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PzKpfw VIB Tiger II Guide 4

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PzKpfw VIB Tiger II Guide 4

Post  Ding760 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:50 am

The Tiger II

The Tiger II (King Tiger) is the most commonly used of the two German T8 Heavies. A natural upgrade to the Tiger I H – it sports more firepower and armour but less mobility. Where personal opinions are offered – (e.g. my personal experience or preferences) this will be in italics.

Price: 2,450,000
Crew: 5 (Commander, Gunner, Driver, Radio Operator, Loader)
Weight: 67 Tonnes (Stock)
Max Speed: 28 kph
View Range: 400m

At-a-Glance Advantages
· Excellent frontal armour; well sloped and capable of deflecting T8 and T9 shots with correct angling.
· Good selection of guns to choose from.
· Top gun has impressive accuracy and respectable armour penetration.
· Good survivability in most matches (even T10 ones) on account of armour and firepower.

At-a-Glance Disadvantages
· Slow and cumbersome compared to Tiger I H (which wasn’t exactly a race car itself).
· Relatively thin, un-sloped side armour on both hull and turret.
· Suffers engine fires when penetrated frontally.
· Weak-spots are large and easy to hit.
· Hard to hide and easy to spot.


The Tiger II carries over the 8.8cm L/71 from the Tiger H – this is an excellent starting point since you can generally damage most opponents you come across with a few exceptions. Your next upgrade will need to be the suspension; on account of the fact that the later engines, turret and guns are all in excess of your stock load-limit.  

Once you have the weight capacity to spare; you can mount the top engine straight away. Note that this particular engine is quite handy on the German Heavy Tree – it makes sense to demount it to your Depot if you upgrade the Tiger II since it will be useful on the Tier 9 E-75.

Radios are all carried over from the Tiger I.

The gun upgrades are one-after-the-other – meaning you can’t skip the middle one and go straight to the top gun! The L/71 as said before is a greatly useable weapon – if a bit lacklustre compared to the bigger 122mm Russian/Chinese cannons.

The next gun up is the 10.5cm L/52. This actually has less penetration and accuracy than the 8.8cm but does 320 damage on average per hit. It fires quite a bit slower; and each shell costs 1,000 credits a time. Unless you really like the extra 80 damage per shot it isn’t really worth the cost. The top gun IS worth it however – this will be expanded on in ‘Firepower’ below.

The first turret is considerably weaker than the second turret. You will notice that the vast majority of shots will penetrate the frontal armour of the turret – often taking out crew members in the process.


A heavy tank weighing 70 tonnes plus is never going to be quick; and the Tiger II adheres to this. It is the slowest Tier 8 Heavy in terms of top speed and general mobility over different terrain. It’s quite a cumbersome beast to try to manoeuvre; especially to those used to the IS-3, T32 or AMX 50 100.

However, when fully upgraded the Tiger II is reasonably mobile. You can pivot on the spot and on most surfaces reaching the 28 kph limit isn’t too hard. The ponderous mobility in many ways prepares the player
for the rest of the German heavy tree! Similarly; the tank’s relatively high weight means that ramming can do damage to the lighter IS-series of tanks if all else fails.

The Tiger II is not built for speed; or hill-climbing of any kind. While it is possible to reach elevated positions – the time spent climbing hills could be better spent fighting on the flat!


That’s the bad bit. However from here-on things get so much better. The armour is 150mm thick on the frontal upper plate – this is sloped at 45 degrees approximately. The end-result is that you are impervious to most weapons at your tier on your upper plate. If you angle your tank; you have a good chance of deflecting Tier 9 weaponry. Only the machine-gun ball-mount is a weakspot here – this is about as weak as the lower front plate but much smaller.

The lower front plate is not so good – but technically no worse than the lower plates of other Tier 8 heavies – being vulnerable to enemy weapons with a penetration of +180mm. In a head-to-head engagement most enemy heavies of your tier (and even some Tier 7s such as the Tiger H/P or AMX M4) will be able to shoot your lower plate and do damage. The other downside is that behind that lower plate is a frontal transmission; a direct hit here can set you on fire. It is a large target; but there are three things to minimise it’s vulnerability.

