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Panther II Guide

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Panther II Guide

Post  Ding760 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:52 pm



Main characteristics:
- Hit points: 1350 with stock turret, 1450 with the upgraded turret.
- Cost: 2 390 000 silver, 88 500 xp
-Cost to elite from elite Panther: 251 080 silver, 70 400 xp
-Cost to elite from elite Panther and Tiger (note: having both elite will give you one of the best and shortes t stock grinds available): 58 900 silver, 29 200 xp
- View range: 380m with the stock turret, 390m with the upgraded turret
- Signal range: 415m with stock radio, 710m with top radio (Note: Standard high-tier radio)
-Gun elevation: -6°/+17°
-Chance of fire: 20% (Beware, frontal transmission, and engine that takes up all of the rear of the tank)
-Camo: Not too good, sadly, but not awful either.

PantherII gun depression and module placement:


Crew:
1: Commander
2: Gunner
3: Driver
4: Radio operator
5: Loader

Mobility:
- Top Speed: 55km/h
- Power to Weight ratio (fully upgraded): 13.68 hp/t
- Traverse Speed: 26°/s with stock suspension, 29°/s with upgraded suspension
- Turret Traverse Speed: 42°/s with the stock turret,28°/s with the last turret
- Engine power: 610hp with stock engine, 750hp with Panther engine, 870hp with top engine
- Pivot turn: Yes
- Weight: 48t

- Comment on mobility: One thing has to be said to start with, this tank is not made for circling (big size, relatively low traverse and turret traverse, and it also bleeds a lot of speed when turning), but it is clearly mobile enough to keep your front and gun pointed at every enemy you face. The speed and acceleration are also very useful for rushing forward (GET THE HILL!), switching flanks, or moving to cover quickly. Small note: You are faster than a type59 in a straight line.

Armor:
- hull: 100/60/40mm
- stock turret: 100/45/45mm
- upgraded turret: 120/60/60mm (note: The second suspension is required to mount the turret)

Hull armor: Like all high tier Germans, the lower glacis is a massive weak spot, and will be penetrated even by T6 enemies; But you are not a slow heavy, and as long as you are in movement, enemies will have a very hard time hitting it. The upper glacis is 100mm at 55°, so the effective armor is over 150mm, and when you’re angled you can bounce surprisingly much. The side armor is enough for side-scraping, but other tanks are better scrapers (=use side-scrapping as an opportunity when presented, don’t rely on it). Overall, the armor is enough to provide a few lucky bounces when dogfighting, especially against other meds, but don’t rely on it. Also, the HP pool is very good.

Turret Armor: The frontal turret armor is composed of two parts: 1) The front itself, which is a very small target to hit (except when hugging, so wiggling is key). This part of the turret is well armored, but far from impenetrable. 2) The strongly angled sides, which are very near to the autobounce angle (20°), and nearly impenetrable. As such, the turret armor is very good, and hull-down is a strong advantage, but hard to use because of the mediocre gun depression (-6°) (combined with a high tank). Also, the commander’s hatch is a pretty big target… (note: the commanders hatch is on the left side of the turret, so try facehugging with the right turret side to the enemy. This may help, especially against smaller enemies).

Armament: I will only consider the two guns you should be using, the 7.5/L100 (for the grind) and the 88/L71. Some players may use the 88/L56 after researching the turret and before getting the L71, but I strongly recommend not doing so, due the huge lack of penetration for a T8. Also, as all guns available have extremely good ammo cost/damage ratios, I won’t put the ammo costs.

The 7.5/L100 is the top gun of the panther, and as such should be researched by now. Luckily, it can be mounted on the stock turret, so you can use it tight away.
Penetration: 198/244/38
Damage: 135/135/175 (note: don’t use HE with this gun, if 198 penetration aren’t enough, 175 HE damage are unlikely to help.)
Accuracy: 0.32 (note: This accuracy & aim-time are great on their one, coupled together they are freaking awesome!)
Aim-time: 2.3s
RPM/DPM: 12.5/1687.5

Note: This gun simply lacks the alpha/DPM for killing enemies, so you’re role is going to be to detrack and harass enemies as good you can. This is easily possible, due to very high penetration and accuracy values, allowing you to aim for weakspots at long distances. Sadly, this gun makes you a pure sniper, playing as a true medium will be impossible. Recommended layout: 100% AP.

