Now I have a
machine gun press account, ho-ho-ho!
All I need now are some explosives and a German terrorist played by an English actor. Okay, seriously now. Thanks to some very nice people, I did get an access to a press account. What is a press account? It’s a special type of account, that (like the test client) has a lot of gold and credits on it, but (unlike the test client) it also has ALL the tanks in the game in the garage and each has a crew with ALL the perks (inteded for journalists to write reviews with). Pretty cool stuff.
So, here I was wondering, which tank to take for a spin first and obviously, the first choice had to be nothing other than the mythical tier 3 light tank, the MTLS-1G14.
So, a bit of history. About a year ago, maybe more, three lowtier premium tanks were introduced into the game. One was the Panzer II Ausf.J, the other was the BT-SV and the third was this little beauty. The first two vehicles became a part of the Gift packages: basically, you buy a box with WoT, some books and this beauty for like 100-150 USD and you get either the Panzer IIJ (German edition) or the BT-SV (Soviet edition). These Gift packages are very rare and they are available only in some e-shops from Belarus and Russia. Panzer II Ausf.J codes were given out at Gamescom events, making it the least rare of the three on EU server. BT-SV is very rare (I have seen only one ever), the only way to get is is to order that package from Belarus and there are like a dozen on the EU server altogether I think.
MTLS however was another case. It has never been introduced into the game – originally, there was a plan for an “American” gift edition, but that never happened and this little tankette got somehow stuck in development limbo. The only way to see it now in battle is via very special accounts: supertester accounts, developer accounts and press accounts.
Historically, MTLS-1G14 was an export tankette by Marmon-Herrington, sold to the Dutch for colonial duty on the Pacific isles. About a hundred were made in total and as the rest of the Marmon-Herrington tankettes and light tanks, it is a pretty obscure vehicle (it’s great to put it in various trivias and “guess the tank” competitions). It was lightly armored, had a sufficient engine and a whole bunch of machineguns (at that point the world was crazy about them, especially the Americans). But one thing sets it apart from all the other light tanks and all the tanks in WoT: it has twin 37mm autocannons. That’s right, two.
Now, without them, it would be quite a boring and unassuming vehicle, but with them, it’s a monster. Let’s look at the boring stuff first. 40mm front armor is no miracle, but it’s sufficient and if angled a bit, it has some nice troll bounces. For some reason this light tank generates some 0 damage hits too, overall not bad. Mobility is… sufficient. It won’t shine and you won’t race with BT-2′s around, but the 240hp engine is okay for its 15 tons (quite fat for a tankette). It’s somewhat tall too, so not as easy to hide, but who’s hiding, when you have a twin 37mm, right? :)
Maybe this is the real reason this tank was never released to public. It’s somewhat broken. For one, it’s autocannons can dish out a LOT of damage really quick. It has a 5-shell autoloader. Each “autoloader round” fires TWO rounds, 40 damage each. All five can be fired in little over a second. So yes, that’s 400 damage in a second. On tier 3. What can go wrong with that, right?
In other other words, this vehicle can effectively oneshot pretty much everything on its tier, has little problems with tier 4 vehicles and can seriously harass even tier 5′s, apart from the heavies. The reason it struggles against some types of vehicles is that the autocannon has very low penetration, even with gold rounds (45 PEN regular AP, 61 gold). While that might seem sufficient, in reality, you live or die by the fact that you manage to smash your target in one burst, because the magazine reloads for quite a long time (for its tier anyway – 10 seconds or so). The vehicle is a machine of extremes. Either it pretty much oneshots the target, or everything bounces and you are left defenseless. Especially nasty against Hetzers (practically impossible to damage from front), Matilda and B1 are nearly invulnerable, so is AMX40. KV-1 is obviously invulnerable to this tank (it has standard tier 3 MM, not a scouting one like it used to have during the supertest phase), but from side and from behind you can really fuck up a Sherman, with luck even killing it in one burst (but that already requires a lot of luck). T-34 will probably bounce though.
The gun aims really, really quick (1,7s) so that is also an advantage. When I fired first few rounds, I thought it would be a bit like Panzer IC (you aim in the general direction of the target and, press autoaim and hold the firing button until he’s dead or you’re out of ammo) – but no. The autocannon is quite accurate (even though paper value of 0.48 doesn’t suggest it), you actually have to aim to make every shot count. Couple that with the powerful burst and you have a recipe for a pretty overpowered tank in the right hands.
Yea, it’s overpowered, but it has its weaknesses. Tier 3 and lighter tier 4 tanks you will be literally murdering in droves, but against armored targets you are powerless and won’t be able to do anything even from behind (apart from a detrack). This vehicle’s principle (massive burst) is (with the appearance of “machinegun” tanks) not as unique before, but the two autocannons are damn scary. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no plans for introducing it into the game for now. It’s a pity, because I sure would like to own this thing.