Guide: About Ammunition
A tank would be useless in battle without ammunition. So the player should resupply ammunition beforehand, when the tank is in the Garage. The number and type of shells loaded depend on the vehicle and may differ in cost and type.
By cost, shells are divided into:
- Standard shells are standard ammunition purchased for credits. Most Armor-Piercing and High-Explosive shells fall into this category.
- Premium shells are improved shells which can be purchased either for credits or for gold. Such shells have a bonus to penetration as compared to standard shells, but cost significantly more. Most Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid and High-Explosive Anti-Tank shells fall into the premium category.
There are four classes of shells:
|Armor-Piercing (AP) shells are the most common type. They are compatible with almost any gun. This shell causes damage only if it penetrates the enemy's armor.|
|Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR) shells have higher penetration and velocity than Armor-Piercing shells. As a rule, APCR shells are used as premium ammunition, but for Tier X medium tanks they serve as standard ammunition.|
|High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) shells are premium ammunition for most vehicles. HEAT has the best penetration, and, most importantly, does not lose penetration value with distance (unlike AP and APCR). Penetration is achieved not by the kinetic energy of the shell, as is the case with AP and APCR, but by the energy of a particle stream arising during the explosion. Thus, HEAT shells actually do not penetrate, but burn through the armor. This peculiarity also explains the main disadvantage of HEAT shells: they are almost useless against spaced armor and are unable to damage tracks.|
|High-Explosive (HE) shells have the highest potential damage. If an HE shell manages to penetrate the armor, it will explode inside the tank, inflicting full damage. However, their penetration value is low. HE shells also deal additional damage to modules and crew. HE shells don’t need to penetrate in order to damage the target: if the shell does not penetrate, it will explode on the exterior of the tank’s armor. When this happens, the damage will be lower than upon penetration and will depend on the armor thickness: the thicker the armor, the less damage is inflicted. Spaced armor can also absorb the damage from HE shells. Remember that the greater the gun caliber, the more useful the HE shells will be. With small-caliber guns, HE shells are almost useless, but a shot hit with a large-caliber HE shell may be able to destroy an enemy vehicle.|
How to select the right shell
- Armor-Piercing shells are most effective against similar-tier vehicles; High-Explosive shells are useful against tanks with thin armor or SPGs with open cabins.
- Use Armor-Piercing shells for long-barreled, small-caliber guns; High-Explosive shells are most effective for short-barreled, large-caliber guns. High-Explosive shells of small caliber are nearly useless: they are unable to penetrate armor and cause damage.
- High-Explosive shells are equally effective no matter what angle they hit at, but Armor-Piercing shells will have trouble penetrating if they hit enemy armor at an acute angle.
- Aiming at vulnerable parts and hitting the enemy’s armor at a right angle are good practices for all shell types, including HE, as the chance of penetration and full damage is higher.
- High-Explosive shells have a high change of inflicting small, but guaranteed damage even if they do not penetrate, so they can be effectively used to interrupt an enemy capture attempt and to finish off enemies with low HP.
The SU-152 has a large-caliber (152-mm), short-barreled gun. The larger the shell’s caliber, the more explosive it contains and the more damage it can inflict. But due to the short barrel of the gun, the shell has a low velocity that results in low penetration, poor accuracy, and short range. For a gun like this, the Armor-Piercing shells (which require accuracy and velocity) are not very useful; High-Explosive shells are a better idea.