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There are three main types of ammo in Armored Warfare: Armor Penetrating or Kinetic energy, Shaped Charges or High Explosive Anti-Tank, and High Explosive. Within these types of ammo in many calibers, there are many subsets that are used in the AW vehicles. Each shell type has strength and weaknesses. The player will need to know which ammo type to use in which situation. A note for all players is that any one ammo can never one hit a tank that is not damaged before outside of special circumstances. These include ammo rack detonations, a shot that kills every crew member in the vehicle, or a shot that deals enough damage and causes a fire (the shot would have to have dealt enough damage to nearly cripple the vehicle, with the fire finishing it off.)
Armor Piercing (AP)[edit | edit source]
Some other kinds of AP rounds: Armor Piercing Ballistic Cap (APBC), High Velocity Armor Piercing (HVAP), Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS).
The bread and butter of the ammunition types, armor piercing rounds come in a wide variety of forms, and almost every vehicle loads some form of AP. They are denoted in game by blue icons.
Armor piercing rounds are typically the ammunition type players will load the most of and use the most often. They typically have high armor penetration values, high velocities and are relatively simple to use. AP rounds can be defeated by armor with high AP resistance, armor that is very thick, or if it strikes the armor at a shallow angle, dealing module damage or often no damage at all. They also have no splash radius, and deal the least amount of module or crew damage of all the ammo types. While they typically deal good amounts of damage, they often deal less damage than Shaped Charge ammunition. Another issue with AP rounds is that their penetration values fall off drastically the farther they travel. AP rounds, if striking an area on the vehicle that is very thin such as the very tip of the front of the tank will cause it to say "No Effect", dealing no damage. AP ammunition also has a 'Normalization' effect while engaging against sloped armor, what this means is when the round attempts to go through the armor of the target the shell will ever so slightly burrow the nose into the armor and be less apt to bounce compared to a Shaped Charge round.
- Highest penetration of all the ammo types (aside from ATGMs)
- Short travel time
- Typically the easiest to use ammo type
- Nearly all vehicles have some form of it
- Usually the cheapest ammo
- Gains a 'Normalization' bonus when attempting to penetrate.
- Few countermeasures against it, aside from sheer armor thickness, range, or angling/poor aim
- Lower damage than HEAT
- No area of effect
- Penetration falls off quickly at long range
- Deals little crew/module damage
Shaped Charge (SC,HEAT)[edit | edit source]
Some other kinds of Shaped Charge rounds: High Explosive Anti-Tank Multipurpose (HEAT-MP), High Explosive Anti-Tank Fin Stabilized (HEAT-FS), Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM).
Shaped Charge ammunition is one of the other kinds of ammunition that is available to the player. They are all denoted by red icons in game.
Compared to AP rounds, Shaped Charges have slightly less penetration capability, but make up for it in dealing higher amounts of damage, as well as slightly higher crew and module damage. In terms of raw damage output, they are the most powerful rounds available to the player. They travel slightly slower than AP rounds but still faster than High Explosive ammunition. Despite having an explosion animation when impacting a vehicle, Shaped Charge ammunition does not have an area of effect. Often playing second fiddle to AP rounds, players will typically load less of this ammunition than AP, due to its higher cost or being more situational. As they do not have as high penetration as AP rounds, they are harder to use, as the player must aim for points on the vehicle that they can penetrate. Shaped Charge ammo is also easily defeated by Explosive Reactive Armor, Cage Armor, Spaced Armor, or high Shaped Charge armor modifiers, which become more prevalent in higher tier vehicles. If Shaped Charges strike these kinds of armor, their chances of penetrating or dealing damage is greatly reduced. However ERA is only good for one shot, and afterwards a Shaped Charge round may be fired on that location for full effect. Shaped Charges do not lose penetration over long distances.
