Sitting at tier 9 in the British tank destroyer tank line is the Tortoise, which as it’s name suggests is not a very agile tank destroyer. Due to this very limited mobility the Tortoise’s closest comparison is another tier 9 tank destroyer in the form of the T95. However, even though the Tortoise has the appearance of great armor with the listed 228/152/101 armor values it pales in comparison to the T95 that often is an impenetrable wall. For what the Tortoise does not have in the mobility or armor department it makes up in the firepower department with it’s top 120mm gun. Getting to that gun initially is a some what painful grind since without it the Tortoise can be easily over matched since it faces primarily tier 9 and tier 10 tanks. Once unlocked the Tortoise turns into one of the deadliest tanks in the game and has insane damage per minute for a tier 9 tank.
This tank guide will break the Tortoise down into firepower, armor, mobility, miscellaneous categories, and tactics to use to play the Tortoise well. Starting off is a quick overview video that goes over a few pros/cons of the Tortoise as well as giving some tips to playing it effectively.
The Tortoise is entirely dependent on it’s gun since there isn’t much else going for the tank destroyer other than it’s large amount of DPM. The top 120mm does 400 damage per shot and it’s reload is 5.86 seconds with a 100% crew, brother’s in arms, a rammer, and ventilation. With this it has an insane 4,095 damage per minute value which at tier 9 is unheard of and even at tier 10 is one of the best in the game. Not only do you get this excellent firepower but you also get great accuracy, superb aim time, and great penetration since you are a tank destroyer. You’ll never have a difficult time at aiming at weak spots since the aiming circle remains small with your slow speed and aiming in takes no time. If you can make the most of the Tortoise’s damage potential it is truly an amazing tank to play.
At first glance the 228/152/101 armor values make the Tortoise appear to have more armor than it actually has. At tier 9 these armor values could be excellent, however the thickest parts of the armor are easily avoidable due to the large size of the Tortoise or they simply are not angled enough to stop most tier 9/tier 10 tank guns. The strongest spots of the Tortoise’s armor are around the gun where it gets up to 300mm thick and the lower glacis portion where it is angled at 228mm. However, once you look at the “cheeks” of the Tortoise as well as the large mini-turret on top you will find that these spots are easily damaged by tier 9+ tanks at under 150m. To make the most of the Tortoise’s armor you want to stay at mid to long range and use your accurate gun to out damage people while your weak spots are slightly masked with the range.
One glaring issue with the Tortoise’s armor is the top mini-turret that most people will aim for. Sitting in here is one of the two loaders who will be the most killed crew member and thus reduces the damage per minute you rely upon to be relevant. While you do have 2,000 HP(more than the FV215b (183) that follows the Tortoise) it is needed since due to your large size, slow movement, and huge weak spots you will be a prime target for enemy tanks.
Both the T95 and Tortoise are in the category of least mobile tanks in World of Tanks currently. While the Tortoise is more mobile than the T95 by a significant margin it simply cannot get to key areas to begin a match and cannot re-position across the map if it is needed. To be a good Tortoise driver you need to be able to figure out the best locations for this tank destroyer on each map as well as the location best for that specific match. If you bet on the wrong side you can easily be left out of the battle until it is to late or put yourself in a position to be flanked easily and torn apart. Your traverse speed while not that terrible is low enough that all mediums and most heavy tanks can get around to your sides if you are not careful. While your 4,000+ DPM is a deterrent it cannot always protect you and people know that once they get out of your gun arc they have an easy 2,000 damage waiting for them to grab.
There are not many more interesting features to the Tortoise when it comes to small stats to nit pick over. The gun depression is not bad at -10 degrees, but if it was any worse it would completely ruin the tank due to the large size. The view range at 390m combined with the low camouflage values and large size mean that you will be spotted if you push to far towards the front lines. Equipping coated optics will help with this slightly and is better used than a camouflage net since that only works if you are completely still. To top it all off is a large pool of 60 pieces of ammunition which is often overlooked. Even with 60 pieces you can find yourself running low in some matches since you can fire a shell every 5.86 seconds, but it does give you some wiggle room to have a good mix of AP/APCR/HE.
Firing While Stationary: 2.6%
Firing While Moving: 1.58%
Aiming Circle Spread
After Shooting: 3.356
Turret Traversing: 0.058
While Moving: 0.249
Hard Ground: 1.247
Medium Ground: 1.438
Soft Ground: 2.493
If you have watched the video to start this Tortoise tank guide you will have already seen that fighting at close range or confined spaces is not ideal. The Tortoise shines as a second line tank(which with it’s speed it is hard to be in the front to begin with) since it’s armor gets a small boost since enemies will often miss the large weak spots. Being further back also allows you to easily engage many targets advancing into your friendly tank since the gun arc is wide and the accuracy/aim time allows quick target acquisition. Being flanked as with any tank destroyer is something to always keep in the back of your mind since once that happens you are toast. If you push past a potential flanking route make sure that any enemies going through it will at least be spotted before they are able to reach you.
Typically I approach a match in the Tortoise and start with thinking, “where can I set up quickly to get shells into multiple advancing enemies.” Usually I will go to the first location that allows me to get shells down range quickly and allow my teammates do the spotting. This not only keeps you safe behind the front lines but also keeps the enemy from gaining to much ground(thus getting closer to you). After the first few minutes you can get a sense of where you can start to push to take the fight to the enemy. With your 2,000 HP you can often use that as your armor if you are fighting enemies already weakened by friendly tanks. Above all when you make your push make sure to at least have 1-2 friendly tanks in your area to help with any enemies that decide to flank you.
This World of Tanks Tortoise guide will be updated with additional videos and information when it becomes available.