Chinese tanks in World of Tanks resemble their Russian counterparts in many ways, while also having a distinct play style. Most Chinese tanks cram in larger guns than many other same tier tanks giving them great damage per shot values. This comes at a cost with poor accuracy and abysmal gun depression for many Chinese tanks. Currently China has a full light, medium, and heavy tank line. Tank destroyers are being implemented but for the time being are exclusive to the Chinese server. This World of Tanks which tank line guide focuses on Chinese tanks.
World of Tanks Which Tank Line?
Low Tier Line (VAE Type B -> Type T-34)
VAE Type B (Tier 2)
Currently you have to go through the same tier 2-5 tanks to get to either the medium or heavy line for the Chinese. At tier 2 the VAE Type B is interesting tank since it can equip the Pom Pom which makes the British low tanks so fun to play but it is not required on any future tanks. You can either bypass the tank very quickly and never look back or stick around for a while and have a great gun at tier 2.
Chi-Ha (Tier 3)
Tier 3 brings the Chi-Ha which doesn’t sport tons of speed or mobility like other light tanks but it makes up for it with it’s great top gun that packs a mean punch. The top 47mm gun can chew through anything(even tier 5 tanks) the Chi-Ha sees and the only real downsides is the combination of poor mobility for alight and armor. Good tank nonetheless.
M5A1 Stuart (Tier 4)
At tier 4 the line shifts towards a “scout” tank with the M5A1 Stuart which many go into expecting it to be as bad as the American M5 Stuart which is not the case. The M4A1 shares the same 47mm of the Chi-Ha but on a more mobile platform capable of being a very good scout/spotter for tier 4. The gun is good enough to be able to contribute to the fight and sway skirmishes in your team’s favor or to pick off fellow scouts. While scout tanks might not be for everyone this is not a bad tank.
Type T-34 (Tier 5)
Following the M4A1 however is the Type T-34 which is nothing “special” It doesn’t an amazing gun since the top 57mm lacks the staying power at tier 5 as far as alpha goes since it requires you to get multiple shots in to keep up in damage. This tank is pretty painful to grind through and often you’ll find yourself outclassed by many other of your tier 5 counterparts.
Light Tank Line (59-16 -> WZ-132-1)
59-16 (Tier 6)
The light tank/scout line starts with the 59-16 at tier 6. The 59-16 has two gun options with a stock 57mm and upgraded 76mm. The stock gun is more accurate but has less DPM and lower damage per shot. With premium rounds the 57mm gains a little penetration over the 76mm. The upgraded 76mm is typically the better gun. It has more DPM, higher damage, and more penetration on the standard round. With .38 accuracy(100% crew) and decent on the move accuracy with a vertical stabilizer it gets the job done. The 59-16 is very compact and elite is very mobile.
Being a light tank the armor is extremely poor on both the hull and turret. 360 view range is the lowest for tier 6 lights and this trait remains throughout the rest of the Chinese lights. The 59-16 is great at zipping in and out of fights unloading damage and scurrying off to safety. While it can scout it will be slightly inferior to lights like the T21 and T37 in the vision department.
WZ-131 (Tier 7)
The WZ-131 at tier 8 keeps the same basic characteristics of the 59-16. Low armor, low view range(for a light), good mobility, and a punchy gun. The top 85mm gun does 200 damage per shot and has 159mm standard penetration. Accuracy sees a significant improvement with a .35 value(100% crew) and on the move accuracy is superb. Like the 59-16 you are towards the bottom of your tier with 370m view range. Your mobility is top notch however with a 60 km/h top speed and killer power to weight ratio. Gun depression can be an issue with only 5 degrees making fighting on hills out of the question.
WZ-132 (Tier 8)
The WZ-132 starts off a little slow until you gain the top 100mm gun that lets the tank shine. Your accuracy takes a hit coming from the WZ-131 by dropping to .38 (100% crew). With the 100mm you gain best in class 250 damage per shot with an excellent 189mm penetration for a tier 8 light. The 5 degrees of gun depression still remains and makes fighting on hilly terrain difficult. While your mobility still remains excellent you no longer have a leg up over most light tanks in your tier. The difference is minor but is important to know you are at a slight disadvantage.
Keeping with the trend the WZ-132 only have 380m view range which lags behind most other lights. For comparison the HWK 12 has 410m and the M41 Bulldog has 400m.
