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T49 Guide

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T49 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:35 am

Introduction

Good day to you, gentlemen and an even better day to you, rare WoT lady. Today I will try to give you a few pointers on how to utilize the T49, This tiny little tank destroyer is one of the most fun and rewarding vehicles in the whole game and played correctly it can kick arse and chew bubblegum, and it's most definitely all out of gum. So without further ado, on to the important stuff.



Main characteristics and crew
Spoiler:

The T49 is a tier 5 tank destroyer (referred to as TD for the rest of this guide), belonging to the turreted US TD line. Which is something of a misnomer as even the so called turretless line has two turreted TD's but the playstyle is completely different, turret or no.

The T49 is researched from the tier 4 M8A1 for 10500 experience points and costs a quite reasonable 400000 silver. Considering the amount of silver you will make if you decide this tank is a keeper, you can trust me when I say that it is money well spent.

The tiny TD starts out with 340 hp, which can be increased to a not-so-whopping 360 hp once you research and mount the upgraded turret. It also starts out light, at slightly over 13 tons but you can expect that weight to rise by about 2 extra tons once the vehicle is fully elited. You shouldn't however be afraid to mount all the equipment you feel you need to, since the upgraded engines provide more than ample power to handle anything and everything.

The view range is an extremely important stat for any good TD and in this respect some people will feel that using the upgraded turret is a downgrade because it actually reduces view range from 370m to 350m. This is of course because the upgraded turret is closed top and not open top like the stock one. However, not using the upgraded turret is not an option for this TD. First of all the vehicle is vulnerable to HE shots (more on that on the armour section) and having an open top turret pretty much is a recipe to being oneshotted by arty. Second, the top gun can only be mounted on the upgraded turret (and there's absolutely no question you'll need that gun) and finally the upgraded turret has a slightly better traverse speed (18 degrees as opposed to 16 on the stock one) and you can use every advantage you can get.

The T49 has a more or less standard 5 man crew comprised of a Commander, a Driver, a Gunner, a Radio Operator and a Loader. An important thing to note here is that the previous vehicle in the tree, the M8A1, has only a 4 man crew (it lacks a loader).So if you are intending to transfer the crew from the M8A1 into the T49, keep in mind that unless you have a spare Loader lying around, you'll most likely have to train a shiny new one.

Mobility
Spoiler:

This is where the T49 really really shines. It's the defining characteristic of this TD and one you'll need to take full advantage of if you want the vehicle to reach its true potential.

Mobility is a coin with two sides. For the purposes of this guide I will differentiate between speed/acceleration and agility/turning rate. I think it's important to do that because the T49 performs differently on these two aspects.

The first thing you will notice is that even a stock T49 with only the 330 hp engine has excellent acceleration, mostly because of the great ~25 hp/ton power/weight ratio. So even a non-upgraded T49 accelerates very respectably and easily reaches the top speed of 61 km/h.

There's of course a high probability that you already have the upgraded engine (it's a staple in a lot of very common tanks like the M7 Priest, M4, M7 etc) and it goes without saying that you should install it immediately if you do. With the upgraded engine the T49 is a rocket on tracks and has one of the best power/weight ratios in the game. The weight for an elite T49 might vary depending on equipment but as a rule of thumb, the upgraded engine will take your power/weight ratio to over 30 hp/ton. With that ratio, reaching your top speed happens almost in a flash and once there you'll get the feeling that the vehicle could easily exceed that.  Switching flanks and following the main advance is a breeze and none but the lightest and fastest of scouts can effectively chase you. Going up hills and sloped terrain is similarly easy. Just remember if the danger that comes with high speeds, i.e jumping off cliffs or hitting bumps that might cause you structural damage or at the very least damage your tracks. It can mean your death, especially if it happens when you are exposed.

Agility is a less happy story. Sure you will not call this vehicle sluggish, but its ability to turn does not match its tremendous speed, even with the upgraded suspension. Apart from it not turning all that great, it also bleeds speed quite a lot. And this is the main thing that differentiates it from a light tank (that and the turret traverse) but more on that on the actual playstyle review. So all in all, zigzagging (especially in difficult terrain) should be avoided

Armour
Spoiler:

Oh, this part is very very easy. I will not even need to bore you with nominal armour values, armour charts and so on. I could of course do it but there's absolutely no need for it. The easiest and best strategy is to assume you do not have ANYTHING resembling armour. Sure, what little you have is nicely sloped, especially in the front, but it is nothing more than tinfoil painted a beautiful olive drab colour. Expect not to bounce anything unless it hits your tracks, the shell strikes at a very weird angle or you get into the highly hypothetical situation of a very low tier gun hitting your frontal armour at a distance. I admit I don't recall having bounced anything ever but maybe that's just me.

