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PzKpfw V Panther Guide 2

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PzKpfw V Panther Guide 2

Post  Ding760 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:10 pm



Wikipedia article for historical information:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_tank

Notes are marked as [#]. Scroll to the bottom of the guide to read them.

XP Cost:

-48 600 if researched from the VK 3001 (H)
-20 000 if researched from the VK 3002 (DB)

Credit Cost:

-1 380 000 total
-1 264 090 for the hull
-115 910 for stock modules

Crew (5 total):

Turret:

-Commander
-Gunner
-Loader

Hull:

-Driver
-Radio Operator

General Stats:

-HP: 1 200 (stock turret) - 1 270 (upgraded turret)
-Weight (tons): 44.9 (stock) - 47.075 (presumed top modules, no equipment)
-Hull Armour (mm): 85/40/40
-Top speed (km/h): 48
-Camouflage: Poor[1]

Mobility

The major weakness of the Panther when compared to other mediums. The PzKpfw V cruises at around 36km/h most of the time when crossing rough/ bumpy terrain. It is, however, much quicker on flat surfaces/ long stretches and it´s quite fast downhill, so it has little trouble getting from A to B when switching positions. The track traverse speed is poor, so it is unable to circle-strafe most heavies- a lot of medium tanks might still be able to keep their turret pointed at it even though they are detracked. Driving past an enemy in a straight line is usually enough to temporarily stay out of the line of fire, though. The reverse speed is 20km/h, which is actually pretty good and allows it to dodge artillery fire with good timing- in comparison, most heavies and TDs reverse at about 10-15km/h. To sum it up, it is a bit more agile than heavy tanks and outruns them in straight lines, but don´t expect it to zip around like a ninja.

Armour

The frontal hull armour consists of an 85mm upper plate and a 65mm lower plate[2], both sloped back at 55 degrees from vertical. The sides and rear are 40mm thick and lightly sloped, they will only protect you against anything bigger than a T-50 if the impact angle is extreme. Under the current 5 degree normalisation, the frontal armour protection is rather decent and the Panther can bounce the shells of many weaker opponents and to a lesser extent some same-tier vehicles.

Perfectly head-on, it has 132mm effective upper plate and 101mm effective lower plate protection against AP. 30 degree angling allows it to ding lots of ~140-150 penetration shells off its front, though this should, if possible, be timed with your opponent´s fire as the upper side hull is easily penetrable. At 20 degrees, the protection is a bit weaker on the front, but any <120mm gun will ricochet off the side. Heavy-handed andling (40+ degrees) can be used around corners as most of your side is hidden behind an obstacle, but there is a risk that you will be penetrated through the front drive sprocket facing the enemy- this will result in both hull and track damage, and medium tanks or fast-firing heavies can essentially permatrack you like this.

The Panther´s armour benefits greatly from a bit of distance and partial cover, as hitting the weak points becomes significantly harder and shells may lose enough penetration to ding where they would have previously pierced the target.

At close range, the MG mount can be hit and penetrated easily.

Effective frontal armour when angled:

-20 degrees: 139 upper/ 107 lower
-30 degrees: 149 upper/ 114 lower
-45 degrees: 176 upper/ 134 lower

Bottom line: you can bounce average/ weak guns with proper positioning, but anything with heavy firepower will only fail to penetrate the turret strongpoints or with glancing hits on the hull.

Firepower

The Panther´s top gun is the comically long 7.5cm L/100. It is arguably the best gun available to any tier VII medium, but it´s a bit quirky. The damage per shot is low and the DPM is merely average- this means it´s very hard to use at close range under usual circumstances as enemies playing peekaboom can almost always trade damage favourably, and the need for repeated hits means that you have to constantly stop and aim instead of focusing on positioning. On the plus side, this gun excels at support fire. Even at roughly 500m, you have a good chance of hitting an average sized enemy, and any misses will only stop you from firing for 4-5 seconds or so (>500m ranges are quite uncommon[3]). The high penetration allows it to frontally damage all same-tier heavies except the Tiger P and potentially the Black Prince with ease. Almost all tier VIII tanks are also vulnerable to this gun up to medium range, and every opponent besides the T28/ T28 Proto and some tier IX vehicles can be targeted reliably within ~100m.

