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Scorpiany

★ KV-5 Review: Not the Droid you're looking for ★

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Missing: R2D2

Last known words: Beeeeeep bloop beep bleep beeeeeeeep!!!

Culprit: KV-5

Additional Information: Find R2D2 you may. Penetrate you shall.

 

In this guide, I shall cover all of the various Pros and Cons of the KV-5, explain the gun's performance, equipment choices, give you a general overview of its gameplay style and compare it to other Tier 8 Heavy Tanks. Let's get started, shall we?

 

Table of Contents:

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

 

General Overview:

 

Pros:

  • Decently thick frontal armor, will reliably bounce a good number of shells from lower caliber guns if angled. Problem is that there are a lot of flat zones.
  • Very good side armor at 150mm. You can angle the tank very generously and trick people into shooting your sides, only to laugh as they bounce.
  • Great HP pool of 1,780 HP
  • Good top speed of 40km/h.
  • Great rammer. It's a 101 ton tank boasting 180mm of frontal armor with a 40km/h top speed... if you can get it up to that speed, you can really hurt your opponents. Might not be as much Tier for Tier as the O-I Experimental, but it is still a very effective tactic.
  • Rear armor can be very troll. The bottom 2/5'ths is 140mm, the middle 1/5th is 220mm. When angled, this can really frustrate the opponents... also helps make reverse side-scraping more effective, if you happen to accidentally show your rear.
  • Decent acceleration, with an HP/ton ratio at 12.01
  • Decent DPM of 2,190. Sadly, this is the only good thing about the gun (to be discussed later).
  • Has Premium Match-making. Hurray, Pref MM!
  • Can be a practically invulnerable tank in the right MM set up.
  • Tank is fairly resistant to HE rounds, although arty can still prevent a problem if being shot at without a Super Heavy Spall Liner, or shot multiple times by higher caliber artillery.

 

Neutrals:

  • The turret armor is... alright. It's 180mm thick, but there are many flat zones, the rounded areas don't go beyond 200mm effective, and the gun mantlet is also only 180mm effective, with a giant 0 armor hole behind it. The raw thickness is great, but you can't really angle it. When top Tier, for the most part the turret will do a lot of great things for you. Against Premium rounds from equal Tier guns, or against higher caliber guns however, the armor on the turret can quickly become next to useless... it all depends on your MM.
  • Premium tank Credit making potential... which is significantly hampered due to the "special" gun it has. (More on this later).
  • Gun depression is 7 degrees. Whilst this may seem decent, the fact that the tank is so tall means that it has trouble aiming at lower profile vehicles, lower plates, etc.; especially at close range.
  • 15% chance of fire. The tank doesn't actually light up often, especially since when played properly, most tanks can't penetrate the areas with your engine or fuel tanks. Only problem comes from arty hitting your engine deck.
  • Has a 6 member crew... take this how you wish. In one aspect, you'll have plenty of crew slots to train multiple Soviet heavy crews. On the other hand, if you don't have more than one Soviet heavy crew, you'll actually have to recruit a couple of new crew members (such as I had to do)

 

Cons:

  • Huge R2D2 weakpoint on your front, which is only 120mm thick. Reverse side-scraping typically addresses the issue, but if you're not careful, it still may end up sticking out.
  • Horrible traverse speed of 18 deg/sec
  • Speed bleeds incredibly when turning
  • Poor turret traverse speed of 21 deg/sec
  • Very prone to being circled by lights and mediums... Your armor should be able to stop them for the most part, but if you find something such as a T71 or Bulldog, you can tell yourself good night...
  • Upper 2/5ths of the rear is only 90mm, which can be an annoying thing for reverse side-scraping, which is the way this tank is often played
  • The gun is absolute garbage. It's the T-150's gun with slightly better DPM... that's pretty much it. When top Tier, you can APCR spam and actually still pull some great results damage-wise if the tank is played properly, and your opponents aren't armored vehicles; thanks to the DPM. However, the gun more often than not is a huge downside
  • 167mm of AP pen means that you'll have to shoot a lot of APCR... APCR rounds with 217mm of pen... which means you'll be bouncing a lot of APCR rounds too.
  • Very poor .43 accuracy combined with a 2.74 second aiming time makes the gun even worse
  • Poor gun handling is thrown on top of it all, to give you the worst possible gun for your platform.
  • Huge vehicle, you can't really hide it anywhere - it's a very tasty arty target.
  • There is no camo on the tank. It's extremely large profile, so you can't even use the terrain to your advantage. If you can see an enemy, it certainly can see you.
  • Your view range is a very abysmal 350m... this makes the vehicle extremely blind. It is true that this is a close range, brawling vehicle... regardless, the view range may present some issues, especially on more open maps.
  • Turret becomes a giant "shoot me box" similar to the waffle's turret if the enemy has 250mm of pen, such as with most Tier 9 guns, or most Premium rounds. You can't angle the turret without exposing a giant weakpoint, and you have no effective armor more than 200mm in 85% of the turret.
  • 440m of radio range... even those since it's Tier 8, and most allies will have far better radios which can still easily communicate with yours, you may actually have radio range issues on large, open maps.

 

 

 

Equipment:

 

Personally, I mount Rammer, Vertical Stabilzer Super Heavy Spall Liner on the KV-5. Other equipment can be used depending on your playstyle, although I feel as though this particular lineup will give your KV-5 the most combat effectiveness.

 

Recommended:

 

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 at all times. Plus, increasing your DPM from "decent" to "good" is always nice. 
Vertical Stabilizer: The gun is garbage, to put it mildly. You need that Vertical Stabilzer if you want to hit your target at all...

Super Heavy Spall Liner: When your tank is a giant arty, howtizer and HE magnet in general, you may want to invest in a Super Heavy Spall Liner. In addition, the vehicle is a very good rammer and can actually employ it as a great tactic. Having such a significant added resistance to HE shells and ramming damage will be very nice. Also helps keep your crew alive a bit longer during arty strikes.

 

Optional:


Improved Ventilation Class 3: A 5% boost to your crew is a very nice addition, and actually would be a nice addition to help counter the gun's horrible stats; especially if paired up with food. However, I honestly cannot recommend Vents due to your tank's attraction to artillery shells.

 

Toolbox: When getting hit by so many HE shells, you will lose your tracks very often. Sometimes, when reverse side-scraping, your tank will block many shells, but you may be hit in the tracks fairly often. There are times when being able to get the tracks back up to change the angle, pull back, etc. may be very beneficial. Regardless, replacing Super Heavy Spall Liner is still not something I can recommend, as the reason for needing a Toolbox is the fact that you lose tracks so often to HE, and being such a large arty target means that things will be knocked out... removing the Spall Liner would only make you more vulnerable to HE, and thus increase the original problem... greater consequences of arty, but more easy to address the consequences... your choice.

 

 

Ammo:

 

My ammo layout on the KV-5 is 35 AP25 APCR.

 

Sadly, you need that APCR, and you really need it... there are far too many times you'll run into opponents with some form of armor that you cannot penetrate at all, even at a Tier lower. The AT-15A for example, its commander's hatch will bounce KV-5 AP quite often, especially with the KV-5's poor accuracy. T32's are immune to your AP, T34 hulls actually may troll you when angled... good luck against the even more armored vehicles without the APCR.

 

What this means is that your Credit profitability is really going to drop in the KV-5. It still can make some decent money, but not nearly what you'd want from a Tier 8 Premium. There are rare times when you can get by with only AP, but that's entirely up to the MM... more often than not, you'll need to fire a handful of Premium rounds.

 

Consumables:

 

For Consumables on the KV-5, I (would) use a Large First Aid Kit, a Large Repair Kit and Automatic Fire Extinguisher. I don't have the Credits to afford running large kits, although if you haven't been selling the ones WG has been throwing out on a daily basis, then you may have quite a few to use.

