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The Guides Contest Continue: Tank Destroyer Edition

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DStegCat #21 Posted 03 March 2016 - 09:41 PM


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Destroyers !




Maximizing your TD attributes






Perks and Skills



Range Reminders


Further Equipment




Side notes


Team Tactics and Strategy


Match Tactics



nam et ipsa scientia potestas est (for knowledge is itself power)  Francis Bacon - 1597

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Bashful #22 Posted 04 March 2016 - 08:25 AM

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Welcome to the wonderful world of playing a tank destroyer within World of Tanks. You are bout to learn how to drive the machines that puts fear into the hearts of all the other players


Getting Started

The first step is actually purchasing a tank destroyer. Hopefully by now, you are familiar with the WoT interface to purchase one - just look for a vehicle with an inverted pyramid icon that you can unlock and purchase. At the worst case, you'll have to start with a Tier 2 tank, but if you have been playing other lines for long enough you might have been able to unlock a higher tier tank.


Now that you have a tank destroyers, there's several things that you should do before you actually start your first match.


Research Your TD

The most important thing for you to know is that every TD in the game has slightly different strengths and weakness, so playing successfully requires you to understand what those strengths and weaknesses are. The best place to learn about is to visit the http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Tanks site, find your specific TD and read the player provided opinion about the TD.


In the broadest sense, TDs fall into the following categories:

  • Fast & Unarmored - The American Hellcat line is a great example of this.
  • Slow & Unarmored - The French Somua SAu 40 is an example of this
  • Slow with Strong Frontal Armor - The American T95 is the poster child of this
  • Balanced Speed & Frontal Armor - The German Jagpanther II is a prime example of this


The other defining characteristics which will define you play your TD are:

  • Camouflage Rating - The higher it is, the better it is for you to play as a hidden sniper
  • Gun Traverse - Traverse is that amount of degrees you can move the gun from side to side without having to turn the body. The smaller the traverse, the less suitable you are for frontline duty
  • Tank Height and Gun Depression - The taller your TD is, the more likely it is to be seen while cresting a hill. Gun depression is you ability to aim downwards. Poor gun depression makes you very unsuitable for cresting a hill.
  • View Range - While your own view range is important, knowing the view range of your opponents is more important. Look at the light and medium tanks two tiers above your and get a feel for what their average view range is.


Equip Your TD

One of the easiest way to improve your chances of success with your TD is making sure that it is properly decked out. Here are the minimum garage tasks you should take care off before you roll out for the first time:

  • Packages - By default, your TD comes straight from the WoT Factory in its stock configuration. It shouldn't as a surprise to learn that Stock Sucks. Unless the Wiki states that the stock gun configuration is acceptable, you should seriously consider spending Free XP to unlock a package with a higher tier gun. It won't be as good as playing the version with the Top package, but it will be less frustrating.
  • Tank Equipment - The Wiki does suggest equipment for all TDs in the game. The pieces you choose depend on your personal playstyle. However, in most cases, you can't go wrong by equipping a Tank Gun Rammer and a Camo Net. Other pieces that are frequently equipped include Crew Ventilation and Gun Laying Drives.
  • Tank Consumables - Make sure that your tank has the proper shell loadout. Don't attempt to skimp out on the premium rounds (change the currency type to silver if you don't want to pay with real money). If you have a very large caliber gun (eg: 122mm), then HE shells might be a better investment than AP ammo. Repair kits will save your life when you are tracked in a bad position. First Aid Kits will allow you to bring back your gunner or loader.
  • Camouflage - There is a benefit to having a camouflage paint job applied to your tank as it makes your tank slightly harder to detect. You can probably cut corners on this one if you only play on playing the tank for the daily X2 multiplier, but if you plan to binge play the vehicle, then buying 7 or 30 days worth of camouflage is worth it


Crew Your TD

Your TD doesn't just drive itself you know, you need a crew of brave men to step into and take it into action. Obviously, the best result is achieved by taking an experienced crew and transferring it into the TD. However, that isn't always possible and you'll have to make a decision between a free crew and one from the training academy.


