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Old 08-26-2011, 06:46 PM   #1 
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Lorraine 40t: the guarantee of success is speed, speed in everything

Lorraine 40t: the guarantee of success is speed, speed in everything

One can notice the tank's unusual design even on the photo

Historical reference

The success of German and Soviet heavy tanks, like Tiger II and IS-2 (and also IS-3) excited French tank engineers and would literally not let them stay put. They were inspired, as was expected, by German and Soviet heavy tanks. The French engineers had developed several new tank models. Of course, they were neither the biggest, nor the heaviest examples, but ended up being quite spectacular armored vehicles nevertheless. It is likely that not only the glorious armor, but also firepower of the aforementioned steel monsters, being produced in Germany and USSR, became the source of the fixed idea of installing 100-mm (for starters) and then even 120-mm caliber guns. However, almost all of the produced tank projects would either, for one reason or another, had stayed in production for an indefinite amount of time or be made in limited quantities. As far as is known, almost all experimental machines used the German engine Mayback as a power source. As sad as it might be, the largest part of the French tank forces in that period was issued with “Sherman”, M-26, M-24 and also “Panther” tanks. Lorraine 40t had never left the testing phase, only two prototypes would be produced. Actually, this combat vehicle was a lighter version of the AMH-50 heavy tank, but some interesting construction solutions would distinct it from the others. Unlike it’s post-war predecessors (in this branch), the tower of this tank was installed inside of the front part of the body. Also, the tank had another characteristic – “pike nose”, like IS-3. It’s worth mentioning the rubber tires on the wheels of the running gear for added amortization.

This is it, the crown jewel of French medium tanks!

Opinions of experienced players

GoHa.Ru: Possibly, one of the main distinctive characteristic of Lorraine is it’s incredibly thin armor, 40mm in front and 30mm in edge seems totally off for MT9, even the German Leopard – 4th tier LT had better armor. Do you think that MT9 will be able to compete with such defenses?

3ampotex[LA]: You’re right, this kind of armor hardly suits a top MT. The front’s angle of 58 degree will help a bit, meaning that, according to the in-game formula for armor calculation, it will be roughly equal to 60mm. That and the slight turn of “pike nose”, which the French had adopted from Soviet tank production, would help to avoid being punctured by “fireflies” but that’s it. Even the very fact of creation of, nevermind if quick and well armed, but absolutely paper-thick MT with the weight 39.7t, which is even more than the first, overweight and raw T-54 series, but with the armor three times as thin, really tells us what level of tank production in the post-war years France possessed, having slept the whole war in the occupation. The French decided to compensate for miscalculations in arrangement with firepower, rate of fire and mobility. I think the only way of Lorraine’s behavior will become quick movement from one cover to the next from where, after reloading, it will be able to quickly put the enemy full of holes and retreat. Also, steep angles, if they are present for this tank in the game, will enable it to almost completely conceal it’s body and tower behind elevations, ambushing the enemy. All in all, it’s something like a very quick and maneuverable PT-ACS. It will be able to maneuver in combat, but not for long. The post-war tank development had shown that a tank, which sacrifices defenses for mobility and firepower, can’t effectively utilize them.

fluke [RED:Aces]: Indeed, as the current tier 9 MTs aren’t greatly armored either and are penetrated by almost all weapons starting from tier 6. It’s the same as T30 that has an incredibly fragile body, but still remains dangerous. The strength of 40t will be it’s dynamics and auto loading gun. I guess that this tank will be moving into position, shooting out a clip, getting hit a few times and retreating.

GoHa.Ru: The 100mm gun, from one hand, is hardly great for an MT9, but from the other hand, it will be auto loading that would, supposedly, increase the rate of fire by two times in comparison to similar guns without it, while depleting a single clip. It will be able to shoot very fast. What do you thing about this gun? How would you evaluate it’s usability?

