The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier, is apparently the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in history. Like the name suggests in this instance of it was equipped with a 2-pounder gun. At heart this is a very simple vehicle, a chassis with a gun perched atop. Played well it can be very effective, but I find it a tricky tank to get the hang of. I began with a string of six defeats, in part at least because I was not paying attention to the tank I was playing.
The UC 2-pdr is small and agile – it may remind you of the T18 in that respect. Unlike the T-18 it has almost no armour. Indeed, probably the better comparison is the Renault UE 57 which has the same mix of small, hard-hitting, and vulnerable. This lack of armour means one has to rely on terrain, cover, camouflage, and the tank’s own speed to keep it alive. Relocation is a priority. While you are small enough to be missed quite often at range once an enemy gets close you are mincemeat. The vehicle is also open-topped which means an artillery hit essentially means game-over. The small size and lack of armour has one further consequence: this tank is very light indeed (less than 5 tonnes), which means it is quite vulnerable to ramming.
With all of that one would hope the armament makes up for it, and the initial gun – which is actually the only 2-pdr the World of Tanks vehicle uses (the rest being 6-pdrs) – is actually pretty good. It can penetrate most things it faces, and has a high rate of fire. The damage is a little low, but still most things will die quick enough. The upgraded guns do more damage for a slower rate of fire, and the only difference between the two upgrades is that the top gun has a little more penetration. The rate of fire is still fairly high, and the alpha in line with the other Tier II TDs. Where this tank shines though is the gun arc, which is a very generous +/- 22° (in comparison the other Tier II TDs allow an arc +/- 9-11 degrees). This means the tank has to move less, and there is less likely to reveal its location or otherwise expose itself. Given the lack of armour, this is a good thing.
In reality the UC 2-pdr is a support vehicle. It has a decent view range that from a good location it can spot enemy tanks, but generally there should always be one tank between you and the enemy. If you get spotted, generally move. Your small size is no certain defence, but might allow you to the time to get away to relocate and fire again. As mentioned, my first six games with this tank were defeats, and what I did was too often go to the front, get ahead of any support – in fact played it too much like a T18 with that strong frontal armour. Just a hint, don’t do that, it doesn’t work. A more cautious approach yields kills.
In total I played 11 matches, with 4 victories, and 12 enemy tanks destroyed. Despite my starting poor run once I realised at least some of my mistakes things turned around quickly, and I earned the Ace Tanker mastery badge.
Overall verdict is a fun tank to play, if a little tricky because its speed makes it easy for it to become unsupported. Keep those aggressive instincts in check however and good things can happen.