What does this mean? It translates into two things. First of all, more than most tanks, the T49 relies on not getting hit in the first place. Whether this happens because of using your camo or because you use your mobility (or even better, both) is irrelevant. You cannot afford to soak up hits period. Ok, maybe you can take one if you are positive you'll take out a high value enemy target but that's about it.

And also, even more importantly, arty and derp guns are your bane. My advice is to look carefully at the composition of the enemy team before the match starts. Do you see prime derpers (like Hetzers, Valentine AT's or heck, even Cruiser II's) ? Be very careful and engage them only if you're sure you are not spotted or they are busy with other team members. It doesn't matter what tier they are. A Hetzer is a tier below you and can oneshoot you 99 out of 100 times. It doesn't even need gold ammo to do so. I won't caution you against KV-2's because you should be wary of those even in an armoured tank but remember even low tier tanks with derp guns can spell your doom.

As to arty, simple advice is if you feel you've been spotted and there's a lot of them around, get the hell out of Dodge and find cover. If you see an arty shell striking near you, don't say "hey, he missed, no problem" because if the next one hits you, it's goodbye sweet prince. Even tier 3 arty can oneshot you if they penetrate (which they most likely will) so take immense care if you find yourself in arty parties.

Armament
Spoiler:

Here is where stuff actually begins to get interesting because the guns are a large part of the playstyle of the T49.

The stock T49 can mount only one gun, the 57mm L/50. So until you research both the upgraded turret and upgraded suspension, you'll be stuck with it.  Here are the basic stats for your convenience.

Caliber: 57mm
RoF: 25 rounds/minute
Average penetration: 110mm
Average damage/shot: 75 hp
Accuracy: 0,39
Aim time: 1,7 secs
Ammo count: 70

As stock guns go, it's not horrible. You should already be familiar with it as it is the gun of choice on the M8A1. What it lacks in alpha damage it makes up for with RoF. The penetration is not amazing but it's sufficient for most of the tanks you'll meet, assuming you know your weakspots and don't expect to penetrate heavies frontally. The accuracy is slightly sub-part but with that RoF, missing one or two shots isn't that much of a problem. So the way I see it, you shouldn't have much of a problem gathering enough experience to unlock the top modules for this TD.

After you install the upgraded suspension and turret, you have the choice is two additional guns. First is the 76mm L/50 which you probably have already researched from the M8A1. Honestly, it's not even worth using it, same as it was not worth it on the previous TD. Sure it has better alpha than the 57mm gun but everything else is way worse. Plus the combination of low pen/ low accuracy means that hitting weakspots becomes much more of a hassle and in my opinion the better alpha (but lower dpm) does not compensate. So I'd recommend keeping the 57mm gun on your way for acquiring the top gun on this TD.

The top gun is the well known 76mm M1A1, in its anti-tank variety. If you've already played the "turretless" US TD line, you might already have it (from the T40 or perhaps the Wolverine) and good sirs, you are in luck if you do. It costs 4600 XP to unlock so if you already have it unlocked, you'll spare yourselves the annoyance of having to use the low power 57mm for a few more battles. Here are the basic stats for the 76mm M1A1.

Caliber: 76mm (well duh)
RoF: 18,75 rounds/minute
Average penetration: 128mm
Average damage/shot: 115 hp
Accuracy: 0,41
Aim time: 1,7 secs
Ammo count: 45

What to keep in mind regarding the gun? First of all, the RoF is quite high. It spews lead like a machine gun, especially if you equip a gun rammer. The damage is not great so the gun relies on its huge dpm (over 2150, even more if you use a rammer, or skills like Brothers in Arms) more than it does on alpha damage. Second, the penetration is on the low side for a tier 5 TD but unless you take impossible shots (like expecting to penetrate the front plate of a KV-3) and if you take advantage of the vehicle's mobility to find good spots to shoot from, you won't find it difficult to penetrate most targets you'll meet. Finally, and most importantly, the accuracy is not stellar. On it's own, and with the gun having a high RoF that wouldn't be much of a problem because you would compensate for misses with firing more shots.The honey coated trap here is that the ammo count is quite low for the gun's high RoF so if you regularly take shots that have a low chance of landing, you have a very real chance of running out of ammo. So avoid thinking you can pepper everything in sight with shells unless that shell has a reasonable chance of hitting the target and penetrating.

