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Krotux

Heavy Tank Driver - How To Improve?

18 posts in this topic

First, I want to say thank you for reading my post and possibly answering it. 

 

I'm a yellow player that played arty to tier 8 and then tried other tanks and got rekt. After a little struggle I managed to get my win % with my favorite tanks to 52-55%. Now I have a few questions:

 

Some people say the kv line is noobish, and that tanks like the kv-4 are bad and I should stop playing them. Is there any truth to this? I like their playstyle so far.

 

Any suggestions on how I can improve with the kv-4? I saw someone with 70% win on it and I want to get to that level. Heck, I don't care if I'm garbage with all other tanks, I want to have at least one tank that I can be proud of lol.

 

I currently have superheavy spall, vstab, and rammer. Crew has 2 skills: sixth sense, and a mix of other perks/skills including repair.

 

 

I also like smaller games like team battle, and I have done really well in medium tank companies with the t-150. Issue is that people seem to always want an is3 or 50 100 and not the kv-4

 

I have also tried to platoon with green/blue players with the sole purpose of learning but they fear getting their stats damaged :(

 

Thanks

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By noobish they mean easy to play and good for bad players. Russian tanks in general are more noob friendly due to abundance of RNG reliant armor, it will save your ass often but for the most part is unpredictable due to angles/spaced armor/tracks.

 

Good players prefer tanks that are reliable to some degree and have good flexibility. Kv4 is slow as hell with situational armor that doesnt scale up well against higher tiers. Top tier it can be god like, however tier9/10 it may as well not have armor and with its pathetic mobility it cant really flank/run away.

 

^which is why in team battles people prefer IS3 and 50 100, very good flexibility and firepower without sacrificing anything for situational armor.

 

KV4's main asset is its armor's raw thickness. When top tier you can angle it at a 45 degree angle and pretty much be impenetrable to same tier tanks AP, or sidescrape around corners and bait enemy shots into your thick sides/tracks. Just try to sidescrape as often as possible

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T-150 is solid for tier 6 stronks/companies but KV-4 is too slow and generally mediocre to be competitive in organized play, which requires much faster reactions than pubs do. The ST-I that it leads to is a really great tank though, and IS-4 is solid and worth playing.
 
The rest is something I wrote up not long ago that applies to this post fairly well, just adapting it to these particular questions.
 
The KV is considered to be a noob line, but that's a good thing for a newer player like yourself. If you like the playstyle, keep at them. It's pretty hard to fail completely in slow, heavy bricks; instead of aiming to improve just in them, use this easy line as time to work on all of your basic skills. Focus on armor and penetration mechanics, as the role of superheavy tanks is to soak up shells, bust through enemy lines and halt enemy pushes. The key basic skills are battle mechanics, map knowledge, tank knowledge and battle awareness.
 
Game mechanics: Read through the wiki page on this, numerous times. It details so much of what you need to know. Pay special attention to everything in sections 4 (visibility), 8 (penetration mechanics) and 9 (damage mechanics).
 
Map knowledge: You need to do two things - learn every map thoroughly, and learn to recognize what good spots are and why they are good. Playing the game a lot is necessary for the first part, and watching live streams and replays from good players is immensely helpful for the second. I recommend Zeven's replay walkthroughs for the latter, and WoTLabs main page has a list of other recommended educational streams. For replays check out our forum's Purple Poaster Replay Place.
 
Tank knowledge: This means where to penetrate tanks, knowing their reload times to know how many shots you can put out without taking return fire, etc. There are a lot of tank guides that go over general weakspots, live streams and replays are the best ways to learn this. Read up, and by the time you hit several thousand battles you'll know how to deal with 99% of the tanks you come across. Valachio's series of penetration guides gives a good idea of many common weakspots, I can't think of anything better to recommend.
 
Battle awareness: This is keeping track of enemy and team movements so you never get caught out on your own, knowing where to hold and where to push, etc. Take care to always maintain awareness of your surroundings, pan the camera around often so you don't get tunnelvisioned, check your minimap ALL THE TIME, always have a good reason for every move you make. Watching how people like Zeven analyze situations mid-battle may help.
 
Then just keep reading guides and discussions on the forum. browse your way around from there. Don't be afraid to ask questions about things you don't understand but do research on the forum before creating a new thread, and make use of the Quick Questions/Quick Answers thread.

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I prefer the IS line to the KV line, yes the armor isn't as good on the IS tanks, but the IS line handles so much better.

They turn and maneuver much better and can flex around the map better.  If you can deal with the poor movement, the ST-1 and IS-4 are good tanks like Aga said.

