Onto the Supertest: a Tier IX American Heavy, the AE Phase I
The main prize of the Frontline mode, the AE Phase I, is about to enter its Supertest. Looking at this Tier IX American heavy, you’ll immediately notice its distinguishing feature: the segmented tracks. Like the T95 tank destroyer, this tank has four caterpillars, with two on each side. Unlike ‘The Doom Turtle’, the tracks on every side of the AE Phase I are set in a consecutive (and not in a parallel) order. This peculiarity doesn’t change the game mechanics: when a single track segment is destroyed, the tank is stalled.
Now for the protection. The upper glacis plate of the AE Phase I is sloped much and has a thickness of 120 mm. The turret’s frontal armor is outstanding (up to 292 mm), with the commander’s cupola being the single—and small—vulnerable spot. The gun’s excellent depression angle of -10 degrees allows to obscure the cupola from enemies’ sight for most of the time. The side armor is decent, too (from 88 mm to 100 mm). The mobility corresponds to the vehicle’s class. A top speed of 35 km/m and a specific power of 16.1 hp per ton are enough for the AE Phase I to keep up with other heavies while in combat.
Finally, let’s take a look at the 120mm gun. Its stabilization isn’t anything special, and neither is the accuracy (the dispersion is 0.38 m per 100 m). The rate of fire is average (4.8 shots per minute) as is the alpha strike of 400 points. Yet the armor penetration is majestic: 258 mm with the standard AP shell and 340 mm with the special HEAT shell, empowering you with an ability to pierce the protection of any foe, from every side. The AE Phase I comes with two nice quirks. The first is the status of an event vehicle, freeing you from the necessity to retrain an experienced Crew you assign to this tank. The second is a novel mechanic: a built-in Large Repair Kit consumable. In battle, it works just like a regular one but once the fight is over and you’re in the Garage, you don’t have to purchase a new one as the built-in Large Repair Kit replenishes automatically. The AE Phase I was designed for close quarters combat. With excellent frontal armor, great gun depression, high armor penetration with both basic and special rounds, and agreeable mobility it can emerge victorious from any brawl.
Good luck in reaching the prestige level needed for this!