Resurrected from the Archives: In-Depth Look

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Since World of Tanks’ first steps into early alpha in 2009, 11 nations joined the ranks, and each had at least a couple of vehicles that found glory in real-life combat. So, with Poland next to step into the fray with a full-scale Tech Tree, we began researching their national vehicles. However, we ran into trouble — there was no star of the show: Germany has the Tiger, Britain the Conqueror, the U.S.A. the Pershing, but Poland didn’t have any iconic tanks.

This particular roadblock called for a change of course. Instead of reproducing copies of Soviet tanks, which would bring no versatility to current gameplay, we dove into the archives with one mission: find the most exciting engineering experiments and bring them to (in-game) life. We wanted to define and shape an authentic group of machines to encapsulate Polish tank design, with its own traits, strengths, and shortcomings.

The following statistics don’t have a final value. For example, a gun’s alpha may be 300-320 points. That’s because we’re just approaching the very first testing stage, where all the specs will be reviewed repeatedly. We list those raw values, so you can get a general impression on what will distinguish Polish tanks in battle.

Please note some of the tanks are not completely rendered — they are included to give an idea of their final look and are subject to change.

Low Tiers

Poland’s early machines borrowed a lot from vehicles built by leading tank-manufacturing countries of the ’30s and ’40s. At first sight, their traits are quite similar to other nations — fast and dynamic vehicles with thin armor. However, as every nation has its distinctive features at low Tiers, the Poles can boast a slightly increased alpha compared to same-Tier competition.

We start with the 4TP, a machine based on the famous Vickers Carden Loyd. Weighing a little over 4 tons and equipped with a 95 hp engine, this tiny “tractor” is a true sprinter capable of reaching 55 km/h (34 mph).

The British influence is apparent in the 7TP Tier II light tank, an evolution of the design laid down in the Vickers Mk. E. Unlike its “little brother,” the 7TP did reach production lines, with a little under 150 tanks rolling out of the factory.

Tiers III and IV are occupied by two similar models. A cruiser tank prototype, the 10TP is notable for utilizing the famous Christie suspension, but just like its sibling, the 14TP, the tank’s development ceased shortly after the beginning of WWII.

Mid Tiers

Marking a transition to heavy-duty top Tiers, the mid Tiers are especially diverse from a gameplay perspective, introducing a whole set of combat roles and behavior. You’ll start with a light/medium hybrid, going through to a medium tank that really wants to act like a big boy, and finally evolving into a pure heavy tank.

Tier V is occupied by the KSUST I, a tank concept developed within a tendering process launched in 1937. One of the most demanded models, the “20/25TP” has been long awaited by the Polish community, so we’re happy to introduce it as part of the upcoming line. In terms of specs, the model evolves the trend started by the low Tiers, featuring a 75 mm gun with 140 HP alpha. An impressive number, compared to an average of 115 hit points seen in Tier V medium tanks.

As we march toward Tiers VI and VII, two incarnations of a concept by Edward Habich come to life. A talented Polish engineer, he blended the most successful ideas from contemporary German and Soviet designs. The “Eastern” influence has resulted in sloped armor plates, whereas the “Western” approach brought in compact turrets and high firepower. The latter will become the signature feature of both models. You can expect the Tier VI’s alpha to be around a massive 220 to 240 points.

As Habich developed only one tank concept, we didn’t have a ready-to-go solution for what to put on Tier VII. So, we took one step further and modelled the possible development of the engineer’s ideas. Historically, Polish tanks had tendency to grow bigger, inclining towards heavy machines. For this reason, Tier VII welcomes a heavier, mightier version of the tank, depicting our vision of what “Habich’s Tank Mk. II” might have become. With its heavy-tank status, the machine will get a 105 mm gun with 300 to 320 points of alpha, but its weaker armor means you’ll have to play it cautious in battle.

Top Tiers

As we mentioned in the previous article, the post-World War II Polish tank fleet included nothing but Soviet vehicles or their modified versions. But we had no intention of just rehashing old models. Instead, our goal was to make an unconventional set of top-tier machines. After a quick dig in the archives, we uncovered three thesis projects by graduate engineers of the time — works that could have gone to production, shaping a different look of the Polish vehicles.

While the notes we came across didn’t have any titles for their concepts, we got a little creative and named the tanks after their authors.

Sitting on Tier VIII, the Czołg Markowskiego is a relatively heavy, but bulky vehicle, its speed maxing out at a mediocre 25 km/h. We’ll be testing a wide range of gun modifications for this model, starting with the traditional 105 mm and 122 mm barrels and ending up with a never-before-seen 120 mm HE gun. Armor-wise, the tank will likely receive a robust turret mounted on a weaker hull, which will eventually define its playstyle.

Tier IX will feature the Czołg Tyszkiewicza, the proud carrier of a 130 mm gun with alpha reaching 490-560 HP. Its impressive destructive power, great overall armor, and low speed will become the tank’s main features.

Crowning the Tech Tree will be the Czołg Lewandoskiego, the ultimate embodiment of the concept proposed in Polish top tiers. In terms of size and even looks, it’s comparable to its Soviet counterparts. Two gun options are currently in the mix, including 130 mm and 152 mm calibers — the latter being the favorite. Its firepower will enable you to shave off 750 HP from your enemy, but its penetration values will skirt 250 mm. Gameplay-wise, it’ll stand somewhere between the IS-4 and E 100. Just like those two, the tank will have low mobility, while borrowing the German’s durability and firepower, coupled with the Soviet’s shape and size. What you will have as a result is a heavily armored low-speed damage dealer to crush enemy defenses. But what will really make this machine stand out is the gun depression that will reach as much as -8 degrees, making a decent impact on the tank’s gameplay diversity.

As testing rolls on, changes based on feedback may affect the specs, traits, and even tank names. The only thing that will remain unchanged is their main mission on the battlefield, starting from mid Tiers: rely on impressive firepower, coupled with relatively fast reloading, while trying to conceal flaws in armor or mobility. As always, stay tuned for further updates.

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