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You are here:Home arrow Blog! arrow World of Tanks Guide to playing the British Medium MKII tank
World of Tanks Guide to playing the British Medium MKII tank PDF Print
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The British Medium MkII tank is utterly out of place in World of Tanks. The time period that WoT spans is largely World War Two and few tanks prior to this period have made it into the game. The early British Medium tanks are the exception to this rule and as a result the Medium MKII finds itself up against much more modern armour. Despite being old and very out-of-date it definitely has a place to play on the WoT battlefield. In the Wot tech tree, we get here from the Medium MKI tank (tier I) and my supposition is that the reason you are proceeding up the medium tank line is to eventually end up at the Matilda . That is what drives most down this line - as the alternative, the Cruiser MKIII is a souped-up monster in comparison to the Medium MKII.

Although the MkII is a tank designed in the 1920s for an entirely different war, the designers were looking somewhat successfully, toward the future. This is the medium tank concept put into practice by the British army prior to the separation of tank roles into distinct cruiser, light and infantry tanks. As such it has a single turret and a reasonable multi-role gun but only thin armour designed solely to prevent damage from machine gun fire. Despite being quite a successful design it seems out of place in a WoT battle consisting of tanks mainly from the early 1940s. It often finds itself up against much more capable tanks and finds it hard to compete. WoTs devs have given it a more competitive gun allowing it to survive the battlefield, the old low velocity Hotchkiss 6pdr from even earlier WWI tanks.

medium-mkii-650.jpg

Fig 1.0 The Medium MkII in my garage, 63% win rate, now used as barrack space. I still take it out on occasion...

So, how does it play? Well. the Medium MKII is an all-round a poor tank, at least that is what everybody thinks. However, it isn't a bad tank at all, it is only bad in the wrong hands or when played too aggressively. It is actually a very good defensive, second line tank. "Second line" in this context means that you should not push this tank to the front line as it will die easily and quickly. If you play this tank as a tank destroyer then it will be able to survive and do serious damage too.

The Medium MkII has some advantages in comparison to other tanks, the tank has quite a large hit point pool, meaning that it can survive a few hits from small calibre weapons and in addition the armament is better than most for its tier. It has some serious disadvantages too, despite the big hit point pool, the armour is so thin that it will practically never bounce a hit. Almost all incoming fire will penetrate and do some damage that you simply have to absorb, it is best to avoid enemy fire altogether. Despite having a performance boost on its MkI predecessor the MKII is still slow in comparison to almost all other tanks. The power to accelerate is just not there (170hp from the Wolseley) but flat-out top speed is adequate at approximately 24mph (40km/h). It takes a while to get to that top speed and any hill or incline will sap your speed, so enjoy it while you can and plan your route.

Medium MKII Tank  underway

Fig 2.0 The Medium MkI from which the MKII was derived

As with all lower tier tanks it is unwise to take them into battle until fully researched and upgraded. This particular tank will not perform well unless it mounts the best engine, the top radio, upgraded suspension, the most effective gun (the 6pdr MKII). Make sure they are all mounted prior to the tank entering battle. To go into battle without these modules mounted means that your tank is crippled which is a sure-fire way to reduce the potency of any lower-tier tank. It is quite possible to use a tank from a tier lower to create enough credits for this strategy to succeed. Most players are unable to muster the patience but it is an essential strategy for this tank to operate well.

So, we said that second line support is the role where this tank excels? I'll provide some examples:

On the map known as Mines you must sit back and encourage the faster tanks to take the hill while you defend the left flank, covering the island and preventing incoming enemy tanks outflanking the main force. This applies to either side of the map though one side is provided with a much better defensive position, in particular a good location is the bush next to the low hill where your tank can sit camouflaged while providing a perfect view of the lower-lying land below and of course, any tanks that choose to try to sneak up there unseen.

 mines-medium-mkii.jpg

Your task here is to load some HE and pile it into any tank that is cheeky enough to show itself going between the two islands. The MkII's gun is not a high velocity weapon and so you'll need to learn how to lead your aim to ensure a hit. The six pound shell in AP form is sufficient to do significant damage to any tier II vehicle you are likely to meet but the HE shell is a little more forgiving if our aim is just a little off. A very close near-hit may also do enough damage to rip off a track. That is what I typically strive to achieve then I switch to AP shells that are normally sufficient to defeat any tank with a further one or two shells. The HE shell is often sufficient to one/two-shot the smaller light tanks or lower tier artillery. However, to achieve any hits at all you will need to ensure that all shots are fully aimed in and preferably, that the target is stationary. Firing at a moving target with a lower velocity gun is not something that is easily performed by a newcomer player. However, when you learn how to lead your shots successfully, a hit on an enemy tank at speed is very satisfying. A number of games and a good eye for computing distance and speed is required to hone this skill.

Second example, on Himmelsdorf the best place for this tank is a position that protects a flank without exposing your tank to enemy fire. The corner of the building that sits adjacent to the railway station provides a great opportunity to take long range shots to any tanks that attempt to sneak up the railway yard. Shooting at sneaking fast moving tanks in the open or even through the long wall is entirely possible. In both map positions the correct way to position your tank is with the rear-mounted turret facing the enemy but with only the rear of your tank projecting out, presenting a much smaller target for the enemy. A general rule for this tanks is that if you stick your front out when going around the edges of buildings then expect to be shot regularly. The front of your tank is big and a lovely target. Instead, a quick swivel to present your rear is a good tactic when entering all points of combat. It may be slower but it is much wiser to present as small a target as you can.