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Oh wow... First line tier 8 ARTY??? I feel sorry for you.. and your teams a bit. ;)

 

Do you want to learn specifically to play the KV-4 or heavy tanks in general? 

 

Also how fixed are you on your tanks? 

 

I learned a lot playing tanks at 5-6-7. But I used a very wide research base from the start going up multiple lines. So for example when I got my first tier 5 tank I had multiple tier 3 and 4's I was playing. Right now I have one tier 9 tank and 4 tier 8's unlocked/in garage in other lines. 

 

I haven't played the KV line myself (although I do have a T-150 I never get around to playing it) but personally I liked the US Heavy line more than the IS line... It's a bit different gameplay though.

 

With 2.6 k games, it can't hurt to play a bit more lower tiers and see if you can carry games a bit more there. 

 

If you want to platoon maybe it's a bit better to platoon with green-ish players. If the difference between competence is very big both players will get frustrated. The high skill player because you don't "pull your weight" and you because you are running behind him trying to catch up all the time.

If your clan doesn't help you can PM me. I am not online consistently  but I know some people who are and who may be willing to help.

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Thank you for all your responses. Yea, I'm advancing down other lines and trying them out now. Got t5 in a bunch of other lines, and a tiger 2. I know the concepts of angling/sidescraping/wiggling. From what I'm reading here, it seems my biggest problem right now is lack of situational awareness/map knowledge and tank weakness sometimes.

 

I know the kv-4 is not so good in tier 9/10. However, shouldn't it be good in team battles where it is always top tier?

 

 

 

Oh wow... First line tier 8 ARTY??? I feel sorry for you.. and your teams a bit. ;)

 

Do you want to learn specifically to play the KV-4 or heavy tanks in general? 

 

Also how fixed are you on your tanks? 

 

I learned a lot playing tanks at 5-6-7. But I used a very wide research base from the start going up multiple lines. So for example when I got my first tier 5 tank I had multiple tier 3 and 4's I was playing. Right now I have one tier 9 tank and 4 tier 8's unlocked/in garage in other lines. 

 

I haven't played the KV line myself (although I do have a T-150 I never get around to playing it) but personally I liked the US Heavy line more than the IS line... It's a bit different gameplay though.

 

With 2.6 k games, it can't hurt to play a bit more lower tiers and see if you can carry games a bit more there. 

 

If you want to platoon maybe it's a bit better to platoon with green-ish players. If the difference between competence is very big both players will get frustrated. The high skill player because you don't "pull your weight" and you because you are running behind him trying to catch up all the time.

If your clan doesn't help you can PM me. I am not online consistently  but I know some people who are and who may be willing to help.

 

Actually my arty was pretty good which is why I kept playing it. I had like 40% win on heavies but 55% on the s-51

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New players tend to like arty because you can get results without knowing how to actually play, just requires clicking on bad guys from spawn. Its important to move away from that.

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New players tend to like arty because you can get results without knowing how to actually play, just requires clicking on bad guys from spawn. Its important to move away from that.

 

Your first step is to stop playing arty completely, as Rexxie said it's a bad way to start.

 

As for a new HT driver go for the IS3. Every tank up to it is stellar, 'noob-friendly' Ruskie glory.

 

IS8 is bad, but so far off we needn't worry about it now.

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Did you keep your T-150 or KV-3? I have an ARL 44 and an IS that I could run a few games with you in.  Or add me to friends and we can hop in a training room. Or post up a replay (with your own comments/questions, don't just spam replays links please) or two if you want as well and I can try to get to it. 

 

This is a fine line for you to be working on: good armor and hp to polish basic elements of heavy play and positioning without enough engine power to get yourself too strung out and into trouble. Plus a KV-4 can always find some sort of anchor spot in a team battle somewhere. Don't listen to griefers. 

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I recently got back into WoT. Last time I played was when the KV-1 and KV-2 was just called the KV so I got all those tanks in the garage for free xD. In any case, I've been doing really well in t-150 after playing the kv-4.

 

I'll add you

 

 

Here are two replays:

One is with me as top tier; I do well but I don't know what to do in those situations

http://wotreplays.com/site/1306076?secret=ce96d2ae29e69fdeeb6f9f18fb4ef9e7

 

This second one I felt completely helpless in a tier 10 game. Not only does t10 hurt, but I don't know what to do in open maps as a heavy. I resorted to using binos but I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea.

http://wotreplays.com/site/1306084#fiery_salient-exodium-kv-4

 

Did you keep your T-150 or KV-3? I have an ARL 44 and an IS that I could run a few games with you in.  Or add me to friends and we can hop in a training room. Or post up a replay (with your own comments/questions, don't just spam replays links please) or two if you want as well and I can try to get to it. 

