I happened to catch Dezertstorm streaming this game, and then again when it was posted to the sub, which got me interested in the Obj. 268 (even if the 268v5 makes it a bit redundant, now). I also saw
when he was taking the SU-100 to 100%, and he appeared to be quite enjoying it; 390 alpha at tier VI had me intrigued as well. So I started down the line and was having a lot of fun (and winning) at tier 5, so I decided to three mark the tank before selling it.
This guide is mainly aimed at a newer or less experienced player from a blue-overall player (my stats from WoTStars.) My play period in the tank spanned the Update 6.0; I’ll make notes of differences, but if anything, the update slightly boosted my damage and wn8.
This is the Soviet turretless TD at tier V. It features poor vision, decent mobility, good camo, excellent DPM and a healthy alpha of 180. Unlike most Soviet tanks, the gun is quite accurate, which makes it satisfying to play.
For a truly new player, the first TD line I’d recommend would the the American E4 line. So let’s compare the SU-85 to the equivalent tier V American TD, the T67, which has high damage reqs for the MoE. First off, the SU-85 lacks a turret, which will severely limit its flexibility; it's hard to poke in and out of hard cover, you will need to play more stationary and use bushes to hide your tank. It’s also not as fast as the T67, and has only 6 degrees of gun depression, which means you’ll need to be more selective about your early positioning. However, the top gun on the SU-85 has better alpha and DPM, and accuracy of 0.34, so you can more effectively punish enemies when they expose themselves.
Your frontal armor is good enough to bounce some tier IV tanks, but not much more than that, and your HP pool is small, so avoid taking shots – concealment is the name of the game.
Pre-6.0, I had Binocs, Rammer and Vents. That automatically converted to Optics, which I honestly would have switched out for the Advanced Camo had it not cost extra silver to do so. Since the new camo net is always active, it makes more sense to run it, but you will be unable to spot for yourself – your teammates need to be your eyes.
About 1/3 premium ammo, no HE. Standard penetration is enough to deal with most tanks you will see, and the good accuracy means you can actually hit the lower plate you’re aiming at. Small repair kits and fire extinguisher because I’m cheap. You can use Enhanced Rations if you like, but it is not necessary.
Post 6.0, I prioritize Sixth Sense, Born Leader (BiA), Rapid Loading. After that, I would choose Accuracy and Camo buffs, Vision buffs for higher tiers, then things like Track Mechanic or Muffled Shot.
Specific Map Tactics
Prokhorovka: North or south spawn, you want to park on the road along the 2-line. With the improved bushes, it’s easier to set up a “double bush” firing line, so you don’t lose all your camo when you fire. At low tiers, tanks will over-peek the central ridge, and you can get shots on heavies down the road. Due to the shorter spotting distances on low tier tanks, you can push pretty far up, which helps in hitting your shots. Fall back if the flank falls, but more likely you will win, at which point you can push up to the center ridge. This is a great map; I was aiming for 2k damage when it came up.
Abbey: good luck.
Fisherman’s Bay: the conservative play is to sit at the back, which may be necessary if it’s -2 MM. Otherwise, from the south spawn, I preferred to push the center ridge, either the last building on the left (F3), or, if enemy light tanks are active there, rotate east and get side shots on heavies crossing in the village (your lack of gun depression can make this a little tricky). From the north spawn, my more aggressive play was to go to the center ridge at 6-7 and shoot the heavies crossing in the back toward the village.
Himmelsdorf: cover the road along the 3-line, then rotate to either cover the railroad tracks or the center, depending on team deployment.
I got the third Mark of Excellence after 69 battles (nice.) 1038 direct / 132 assisted damage, 4.02 DR, 2.53 K/D ratio. 62% win rate for a 4983 wn8 (top amongst tracked players at WoTStars over the previous 90 days). One Radley-Walters medal, one Pascucci’s (yes!), and ten High Calibers. Overall, an effective tank that makes the road to tier ten a fun journey.
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