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You are here:Home arrow Blog! arrow World of Tanks Guide to playing the Covenantor
World of Tanks Guide to playing the Covenantor PDF Print
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This is a guide to playing the Covenanter. I won't list all the guns and modules that this tank can carry. I'll just cut to the chase and list what works for me.

In my opinion, the Covvie needs a buff in some regard as it is a lacklustre weapon on the WoT battlefield. You'll never feel confidence when you see another in your team. For example, it's top gun is worse then the stock weapon, its speed is underwhelming and it still a lightly armoured cruiser. It simply needs a buff.

The buff could simply be to give it a small boost in speed or at the very furthest extreme to allow it to mount the littlejohn adapter on the 2pdr (as per the Matilda ). Moving up the tech tree from the tier III Cruiser MkIV to the tier IV Covenanter is quite a shock as it initially appears to be almost no improvement whatsoever, except for the increased hit point pool and thicker armour it really does feels like a downgrade. The Covenanter uses a different engine to the Cruiser MkIV that precedes it, instead using a lower profile flat 12 Meadows petrol type, slightly less powerful, certainly no quicker on acceleration and unfortunately a lot more prone to catching fire.

meadows.pngAs you can tell I am not impressed with the Covvie and it is not a tank I relish playing. Personally, a small top speed improvement would be the buff I would give the it as well as perhaps a quicker reload time on the Bofors. I really feel that the tank needs a buff to become more competitive.

Having said that, I do quite well in the Covvie compared to most (52% win rate) but it is an underwhelming tank due to the tier it occupies and the resulting enemies it meets with its tier III gun. The best gun choice would seem to be the stock 2pdr as the Bofors 40mm has less penetration than the stock weapon and more penetration is definitely required at this tier. It is all very well having four shots but if they merely pew pew off the face (or sides) of the opposing KV's armour then there's not much point in having it. The Bofors is quite easily the best gun for the preceding Cruiser IV but due to the calibre of the opponents the Covvie will face at this tier, it is next to useless. As a flanker and penetrator of the sides and rear of enemy tanks the Bofors can do some damage but it is unreliable without gold shells. Gold rounds will make your gun function but at rather an extreme level of expenditure. Firing four off at a go (try taking your finger off that trigger in time for the second burst) is expensive when firing premium rounds. The weapon is also useless at long ranges. Dispersion is just as bad.

So, if you need a gun to perform consistently it would seem that you are left with the option of the 2pdr stock gun. It is accurate and penetration is decent. Howver, when up against a KV1 you'll still need plenty of gold...  

Everyone in the game decries the 2pdr as a pea-shooter, however you have to remember that those 2pdr pea-shooters were quite adequate when up against the enemy they were designed to face, those enemies being the Germans up to 1942 (pz1-pzIII, early pzIV) and all the Eyeties tanks, it was also very useful against the Japanese tin cans right up to the end of the war. It was never designed for use against the Russians, the French, the Americans nor the Chinese. The only reason the gun was in service so long was that it was still effective (though decreasingly so at longer ranges) and that post-Dunkirk there was an army to be rebuilt from scratch (6 x 2pdrs was considered better than a mere single 6pdr coming off the production line).

220px-loading_valentine_tank_2_pdr_gun_iwm_e_9766.jpgThe 6pdr was ready as a design by 1938 but production and introduction was delayed until 1942 to allow a tank army to be built. If enough lathes had been available and not so many tanks lost at Dunkirk (30,000 vehicles of all sorts lost) then the British could have had the 6pdr in service by early 1941. Knowing that the early British turrets were actually destined for the 6pdr makes it unfortunate that we do not encounter this gun in WoT until it is available for the Crusader which is fully able to mount one.

The game does not reflect all this and so pits 2pdr armed Covvies against KVs and the like. What hope in hell is there for the poor Covvie? As I said earlier the Covenanter's best gun is somewhat worse regarding penetration than its stock weapon. The Covvie's turret was perfectly capable of mounting a 6pdr as it is fundamentally the same turret as on the Crusader, though mounting a 6pdr may be pushing the point very slightly, given that the turret ring was the same as the Crusader might it not be able to take the recoil?. Would WG give us the option of the QF 6-pdr Mk. III as the top gun in a Brit? Nope. If it was Russian tank? Probably, actually, they'd give it a long 85mm...

Regardless of the gun carried, it has one outstanding characteristic that can work to its advantage. Gun depression is very good allowing you to use ridge lines and cover to peek out, fire and then pull back in short order. Use this characteristic to harass and annoy the enemy even if you can't defeat their armour.

To sum up the Covvie is an overall poorly performing tank in the wrong hands but I have a decent enough win rate on it regardless of which server I'm on (52%). I have enough games under my belt to know its weaknesses and enough games on similar tanks to know it is isn't just me that is bringing the tank down. I have no doubt that I could play it better if I knew that 'secret ability' that the tank has but I do know enough to realise it doesn't quite suit my play-style. I have killed eight enemy tanks in one match and I was very pleased with myself, has it happened often? no, it has happened just the once. When you get your first 8 kill game you can in game-chat shout with confidence:

"YAY! - Eight kills - and in a Covvie!".

More History - The covvie is not a light tank and it is also not a medium. To find a classification in WoT is diffcult but think of it as a light-medium. The Covenanter was a Cruiser and took its mantle from the Cruiser IV which it was designed to replace. Cruisers were conceived as breakthrough or exploitative tanks designed to wreak havoc in the enemies' rear when a penetration had been achieved. Think of them as the tank form of cavalry.

In reality, the tank saw very little combat except for a single trial tank in the North African desert. This demonstrated that its tendency for the engine to overheat meant that desert use was really not feasible. The tank therefore was restricted to use in cooler North West Europe but by the time that battle in France was rejoined the Covvie was outclassed by newer generations of British tanks. However, it served well as a training tank throughout the war and would have been deployed against German armour if they had ever attempted Operation Sealion. 