This is how accurate the gun is with 100% crew and Improved Ventilations:


Review/ Tactics

This tank´s playstyle, being basically a mix of medium and turreted TD, is somewhat unique. It usually prefers to snipe, but while it retains extreme accuracy, it lacks the punch to scare enemies off. This means it has very little standing power against strong enemies that are ready to take a few hits.

Its tall profile, thin sides, and slow hull and turret traverse means that more mobile mediums can often outmaneuver it at close range whilst easily damaging it even with on-the-move fire. The poor gun depression combined with its height often prevents it from aiming down at the hull of enemies attempting to circle-strafe. This may result in several misses or bounces- and enemies with tough turrets can effectively facehug it. Even heavies can often charge past it to avoid being hit, and while this often throws them off target because they have a similarly slow turret, you are simply letting them reload their big, punchy guns- while you waste precious seconds with a round already chambered.

Oh, and the Panther has a frontal gearbox that is prone to engine damage and fires, and hits to the hull side often result in ammo rack damage.

In short, keep the enemy at an arm´s length if you can.

When commanding the Panther, you should either attempt to travel with allied support or try to maintain a superior position to the enemy.
Friendly units can keep the enemy spotted, distract them to take pressure off you and leave them vulnerable to easy shots. You can either snipe from a long distance where the enemy´s view range simply isn´t enough to spot you, or use foliage to enhance your camouflage- however, if you want to use several bushes or trees lined up in a row, you will be unable to see distant enemies individually and your buddies have to scout for you.

Another possibility is to follow a wolfpack of faster tanks and comfortably pew pew the tanks they´re engaging to death from medium range (far enough to allow you to focus on shooting and leave the dogfighting to the others). Since you don´t have scary damage output and low HP like a TD, you usually won´t become a priority target when doing this.

On maps with a long stretch of open ground near chokepoints or common travel paths, you can rush towards the front and use your view range to run overwatch and get early spots (possible locations being the elevated areas on the eastern flank on Steppes, or the middle road on Lakeville). When fighting enemy tanks at range, you should attempt to hide as much of yourself as possible. You can´t be on the upper edge of a hill because your lack of gun depression stops you from aiming down on your target, but since your tank is tall, you can attempt to simply stand behind a slope or low object of some kind.

Hiding the lower plate also stops you from taking frontal engine damage (you really don´t want to waste a repairkit early on in a battle...) and critical hits will be directed at more expendable targets, such as the radioman

In this screenshot, only my turret is exposed:


Concealing the lower plate (or making it harder to hit by staying at range) and making liberal use of side angle is usually enough to deter limited firepower, but when you´re up against powerful guns, you just want to avoid getting hit anywhere on the hull. The turret, as previously mentioned, is capable of bouncing even heavy tank shells as long as you don´t get hit in the flat parts (or the cupola, of course).

In terms of sneakier medium play, your large size, slow acceleration, and unimpressive gun depression mean that you can´t always take quick snap shots with low exposure like the American meds, but if the target isn´t looking in your immediate direction, you can often pop around corners and get one or two quick shells off before retreating, as unlike typical TDs, you have a turret and fast reverse speed.

Above all, abuse your rate of fire whenever possible. Try to attack enemies when they are exposed for a long time- or alternatively, let the enemy hit you with a higher-damage shell and retaliate with several of your own so that you end up on the winning side (for example two 7.5cm shells for 270 damage vs a single hit from the T20´s 90mm for 240 damage). The sheer amount of shells you are putting downrange also means more critical hits.

Overall, the Panther is fairly hard to use effectively due to its odd mix of attributes, but the playstyle is rewarding when it works and a dedicated hipster connoisseur can truly appreciate its qualities. It´s a solid mobile support tank that can flank occasionally under suitable conditions.

