Buff My Tank: SU-152

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. Please pay attention to this disclaimer before being butthurt in the comments, thanks in advance.

The ISU-152 has long been a menace at tier 8 with its devastating 152 mm BL-10 gun, capable of bringing the pain to even top tier adversaries. What about its predecessor, the SU-152? You can have a D-25S to make it a poor man’s SU-122-44 or get the ML-20S, sling gold to hope to pen anything, and rapidly become a poor man. This just will not do. To the archives!

Let’s start with boring things, like the rate of fire. In game, it’s 3.39 RPM. “Aha!” you may yell, “the real rate of fire of the SU-152 was N RPM! Russian Bias!” I’ve heard many values for N, usually less than 2. As usual, people have read a number on the internet, didn’t understand it, and wish to yell it as loudly as possible. Soviet testing standards for rates of fire included using every rack (not just the ready rack), and re-adjusting targets. According to Yuri Pasholok’s book SU-152 and other SPGs on the KV tank chassis, the SU-152 achieved a rate of fire of 2.8 RPM using the first availability racks (10 shells), and the loader could load a shell from the most convenient rack in 16 seconds. Since WoT exists in an ideal world where every shell is in your best rack and your loader just chugged his own weight in Red Bull, the peak ROF (3.75 RPM) is not unreasonable.

“But Ensign!” you say, “I can get 3.75 RPM with a rammer or vents! Surely there is something better in your vast repository of knowledge!” Uh, let’s see, what else. A common field modification was an extra ammo rack of 5 made out of wooden spacers, placed underneath the gun, that’s a thing I guess. A ROF boost and few more shells isn’t so bad, give me a break, not every Soviet tank can get a huge and awesome buff.

Ha, I’m kidding, of course it can. For instance, that 122 mm BL-9S on the ISU-152 that I haven’t seen once in my many thousands of battles? It was originally developed under the name OBM-50. One of the vehicles it is discussed as being suitable for is the KV-14, which is, of course, an early index of the SU-152. Bam, how’s that for a buff? Now people will actually use this gun, since there is no other clearly better option available!

Nope, I lie again. The same document mentions the OBM-43 152 mm gun with a muzzle velocity of 880 m/s as another viable weapon for the SU-152. This is a towed gun that inherited the barrel, and the ballistics, of the Br-2 152 mm gun. This gun was eventually mounted into the ISU-152 with some minor changes, increasing the index to OBM-53. My well-read audience should be able to recognize this as an index of the BL-10 high power 152 mm gun. Indeed, scroll down, and the engineering drawing demonstrates both guns mounted in the SU-152, not its IS-based successor.

If you don’t like re-using the same guns tier after tier, you can have a new 152 mm high power gun, the M-21. However, it isn’t really that different, being able to penetrate 208 mm at 1000 meters instead of the BL-10′s 205.

152 mm ought to be enough for anyone, right? Do I hear 203 mm? Of course I hear 203 mm! Experience with Soviet artillery should have taught you that if it takes a 152 mm gun, it can take a 203 mm gun, so let’s get down to business and cram this baby into the SU-152.

Apparently, Soviet commanders have been drooling over a 203 mm SPG for heavy anti-fortification work, so there were several of these projects. One project was indexed SU-203, using the M-4 203 mm mortar with an even shorter barrel and comically large muzzle brake. The lower muzzle velocity made it pretty bad at concrete piercing, but the size of the HE shell would make it a pretty tough opponent in World of Tanks. Another project was the M-17, an M-40 203 mm howitzer on the SU-152 chassis. It had much worse ROF than the SU-203 (1 shot every 80 seconds as opposed to 1 shot every 40 seconds) due to more primitive loading assistance equipment, but carried more shells (16 vs 14 on the SU-203). The M-17 also ended up with superior concrete piercing performance, matching the SU-152 instead of being greatly inferior to it, which will help with those satisfying all-or-nothing shots to the side of an unsuspecting enemy turning a corner.

There you have it, lots of exciting choices that can really liven up your tier 7 TD experience.

46 thoughts on “Buff My Tank: SU-152

  1. BUFF MAH TERRIBLE E100 :3 i feel the 122-44 more superior than the su152 when i used the 122mm gun on it, the 152mm gun is the way how you play with the su152 :D

    “152 mm ought to be enough for anyone, right? Do I hear 203 mm? Of course I hear 203 mm! Experience with Soviet artillery should have taught you that if it takes a 152 mm gun, it can take a 203 mm gun, so let’s get down to business and cram this baby into the SU-152.”

