This was a match that took place on the 18th of March, 2013. I recorded the game a long time ago and just recently converted it into a ~97MB 720p WebM, which you may download here. If you have a client compatible with 0.8.4 replays, you may get the replay file here. Using those or screenshots below, you may follow along as I retrace my thought process for that game played over three years ago.
Countdown - There's no premium Hotchkiss, no glut of gift tanks on either side, and no platoons, which are three of the four things worth considering at the start of a tier 2 match. The last thing is identifying any skilled players with XVM. This replay was recorded with a vanilla client, but in remembering the match, the only other player of significant skill identified by XVM was the opposing Cruiser III player, MINIE.
14:53 - This is how I began every game on Malinovka from north spawn, at least for those tanks with good view range. I think I would usually turn around and back out from the rock with my T2, but instead, I take the opportunity with my close spawn to quickly set up binocs on the chance that I will quickly spot something for my team. This doesn't pay off as I want it to, but didn't hurt either.
14:33 - Remember shell tracers?
14:15 - I'm lucky to already be far enough out to hit this with the way my tank is facing. Quick switch to premium ammo because fuck T18s.
14:03 - Losing chance to hit, quickly switch to more available targets and into standard ammo.
13:52 - Cruiser III goes dark with 82% health. Fired some blind shots, we'll see if that made a difference.
13:15 - 74% is too much for any of my blind shots to have done anything. No big deal, his bad rush tactics will get me my first kill, but at the expense my two teammates in midfield. Hill team has finally started engaging targets.
12:55 - UC 2-pdr doesn't know what he's doing and waltzes in to give me my second kill. I wait a few seconds behind the rock before moving back to the side.
12:40 - Pubbie BT-2 drives up behind me and I have to wonder if they're going to be a problem.
12:30 - Two hill teammates go down to the BT-2, but the rest manage to score a kill. It will be the only kill my teammates get all game. I start to become audibly upset as usual.
11:57 - Narrowly score the third kill against the Cruiser I. MINIE takes out a guy on the river. I maintain my position.
11:30 - Hill is totally lost and more than two enemies are definitely up there. I think they're still pretty far away, so I don't yet shift focus.
11:20 - I can hear my teammates repositioning themselves to go towards the hill, where I am certain they will ruin themselves. I voice my concerns to little avail.
11:03 - Now that my teammates have stopped paying attention to the front, something crops up. I don't get in much damage myself.
10:50 - Now another T18 shows up near the river. I shift positions and load premium ammo. The wrong positioning facing the field becomes the right positioning facing the hill.
10:40 - I'm not satisfied with my shot on the T18 and MINIE has shown themselves to me. I switch targets.
10:17 - Exposing himself more completely, I can take decent shots on the T18 that I decide I don't need premium ammo for, scoring kill four. It's close enough that I'm worried about having been spotted, so I move behind the rock.
10:02 - Medium I shows up on the other side of the field. I quickly eliminate it for kill five, but my team crumbles inside and behind our base. We become outnumbered two-to-one.
9:38 - I am not happy.
9:35 - Being flanked is death, so I quickly grab the sixth kill off the Renault crossing the field. I get a lucky crew knockout and quickly turn back to face the opponents in our base. We're now outnumbered four-to-one.
9:25 - Backing up towards the base is the only way I feel I can get a good shot on things coming from behind the cabin. I know from earlier that MINIE left the small hill, so I'm not worried about exposing myself to anything much.
9:20 - Switch to premium ammo to deal with bouncy Pz. II front.
9:16 - Can't stay exposed to the PzJg I for long, despite them not having yet shot at me, and now it feels like we're being surrounded by an enemy on each side. I have to retreat to the rock.
9:09 - Lucky miss by the PzJg I allows me to score the seventh kill against them still unharmed.
9:05 - As the AFK in my base succumbs to the enemy, the BT-2 that took out my two teammates comes around wide on the west, but is soft enough to go down in one shot for the eighth kill. It's now me against six.
8:58 - I prioritize the good Cruiser III player over all other potential targets. From full health, I nearly die in the process, but MINIE becomes my ninth kill.
8:46 - I simply pray that the T18 won't hit me, and they don't. Kill number ten.
