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Blackroan

How do I play this Thing?

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Every day in clan chat, in these forums and even personal messages I see people asking questions on how to play their tank.  I am going to give my opinion on perks (first 3)/equipment and how I play certain tanks and I am sure others will give theirs. We will not all agree. I can only recommend you look at all opinions and figure out which one best fits your play style.  Mine will consist of mainly higher tier tanks, but I will do mid tiers if asked. I prefer optics over vents if I must make a choice between the 2. It is a personal choice, many suggest vents. 

 

Heavy Tanks:

French Heavy Auto-loaders:

Skills/Perks: 1st- Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd-Repairs (all)  3rd-BiA (all)

Equipment: for pubs: Vert Stabs, Vents, Optics (I have 453m view range with current crew 63% on both sit awareness and recon)  for serious CWs: swap optics for GLD

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair kit, small health kit (I run dual repair kits because I have very good crews in my 50 100 and 50B)

How I play:

AMX 50 100: Close support. I try to stay just behind the front line heavies. This thing does not snipe well (unlike the others later in the line). I try to roll with the other heavies, roll out and hammer away with several shots from my clip after the enemy has fired. Don't fall into the "Batchat Trap" of must....dump...my...clip...  You can usually dump 2-3 shots safely between enemy reloads.

AMX 50 120/50B: Early Game- Mid range (100-200 m) support.  Mid-to-late game; if it is going good-move in for clean up, if it is going bad-move back even further.  The gun on these is much more reliable at range than the 50 100's. 

 

Super Heavy Tanks:

A special note on Super Heavy Spall liners on your super heavies: Artillery, HE rounds and HEAT/Gold rounds are just a fact of life in a super heavy. You WILL be shot by these in pretty much EVERY match. A Super Heavy Spall-liner can only be mounted on tanks over 75 tons and they decrease stun duration from arty by 10%, increases crew protection by 50% and increases armor protection from ramming and explosions by 50%.

What this means:

Stun Duration:  self explanatory, reduces the length of artillery stuns by 10%

Crew injury: This is what you need to know, when you are shot there is a chance to injure your crew in the area of the hit, the SHSp-liner increases the value of your defense against this by 50% (you don't have to understand the math to know that is a very good bonus) this combined with a Large Health Kit will give you a 65% increase to your crew's defense against injury (an excellent bonus).

Ramming and Explosions: This works similar to the earlier mentioned crew protection, but is for ramming (both being the "rammer" and being the "rammie") and splash damage. THIS DOES NOT REDUCE THE DAMAGE BY 50%, IT INCREASES YOUR VALUES BY 50% (big difference). 

Why I recommend SHSp-Liners instead of Vents: We are all grown men and understand that what is on paper and what actually happens are very rarely the same thing. Vents give a slight increase to all crew members. On paper that looks good, but then your tank gets shot and you lose your loader. Your reload is now significantly worse. "But, I have a health kit!" Yes...yes you do, but are you going to get shot only once every 90 seconds (the cool down of your health kit) in a super heavy? How many times have you fixed your loader (or random crew member) just to have him knocked out again a second later? If you are being honest, more than a few times, I am sure. My tank with the SHSp-liner on it instead of vents started out with (slightly) worse numbers then yours, but after you start losing crew members faster than you can heal them, your numbers drop significantly below mine and I am also recovering from arty stuns several seconds before you do.  There are others who say "Sp-liners add too much weight!"... b1tch please, adding 1500 kg to something that weighs 130 tons ? Do you think it makes any real difference? I'll be generous and say it adds .2 sec to a full 360 degree rotation, how much does losing your driver to that last arty hit add to your rotation?

 

E-100 Line:

Skills/Perks: 1st- Sixth Sense, Repairs (all), 2nd: Repairs, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, 3rd: Recon, Armorer, Off Road King, Fire Fighting (the rest), 4th (retrain BiA)

Equipment: Tiger I- Rammer, Coated Optics, and wet rack or Heavy Spall liner, Tiger II - Rammer, Vert Stab, Optics or Heavy Spall Liner (player choice), E-75 and E-100 -Rammer, Vert Stabs, Super Heavy Spall Liner (the reason for this is because the E75 and E-100 are brawlers and arty magnets. with Super Heavy Liner and large health kit you almost never lose crew)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., Small Repair Kit, Small Health Kit or Large Health Kit (if you are running a spall liner for maximum crew protection)

How I play:

Tiger I and Tiger II: Range. 100+ meters with hard cover. The Tiger I's gun is fairly accurate and the Tiger II's gun is VERY accurate, both are considerably more accurate then their piers. The Tiger I has a hard time side scrapping because of its box shape, but the Tiger II sidescraps just fine. Sidescrap off your hard cover, roll back, aim for weak spots, shoot, roll forward, reload, repeat. 

