Legendary KV1: Best Training Tank? Not so much.
I write a lot of articles for newer players, and one of the first questions that comes up in WoT is which line to grind first. The background to that question is, which tank is best to learn on?
In this article, I plan to review the KV1 overall, but also show why it’s probably not the best tank to learn on, unless you’re really sure you want to focus on heavies.
A lot of players recommend the KV1 as the training line to follow, and today I saw Quickybaby doing the same. Essentially saying the KV1 is the best way to learn the basic aspects of WoT.
I know I’m arguing with one of the anointed Gods of WoT, but I just don’t agree. (Sorry, QB)
If you’re a regular reader of Wot Talk you’ll know I recommend going up the US turreted TD line to the T67 as the best way to learn the game. That’s what I did the second time I started WoT.
The first time out, on another account, I went up the Russian heavy line and did in fact learn on the KV1. And it was not that great.
First of all, the KV1 is kind of a middling tank at that tier. It has great armour and is easy to play, but it’s win rate is not that good even among other Tier 5 heavies where it currently places sixth out of 11 on VB Addict. More importantly, it has an only-average win rate compared to all tanks.
For tanks with a large data set the best Win Rates for non-Premium tanks belong to the BDR G1 B heavy, the T67, and the Sherman III. The KV1 places 13th.
So, two questions; is it a good training tank? And if not, what should you use at Tier 5? (Which is in fact the best tier for learning the game)
But in the meantime, let’s look at the KV1.
I had a love hate relationship with the KV1 when I played it. It is a very competent tank with good all-around armour. I could often bully other tanks, and it was excellent for learning how to angle your armour.
But, I don’t recommend it for learning because it is slow, it has poor vision, the gun is not terribly accurate at any range, and it has poor gun depression.
Playing a KV1 means trundling up to a brawl zone or pinch point, placing yourself in the way of the enemy, and blasting away at the frontal armour of another heavy. In a so-called ‘learning tank’ all you actually learn is how to angle and how to shoot.
There are far more important skills, and these are the major drawbacks. You won’t see much of the map, so your map knowledge will be poor. You won’t learn how to go hull down over a ridge. You won’t learn how to use concealment. You won’t learn how to snipe at range.
The KV1 is pretty good for learning the skills of driving a heavy tank, but others are just as good. The BDR G1 is often underestimated and has a terrifying gun. The KV1S is much faster and has the option of a derp gun with a lot of punch. The OI Experimental is very slow, but has a wicked derp gun and very tough armour.
The KV1 just comes in as kind of average.
I bring all this up because I have so often seen the KV1 recommended as the training tank of choice, but I frankly was so bored with the playstyle that I quit playing WoT a couple of months in. Then I decided to start my current account, and went up the line to the T67 and played it for a good long time until my game skills were at the point I felt I could compete at the higher tiers.
And that approach really worked, to the point I play WoT almost daily, I have a pretty good Win Rate, and I’m happy to let WG drain my bank account on a periodic basis.
Now here’s the other question; is the KV1 worth playing?
While not the best tank at tier, it is a solid heavy that I personally liked as much or better than the KV1S. And QB is right when he says it is very good for learning how to angle your armour.
I recommend mounting the 85mm gun as the 122mm derp can be fun once in a while, but is very inaccurate and pretty much useless against higher tier heavies. Some people like the fast firing 57mm, which makes this tank a lot like the Matilda.
The strength of the KV1 is definitely its armour. It has a turret with 110 mm of steel at the front back and rear, so it’s hard to pen from any angle. The hull armour is also good, with 75 mm at the front AND the sides, which makes this tank very, very good at sidescraping. It also is almost tough at the rear with 70 mm, so even flanking the KV1 won’t help that much if you are in a lower tier vehicle.
The stated fire value is not that high, but I find these Russian heavies burn like a dry pine tree in summer, so I would put on the more expensive automatic fire extinguisher. For equipment I would definitely add a gun rammer and GLD to increase your damage potential, and for the last slot mount either a Toolkit or a Spall Liner.
Personally, I mount the toolkit first, as it really helps repair your tracks and get you out of trouble. But, once you get a fully trained crew with 100 per cent Repair skill, you can switch to Spall Liner, which lowers damage and stun time from arty.
In summary, if you are planning to learn the entire game, I would definitely say the T67 or possibly the Wolverine are better choices, as are medium tanks like the Sherman III, Ram II and the M4 Sherman.
The KV1 is a very good choice though if you want to learn the classic techniques of a heavy driver.
Hope this helps, and gg!