War Thunder's best year: 2023 in review - Part 4 (July-August)

Part 1 - Introduction-March
Part 2 - April-May
Part 3 - June
Part 4 - July-August (current)
Part 5 - September
Part 6 - October
Part 7 - November-December
Part 8 - Hopes for 2024-Conclusion

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Table of contents
  • Pages of History (January)
  • Swedish Armed Forces Day
  • Lunar New Year
  • Battle Pass Season 10 “Royal Guard”
  • Australia Day
  • Pages of History (February)
  • Victory in Stalingrad Day
  • Answers from the developers
  • World War Mode news
  • Update for the War Thunder CDK
  • VR Flights in the PlayStation VR2
  • Japanese National Foundation Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Tigor Tshirt/New merch
  • First Flight of the BO 105
  • South African Armed Forces Day
  • Defender Tournament Series
  • Pages of History (March)
  • Finnish Air Force Day
  • Update 2.25 “Sky Guardians”
  • International Women’s Day
  • Fair Play: March 2023
  • Tank Football
  • CV 90105 (XC-8) Wiki Decal
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Guest Accounts
  • First Flight of the La-5
  • Lucky Piñata
  • Moments of Valour: The Turkish Armed Forces
  • 100th Anniversary of the Italian Air Force
  • Royal Air Force Day
  • Pages of History (April)
  • Mobile Infantry
  • “Edge of Shell” Pack
  • Bosses of the Gym
  • Atomic Thunder: Soviet Battle Robots Tree
  • Repair Factory
  • Exowarrior Twitch Drops
  • Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics
  • Vasily Matsievich’s birthday
  • Zimbabwean Independence Day
  • Battle Pass Season 11 “Her Majesty’s Hussar”
  • Italian Liberation Day
  • Israeli Independence Day
  • Air Superiority Tournament
  • Ingame May sale
  • Golden Week
  • Pages of History (May)
  • Polish Constitution Day
  • Legend of Victory: BM-31-12 “Andryusha”
  • Victory Day
  • May sale in the Gaijin Store
  • War Thunder Mobile
  • US Armed Forces Day
  • French National Sailor Day
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part I: The Fellowship of the Forums
  • Anniversary of the Israeli Defense Forces
  • Swedish Home Guard Day
  • Answers from the developers
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part II: The Two Responses
  • Pages of History (June)
  • Turkish Air Forces Day
  • Canadian Armed Forces Day
  • D-Day
  • 500th Anniversary of Swedish Independence
  • Rare D-Day vehicles returning for GE
  • Italian Navy Day
  • The Review Bombing Saga Part III: The Return of the Economy
  • Update 2.27 “La Royale”
  • German Navy Day
  • First Flight of the MiG-21
  • Following the Roadmap: Updated Economy
  • Rankings Challenge: 2023 Grand Finals and Twitch Drops
  • British Armed Forces Day
  • Following the Roadmap: maps for aircraft, flares and repair
  • Summer Sale in the Gaijin Store
  • Swedish Air Force Day
  • JSDF Day
  • Canada Day
  • Top teams for Grand Final Season I tournament
  • French Air Force Day
  • US Independence Day
  • 80th Anniversary of Operation Husky
  • Atomic Thunder
  • First Flight of the A-4E
  • Bastille Day
  • Atomic Heart Snail Decals
  • First flight of the Hawker Hunter
  • First flight of the T-2
  • Battle Pass Season 12 “Armour Breaking Ambusher”
  • Following the Roadmap: Compensation of Battle Expenses, Free Backups and More!
  • Following the Roadmap: Battle Pass available in Simulator Battles
  • Russian Navy Day
  • In Detail: Air event markers in Ground Arcade Battles
  • Bots in War Thunder: what they are and how we plan to get rid of them
  • Pages of History (August)
  • PLA Day
  • First flight of the BAC Lightning
  • Summer Extreme
  • Following the Roadmap: refining landscape
  • End of the French Navy CBT
  • Soviet Air Fleet Day
  • Polish Armed Forces Day
  • Following the Roadmap: research helicopters with ground vehicles, marking spawn campers and more
  • US National Airborne Day
  • A Sound of Thunder: the release of War Thunder Mobile
  • MiG-15 enters service
  • 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kursk
  • Following the Roadmap: grouping vehicles, rank changes, and improvements to premium vehicles
  • Following the Roadmap: Reducing Research/Purchase Cost of Aircraft, map changes & more
  • Pages of History (September)
  • 78th Anniversary of the end of World War II
  • Soviet Tanker’s Day
  • First Flight of the P-38
  • 83rd Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
  • 76th birthday of the U.S. Air Force
  • Update 2.29 “Sons of Attila”
  • Following the Roadmap: Sons of Attila Roadmap implementations and some Postponements
  • First Flight of the Mi-24
  • First Flight of the Yak-38
  • Tokushu Heiki
  • National Day of the People’s Republic of China
  • Pages of History (October)
  • Moments of Valor: China
  • German Unity Day
  • 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Caucasus
  • 248th birthday of the US Navy
  • First flight of the S.O.4050 Vautour II
  • Following the Roadmap: We’d like to hear your feedback on our proposed Aircraft Destruction Mechanics & Night Battles design
  • Trafalgar Day
  • First flight of the UH-1 Iroquois
  • Twitch drops for War Thunder’s 11th anniversary
  • Battle Pass Season 13 “Tropical Storm”
  • First flight of the J 35 Draken
  • 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye
  • Halloween
  • Update 2.31 “Kings of Battle”
  • Pages of History (November)
  • 11th birthday of War Thunder
  • Dreams Come True: TOG II
  • Following the Roadmap: Skill Bonuses in RP & Selectable Night Battles!
  • Battle of the Atlantic
  • Italian National Unity and Armed Forces Day
  • 11th anniversary sale in the Gaijin Store
  • Polish National Independence Day
  • 74th birthday of the Chinese Air Force
  • 68th birthday of the Bundeswehr
  • Fair Play: November 2023
  • November research changes
  • Black Friday
  • Results of the Anniversary Tournaments dedicated to 11 Years of War Thunder, plus the “Esport II” Trophy!
  • Su-25K Wiki decal
  • St. Andrew’s Day
  • Pages of History (December): The Heroic Nurse
  • Winter Extreme
  • Following the Roadmap: WT Mobile Login Streak & Keeping you updated with our plans
  • Update 2.33 “Air Superiority”
  • Christmas and New Years
  • Ingame winter sale
  • Collecting ideas for the 2024 roadmap
  • Fair Play: December 2023
  • Gaijin says they “don’t believe” the M1 Abrams had upgraded armor
  • Gaijin says they don’t believe that MANPADS missiles can pull as hard as official documents say they can
  • Winter sale in the Gaijin Store
  • First flight of the MiG-15
Other stuff that happened in 2023
  • Secret document leaks
Hopes for 2024
  • A Lesser focus on top tier
  • No more high rank premiums
  • No more high rank event vehicles
  • A return to 6 vehicles for marathon events
  • Making it possible to get all 4 vehicles in crafting events without spending money
  • No more duplicate decals in marathon events
  • A return to 4 vehicles in the Battle Pass
  • A return to low tier prizes in marathon events and Battle Passes being coupons
  • Breaks between Battle Pass seasons
  • A system for returning old event vehicles
  • Better support for coloring text in lang mods
  • Conclusion


Pages of History (July)

This was one of my personal favorite profile pictures. The icon is of Desmond Doss — the famous soldier who, during the Battle of Guam, saved anywhere between 50 and 100 men by carrying them away from the battlefield. This is one of my favorite profile pictures out of any of the Pages of History events not only because of the historical significance and heroism of the man who it portrays, but also because it’s just a gorgeously designed profile picture.

“Desmond Doss” profile picture

French Air Force Day

This was basically a diet Swedish Air Force Day decal. Same style with the tree’s top jet, but it doesn’t look as nice. Having the plane simply be over the flag instead of having the flag coming out of it like it’s literally blazing a trail of national pride looks so much less cool. That being said, it’s still a nice decal, just lackluster compared to the Swedish Air Force Day decal it so closely resembles.

