This will be a more simplistic guide on the Tiger H1 and E models found in the German tech tree but I will briefly touch over some of the other models . I will be going over the tank's main stats and capabilities along with play styles and where to shoot some of the enemies it commonly faces. I will not be going over the history of the Tiger and will leave that up to another article (or several).
The Tiger 1 is armed with the KwK 36, a long barreled 88mm gun capable of firing APCBC, APCR, HEAT and HE. It has a stock reload of 9.6 seconds and an upgraded reload of 7.4
The hull is protected by 102mm of frontal armour, 82mm on the side above the tracks and rear, 62mm behind the tracks. The Turret is protected by a mantlet of variable thickness from 90mm-140mm and the side and rear are 82mm thick.
It is powered by a 650 horsepower engine in the H1 and a 700 horsepower engine in the E. The transmission has a max speed of 45kmh forward and 8 in reverse.
The Tigers are also equipped with smoke grenades, the difference between the variants are noticeable here and I will go over it in more detail later on. The Tiger H1 has smoke launchers on the turret front (3 on each side) along with 4 in each corner of the hull. The Tiger E just has a single smoke mortar in the turret which is reloadable and has 6 launches.
As stated before the Tiger is armed with the venerable 88mm gun. The gun is capable of punching through almost any opposition you face if you know where to hit them and enough explosive filler that more often than not you don't need a second shot.
The Tiger has a turret rotation speed with a stock crew of 11.8 degrees a second and an aced of 14 per second. It has a max depression angle of 8 degrees and elevation of 16. This enables it to do ok fighting in close spaces but its slightly less than average depression can make cresting hills more difficult.
The main type of shell you should be using is either of the APCBC shells, but you may find more success with the "PzGr." not "PzGr 39" as it has enough HE filler inside it to trigger the over pressure mechanic instantly killing any tank you deal internal damage to and with its powerful muzzle velocity and penetration of 140mm at 500 meters compared with the PzGr 39's 151mm at 500 meters and similar penetration on angles means you do not sacrifice much penetration to get the desired instant kill effect.
The APCBC isn't the only shell type you have available as you have APCR, HEAT and HE available but those should be mostly avoided as the APCR (only on E) gives an extra 50mm of penetration over the PzGr at 500 meters but its post penetration damage is negligible and is very weak against slopes and you are better off shooting a target's barrel if you cannot penetrate them. The HE and HEAT then are mostly useless except for very soft targets such as Gaz/Zis trucks but those you can take out with your APCBC or machine guns anyway.
Speaking of machine guns the H1 only gets 1 coax 7.92 and the E gets 1 coax and cupola mounted MG both of 7.92 caliber.
Although the Tiger's armour may seem thick its 100mm is not nearly enough to protect against most shells being shot at you so you need to make good use of angling and side scraping. The optimal angle for the Tiger E is about 40-45 degrees to the left or right. The Tiger H1 however, has some issues angling at 45 degrees as there is a smoke grenade launcher on the corner of the hull which will block your barrel from depressing down and will block the turret moving until the gun raises above it which can slow down turret traverse significantly.
The most major difference between the Tiger H1 and E is the cupolas, the H1's cupola is quite the weak spot as it is 80mm thick armour and circular so it cannot be angled and sticks up a decent height above the rest of the turret but worst of all is that if an APHE shell hits the cupola the resulting HE and fragmentation will kill your turret crew so be sure to make sure it is hidden or not the first thing your enemy sees. The E does not have this issue at all luckily and an enemy hitting your cupola will only damage optics or your commander if you are very unlucky.
The turret roof armour on the H1 is also weaker than the E's at 26mm compared with 40mm, the extra protection may help against plane mounted 20mm and 37mm cannons but there is not much you can actively do to help yourself against them.
Another thing to note is that the transmission in the front of the tank will absorb some shots and the drivers port and gun mantlet have been known to cause some weird interactions with shells saving your life in many situations but is not to be relied upon.
The Tiger has a horse power per ton of about 12 which is decent for a tank of its size but isn't amazing, on larger maps you will lag behind your light and medium tank allies but that doesn't mean you cant get into good fighting positions early into a game especially on smaller maps.
The reverse gear at about 8kph will allow you to be able to retreat behind cover if you are engaged but its not enough to get you out of trouble if you over extend. Both Tigers also have neutral turning capabilities meaning they can turn on the spot, this will help with angling against targets. Its large tracks also help it traverse muddy/snowy surfaces better than most but because of how War Thunder currently models traction don't expect a miracle, especially when going uphill.