E75 and E100: Up close brawlers. Go to where the fighting is going to be thickest, sidescrap, pound the enemy with your big alpha guns. Always rock back and forth during reload as they are "old" tanks with well know weak spots (command hatch on the E75 and Turret Face/"roof bar" on E-100). With the E75 you want to point your gun directly at the the next person you think is going to shoot you and rock back and forth during your reload. You do this for several reasons, first the turret of the E75 (and Tiger II, but it isn't as reliable) is designed to bounce shots coming directly at it with it's narrow face, large gun mantle, and sloping sides, second is to unnerve your opponents as you are already aimed directly at them and they may not have an exact idea of when you will be reloaded (It will often cause opponents to rush their shots in a hurry to get back out of the way before you are reloaded), and third to stat the obvious, you will already be aimed when you do reload. The E100 is just the opposite as everyone knows to load gold and shoot it in the flat turret face. You want to turn your turret ~30 degrees away from your opponents during reload. 

Japanese Super Heavies:

Skills/Perks: 1st- Sixth Sense, Repairs (all), 2nd: Repairs, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, 3rd: Recon, Armorer, Off Road King, Fire Fighting (the rest), 4th (retrain BiA)

Equipment: Rammer, GLD or Vert Stabs (tier VII and below can't mount Vert Stabs), Vents or Super Heavy Spall-Liner or Optics (player choice)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair kit, small health kit (large health kit if running SHSp-liner for maximum crew protection)

Gun Choice: Every Japanese Super Heavy has 2 usable guns, a traditional "heavy tank gun" and a Derp. I recommend the Derp on all of them, but the other gun is completely usable if you don't like derps (weirdo). The 14 cm gun on the Type 4 and Type 5 is actually a very good high alpha gun, but it's all about the derp on those tanks.

 How I play: 

Up close brawlers, 100 m or less if you can help it. I recommend you carry your fat butt slowly to where the fighting is going to be thickest. They all have good armor, even at bottom tier you will be surprised how many enemy rounds you will bounce. These are arguably the easiest heavies to play in the game. To be rather successful in a Japanese Super Heavy follow these simple steps:

1. Point tank at enemy (no fancy sidescrapping, treat like a clamor mine: front towards enemy!). 

2. Aim center mass of your target.

3. Shoot gun.

4. Roll back behind hard cover for reload or rock back and forth if hard cover is not available. 

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until enemy is dead, proceed to next enemy.

The finer points and tips of Derping in a Japanese Super Heavy: 

If you square off with another well armored opponent and both of your are still high health (i.e. it is not going to be settled in the first 1-2 shots); shoot their gun (or directly under it if remounted turret) with the first shot. This will wreck their gun if not out right destroy it (as well as a crew member or two). Most opponents will instinctively repair if they still have a repair kit and if it already is on cool down you just gained an advantage. If it is a rear mounted turret, aim directly under the gun and you will get the extra bonus of splashing across their engine deck often damaging it or causing a fire. 

Enemy is low health and hiding behind a corner. Many players come the very edge of the corner they are on and forget you are using a derp and that you can splash. If your opponent is low health and crowding his corner, shoot the ground directly in front of them as close as you can and 'Salgath Giggle' as they try to figure out why they are dead.

Sometimes shooting directly under your opponent will yield better results then shooting center mass. The armor under the tank is fairly thin and you will splash for more damage then a direct hit will produce AND you will most likely double track them. 

ALL of the Japanese Super Heavies are tall tanks, never forget that shooting down on someone's roof or engine deck can produce fun and exciting results.  :biggrin

Don't be afraid to throw your weight around, you out mass most tanks in the game, many by more than twice their weight. Many low profile tanks will try to face hug or cuddle your sides and rear and it is annoying...  push them around, crush them against hard cover,you will be surprised how often that will result in them getting flipped on their sides or how much damage lightly armored tanks will take from this.

Medium Tanks:

Swedish Mediums:

Leo: 

The Leo gets 2 usable guns, a 7.5 cm and a 10 cm. I personally used the 7.5 cm because I felt the 3 sec aim time for the 10 cm was too long for a medium with no armor. The 7.5 cm has a fast aim time ~1.8 sec and has worse standard pen but better gold pen then the 10 cm. It also has about 300+ better DPM. 

