Commonwealth Uncommons – The Universals

In a recent Q&A (Friday the 13th’s) serB was asked if there was enough British heavies or mediums for a for a second Branch.


This is probably part laziness and part ignorance. I’m going to start a short series, explaining some of the additional branches that could rather easily be added (okay, some of them are a little more difficult than others, but it certainly isn’t doubtful)

 Second British Heavy Line – The Universals

During the harrowing fighting of 1941-1942, the British were in rather dire straights. The cost of design, development and implementation of various separate and distinct tanks had led to a number of problems in development. Everything from part standardization to manufacturing cost overruns led to a panic within the British army’s development process.

The British had several types of tanks, from the slow and well armoured and ponderous Infantry tanks, taking the form of Valentine, Matilda and the Churchills. To the faster and decently armed cruisers, Covenanter, Cromwell, Comet. They also built various forms of anti-tank type vehicles (featuring heavy guns) such as the Firefly, Challenger and Archer.

The idea was that simplified tanks could be made to replace the separate designs. This was not due to any actual doctrine change or belief that the separate tanks were not accomplishing their goals, but, rather simply, for cost. Combine decent speed, armor and a decent gun and work on producing 1 tank to save money. The line begins from the Cromwell, branching sideways onto the Excelsior.

Excelsior (A33) (Tier 6)

The first tank in this line is the Excelsior. Two prototype Excelsior were produced.  The current premium, which uses the existing Cromwell tracks and suspension with stiffened springs and hardened components; the other used a modified version of the American M6 Heavy Tank suspension.


Excelsior with M6-Style Suspension.

The entire concept of the excelsior was rooted in cost savings. It’s purpose was to replace the then plagued Churchill series of tanks. Uparmoring a functioning Cromwell to “infantry” level and having two tanks that shared at least some common parts would allow the British production to more effectively produce these tanks.

One could expect this tank to feature effectively the same upgrades as the Cromwell does, enjoying the same 75mm HV Vickers gun. Upgraded turret would be either an uparmored design of some kind, or at least a Cromwell MkVIIs’ which had 101mm of armor. The uparmored turrets reportedly had 114mm of armor, like the hull.

A37 “Super Excelsior” (Tier 7)

Known as a “heavier” version of the A33 (The Excelsior). It had an extra suspension bogie per side, and a slightly longer and wider hull(and an enlarged turret ring) It was supposed to feature a 17 pounder and had a weight of 52 tons.

Mockup of A37 done by “Slakrrrrrr(NA)” and edited by myself

Mockup of A37 done by “Slakrrrrrr(NA)” and edited by myself

There is a bit of conflicting information about its armor layout, although the main discrepancy was if the armor thickness was increased to match the Churchill or not (some sources claim 152mm (6 inches) of frontal armor, others claim 114, the same as the existing Excelsior) Given the expected weight, one could presume it’s frontal armor (at least along it’s upper front plate) should be the listed thickness of 152mm..

The idea of stretching and slightly widening the turret ring screams of a similar idea to the Comet (it is entirely a logical conclusion that a cost-saving programme for a heavy tank could have used similar parts to existing projects)

It’s fairly logical that the Comet’s turret (complete with gun mantlet) could be used as the top turret (with 77mm and 17 pounder as upgrade choices) You’d have a pretty comfy tank, 40kmph top speed, decent maneuverability with the 650hp engine, 17 pounder, a decent gun mantlet, 10 degrees of gun depression…

FV201 “A45″ (Tier 8)

The A45 “Infantry Support Tank” began it’s life in 1944. Originally designed as a new infantry tank (as it’s name states) it was designed as effectively as an infantry tank. One could take a moment to look at it, and then take a quick look at the Centurion and would begin to see why this designation changed shortly thereafter. It had a similar armament, only a bit more armor and the same turret.


Some time shortly after it was built, a new project came about; the “FV200″ series of tanks were designated Universal tanks. The idea was, of course, that you’d have 1 universal chassis to do nearly everything. There was plans for a heavy and light TD (with 183 and 120mm guns, respectively) an AVRE tank, armored recovery, bridgelaying…

The FV201, particularly was designed to be a universal tank to replace both Infantry and Cruisers (effectively it was an infantry tank that could move as quickly as the cruisers). The development team and British engineers believed the Centurion tank was a failure as a Cruiser and considered this tank to replace it shortly after the Centurion was built. However, uparmored and upgunned variants of the Centurion actually killed off the project. The Chassis was retained and later used for Caernarvon and Conqueror.


The last two;

FV4201 Mockup (Prototype)

FV4201 Mockup (Prototype)






Mockup for the Internal Crew layout on the FV4201

Chieftain Prototype

Chieftain Prototype

Another great article on the last two, if you’re interested.