    KV-4 ring any bells? that stuff is planned with a 203mm derp cannon and an alternative 130mm gun :D

    • I don’t recall there being a 203 mm gun planned for the KV-4, but I do remember the golden days when the KV-4 was announced as having the option of a 130 mm gun and a 50 kph top speed (downhill).

      • I’m still disappointed it didn’t get it.
        That long 107mm makes it a complete bastard child that simply comes off a bi-polar.

        A short 130 would have made it *gasp* potentially fun!
        I really wonder why it didn’t make it in…

        • I suspect that the KV-4s 130 mm gun ended up in the SU-100Y. I don’t have any proof, it’s just a feeling.

          • I don’t thing so, the 130 on the SU100Y is rather long, and made for penetration, while the 130 on the KV-4 was pretty derpy. Crisscrossing the lines between howitzer and gun.

      • 50km/h in a 103ton tank? How much ram damage will this deal to a 10ton tank (assuming it has infinite HP)?

  2. You could also buff the ROF on the 122 mm D-25S, and by extension, nerf the gun on the SU-122-44 (I have one myself, but I’m not for a moment going to pretend that its DPM isn’t ridiculous – it’s pretty sobering that I’ve been able to do 4000 damage in tier 9 games with it where the rest of my team failed to do that much damage combined).

    However, having a BL-10 analogue would be just plain ridiculous on this vehicle…and a 203 mm gun that fires, at most, 1 round per minute? Okay, with that gun, the SU-152 would be the new “King of Derp”.

  3. I’ve been crying for the possibility to use the BL-9s on the SU-152 throughout my entire grind through that stupid thing.

    Yes, I hate the SU-152 with a passion because it’s UNRELIABLE. Many players find lots of trolololo fun one-hitting a Panther or Tiger from half-way across the map, but what I remember is RNGesus trolling me hard and refusing to kill a target with 300 HP because my HE shell decided to only do 280 (there have been many situations in which I’d rather use HE than risk a non-dmg hit with HEAT)

    Also, towards the end of the grind I was so frustrated with the damn thing I started playing with the 122mm gun, fully loaded with APCR. I was THAT desperate to end the damn grind quicker

    • oh, RNGesus trolled you hard. I got literally the opposite, one-shotting tanks once every 5 shots, end the grind in less than 200 battles even before i know it, now I’m just saving up money for ISU :)

      • From my entire SU-152 tenure, I remember exactly one shot, a 152 mm HE shell slowly sailing across the field of Malinovka and penetrating the side of a Panther that just moved out of base, knocking off most of his HP and burning him to death. That is the power of RNGesus.

        • I confirm.
          One-shot an AT8 on the other side of Maninovka.
          And gave a penetrating hit in a Tiger which felt stronk coz he had 1169 hp. My shot took most of his hp and he began to burn. :)
          Last, Rhm vs SU152. SU placed a perfect shot with damaged gun. Master Class.

      • Those weren’t the EXACT numbers that I have been trolled with, but I HAVE had situations in which I absolutely DESPERATELY needed to take out an enemy gun from the game… and the game said “lol, NOPE!” by either missing the target completely or doing a pathetic damage.

        Not to mention that against E-75s that gun is basically useless, 200 damage at most (and before you ask, YES, in 90% of the Tier 9 battles your teammates are so inept you MUST take on everything)

        Here is, for instance, a REAL example: I REALLY need to kill that 600-700 HP Lowe otherwise I’m dead and I have no time to load a HEAT shell. However, at the moment he’s not paying any attention to me and I have a shot at his side armor.
        So what happens? The 152mm HE shell fails to pen his side armor, only deals 300-400 dmg, I die from his return fire.

        P.S.: Not to mention all those glorious, numerous occasions in which you wait 15 seconds for another occasion to do exactly zero damage, because RNGesus decided “nope, you’re not hitting anything today!”
        P.P.S.: However, I did grind the SU-152 prior to 8.6

    • SU-152′s ML-20 is able to the most awesome trollish shots ruining a T9 tank battle in a single shot but usually it deals 250 to 350dmg. And with the HEAT suckish mechanic and RNGesus like you call it you can see your expensive shell landing on target’s track near the reticle end or franckly out of reticle and doing no damage turning you in a sitting ruined duck for 14.9s. And sometime you are totally trolled by this gun…
      You shoot at an almost dead AMX50-100 (less than 200HP), you’re yourself at just above 250, and BOOOM! target undamaged. few seconds later, the AMX blast you. Battle result you see that you destroyed the gun. The shell exploded on the gun muzzle brake and did no damage to the tank.
      Another troll moment, a M10 Wolverine pass the corner you guard, you shoot at this paper poor target and… 222 dmg.here to see this so pleasant moment of my WoT experience: http://hpics.li/4f563cf And I didn’t damage any module, not even the tracks!