 

This is a fine line for you to be working on: good armor and hp to polish basic elements of heavy play and positioning without enough engine power to get yourself too strung out and into trouble. Plus a KV-4 can always find some sort of anchor spot in a team battle somewhere. Don't listen to griefers. 

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Map awareness (as mentioned before) is going to be a lot of it. Knowing who is going to be WHERE and how to handle that when it happens is going to make you play better.  On most maps, there are a lot of common choke points/engagement zones, some of them are common for mediums, some for heavies, etc..  Having a good idea what enemies are going to appear WHERE is going to give you an edge. 

 

If you know that TDs like to set up in XYZ area, know a way around it rather than going straight at them and getting wrecked.

 

If you know that XYZ location is a heavy brawling location and you are top tier, know how to be angled and still get shots. Know what the weakpoints are on your tank, and how to hide them while still shooting, you will take less damage.

 

When you set up in a spot, know the weaknesses of that spot (is it arty safe? Can you be shot in the side)  and where to fall back if that weakness gets exploited.  I derped to the same rock twice on Abbey with a medium before realizing it was a bad spot during early game.

 

Adapt to what is going on.  If the one tank you were trading shots with turns in to 4 tanks, don't keep peeking. Move. Don't play on their terms.  There is no "honor" in this game, a fair fight doesn't get you anything extra.

 

My stats started moving up a lot more when I learned how to read maps and use certain zones to my advantage. The hardest with me was to not keep peeking when I know I would take damage in return. You want to do damage without taking it. Move somewhere better or unexpected.

 

You have a couple good platforms.  The T150 is a fine tank and probably the first true heavy.  The KV1 I still play because I enjoy it.  The IS line is probably the better of the two Russian heavy lines, but the KV line is still very similar and has heavier armor.

 

Good luck to you!

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Here are two replays:

One is with me as top tier; I do well but I don't know what to do in those situations

http://wotreplays.com/site/1306076?secret=ce96d2ae29e69fdeeb6f9f18fb4ef9e7

 

1) Pre-game: Look at tank layouts. Pretty even matchup. Your native AP can pen everything in front of you pretty easily except the T28 and nothing on their team could get through your sidescrape (KV-4 can sidescrape with the best of them- even at surprisingly broad angles).  So here your tank can be a great roadblock and/or a big damage dealer. Just one arty to be mindful of. Anything with sub ~175 pen is going to have trouble penning you anywhere close to head on. 

 

2)Initial positioning was fine. They used their mobility to take a common early position and you got some damage in on the IS-3 and T29. You missed about ~700 on poorly aimed or rushed shots on the IS3 which allowed him to take a good advanced position and crossfire your guys in the middle of the city.  You rightly back up to a more defensive position with good support, but miss an opportunity on the Tiger 2. At this point it's even kill count and your team has good distribution.

 

3) So at about 11 minutes you had the Tiger 2 in front, IS 3 on the front porch and T28 on your left. they're enveloping you and the Pershing. You have good TD backup (they really could have done a better job containing the IS3, but, pubbies. So you should have been thinking the Tiger 2 is the most vulnerable (the Pershing seemed to be following your lead) and remember, your sidescrape is just about invincible and forgiving. You do get the right move, but it comes about 15 seconds too late and then you back way up out of your cover and eat a shot from the T28 who is over extended and pays for it, but it may have been avoided and this lets the IS3 count shots and poke out for another hit on you.  This is all nit-picky stuff, but generally you want to be tight in to your hard cover.  The worst situation is you being poked against by multiple big alpha guns from 180 degrees, so be thinking how to use that hard cover to prevent this. 

 

4)Here the Pershing is easily solo-ing the Tiger 2. You get a hit of damage in, but this was kind of a useless hit since he had it under control, but whatever. So all of a sudden their T29 one-shot ammo racks your sturer emil (the best gun on your team after yours) for 850 damage, 100%-->0% and then their T71 makes a good run and your LT is completely useless the entire game.  If your Pershing was a good player he would have just taken that T29 out earlier. T71 does what autoloaders do best at this point in the game: crushing your backfield -nets a few quick kills on your damaged, hill TDs then goes for arty- nothing you can do about that. The game is slipping, but you still have Pershing at 100% and you at 30% and you pick up the T29. But you then tunnel vision or something and the Hellcat pokes out, you probably could have picked him up right there if youd seen him on your minmap, but soon after you are already sorrounded and getting fired at from invisi-tanks.  

