Buff My Tank: Chi-Ri

Author: Daigensui

Originally I was planning to write the third part of Japanese tank destroyers, but quite a bit of fire from other locations has made me decide to add fuel to the fire. On the one side I’m considered a traitor for not giving Japanese tanks all possible advantages (such as the Chi-To engine), on the other side I’m some Japanophile who would do anything to fool WG into believing overbuffed information. Obviously I’m neither, but let’s see how it goes.

Chi-Ri is quite a problematic vehicle. It is essentially a larger Chi-To with only the autoloading gun being its advantage. It has barely enough engine power to cover the large weight, no armor to speak off (for a Tier VII medium), and a size which defies the idea of a medium tank. All in all, it is at most a 6.5 tier vehicle, just barely surviving.

On my various business trips to Japan earlier in May, I found the articles mentioned in the Chi-To article and gave them to the necessary people, resulting in its being known in WG ASIA by late June and picked up by WG_Phalanx (WGJP military adviser) for translation and transmission to WG Minsk in July. Unfortunately, with several issues exploding in early June, I lost quite a bit of will with research in general, and focused on finalizing various elements of the tank destroyers (thus the TD articles). It was only in September that I came back to medium tanks, and got the will to write “Buff My Tank”.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get anything on Chi-Ri, despite it being the problematic daughter. Likely it is due to my looking at the wrong places within the limited time I had, but either way it was always nagging me in the back of my head. Along with a few incidents in June, I lost quite a bit of will with research in general, instead focusing more on reviewing things.

Thankfully, someone found a chart of tank specifications made in August 31, 1945, and posted it in the above mentioned WG ASIA thread. It is the following:


A bit hard to read, but essentially the last row states that “Experimental Type 5 Medium Tank” had a combat weight of 37,000 kilograms. This is quite different from the current 42.26 tons in the game, leading to a 12.44% reduction in weight. The result would be a power/weight ratio of 14.86 hp/t, nothing outstanding but decent enough for the horrible mobility it currently has. We also have the additional bonus of reconfirming Chi-To’s combat weight.

Of course, since armor and size are not going to change (historical accuracy and all that), we’re going to need more than just a 12% increase in mobility to buff Chi-Ri. That is where penetration buff comes in, using the earlier chart from the Chi-To article:


Because some people were having trouble understand the significance of this chart, I’ll re-explain it:

Test plate: steel plate (not RHA) at 90 degrees.
Test Gun: 7.5 cm Tank Gun Type 5
Test Ammo: 7.5 cm Armor-Piercing Type 1

100 m: 200 mm
400 m: 180 mm
650 m: 160 mm
1,000 m: 140 mm
1,600 m: 100 mm
2,500 m: 60 mm

According to Japanese records, apparently steel plates had 20~25% less protection than RHA (So basically steel plate would have 75~80% protection when compared to RHA), although I frankly think it goes up even more for decent RHA. Supposing we use 30% less protection (70% of RHA protection), it gives us something like the following:

100 m: 140 mm
400 m: 126 mm
650 m: 112 mm
1,000 m: 98 mm
1,600 m: 70 mm
2,500 m: 42 mm

So, we have a buff from 124 mm to 140 mm. One might ask how there is such a difference between 1944 and 1945. I mentioned that 1945 ammo quality had gone up, with even the US military noticing it. Quite a few questioned this, thinking that I’m faking things. Well, the US wrote an intelligence report published in July 1945 specifically mentioning this: “Recent combat reports indicate that the quality of the 47-mm armor-piercing, high-explosive projectile has been improved.” With combat examples of Chi-Ha managing to penetrate Sherman M4A3 with relatively little trouble when compared to the legend of invincible US tanks, this shows clearly that APHE quality was certainly going up.

As a side note, apparently some people (due to faulty translations) were thinking that the discussion of test plate quality had something to do with increasing armor quality. It had nothing to do with such notions, since it was only explaining why the chart had a nominally outrageous penetration of 200 mm at 100 meters. Furthermore, I discussed Soviet test plates to show that for a country which did not have faulty manufacturing, plain steel plates were considered to have only 50% protection of RHA, compared to 70~80% RHA protection noted by the Japanese. To translate, Japanese RHA had 1.25%~142.8% more protection while Soviet RHA had 200% more protection than steel plates when used in tests. This is not some “Japanese steel was superior than Soviet” that some people with English comprehension issues believed was what I wrote.