“French Air Force Day” decal

US Independence Day


In all seriousness, they brought back the F-86F-35-NA, the M26E1, and gave away a relatively boring decal. Bringing back the F-86F-35-NA and M26E1 is not bad, I like it, it’s just mildly boring. As for the decal, it’s pretty boring. It’s just Abraham Lincoln (the president during the American Civil War who presided over the ending of slavery in the US in 1865) sitting on a chair with an American flag behind him. I know that it’s designed to look like the statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on his chair in the Lincoln Memorial (a memorial in Washington, DC, which is the USA’s capital, to Abraham Lincoln built after he was assassinated), but I still find it to be a rather boring decal. All in all, while a nice event, it was rather boring.

“USA Independence Day” decal



Also, for all of you Americans asking why I’m explaining what these well-known American things are, it’s because not everyone lives in America and knows who Abraham Lincoln is, what the Lincoln Memorial is, or what our capital is.

80th Anniversary of Operation Husky

This was interesting because it’s none of the mini-events War Thunder normally does. That being said, it was quite cool to see. There was a decal called the “Vehicles of Victory: Sherman II” decal which is of a Sherman Mk. II, and a decoration of the Vickers machine gun which looks absolutely gorgeous. While nothing too special overall, this was still nice and these are the types of events I like to see.

“Vehicles of Victory: Sherman II” decal

“Vickers machine gun” decoration

Atomic Thunder

I told you it was foreshadowing.

This event was entirely unexpected and came completely out of the blue, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun! When this was announced I actually was scared for a bit because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to complete this event due to being on vacation in Israel because you couldn’t purchase the tasks with GE, which was my one complaint about this event. That being said, not only was it easy to complete, with me being able to complete it in my spare time while on vacation and actively doing things with my family, but it was also very enjoyable.

This event was the battle robots from the April Fools Day event made real and put into their own gamemode. You could play with HOG-7 Hedgie and WSP-9 Pchela and Repair Pchela robots, as well as standard high tier vehicles in War Thunder on the Test Site 2271 map that was later added in Sons of Attila. The Repair Pchela robot could also activate this giant worm-like mining robot from the ground to kill things which was on the same animation rig as and functioned on the same mechanics as the sand worm from Battle for Arachis. This event was so fun and I have nearly nothing but praise for it.

The way the challenges worked was that every other challenge was to get a certain amount of score in 2 days, while the rest were to complete a certain task that you had the whole event to do. The challenges, all of which had to be completed in the Atomic Thunder gamemode, were:

  1. July 11th - 31st: defeat 30 enemies while controlling the HOG-7 Hedgie
  2. July 13th - 15th: score 20,000 points
  3. July 15th - 31st: score 10 assists in repairing or fire extinguishing
  4. July 17th - 19th: score 20,000 points
  5. July 19th - 31st: defeat 20 enemies while controlling the WSP-9 Laser Pchela
  6. July 21st - 23rd: score 20,000 points
  7. July 23rd - 31st: defeat 40 robots
  8. July 25th - 27th: score 20,000 points
  9. July 27th - 31st: defeat 5 enemies while controlling a helicopter
  10. July 29th - 31st: score 20,000 points

None of these were particularly hard and, as I mentioned, I managed to get them all done in my spare time at night while actively doing other things. The prizes, despite not having any vehicles, were also really nice. For each stage you would get a trophy with a reward. The trophy contained RP and SL boosters for 10 battles, 5 backups, or 10K SL. For each stage, with the exception of the first one, you would also get a unique prize for the event in addition to the trophy. The prizes were:

  1. Trophy with a reward
  2. Either the “Thump it!” or “Get ready!” posters + Booster/SL trophy
  3. Either the “Door lock” or “Swede Axe” decorations + Booster/SL trophy
  4. Either the “Thump it!” or “Get ready!” posters + Booster/SL trophy
  5. Either the “Door lock” or “Swede Axe” decorations + Booster/SL trophy
  6. Either the “Twin Left” or “Twin right” profile picture + Booster/SL trophy
  7. Either the “Atomic Heart - MiG-15” or “Atomic Heart - War Machines” loading screens + Booster/S: trophy
  8. Either the “Twin Left” or “Twin right” profile picture + Booster/SL trophy
  9. Either the “Atomic Heart - MiG-15” or “Atomic Heart - War Machines” loading screens + Booster/S: trophy
  10. “Atomic Heart” title

For the prizes in which you could get 1 of 2 options, the second time that same prize listing appears, you got whichever prize you did not get the first time.

I really loved these prizes. I think no vehicle was a fine choice and while it is nice to have event vehicles, unique collaborations like this don’t need to have vehicles in my view. I think the prizes here were really nice. I do find the poster decals to be a bit lackluster and I’m not a huge fan of their design, but everything else was amazing. The loading screens especially are stunning! Both of them are incredible and the “Atomic Heart - MiG-15” loading screen I think is the best in the game.

“Thump it!” poster decal

“Get ready" poster decal

“Door Lock” decoration

“Swede axe” decoration

“Twin Left" profile picture

“Twin Right" profile picture

“Atomic Thunder - MiG-15” loading screen

“Atomic Thunder - War Machines” loading screen

I thought this was a really cool and fun event. I very much enjoyed playing it and I’m very happy Gaijin did it because it’s a very unique style of event that War Thunder doesn’t do very much and so I really like that it happened.

First Flight of the A-4E

In commemoration of the first flight of the A-4E Skyhawk, Gaijin brought back the Israeli premium A-4E for a limited time. The Israeli A-4E was one of the vehicles removed from sale during the May sale and is the best of the 8.7 A-4s, with the only better A-4 being the A-4N which is also in the Israeli tech tree. I do find it somewhat sad that the best of the 8.7 A-4s is a premium, but that being said, for $60 USD, it’s still not worth your money. The tech tree A-4E fills the same CAS role well enough.

A-4E (Israel)

Bastille Day

For Bastille Day, Gaijin gave out the “Cocarde de France” decal as well as brought back the premium Milan and Vautour II N. The decal has all the hallmarks of a good decal and it’s very well designed on a technical level, but for some reason, I still am not a fan of it. I don’t actively dislike it, it’s just sort of meh.

“Cocarde de France” decal

Moving onto the vehicles, let’s first talk about the Vautour II N: it’s useless, terrible, and you should ignore it and go spend your money elsewhere. And no, it going to rank 6 in Sons of Attila does not make it better. In fact, it makes it worse because it loses its airspawn due to that.

Vautour II N

As for the Milan, it is in a much better state than the Vautour, but still not in a great one. The Milan is basically a Mirage III E at 9.7 with AIM-9Bs instead of Magic 1s. It’s a very middling vehicle in its current state with the current matchmaker around it. It’s not the worst around its BR, there are definitely more painful things to play, but it’s not that good right now. It’s still a good grinder, but I’d say it’s more worth it just spending the extra $10 and getting the Mirage F 1C-200.

A-4E (Israel)

This overall was nice to see, but, like the vehicles in it, somewhat middling.

Also, and this is a sidenote, but I find it weird that the image they used for the news post was the level 100 loading screen from Battle Pass Season 10.

Atomic Heart Snail Decals

As part of the Atomic Heart collaboration, War Thunder had a promotion in which for any purchase in the Gaijin Store, you would get the “Robot snail Left” decal and for any additional different purchase you would get the “Robot snail Right” decal. “Different” meant that you could not purchase the same item twice and get the decals.

“Robot snail Left” decal

“Robot snail Left”

I think this was pretty cool and as an extra piece of the Atomic Heart-War Thunder collaboration, I think it was quite neat.

First Flight of the Hawker Hunter

In commemoration of the first flight of the Hawker Hunter, the premium Hunter F.G.A. Mk. 9 of the Rhodesian Air Force was brought back for sale for a limited time. I really like how the Hunters fly. They’re quite fast for planes without an afterburner and I think they perform really nicely. I quite enjoy them in a vacuum. However, they don’t exist in a vacuum and the Hunter F.G.A. Mk. 9 severely suffers for it. It’s in a much better state at 9.3 now than it was when it was at 9.7, but it still has some struggle. In an uptier to 10.0 or 10.3, it gets eaten alive by A-10s and Su-25s. I’d say it is no longer a very bad vehicle like it was at 9.7, but it’s not that great either. I’d say save your money and don’t spend it on this.

