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Scorpiany

★ StuG III G Review: The Omnipotent Ninja Assassin ★

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Day or night, a hidden assassin lies in wait. Ready to support allies at any and all times, the StuG III G is prepared for any opponent which shows its face.

 

In this guide, I shall cover all of the various Pros and Cons of the StuG III G, explain the gun and equipment choices, give you a general overview of its gameplay style and compare it to other Tier 5 TD's. Let's get started, shall we?

 

Table of Contents:

  • General overview (Pros and Cons)
  • Equipment and ammo layout
  • Gun choices
  • Gameplay style
  • Comparison to other same-class tanks of its Tier
  • Overall Rating

 

General Overview:

 

Pros:

  • Excellent camo stationary
  • Decent camo on the move
  • Incredible penetration for a Tier 5
  • Best accuracy you'll get at Tier 5, with an astounding .32
  • Very fast aiming time of 1.7 seconds
  • Good alpha damage at 135
  • Great track traverse speed, very few tanks can cirlce you
  • Good HP/ton ratio of almost 19

 

Neutrals:

  • Decent DPM of 1,800
  • 80mm of armor for the Tier is thick, but it has a multitude of weakpoints, and can't be angled due to the weak sides
  • Mobility is limited to 40km/h; it reaches the speed quickly, but the traverse & HP/ton really has limited purpose due to the top speed
  • Gun traverse isn't great, but not too bad. Considering the StuG III G is a long range sniper, you won't get into too much trouble with the gun traverse.
  • Dispersion on the move is actually pretty bad considering the speed it goes at, but the aiming time is so good that it really doesn't matter.
  • 350 hitpoints is very low, but considering that other TD's at this Tier usually don't get many more, and the fact that the StuG is usually far enough away to not get spotted, means that the low HP isn't too much of an issue.

 

Cons:

  • Horrendous reverse speed of 10km/h. Even if you're backing off of a small ridge, you're much better off turning your hull around and driving fowards to get off.
  • The most angled part of the armor is 40mm; can be penetrated by most guns. The 80mm panels are flat too.
  • The view range is an appalling 310m. Even with my set-up which brings it up to 419m, it really reduces your spotting potential. The limited top speed also means that even with an amazing crew, you just can't get into the positions you need to in order to spot your own targets
  • The tank is very team dependent. The fact that it can't spot its own targets safely means that you need your team to do the spotting for you. Unfortunately, at Tier 5 most of your teammates are new to the game and have no idea what they're doing... this means that far too often, you're left with a very limited selection of targets which don't even remain lit for very long.
  • Frontal mounted engine with few hitpoints in the flat lower plate; a single 76mm shell is all what it takes to knock it out.

 

Equipment:

 

Personally, I mount VentsRammer & Binocs on the StuG. A Camo Net is optional, but I feel as though the nature of the StuG means you're far enough away to not get spotted, so being able to spot targets at those distances is more important.

 

Recommended:

 

Vents: An overall boost to the crew is always nice. There really isn't a wide variety of useful equipment for this tank, so I put on Vents. Can be replaced if necessary however.
Rammer: If you can mount a rammer, you should. It's a given for any tank; reloading 10% faster gives you an edge over the enemy
Binoculars: The StuG's view range is very poor at 310m. However, with Vents, Recon and Situational Awareness, Binoculars can bring your View Range up to 419m. That's still not great, although it will actually let you spot the enemy before they see you, which is always a good thing.

 

Optional:


Camo Net: If you value having extra camo, the camo net may be of use. However, at long ranges you aren't likely to be spotted in the first place. The already good camo of the StuG and the liklihood of you sitting in a bush means that the Cano Net simply does not have as much purpose. Regardless, it still isn't a bad choice. If mounting a Camo Net, I'd put it in place of the Ventiation, as having a Rammer & Binoculars are almost essential.

 

Ammo:

 

My ammo layout on the StuG III G depends on the gun I'm using.

 

  • For the 75mm Pak 42, I load 26 AP and 10 APCR. However, the penetration of the gun means that I rarely find myself using the APCR rounds - you could very well replace a few of them (3 or 4) with AP or HE, depending on what you feel you need more of.
  • For the 105mm Howitzer, I load 23 HE and 5 HEAT. The AP on the 105mm is pointless, the HEAT is entirely superior. However, having only 104mm of HEAT pen means that it's really not a reliable shell. When using a 105mm, you really should be shooting almost entirely HE, and unless you're shooting something such as an M4 Sherman, which you can't penetrate with HE but can penetrate with HEAT, there really is no reason to even load the HEAT

 

Despite carrying a few APCR & HEAT rounds on the two guns, I rarely find myself using them - in fact, I haven't used them yet. The penetration on the 75mm Pak 42 is more than enough to not need APCR in 99% of cases, and the HEAT is so situational that I haven't loaded any either. Due to this fact, you could very well reduce the number of those types of rounds you take; perhaps even by half.