As you can see, we cannot do anything about the size or armor of Chi-Ri (since those are hardcore historical specifications), but we can certainly reduce the weight and increase penetration. Combined with the “unique” autoloading system and Toku Kou/Otsu rounds, Chi-Ri should be able to finally hold its own when used by the average player. It took a while for this to be organized, but as I said, new things come up every day. It is up to us to find them.

85 thoughts on “Buff My Tank: Chi-Ri

  1. Nippon steel superior to Soviet steel; katana cut through tank armour.

  2. Dear Daigensui,
    i do not really know what has gone on,
    and don’t really care.
    Still think you rock.
    Like your work, keep it up!
    mfg eX
    PS: wasn’t it said once that if if people start to hat, you must have done something right?

    • “PS: wasn’t it said once that if if people start to hat, you must have done something right?”

      That’s what they said about Hitler.

  3. Well… Currently I am having a fully upgraded Chi-ri and… i left it cover in dust :))
    Hope WH will buff it soon… I am too lazy to grind this tank =…=

    • I did in it 83 battles and have 60% WR, its not that bad if u dont play against tier IX, then u have no chance

  4. You make a great case for intelligent buffs to this monstrosity.
    The only thing is WG could have changed it any way they like by now (like they keep “historically balancing” certain Russian tanks), but they haven’t bothered themselves.
    It seems they like having the tier 6 and 7 Japanese tanks as a hardcore mode :-)

  5. Chi-Ri is just terrible… I hope they buff it ASAP. It’s near unplayable at the moment, it took me ages to get it to top setup, and the auto-loader is barely doing any difference in battle performance.

    • I have 68% and 1400+ average dmg over 100+ battles in it. It’s an okay tank, just needs to be used in a bit different way from the other tier 7 meds.

      • Please share the secret then!!!
        I’m sitting on 48%, 709 average damage after 56 games. Granted it’s not a lot of games, but I sold it to fund another tank. (I do plan on rebuying it sometime)

        • I am not such a good player but still I had a 54% winrate an average xp of 727 on it and I got my first (and only till now) pools medal in it.

          I found that you just have to surprise your enemy put 2-3 shots into them, back off and reload and then you pick another vulnerable target. and don’t hesitate to reload even if you have 1-2 shots remaining because it is only 10 secs

        • Chi-Ri is a great combat support medium. Don’t ever go out first, wait for the enemy to shoot your more heavily armored friends, go out, plaster the three rounds into his face and go back for reload. Your reload is just short enough to be ready when your friendly heavy are ready themselves again.
          Also, the gun is surprisingly accurate at long ranges and although you can’t take full advantage of your RoF at greater ranges, nobody ever said that you need to use your max RoF everytime to be a good supporter.

          It really is a decent tank, though difficult to handle for mediocre players and impossible to do any good in, for terrible players.

          • I partly agree with Madner Kami. Chi-Ri is an absolute OP monster when killing tier 5′s, it can easily bully tier 6′s, as he says it is a good combat support medium against tier 7. Then the problems begin. It begins to struggle against tier 8′s and against tier 9′s even firing premium ammo it has problems.

            So against lower tiers unload the whole clip, against tier 9′s try and shoot once, and then hide, and go elsewhere, until they forget you.

            Penetration buff, and a bit of speed buff (preferably including reverse speed) is all it needs to hold it’s own better in tiers 8 & 9. Against lower tiers it actually borders OP, giving it preferred MM would definitely make it OP, even in it’s present state.

            I sold mine because although lower tier games were funny, in higher tier games I prefered Comet, T34-1, and T20, all of whom have less going for them in low tier matches, but are better than Chi-Ri in higher tier ones.

  6. US tank needs penetration buff. M56 Scorpion’s gun is almost same with T69′s 90mm T178. (It’s non auto reload version is M47 Patton’s 90mm M36. It is already in M46 Patton tier 9′s gun)

    But the M56 Scorpion has better penetration.

    90mm T178(=90mm M36) penetration is 173, 262, 45.