A quirk of Shaped Charge rounds is that they also come in another flavor, Anti Tank Guided Missiles or ATGMs. ATGMs have very slow shot velocity, but make up for it in being able to be guided by the player, allowing them to hit targets at extreme ranges with pinpoint accuracy. This also makes them ideal for eliminating fast targets. ATGMs still keep the very high damage of Shaped Charge ammo type. They also have longer reloads than conventional ammo types and can only be fired if the player has not been moving for a few seconds (Though the player may move and guide the missile after they fire). ATGMs have the highest penetration factor of any ammo type in the game, though this is counteracted somewhat because many vehicles have ways to defeat Shaped Charges. ATGMs can be defeated by Active Protection Systems, or APS, rendering the round ineffective. APS systems have a long cooldown or limited uses, and not many vehicles have them. ATGMs are the most expensive ammo in the game.
- Highest raw damage capability
- Doesn't lose penetration with distance
- Comes in ATGM form as well
- More module and crew damage than AP rounds
- Lower velocity compared to AP rounds
- Enemy has more countermeasures against it, more than any other ammo type
- Typically the most expensive ammo type a player can load
- Slightly lower penetration than AP rounds
High Explosive (HE)[edit | edit source]
Other kinds of High Explosive rounds: High Explosive Autocannon (HE-AC), High Explosive Plastic (HEP), High Explosive Squash Head (HESH), High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), High Explosive Rocket Assisted (HERA), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-Frag), Thermobaric Guided Missile
The final of the main ammo types, High Explosive rounds are denoted by bright yellow icons in game.
High Explosive rounds have many different variants, and are usually the ammo type that takes up the least amount of the ammo rack on a vehicle. High Explosive rounds have many unique properties to them, and some vehicles load some form of it exclusively. Some of these unique properties include very high module and crew damage, and the ability to deal damage to a vehicle without actually penetrating it's armor as well as they also have a small blast radius. High Explosive rounds are typically used if the player is trying to damage a vehicle but is unable to due to its thick armor, finishing off heavily damaged opponents, destroying modules, or light vehicles. High Explosive rounds come in a variety of versions. HESH/HEP rounds (though named differently, they function the same) for example, have less raw damage capability, but make up for it because they can deal immense module and crew damage, even higher than standard High Explosive rounds. HEI rounds have an increased chance to start engine fires. HERA rounds travel much faster than normal HE rounds, but are only available to artillery. One of the best parts of High Explosive ammo is that there are few ways to defend against it aside from thick armor or avoiding the shot altogether, though ERA will work against them in the same manner as a Shaped Charge.
The ability to deal damage without penetrating sounds like High Explosive should be used all the time. It is not for many reasons. First of all, High Explosive rounds have the lowest penetration and lowest shot velocity of all ammo types in the game, often barely surpassing more than 30mm of penetration at most. If armor is thick enough, it can also mean the round will deal no damage whatsoever, as all High Explosive rounds have a maximum armor thickness that they can damage through. Low shot velocity makes long range fighting a nightmare, as leading targets becomes extremely difficult. High Explosive ammo also typically deals less damage than Shaped Charge or Armor Piercing ammunition directly, as even though High Explosive rounds have high maximum damage, they can only deal that kind of damage on a penetration or extremely thin armor. However this can make High Explosive rounds effective against lightly armored vehicles, or for firing at the rear of vehicles, as penetrating rounds do very high module and crew damage.
ATGMs are also available to this class of ammo, but only on very few vehicles, namely the T-90, T-90MS, BMOP Ramka-99, and the BMPT-72. They have higher penetration values than normal High Explosive rounds (though not nearly the amount of AP or SC) and have a fairly large blast radius. They can still be shot down by APS systems.
- High damage if penetration occurs
- Splash damage, so can do damage without hitting the target/damage many modules and crew with one hit
- Can do damage without penetration, though at severely reduced amount
- High module and crew damage means vehicle knockout by crew killing or ammo rack detonation is a viable tactic if the tank itself has already been damaged
- Easy to use, fire and forget ammo; little aiming required
- Easily destroys Explosive Reactive Armor for little cost
- Low velocity, very slow travel time in the air makes leading targets and long range fighting very difficult
- Very low penetration, will often never deal the full listed damage
- Lacks the sheer damage output of the other ammo types