World of Tanks: Welcome To The Middle Tiers and Upwards.

So in Tiers I-IV Its fun fast and furious racing around in your little tank just shooting what’s in front of you having a blast. But after Tier V the games becomes slower and more in-depth and driving how you do in a lower tier will get you killed very quickly.

This is a Generic guide for both Xbox and PC because it’s about improving your general game play not go here on X map if your tank Y.

In this guide I’m going to run through some ideas as if you where playing the game from start up to finish.

In the Beginning.

So you’re going to play WoT and play something above Tier V. First thing is to make sure you have the map view on your HUD. For Xbox just make sure its there (change in options from the Radar.) For PC make it as big as you are comfortable with. So why not use the radar? Easy, your not playing CoD where normally only things that are really close are dangerous to you. You also need to know where your team is and also where the enemy have been spotted.

Chosen which Tank to play!

Tanks can play differently between different tiers and countries. Many of my examples will be about the British tank line because I’ve kept more of those than any other nation. For example the British tank destroyer(TD) play’s completely differently to the Americans turreted TD’s and also plays differently to the Germans range of TD’s. But also Tanks within each countries lines can play differently for example the British medium tanks Tier VI-VII have a complete different style to the VIII+ tanks.

 

Light Tanks.

Scouting something that all other players are requiring until the mid/end game, often done wrong wasting a valuable tank that could be used to great effect in the later game. Playing a light tank well can be rather difficult it takes a lot of skill and nerves of steel. Most often people just think scouting is drive as fast as you can into the opposite team spot them all get a few hundred XP for the meagre damage they do. The much hated suicide scout having two on your team is a nightmare. I’ve actually asked people why they have done it I got a few replies “I didn’t want to be bottom tier”, “It’s an easy and quick way to earn XP.” I will discuss scouting after i’ve covered medium tanks. Keeping a scout alive to the end game can be a game changer

Medium Tanks.

Medium tanks can broadly split into Combat Recons and Support Tanks. The Cromwell and Comet make excellent Combat recons while the Centurion I, Centurion 7/1, Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf H,  VK 30 01 P all make great support tanks. I will cover combat recons in the scouting section. Further breaking down the support tanks the Centurions make excellent ridge line support tanks with their excellent gun depression and fast aiming and accurate guns but they fair poor in close combat point blank range ‘knife fights.’ So playing these support tanks you want to be getting into position to pour fire into the flanks of attacking enemies supporting your front line heavies. Where as the German tanks fair better supporting the attacking heavies using their more inaccurate but more damaging guns at closer ranges. That’s not to say you can go toe-to-toe with heavies but in close support of your attacking heavies. Though the 7.5cm KwK 43 L/70 gun changes the role of the VK 30 01 P, this gun is a lot more accurate of either the stock gun from the previous tier or the 10.5cm KwK 42 L/28 that has a higher bore but shorter barrel length. With German guns the L/ is the designator for barrel length the longer the more accurate.

Heavy Tanks

The main attack force you have the armour and hit points to be leading the attack. The heavies can be split down into a primary support role with high accuracy guns to the specialist assault like KV-1, KV-1S, and KV-2 etc. Even the support class of heavy tanks shouldn’t be hiding behind the TD’s they should be rolling forward to supporting the attack or holding a defensive line. Heavy tanks love fighting on city maps because they cant be outflanked so easily by mediums . If your on a map with a city/town area that should be the primary focus for the majority of the tanks. For example Ruinberg, close combat firing around corners, or long distance shots down roads denying there use to the enemy.

Tank Destroyers

The Snipers, tank destroyers can be broadly split into turreted for example the American Hellcat line of TD’s or low angle TD’s like the German Hetzer, STuG line. For the majority of TD’s they are slow lumbering beasts but get them in concealment with a good field of fire they can blunt the oppositions attack. Some TD’s like the Hellcat are rather fast so can get to prime locations and pour fire into the opposition while they are moving to setup. But Hellcats are very weak armour wise and HP wise and been an open topped TD are very susceptible to HE shells. Hellcats are so fast they get themselves into trouble very easily and are often focused fire when observed. The enclosed SPG’s often have better armour and better angled plates allowing them to take a few more hits than there open top counterparts but suffer from a shorter view range because of this.

Artillery

You have your slow reload and slow aim Death from above machines. Or your British short range fast reload, good accuracy death by a thousand cuts machines like the Bishop or FV304 (aka. Bert the Avenger.) Artillery relies on spotting by other tanks to rain fire from above. If you know the map well you can be in position and be pre aimed on likely areas of contact ready to drop shells on those camping TD’s or heavies etc.