    M56 Scorpoion penetration : 219

  7. The Chi-Ri’s problem isn’t so much the Fault of just the Pen it’s the entire thing that let’s it down. It’s an Autoloader that has to stay exposed to do any Real damage, while at the same time it’s armor is worthless, and because it’s as large as some of the tallest Heavy tank’s it lacks camo.

    The AutoLoader need’s to go and it it’s place it needs a Gun that fit’s it’s platform.

      • Can’t really say. it’s not as simple as saying “just put a bigger Gun on it”.(which wouldn’t make sense from a historical view). and if we get down to it it’s not that the Gun is bad, in all reality the Gun is actually pretty good.(for a tier 7 medium) It has pen issues, however if you were to say slap the Gun on the comet, it would be very good.

        The Gun’s biggest problem(and in my opinion only problem) is that it’s on the Chi-Ri. it’s the Complete opposite of the Panther(terrible gun on a decent Medium-Longrange platform) the Chi-Ri is decent gun on a Terrible platform.

    • Don’t like the autoloader? Use the non-autoloading gun with the exact same stats again. But then you are throwing an advantage away and it’s the only advantage that this tank has. Besides, AMX 50-series has no camo and is tall as well. They also have no armor and need to expose themselves even longer to use their full potential. Strangely though, nobody considers them useless…

      • The 50-100/120/50B do a lot more damage. along with speed. the T54E1/T57Heavy do more damage and have more “armor” The Chi-Ri lacks Armor, and speed which is where it run’s into problems.

      • Just so, the autoloader is the only strenght of this tank and you want to keep it, suggesting anything else is just…well; noobish! :P

        I really like this unappreciated tank, but it has big problems vs tier 8s and 9s.
        An angled IS-6…forget it.

    • As I said before, it would be preferable if you made an account on the NA forums and contact us. That way we can keep things going.

      • 申し訳ないが現時点ではFTRのコメントでの活動に限定します。日本人の戦車に詳しい人達が多く読んでいるので。

    • 上のコメントの一部を以下に訂正。

      第I種防弾鋼板: 表面硬度320BHN = 均質圧延防弾鋼板
      第II種防弾鋼板: 表面硬度550HV(500~520BHN前後) = 浸炭表面硬化防弾鋼板
      第III種防弾鋼板: (表面硬度は第I種と第II種の中間より上。400~450BHN前後。)= 表面硬化防弾鋼板


    • Nanashiさん、日本の装甲について長いpostを読みました。第I、II、III種防弾鋼板の説明は面白かったです。アメリカ人の私と言えば日本の戦車の戦や開発、そして、主な特徴、その歴史をたまに日本語で読みます。日本に住んでいるから日本語の戦車の本をたくさん買えました、笑 ^ – ^。でも、装甲や鋼板のいろいろな質、そこまで私詳しくないです。また、今のところは残念ながら、もっと調べる時間は、特にWGのために少ないです。時々何かがあれば、ちょっと手伝うけど。でもちょっと手伝うと言っても、しっかりしないといけませんね。その装甲や鋼板を詳しく学べると思いますけど、時間はちょっと。ですから申し訳ありません。もし、私はなんか時間があれば、AsiaForumsがある日本コミュニティに連絡します。そうしたら、宜しくお願いします。

  8. It’s a commercial project, for them it makes all the sense to make full research tree of peace of shit tanks, with a good tank in the end. Don’t grind it, donate it.

  9. The only thing that would need to be fixed in the chi-ri is the mobility. Remove the overweight and it should fair quite well. 155 pen is enough to do something.

  10. [Furthermore, I discussed Soviet test plates to show that for a country which did not have faulty manufacturing, plain steel plates were considered to have only 50% protection of RHA, compared to 70~80% RHA protection noted by the Japanese. To translate, Japanese RHA had 1.25%~142.8% more protection while Soviet RHA had 200% more protection than steel plates when used in tests.]

    So, Why they loss the WW2?
    If the file is dependable, so Japan’s armor is heavier than Soviet armor. But why Japan loss?
    You say untrustworthy things.
    Many hidden files are burned to ashes because of the Tokyo air raid.
    So, you must not jump at conclusions just few files.
    Japan’s military departments are one of most trustless place in the world at that time.
    You were placed the M18 Hellcat in WG:Red Dragon.
    You’re not a pro, just an amateur.
    You know only one side.