Gun choices:

 

The StuG III G has two guns which can be considered viable. One is a 75mm Pak 42, the other is a 105mm Howitzer. Below is a comparison of the two. The 75mm is in black, the 105mm is in blue.

 

Rate of Fire: 13.33 (8.33)
Aiming time: 1.7 (1.7)
Accuracy: .32 (.53)
DPM: 1,800 (3,415.3) Obviously, the 3,415 is with HE and only if your shells always penetrate... they won't.
Penetration: 150/194/38 (64/104/53)
Damage: 135/135/175 (350/350/410)
Ammo capacity: 36 (28)

 

75mm Pak 42:

 

The 75mm Pak 42 is what makes the StuG the long range sniper it's meant to be. The gun has great aiming time, accuracy, penetration & decent alpha. The DPM is kind of low, but everything else about the gun is great. If you want to learn how to play a sniping TD, this is the gun to use. It's the gun I use on my StuG, never regretted a thing.

 

Ultimately, the StuG is a much better platform to get used to this kind of gun that some of the other TD's at Tier 5. The StuG has the mobility to get around, camo to stay hidden and has enough armor to the point where if you're shot at, you may still survive. Pz. Sfl. IVc for example, is a lot less forgiving due to the large size and armor that even Tier 3's will penetrate.

 

The type of tank you shoot at with the 75mm doesn't matter all that much; you can penetrate everything. Simply pick a priority target and go for it. If you see something more heavily armored, go for it. It will greatly help your team to wear down the enemy's heavier tanks from a distance. Put the great penetration to use. The accuracy is great, but at the range you'll be playing the StuG at, you still won't hit weakpoints. However, don't be afraid to shoot targets towards the edge of your draw distance if they're high priority. You should be able to fairly easily hit them.

 

One thing to keep in mind whilst sniping is that the gun traverse is somewhat limited. The further away your targets are, the less the gun traverse will affect you. If you need to turn your hull, you can still easily do so - the aiming time will snap you back onto target very quickly.

 

105mm Howitzer:

 

The 105mm is for people who liked the Hetzer. Using the 105mm on a StuG is essentially the same as having a Tier 5 Hetzer. The aiming time is extremely good for a howitzer, so shooting at stationary targets even at range isn't very difficult. Just remember that your StuG's armor isn't nearly as effective at Tier 5 as the Hetzer's was at Tier 4. You're quick to accelerate, quick to traverse, but slow to reverse and limited to a 40km/h top speed. The gun isn't quite as effective as it was on the Hetzer, but it's still a decent choice at Tier 5. This gun is a matter of preference. If you liked the 75mm on the Hetzer, use the 75mm on the StuG. If you liked the 105mm on the Hetzer, and want that kind of playstyle, use the 105mm on the StuG.

 

When using the 105mm, aim for targets which are easiest to hit. A limited ammo capacity of 28 may not be your main concern, but the 6.6 second reload will. The StuG can't get too close to the enemy, so you may still have to snipe with the howitzer. Tanks which are entirely exposed are much better targets than partially concealed vehicles.

 

As for target prioritization, you should aim at targets in this order of affinity: Entirely exposed, stationary, slowly moving lightly armored, higher Tier / high armor targets. Obviously, this is just my personal preference. However, when I'm using the 105mm, my first priority is finding a target which is relatively easy to hit. 1.7 second aiming time isn't an issue, but .53 accuracy is. Entirely exposed, stationary targets will always be my main choice. From there, if there's something I can penetrate with an HE shell, I'll take the shot - the opportunity to do 410 damage in one shell is not something to pass up. Lastly, higher Tier & heavily armored targets also hold priority. Your HE shells can help your team wear down higher Tier threats, and thus will contribute towards winning the game more-so than they would if you were shooting at lower Tier targets. Beyond those four kinds of targets, what you shoot at is mostly up to you.

 

 

How to play it:

 

The StuG III G by its very nature is a long range sniper. With its exceptional aiming time, accuracy, penetration & decent alpha, you're more than equipped to take out targets at a distance. However, the limited mobility & view range means that it simply cannot spot its own targets - it entirely relies on its allies to do so. The fact that the StuG is a Tier 5 means that your teammates are typically newer players who have no idea what they're doing. This really limits the StuG's potential, as a long range sniper is useless if you don't have targets in the distance to shoot at.

 

You need to place your tank carefully. You cannot reverse your way out of any trouble for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, you go 10km/h in reverse... that's so incredibly slow, a Tog II could catch up with you. Secondly, the engine is frontally mounted - this means that if you're being shot at as you're reversing, you could lose your engine. Your 80mm of armor isn't going to stop most guns either with the exception of Tier 3's and some lucky bounces from higher Tiers. Ultimately, when getting out of trouble just turn your tank around. You'll get away more quickly, and you won't lose your engine. Your positioning is important for those reasons; if you can avoid getting spotted & shot at, you won't have to feel the effects of the crappy reverse speed and engine placement.