 

 

Scouting

Obviously any tank can spot targets but it’s the Job of Lights and Combat Recons to give the others tanks on there team that view range advantage. There are two methods of scouting active and passive. A passive scout combines good camouflage, good view range with the ability to not shoot there gun and there fore give themselves away. For example the German Tier IV Luchs.  It has a good view range and camouflage it’s also fast and can get forward into a bush and stay still and not be spotted, it is also quick enough to retreat once the enemy advances. The Luchs is also great for the end game finding those holes in the front line and pushing through and routing out TD’s or arty.

            Active scouting relies on the tank moving to a position to acquire spots on the enemy then retreating behind cover. Then moving and acquiring spots again from a different location. Because it involves movement and maybe no bushes to hide behind or just poking over a ridge line you are more active therefore the name active scouting. This role can be suitable for medium tanks with there better gun can get some shots off at the right moment without compromising their peek-a-boo technique.

Equipment

Some equipment is a permanent modification of the tank and will cost a small amount of gold (10 I think) to remove these are gun rammers, spall linings etc. I only fit this type of equipment if I know im going to keep the tank because I enjoy playing with it. But some of the other equipment you can remove without occurring a charge these are Camouflage nets, Binocular Telescope and Toolbox. I fit these items to all tanks as I pass through them on the tech tree. Once you have bought your first set you just remove them and keep using them. Or if on the Xbox sell and then re-buy on your next tank.

Yay….The Games loading…..

Cliff Map loading screen on the XBox.

Cliff Map loading screen on the XBox.

So for example we have an Xbox player about to start a cliff match, at this point we don’t know what starting point we are going to get. But we do know it’s a standard battle so we know that we have just to destroy the enemy team or get them so out of position that we can cap. This is one of the most important bits of this guide: – PLAY THE OBJECTIVE. You have to change your tactics depending on what game mode. So often people just play like there on auto-pilot and wonder why they lose. For example if your defending on assault there’s no point if you’re a heavy doing a huge flanking move if your other front collapses because they where over matched. You will be in no position to back them up, you are to slow. But a bunch of fast moving lights/mediums would work perfectly on a lightening raid to dig out there arty or camping TD’s. If its encounter the majority of the force should move towards the objective to gain superiority of that area. Which dose not mean rush for the objective in a fast light/medium and be over matched and left to die by the team. While looking at the map look at what are the major routes for tanks to navigate. In many maps you’re funnelled down a few different areas. For example we have the Cliff map below, the green bars represent the main travel paths/firing lines for tanks to take. This is breaking down the tactics into there simplest form. But remember we are still on the loading screen.

Cliff Map with major tank travel highlighted in green

Cliff Map with major tank travel highlighted in green

Once the map has loaded up the starting screen will show what position you’re starting from but also which position within the spawning area you are, which can alter your next few decisions depending on the map. If you start on one edge of the spawning circle generally its easier to deploy to that side. Unless there is a compelling reason for example Lake View if you spawn next to the valley and you’re in a light/medium it’s far better to leave the valley to TD’s and heavies. Now we have another major axiom: – POSITION OF MAXIMUM USEFULLNESS. You need to break the map down into what areas will you be most useful. There will be a number of locations on each map where your tank can be effective. So we have sketched a rough draught in our head. Now we need to look at the composition of the teams. Start with your team and importantly where in the team you fit. If you’re top tier your play style will change than if your bottom tier. If your top tier you should be making the moves that the lower tiers can follow. For example if I’m playing my Cromwell and i am bottom tier and especially if we have no lights to scout that’s the role I will take.  If i am top tier I will support the heavy tanks in any pushes they make. So with that in mind if you’re a top tier heavy and in your mind your more of a support tank, sorry. You just bought a ticket for the front line mister. Your armour and HP are most needed there. That is your position of maximum usefulness.  Now look on the ‘op for’ look at there make up. Do they have a number of potential suicide scouts; you know ELC AMX’s if so prepare for anti-scouting duties. Do they have arty if so where is it likely to position, can I make myself arty safe and still be useful. Then look at if the team has an odd ratio of heavies/TD’s/Mediums/Arties. This could/would change the pattern of deployment.

