Last night I hit 5000 games played, with another 5000 played in beta. I?m officially a WOT crack fiend now. To celebrate, here are five tips I?ve picked up. Nothing here is revolutionary, but these are the kind of tactics that win games. Comments are welcome.
1. Situational Awareness for Dummies
I often load into games and hear ?they have tank X, we better not go that way!!? This is pure, rank madness. The simple truth is SOMEONE on your team will have to blunt and repel the most dangerous tanks on the other side. Its not like the problem will just go away if you ignore it ? what will happen is a few of your pugs will stumble in and die stupidly, and then you lose. As dumb as they are, keeping your pugs alive despite their best efforts to die stupidly is key to victory. Knowing that, the question should never be how to avoid the main threat of the opponent, but rather how YOU can eliminate it.
For example, if you are on Himmelsdorf and they have 3x T-54s to your T8 heavies, think about what they will do. They have two choices ? rush hill, or wolfpack tracks. If you go hill, you will probably meet them and die to their superior mobility on the hill or find nothing there and be unable to get back in time. If you try to ignore/avoid them, they will probably crash behind your backline within a few moments. But on the other hand, if you set up a defensive perimeter right around your cap point, their wolfpack will probably degenerate into peekaboo brawling right around the cap?and that?s a fight you can win.
TL;DR ? I firmly believe the best way to improve your win rate is to identify the primary threat of your enemies, and then meet it on terms favorable to you.
2. Cloaking TDs and Using Bushes Properly
The camo system has many quirks?but the one you need to understand the most is when bushes are in effect. ALL of your tank needs to be covered by the bush to get the camo bonus (turn the camera around to be sure no corner is sticking out).
The trick to firing without being seen is this. If you are not spotting, sit behind the bushes. You can tell if you are far enough back if the bush is solid, not transparent. At that point you will not be able to see, but as long as some one else is spotting you can see them by radio and fire with much less chance of being seen. If you ARE the spotter, sit barely in the bush (right on the line of transparent and solid, with the bush transparent). When you see a target, back up until the bush is solid. The target will remain lit for 6 seconds, but at this point you can fire and still have reduced chance of being seen. After you fire, wait 8 seconds, then pull back into the bush. Using this method, you can get the best of both worlds and rain hell down on your opponents unseen.
TL;DR ? Sit BEHIND bushes, not in them when possible.
3. Mediums are NOT scouts
You?ve read the tip ? ?Mediums are built to deliver a thrust, then relocate.? Few people really get that. Most mediums either play like faster, poorly armored heavies or worse, like too high tier, slow scouts. A medium can do either of those jobs in a pinch, but your best role is completely different.
Mediums have excellent firepower ? typically not quite enough to reliably penetrate the biggest heavies from the front, but more than enough to rip them apart from the side with excellent dps/accuracy/aiming. This is perfect for flank attacks. This much is obvious, but how can you get effective flank attacks? The question is timing and position.
DO NOT RUSH in front. You are not a scout. Likewise, DO NOT camp/snipe. Instead, move either just behind the main force or off to one side on a flanking path. Wait patiently, until the main forces engage. When the heavies start to clash, they will rough each other up. They will focus hard, playing peekaboo?and suddenly paths open all over the map. You can dart behind them, often unleashing massive damage before they realize you are there (and even if they turn, you and the heavies take turns playing hammer and anvil on them). You may rush completely uncontested to arty. You may move up to a position to proximity spot and pop them now and then. Opportunity abounds.
TL;DR ? Flank attack, hit weak areas, fill tactical gaps. That is the way of the Medium.
4. Light tanks?the hated redheaded stepchild?who can dominate games
Light tanks in high tier games are scouts, not damage dealers. Realize that and plan on it. Digging rounds into a heavy only means you will die, as you give your position away. Instead, learn to passive scout.
For gear, you need binocs, coated optics (yes, both on the same tank), and then either camo net, vent, or upgraded suspension (better movement on bad terrain). Next priority is a camo crew. Once you have these things, the next step is to find a good place to sit and light up key areas unseen. For example, on the artic map in ~G4 there is a ridge with a bush. This is a fairly poor place to snipe from, as its exposed to arty?but since you won?t fire your gun, you will never be seen?and can light up ALL of the paths to your base, locking your enemy into place! Sit there and let your teammates rip them apart, and once teams get worn out make an arty rush or simply escort the heavies in and take a shot for them. It helps more than you know!
TL;DR ? Don?t suiscout, passive scout!
5. Smashing Face and Winning Brawls
Many fights come down to a straightforward brawl. You and a few tanks vs. a few bad guy tanks, all popping out behind cover and trading shots. Tank on tank, best man wins. This is one of the cores of WOT fighting, and you NEED to be able to swing these fights in your favor even when you cannot get a tactical advantage. Here?s some ideas how:
A. Know Weak points. People make this way more complex than it needs to be. Here are the weak points that matter:
? All tanks: shoot the butt and sides
? T-29 and clones: shoot the body, then the ears
? KV-5: shoot the r2d2 turret
? T-44/54/59: Hit the side of the turret to ammo rack them.
? German heavies: shoot the bottom plate, also hit irregularities in the turret
? Last resort: fire on anything other than a flat piece of metal (hatch, viewport, etc)
? In general: Be very good at hitting the target?s tracks without firing underneath them.
B. Know when/how to facehug. Facehugging is when you drive your tank right into the enemy and sit right in front of them. Typically, this is done because they can?t lower their gun enough to hit you at all (such as a mouse vs a T-54) or to force them to shoot your heavily armored turret instead of your body. Use this to your advantage, and when the situation allows get up in their face and use your advantage.
C. Know when to use HE. If you have less than a 1/3 chance of penetrating, use HE. Is you are fighting someone who is in a very good hull down position or good defensive position, use HE. This will drive them out of the good position very often, allowing you to use better ammo. Also, use HE to finish very low targets without fear of a bounce.
D. Patience. You don?t have to pop around a corner to shoot every time you reload. If you are outnumbered 5 to 3, just wait. If they expose themselves, shoot them. If not, just wait them out and let your team win on another front. Likewise, after a second or two of watching your spot, many will turn their guns elsewhere?allowing you to pop out without a gun on you.
E. If you are popping around to hit them, be very, very fast. Don?t be afraid to use autoaim or preaim in snipe mode, then pop out, hit them very fast and pop back. You need to be so fast at this that even when they know where you are they often miss and/or the viewing system doesn?t update fast enough for them to see you.