World of Tanks Basic Guide

World of Tanks Basic Guide by wordsmith

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1. Foreword

This guide is meant to be a short manual for all those who want to improve their gaming style or just read about tactics and some game ideas. I wanted to describe my gaming style a little. I tried every vehicle category in regular battles which helped me to understand differences in gaming styles. If you want to understand the game better I suggest you to do the same. Especially playing SPGs you can learn more about arty warfare, its advantages and limitations. Later playing regular tanks it will help you to cooperate with arty better.

2. Tank categories

There are 5 basic categories more or less described on WoT forum so I will add only simple recommendations about them.

2.1. Light tanks
– scouts, spend your XP on suspension, engine and radio with priority because speed and radio coverage are your best weapons
– be always on move or hide in cover
– report the enemy positions to your teammates (thus good radio needed), remember that you can’t even damage a stronger tanks but you can reveal and report them and your teammates will do the rest even from great distance
– especially useful is combination of scout with friendly hidden TD or SPG, as scout unit always remember that longer you stay alive and report enemy positions the longer your units are able to hammer the enemy from distance

2.2. Medium tanks
– backbone of tank army, again spend first your XP on suspension and engine with priority because without good movement you are far easy prey, later you could use better gun (remember that almost always you will need also new turret or suspension too for those)
– medium tanks could serve as good scouts too and also as scout killers
– in defense remember to cooperate with your TDs and SPGs (protect from enemy scouts)
– in offense cooperate with Heavy tanks

2.3. Heavy tanks
– strongest units on battlefield therefore no.1 target of others – so never travel alone unless your are absolutely sure that nothing can endanger you
– keep in mind that very possibly only your tank wield a gun able to penetrate the best tanks of enemy so act according to it – meaning try to stay alive shoot the heaviest enemy tanks if possible
– sometimes if there are many enemies around you could concentrate on wiping the smaller tanks first, it depends on situation
– IMO prioritizing targets is for Heavy tanks very important (same as for SPGs f.e.), and it could determine the difference between win and loose, so if engaging multiple enemies always think who to shoot
– my simple rule of thumb usually is – I shoot most dangerous tank which I’m capable to penetrate and have a good chance to hit, otherwise I shoot the weakest tanks to reduce their numbers, but as I said it depends on situation

2.4. Tank destroyers
– snipers of the battlefield, best used from great distances and from cover because TD is very hard to spot
– one TD is usually easy prey for multiple targets (due to no turret) so always try to stick together with other teammates
– shoot Heavy tanks and TDs with priority since usually they’re easy to hit due to slow speed
– because good camouflage bonus as TD you usually have first shot in combat (ambush) so make it really count, try to wait until enemy unit stops and then shoot, it’s really worth it

2.5. SPGs
– self propelled guns, artillery able to shoot on great distances
– one extra article could be written about handling SPGs, but one first and basic note goes to other than SPG players: “Do not leave your arty unprotected if you want them to support you!”
– as SPGs have usually very poor fire rate (3-4 shots/minute) make every round count, at least damage enemy, meaning shoot preferably on slow/stationary targets
– try to move after 1-3 shots as maybe enemy arty is just now zeroing you in, relocate during reloading so you use time effectively
– if necessary use SPG as tank and shoot directly on incoming enemies sometimes it’s the best defense especially if your teammates left you unprotected

3. Tank maneuvers

Tank maneuvers consist of movement and fire. Both are important.

3.1. Movement
The faster you go the faster you can get into destination and the worse target you are to enemy. When moving keep in mind:
– always stick together with someone, travelling alone is almost certain death… of course there are exceptions, if you drive Maus around light tanks or you drive very fast tank
– when you are travelling close to hostile territory try to keep in mind one escape route back to your forces, preferably around some obstacles or hills which could cover your from possible pursuers – that in case you engage overwhelming force of enemy and need to retreat, it’s better to escape and join other your forces than die futile
– keep in mind that if you climb the hill your speed drops drastically and on the other hand if you are descending your speed increased fast, use height as advantage, shoot at enemy climbing the hills, use downhill to escape
– use terrain obstacles to hide behind from enemy fire, even wrecks of other tanks are good cover
– good defensive move is to face front of your tank to engaging enemy and reverse – you reverse with small speed so your accuracy is good and your front (strongest) armors is facing enemy, fire at will

3.1.1. Basic combat maneuvers

Strafe maneuver
– perform when you have good obstacle to cover behind, move vertically to enemy position and fire turret in 90* angle
– fire and then hide behind cover to reload, when reloading bar is almost ready move forward a little, fire again and hide, it’s very effective 1v1 maneuver when enemy can’t cover

