War Thunder's best year: 2023 in review - Part 6 (October)

Part 1 - Introduction-March
Part 2 - April-May
Part 3 - June
Part 4 - July-August
Part 5 - September
Part 6 - October (current)
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


Pages of History (October)

This profile picture is astonishingly boring. I know John Basilone has an incredibly interesting story and I love that it’s represented ingame, but this is possibly the single most boring profile picture given out this entire year for any event. It is everything that does not work when trying to create an interesting design. There is no expression on his face, he is holding and doing nothing, and he’s just standing in front of a flag.

“John Basilone” profile picture

Moments of Valor: China

I know I said I won’t cover videos, but this is part of the event for the National Day of the PRC and I covered the Moments of Valor video for Türkiye, so I feel like I’m obligated to cover this one too.

The cinematic was a pretty fun one, but the voice acting was noticeably worse than the Turkish one, especially on the unnamed private entity that are the villains of the cinematic. That being said, the voice acting on the unnamed private entity is also very, very funny, and while I won’t spoil the final line of the cinematic, it did have me absolutely keeling over because of the line delivery.

German Unity Day

For German Unity Day, Gaijin brought back the Sea Hawk Mk. 100 and Pz.Sfl. Ic for GE as well as gave out a decal of two German cars flying German flags. The decal is pretty nice and it’s unlike the style of most other decals ingame which I really like, but something about it I personally find to be slightly off. It’s a good decal nonetheless, but I think it could have been a bit better.

“German Unity Day” decal

The Sea Hawk Mk. 100 is a pretty good CAS option, but that’s it’s primary use. It does get 2 AIM-9Bs which is quite nice because nothing else at 8.0 gets AAMs, but I find it primarily useful as a CAS plane for the 8.0 lineup, and it’s pretty good at that because it gets 2 1,000 lb bombs and 4 500 lb bombs. It’s worth it if you specifically want an 8.0 CAS plane that’s also a decent-ish fighter, but it has been supplanted by better premium choices.

Sea Hawk Mk. 100

The Pz.Sfl. Ic is much more worth it. This is a super fun vehicle with a very nice gun that can motor around the battlefield, scouting enemies and getting kills from flanking positions. The way you play this vehicle is you quickly get to a flanking position, get a kill or 2, move somewhere else, rinse and repeat. Shoot, reposition, shoot, reposition, shoot, reposition. That’s how you play this tank and it is incredibly fun. I’d absolutely say this tank is worth it for pretty much anyone.

Pz.Sfl. Ic

80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Caucasus

In honor of the 8th anniversary of the Battle of the Caucasus, Gaijin brought back the KV-1E and Il-2M “Avenger” for a limited time and gave out the “RM-40” decoration as well as the "Vehicles of Victory: Po-2” decal.

Since I’ve covered them before, I’ll keep the vehicle reviews brief. The Il-2M “Avenger” is not that great, is just a copy of the Il-2M in the tree, and is not worth it, but the KV-1E is absolutely incredible due to the increase in armor and is absolutely worth your money.

Il-2M “Avenger”


The "Vehicles of Victory: Po-2” decal is definitely my favorite of the Vehicles of Victory decals. Part of this is that I am deferential to planes, but I think the really neat thing about this decal is it’s designed to look like a model. It’s not a Po-2 flying, it’s a Po-2 in a flying position on a model stand. I think that’s a very cool design choice. I really like this sort of theming in War Thunder, it’s the same reason that the theme for the Wargame “Strategist” event of a War Thunder boardgame where you have to build miniatures was the coolest theme of any event ever, and while it’s a small touch, it’s something I want to see more of.

“Vehicles of Victory: Po-2” decal

As for the “RM-40” decoration of the RM-40 mortar, I don’t have much to say. It looks nice, it’s well-modeled, and I’m happy to have it, but that’s sort of it.

“RM-40” decoration

248th birthday of the US Navy

For the 248th birthday of the US Navy (USN), Gaijin brought back the USS Cowell and gave out the “Famous Ships: USS Missouri” decal.

The USS Cowell is a USS Fletcher with better anti-air armament. That does mean that I disagree with the existence of this premium because it’s better than its tech tree counterpart, but I would still recommend getting it. The USS Cowell’s glory days of being a certifiable beast are long gone, but it’s still a very good destroyer that I really enjoy and would definitely recommend.

USS Cowell

The decal I’m also a big fan of. This is another decal series like the standardized Armed Forces Day (which I dislike) and Vehicles of Victory decals, and I like this series. The decal for the USS Constitution was a very nice one, and while I personally prefer that one to this one for the USS Missouri, I still really like this one. I hope we see more decals like this but for nations aside from the USA.

“Famous Ships: USS Missouri” decal

First flight of the S.O.4050 Vautour II

In honor of the first flight of the S.O.4050 Vautour II, Gaijin brought back the premium Vautour II N for a limited time. I’ll keep it brief, don’t waste your money on this vehicle. It’s not worth it. The Vautour II always gets lemming trained-after by at least 2-3 players per game, and now that it has lost its airspawn, it’s a nigh unusable vehicle. Stay away.

Vautour II N

Following the Roadmap: We’d like to hear your feedback on our proposed Aircraft Destruction Mechanics & Night Battles design

This edition of Following the Roadmap focused not on what had been changed, but was instead requesting feedback on a change Gaijin planned to make. There were 2 mechanics they wanted feedback on: their proposed design for night battles and the new “severe damage” mechanic.

In the new night battles system, they are only available in ground realistic battles starting at BR 10.0 and are disabled by default, with the option to enable them being a button next to the button for the map selector in ground RB. Pressing this button brings you to a screen with the option to toggle night battles on as well as a list of the unique rewards you can get for getting score in night battles.

