Content of the article: "An O.K. Player’s guide to the VK 45.02 A"
If you would like me to backup my “ok” claim, I average 2k a game in the VK with a 62% wr. This is probably my favorite tank in the game and one which I feel as if I have mastered.
Seeing as the pz 7 is top of the tree, a lot of people are going to be grinding this vehicle, and a lot of people are going to be frustrated by it because it is such a weird, niche vehicle.
It is characterized by its tiger 2 esque profile, looking almost identical with the key difference being a forward mounted turret rather than a centrally mounted one. This makes sidescraping a lot more difficult, but corner poking much much easier.
Before we get too deep in the guide, I want to sum up the VK A, for anyone who is thinking about playing it but is unsure if they will like it.
The VK A is essentially a tiger 2, that trades gun performance for above average mobility. It is the definition of “heavium”, with its good armor and good mobility. Once mastered, you will find the VK A to be a tank that can do pretty much anything that is required of it. Rather it be brawling, sniping, or getting back to the base for a reset, the VK A is an excellent all rounder that is extremely underrated.
First, let’s talk about setup. The new equipment breathes new life into this vehicle. With a turbo charger, you will essentially be running 16 power to weight ratio with a 42 km/h top speed. The top speed seems limiting, but is fitting for the armor you will be carrying around when playing this vehicle. It is completely adequate in my opinion and this vehicle does not feel sluggish at all. Nextly, I recommend the rotation mechanism. This will improve gun performance and traverse speed, things the VK A need improvement on. Lastly is up to you. Personally, I run hardening because I find ramming to be extremely satisfying in this vehicle, and meaty tracks prevent people from halting your 60 ton train of death. Also the extra HP is very helpful, as premium rounds are ever present, and your armor will not stand up to them. Keep in mind that this is NOT the most meta setup. This is, in my opinion, the most FUN setup. Improving gun characteristics will always be the most meta way to equip your vehicle, and if you want to try hard then v-stabs, rammer, and vents are the way to go. So this is mostly up to your playstyle.
Nextly, I have to talk about gun choice, and this is weirdly something that I have seen debated. The 88, or the 105? On paper, it seems as if these are both competitive choices as the 88 boasts better gun handling and standard pen, with basically the same dpm. However, I do not recommend using the 88 at all. You can basically call 240 alpha the lowest number at tier 8, save for the light tanks. You do not want to be trading less or equally with medium tanks of the same tier in a heavy tank. I highly recommend against using this gun save for grinding to get the 105. This tank is what you would call a “medium hunter” and you will not be hunting mediums when they are doing equal, or more damage per shot to you than you are to them.
Nextly, consumables. I take the premium setup, large repair kit, large med kit, and chocolate. Obviously this will be dictated by your credit situation, but if you can afford it, go all out.
Ammuntion setup is, again, something that is purely up to what you can afford personally or are willing to run. I take 28 AP, 12 APCR, and 2 HE. The standard pen is quite low on this vehicle, and if you are fighting heavy tanks of equal or higher tier then the 2 key is completely necessary. However, once we get into talking about play style, hopefully you will be brawling with heavy tanks only when it is required of you.
So let’s talk about play style.
In a top tier match, the VK A is a power house. Tier 6’s and 7’s are all big tasty HP snacks, as it is with most top tier heavy tanks. You can be extremely aggressive if you find yourself in this matchmaking, playing the frontline and blocking damage for your team. You will also find that this tank does not get left behind fronts when your team steamrolls the enemy team, unlike some other (inferior) tier 8 German heavies.
That was a joke ^
Don’t get salty.
All jokes aside, if you are top tier in the VK, play the aggressively.
If you find yourself in the more common all tier 8 match, things get a little more difficult. Your armor isn’t going to stand up as well, and your weaknesses are going to start rearing their ugly head. This is where you have to assess team lineup, and make a decision for yourself. If the matchmaking is filled to the brim with disgusting premium tanks with their premium armor, or the VK 100, then you should follow the mediums and fight with them. Fighting medium tanks is extremely satisfying in the VK A, as you have good enough protection to basically just roll over them. your hull armor was tuned to reliably block 200-210 mm of penetration, And your UFP can stand up to 230 with proper angling. The turret is a different story. It is still bouncy, but not if the enemy knows anything about why the tiger 2 was shit before it got buffed. If the enemy starts aiming at your turret, you dance. You wiggle that turret back and forth like a mechanical bull. This increases your chance of them ricocheting off your sides, top, gun, or just completely missing all together. do not go hull down in the VK, unless absolutely necessary.
If you are in an all tier 8 game and the enemy heavies are a bit squishier, or there is not very many of them, then the heavy flank is not out of the question. The VK A is still an excellent brawler in the hands of a good player, but you have to pick your fights and always keep the engagement at some distance if possible, to avoid them hitting your vulnerable spots. Your gun handling and accuracy is good enough to reliably hit weakpoints at mid range. So if you are fighting something with substantial armor, then it is really up to you to know these weaknesses. Otherwise, you are going to get stomped.
If you are in a bottom tier match, your choice of flank is again up to team lineup and your choice. There will be tier 10 games where you will be better off with the mediums, or better off playing support with the heavies. People see the VK 45.02 as just a “slow medium” and then they get ran over by a 430U and cry about how “bad” it is. The most important thing to do in this vehicle is assessing the enemy team and finding the flanks with enemies you know you can fight. Not just going with the mediums every game because you read that that’s how to play it on the forum. It is an all rounder in every sense, and should be treated as such. And this is really the core to understanding the VK.
You have ok-good statistics in every area. You are not limited to any one playstyle. And that is why this vehicle is such a gem to me. Because WG usually does not know how to balance all rounders, but they did this one RIGHT. This vehicle is one that can do anything, but isn’t OP. It’s just an extremely rewarding vehicle to play in the hands of someone who knows how to make it work. And is just one of those tanks that benefits so much from understanding the fundamental mechanics of this game.
In summary, I recommend everyone play this tank. Not because it’s the most OP, not because it has the best of this or that. But just because it’s fun. It’s just one of those tanks that I feel like any average-good player can pick up every now and then and just have a good time in or, if you’re like me, master it and consistently kick ass in it.
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