 

Large First Aid Kit: Standard with almost (113 being an exception) any tank. This tank hates arty, and it will be hit often. You want to get that crew back into action. Losing multiple crew would really suck as well... if you use a Super Heavy Spall Liner, as well as a Large First Aid Kit, you can increase your crew survivability significantly.

 

Large Repair Kit: Repair kits are fairly standard. I would use a large one for the KV-5 simple because of arty once again. If you get hit by a large HE shell, and you lose more than one module, your tank will likely become useless. Also, often times tracks end up using the repair kits simply because they lack the repair speed. The 10% repair speed boost from the Large Repair Kit could help keep the tracks on a bit more often, especially if combined with a Toolbox.

 

Automatic Fire Extinguisher: Even though this tank doesn't get set on fire often, on occasion you'll take a massive arty shell to the engine deck and light ablaze. Arty loves to shoot at these things, so you really want to do everything possible to address the consequences of arty rain.

 

If you have managed to create a truce with artillery drivers however, then you may be better served off running Combat Rations - the gun is garbage, so improving its handling & soft stats with Rations could be very helpful (especially if combined with Vents).

 


Gun:

 

The KV-5's gun is a WarGaming April Fool's Joke which accidentally slipped through their quality control checks. They have mounted you with a 107mm pool noodle, which fires meatballs at your opponents (sauce not included). Not only is the gun as bad as it could get on a Tier 8 vehicle, but you need to spam all APCR to be able to do remotely anything with it.

 

Let's just compare it to the KV-85's 100mm gun (on the right side), just so you can appreciate the meatball shooting potential of this "incredible" potato. The blue number is the superior value, the green highlights tied values.

 

Rate of Fire:         7.30                          (8.42)   
Aiming time:        2.74                          (2.53)
Accuracy:             .43                            (.36)
DPM:                   2,190                        (2,104.79)
Penetration:         167/219/54             (170/210/50)
Damage:              300/300/360          (250/250/330)     (Tier 8 tank vs. Tier 6 though... 250 alpha at Tier 6 is more effective than 300 at Tier 8)

Shell Velocity:      830/1,038/830        (900/1,125/900)

Soft Stats:           .18/.18/.12              (.22/.22/.13)    (Keep in mind that the KV-85 is more mobile though, thus it would naturally have worse soft stats)
Ammo capacity:   60                             (41)

 

 

The verdict? On the bright side, you can load more ammo than the KV-85, right? Heh... heh... yeah... The gun is a sad, sad joke. If you run it without APCR, you're a masochist. And even if you do run it with APCR, you'd have to have quite some steady aim and lots of patience to make the gun work... unless MM is very kind to you, your gun will have many, many issues.

 

107mm ZiS-6M Foam Jellybean Launcher:

 

The 107mm ZiS-6M is the name of the upgraded gun on the KV-5. WarGaming misnamed the gun however, and left out the most important part, the "Foam Jellybean Launcher" portion.

 

The gun has fairly good DPM, and when spamming APCR, is actually rather effective when top Tier. You should be able to penetrate a good number of enemy vehicles and dish out quite the bit of punishment. However, there are two key things to note: 1) You must spam APCR and 2) MM must be kind. There many, many times when the gun goes to crap due to MM, even when you are spamming APCR. Without it, you'll suffer...

 

Aiming well is essential if you want to hit, let alone penetrate. All of the problems with the gun are made even worse with bad MM, a slightly hurt crew or internal modules, or low FPS. I honestly would rather than the KV-85's 100mm on the KV-5 than I would the 107mm that the KV-5 has. With the KV-85's gun, you can at least hit relatively close to where you aim, which may help you hit weakpoints more often. What the KV-5's gun is in reality, is a slightly buffed T-150 107mm. On the T-150, it's not that bad. On a Tier 7, it would be pretty sucky. On a Tier 8, it's just painful. When a non-buffed KV-85's gun is better than what's on your Tier 8 heavy though... you know you're in for it.

