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IS-3 Guide 2

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IS-3 Guide 2

Post  Ding760 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:28 am


The Iosif Stalin tankwas a series of heavy tanks developed as a successor to the KV-series by the Soviet Union during World War II. The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers.
   There are 2 tanks known as IS-3. IS-3 (Object 244) was an IS-2 rearmed with the long-barrelled 85mm cannon (D-5T-85-BM). It was developed by LKZ (in Leningrad) and was not taken in service. IS-3 (Object 703) was developed in late 1944 by ChTZ (in Chelyabinsk). This tank had an improved armour layout, and a hemispherical cast turret (resembling an overturned soup bowl) which became the hallmark of post-war Soviet tanks. While this low, hemispherical turret may have improved protection, it also significantly diminished the working headroom, especially for the loader (Soviet tanks in general are characterized by uncomfortably small interior space compared to Western tanks). The low turret also limited the maximum depression of the main gun, since the gun breech had little room inside the turret to pivot on its vertical axis. As a result, the IS-3 was less able to take advantage of hull-down positions than Western tanks. The IS-3's pointed prow earned it the nickname Shchuka (Pike) by its crews. It weighed slightly less and stood 30 cm lower than previous versions. Wartime production resulted in many mechanical problems and a hull weldline that had a tendency to crack open.
   The IS-3 came too late to see action in World War II. The tank saw no action against the Germans, although one regiment was deployed against the Japanese in Manchuria.  
   For the Soviets, the IS-3 was always regarded as "the most powerful tank in the world" and this became a claim that few could dispute.

Description and Role

   Is-3 has a mobility like no other heavy of its tier, a very powerful gun, low profile, and highly sloped frontal armor that transforms this tank into a superb assault tank. The top speed it has and also the good acceleration allows it to swiftly take strategic positions on the map and hold them until reinforcements arrives. Anyway, you have to be very careful because this is not an invincible tank and will not be able to hold your own against an overwhelming force. If the IS-3 gets flanked you will not have the luxury of loosing too many hit points, because you do not have them. You do not have thick side hull armor and those kind of situations should be avoided at all costs. As a matter of fact, it is good to remember that the IS-3 has the lowest amount of hit points in comparison to the other heavy tanks of its tier. Frankly this tank is best to be played more as a powerful medium with decent frontal armor than a heavy that can take it good without too many problems. Your best role is to play from a medium range, identify enemy positions and flank them. That will be key to your team success. Your speed and low profile will protect you in the open, taking advantages of the terrain irregularities, while you push the advance or flank the enemy. However, even if your gun has a good elevation you will more feel it like lacking because of your low profile, along with the already poor gun depression. You will get a challenge from it in finding any sort of hull down cover or fighting on uneven terrain. Corner or poke fighting can be challenging in the IS-3. You have to always remember that the armor profile of this tank is designed for direct assaults and remembering this you will either want to close the distance quickly or start your turn early, from a wide angle, to be able to get the minimum of time spent with your sloped armor facing flat in front of your enemy's gun.

Main characteristics and General information

Health: 1500
Shell Damage: 390/390/465
Shell Penetration: 225/265/68
Damage/Min: 1759/1759/2098
Standard Reload Time: 13.3 (s)
Elevation/Depression: 23/5 (deg)
View Range: 350 (m)
Hull Armor: 110/90/60
Turret Armor: 220/110/110
Traverse: 30/26/56 (deg/s)
Horsepower: 0.7 (hp/t)
Speed Limit: 38 (driving forward) /15 (driving backwards) (km/h)
Ammo Rack HP: 200
Credit Cost: 2,568,500
Experience Cost: 77 000

122 mm D-2-5T - Tier VII
Avg. Damage: 390/390/465 (HP)
Avg. Penetration: 175/217/61 (mm)
Damage / Minute: 1592/1592/1898 (HP)
Elevation: 23 (deg)
Depression: 5 (deg)
Weight: 2600 (kg)
XP Cost: Stock
Credit Cost: 84,980
Ammo Count: 28
Reload Time:14.7 (s)
Aim Time:3.4 (s)
Accuracy:0.46 (m)

