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You are here:Home arrow Blog! arrow World of Tanks Guide to playing the Ram
World of Tanks Guide to playing the Ram PDF Print
(4 votes)

This is my world of Tanks Guide to playing the Ram. It is a tank I have played a little bit and hopefully I have a some small experience to impart that will be of use to you.

AMERICAN TREE

The first problem with the Ram? It isn't the Ram's fault but it occupies a space in the wrong tech. tree and like all WoT-created problems it seems to take aeons to fix any 'in-game' problem that the devs created. When the Ram first came into the game there was no British tech tree, the tank being Canadian and the developers being Russian then incorrectly assumed it should fit in the American tech tree. When the British line eventually came out some time later the Ram stayed where it was despite having a closer affinity to the British line.

Why does it have closer affinity to the British line? I hear you ask...

stamp-canada.jpgWell, prior to WWII Canada was a British colony only achieving full independence by 1931 but Canada's emotional orientation was still definitely toward Great Britain and her Empire. Canada was as important and integral to the spirit of the Empire as were India, Australia and South Africa. When Britain fought, Canadian troops fought alongside her. It was unthinkable that Britain would go to war without Canada going alongside her for support. Canada's military forces were integrated into those of the British, especially its navy. It is unthinkable now in these current days but politically, linguistically, legally, emotionally and in democratic common cause the Canadians had more in common with Britain than with the US of A. Canada's King was our King, Canada's history was British history. 

Fig 1.0. A Canadian stamp

As a result, the Canadian Ram should sit firmly in the British Imperial or Commonwealth tree. Unfortunately, it doesn't. You can't train your British crew in the Ram, you have to train a Yankee crew and listen to their accents in the game as you play the tank. The British tech. tree could really do with a premium tank that is able to hold its own in normal battles, is quite fast, has a good hard-hitting gun, fair armour and a reasonable hitpoint pool. Unfortunately, that tank is currently in the American tech tree.

ram-cruiser-500.jpg

Fig 2.0. Ram Tanks on exercise at Borden Camp

Back to the history.

The Ram was built by the Canadians to a British specification. It was the Canadians answer to a "cruiser tank" using as many indigenous components as possible while still adhering to the British specification. It used the 2pdr and 6pdr guns from the British Arsenal as soon as those guns became available, it used locally cast hulls and drive trains from the only plentiful source, the USA. A beleagured Britain had already equipped two Canadian armoured divisions with Churchill tanks but the object of the exercise was for Canada to produce its own fighting vehicles that could fight alongside British tanks using a shared supply chain. That meant British guns, wireless sets and tactical handling. 

Fig 3.0. Ram Tanks on land and sea (1:39 and 7:51)

Canadian heavy industry was capable of building locomotives but the Ram's one piece cast hull was still a considerable feat of engineering given that Canada had never produced a tank before. Canada had no indigenous experience of making hardened armour plate but had acquired casting capability from making locomotive and industrial components. The one-piece cast hull was still a huge undertaking but was the only way that Canada could produce its own tank hull.

The creation of the tank's engine and final drive was an issue that could not be easily resolved within Canada as significant technical expertise was required to design and build a suitable tank engine, gearbox and complete drivetrain. In the end it was much cheaper and quicker to use an off-the-shelf design, the same as that used in the M3 Lee, designed and produced in North America.

However there was a problem, the layout of the drive train was 'wrong' according to British design standards with the Lee's rear-mounted engine being connected via a driveshaft to the gearbox at the front of the tank turning a front-mounted sprocket instead of those at the back. British practice was that the gearbox and engine were situated together driving the sprocket at the rear resulting in the absence of a drive shaft that allowed for a much lower vehicle. As a result this compact design aspect is the one adopted by all modern tanks today. Unfortunately, the Ram had to incorporate a drive shaft coming straight through the fighting compartment and under the turret and so the turret basket and hull had to be raised to cater for this intrusion. This is the reason why the Ram, Lee and Sherman designs seem so tall in comparison to tanks of other nations that used rear drive in their tanks. German tanks also had this limitation but the layout of their tanks was achieved using typical German engineering skill and as a result their early tanks were generally lower than their American counterparts (sacrificing space in the fighting compartment). The Ram therefore, is a very tall tank.

The Ram was used to equip and train Canadian tank crews before they were shipped to operational theatres. The final version of the Ram of course was equipped with a useful 6pdr with a useful rate of fire and high penetration values. It would have been a useful weapon against the axis forces at the time it was envisaged but by the time it was designed, developed and built there were better tanks available in great numbers from the American arsenals. The US was an ally and lend-lease was in operation so it was much cheaper and more cost effective to use mass-produced American designs rather than indigenous but intrinsically similar Canadian ones. In addition, the US arsenals were stopping production of M3 Lee hulls and drivetrains in favour of that used in the Sherman. The US military decided it would rather focus on producing Shermans than create obsolete Lee drivetrains for the Canadians.

Nevertheless, the Ram was a significant feat of engineering for a country whose large-scale manufacturing base was a fraction of those of the mother country and in comparison to that of Canada's large southern neighbour.

The Ram was used by the British army to train some of its tank troops and eighty or more of the type were finally delivered to the Dutch army after the war to equip some batallions of the Dutch army. The Ram was never used by US forces.

wot-ram-650.jpg

Fig 4.0. Ram Tank looking good in WoT, two skill crew and one star on the barrel.