And basically, there, you’ve got a T6-T10 “Universal line.” I, personally consider them all “heavy tanks” at least by World of Tank’s conventions (weight and performance-wise). They’d be some of the most… “light” heavies in the game, decently maneuverable with average guns.

56 thoughts on “Commonwealth Uncommons – The Universals

  1. Thats kiiind of a stretch dont you think?
    The Excelsiors will be basically the same as the existing tier 6 and 7 brit heavies, the tier 8 resembles the Caernarvon quite closely too…the tier 9 and 10 having basically the same guns as the Conqueror and FVwhatsitshame.

    Alltough there are more than enough vehicles for a second medium commonwealth branch. The Stuart, Grant, Sherman A3, Sherman firefly, etc. Alltough they would quite resemble their american equivalent, probably.

    All in all, think at this point it will be very hard to bring in something completely new that dosent resemble the other tanks, unless you dont bring up some kind of Wunderwaffe a la WTE-100.

    This said, im very much for a Chieftain Prototype to appear ingame.

    • A number of other tanks are “similar” to their counterparts.

      The Sexton I and Sexton II, for example, or the Panzer III and VK2001D

      These tanks are different enough to warrant their own tanks in the development line. Particularly the Excelsior and Super Excelsior have upgrade potential and should be able to be in the tree like any other tanks.

      These tanks are still fairly unique in their design. The T8 being closely related to the development of the Caernarvon, it is however lighter and should be more maneuverable.

      • I dont argue that they shouldnt be in the tree, I agree the brit tree needs a lot of love, since if you compare it to the vast german or russian trees it seems funny, but I just have some strange problem with tanks being basically the same as other tanks of the same nation. But hey, the Object 140 is in the game, in an unfinished line , so we do appear to have a precedent right here.

  2. Quite nice but… Looks similar to the branch with FV215b (120). So what’s the reason to have same tanks in 2 branches?

      • So you have different playstyles. Especially now, with VK 36.01 designated as a heavy. But here:
        - Excelsiors same as a Churchill VII and Black Prince
        - FV201 “A45″ – even in description you have info that chassis was used in Caernarvon tank. And it looks like it.
        - t9 and t10 – something different (way they look like). But same guns (120 mm). So… We got AMX 50B, T110E5, T57, FV215b (120) already using (in fact) same gun. Right, they have different roles in the game. Sure, I want more british tanks, I like both, meds and heavies. But not necessarily same tanks in 2 branches :)

        • The Excelsiors can go 40kmph (much faster than the Churchill and Black Prince) and have overall less armor than them. Similar guns but in different turrets.

          The 201 and the Caernarvon are similar but not the same. The 201 would have less armor and be more maneuverable.

          The number of guns that you can chose from is, inherently, limited

          • It actually makes more sense to have the A45 at tier 7 into the Caernarvon at tier 8 and Conqueror at tier 9.
            The A43 is the tank that is developed into the FV200 series after all.
            I doubt the FV201 will be any more mobile than the Caernarvon and the Conqueror anyways, all of them pretty much share the Chassis thus the speed limit as well.
            The engine up grades in game already give them good enough acceleration.

            So in the end I think the A45 with the 17-pounder will be balanced quite well against tanks like T29.
            We don’t need a tier 8 heavy that is even worst armored than the VK4502A with less mobility.

      • Wtf are you talking about? FV215b is nothing like the Chieftain… if we look at that way the IS and IS-2 (chinese) is the same too. ^^

        • Technically speaking they *are*, as the latter is pretty much just the later production model with some Chinese-built replacement gear…

    • TBH it is better to just drop all thost tanks mentioned down a tier.
      The A37 at tier 6 and A45 at tier 7, than leads to the Caernarvon and Conqueror makes much more sense than whats mentioned in the Article.

  3. something completly unrelated to this article but I think it’s something interesting to check

    I have both EU and NA accounts and I used the same e-mail address for both
    when I downloaded the “common test client” from the NA website I thought I would login with my NA account but in reality it was my EU account

    now the interesting part:
    the 8.8 update went live on the RU sever at the beggining of the week and today on the EU server, the NA is still under “maintenance” and hasn’t gone live yet
    while waiting for it I remembered that I still hadn’t uninstalled the “common test client” from my laptop and thought that I should do it to free some space, but then I thought “what if I try to login on the common test server with my EU account once again just to see if it’s still available?”
    when I tried it I actually managed to login, although the 8.8 already went live on the EU server
    it made me wonder if they will keep the “common test available” so that everyone can still try some of the tanks they are working for and see if it’s worth the time spent on it?
    maybe they are doing it so that players can try superior tanks and not give up on the game because the lower tiers are hard for them?
    maybe they just forgot about it?
    maybe it’s only some accounts who can still login? but when I did there were over 3000 players online, mostly for RU server

    I think everyone should check to see if they can login like I did

    • Unless they do a test 3 for last minute fixes after the patch went live again the servers go down before the ru release.

