World of Tanks Video: IS-4 “Ace Tanker” Mastery


In this narrated battle, I earned my “Ace Tanker” Mastery Achievement for the IS-4, the beefier of the two tier 10 Soviet heavy tanks in World of Tanks (WoT).

While the IS-4 has good overall armor, the front hull has a large weak spot, the Lower Front Glacis (LFG). The LFG of the IS-4 has effective armor of 209mm, which can be penetrated easily by most tier 9-10 tanks.

IS-4 Not Angled

Due to the thickness of the IS-4′s side hull armor (160mm), you can angle the hull 35° to protect the LFG.

Note that when angling, you do decrease the effective armor of the Upper Front Side Hull (UFSH). Therefore, you’ll want to wiggle back and forth to protect the UFSH, as I did against the Foch TD’s 3rd shot.

IS-4 Angled

This is the first of a series of “Ace Tanker” videos so I hope you enjoyed it!
Next up: the VK 36.01 (H), a tier 6 German medium tank.

Let me know your questions and feedback.

For more info on angling and weak spots, here are links to my guides:

Source for the IS4 effective armor values:
http://wotguru.com/weak-spots-guide-is-4

You see my current and historical statistics for WoT here:
http://www.noobmeter.com/player/na/taugrim

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Posted in Guide, Heavy Tank, PVP, Video, World of Tanks
20 comments on “World of Tanks Video: IS-4 “Ace Tanker” Mastery
  1. TriumphSP says:

    How I hate the IS-4. It’s one of the few tanks in the game since the beginning. People complain about match maker now, but to illustrate how much MM has improved, My top tank for a long time was the Panzer III/IV, and yes I would be put in games against IS-4s.

    Yeah the good old days…. I don’t miss them.

    • FrankyMcShanky says:

      Wow, I never had it that bad. The worst I remember was my Sherman Easy 8 versus platoons of T-54′s. What a nightmare.

      • taugrim says:

        The worst I remember was my Sherman Easy 8 versus platoons of T-54′s

        I guess you guys can tell me that kids like me have it easy, you had to walk uphill both ways to school.

        :)

    • taugrim says:

      People complain about match maker now, but to illustrate how much MM has improved

      It’s amazing to me that WG used to allow Random Battles with a tier difference > 2. It would be an exercise in futility trying to penetrate tanks that are 3 tiers or higher.

      • TriumphSP says:

        It was a different game then. Tier 8 was top tier, and mediums only went up to tier 7. It very heavily favored premium ammunition since without it many games you simply could not damage an enemy tank of a higher tier before being 1 shot. The best you could do was gnaw away at their track or throw HE rounds to try and cripple them in some way. Damage = XP and players throwing gold got better tanks much faster by having consistent damage.

        I think the Maus and IS-4 were the only two top tier tanks, and an extremely difficult grind. Since there were so few of the in que, often you would see 1 Maus vs 1 IS-4. Games played out like a version of Tank DOTA. 1 hero vs another hero with 14 minion tanks. The left track of a Maus could get top gun by itself, while the right track was awarded confederate.

        It is for those reasons that you will see a lot of people asking for stat resets on their accounts in WG forums. XVM underrates them, especially the ones with like 20k battles and their teams quit before the battle starts. It clearly state 20k battles next to their name and they get called noob by the player that drowns himself in the lake.

        And so ends today’s history lesson/rant

        • taugrim says:

          It was a different game then. Tier 8 was top tier, and mediums only went up to tier 7. It very heavily favored premium ammunition since without it many games you simply could not damage an enemy tank of a higher tier before being 1 shot.

          Games played out like a version of Tank DOTA. 1 hero vs another hero with 14 minion tanks

          That’s horrid game design.

          It is for those reasons that you will see a lot of people asking for stat resets on their accounts in WG forums

          Well, I pay more attention to last 1k battles as far as WN7, and to overall WR. Stats aside from WR may be influenced due to the situation you described above, and therefore WN7.