Review-playstyle
Spoiler:

My personal opinion of the T49? Of course I love it. But the issue is not whether I love it. It's how to make you love it and spread the fun around. So here's a bit of playstyle advice (ok more than a bit) to hopefully help you towards that goal.

If I had to classify the T49, I'd call it a "mobile mid-range sniper". It's a bit of a mouthful, I admit. But there's specific reasons for that and of course I will elaborate.

It's obviously mobile, I devoted a whole section to talking about that. But what does mobility mean? It means that you can easily find a good starting position and relocate as often as you need to better fulfill your objectives. When the battle starts you can easily move to a good position on the map to take care of rushing scouts or maybe even do some passive scouting if you're thrown into a high tier battle. It means that once you're spotted and you feel you can't slug it out with the opponent (which is the case 99% of the times) you have the very real option of getting your sorry rear out of the fire and indeed you should do that. It means that if a flank is threatened you can easily switch flanks and help. It means that if you're being capped, you have no excuse for not being one of the people to offer to reset the cap. It also means that if you face an enemy you can't reliably penetrate frontally, it's an easy job to relocate to a position that turns his frontal armour into side armour.

But it's also more than that. You can easily follow the main advance and provide supporting fire, even if the battle turns into a rout. And if you spot a gap in the enemy line, you have the speed to exploit it and even perform something that very much resembles flanking, especially on opponents that lack your own mobility. Even city maps are not a problem for you due to the turret but you should obviously avoid tactics that rely on turret traverse speed, like circlestrafing.

Using the T49 offensively on a distracted enemy is a very rewarding tactic, however I would NOT recommend playing this as a light tank/scout, unless you are a very experienced player of such vehicles and your team lacks a dedicated spotter. You lack good turning ability, you bleed speed when turning, your view range is not amazing and you're very allergic to taking hits. So. especially for starting players, I would suggest relying more on the TD qualities of the vehicle. As you gain experience and you begin to understand when to play offensively and when not to, you can implement some light tank tactics as well.

So it's a "mid-range sniper". I'm being very specific for a reason. It's a sniper because it's main role is to provide supporting fire from a distance,not a TD designed to be in the front line as it has no armour and can't take hits. The gun's dpm output can eat enemies alive. But here we come to the caveat, which is related to the gun de​sc​ri​ption I gave above. The M1A1 gun does not have good accuracy. Therefore, while the T49 cannot afford to fight at close ranges, it can't really do all that well at long ranges either because it's prone to misses. And as I've said before, while ordinarily the RoF would compensate for misses, the ammo count is low enough that you need to land most of your shots. So the best range to use this vehicle is a mid range, say roughly 200-300m from the enemy. This is not a hard rule of course but at much longer ranges you will miss a lot of shots, at closer ranges you run the risk of getting spotted (and obliterated). So the key is to stay close enough that your shots will mostly land but far enough so that you won't light up like a Christmas tree whenever you fire. And avoid trick shots (like say shooting through miniscule gaps) because you'll most likely miss.

So some generic advice. Take a good hard look at what you'll be facing. If you're facing lots of derpers or arty, adjust accordingly as I've mentioned above. Try to take a good starting position (a nice bush is your friend). Are you facing same or lower tier opponents? Start pounding them when you see them. Are you facing higher tier ones or tanks you feel you have an iffy chance of penetrating? Don't shoot first. Either light them up for your teammates or if you're too exposed, go cluck-cluck and run away. Due to your mobility, it's very easy to return at any point after your allies have engaged them (and the enemy is distracted and probably turning his sides and rear towards you) and provide supporting fire.

You have a great camo rating and obviously the turret is an immense advantage cause you don't need to break it every time you want to shoot in a different direction. But the high RoF means you cannot afford to stay immobile for long as shooting that often ultimately exposes you. So never, I repeat, NEVER fall into the trap of taking "that one extra shot" when you're spotted and especially if you're facing arty. Use your mobility to get the hell out. The T49 is a sniper but not an immobile one. If you stay at the same spot for the entire battle, you waste the vehicle's mobility potential and you run the risk of a quick death. The moment you get spotted, immediately relocate.