Unless silver credits are seriously an issue, the benefit you get from using a crew from the training academy well justifies the cost. Unless you have gold to burn, the gold training option, however, is not cost justifiable.


Having a crew that has mastered the TD isn't the only important thing, you also need a crew that has the right set of skill and perks so that you can get the maximum benefit. The Wiki will sometimes have information about which crew skills to take, but if not, looking in the various nation-specific forum here will usually give you the information you need.


If all else fails, the typical set of skills and perks that you want to consider include:

  • Six Sense - Always useful for the stealth specialist for when the pesky artillery units are looking for you. Not recommended for a front line tank as you'll most likely spend all of your time spotted anyways.
  • Brothers in Arms - A 5% improvement in your core tank skills and the common Skills? Who can't say no to faster reload time and better camouflage values.
  • Camouflage - Very useful for the stealth specialists that remain in the back lines and don't want to get spotted. Not recommended for front line tanks or tanks with normally horrendous camouflage ratings
  • Muffled Shot - Also very useful for the stealth specialist
  • Repair - Useful for the front line tank that is worried about being tracked
  • Deadeye - If you are one of those TDs that has machine-gun fast firing speed, then an extra 3% chance to cause a critical is a welcome bonus. If you are one of those tanks that fires twice a minute, then, not so much
  • Clutch Breaking - You keep getting killed by those pesky mediums that keep circling around you? This might speed you up enough that you'll be able to land that shot and teach them that they shouldn't have messed with you


Entering Battle

You've research your TD, you know its strengths and weaknesses, you've made sure its equipped with the best equipment possible, and put your best crew on it. You are now finally ready to head out and enter battle.


You should think of the battle has having the following distinct stages:

  • Pre-Battle 
  • Setup 
  • First Encounter
  • Advance or Retreat
  • The Mopup



As soon as that loading screen comes up and tells you what map your playing and the battle type (encounter, normal, or destruction), you should immediately start thinking about what your strategy is going to be. The key parts of your thinking should be, given the potential spawn locations on this map, what is the best possible place for me to head to once the battle starts.


Once you've loaded onto the map and know where you spawn you can then decide where you are going to head to. Ideally, you should have at least two separate locations in mind so that you can you adjust appropriately once you see how your teammates re-act.


The next key part of the pre-battle is to look at the team list, especially at the red side of the list. You should look at the green side as well, but focus on red first. Here's what you need to look for:

  • Number of Artillery Pieces present - Your ideal world is when the enemy team doesn't have artillery --- artillery being the bane of TDs. The more artillery the other team has, the more you have to be prepared to never stand still. Taking one shot from cover is generally safe, but beware that that some artillery players have made a career out of knowing where TDs are likely to be, so don't be surprised if HE shells appear after the first shot. Taking a second shot is pretty safe but you should immediately try to relocate after the shot. Taking three or more shots is just asking for a quick trip back to the garage.
  • Number of Light Tanks present - Normally these guys go after Artillery, but they have the unfortunate side effect of making you visible to enemy artillery. Plus you want to save your friendly artillery, so these guys are normally a priority target at the start of the match. The more light tanks there are, the more likely they are to be a problem
  • Large Platoons of Mediums and Heavies - These aren't normally a problem at the start of the match, but as tanks are elimated on both sides, intact platoons become a serious threat due to their wolf pack tactics and tendency to focus fire. You'll want to remember these guys so that you have a chance to react when they decide to swarm you midgame
  • Platoons of Light Tanks on Green Side - You need to pay attention to Green Team in case there are some light tanks platooned up. These have the distressing tendency to YOLO so you want to take advantage of their sacrifices by following them, but not closely so that you aren't killed when they inevitably wipe out.



