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Scorpiany

A Guide to: Ammunition

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**** I will proof-read this guide later today, and fix any errors that I have made ****

 

Hello World of Tanks Community! This is the first of many guides that I will begin posting on the WoT Forums in order for players of all skill levels to learn more about the game and its complex mechanics. I'll try to post these guides as often as possible, and eventually I'll make a Thread that compiles all of them together. My goal is to cover every aspect of World of Tanks that you'll need to know in order to become Unicum. =) Each guide will have a "Newbie Meter"... in other words, a ranking on how complex the tactics/information is in regards to the game. This one has a ranking of 2, which is the second-lowest "newbie" ranking. A ranking of 5 would be for average players, and a ranking of 10 would be for pros. Based off of that, you can probably figure out what the remaining numbers would be. ;)

 

Newbie Ranking: 2 [basic]

 

In the realm of World of Tanks, there are various types of ammunition to choose from. Knowing all there is to each type can help improve your combat efficiency when it comes down to choosing the right bullet to use.


AP- AP (Armor Piercing) ammunition is your standard form of ammunition for most guns. They are typically purchased only with Credits, however there are a few rare cases in which they are a "Premium Ammunition" (usually in artillery, or the SU-100Y).

 

AP rounds should be your standard choice of ammo during battle, and will usually suffice for penetrating armor of tanks the same Tier or lower as the gun at any range; if aimed correctly.

 

An important thing to note is that AP rounds lose some penetration power over distance. This means that you probably won't penetrate armor that's 10%-15% less than your average penetration power when shooting at long ranges.

Shells_AP.png


APCR- APCR (Armor Piercing Composite Rigid) ammunition is one of the "Premium ammunitions" available for purchase for most guns. APCR ammunition boasts improved penetration potential, however on some tanks have a slightly lower damage output than AP shells (such as in the case of the T49).

 

APCR ammunition should make up 5%-15% of your ammunition that you bring into battle.

 

Something to keep in mind is that APCR ammunition loses penetration power over distance at an even faster rate than AP ammo. This means that when shooting at tanks at long range, expect APCR ammo not to penetrate armor that's 20%-25% less than the average penetration of the shells.

 

Certain tanks such as the T71 use APCR as their primary form of ammunition, however this is not the case in most tanks. Although when this does occur, the APCR ammo will lose penetration power over distance at the same rate as AP.

 

With low caliber guns, such as the one on the Pz. S35, at extremely long ranges AP may be more effective than APCR due its higher rate of normalization.

Shells_APCR.png

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HE- HE (High Explosive) ammunition is a very unique form of ammo. Some guns (such as artillery or Howitzers) use HE as their primary source of ammo. HE shells tend to have very low penetration, but very high damage output. If you can penetrate the enemy armor, you will do massively devastating damage to the enemy vehicle. However, if you don't penetrate the armor, you will do fairly little damage, along with some module damage. HE shells of higher calibers are very likely to do damage to modules or crew members, but are not reliable in terms of damage dealt.

 

HE shells detonate on contact, which means that if they hit the enemy's gun, tracks, or view port, they will explode right away. This has the potential to do some minor HP damage to the tank in addition to just damaging that module. Exploding on contact means that spaced armor will be very effective at blocking HE shells.

 

Any HE shell with more than 55mm of penetration are typically very powerful shells, and can do great damage to tanks even when you don't penetrate if the target is not very heavily armored. Overall, unless you're using a Howitzer or arty, HE shells should only be used when shooting at tanks with very little armor, or when shooting at guns/tracks.

 

HE shells don't lose penetration over distance, but with already minimal penetration and unreliable detonation, they shouldn't be used to snipe with.

 

A Spall Liner can protect your tank from the effects of HE shells, which will come in very handy when it comes to facing Howitzers or artillery. Very large HE shells are capable of damaging multiple tanks with one shot, or damaging a tank even if the shot hit the ground right next to the tank.

 

HE shells should make up 5%-10% of your ammunition layout.

 

HE shells do not travel through objects; rather explode on contact with the object.

 

High Explosive shells can also be very effective at resetting the base capture if it is a larger-caliber shell, or aimed at the tracks/gun.

Shells_HE.png


Premium HE- Premium High Explosive shells are essentially identical to regular HE shells, but feature increased splash radius's. They are typically found on artillery.

 

These shells do not travel through objects, and explode on contact.

Shells_HE_prem.png


HESH- HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) ammo is practically a HE shell with improved penetration capabilities, which may allow for increased damage dealt when not penetrating the armor. HESH rounds are much more likely to penetrate enemy armor than HE.

 

HESH does not travel through objects, exploding on contact.


HEAT- High Explosive Anti-Tank ammo is actually not "Explosive" in terms of effects on a tank. If you don't penetrate the enemy's armor, you won't do any damage.

