The new tier 10 British heavy tank being released goes by FV215b and will have a few unique features making it an interesting tank to drive and face.
Starting off with some basic stats of the FV215b you will see that it has an impressive 2,600 HP pool which puts it ahead of the T110E5/IS-4/IS-7/AMX50 B and behind the E-100/Maus. The HP pool is this high due to the overall lack of armor the FV215b is fitted with as it only has 130mm/51/51 hull armor and 152/82/70 turret armor. For a heavy tank these values are very low and even accounting for slope the frontal hull armor is largely useless against T8+ tanks. The frontal turret armor is slightly more protected but T9+ tanks can penetrate reliably if they do not aim for the mantlet.
The side armor while only 51mm thick has additional spaced armor. The tracks are also very wide and provide a large space between the hull and the spaced armor meaning that HE shells and SPG misses will be largely negated by the spaced armor even though combined the hull+spaced armor doesnt top 100mm. One tactic that will be a go-to for FV215b driver’s is the “skyscraper” tactic many use in other rear-turret mounted tanks as it hides most of the hull while allows you to shoot at your enemy. This technique being used in the FV215b can be seen in the video below I uploaded off of the 8.1 test server and starts around 2:15 into the video with me using it with a decent success given that the building I was using wasn’t exactly the best location for it. Due to the wide tracks with the outer layer of the spaced armor this technique will allow the FV215b to use this technique and hide 90+% of it’s hull armor.
Many will fear that due to the very weak overall armor of the FV215b especially for the frontal armor that module/crew damage will cripple the tank. This is somewhat true but at the same time is not as bad as it could be. The engine is located just ahead of the turret and shots that penetrate the frontal glacis/lower glacis will not do any engine game but rather fuel tank damage(bad but still livable) and driver damage. Engine damage is possible from the side if shots land just ahead of the turret but by then you are pretty much exposed as it is. Aside from the frontal fuel tank/driver hits every other module/crew damage falls in line with other tanks in most places and I have not noticed any other glaring issues in this aspect of the FV215b.
The FV215b’s mobility is also a large advantage it will have over it’s fellow tier 10 heavy tanks. While it’s top speed is only 34 km/h it easily reaches it on flat and slight inclines. It’s hull traverse is also 38 deg/sec which allows it to move around very similar to a medium tank(to me it feels more like a medium than a heavy driving wise). It’s pass-ability on non-favorable terrain also is good and feels a tad better than the T110E5.
The FV215b comes equipped with the 120mm L1A1 which is very impressive when stacked up against it’s closest T10 heavy tank relative the T110E5.
The “base” stats for the 120mm L1A1 are on the left. T110E5’s 120mm M58 on the right.
400 Damage—400 Damage
269mm Penetration AP–352mm Penetration APDS—269mm Penetration AP–381mm Penetration HEAT
7.5 RPM–3,000 DPM—6.0 RPM–2,400 DPM
.32 Accuracy at 100m—.35 Accuracy at 100m
1.7 Second Aim Time—2 Second Aim Time
This puts the FV215b as the best heavy tank in regard to firepower and it’s ability to dish out damage in a hurry. While it doesn’t have the armor protection the T110E5 does frontally it easily outclasses it with it’s capability of doing damage and also with it’s overall accuracy. The on the move accuracy for the FV215b is also very good for a heavy tank and still being able to fire while moving at 100m-150m and hitting a target reliably. One aspect which might be overlooked is it’s gun depression as the FV215b’s gun depression hovers are -6 degrees. While not bad it does force the tank to be exposed much more while fighting on uneven terrain. The .32 accuracy however allows it to be a very deadly sniper since even at 300m+ it can effectively pick apart any tank that is in it’s line of fire.
Great gun(400DMG/7.5 RPM)
Excellent on-the-move accuracy
.32 Overall accuracy
400m view range
Weak armor for a heavy tank
Rear mounted turret
Highly situational for setting up it’s armor to be effective
“Meh” gun depression
Highly vulnerable to direct artillery hits
While not your standard heavy tank with loads of armor the FV215b will certainly be a useful tank and enjoyable to play. It’s top notch 3,000 DPM for a teir 10 heavy tank and it’s 2,600 HP pool will make up for it’s shortcomings in the armor department for those players who can effectively limit damage taken while dishing out by using its good mobility and rear mounted turret. With “gold” rounds about to become more frequently used since they are available for silver the armor factor is not a huge issue with me. It remains to be seen what changes will occur as the 8.1 test server enters the next phases but I doubt much will change for the FV215b. Possibly a small on the move accuracy nerf or a very small RoF nerf but nothing drastic. In it’s current state I give it a 3/5 since for many it will be to difficult to drive as it requires many specific techniques to use correctly, is highly situational, and is not a true “heavy tank”.