Content of the article: "Defender Mk.1 Review"
Ok, I was definitely planning on doing this later but with it being out in the shop, might as well do it now. In each section (other than overview), the first paragraph will be stats and the next will be my opinion (I love this tank so expect some bias toward it). This is my first time doing a guide so please give feedback!
Set-Up (My personal preference)
Consumables: Multi-Kit, First Aid, Repair Kit
Provisions: Food, Fuel, Protective Kit
Equipment: Vents, GLD, Vert. Stabs, Defense System, Improved Assembly, Enhanced Tracks, Optics, Engine Accelerator, and Consumable Delivery System
The Defender Mk.1 is an improved version of the Centurion Mk.1 that has ludicrous turret armor and an accurate, 4-shot autoloader.
Compared to the tech tree Centurion, the Defender has an extra 6 km/h top speed (46km/h), 5 extra p/w, and slightly better traverse speeds.
It's not the fastest medium tank but it's not bad either. The most important part about the speed is that it allows you to get to hulldown spots early and harass any enemies that are still trying to get into position (i.e. the hill in Normandy). Also, if you're new to autoloaders, the speed (or lack thereof) will help prevent you from YOLOing into the entire enemy team.
Side note: the engine sounds like a lawnmower and is kinda annoying if you can't ignore it.
The gun is your standard British 20 Pdr. (190 alpha, 226 pen) but with a 4 shot autoloader. It takes roughly 16 seconds to reload and has an unload time of 2 seconds. You have the standard British accuracy (0.301 dispersion) and an improved aim time due to the autoloader (2.6 sec). Oh, you also have 10 degrees of gun depression.
It's pretty much the Lorraine on easy mode. Although you have less alpha, you have better aim time, unload time, dispersion, penetration, gun depression, and a 20% faster reload time. In my experiences in both tanks, the faster unload time of the Defender (2s vs 2.5s) usually means that you get to fire more shells before the enemy gets away which counteracts the lower alpha damage. Also, your turret armor (next section) means that you can often fully unload a magazine without worry about return damage.
It has the Centurion Mk.1 hull so 76mm thick and shares the same 1537HP. Angled you get to about 130mm so you're not going to bounce much. You can get HE'd in the sides if they bypass the tracks so watch out for that. The turret on the other hand, is stupidly strong. The top is only 90mm but is angled in such a way that, front on, it's usually around 300mm. The weakest spot (other than the cupola) is the gun mantlet. I'm pretty sure there is a section behind the mantlet with no armor so if you know where to aim and have at least 260mm of non-HEAT penetration, you can try your luck. The cupola is the same as all the other British tanks so it's pretty hard to hit.
The hull armor sucks but that's what balances (kinda) the tank. However, if you wiggle the hull, you get occasional bounces against the side. The turret armor is where the Defender shines. In a hulldown position, there is pretty much no tank you need to fear. Even against higher tier TD's, your large amount of HP mean that you trade quite well with them (if they even manage to pen). However, never be in a situation where you are below the enemy. The turret armor relies on the extreme angling so you lose that when an enemy can shoot down on you. Also, don't try to facehug stuff. It's a very tall tank so they'll probably be able to shoot the hull even without much gun depression. The only tanks it works on are an assortment of Germans.
Discussion and Q&A
Pros: Amazing turret, amazing gun, faster than tech tree Centurion
Cons: Shit hull, long reload, pretty everything's faster than the tech tree centurion
Overall, the Defender Mk.1 is a fantastic tank and, in my opinion, the best medium tier for tier (although a lot of that's due to its competition being absolute shit). Hulldown, it's pretty much untouchable. And the autoloader means that its more than capable of chunking half an enemy's HP in 6 seconds (other than heavies). Even against T9s, it holds its own. Like most autoloaders, the biggest weakness is the long reload so be sure to have allies around and avoid getting rushed down.
Who would I recommend this tank to?
Players with game knowledge and players looking to learn autoloaders. With it's armor and relatively short reload, the Defender Mk.1 is a very forgiving tank compared to other autoloaders. However, to get the most out of it, players need to know the hulldown positions in a map and also when to reload.
What should I do when facing the Defender Mk.1?
In the beginning of the game, try to take advantage of the Defender's below average speed and prevent it from getting hulldown. However, if it manages to get into position, it's going to get annoying. Whatever you do, don't stay exposed to it. If you're in a tank with a large caliber gun, fire HE at it's turret. If you're in a medium, count the shells and attack it once it's reloading. If it has backup, you'll have to coordinate a rush and hope you outnumber them.
What about the current sale?
Currently, the tank is on sale for 12,500 gold alone or 20,000 gold in a Defender bundle. If you have the gold and don't own any defenders, the bundle is extremely good value. However, if you're only looking at the Mk.1 itself, then it gets tougher. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate but as mentioned before, I love the tank. When considering the other tanks you can get for the price (Action X or Action X and M4 49 for a bit higher) I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you really love autoloaders or hulldown tanks. Also, the Centurion 5/1 RAAC is supposedly coming out soon so if you want to try a version with a normal gun (and frankly disgusting hull armor) you can wait for that.
Thank you for reading the guide! Again, this is my first one and also kinda rushed so there may be inaccuracies or confusing wording. Please let me know anything you're confused about or that you disagree with and I'll respond to the best of my abilities.
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