Advantages

-Gun is capable of steadily dealing damage with a high rate of fire, best-in-class penetration, and almost unrivaled accuracy
-Surprisingly good armour
-Your high weight and decent speed allows you to effectively ram lighter vehicles in an emergency

Disadvantages

-Often has to expose itself significantly to line up shots
-Extremely vulnerable in brawls
-Heavy module damage

Suggested Crew Skills

-Repair is more or less universally useful as fixing your destroyed tracks and other modules more quickly can often get you out of a hairy situation.

-If you´ve been spotted, you´ll want to get outside the enemies´ view range or behind cover as fast as possible, and Sixth Sense often lets you know in advance.

-View range skills for the commander and radio operator allow you to spot targets from farther away, allowing you to start gunning down enemies before they can return fire.

-Brothers in Arms is for general utility- also, besides Repair (and on some tanks, Camouflage), it is the only secondary for the loader that isn´t highly situational. However, as BiA is needed for the entire crew and will only operate when it reaches 100%, I would suggest that you start out by finishing individual Perks (especially Sixth Sense) and retrain your crew with it when it´s well on its way towards the fourth skill, so that you´re not missing out on Repair and such.

-As my setup with the Panther has a power-to-weight-ratio of around 15.8 hp/t and still accelerates slowly, I suspect that it has poor terrain modifiers- regardless, Off-Road Driving allows it to maintain its speed better when relocating.

-Snap Shot allows the tank to get off shots on moving/ recently spotted targets faster, which is very useful since it is reliant on achieving multiple hits in quick succession.

-Designated Target often lets the Panther get an additional shot on enemies that are about to get outside spotting distance or disappear into bushes.

Suggested Equipment

-Improved Ventilations (specifically, Class 2) provides increases to all skills, which is always handy, can´t really go wrong with that.

-The (Medium-Caliber) Gun Rammer can be used to increase the rate of fire. Faster reloading is the most useful boost on almost any tank IMO.

-The Binocular Telescope allows the tank to spot targets at longer ranges (and we´ve already established that range + Panther = good). Again, the fast reload and low damage mean that you have to stand your ground anyway, so the three-second stop needed to activate the binocs is hardly an issue.

-The Enhanced Gun Laying Drive may allow for a slightly more mobile playstyle as you have to stop for a shorter time to get a shot off. My personal configuration, however, uses the above three pieces of Equipment.

Modules

Key:

[S] Stock module
[*] All paths leading up to this tank allow you to pre-research this upgrade (this means you should have the module in question unless you speedgrinded/ skipped the previous tank, so I´ve left out the other annotations if it applies)
[**] Some paths leading up to this tank allow you to pre-research this upgrade
[***] Other lines allow you to pre-research this upgrade

All crew-dependent stats assume 100% relevant crew member + 100% commander

All guns have 6 degrees depression when the turret is facing forward.


Spoiler:

Turrets

PzKpfw-V-Turm Ausf G [S]

Turret Armour: 45/45/45
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 41
View Range (m) 350
Credit Cost: 13 500
Weight (kg): 9 600
Compatible Guns: 7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 - 10.5cm KwK 42 L/28

The stock turret has a decent turn rate, but it is otherwise quite bad. Its view range is mediocre for tier VII, and it is poorly protected against almost anything the Panther runs into- however, it´s not as bad as the stats imply. While the front itself is just 45mm, it is almost entirely covered by a 100mm thick lightly curved mantlet. Of course, while there might be some overlap along the edges, it will still be penetrated easily for the most part- historically, even 76mm armed Shermans punched through at close range. The sides are vulnerable even to tier IV scouts.

