WoT: The JägdTiger-88

In this article, SeanPwnery let’s us know about the JägdTiger-88, an upcoming Premium Tier VIII Tank Destroyer slated for release in the upcoming World of Tanks 7.3 patch.

Golden Treasure, or has Wargaming laid an egg?

- Sean Pwnery

Behold, the JägdTiger – The Hunting Tiger “Tank Destroyer” with its “Fresh out of the pool” look.

This is the “new” Tank Destroyer being offered up at the tier 8 level. Here is what we know so far.

The JägdTiger will be fitted with the 8.8cm PaK 43 L/71, which if you do a little digging, is the exact same final gun the Henschel Tiger I comes with – a tier 7 heavy tank.

That’s right folks, a Tier 8 “premium” tank destroyer will come with a tier 7’s heavy tank’s modest main gun. What’s the problem you might ask? Taking a quick browse around all of the normal Tank Destroyers in the game, you will quickly notice that they all typically sport a main gun 1 to 2 tiers above the chassis.

Tank Destroyers in general are notorious for the ability to shoot and scoot; that is, hide in the weeds, lay a crushing ambush shot deep into the hull of an unsuspecting enemy, and to get out of Dodge. This TD will do none of these.

  • The gun will be incredibly weak compared to the battle-tier it will be placed against.
  • It will face heavy tanks such as the tier 9 US M103 heavy tank, and the new Soviet IS-8.
  • Its enormous casemate and height will make it stick out like a sore thumb regardless of the bushes it’ll attempt to hide behind.
  •  Its reputation for having a notoriously soft lower glacis plate, and even softer side and rear armor will literally tell the oncoming enemy “Here I am – easy credits here!”

This tank is literally the weakling kid coming to the plate in baseball, and the entire outfield heckling “Easy out! Easy out!” while moving into the infield.

So, how does the weakling at the plate knock one out of the park and shock the outfielders? That’s rather simple – give it a formidable weapon befitting of a “Tank Destroyer” and historical accuracy be damned! Wargaming has to find that balance of historical accuracy that AFV aficionados seek, while balancing the tanks in such a fashion that the player base will accept, while giving the tank a fighting chance to be combat effective in what is basically an arcade-style shooter.

Wargaming does not want to make their premium tanks “OP” by giving them crazy armor, ultimate maneuverability, and a sledgehammer of a weapon. Premium tanks by design are supposed to be better than their “stock” like-tier counterparts, but weaker than their fully outfitted ones (elited). The JägdTiger has a thick front upper plate, but weak armor everywhere else; most people who’ve ever come across one already know this, and know where to hit one. Its traverse is poor for a TD compared to something like a JägdPanther which can seemingly spin on a dime. The main gun will have low alpha damage but a high rate of fire. Unfortunately, against the large heavy tanks the matchmaker will throw it into, the JägdTiger 88 will fruitlessly fling spit wads much to the humor of a Tier IX heavy tank until it’s destroyed and laughed off the battlefield.

To fix the deficiencies, I had proposed to the developer to keep the caliber the same. You can keep the 88mm main gun, I said, however the gun should be replaced by the E-50’s 88mm KwK 46 L/100.

Let’s compare some figures:

Name

Damage

Penetration

Rate of Fire

Accuracy

Aim Time

8,8 cm KwK 43 L/71

240/240/295 HP

203/237/44 mm

8

r/m

0.34@133% skill: 0.3m

2.86@133% skill: 2.5s

8,8 cm KwK 46 L/100

240/240/295 HP

223/261/44 mm

10

r/m

0.3@133% skill: 0.26m

2.86@133% skill: 2.5s

The first figure is the proposed main gun given to the JägdTiger 88. The second figure is the 88mm main gun as seen on the E-50 medium tank. Notice the Damage figures are identical. This keeps the alpha damage the same, which keeps the tank in ‘balance’ against tanks it’ll face of same or lower tiers (which will also be lumped in their battles). The Penetration value is what’s important here. There’s only a 20mm gain with standard armor piercing rounds. This isn’t much to ask, but this will go a LONG way when facing the new M-103 heavy tank with its curved and seemingly impenetrable front armor. The rate of fire is slightly higher too, which is advantageous for a tank destroyer with such a large and roomy casemate with two loaders – logically fair in that aspect.

I’d like to point out that his subject is of heated debate even on the WoT NA forums.

The NA Community, for the most part feels it falls on its face on several key points:

  • The JägdTiger has notoriously weak armor on the lower plate, sides and rear making even a modest tier 6 French Light a threat
  • The Tank Destroyer by definition is supposed to excel at accuracy, damage, rate of fire, cammo value, and mobility. The 88 L/71, while accurate, will have no real firepower against the tier 9′s such as the IS-8 and M103′s it will most certainly face and simply be cannon fodder with little to no camo value
  • The 88 KwK 46 L/100, while not a historically accurate weapon to the TD, is a superior choice that meets the balance of penetration, and rate of fire, at the cost of alpha damage. The extra penetration is only 20mm but every little bit helps. Furthermore, the 88 KwK 43 L/71 while historically accurate, was the least used variation of the JägdTiger produced (only 4 were completed out of 12 that were to be built due to a lack of gun sights!)
  • The 7.3 Open test patch notes clearly stated that this TD and the IS-6 would be available for Super testers to… well, test. This is ONLY applicable to RU Super testers, which is yet another shot in the arm to the NA Super test community – some who have been idle and awaiting an assignment for over 6 months! If they are not going to allow the NA or EU Super test teams access to these tanks, then why even disclose that information in the patch notes? Why give them false hope?
  • Nobody… absolutely nobody in their right mind will lay down real cash for a tank they never even had an opportunity to test, and formulate their own opinion about – especially one as seemingly controversial as this one.

I had really high hopes for this TD, and was willing to purchase one, even though I have a fully outfitted Tier IX JägdTiger already. This tank destroyer is a massive let-down before it even comes out of the gate. Basically what Wargaming is saying to the NA and EU player base is “Look, you’re going to like it, you’re not going to be able to test it and form your own non-biased opinions on it. Just take our word for it.”

Sorry, but no. I’d much rather know what I’m getting in to before I vote with my dollar; that’s what a ‘public test’ is supposed to be all about.

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