World of Tanks Artillery Quick and Dirty Guide
World of Tanks Artillery Quick and Dirty Guide by Force_9
First off, I know that a lot of people are prejudiced against arty…but from what I gather, most such people have never played it before. Hopefully I can jot down a few bullet points to make both playing arty and being on the receiving end of it more survivable.
My buddies said not to post this, as I’m giving away all their/our secrets, but everyone’s bound to learn it sooner or later.
When playing arty:
1. Don’t be predictable.
During my grind up to the Grille (and almost the Hummel) I learned most of the typical hiding spots on most of the maps. All it takes is for me to see enemy arty lob their first shot, and they’re dead. Arty can watch the whole map, and even though you aren’t “lit up”, we can still see your shot. Any arty player should use this to his advantage. IMO, enemy arty should be your first target in almost any battle (except maybe Himmelsdorf)
2. Choose your targets wisely.
Should you shoot the fast moving Leopard, or the slow moving KV? Agreed, the Leopard might be more of a threat to you, but if your team’s on top of things, they’ll keep you from getting killed. If they don’t, they’re either stupid and don’t deserve your support, or crap players that are going to lose anyway. Arty’s a great asset when you’re going against heavies. All you have to do is light him up on the map and hide…if your arty’s on top of things, he’ll chip away at him until you can finish him easily.
3. Go after easy targets
Arty takes a lot longer to aim than regular tank guns, and every time your vehicle turns to aim, the accuracy circle gets reset…do you want to aim for the tank in the direction you’re facing already, or the one you’d have to turn 90 degrees to face? Also, consider your target’s health. Are you going to shoot the tank with 90% health, or the one with 5%. Common sense should make the answer obvious; pick on the weak. A tank at 1% can usually still shoot, and could possibly even take down one of your teammates if you don’t dispatch of him quickly.
4. Don’t be afraid to use direct fire mode.
It might not be the best on some maps, but if you play like a glass cannon TD, you might actually get some kills. Nothing has made me laugh as hard as when I killed a SU-152 in direct fire mode with my Grille. Battle mode is actually how I prefer to play in Himmelsdorf. With your high trajectory howitzer, you can take relative cover behind a heavy and shoot over the top of him.
(Keep in mind that I’m not recommending this tactic for every battle…use discretion)
5. Patience is sometimes a virtue.
A guaranteed shot on a tracked or otherwise disabled tank is better than a 50/50 shot on a moving tank. Yes, sometimes you miss stationary targets, but what do you have better odds of hitting? Also, wait until nearby friendly tanks have moved away before shooting a target near to them. Your splash damage may damage or even destroy them, depending on their tier.
6. Don’t squander your scouts.
Too many matches, I’ve seen little Leopards and A-20s sacrifice themselves to light up the whole enemy team, only to have their arty distracted by shineys.
7. Pay attention.
Lots of SPG drivers go off into la la arty-land and don’t pay attention to their surroundings. I’ve seen scouts get through to my team’s base, light up the whole area, die, and our arty never moves. Needless to say, they typically died quickly in such matches.
Imo, a SPG driver’s target priority should be as follows:
They’re the only thing that can reach out across the map and shoot you while you’re behind cover. Most often, depending on the type of SPG of course, if you can shoot them, they can shoot you.
2. Tank Destroyers
It’s hard to sneak up on a tank destroyer, and if they’re lit up, they’ll soon disappear again, usually taking one of your teammates with it. If your teammates were kind (and smart) enough to keep you alive, repay the favor by killing these buggers. Hetzers and Marders aren’t much of a threat in a higher tier battle, but JPs and above should be destroyed with extreme prejudice.
3. Heavy tanks
I like to pick on KVs…slow moving, heavy hitting beasts that they are, they’re easy to kill, and you do your teammates a favor by doing so. Tigers are great targets, considering their tendency to burst into flames when pew’d by HE. Anything above that’s good to hit simply to help your teammates out. Depending on your SPG, you can chip away at their health, taking anywhere from 10% to 50% of their health away per shot, thus keeping more of your teammates alive.
Being more mobile than heavies, I would only advice firing on medium tanks when they’re sitting still or dangerously close. The more agile mediums often end up in dogfights with each other, and your shot could damage the friendly that you’re trying to protect. Also, if he was dumb enough to go rushing off by himself, he’d either better be that good, or he deserves to die.
Even worse than mediums, and the same explanation applies to them. Only fire on light tanks as a last resort. It’s a very satisfying feeling, killing Leopards with direct fire, but unless he’s dangerously close, I wouldn’t even bother.
When not playing as arty:
1. Keep moving.
If you’re not moving, find cover. Try to always carry a repair kit with you in case you’re tracked. Any arty driver that’s on top of things will hit you when you’re sitting still, guaranteed. If he’s platooned with other arty, (and on Teamspeak), odds are good that his buddies know you’re tracked as well. Even if you’re in an IS7 or Maus, you still ought to fear arty. In a lot of cases, the massive HE damage dealt by a S-51 or Hummel are the biggest threat to a super-heavy. Too many times I’ve seen heavies popped ’cause they forget about arty, or foolishly consider themselves invincible.
2. Keep moving especially if you’re scouted.
You remain lit up even a couple seconds after the enemy scout dies. It’s imperative that you relocate or find cover after being engaged. Change direction of travel if you’re on the move. A skilled arty driver can sometimes guess where you’ll be a couple seconds after you are no longer visible.
3. Avoid running over trees/fences/walls/buidlings/etc.
An arty driver that’s on top of things will be watching such destructible objects when no other enemy tanks are lit up or shootable. Sniper mode for SPGs give you a top down view of the battlefield, much like in an RTS game. Fully zoomed out, the view is restricted to approximately one grid square or so. Only tanks that are lit up are visible in this mode, as they are to other tanks, but terrain being destroyed and shot paths can be seen by SPG drivers no matter where they are on the map. Consider your SPGs to be your UAV/Fire support in one package.
4. Try playing arty for a couple games.
Yes, I realize you may be totally biased against it, arty drivers being fags and b*****s and all, but it might help you understand it and its threat a bit better. Nothing gives you perspective on it like playing it…understanding its weaknesses and strengths, etc. It’s actually quite fun, not to mention profitable. If you’re a die-hard arty hater, you have yet to feel the satisfaction that comes when you kill non-lit up enemy arty from watching their shots. For them, it’s a WTF moment like no other.
5. Gun for the enemy arty
Considering that arty’s so “OP” and “unbalanced”, a scout’s priority should be to light up and kill the enemy arty. Most people make a grave mistake (imo) by rushing off at the beginning of the match. I find that waiting a couple minutes for the enemy force to disperse makes it much easier to penetrate their lines. Most games, scouts rush off at the very beginning. Most smart teams hang back a couple minutes to make sure their arty doesn’t get scout-raped before dispersing.