PzKpfw-V-Schmalturm

Turret Armour: 120/60/60
Traverse speed (degrees per second): 26
View Range (m): 380
XP Cost: 10 100
Credit Cost: 22 300
Weight (kg): 10 800
Compatible Guns: 7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 - 10.5cm KwK 42 L/28 - 8.8cm KwK 36 L/56 - 7.5cm KwK 45 L/100
Additional Effects: +70HP, 7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 RoF 11.76 -> 13.04

The upgraded turret is a staple of the German medium tree. It is much better armoured than the stock one- the turret face is 120mm @ 20 degrees for ~124mm effective armour against AP. Against 140+ penetration (which all tier VII tanks and most tier VI tanks have), it offers little protection. However, a large part of the frontal profile is taken up by the thick cone-shaped mantlet in the middle and horizontally angled turret cheeks on the sides. The mantlet is quite resistant (though I have no exact numbers) and the sides will ricochet anything short of high tier artillery AP shells (due to overmatch). This means that it is annoyingly tough to pierce at range, as a minor deviation to the left or right results in a bounce. It also has an above average view range, and most importantly, it can mount all the Panther´s guns and the stock weapon fires faster when installed in it. This all comes at the cost of slightly increased weight and a traverse rate comparable to that of heavies.

Guns

7.5cm KwK 42 L/70 [S]

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 150/194/38
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 135/135/175
Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 11.76 - 13.04
Damage Per Minute (AP and APCR): 1588 - 1760
Accuracy: 0.35
Aim Time: 2.3
XP Cost: 3 800
Credit Cost: 53 000
Weight (kg): 1 740

Decent DPM and penetration, great RoF and accuracy- this comes at the cost of low damage per shot. This weapon is extremely potent on the StuG III at tier V and pretty good on the German mediums at tier VI, but for a tier VII tank with mediocre mobility, it severely lacks firepower.

10.5cm KwK 42 L/28 [*]

Penetration (mm, AP/HEAT/HE): 64/150/53
Damage Per Shot (AP/HEAT/HE): 350/350/410
Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 7.5
Damage Per Minute (AP and HEAT): 2625
Accuracy: 0.55
Aim Time: 2.3
XP Cost: 3 800
Credit Cost: 28 000
Weight (kg): 2 100

This weapon is not recommended on the Panther. Its AP penetration is insufficient against anything other than exceptionally poorly armoured vehicles and its HE rounds will do damage similar to the 7.5cm guns´ AP on most targets, whilst having much worse accuracy and rate of fire. The premium rounds, however, are surprisingly cheap, especially in relation to the damage they deal. With them, you essentially have tier X medium damage (both per-shot and DPM) against almost all lower tier targets, but with the low accuracy and increasingly tough armour you are facing (remember- HEAT shells are less efficient vs sloped armour), this gun is no longer practical for a tier VII tank. Oh, and it looks derpy as hell on the huge 45-ton tank. Better leave medium-caliber howitzers to tier VI and below tanks.

8.8cm KwK 36 L/56 [*]

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 132/171/44
Damage Per Shot (AP/HEAT/HE): 220/220/270
Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 8.96
Damage Per Minute (AP and APCR): 1971
Accuracy: 0.38
Aim Time: 2.3
XP Cost: 9 500
Credit Cost: 66 000
Weight (kg): 2 050

The ”short 88” provides good damage output whilst maintaining decent accuracy. However, its penetration is very poor for tier VII. With the 8.0 increase to the 7.5cm L/70´s penetration and the reduced normalisation that made all angled plates tougher, this gun is probably not a very good pick for a tank that cannot outmaneuver its opponents and has a hard time taking sneaky snap shots. I recommend sticking to the L/70 if you haven´t unlocked the top gun yet.

7.5cm KwK 45 L/100

Penetration (mm, AP/APCR/HE): 198/244/38
Damage Per Shot (AP/APCR/HE): 135/135/175
Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 12.5
Damage Per Minute (AP and APCR): 1688
Accuracy: 0.32
Aim Time: 2.3
XP Cost: 16 100
Credit Cost: 128 570
Weight (kg): 2 140

The last unlockable weapon on the Panther, it´s a bit of a needle gun. It does the same damage as the L/70 at a slightly lower rate of fire, but has extreme penetration and trollish accuracy- in fact, only the E-50 and E-50M can achieve better precision. It is quite awkward in a brawl, but is very efficient for plinking away at distant/ heavily armoured targets. A few people have suggested using one of the other guns, but I honestly don´t think there is a point to it as you would be effectively driving a VK 3002 (DB) with slightly less armour, larger size, and much worse mobility.

