The tier 10 Japanese medium tank STB-1 can be compared to a mix between the Leopard 1 and M48A1. The STB-1 has firepower and mobility compared to the Leopard 1. It also can be compared to the M48A1 since it has somewhat relevant armor, great gun depression, and overall reliability. You would think that taking the best of these two tanks will make a flawless tank but then you would be wrong. While the STB-1 does improve upon the firepower and gun depression of it’s rivals it still lacks in other areas. The aim time and overall accuracy of the STB-1’s gun will make placing shells where you want to a major challenge at over 150m and the overall mobility climbing hills and acceleration are sub-par compared to other tier 10 mediums. Overall the STB-1 is a fantastic tank since it provides many improvements over other tier 10 medium tanks but it is not without it’s own downsides that prevent it from being the end all to other medium tanks.
This guide will breakdown the STB-1 into firepower, armor, mobility, miscellaneous attributes, and tactics to use. Starting off is a video below that goes over the pros and cons of the STB-1 as well as provide a couple matches of STB-1 gameplay.
The STB-1 is focused around its 105mm gun that does 390 damage per shot and has a base rounds per minute of 7.5. This gives the STB-1 a 6.60 second reload with a 100% crew, ventallion, and a rammer. With this set up you can get a possible 3,545 damage per minute which outclasses most tanks at tier 10 and all tier 10 medium tanks. The penetration is slightly lacking at 258mm for the APCR round but that is only when you compare it to some other tier 10 guns and in reality it is plenty for dealing with most tanks. The HEAT round while it is at 330mm penetration is a bit of a downer since if you hit any spaced armor it is essentially worthless. Ammunition aside the gun is a potential damage machine and is very deadly in the right hands.
The main downsides of the firepower are the overall accuracy and aim time of the STB-1. The listed accuracy is .36 at 100m which is by no means bad…but at mid to long range when combined with the 258mm of penetration you can have difficulties dealing with heavily armored tanks with small weak spots. The aim time is 2.3 seconds which is just above the level where you can easily aim in from full speed and get a shot off before an artillery shell hits your or an alert enemy hits you. While the on the move accuracy is not bad, once again when coupled with the aim time it provides a negative to the tank when you need to get a well aimed shot off.
Armor wise the STB-1 has very weak armor on the sides and rear of the tank like most medium tanks. It does however have decent frontal armor since the front has a decent 101mm section with a good angle on it and when you use your gun depression to angle that further you can get some auto-bounces off of it. The main armor that you need on a tank like the STB-1 is turret armor and especially frontal turret armor. With the STB-1’s turret being very short and “squashed” and 132mm of armor on the front with decent angles you can shrug off some non-tier 10 shots that hit you in most areas. While the mantlet of the STB-1 is not very thick it does provide layers which will stop HEAT shells and since your overall profile is small there is a decent chance to hit it even though it is small.
Overall while the STB-1 doesn’t have excellent armor it is leaps and bounds over the Leopard 1 which is all that really matters. It has just enough armor to provide some saving throws when you really need them and while you cannot rely upon it is is better than no armor what-so-ever.
When it comes to mobility the STB-1 has a top speed of 53 km/h which it can hit with a little bit of assistance from a hill. On level ground the STB-1 is slightly more mobile than the M48A1 but slower than the Leopard 1. This level of mobility is enough to be able to get to where you are needed quick enough to matter and also to be able to out maneuver some heavy tanks/tank destroyers. The main drawbacks of the mobility of the STB-1 come from it’s performance climbing hills and it’s acceleration/turning from a standstill. While these two aspects aren’t “bad” they can be noticeable at times when you have a high alpha tank chasing you down!
As touched on earlier in the guide and in the video is the awesome gun depression the STB-1 has. At tier 10 it easily has the best gun depression at -10 degrees and when combined with the short profile it makes it very difficult to hit the STB-1 when it is in a hull down position. The 50 pieces of ammunition the STB-1 can carry is enough that you will not run out of shells unless you either miss a ton of shots or you have to drag a team to victory. On the other hand you will want to carry mostly APCR with 12 pieces or less of HEAT/HE ammo since APCR is your most useful round.
Firing While Stationary: 2.9%
Firing While Moving: 2.18%
Aiming Circle Spread
After Shooting: 2.877
Turret Traversing: 0.134
Turret Traversing Full Speed: 5.64
Hull Moving: 0.153
Hull Moving Full Speed: 8.13
Hull Traversing: 0.153
Hull Traversing Full Speed: 7.98
Hard Ground: 0.959
Medium Ground: 1.055
Soft Ground: 2.11
Playing a STB-1 is very similar to playing a Leopard 1 in that you want to be off of the front lines or confined areas to begin the match. Due to your great gun depression and damage potential you want to be slightly behind the fight and get off shots without being spotted ideally. However, due to your accuracy/penetration issues you will want to stay close enough that you aren’t simply shooting shells hoping that they hit weak spots on tougher tanks.
Generally if you team sets up in a well balanced way I will play in a “support” role for the first few minutes and get in a good spot to help shoot at spotted enemies out in the open. After this phase you can get progressively closer to help finish off enemies that just need that extra tank of help to finish to skirmish without your team taking to much damage. Keep in mind that your tank plays the best when it is on uneven terrain and there is not a lot of buildings to hide behind. Keep some distance from the enemy so that you can use your small profile as your armor but not enough to where you hurt yourself with your accuracy/penetration.