Buff My Tank: KV-1

Disclaimer: the contents of these articles merely illustrate the resources available for a historically accurate buff. This article does not imply that these changes should happen or will happen, either in combination or individually.

Old-timers remember a different KV tank. Its 152 mm gun was a menace to tier 5 tanks. For a long time, it was the only tier 5 heavy that could see tier 9 tanks in battle, and the old HE mechanics made it no slouch against those either. Today, it is a shadow of that former glory. Let’s see if we can do anything about that.

The stock gun, ZiS-5, only has 86 mm of penetration, which is kind of anemic. However, the ZiS-5 was capable of firing a more powerful shell than the F-34, so it should be capable of higher penetration. Everyone’s favourite penetration table has the F-34 penetrating 61 mm of armour at 1000 meters, so if the ZiS-5 can take on 75 mm, then it should be able to penetrate 23% more armour at 100 meters, or something in the neighbourhood of 106 mm. That’s almost decent at tier 5!

On to the non-stock guns. The experimental KV guns (KV-9 and KV-10) are well represented in the game. GABTU wanted to put in the 76.2 mm AA gun model 1931 (S-54 that we get on the T-34 and A-43), but better guns already exist on the KV-1. If you want to dig really deep, the Soviets wanted to develop 122 mm howitzer AP shells, but low velocity, low accuracy, low penetration AP isn’t likely to make the tank that much better. One remaining historically accurate way to increase the KV-1′s firepower is to strap some rockets to it.

KV-1 with 12 Katyusha rockets.

Next, for the armour. The KV-1 had additional 25 mm armour plates attached to its welded turrets, for a total of 120 mm of turret armour, but that’s an increase of only 10 mm over the existing top turret. More room for armour upgrades lies in the hull, where the KV-6 comes in. It’s effectively a KV-1 with a 90 mm hull. When hull upgrades are implemented, it will definitely have room for improvement.

Of course, there is always the upgrade no one is expecting: put in your engine at an angle and confuse your enemies!

But that’s not the craziest engine upgrade! A steam powered engine for the KV was developed, which would boost its horsepower to 700, and make the tank a little less sluggish, and a lot worse for the environment.

79 thoughts on “Buff My Tank: KV-1

  1. Good thing you put that disclaimer, I was about to explode with riveting rhetoric on why that would be ridiculous :P

    • they were thinking hey wouldn’t it be nice to be operating a rolling sauna.. Only to take a shell and end up like a steamed lobster..

    • Considering just about everyone uses steam turbines to this day( nuclear, coal, gas, thermoelectric power plants, quiet a few military ships) … not that a crazy idea at all.

      • Main problem with the buggers in this context would be the fact they AFAIK don’t “scale down” very well – they’re only weight-efficient if they’re rather large. Start-up times oughta be a bit of a pain too, and then there’s the little issue of the working fluid – presumably water, which, well, doesn’t sound like a recipe for success in the inner Eurasian winter.

  2. Well, the previous KV was a monster tank. Some even tried to defend it till the last second before soviet tech tree remake. “It was balanced”, they said…

      • Actually the current KV-2 has some drawbacks from the KV-1. Depsite having a bigger gun, its turret is a huge and slow paper-made weakspot, unlike the KV-1′s turret, wich is is smaller, faster to turn, and made out of fucking composite titanium tempered with sovietium.

        • I am aware of that, but of course you can’t really argue against a 107mm AT gun or a 152mm derp.

          • IMO it was balanced at the time, because other tier 5s were way more powerfull back then too, like the pzIV L/70 and su85 with 107mm, sherman was probably a lot better too before the HE nerf

  3. Diagonally mounted engine driving a generator just may be the best way to fit the engine in without lengthening the hull and leaving space for ease of maintenance, heat dissipation and cable runs. So whats the problem? the only reason to mount the engine longitudinally or transversely is for the ease of mechanical transmission.

    By steam powered I think you mean a internal combustion engine with water injection which can be one way to give a power boost to the engine as the injected water turns to steam on combustion increasing the pressure in the combustion chamber.

    If that is not the case more details please.

    • The only additional emission from a water injected engine is steam and if water injection is used to use less fuel to have the same power output (which would be limited to the capability of the transmission anyway) then harmful emissions would be reduced.

    • I don’t think he means a water injection engine. I think he means an actual steam engine. (or maybe something like the wood gas generator that the SG65 Stalinets tractor used).