Hunter F.G.A. Mk. 9

First Flight of the T-2

The day the Hunter first took flight also happens to be the day the Mitsubishi T-2 first took off and for it, The premium T-2 (early) was brought back for a limited time. This vehicle is in the state that the Hunter F.G.A. Mk. 9 used to be in. It’s a 9.7 with no flares that only has speed going for it. It does get AIM-9Ps, but they don’t really matter because it faces AIM-9Ls and R-60Ms. This thing gets absolutely bodied at 9.7. Save your money and don’t buy it.

T-2 (early)

Battle Pass Season 12 “Armour Breaking Ambusher”

Wait, do my eyes deceive me? An actually interesting Battle Pass season? It can’t be! The last time one of those happened was Smell of Victory in October of 2022!

That’s right, season 12 of the Battle Pass actually had something interesting to it. The vehicles were:

  • MC 485 - Italy - Rank III - Motor torpedo boat - Event premium

    • Wait, what is that I see on the horizon? Could it be? A second Battle Pass S 100 in a row? Say it isn’t so! Yes, you read that correctly, this is the second Battle Pass S 100 in a row because when in doubt, just add what you already have! Last season we had the S 701, and this season we have the MC 485. And yeah, I know the MC 485 is an S 38, but functionally, that’s still an S 100. The main difference between the S 38 and MC 485, beyond the MC 485 being for Italy, is that it gets a navigation radar and has 2 40 mm Bofors guns on it. At first, this seems like an improvement and, at least on a broadside, it is! However, there’s an issue: the front gun was changed to just a plain deck and the 2 Bofors guns are towards the stern, meaning the ship can’t fire forward. This, in my view, makes it worse than the S 38 because due to all of the S 38s and S 100s having about as much durability as a paper airplane, going broadside makes you very vulnerable to being absolutely torn apart, especially by American PT boats like the PT-556 (the best PT boat in the game).
  • B7A2 (Homare 23) - Japan - Rank III - Bomber - Event premium - Coupon

    • This is a very good vehicle. The B7A2 is already a vehicle I really like and it performs spectacularly not just as a bomber, but as a fighter too because it can turn on a dime. The one thing I always found middling about it was its engine power which was somewhat lacking. This vehicle fixes that. The extra engine power isn’t that much, but it’s just enough to push it over the edge in terms of performance. That extra bit of engine power makes a world of difference, especially because it finally allows it to chase down planes like the P-51C-10-NT which were always irritating to fight in the standard B7A2. While this does mean that, because it’s at the same BR as the tech tree B7A2, the best B7A2 is a premium, I also think that 3.7 is an appropriate BR for this vehicle. The best version of a vehicle being locked behind a paywall is never good, I also still think that this was a good choice for a prize and I really enjoy the vehicle. The unique unpainted camouflage for it you can get from the Battle Pass is also gorgeous. It’s a simple camouflage, but it looks so nice on the vehicle.
  • SPz 12-3 (LGs M40A1) - Germany - Rank IV - Light tank - Event premium - Coupon

    • Remember my explanation about what constitutes a good vehicle versus a good prize from my discussion of season 10 of the Battle Pass? This meets all of my criteria for a good prize. The Schützenpanzer lang Typ 12-3 mit 106 mm Leichtgeschütz M40A1 is not a good vehicle. It’s not terrible, but it’s not a good vehicle by any means. However, it is a fantastic prize. It’s not very good so by not being in the tree, nothing is being missed out on, and it’s unique/weird and wacky, so it makes an interesting prize. This is the type of vehicle I want to see more of. It’s strange, interesting, and doesn’t create an experience that is really worth experiencing in the tree because it isn’t very good. It has no tech tree counterpart, but that’s ok because it doesn’t need one. We don’t need more bad vehicles in the tree that are painful to grind, but a bad vehicle that is also weird and wacky is a great event prize, and this embodies that philosophy perfectly.

The decals and decorations were also cool too. The decals are really well designed and get bonus points for being historical, with the German “Mechanized Infantry Regiment insignia” decal being my personal favorite. The decorations were also excellent with the Easel machine gun being the one I like the most, though the naval crawler drone is not far behind. The one disappointment in the prizes was the profile picture. It’s very well designed, probably one of the best in all of War Thunder on a technical level, but I find many of the modern soldier profile pictures to be really boring. I like interesting profile pictures like Ivan Podubny from season 3 or the MotoLady profile picture from the Summer Extreme event which I’ll cover in the section on August.

“Mechanised Infantry Regiment” decal

“Emblem of the 5th Infantry Regiment” decal

“Emblem of the 112th Mechanised Infantry Division” decal

“Emblem of the Royal 22nd Regiment” decal

“Easel machine gun” decoration

“Raid backpack” decoration

“Crawler-type drone” decoration

“Bundeswehr infantryman” profile picture

The warbonds for this season were quite nice. I think the decal was definitely above average for decals from the Warbonds Shop, and the vehicles were pretty nice. The ones of note to me are the IJN Yubari and the B1 ter. The IJN Yubari is very good, like most Japanese destroyers, with the guns trading in their traverse rate in exchange for packing one hell of a punch, and the torpedoes are fantastic, with them easily being the best in the game. The B1 ter is even better. It is an absolute monster of a vehicle. It’s combination of a 37 mm and 75 mm cannon can destroy nearly anything at its tier, and at BR 2.3, nearly everyone there is newer players who have no idea how to combat the B1 ter and its basically invincible armor.

Beyond that, not much else in this season is worth mentioning, except that they finally made it so certain Battle Pass challenges can now be completed in air and ground simulator battles! I don’t play SB, but I know many do, so this change is fantastic.

This overall was quite a good season, and I definitely see it as better than the previous 2.

Following the Roadmap: Compensation of Battle Expenses, Free Backups and More!

For this edition of the Following the Roadmap series, Gaijin added the compensation for SL losses for those with a premium account and the detailed battle log of what actions in a battle got you your SL and RP. Both I think are good changes, though the former has an asterisk attached to that, but I have already talked about those in my coverage of the roadmap back in June, so that’s all I’m going to say for those.

However, there were other changes on the roadmap that I did not talk about in my main discussion of it because I see them as too minor to warrant their own piece in an already very long section about the roadmap, but I will cover those more minor ones here for the ones that were implemented.

  • Premium vehicles each now come with 15 backups when you buy them, and event vehicles come with 20 (that second piece wasn’t mentioned in the roadmap but it did happen).

    • I think this is good. Not much else to say. I just like it.
  • Repairing a teammate or helping them extinguish a fire now gives you score and not just SL. In ground battles, you get 40 score for helping repair up to 10 repairs and 150 points for extinguishing fires with no limit. In naval, because you don’t have to choose to repair a teammate, you just have to be near them, you get less score for it, with 10 per repair up to 10 times.

    • I think this is very good. It finally provides a much greater incentive to repair teammates than just completing whatever daily, special, or BP task requires it.
  • A timer has been added for the commander taking control of the gun on vehicles with that ability.

    • I fully agree with this change and very much like it. The fact that the gunner could be killed and it could have no functional effect on the vehicle because the commander could instantly control the gun was a bit broken and adding a small timer during which the commander cannot control the gun is very good to see.

All in all, another really good round of changes from the roadmap that I’m very happy to see.

Following the Roadmap: Battle Pass available in Simulator Battles

Yeah this is just the making of BP tasks doable in air and ground SB. It was supposed to happen in Autumn and it was pushed forward to July so it could happen with season 12 of the Battle Pass. I like it, but I already talked about it in my coverage of season 12 of the BP.

Russian Navy Day

For Russian Navy Day, Gaijin introduced the “Great emblem of the Russian Navy” decal and brought back the Pr. 7U Stroyny and the Pr. 41 Neustrashimy.