100 mm D10T - Tier VII

Avg. Damage: 230/230/330 (HP)
Avg. Penetration: 175/235/50 (mm)
Damage / Minute: 1704/1704/2444 (HP)
Elevation: 23 (deg)
Depression: 5 (deg)
Weight: 2257 (kg)
XP Cost: 16,500
Credit Cost: 78,180
Ammo Count: 50
Reload Time: 8.1 (s)
Aim Time: 2.9 (s)
Accuracy: 0.42 (m)

122 mm D-25T - Tier VIII

Avg. Damage: 390/390/465 (HP)
Avg. Penetration: 175/217/61 (mm)
Damage / Minute: 1902/1902/2268 (HP)
Elevation:23 (deg)
Depression:5 (deg)
Weight:2590 (kg)
XP Cost:19,000
Credit Cost:125,140
Ammo Count:28
Reload Time:12.3 (s)
Aim Time:3.4 (s)
Accuracy:0.46 (m)

122 mm BL-9 - Tier IX

Avg. Damage: 390/390/465 (HP)
Avg. Penetration: 225/265/68 (mm)
Damage / Minute: 1759/1759/2098 (HP)
Elevation: 23 (deg)
Depression: 5 (deg)
Weight: 2790 (kg)
XP Cost: 44,000
Credit Cost: 178,500
Ammo Count: 28
Reload Time: 13.3 (s)
Aim Time: 3.4 (s)
Accuracy: 0.4 (m)

V-11 - Tier VIII
Horsepower: 650 (hp)
Chance of Fire: 15.00 %
Hitpoints: 260
Weight: 750 (kg)
XP Cost: Stock
Credit Cost: 55,270  

V-2-54IS - Tier IX
Horsepower: 700 (hp)
Chance of Fire: 12.00 %
Hitpoints: 370
Weight: 700 (kg)
XP Cost: 26,000
Credit Cost: 79,290

Kirovets-1 - Tier VIII
Armor: 150/90/80
Traverse Rate: 28 (deg/s)
Traverse Range: 360
Hitpoints: +290/1450
Sight Range: 330 (m)
Weight: 11200 (kg)
XP Cost: Stock
Credit Cost: 30,000  

IS-3 - Tier VIII
Armor: 220/110/110
Traverse Rate: 26 (deg/s)
Traverse Range: 360
Hitpoints: +340/1500
Sight Range: 350 (m)
Weight: 11500 (kg)
XP Cost: 14,625
Credit Cost: 31,500

IS-3 - Tier VII

Load Limit: 50560 (kg)
Traverse Rate: 27 (deg/s)
Hitpoints: 200
XP Cost: Stock
Credit Cost: 17,780

IS-3M - Tier VIII
Load Limit: 53900 (kg)
Traverse Rate: 30 (deg/s)
Hitpoints: 220
XP Cost: 14,200
Credit Cost: 31,450

10RK - Tier VII
Signal Range: 440 (m)
Weight: 100 (kg)
XP Cost: Stock
Credit Cost: 18,600  

12RT - Tier IX
Signal Range: 625 (m)
Weight: 110 (kg)
XP Cost: 5,600
Credit Cost: 33,600

R113 - Tier X
Signal Range: 730 (m)
Weight: 80 (kg)
XP Cost: 8,700
Credit Cost: 52,200


Armor and Mobility
   The layout of the IS-3's armor was and still is many times called "shark's mouth" or "pike's nose" as Russians used to call it after it was built. The design presents a highly sloped frontal armor with the two sheets of steel extending from the front of the tank and forming a face and the lower plate sealing the "mouth". The engineers of the time came up with this design to compensate for the thin armor needed to minimize weight.

Here are some schematics of the IS-3s frontal armor:

Considering the tier and the class it was put into, the IS-3 is highly mobile, and can get into favorable positions quickly to face against any opposing heavy. Unlike all the conventional armor designs of the time, IS-3 performs best when facing the enemy at an angle of 0 to 10 degrees. In this position the "shark's mouth" armor form will be more effective, however you will want to close distance as quickly as you can so you can limit exposure of the lower glacis plate. The turret has a thickness of 220 mm into the frontal armor and a very low profile. This makes it extremely hard to penetrate to penetrate or hit, the shots taken resulting mostly into ricochets and no damage penetrations. If you get to take advantage of any sort of hull down position or if you are able to fast close the gap between you and the enemy, it will be extremely hard for the him to fire at you and deal any sort of damage.
   In contradiction to the rumors spread, the little hole on the front of the turret is not a weak-spot The tracks are also very good at absorbing the damage caused by shots. Also the sides and the corners have spaced armor which makes those areas a trap for the enemy shells that will loose their way to the main armor, most of the times, thus, causing no damage whatsoever. Anyway, this is not a reason to trust your sides, because, if the enemy can aim for the center rear, will penetrate the 60 mm like hot butter and most likely you will get a burning engine that, if you do not pay attention to put it off quickly, will drive into the hole of despair, eating everything that stays in its way. The 90 mm plate in between the tracks is a sensitive zone too. A shot that will land there has a good opportunity for a considerable amount of damage.

Here are some graphics comparing IS-3s mobility to some other Tier VIII Heavy Tanks:


   The 122mm BL-9, top tier gun of IS-3, will get you a 225 mm average penetration and an approximately 390 damage per shot, that, with the acceptable aim it provides, will transform your tank into a deadly weapon at medium to close ranges. If unleashed in close quarters the IS-3 will be very hard to outmaneuver or out damage. Anyway, what you always will want to keep in mind is that you will want to get closer as soon as possible, to minimize hull exposure and also the chances of escape for the enemy. As we said earlier the gun has a poor depression and even though the elevation is among the top ones, it will reduced by the low profile of the tanks turret. So, you will find it challenging often, when you have to fight uphill or downhill, being forced to stay alert to the terrain angles and layout before you charge towards enemy.

Here are some graphics comparing IS-3s fire power to some other Tier VIII Heavy Tanks guns:

This graphic shows the IS-3s general firepower:


   In World of Tanks, as my personal opinion, IS-3 is the best Tier VIII Heavy Tank. It will be a delight for any driver of this tank to see that despite the minuses it has, this tank will be pure fun. It can play his role of a heavy tank and in the same time can switch to the position of a medium, and why not, if needed, a scout. It can engage into direct fights, flank, stay hidden and observe, patrol and also, run away from a lot of situation with no other escape. Any position you choose to take, or any position you choose to switch into, always keep in mind that you are not a god in that tank. You might have a good stealth and a powerful gun but your armor has a limit and it will not bounce forever the rain of shots landing upon you. And I am not talking here only about the tanks shots but even the scouts, tank destroyers and never the last artillery that sometimes can even one-shot you.
   The hesitation is the mother of looses an you'd better remind that every second. Communicate with your team mates and share the tasks. Know your enemy! Pay attention to the reloading times of every tank in the game, to the number of shots fired from the autoloader tanks and use the gap between the reloads wisely. If you launch an attack, be as sure as possible that you are the one in advantage. From that point forward do not fall back unless you find yourself alone and in risk of being outgunned. You will see that the enemy will find themselves scrambling to find weak spots on your turret which, with a little wiggle, are hard to hit, giving you full control over the engagement. We can mention also loosing presence or running, that will put you into even greater advantage. Be aggressive as much as possible, since this is the purpose of this tank in the first place.
   If you find yourself into an urban or semi-urban map, take cover of the buildings. Instead of using your speed into the open risking to get hurt easier, use it to hop from corner to corner to get closer to the targets you are aiming to. Use the piles of rubble or the in-map designed artillery holes to get into a semi-hull-down position, forcing the enemy to shot your effective frontal armor or extremely hard-to-penetrate turret. Be careful though to what is that shoots at you, because the opt tier tank destroyer guns and not only, will be able to hurt you quite easier even in that position leaving you only with the advantage of your gun, that can still penetrate up to tier X.
   If you find yourself into an opened map, the best option is to take advantage of the bushes, fallen trees, uneven terrain, rocks, small structures, anything that can protect you for at leas a shot if not more. It might be the lucky shot that saves the day and wins the match. If you are out of those little advantages, move! Your speed allows you to do that and a gun is less effective when shooting at a moving target, no matter how accurate it is.
   If you choose to play as a platoon of IS-3s act as a wolf pack. Let the most experienced of you to take the lead and coordinate your moves. Remember that you are like a shark. Act like one, especially if you are playing platoon.
   Self awareness is the best friend you'll have all along, so do not ignore it. If you think that one-on-one battle is a good reason to take out of the cover and engage into a direct fight, remember that the run, as shameful as it is, sometimes is the healthiest option. So, if you see reinforcements arriving, prepare yourself a way to retreat and do it, as fast as possible, before you get to watch the battle as a spectator. Watching your tanks wreck burning is not only in your detriment, but in your team detriment too, and this is, after all, a team game. Right?
   All those above apply when you play with same tier or higher. What about when facing a smaller tier tank or tanks? Well, as I said early, be aggressive but always careful not to get surrounded and flanked by too many tanks. Getting in this situation you will be outnumbered, and we all know that no matter the power, if you get outnumbered, you are out of the game before even getting to count them.
   What about the often annoying situation when you get to play against the IS-3? If in a low tier tank act as support. The second you see its gun pointing at you run like hell and hide before it lands the shot on you and, maybe, get your ammo rack exploded. Remember the sides and rear are soft, so use the map advantages and your speed to get into the position to shoot those spots. Aim for the ammo racks, tracks and engine since those are the thinks that can slow it down. The frontal attacks are worth it only from high terrain where IS-3s gun can't aim, or with guns of over 200 mm penetration. Use the distance also, because IS-3 has to get at least into a medium-range to be effective.
   One over another, IS-3 proves to be a tank full of surprises for both sides: you and the enemy. It can adapt to almost any battle style, this being the reason many players, including me, love it. I reached IS-7 but still keep my IS-3 into the garage. It is too fun to play and too good to be sold. I have almost the best hit ratio and win ratio on this tank. Also it benefits of a very good match making, getting to be almost all the times top of the list. For all those reasons I recommend this tank to every single one of you. Once fully upgraded and once you've learned how to play with it, I think that you will agree with me when I say it is the best Tier VIII in the game.

