War Thunder Finds the Way of the Samurai

Posted on 22 Dec 2016 by
Lee Braden

The much awaited Japanese ground forces has hit War Thunder today, along with a myriad of changes, including the more awaited bomber cockpits. The update is what Gaijin has classified as “Full game launch”. That means War Thunder is no longer in open beta but is now a fully released game with plenty more updates to come, especially with Naval forces on the horizon.

There is much to talk about here, but one thing is that there are some inconsistencies with actual data and in some cases the physical models of the tanks. However these are the first iteration, but from a company like Gaijin, I was expecting something a bit closer to realism (their stated primary goal).

Starting off with the newly added Japanese ground forces, we have basically the entire starting tree. Of course coming in over months we will get more tanks added, like Gaijin did with the British and American trees when they were debuted.

The British get the Sherman II, which is the wonderfully British way of going with the US’s naming of “Sherman M4A1” the upside is that now an early British tank has APHE. Russia gets new items as well, the ZiS-43 a SPAA that is the classic Russian ZiS truck but converted to half-track (like the Germans did with the Opel Blitz, and for the same reason) to help with the muddy conditions of the Eastern Front, this vehicle is mounted with a 37mm AA gun, but was never formally adopted. Also for Russia is “Object 906” a late Cold-War amphibious tank, not to be confused with “Object 906” which was a KV-4 tank, this very light tank is armed with an 85mm cannon and again was only an experimental vehicle and not formally adopted. IS-4, ISU-122 family, ISU-152 and T-54 family of tanks all get upgraded models with minor changes to structure to look closer to their in-service styles.

Now onto the Planes, we again get a raft of new vehicles and updated models, and this is very much a mixed bag.

Russia gets the Tu-14T a Tupolev ground attack aircraft, which was supposed to replace the Il-28, which is why it so closely resembles it. It was converted to a mine-laying and torpedo bomber, and served that role well. Russia also gets the La-11 a late-WWII prop aircraft from Lavochkin which was too late to see any combat service in that war, but was still used with some effect in the Korean War, and exported to countries like Peoples Republic of China, and North Korea. Handley Page Hampden got added for Russia too, the Hampden was a British twin-engine bomber that was one of the mainstays of the RAF until, it was deemed obsolete in 1942, where some were sent to Russia via lend-lease after the Eastern front opened up and due to its lend-lease nature, this craft is a premium.

The Luftwaffe gets some interesting items too, starting with the He. 100D-1, a Heinkel designed fighter which was reported to be better than the famous Bf-109 when using the same engine, but wasn’t adopted for service due to how “chummy” Messerschmitt was with Georing, however, without much more information from Gaijin, I don’t know which engine version they have gone with. Next up is the Kurt Tank designed Ta. 154A-1, Tank was a prolific designer and had been involved in several designs for Fokker-Wulf such as the Fw. 190 fighter and the Fw 200 long-range passenger aircraft. The Ta. 154 is a heavy fighter designed for night interception of bombers and is a premium aircraft added under the revenue share, this plane model was made by a player, who will get proceeds of every sale. Then the Junkers Ju. 88C-6a, a modification to the Ju. 88A (which also has had its model updated this patch) with an all-metal nose and used as a twin-engined night fighter. The final new Luftwaffe craft is the Fw. 190A-5/U12, which is a very complex way of stating a Fw. 190A-5 model with the outer wing-mounted 20mm cannons replaced with pod-mounted dual 20mm cannons, taking this craft from 4 to 6 cannons. Fw.190 A5/U12 is actually the Fw.190 A5/U2 and the current U2 has been re-named the U12. The Heinkel He. 111 bombers have also gotten a much needed model update, and hopefully skin update, as there were some awesome, but badly reversed, fan skins for the plane out there.

The United States are up next. The US go Lockheed B-34 Lexington bomber, the only information about this craft I can find in US hands is that it was used as a patrol anti-submarine bomber and as a training craft, but with 3,000lb’s of bombs, this would make a great early-tier bomber. The final new craft for the US is the Grumman Hellcat F6F-5N night fighter variant, with a wing mounted RADAR pod and its armament changed to 2x 20mm AN/M2 cannons (a US version of the Hispano-Suiza 404, or in British name, the Hispano Mk I) and 4x Browning M2 .50cal aviation variants. Also the current Hellcat F6F-3 is being renamed to F6F-5 due to that is the variant we actually have in-game right now.

