First of all I would like to thank Garbad for writing the article for the blog, this time he gives us a T-54 First Prototype review. Hope you guys enjoy.
Many players wonder if the T-54 Prototype is the premium for them. Tier 8 is the most profitable tier, its in a profitable and useful line, and it is similar to many other successful Russian mediums. So let’s take a look at this tank and see how it stacks up.
The T-54P is simply a T-54 hull with a T-44 turret. Its modules and gear are very similar to other russian mediums, especially the T-44, with some exceptions.
Due to the T-54P’s low top speed and vision, many people think of it of a heavy similar to the Super Pershing and run heavy modules. However, I disagree. Because of its low penetration and softish armor, the T-54P is better suited avoiding head to head combat with heavies. Accordingly, I run standard medium gear – Vert, Rammer, Optics with a standard medium crew — 6th sense and camo priorty, then BIA, then utility skills including view range.
The tank has a limited ammo count and low penetration, so I recommend a generous stock of APCR and little to no HE. The tank is not particularly fire prone and can run food if you wish.
- Practically identical overall firepower to the familar Type 59, T-44, etc
- Low penetration (183), average APCR round (235), poor HE round
- Worst bloom values of similar mediums on the move
- Inexplicably gets worse depression and elevation than the T-44/Type 59
- Limited ammo count can be a major liability
- Good accuracy (.35), decent aim time (2.3), and good overall comfort (familiar Russian play)
The T-54P has the worst firepower of any t8 medium, and t8 mediums as a class tend to have pretty weak firepower (compared to t7/8 heavy/tds and t9 mediums). Its poor penetration limits its ability to fight heavies or up-tier frontally while its low ammo limits its carry-hard-ability. The only positives are decent accuracy at range and the comfort of Russian hulls, which many players will know how to leverage to their advantage.
- Excellent camo, among the best in the game
- Compact size and shape, suitable for hull down – especially using wrecks
- ~175 to ~200 effective hardness frontally
- Low HP pool (1300)
The T-54P is simply not that hard of a tank — ~175 to 200 is decent enough to bully weaklings, but has little chance against in tier opponents. It has numerous weak-points, including a softish lower glacis, the cheeks of the turret, and soft turret sides. Despite this, its reasonably formidable against common 175 pen opponents if well angled. More importantly, it has superb camo and a small size, meaning your best defense is usually your ability to hide and avoid fire.
- Awful top speed (44) which severely limits your gameplay
- Agility, turning, and acceleration are poorish but comparable to other mediums
- Low HP/Ton makes you notably sluggish uphill
The T-54P’s awful top speed severely limit your ability to play as a medium. Although it can move just fine in a local area, its inability to flank or relocate is a major flaw.
- Very popular line, good for crew training
- Dismal average performance – worst in class win rate, dpg, exp/game, and credits/game
- Reasonably fun and familiar to play, if you can tolerate slow
- Categorically inferior to several similar tanks (Type 59)
The T-54P is a poor choice as a premium. Because it has poor penetration and speed, its forced to fire a lot of APCR which greatly limit your profits. Its also general tactical impotence and inability to force favourable fights leads to a lot of bad games and difficulty carrying.
Comparison to Peers
vs T-44 / T-44-100
The T-54P has virtually identical stats to the T-44 except slightly harder frontal plate (~150 up to ~200) but drastically lower top speed (56 down to 44). The extra hardness helps, but the loss of speed hurts worse, and its not like the T-44 was good to start with.
vs Type 59
The Type 59 has functionally equivalent protection (slightly better turret, slightly worse frontally) and firepower combined with much better top speed AND limited matchmaking. It is far superior to the T-54P.
vs Other Premiums
Premiums need to either be able to dominate limited Mming games (IS-6) or have high base penetration so as to made tons of credits, even against tier 10s (Lorraine). The T-54P has neither. Its both weak at carryharding when top tier and does a poor job of earning credits. Almost any other premium would outperform it one or both areas.
Playstyles Hints and Tactics
Exploit your Camouflage
I found the biggest strength of the T-54P was its combination of high camo and decent accuracy. This made it a fairly potent camo sniper, especially when you could get to spots other tanks might not be able to. Its excellent camo also allow it to serve as a decent spotter – get in a bush and camp and you are as good as almost any light.
Pick a Spot and Dominate it
The T-54P can’t really move around the map very well, so its critical to pick a good spot. The good news is once you are in a good spot, your camo/toughness make you reasonably hard to dig out, especially if you avoid the congested areas. See my replays for examples, but avoiding the groups and irritating people from the side made this tank much more effective than trying to be a bad IS-3 or a worse light.
If Bully then Bully
The T-54P can overwhelm most tier 6s, so an easy way to help your team is to seek out and crush isolated low tiers such as cromwells, light tanks, KV-85, and so on. Particularly depending on the matchup, if the T-54P shows up in an area where mostly lights/mediums go it can be the toughest kid on the block and bully its way through. Just don’t engage heavies head on, and avoid tanks like the E-50, Defender, or Super Pershing at all costs.
Here is about 150 solo pub replays in the T-54P covering all maps and situations. I attained 62% win rate and about 1070 exp/game overall, which is decently good I think.
The T-54P wants to be a good tank, but its just not at all. Its combination of terrible top speed, horrible penetration, and moderate armor mean its at a disadvantage against every other tier 8. Its particularly weak against the ubiqutous defender/IS-3 clones that dominate the tier. Too slow to scout, too weak to brawl, limited firepower to leverage make the T-54P a very mediocre tank.
So how to fix it? WG wants the T-54P to be different from the T-44-100 (traditional medium) or Type 59 (uparmored medium) so they made the T-54P very slow, like a heavium. That’s fine, but they didn’t give it the penetration or toughness it needs to compete. Giving it the T-54 2nd gun (201 pen, 300 alpha, similar DPM/handling to now) should give this tank the firepower increase it needs to compete. With that gun it would be an interesting bully/sniper even in tier 10. Alternatively, they could just increase its base speed to 56, give it limited matchmaking, increase its ammo count, improve its turret, increase its view range/loader, and call it a Type 59. Yeah.
Recommended for collectors or experienced players only. Everyone else can find another tank that can do what you need a lot better than this poor dud.