The Covenanter was a development of the Cruiser MkIII/IV utilising the same Christie suspension in a much modified and lower profile hull and an entirely new turret whose design was shared with the Crusader. Some still believe that the Covenanter was the predecessor of the Crusader tank (as per WoT's tech tree) but in fact the Crusader was a contemporary of the Covenanter both of which were designed and built at the same time and to a similar specification.

covenanter-tanks-595x601.jpg

fig. 3.0 The covvie in action, well, not really in action, a few Covenanters in training. They look good, don't they?


The Covenanter's main weakness was the low profile flat-12 configuration Meadows engine in combination with a low hull that required the radiator cooling fins to be sited under armoured louvres on the front plate. Having hot coolant pipes passing through the crew position left both the engine and the crew in danger of severe overheating. As such the tank was unsuitable for the desert war that was being waged at the time it was being built. It was deemed to be only suitable for Western European operations and so it served only as a training tank being eventually superceded by the Cavalier, Centaur and Cromwell designs as time progressed.

The tank had other inherent weaknesses in its design, the use of bolted armour plate instead of welded armour, a weak front idler wheel mounting, a turret ring an inch smaller than the Crusader possibly precluding the mounting of the 6pdr gun, the box over the driver's position presented a useful target for enemy guns that abrogated the use of well-sloped armour used elsewhere. The tank's design sacrificed armour for mobility in order to satisfy a cruiser requirement that was in itself a tactical mistake. Despite having a well-performing AP round the gun it mounted was not the equal of its adversaries having an insufficient weight of shell precluding firing a useful high explosive round.

The Covenanter ended up being an almost entirely new design created just to address one perceived weakness of the earlier Cruiser tanks, the high silhouette of the Cruiser III/IV. It did succeed in addressing this one issue but with regard to mobility and armament the tank was not really much of an advance on its predecessor. Unreliability plagued all the early over-complex Christie cruiser designs and it has to be said the Covenanter was not a successful fighting design.

Despite all its weaknesses over two thousand were created and the tank served very well almost exclusively as a training vehicle but in so doing saving better types more suited to the battlefield. British tanks were designed for specific roles, Covenanter found its specific role by chance, that of a training tank.

  covenanter-in-garage-650.jpg

fig. 4.0 The Covvie in the garage sporting a 2pdr MKX OQF gun.

-oOo-

Gameplay - On the WoT battlefield, if you avoid face-to-face battles with mediums then you would be sensible, avoiding battles even with lights would be an equally sensible precaution as this tank has no armour. Use it as a stealthy if slowish spotter, also as a sniper and then as a flanker. Find a hull-down position in a depression, behind a bush and pew-pew at their weakspots. When the battle has moved on and some support is required then start to flank. Use the low profile and use ridges to conceal your advance, don't shoot targets unless there is no risk to yourself. Sometimes passive spotting is simply a better bet.

A significant advantage that this tank has in World of Tanks is its gun depression of -15 degrees. That useful depression must be used in order for this tank to survive and contribute. The gameplay choice is your own, use the 2pdr and snipe safely from the flanks or use the Bofors and flank from close range, either way use the ridges and use that depression to pop up and shoot, then scoot back to safety.

The old adage - discretion is the better part of valour, applies. Keep yourself hidden and do damage to their flanks.  

Speed - The underpowered Meadows engine does not make this light tank a scout. The tank is not fast and speed is not going to help you in any task you choose, it is adequate and no more. The tank is also not nimble in any way, quick turns and relocations are not one of its abilities, so plan your route with care. Quick reverse is not an option, circling the enemy at close quarters may not be an easy thing to do.The engine has a rendency to catch fire so an automatic fire extinguisher can be a real boon.

Scout Matchmaking? The main advantage that this tank has in World of Tanks is the benefit it receives for not receiving scout matchmaking. Most light tanks have to act as scouts at higher tiers, for example the tier IV Luchs opposes tier VII tanks regularly but your Covenanter will only see a maximum of tier VI.

Modules? The binoculars and camouflage are necessary. Coated optics are good in this tank for spotting on the move and a good choice for a spotter. I generally don't believe in vents though some fit them early on when your crew is still noobish to increase any chance you have of making an overall slightly better team. Swap this out when your crew reach 100% and select one of the other modules instead.

binos-and-camo.jpg

Skills? 

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.

The usual skills/perks for a 2pdr in flanking mode. I always go for skills first as they work cumulatively as you progress toward 100%. The only exception to this, is the commander's perk, sixth sense, an essential attribute for the commander and the first you should aim for. Instead of selecting it immediately go for a skill such as camouflage first and as soon as you make it to 110% drop it instead for the sixth sense perk, then go for camouflage again.

covvie-hightiergame-650.jpg

 fig. 5.0 The typical results that you need to attain during high tier games. Some real damage done to tanks two tiers higher. Poor BDR.

Conclusion -The Covenanter is not one of the tanks that you retreat to when your account is being nerfed (remember all those bad teams during that losing streak? ).  It is not a tank that you can carry a game in, though a reasonable WN8 is certainly achievable when things are going well and the Matchmaker smiles upon you...  Some people swear by this tank. I don't.

It really looks like a tank, by golly it sounds like a tank, that Meadows engine growls. If only it was a 'real' fighting tank that played as well as it looked. In the game the best you can say about this tank is that at times it can be an adequate performer. Is this tank still in my garage?  Nope. Should it be a keeper for you? Well, you will decide that - but my suggestion is simply this: "move along please, there is nothing much to see here".

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

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 December 2016 )
 
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