Its usually a very poor strategic choice to remain at your spawn, so you'll want to travel with some of the other tanks. Which tank you travel with really depends on your speed and relative armor value --- a highly armored Tier 5 TD is actually very poorly armored when in a match with Tier 7s, so much so that the Tier 5 TD would want to travel with the other second line tanks:

  • Highly Armored TDs want to travel with the heavies so that they can present their highly armored fronts to the enemy and take pot shots. TDs with poor Gun Traverse want to avoid city fighting since going around a corner can be murder for them. The goal of these TDs is to be with the main hunting pack so that they aren't flanked and surrounded
  • Fast TDs want to travel with one of the flanker groups with the objective of being able to fight the mediums (as they are typically less armored). The less armor the TD has, the more in the back of the flankers it wants to remain since it won't be able to take the enemy's return fire
  • Slow TDs want to either remain with the artillery as a line of defense against light tanks, or they want to bring up the rear of the main assault force.


No matter which path was taken, you typically never want to be the lead tank as your health pool is usually not large to withstand the enemy's opening salvo. Rather, you want to find a sheltered location that gives you good line of sight to where the first encounter is going to be. You'll want to pre-aim your reticle to where an enemy tank is likely to be after it is detected (which is non-zero time) so that you can quickly take an accurate shot once the enemy has been detected.


While you are waiting for the First Encounter, you want to keep an eye on your mini-map --- both the local area and the overall area --- in case the enemy has managed to penetrated thru an area that wasn't adequately covered. You don't want to the first indication that the enemy has managed to flank you to be a shot in your vulnerable sides or rear.


First Encounter

This is the moment in the battle where the two sides have detected and begin to trade shots. It can go one of several ways.


Enemy YOLO

There is usually that one player who doesn't understand that charging forth and spotting the entire enemy team doesn't do you much good if said team turns your tank into a burning pyre. Your best bet is to be patient early in the battle and let these guys come to you --- if they want to die so much, you definitely should take the time to oblige them.


It is ultra important to not get Victory Disease after dealing with the YOLO --- just because your team has killed 5 red is not justification for your team to rush forward. The surviving reds are more than aware of what happened to their teammates and are probably hull down in every conceivable position they can hoping that green team will do something stupid and even up the teams. The best approach is to a careful approach and not charge forward. As a TD that means that you should probably advance to where your front line was but no further until the enemy disposition has been determined


Friendly YOLO

It (sadly) isn't always the case that the suicidal lemming is on the red side, more often than not, the lemming is on your side. In this case, there are couple of important things to remember:

  • Spotted tanks are visible to a range of 600m, so if you are a quick and fast tank, you might be able to follow the YOLO and take shots at enemies that are this range
  • Maximum viewing range is normally 500m, so if you are planning to follow a YOLO, you want to make sure that you aren't going to get closer than this to the enemy, otherwise, you'll also be a YOLO
  • More often than not, the correct play is to remain where you were and wait for the enemy to come charging to you. Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll do something un-advisable and wither in the face of fire from your entranched positions.



Usually what happens is that your spotting tanks spot their spotting tanks and a race begins to see which spotter is eliminated first. Winning this encounter is one of the keys of winning the overall match since if you can see them but they can't see you, you'll have a tremendous advantage for dealing damage.


The key to this part of the fight is to actually remain calm and not rush your shots. You want to maximize your odds of landing a hit and the best possible outcome is for you to immobilize your target in a location where you teammates can easily finish them off. That means that your first shots might be AP, but you might have to switch to HEAT or other ammo types in order to accomplish that goal.


Common Worries

Your key worry during this phase is whether or not you are spotted - either by the enemy being within spotting range of you or by enemies following your tracer fire. There are situations where not firing (firing reduces your camouflage greatly) is actually a better choice thank taking a low percentage shot at an enemy that you are unlikely to damage.


Retreating to behind solid cover and waiting for the enemy to be in a more vulnerable position is also a valid choice. Simply waiting for the enemy to become engaged (and focused on) another tank might be all it takes for you to land a few good shots into them and end their threat permanently.