The unique rewards are:

  • Prowler in the Night - Title - 2500 score

  • Emblem of 415th Special Operations Squadron - Decal - 7500 score

  • Modern helmet with NVG - Decoration - 15000 score

  • Special Forces Soldier - Profile picture - 25000 score

  • “Club Night Battles” neon sign - Decoration - 40000 score

  • Warrior of the Night - Title - 60000 score

  • Night Battle - Loading screen - 80000 score

  • Night Hunter - Profile picture 100000 score

  • Lord of the Night - Title - 150000 score

All of these rewards are really nice. The highlights for me are the “Modern helmet with NVG” decoration, which is a FAST XP helmet fitted with a GPNVG night vision sight, and the Night Battle loading screen being the highlights for me. When it was initially unveiled, I wasn’t a huge fan of the design of the loading screen, and while it has grown on me, I still and not that much of a fan of the loading screen due to the way it is split into 3 bars, each with its own art. I think a much better choice would have been to settle on 1 idea for the loading screen.

As for the overall system itself, I think it’s very good. Being forced to play night battles when you had no NVDs or thermals unlocked was absolutely horrible, especially on insanely large maps like Pradesh where the combat efficacy afforded by thermals is exponentially higher than that of vehicles without them. For that reason, this change is amazing. My one gripe is the way they chose to set the limits. I don’t think having the limit be at BR 10.0 is a good idea because there are several vehicles below 10.0 that have thermal sights and could be used for this. I would suggest a system in which, assuming you have enabled night battles, being put in a night battle will only occur of 1 of the ground vehicles in your lineup has thermals unlocked for lineups of 2 ground vehicles, if 2 of the ground vehicles in your lineup have thermals unlocked for lineups of 3-4 ground vehicles, and if at least 3 of the ground vehicles in your lineup have thermals unlocked for lineups of 5 or more ground vehicles.

The severe damage mechanic is more interesting.

For the longest time in War Thunder, there have been scenarios in which a plane that has been killed can still fly back to base and repair. With the new severe damage mechanic, if a plane that previously would have been counted as dead will now be counted as severely damaged and the kill would not be credited until the player is further finished off.

When the severely damaged player is killed, if the player that severely damaged them kills them, it will count as a kill. If a severely damaged plane is finished off by someone other than the person who severely damaged them, the person who severely damaged them will receive the new “Severe Damage” award which amounts to slightly less than the award for a kill, and the player who finished them off will receive the “Finished Off” award, which counts for the remainder of the rewards that would add up to the rewards of a kill. If a player severely damages a plane and that plane is later killed by another player, both players get kills credited to their stats and those kills count towards camouflages and other tasks.

I really like this mechanic because it effectively solves killstealing. I think this is a much better system than the previous one and I am all for it.

I really like not only these changes, but the fact that they actually asked for feedback on them before putting them in. I think this is a really good thing.

Trafalgar Day

For Trafalgar Day, Gaijin gave out a decal similar in style to the standardized “Famous Ship” decals they’ve done, except it says “Royal Navy” on it, and brought back the HMCS Haida.

The HMCS Haida is a Tribal-class destroyer, so it’s pretty good. The Tribals are pretty good all-rounder destroyers and the Haida is no exception. I dislike that it’s better than its tech tree counterpart because it’s an HMS Eskimo with better AAA, but it’s not absurdly better or anything like that. Though, the fact that it has 12 20 mm cannons instead of 2 20 mm cannons and 4 12.7 mm machine guns like on the HMS Eskimo is very useful. I’d say it’s worth your money if you just want a small novelty vehicle and have money to burn.

HMCS Haida

The decal I’m a big fan of. It does appear to be the start of another one of the standardized decals series, but I really like this one and unlike the armed forces day decal series, I really like the style of this one. It’s a decal of HMS Victory and was pretty easy to get.

“Famous Ships: HMS Victory" decal

A nice little event overall.

First flight of the UH-1 Iroquois

For the first flight of the UH-1, Gaijin brought back the UH-1C (XM30). I’ve already reviewed this vehicle when I covered US National Airborne Day back in August, so I’ll just say that this vehicle isn’t good, it’s not worth your money, and don’t buy it.

UH-1C (XM30)

Anniversary Tournament Live Stream with Twitch Drops!

This is about tournaments and I don’t care for tournaments so I’m just covering the twitch drops. The tournaments were the Air Superiority 4v4 Campaign and the WT11 Fire-Front 5v5 Campaign, and twitch drops could be obtained for each of these.

For the Air Superiority 4v4 Campaign tournament you could get:

  • October 28th (15:15-22:00 UTC), 29th (15:15-22:00 UTC), November 4th (15:15-22:00 UTC), and 5th (15:15-22:00 UTC):

    • “Golden Sun” camouflage for the F-16CM-50
    • “Lightning Storm” camouflage for the F-16D-40 Barak II
    • “Bumblebee” camouflage for the Yak-141
    • “eSports Megaphone” decoration

The decoration is nice, the camouflage for the Yak-141 isn’t great, and the F-16CM camouflage is decent, but the real highlight is the Barak II’s camouflage which is absolutely stunning and definitely the second best camouflage from these Twitch drops.

“Esport Megaphone” decoration

For the WT11 Fire-Front 5v5 Campaign tournament you could get:

  • November 11th (15:15-22:00 UTC), 12th (15:15-22:00 UTC), 18th (15:15-22:00 UTC), and 19th (15:15-22:00 UTC):

    • “Fliegonodrom” camouflage for the Tornado IDS (ASSTA 1)
    • “Quick Response” camouflage for the MiG-29SMT
    • “Hanagasumi” camouflage for the F-16AJ
    • “Fire Starter” camouflage for the AH-64D

The Tornado IDS (ASSTA 1)'s camouflage is decent, as is the MiG-29SMT’s camouflage, but they’re nothing special. I do find the AH-64Ds camouflage to be kind of ugly and it’s easily my least favorite out of all of the Twitch drop camouflages. However, the F-16AJ’s skin blew me away. The cherry blossom design on it makes it easily the best of the Twitch drop camouflages and it’s not even close. I absolutely love this camouflage and I can’t wait to use it when I get the F-16AJ.