Gameplay notes:

First of all it is a premium tank and like all premium tanks it is crippled in some way. The Ram is limited to a 6pdr gun while other medium tanks in its tier will pack a bigger weapon. Although this is a limitation as far as the game is concerned, it is exactly the gun the real-life Ram II would have sported. The gun is still a good one. You simply have to change your medium tank playstyle to adjust to not having a top-of-the-line gun.

Some believe that the Ram II has preferential matchmaking but I can assure you it does not. The Ram II sees normal battles.

How does the thing play? Well, people think it is a slightly weaker and poorer-performing Sherman - and you can think of it that way but as such it does not seem a particularly good tank and that might deter you from this purchase. However, thinking of it as an adjunct to the British heavy cruiser line, (it was designed as a Cruiser tank and can be used in that way). If you then place it in your mind so it follows on from the Cruiser I, Cruiser II and Valentine then it is much more of a natural progression up that line. It has almost double the hit points of the Valentine, it packs a gun that equals its penetration, mobility in comparison? - the Ram II feels like a rocket!. The rate of fire with the same 6pdr gun is doubled. When you think of the Ram II as a tier V British heavy cruiser the tank starts to make real sense. If you play the Valentine and need an upgrade then buy the Ram II. I do not normally advocate buying any premium tank from Wargaming.net but the Ram is probably crippled the least of any of the lower tier premiums.

Speed - When compared to other successful tier five tanks it compares well. The Ram II has a decent turn of speed although it cannot be considered fast - but good enough to consider it a thoroughly mobile tank. Its top speed is marginally lower than the light tank Crusader with slightly poorer acceleration. It is slightly slower than the comparable Sherman III but not significantly so.

Weapon - The gun has a very similar fast rate of fire to the Crusader and very decent penetration but it carries a massive 92 x 6pdr shells so you can bash the shells out without worrying about running out of ammo. You'll need to carry a good amount of APCR (gold) shells as you will meet some very nasty heavy and well-performing enemy tanks. Don't expect to be able to deal damage to these upper tiers without some help. To illustrate the efficiency of the gun, the 6pdr can penetrate an O I on the sides and on those vulnerable spots but gold is required for those turrets. The 57mm gun is not quite as good as that in similar tanks such as the T34 57mm but it can still do damage.

The Ram II is a good tank for dishing out damage but not from the front line as it will be easily dispatched by the bigger guns. It is a second line tank which means it needs to move with the front line heavies but keep behind them allowing them soak up the damage while it deals out damage in turn. Remember it does need to keep up with the mediums using them for support as it does not have firepower to deal with enemies on its own. In turn, it can help and support the friendly heavies and mediums, it has an advantage in that it has a large hit point pool that allows it to soak up considerable amounts of damage, in fact, the hit point pool is significantly larger than most other medium tanks.

As a second line tank facing harder enemies you need to use folds in the ground to conceal your tall hull. As the tank is so tall you'll need to use the sides of hills, rubble piles or walls for cover, backing behind them when being targetted by bigger guns. Unfortunately, gun depression is quite poor in this tank, so shooting from slopes can be a problem. You need to find cover that protects you but allows you to shoot at the same time. Peaking out quickly from behind slopes is not an option.

Scouting - This tank is not a scout. It is tall and slow in comparison to other light tanks that are better suited to scouting. Consider that it will be spotted when shooting and moving, in fact it will be spotted most of the time. A good crew with camo skills and a camouflage net will be required if you like to snipe with your 6pdr gun. Good positioning is vital when using this tank to snipe.

Modules? The medium tank gun rammer is a good addition as good DPM is always useful especially in close encounters. Binoculars and camouflage are necessary if you wish to snipe from the rear. Alternatively the rammer, camouflage and the enhnaced gun layer.

binos-rammer-and-camo.jpg

Many think that the standard gun has good enough reload time so that the rammer is not required. In WoT when you are face to face with another equal enemy, every shot counts.

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.

   rams-reloading-500.jpg

Fig 5.0. More Ram Tanks on exercise at Borden Camp, loading the 6pdr.

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 100% drop it instead for the  sixth sense perk, then go for camouflage again.

Conclusion - In comparison to other tanks the Ram compares rather favourably. The M7 in the US line sports the same gun, cast hull and a similar shape but despite being smaller the M7 is not a great deal more stealthy. It also has a far smaller health point pool. Despite being slower the Ram seems the better choice at tier V. Compared to other tier V mediums such as the the Sherman III it is has a gun choice of equal capability, similar engine acceleration characteristics, the armour is thicker and it has a larger hitpoint pool.The Sherman packs a more powerful top end gun but overall the two packages are similar.

The tank is good for a 52-57% win rate in the right hands. In my hands it is 56% after 1,300 games (I also have one stripe/star).

The Ram for me is a good tank that if handled well can influence a battle or two. It is not one of those tanks that you drop in to carry games but it is a really good tank for grinding credits, earning experience and due to that earning potential you can load in a few more APCR shells than you would carry in your normal tanks. If you have to buy a premium tank then the Ram should be your choice.

The Ram 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... 

The Ram's worst enemy? A Cromwell.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 December 2016 )
 
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