So the countdown timer is ticking down your ready to move to your desired location. Some of the best areas on the map are Time critical. It’s actually a race to get to that location. So if you know there is such a location on the map and your not off to it allow those fast lights/mediums get a flying start especially if you have to drive at 90 degrees to the main flow of traffic at the start. If at the start you get side swiped don’t stop and block them just keep on moving and get out of the way. Accidents happen. One thing that happens on the Xbox version is people shooting at the start of the match. The more I hear this, the less chance I think we have of winning. It doesn’t do any harm unlike on the PC. But player’s use the audio clues as well as visual tells about what’s hitting you and from where and weather it’s a ricochet or penetration etc. So just don’t do it. You’re just wasting your money on shells! So you are travelling to your destination it’s been about 10 seconds since the game start.

Travel Routes.

You will notice some tank drivers robotically driving to the map edge and driving up the map edge to there destination. Instead look at the terrain and use that to your advantage. Is there a raised road embankment to travel behind is there tree cover for use while you move. Using these features can get you to your desired location faster and safer than hugging the map edge. If your there first it might be you firing the first shots than been on the receiving end to an already camped area of the map. It can be a matter of as little as 10 seconds between the first and last scenario.

Time to look at that map in the corner of the screen; you should spend a fair portion of the time scanning this map.

MAP Skillz so OP. (pls nerf!)

So hopefully you have the map showing in the corner of the screen this shows all the tanks that are within your LOS and if friendly you Radio range. This includes tanks been able to daisy chain there radios together to transfer the information to everyone. This is how scouts are able to pass on their Intel to all tanks. If you go out of radio range you will no longer to be able to see your tanks or the enemies tanks unless you are spotting them. The map will show you the evolving game as it happens and you hopefully won’t be surprised as you base suddenly has 3 tanks capping you. So now we are tracking our tanks progress, are all the possible routes been covered by tanks etc. If on a map with defined channels, one of these channels isn’t covered, it could be exploited very quickly and you end up been flanked, out of position and out gunned. If you notice this ‘Ping’ the map, type in chat. Highlight this if not this could be the mistake that loses the game. Now if someone highlights this oversight to you, you need to make the decision. Can you alter course and plug the gap in your defences. Or even do you want to win? This scenario can happen later in the game as well where a flank collapses and a few tanks diverting can stop the advance and plug the gap. Be proactive. Don’t wait until it’s too late to re-deploy. The earlier and quicker you act the better position you can get into to defend. Sometimes you can’t redeploy your on the front line and you can’t withdraw easily or even you are leading the charge. But all too often Heavy tanks 300-400 metres away from the base won’t turn and defend. Don’t be a special snowflake you get more points for a win than a defeat. Now the other reason too keep an eye on the map is tank counting yours and theirs. With good scouting you can know the number of tanks and where they are and you could from this information deduce where the other tanks are likely to be located and from this you might find that your team over match on a flank and can push the advantage. That console users is why you change from the default CoD style radar to a map. When a tank is that close that your radar is useful you probably know about it but anything over 300 metres is a hazy area that you don’t have the tactical knowledge to alter or take advantage. There is so much information you can get from those icons showing up on the map. You can work out if they are in cover from you, for example behind a building or behind a ridge line. Are they stationary or moving are they alone or in a group. Has a medium over extended or is it an active scout targeting you for TD’s, heavies or arty to bring the pain. So much information can be gleamed from the map that it can be overload kind of situation and therefore people prefer the simpler method of using the radar. But the sooner you learn to use the map the quicker you will be more effective.

So we are a couple of minutes into the game, contact has been made on one if not all fronts. Shells have been exchanged everything is going well.

If things are going well you have no DC’s and no base campers. Actually that so rarely happens I mean the base campers. Why am I discouraging base camping?

Base Campers

Base camping seems to be the life that some Heavy or TD’s prefer. Now some maps are designed that TD’s and heavies are actually defending a major route to the base with barely moving.  But the majority of maps there is no strategic advantage to losing that amount of firepower that one TD or heavy can supply from the front line. What normally happens is that a medium has had to hold the line against a heavy and generally the heavy will win the trade off. And a flank will collapse and yes that heavy is the last line of defence. But if that heavy had watched the deployment of tanks and decided to support a flank with no heavies. He could save the medium and hold the line freeing up a medium to do a base defence if needed. By allowing the medium to use their speed and manoeuvrability to better affect. The heavy and the medium in my example could both survive hold the line and advance together finding juicy flanking shots into the sides of heavies/TD on other flanks. The heavy will be in the position of maximum usefulness and earn XP even if the opposition doesn’t overmatch one flank. Base camping only works if you team fails, your team is more likely to fail if it doesn’t bring the maximum fire power to the game.

