I have seen others make things like this and decided to make my own.
So here goes, might be long.
PLEASE leave a comment if you think this has helped you in any form. Thank you.
All generalizations I make are to make sure newer players understand the concept that a vehicle's class does not determine its playstyle outright. My generalizations may or may not cover all roles a particular class can fulfill.
Edit: I believe all pictures are fixed now.
Note that I ask the mods to keep this in this part of the forum, as I feel this is where most newer players will go to first.
Table of Contents:
3.Angling your armor
4.Hull Down Tactics
5.Side Scraping Tactics
6. Ammo Types
8. Tanking Vocabulary
1. Tank Types
A: Light Tanks
There are three types of light tanks:
Fast and No armor, scouting lights
Slow, heavily armored, brawling lights.
Medium speed, combat orientated, supporting lights.
SCOUT MATCHMAKING is a huge part of the game and you should know that ALL light tanks at tier IV and higher will see tanks THREE tiers up instead of the usual TWO. Here is a list of ALL tanks that get scout matchmaking as of now:
M5 Stuart, Chaffee, T21, T71, Luchs, Leopard (VK 16.02), Vk 28, Awf. Panther, T-50, ELC AMX, Amx 12t, Amx 13-75, Amx 13-90,
You should make sure not to platoon with SAME TIERS when using scouts, as you will drag teammates into games they can not do much in. For example:
Platoon of ELC AMX (Tier V Light, see's to tier VIII, +3), M4 Sherman, T1 Heavy.
This platoon is not a good one due to the T1 Heavy (Tier V Heavy, See's to tier VII, +2) and the Sherman (Tier 5 Medium, same deal) can potentially get dragged into a Tier VIII game where they are not supposed to be.
IF the Sherman and T1 Heavy were replaced by say their next tier counterparts, the T1 Heavy turns into a M6 Heavy and the M4 Sherman turns into a M4 Easy Eight, then this platoon is fine because all the tanks see up to the same tier (VIII).
The fast lights are meant to light up the enemy for your teammates. The enemies will get shot and you will receive compensation in the form of assist damage. These tanks are usually VERY fast and are not very big. They do not usually get big cannons though, and will most likely not be able to pen most tanks from the front. They are meant to, when engaging enemy tanks, get around the enemy tank and outpace the turret. A enemy tank will not be able to spin his turret fast enough to keep up with you. This is called the "Circle of Death". There are two types of scouting.
1. Passive scouting.
This is preferred by most scouts because it is usually, but not always, the more profitable way to scout. This involves you having your tank built around improving your view range and camouflage so you can outspot the enemy before they spot you. You will rush to a predetermined spot on the map and put up your binocs and throw your camo net on, usually behind a large bush to improve your camo rating. You should never fire on enemy tanks unless you are sure they will not see you when you do. When and If the enemy gets too close and you are in danger of being spotted, you should fall back to a safer position and began passive scouting again.
2. Active scouting
This involves you putting OPTICS on and instead of hiding from the enemy, you use your speed, good evasive skills, and small size to evade enemy fire and light them up for the enemy. This is USUALLY the worst option of the two because the enemy, if good enough, can still hit you while you are spotted. You should run from cover to cover or poke over ridges when doing this, NOT run in front of enemy guns.
Brawling lights only exist in the realm of Tiers I through IV.
These lights play more like what people imagine a Heavy should be playing like. They are slow, lumbering tanks that have high amounts of effective armor and can go on for a long time before dying. However, not always, but most of the time these tanks do not have very good guns and will have trouble penetrating some tanks, especially other Brawling Lights.
Examples of this type of Light are: Pz38H (Micro Maus), H35, AMX 38, AMX 40 (Duck, Quack), Matilda, Valentine I-II
Supporting Lights: These are only found between tiers I through V.
These lights really act more like the frontline tanks at this tier, as there isn't much class distinction at lower tiers. There are rarely any heavies and mediums are rare-ish as well.
These lights are basically just used as frontline tanks until later tiers where Mediums and Heavies can take this role over.