      • 그래 강승재야 그래서 일본이 후달리는 소련을 그래서 잘도이겼나보네?
        당장 거짓으로 점철된 일본 국방문서들 몇개쪼가리가지고 그걸 팩트마냥 둘러대지말고 좀 납득할만한 팩트를 대봐.
        당장 셔먼도 못뚫어서 징징대던 일본군인데 저런포를 개발을 했으면 왜 투입을 안함? 당장 전차가 아니라 항공기만 봐도 대전기 말에 개발된 항공기들은 남아있는 설계도면에 나오는 스펙에 훨씬 못미치는 스펙을 갖고 잇는데 그럼 이건 그 잘난 대전말 일본의 기술력의 산물이 아니면 뭐임??
        그리고 너도 되지도 않는 일뽕빨지말고 가서 나찌나 빨으셈

        • 그리고 그 150~200야드서 쏴서 관통된거는 도데체 어디서, 어디를 쏜건지에 대한건 쏙빠져있네?
          설마 셔먼 후면을 쏴서 뚫은걸 그저 충분히 관통가능하다는 식으로 쓴건 아니겠지?
          잘나신 대 일뽕제국의 기술자들이 대전말기가서는 다 혹사당하고 갈려나갔는데 그자리를 꿰찬 비숙련공들이 뉴타입이어서 오히려 포탄질이 상승하고 장갑재의 질도 상승했다봄?
          도데체 어떻게 일뽕을 맞아야 이리 거하게 빨아재끼는지 이해가 안가는데 나치빠는거보니 이해가 가네

        • 제대로 읽기나 하셨습니까? 소련이 일본보다 방어력이 높다고 했는데, 머리가 어떻게 돌아가시길레 그걸 거꾸로 이해하셨습니까? 어이아 없네요.

          거짓으로 점칠되었다, 하긴 믿고 싶지 않으면 무조건 아무런 증거없이 신빙성부터 따지는 무식한 방식으로 밀어붙일려거 하시니, 뭐가 되시겠습니까? 하긴, 미국이 전쟁 중에 작성한 보고서도 그렇게 의심을 하시니, 단단히 돌았네요.

          거짓에 현혹되서 보고 싶으신 것만 보시니, 한국 내에서만 떠들고 있는 “증거”들이 다 무시당하죠. 하긴, 멍멍 짓는 것을 멍멍이들만 이해하겠죠.

          • 네다음 멍멍이
            그래서 그렇게 잘아시는분이 어따 헬켓을 집어넣고 그러셨다죠?
            그 팩트가 당장 너님이 들이대는 거짓된 팩트보다 훨씬 신빙성있는데 왜 그거에 대한건 재차 둘러대는지 이해가 안됨.

            그리고 믿고싶지않으면 무조건 신빙성부터 따진다? 그럼 너님은 신빙성도 안따지고 신문보시고 스레드보시고 그러시나보죠? 팩트 운운하시는분이 팩트을 다른사람이 찾겠다는데 단단히돌아? 캬…. 이분의 상태가?
            그래서 강승재씨 님이 그렇게 떳떳하고 당당하면 똑바로 답이나 하라고.
            당장 니가 무시하는 칭챙춍들한테 제대로된 반박도안하고 정신승리하며 튄게 참 누가 주장만 하시는 “천황 17촌”다우시네요?

            내가 잘못읽어서 머리가 돌아갔으니 너는 돌아가도 한참돌아간거네. 그래서 150에서 200야드에서 관통을 했다는게 도데체 어디서 어디를 관통을 했냐 이기야. 딸랑 종이 몇장으로 이렇다고 들이밀지 말고 제대로 신뢰할만한 팩트를 들고와봐.
            당장 한국에 있는 다수의 커뮤니티에서 거짓으로 현혹을 직접 하던 사람이 참 면상에 아다만티움 합금을 용접해 붙였는지 대단하네.