The decal is absolutely stunning because, on top of the usual bonus points for being historical, it’s also just an absolutely stunning decal.

“Great emblem of the Russian Navy” decal

The Stroyny is fine. It’s a very meh vehicle. It mainly suffers from its bad guns. The punch they pack is fine, though absolutely nothing special, but it’s a 4.3 destroyer with 4 single-gun turrets. That’s not great, but it wouldn’t be that much of an issue if they didn’t also come with a god-awful turret traverse rate. The 6 second reload also isn’t great. it’s not bad, it’s just average for the tier and certainly isn’t good enough to be any sort of redeeming factor. The armor isn’t great but that’s not unique among destroyers, but I’d absolutely not recommend buying this. It’s not very good and there is already another Pr.7U in the tree which is the Soobrazitelny.


The Neustrashimy on the other hand is very good. Being a much more modern destroyer from 1960, it gets an actually good FCS and a good radar, as well as a much better 4 second reload. In addition to that, the guns pack one hell of a punch. You do have to place your shots a little more carefully than some other destroyers, but they do serious damage. It’s everything you can want in a destroyer. The one downside to this vehicle is that its made of paper mache. The Neustrashimy can shred most things that it sees because of its good guns, but the things it sees don’t need to have particularly good guns themselves to shred the Neustrashimy in return. Pretty much all destroyers don’t have great armor, but the Neustrashimy has even less than most destroyers and is at 5.0 meaning it sees light and heavy cruisers very frequently. It can also see battleships in technicality, but the only 6.0 battleship is the IJN Kurama which is not a good ship so it doesn’t actually matter. The point is that the Neustrashimy is absolutely a glass cannon, but that cannon part is one hell of a cannon.


In summation, it was a nice event. I was mostly in it for the decal, but the Stroyny and Neustrashimy being back were nice too, especially the Neustrashimy.

Also, I find it interesting that the article was titled “Stroyny” and “Neustrashimy” for Golden Eagles and leaves out the part about it being for Russian Navy Day. We all know why it’s that way (and if you don’t, go look at the world for more than half a second), but I do find it a bit amusing.

In Detail: Air event markers in Ground Arcade Battles

Gaijin presented the In Detail articles as a new series they were doing, but to date, we’ve still only had one of them.

This article was about markers for fighters in air events in ground arcade battles. Air events in ground AB an issue where at higher tiers, fighters would stop protecting strike fighters and destroying enemy fighters and/or strike fighters, and instead would just rush the ground vehicles due to their more advanced weaponry and thus, ground vehicles would have to deal with a bunch of extra CAS and the strike fighters would no longer have fighter escort.

This absolutely was an issue and seeing Gaijin acknowledge it and address it is very nice, especially because Gaijin has a history of neglecting a lot of these sorts of systems in AB. Their solution was to make it so fighters can no longer see the markers for ground vehicles, while strike fighters still can. This makes it so, while fighters now see ground vehicles the same way they do in RB, strike fighters aren’t penalized in that way, incentivizing the vehicles to each stick more to their respective roles.

I quite like this solution partially because it actually helps address the issue, but mainly because it’s an indicator that Gaijin is not leaving a lot of these long-neglected systems behind.

Bots in War Thunder: what they are and how we plan to get rid of them

This article was about War Thunder’s botting issue and began with what was supposed to be a comprehensive summary of the issue itself. I say “supposed to be” because while it was, for the most part, fully comprehensive and acknowledged that there had been a recent surge in bots at the time of the publishing of the article on July 31st. The article did say that botting was often done for the purpose of grinding accounts to sell, and that absolutely is true.

However, they leave out one critical part of why there had been a surge in botting around that time: the premium account SL compensation. The article said that over the past couple months, they had been conducting a “comprehensive study to understand how these bots operate,” but the article doesn’t mention the premium account SL compensation as a part of that, despite it being part of the reason why the surge happened when it did. Of course the compensation would cause an increase in botting, because now, all someone has to do is pay for a little bit of premium account time and then bot that account, and that account will be physically incapable of losing SL. I still think it was an overall net positive change, but of course it would cause an increase in bots!

To be clear, I’m not saying that the study did not recognize this or that Gaijin isn’t aware of them, it almost certainly did and they almost certainly are, but the article leaves it out. I understand that sometimes, they want to leave things out so botters aren’t alerted to it because if they are alerted to it they could find their way around it, but this isn’t something botters can work their way around, and so I find it very odd that it was left out.

That being said, Gaijin is still clearly going to great effort to eradicate botting as much as they can. The article said that in the previous weekend, they had banned 215 botted accounts, which is great. However, they are also cognizant of the fact that banning all the bots will never be a long term solution. They kept their solution ideas relatively under wraps, probably so the botters wouldn’t find it out and start figuring out a workaround, but they did mention one. They said they are thinking of potentially going so far as to add a CAPTCHA before or during battle for accounts that are detected to have bot-like activity. They also make it clear that the reason that botting can be very hard to combat is because they act a lot like people in certain cases and they want to remove any possible margin of error. I think this is very good. A lot of game companies are known for being pretty trigger-happy with the ban hammer, and I really appreciate that Gaijin is not going in that direction, because as bad as bots are, I see some remaining as a better option than having a lot of false positives resulting in unrightful bans.

This has actually been one of my personal favorite articles they published the entire year because it makes clear that they are working to tackle it, they know the scope of the issue, and that they are working to tackle it specifically in a way that will only end up banning bots and not real players. I think that is a fantastic thing.


Pages of History (August)

I don’t particularly like this profile picture. It has everything that should make it good. It has an interesting historical figure, this time it’s David Currie, an interesting background, and is overall well designed on a technical level. What makes me not like the profile picture is the way they chose to draw Currie in it. Currie looks phenomenally disinterested. I know the straight face is supposed to make him look serious, and it works on most other profile pictures, but the way they drew it in this one makes him look super disinterested and as if he’s waiting for the painting to be over so he can get up and leave.

“David Currie” profile picture


For PLA Day, Gaijin brought back the T-69 II G and gave out another one of those standardized decals, this time with the WZ1001(E) LCT as the vehicle in it. The decal style, as always, I dislike, but it is one of the nicer ones, alongside the Israeli and Polish Armed Forces Day decals.

“People’s Liberation Army” decal

As for the T-69 II G, it’s a decent vehicle. Nothing about it will blow you away, but it’s still pretty decent. The turret traverse rate could be a little better, but it’s still good. The APFSDS round is nice, and while it does get an HE-VT round, I haven’t found it to be that useful because the vehicle doesn’t have great gun depression. The vehicle does also lack a thermal sight and only has NVDs, but that’s fine and you can still function perfectly well without it. Overall, a pretty decent vehicle. It won’t blow you away, but it’s a pretty nice 8.7. It’s also cool that it’s a vehicle from Bangladesh.

T-69 II G

First flight of the BAC Lightning

In commemoration of the first flight of the BAC Lightning, Gaijin brought back the Lightning Mk. 53 of the Saudi Air Force. This is straight up just a better version of the Lightning F. Mk. 6 in the tree. It’s the Lightning in the tree but with ordinance for ground strike operations. In terms of performance, at 9.3, it’s a pretty crazy vehicle. It does suffer pretty heavily from the Red Top missiles being quite unreliable, but it’s still pretty crazy purely in terms of raw performance. Still, I’d say save your money next time it comes around and don’t buy it. It’s crazy in terms of performance, but it’s not good enough to be worth it as a $60 USD premium.

Lightning Mk. 53

Summer Extreme

Summer Extreme was the summer marathon event that War Thunder does every year. The rules of the event were simple: there were stars for air, ground, and naval, and each star needed 40K score to be completed. There were also modifiers for how much the score would count for based on gamemode and vehicle rank. For each star completed, you would either get a trophy with a reward in it like the Atomic Thunder event or a prize.