Examples are: Pz 35(t), Pz38(t), M2 Light, M3 Stuart, Cruiser I-II-III-and IV, Covenanter, T-26, T-46, Crusader
Note that I'm only placing the Crusader here as it doesn't really fit the other two categories. It is a supporting light but is the last one before this type is fazed out.
There are two types of tank destroyers. There are fast, stealthy, small tank destroyers that excel at staying hidden and shooting the enemy from afar. There are also heavily armored and slow tank destroyers that excel in leading charges and playing more like a stereotypical heavy.
In a fast, stealthy TD you should be doing something similiar to passive scouting, where you find a nice cozy bush to plant yourself behind. You will use your camouflage to not be spotted while sniping enemies that either you (If you have the view range, not all do.) or your teammates spot for you. A light tank is a Stealthy TD's best friend because of this. It should be noted that your speed is to get into a position quickly before the enemy gets there, and to relocate yourself when in danger. Examples of this type of TD are but not limited to: StuG III, Hetzer, Jagdpanzer IV, Su85, Su100, Hellcat, Wolverine, M8A1, T49.
In a slow, heavily armored TD, you can still do what the above TDs do, but you lack the speed they have. You should still play a support role, but if the time calls for it, you should spearhead assaults with your armor and gun. Examples of this type of TD are but not limited to: T28, T95, Jagdtiger, AT2, AT8, AT7, AT15, Tortoise.
Sometimes both of these types are mixed to create what usually happens to be a really good tank destroyer. Examples of this include the entire traditional TD line from the Hetzer to the Jagdtiger.
Mediums entire purpose in life is to be the most versatile of the five classes, and to fill in roles that are left unfilled during a battle. These take the most skill out of the three main combat classes (Meds, Hevs, and TDs) You should flank, snipe, assault, defend, spot...ANYTHING that your teammates are not doing. You can do it all! You have speed, "enough" armor, a adequate gun at the least, and view range on your side. You should not rely off your armor but it can save you at times depending on what medium you are driving.
There are two types of heavies as well! (Isn't that a pattern?)
1st Line Heavies:
You are a well armored, large gunned machine. You are probably slow and don't get anywhere that fast, but hey! You're a heavy, you're the toughest of em all. You have the biggest guns apart from TDs, and have the most hitpoints out of all the classes. You spearhead assaults with your armor and HP pool and take chunks out of the enemy every time you fire!
Examples: T1 Heavy, KV1, T29, Black Prince, IS7, E100, E75
You aren't as well armored as the 1st liners, but you are better armored than mediums. Your gun is arguably better than the 1st liners apart from maybe alpha damage. You should be right behind the 1st liners but playing more cautiously than them. You support them as they are your shield to the dangers ahead of you. You still have a lot of HP but the lack of armor means you should be letting the more well armored tanks on your team go first. You should however, be right there behind them and make sure they do not get flanked.
Examples: Tiger, Conqueror, Caernarvon
You support your team with death from above! You should always be firing at the most dangerous tanks on the field, and firing at tanks that are putting your team in danger. Don't be afraid to shotgun anybody who gets through the lines either! You can oneshot the tanks of your tier with a well placed shot and are a pure support role.
2. Map Awareness
You should be checking the map approximately every 30 seconds if not more to judge how the battle is going. If it's going well then continue what you're doing if it's working. But if it is not you should look to seal that flaw in your team's plan. Otherwise you might end up letting multiple tanks through on a flank, or let the base get capped.
Not only that, but it can prevent you from dying. You can see tanks starting a flanking approach much sooner by using the map then just by seeing them coming. You should do well to make sure you are always aware of what's going on.
3. Angling your armor
The effective thickness of your armor is determined by it's base thickness and the angle it is presented at to the enemy. The more sharp of a angle, the less armor the enemy shell will be able to penetrate.
Look at this diagram:
In the picture, the first Tiger is not angled, and thus, his armor is only around 100mm thick at the front and LESS on the lower plate.
The second Tiger, however, is angled pretty well and both his side armor and front armor are better protected because of it. The shell will have to penetrate more armor to get into that soft core of your vehicle where all those mushy Hoomans sit.
Some tanks you should NOT angle however. There are not many tanks that have this as a thing but they do exist.