      • The thing is that you need a relatively compact power plant and unless it uses something like hydrogen peroxide as a source of energy to generate steam then it is going to have to have an large boiler and carry water as a working fluid all of which would add weight. It whoud then take a while to get going and not be a particular responsive power unit.

        • Would also freeze quite solid in the famously mild Russian winter. Not hard to see why this idea went nowhere fast.

  4. I like my KV1 – take your dirty hands off it!
    And more seriously, nice gun, good armor what do you want more? Yesterday I had nice Tier7 game and almost did it – I have only 90% crew but with 100% and some perks it will be OP in my hands :)

  5. LOL @ OP. KV1 is an excellent tier 5, one of the best. There are 100 more important tanks to buff/nerf, than screw perfectly fine KV1.

  6. In their defense: The disclaimer’s wording may be too complex for the ignorant scum (=95% of the playerbase, +/- 4,9%) to understand. Something simple like ‘The following is not a proposed/suggested buff, it is merely a composition of thingies which were historically thought of to improve the designs’ may be a good thing to add.

    I am dead serious about this. The disclaimer is not straight-to-the-point enough.

    • This blog entrys author made it perfectly clear, what he thinks of the KV1 tank, and what would be right to do. It’s all in the first paragraph. (transcription for mentally challenged: “KV1 is not OP any more. Lets do sth about this”)

      Hence discalmer makes no sense whatsoever and is an insult to the reader.

      Coming back to reality – nothing’s going to happen with KV1. And its perfectly fine.

      • import humour
        dude …
        It’s a “What if ?” article. Very enjoyable and nicely written. Once the disclaimer is on top you can play around with the sensibilities of the “russian-bias” morons and include a joke like that. Also, how many articles about buffing tanks have been published on FTR, by EE and SS alike ? How many of them have been put into practice by WG ?
        Calm down and enjoy the product of serious research and time investment from EE. This is what the KV-1 could have been developed into. With historical sources and everything. What other title would you want for this series of articles ? Point is some tanks could benefit from this research because they ARE underpowered, the KV-1 is no such case but the facts about what it could have been IRL are still interesting.

        Someone jokes about buffing any soviet tank, people go up the walls. I can’t wait for the KV-1s article :D.

  7. Second pic – it’s not an engine. It’s a diesel generator. Two motors are placed right of it.

  8. “Everyone’s favourite penetration table has the F-34 penetrating 61 mm of armour at 1000 meters, so if the ZiS-5 can take on 75 mm, then it should be able to penetrate 23% more armour at 100 meters, or something in the neighbourhood of 106 mm. That’s almost decent at tier 5!”

    I realize the article was written semi-jokingly, but…yes. Oh god yes.
    Seeing as the ZiS-96 is nothing more than a ZiS-5 mated with a coaxial machine gun (if I recall right), the Matilda IV would (probably, if WG didn’t decide to be dumb about it) receive the same increase in penetration and…actually end up just below average for tier 5!

    Yessssssss do it. You can even completely remove the option for loading (similarly buffed) APCR shells, I wouldn’t even care. 106mm is enough to not bounce off mildly-angled weak spots anymore, or the flat-on sides of goddamn KV-1′s.

  9. Ignorance is blissful…

    Some people commenting on here did not get a functional brain with their head…


  10. This article does not imply that these changes should happen or will happen, either in combination or individually.
    When hull upgrades are implemented, it will definitely have room for improvement.


    • It’s something that has been popping up in the RU Q&A thread. Still, no guarantee that the KV-1 will get a hull upgrade, and even if it does, no guarantee that it will be this one.

  11. TBH KV-1 need a massive nerf. One of the best guns in its tier, better then most TD guns, the best armor maybe even in tier 6, and more than reasonable speed. I believe it would be balanced with thinner rear armour, thinner turret sides and rear, without the option to mount 85 mm gun and that fantasy 57 mm, and less reachable top speed, somewhere around 26-28 kph.

    As it is now, it is a ridiculous monster in top tier, and pretty effective against non-russian T6-T7 tanks aswell. I know, I have one and I use it rarely because really shames me when I make 5-6 kill without much effort. TBH I had several games when I was able to survive and win against a KV-1 Sport, THE most OP tank in this game.

    So, KV-1 needs a heavy nerf to be balanced, or a promotion to Tier 6. Tier 5russian heavy should be the mighty T-35.

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