For participating in any of the tournaments, you would also get another unique decal which I think looks incredibly cool.

“War Thunder 11th Anniversary — Esport” decal

They also gave out the Snailonidas pack. This pack, which cost $2.99 USD, contained 300 GE, the “Snailonidas” title, and the “Hoplomachus snail” decal which I unfortunately cannot show you because I do not have an image of it with a transparent background. The pack also contained the “War Thunder eSports” decal that was available for watching a previous round of Twitch drops, and I actually can show you that one.

“War Thunder eSports” decal

I generally think these were pretty nice drops, but I really wish they gave the AH-64D a better camouflage for them.

Battle Pass Season 13 “Tropical Storm”

This is where Gaijin allocated their 1 really good Battle Pass season per year. Every year we get 1 really good BP season. 2 years ago it was Steel Centurion with the T55E1, Z 25, ITP (M-1), and Centurion Mk. 5/1 (R.A.A.C.) (though in all fairness the other 3 that year were also good), last year it was Smell of Victory with the LCM(6)(F) “Zippo”, Churchill Mk. VII Crocodile, and A-1H, and this year it is Tropical Storm.

Tropical Storm is a fantastic season. 2 out of the 3 vehicle prizes are fantastic choices, and the third one is still pretty decent, though it has a very disappointing story behind it. That being said, let’s look at the vehicles!

  • HMS Gay Archer (P1041) - Great Britain - Rank III - Motor torpedo boat - Event premium

    • This vehicle was announced as having a 20 mm cannon and a 40 mm cannon on it. However, a day before this Battle Pass season started, it was changed to have no 40 mm cannon on the back and a several other model changes including the 40 mm gun and the radar. It turns out that Gaijin had originally modeled the HMS Gay Archer in its configuration after its civilian refurbishment which gave it a 20 mm gun on the rear and a mockup radar that did not resemble the one in active service. A day before Tropical Storm started Gaijin edited the HMS Gay Archer to its service configuration due to a bug report which meant it no longer had a 20 mm gun. It’s sad that it lost the 20 mm gun, but I think its a net benefit to have it in its service configuration. I also… um… like the name

    • Note: The section has been corrected after the initial publication of this article to contain the real story of which fit of the HMS Gay Archer was its service fit. I had originally incorrectly stated that the HMS Gay Archer’s service fit had the 20 mm gun and that the configuration without the 20 mm gun was its privately-owned configuration. Thank you to jon_man1199 on the WTCD Discord server for this correction and for informing me of the bug report about it.

  • Breda 52 (90/53) - Italy - Rank III - Tank destroyer - Event premium - Coupon

    • Okay, now the prizes start to get good. This is an excellent prize. It fulfills all of my criteria for a good prize. It’s unique, it’s an experience not needed in the tree because it’s just a giant donk gun and Italy has plenty of those already which also satisfies the tech tree counterpart need, it’s unique and interesting, it’s not even close meta-defining, and it gets bonus points for being for a minor nation. This is what I look for in a good prize. This is both an excellent BP prize and an excellent prize generally.
  • Strikemaster Mk. 88 - New Zealand (British tree) - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Event premium - Coupon

    • This is the crown jewel of this Battle Pass season not only because it’s the top prize, but also because it’s an absolutely phenomenal one! To me, the Strikemaster Mk. 88 is about as good as a BP prize can get. It meets all the criteria that the Breda 52 (90/53) meets except for the fact that it only gets a half point for the minor nation bonus points because Great Britain is only a semi-minor nation ingame, and is also just such a cool prize choice. On top of introducing the Kiwis into the game, it’s a super unique choice for a prize. it seems Gaijin is doing 1 top plane prize per year, and this is a great choice. Is it a good vehicle? No, not really. It only gets 2 7.62 mm machine guns meaning it’s useless as an air-to-air vehicle. The rockets on it are pretty nice, as are the bombs, but above everything else it’s just such a perfect way to introduce such a weird jet into the game. This is the perfect embodiment of the criteria I laid out for having something unique to it. It doesn’t have a tech tree counterpart, but it doesn’t lose points for that because it doesn’t need one. This is the pinnacle of 2023 Battle Pass prizes. Well done Gaijin, well done!

The decorations and decals are great. They’re very well designed, especially the decorations. My personal favorite is the Waka decoration. The Waka is a type of canoe used by the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand, known as Aotearoa in the Māori language. This actually brings me to my one gripe with the season: the theme. The theme of this season is New Zealand. I think the theme is super cool in theory, and it was executed decently, but it could have been executed much better by leaning into the uniqueness of New Zealand and the culture of the Māori people that have called it home for the past 700 years. I think it would have been much more interesting to have all the decorations and decals as well as the profile picture be based on Māori culture. Instead of having a gun, a pilot’s helmet, and a Waka as the decorations, the decorations could have been the Waka, a pūtātara or karanga weka, both of which are traditional Māori instruments, and a Taiaha, which is a type of weapon used by the Māori people. The same idea goes for the decals, and instead of a strike pilot for the profile picture, it could have been a person in traditional Māori dress with the tattoos of the Māori people that are unique to each individual. Of course, they did not have to go with this theme, but I think that if they’re already theming based on New Zealand, they should have leaned much more into what makes New Zealand unique.

Note: if any person reading this is of the Māori people and knows that I have said something incorrect about or offensive to the Māori, please send me a message so I can correct it.