      • FrankyMcShanky says:

        Think of it like when SWTOR just started. SWTOR couldn’t support the population to fill in a level 50 bracket so they threw them in with all the lower levels for the first few months.

        In the early days of WoT’s it was the same way. Not enough high tiers around to support any kind of fair matchmaking.

        • taugrim says:

          In the early days of WoT’s it was the same way. Not enough high tiers around to support any kind of fair matchmaking.

          If that were the case, it would have been better to limit the spread of tiers. That is, have only as many tiers as are practical to have based on the overall population and population spread.

          I’m glad things are better now.

          Although I still think that WG should tweak their MM so the difference in tiers is never greater than 2 (aside from how light tanks are currently MM’d).

          • FrankyMcShanky says:

            Nah, they need to standardize light tank match making as well. There’s no real reason for a AMX 13 75 to be in a game with an AMX 13 90 or Batchats. http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/211170-light-tank-matchmaking-balance-and-influence/

            I don’t see many matches with more than a 2 tier spread anymore. However lately I’ve been seeing a lot of one sided match ups. The worst so far is one team with 4 more tier 10′s. Seems like wargaming broke something in matchmaker during the last patch.

            I try not to be to critical of MM simply due to how quick matchmaker is. I remember far to many games with 30minute ques.

            • taugrim says:

              Nah, they need to standardize light tank match making as well. There’s no real reason for a AMX 13 75 to be in a game with an AMX 13 90 or Batchats

              You’re probably right.

              I have been playing my Cromwell in tier 8 battles as a scout-first, DPS-second tank, so it’s been interesting to see that side of the fence. Although obviously a tier 5 light can be sucked into a much higher tier match than my Cromwell can. I am glad to hear from your perspective that tier spread has lessened from a light tank perspective.

              On a tangent, I have to thank you again for the recommendation to play medium tanks. If we hadn’t dialogued here, I probably would have gone after tank destroyers after trying heavy tanks, and I would have missed out on what is a very fun playstyle.

              However lately I’ve been seeing a lot of one sided match ups. The worst so far is one team with 4 more tier 10′s. Seems like wargaming broke something in matchmaker during the last patch.

              Yes, I’ve been seeing that as well. The MM logic should be implemented such that we have to wait in the queue a bit longer until an “even” match is made.

              • FrankyMcShanky says:

                On a tangent, I have to thank you again for the recommendation to play medium tanks. If we hadn’t dialogued here, I probably would have gone after tank destroyers after trying heavy tanks, and I would have missed out on what is a very fun playstyle.

                Keep in mind that with the nerf to camouflage light tanks and mediums are rather weak in the current game meta at the moment. They’re simply a weak class of tank to play as of patch 8.7.

                • Credenza says:

                  This is so incorrect it’s almost laughable. For bad players, maybe. Lights and mediums are still just as effective, or even more so, in the right hands.

                  • taugrim says:

                    This is so incorrect it’s almost laughable. For bad players, maybe. Lights and mediums are still just as effective, or even more so, in the right hands.

                    I think it’s hard to argue that TDs weren’t effectively buffed by the camo changes in 8.6 relative to lights and mediums.

                    I’m still focusing on medium tanks because I find them challenging to play well and very dynamic. But they are still weaker than TDs with the current meta.

  2. Chris M. says:

    Hey Ed, do you livestream your WoT games? I followed you quite a bit before in SWtoR. Was just curious. As always your vids are very insightful.

    • bbqribman says:

      Congrats on your tier10. Just curious, do you like the IS-4 more than the ST-I? I’m not sure what it is, but they ST-I gives me more trouble than any other tank in the game including the IS-4. That ST-I is a bounce machine. The one time I met you in game in that, you were on my side at least. Looking forward to more content.

