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Medium Tanking 211: The Flow of Battle

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MrWuvems #1 Posted 03 February 2015 - 04:55 AM

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Previously: How to use terrain

 

Intro

Well I think I've procrastinated on this series long enough. Up for this lecture we're talking about how to navigate your way through red team, your second-most extreme hindrance to victory after green team. As the  battle progresses, what you need to look out for does too. And remember, medium tanks cam be a PEST

 

Plan

Escape

Spot

Terminate

 

Always know what you're doing. Never go anywhere you don't have a plan to leave. Act as the primary vision for the team. Terminate is an interesting one. You have claws and need to use them. You also generally have faster-firing, lower-alpha guns. Be prepared to take the kill shot if you can. It silences a gun on the team while freeing the higher-caliber guns to deal full damage against healthier targets.

 

Pre-game: Figure out what you're doing

This is the part of the battle that keeps being ignore, and it's where the battle is usually lost. Right here is where you decide not to be a sheep. It usually take the form of something like:

 

I am on <map>. My tank can make an impact at <location, flank>. This is a <tier> match. This means I'm going to be good at <role, like sniper, brawler, scout, support>. The high-priority targets are <red team tanks>. Based on this information, I plan to <go to a place>

 

Match Start: Get going

Here's the thing that we see go wrong all the time: delaying moving out at the start is WoT suicide. The start of the match is where you set up spotting pickets, skirmishing lines, and grab the best pieces of terrain. Do not dawdle. You mill around and you simply give up all momentum in the match.  Figure out what you're doing, what the team is doing, adjust based on who's going where, and get to battle before the reds expect it.

 

This does not mean rush out ahead without support. A dead tank does no damage.

 

Early Game: Contact with the enemy

And your plan for the game immediately goes to pot. The reds usually don't roll over, so now its time to get to work. You're immediate concern is to start weakening the front line and spotters. At the same time, early damage limits your potency. How do you stay safe and deal damage? PAY ATTENTION. Situational awareness starts to kick in right freaking now. Pay attention to where and how many tanks are spotted. Keeping an eye on the map will tell you where their force is coming from and what they're planning on doing.

 

Also pay attention to the behaviors of the opfor. A passive flank is usually weaker, or they're waiting for the heavy-hitters to roll in. An aggressive flank is usually stronger and will seek to rush forward before you can react. In this case, you can begin to put pressure on by stalling out the attack. Tracking the lead tank or putting shells into their important pushers has a strong psychological effect. Remember that time is always ticking away to the detriment of whoever committed more forces to the flank. It stalls, and their force starts getting flanked or artied.

 

Key in the early game is claiming important terrain. Good spotting locations. Dense soft cover you can spot from. Corners that you can hide behind while reloading. Properly positioned, a smaller force is a nightmare to dislodge.

 

Mid Game: The Response

After the initial contact, things usually slow down a bit while the pieces move in for the extended combat. Remember how situational awareness kicks in early? Well here's the thing: winning isn't so much about mechanical hitting things for damage, you win by parsing and understanding your situation. Pay attention to where tanks are, when they disappear, potential movements of enemies, and what your team is doing. Keeping track of all this stuff and reading it is something that takes a little big of experience, so at first pay closer attention to what's closer to you. What is in your immediate area, and what do they appear to want to do. Counter it.

 

And really, keep an eye on that map. A large flanking maneuver spotted is a major coup. Knowing when there's someone aiming at you outside of the people directly in front of you saves your tank. At this point, it's good to discuss the difference between Sixth Sense and Detected. The lightbulb goes off when someone's spotted you. Detected goes off when they're aiming at you and you're looking at them. This information can often tell you when they're aiming away, or when they're mad and want to plaster you (giving your teammates room for free shots).

 

Walk Without Rhythm

In the heat of battle, being predictable means being dead.always look for different angles to attack from. Always appear from nowhere to take risky shots. Never do the same thing twice in a row unless they think you're doing something else. There's a lot about psychology to talk about, but that's a different subject for a later time. Essentially it comes down to for mediums: be Batman.

 

Another key to not dying is tracking who just shot. This comes with experience, but keep track of where the sounds of gunfire comes from, and the calibers. This will tell you which of the targets you can drive up in front of to plaster. You also need to parse how long of a window you have to shoot. Smaller guns tend to fire faster, while you can generally get a good 3-5 off safe from an arty that just shot. The important part is to not just run out in front of an E-75, unless he just shot and you can get some nice damage in while its defenseless.

 

Also, count the shots an autoloader fires. Once you know they're out, you can pressure them during their defenseless long reload.

 

Late Game, Cleanup

Targets getting scarce? Still alive? Good, time for medium tank fun time. The end of the match is generally the most fun. Without the mass of fire, mediums can use their mobility to chase down and find what's left. Key to this is, and you probably guessed it, is situational awareness. With a lower amount of targets, that part of your brain needs to focus in on the individuals. Who's alive on your team? How much HP do they have? What reds are still up? Where are/were they? How many shots until they die? Where were they moving to?

 

There's also something of a cold calculus coming in. For each enemy tank left, you need to ask yourself: "How many times can it shoot me before I die". This informs how aggressive you can be and when you need to simply take a shot for the team. This stage of the game is known for traps and capping to create pressure. Use your knowledge of the map to predict what the reds are doing. The victory often hangs on your hunch being right.

 

-----------------

 

Alright, there's part two of this thing. Up next (this weekend) we're talking vision, something people know a lot and nothing about. That is, of course, unless someone wants the psychology lesson on outthinking your opponents.

 

After that, I'm going to go back and finish the "how to set up your X" series and hopefully get a post containing links to all the threads pinned to this forums. Any questions/comments, post to this thread. Any specifics, it's an open secret that my inbox gets quick responses.



TangoLit #2 Posted 03 February 2015 - 07:32 AM

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Another outstanding write-up.  Keep them coming!

 

Git gud here:  bit.ly/tankguide (I should read this).  On Track list.

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l BoltFlare l #3 Posted 04 February 2015 - 01:40 AM

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Brilliant thread! I can't wait to read the next installment!

Thank you!


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