The 88/L71 is the topgun of the PantherII and the TigerI, but the PantherII has a better DPM. The aim-time is the main drawback, but it is a very decent gun overall. (Historically, the TigerII had it).

Penetration: 203/237/44 (note: gold ammo penetration buff is pretty low, think twice before buying it)
Damage: 240/240/295 (note: HE can damage many impenetrable enemies, and is helpful on artyhunt, decapping and against hull-down enemies, if flanking is impossible)
Accuracy: 0.34
Aim-time: 2.9s (note: This is the main draw-back of the tank in my opinion, as peek-a-booming and mid-range fighting are more difficult. More about this in the Skill/module section.)
RPM/DPM: 7.79/1869,6 (note: as foe or ally, with rammer and vents, a pantherII has a 6.49s reload)

Note: This gun is a huge improvement, as it contains an acceptable alpha damage as well as a good DPM, and allows playing as a true flanking medium. Sniping is still possible, as accuracy and penetration remain german/great Wink, and should often be used at the beginning of the battle/when the opportunity presents itself.
Proposed Layout: With gold ammo: 48AP, 6APCR, 6HE. Without, 50 AP, 10HE. You will hardly run out of ammo, so you can toy around a bit Wink

Proposed upgrade path:
Spoiler:

(presuming you come from an elite Panther). There is not much of an intelligent choice to be made, going engine first is not worth it, as you won't be able to use this mobility with the 7,5/L100
Suspensions ->Turret -> 88/L71 -> Top engine (->E50). If you already have an elite Tiger, the top-gun and –engine are already researched.



Review:
I want to make one statement right away: The PantherII is neither easy to play, nor is it considered over-powered. On the other hand, it is far away from under-powered too, if the player tries to understand the playstyle of the tank.

Part one, playstyles: There are different playstyles possible with this tank, and I will try to talk about all of them, but my favorite will of course be more detailed.
Spoiler:

1) Sniper: Some players like to stay back and snipe with this tank, until the end of the battle nears. If you choose this, remember you are not a TD, so you should use your advantages, turret (no camo loss, more ease changing targets, etc.) and mobility (snipe where help is needed, don’t camp inbase. You are fast enough to come back and defend, too.

2) Damage dealer: Others prefer staying close behind the teams heavies, and dealing full DPM to the enemy heavies. This is harder than pure sniping (if you suddenly face a E75 alone…) and requires a lot of situational awareness. Also, you should use your HP pool to defend low-life heavies later on. Wait for openings, and start flanking. Careful: This is not about taking pot-shots when an enemy passes in your crosshairs, but about keeping track of enemies who have just fired, flanking, retreating, staying alive=dealing damage, so don’t die.

3)Pure and true med: This is all about staying on the edges of the map, dogfighting with enemy meds, hunting down light tanks (and, as such, protecting your arty), and, once the enemy meds are destroyed, spotting (for) TDs, flanking/harassing heavies, hunting arty (if your scouts are dead/occupied). This is also about situational awareness, but in a different degree than damage dealing. It’s not about counting shots and knowing the five nearest enemies HP, but about knowing where to spot, when it is worth taking damage to reach the next cover/distract enemies, where there are low-life heavies to run down, etc. This tactic also strongly involves being present in the pre-battle count-down, comparing each teams meds/battle scouts (ex: T71/AMX...), choosing if/where to rush to, or if you want to find a good defensive spot to defend againt enemy meds. It also involves adapting to your team’s deployement

As you may have noticed, I described three pretty different playstyles, all leading to: my play style, which is also recommended by some very good PantherII players, who kept it as a fun tank, is jack of all trades:

Note: I am still working on my playstyle, and I am nowhere near perfection with this tank (or overall).
It is not easy, not only meaning you need to be an average (or better) player, but also that it needs, even more than the other playstyles, full concentration. It is not made for having fun and relaxing with a beer in hand.
As I noticed in my best battles, as well as in some replays, it is very rewarding if done correctly, and has the highest possibility of carrying/saving a battle.

