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VK 30.02 D Guide

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VK 30.02 D Guide

Post  Ding760 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:22 pm

The VK 3002 (DB) "DragonBall" – The first and last real German medium tank

1. Main characteristics
Level: Tier VII
Category: medium tank
Predecessors: VK 3001H, VK 3601H
Research cost: 45 000 experience
Successors: Panther, Tiger (both Tier VII)
Hitpoints: 1180/1250 with stock/upgraded turret
Credit price: 1 369 000

Recommended tech order
1. engine 2. tracks 3. turret. 4.  8,8 cm gun if did not researched it before (possible on previous Tier VI tanks)

2. Crew

The VK 3002 DB has a conventional crew setup common in most German armor. The commander, the gunner, driver and a single loader are supplemented with a radioman.

3. Mobility

The VK 3002 DB is one of the fastest medium tanks, it reaches 56 km/h, although the acceleration is less than impressive. The DB is incapable of tight turns at speed, but it’s not much different from other Tier VII mediums,  it also lacks of pivot turning. The high speed means, that the DB as a medium tank can dictate the rhythm of the battle, and it can adjust to battle events on other sides of the map as well.

Rush for forward flankfire positions at the beginning of the battle

Uncommon for a medium tank, but besides speed, the 3002 builds upon armor too for battlefield survival and success. The frontal protection of the VK DB is superior to most same tier medium tanks (the only comparable tank is the KV-13) and rivals heavies.

The highly sloped upper hull plate has a reasonable chance to deflect most shots of Tier VII medium tanks, and the thick front plate of the upgraded turret turret offers small target area. What more, it’s reinforced with a cast gun mantlet which is capable of bouncing any incoming projectile. The angled frontal armor can bounce projectiles up to 180 average penetration, but not without exposing the thin sides.

The sloped upper front hull armor is strong enough to repell the overly-abundant 10,5 cm premium HEAT shells with 150 average penetration.

The frontal profile is not without weakspots though, the lower front plate has no slope, the commander’s cupola and the hull-machinegun and the driver's plate are additional weaknesses. You must keep these in mind when you plan your approach, and minimize the exposure of the aforementioned weak areas, maximize the strengths of your armor build-up.  For example, the VK DB excels at corner-fighting, when you can hide your weak side armor and show your front at high angle.

Stock or upgraded turret?

Despite the weight and rotation speed advantage, I don’t recommend sticking with the stock turret, since it limits your gun options, and the ammo storage capacity is poor.

5. Armament

Needler or brawler?

The VK DB doesn’t offer easy choices for the guns. You can go for either for solid penetration (similar to other Tier VII mediums), high projectile flying time with low gun dispersion, and modest damage in the form of the 7,5 cm L/70. But then you have practically the same firepower as any Tier VI German medium tank with the same armament. In my opinion, this setup on the DB lacks the proper stopping and killing power, fear factor the gun required from Tier VII onwards.

The other solutions, the 8,8 cm L/56 has its own drawbacks, but with the proper knowledge of the weakspots, the capacities and limits of this weapon the VK DB can transform into a murderous machine in the hands of a competent player. Instead of a sniper, you will transform into a fast, aggressive flanker tank with great damage potential, a bully metal warrior looking for close quarters.

What can and can’t this weapon do?

The main advantage of the top weapon is the  superior damage output per minute or DPM, you can have as short reload as 6 seconds with 220 hitpoints for each shot.The 8,8 cm has enough penetration to fight same tier mediums under most circumstances. It deals with the hull of the British Comet easily, makes short work of the American T20, and it can still penetrate the sloped armor of the T43 and Panther/Jagdpanther unless they are angled (the lower plate of the latter is still very vulnerable then). The front armor of the KV-13 can be hard to pierce with this weapon, you have to aim at the thinner and less sloped lower front plate. At extreme close range this works less (higher angle of impact – you shoot downwards), but the Russian medium is going to have the same problems as you have.

The main opponents

  • Against the T20, you have to use your HP-pool and damage output, moreover weight advantage. Engage it with highly angled frontal armor, don’t let it peek and boo you, gun and ram it to death.
  • Fight the T-43 with moderate angling, hull shots and ramming.
  • The KV-13 can be a challenge. It’s engine gets damaged easily. I would go for the tracks first, then for the engine second. Otherwise try to hit the lower front plate.
  • Beat the Panther up with lower hull shots and flanking maneuver at close and personal. A tracked Panther has no chance to fight off a marauding DB with its blazing 88 mm.
  • Force the Comet into a peek and boo fight, use your superior alpha strike and angled armor to beat the British medium. Ram or overrun it if the Comet tries to stay in hull-down. Try not to hit the turret.
  • The L/56 against heavies and higher tiers

The L/56 can deal with lower front plate of the IS and KV-3 heavy tanks (at about the same rate as with the KV-13). But since the accuracy of this gun is average at best, you have to rely on flank attacks and try to avoid frontal slugging matches with those heavies. In close combat, the tall commander’s cupola of the IS is a viable target. The 8,8 cm can still penetrate the hull machinegun-port and the lower front plates of the T29/34 series. Do not engage frontally and alone Churchill VIIs and Black Prince tanks, those two British monsters are hard to penetrate except from the sides and rear, and their fast turrets mount rapid firing and accurate guns.