1) Put yourself in a position to cover it with terrain; even a small crater/shell hole or slight ridge in the terrain can obscure it from enemy fire. Even if not totally covered – it makes a large weak-spot much harder to land a hit on.
2) Get closer to the enemy. If you are closer this means that an enemy tank firing at your lower plate is firing at a greater angle. This doesn’t work so well against IS-3s and other tanks which are quite ‘low’.
3) Angle! – more on this below.

Turret armour is good once you get the second turret. 185mm on the front gives you great deal of protection from most Tier 8 weapons you come across. The turret sides are less durable; having only 80mm on the sides and rear. The profile side-on is particularly large and vulnerable to larger guns auto-penetrating due to the overmatch rules. The major weakness is the commander’s cupola – this however is only really an issue at close range.

Frontal armour is excellent on the Tiger II. If situated at the top of the match-up; you have an excellent degree of protection from all but the biggest weapons. From the sides you are a big target however!


The Tiger II starts off with the 8.8cm L/71 – this boasts 203mm penetration and 240 damage a time. Note that the Tiger II fires quicker with the 8.8cm than on the Tiger I H or Tiger I P (approximately 7.8 rounds per minute to the Tiger I’s 6.9 rounds). This is a decent weapon even at Tier 8 – but by this time you will be encountering Tier 10 Heavies and Tank Destroyers which can spoil your day quite quickly.

The next gun is the 10.5cm L/52. It should be viewed as a stepping stone to the top gun – it fires slower, costs quite a bit when firing lots of shells, and has less penetration and accuracy. It does do 320 damage per shot – so players who prefer higher alpha damage may wish to fit it.

The 10.5cm L/68 top gun is superior in every way to the 10.5cm L/52 aside from rate of fire. This can penetrate 225mm of armour; has identical accuracy to the 8.8cm and is quite handy at most ranges. It gives you the capability to engage all Tier 8s (aside from one or two tank destroyers such as the T28 or AT15) with little trouble in punching through their hull armour. Even when up against harder targets such as Tier 9 Heavies – you have the precision to hit weak-spots and still be a threat. You can also be a nuisance to Tier 10s; although not quite so reliably.

As with most of the guns in the German Heavy line; this weapon is at it’s best when used at long range as a support/sniping cannon. That said; the reload time is not so long as to cause you significant problems when fighting up-close.

Weak-spots and knowing where they are is a key to success as always. Cupolas on turret roofs, crew hatches and MG mounts are all weak areas no matter what the tank is. If shooting the side of an enemy tank - try to hit the engine deck area to set them alight.

Tactics and Gunnery

The Tiger II is a different beast to the Tiger I H. You can perhaps consider this your first ‘true heavy’ if this is the first line you have worked up. Your tactics and overall play-style will be dictated by three factors.

1) Your position in the MM lineup.

A Tiger II at the top of the team list can be a lot of fun. You will be expected to lead the push; to break through and tackle the enemy’s top tanks. The advantage here is that you can do so with a relative degree of immunity from smaller mediums and lower-tier heavies so long as you use your armour intelligently.

A Tiger II near the bottom in a T10 match-up is less fun. The guns are bigger, the TDs are more dangerous. This would be a case where you play the part of a supporting sniper; providing supporting fire for a larger heavy as they advance. You need to be more cautious, and assume that everything and everyone can hurt you – because they probably can.

2) The map and mode.

Defensively, the Tiger II is a solid defender. The good armour and gun can make you a difficult target to knock out if you have a good position and are covering your weak-spots. For ‘Defend the Base’ modes you want to get to a position where you have a good field of fire – e.g. the likely route enemy players may take to get to your flag – and cover nearby so that you can retreat if necessary. This mode plays to the basic advantage that your opponents have to come to you rather than the other way round – thus negating the Tiger II’s mobility issues.