Your key objectives during this phase are:

  • Finish the Wounded - One less enemy gun firing your way is goodness, so given the choice, finish off the enemy even if they only have a sliver of health
  • Small Caliber TDs - If you have a fast firing TD with small shells, then your best bet is to shot the tracks of your opponents so that they can't move while your Large Caliber TDs friends reload.
  • Large Caliber TDs - Finish the wounded, hit the immobilized. Be stingy with your shots - your reload times are long enough that you want to avoid firing a low percentage shot since you want to be in position to take the shot when a good opportunity presents itself.
  • Scary Caliber TDs - There are some TDs that have a fearsome reputation that no one wants to be in their line of fire. If you are driving one of these, it might behoove you to let yourself get spotted (as long as you can be in a position to avoid been focus fired) so that the enemy knows to not go near you. Usually that results in the enemy crowding in the other fire lanes and allowing themselves to be easy prey to your teammates.
  • Survive - Even if you are not top tear, your gun is usually powerful enough to be a treat to everyone on the battle field. Surviving will earn you opportunities for more kills and more points than risky play that will result in you beeing sent to the garage early.


As with the setup phase, you want to spend some time looking at your mini-map and full map. Particularly, you need to look at the progress of the other green forces and make sure that they haven't been eliminated. If they have, then red forces are coming to flank you and you had best find a defensible position for that.


Advance or Retreat

Eventually the fight in front of you gets resolved --- your side either prevails or it doesn't. If it prevails, then the most likely urge is to keep advancing, however, and this has to be stressed, that may not be the best tactical decision. This is the point in time when the status of the flanking greens is critically important. If they have been eliminated, then the enemy is likely either heading to your base (to steal a win from the jaws of defeat) or to flank you. Which action they take depends on the number of tanks left --- if green has most tanks, they are likely heading to your base, if red has more tanks, they are likely heading to flank. Thus the correct tactical play is to counteract which ever action they take.


If your flanking force has held its own and your own force has won, then that generally is a sign that the battle is won. However, you don't want to get overconfident and give the enemy a free kill --- it might be what they need to turn the tide. In this situation, you want to advance with your team but not be the lead tank. The outcome you want to accomplish is that you want encounter the remaining red forces in a piecemeal way so that you can focus fire on them.


If your side lost the First Encounter, then the correct tactical play is clear --- retreat to better defensible positions or remain where you are and force the enemy to attack. For any two tanks, if all else is equal, the tank that is in cover has a huge advantage over the tank that is not, then it behooves green to use that. You might need to relocate a bit in order to cover the flanking positions, but your goal is to force the enemy to take the initiative and leave the safety of cover and come towards you. The enemy might get Victory Disease and just oblige you.


In all cases, the worst thing you can do is Reinforce Defeat. If the enemy has whittled down your forces, and your side keep trying to press forward, that is a sign that the battle will surely be lost. Your only choice at this point is to cut your losses and let any green tank that persists in believing that it as one man army and use the time you have to move to a better position.  If you are lucky enough, the faster and more mobile enemies will rush forward and separate themselves from the fellows and give you a chance to pick them off one by one.


The Mop-up

No matter what, eventually it comes down to just a few tanks one on one side. The correct play depends on what the number of tanks on the other side is.


Green Winning

If your side is winning, then happy days. Your goal within this phase of the battle is to stay within range of the advance tanks so that you can quickly finish them off once they are spotted. So you want to be aggressive, but not too aggressive --- you don't want to be outnumbered within the are of the encounter --- any green tanks that aren't in range of the encounter aren't going to help you so if the enemy outnumbers you and focuses fire, they can quickly send you back to the garage.


The key to being successful during this part of the battle is actually recognizing when you are about to be ambushed. The correct play is usually to wait for your teammates to arrive so that you resume having superiority. If the advance tanks succumb to the ambush, that is unfortunate, but they have done you a favor by telling you where it is. At this point, your goal is to figure out what the best line of attack is --- usually it isn't going into the ambush zone, but situations vary --- for example, the enemy has two tanks left and your side has seven, which makes the rush the correct play.