    • well be happy you have a su-152. i dont even have a su-100 yet since i’m broke after buying a nashorn. still thinks it’s a stupid mistake to buy that chi-to without prem+gold to 100% the crew…

  4. I would actually really like to see the BL-9 on this tank. It would also help with the ISU grind to get the BL-10.

  5. BL-9 on SU-152 is nuts.
    Let’s start from BL-10 on ISU-152 – long time ago TDs had same or similar gun as heavy tank on its tier, then power creep started (Nashorn with long 88 at tier VI).
    BL-10 on ISU-152 was an exception – no Soviet HT had similar gun on tier VIII and IX (and even X – IS-4 had 122mm, IS-7 had 130mm, not 152mm combining punch and penetration).

    Tier VIII ISU-152 could live with BL-9 from IS-3 while IS-152/BL-10 would be a nice premium tank for tier IX. Unfortunately it’s against WG own rules, so we have BL-10 at tier VIII, taking half of med with one shot.

    And now you propose to bring tier VIII BL-9 gun down one tier?

    • You meet the same 390 average damage at Tier 6, on the SU-100, so what’s the problem?

      175mm pen is absolutely inadequate for a Tier 7 TD that is slower than a beached whale (that’s why I for one consider that the SU-122-44 is completely OP, because it simply outclasses the SU-152). At the very least the other RU TD line is much more nimbler & stealthy, able to make better use of that pen.

    • TDs alway had a gun better than the similar tier heavy….
      As far as I recall, the Ferdi and KT are both tier 8, and the heavy branch has to wait until tier9 to get the 128mm

      How about the JP? It gets the 105 L52 on tier7
      SU-100 ? IS’s gun
      S35 AC? The ARL 44′s 105 and short 90, AND the Churchill BP’s 17 pounder.
      One last perhaps? T28 and T28prot have the 120mm on tier8.

      Oh, and powercreep starting at the Nashorn? You are a few years late there buddy.
      Last I checked, the ARL V39 and the Churchill GC both have guns with over 200mm pen at tier6, and both are ancient compared to the Nashorn.

      EDIT: In fact, the only exception to the “TDs have better guns that heavies” rule was and still is the jpz4. The only reason heat has died down on that tank is that the 75mm L70 has 150mm pen and you can get gold ammo for credits. Otherwise, people would still be complaining. THAT’S the exception not the ISU.

      • To be fair he said “a long time ago”, and I’m guessing he’s referring to lower tier TDs (<8). So back in the day you'd have the SU-85 with the 107mm the KV had, the SU-100 with the 122mm of the KV-1S/KV-3. The Jagdpanzer IV doesn't really fit because the Germans didn't have a heavy until tier 7, unless you count the VK36 (a med back then) in which case they fielded the same guns, apart from the Koenisch. And the Jagdpanther, as said, had the 105mm.

        The US have the same deal, 76mm with M10/T49-T1 Heavy, 90mm with M18/M36-M6, 105mm with T25/T29… so there's one opposite exception below tier 8, the T25/2 with only a 90mm.

        By the time new trees of TDs came in we'd already had MM changes, KVs split, SU85s nerfed, guns rebalanced and there was a desire for less uniformity in grinds and finally tier ten TDs.

        • US have the T40 with the 76mm gun on tier4 though.

          What I’m trying to say is that there was never a rule about TDs having a heavy gun.
          Quite on the contrary, despite some mind slip-ups with the US turreted TDs (and the T25AT), the rule of thumb is TD version of the heavy gun, or the gun from the next tier heavy.

          The ISU was never the exception where it was unique in its firepower.
          The Ferdi, T40, S35 AC and many more have always had massive firepower for their tier, so I don’t see why a slow, blind SU-152 couldn’t have the IS3′s top gun. It would make perfect sense and not go against any rule or natural order of things.
          In fact, it would be very much in-line with the current selection of big fat tier 7 TDs, penetration and DPM wise, namely the AT7 and MLE 46.