WZ-132A (Tier 9)
From this point on the Chinese light line simply improves upon the WZ-132 design. The WZ-132A’s upgraded gun gives you a 320 damage round on a tier 9 light tank. Only the T49’s howitzer gun beats this value and the T49 sacrifices a lot for the alpha. The WZ-132A compared to the WZ-132 does lose some accuracy, .4 from .38 and terrain resistance. Due to an increase in engine power the WZ-132A moves around slightly better than the previous tank.
Compared to its peers the WZ-132A still lacks a pinch of view range(390m) compared to the 410m values on the T49 and RU 251. However it has similar DPM to the baseline of tier 9 lights while having a huge damage per shot advantage. This means you require less shots to reach your full DPM value. Only the T49 with the 90mm edges out the WZ-132A when it comes to DPM. Like previous Chinese lights you are still handicapped by 5 degrees of gun depression.
WZ-132-1 (Tier 10)
The pinnacle of Chinese lights is the tier 10 WZ-132-1. The WZ-132-1 finally incorporates armor into the mix by having excellent turret armor for a light tank. The values are 200/160/65 in mm thickness compared to the 55/35/20 values found on the tier 9 WZ-132A. View range also gets bumped up to 400m which no longer is at the bottom of the pack. The T-100 LT and AMX 13 105 only have 390m while the Rhm. Pzw. and Sheridan have 420m.
Compared to tier 10 lights the WZ-132-1 does sacrifice some mobility sinc eit has a poor power to weight ratio for a tier 10 light. Compared to the WZ-132A is still is an improvement and you’ll still outpace medium tanks. The most important part of the WZ-132-1 is its firepower since Chinese lights have focused on that area the entire light line. The WZ-132-1 has the best damage per shot at 390 which nearly equals tier 10 heavy tanks. DPM is only surpassed by the Sheridan by roughly 160 DPM. Penetration is also best in class for your standard round at 246mm penetration. You do still have to contend with 5 degrees of gun depression and .4 accuracy.
Looking at the complete package the WZ-132-1 is the most medium-like light tank of tier 10 lights. It sports excellent turret armor, packs a 390 damage round, and improves its predecessors vision issues. It doesn’t perform well on hilly terrain but provides excellent damage support to your team being on a mobile chassis.
Medium Tank Line (Type 58 ->121)
Type 58 (Tier 6)
The medium tank line that starts with the Type 58 and ends with the Type 34-2. The Type 58 like the Type T-34 before it is a very bland tank with nothing going for it. The gun options are decent but not amazing, mobility is average, and the armor won’t stand up against your peers. Overall the Type 58 is not a terrible tank and the stock grind isn’t very painful but in the end it isn’t anything worthwhile and should be pushed through quickly.
T-34-1 & T-34-2 (Tier 7/8)
Moving onto the T-34-1 that follows you are treated to much the same but gain a better top gun. The mobility of the T-34-1 is good for a medium but on hilly terrain you will struggle with keeping that speed. The top 100m packs a punch but lacks penetration and accuracy which forces you to fight a bit closer than you would like with the low armor/HP on the tank. Rounding off the medium tree is the T-34-2 which is very similar to the T-34-1 expect it gains improved guns to use. At tier 8 you lack armor/HP like the previous T-34-1 but your gun makes up for it slightly albeit the accuracy prevents you from fighting at a comfortable range.
WZ-120 (Tier 9)
Both the light tank and medium tank line converge at tier 9 with the WZ-120. It’s recommended to grab any guns you can prior to unlocking the WZ-120 if you are going down the light tank line to bypass some of the stock grind and if you went down the medium line you are just out of luck. The WZ-120 doesn’t have a great deal of armor except for the turret and the HP is enough to allow you to soak up some shots.
Like previous Chinese tanks the mobility are above average and allows you to move around the map where you are needed aside from hilly areas. The gun depression takes a massive hit and is almost non-existent in this tank and the tier 10 that follows due to the massive guns strapped onto them. The top 122m transforms this tank into a typical medium tank into a medium tank with a heavy tank’s punch on it.