Rewards for stars for pilots:

  1. Trophy with a reward
  2. Coupon for a decal
  3. Desert Spoon for Ice Cream Bucket
  4. Coupon for a decal
  5. Trophy with a reward
  6. “MotoLady” profile picture
  7. Trophy with a reward
  8. Coupon for the Su-25BM (non-tradable)
  9. Camouflage for the Su-25BM
  10. Coupon upgrade for the Su-25BM + 3 Dessert Spoons

Rewards for stars for tankers:

  1. Trophy with a reward
  2. Coupon for a decal
  3. Desert Spoon for Ice Cream Bucket
  4. le.Pz.Spw. 204 (f) (5cm)
  5. Camouflage for le.Pz.Spw. 204 (f) (5cm)
  6. “BMX” decoration
  7. Trophy with a reward
  8. Coupon for the AMV HWP (CT-CV 105HP) (non-tradable)
  9. Camouflage for the AMV HWP (CT-CV 105HP)
  10. Coupon upgrade for the AMV HWP (CT-CV 105HP) + 3 Dessert Spoons

Rewards for stars for sailors:

  1. Trophy with a reward
  2. Coupon for a decal
  3. Desert Spoon for Ice Cream Bucket
  4. Coupon for a decal
  5. Trophy with a reward
  6. “Jet ski” decoration
  7. Trophy with a reward
  8. Coupon for the HMS Renown (non-tradable)
  9. Camouflage for the HMS Renown
  10. Coupon upgrade for the HMS Renown + 3 Dessert Spoons

The event vehicles were:

  • le.Pz.Spw. 204 (f) (5cm) - Germany - Rank I - Light tank - Event premium

    • This vehicle is an AMD 35 captured by Germany and fitted with a new open-top turret with a 50 mm KwK L/42 cannon. I really enjoy this vehicle. Yes, it was the second event AMD 35 in a row, but it’s more than worth it. The vehicle is made of paper, but its gun will destroy pretty much everything at the tier and the AMD 35 chassis allows it to wheel around the battlefield at a very nice pace. It also survives a surprising amount of hits. The armor is basically nonexistent, but I’ve found in my experience that the vehicle eats a surprising amount of shots without dying. I’ve managed to survive eating 3 or 4 shots from vehicles without dying. The event camouflage is not particularly special or interesting, but it does look very good on the vehicle. The only sad thing is that it was not given out as a coupon so if you didn’t get it in the event, you can’t get it again.
  • AMV HWP (CT-CV 105HP) - Finland (Swedish tree) - Rank VII - Light tank - Event vehicle- Coupon

    • This vehicle hails from Finland and is pretty fun, but that comes with some caveats. The gun is really nice with its top round being DM33 and the vehicle can motor around the battlefield due to its wheeled chassis which also makes it the first Patria ingame. However, the vehicle is the size of a bus. It’s not quite Class 3 levels of big, but it’s pretty close. However, unlike the Class 3, I’ve found that this vehicle can’t eat rounds due to its size. It’s a decent vehicle, but it’s not phenomenal. However, in my view, it is a fantastic choice for an event prize. It’s not some famous vehicle but rather a 1-off prototype and it’s quite interesting. It also gets bonus points for being for a minor nation. I do find it somewhat sad though that this vehicle does not have a tech tree counterpart. I know it will get one eventually as more Patrias are introduced, but this vehicle as of now does not have one. The unique camouflage for this vehicle is gorgeous and is based off a real Patria prototype, though that camouflage was adapted to fit the CT-CV.
  • Su-25BM - Kazakhstan (Soviet tree) - Rank VII - Strike fighter - Event vehicle - Coupon

    • This, on the other hand, is a very bad choice for a prize. Yes, it does get points for not needing to be in a tree and not offering an experience that should have been in the tree, and it bets the bonus points for being from Kazakhstan which is a nation that doesn’t have its own tree, but it has nothing interesting to it and loses points for being an incredibly high tier prize. It currently sits at 11.0, but it came in at 11.3 which is incredibly high. The only interesting thing to it was that it was the first vehicle to get R-73s, but from the second it was added, it was clear that the Su-25T and Su-39 were also going to get R-73s and the only reason they hadn’t at the time is so the Su-25BM would have a selling point while the event was ongoing. Sure enough, only a little over a month after the event started and less than a month after the event progressed enough that the Su-25BM was available, Sons of Attila was released and the Su-25T and Su-39 got R-73s, taking away the only unique thing this vehicle had. And even with the R-73s, this vehicle is still bad. It doesn’t get the Vikhr missiles that the Su-25T and Su-39 get, so it’s just worse than them, and those vehicles are already bad. On top of that, it continues that trend I really dislike of giving out CAS planes as event prizes so those who don’t grind air have high tier CAS.

    • As for the event camouflage, it’s interesting because it’s far and out the nicest of the camouflages and is for a Bulgarian Air Force Su-25K that bears the number 246, but it’s never a camouflage that was on the Su-25BM. That would be fine, it would just be a semihistorical camouflage, except for the fact that the camouflage of the Bulgarian Air Force Su-25K bearing the number 246 already exists ingame as a camouflage on the market for the Su-25K. That being said, Gaijin’s camouflage is more accurate to the real plane than the user-made one because the user-made one is missing a white triangle slightly behind and below the cockpit. Speaking of that triangle, I actually made a bug report about it because the event camouflage had it too low and too far back compared to the real plane, and shockingly, it was actually fixed on September 27th. I just think that’s neat.

  • HMS Renown - Great Britain - Rank V - Battlecruiser - Event vehicle - Coupon

    • This is probably one of my favorite ships in the entire game from a visual perspective, right up there with the IJN Ise, Scharnhorst, and USS Alaska, but it’s not very good. As a battlecruiser, it is pretty lacking in armor, so while the guns are quite nice and it’s pretty fast for a ship of its size, but the battleships at this tier absolutely shred it if they land their shots. To be clear, it’s not a terrible ship, it’s just not a great one either. The 380 mm guns output really nice damage, the ship just can’t soak up damage in return. This is characteristic of a lot of battlecruisers, but it is a big problem for the ship. The event camouflage is pretty nice on the ship, but it loses a lot of points not just because it’s not historical, but also because the HMS renown has one insanely cool gray, black, green, and blue camouflage that it actually wore in 1942. Nonetheless, this is a very good prize choice. The tree didn’t need it because it effectively is a worse HMS Hood at the same BR, and it’s an interesting vehicle, though that is mainly for historical reasons. The only issue with this being a prize is because people can’t put the HMS Renown on fake leak lists anymore, we’re now probably going to see the HMS Minotaur on there.

The other prizes for this event ranged from nice to absolutely stunning, and they’re all themed around extreme sports, hence the event’s name. The decals were quite nice and definitely really well-designed, as were the BMX and jet ski decorations. However, the real highlight of the prizes for me is the profile picture. Called the “MotoLady” profile picture, it is absolutely stunning and easily the best one Gaijin has ever given out (yes, I am counting the furry ones in that), which is why it’s the one I use.

“BMX Racing” decal

“Paragliding” decal

“Surfing” decal

“Windsurfing” decal

“Wingsuiting” decal

“BMX” decoration

“Jet Ski” naval decoration

“MotoLady” profile picture

While I like this event overall, I do have some complaints.

  1. 40K score is too grindy. For one star, it’s fine. 40K score in 2 days is pretty easy to do in 2 days. However, if you’re trying to grind all 10 stars for all 3 gamemodes, it does become quite challenging. I was not able to complete all 30 stars for the event and I did have to buy some of them, especially the naval ones.

  2. The 4 vehicle system is bad. The summer and winter marathon events used to have 6 vehicles: a low tier and a high tier tank, plane, and ship. I really liked that system because it allowed for a lot of lower tier prizes for minor nations, especially because minor nations tend to have a lot more options at low tier than they do for high tier. This is the reason that at low tier, minor nations can have event prizes like the Ka-Chi and Turán II, but at high tier they get prizes like the F-100F and Jaguar E. I think minor nations getting high tier event prizes is good as long as it doesn’t take away from the tree, but reducing the events to 4 vehicles significantly limits their options. Another issue with only 4 vehicles is now we only have 1 premium per event, instead of 3 like in older ones.

