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Self-Propelled Guns

Self-Propelled Guns

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The SU-26, an example of a Soviet self-propelled gun.

Self-propelled guns (also known as artillery,SPGs, arty) are fragile armored vehicles which provide indirect fire support from a long distance. They are represented by a green or red square on the mini-map and over their respective target marker.


Characteristics

Artillery are the most unique class of armored vehicles in the game, sharing very few characteristics with the other four classes. Artillery's most distinguishing feature is its ability to aim and shoot over terrain and other obstacles. Unlike the other four classes, SPGs do not get a "sniper" mode. Instead, by pressing left shift, the player enters a birds-eye view which allows them to look at a limited area of any chosen part of the map. Using this view artillery can aim at enemy targets over terrain and structures (depending on the size of the structure, the trajectory of the shell, and the range of the artillery's gun).

Artillery generally have the most powerful, highest caliber guns for their tier. Unlike most tanks and tank destroyers, artillery fire high-explosive (HE) shells as their primary form of ammunition. This type of shell explodes on impact and does not need to penetrate a vehicle's armor to do damage. The explosion of a large HE shell can also deal splash damage to nearby targets (both allies and enemies) who aren't hit directly. These advantages do come at a price, however. Artillery guns usually have long reload times, poor accuracy, and are very slow to aim. Artillery cannot quickly change targets or follow fast-moving enemies without a considerable accuracy penalty. Like many tank destroyers, most artillery have limited-traverse guns mounted in their hull (although a few do get slow-turning turrets). Turning beyond a hull-mounted gun's maximum traverse range requires turning the vehicle's hull, which results in camo and accuracy penalties. In addition, artillery are also the most fragile class of vehicles in the game. Artillery can only withstand a few hits from even the smallest of enemy guns, and their high aim times and long reload times make it difficult for them to defend themselves against close-range attackers.

Role

Artillery are glass cannons; they are best played far behind the front lines attacking targets that allied tanks may have difficulty damaging (usually heavy tanks, snipers, and opportunity targets). It is important for artillery to position themselves in an area where they can make a meaningful contribution to the game with their attacks, but are still stay safe from enemy scouts and spotters. Artillery are almost purely a support class, and rely heavily on allied vehicles to spot and distract targets for them. It is important for artillery players to keep track of the map and re-position to safer areas when necessary. If re-positioning is not possible, an artillery can attempt to defend itself by using ambush tactics to surprise-attack enemies at point-blank range. They are the easiest class in the game.

Variety and Role

While all artillery must play as behind-the-lines vehicles giving support fire, there is some variety within the class. Some, such as the S-51 are capable of doing huge amounts of damage in one shot, but have extremely long reload times, and require special patience not to waste the few shots they can take. Others, such a the FV304 and many French artillery, fire very quickly but have little to no splash radius and do very little damage. Beyond this, there are a whole host of other factors which differentiate artillery, such as shell velocity, shell trajectory, and mobility, all of which contribute to the different strengths and weaknesses of each vehicle.

Since patch 9.18, the role of artillery has changed. The alpha damage has been reduced, in exchange for better accuracy and the ability to "stun" enemy tanks, temporarily reducing their effectiveness while increasing their splash.

USSR

    II
    SU-18

    SU-18

    III
    SU-26

    SU-26

    IV
    SU-5

    SU-5

    V
    SU-122A

    SU-122A

    VI
    SU-8

    SU-8

    VII
    S-51

    S-51

    VII
    SU-14-1

    SU-14-1

    VIII
    SU-14-2

    SU-14-2

    IX
    212A

    212A

    X
    Object 261

    Object 261

USA

    II
    T1 HMC

    T1 HMC

    III
    T18 HMC

    T18 HMC

    III
    M7 Priest

    M7 Priest

    IV
    T82 HMC

    T82 HMC

    IV
    M37

    M37

    V
    M41 HMC

    M41 HMC

    VI
    M44

    M44

    VII
    M12

    M12

    VIII
    M40/M43

    M40/M43

    IX
    M53/M55

    M53/M55

    X
    T92 HMC

    T92 HMC

UK

    II
    Loyd Gun Carriage

    Loyd Gun Carriage

    III
    Sexton II

    Sexton II

    III
    Sexton I

    Sexton I

    IV
    Birch Gun

    Birch Gun

    V
    Bishop

    Bishop

    VI
    FV304

    FV304

    VII
    Crusader 5.5-in. SP

    Crusader 5.5-in. SP

    VIII
    FV207

    FV207

    IX
    FV3805

    FV3805

    X
    Conqueror Gun Carriage

    Conqueror Gun Carriage

Germany

    II
    G.Pz. Mk. VI (e)

    G.Pz. Mk. VI (e)

    III
    Sturmpanzer I Bison

    Sturmpanzer I Bison

    III
    Wespe

    Wespe

    IV
    Pz.Sfl. IVb

    Pz.Sfl. IVb

    IV
    Sturmpanzer II

    Sturmpanzer II

    V
    Grille

    Grille

    VI
    Hummel

    Hummel

    VII
    G.W. Panther

    G.W. Panther

    VIII
    G.W. Tiger (P)

    G.W. Tiger (P)

    IX
    G.W. Tiger

    G.W. Tiger

    X
    G.W. E 100

    G.W. E 100

France

    II
    Renault FT 75 BS

    Renault FT 75 BS

    III
    Lorraine 39L AM

    Lorraine 39L AM

    IV
    AMX 105 AM mle. 47

    AMX 105 AM mle. 47

    V
    AMX 13 105 AM mle. 50

    AMX 13 105 AM mle. 50

    V
    105 leFH18B2

    105 leFH18B2

    VI
    AMX 13 F3 AM

    AMX 13 F3 AM

    VII
    Lorraine 155 mle. 50

    Lorraine 155 mle. 50

    VIII
    Lorraine 155 mle. 51

    Lorraine 155 mle. 51

    IX
    Bat.-Châtillon 155 55

    Bat.-Châtillon 155 55

    X
    Bat.-Châtillon 155 58

    Bat.-Châtillon 155 58

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