 

 

How to play it:

 

Despite all of the crap I've given the tank so far, it's actually a pretty good tank when it comes to combat. Playing it isn't overly complicated, and you can definitely make an influence on the battlefield.

 

Tactic wise, you always want to find a corridor on flat ground where you can reverse side-scrape from. When reverse side-scraping, you can reveal your vehicle at a fairly nice angle - often times, the enemy will think that your sides are over-angled and will be baited into shooting them... then they're surprised they didn't pen. When it comes to your turret, you always want to wiggle it between shots. It has a hatch on top, it has numerous flat areas, it has giant flat area on the middle of the gun mantlet, and the cheeks are also weak. Don't let the enemies aim for any of these areas if you want any hope of bouncing any shells off of the turret. If you're facing against a higher caliber gun, or a tank which is firing Premium rounds, try to bait them into shooting your hull without revealing your turret. Your turret becomes butter against a certain caliber & penetration level of gun, whereas your angled hull (especially when reverse side-scraping) can still hold up fairly well.

 

When driving towards the enemy, always maintain a good angle if possible. Zig zag (very, very long zig zags due to your very poor hull traverse) in diagonal lines when approaching enemy guns, as to maximize your effective armor. It's also best to drive in such a manner that your R2D2 radio operator hatch is moving away from the enemy, not towards them.

 

You can also ram vehicles, especially during one vs. one engagements. Your tank is extremely well armored, very heavy with a very reasonable top speed which it can actually reach. Going downhill, if you can collide with a vehicle, you can take it out of the battle potentially without firing a single shot. Just avoid ramming the Japanese heavies, they're the only thing at the Tier which will actually do more damage to you than you would do to them.


Comparison to same-Tier Heavy Tanks:


Mobility: Good. The tank actually isn't very slow for 101 ton behemoth with 180mm of frontal armor. You have a good top speed limit of 40km/h with a very reasonable HP/ton ratio of approximately 12. The track traverse is rather abysmal, and the vehicle does speed bleed on turns, but in a straight line it's fairly quick.
Alpha damage: Very bad. 300 alpha damage is one of the lowest amongst the Tier 8 heavies. Only the FCM 50t has a lower alpha damage, and that's technically a medium tank. The FCM 50t however, has good gun handling which allows you to actually put the damage to use. On the KV-5, even hitting the enemy is a challenge on its own.
Armor: Very good. 180/150/140 armor on both the hull and turret are very, very good. There are times when the armor will falter, and there are weakpoints to it, but it's still a very good number. Just be warned of your giant R2D2 and rather weak (against high pen shells) turret armor. Reverse side-scraping and wiggling your vehicle should easily help counter these issues though.

HP: Best in class. 1,780 HP is the best HP at Tier 8 (that I know of). The tank can definitely take a beating.
Penetration: Worst in class. 167/217/54 pen is just a joke. There are actually quite a few Tier 6 vehicles with identical or superior penetration. This is a Tier 8 heavy... with penetration that's "average" for a Tier 6. It's bad... very bad.
View Range: Worst in class. 350m of View Range makes you just as blind as the IS-3 and IS-6, which are both very blind vehicles to begin with. You're even worse off than those two tanks however, since you can't hide your tank behind terrain, and certainly can't hull-down effectively (and more often than not you shouldn't hull-down).

Camo Value: Worst in class. What camo? There is no camo. The camouflage patterns on the tank may be pretty, but they certainly won't do you any good. You have no camo values to speak of on the KV-5. In addition, you're a giant target. If you can see the enemy, they can certainly see you.
Accuracy: Very Bad. .43 accuracy is one of the worse values you'll find on Tier 8 heavies. The IS-6, WZ-111, IS-5 and 112 are the only vehicles with worse accuracy... The other 13 Tier 8 heavies are sitting there laughing at you.
Aiming SpeedVery bad. 2.7 second aiming speed is very, very slow; especially for such a weak gun. You'd think it would have decent soft stats for it to have an average Tier 6 gun on a Tier 8 vehicle, but nope... your soft stats aren't anything special either. You will feel the full extent of that aiming time, even with a Vertical Stabilizer...