4) Now what is this all about: ADAPTING Basically, it consists of always choosing the right playstyle for the right moment. Overall, you could maybe say: first snipe, then go damage-dealing, then finish as a true med, but this wouldn’t be true, as it is very map and team dependent. For example, on El Halluf (considered a sniper map), I like to go to the pool directly (=play as a true med), or, if close to toptank, go fight in the heavy corner. But this also depends on the team: If the enemy has the med advantage, no use dying outnumbered in the pool, etc. In this playstyle, and this can’t be stressed enough, it is all about situational awareness, more than in the others. Also, conserving your HP pool early on is much more important. You role is to save TDs being circled, hold forward positions at the beginning (just you presence sidescrapping behind a corner can be enough), help outnumbered allies, win over a stalemate by rushing into the enemy and distracting them, capping, and even more, decapping, and so on.
I could go on and on all day long, but basically, it’s about using your tank’s versatility. Also, one last thing, if angled correctly you do bounce quite a lot, and in absence if T8+ enemies you can play like a heavy, using your good DPM, hull armor, or even better turret armor. Unangled, 150mm penetration guns can have problems, angled even 180mm penetration guns may despair. Just beware of that lower front plate…

Part two, Choices: This tank is often about making choices, being an allrounder. Here are some recurring and important choices to face.
Spoiler:

As in any tank, you will want to avoid taking damage. You will often have to choose between slowing down/stopping to be able to angle/use cover, or to stay in movement, as a moving target is harder to hit. This depends on numerous factors:

  • Distance: The father away you are, the more moving can be helpful, especially when driving perpendicularly to the enemy
  • Penetration/accuracy of the enemy guns. When moving, you will often show your less armored sides. As such, against inaccurate and low-penetration enemies, angling might be the solution
  • Accuracy on the move of enemy vehicles, dictating their easy to track a moving target, as well as you're own (crew skills, equipement) dictating you're ability to shoot back.


All of this requires knowledge of the enemies, and will come with time and by playing these.

Taking damage to save a friendly: In a heavy, it is often a good idea to protect a rather low-life friendly with your HP and armor, as a low-life friendly still has a gun. In a pantherII, this decision is harder actually, because your armor is not to be counted upon against heavies. So, it strongly depends upon what you are doing, how the map situation is:

  • Are you defending a choke-point? If yes, every gun is needed
  • Have you noticed the other flank crumbling? If yes, and you might need to fight them alone (mobility), conserving your HP might be vital.
  • Do you plan on arty-hunting? Try and keep at least 1000HP, and a repair kit.
  • How good did your ally play? How well is his tank suited for this map/game-situation.


Ramming when low-life: When ramming, your HP left have no influence upon the damage dealt, only weight, armor and velocity do. As such, if you are low-life (i.e. oneshotable) and an enemy just fired, you might want to build up speed and ram him, dying but dealing great damage doing so. But beware, you take away a good gun from your team! This is also a choice of playstyle, and very situational.

Part three, Comparing with similar T8 tanks:(note: I never played any of these, but I know them as enemies, read the forum and the wiki, and have friends/clan mates who have talked about them).
Spoiler:

The Pershing: American T8 medium, is similar to the Panther2: The guns have same alpha, similar DPM, but the Panther2 has a better penetration. Both share good armor (for a medium). The pershing has better gun depression and a better turret, so is easier/better hull-down. The PantherII also is more mobile, and acts more as a medium. In my opinion, the Panther beats the Pershing on flat ground, but the pershin has an advantage in hilly terrain.

The Centurion 1: This is the british T8 med. It features a very accurate and high penetration gun (226) combined with a good gun depression making it deadly in hills and in long-range fights. It is also more mobile than the Pershing. But it suffer from a very weak hull armor, big size, and many module damages. In my opinion, the Centurion is a better sniper, but it can’t, contrarly to the PantherII, brawl.terrain.

The Russian T-44: is the opposite of the Centurion: It features a good mobility, some armour, and a low-profile. The guns, also not bad, all require flanking due to bad penetration and accuracy. As such, the T-44 is the best T8med for flanking, dogfighting and circling. The playtyle is pretty different than that of the Panther2, but both seem to have their niche: all-rounder PantherII vs brawler T-44.

The Chinese T-34-2: features a better acceleration and traverse (better at circling), but has a lower top speed than the PantherII. As it is pretty new, I don’t know much about, but it seems very similar to the T-44, with a worse gun depression but better turret armor.

The French Amx 13 90: This French T8 is a light, but leads to the mediums later on. It is very small and mobile, making a good scout. But it’s true originality lies in it’s autoloader, coupled with a brawling gun. This tank excels at zooming in, dealing damage, and disappearing again, as well artyhunting. Compared to the PantherII, the amx is of course better at spotting, but it can’t hold a position, because of the long reloads between autoloaders. They have a very different playtyle.

