War Thunder Ground Forces expansion swells its tank ranks, hasn’t even left closed beta yet

War Thunder has proven phenomenally successful without ever yet leaving beta.

The upside of War Thunder’s long-awaited Ground Forces expansion is practically vertical. Why not couple seamless ground combat to what’s already the most compelling sky-fighting sim around (sorry, World of Warplanes, sorry sorry sorry)?

Well, here’s why not. Because every significant update from now on will be filled with incomprehensible-named tracked vehicles, which I’ll have to try and type. Today, it’s my duty to announce that the second wave of Ground Forces’ closed beta merits a slews of new tanks, including the JaguarPanther IV-B, the T-3PO 1942, and the PzKpfwsxz]]/// Ausf.H. It says here.

Nine new tanks are to be added to the game, all told. They’re heavier vehicles than the norm, and War Thunder YouTuber eNtaK makes a compelling case for their tactical scope below:

Gaijin have introduced five Soviet machines to their test servers:

  • USSR: KV-2 1939
  • IS-1
  • T-34 1942
  • T-34-85 (D-5T)
  • SU-85

Plus four new German models:

  • PzKpfw III Ausf.M
  • PzKpfw IV Ausf.H
  • Jagdpanzer IV (L48)
  • PzKpfw VI Ausf.H1

Thankfully, the tanks promise to be more aesthetically and tactically diverse in the field than they are on the page.

Meanwhile, Gajin have come to some interesting conclusions about the viability of tanks on their existing air-focused maps.

“Right now, tank battles are re-created in the existing War Thunder maps that are available for air combat that have areas practical for ground combat,” they write. “Our initial testing shows that making any tank battle zone more than sixteen square kilometers (4×4) is not a good idea game play wise, since players cannot get into key areas quickly enough and the battle turns into a series of non-linked mini skirmishes all around the combat zone.”

Makes sense. Is this going to be the ground-to-air-and-back-again game to rival Battlefield, do you think?