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd- Camo for all but Commander, situational awareness on Commander, 3rd Repairs on all but Commander, camo on Commander (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Vert Stabs, Rammer, Optics (I prefer optics to vents others will say vents over optics)

Consumables: Auto-Fire Ext., small repair kits and health kits

How I play:

Mid to short range sniper. I recommend ridge poking and standard peek-a-boom tatics. If you are not the center of attention the 7.5 cm can really shine here as it plays very much like a Comet and you can buzz-saw away at the enemy's health ~150 damage ~3.5 seconds. The 10 cm plays more like the T20, poke...boom...run away while you reload...repeat, but again that aim time will often have you sitting exposed for too long.

UDES 14 alt 5: 

Skills/Perks: Like most of the upper tier Swedish tanks, it only has a 3 man crew and so two of your 3 crew are pulling double duty. The Commander is also the Radio Operator AND has access to the Loader skills and the Gunner also has the Loader skills so it makes choosing skills very tricky. What I did (I had a handful of crew hanging out in the barracks from grinding the Heavies and TDs) is Commander: SixthSense, Situational Awareness and Camo.  Gunner: Safe Stowage, Snap Shot, Camo.  Driver: Smooth Ride, Camo, Repairs. I will retrain to BiA once I am into my 4th perk.  

Equipment: Vert Stabs, Rammer, Optics 

Consumables: Auto-Fire Ext., Small Repair Kits and Health Kits

This tank is a great all-rounder with good base view range (390m), good camo (~34% sitting and ~26% while moving with my current crew and paint), decent speed (55 kph which it will get to with it's 24 hp/t), but it's the gun and gun depression that make this tank stand out (making it one of my personal favorites at tier 8😎

     The Hydro-Suspension gives it a fantastic 12 degrees of gun depression, but it kicks in automatically unlike the TDs of this nation. It takes some getting used to as it can't just zoom to the top of the ridge and blast away. It takes a split second to kick in, but it is enough to notice. What I tend to do is zoom up the hill, stop just before I crest, let the suspension kick in and then roll up to shoot. 

     The 10.5 CM gun is another stand-out feature of this tank with 360 alpha (one of the highest of any medium at tier VIII), APCR standard (217 pen) AND  APCR gold (253 pen)rounds give it a usable chance of penning better armored tanks (8+ tier Heavies and some TDs can still be problematic) and a better chance of hitting fast movers at range. The Aim-Time is decent at 2.1 sec (with my current crew) but the mediocre .36 dispersion WILL troll you from time to time.

     Something to be VERY aware of: this tank doesn't have a gun mantle to speak of and thin armor, don't count on it to bounce much of anything. That being said, the sharp angles of the turret and the slopped upper turret will surprise you with bounces from time to time, but don't depend on it. The tracks also cover a great deal of the tank sides and will eat more shots then you would expect.

How I play:

      I tend to use this tank to "fill in the gaps" on my team. I usually play mid-range sniper to start and will either move forward to scout if I need to or stay back and snipe if I can. It doesn't have any armor to speak of so I tend to be a bit timid with this tank and conserve my heath until late game if I can. This tank "clicked" with me and I have very good stats in this tank. I ground through the tank in 125 games from stock with the help of boosters and some premium time I got from personal missions and it took me 135 games to get my 2nd MoE (I don't try to 3 mark tier 8 and above because I like my sanity where it is...). All in all it's a keeper imho. I don't keep tier 8s as I have so many premiums (this tank and the RHM are the only tier 8 non-premiums in my garage), but I enjoyed this tank enough to keep it. So if you are looking for a good, competitive, all-round tier 8 medium and you don't want to spend money on a premium I highly recommend giving this one a try. 

 

Leopard 1/Leopard PTA:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd- Camo for all but loader, situational awareness on loader, 3rd Repairs on all but loader, camo on loader (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Vert Stabs, Rammer, Optics (I prefer optics to vents others will say vents over optics)

Consumables: Both have a low chance of fire so i run double repair kits and health kits

How I play:

Mid to Long range sniper. (Yes, I know Lemmingrush says brawl, but I wouldn't recommend it for us mere mortals). I recommend 300+ m for most of the game, only closing late game when you have a health advantage because you will be trading health because they don't bounce anything.

Russian Mediums (T54,Obj,140,T62a,Obj 907):

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd: Recon, Repairs x2, Situational Awareness  3rd: Repairs, Camo x2, Repairs  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: For Pubs: Vert Stabs, Rammer, Optics   for serious CWs swap optics for vents

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health

How I play:

The great generalists of WoT: strong dpm, strong turrets, decent camo and accuracy. They can brawl, they can flank support and can even passably snipe if need be. There is a reason they are a favorite for CWs/Advances and this is why. They can do it all reasonably well.  I tend to start out as mid range support then flex when I spot a weakness in the enemy line and go on the attack. 