Shell Velocity: Very bad. 830m/sec shell velocity is also one of the worst of all of the Tier 8 heavies. Once again, the only vehicles with worse shell velocity are the IS-6, WZ-111 and 112. The other 14 (IS-5 joined the others) are laughing their arses off at your stubby pencil sticking out of your turret.
Battle effectiveness: Good. The tank, regardless of all of its downsides, is still fairly good in battle. When top Tier, you're an absolute beast in most cases. When bottom Tier, you're a lot less useful. When it comes to the gun, in over 50% of battles your gun is going to be very, very ineffective; and in almost every battle you're in, any other Tier 8 tank on your team will have a more effective gun. When it comes to the armor and HP presence, when the tank is played properly, it's a very formidable opponent indeed. Reverse side-scraping can significantly improve your armor potential, and you will be able to soak up shells without taking much damage, and even when you do take damage, you can take a lot of it. The one thing which really breaks the armor's usefulness aside from highish pen guns shooting at your turret, would be artillery. Arty loves to wreck your tank, and sometimes (especially on more open maps), arty is the only thing that can actually put an end to your reign of armor terror. Your gun might not be very effective, but your armor does the speaking for the vehicle. Stay arty safe, reverse side-scraping, and wiggle between shots, and your tank may very well be the most survivable tank on the battlefield, with the exception of a KV-4.

 

Overall Rating:

 

6/10 (O.K., leaning towards good)

 

The tank has many, many downsides to it, but at the end of the day, the armor & HP are vastly redeeming features. Even though the KV-5 isn't as armored as the KV-4, the KV-5 has Pref MM, and will more often than not see same Tier vehicles. The armor can truly do wonders for you and your team, and will carry your allies. You do have to use the tank properly however, as the armor still has its downsides. You have a giant R2D2 on the front, you have a 90mm panel on your rear, you have a 150mm hatch on the top of your turret, your gun mantlet has a 0 armor hole behind it, there are several flat zones to your turret, etc. You need to make sure that the enemy can't capitalize on your armor's weakpoints, then you'll do fine.

 

When it comes to the gun, forget it. To get good results in terms of damage, you have to have great MM, spamming APCR against opponents which don't have large amounts of armor to begin with. A good T32 or Super Pershing driver will be the bane of your existence. British TD's can truly be a pain in the [edited]to handle. Anything hull-down, regardless of the size of its hatch may be hard to tackle. The gun is just pathetic. On a Tier 6 vehicle, the gun could be considered fairly decent. On a Tier 8, it's horrendously bad.

 

Overall, the tank has a kick to it, and can make its influence on the battle, but has many downsides to it, is very situational, and can be very RNG and MM dependent. The reason for the 6/10 rating are those factors. The gun is horrible. The view range and camo are non-existent. It actually has radio troubles every now and then. The armor is littered with weakpoints, and you can very well be useless in certain situations.

 

Don't get me wrong, there are times when the tank does wonders. But there are also times when you kind of shrivel up and die without really having been able to do anything. It's very situationally OP, but also situationally garbage. An inconsistent tank simply cannot get a high rating, regardless of how well it can perform in certain scenarios. Some buffs to the vehicle would be very welcomed. Whether it's the gun or the armor which gets buffed, it doesn't really matter... a buff to both would be most optimal though. It needs some consistency behind it, especially as bigger and badder vehicles are continuously introduced into the game.

 

Thanks for reading! I hope this guide was helpful! I genuinely wish all of you the very best of luck and fun, both in real life and on the battlefield.

 

(KV-5 welcomes thee!)

 

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