  3. I would like to see a return to the high tier naval prizes being for the coastal fleet instead of the bluewater fleet. I’ll admit that this is a pretty personal want, but I much prefer coastal fleet to bluewater fleet and I think that top tier bluewater fleet especially is just incredibly boring. However, that’s where all the naval prizes seem to be now. The only place left with coastal fleet event prizes is the Battle Pass, and I don’t like that. Vehicles like the MPK Pr. 201K and Bussard were amazing prizes, but we just don’t see those anymore.

I think that the perfect marathon event, the one that every other one should emulate, is 2021’s Summer landing. Summer landing was practically perfect. Summer Landing had:

  • 6 vehicles:

    • Myrsky II - Finland (Swedish tree) - Rank II - Fighter - Event premium
    • Ka-Chi - Japan - Rank I - Medium tank - Event premium
    • RN Aviere - Italy - Rank III - Destroyer - Event premium
    • Buccaneer S. Mk. 1 - Great Britain - Rank VI - Strike fighter - Event vehicle - Coupon
    • BMD-4 - USSR - Rank VI - Event vehicle - Light tank - Coupon
    • Bussard - Germany - Rank V - Motor torpedo gun boat - Event vehicle
  • 8 historical decals of paratrooper units (+ a 9th if you got all 8)

  • 4 decorations for tanks

  • 2 decorations for ships

  • event camouflages for each of the vehicles, all of which are good.

Summer landing had nearly double the decals of Summer extreme, 4 times the tank decorations, twice the naval decorations, and 2 more vehicles. Plus, every single vehicle prize in Summer Landing was fantastic, not a single bad choice, and none of them were American, unlike Summer Extreme which has nothing American, but the Su-25BM which is a very bad prize choice and the HMS Renown which loses points for being a high tier bluewater fleet vehicle. On top of that, Summer Landing’s top prize for naval is a coastal fleet vessel. In fact, the only issue with Summer Landing is that the low tier vehicles aren’t coupons, but that’s an issue Summer Extreme has too. The only thing Summer Extreme definitively does better than Summer Landing is that it has a unique profile picture. However, in every other regard, it is a worse version of previous events. It’s not a bad event, it is a good one, but it is worse than not just what we could have gotten, but what we’ve already had before.

Following the Roadmap: refining landscape

This edition of the “Following the Roadmap” series was about changing a lot of maps. The big changes were:

  • Vietnam - all the water around the A point has been removed.

    • I think this was a pretty decent change. The most interesting thing about this change is that it was, for some reason, reverted.
  • Eastern Europe - Changes to the landscape and structures have been made so there’s more cover and moving between locations on the map is easier.

    • I like this change because my biggest issue with Eastern Europe was that there is so much open, flat land that allows you to be sniped across the map. That is sort of the point, but it was a huge problem because of the sheer extent of it. Granted, it still is an issue, but it is a bit better now.
  • El Alamein - Changes have been made so certain positions on the mountaintops can now be accessed in SB.

    • I don’t play SB so I can’t attest to the efficacy of these changes, but it sounds nice.
  • Jungle, Normandy, Stalingrad, Alaska, Maginot Line - Obstacles have been added and positions have been edited so many prime spawn camping positions have been removed.

    • This is quite nice, though admittedly, I have not noticed that much difference, except on Alaska where I saw a very noticeable difference.
  • Iberian Castle - A house has been removed that acted as fantastic sniping cover and allowed 1 side to have a much higher chance of winning the map.

    • Oh thank God this was fixed. I hated this position so much. Granted, I did play a lot more near the castle ruins of the C point, but every time I went near the A point, this position became something I really had to watch out for.
  • Seversk-13 - Cars that had an issue where even after being destroyed, shells could still hit their hitbox have been removed.

    • I have not experienced this very much, but I did see it a few times and this issue being gone is nice.
  • Sun City - The architecture has become much more modern and diverse.

    • I’m going to be real with you, I cannot figure out what they changed on Sun City. It looks the same to me. I’m sure they changed something, but I can’t find it.

All in all, these changes are, for the most part, nice, but none of them seem that groundbreaking.

End of the French Navy CBT

On August 8th, the French Navy CBT ended and with that, Gaijin introduced the heavy cruiser Dupleix as a rank 4 premium back.

  • Dupleix - France - Rank IV - Heavy cruiser - Pack premium

    • The Dupleix is just a slower, better Colbert with more guns and better armor at a higher BR. However, the slight increase in armament and miniscule amount of extra armor are functionally entirely meaningless, and yet they put this vehicle at 5.7 instead of 5.3. This makes the vehicle much worse than the Colbert because while the Colbert is already bad, this is a functionally identical Colbert at a higher BR which means this vehicle gets dragged up to 6.7 and sees vehicles like USS Texas, Marat, and HMS Marlborough.

Soviet Air Fleet Day

For Air Fleet Day, Gaijin brought back the Cuban MiG-17AS and gave out a decal. Starting with the MiG-17AS, I quite dislike this vehicle for 2 reasons. The first reason is that it’s just bad. It exists at 9.0 and at 9.3 there are already vehicles with R-60s, at 9.7 AIM-9Gs, AIM-9Js, and SRAAMs show up, and at 10.0 way more R-60s appear alongside AIM-9Ls, Magic 1s, and Shafrir 2s. Most things starting at 9.7 also get countermeasures. The MiG-17AS gets 2 R-3Ss and has no countermeasures whatsoever. It cannot counter any of the absolutely insane weapons and as a result, it just dies. The second reason I dislike it is that it’s a better version of the MiG-17 in the tree as a premium and at the same BR.


However, the decal for this event was fantastic. It’s called the “Russian Aerospace Forces Day” decal and it’s absolutely gorgeous, featuring a MiG-29 on it. I absolutely love this decal and I think it’s one of the most stunning decals they have given out recently. It’s very similar to the Swedish and French Air Force Day decals, but unlike the decal for French Air Force Day, this one is gorgeous.

“Russian Aerospace Forces Day” decal

Polish Armed Forces Day

For Polish Armed Forces Day, Gaijin brought back Witold Łanowski’s P-47M-1-RE and gave out another one of those standardized armed forces day decals.

Łanowski’s P-47M-1-RE is entirely identical to Bostwick’s P-47M-1-RE, except for the fact that it has a unique camouflage of the Polish Air Force. It’s a fantastic vehicle just like Bostwick’s P-47 and the P-47M is the best P-47. If you have neither of the P-47Ms and are looking to pick up one of them, there is no functional difference between them, but I would recommend this one purely because it’s rarer and it has, in my view, a nicer camouflage. However, if you already own one of them, the other is totally not worth it because it’s another $40 USD for the same vehicle (and I am saying this as someone who owns both of them).

Łanowski’s P-47M-1-RE

As for the decal, as always, I dislike the standardized decals, but this is once of the nicer ones both because I think red and white is a really nice color palette and because it has the Leopard 2 PL in it and I think the Leopard 2 PL is a gorgeous vehicle.

“Polish Armed Forces Day” decal

Following the Roadmap: research helicopters with ground vehicles, marking spawn campers and more

This was another round of very good changes, and there is one in particular that has me incredibly happy.

  • An indicator in the shape of a shield has been added so right when a vehicle spawns, if it is shot before the invulnerability timer runs out, the indicator will appear above that vehicle. This has been added so players no longer think some sort of ghost shell error has occurred when the round phases right through a vehicle without doing damage.

    • This is a nice change. I don’t find it to be particularly necessary, but it’s nice to have. Yeah, my thoughts on this are not very complex.
  • An indicator in the shape of a broken shield has been added so if a player is shot at within 20 seconds of spawning while having moved less than 40 meters from their spawn point, the indicator will appear above the player that shot them, marking that player as a spawn camper for 5 seconds.

    • While the previous change I did not find to be that necessary, this one is. I also don’t have particularly complex thoughts on this change either. I just think that it’s a good change that was needed and I am happy to see it.
  • If a team captures a point, any player that helped capture that point but died while still on the point before it could be captured will receive RP and SL rewards for contributing to the capture.