“Emblem of the 27th Strike Fighter Squadron” decal

“Emblem of the 87th Strike Fighter Squadron” decal

“Emblem of the 125th Strike Fighter Squadron” decal

“Emblem of No. 75 Squadron” decal

“Mk.1A” decoration

“Assult rifle (Italy)” decoration

“Waka” naval decoration

“Strikemaster pilot” profile picture

As for the challenges, they were pretty standard and none are of note, aside from Awakening the Volcano. Awakening the Volcano is a challenge that requires you to play 5 air, ground, and naval battles, destroying 1 ground or naval unit, 1 aircraft, and capturing 1 point. This is a super irritating challenge because the air part of it can only be done in air arcade, and it relies on you getting a domination map in air arcade. This is a super irritating challenge that they have done twice before and each time it was very annoying. Still, it’s not that bad.

The warbonds for this season are quite good. The “Capricorn” decal is gorgeous, but the real standouts among the vehicles available are the Soviet P-47D-27-RE which has appeared in the Warbond Shop before, and the American USS Frank Knox and Swedish Sherman Mk. III (M3), which appeared in the shop for the first time this season. These are all great options, specifically the USS Frank Knox because it’s such a great grinder and the Sherman Mk. III (M3), because it’s the only Sherman Sweden has and so it offers a playstyle that you cannot find in the Swedish tree.

Overall, I’d say this was an exceptional season. The theme may have not been executed as well as I wanted it to, but the secondary prizes were still great, the coastal fleet prize was pretty decent, and the ground and especially the air prize were phenomenal. I am super happy with this season and while I know it won’t be, I really want this to be the standard for all seasons.

First flight of the J 35 Draken

For the first flight of the J 35 Draken, Gaijin brought back the J 35A-1 for a limited time. The J 35A-1 was one of the rank 6 premiums removed from sale back in May and it’s very good. Like all of the removed rank 6 premiums, it’s long past its glory days, but the J 35 is one of, if not the single best turning jet in the entire game, and even without flares, the stuff it can do is insane. It can pull some of the most insane maneuvers I’ve ever seen and it is an incredibly good plane. It also gets 4 Rb 24s, which are AIM-9B missiles, which, while not great missiles, are useful for picking off slow enemies and getting them to turn so you can kill them with guns. However, it’s not worth your money purely because for an extra $10 USD, you can get the Saab 35 S (I know Gaijin calls it the J35XS but that’s an entirely fictitious name and I’m not calling it that) which is a J 35 that gets 12 large caliber countermeasures and 6 Rb 24Js, which are AIM-9P-3 missiles. The Saab 35 S is also insanely good and tier for tier is better than the J 35A-1.

J 35A-1

100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye

For the 100th birthday of the Republic of Türkiye, Gaijin gave out a decal and brought back the T129 ATAK. I’ve said before in this article that I don’t care for helicopters and so I don’t know how the T129 ATAK is, and this still remains true. It’s decent in helicopter EC, but I can’t attest to how it is in PvP battles.

As for the decal, which is called the “100 years of the Turkish Republic” decal, it’s nice, but I do think it could have been designed better. I think having a horseman silhouette with the turkish flag in it is a cool idea, but it looks weird when a piece of the first 0 in the 100 on the decal being almost entirely cut off looks weird. I think it would have been better if the star and crescent on the Turkish flag was used as the second 0 in the 100. Still, it’s a nice decal

“100 years of the Turkish Republic” decal


Eyyyyy funny Po-2 time let’s goooooooo!!

Every Halloween, Gaijin gives out the Po-2 again. The Po-2 used to be the starter plane in the Soviet tree’s bomber line, but in 2013 it was removed due to simply being just that bad of a starter plane, with a max speed of only 135 km/h. Since that year’s Halloween, the Po-2 has been given out every year for the top 1,000 people in the “Witch Hunt” race event that happens every Halloween. In that event, you pilot the Po-2 “Night Witch”—a special Halloween-themed race variant of the Po-2—through a race course for 2 laps around it.

I really like the race event idea in theory, but I find it to be executed only moderately well. First of all, I dislike the concept of only the top 1,000 getting this vehicle. The Po-2 is a veritable legend in War Thunder and only 1,000 people getting it every year is something I really dislike. I was lucky enough to get it in 2022, but the fact that me getting it means someone else didn’t is something I see to be bad. Second of all, the gear-breaking meta in this race event is bad. There has been a consistent meta in this event that if you can fly close to the water and get the water to knock just the landing gear off but keep the rest of the plane intact, you go way faster. This is pretty much the only way to win this event and I think that your ability to win an event being conditional on if you can break your plane properly is not a good thing, and irritatingly, Gaijin gas said this is not a bug, but an intended feature. To fix this, I think that 1) the completion requirement needs to be completing a certain number of races or getting a certain number of score in the event, not being in the top 1,000, and 2) the gear-breaking meta needs to be stopped and just for this event gamemode it needs to be made so if the gear brakes, the whole plane breaks.


Po-2 “Night Witch”

In addition to the “Witch Hunt” race event for the Po-2 each year, there is also the “Through creepy places” race event for ground in which you drive the M18 Hellcat through a race track. There is no unique vehicle you earn for this, but for both events, you could get the Dead Man’s Chest trophy with decals in it.


This year there were 2 new decals in it. One was the “The Bat” decal, which I find to be rather middling, but the other was the “Angry Black Cat” decal which I think looks absolutely stunning and is a perfect event decal. Amusingly, when they were released, their names were switched.

“Angry Black Cat” decal

“The Bat” decal

This overall was a pretty nice Halloween event. I dislike the system for earning the Po-2, but I do really enjoy the fact that you can still earn it.

Update 2.31 “Kings of Battle”

Yes, this is a bad update name and yes, the Russian name was better because “Kings of Battle” is a bad translation of the Russian name for this update which was “Gods of War.”

