Welcome ya wazzocks to the greatest tank guide to fall off the trolley since the Queen herself! Make sure you tear your lookers from the idiot box and get to know yer onions here. Those numpties that'll infest the game in the coming weeks won't drive you barmy if you just have a dekko at this article.
Alright, I'm no Brit, pardon the slang above. I'll get right down into what the prize is.
The British FV4201 Chieftain / American T95E# Hybrid
As the tank's official name says, it's really a British-built FV4201 "Chieftain" turret meshed on to an American project medium tank hull (designation T95E#, no relationship to the superheavy TD in game, 14 US variants explored and later dropped). The turret had to have a modified basket (part that hangs into hull, allows crew to stay turned with turret without moving) and turret ring to fit the American hull. It came about as a result of talks between American, Britain, and Canada, where Canada was to be a buyer and the two other countries to be the suppliers. The Canadians decided they preferred the American tank chassis due to superior weight savings and more suitable armor vs. chemical penetrators of the day (read: HEAT rounds), while the Chieftain turret was decided to be superior due to the possibility of interchangable guns. The preferred gun was the British 120mm bagged-charge gun, but in-game the Chieftain/T95 will have the American 90mm T208 gun, which was interchangable providing the gun mating surfaces were sleeved.
It's interesting to note the T208 gun in real life is a smoothbore cannon in the account I've found on Tanks-Encyclopedia (great site), and not the (rifled) designation that Blitz gives it. The specifications for the real-life project tank also claim the tank to be 32 short tons, not the 52 claimed in game. Also, the engine powering the T95 hull is NOT a British Leyland L60 engine. The project tank was meant to be powered by an engine being developed by Continental Motors Company specifically for this T95E# project tank, designation AVDS-1100 air-cooled diesel engine, at 575 horsepower. So not only does this imaginary version of the Chieftain/T95 have the wrong 90mm gun and the wrong engine, it also does not have the 120mm gun option that the Canadians ordered AND weighs nearly double the specified tonnage. I personally can overlook all of this, it's all reasonable mistakes, the power-to-weight ratio stays the same anyways and rifling doesn't do anything in Blitz.
What I simply cannot overlook, is the fact that the ONLY THING T95 on the tank is the gun. That's right, they've absolutely butchered it. It's just a Chieftain with an American gun. That's all it is. It's not the hybrid project I just described at all. It's got the wrong armor shape, wrong suspension, wrong bloody everything.
What it should be: Chieftain turret, American T95E# hull, British L11 120mm gun, as ordered by the Canadian military command. I whipped up what it should look like from the side, please ignore the lack of turret ring, I'm lazy:
What it is in game: Chieftain turret, Chieftain hull, Chieftain engine, Chieftain sideskirts, American cupola, American T208 rifled gun? It's just so wrong I want to cry. Side view of the HD model in WoT PC:
What in the actual [REDACTED] were you thinking, Wargaming?!
Blitz Biathlon Event
On to the event then, I suppose. Still fuming, but whatever. This is what we have so far:
1. In order to complete stages, you'll have to earn an XP-based currency called Trophies, at a rate of 10 trophies per 500 base XP, or 15 if you have premium account active. Trophies are used to unlock every stage EXCEPT the "bullseye" ones. Once you do that enough to pass one of the "bullet" stages, you'll get a single "projectile" currency. Trophies also drop from missions, to speed up your grinds, so this currency is not difficult to get.
2. Each projectile stays in your storage during your next series of 5 games at tier 5 or above, at which point it will be removed. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT redeem the stages with the bullet icons until you are ready for your 5 game series. You'll earn a different currency based on your best game XP-wise out of these 5, called Emblems, needed to pass the "bullseye" stage. If you don't get enough Emblems, you can do the second-chance stages, which are the branched ones.
How do I maximize my output of Emblems? Well, that's doable in a few ways.
Ratings battle option: If you're in the Gold league or above, you'll be able to take advantage of the base XP bonus during your 5-game rounds. Ratings battles give you a bonus of
10% more base XP at tier 7
15% more base XP at tier 8
20% more base XP at tier 9
25% more base XP at tier 10
If you're fortunate enough to be in the Platinum or Diamond leagues, you'll get an additional 15% or 30% multiplier respectively. Tier 10, Diamond ranked players get a cumulative bonus of 63% to their Emblem rewards.
Churchill III option: If you own a certain Russian tier 5 premium tank, you're in luck. It's the only tank currently in Blitz that I know of that has a base XP modifier, that being about 30%. Note that this is better than anything lower than Platinum ratings battles at tier 8 and slightly better than Gold ratings battles at tier 10. When you factor in the lower-skilled teams, your best game could yield significantly higher results, especially if you aren't extraordinarily good at higher tiers.
Play like normal option: So you're boring and only buy Raisin Bran at the grocery store. That's okay. You may get through the event eventually using the second-chance stages if you play a high enough tier, but you will most likely not get the tank or spare parts. You'll probably just get cooldown boosters or something equally worthless. You've been warned.
Questions? Comments? Leave your thoughts below, I read all of them.
Edit 1: Uncovered documentation of engine involved, 575 HP compared to previously written 550 HP
Update 1: Will update when actual numbers become available