Red Side Winning By A Lot

Your side is going to lose. You tried your best, but these things happen. best thing you can do is try to find other green tanks and establish a defensive killzone. If the red assault force isn't careful and ventures too far, then you might have local numerical superiority and you had best make use of it because time is not on your side. This is a situation where you can and should be more aggressive --- ie: don't try to retreat into cover as much --- since you want to take as many shots as possible and make all of them count before the rest of red team arrives. 


If you do manage to ambush red, the follow on play is to retreat to another location as the smarter members of red are unlikely to chance a trip thru a kill zone. You could delay redeploying for 20 seconds or so in order to give red the opportunity to decide to rush you, but if they don't come within that time frame, they are likely going to try to flank you, so adjust your positions as necessary. A particularly gutsy play would be to head thru the kill zone since red is unlikely to have left many tanks there and you might again have local numerical superiority. As you are attacking and out of cover, it might be harder to push thru, but if successfully implemented you might be able to find the red forces divided and thus easier to kill.


The other possibility here is that the bulk of the red forces are far away from you and you have a clear path to the enemy flag. If the battle type is normal or assault, if you can get three tanks in the circle, you might have just enough time to get a keep and steal a win from red.


In all cases note that the correct play is for you to stick with your teammates. If your teammates split up, then staying with the highest tier and healthiest team mate is the best choice.


Red Side Winning by a Little

In this scenario, if there is a flag to cap, the correct play for red is to send someone to the flag in order to put time pressure on you. Red's goal is to force you to move from your defensive position and into positions where they can finish you off. The correct play here is to resist the temptation to go defend the flag and attempt to bait the red forces into coming to you. If you are lucky, they get impatient and you are able to finish them off. If you are lucky, you'll have a fast tank that can go take a single shot at the flag cap to reset the time so that the rest of your force can get there.


As with the other Red winning scenarios, your best tactics are to follow your teammates and avoid becoming separated and thus picked apart.


General Advice

  • Snapshots are useless for long range shots. It is better to enter sniper mode and wait for the aiming circle to be minimized.
  • Avoid being encircled to death by staying close to teammates
  • Avoid being encircled to death by backing up to a corner. If they can't get behind you, you have the advantage
  • Keep the speed differential in mind when choosing which tanks to follow - a slow TD is better staying with other slow vehicles than trying to keep up with a light scout
  • Patience is a Virtue. Being the lead tank is a good way to die
  • No matter how much armor your tank has up front, it has weak spots and is vulnerable to premium shells
  • No matter what TD you are, your side and rear armor are laughable, so presenting them to the enemy is a good way to die
  • Practice leading your shots. Taking the basic tank training over and over again so that you get a feel for the necessary lead will make more effective at deal with fast moving tanks


Playing a TD on Prokhorovka



Map Key

  • Tents (Red/Green) - Typical locations where tanks like to setup for a battle
  • Purple Square - Most frequent points of contact between forces
  • Arrows (Red/Green) - Typical lines of advancement
  • Map is from alex-box.net, but there was no © on it so I considered it fair use



  • Depending on which side of the map you start, go find yourself an area from which you can monitor the purple squares. The terrain is fairly highly so tanks moving thru the purple area will usually be partially hidden
  • Which location you select is highly dependent on the speed of your vehicle. You don't want to be in the open when the scouts come, so select the most appropriate location
  • Make sure that there is sufficient range between the purple squares and you so the enemy scouts don't spot you.


First Encounter

  • This will occur in the purple squares. Your primary goal is to terminate the enemy scouts so that your scouts can survive into the next fast of the battle
  • Scouts will be fast moving, try to lead them in order to immobilize them
  • Some Scouts will make the error of repeating the same path over and over again. Pre-aim along that path and make them pay
  • Sometimes, enemy YOLO forces will try to rapidly advance between the 1 and 2 lines
  • The Square defined by E6-F7 is also a popular location for non-light tanks to try their luck
  • Typical Artillery locations are along the A and K lines. A6 and K8 are very popular artillery locations


