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M5 Stuart Guide

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M5 Stuart Guide

Post  Ding760 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:01 am

M5 Stuart, American tier 4 light tank
Costs 143,000 silver and 4500 xp when upgrading from the tier 3 M3 Stuart



Crew
a standard crew of five, the same as the next tanks, M7 and M24 Chaffee. As a tier 4 vehicle, investing in atleast a 75% crew right from the start is recommended. Hull seats a driver and a radioman, and the turret is crewed by a gunner, loader and tank commander. Do note that M5 is a light tank, so the crew will lose more experience when trained to the M7 that is a medium tank, so think wisely about their career.

Mobility
Although a bit slower than the M3 Stuart, the M5 still has a respectable top speed of 58kmph, hull traverse of ~40 degrees and top turret travers of 44 degrees, enough to circle most heavies and even some mediums. Its acceleration is also quite good. To use this mobility, a good driver is recommended, atleast skilled at 75%. You have enough speed and mobility to drive in a zig zagging manner.

Armor and HP
Although most of the time the M5's armour seems neglible, when you are top tier in a match don't be afraid to use your slightly sloped front armour to bully smaller enemies and rush them in a zig zag pattern. Close up armour is less important as you can safely circle most enemies. Otherwise, staying hidden is your best bet, for reasons discussed later.

The armor scheme is
  • Hull: 29mm at the front and 25mm at the side and rear
  • First turret: 44mm at the front and 32mm at the side and rear
  • Second turret: 38mm at the front and 35mm at the side and rear. Note that the second turret is open topped, meaning higher damage from HE shells and Artillery. The increase in viewrange is worth it however.
  • Base HP is 290, the second turret ups this to 340. This amount just allows you to take a hit or two from equal tiered enemies when closing in, but is not really enough when facing high tier enemies who can sometimes oneshot you. Not being hit is sometimes as important as using your armour or HP to weather shots.


Armament
There is only one acceptable gun for the M5, and that is the 75mm M3 howitzer(which technically makes the vehicle a M8 Scott) which you should have already researched in the M2 Medium tank. The howitzer isn't accurate, which can be mitigated by closing in before shooting. The rate of fire is good however. When I played the M5, you couldn't buy gold ammo for credits, so I had to rely on HE rounds, which promptly got nerfed in a following patch... This isn't to say that the 75mm wasn't good.

If you are top tier, HE rounds can damage most vehicles you face and can also hurt weak spots on more armoured enemies. Pz.IV was and is especially weak from the sides as an example. Artillery is also quite weak, sometimes dying to a single shot. Now that you can carry some HEAT rounds as a backup, the M5 got a nice ugrade in firepower when compared to the A-20 and Pz.38nA. Use your mobility to go around the sides and rear of the enemies and try to flank alongside your teammates. Most players on tier 4 are worried much more worried about Hetzers using gold so an M5 can be a nasty surprise. In the inevitable high tier match try to take a shot or two and then retreat, don't stick around too long! I would recommend a 50/50 HE/HEAT load if you can afford it.

Personal experience
M5 is rather unique in that it leads on in a main tank tree and also allows researching the dedicated scout of the Americans, the M24 Chaffee. This means that the M5 can only be a stepping stone on your way to the next tank, the M7 medium, and then the rest of the new american tech tree. However, if you are going to go all the way, you can research the Chaffee at a whopping 55 thousand xp. The M5 and Chaffee share many similarities, so if you can manage and enjoy the M5, the Chaffee is going to treat you well. I wouldn't recommend researching the Chaffee if you are new to the game, save it for later when you are more experienced and you have more resources at your disposal. You might want to move your crew into the barracks instead of dismissing them.