The advantages of the tank
The agility this tank has, many times is the path to the winning point, but sometimes is the path to destruction. IS-3 can quickly, easily and effectively advance to almost any position on almost any map but also it can just as easily find itself separated from the team into the middle of the enemy forces, surrounded, flanked and out of service before it even gets to fire the second shot.
   Also the gun and the front armor are quite spectacular. But the same as the agility many times it can deceive you if not careful. The gun can damage even the top tier tanks and tank destroyers but this doesn't mean that your armor can take it easily on that. Taking shots without thinking the timing will draw you into the hole of usefulness. The "Rambo"-style is not what you want to apply on this tank, because it is a huge difference between this and the Maus for example.
   Patience is a virtue, my friend, and in this tank you will test this saying quite often. Do not forget that patience and self awareness are the best advantages in any tank you will drive. Those, combined with the ones listed above will put you into a very good position.

Disadvantages of tank or how the players call them - WEAK POINTS

   Below you have some images with the structure of the tank and as you are about to see, the ammo rack on the IS-3 is quite exposed. First time I got ammo-racked I was quite surprised, not being aware of my weak spots. The player who managed to explode my tank said "Next time pay attention to your position. IS-3 is full of ammo racks". And indeed it is! This beast is best protected from the front, since every other aspect provides virtually no room to miss a critical tank component. The crew members are quite well protected. The most exposed crewmen is located in the turret and as you already know, placing shots on the turret without bouncing them is more of a challenge and gamble than accuracy and science.


From the sides the IS-3 presents a challenge not into aiming for a module but into missing one. It is done almost entirely out of weak spots so, critical damage to modules shot from the side is quite common. Ammo racks are exposed through the length of the front half of the tank, while the engine and the fuel are stacked on the rear half. The right side has a larger ammo rack in the turret, and this is the single difference between the sides of the tank. Anyway, my advice is to aim for the hull of the tank not the turret, because the design may cause bounces that will surprise you.
   If your gun allows you to shoot and penetrate the front, you may want to aim for the lower glacis, especially the ammo rack. This will increase you the chance to not just cause damage, but to detonate the ammunition from the ammo racks and leave behind nothing but a wreck. It is better not to aim for the frontal angled plates unless you are yourself into an angle that, referring to those plates, will allow you to shoot to an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible. Also, for the cases when the IS-3 manages to close the gap between you and him, aim calmly for the observation ports and the crew cupola if your gun depression allows you to do that.
   The engine is in the back of the tank. So, if you find yourself at that end of it, do not hesitate. It will slow him down or set him on fire most of the times.  I would not advise you to shoot from that position into the turret from the same reasons invoked above: it might show you that the designers managed to pull out the maximum they could from that armor and bounce your shot off.

