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World of Tanks KV1S Guide

World of Tanks KV1S Guide by Cpt_Ranger

The KV1S Comprehensive guide
A guide to playstyle, equipment, crewskills AND leveling.

I know there are quite a number of guides out there, but I deemed them incomplete/just utter ****

Before anyone starts ranting to me about being unskilled having only 6.6k battles.:
KV1S Statistics:
winrate: 58.3% @ 259 battles
average damage: 1177
KDR: 2.2
Eff Rating 1729
Eff Rating V2 Beta 1612
Kiev armor rating 3710
79% hitrate with 1627 shots
maximum Experience: 2544

I know that I will also get flamed for playing, according to the flamers, an OP tank. I'll tell them this: Learn where the fuel tank is located and SHOOT IT. This tank has a 13.5 second reload when one utilizes the Gun Rammer AND crew ventilation. Also, it's extremely easy to set alight with any given tank.

Pros (once maxed out):
High alpha damage
High maneuvrebility
God of it's tier in capable hands, fun play when bottom.
As top tier, your TimeToKill is usually 15 seconds (1 reloads as the first shot should be loaded = 2 shots in 15 seconds, meds and lights usually die in 2 shots, heavies most of the time in 3)

Paperthin body armor.
Fuel tanks located along the left side of the tank in the body (easily set on fire)
High reload time (gun rammer is a must, no discussion about this)
Lowest healthpool out of all the Tier 6 heavies, most meds also have more health.

Health: 760 (810)
HorsePower: 500(600)
Speed Limit: 43km/h
Hull: 75/60/60
Turret: 82/75/75 (100/90/90)
View Range: 320m (330m)
Signal Range: 360m (440)
Turret Traverse: 28deg/s
Track Traverse: 28deg/s (30deg/s)
Shop Price: 900k

Leveling Guide
Now onto the stock configuration: Rubbish, crap and totally not worth playing this tank at this time.
It is sluggish, slow, weak and it carries a gun that a T4 tank will laugh at as it'll most likely bounce.
The 76mm ZiS-5 has 110 dmg per shot, 86 av pen on reg rounds (102 on prem rounds!NOT WORTH IT!) and a fire rate of 13.95 rounds/min.... ok that may be the ONLY upside to it... you can keep the enemy permatracked... right, as if that will help you kill them...... NOT because you cannot get around them with stock configuration.

Ok, let's check the 76mm S-54: 115 av dmg, 109 av pen (156 on prem rounds) and a fire rate of 13.04 rounds/min.
This one, at least to my opinion, isn't worth it unless you got like zillions of credits to slug those decent prem rounds. While useable at first, I'd personally go with the 122 mm U-11.

The 122mm U-11, while inacurate, will at all times deal damage to the enemy, well unless you hit those annoying spaced armors. Use this gun and unlock it on the KV-1, it will be your go-to until you get to the 85mm D-5T or 122mm D-2-5T.
Ok, so first up what we need to research: Tracks, yes tracks. While the IS and IS3 do not require tracks to fit all their modules, this tank does. With the 122mm U-11 you will most likely be almost at your maximum weight. Keep in mind that it has a low shell velocity, which means you have to compensate more for fast tanks.

After one has researched this, I suggest getting the engine. While most people say: “Go for the turret and gun”, I did not do this. Reason is that I wanted to be able to move around, instead commit to one flank. When you use the stubby 122, you want to be able to move to a hiding spot fast, as it is relatively easy to snipe with, despite it's low accuracy (I hit tanks where I could only see the cupola).

After this, it's the same old song: Turret and then the god gun of this tank, which makes people scream OP TANK, NERF NERF NERF. → 122mm D-2-5T
390 av dmg, 175mm av pen (217 with prem rounds) but a stunningly slow reload speed of 3.75 rounds per minute. This means that at 100% crew skill, you'd at fastest reload in 15 seconds.
It also has a pretty bad accuracy of 0.43, not exactly a sniping gun. Also keep in mind that this tank has a pretty slow aiming speed, so if you stop to fire, you'll have to be sure that you are safe to stop for that long.

Well, once you have this, just unlock whatever else you want. I elited mine.

Gun Rammer –> a MUST. This will knock about 1.5 seconds off your reload.
Coated Optics –> a possibility as you only have 320/330m view range (stock/upped turet)
Crew Ventilation –> This together with a Gun Rammer will knock your reload down to 13.5s sharp.
Enhanced Gun Laying –> Your aiming speed is pretty slow, this makes it easier to move and shoot.
Torsion Bars –> While you do not really need the track health, it does give you some extra mobility, albeit almost not noticable.
Toolkit –> If you don't have repair trained yet, it is a possibility.

