When Update 1.3 was released, the Soviet IS-3A Tier VIII heavy tank received a major overhaul. Previously, it was widely regarded as "just an IS-3" clone. The "A" in IS-3A stood for "autoloader." Instead of an autoloader like the one in French vehicles, however, the IS-3A only had an autoloading mechanism in the sense it doesn't need a Crewmember designated as a Loader.
"OK," you say. "Why the refresher on this tank? I can't buy it."
Aha! The IS-3A is available for purchase via Pre-Sale May 11 10-13, and General Sale May 13-31! With these offers approaching, here's a breakdown on this formidable Soviet heavy.
What's the Deal with this Tank?
With Update 1.3, the IS-3A became a completely new vehicle. Here's what changed:
- An autoreloading clip was added to the gun; three shells are included in the clip.
- Reminder: An "autoloader" reloads the entire clip at once; an "autoreloader" reloads each shell in the clip one by one.
- The more shells in the clip, the longer the reload time for the next round. This is the complete opposite of the Italian vehicles, so it means the IS-3A has an "inverse autoreloader."
- The aiming time was improved.
Damage & Precision
As the IS-3A was living in the shadows of the IS-3 before Update 1.3, let's compare these two vehicles in detail.
With the implementation of the autoreloader, the IS-3A now has an immense burst potential (1,170 HP) that's almost on par with the French autoreloaders. It also saw improvements to its aiming time. In general, the IS-3 still feels more reliable thanks to its higher accuracy. Unlike the Italian autoreloaders, however, the IS-3A cannot mount a Tank Gun Rammer to lower its reloading time.
Note: The stats displayed in the following tables correspond to a 100% trained Crew.
|TABLE 1: DAMAGE & PRECISION|
IS-3A (POST-UPDATE 1.3)
|Accuracy:||0.38 m||0.44 m|
|Aiming Time:||3.40 s||3 s|
|Damage:||390 / 390 / 530 HP||390 / 390 / 530 HP|
|Damage Per Minute:||1,759 HP/min||1,950 HP/min|
|Penetration:||225 / 265 / 68 mm||221 / 270 / 61 mm|
|Reload Time:||12.75 s||12 / 15 / 18 s*|
|Vertical Angles:||-5° / +23°||-5° / +19°|
|* Time for the successive autoreloading of each shell into the magazine.|
Mobility & Survivability
Looking at the big picture, the IS-3 easily outclasses the IS-3A in terms of mobility. The top speed is approximately the same, but the defining factor is the power-to-weight ratio, which favors the IS-3. It's also more agile than the Premium version. In terms of survivability, the IS-3A is similar to the IS-3, but with 50 HP extra.
|TABLE 2: MOBILITY & SURVIVABILITY|
IS-3A (POST-UPDATE 1.3)
|Hit Points:||1,500 HP||1,550 HP|
|Hull Armor:||110 / 90 / 60 mm||110 / 90 / 60 mm|
|Power-to-Weight Ratio:||14.26 hp/t||10.61 hp/t|
|Tank Traverse Speed:||30 deg/s||26 deg/s|
|Top Speed (Forward; Reverse):||38 km/h; 15 km/h||40 km/h; 15 km/h|
|Turret Armor:||249 / 172 / 100 mm||249 / 172 / 100 mm|
|Turret Traverse Speed:||26°/s||22°/s|
Do I need to play the IS-3A differently now?
Overall, the role of the IS-3A didn't change too much. It's still a vehicle meant for brawling, but it's now much more capable of doing so. Keep the following in mind, when it comes to the inverse autoreloader:
- Pros: You can easily cripple and finish off an enemy vehicle thanks to its burst potential — paired with good reload speed for its first shell.
- Cons: If the enemy forces you to trade shots, either your reload time will be abysmally long all the time, or they'll make you waste your burst potential.
Which of these two will be your favorite? The reliable IS-3 with its perfect blend of survivability, mobility, and firepower, or the all-new IS-3A with its burst potential? If you like both of them, make sure to keep some space for these two in your Garage!