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Circle strafe maneuver
– perform if you have faster tank than enemy and/or your turret turns faster too
– move forward and turn hard together
– reason is to get behind enemy or at least to shoot side part of enemy
– could work very good if you try and shoot enemy’s tracks
– if you get behind enemy you could stop for a while shooting him right in back and blocking him so he can’t reverse at same time, this could help also other your teammates to hit
– effective vs TDs

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Tactical scissors maneuver
– when engaging 2v1 enemy, move to other part than your teammate to divide enemy fire and to get you or your teammate to good position in back of enemy
– works also good if one of the attackers blocks the enemy

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Flank maneuver
– classic method how to get in enemy’s back
– if you want to be good tank commander flanking should be in your blood

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Assault maneuver
– when assaulting multiple enemies try to move into safer zones = zones where fewer enemies could hit you at a time, preferably only one of them, so enemies would block each other from firing
– remember: “Who dares wins! If you’re afraid of loose you will never win. Yell: BANZAI ! and charge!”

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3.2. Fire
– precision fire is very important so every time is it possible, stop and aim until aiming circle is the smallest
– fire when moving is advised only on very close ranges (like 10-20m) unless your crew is 100%
– when sniping stationary targets use zoom, disable auto aim and shoot on lower/side parts of vehicle (not on turret)
– be careful with auto aim it works only to a certain degree, it is advisable only to:
* track enemy movement
* fire on target moving towards you or from you, not moving vertically to your position
* fire on stationary targets
* fire when moving (it depends on situation)
* fire when escaping enemy – turret points at enemy and you could focus on driving fast to safety, when loaded just shoot maybe you hit your pursuer

– when you want to hit targets moving vertically at your position (like enemy scouts rushing your base at round beginning) disable auto aim and turn your turret in position where you expect enemy will be crossing – shoot just second before, it’s called deflection shooting and requires lot of skill but is still better than auto aim which will miss 99% of shots that time

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– I have about 140 sniper trophies so you can believe me on shooting advices :)

4. Strategy and tactics

Strategy and tactics means – use your brain. The main objective of game is to win by 2 means, either capture enemy base or destroy all enemy. Keep that in mind because the base is important in such case. Many players just rush to kill and leave base unprotected, if you see someone is capping your base return and defend otherwise you loose for sure. The exception could be only if you outcap enemy (cap faster with more units in his base). Basic tactical rules I stick to are:

I. outnumber – always try to get quantity/quality advantage on some place, if I see that part of team is outnumbered somewhere I rush to help usually or advice them to retreat fast (which means that enemy just performed good outnumbering), so stick together

II. flanking – always try to get to the enemy’s back, not meaning to back of single enemy tank but to back of all his forces, you will be surprised how well it works

III. scissor, paper, rock – every unit has it’s advantages and disadvantages which could be used in combat, f.e. TDs don’t have turret so I circle strafe them, every unit has some weak spot… even Maus and IS7 are vulnerable to HE shells and arty :)

IV. element of surprise – I try to do what is NOT expected from me, sometimes it works, also ambushes could fall into this category, surprising ambush could be devastating

5. Use of Map

Players of WoT don’t usually communicate the map right to other players. This leads to misunderstandings and confusion. Classic example is: “We go left/right”, someone means left on direction he’s facing and others means left on map as you look on it – which could be total different locations. Use geographical directions North/South/East/West. It’s more clear and everyone understood it.

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I also suggest color markings on map areas for quick orientation. The shortest connection from friendly base to enemy is RED area, big open areas are GREEN areas and chokepoints are BLUE areas. So when you tell you teammates you are going GREEN or enemy approaching from RED zone everyone will understand. On some maps there are more areas GREEN or BLUE which then could be specified by geographical direction West green or North blue etc. All maps with suggested zones could be created similar, I could’n post more pics in one topic so maybe in other topic I will.

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It could improve tactical awareness and overall communication. F.e. scouts will find group of enemy tanks moving along east canyon in Karelia map (blue zone). They will discover that most of top enemy players are there with heavy tanks. So the obvious decision is to order all friendly units to: “all move RED” meaning that all units will pass thru center and will cap the enemy base before they can react accordingly. Same could apply also to command: “all move GREEN” in this situation. Either way it’s win, I experienced it many times. Btw this command will also follow the tactical guide by outnumbering GREEN or RED zone and also flank enemy troops.

6. Summary

WoT is really funny game but sometimes not, when other players play it very dumb. This was the main reason I wrote this guide, to improve the game and players participating in it. I hope it helps someone. Good luck and have fun!

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