Repair Kit and Med Kit: You are hit HARD if you lose your driver or gunner (gunner is the worst of the 2) and you do not want a damaged gun.
Speed governer: To get to or from the fray just that tiny bit faster.
Extinguishers: You are set on fire quite a bit.

Crew skills:
1. 6th Sense or BIA
2. depending on first choice 6th sense or BIA (depends on other crews)
3. Jack of all Trades (cover for that dead driver or gunner)
4. Repair
1. BIA or Repair
2. depending on first choice: Repair (if first is BIA) or snapshot/BIA
3. Depending on second choice: Snap Shot or Armorer (be prepared to fight with a damaged gun)
1. BIA or Repair
2. depending on first choice: Repair (if first is BIA) or off-road driving/BIA
3. depending on second choice: off-road driving or preventive maintenance (against those annoying fires)
Radio Operator:
1. BIA or Repair
2. depending on first choice: Repair (if first is BIA) or Situational Awareness/BIA
3. Depending on second choice: Situational Awareness or Fire Fighting
1. BIA or Repair
2. depending on first choice: Repair (if first is BIA) or Safe Stowage/BIA
3. Depending on second choice: Safe Stowage or Adrenalin Rush


When you are starting out stock, doesn't matter which gun, or which tier: Play as a support tank. You hide behind terrain, bushes and other things that can cover for you. Take a shot when possible, without putting yourself into much danger. Play very safe and steady, right now is not the time for you to go Rambo, you lack the gun and maneuvrebility for this. At all times: it is important to take your time for a shot.

Once you got your tracks and Engine, you can start running around a little more. You can, because you play as a 2nd line fighter, easily switch flanks now and do this if needed. You can contribute a little more now.
Well, after a good number of games, you have your god's given gun. Now it is time to get a bit more aggressive.

Golden rule: Have teammates with you with a decent to fast firing speed. A KV-1S without support is a dead one. The enemy (if smart) will take advantage of your inaccurate gun and long reload time.

Look at the tierspread and decide on your level of aggressiveness. If you go really aggressive, make sure you inform your team and ask mediums with you. Medium tanks are your friends, well if it isn't the VK36 as this one isn't as fast as the VK3001P and VK3001H. A KV-1S driver with support is a very deadly driver as your support can cover for you while you reload.

Really Aggressive:
You lead the charge, push a single flank hard but stay as much in cover as possible. You play to kill right now, shoot the moment you reload (come out of hiding when you have about a second to load left). Aim in the general area of a weakspot, unless you can pen the tank anywhere.
When to go really aggressive: You are top-tier and the enemy doesn't have sneaky snipers like: KV2, Tds, or kv1s. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you cannot do this even if you don't meet these criteria, but it usually leads to your death.

A mixed Aggresive/safe playstyle:
You are amongst the other heavies, not pushing hard, nor defending without moving. Hide while reloading and slowly poke your head out to keep maximum accuracy. Aim a little below the middle of the tank and make sure you wait about half a sec after your reticle fully zooms in before firing. It is standard HT-play right now, the infamous Peek-a-boo battle. If you are good, lure a shot then poke out to shoot.
When to play this: You are mid tier and the enemy top tiers aren't solely IS's and your team has a good mixture of heavies and mediums at the top.
If your team only has mediums at the top, play aggressive and pull up with the meds.

Play safe: if you end up in Tier 8 battles. Or any other case which hasn't been covered.
Note: If you choose a playstyle, you are not supposed to stick to that at all times, you may switch to another if need be.

Tanks for tank tactics:
Tier 6:

ARL44: if facing him from the front: DO NOT ENGAGE. His angled armor is near impossible to penetrate.
ARL V39: It can and will easily penetrate your armor, especially when it has the top gun. Other than that, it's not really a big threat. It's armor is easily penetrated by your big gun and it doesn't have a large healthpool

T150: His armor can be tricky, it is slightly better then the KV-1 armor and it's angles are just as annoying.
T34-85: It has an accurate gun and decent firing speed. Maneuvrebility is ok, but it blows up easily. Just do not shoot the turret.
SU100: Deadly and best flanked when possible. It can carry a good 85mm with a high fire rate and decent penetration. Once it uses the 100mm or 122mm, avoid and flank. It will beat you in a slugfest due to higher DPM.