    • I think this is an absolutely fantastic change. I always found not getting a reward for a point capture even though you helped capture that point and just died before it could be captured to be absolutely ridiculous. I know that I personally have been robbed of a not insignificant quantity of rewards for helping capture a point because I died on that point defending it, even though the point in the end got captured and was about 75% of the way there when I died. I found that to be incredibly irritating, and so this change is amazing.
  • You can now research helicopters with ground vehicles.

    • I talked about this in my coverage of the initial version of the roadmap back in June, so you can refer back to that for more detailed talking points. Suffice it to say here that I find helicopters to be incredibly boring and so this is really nice.
  • Reporting a player now shows a list of every message they have sent in the chat during that battle as part of the report. In addition, an option to report hate speech has been added.

    • Oh thank God this was added. Yeah, this is the one I mentioned that makes me happier than any of the other changes. Every War Thunder player knows the experience of looking at chat, seeing someone say a bunch of horrible bigoted stuff (even if you’re seeing it because you’re the one typing it), and for those of us who report it, it was certainly very annoying to have to just file it under “Foul language” and have to explain what they said in the chat, rather than have the chat log auto-included and having a section dedicated to reporting bigoted and hateful things. I think this, though a small change, is also one of the best changes War Thunder has seen from the roadmap.

    • Also, I absolutely cannot wait for the firestorm in the comments of this article from players who say that sort of stuff in chat. I am so looking forward to seeing y’all get mad at me for this take.

In summation, I think this was another round of really good changes, especially the option to report hate speech, and is emblematic of the fact that Gaijin clearly cared when putting together this roadmap. We can debate all we want about why they cared and to what extent they cared about each factor that went into the decisions that made this roadmap, but regardless, they did care.

US National Airborne Day

For US National Airborne Day, Gaijin brought back the UH-1C (XM-30) and the "Insignia of the XVIII Airborne Corps” decal.

The UH-1C (XM30) is not very good. The UH-1C isn’t that good to begin with, unless you’re in a downtier, and the UH-1C (XM30) is the base UH-1C with a 30 mm cannon and 40 mm grenade launcher. The UH-1C is only good in a downtier because you can sit miles away and take things out with its ITOW missiles, meaning not much can touch it aside from the WZ305 with its DKY-1 round. This means that the UH-1C (XM30) is still not very good either because the UH-1C is only usable in a downtier and at far ranges, and the 30 mm cannon and 40 mm grenade launcher that make the UH-1C (XM30) unique are only usable at short ranges, at which point the only possible advantage of the vehicle is null and void. So while it is technically better than its tech tree counterpart, it functionally is not. This vehicle is absolutely not worth any amount of money.

UH-1C (XM30)

Unlike the UH-1C (XM30), I very much like the decal for this event. The XVIII Airborne Corps, also known as the Sky Dragons, took part in Operation Overlord, and their insignia makes an absolutely stunning decal. Plus, as always, it gets the usual bonus points for being historical.

“Insignia of the XVIII Airborne Corps” decal

A Sound of Thunder: the release of War Thunder Mobile

On August 15th, War Thunder Mobile (WTM) officially released and then on August 21st, a crossover event called A Sound of Thunder began. A Sound of Thunder saw rewards in both War Thunder and WTM and they could be obtained through playing WTM and either logging in with your Gaijin account or linking your Gaijin account to your Apple ID, Google Play ID, or Facebook ID. The rewards were the same in War Thunder and WTM, except for the fact that in place of the decal you got in War Thunder, you got a nickname decorator in WTM. Because this is a review of 2023 in War Thunder and not a review of WTM, I will just be covering the rewards in War Thunder which, aside from the decal, were the same as in WTM. This event lasted for 1 week from August 21st to August 28th.

For completing 5 battles in WTM, you would get a unique profile picture of an American tanker in front of what I think is an M18 GMC in both games. For completing 10 battles in WTM, you would get the “War Thunder Mobile” decal in War Thunder. For winning 3 battles in WTM, you would get the IJN Hatsuzuki with a unique WTM camouflage in both games as a unique vehicle. Finally, for taking first place in a team 3 times, you would get an M4 Sherman with a unique WTM camouflage in both games as a unique vehicle.

“Wingman” profile picture

“War Thunder Mobile” decal

  • IJN Hatsuzuki (WTM) - Japan - Rank III - Destroyer - Event vehicle

    • The IJN Hatsuzuki is a worse IJN Akizuki at the same BR. I found it to be a pretty decent vehicle. Definitely worse than the Akizuki, but a pretty decent vehicle. I sort of wish it was a coupon because I am generally against exclusivity, but I do think that for an event like the release of WTM, I think it’s ok that it’s not a coupon. I also find it interesting that while the M4 for this event is a copy-paste version of the one in the tree, there is no IJN Hatsuzuki in the tree and this is actually its own vehicle that isn’t fully copy-paste from the tree. I think this is actually totally fine considering it is a worse version of the Akizuki in the tree.
  • M4 (WTM) - USA - Rank II - Medium tank - Event vehicle.

    • It’s an M4 Sherman, of course it’s good. It’s just another vehicle to add to the absolutely bonkers American 3.7 lineup of the M24, M4, M4 (WTM), M4A1, Ram Mk. II, F6F-5, and SB2C-4. It’s a really good vehicle, though once again, not a coupon. The thing I actually find sad about this vehicle though is that it’s not classified as a vehicle from a specific event which means that because the F6F-5 and SB2C-4 were moved down to rank 2, this lineup is now entirely unusable in events because events allow rank 3+ and event vehicles of ranks 1 and 2 and as long as at least 1 vehicle in a lineup met one of those conditions, it would make the whole lineup qualify, but this M4 doesn’t count. This is really sad because this lineup was one of my primary event grinding lineups before the research changes in Sons of Attila. Yeah, you can still put the P-51, P-47D-22-RE, P-63A-5-BE, or either of the PBJ-1s in that lineup to make it qualify for events, but I’ve found in my experience that none of those are quite as effective in this lineup as the F6F-5 and SB2C-4. This is a shame because this vehicle, if it counted as a vehicle from a specific event, would have allowed this lineup to run in its most effective form as an event grinding lineup if you had this tank.

Despite some of my complaints around the M4 and IJN Hatsuzuki, I still think they were great prize choices and I think that this was overall a fantastic event, especially because WTM is a pretty fun game. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and I won’t go around playing it every single day in my free time, but it’s pretty fun.

MiG-15 enters service

For the anniversary of the MiG-15 entering service, Gaijin brought back the MiG-15bis (ISh). The MiG-15bis (ISh) is a MiG-15bis with extra ground strike ordinance. This vehicle is actually quite useful as a strike fighter for the Soviet 8.7 lineup, but I’d also say it’s not that worth your money unless you really have money to spare and really need this plane for that 1 specific role for that 1 lineup.

MiG-15bis (ISh)

80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kursk

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk, War Thunder gave out the “Vehicles of Victory: SU-152” decal and the “Molotov Cocktail” decoration. I like the vehicles of victory decals, but I don’t find them to be that interesting. The decoration of a case of molotov cocktails, however, is one of my favorite decorations in quite a while. I really love this thing and I think it’s super cool. I know it’s not a very complex analysis, I just like it. I think it’s unique and very well designed.

“Vehicles of Victory: SU-152” decal

“Molotov cocktail” decoration

Following the Roadmap: grouping vehicles, rank changes, and improvements to premium vehicles

This installment of the Following the Roadmap series contains arguably the most drastic changes in the entire roadmap: a near complete rework of the ranks and some of the vehicle ordering for every air and ground tree in the game. Tons of vehicles have been foldered reducing the grind significantly, ranks have been changed to be more in line with BRs, and several premium vehicles have been moved up in rank which makes them more efficient, but no premiums have been moved down. Top tier ground premiums have also been moved to rank 7 (which is clearly indicating that rank 8 is coming because Gaijin doesn’t like to do top rank premiums). I am going to go over a few of the changes I like and quite a few of the ones I don’t, but I must preface that even though I am complaining about changes for certain vehicles, these are minor nitpicks in the grand scheme of things and I overall think that this is an absolutely fantastic set of changes, even if there are certain vehicles that I disagree with the changes to.