Should I stay or should I go…

Sometimes you will watch your team do something known as the lemming train. For example the lemming train in Lakeville where the vast majority of the team including lights and mediums travels to the valley of death then proceeds to attack one after the other handing their selves over as XP to the opposition. Leaving only a couple of tanks to cover both the lake road and town. The valley is a bottle neck, a defenders dream and an attacker’s nightmare. Basically there are a certain number of tanks that can fight through a bottle neck or around a corner and the rest are sitting idly by waiting for there time to fill the breach with there dead. It is always easier to defend a corner/chokepoint than attack it. For example if 8 heavies/TD’s attack over lake view Valley only about 2 can head over the breach at once with 6 been idle. Where as 4 heavies could be sat in the valley firing at those tanks cresting the ridge, farming XP. Honestly that’s why people go there they think they are that one tank that can farm the XP (and only them, them being that special snowflake!) If you find yourself in a lemming train, honestly think is this most useful position, queuing up waiting to start the fight. The honest answer no matter how good you are or the better you are its actually more lucrative to not be in the lemming train.

The opposite can be true you’re sat on the flank just 2 tanks ready to defend a route. Everything tells you to advance and get into the fight. But you turn a corner and run smack into a camouflaged TD and his spotting mediums. Your game is over before it began. Sometimes if you’re underpowered on a flank waiting is more important than hurling yourselves at the enemy. Holding or slowing down an advance could mean support turning up to help you turn the tide against your opponents. How do you know when to do what? Counting spotted tanks can help. See what’s left and what you could come up against. Very careful scouting poking your nose around the corner pulling straight back and seeing if sixth sense goes off..

If you’re in a position of overmatched on one side a blitzkrieg style attack can work, but it takes a few tanks to get together and push at the same time. Ideally a very well armoured heavy, even if slow will lead the charge over the hill/round the corner and not stop. This tank absorbs the initial bombardment from the camping forces, while other tanks push after the original tank and follow up leaving room for other tanks to keep pushing. Opening fire as soon as targets become available but always making room for more tanks to push through.

End Game.

Well things either went swimmingly or it all ended badly. If it went wrong it can be worth watching other players. See where and how they position themselves. Are they defending from an odd position if so why? It could be a small dip in the ground that helps cover up the weaker points in there armour etc.

Kolb’s’ Cycle.

We made a Plan in the beginning; we executed the plan during the game. Now we need to review what happened only then can we teach ourselves to become better tankers.

We need to ask ourselves some questions.

            Did we execute our plan?

            Where we in the most useful position?

            Would another position been more useful?

            Could we have anticipated this more useful position?

            Could we have relocated to a better position during the game?

            Where we over aggressive?

            Where we too timid?

            Did we make any mistakes during the game?

            Can these mistakes be avoided in the future?

We then take these answers and use them to refine our plans for next time we are playing that map. So playing WoT becomes a continuous development loop; Plan-Do-Review then back to the start again.

Conclusion.

Key points to consider

“Play the objective”

“Position of maximum usefulness”

“Map skills” or “Situational awareness”

 

Secondary Objectives

“Please, don’t suicide scout”

“Please, don’t base camp”

“Please, don’t Lemming train”

 

 

About the Author.

My grandiose title would be extreme sports instructor. I teach/coach people who take you guys out to do extreme sports. I’m a gamer for 30+ years a sports coach for 15+ years. I was a raft guide for a number of years and for over half I was head guide in the French Alps. I mix my time between playing in the outdoors and playing on my Xbox/PC. Sometimes I can’t switch off been a sports coach and I analyse my gaming just like I do my own coaching. The same way that I cant look at a cliff and think can I climb that or look at a river and think what is the smallest craft I could get down there or sometimes if it looks really fun, could I get a raft down there. Sometimes I see throwing myself down big and small rivers, or climbing mountains more of a game. So bringing some coaching skills to improve your gaming. Hope you enjoyed.

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About tothebreach

Gaming both on the PC and the Xbox One general game chat and including guides and coaching.
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3 Responses to World of Tanks: Welcome To The Middle Tiers and Upwards.

  1. Pingback: Part II: Welcome to the Middle tiers and up, World of Tanks. | tothebreach

  2. Pingback: Part III : WoT, Consumables. | tothebreach

  3. Pingback: Hmm. Bottom tier, eugh what to do? | tothebreach

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