If attacking; the slow speed can sometimes be frustrating – especially if trying to attack uphill at Campinovka. However; stick to a larger heavy (T9 or T10) and support them as they move up. If you lead the team list; slowly but surely advance – using cover and camouflage where possible to methodically work you way closer to the action. Either way, attacking in the Tiger II is more difficult than defending – but still rewarding if you get a good team and can use your firepower to your advantage.

3) Arty and TDs

SPGs and Tank Destroyers are a threat to any tank – but especially to tall, high-sided and rather slow targets such as a Tiger II. Resist the urge to camp in one spot for the fear of arty. It is worth learning various areas of maps which are generally ‘arty-safe’ and planning your routes accordingly.

The same goes for TDs; it would unwise for example, to charge in headfirst to an area of dense woodland (e.g. Murovanka) if you know there are Tank Destroyers waiting for you. Learn where the common ambush spots are; try to attack them from a different angle. Better still, if your team has a scout who is trying his best to spot – be sure to be in a position where you can hit any targets he highlights for you.

If you are able; platoon with another player who has a Tiger II. Two King Tigers split the enemy between two targets; and the two of you can quickly shoot up enemy targets if you focus fire.

For general gunnery, you want to prioritise your shooting. As a rule; you want to shoot the greatest threat which you can realistically hurt. It’s no good bouncing shell after shell off of that T95 at 400m if there is a far more vulnerable Jagdpanther II 200m away from you. Conversely, if you have the choice of shooting that Jagdpanther or a Jagdpanzer IV; shoot the greatest threat! (The Jagdpanther!)

The IS-3; possibly the most common Tier 8 HT you encounter in random battles. These should be taken out as quickly as possible – preferably from a range exceeding 200m.

Firing on the move is not generally a good idea unless you are engaging targets at 150m or less. Even then; reduce your speed to one or two ‘notches’ on the cruise speed panel – you don’t want to waste expensive ammunition and potentially be reloading when you don’t have to.

Keep your distance from enemies where possible – since at long ranges your weak-spots are smaller and harder to hit. Keep your front facing the nearest enemy at all times – you don’t want to show your high sided turret and hull sides and give them an easy shot.

Armour is a major part of the Tiger II – possibly it’s greatest advantage over the other Tier 8 heavies. While 150mm sloped frontal plating is good; with angling you can make that frontal armour exceptionally good. The rule is to angle enough that you bounce the shots coming towards you – but not so much that the thin side armour is overly exposed.

Angling your tank can improve your armour protection considerably. As seen here; the Lowe is kept at a 15-25 degree angle – this makes penetrating the lower plate and sides difficult especially if you are moving at the same time.

At the risk of repeating what is above; be sure to engage the most pressing threat. Below is a brief breakdown of your Tier 8 counterparts and the degree to which they threaten you.

AMX 50 100 -  These are thinly armoured and tend to be knocked out very quickly if not driven properly. They are however very quick; one of these can easily decimate your health with their auto-loader cannon if they catch you on your own and in the open. Stick near to your team; they can support you and visa versa. Be aware of AMX drivers flanking you to get shots into your rear or sides.

IS-3 – IS-3s are a common opponent for the Tiger II and can move fast while hitting hard. It has a main meting out 390 damage per shot and armour penetration figures similar to the Tiger II. They are however inaccurate at longer range – thus in a long distance (300m or greater) duel the Tiger II will generally win. Shoot them at long range; try to avoid getting into a short-range brawl by tracking them if they attempt to close the distance. If caught at short-range; shoot the hull for reliable damage.

KV-4 – Heavily armoured tank which has good armour on all sides; has a main gun similar in performance to the Tiger II’s 10.5cm L/68. Very slow; one of the few heavy tanks the Tiger II can outrun. If at long range the lower plate is often a good weak-spot to shoot at. At short ranges the turret’s mini-turret or driver’s vision port are weak-points. Driving up close to the KV-4 can have the effect of making your lower plate difficult to hit on account of the poor gun depression of the Soviet tank.

VK 4502A – A weaker but faster German Tier 8 armed with the 10.5cm L/52. Generally a VK driver will not try to engage you head-on but will attempt flanking to hit your sides. Tiger II has the advantage at longer ranges; the VK can have the upper hand if he can get close. Engage at long range rather than short if possible. Keep your front facing them at all times and don’t give them an easy flank shot.