      • taugrim says:

        do you like the IS-4 more than the ST-I? I’m not sure what it is, but they ST-I gives me more trouble than any other tank in the game including the IS-4. That ST-I is a bounce machine

        Funny you should ask about that.

        Overall, the armor isn’t significantly different. From a frontal hull perspective, the ST-I has 160mm armor and the IS-4 140mm. Both have the weak spot in the LFG. The IS-4 has 160mm side armor as opposed to 140mm for the IS-4, so the IS-4 can angle to a higher degree to protect the LFG.

        I have comparable Win Rates on both tanks, around 57%. That said, I have higher average damage and a much higher WN7 on my ST-I than my IS-4. On paper, that sounds counter-intuitive to what I would have expected.

        My guess is that it’s partly due to the tiering. On my IS-4 I’m always in tier 10 battles, and those battles are filled with high-alpha TDs (750+ damage per shell), autoloaders (T57, Bat Chat, AMX Foch 155), and tier 10 arties. If you get tracked with an autoloader on you, even with the good armor of the IS-4 you can get wrecked.

    • taugrim says:

      Hey Ed, do you livestream your WoT games?

      I haven’t streamed since I went back to the corporate world just over a year ago, since I took on some pretty demanding Product Management work and when I came home I just wanted to play low-key.

      Here’s my priority for time spent related to gaming:
      1. playing games
      2. blogging / youtubing about games
      3. streaming games

      I’ve been doing enough of #1 but have more ideas for #2 than I’ve had time to produce.

      There are 4 videos that I want to make related to WoT:
      a. VK36.01H “Ace Tanker”
      b. Tiger II “Ace Tanker”
      c. Centurion “Ace Tanker”
      d. Cromwell “Ace Tanker”

      After #a and #b, I’m not sure whether to make #c or #d first.

      WRT streaming, I had to replace my HD when it crashed, which was a great excuse to try out a SSD, but I haven’t configured and tested XSplit on this new machine.

      One of these days I hope to start streaming again. Until then, I’ll keep posting content on my blog.

  3. Brett says:

    Hi Taugrim,

    Great video, as always!

    what are your feelings on the IS-7 vs the other soviet heavies? Any insight? Also- any plans on covering World of Warplanes?

    • taugrim says:

      what are your feelings on the IS-7 vs the other soviet heavies? Any insight?

      So I haven’t played the IS-7 line beyond the KV-1S, which I really enjoy.

      The IS line starting at tier 8 gets the pike-nose frontal hull, which is terrific for either fighting at long range or when face-hugging an opponent. The main issue issue with the pike-nose design is that the effective armor value drops when the tank is angled, and the IS-7 line has lower armor values for the side/rear hull compared to the IS-4 line.

      That being said, there is a lot of value to having the higher mobility. The IS-7 accelerates faster than the IS-4, as you can see when that friendly IS-7 was pushing on me as we went to finish that JadgTiger TD.

      At tier 10, the thicker armor of the IS-4 does help at times, but the thicker armor is partially countered by two factors:
      1. the very high penetration of many tier 10 tank destroyers and medium tanks
      2. the presence of premium ammo in the game, which for the most part can trivialize penetration

      Also- any plans on covering World of Warplanes?

      Right now, I’d be more inclined to play War Thunder than WoWP, since the latter has come under criticism for having poor controls.

      If the planes aren’t fun to control, well, that would make the game a non-started.

  4. Dirk Pitt says:

    Should really see the IS-4 when it was Tier 9, it was a beast…

    As you mentioned now the armor is marginalized with so many 750+ damage TD and no arty to keep then in bay, it is not so fun anymore…

    I play ST-1 more then IS-4, I can’t only tolerate Tier X battles other then my batchat or T110E5 (mobility to get out of shitty situations)…..

    I really hat that Tier X TD doesn’t require any skill, platoon with 2 others Foch 155, aim the general direction of your enemy and fire….

    that is 7K burst damage that will would shutdown 3 Tier X heavies and yeah flank them when they all sitting together.

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