Tier VII+ American, British Mediums and STB-1/Type 61:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd: Recon, Repairs x2, Situational Awareness  3rd: Repairs, Camo x2, Repairs  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Vert Stabs, Rammer, Optics  (all except 7/1 and Cent 1 in which I run wet rack over optics because of VERY weak ammo racks in the lower front plate)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health (all except AX in which I run 2 repair kits because of monster 6 perk crew with full fire fighting and same weak ammo rack)

How I play:

The Ridge Sniper Kings of WoT. Peek, Spot, Snap Shot, Roll Back, Reload, Repeat. With the turret buffs to the American and British turrets these tanks are excellent medium to short range ridge snipers. Optics and their incredible view ranges allows me to spot the bush-wookies hiding in the back when I poke and seeings how I am not poking until I am ready to fire, I find optics better than vents for my preferred play style. As for the wet rack, everyone says "Just don't get shot in the hull" well, easier said than done. In the chaos you can't always protect your hull and without the wet rack chances are good you will be using your repair kit to fix your ammo rack or worse have to make the choice between tracks and ammo rack...

 

Tier V + VI Mediums: 

M4 Sherman, M4A3E8, Fury, and M4 Improved:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage  2nd: Recon, Dead Eye (Repairs if running Derp), Off Road King, Repairs x2   3rd: Repairs x2, Clutch Breaking, Fire Fighting x2  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Rammer, Optics, Vert Stabs (EZ8/Fury) or GLD (derp) or Vents (76 mm on M4/M4 Improved)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health

How I play:

No matter if I am using the Derp or the 76 mm I play the M4 and M4A3E8 as short range "peek-a-boomers" and knife fighters. Unless I am fighting something with armor I tend to "right click, left click". With their blistering rate of fire with the 76 mm they are experts at poking over a ridge (amazing 12 degrees of gun depression) or from behind cover (including friendly heavies) snapping a shot and rolling back, you will find yourself getting into a rhythm. I recommend staggering your peeks if they are aiming at you. I recommend a healthy amount of premium rounds for use against higher tier heavies. When engaging higher tiers, try to engage distracted foes as it has been my experience that you can quietly bleed a fair amount of their health before they realize how dangerous you really are.

Type T-34, T-34, All the T-34-85's, Crusader, Chi-Nu, Chi-To, Skoda T-24, Strv m/42 and Most German Mediums:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage  2nd: Camo, Dead Eye, Off Road King, Camo x2   3rd: Repairs, Camo x2, Repairs x2  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Rammer, Binocs and Vents or Gun Laying Drive (depending on aim time)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health (special note: the T-34-85's ,all 3, and the Type 58 all have a 15% of lower chance to catch engine fire so dual repair kits or even food is an option if you are looking to squeeze the most out of your mid-tier mediums)

How I play:

I prefer to play these as Short to Mid-Range Buzz Saws. I try to find a spot 100 mm or so from the action where I can remain stationary and just put withering fire down range. These tanks tend to have rather poor accuracy or pen (or both) or bad dispersion values,  but good (or even ridiculous) rates of fire meaning you want to move as little as possible to maximize dpm. They tend to be either slow or fragile (module damage every shot) and tend to be at their best when they are not the center of attention quickly bleeding distracted opponents.

Sherman Firefly, Strv 74, and Pz.Kpfw IV Schmalturm:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage  2nd: Camo (all)   3rd: Repairs (all) (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Rammer, Binocs and Camo Net or Vents (Firefly can actually mount Vert Stabs)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health

How I play:

I prefer playing these 3 as Mid to Long range snipers. They are all rather slow (for mediums) with paper armor but strong guns. They have good accuracy and pen with very good premium rounds for their tier (the Strv 74 and Pz IV H) or just brutal pen and the ability to mount Vert Stabs(in the case of the Firefly with 171 base and an outstanding 239 premium round). With a good crew, paint, camo net, and binocs these become mobile snipers able to rip even tier VIII's apart at 400m+ and never get spotted doing it (not to mention what they can do to lower tiers).

Cromwell, Skoda T-25 and A-43:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage  2nd: Recon, Dead Eye, Off Road King, Camo x2   3rd: Camo, Repairs, Clutch Breaking, Repairs x2  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Vents, Rammer, Optics

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health

How I play:

Flankers, Scouts and Quick Responders, These 3 are great all around medium tanks. They are fast and nimble (well..not so much the Skoda T-25), able to zoom around the battlefield exploiting gaps in the enemy line, chase down enemy lights that have slipped into the backfield or even jump into a brawl and turn the tide with fast (if not always very accurate) flanking fire. They can even scout when needed to. A special note about the Skoda T-25, while no where near as nimble as the other two, it is still extremely fast and makes up for the lack of "nimbleness" of the other two with a powerful 3 shot auto-loader and extremely fast clip reload. All 3 are extremely fun, flexible tanks and almost every veteran tanker has at least one of these in their garage for when they want to do a little clubbing. 