The same applies for Crappengard, don't try to outflank but instead move to a central position quickly, poke out your rear-mounted gun around corners and pump HE into the open spaces where enemy tanks are likely to emerge.

-oOo-

The 6pdr gun is good at tier II, less so at tier III but still usable. To attain penetrations on some harder tier II tanks such as the M2 light, PzII, T60 or LTP that have thick or well-sloped armour you will need to carry four or so APC (gold) rounds. These will allow you to penetrate most of these tanks consistently. Carrying more than four gold rounds is uneconomic. When the gold rounds run out, resort to HE that will consistently cause module and track damage and may well even penetrate at close range.

If you obtain 2 kills per game average using these tactics then you are doing well. Over a period of games this sort of damage to the enemy team will positively affect your win rate. Newcomers that will generally play this tank can hope for a 52-55% win rate when they have perfected their skills. Seal-clubbers can easily attain a win rate in excess of 65% with the MKII. Platooning is an option with this tank, do not however platoon with another MKII as you don't want to cripple your team. A PzII is a good choice as a platoon-mate, your MKII can provide long range hard-hitting damage whilst the PzII is a hard friend with rapid fire and good armour. This combination of tanks is good in defence and useful in attack but they may have to operate independently to optimise their potential.

Modules and enhancements?

binos-and-camo.jpg

Binoculars and camouflage are necessary for base camping. I do suggest base camping for this tank, relax and have a picnic, blacklist any that complain about your camping style. It isn't camping, it is flank cover and second line support. Alternatively, offer any that dare to criticise tea and biscuits. You are a TD.

Camouflage is the first enhancement that I select as it improves survivability, followed by binoculars. Binoculars allow this tank to operate defensively spotting enemy tanks before they spot you. These first two are demountable and can be switched to any tank that you choose to drive. You need to find a good spotting position where you can safely keep your tank still as both of these enhancements only operate when completely stationary.

The third addition could be the improved aiming drive that reduces the aim time by 10%. This might not seem much of an improvement for the expense but any assistance is useful in this tank. Some decry adding permanent enhancements to such a low tier tank assuming that they are a waste of both time and credits. I don't think so. A small amount of gold can be retained to facilitate any such tank-to-tank module transfers and in any case, the money showered on this tank will be well spent allowing you to create a useful training vehicle for tanks in tiers above.

Skills/enhancements - For a camping tank such as this select the camouflage skill for all your crew, only then consider sixth sense, recon, eagle eye, snap shot or other skills. It is essential that you always go for skills rather than perks first as they work cumulatively as you progress toward 100%. The only exception to this is the commander's perk, sixth sense. This is an essential attribute for the commander and the first you want to achieve. However, instead of selecting it immediately (it is a perk and won't work until 100%) go for an alternative skill such as camouflage and attain that as your first skill to 100%. As soon as your second chosen skill makes it to 10%, drop them both and re-skill your commander instead for the sixth sense perk. Doing it this way will give you the sixth sense skill complete at 100% so it operates from the outset. I always reset/retrain to 90% as I refuse to spend money on WoT.

Commander: sixth sense, camouflage, mentor, recon, jack of all trades.
Gunner: camouflage,  intuition, designated target, snapshot.
Driver: camouflage, clutch braking, off-road driving, preventative maintenance.
Loader: safe stowage, firefighting.
Radio Operator: situational awareness, relaying.

History - The Medium MkII as it purports to exist in the game (with the top 6pdr MKII gun and 170hp engine) in reality only existed as a single example that was reworked for the Irish from an older MKII medium acquired from the British army. Ireland has a history of acquiring British army cast-off vehicles in very small quantities just to keep the appearance of having an actual functioning tank force. The re-work was not just an upgraded engine with greater power it was also the mounting of a 40 calibre, French built, Hotchkiss 57mm light naval gun firing a six pound medium-velocity shell.

The next tank in the line is the Medium MKIII. You can find that guide here .

There are few more period films extant of the real-life Medium MKII than you would think:

Fig 3.0  All thanks to British Pathe films for these fine period videos:

Fig 4.0 All thanks to British Pathe films for this fine video of the fictitious Battle of Quarly:

 

Fig 5.0 This one from Bovington gives a colour aspect to bring the tank fully to life.

The medium MKII's worst enemy? Any tank that fires an auto-loading small calibre gun. Two magazine-loads will shred this tank to ribbons. A US army T7 light car, a PzII or an M2 light should be feared and avoided.

-oOo-

The Medium MKII is a stepping stone toward the Medium MKIII . Use the MKII to earn the credits to research all the Medium MKIII's potential enhancements - NEVER go into battle stock... The MkII is a good earner and a good trainer. When you have tired of the MKII don't dispose of it. Keep it in your garage - as a five crew tank can be useful as a good extension to your barracks. A Medium MKII is cheaper than five barrack spaces.

The poor Medium MKII is a definite upgrade to the Medium MKI, better armour (just), better gun, bigger hit point pool, more mobility (it actually seems fast in comparison). However, in comparison to its piers in the game the best you can say about this tank is that at times it can be a surprisingly adequate performer. Is this tank still in my garage?  yes - but only as more British barrack space.



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 February 2017 )
 
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