Learning when to go on the offensive with the T49 is a key factor. As I've said, I don't recommend that for inexperienced players. But once you get a couple hundred battles in it (or if you're an experienced light tank driver), it's a viable tactic. It's easier to do in urban maps but it can be done anywhere if you don't miscalculate and assume a flank is undefended when in fact it isn't. There really isn't a hard and fast rule for that. It depends on how good you are at making spur of the moment tactical decisions. Sure, some times you'll fail and end up in flames but in some matches you'll end up behind 2-3 unaware enemies and with your RoF, the rape begins.

Last but not least. Like most US TD's, the T49 has amazing gun depression. Use it, abuse it, love it.

Advantages-disadvantages
Spoiler:

Advantages:
-Amazing acceleration, great top speed
-Excellent RoF,aim time and dpm
-Very nice camo rating
-Small target
-Respectable creditmaking ability, even after the crushing nerfs
-Typican American (i.e excellent) gun depression

Disadvantages:
-Nonexistent armour
-Relatively low accuracy on the top gun
-Low ammo count
-Bad turret traverse (but that's a standard feature on all turreted TD's)
-Lower penetration than most same tier TD's
-Extremely allergic to HE shots

Suggested crew skills
Spoiler:

Commander: Since this tank is so allergic to getting hit, knowing when you're spotted is paramount. So Sixth Sense is almost essential.After that, it depends on how you want to play it. Personally I'd recommend Camouflage because again I hate getting spotted but if you like playing more offensively or want to take up the passive scouting role, you might also consider Recon.

Gunner: As I don't feel the gunner specific skills are all that useful, I would pick Camouflage for the first skill. After that, I went for repair for those busted tracks but perhaps (because of the high RoF) Deadeye is also potentially useful.

Driver: My first pick was Clutch Braking to improve the mediocre turn rate but that's because I like to use the T49 offensively if possible. Camouflage is also a very valid pick again and Off Road Driving would imho be also worth considering.

Radio Operator: Because I opted to skip recon on the Commander, I picked Situational Awareness for my Radio Operator, to improve the not-amazing view range. And as always, Camouflage is a very solid second (or first) pick.

Loader: The T49 really doesn't get ammo rack damage all that often but it's not a bad thing avoiding spending that repair kit if you can. So with that in mind I'd recommend (surprise!) Camouflage as first skill, followed by safe stowage.

As you can see, Camo is pretty much a safe bet everywhere because the more you remain unseen, the more you survive to deal damage. After you max out your primary skills, you'll have acquired enough experience to decide whether you want to use the T49 more offensively, so pick your subsequent skills based on your playstyle of choice. However, I will point out that skipping Sixth Sense is a recipe for disaster.

It also goes without saying that if you decide to pick a crew skill that activates upon reaching 100%, you should initially pick one that doesn't (such as Camouflage or Repairs, I recommend the former) and retrain when you reach 100%.

Suggested equipment
Spoiler:

A gun rammer is a very solid choice because this tank relies on dpm so more shots per minute=profit. I use a camo net but if you train the majority of your crew in Camouflage you could skip it, though it's a very nice aid when forced to act as a passive scout. Since active scouting should be done only in extreme circumstances, I would skip Coated Optics but Binoculars are very useful for the second line sniper role and they come in handy when passively scouting as well. Despite what the wiki suggests, I'd skip the Gun Laying Drive, as the gun has a low aim time as it is.

To make a long story short, I would suggest Camo Net-Rammer-Binocs but if you find you're prone to say ammo rack damage, you could ditch the net (if you have a lot of crewmembers trained in camo) or the binocs (if you have both Situational Awareness and Recon) in favor of a Wet Ammo Rack. Never encountered such a problem myself of course but to each his own.

As far as consumables go, I'd recommend the Holy Trinity of Repair Kit, Medikit and Fire Extinguisher. Not much room for originality there.

Suggested research path
Spoiler:

If you've played through the US medium tank line to the M7 or M4 Sherman or reached the tier 4 US SPG (M7 Priest) you will already have the upgraded engine. Install it immediately. If you've taken the time to unlock the SCR 610 or SCR 619 radios from the M8A1 (or if you have them unlocked from another vehicle), install the best you have available. Make the engine your first priority if you don't already have it as the mobility increase is significant. Go for the upgraded suspension afterwards, as the stock one is almost maxed out. If for some reason you don't at least have the second radio unlocked from beforehand, get that as well before the turret and gun upgrades because the stock radio range is horrid. Always bear in mind that it is better to unlock modules on a lower tier tank than having to grind them on the higher tier.