Suggested crew skills

Commander: Repair, Brother in Arms, Sixth Sense. Jack of All Trades, Camouflage
Gunner: Repair, Brother in Arms, Snapshot,  Deadeye, Camouflage
Driver: Repair, Brother in Arms, Offroad Driving, ClutchBraking, Camouflage
Loader: Repair, Brother in Arms, Safestowage, Adrenaline Rush, Camouflage

   I see those skills the best for following reasons: Repair to all for a faster module repair (mostly the tracks) so you can recover faster and avoid being destroyed too fast. Brother in Arms increase the base qualifications. You will want especially a smaller loading time and this skill will provide you that along with second most important, acceleration speed. The third row of skills will allow you to see when you are spotted in the few times when you will stay for an ambush, aim and shoot easier, have a better driving skills on difficult terrain types, and not to forget a more durable ammo rack. The fourth row of skills will help you with he loading time when you are in a critical state with less than 10% HP, also an even greater turning speed and an increased chance of critical hits will help you become a feared enemy, along with the possibility to replace a man when you are out of medical kits. With all the gold ammo rounds flying by you will need it! Camouflage is a useful option for ambushes with your team mates against the enemy team.
   Those skills with the suggested equipment listed below will boost your crew effectiveness as it follows: 110% for the Commander, 141% for the Gunner, 121% for the Driver, and 131% for the Loader.

Suggested equipment

   The IS-3 is an assault heavy tank. As I see it, you can choose between Improved Ventilation Class 3, Large-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer, Vertical Stabilizer Mk 2 and "Wet" Ammo Rack Class 2. Usually I take the Improved Ventilation Class 3 and Large-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer as standard equipment for heavies at this tier. I find those self-explanatory: ventilation increases base qualification with 5%, giving more of everything (better acceleration, turning speed, reverse speed, faster and better aiming, bigger view range, and never the last, more importantly, smaller reload time) while the gun rammer shortens the reload time even more. Until the Safe Stowage is researched you may consider the "Wet" Ammo Rack Class 2 as an option, nut this is the final point. I, personally, never installed it and went for the Vertical Stabilizer Mk 2. The reasons? I am an aggressive player and either stay under cover or moving almost all the time. So, the shots fired while moving are a common thing, thus this equipment is needed more than the wet ammo rack. I prefer to avoid ammo rack detonations by angling and moving constantly even after the Safe Stowage is researched.
   Also before leaving the garage you will want to buy a First Aid Kit for the times when one of your crewman gets hurt, a Repair Kit for critical repairs such as damaged ammo racks or guns and a Fire Extinguisher to cool off the situation when your engine will burn.

Any extra notes

Upgrade Order

   IS-3 was built as an unconventional tank and has to be taken in consideration like this on every aspect, including upgrading. the stock tracks can handle more than usual so, they have the capacity to equip every needed module before changing them. First on the line should be the IS-3 turret, since it handles better than the stock one for its tier. The next you will want to get is the 122mm BL-9 canon. Those two upgrades will ease your way to gather experience needed for the rest, increasing you survival chance and damage output. Engine and tracks should be following after for the mobility used to flank and move. Radio, generally comes last since you are a front line heavy and the distance between you and your comrades is small.

Pros and Cons
Highly mobile and good speed for a heavy tank;
Sloped frontal armor;
A nearly impenetrable turret;
Powerful cannon with decent accuracy and good penetration.

Exposed ammo rack;
Low view range, aiming and reload time;
Limited gun elevation DUE TO LOW PROFILE TURRET, despite the fact that the gun itself has excellent elevation and also a very poor gun depression;
Weak turret roof that makes face hugging a gamble.

Here is a comparison of  some Tier VIII Heavy Tank stats:

Note: the armor is the minimum amount of armor you are exposing whenever you aim at an enemy tank. Mostly on the turret as you can't aim at an enemy without exposing your turret.

And here are the IS-3's general features put into a graphic:

Originally written by Snak3bit3

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