The Swedish heavies have just hit the public test server and have generally been well received, however, I thought it would be a good idea to give you the real data about these vehicles. From the way WG´s balance department chose to ignore their historians and historical data I think the Swedish heavies mark a new era of WoT where history is discarded for the sake of convenience for the balance team.
The tier 8 Emil as represented in the game is based on the 1951 proposal for a new Swedish 30-tonne tank which had the project name EMIL. Note that nowhere in the original documents is this initial design referred to as Emil 1, instead, it is simply listed as “EMIL”.
The name Emil 1 was later used in 1952 for a completely redesigned version of the tank which was a scaled down version of the Emil 2 that you see in game. It is not fair to either of these vehicles to misrepresent the name like this, but more importantly, it confuses people as to what the tier 8 Emil actually is. You see the 1952 Emil 1 unlike the 1951 proposal had several armor options (none of which are as thick as the one in game btw) and I think WG might have done this deliberately to confuse people into thinking that the tanks armor isn’t really fake.
EMIL 1951 stats
The Emil as represented in the game has roughly 30-40% thicker armor than it had historically. In real life, the Emils armor was designed to have 170-200mm of effective thickness for the front with a maximum thickness of 200mm for the gun mantle and 150mm for the turret front. Compare that to the 280mm mantle and 180mm thick turret front of the ingame Emil, even the hull armor has been increased to 100mm for the upper front which is 30mm thicker than the historical armor.
Armor scheme drawings EMIL 1951
As you can see on the armor scheme drawing the 1951 Emil had 14 degrees of gun depression over the front of the vehicle, the turret was however designed to be able to depress to 15 degrees over the sides. In the game, the Emil initially received the whole 15-degree gun depression but by the time it was added to the public test its gun depression was nerfed to 12 degrees which is worse than the historical value.
If you have a keen eye you may have noticed that the Emil I on the test server has a 450 hp top engine, you may also have noticed that in the stat sheet provided in the original documents this engine was rated at 550 hp, this is yet another change from the Historical characteristics of the EMIL (the stock engine was also nerfed by 100 hp). Additionally, the top speed has been reduced from the 55 kph top speed in the original documents to 50 kph in game, which was actually buffed from the even lower 45kph top speed that the vehicle had in supertest. Though to be fair the original documents lists a “marching speed” of 50kph.
EMIL top speed
After seeing how this vehicle was implemented I must ask the question as to why it wasn’t balanced with its historical characteristics in mind. It would have been very easy to balance the tier 8 Emil even with its proper stats, tanks like the amx 50 100 has shown that a low-moderately armored heavy tank can work and the 14-15 degrees of gun depression would still allow the turret to be very strong in a hull down position.
The Emil II is based of the 1952 Emil II s2b which was a variation of one of three versions of the Emil that existed at this point. This was the most heavily armored version of the Emil II.
Out of all the Swedish heavies, the Emil II is perhaps the most accurate to its real life armor layout, though this isn’t really saying much. The real Emil II s2b was planned to have a hull armor of 95mm for the upper front (with a 145mm lower glacis) with 30mm at the sides and rear, the turret was to be 170mm thick at the front with 60mm at the side and 30mm at the rear. This frontal armor option was the thickest considered for all versions of the Emil in 1952.
The Emil II on the public test server has had its frontal armor increased to 100mm for the upper glacis and 215mm for the turret. The hull side armor was also increased to 60mm. Like the Emil I this is a huge increase over the real values and this is especially strange as when the Emil 2 appeared on the supertest it did have a mostly historical armor scheme.
Emil 2 armor
surprisingly the rest of the stats for this vehicle represents the project its based of fairly well with a correct top speed, engines and gun depression. But this just makes me all the more curious as to why a fake armor scheme was chosen.
Unlike the other Swedish heavies, the Kranvagn was actually completed, at least partially with a hull still remaining in the storage of the Arsenalen museum. This was the ultimate development of the Emil project and was a further development of the Emil III which was a larger and heavier version of the Emil II. Though the vehicle was referred to as Kranvagn to confuse potential spies I think in retrospect that its more commonly used abbreviation KRV would have made for a better name, at least in world of tanks.
Since the hull of the KRV was actually built we have been able to find welding drawings that show the actual armor thickness, at least for parts of the hull. Besides the hull floor (that isn’t really interesting) we can tell that the KRV had 37mm thick side and rear armor.
KRV welding drawing
The KRV was the prototype of the Emil III that appeared in the 1952 documents, from this we know that the KRV hull armor was to be identical to that of the Emil II with the exception of a slight increase to the side and rear hull armor. That is to say, the Kranvagn should have a frontal hull armor of 95mm with a 145mm lower glacis and 37mm sides and rear.
The turret armor was also similar to the Emil II with 170mm at the front but with a side armor up to 80mm thick. Later armor schemes for the turret from 1954, however, reduced the side armor to 70mm.
Kranvagn turret armor (1953)
like the other Swedish heavies the Kranvagn has been unhistorically buffed. Arguably some armor buffs to the turret could be justified since the front was to be cast, but even cast armor do not vary as much as the 55mm that was added to the turret front. The Balance department also increased the side armor to 70mm and the upper front to 110mm from the historical 95mm.
As I have said throughout this article the Swedish heavies could easily have been balanced with their historical values. The tier 9 and 10 would still have had a good front with 260-290mm of effective frontal armor unangled and they would still have been beasts when using hull down positions, but currently the armor on the Emil II and Kranvagn bare so little resemblance to reality that only the rear armor is accurate. The handling of the tier 8 Emil, in general, is also something I find baffling as so many elements were made unhistorical for no apparent reason.
As somebody who has spent hundreds of hours gathering the information to make this line possible in the first place, I find it very frustrating to see my work go to waste when there was no reason the heavies couldn’t have been properly represented. After speaking with Silentstalker and Daigensui who have had lines implemented into the game before I found that this kind of disregard for the real stats did not happen a year or two ago, but is likely due to more recent changes to the balance team. This is why I say that the Swedish heavies mark a new era of WoT, as a new balance team without any regard for history are put in charge of the future of world of tanks for better or worse.