M4A3E2 Jumbo and Thunderbolt:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage  2nd: Repairs (all)   3rd: Jack-of-all-Trades, Armorer, Off-Road-King, Fire FIghting x2  (when you get into the 4th perk retrain for BiA)

Equipment:  Rammer, Vert Stabs and Optics (Vents are also a viable choice, but not my preference)

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair, small health

How I play:

The thugs of mid-tier mediums. These mediums are able to bully other mediums with their superior frontal armor and strong turrets. I would set up the Jumbo as stated above with the Derp and stock turret (extremely tough with 152 mm thickness all around, even the rear). Yes, you lose DPM (including the top gun) and some view range and a little health, but the thick turret armor topped with an impressive gun mantle make you extremely strong on ridges or anywhere hull down (10 degrees of gun depression) even against high tiered opponents. The Derp allowing you to wreck lighter armored opponents and even make yourself a nuisance against higher tiered ones.  Now, do not mistake your impressive frontal armor and turret for invincibility, your sides are still pretty easy to pen and opponents with bigger guns will still blow right through your hull (even if they have to dab the 2 key). Play smart and use your terrain to your advantage and you will prosper with the Jumbo. 

Tank Destroyers:

Grille 15:

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Camo (all),  2nd: Camo, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, Repairs 3rd: Recon, Armorer (gun is always getting broken), Off Road King, Repairs, Fire Fighting (4th perk retrain BiA)

Equipment: Rammer, Optics, Camo Net  (I run Optics over Binos because monster 5 perk crew I have 462m view range with optics and I run Camo Net because of flat 15% camo bonus really helps as the Grille's camo value isn't the best w/my set up and perks my Grille runs 32.5% camo)

Consumables: Dual repair kits (only 15% chance of fire) and small health kit

How I play:

Bush Wookie. Pure and simple. Find a bush at long range and unleash 750 alpha pain every 15.2 seconds. Late game, the optics and camo net come in handy when you have to spot for yourself. 

British Turretless TDs (not including the Deathstar):

Skills/Perks: Sixth Sense, Repairs (all)  2nd: Repairs (commander), Dead eye, Off Road King, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, Fire Fighting 3rd: Recon, Armor, Clutch Breaking, Fire fighting (all), (4th retrain BiA, I would possible even do it at 3rd)

Equipment: Rammer, Spall Liner, Optics (upper tier) or Toolbox (lower tier)

Consumables: Automatic Fire Ext., Small Repair Kit, Large Health Kit

Ok, I know there are some of you already going 'Spall Liner? wtf? Why not vents?'  Yes, in a perfect world where you are not going to get hammered by arty or have your 'shoot me bucket' shot every time you turn around, vents ARE better, but I play in World of Tanks, not a perfect world. The combination of Spall Liner & Large Health Kit stack to make it much harder to knock out the crewmen in the bucket (one of your loaders or commander) and reduce arty stun as much as possible, which are of much more benefit then what vents gives you imho. I recommend toolbox for tiers 5-7 because your view range is crap anyway so might as well get the tracks back up as fast as possible. When you hit tier VIII you should have a pretty strong crew w/full repairs and can change out the toolbox for optics. 

How I play:

Assault Gun/Heavy Support, I roll with the heavies (well... a little behind because of speed) and only take my finger off the W key when brawling or stopping to take a long range shot. All of these TDs have good aim times (AT7 top gun is probably the worst of them) and rapid fire low alpha guns. I try to never go anywhere alone and if I am alone I try to go from hard cover to hard cover as much for scraping off flankers as protection from arty. If you are flanked, don't panic, you are not going to catch most flankers, just drive straight for the closest hard cover and scrap them off. Most of these TDs have a large slug of health so you can often survive to get to the hard cover. Always rock back and forth between shots, don't let them get clean shots at the bucket. I don't recommend bush-wookie sniping, they can do it if necessary, but it isn't their main strength imho. I find they seem to work best at 100-200 meters shooting into heavy brawls as it is harder to hit your weak spots and your gun tends to be more accurate then most opponents. Only get closer if needed.  You are capable of leading the push when you are top tier if you have to (i.e. you have all the remaining health or armor). 