 

Takeaways:

1) Nit picky stuff like minimap awareness, lining up your shots (remember, when you are top tier and have major armor you can take that extra half second to aim depending on what's in front of you.

 

2) You were a little too conservative with your sidescrape. You can soak up damage forever in that position so use it to bait shots.  There were a few times when you pulled in tightly and exposed your support on that corner to fire.  Bait those shots and soak up damage for your team (though do an assessment of what's in front of you, of course). They can fire all day at your sidescrape, let them, it is providing cover you your pubbies. 

 

Don't have time for the other one right now, but you took a key position and played it pretty well. No major critiques, their LT pushed at a good time, your team was on its heels for most of the match and there was not a whole lot you could do. Just small-ball type comments from me. 

 

 

This second one I felt completely helpless in a tier 10 game. Not only does t10 hurt, but I don't know what to do in open maps as a heavy. I resorted to using binos but I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea.

http://wotreplays.com/site/1306084#fiery_salient-exodium-kv-4

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Thanks for the advice. Funny but the first game after reading that I got an ace tanker game with 40k profit non-premium, 7 kills/steel wall

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Thanks for the advice. Funny but the first game after reading that I got an ace tanker game with 40k profit non-premium, 7 kills/steel wall

 

Great. It's really about just assessing your strengths relative to what's in front of and around you and playing to them. I think this KV line is a good one for you to run with heavies because those strengths are very apparent. You can't really relocate so you need to use your bulk and armor at key positions. Use that sidescrape at any tier (just try not to get in the way of your teammates), just keep it really tight in higher tiers. You can be a little lazier with it in tier 8 battles. Will try to check out that other match tonight. 

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Great. It's really about just assessing your strengths relative to what's in front of and around you and playing to them. I think this KV line is a good one for you to run with heavies because those strengths are very apparent. You can't really relocate so you need to use your bulk and armor at key positions. Use that sidescrape at any tier (just try not to get in the way of your teammates), just keep it really tight in higher tiers. You can be a little lazier with it in tier 8 battles. Will try to check out that other match tonight. 

Yea, actually after that I got a 105k credit game(no prem) on my kv-4. Amazing, I have never seen 6 digits of credits. Granted, I only got 78k profit("only") but it was in a tier 9 game wow...

 

Anyways, I want to thank you once again for taking the time to look at my replay and give me really nice feedback. Just that one replay feedback helped a ton.

 

 

"o at about 11 minutes you had the Tiger 2 in front, IS 3 on the front porch and T28 on your left. they're enveloping you and the Pershing."

 

". So all of a sudden their T29 one-shot ammo racks your sturer emil (the best gun on your team after yours) for 850 damage, 100%-->0% and then their T71 makes a good run and your LT is completely useless the entire game."

 

I didn't even notice any of that during the game. As a matter of fact, even during the replay I was so focused on the player cam that it took me a couple rewinds to see the st emil get one shotted behind me.

 

TLDR: tyvm for looking at my replay, I really appreciate it.

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Your first step is to stop playing arty completely, as Rexxie said it's a bad way to start.

I don't necessarily agree with this. I started with a heavy focus on arty and it give me a lot of big picture perspective of the battle flow.

When you are struggling to figure out angles and how to shoot the tank in your face and oh no now another tank is shooting your side - by necessity you have to focus on the micro scale.

That said, balance is important and running arty can't teach you any of the other important skills (except arty evasion).

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This second one I felt completely helpless in a tier 10 game. Not only does t10 hurt, but I don't know what to do in open maps as a heavy. I resorted to using binos but I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea.

http://wotreplays.com/site/1306084#fiery_salient-exodium-kv-4

 

 

1) Prok is just tough for slow heavies in general, but especially for big, slow bottom tier heavies. In fact I would rather be in any class on Prok other than a tier 8 heavy in a tier X game (with the exception of the 50-100, love that guy). Check out Zeven's video on surfing  for a good example why. You'll tend to get lit from distance, ridge surfers, vision creep and quick pokes then shot from camo at distance artied throughout the match. It sucks. And all that sidescraping we talked about has almost no relevance as there is no real hard cover here. 

 

You are too slow to go to the hill and would probably just get in the way. It's also encounter and that means you want to be in the general vicinity of the flag since you would be too slow to flex over if they needed you if, say, you thought you could add value on the 1-2 line (even though I would never recommend this for a heavy anyway).