3ampotex[LA]: Our T-54 also has a D-54 100mm caliber gun. Also, it’s technical data was nerfed for the sake of balance, the developers don’t deny this. However, nobody can say that T-54 equipped with D-54 doesn’t own. It has no problems in damaging even highly armored targets, especially with “golden” APDS, which serious clans use during clanwars. The gun of Lorraine 40t is unlikely to be much worse, but it will be, maybe not twice, but at least 1/3 or 40-50% faster than T-54’s D-54. In reality, of course, A3 was hardly this fast. But what the developers wouldn’t do for the sake of balance. Also, Lorraine possessed a very soft running gear – it’s wheels were equipped with pneumatic tires. Clearly, it can be used to increase accuracy. What are the other options? Stopping briefly to make a shot will prove fatal for this tank, it’s “the legs feed the wolf”. It will be able to shoot accurately on the move, probably better so than German and American MT9s.

fluke [RED:Aces]: That’s a great feature. For a short period of time, the tank will inflict serious damage to an enemy and hide for reloading. The tank won’t have to constantly go away to make a shot, exposing itself to the fire of enemy tanks and artillery. I say, 40t will inflict 1000 damage after moving from behind a rock just once, while Patton would have to do it three times.
GoHa.Ru: In reality, Lorraine 40t could move at 60 km/h, which is, actually, pretty good for a medium tank, but it’s poor armor is making the speed advantage obsolete, compared to T-54. That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

3ampotex[LA]: In reality, the maximum speed of the tank on a roadway hardly matters, it’s usable speed is much more important, for example, it’s general speed in a column formation or across broken ground. The speed on which a tank can shoot accurately is also important. I think that in the game, maybe to a lesser extent (the balance comes first), will be working the same rule as in reality – maneuverability of a fast, thinly armored tank on a serious battlefield ends behind the cover it managed to reach while under fire. The usage of AMX-13 light tank has revealed it – it didn’t shine in Arab-Israeli war, but was good during colonial wars, “owning the Papuan”. “Lorraine” was built in the quantity of grand total two machines, but it became serial – it would present itself almost in the same way. I think that quarreling with T-54 in close combat doesn’t promise “the French” anything good. Unless it will be balanced in such a parameter like HP, that doesn’t exist for real tanks. Provided it will be given 1800-1900 HPs and considering A3 and overbuffed rate of fire and accuracy, it might have some chances against T-54. Of course, of the fighter is skilled enough to properly utilize the machine’s advantages and deny the same to an enemy.

fluke [RED:Aces]: It all depends in the task that these tanks will be undertaking. If it’s needed to take the tunnel in Lasville, then we’re taking t54 to combat the enemy’s 54s. If we have to circle around the crest in Prohorovka and fall back, the 40t will be great for the job. Besides, at the moment the armored 54s don’t provide troubles to the same-tier tanks and an experienced player will as likely to damage t54 as 40t.

GoHa.Ru: Do you think this machine will find it’s place in random battles? Will you level it yourself?

3ampotex[LA]: Everything finds it’s place in random battles. Even something you have to level, if free experience is scarce, having to force yourself to do it. I’m unlikely to level it myself. However, if there is nothing more left to level, I will. But I know people that’d like to have this machine, for randoms in particular, where the teamwork is absent and it’s easier to survive.

fluke [RED:Aces]: Absolutely, the machine will be in demand. It will be wanted by skilled players that can properly use auto reloading, utilizing the aforementioned hit and run tactics. Truly, it will be a smart tank for a tactical and clever tankman. I will level this unique machine for sure, to try this wonderful automatic reload in business.

GoHa.Ru: Will commanders be able to find some use for Lorraine on the global map? What tasks is it suited for?

3ampotex[LA]: With the tank freezing in mind – it will be necessary to use this tank too. If that wasn’t the case I’d use it only as a quick “lighting” or as a quickly moving AT. Considering it’s speed and dynamics. For example, to get to the point, get in cover from artillery fire and shoot the enemy MT that got there too late, while lighting it for ally artillery. One catch though – low armored tanks is easily pushed out of cover by artillery fire. It will depend on the field of vision and other technical data.

fluke [RED:Aces]: As I said before, the tank will be good for lighting without firing. Also, I consider possible to use 40t in packs for focused fire on one target. Imagine a group of three 40t, all ganging up on a Maus and destroying it in one volley from their automatic guns.