The American T69: This tank is similar enough to the Pershing (gun depression, armor, mobility), but also uses an autoloader. The gun only has a penetration of 173, which might be insufficient at times. I think the Panther 2 is a better sniper and all-rounder, but the T69 is a great damage dealer, hill fighter, and end-game tank.

Quick recap: The russian and chinese are the brawlers by excellence, pershing, and pantherII are both allrounders (with the pershing having the advantage in hills, and the pantherII on guns). The Centurion is the sniper, and is pretty good in hills too, but it will have problems brawling. The T69 is an allrounder too, but trading armour for an autoloader (they work well in a platoon, by the way). Last but not least, the amx 13 90 is a combat scout with a decent gun and an autoloader, too.

Part four, crew skills and modules: I will give you options for each playtyle listed above, as well as some explanations. I will mostly go for two crew skills only, as more are improbable to be available.
Spoiler:

Legend:

  • xx/yy Choose the skill you prefer, it is a question of taste and playstyle.
  • xx -> yy (I propose to) train these skills in this order.
  • xx + yy You should train these two skills, but the order is a question of taste, choose.


Sniper: As you won’t be moving a lot, vertical stabilizers and smooth ride are obsolete. GLD can also be changed for vents if you are able to spot without relocating, as the time between shots is enough to fully aim. (note: The base camo being rather low, I recommend avoiding camo even here)

  • Commander: Sixth sense->Recon/mentor
  • Gunner: Snapshot->designated target
  • Driver: Off-road driving -> preventive maintenance
  • Radio operator: Situational awareness -> repair
  • Loader: Safe Stowage + Repair

Modules: Rammer, GLD, Vents/binoculars (upgrading DPM, reducing aim-time)

Damage dealer: (You won’t want to stay tracked between heavies, so repair is high up). BIA is also a useful option here, trading DPM and mobility against repair speed, but it is a matter of taste for many players.

  • Commander: Sixth Sense -> repair/eagle eye (for those who use it)
  • Driver: Clutch braking + smooth ride (off-road is useless, as you will spend time in cities, and even if moving a lot, you won’t cover huge distances)
  • Gunner: Snap shot -> repair
  • Radio operator: Repair -> Situational awareness
  • Loader: Repair -> safe stowage.


Modules: Rammer, Vents, GLD/Vertical stabilizer

Pure and true med: (note: Skills may depend upon how aggressive you play)

  • Commander: Sixth sense (useful to know if a certain flank is covered) -> Repair/Mentor/BIA
  • Driver: Smooth ride -> Off-road driving/Clutch braking/BIA
  • Gunner: Snap shot -> Repair/BIA
  • Radio operator: Situational awareness + Repair/BIA
  • Loader: Repair -> Safe stowage/BIA


Modules: Coated optics/Vents, Rammer, Vertical stabilizer

Jack of all trades: More than one option here, depending how you play.
My actual setup, but I’m not saying it’s the best. Also, I don’t have enough gold (yet?Very Happy) to change the skills, so maybe another setup would be better for my playstyle.

  • Commander: Sixth sense -> BIA
  • Driver: Off-road driving (for the switching flanks quickly part) or smooth ride (for mid-range dogfights) -> BIA
  • Gunner: Snapshot -> BIA
  • Radio operator: Situational awareness -> BIA
  • Loader: Repair -> BIA


Modules: Rammer, Vents, vertical stabilizer/coated optics.

Without BIA:

  • Commander: Some players have preferences here (eagle eye, no sixth sense, etc.), so there are many options, choose two: Recon/sixth sense/repair/Mentor/eagle eye.
  • Driver: Smooth ride + off-road driving
  • Gunner: Snap shot -> repair
  • Radio operator: Situational awareness -> Repair
  • Loader: Repair -> Safe stowage.


Modules: Rammer, vents, coated optics/vertical stabilizer.