T32 – This has incredible turret armour and is very difficult to hurt if hull-down. It also has decent mobility – but lacks a main gun with the stopping power of the IS-3 or precision of the Tiger II. Don’t get drawn into a sniping duel with a hull-down T32 – attempt to flank. If faced with a T32 hull-down; shoot commander’s hatch/cupola. Longer ranges favour the Tiger II if the T32 is unable to find cover – lower hull is vulnerable.

Caernarvon – The Caernarvon boasts a fast-firing 20-pounder which marginally beats the Tiger II’s main gun for rate of fire, accuracy and penetration. Has a strong turret enabling hull-down tactics and a decent frontal upper plate which can deflect a surprising number of shots. Has better mobility than the Tiger II. If engaging at long-range; avoid the heavily armoured turret and shoot the lower hull. Peek-a-boo tactics are best at short range – since this negates the Caernarvon’s rate of fire advantage.

110 – Chinese copy of IS-3 with similar strengths and weaknesses. As with the IS-3; keep it at a distance if possible and keep your frontal armour towards him at all times.

Improvements to the Tiger II

This is the load-out which seems to work for me. It focuses on improving the firepower of the tank – being able to shoot regularly and consistently is what wins battles.
1) Gun Rammer
2) Ventilation
3) Camo Net (Of dubious value post- 8.6).

One change I might suggest if you have the funds is to swap the camo-net with either a Vertical Stabiliser (for assistance when firing on the move or during start-stop tactics like peek-a-boo) or an Enhanced Gun Laying Drive (reduces aim-time only when stationary). For a more mobile play-style the Vertical Stabiliser would probably be useful and for sniping the ELGD.

Med Kit, Repair Kit and Fire Extinguishers make up the consumable load. I tried using the high-octane fuel in place of the Fire Extinguisher but didn’t notice any improvement in the agility of the Tiger II – so back on went the Extinguisher.

Shell load-out for the top gun consists of 30 / 4 / 2 (30 regular AP / 4 Premium APCR / 2 High Explosive). Having one or two HE rounds is recommended for those long-distance shots against a hard target which you know you can’t hurt with AP. It is also handy to reset a capturing enemy. I wouldn’t recommend using more than a few premium shells – they are useful for emergencies and when all other options have failed – not really financially viable for regular use.

The APCR shells are handy for when you get hurled into a T10 match – 285mm penetration can give any Tier 10 Heavy or TD a kick in the teeth and perhaps make them slightly more wary of rushing you for fear that you’re packing more APCR shells than you actually are.

Crew skills will vary depending on your preference and experience. My Tiger II crew used to be at 3 skills before being upgraded to my E-75 – the current crew are recent additions and so are at 2 skills.

Sixth Sense is useful for giving you some prior warning. In higher-tier matches where arty is more dangerous – knowing you have been rumbled can be a life-saver.

Preventative Maintenance made a considerable difference to the Tiger II’s tendency to catch fire. Those lower frontal plate hits no longer wipe out half your health due to fire – there are some exceptions but this is a good skill to have with ANY German tank with frontal transmission.

Designated Target is useful for sniping those long-range targets. Given that combat tends to be of the long distance variety in the Tiger II; and that targets can be spotted for a few seconds then gone the next – this gives you a few more moments to get that shot on target.

Intuition is handy for changing your shell quickly to react to incoming threats. If a E-100 comes barrelling round the corner – you don’t want to sit in front of him waiting a full ten seconds to load an APCR. With this; you can sometimes switch a shell type quickly on the spot – although it obviously doesn’t work all the time.

Review Summary

The Tiger II has the virtues of good firepower and excellent armour for it’s tier; all advantages which can enable it survive a beating even when in matches with Tier 10s. It is a well-balanced vehicle which can return good results when played correctly; and excellent results if played well.

The E-75 is essentially a Tiger II at Tier 9. Learning to play the Tiger II well will prepare the player for Tier 9.

Originally written by Gvozdika

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