World of Tanks Role of Tanks Guide

World of Tanks Role of Tanks Guide by EchelonIII

I felt that the general classification of tanks into Light, Medium, and Heavy was overgeneralized, so I’ve created this quick thread to describe the roles tanks should play, often, tanks can fulfill more than one of 0these roles, for example, a Panzer 3 is both a scout and anti-scout, while the IS can act both as a skirmisher and a frontline fighter.

I’ll add more stuff when I have more time

Scout
Examples: Luchs, Leopard, A-20, BT Series, Panzer 3
Some tanks which can also fulfill this role: T-44, T-54, 3002 DB

The role of a scout is to light up enemy tanks for the team’s big guns like SPGs, and tanks equipped with good long-range guns. The scout typically trades both armor for speed, and compared to most combat tanks, has little in the way of firepower; however, against its usual soft-skinned targets like artillery, even a small 5cm gun can cause significant damage.

There are three primary scout styles:

Rush Scout

This scout style involves rushing forward shortly after the start of the battle (be sure to wait for your artillery to load), often to allow one side to get off the initial salvo and a critical first strike, however, it is also the least survivable of the scout styles. This style is often useful if the enemy possesses a critical target such as a Maus or slow moving artillery such as an SU-14, allowing the team to catch such tanks out of position and eliminate or damage the target.

Pros: Good for catching slow enemies off-guard
Cons: More often than not, the scout gets destroyed

Anti-Artillery Scout
This scout works in conjunction with an artillery unit, only rushing in to scout once the general location of an enemy artillery’s position has been discovered. This style is especially effective against fast moving artillery such as GWagens and Hummels, as the team’s artillery pieces

Pros: Offers more survivability, allows artillery to work much more effectively with counter battery fire
Cons: Requires an artillery unit to watch for fire, drawing off an arty unit which would otherwise be supporting heavies

Forward Scout
This scout follows in front of the main force or flanking force, and can be filled by fast medium tanks when needed, the purpose of this is to allow the main push to advance faster and better anticipate if they’ll be running into heavy opposition

Pros: Allows a force to advance faster if unopposed
Cons: Hard to play, not particularly rewarding

Counter-Scout
Examples: Panzer 3, T-34, T-28, T-44

The anti-scout is usually a tank with enough speed to chase down fast enemy scout tanks, they do so by staying slightly in front and peeling off to pursue any incoming scouts, preventing the scout from doing his job as he is forced to bleed speed off in executing evasive maneuevers, at the same time, the scout tank is often too lightly armed to deal damage to the medium tank, preventing the scout from simply dogfighting the medium.

Many tanks which fulfill the scout role also excel at anti-scout purposes.
Skirmisher (Flanker)
Examples: 3002 DB, 3601 H, Panther, IS

The skirmisher is a role that medium and certain fast heavy tanks often fill, they use their maneuverability to flank entire enemy forces, often making runs along the flank of enemy tank groups to spread their fire out and also to get a better shot at the side and even rear armor. The Skirmisher works together with the frontline tanks, both by dogfighting enemy skirmishers and in adding on some damage to key enemy targets.

Raider
Examples: 3002 DB, VK 3601 H, T-44,

The raider is a mid-game role fufilled by faster medium tanks, as the name suggests, the role of the raider is often to use flank routes to get into the enemy base and kill off high priority targets i.e. artillery. Unlike scouts which simply light up targets for the team, raider tanks often carry much bigger guns to take out both the artillery and their defenders, often at least the dangerous L70, but more often than not, the far more dangerous 88mm and even the T-44’s 100mm.

Frontline

Examples: Tigers, IS, KV with 107mm, Maus
Frontline tanks, as the name suggests, are the tanks which are directly in the firing line, they carry more armor than almost any other tank, and also have the biggest guns to break through the solid front armor of the tanks they face, they also move slower, carrying all the weight of the armor and gun, however, by engaging enemies from static positions in the frontline and forcing the enemy to come to them, they try to turn the fight into a battle where enemy tanks can’t exploit their lack of speed.

Supporting Line
Examples: ISU 152, Jagdpanther, KV with 152mm, T-34-85, Ferdinand
These tanks often possess significantly higher firepower than even the corresponding frontline fighters, but don’t always have the maneuverability nor the armor to withstand hits either, as such, they stay behind the front line and snipe at enemy tanks, dealing a huge amount of damage at a relatively safe distance where their relatively good frontal armor is sufficient to resist any stray hits. These tanks are often one of the first targets of enemy skirmishers, who will attempt to draw their fire away from the frontline. Likewise, the role of these tanks is to fight off the flanking enemy tanks, not only to protect the base, but also to prevent the flankers from getting free shots at the rear armor of the frontline tanks.

You’ll notice that tank destroyers fit this category very well, this is why, as a general rule of thumb (there are always exceptions), it’s not a good idea to rush with a TD.

Rear Guard
Examples: StuG, Panzer 4, T-44
These tanks act as the last line of defense for the SPGs, they often consist slightly faster and more maneuverable tanks and Tank Destroyers to sweep up anything that breaks through, often assisting the Counter-scouts in trapping enemy runners in a crossfire.

SPG Roles
Counter Battery
The counter battery SPG works by actively watching for enemy SPG fire and returning fire on the likely position of the enemy arty. This could allow the team to eliminate a dangerous enemy artillery unit, but also wastes time that could otherwise have been used to support heavy tanks. For maximum effectiveness, an anti-artillery scout is needed. Counter battery is highly effective against slow-moving artillery units like SU-14, but is nearly useless against well-played fast artillery.

Pros: Taking out an enemy SPG is a game-changer
Cons: Wastes time, risky strategy- the enemy SPG could use the time to fire on your heavy tanks

Tank Support
The tank support SPG keeps his gun zeroed on the area ahead of the main offensive group, serving as a sniper in the backlines to fire a deadly magic bullet at high priority targets such as Tank Destroyers and Heavy tanks. Moving after each shot is a must to avoid being counter-artied

Pros: Supports heavy tanks, ensures that worst-case scenario is that both sides heavies get pounded
Cons: Counter artillery will be watching for you, raiders will hunt you

Mobile Artillery
A rather unorthodox style of SPG play, this involves SPGs staying much closer to the tanks as they normally would while still staying out of range of fire, while exposing themselves of enemy flankers, this allows the SPG to stay within the cover of big tank destroyers and often turns runs by raider tanks into one-way suicide runs, which may not even kill the artillery

Pros: Near-impossible to be killed by raider tanks
Cons: More exposed to enemy front line tanks.

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