8:36 - I actually wasn't paying attention to there being someone on the other side of the field, but the shot to my west side clued me in. I move somewhere where I feel I won't get hit by the enemies on the base and do my best to take down the Medium II as fast as possible. I hesitate to fire at first in hopes that my tank will disappear, and it seems to have worked. Kill eleven.
8:19 - After dispatching the Medium II, I quickly get away from the rock because I'm worried about enemies rushing me there. In this moment, I feel my greatest defensive tool is going to be distance. After a few seconds pass and I feel they aren't rushing me, I move back in.
8:11 - I see the bouncy Pz. II on the cap and attempt to reset. They fire back at me and I move back, each of us having not damaged the other. I move back in despite other shots being taken at me and manage to nab the Pz. II for the twelfth kill before the VAE can intercept and save his teammate.
7:44 - The VAE is moving around on cap, but is still slightly exposed to me. I take shots where I can, and a blind reset tells me he isn't moving. As he retreats, the Ltraktor shows up.
7:18 - I try to take out the Ltraktor, but leave myself exposed to getting killed. My last shot against them misses, as does their shot at me, and I back away.
7:08 - I adjust myself to take shots at the Ltraktor from the other side, taking care to not knock down the tree.
7:03 - Another missed shot against the Ltraktor again puts me in danger of death, but a second shot connects and rolls high for the thirteenth kill.
6:45 - Feeling the VAE will be staying put, I take a moment to gloat. Then I move back into a position to spot the cap.
6:05 - VAE shows up while I'm on the east side of the rock and I manage to nab a tight shot. I fail to secure the kill though, and the VAE backs into cover behind the cabin.
5:45 - Feeling that the VAE hasn't spotted me and that it will be ducking deep into cover, I decide that it's time for an aggressive play. I want to put myself in a position where the VAE won't anticipate so that they may expose themselves to me for a clear shot. I choose a bush just southwest of cap and sit patiently.
5:00 - I could possibly shoot down the cabin and hit the VAE that way, but it would put me at considerable risk of being spotted and fired back upon. Despite being comfortable around the rock for most of the game, I quickly become anxious in my new location.
4:02 - With nearly four minutes left in play, I make a judgment call. I want this Raseiniai medal, and if I wait too long, the VAE may find a way to escape and climb up the hill to where I would never want to chase. I decide that if I really want to win this game the way I want, I absolutely must take the risk of moving out and hitting the VAE. I charge straight towards the cabin.
3:50 - The VAE is just sitting at the cabin, waiting for me. I prop my camera up to see which way their gun is pointed and see at the last moment that it's facing southeast, so I turn north. Thank goodness for the bullshit turret traverse nerf on that tank. I easily score the medal-earning kill and end that game the winner.
This old in-game screenshot I took shows you my XVM configuration, which allows you to see my damage log and player colors.
Here is where my T2 stats were at the time.
This match was certainly a highlight of my tanking career, but it's also a good demonstration about how great achievements like this are strongly luck dependent. I made a few plays in this game that were extraordinarily risky, and if one more of them wouldn't have gone my way, I would have been toast long before hitting 14 kills. The play I made at the start of orienting my tank forwards from behind the rock is something I would commonly consider to be the wrong move and do otherwise, but this ended up putting me in the perfect position to handle the threats that came from another direction. A "correct" orientation would have left me exposed far more to that side or demanded I play from the other side of the rock, either of which could have resulted in a game loss.
At the point where we started being down five to six tanks, it would have been easy to merely give up on the match, accept that my team fucked everything up, and move on to the next one. I chose instead to dig myself out of the hole I'd been thrown into. Of course, being screwed by the team and choosing to fight back is nothing unusual for me. The only notable thing about this occasion is the depth from which I was asked to climb and having pulled it off despite what was working against me. Let me also say that this game is a perfect example of why I loved my T2 Medium. No other tank in the game would have had the tools to pull this off. Cruisers lack the health and armor. French tanks lack the damage. TDs lack the versatility. Soviet tanks lack the view range. In a tank that I believe was long regarded as being inferior to many, it performed superior to all.
There have been many tough games that I've narrowly pulled a win from since then, but this one takes the cake. Not too many opportunities to get a Raseiniai medal are given, and against seemingly impossible odds, I was fortunate to be able to seize this one.