Hello fellow tank commanders! (I know that the cover image is NOT the tank in game but I could not find a decent historical image depicting the in-game model of the tank.)
This is the heaviest French tank (originally named Char B1 or Char B1 Bis), captured and used by the Wehrmacht, available in WOT Blitz. It is at tier 4 and there is one thing that makes this tank such a pleasure to drive: YOU WILL NOT SEE TIER 5 TANKS! One of the most stressful things in WOT Blitz is when you frequently get higher tier battles in which your tank is the underdog. You won’t have to suffer such frustrations with this tank as you will only see fellow tier 4 tanks and below. In this article, I want to explain to you in detail why this tank is definitely worth the investment!
This tank’s key strength is clearly its armour. It has better armour than the non-premium Durchbruchswagen II, another tier 4 German heavy tank. Having 60 mm of frontal and side armour certainly helps in preserving your health points. With such thick side armour, you should side-scrape as often as possible because you will be able to bounce an awful lot of shots. In fact, I already have more than 25 “Steel Wall” medals with this tank. One thing to keep in mind is that the armour is not invincible. Make sure you perfect your skills in side-scraping to present an impenetrable defensive wall.
You can clearly see that the turret armour is thinner than that of the hull. Experienced tank commanders will target your turret often. Thankfully, your turret is smaller than the hull which makes it hard for your enemies to land a successful shot in the first place. It is truly a blessing that this tank does not see tier 5 tanks as its armour advantage would be thoroughly nullified.
There is one very important thing that you should be aware of when driving this tank. Historically, the Char B1 had its commander also serve as loader and gunner. The commander is located at the turret and since its turret armour is thinner, you may find that the commander gets knocked out occasionally. This is quite annoying because losing your commander means a reduction in accuracy as well as in reloading speed. So I recommend that you guard your turret carefully.
FIREPOWER (47 mm SA 35 L/34)
Do you notice something a bit bizarre? For those of you who read the Panzer S35 review will notice that the B2 uses the exact same gun as the S35 (I literally just copied and pasted from the S35 review!). Firepower is what dims the awesomeness of the B2. You will realize that APCR rounds are a must-have if you wish to reliably penetrate the armour of tier 4 tanks. On a few occasions, I even had my APCR rounds bounce off! Your damage per shot is mediocre but your reloading speed is good enough to lay constant fire on the enemy.
One good viable tactic for the B2 is to engage from a distance. At 0.39 dispersion, the B2 does quite well in long-distance combat. With the help of an Enhanced Gun Laying Drive, you can hit distant targets quickly and accurately. Other than that, there is not much to say about this 47 mm gun.
With such awesome armour, you would think that this tank would be slow as a turtle. Fortunately, as the French added more armour to their heavy tank, they also upgraded the engine to allow the B2 to maintain a decent speed of 30 km/h. With a heavy weight of 29.65 tons, any light tank that decides to ram you will either lose a lot of his HP or explode instantaneously upon contact. Since your top speed is 30 km/h, you may have slight trouble catching up to your teammates especially if there are a lot of hills.
You will see that the B2 improves upon the Somua S35 in terms of turret and hull traverse speeds. Many enemy tank commanders will be surprised at how the B2 can easily keep up with a fast light tank attempting a Circle-of-Death tactic. So many tanks all the way from a Covenanter to an A-20 failed miserably in utter disbelief when they saw that my B2 could aim its gun on the circling tank with unerring accuracy.
For the B2, I use the following equipment configuration:
This is the first tank for me to use a Toolbox. You may notice that the B2 has its tracks exposed. Experienced players and noobs alike will hit your tracks simply because they are so huge. This means your vehicle will often be immobilized. Having a Toolbox increases your repair speed by a whopping 25%. Moreover, since you will be side-scraping often, your tracks will be broken many times; therefore, having this equipment will certainly aid you in tight situations when you need to quickly avoid enemy fire.
Ah, the age-old debate of “Binoculars vs Coated Optics”! Similar to the Hotchkiss and the Somua, you will have to angle and wiggle the tank often to maximize your armour effectiveness, which means you will be moving constantly. Having 10% extra view range while moving is certainly an advantage that you would want in this tank.
In terms of ammunition, I carry the following:
Why do I carry AP? If you meet tier 3 tanks and you want to save some money, switch to AP and you won’t have a problem. Still, you will have to use APCR in most situations and carrying a few HE shells will assist you in resetting the base capture.
For consumables, I carry the following (*** I learned today that Update 2.8 will revamp the consumables along with equipment. So I will have to update this section later!):
I mentioned above about the dangers of losing your commander. What if you already used your Multi-Purpose Restoration Pack and you still have a cool-down of 30 seconds? Then quickly use the Adrenaline to compensate! I usually save Adrenaline for emergency situations since the B2 already has a great reloading speed.
If I had to pick one tank that absolutely ruins the B2, I would choose in a heartbeat the Luchs. This German light tank doesn’t care if you have 60 mm armour. Cruising around the battlefield with its turbo engine and monster auto-cannon, the Luchs will eat you up if you are not careful. The only way to counter a Luchs is to stay as far away from it as possible and use your long-range gun to the best effect. To be quite honest, I often find that the only effective counter to a talented enemy Luchs is another talented Luchs on our team or a highly accurate tank destroyer with crazy alpha damage. Here are a few tanks that I found to be particularly difficult countering:
So long story short, is the B2 worth it? YES! This is a rare tank and if you get a chance to purchase it in the store, I wholeheartedly recommend it!