  4. What about A30 or A32 for tier 7, page 88 of the universal tank mentions the valiant turret (10 inches of armor) was considered for the A33.

    Personally I’d go for Centurion 7/1 with action X turret to replace FV4202 and the next tree to be:

    tier 5 A20 > tier 6 A30 > tier 7 A45 > tier 8 FV4202 > tier 9 Chieftain concept with is3 style front hull > tier 10 FV4201 Chieftain

    Then a med line of:

    tier 6 A28 > tier 7 FV301 > tier 8 24t vickers paper project > tier 9 34t vickers paper project > tier 10 Vickers mbt

      • Lend lease line:

        Tier 2 Stuart I > Tier 3 M22 > Tier 4 Grant > tier 5 Stuart VI > tier 6 Chaffee
        > tier 5 Sherman II > tier 6 Firefly > tier 7 T20/T23

        > Tier 8 M26 > tier 9 Victory tank > tier 10 Chieftain with T96 turret.

        • Well, what about “lend-lease” med line’s characteristic of having more deadly weapons and less mobility than the “cromwell” med line?
          This way, it might be gameplay-wise logical to have “lend-lease and big-gun-meds” Tier 2 Stuart I > Tier 3 M22 > Tier 4 Grant > tier 5 Sherman II > tier 6 Firefly > tier 7 (dunno which project) > Tier 8 FV4202 (downgraded to historical stats) > tier 9 FV 4201 (pike nose prototype, reachable from Centurion I or 7/1) > tier 10 Chieftain (or that Chieftain Prototype, P6 AFAIK), because they would have guns with higher penetrating power or damage than their counterparts, with the exeption of FV4202, which is there to conect the line to Chieftain
          And tier X for “cromwell” med line could be the Vickers MBT, or some late mark of Centurion

  5. I already thought British tier VIII looked like the same vehicle before and after fitness training, but here it would basically be “Do you want you 20-pounder universal S, M or L ?” x)

  6. What happened to the Lend-Lease/Commonwealth line of Canadian and upgunned american tanks they promised (Sherman firefly, M3 Grant, Canadian Grizzly and Ram, imported French B2 and the Cavalier built by Britain for the Free French, Australian Sentinel)? The Russians and US get British ones but the British tree cant have foreign ones?

  7. hurr durr google world of tanks leaked tanks and you’ll find a picture with many tanks including many u.s. based uk tanks (it’s going to be uk because of the color in the images), of course serb is stupid as always

  8. The Valiant should be a premium or in the tech tree. Minus all of the bad things, stuff like how the driver could lose his foot or how the gunner constantly jammed the back of his head, it would make a rather neat tank.

  9. Can anyone give me a link with the old proposed tech trees? I’m pretty sure there was a premium/gift heavy tank for the US that was called Universal… Or was it… International? I can’t remember. Does anyone have the old proposed complete tech trees?

      • MkVIII international was a WWI tank to be built/assembled in France and used by all the allies.

        End of the war meant Britain only built a few, France had so many FT17 that they declined them as well and only the US built them in any significant number.

        They resembled the standard British lozenge tanks with sponsons for the main weaponry.

  10. I’ve been anticipating this one for a while now, and I think it’s safe to say that it was worth it. Thanks again to OhSlowPoke for using my mockup and giving me credit for it, as it’s cool to see your name in an official article on a very popular blog.

  11. Or perhaps Serb is attempting to ‘set expectations’ for when the British Tree will see a future 2nd Heavy & Medium lines?

    Recollect Wargaming’s own employee GeneralDirection of NA forums has stated there exists a 10 year plan for the World of Tanks in existence, which he has read. This plan would seem to implied a gradual introduction of a given nation’s full tank tree: Russian; USA; German; French; British; Chinese; Japanese; European (Swiss, Romanian, Italian, Swedish, Bulgarian, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia et al); Israeli; Argentinos; Brazilian; British Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, South Africa etc) et al. Why gradual introduction? To seek to min-max the pull of new customers to play WoT, and to retain prior customers of WoT.

    “In a recent Q&A (Friday the 13th’s) serB was asked if there was enough British heavies or mediums for a for a second Branch.


    This is probably part laziness and part ignorance.”