  6. I know the article only has a historical purpose, but just saying, SU-152 is one of the last tanks in game which should receive a buff. But since it’s a russian tank I wouldn’t be surprised if WG actually buffed it.

  7. Maybe make HEAT shells the same price as the HE like new T49 light tank. So have Credit HE, Credit HEAT and then Gold HE?

  8. Meh, I had lot’s of fun with this thing and when I got enough spare credits and are done with most other lines I will actually re-buy it I think. I don’t really see any need to buff it, I was doing perfectly fine with it the way it is, there are so much worse TD’s at that tier that could need a buff…

    Been using the 152mm with HE only on this, not fired a single HEAT shell in my entire grind.

  9. I agree that the SU-152 can be a pain to play, especially when you don’t like the derp guns.
    But I think a SU-152 with a high power gun like the BL-9 would be problematic at tier 7.
    The gun would be comparable to the 100mm of the AMX AC 46. But you would have 390 alpha damage in a stealth TD with a gun mantlet that covers half the tank. While the AMX is a driving weakspot.

    So BL-9 in SU-152? Only if I get limited matchmaking for my AT15A and a 105mm L7 gun for the tier 8 AT15 (as WG stated the 20 pounder and L7 gun are interchangeable).

  10. “According to Yuri Pasholok’s book ‘SU-152 and other SPGs on the KV tank chassis’,..”

    I am gob-smakced that there were enough to write an entire book about them.

  11. Premiums aren’t supposed to be better than regular tanks. Either they buff the SU-152 or nerf the SU-122-44 (make it tier 8 maybe), that way the former remains superior. Right now, between these two TDs, the premium is obviously a far better choice.

    • “Premiums aren’t supposed to be better than regular tanks.”

      Well actually around 80% of premiums are better than regular tanks, if nothing else then because of vastly better stat called “MM” (the most important stat) or because of higher income which means more premium ammo. Especially after the removal of BT12, tier8 premiums with up to t9 mm are so much better than regular tanks.

      And that’s how it should be – it’s a paid tank. It should not be worse than a regular tank. WG can keep saying what they want to appease the freeloaders though. But premium tank being “better than stock and worse than elite” doesn’t make the tank weaker if it gets better MM. And if it has the same MM but is weaker – then people don’t play these tanks. (Type 62, Pz Schmalturm, or Lowe’s nowdays, or AT15′s, or RAM II’s..)

  12. If ML-20 is indeed inferior than D-25S then we should nerf the SU-122-44 into SU-152-44

    Anyone with me? :p

  13. I can’t comment on the rest, but looking at the drawings for the SU-203, it does not work as a possible option for the SU-152, because the mortar is mounted in the center of the hull instead of to the right, making it basically a separate vehicle as far as 3d art goes.

    On the other hand *cough*premium td/arty*cough*

  14. It already has almost as good firepower as ISU at T7 with the derp gun and HEAT shells with 250 pen. And we don’t need more high caliber derps at those tiers or on any tier in the game. That’s called powercreeping and it ruins the game no matter how much historically accurate would it be. No one likes to get hit for 80% of his HP by the tank of the same tier. It’s the SU-122-44 that needs to be nerfed and not SU-152 to be buffed, but WG doesn’t have any boundaries whatsoever when it comes to buffing their stronk tenks.

    • I think adding better version of HT guns to derp TDs might actually reduce high alpha problem. Like adding BL-9S on SU-152 and L1A1 on Fv215b (TD).

      But I digress, keep the derps on lower tier for play4fun people.

  15. Su152 is a fun easy tank to play. Load some heat in clutch situations. Like when they are about to rush you. “Snipe” long range with HE. I didn’t find anything wrong with this tank. Isu is much harder to play because of worse maneuverability and higher profile. The 122s are pointless because the armor layout means you want a 10 second plus reload to go dark after every shot. True ambush tank.

  16. Funny how they apply historical accuracy only if it benefits soviet vehicles. Meanwhile US tanks have 90 mm guns with penetration lower than irl ones for “balance”. Cause obviously huge, sluggish meds with barely any armor need to have lowered penetration.

    Also if they want to buff something in the game they should look at Chi-ri “med”. Slower than most heavies, bigger than some heavies, no armor, mediocre viewrange and penetration. That abomination either needs massive buffs across the board, be removed completely or changed to TIER SIX premium. IMHO the worst tank in the game.