Although it is not as powerful as most other advanced heavy tanks, the IS-2 is nonetheless one of Russia's prime military units. With level 5 armor and a 122mm cannon, the IS-2 is able to roll through enemy defenses and come out shooting. The IS-2 is surprisingly cheap, only $35, less than the original KV-1 from which the IS-2 is upgraded from. This makes it useful for being deployed in large numbers, where overwhelming firepower and thick armor makes it hard to stop a direct assault with these beasts.
If one is playing on Nuclear mode, care should be taken when upgrading the KV-1 and IS-2. Keep in mind the IS-3 (which the IS-2 is upgraded to in Nuclear mode) costs $60, and is not much better in performance than the IS-2. Therefore, it is recommended to stick with the IS-2 rather than upgrade to the IS-3 in Nuclear mode.
As they are very cheap, and have a super heavy tank armour and a heavy tank caliber, you should always think if upgrading into the IS-2. This tank can be used as a tank destroyer and as a mobile bunker because of the tank's armour. This tank also has a fast firing rate for a heavy tank. (As fast as a light to medium tank reload)
The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88mm guns, and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, and was used as a spearhead in the Battle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.
Strategy and Tactics
- Using IS-2s with SU-100s is very good for taking down a large armored force. The IS-2s will become support units against infantry and some fighter bomber attacks and being cannon fodder against enemy tank fire. The SU-100s will dish out the damage inflicted. If they concentrate fire on the SU-100s (If provided they have good micro) You use your IS-2s to attack the enemy armored force.
- Russian IS-2s are very sturdy (5 armor) and has good speed for its class. The downside is its lesser range and firepower which is not equal to other heavy tanks in its catagory.
- When combating vehicles with 4 armor rating, try to close in the distance as fast as you can. In a 10 vs 10 situation versus, lets say a Pershing or Tiger; the IS-2 will win with 3-4 tanks. The first 2 will get destroyed or routed while the remaining 8 will destroy 3 tanks in 1 volley. When the opposition returns back fire they can only down 1 tank while you can kill 2. The outcome then is on your side. The lesson here is don't stand back and retreat, attack with full force and you will win. (This is a very common mistake of withdrawing the IS-2s) Combating ARL-44s, Super Pershings is trickier. You will need 12-14 vs 10 (Which can be done as the IS-2 is slightly cheaper) and do the same thing above. They will however knock down 2 tanks (Not routed) and can slightly win a 10 vs 10 with 1-2 tanks remaining. Using blitz however or fanaticism will insure victory against these tanks in 10 vs 10. Against King Tigers however, you will need to outnumber them at least 60% (16 vs 10) and use your speed to kite the King Tigers but this is risky as supporting units can kill the IS-2s. Against tanks destroyers is the same as combating ARL-44s or Tigers. If your fighting SU-100s, Jagdpanthers, just do the tactics against ARL-44s and Super Pershings. Against Jacksons and Bredas will take the skills against Pershings and Tigers.
- Considering that the IS-2 has the same range and damage as the Panther, but with the speed of a Pershing and the armor of a TIger II, it is not reccomended for a player to use IS-2s for defensive purposes as they are not very effective. Instead using IS-3s as a defensive unit and combining some IS-3s with IS-2s, it is a more effective way to defend and start an attack.
- Offensive "spamming" of the IS-2 can also be a recommended tactic as it is much cheaper than other advanced heavy tanks (the next cheapest one is the Italian Carro P26 by $10, but is trained at a Prototype Base, while the nearest one to be trained in an Armor Base for 1945 game era in efficiency is the Pershing by $5 in $40) and with heavy armor and decent firepower, unready enemies can be rushed by this tank.
Pros & Cons
The IS-122 prototype replaced the IS-85, and began mass production as the IS-2. The 85 mm guns could be reserved for the new T-34-85 medium tank, and some of the IS-1s built were rearmed before leaving the factory, and issued as IS-2s.
The main production model was the IS-2, with the powerful A-19. It was slightly lighter and faster than the heaviest KV model 1942 tank, with thicker front armour and a much-improved turret design. The tank could carry thicker armour than the KV series, while remaining lighter, due to the better layout of the armour envelope. The KV's armour was less well-shaped and featured heavy armour even on the rear, while the IS series concentrated its armour at the front. The IS-2 weighed about the same as a German Panther and was lighter than the German heavy Tiger tank series. It was slightly lower than both.
While the design was good for its time, Western observers tended to criticize Soviet tanks for their lack of finish and crude construction. The Soviets responded that it was warranted considering the need for wartime expediency and the typically short battlefield life of their tanks. The IS-2 tank first saw combat in the spring of 1944. IS-2s were assigned to separate heavy tank regiments, normally of 21 tanks each. These regiments were used to reinforce the most important attack sectors during major offensive operations. Tactically, they were employed as breakthrough tanks. Their role was to support infantry in the assault, using their large guns to destroy bunkers, buildings, dug-in crew-served weapons, and other 'soft' targets. They were also capable of taking on any German AFVs if required. Once a breakthrough was achieved, lighter, more mobile T-34s would take over the exploitation.