Advance or Retreat

  • The arrows on the map indicate the primary lines of advance after the first encounter
  • If Green Team is winning, then you want to follow your teammates, but you want to keep at least a 1 square distance between you and the lead tank. This should give you enough distance to avoid being spotted by an ambush
  • If Red Team is winning, then remaining in location is your best bet as the terrain there has dips in it that you remain in cover while the enemy is without.
  • Popular ambush locations are actually where the Tent icons are located. Unfortunately, they only provide cover from a single approach direction, so it is easy to flank these location and spot the ambushers



  • The last remaining forces are typically along the A and K lines, or within the village around E6-F7.
  • Rushing thru the purple square is typically the correct play as it has provides the most opportunities to spot opponents.
  • The purple square area also has several large rocks that can be hidden behind so make ideal locations for spotters to sit and passively scout from.


Playing a TD on Cliff



Map Key

Unlike the previous map, only the southern spawn is detailed here. The northern spawn deployment and play is typically the same

  • Green Tents - Typical TD positions
  • Green Arrow - Typical path of flanking assault force
  • [Not Labelled] - The square defined by E1-F2 is the Valley of Death.



  • Slow Tanks - Tents along the 1-2 line. More armored TDs want G1. Less armored TDs want J1. Slow tanks can expect fast scouts to go into the E2-F2 pocket and try to peak around the rocks to spot. Fortunately, there are quite a rocks in the area to hide behind
  • Fast Tanks - Behind the Buildings at H7 is where they want to setup. Enemies will typically be sending up the mounting between E6 and F8, but you can remain out of side. The area of interest for you are the F8 and F9 squares


First Encounter

  • Slow Tanks - Enemies will appear in the Valley of Death. Hidden enemies will be in the village at C1 C2, but your spotters can likely light them up for you. You must resist the temptation to move too far out of cover or concentrated enemy fire will wreck your tank
  • Fast Tanks - You want to support the fight at F8-F9. Priority is wounded targets as you quickly want to reduce the amount of fire your own team is taking. Second priority are enemy that are trying to move to G9


Advance Or Retreat

  • Slow Tanks (Losing) - There isn't much room to retreat too when things go badly. Tanks at G1 could make it back to J1, but it requires climbing a small hill, which is inadvisable when under fire. Best bet is to use local cover and try to make the red team pay in blood. 
  • Slow Tanks (Winning) - If green manages to take control of the Valley of Death, then lightly armored tanks want to advance to G1 so that they can support an advance. Armored tanks at G1 want to advance (cautiously) up the 1 line
  • Fast Tanks (Losing) - The line of retreat is to head back towards the spawn and towards the defending tanks at J1. It is possible to hide in the lower rocks at K5, but that is a position that is easily bypassed by the enemy and thus not recommended
  • Fast Tanks (Winning) - While the advance force is moving up to E8, moving to H8 gives a position where it is possible to harass the enemy. More heavily armored tanks might want to confider heading to F9


The Mop-Up

  • Slow Tanks (Losing) - Fight as best you can at G1 and J1
  • Slow Tanks (Winning) - Advance thru the village at C1 D2 and kill the stragglers
  • Fast Tanks (Losing) - Fight as best you can at G1 and J1
  • Fast Tanks (Winning) - Advance to D9 and try to remain a square or two behind the lead elements.



I hope you find this guide helpful and you enjoy playing the Tank Destroyer Class.


Roll Out!

Schneller WGA #23 Posted 04 March 2016 - 11:36 PM


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Whoops, it seems my posts never went through. 


I will be reading through these guides over the weekend and have winners and pay outs on Monday.


If you win PLEASE PM me with the console you play on. 

Please read the WoT rules: 
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Schneller WGA #24 Posted 07 March 2016 - 06:25 PM


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Hey everyone! Thank you for participating in the TD Guides contest. The following people have won:


  1. Pacestick68 
  2. DStegCat 
  3. Bashful 
  4. ZambieSlayer28
  5. YoungestBike679  / xRoni7x   (we had a tie for 5th place)


If you won please PM me with the console you play on.


Thank you and see you in the next contest!

Please read the WoT rules: 
Game Rules - Forum Rules - EULA - TOS
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