121

The 121 is a Chinese tier 10 medium tank.

Development of a new medium tank based on the Type 59 began in 1962. The new tank was expected to feature improvements in firepower and armor protection. However, the project was canceled shortly after. Some technical innovations were applied later, in the development of the Type 69 tank. All 121 tank prototypes were destroyed during Chinese nuclear weapon testing.

The 121 continues the Chinese tradition of installing the largest gun possible on a medium tank. The 121 is an all round improvement over the WZ-120 with improved gun handling and DPM being the main benefits.

With its 122mm gun, the 121 excels in the peek-and-boom role, and may outtrade most other medium tanks or even heavy tanks. The armor might not lend itself to proper front-line use, but as always the soup-bowl turret and angled frontal plate will extend your survivability.

The 121 is a menacing opponent for any tank in a straight close-range brawl and is flexible enough to carry games with its raw damage output. Still, expect to struggle if not fighting on your own terms - the gun handling is nowhere near the best T10 mediums.

The 121 marks the end of its Chinese medium line.
Xe tăng 121 - hình ảnh của Wargaming

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Thick turret armour offering great protection (but can be easily penetrated through turret cheeks at closer range)
Great traverse and turret traverse speed
Excellent camouflage values
Highest alpha damage for a medium tank
Improved normalization over most T10 mediums (due to AP as standard)

Cons:

Sluggish acceleration due to higher than average ground resistances
Mediocre gun depression of 5 degrees
Worst shell velocity of all tier 10 medium tanks
Poor aim-time and on-the-move dispersion
Weak hull armour that can be penetrated by even tier 8 tanks

Performance

The 121 is superficially similar to the T-62A, being one of the many tanks descended from the T-54. It has near identical camo values, which are excellent, similar hull geometry, and similar hard stats (engine power, front turret armor). However, the high alpha gun make it a completely different vehicle. It's ideal for those who wished they had a T-62A configured for brawling. Close to mid-range is where the 121 outperforms the T-62A. In comparison, the T-62A's shell velocity is much higher (due to using APCR ammo over AP), offers better dispersion stats and the tank is overall more agile. The 121's slower-moving shells, longer aim time make it sub-par at long-distance sniping. However, the 121's accuracy is still quite decent for a chinese tank, especially in comparison to its predecessors.

Boasting the highest alpha damage among the tier X mediums, the 121 is well-stocked in raw firepower. It's widely unknown that the 121 wields the same gun as the IS-4, a tier 10 heavy tank. Installed on a medium tank, however, the gun sports a 25% faster reload speed. This reload can be shaved down to ~8 seconds with a rammer and BIA, giving it the advantage it needs to compete in a close-range brawl. The 121's 120mm front hull is comparable to that of the infamous T-54, and superior to that of the T-62A. As such, T-54 drivers who are familiar with the basic corner maneuver, can almost triple their armor effectiveness. Head-on and not angled, the hull is effective to around 200 pen; substantial protection against lower tiers, but otherwise average for tier 10 mediums. Also, the lower glacis is a large weakness and is easily penetrated, unlike on the T-54, where the lower glacis retains 120mm of armor.

The 121 is not for everyone. The mediocre (for a T10) gun handling can be a huge deterrence; skilled driving and experienced marksmanship are essential. The 121 can be exceptionally devastating in an aggressive, yet not-reckless, playstyle. It finds itself at home alongside heavy tanks by taking advantage of reloading enemies, friendly heavy armor, and exposed flanks. Although deadly in an one-on-one brawl, the 121 still remains a medium tank. It doesn't have the hitpoints nor armor to spare. Keep in mind that the excellent camo values provide the 121 great flexibility on the battlefield, maximising your potential in situations where you can't stay exposed for multiple shots.

Players who sought a medium tank that devastates in close combat and flanking, yet offers flexibility with great camo, will find vast potential in the 121.