On the final day of October, update 2.31 “Kings of Battle” was released. With only 28 vehicles, Kings of Battle is the single smallest War Thunder update in terms of the number of vehicles of the past few years. However, small does not necessarily mean bad. Not by a longshot. Kings of Battle absolutely did introduce a lot of cool vehicles (mostly ground vehicles), but the quality of life (QoL) changes are just as important. But before we look at those QoL changes, let’s look at the vehicles.


  • USA:

    • F-111A - Rank VII - Strike fighter - Tech tree


      • Anyway, the F-111A is decent. It turns quite nicely at medium speeds in the 650-750 km/h range, gets 52 large countermeasures which makes the countermeasures really effective, and can carry 8 missiles. The catch is that those 8 missiles are only AIM-9Bs and this plane is 10.3. However, it really shines in ground RB. It can carry 4 AGM-12B Bullpup air-to-ground missiles which isn’t that impressive, but it has the most ludicrous bomb load in the entire game: 50 500 lb bombs! That same insane number of hardpoints also lets it carry off to 456 Mighty Mouse rockets. As for that funny ejection seat I talked about, the entire cockpit module ejects as 1 piece and the animation for it is absolutely stunning!

  • Germany:

    • MiG-29G - Rank VIII - Fighter - Tech tree

      • Oh yay, another plane that continues the trend of Germany getting everything 1 patch later than the USSR. Regardless, the MiG-29G is super nice to see. It is just a MiG-29 (9-12A) that loses the R-60 and R-60MK, and instead gets the R-27ET1 and R-73E. This makes it a nearly identical competitor to the MiG-29SMT. It’s a really good vehicle. It was a bit better before the F-15 and Su-27 were added (so it was better for exactly 1 patch), but it’s still a pretty good vehicle. I don’t have much to say about it, it really is just Germany’s MiG-29SMT, but it’s nice to see. The issue with it is it continues the long running trend of the German tree getting stuff either after the USSR does or as an event vehicle first. First Germany got the F-4F (early) as an event vehicle before the F-4F in the tree, then it got the MiG-21bis (SAU) in the tree a full year after the USSR got the MiG-21bis in the tree, then the MiG-23MF as an event vehicle while Germany still does not and in all likelihood never will have a MiG-23 in the tree, then the MiG-29 (9-12A) 1 patch after the USSR got the MiG-29 (9-13), and now the MiG-29G 1 patch after the USSR got the MiG-29SMT. It’s a continued pattern that Germany sees again, and again, and again. This is not me complaining that Germany suffers, this is me complaining about a parity issue where Germany consistently gets stuff at least 1 patch after the USSR does.
  • China:

    • JH7A - Rank VIII - Strike fighter - Tech tree

      • The JH7A is an interesting aircraft. For one, it’s absolutely massive. It may look small, but if you look at the size of the cockpit compared to the rest of the plane, you’ll realize that it’s the size of a house. It’s double the size of an F-16! Beyond that, it’s also just interesting because it’s China’s first fully, 100% indigenously designed plane in the tree. The Q5s are still descended from the MiG-19, the J8s are descended from the J7s which are themselves descended from the MiG-21, the F-16A-20 is just an F-16, and the real J11 is really similar to the Su-27, but Gaijin didn’t even add that, they added the Su-27SK that China bought and called it the J11. But the JH7A is different. It is fully Chinese in origin and I am very happy to see it. As for how it performs, it’s primarily a ground RB plane. Currently, it’s pretty good at it, but that wasn’t always the case. When the JH7A came out, it was missing much of its useful ordinance. It had the LS500J and LS1000J guided bombs, but that was it for guided weaponry. Only in update Air Superiority did it get the TS250 guided bombs and, critically, the Kh-29T air-to-ground missile. With that, it’s actually rather decent now.


  • USA:

    • M109A1 - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • The M109s are the stars of this update and came to 5 countries. However, the best version of it, the M109A1, came only to the USA and Great Britain. The M109A1 is pretty good. It’s turret traverse is decent, the gun is great, and unlike its Chinese counterpart at the same BR, the PLZ83, it is not the size of a house. I have a personal distaste for giant donk guns, which I’ve been very vocal about throughout this entire article, and I’m not going to pretend like this vehicle cured that. But despite my dislike of giant howitzers, I have pretty thoroughly enjoyed the M109s. The benefit of the M109A1 is that it has a much longer gun which translates to its shells having a much faster muzzle velocity and thus much nicer ballistics. I’d recommend it, though it is certainly not everyone’s style.
    • T54E2 - Rank V - Medium tank - GE premium

      • The T54E2 is the same as the T54E1, except for the fact that it has a standard manually-loaded turret. It’s decent enough, but I heavily disagree with it being a premium. The T54E1 is already a premium, so now there will never be a T54 in the tree, depriving players of that experience unless they pay for a premium. The only way around this would be if Gaijin added the T54 to the American tree, but that is incredibly unlikely. In summary, this is a bad choice for a premium and it should have been in the tree.
  • Germany:

    • PzH M 109 G - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • The Panzerhaubitze M 109 G differs from the other M109s only in being one of the short-barreled variants and not having a high caliber machine gun, instead possessing a lower caliber 7.62 mm machine gun instead. It is all but identical to the other short-barreled M109s in the Italian and Israeli trees and, like them, is quite fun. It does though have noticeably worse ballistics. While I have not played this vehicle in particular, I have spaded the Israeli M109 which is functionally identical aside from the machine gun, and I can attest to it being quite enjoyable, even if not the best vehicle.
  • USSR:

    • BTR-152D - Rank III - SPAA - Tech tree

      • The BTR-152D is a super nice addition for multiple reasons. For one, it helps even further close the giant SPAA hole the USSR used to have that now has been almost completely filled, with the only arguable gap left being needing something around 4.3-4.7. Beyond that though, it’s also just really good. It’s a BTR-152A with 2 extra guns which means it can lay down much more fire. Plus, those guns are brutally effective. Soviet 14.5 mm machine guns are really good, especially against aircraft, and I’d argue they’re some of the best machine guns in the game. This vehicle having access to 4 of them means it is incredibly potent and it’s great to see it added.
    • Object 775 - Rank VI - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • Ah yes, the famed Pancake tank. The Object 775 is easily the strangest vehicle added in Kings of Battle. It’s also pretty decent. It has an ATGM with nice penetration and its hydropneumatic suspension allows both for shots it normally would not be able to pull off and for ultimate memes by making it even shorter than the L3/33 CC. To boot, its reload is only 6 seconds! That means that if you don’t kill in 1 shot, you’ll have the next one ready to go within a few seconds of the previous one hitting, or even before the previous one hits if you’re playing on Pradesh. The final main strength of this vehicle is that it’s really hard to kill because the upper frontal plate has decent thickness, but it’s turned into insane thickness by the absolutely ludicrous angle on it. As for the downsides, they’re mainly that if it is penetrated, it will die because of the giant autoloader taking up the entire center of the vehicle and because it only has 2 crewmembers, the fact that it has an abysmal reverse gear, and that the hydropneumatic suspension can only get you so far as it’s a Soviet vehicle meaning it still has pretty bad gun depression. However, it’s still pretty good.
    • M109A1 - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • It’s identical to the American M109A1. I have nothing more to say than that. Pretty decent, go read my review of the American one which is also in the section for this patch.
    • Vickers Mk. 11 - Rank VI - Light tank - Tech tree

      • The Vickers Mk. 11 is Britain’s parallel to the M1128 MGS or AMV HWP (CT-CV 105HP). It’s a decent vehicle. It has a good gun with nice shells, a decent turret traverse, and is very mobile, though it does suffer from being as big as a barn. It’s a very nice vehicle to see not just because it’s pretty good, but, and in fact more importantly in my opinion, because it’s continuing and building upon this trend of adding lesser known prototypes to these trees. I think that trend is great not just because it adds more unique experiences, but also because that’s the beauty of War Thunder. The beauty of this game is that vehicles which never saw the light of day in real life can still be given a second life in War Thunder and that’s why I love seeing vehicles like this.
  • Japan:

    • Type 81 (C) “Tan-Sam Kai” - Rank VII - SPAA - Tech tree

      • This is unquestionably one of the best SPAAs in the game, even without the ability to use photocontrast mode in conjunction with other modes—an ability it does have in real life. This is an incredibly good SPAA. The fact that it hasn’t gone up in BR to 10.3 from 10.0 yet baffles me, but either way, it’s great to see. Japan has been lacking an actually useful SPAA for years. The last time it got an SPAA before this patch was Starfighters in 2020, and that was the Type 93 which is a complete pile of garbage. The fact that an SPAA this good was added and to Japan no less, a nation known in War Thunder for, among other things, having terrible SPAAs and very few of them, is both a miracle and fantastic!
  • China:

    • PLZ83 - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • I mentioned this vehicle briefly in my section on the American M109A1, but I really dislike this vehicle. Once I start spading a vehicle, I tend to not stop until it is spaded. However, I gave up spading this vehicle (though I will probably get around to finishing it at some point) specifically because of just how little I enjoy it. The PLZ83 has nearly all the same characteristics as the M109A1, except for 1 detrimental issue: it’s as tall as a 10 story building. The thing dies way more easily than the M109A1 just because it’s so incredibly tall and thus incredibly easy to see. It can’t really be hid behind cover because the turret above the gun is so tall, and it makes the vehicle super frustrating. I do not recommend this vehicle at all.
  • Italy:

    • Leopard 1 A2 (40/70) - Rank IV - SPAA - Tech tree

      • I called the AMX 10P an “SPAA” because it was an IFV added as an SPAA, but this vehicle I call an “SPAA” for exactly the opposite reason: it’s an SPAA, but functionally it’s also a tank destroyer. The Leopard 1 A2 (40/70) is an insanely good vehicle, both as an SPAA and as tank destroyer. I don’t have much more to say, beyond the fact that it’s very good and that a Leopard hull at 5.3 is kind of crazy.
    • 155/23 M109 - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • It’s functionally identical to the German M 109 G, except for getting a high caliber 12.7 mm pintle-mounted machine gun instead of the entirely useless 7.62 mm one the German M109 gets. That’s it.
  • France:

    • AMX 10P - Rank IV - SPAA - Tech tree

      • The AMX 10P is an “SPAA” following in the footsteps of the Wiesel 1 A4, and by that I mean it’s an IFV added as an SPAA. However, it’s worse. It’s a Wiesel 1 A4, but it’s fatter, has a worse fire rate, and bad max elevation for an SPAA. The AMX 10P has been long anticipated, but it really is not worth it. Plus, France already has a fantastic 5.3 lineup and the AMX 10P is not needed in it.
    • M26 - Rank IV - Medium tank - Tech tree

      • It’s an M26, that’s it. It’s functionally identical to the American M26. It’s pretty good, but it’s not interesting and I don’t have anything else to say about it, beyond the fact that it’s copy-paste, but also, I’m fine with it because it makes France’s 6.3 lineup better.
  • Sweden:

    • Pbv 501 - Rank IV - Light tank - Tech tree

      • The Pbv 501 is a BMP-1 without the ATGM, and it’s very good. I never liked the shell’s ballistics, but the shell itself is really powerful, especially at 6.7. The speed of this vehicle combined with that round make it really effective if it’s used properly as a flanker, and it can also frontally penetrate nearly anything at its tier as long as you can get the drop on them (though that absolutely should not be your main strategy). The thing to note with this vehicle though is that it’s not a vehicle for everyone. This vehicle has an EVE Online-like learning curve, and by that I mean it’s a learning cliff. However, I’d still absolutely say it’s worth it.
  • Israel:

    • M109 - Rank IV - Tank destroyer - Tech tree

      • This is just like the Italian M109, but it doesn’t get smoke launchers. Still fun, just not unique. My gripe with this vehicle though is that Israel could have gotten the Rochev Alef, which are slightly modified M109A1s and M109A2s, but instead it just got the standard M109. Yes, it did get the Rochev Alef based on the M109A1 in the following update and I understand the benefit of adding the standard M109 because at 6.0 it has a lineup unlike the 6.3 Rochev Alef, but I think it would have been better to see them added in tandem.