The Tiger is a very adaptable tank that can really do whatever you want it to given the proper map and battle rating you find yourself in, it has the gun to do long ranged combat and the armour to go brawling. The Tiger can however struggle in an up-tier so you may need to play more defensively when you find yourself in one but just remember what I talked about here and you should make it through the game with a couple kills by the end.
In the right hands a tiger really is a menace on the battlefield which will make the enemy team crumble and capitulate but it can seem underpowered in the hands of someone new or inexperienced so I hope this guide has helped you learn something or at least give you something to think about going forward with your War Thunder career.
Written by Lithium.
I will briefly be going over these 4 vehicles in a very rough summary, their chassis and guns exist on other tanks that the Tiger's can face so keep that in mind too eg: M4A3 76, IS-1, Su-85
- M18: The M18 is a fast vehicle with light armour but a relatively powerful cannon, you can hit these guys anywhere and pen them but watch out as your shell may not detonate on their thin side armour so try to hit center mass or something hard like breech/ammo/transmission/engine. Because of their speed you will most often find them in camping spots around the map or on the flanks so watch out. Their guns are quite powerful and will penetrate your armour if you are close enough or un-angled.
- M4A3E2 Jumbo: The Jumbo is a heavily armoured tank but its weaponry is lacking with only a short 75mm which will struggle to penetrate your frontal armour but it will go through your sides and also the cupola on the H1, but you will have equal trouble getting through its thick sloped front plate, its turret is also very heavily armoured and you shouldn't shoot at the turret even from the side or rear and if you see one always try to hit the MG port or the thin armour behind the track. The Jumbo is not the most mobile tank so expect to be fighting them head on and not on the flanks.
- T-34 85: The T-34 85 has insufficient armour to protect itself except for the drivers port and on some occasions the gun mantlet but penetration will always result in a kill due to overpressure and how tightly compacted the crew is. The T-34 85 like its name suggests has an 85mm gun which will go through your armour un-angled but angling will save your life here. The tank is decently mobile so you may find them on the flanks but most of the time it will be head on.
- IS-2: The IS-2 is a very difficult opponent to fight in the Tiger as its gun is very easily capable of killing you with a single shot and being able to penetrate your armour no matter the angle, its armour is also relatively thick but it suffers from the same cupola weakness as the Tiger and its lower plate is a large flat part you can hit to kill the tank. The IS-2 cannot angle its armour as it has curves going from the drivers port to the side of the turret ring meaning if you see it angling go for this curved hull armour instead. The 122mm gun although powerful as stated before has a very long reload and you can return 2-3 shots before he reloads so use that to your advantage.
- Centurion: The British century although not as commonly seen as other opponents will be one of your most dangerous. It is armed with a relatively quick reloading 17pdr gun loading APDS which can cut through your armour and destroy any component or kill any crew members behind it. The Centurion is not very mobile however so it will not be flanking you instead it will usually be found in an overwatch position on a hill or sniping spot. Its armour is an issue and the best place to shoot it is the MG port on the turret or the lower plate, both of which will result in a kill.
- ARL-44: The ARL-44 is armed with a long barreled 90mm gun and has thick sloped frontal armour. This tank will easily go through your own armour and then some. It is not very mobile though and has a few weak spots you can take advantage of such as the turret being a large flat plate which can easily be penetrated another weak spot is the front sprocket when its hull is pointed at you, this wont kill the tank but it will kill crew members and disable it.
This will be a short overview of the Special and premium tigers found in the game.
- Furry Tiger: The furry tiger is a reskinned tiger H1 from a very early crafting event and is only obtainable the Gaijin Market for a steep price (It also gets a paw icon next to its name)
- Heavy Tank no.6: This Tiger is a premium Tiger for Japan that has been pulled from sale, it is a Tiger H1 hull with a Tiger E turret and all of the pros and cons which come with that.
- VK4501P: This gift tank from years ago is no longer available to get on the market or on the store and is quite different from the other tigers mentioned, its has a a Tiger H1 turret but the hull is very different. The armour thickness is roughly the same as the other Tigers but it has hull cheeks which prevent it from angling and its turret is much more forward along the hull than the others.
- Pz.Bef.Wg.VI. P: This is a GE premium at rank IV (1 rank higher than the other Tigers). This Tiger is very similar to the VK4501P except it has an extra 100mm plate bolted to the front of it which improves protection significantly but still has the hull cheek weak spot.