GoHa.Ru: What do you think about the looks of this machine?

3ampotex[LA]: I wouldn't call it pretty, but original. But only for the international tank engineering. But for French post-war projects, most of which has never seen mass production, it’s fairly typical. Weak body, swinging tower – all of that is present on the other “French” of that period. Even the later, but serial French MT AMX-30 had also kept, if not features, but the same principles, among those were the weak armor and counting on movement and firepower.

fluke [RED:Aces]: Prompt and impudent. The unusual swinging tower makes it unique and differs it from the other machines. If Paris Hilton was a tankgirl – she’d drive 40t.

Group photo with classmates

Developer Q&A

GoHa.Ru: Would you tell us why the important place MT9 was given to Lorraine 40t exactly and if some other rearrangements are possible in the branch of French MTs?

Nikita Shpakov: We decided that this very tank would fit the top of the French branch the best. Because it’s both heavier and was installed with 100mm gun. Of course, in theory, changes in the French branch or any other are still possible, since nuances that have to be counted for always crop up over the course of development.

GoHa.Ru: This tank has a strange technical data, to put it mildly. Weighting good 39,7 tons (that’s almost 40), I’ll remind that T-54’s mass in the game is between 34 and 38 tons, this tank almost lacks any armor, it’s defenses are comparable to an armored car, not a tank. The cannon’s caliber isn’t intimidating too – only 100mm. Had the notorious automatic loader had such an enormous weight?

Nikita Shpakov: Of course not. It’s not all that easy with the weight – every tank has it’s own weight characteristics, one’s running gear weights more, another’s tower, third’s mechanisms, weapons etc. Various complicated mechanisms weight a lot too.

GoHa.Ru: Since we’ve touched the subject of armor, would you tell us about it? After all, 40mm on the front and 30mm in the sides is abnormal for MT9. Even the German Leopard – an LT4, has better armor. Will Lorraine 40t really stay with armor like that?

Nikita Shpakov: It surely will. That’s how it was on the original. We think that the main feature of this tank is not it’s armor. It’s task isn’t to trade shots with armored tanks in close combat, but to use it’s speed and quick reloading.

GoHa.Ru: The speed of this machine isn’t all that great too – 60 km/h. The advantage of 6 km/h over T-54 will hardly help to compensate for the complete lack of armor. But maybe I’m wrong and some faster variations of this machine existed?

Nikita Shpakov: As of now, we plan to leave the speed of the tank as it is. However, our players know that speed isn’t everything. Dynamic characteristics, that make it possible to accelerate and stop well, are also important. It is especially evident on terrain full of cover points and obstacles.

GoHa.Ru: The 100mm gun that’s installed on Lorraine 40t, how modern for it’s time was it? I’m trying to find out if it has a good armor piercing capability? Would you unveil just how rapidly will it be firing with the auto reloading, at least in general?

Nikita Shpakov: First, it can pierce armor well enough and, thanks to it’s auto reload, is able to inflict quite large damage in short periods of time. In other words, it will be possible to quickly unload in the enemy and destroy him fast. Or, if destroying wasn’t possible, retreat behind the lines and reload.

GoHa.Ru: Looking at it’s characteristics, it’s very difficult to imagine it being able to compete with MT9 of the other nations, is the notorious automatic reload really such a great advantage, able to outweigh all of the downsides?

Nikita Shpakov: I’m sure we will be able to make it so the gameplay is interesting and the machine is able to compete. Personally, I’m planning to level it and ride it into battle myself.

GoHa.Ru: And, of course, the usual question, how do you like the machine visually? The opinions of players ended up to be contradictive, from “ugly” to “very pretty”.

Nikita Shpakov: That’s an easy question – neither for me. It doesn’t cause neither aesthetic nor counteraesthetic feelings. I simply see it as reality, something made by the French tank engineers.

Last edited by Garro; 08-27-2011 at 02:29 PM.

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