          • 당장 너님이 떳떳하게 밝히면 그게 거짓인지 진실인지가 나오는데, 신빙성도 떨어지고 정작 엉뚱한 대답만 하며 회피하는 너님이 더 노답인건 알고있음?
            속히 병원을 가서 정신과 전문의랑 상담을 해보셈.
            동경대공습때 자료의 태반이 날아간 마당에 몇십장의 문건도 아니고 그져 두세건의 문헌으로 팩트라 주장하는게 더욱 웃긴거는 알기는함?
            일본 고증자문이라는 사람이 뭣도모르는 적룡 한국군에 손대고 독일 오공맘에 손대고 도데체 니놈 머리속에는 몇개의 자아가 돌아다니는지 정말 궁금함.
            2대전당시 독일군자문으로 유명하신분들도 손못대는걸 무슨 똥배짱으로 건드리는지도 이해가 안감.
            할줄아는건 좆목질하고 정신승리밖에 없는걸보니 혹시 워게이관계자하고 원나잇이라도 했는지?

  11. So basically Chi-Ri becomes a fat comet with autoloader. Sounds nice, but it’d have been better if WG gives it pref. MM so it doesn’t see Tier9s. Fighting ST-I/E75/4502B in Chi-Ri is just masochistic.

  12. Well.
    A M4 Sherman with 75mm gun destroyed Panthers.
    A T-34/85 destroyed Tiger II.

    Buff M4 and T-34/85.

  13. Let’s review penetrations:

    VK 30.02D – 132mm
    KV-13 – 144mm
    T-43 – 144mm
    Comet – 148mm
    * CHI-RI – 155mm *
    T 20 – 160mm
    T-34-1 – 175mm
    Panther – 198mm

    Oh wow, would you look at that. The Chi-Ri resides in the exact middle of all the Tier 7 Mediums. With the exception of the Panther and the drunken VK that never pens anything, they’re all fairly equal. Keep in mind that the Chi-Ri has 10° depression, while the T-34-1 has only 5°.

    So all you people whining about a pen nerf for the average gun of a 1sec/rof Autoloader with less than 10sec clip reload, please go learn to play. The moment you are facing Tier 9 Heavies head-on without being the last member of your team standing, you’re doing it wrong.

    That being said, I’m at 56% WR after 129 battles with it and I love my Chi-Ri.

    • Interesting thanks.
      If the Chi-Ri actually had some armour and mobility it would be a really good tank. Or at least some sort of turret armour to make use of that depression.

      • Its just a tank that rewards a careful playstyle and heavily punishes yoloing into the enemy.

        • @Corthag: Which makes it virtually useless as bottom Tier in public matches.
          Plus (from limited personal sample size) I feel the Chi-Ri to be very often MM weighed vs T7 heavies.

          I agree, though, that the gun is good enough for it’s tier.
          More mobility would make a big difference, and a big one I think. The problem is, that I think it’s seriously possible to easily overbuff the Chi-Ri. But then I don’t think one or two more HP/t would be that overbuff.

          • If you wanna make a list of virtually useless bottom Tier tanks, you’re gonna have to take it up with SS, because I don’t think there is enough space for it in a single comment.

    • Yes but what do the other tanks have that the Chi-Ri doesn’t? Either better armor or mobility.

  14. Oh man! Daigensui,

    Senpai, thank you so much for doing this additional research. If you can get WarGaming to use this data to upgrade the Chi-Ri ingame, it would make the Chi-Ri so much more enjoyable to play. Twelve percent less weight would translate into a nice HP per ton improvement! Oh geez, it would be able to get into position and then relocate so much quicker, and would have better penetration which would combine to make peekaboo shooting that much more viable. Additionally, the better pen might also result in better sniping at maximum range. I can’t wait! So glad I’ve kept it in my garage!

    And thank you for all the work you’ve done researching Japanese tank destroyers for the intention of a WoT Japanese TD line. I can’t wait to see how it turns out, and have the chance to play them.

    Is there any chance a Type 89 Otsu could be added as a Japanese premium heavy?

    One last question, regarding WW2 era Japanese tank camouflage: There’s a camo pattern I really want for my Japanese tanks. It has a few yellow lines running in a wavy disruptive pattern over the hull/turret to break up the vehicle lines.

    Examples from track-link.com gallery:

    Examples from Missing-Lynx.com gallery:

    Is this pattern with the bright yellow wavy demarcation line historically accurate? Is there anyway you can get WarGaming to add it to the camouflage options for Japanese tanks? I really like the way it looks. Very distinctive.

    Thank you so much for everything you’ve done to add Japanese armored vehicles to WoT. I never thought I’d get the chance to play a Chi-To, Chi-Nu, Chi-Ha or a Chi-Ri. I’m very happy that you made it possible.