Update 9.21 gives British non-turreted TDs thicker armor and punchier 32-pounder guns, reshaping them for close-range assault and support. To ensure the line offers distinct gameplay all the way to the top, we replaced the FV215b (183) with a new tank, the FV217 Badger. Unlike its predecessor, the Badger builds on the skills developed from the line's tier V–IX vehicles and provides a top-tier experience that is not only rewarding, but also feels like a natural step-up from the Tortoise. How does this new tier X Brit stack up against the FV215b (183)?
Why Are We Doing This?
Though tweaks to tier V–IX vehicles didn't cause the FV215b (183) to lose its flair (it still makes nearby enemies flee in terror), they highlighted what a huge step away in playstyle it is from the Tortoise and the AT crew. "Why not rebalance it to fit the line," you ask? The FV215b (183) would no longer be a "Death Star" if we did. Besides, it has built quite an army of fans over the years, and they like it just the way it is. That's why we're making it into a special vehicle, while also putting the FV217 Badger atop the revised line. It inherits a combination of decent armor, solid DPM, and excellent rate of fire from its peers, but outperforms them in the firepower and protection departments, which makes it just the right guy to claim the spot.
Meet the Badger!
Fighting the Badger from the front is a complete nightmare. It can take a lot of hits with its 355 mm upper front plate and won't think twice before dishing out twice as much in return. However, tier IX–X tanks don't need to try hard to punch through its lower front plates, unless you angle to increase effective armour values. If you stay at mid to long range, using your gun arc to boost lower front plate protection, most tier IX–X guns will have hard time penning you.
The Badger's most outstanding characteristic is its damage potential. Packing a powerful 123 mm gun with an excellent rate of fire, superb accuracy, great penetration and aim time, this Brit is capable of doing about 3,500 DPM in stock configuration. Put a little extra work into it, and this number can exceed 4,500!
The Badger thrives on hilly terrain and is incredibly hard to dig out of a defensive position thanks to impressive gun depression and elevation (-10°/+20°). The gun arc is 15° both sides meaning you don't need to turn your hull that often. Get into a position where you can sidescrape, use uneven terrain to hide your weak spots, or leverage its elevation arc to minimize exposure.
With a view range at 390 m, the Badger can spot enemies way before they're able to reach you. It leaves you with just enough time to sneak behind cover or send a few shells down range. Good camo values will come in handy, if you find an advantageous hiding spot somewhere in the bushes and decide to play in support.
- Plan ahead: With a top acceleration of 30km/h and 12 km/h reverse, the Badger just can't outflank the enemy or quickly reposition itself across the map. Heading the wrong way might leave you out of the main conflict with little to no opportunity to contribute. Figure out the most suitable locations on the map and plan your tactics before the battle countdown strikes zero.
- Stay safe behind the frontlines: The Badger's large silhouette, poor mobility, and average traverse speed can make it an easy target at close range. Sit back from the main fight and wait for a target to be spotted so you can rain destruction upon them with your powerful gun.
- Stick to the pack: Medium and most heavy tanks can get around to your sides if you are not careful and roll out all on your own. Stay away from potential flanking routes and make sure you have several friendlies in your area to protect you from being flanked.
- De-track enemies: You have the rate of fire to tear apart almost any enemy in less than a minute. Damage their tracks and temporarily immobilize them, then exercise your firepower to put them to sleep. This way, they'll hardly escape your next shot, even if they manage to use a Repair Kit.
- Leverage the fear factor: Once the Badger picks a target, the enemy won't escape without getting a backside full of lead. The very image of the Badger can cause enemies to run away in terror. Make sure you have your allies' support and rain destruction using your reputation to stop a push coming your way.
Get Yourself a Badger
You know the drill. Make sure you have the FV215b (183) researched and purchased when 9.21 drops, and the Badger's yours, no grind required.
Whether you play as a support fire or defend the territory together with superheavies, you can expect great things out of the Badger from its firepower alone. But don't take it from us. Check out this newcomer for yourself as soon as 9.21 drops and let us know if it lives up to the hype.