Part five, my general view of various skills, perks, modules and other stuff for the PantherII:
Spoiler:

  • Jack of all trades: Even if crew casualties happen, more than one are rare, and there are many better commander skills.
  • Mentor: Only choose this skill if you plan on keeping the tank a long time, or going for the E50M. But then, it can really be worth it. My third skill probably.
  • Armorer: Gun damage really is rare, and actually only downgrades you to Russian accuracy, so no need to.
  • Coated optics: should only be taken if at least situational awareness (radio operator) and even better also recon (commander) are chosen, as they increase each other’s bonuses.
  • Controlled impact: This skill, even if good, doesn’t shine next to the others driver skills, but if you go for the E50(M), it becomes much more attractive, as they are THE rammers.
  • Clutch braking: While not completely wasted on the PantherII, this skill is very playstyle dependant, and really useful only in cities. But the E50 (not M) can definitively benefit from it. If you like this skill, go for it, but it’s not my first choice.
  • Preventive maintenance: While useful on the PantherII, this skill becomes nearly obsolete on the E50M (12%chance of fire+backward transmission), so only train it if you don’t plan on continuing this tree, or have gold to change it later on.
  • Vertical stabilizer: If chosen, smooth ride is a must! Snapshot helps, too.
  • Intuition: You won’t be changing ammo a lot, and the 17% chance is just not enough to justify this skill (on this tank). Also, most times you have to time to notice that you will need HE/gold, and 6.5s are not that long to wait.
  • Adrenaline Rush: This skill is debatable overall, but while useful in some high-armored heavies, in a medium you rarely survive long with <10% HP. If you realy want it, train it instead of safe stowage.
  • Vents: Are even better if combined with BIA, if you don’t plan for BIA, stuff like rammer, vertical stabilizer and coated optics is more attractive.
  • Repairs: You will notice I use repairs alot, (except on the driver), simply because being tracked in the open is a death warrant. I said you're armor helps, but only when angling and wiggling, or when moving quickly. And you should try and keep your repair kit for engine/ammorack damages.
  • I like Rammer+Vents a lot, as it increases DPM, and combined with BIA gives you a maximized damage output AND increases the all round capacities.
  • Spall liner: Increases ramming potential, but it isn’t worth the slot it takes in my opinion.
  • Artillery: Beware of artillery when not moving fast (taking cover, angling) , because you are a (relatively) big and unarmored target. Direct hits on the engine deck are very painful, too.
  • IS3/6 can be penetrated even frontally, but not reliably, so avoid head-on fights with these, and go for flanking to get their ammoracks and engines.
  • Tiger I has same HP and gun, but less DPM, armor and turret armor (facehugging works here), so you can kill him 1V1 and walk away with 50% (if a bit lucky on bouncing)
  • Simply blocking a street where an enemy scout is coming is very effective: Either he drives into you and receives ramming damage, or turns, forcing him to slow down a lot and allowing you to get 2-3 shots into him. Normally enough…
  • Don’t fear a type 59, you are mobile, have a better gun and are similarly armored, as well as having 150HP more.
  • You have a great DPM and a heavy HP pool: You can kill a T34 (American heavy) one on one without problems, especially if he has just fired. Shoot the hull!
  • Ramming French tanks and other meds is very useful for dealing extra damage in a dogfight, or when needing to get rid of an enemy quickly. Just beware of being tracked!
  • Know the enemy: This goes for every tank, but you are an allrounder. This means you will always be better at some things and worse at others than your enemy. Use your advantages, only pick fights you are sure to win.
  • Beware of your own speed, often I find myself ahead of my team and dying alone quickly at the beginning of battles, because this tank is fast.
  • Pushing: In T10 battles, where rushing forward is of less use, pushing a slow ally to an artysafe sport, or just towards the battle, can be very helpful for your team. Also works for a Löwe on Himmelsdorf (encounter)
  • Love your tank: If you don’t like your tank, you will never perform well in it (in my opinion), so learn to like/love it quickly!

[*]Consumables: As you will need a fire extinguisher, there is no place for gasoline, so it comes to repair kit, medkit and fire extinguisher. It is YOUR choice if you want to use the gold versions, of course.

Summary in quick:

Pros:
  • Mobile
  • Good gun
  • Nice allrounder
  • Can be very rewarding to play
  • Hard to play awfully


Cons:
  • Can’t circle many enemies
  • Rather big target and low camo
  • Not the best in anything (not a very situational tank)
  • Steep learning curve
  • Hard to play exceptionally well
  • Mediocra gun depression


My playsyle quick recap: The PantherII offers itself to many playstyles, which is it’s bane and blessing. Bane because you never are in “the perfect spot for your tank” but blessing because you can always adapt to the situation. The aim is to adapt to your enemies plans, and be where you are needed by your team.

Useful link: http://www.wotdb.info/#country=germany&tree=44575648
Here you can find weakspots, module placement, and calculate research costs. Weakspots of other tanks can be found here to.


Originally written by genghiswolves
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Ding760

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