Tanks are easier to detrack through the front and rear drive sprockets than the frontal area of the tracks

Above your tier you have to go for flank and rear shots. It’s often better to go for tracks first and flank the opponent after, than going for the frontal weak spots from the start. The 8,8 cm is much better at this, the 7,5 cm rarely disables an enemy vehicle through the front tracks.

If you are dueling a TD, always aim at the tracks first (even if you are on the move), side-hug and finish off the immobilized opponent after. The lower front armor/hull machinegun-openings of the American Pershing and the German Panther II/Jagdpanther II are still vulnerable to the short 88.

Some heavy tanks in Tier IX can very hard to damage. The ST-I can be penetrated reliably only from behind, and the  120 mm thick side and rear hull plates of the E-75 force you to use premium shells. With the extra ammo, your penetration power is similar to the 100 and 122 mm caliber Russian guns with AP. They are not almighty though, this capacity can be still poor against the frontal armor of the Type 59, T32 or IS-3 and higher tier heavies, and completely ineffective against the E-50 and T-54. Although  the average side armor of the latter the 8,8 cm can still penetrated at high angles up to 50 degrees of impact with AP.


The 8,8 cm HE is still moderately effective against tanks with big and flat armor surfaces like Tigers and Churchills. Use it for finishing off opponents with two-digit hitpoints left. Aim for the turret ring, so the HE-splash can „bite” into the weak hull roof armor.

6. Review

The DB, medium tank with a bad attitude

The VK DB has distinct strengths and weaknesses, a very powerful tank in its own tier but slightly less capable in higher tier matches than its counterparts. For me, the VK 3002 DB is a real medium tank, an aggressive flanker or forward position taker which has a unique capacity to hunt down and kill enemy mediums and TDs, lower tier armor fastly and relatively unscathed. The DB is far from the conventional  sniper gaming style of German tanks. For the success, sometimes you have to move in and forget about sniping/peek and boo fighting. The 3002 is especially monstrous when top tier, but as an opportunist predator, it can be very dangerous in competent hands despite often overlooked in higher team games.

42 tonnes of tough German love incoming! Gun and ram lighter armor than yourself in the VK DB, aim for the thinner side and rear armor at full speed

With careful positioning and proper situational awareness and with a good deal of bravado, your armament can still hurt the majority of the tanks. An outflanking VK DB  is very bad news for any opponent you encounter, even with only normal AP ammunition.

7. Advantages of tank

  • You can mount the 7,5 cm L/70 gun in the stock turret
  • Besides armor and DPM, the other big advantage of the Dragonball is speed. The DB can rush for forward points of the map, higher ground and flankfire positions. It can disengage and look for another weaker areas of the enemy lines, it can fastly exploit the holes, and it can grab the moment readily when the enemy is distracted.
  • The fast and L/56 armed VK DB with its ram speed and weight  is really dangerous for the thinner skinned French tanks. Bully them, hunt them, gun and ram them to death. Unlike most mediums, your armor has good chance to bounce some of their revolver magazine shots. The DB can be deadly for scouts as well.
  • The 1250 hitpoints with the upgraded turret are fairly high, similar to same tier heavy tanks. The DB can take and absorb a lot of punishment and still continue fighting.
  • The top engine is not gasoline but diesel, the DB has less chance to lite up than the average German tanks.

8. Disadvantages of tank
Poor gun depression, you have to carefully avoid elevations and small bumps of the terrain. Keep this tank on flat ground. The limited gun movement means, that you cannot exploit hull-down firing positions on hilly terrain, and you are at a disadvantage  fighting there.

Don't drive on elevations if you are looking for a firing position in the VK DB

  • Lack of vertical stabilizer (available on German tanks from Tier VIII). This, combined with the  relatively slow (for a medium) turret traverse makes the DB lacking behind of other mediums in the terms of fire control and fire on the move. Snap shot and smooth ride skills help some here.
  • The penetration and accuracy of the 8,8 cm lack at mid- and long range combat, especially when you have to hit specified weak areas of enemy armor. The penetration of the premium shells are significantly inferior to the rivals.
  • Acceleration with the heavier upgraded turret is only average at best
  • The poor turning at speed characteristics makes the DB less capable of circle-strafing enemy armor.
  • Due to the diesel to engine, you cannot boost the automative performance with higher octane fuel
  • The tank is fairly big, especially from the sides it has large target profile
  • The thin side armor prohibits tricks such as sidescraping

9. Suggested crew skills
You must go for all repairs first,  but snap shot (gunner) and smooth ride (driver) skills are very handy, I went for camouflage for the rest three crewmembers. Brother in Arms perk for all of the crew if you can allow at least 3 skills for them. Sixth sense can be the first perk of the commander.

10. Suggested equipment
Improved ventilation for general performance increase, medium caliber gun rammer, spall liner for ramming/against non-penetrating HE-hits or enhanced gun laying drive for improved fire control.

Originally written by Kwagga

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