121 (Tier 10)
At tier sits the 121 which is an improved WZ-120 in many ways. The gun depression still is on a vacation so do not rely on it and avoid cresting any kind of bumps. The 122m gun that is gimped at tier 9 reaches it’s full potential at tier 10 and is a deadly weapon when harnessed correctly. The HP pool and armor increases allow shrug off most of the durability issues that you have been burdened with throughout the gun. The main drawback is simply the lack of gun depression and if you can get over that this tank is very rewarding.
Heavy Tank Line (IS-2->113 & WZ-111 5A)
IS-2 (Tier 7)
The Chinese heavy line starts off at tier 7 with the IS-2 that is unlocked via the Type 58. The IS-2 is very similar to the IS in the Russian line(Russian line is a blend of the IS-1/IS-2 versions) and is slightly better overall. The IS-2 is somewhat is a heavy medium tank since it’s armor is adequate at bouncing some rounds but not enough to rely upon and it’s mobility is decent for a heavy tank. The guns on the IS-2 are hard hitting with good penetration but low accuracy/bad aim times so fighting at close range(brawling) and slugging it out suits this tank the best. Avoid open areas or uneven terrain and the IS-2 is a very good tank to play.
110 (Tier 8)
At tier 8 the 110 will also draw comparisons to the Russian tier 8 heavy tank the IS-3. Armor wise they share the same “pike nose” layout which is best when pointing directly at the enemy and the frontal layout is very good at tier 8. The lower glacis is rather weak at over 150m but if you fight at 50-100m you can have enemies “shoot down” into it thus making it fairly strong and frustrating the hell out of them. Aside from the increased armor protection the 110 plays similar to the IS-2 in that it is decently mobile, has iffy gun depression, and packs a hard hitting arsenal of guns. Unlock the 100mm before moving onto the tier 9 WZ-111 to save yourself the horror of a tier 9 stock grind.
WZ-111 1-4 (Tier 9)
Tier 9 sees your armor drop a tad since at tier 9 the WZ-111 1-4’s armor will not protect you against tier 9/10 guns. The turret is protected somewhat and the hull armor will bounce poorly aimed shots due to it’s angles but overall the armor is not a strong point of this tank. What the WZ-111 has is very good speed for a heavy tank and it equips a monstrous 130mm top gun with 490 alpha that at tier 9 is very deadly. Aside from the slightly low armor you play this similar to the IS-2/110 and try to poke out, hit someone for 490+ damage, and then move back into cover. Avoid open fields or places where you find yourself needing to fight at long ranges.
113 (Tier 10)
The 130mm gun of the WZ-111 does not carry over to the tier 10 heavy tank 113 unlike most other tank lines in the game currently. The 113 is another medium/heavy hybrid type of heavy tank which can be a bit frustrating to driven incorrectly. The gun depression is below average which leads to cresting hills or operating on uneven terrain frustrating. The gun depression to the sides of the tank is slightly better. This sometimes allows you to take shots you otherwise cannot make. The mobility is very good for a heavy tank allowing it to keep up with most medium tanks. Use this to your advantage to stay one step ahead of slower heavies and tank destroyers.
The 122m it equips does 440 alpha and has a good amount of DPM. The gun doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses unless you come across a tank with 750+ damage. With the nice blend of damage per shot, DPM, and penetration it dishes out damage easily. The frontal glacis is heavily angled and is not very thick. You can easily angle the upper glacis a bit more on your own to achieve auto-bounce levels. Be aware that the side armor is extremely poor on the hull and to not expose it to much.
WZ-111 5a (Tier 10)
The newer tier 10 for the Chinese is the WZ-111 5a. It takes what worked at tier 9 with the WZ-111 1-4 and dials it up a notch at tier 10. Compared to the 113 you have a higher alpha gun with 490 damage per shot instead of 440. Penetration is virtually the same and accuracy is slightly worse at .37. Frontally the WZ-111 5a’s armor is slightly better head on than the 113’s. Both share the same weak lower glacis that will be difficult to protect.
The WZ-111 5a has slightly worse mobility versus the 113 which is most noticeable climbing hills. With the turret located more towards the front than the 113. The WZ-111 5a can shoot slightly better, albeit not great, over uneven terrain. However, the 113 shooting over the sides will still beat out the WZ-111 5a. The main difference between the two is the WZ-111 5a has 50 damage more per shot at no cost to DPM. The 113 is more mobile and has a gun where missing a shot is less of an impact given the higher RoF.
113 Weak Spots: https://wotguru.com/weak-spot-guide-113/
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