  • USA:

    • MH-60L DAP - Rank VII - Attack helicopter - Tech tree

      • The MH-60L DAP is quite good. The 16 AGM-114K ATGMs it gets are very nice and it performs rather well. That, plus the 90 countermeasures it gets, makes it a pretty decent helicopter. This vehicle thrives on the helicopter equivalent of light tank gameplay: shoot, reposition; shoot, reposition; shoot, reposition. However, as I have said before in this article, I do not play helicopters and as such do not have much extra commentary to add.
  • USSR:

    • Mi-8AMTSh - Rank VI - Attack helicopter - Tech tree

      • The Mi-8AMTSh is an Mi-8 that, instead of getting the 9M17M Falanga as its top ATGM, gets the much better 9M114 Shturm, 9M39 Igla air-to-air missiles, and 128 countermeasures. This makes it much more effective than the Mi-8, but the price it pays for that is being at 9.7. Being 9.7 comes with a big issue for the Mi-8: it’s very fat. Yes, the Mi-8TB and TBK are also very fat, but at 9.7, getting missiles fired at you is much more common and it’s really hard to maneuver out of the way of much better missiles than what you’ll see at 8.7 when you’re the size of a bus.
  • Italy:

    • AH-129D - Rank VII - Attack helicopter - Tech tree

      • The AH-129D is Italy’s new top helicopter. Its selling point is the Spike-ER ATGMs that it gets. I really like that Italy finally has a top tier helicopter because it brings Italy closer in line with other nations. Italy getting the AH-129D is undeniably a good thing. The only issue is its selling point is the Spike-ERs, but the entire Spike family of missiles are phenomenally inconsistent ingame and it often takes multiple of them on a single target to get a kill. While the AH-129D does also get AGM-114B ATGMs, this still heavily diminishes this vehicle’s efficacy.
  • France:

    • Tigre HAD/F (Bloc 2) - Rank VII - Attack helicopter - Tech tree

      • The Tigre HAD/F (Bloc 2) is to France what the AH-129D is to Italy. It gets the same inconsistent Spike-ER missiles, but unlike the AH-129D which only gets AGM-114B ATGMs, this vehicle gets the much better AGM-114K which makes it much more effective. Interestingly, the French Tigre HAD/F (Bloc 2) never actually carried Spike missiles. However, the Spanish one, known in Spain as the Tiger HAD/E (Bloque 2), did, meaning Gaijin has actually made a hybrid of the two (not that Gaijin is a stranger to making hybrids of things cough Panther II cough “Object” 211 cough a thousand other vehicles cough). Also, maybe this is just me, but I think the colors of this new Tigre HAD are really pretty.


  • Germany:

    • SMS Sachsen - Rank VI - Battleship - Tech tree

      • The SMS Sachsen is a Bayern-class battleship and Germany’s newest top tier battleship. It is a good battleship. It has all the benefits of the SMS Bayern, but it gets better engines. It does come with one “slight” issue though: it never existed. To be more specific, the form we have ingame never existed because SMS Sachsen was never finished. Construction kept getting delayed and work was halted in 1916 only 9 months before its scheduled completion. The SMS Sachsen is akin to the F-16AJ, except Sachsen wasn’t needed. Germany never needed SMS Sachsen, but Gaijin has said before that unfinished ships are options to be added, and that’s how we end up with vessels like RN Etna, the Kronshtadt, and now the Sachsen. I really hate this trend of unfinished ships being seen as fit to add. I think it’s bad and goes against what I see as the core principles of the game—principles that appear to (mostly) apply to every other type of vehicle. I strongly disagree with the Sachsen’s addition.
  • USSR:

    • Opytny - Rank I - Destroyer - Tech tree

      • The Opytny isn’t that good. It suffers from thin armor and very bad turret traverse. It’s not a good vehicle. However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in the game. I think adding the Opytny was worth it because the Opytny is the first indigenously-designed Soviet destroyer. The beauty of War Thunder is that vehicles long since forgotten to the annals of history can be given a second life and new representation. As the first indigenously-designed Soviet destroyer, I think it deserves to be represented ingame, even if it isn’t good.
  • Great Britain:

    • HMS Iron Duke - Rank V - Battleship - Pack premium

      • My criticisms of the HMS Iron Duke are the exact same as my criticisms of the USS Arkansas and Marat. I really dislike premium battleships. I think they’re bad for game health and I disagree with the concept of paying for that level of power. This is the same reason I dislike top tier air and ground premiums like the MiG-23ML and M1A1HC “Click-Bait”. But sure enough, here is a premium battleship at BR 6.7—only 0.3 away from the top BR. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or not (it is), what matters is what this vehicle represents and the trend that it continues, both of which are reasons I fundamentally disagree with its addition in this form.
  • Japan:

    • IJN Yamashiro - Rank V - Battleship - Pack premium

      • My entire criticism of the HMS Iron Duke can be copied and pasted here. I have the exact same fundamental issues with this vessel.
  • Italy:

    • RN Conte di Cavour - Rank VI - Battleship - Tech tree

      • Alright, time to talk about a battleship I actually like (at least, as far as battleships go). The RN Conte di Cavour is Italy’s first BR 7.0 battleship. Just due to it bringing Italy closer to parity with other nations, I really like this vehicle. However, beyond that, it’s also actually good. Italy having an actually good 7.0 battleship is fantastic. My one issue with the Conte di Cavour is that the fit of it ingame is the 1943-1944 refit of it that was never completed. While not as bad as the SMS Sachsen which was never even finished, I still see this as bad and I would have much preferred a fit of the Conte di Cavour that was actually finished.
  • France:

    • La Combattante - Rank I - Destroyer - Tech tree

      • La Combattante is fine. Good guns, average mobility for a destroyer, average armor for a destroyer. Everything about this vehicle is average. In a way, it is emblematic of the French naval tree itself because it’s a very middling vehicle. However, I don’t necessarily think addition it was a bad idea and this is for the same reason I think adding the Opytny was worth it. It has a very interesting history that I don’t have the time or the willpower to write about, but I promise you that it is very interesting and, in my view, worth representing ingame.

Those are all 28 vehicles from Kings of Battle. The highlights for me are the JH7A, BTR-152D, Vickers Mk. 11, and Type 81 (C).

A lot of other things came in Kings of Battle too and I’ll talk about most of them, but first, let’s talk about the new map Flanders.

Flanders is the new map that came in Kings of Battle and it comes in a unique format which I’ll discuss in a moment. But first, I want to talk about the map design itself. I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions on Flanders, including:

  • “one of the better maps we got in recent updates”
  • “besides the middle portion i dont like flanders”
  • “Flanders is at least pretty”
  • “flanders is such a **** map”
  • “just nuke flanders pls”

I sit somewhere around the first of those opinions. I think it’s pretty decent. For one, it’s a visually stunning map. Beyond that though, I really like the variety in it in terms of the areas you can play, with my personal favorite being the C point. It also has a lot of really nice hull-down positions due to the hills on it in certain areas which are reminiscent of a toned-down Kuban (though Kuban is a much better map). It does have 2 issues that really stand out to me though. The first is that its too flat. Those hills that allow for a lot of really nice hull-down positions only exist at certain points on the map, it’s overall a very flat map which is incredibly irritating. Especially around B, there are very few hills and the map becomes a game of long distance sniping, but not in a fun way. The second is that there is a specific hill in between B and C that the railroad runs on. The railroad effectively splits the map in 2 and this one hill is annoying because it’s very hard to see if someone will shoot you when you’re cresting it, so you can go over it to shoot and get killed without ever knowing they were there. There’s a hill just to the right of C that has an even bigger version of this issue, but the hill in between B and C is overall worse because that position is more open due to being in between B and C and also offers more map control.

Speaking of the railroad, let’s talk about some of the interesting things about Flanders. The first of them is that Flanders has a moving train on it. This is unique to only Flanders and American Desert, but it’s not the same train as on American Desert. This train is a WWII-era German train and happens to be the same train found on the maps in Enlisted that have moving trains on them. The second, much more interesting thing about Flanders is that the map itself changes based on the BR you’re playing at. Most notably, at lower tiers, the A point has a burnt down zeppelin crashed on the ground, but at higher BRs it’s replaced by a crashed C-5 Galaxy cargo plane. I think this is an awesome mechanic and I really hope to see it on more maps going forward.


Beyond that, another notable mechanic added in this update is that APDS and APFSDS rounds now have their sabot petals modeled. When the round leaves the barrel, the sabot petals detach and each has their own damage model! The effect itself is cool, but what I love about the mechanic is that each petal has its own damage mode. I think that is both a very cool detail and isn’t something I thought would get added when they added the sabot petals.

Infrared (IR)-guided missiles also got new modes. Instead of all defaulting to tracking infrared emissions, there is now a new photocontrast mode available to some IR missiles. I mentioned this mode when discussing the Type 81 (C), and it’s also present on the Type 93 and Strela-10M2. The way this mode works is it has a photocontrast channel that uses the visible spectrum of light to pick out targets that are far away, firing flares, and/or don’t emit a lot of heat. I really enjoy seeing this mechanic added, but it makes me most happy for the Japanese SPAAs. Not only does it make the Type 81 (C) even better, but it also makes the Type 93 less garbage.

As for some more minor changes, the F-16s got a new HUD, fire-and-forget missiles like the Spike and QN502 got better guidance, and a bunch of planes got new armor-piercing bombs that are particularly useful in naval battles to make bombs detonate inside a ship. All of these are good additions.

Lastly for the new mechanics, a bunch of bushes that previously could only be driven over can now also be destroyed by machine gun fire. It’s a minor, but very meaningful change because now you can machine gun down most of those very pesky bushes blocking you from shooting that previously you couldn’t.

As for graphics, the most notable change is the fact that leaking fuel now has an effect of being on fire, and this extends to tracks getting lit on fire too. This is one of the best visual effects in the game both on a technical level and in terms of just how cool it is.

The RP skill bonuses also got added this patch, but I’ll talk about those in the Following the Roadmap section about them.

The camouflage box was nice. It’s rather average, which is to say good, but it didn’t blow me away.

Finally, Finnish crew voices got updated to be more accurate and Israeli crews finally got their own voice lines instead of using American ones in English. This is a change that has been very long overdue and while I dislike the fact that it took this long to get them added, late is better than never and it’s great that we got them.

I find Kings of Battle to be one of my favorite updates of the year. It’s small, but what it did deliver it delivered in quality. Aside from the new premium battleships, the SMS Sachsen, and the RN Conte di Cavour being in a refit it never had, there is nothing actively bad about this update.

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

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