Playing the M5 requires most of all patience. You can 'suicide scout' and simply rush to the enemy lines. This will however not prepare you for the Chaffee, nor will it help your team. The M5 isn't even that suited to suicide rushing unlike its peers. What players quite often overlook is the M5's massive(for its tier) viewrange of 370 meters with the second turret. This combined with the boost in camouflage offered by being a light tank means that you can stay hidden and spot targets from a long way off. Do not fire when doing this as your camo rating will drop! This strategy is known as 'bush scouting' and can be extremely helpful for your team depending on the map. Remember that World of Tanks rewards you experience and credits when your allies damage targets you are spotting. Once the enemy is softened up and your allies have closed the gap, you can put the howitzer to good use in a flanking role or by speeding through the enemy line and into their artillery. Knowing when to sit put and when to attack is a helpful skill in all tanks and the M5 can be a good, if frustrating teacher. Playing a bush scout also teaches you a lot about maps and possible firing lines, as you need to position yourself so that you get maximum use of your view range.



Advantages of the tank
M5 Stuart is one of the tier 4 scouts the really rewards smart play. It has a good viewrange for its tier which rewards spotting from hiding instead of rushing, but its top gun is best used at short range against weak side and rear armour. The 75mm howitzer, although inaccurate, is also quite devastating when compared to the M5's peers, with the access to HEAT shells and damaging HE shells. Artillery can be one or two shotted with this gun, and low tier tanks aren't safe either.

Disadvantages of the tank
The M5 is a dinosaur of old matchmaking practices, which causes it to see much highter tier enemies than its medium and heavy peers, tier 4-8 to be precise. This means that quite a few matches you have will be filled with tanks that can destroy or cripple you in one shot and have enough armor to bounce your shots. Remember however that you gain experience and credits for spotting as well as damaging enemies yourself. Spot enemies and let your allies damage them. When the enemy line crumbles, go hunt enemy artillery with your howitzer. Do not get discouraged when you get killed, everyone who has played tier 4 scouts has gone through it. Even with speed making up for your lack of armor, death is often inevitable. Rather enjoy the moments when you spot half the enemy team in the open on Malinovka and your allies tear them to pieces and feel the thrill of high speed flanking.

Suggested crew skills
The crew skills depend on your future plans. If you are researching the Chaffee and want to use the same crew, then it might be a good choice not to develop a skill at all. Leave the crew experience to accumulate so that the crew has a gold + under their name. When you retrain your crew to the Chaffee, the accumulated xp will translate into regular skill levels, hastening the move to 100%. If you want to train skills, think what you are gonna do next. Camouflage is always a good choice, but if moving to the Chaffee, take skills that help firepower on the move and hiding. Sixth Sense, Smooth Ride, Snap Shot and Situational Awareness are very useful. For the loader, Safe Stowage is my trusted pick on every tank.

Suggested equipment
Camouflage Net and Binocular Optics are almost mandatory to the M5 if you are going to research the Chaffee. Their cost may seem daunting, but saving money with other tanks and buying them on event weekends when equipment is on sale cuts back the costs. Both the net and binoculars have the added benefit of being usable on all of your vehicles! The last slot can be fitted with whatever the user wants.




Originally written by Goblin_5
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Ding760

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Re: M5 Stuart Guide

Post  CountOfTuscany on Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:50 am

Really interesting guide. I've bought the sold the M5 a couple of times now. Tried to do some bush-scouting, but I didn't really got the feel for it. Last time I bought it I wanted to play the tank again, because i think it has some potential and I like to have the option to go down the m7 line, and possibly chaffee. I sold it to buy discounted complex equipment (bought the m5 on discount to, so didnt lose money on it).
Anyway I will possibly buy the M5 again in the future (and maybe sell it again). My problem is that I'm bad at scouting, my map knowledge just isn't good enough for it. The other way around: it won't get any better without learning to scout, so I will have to buy it again some day and train that skill Razz
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Re: M5 Stuart Guide

Post  Ding760 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:56 am

Personally I always feel there are 2 branches of scouting. The active kind and the passive kind.

Usually those who suck as the passive kind (which requires map knowledge immensely) do better at the active kind. I know many might disagree but that's how I feel about it.

Those who crack both the active and passive scouting nuts and know when to use either is truly master of scouting!
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Re: M5 Stuart Guide

Post  CountOfTuscany on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:43 am

I have played 38na in a passive way of scouting. I just like the feel to spot somebody from un unknown position. Still me map knowledge is limited. probably I just should give m5 a try. Through trial and error I must be able to learn the maps. Increased map knowledge will also result in better performance with my other tanks I think (especially TDs and heavies).
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