Tracks

PzKpfw-V-Ketten Ausf. 1943 [S]

Load Limit (t): 45
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 25
Credit Cost: 15 000
Weight (kg): 12 050

With the stock tracks, your maneuverability is simply tragic. You are also unable to mount the top turret and hence the top gun unless you use the Enhanced Suspension equipment.

PzKpfw-V-Ketten Ausf. 1945

Load Limit (t): 49.3
Traverse Speed (degrees per second): 28
XP Cost: 8 100
Credit Cost: 15 000
Weight (kg): 12 500

Once you mount these, you will be able put on anything you want, and the tank turns much faster, though this still isn´t a particularly agile medium. There are possibly/ probably buffs to some hidden stats like module HP and terrain passability, but I don´t know for sure.

Engines

Maybach HL 174 [S] --- Maybach HL 210 P 30 [*] --- Maybach HL 230 P45 [**][***]

Horsepower: 610 --- 650 --- 750
Type: Gasoline --- Gasoline --- Gasoline
Fire Chance (%): 20 --- 20 --- 20
XP Cost: (stock module) --- 11 000 --- 18 800
Credit Cost: 26 250 --- 36 000 --- 55 000
Weight: 670 --- 720 --- 750

The Panther accelerates very slowly with the two first engines, the top one is a significant upgrade.

Radios

FuG 7 [S] --- FuG 12 [*]

Signal Range (m): 415 --- 710
XP Cost: (stock module) --- 7 200
Credit Cost: 8 160 --- 43 200
Weight (kg): 70 --- 150

There isn´t a particular reason why you shouldn´t have the top radio from the start, but in the event that you don´t, it has low priority- in most situations, the limited range of the stock radio still allows you to reach all allies (provided they have a decent radio, as the communication range between two vehicles is the sum of their individual ranges) and the information exhange isn´t always that important. The top radio is, however, above average.

Upgrade Path

The top engine can be researched on the VK 3601 (H) if you take the 3601 -> 3002DB path to the Panther, as well as on the TD line (Jagdpanther).
Other than that, I recommend the order tracks -> turret -> gun -> engine upgrades you don´t already have -> top radio, if you don´t have it.

Alternatively, to shorten the grind towards the top turret and gun, you can increase your carry capacity with the Enhanced Suspension equipment (in case of the Panther, Enhanced Torsion Bars 5+ t Class). After you have mounted the L/100, go and get the tracks, they still make a huge difference in mobility and once your tank can put on all the necessary gear without Enhanced Suspension, you can demount it to free the third equipment slot. This will cost you some extra though. The base cost is 500 000 credits, though the occasional equipment discounts will reduce the price by up to 50% (the discount will never be more, otherwise you could farm credits indefinitely by buying and selling camo nets/ binocs/ toolboxes ). In any event, you will either have to demount the ES for free (which results in it being destroyed) or pay 10 gold to demount it safely- the latter allows you to recover the full credit loss if you got the equipment at -50% price.

Notes

[1] 8.1 Camouflage Tables (not dug up from the game files, simply tested) --- http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/147120-083-tank-camouflage-tables/
[2] Wikipedia cites the armour thicknesses as 80mm and 60mm, but I remember a thread with a comparison of effective armour in WoT where the numbers were 85/ 65. Apparently some late-model Panthers were up-armoured, and since the stock turret is the Ausf G, I assume that the Panther present in WoT is one of the newer variants.
[3] The BigWorld engine essentially sees the world as cubes- the area in which you can see spotted enemies (though you need someone to scout for you past 445m, regardless of your view range) is a 500m x 500m x 500m cube. This means that on the horizontal plane, you can see up to 500m straight to the north/ south/ east/ west, and targets in the northeast/ northwest/ southeast/ southwest corners of the area are visible up to ~700m (see Pythagorean Theorem).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem


Originally written by Platypusbill
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Ding760

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