(It should be STRONGLY noted that these tanks are rare and are only at the higher tiers)
Look at this IS tank for example:
If you look closely, you will see that the front of the tank forms a "Pike Nose" and is what we call, "Pre-Angled".
In practice this just means you should point the "Pike" directly at the enemy gun as it will angle both plates away from him. If you were to angle the armor, he would have a flat shot at one of the plates.
4. Hull Down Tactics
Getting hull down is a tactic where you find a object (Dead tank, rock, hill, whatever) to cover up the hull of your tank and only show the turret. This allows you to cover up a lot of vulnerable weakspots on your armor, as well as make you a smaller target. It will also increase your chances of bouncing a shell as most tanks' turrets are better armored than their hulls.
That is one of the last things you want to see in a battle! A T32 hull down like that is something close to invincible and will be unstoppable while he's in that position unless arty can hit him.
This is what you should do at all times if possible, even if your turret isn't the best armored, it's still a hell of a lot better than just showing your entire tank. Tanks that are especially good at this are: T29, T32, Black prince, Comet, "The Jumbo", IS3, IS7
5. Side Scraping Tactics
Side scraping is the act of coming around a corner in such a way that the only thing the enemy see's is your side armor and the front of your turret. This makes it where your side armor is incredibly thick due to "Angling" *<-- Hint Hint,* and will almost always autobounce the enemy shells. Note that not all tanks can do this well but most can.
There are three types of side scraping in my opinion:
1. Traditional Sidescraping
2. "Track" Eating
3. Reverse sidescraping
1. Traditional side scraping is when you like described above, use your side armor at a extreme angle to bounce all incoming shots.
Here's a picture:
The First tank in the picture is angling his armor like a good chap, but is not using that corner to the best of his ability. He might be penned in the side due to the extremity of the angle, or the guns might be able to pierce his lower plate.
The Second tank is sidescraping in the "Traditional" format. He is using his sides to deflect incoming shells and will proceed to throttle forward into the building/obstacle when he is reloading so he no longer gets shot at.
The second type of sidescraping is what I call, "Track Eating (TE)" (Note this term is completely made up by me and is not official)
This only works against tanks that have a longer reload than the time it takes to repair your tracks WITH the repair skill.
You use the tracks of your tank to absorb damage that would otherwise have been directed at your hull, and thus, your health.
Tanks that are especially good at this are actually ALL tier 10 american tanks (Excluding arty). Their hulls don't actually extend to their tracks and thus, the enemy will never see your hull doing this unless they are reloading.
You do this by backing out just enough so that they can see your tracks, but not your side armor. They will most likely shoot your tracks, and which case you will repair first, back out, and take a quick snapshot, then go back into cover to do it again. You pretty much need the repair skill fully trained AND have a vehicle that repairs tracks pretty quickly to do this. Small vehicles are pretty good at this since they don't take long to repair their tracks.
3. REVERSE sidescraping.
This is done with only FORWARD mounted turrets (Very prominent on the IS series of Russian Heavies)
You do the same thing as traditional sidescraping, but you put your backside towards the building instead of your front, and proceed to come out of cover like this. You would think this would be foolish due to your rear armor being towards the enemy but in reality it is effective because with your turret being so far forward and your rear being hidden by the obstacle, you can actually do this better than traditional sidescraping. Note that again, this can ONLY be done and SHOULD only be done on front mounted turreted tanks.
Picture: (Pretend that the turret is on the front of the tank and that the back side is facing the building.
6. Ammo Types
There are many different types of ammo in WoT. Some are named differently but act the same as others, an example being HEAT shells and the German GR shells.
1. Armor Piercing Shells (AP)
These are your bread and butter, your workhorse shells. You should be carrying at the least 75% of these in your ammo selection.
Without getting into the hard to explain and understand details, AP shells work like this:
They have high penetration and travel at a good speed. They only do damage when they penetrate the target and do not produce splash damage. You should use these on most targets youi will face.They do moderate damage and will always do roughly the same damage (25% in either direction of the average damage) It should be mentioned that these shells lose penetration over distance and you will not always be able to penetrate a tank at long range even if you were able to penetrate it at close range.
2. Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR) shells. (Also known as gold shells, premium shells)
These shells work more or less just like AP shells. They, like AP shells, must penetrate to do damage, and do no splash damage. However, these are much more expensive than standard AP rounds. They can be bought with Gold OR SILVER (Very important, hit Y in the garage when equipping these to change the currency). They have a great deal more penetration than their standard AP counterparts. They have a MUCH faster speed when fired as well, and will reach the target much quicker, you must compensate for this. These shells lose penetration at a greater rate than AP shells though, and while they will not ever have less penetration than AP shells, they aren't worth using at maximum range. These should be used when you can not flank the target or have difficulty penning the enemy tank. They are expensive though and should NOT be spammed willy-nilly unless you have the silver bank to back it up. They are a last resort when all else fails.
3. High Explosive Shells (HE shells)
These shells are only bought for silver and are cheaper than AP shells. They have much less penetration however and will not penetrate often. You must aim at very weak spots on a enemy tank for these to penetrate. They do not lose penetration over distance and also have a splash damage effect. You do not need to actually penetrate a tank to do damage with these shells. Tanks that have light armor (Like Scouts, Arty, The German Glass Cannon Line) are very weak to these kind of shells due to not having any armor to prevent penetration. You should use these shells in many situations:
When you can't pen a tank and want to contribute, you can his exterior and you will almost always do at least SOME damage as well as wrecking the outside modules on his vehicle. (Like the gun, turret ring, observation port). You may even break some internal modules and kill some of those Hoomans on the inside of his vehicle!
These are also great for resetting a base capture. In a clutch moment, it is better to fire a HE shell and have a assured reset on a base capture than potentially bounce your AP shell and not reset in time. Remember: You only need to do ANY kind of damage to a enemy capper to reset him! This means even blowing his track off!
They are even good for tracking a enemy. When you want to permamentely track a enemy so your friendlies can work him over, you should use HE shells. They are better than AP shells for tracking.
4. High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) shells.
These shells are only used by the British.
These act almost exactly like HE shells except they have much higher penetration. This is good because if you can pen a vehicle with these, it will wreck their tank and do massive damage! (Compared to AP shells)
Note that HESH shells absolutely hate spaced armor and will not penetrate it easily. (Will add a section later talking about spaced armor)
5. High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT shells)
Don't be fooled by the name, these shells act more like AP shells than they do HE shells. They are fired as the premium ammo of any vehicle that uses APCR and all Howitzers as their premium ammo. These NEED to penetrate to do damage. These shells ALSO do not like spaced armor and will not penetrate spaced armor often. (Will add a section later talking about spaced armor) These are basically a high pen round avaliable to high caliber guns. These shells also do not enjoy penetrating ANGLED armor. So fire these at the flat plates of tanks that are facing you.
6. Premium HE shells (Arty Only)
Simply do a good amount more splash damage.
This is a tactic where you catch an enemy in a position where he can not get his gun on target to hit you but you can still see his tracks. You ideally should load HE and keep firing directly at his "Drive Wheel" (This is the wheel in the tracks that is sort of seperated by the others, it usually looks more like a asterisk than a actual wheel, all tanks have one)
You should do this when you know teammates are around to support you once you start perma-tracking the enemy. This is ESPECIALLY useful when you're bottom tier because you can do this to ANY tank and earn loads of XP.
If it isn't clear, you get XP by doing this because you are awarded 50% of the XP somebody gets when they damage the enemy you have tracked. It is the same thing as spotting the enemy for your teammates.
This works especially well in a coordinated platoon.
8. Tanking Vocabulary
This is a rough guide on what the terms I have used thus far mean:
1. Alpha Damage - The average damage your gun does per shot
2. Damage Per Minute (DPM) - The highest average amount of damage your gun can do in a minute.
3. Gun Depression - How far down your gun can lower itself. Measured in degrees.
4. Gun Elevation - How far up your gun can elevate itself. Measured in degrees.
5. Gun Mantle/Mantlet - The shield around the base of the gun on the turret that most tanks will have.
7. Upper Glacis - The top part of the frontal armor of the tank.
8. Lower Glacis - The lower part of the frontal armor of the tank.