 

The tank is essentially all about the extremely good gun and camo. You have more than enough pen and accuracy to go through almost any tank you come across; even T29's hulls are relatively easy to go through. However, communication with your team is essential. If they don't spot for you, you won't have targets to shoot and thus will be useless. The camo allows you to stay hidden, albeit limited gun traverse, so you should be able to take up advantageous bushes to snipe from. No matter what you do, don't rely on your armor (even against low pen guns due to the weakpoints you have), and especially don't put yourself into a situation where you have to back up. Unlike the French which have 2 gears for forwards and 6 for reverse, the StuG is the exact opposite. 6 for forwards, and... one half... for reverse.

 

When using the 105mm, you're a slightly faster Tier 5 Hetzer with less armor. That's really what you are. Don't get overly aggressive, don't rely on your armor, shoot at ranges where you can stay hidden but can still hit the enemy. The gun might not be the most reliable, but when it works, it works well.


Comparison to same-Tier TD's:


Mobility: Decent. Whilst the acceleration & traverse speeds are incredibly good, the top speed is a limiting factor. In addition, the reverse speed is so horrible, that it just limits what the tank can do with its forwards mobility.
Alpha damage: Good. Having 135 alpha at Tier 5 certainly isn't bad. There are some TD's such as the S35 & SU-85 which have more, but you're not going to be left behind. The Howitzer in theory has exceptional alpha, but the fact that you're either shooting HE or low-pen HEAT means that you just won't get to do full damage most of the time.
Armor: O.K. Most Tier 5 TD's have pretty bad armor aside from the AT-2, so you'd think that 80mm would be better than "O.K.". However, the multitude of weakpoints, lack of angling, etc. all reduces the effectiveness of the armor. It might make you immune to most Tier 3's, but anything Tier 4 or above has a good chance of penning you, and anything Tier 5 or above can reliably penetrate your armor. You can get some lucky bounces, the the armor in general is inconsistent.

HP: Inferior. 350 HP simply won't get you very far. Even though many Tier 5 TD's don't have many more hit points, 350 is still a very limited supply, and towards the bottom of the list.
Penetration: Best in class. Having 155 AP pen & 195 APCR pen is simply unheard of at Tier 5. Very few tanks come even close to that. Your AP has more than enough penetration power to go straight through T29 hulls with relative ease.
View Range: Very bad. Only the SU-85 has worse view range, and that's only by 30m. The 310m view range on the StuG is really a sad joke; entirely limiting your tank's potential.

Camo Value: Superior. 23% stationary, 13% on the move and 5.6% after shooting is incredibly good camo, even for a TD. Putting on camo skills will allow you to remain a very stealthy sniper.
Accuracy: Best in class. At .32, your gun is the most accurate at Tier 5. Absolutely nothing comes even close to competing with you.
Aiming SpeedBest in class. 1.7 second aiming time is tied amongst the best of its Tier, alongside with the T67, AT-2 and Wolverine.
Battle effectiveness: Good. The gun allows you to reliably tear down your opponents, and the accuracy simply will not let you down. When it comes to providing long range support fire, this tank does it best. It may be limited in other categories, but in comparison to the other Tier 5 TD's, this tank certainly is no laughing matter.

 

Overall Rating:

 

6.5/10 (Good)

 

For me, this tank is a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, you have a gun nearly identical to the E-25's in every way aside from reload & DPM. On a Tier 5 tank, this is entirely ridiculously good. You can excel in long range support fire, even when shooting at Tier 7 tanks. You simply don't feel limited in that aspect. The mobility also allows you to set up into sniping positions fairly quickly, so you'll get to shoot at what your allies spot.

 

On the other hand, this tank lacks one key thing - carry potential. The lack of reverse speed, limited top speed, mediocre DPM and especially the poor view range mean that this tank is simply team dependent all the way through. A team-dependent tank simply cannot carry. If your team will spot targets for you, the tank can lead a team to victory even when bottom Tier. However, with the average team at such low Tiers being so incompetent, you simply cannot consistently pull good results. There will be times when you simply hate the tank.

 

Ultimately, the tank does what it does very well; yet it lacks flexibility and carry potential. The gun is great, and being bottom Tier is nothing to be afraid of. What does scare the StuG is your team. Far too often, the StuG cannot put its strong suites into usage simply because the team can't spot for you, or leaves your flank undefended. The StuG can't get out of trouble with the frontal engine & 10km/h reverse speed, and it lacks the view range to fend off the enemy before they come close.

 

This tank will teach you how to play long-range, supporting sniper. The tank won't be circled & will never struggle to penetrate or hit the target, but it won't single-handedly take your team to victory - it just won't happen. You need a team, it's a team-dependent tank designed for supporting its allies.

 

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Man I really like your enthusiasm, but between this and your WG forum posts, we may need to build you a bigger soapbox. 

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