Continuing up the tech tree toward the Obj. 268, after the SU-85 comes the SU-100, followed by the SU-152. I sold the SU-100 after I had finished the research, but I was enjoying the SU-152 and decided to push for three marks of excellence.
This is one of two turretless TT Soviet TDs at tier 7; this branch features higher alpha guns and worse armor. Compared to the SU-85 that I reviewed earlier, the SU-152 has drastically reduced mobility. Hull rotation drops from 35°/s to 25°/s, and top speeds and power/weight both take hits. Your viewrange is still not great, but proportionally better than before. You have two gun choices: a derpy 152 mm cannon and a higher RoF, lower-alpha 122mm gun. I used the 152mm gun almost exclusively. Overall, game plan is pretty similar to the lower tier tanks: sit back in a concealed location, rain down damage on careless opponents.
The 152mm is similar to the gun on the premium Dreadnought, if you have any experience with that. You get AP, HEAT, and HE shells with 135/250/86 mm of penetration, respectively; obviously the AP pen is bad for tier VII (and worse than on the Dreadnought), so you will be firing a lot of gold and/or HE with this configuration. The alpha damage is 700/700/910, so when you connect, your opponent will notice (although keep in mind the damage RNG changes with Update 6.0 means more like 660/660/850 alpha, on average). With the high alpha, you have a long reload and 0.5m accuracy, so RNG will be important in the outcome of the battle; if you can live with that, I think you will like the tank.
Between the reduced mobility and accuracy, I found it more difficult to get consistent damage with the SU-152 compared to the SU-85. It's harder to reposition on the map, getting clean-up damage at the end of steamroll wins is more difficult, YOLO light tanks can circle you, and tracks will occasionally eat your high-pen HEAT rounds. When things go right, 3k damage is easy (that's only five pens, after all), but I also had more 600 damage games than I'd care to admit.
I used rammer (10% reduced load time), camouflage, and ammo swapper (no reload to switch shells). While it was nice to be able to switch freely to HE, when firing at either no-armor TDs and lights or top-tier hull-down heavies, in reality it would probably be better to use Optics or Vents. I like the ammo swapper in the Dreadnought, but the SU-152 has a better base reload and you have more discretion about your targets – you are also less likely to be surprised since you are not playing on the front line. I think the camouflage is a keeper, since it no longer deactivates when turning the tank due to limited gun traverse.
4 AP / 17 HEAT / 7 HE. I upped the HEAT to these final numbers after running out one game; had to finish it with a lucky full penetration of an HE round on the lower plate of a T29 cresting a ridge. Keep in mind that HEAT is weak to tracks and spaced armor, like that found on the Absolution and Minuteman. I would generally fire HE at light tanks, and I was rewarded with more than a few 900+ damage rolls. If you hit a track with HE, you will generally destroy it and do ~300 damage, allowing your team to clean up (hopefully). Fortunately the premium HEAT is fairly cheap, allowing you to still earn silver if you pen your shots. I use small repair kits to save silver at low tier, and I would probably drop the fire extinguisher completely to save 3600 silver/battle; this thing does not seem fire-prone.
Sixth Sense, Born Leader (BiA), Rapid Loading, Accuracy. Then Camo and Vision make six. Seventh, I would choose Silent Driving. Eighth and ninth, I would recommend faster hull rotation and Muffled Shot. Your mileage may vary.
Specific Map Tactics
More than before, general situational awareness and knowledge of where the red tanks are deployed is necessary. You are not all that fast, so you need to react to the shifting battlefield in advance.
Prok and Fishermans Bay: the positions I previously covered still work fairly well, and I had ace tankers on both.
Malinovka: the obvious sniper positions are good. From the south spawn, the hill at F7 gives you a good set of firing lines with bushes and the possibility of hard cover below the ridge. If you lose the hill, you can punish the red heavies as they push down towards the base. Had back-to-back 5k damage games from that position and then on Sunset Coast. From north spawn, I would usually first go to the bush line at D5-D6, then rotate as necessary.
Sunset Coast: if the spawns are the SW/NE corners, from the NE I would go to the snipers nest at E7. Most of the red heavies will push straight east along the water (I-J lines). For you to be effective, however, you do need a friendly tank to spot their crossing, but if it goes right, you will absolutely farm the reds. Then, if you lose that flank, the enemies will generally push straight north towards your cap, exposing themselves to more shots from your position. And you are in the middle of the map, giving you more options for redeployment. If the spawns are in the more classic "Airfield" positions, I would typically cover the water along the south.
Cliff: use the bushes and rocks/buildings along the 1-2 line to snipe. Not the best map for us, honestly, you are depending on the enemy team to be bad (which works a lot, actually).
Took 159 battles to get three MoE. The damage estimates on the internet are low; wotconsole.ru says 1767 combined for 3 MoE, but anything less than ~1900 or so would make the percentage drop. You need (only) three full penetrations per game.
1716 direct / 275 assisted, 2.55 DR, 2.42 K/D ratio, 57.2% win rate, 4056 wn8 at WoTStars, good for 6th out of 219 recent players. Couple Top Guns and 18 High Calibers. If you like big derp guns, you'll have fun with this tank.
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