Special Note: When you are fighting the Tortoise or AT 15 and have a tier IX or X gun, you can pen them in the flat part of their upper right hull. The armor is actually thinner there then most of the hull and often easier to hit then the bucket. Usually anything over 220ish pen can do it reliably.  The ATs also tend to have a hole in their armor behind the actual gun if you have an accurate gun, I don't recommend it with the Tortoise. 

American Turreted TDs:

Skills/Perks: up to Tier VII: Sixth Sense, Camo (all), 2nd: Camo, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, 3rd: Repairs (all) except driver, Off Road King (4th retrain BiA)

Tier VIII-X: Sixth Sense, Repairs (all), 2nd: Recon(Situational Awareness on T110E4 as it has no Radio Operator), Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, Fire Fighting, 3rd: Repairs, Dead Eye, Off Road King, Fire Fighting, whatever for second loader (4th retrain BiA)

Equipment: up to Tier VII: "Sniper Package" of Rammer, Camo Net, Bincos 

Tier VIII-X: Rammer, GLD (can't use vert stabs on TDs), Optics (or Vents if you prefer)

Consumables: Automatic Fire Ext., Small Repair Kit, Small Health Kit

How I play:

Up to Tier VII: Bush Wookies, I would never willingly brawl in any of these TDs as their armor and turret rotation will not allow survival for long.

Tier VIII-X: Heavy Support, roll just behind the heavies and shoot into the brawl at short range.

Light Tanks:

Light Tanks come in a variety of flavors and they don't all play the same. I am going to start with a general over view and will add more specifics as I go. Please remember this is MY opinion and there are def going to be others who disagree with me. I believe light tanks are scouts, first and foremost, if you want to focus on damage dealing then play a medium or TD instead, you will be happier. Light tank game play is nerve-racking and often thankless, you have no margin for error, you do something wrong, you are likely going back to the garage... BUT, I find it very challenging and rewarding when done well. 

Active Scouting vs Passive Scouting: In simplest terms, passive spotting is hiding and spotting enemies for your team to shoot and active scouting is driving around to spot enemies and often shooting at them, yourself. The biggest difference between these two is their choice of visual aid equipment (bincos vs coated optics). If win8 is your reason for playing this game, passive scouting is not for you. You will not get good win8 from passive scouting, but you will def have an impact on the game if you know what you are doing. Every light tank in the game can passably do both, but most are better suited for one or the other.

The Argument:  There are those who say setting up for passive scouting is a waste of time, especially at upper tiers, and that any active scout can do the job of passive scouting. They tend to claim that many maps are impossible to passive spot and that the current meta doesn't leave room for it anymore. I disagree and have had many good passive scouting games on "impossible" maps. I passive spotted for 4.5k on Winterberg just the other day in a tier X match while platooned with The_Ref. We still lost, but it went from a steam roll to a close game because of my passive scouting.  

View Range: 445 m is the maximum effective spotting range in WoT. Any view range above that cuts into the camo rating of the enemies you are trying to spot. Active scouts try to hit at least 445 m and anything after that is gravy. Passive scouts want all the view range they can get. For active scouting you will want coated optics as you will not be stopping much so binocs are useless to you.

Active Scouting Here are the numbers to hit 445+ m view range and the minimum equipment and crew skills/perks you will need to hit it: 360 m (the lowest view range you can have an hope to hit 445+) coated optics + BiA + vents + food + recon + situational awareness, 380 m (380 is the magic number imo, 445 is easy to reach) Coated Optics + BiA + Recon + Situational Awareness, 390 m Coated Optics + Recon + Situational Awareness, 400 m Coated Optics + any of the 3 crew perks, 410+ m:  BiA or Vents or Food (any of the 3) + Recon + Situational Awareness. 

Perks/Skills: Sixth Sense, Camo (all) 2nd: Camo, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, 3rd: Recon, Repairs, Off Road King, Repairs, (4th retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Coated Optics, Rammer or Vents (for auto-loaders),  and Vert Stabs

Passive Scouting For light tanks set up for passive scouting Binocs are the preferred equipment as you want to cut through as much camo of your enemies as possible, the choice is do you want a camo net or not. My personal opinion is if you have ~30%+ concealment without it, you can get by without the camo net, but keeping it is never a bad thing. 

Perks/Skills: Sixth Sense, Camo (all), 2nd: Camo, Designated Target, Off Road King, Situational Awareness, Safe Stowage, 3rd: Recon, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Repairs (any left over) (4th retrain for BiA)

Equipment: Binocs, Vert Stabs, and Camo Net or Rammer or Vents( for auto-loaders). My reasoning behind vert stabs over rammer as a must is simple, if a passive scout is shooting he is most likely on the move. He is either running for his life or moving to a better location and being able to actually hit what you are aiming at is more important then being able to miss more often imo. 