Lastly for planes, the RAF, which starts off with the Shorts Sunderland Mk V flying boat, which is the same as the current version in War Thunder, but with better engines, and historically mounted with a RADAR system for attacking U-boats at night. The British also get the Hampden Mk I late and TB Mk I, a twin-engine bomber that was one of the mainstays of the RAF until mid-1942 where it was converted to torpedo bomber role, and then retired in 1943, with several staying on in Russia as torpedo bombers. Due to the Hellcat F6F-3 name change, the current RAF Hellcat F Mk I is being renamed to the Hellcat F Mk II. Spitfire Mk Ia and Mk IIa also have had their models updated.

Of course, any fighting game wouldn’t be much without maps, and we got two new maps in this update, 38th parallel and Abandoned Factory. 38th parallel is the famous line which is the current Korean DMZ, but you will be able to battle it out in the Korean War from before the front became a minefield and also a nature reserve (seriously, look it up) and use the natural terrain and Asian styled buildings for cover. Abandoned Factory is an interesting battle in an abandoned Russian factory, this has caused some players to call it “Stalingrad in summer” due to the existing Stalingrad factory map, but be careful, the enemy could collapse the roof onto your tank.

I mentioned above the much awaited cockpit view for bombers, well it’s not the only love that bombers and heavy-fighters have gotten with this patch, as we now have the ability to control bay doors and also set so it’s one-click per stick rather than one-click per bomb, so your spacebar will like you now on planes such as the B-29 with its 40x 500lb loadout. A small downside is that Arcade style bomber sight has been removed for Realistic and Combined Arms battles, so get practising your low-level bombing runs.

New features have been added to the current X-ray view for aircraft in the hangar.

Shell diameter and area of hit has been changed to make it better, so now you won’t have your shell explode harmlessly as it partly-skimmed the enemy track or the anti-HEAT shell screens as often has it has.

After this is a whole raft of small one-line changes, or ones which only interest the die-hard fans of simulator combat, so I will just say, click here if you are interested as seriously, there are a lot. So, strap in, hold tight and get ready for another round of fighting in War Thunder with the new Japanese tanks.

Official Press Release

21st December, 2016 — Gaijin Entertainment today announced that update 1.65 ‘Way of the Samurai’ marks the release of the originally proposed War Thunder game and ends Open Beta with all current in-game nations featuring their own aircraft and tank trees. The introduction of ships also means that War Thunder now takes the fight to land, air and sea to complement the game. Gaijin Entertainment will continue its commitment to improving the game through regular updates, as they progress toward the research trees of War Thunder Ships, which currently reside in pre-beta testing.

“After reaching this important development milestone, which marks the end of Open Beta, the goals set out for War Thunder in 2012 are now complete. We will focus on adding new features and improvements, to let virtual pilots, tankers and navy captains enjoy one of the most realistic, extensive and accessible war simulations of all time”, says Kirill Yudintsev, Creative Director of Gaijin Entertainment.

War Thunder’s ‘Way of the Samurai’ update will focus on completing the Armor of the Imperial Japanese Army, which adds 30 armored ground forces vehicles, featuring a full range of light and medium tanks as well as self-propelled guns and anti-aircraft vehicles modeled on interwar vehicles to proven mid-war workhorses and modern developments of the Cold War era.

Update 1.65 includes the integration of cockpit interiors for all aircraft with working gauges and indicators. The update contains two new maps for ground and combined arms combat, “Abandoned Factory” and “38th Parallel”. While the first challenges tankers and air support to identify targets in a maze of industrial workshops and loading bays, the latter propels players into the Korean peninsula and is the first ground combat location based on a post-World War II setting.  It also contains a dozen additional ground and air vehicles for other nations bringing the total number of available vehicles to more than 800.

In 2017, Gaijin plans to focus on two major game modes for War Thunder, the previously announced World War mode that allows players to experience massive operations across different theatres of World War II, as well as the full release of War Thunder Naval Forces for all nations.

Work will continue on additional features such as adding new nations, new game modes and further improvements to eSport and other forms of competitive play.

Gaijin Entertainment also used the opportunity of War Thunder‘s release to congratulate players with the start of a series of holiday timed events and specials. Everyone logging into the game until New Year’s will receive a progression booster as a present. In addition, the holiday season will bring a variety of events where players can unlock several Premium vehicles and other content for free.

To find out more head over to the War Thunder devblog page here:

The release trailer can be found here: https://youtu.be/gg0o6V-M6pg

More information about the Japanese tank packs can be found here:

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