Because a lot of the top tier ground premiums were moved to rank 7 across the board, I will not cover those changes individually. I’ll just say here that I like the change and the vehicles affected are:

  • M1128 “Wolfpack” - USA - Rank VII - Light tank
  • M1 KVT - USA - Rank VII - Medium tank
  • Leopard 2 A4 (PzBtl 123) - Germany - Rank VII - Medium tank
  • T-72AV (TURMS-T) - USSR - Rank VII - Medium tank
  • 2S38 - USSR - Rank VII - Light tank
  • Challenger 1 Mk. 3 “DS” - Great Britain - Rank VII - Medium tank
  • ZTZ96A (prototype) - China - Rank VII - Medium tank
  • CV 90105 (XC-8 105HP) - Sweden - Rank VII - Light tank

These are the only ground vehicle changes I wanted to cover so other than that, I’m only covering changes in the aviation trees.


  • F6F-5 - Rank III → Rank II

    • I have discussed why this is a problem in my coverage of the release of War Thunder Mobile just a few sections before this one, and it is true that this going to rank 2 means that there’s now nothing to drag that American 3.7 ground lineup to rank 3 for events, but the bigger problem with the F6F-5 going down to rank 2 is that it is now unusable for event, daily, and special tasks in naval battles in that monstrous American 3.0 coastal fleet lineup.
  • SB2C-4 - Rank III → Rank II

    • This vehicle going down is the main issue for that US 3.7 ground lineup, but in addition, it also makes this vehicle unusable for grinding daily and special tasks where you have to destroy ground targets. Yes the AD-2, AD-4, AM-1, AU-1, and A-1H still exist, all of which are insane vehicles, but the SB2C-4 was amazing because it was a much lower tier option. This is actually my least favorite change of all of them.
  • F-5C & YF-5A - Rank VI → Rank VII

    • I like this change. The F-5C is easily one of the most crazy premiums in the game and it’s at a BR that fits with it being rank 7 because the ranks are now rearranged to be roughly based on BRs. It being more efficient because it’s a rank 7 I see as a good change. I wasn’t clamoring for it, but it’s nice.

    • I’ve also thrown the event YF-5A in here because it’s the same vehicle but without premium bonuses so the same discussion applies.

  • Vautour II A, Vautour II B, Vautour II A (IDF), & Vautour II N - Rank V → Rank VI

    • Rest in peace. In all seriousness, this is a terrible change. The Vautours were already garbage vehicles, and now they’ve lost the only thing that made them even somewhat usable: their airspawn. Because rank 6+ strike fighters and bombers don’t get airspawns, the Vautour’s only possible advantage is now gone.


  • J 26 & A 28B - Branch 1 → Branch 4

    • Uhh… why? I thought the fourth branch was supposed to be a Finnish line. I know the J 34 is in that line, but before this, the J 34 was just the odd one out and not indicative of a trend. I am entirely unsure why these vehicles were moved into this line, and I don’t particularly like it.


  • Vautour II A & Vautour II N - Rank V → Rank VI

    • Exactly the same issue as the French Vautours. Goodbye airspawn, rest in peace.

I am aware that this was mostly complaining about certain vehicles, but once again, I cannot overstate just how minor these complaints are in comparison to the overall benefits the changes to the tree provided.

Note: this section has been updated to correct the erroneous statement that the F-84Fs went to rank 6. The initial draft of research changes had them going to rank 6 and I did not realize that they never ended up moving them to rank 6. Thank you to Disco_Shrimp on the WTCD Discord server for this correction.

Following the Roadmap: Reducing Research/Purchase Cost of Aircraft, map changes & more

This edition of Following the Roadmap is about the research and purchase cost of aircraft and a bunch more map changes.

The reduction in the research purchase cost of aircraft, particularly high tier aircraft, is fantastic. The highest echelon aircraft — top end vehicles like the F-14s, F-16s, MiG-29s, etc. — did not have their costs reduced by any meaningful amount, only by 10-20K SL and/or RP, and I think that’s fine, but aside from those, vehicles across the board were. This included a not insignificant number of ground vehicles, but those were mostly mid tier vehicles, and it was primarily aviation-focused. Several vehicles such as the F-4F, F3H-2, and F8U-2, among countless others, went down by over 100K in SL and RP cost, and only 1 vehicle went up in cost by any significant amount which was the F-105D which went up by 210K SL and 80K RP for some reason, but 1 vehicle being a casualty of these changes is a very small price to pay for the huge reductions across the board.

As for the map changes:

  • Poland - Spawn points have been relocated behind cover, the landscape has been altered and new small buildings have been added so the fields are less open and easy to shoot across from incredibly long ranges, the vegetation has had its color grading reworked, and the winter and summer versions of the map have been grouped in the map filter so they can be disliked or banned together (this has also been done for the winter and summer versions of Maginot Line and Seversk-13).

    • The changes on Poland were nice, but they didn’t fix the map. Poland is fundamentally flawed in its design philosophy and everything in the general vicinity of the C point and everything between the A and B points are still bad. The best change here is that the winter and summer versions of Poland have been grouped in the map filter because previously, due to you only being able to ban 1 map, you could have banned Poland and still gotten a different version of Poland. The fact that this was done for Seversk-13’s and Maginot Line’s winter and summer versions is also fantastic.
  • Karelia - overly powerful map positions around the edges have been fixed and ravines that you could’ve gotten stuck in have been reduced.

    • This doesn’t matter. I haven’t noticed any of these changes actually being meaningful and I also fully don’t believe Gaijin has fixed them because every other time they’ve “fixed” Karelia, they haven’t actually fixed anything. Second of all, Gaijin still has missed the reason this is the worst map in the game: the B point. Whichever team controls the B point controls the entire map. From point B you can snipe the A point, C point, and both spawns right after something leaves them. If a team rushes the B point and secures it, it is next to impossible for them to lose the game and because of that, this is the worst map, and yet Gaijin still hasn’t fixed it.
  • American Desert - The camping hill in the north has been removed, the area behind the railroad tracks has been redesigned, and the C point has been reworked.

    • The only one of these I believe is the camping hill that gave the team spawning in the north a huge advantage being removed. The C point is different but functionally it isn’t aside from being more open on 1 side, and I cannot for the life of me tell you what they did with the railroad tracks because I cannot notice a difference. That being said, that camping hill being removed is absolutely incredible.
  • 38th Parallel - The shooting positions in the north by the northeastern spawn have been covered up so the northern team can no longer control the entire east of the map.

    • Thank God they changed this. I hated these positions with a burning passion and the fact that Gaijin finally removed them is amazing. The map is still terrible, but at least it’s slightly less terrible now.
  • Normandy - The old C point is no longer on a hill and the church there is on much more flattened ground, the spawn points have been relocated on the east so they’re closer to the city, and the A and C capture points have been completely reworked so the A point is now at the center of the beach and the C point is at a new windmill in the center of the south.

    • I think these are all fantastic changes. I really liked the map design of Normandy, but the capture point locations weren’t that good, especially the old C point at the church which had a toned down version of the issue the B point on Karelia has where the C point used to be able to control half the map. The new capture point locations are far more balanced and the church no longer being on a hill means that issue no longer exists, and I think that’s great.
  • Jungle - The density of the foliage has been reduced and the foliage’s color grading has been changed.

    • I don’t have an opinion on this. It’s nice, I guess, but I have no thoughts or opinions on it.

Overall, I think this is a really good set of changes. Obviously the SL and RP cost reductions are great, and as for the map changes, the changes to Normandy are my personal favorites.

Part 1 - Introduction-March
Part 2 - April-May
Part 3 - June
Part 4 - July-August (current)
Part 5 - September
Part 6 - October
Part 7 - November-December
Part 8 - Hopes for 2024-Conclusion

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