 

American Lights: Starting at Tier VI this line is excellent for active scouting, imo, the T21 has 380 base view range so 445 can reasonably be obtained with a good crew (T37 is a little harder with 370 top view range but still doable), but the camo values are a little lack luster as they tend to be taller/bigger tanks.

German Lights: Another excellent active scouting line from tier VI on. The VK 28.01 has the magic 380 m view range with top turret and it only gets better the farther you go up the line, but again not having the best camo values (except the RU 251 at tier IX, which is pretty good).

Russian Lights: A mixed bag, the tier MT-25 and LTG has poor view ranges for lights (360 m) so I would lean more towards passive scouting set ups but at Tier VIII with the LTTB, you hit the magic 380 m and I recommend switching to active scouting for the rest of the line. The tier X T-100 LT is arguably the best active scout currently in the game with a usable view range of 390, very good camo (~40% while on the move with a good crew) and surprisingly bouncy armor for a light. It doesn't have the best view range but the camo and armor make it much more likely to survive the life of an active scout. The T54 ltwt is also a very strong active scout for the same reasons as the T-100 LT, but to a lesser degree. 

French Lights: Starting at tier VI this is possibly the best passive scouting line in the game. They all mount auto-loaders giving them the fire power they need to be effective when it's time to shoot, they all have good camo ratings but not the best view ranges which leans me more towards Binocs at the lower tiers and it is tier VIII before they hit the magic 380 m. I, personally, run Vert Stabs and Camo Net on ALL of my French Lights. I run Binocs on the AMX 12t and AMX 13 75 then switch to Coated Optics at tier VIII with the Batchat 12T and above, but this is because I have already done all the light tank personal missions. If I were still doing them this is the line I would use for the passive scouting missions and I would switch back to binocs on all of them (except maybe the X because of excellent crew).

Chinese Lights: The "generalist" light tank line. Chinese lights tend to have good camo values, usable view ranges and a good punchy gun with decent handling. The Chinese Lights are the only line, imo, that doesn't "lean" towards either passive or active scouting and can be set up for either. If you were a new light tank player and asked me which line I recommended for personal missions, this would be the line.

My Guidelines for setting up my own light tanks:

View Range: If you haven't noticed by now, I am a firm believer in vision control. If the base view range is 370 or less, I use binocs, 380+ AND a good crew I use optics unless I am setting up for pure passive spotting.

Camo: Sixth Sense for the commander and camo for the rest of the crew is ALWAYS my first perk/crew skill on any light tank. Camo on the move is the light tanks biggest strength so not stacking that seems foolish. I aim for ~30%+ camo. If I can hit that without the camo net, then I will drop the camo net for a rammer.  I mainly use a camo net on lights with weak (new) crews until I hit that 30%. The exception to this is my French Lights in which I have a camo net on all of them, even the X. My reasoning for this is that they all have auto-loaders so they can't mount a rammer and I think the camo net is of more value for my play style than vents. I tend to play the French lights more passively then the other lines, at least early game.

Well, that's a start. I invite others to give their own opinions.

Luck in Battle,

Blackroan of DHO-X

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On the grille skills, I've never found much use for smooth ride of much use on a TD. Any reason to change? I can see that on a med or light.

I do like clutch braking to increase traverse and make someone trying to circle me pay. I guess I don't do a lot of shooting while driving.

Designated target isn't bad, gives you a little (2 sec) more time to see an enemy. Deadeye gives you a chance to do more dmg to modules or crew but I can't say I've noticed.

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9 hours ago, jd_on_ice said:

On the grille skills, I've never found much use for smooth ride of much use on a TD. Any reason to change? I can see that on a med or light.

I do like clutch braking to increase traverse and make someone trying to circle me pay. I guess I don't do a lot of shooting while driving.

Designated target isn't bad, gives you a little (2 sec) more time to see an enemy. Deadeye gives you a chance to do more dmg to modules or crew but I can't say I've noticed.

Smooth ride is important. When you roll out from a corner to fire, your 'driving'. This means your aim circle is smaller and you need to be exposed less to fire. I'd prioritize smooth ride on tds as well.

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18 hours ago, jd_on_ice said:

On the grille skills, I've never found much use for smooth ride of much use on a TD. Any reason to change? I can see that on a med or light.

I do like clutch braking to increase traverse and make someone trying to circle me pay. I guess I don't do a lot of shooting while driving.

Designated target isn't bad, gives you a little (2 sec) more time to see an enemy. Deadeye gives you a chance to do more dmg to modules or crew but I can't say I've noticed.