 

Team layouts.  You have more consistent, top tier, all-purpose heavies, E5s/E4s/IS7 while they have more diversity in their Xs- BC, . E100, WTE100. Even matchup classwise. They have B-C arty, which means either you are getting hammered or you will have long dead periods to work with. Y

 

2) Your light heads to the ridge and everybody except an E5 heads over the tracks. with the slow TD's still at base. You get lit and stop, nothing big, but keep moving, there is no way you are making that shot.  Right now, if this were me, I would have followed the E5 to the pocket in F6. It's an important place to hold on this map and yeah, maybe you'll have a tough time there, but you have to look, as a bottom tier, there you can add the most relative value.  Plus the likelihood of doing damage with your standard AP is much better from there, putting shots into the sides of enemies on the hill, than trying to fight them head on, which is what the fight will be like on the other side of the tracks. 

 

3) You go hill.  This is not the worst place to be, but when you choose that you're taking yourself out of the game a long climb up that hill when you could have already been up in the pocket with that E5. And here, you're stuck right? You have no lights and all you can really do is shoot buildings. You pick a spot that gives you a couple shots and eventually the enemy E4 on cap is lit.  Here you hang out in that not-great spot for a while. You know you don't have the depression to really cover city. YOu can see the IS7 right near you is not taking fire and I would have gone up by him. 1) your tall profile may have helped get lights (but be aware that it's a target) and 2) the IS3 corpse could have been used to shield you from their hill campers while you cover the city. 

 

4) Especially when you saw that T54 dive in a get wrecked, you were not in a position to shoot anything. Main criticism so far is not knowing that spot was no good and hanging out there for a long time.  Here we're in that kind of blah middle-period of Prok. Lines have been drawn and people are just trying to peek and poke to pick up anything around lights/shots etc. This, from what I can tell, is the only time a force on the 1-2 line can turn the game. If they win 1-2 they envelop field. If they envelop field, they envelop enemy quarter on the East of the map (presuming the other battle lines hold), but you can see they don't. Concerted pushes by enemy in the middle and hill after they've generally weakened your team take place. Your TDs camped J-K the whole game and things just unravel. You may have been able to contribute more on the hill. Once you see your middle gone I would have gotten off the sniping ridge and more into a position to support your other heavies on the hill. Nit picky stuff on the tortoise brawl, but when you're an immovable tier 8 on the business end of the tortoise's gun, your in trouble. 

 

Key takeaways:

 

-Look at the team distribution at the outset and think where the most relative value can be made. This is tricky- it doesn't mean soloing a flank when your team leaves it open, but it means just thinking critically and using your map knowledge to know where set ups can be made. Your gun could have been in the fight earlier in the midfield pocket and while nowhere is really safe from arty, you have protection from everything else with the terrain when you need it. 

 

-When a spot isn't working don't force anything. You were very exposed and trying to force depression that just wasn't there. Prok has a number of interlocking pieces. Think about what they are "OK, we lost middle presence, which means we've lost vision in middle and fire support of hill, means I should get in a position to defend hill/support hill teammates without being exposed to their support fire from the area they just took." That's better than diving into the drink anyway. 

 

-As a bottom tier heavy/superheavy at the start of the game I try to think about where I can complement the momentum of the team as opposed to create it.

 

Hope that helps man. Players better than I are welcome to correct anything of course. 

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Yea, actually after that I got a 105k credit game(no prem) on my kv-4. Amazing, I have never seen 6 digits of credits. Granted, I only got 78k profit("only") but it was in a tier 9 game wow...

 

Anyways, I want to thank you once again for taking the time to look at my replay and give me really nice feedback. Just that one replay feedback helped a ton.

 

 

"o at about 11 minutes you had the Tiger 2 in front, IS 3 on the front porch and T28 on your left. they're enveloping you and the Pershing."

 

". So all of a sudden their T29 one-shot ammo racks your sturer emil (the best gun on your team after yours) for 850 damage, 100%-->0% and then their T71 makes a good run and your LT is completely useless the entire game."

 

I didn't even notice any of that during the game. As a matter of fact, even during the replay I was so focused on the player cam that it took me a couple rewinds to see the st emil get one shotted behind me.

 

TLDR: tyvm for looking at my replay, I really appreciate it.

 

My pleasure. It's a lot easier for me to pick up these things actively viewing the replay than when in game of course. Just about breaking yourself of that dogged "the only things that exist in this game are the things I'm focusing on" mindset- and goddamnit, I still do it all the time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sap2_wVPNtI

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