' line and/ or enjoy the performance of the original IS-3. In this article, we will analyse the newcomer's characteristics, gameplay and to what extent does it relate to its older brother.
|General||Gun 122 mm D-25TA|
If you are sure that your tank won’t get set on fire regularly, a good idea would be to replace the Automatic Fire Extinguisher with Extra Combat Rations. This way, you'll improve not only your tank's general performance, but you'll also enhance your reload speed even further. However, please remember that this consumable needs to be replenished after each battle, which means 20,000added to the post-battle bill every time you roll out.
|Crew Skills and Perks|
At first glance, this vehicle seems quite similar to the original IS-3, and in most regards this observation is accurate. Both tanks look quite alike, have the same armour values on both the hull and the turret, sport similar beak-like frontal plates and are equipped with guns of the same calibre. However, there are some key differences between the two, which in the end determine their respective gameplays.
The first and probably the most notable difference lies in the armament. Although both tanks sport 122 mm guns, their characteristics are different: the BL-9 on the original IS-3 has better values in standard shell penetration and accuracy, whereas the IS-3 A's D-25TA has the advantage when it comes to its rate of fire and premium shell penetration. On top of that, the latter uses APCR as standard ammo, which translates into faster shell travel times.
The second important difference lies in mobility: when fully upgraded, the original IS-3 sports a 700 horsepower engine, better acceleration, traverse speed and turret traverse speed. The IS-3 A, with its 520 hp engine, is still quite mobile for a heavy tank, but will fall behind its elder brother.
The third notable difference between the IS-3 And IS-3 A lies in their crews: the A variant has only 3 crew members, which is 1 tanker less than the original. This is due to the fact that the IS-3 A is a version which was meant to be equipped with an improved loading mechanism, the application of which would have rendered the loader's role obsolete. As a result, the tank in the game is manned by a reduced number of crew, but in exchange for a better rate of fire.
How do you make the tank work? If you have played the original IS-3, you will feel at home with the A variant, as the gameplay is fairly similar: get to the frontline and brawl your way through. Just remember that you have a "pike-nose" frontal plate, so be careful when angling your armour towards incoming fire, lest you nullify the plate's own angle bonus. On top of that, make sure to hide your lower glacis when possible - the tank reflects most weak spots of the original IS-3, so the huge lower glacis is a problem both vehicles share. Also, make sure to use your gun's advantagous rate of fire - with the crew at 100% basic training and with the Brothers in Arms perk, combined with Improved Ventilation and the Gun Rammer, your reload speed will drop below 10 seconds. This is a very good value minding your caliber, which means that you are capable of hitting the enemy hard and a lot faster than what they would expect. Needless to say, being able to fire before your opponent in a stand off situation more often than not determines who stays in battle and who is sent back to the garage. Also, don't forget that you fire primarily APCR shells, which means that they fly faster than AP, so make sure to take that into consideration when firing at moving targets.
Conclusion: The IS-3 A is a good choice for any heavy tank enthusiast, as it offers a solid, competitive performance, even despite being a Premium vehicle. Players enjoying the original IS-3 will especially appreciate this tank, as it offers a very similar gameplay and behaviour. Speaking of Premium tanks, the IS-3 A naturally enjoys all the Premium tank bonuses, which means that every battle you get into with it will yield a better credit and XP income. The tank can also be used as a training platform for your Soviet heavy tank crews. Although the crew layout will not accomodate all tankers from your standard IS-type tanks, the members most important for brawling (Commander, Gunner, Driver) are still covered and will enjoy that extra XP.
If you like the Soviet heavies, the IS series in particular, you will definitely love the IS-3 A!
Good gun, reliable armour, solid performance and Premium status - that's the IS-3 A in a nutshell.