 

HEAT shells are available for Howitzers, boasting AP-like penetration while maintaining a damage value similar to HE shells (just slightly lower).

 

An important thing to know about HEAT is that it can and will ricochet off of any amount of armor, if it is angled further than 75 degrees. Overmatch does not work for HEAT.

 

Howitzer HEAT has AP pen with HE damage.

 

They are also available for higher Tier guns as a replacement for APCR ammunition, wielding greatly improved penetration when compared to AP, all the whilst maintaining AP damage.

Non-Howitzer HEAT has APCR pen with AP damage.

 

HEAT shells, like HE shells, do not lose penetration power over distance, which make them effective for heavily armored targets without spaced armor.

 

HEAT shells do not travel through objects, rather detonate on contact. This makes them easily blocked by spaced armor or modules.

 

 They should make up 5%-15% of your tank's ammunition if it's available.

Shells_HEAT.png

 

General Rules of Thumb:
-AP should be the majority of your ammunition (With Howitzers, HE should be the primary ammo)
-HE should be used against scouts/arties/tracks/guns
-never face-hug a tank whilst shooting HE ammo... otherwise you might damage your own tank and gun!
-use APCR only when you really need it. If you happen to have an APCR shell loaded on a long-reload gun, but you don't really need it, and enemies are within your proximity, then use that shell and quickly switch to AP. If your gun can reload quickly, then switch to AP if possible to avoid losing Credits. You don't want to shoot Premium ammunition at tanks that you can easily penetrate.
-NEVER shoot APCR ammo on machine guns at long ranges. APCR on machines guns should only be used at ranges of less than 250m

-always be prepared for an HE shell not to do full damage, even when shooting at scouts
-shoot HE shells at a tank's tracks if you want to quickly immobilize it (Hint: If you've tracked an enemy tank with an HE shell on a Howitzer with a reload time that is less than 9 seconds, keep shooting the tank's tracks to keep the tank immobilized while you keep doing massive (or minor) damage. This should only be done if you are safe to shoot the tank's tracks without revealing part of your tank to the enemy's gun)

-never load HE on an auto-loader unless all remaining enemies have very minimal armor.

-use HE to reset the cap by aiming at tracks/gun, or just shoot at the tank if it's a 105mm+ caliber shell.

-Premium ammunition is very expensive, whether or not you're buying it for Gold or Credits. Conserve it if possible. Tanks that use Premium ammo as their primary ammunition will have reduced ammo costs, but shells will still be relatively expensive [non-premium APCR such as this will only be purchasable for Credits].

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Again, thank you for the info :) I'll be sure to bring more APCR shells to battle, as I usually don't bring any

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Again, thank you for the info :) I'll be sure to bring more APCR shells to battle, as I usually don't bring any

Keep in mind that you should carry APCR shells based off of your experience in battle. If you're finding yourself struggling often with AP, then you may want more APCR. If AP is doing just find however, then you won't need as much APCR. It's based off of personal preferences.

 

I tend to use 2/3rds AP, 1/3 APCR on some tanks, whilst on others I use 4/5 AP, 1/5 APCR. There are some tanks on which I load no APCR, and there are others on which I use almost all APCR (such as the Valentine 2). It depends on the tank and personal preference.

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Sometimes I will fire an APCR when I feel I am out numbered or about to be blitzed. It can cause them to hesitate and you can try and relocate. 

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Sometimes I will fire an APCR when I feel I am out numbered or about to be blitzed. It can cause them to hesitate and you can try and relocate. 

I only shoot APCR when I know that I will need it for sure. However, even if I'm being shot at by APCR, I won't back down. So I suppose it's based off of personal preference and experience.  ;)

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what does ap lose over time? APCR? over what distance?

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Well, the penetration values ingame refer to distances between 0-100m.

 

They still are random at this distance, like your damage is.

If you check your shells in the maintenance section of the hangar, you will see that the penetration values have ranges too.

That means, that you can't always overmatch 100 armour with a shell that has 100 average penetration (because it is subject to randomization and sometimes only has 80 penetration, while other times has 120 penetration).

 

With that in mind, trying to penetrate targets further away than 100m will cause your shells to lose some of it's min/max, and therefore average, penetration values.

Generally, AP loses less penetration over any distance, compared to APCR. So, sniping with APCR can sometimes be equally as bad as using AP instead and will definitely be simply more expensive.

 

As for exact values, you can take a look at what's stated on the WG wiki about it:

"For example, a Leichttraktor loses up to 17.5% penetration firing AP shells and 51.4% firing APCR shells with its default gun, whereas a Maus only loses about 2% with AP and 15.4% with APCR."

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So why do HE bounce sometimes anyway?

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Your shells lose penetration power over distance. Almace is incorrect where he says "starting at 100m". Your shells begin to lose penetration at a continual rate from the very moment that they leave your barrel.