VK-series: Be very careful if they carry the 75 L71, it has a good fire rate and penetration value. They can also get around you at times, to shoot your weak sides and rear.
Jagdpz4: While I have very bad memories of this tank, due to the buff to it's 75mm, it now became a threat. At first it wasn't a threat due to below subpar penetration and it's rather thin armor. As with any TD: Flank and kill.

M6: It's a joke, aim at it's body and hide while reloading. You have better alpha and penetration.
M4A3E8: Careful here, it has a very high fire rate and it is reasonably maneuvrable.
M4A3E2: Don't engage in the front, it has well angled armor and it is thick.
M36: Turreted TD, careful here. It can carry a big 90mm which has a good fire rate, damage and penetration (and insanely OP gold rounds). Fortunately, the turret and it's traverse are very low. When you encounter one, either peekaboo or (if it does not have support) rush to it's flank. Don't shoot it's turret as the mantlet is well-armored.
M18: Same as the M36, but this one is less armored and has a much higher top speed. Shoot the body if you encounter one.

Tier 7:

Panther/PantherM10: Both have a high fire rate and an accurate gun.
Tiger: it is accurate, but doesn't hit too hard. Also it's armor is relatively easy to penetrate.
Tiger P: Be careful and shoot to the side of the gun on the turret. It has only a 100mm of armor there. Otherwise shoot the lower glacis, or the angled sides on the hull. Both are easy pens. Do not fire at the straight part of it's hull, you won't pen.
JagdPanther; Avoid it. It is mobile, has decent armor and a very powerful gun. Try to get either your teammates to distract it and flank it, or have them flank it while you distract it.

T29: Can be a threat, esp if it carries the 105. Shoot the hull at all times, otherwise do not engage.
T20: Nimble and a fast firing cannon, ambush if possible.
T25AT: thin armor, but mobile and a powerful gun. Same tactic as with the JagdPanther
T25/2: M18 on steroids. It has more armor, a sligtly faster turning turret, and the gun slightly penetrates more. Treat like the M18

IS/KV3: DODGE, DODGE, DODGE. They carry the same gun as you, but it reloads faster. It is possible to penetrate both rather easily, just shoot the straight part of the hull.
T43: it is not nearly as dangerous as the T20, but with a good firing speed for it's cannon and rather accurate, it can be hard to deal with.
SU-152: Avoid it's shots, don't get hit. This thing can carry the 152 short gun which can and will oneshot you. If it carries the 122, it has a much faster reload and better accuracy. It is more sluggish and slightly better armored (due to angles) then the T25AT and JagdPanther, so flanking is easier.
SU100M1: This thing is like the JagdPanther, fast, agile and it carries a good gun. But unlike the JagdPanther, this thing has better armor. Peekaboo is a viable tactic, but this tank is more accurate, while having a lower alpha. Aim for the body, not the upper structure.

AMX M4: While it has a good gun, it isn't as hard to deal with as the ARL when facefighting it. It's armor is less sloped and is thinner.
AMX AC Mle. 1946: Well armored, equipped with a good gun and agile. This thing is everything the JagdPanther is and better. It is a lot more vulnerable to artillery fire then the JagdPanther though. Also, it has bigger weakspots. Treat like the JagdPanther

Tier 8:

I am not even gonna name tanks anymore. Any tank can easily wreck yours if they know what they are doing even a little. As stated before: Play second line of attack. Snipe at targets (yes you can even with that bad accuracy, I killed people at ranges of 500 meters) and pick your shots.
If playing a bit more aggresive, go for their flanks or rears and make them rue the day they ignored you.

Hope you guys enjoyed the guide.

Happy tanking and give the KV-1S an even worse reputation ;)

PS: I haven't added UK tanks as I haven't faced them enough to form a tactic to fight them yet.


theoneaky said...

Since I've just got my KV1-S, I was curious about how to skill the crew. Found here much more :-) Great guide!

theoneaky said...

Great guide, now I'm looking forward to playing ny new KV1-S :-D

Anonymous said...

oh my god so much detail.. thanks for this magnificent thread.

Anonymous said...

this is awsome i already have a 100% crew fully upgraded tank and got the gun rammer for the 122mm gun
but reload is 13.81 seconds
but i'm loving it

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Guide. Was not expecting this amazing level of detail. Good job sir.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this helped a lot, just got my kv-1s and gonna try to remember this.