 

8 hours ago, mrholsy said:

Smooth ride is important. When you roll out from a corner to fire, your 'driving'. This means your aim circle is smaller and you need to be exposed less to fire. I'd prioritize smooth ride on tds as well.

      Last I knew, Off Road King was actually better for turning than clutch braking on every surface but hard and even then, clutch breaking only barely beat it out. It also helps with general movement, where clutch breaking  only helps the turning. I have a really strong crew in my Grille so i have both on top of smooth ride, camo and BiA. As for smooth ride, Holsy said it, when going around a corner it helps or when you have a target pop up while you are moving. It does not help with rotating though, so it is useless on arty and things like the STRV 103B (not that the 103B needs it).

     Designated target is a great perk, esp on scouts (extra spotting damage), arty and on TDs with long aim times (my Grille's aim time is currently 1.41 sec). I recommend Armorer on the Grille because the gun is always getting hit, same with the Wz auf Pz IV and Rhoomba as everyone knows to aim for the gun shield. 

Good stuff, keep'em coming. There is A LOT of knowledge among us all. If your are curious about anything ask, someone in these forums will have the answer or know where to find it.

 

British Turret-less and American Turreted TDs added.

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On 9/29/2017 at 6:24 PM, Blackroan said:

French Heavy Auto-loaders:

Perks: 1st- Sixth Sense, Snap Shot, Smooth Ride, Safe Stowage  2nd-Repairs (all)  3rd-BiA (all)

Equipment: for pubs: Vert Stabs, Vents, Optics (I have 453m view range with current crew 63% on both sit awareness and recon)  for serious CWs: swap optics for GLD

Consumables: Auto Fire Ext., small repair kit, small health kit (I run dual repair kits because I have very good crews in my 50 100 and 50B)

How I play:

AMX 50 100: Close support. I try to stay just behind the front line heavies. This thing does not snipe well (unlike the others later in the line). I try to roll with the other heavies, roll out and hammer away with several shots from my clip after the enemy has fired. Don't fall into the "Batchat Trap" of must....dump...my...clip...  You can usually dump 2-3 shots safely between enemy reloads.

I got waaaay better in the 50 100 when I got every shooting skill and equipment possible. Mine is a rolling cannon with GLD, Vstab, and vents for equipment and BIA, snap shot, and smooth ride for skills. The thing shoots reasonably straight if you can get to that point.

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17 hours ago, Blackroan said:

 

      Last I knew, Off Road King was actually better for turning than clutch braking on every surface but hard and even then, clutch breaking only barely beat it out. It also helps with general movement, where clutch breaking  only helps the turning.

I love that you write all this stuff down. I've always done clutch breaking for heavies and TDs, thinking in terms of not being circled as easily. However, if you think of it in terms of vert stab vs. gun laying drive, where the former helps in more situations than the latter then what your are saying about off-road versus clutch braking makes perfect sense.

I had a good conversation with a unicum scout player one time who told me always research camo first and then sit awareness and recon next as ultimately it's a binary equation for lights--spot or be spotted. You want every advantage you can have as a scout in that scenario. Again, love it when good players are explicit with their thought process and are willing to share.

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17 hours ago, Blackroan said:

 

      Last I knew, Off Road King was actually better for turning than clutch braking on every surface but hard and even then, clutch breaking only barely beat it out. It also helps with general movement, where clutch breaking  only helps the turning. I have a really strong crew in my Grille so i have both on top of smooth ride, camo and BiA. As for smooth ride, Holsy said it, when going around a corner it helps or when you have a target pop up while you are moving. It does not help with rotating though, so it is useless on arty and things like the STRV 103B (not that the 103B needs it).

     Designated target is a great perk, esp on scouts (extra spotting damage), arty and on TDs with long aim times (my Grille's aim time is currently 1.41 sec). I recommend Armorer on the Grille because the gun is always getting hit, same with the Wz auf Pz IV and Rhoomba as everyone knows to aim for the gun shield. 

Good stuff, keep'em coming. There is A LOT of knowledge among us all. If your are curious about anything ask, someone in these forums will have the answer or know where to find it.

 

British Turret-less and American Turreted TDs added.

Interesting on a ORK, always tough to get all the facts from just the descriptions in game.

I do have ORK on my rhoomba crew, working on their 5th skill. I don't have armorer and the gun does get damaged alot. I generally just repair and bug out. With the new "timer" on the repair kits I've been able to fix the gun if it happens multiple times. Generally if there's many more hits i'm dead anyhow. I'm running out of skills so I guess that can be their 6th skill.

A lot of these skills don't really apply to the swede td's. I suppose ORK would be good just for general driving but some of the other skills are questionable (snapshot, smooth ride, clutch braking). They're odd beasts.

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