 

Also, the velocity and caliber of the shell are contributing factors in normalization. The higher caliber the shell is, and the faster it travels, the less penetration it will lose over distance.

 

As for Rickster's question, HE shells will bounce if they hit an amount of armor that is significantly greater than their penetration capabilities and caliber. Higher caliber HE shells will have lower chances of bouncing due to the sheer size of the shell.

 

For example, a T49's HE shells will bounce off of almost any target that has more than 50mm of armor due to the very small size (76mm) and low penetration values (38mm) of the shell. However, a KV-2's shell will practically never bounce off of any target that has below 300mm of armor. The KV-2's shell is a 152mm shell (absolutely massive in size), and has 86mm of penetration (one of the best HE penetration values in the game). This means that the KV-2 will do damage to every tank in the game, regardless of angle, except for the T95's gun mantle. The KV-2 still will do approximately 100-200 damage to a T95's front, and will only bounce 50% of the time off of the T95's gun mantle. The T49 would bounce off of even an M4 Sherman's front though.

 

The larger the shell and the more penetration power it has, the less likely it is to bounce.

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Don't quote me on that but it's probably only when they hit spaced armor, since they detonate on impact and the spaced armor is a little bit away from the actual armor.

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Don't quote me on that but it's probably only when they hit spaced armor, since they detonate on impact and the spaced armor is a little bit away from the actual armor.

Spaced armor causes an early detonation of the shells, but higher caliber ammunition still should have no trouble at doing some damage. It may increase the chances of a bounce, but it doesn't guarantee it. Also, chances are that it would say "critical hit" rather than "ricochet" when hitting spaced armor, since your shell technically detonated.

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Almace is incorrect where he says "starting at 100m". Your shells begin to lose penetration at a continual rate from the very moment that they leave your barrel.

Sorry but you are incorrect. No penetration loss occurs within 0-100m, the penetration values are just randomized.

Starting from 100m though, you are correct (which is also what I stated).

 

As for reference, you can check the official WG wiki and the category penetration loss over distance, which can be found here: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Gunnery_%26_Armor_Penetration_(WoT)

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Sorry but you are incorrect. No penetration loss occurs within 0-100m, the penetration values are just randomized.

Starting from 100m though, you are correct (which is also what I stated).

 

As for reference, you can check the official WG wiki and the category penetration loss over distance, which can be found here: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Gunnery_%26_Armor_Penetration_(WoT)

I would want to think that this is very incorrect. Either that, or I've been out in the sun for a bit too long. I'll check this out in-game... I either need to slap the Wiki or slap myself.  :P

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Well, it's a game after all and physics don't match what's going on in the real world.

 

It could be wrong info, since it would probably be easier to have it lose pen over distance, starting from 0m.

However, it also makes sense to not have a penetration loss for the first 100m.

 

Having your (potentially) full pen value within 100m is pretty crucial for brawling tanks and I generally consider 0-100m the main fighting distance (at least intended).

If you'd have a static loss of pen, you'd never be able to penetrate something that is a certain distance away from you, even if your gun should be able to do so (just maybe when you are 2m away from the target; which is a pretty silly thing, imo).

It makes much more sense to ensure at least a chance of penetration in a certain frame of distance (0-100m) and then just randomize the actual values, so you can still have the odd bounce.

 

Most of the low-tier guns probably wouldn't be able to do anything beyond 50m, if it was static from 0m, I guess.

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"The penetration values displayed in game indicate average penetration values at 0-100m distance (no penetration loss occurs within this range). Penetration values at higher distances are not displayed. As a rule of thumb, the higher the tier of the gun used, the lower the penetration loss over distance"

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"The penetration values displayed in game indicate average penetration values at 0-100m distance (no penetration loss occurs within this range). Penetration values at higher distances are not displayed. As a rule of thumb, the higher the tier of the gun used, the lower the penetration loss over distance"

"Penetration values at higher distances are not displayed"... unless you have MeltyMaps' Math mod.  :D

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thanks for this, I have always wondered about when to use HE shells properly. Also I never realized that premium rounds (apcr) lost so much penetration over distance and that's handy to know as I often snipe long range using apcr for over tier matches. I'll be changing what shells I use for sure.

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thanks for this, I have always wondered about when to use HE shells properly. Also I never realized that premium rounds (apcr) lost so much penetration over distance and that's handy to know as I often snipe long range using apcr for over tier matches. I'll be changing what shells I use for sure.

 

APCR is usually a good choice, but at range really becomes in-effective... that's why I use an effective penetration mod (MeltyMap's Math Mod), to tell me just how much penetration power I have with APCR... And on tanks like the IS-6, Jg.Tig 8,8cm, and lower Tier tanks, APCR becomes approximately as effective or even less effective than AP at around 500m, up to 650m.

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