Next, you should go for the upgraded turret as the stock one can only mount the 57mm gun. You should have the first 76mm gun unlocked from the M8A1, if you made the mistake of skipping it you'll have to grind that after you get the turret. As I've said above, I recommend not installing it and to keep using the 57mm gun instead. Then get the 76mm M1A1 gun and finally the last radio if you don't already have it.

Conclusion

The T49 is an amazing little vehicle that will provide hours of entertainment. It's not the easiest TD to get the hang of, because it's not an average "stay in the back, away from everyone, and spray shells on anything the other guys can see" TD. It requires a different playstyle. You must be able to know when to move and when to stay still, when to shoot your machine gun and when to relocate, when to defend and when to exploit a breakthrough. Yes, in the beginning it might annoy you. Yes, you might have to suffer a few matches of being oneshot by HE before you learn how to deal with them. But in the end, everything is very rewarding. Not only by fun but also by silver. And by people screaming "hacker".


Originally written by Ozymandias
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Ding760

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Re: T49 Guide

Post  AndyScouser on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:07 am

What an amazing and fun tank this is, much more fun than a hellcat i found,...   I personally didnt have much issue with accuracy as i thought it was good.  Taking 150-170 dmg every 2s very quickly gets you noticed, so as said, the most important lesson is.... dont push your luck, if your sixth sense kicks in, or you see that enemy barrel start to turn and face you, get the hell out of there, of course one scout lesson to be brought to this tank is, before you start to shoot, face your hull in the direction of your escape so you are prepared.  Even when spotted, right click-auto aim and pump a few more rounds in whilst you are accelerating away, unless of course you are low on ammunition.

A great tip is to engage from the side, tanks that your heavies are engaging with, a distracted enemy is an easy kill for the T49

for my crew i had 100% camo on all but sixth sense on commander, BiA next skill for all and was grinding clutch braking, snap-shot, mentor, and something else i cant remember for next skill set.
Consumables, i didnt bother with fire extinguisher as as soon as you burned, you where dead any way, so i used fuel to further enhance the tanks performance and turret traverse

thoroughly recommended to anybody wanting a great T5 tank to have some fun in, especially now gold derp has been nerfed, its time to re-buy or grind too.
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  CountOfTuscany on Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:28 am

Read the guide.
Currently I have a lot of trouble playing this tank. I think I play it too much like the m4 sherman. This still does well at the m8a1 (which I really liked), but doesn't seem to work on the t49.

Soo hanging further back, looking for escape routes and getting the crew 100% will do the job I think...
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  AndyScouser on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:05 am

Well after this thread i have rebought the T49, first game out in it is here. Now spectacular but i survived

http://wotreplays.com/site/235703#el_halluf-andyscouser-t49
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  AndyScouser on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:53 am

OOI, ive been having fun in the T49 the last few nights and got ace tanker again, ended up with 2.5k dmg and 1.5k spotting damage and about 4 shells left in the tank, ill post it up if anybody interested.
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  Gorritakid on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:13 am

Best tank ever.

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Re: T49 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:48 am

andy_scouser wrote:OOI, ive been having fun in the T49 the last few nights and got ace tanker again, ended up with 2.5k dmg and 1.5k spotting damage and about 4 shells left in the tank, ill post it up if anybody interested.  

Do! Smile And glad to hear you've been rediscovering fun through this guide lol!
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  AndyScouser on Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:09 am

Ok Ding, here you go

http://wotreplays.com/site/250031#arctic_region-andyscouser-t49

Ace Tanker, Top Gun and Patrol Duty. 2.3K DMG, 1.5K spotting DMG, 2,382XP, 53K credits. My crew is not too good in this, all on 100% but only about 20% of first skill which is all camouflage. I actually had 7 shells left so not as bad as I first though.

Granted, the oponents where not the best team, however, I doubt they knew who was shooting at them most of the time. As with any American, trying to use terrain to my advantage all of the time, I was so close to getting at least 8 kills, maybe 9 if I had reacted earlier upon finding arty but heyho.

Great tank, stick with the grind, the rewards are awesome and can earn as much as an averagely played T8 premium tank...what more could you ask for.
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Re: T49 Guide

Post  Arnold_Judas_Rimmer on Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:30 am

I went wolverine way.. looks like i missed out.. going to get one. good guide thank you.
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