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FoolieCoolie

How can I maximize damage in a badly lost engagement?

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So, I started playing tier 8 again after buying the Super Pershing and Ravioli. They're fun and capable tanks, but I find myself in a lost flank too often and it's really frustrating. For example: A typical city map, I have one flank covered in my Super Pershing. At this point, I usually get 1200 damage or less done before my teammates die off and I get flanked from all directions. 

I have no problem dying in a lost flank if it holds out long enough - usually enough for me to do 2400 damage and above - but It seems most heavy tank engagements last for a 3 to 5 minutes before my teammates die. Is there any way I can contribute to holding up a flank better or squeeze in more damage? Things I thought about so far:

1. I can try to take shots for allies. This may work, but I'm doubting the trade-off value in risking my health. Tried doing this several times, and it works in cooperation with an aware player, but more often than not, the friendly T34 yolos into enemy fire to get his shot.

2. Play more aggressively to get damage. A more selfish option in which I already assume my teammates are just there to buy time for me (which is far from true, but yeah). Normally, I play safe when brawling, using only standard rounds, engaging when the enemies are distracted by my allies or reloading. Is it better to be more aggressive? Use gold APCR on the Super Pershing? Try and shoot as soon as I reload?

Any other pointers would be much appreciated. If needed, I can try to make a replay to demonstrate what I mean or clarify through text.

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First I'm gonna respond to your questions. Keep in mind I haven't played in over 2 years, but I doubt WG changed the game enough to make what I'm saying invalid. I've had 1200 matches in the SP however.

I've never had problems bouncing enemy shots with the Super Pershing, it's very good for baiting shots, and far better at gun depression battles. What the Super Pershing has taught me however is how to predict battles minutes in advance. It's far easier to flex out of situations in a medium or light tank than in a very slow heavy. You have to know your team's and enemies compositions, and know where one side will likely be weak, or strong, or have a stalemate. Once you can start estimating something like that, you can respond far better. 

Say if you know one side will be extremely weak for your team, and another will be a stalemate, is there a position you can be within support range of the stalemate side while being able to punish the enemy for pushing past the weak flank? The Super Pershing isn't the worst when it comes to speed, but you have to be able to know situations 3 minutes ahead of what will happen to best use it.

Generally for the Super Pershing and all tanks, I will never take shots unless I know the enemy is very unlikely to penetrate me. The Super Pershing has good enough gun stats that you can poke very quickly and out brawl enemies even if you're fucking terrible at angling and reading enemy gun directions. The Super Pershing shines where hills are needed, or at a medium-range. They will have far more trouble against an IS-3 or E-75 at 50meters or less distance. I would recommend only going to places where you engage from greater than ~75 meters.

Your allies are generally useless pieces of shit that won't even do half their HP in damage, there is no reason to worry about them, when you are going to be having at minimum 5x the effect of them. 

For your second point, why would you not fire every single time you can? The SP has a gun that reloads far faster than any other heavy, obviously if you're fighting an E-75 and 2 IS-3s at close range you're not going to trade well. You've put yourself far too forward, you should be able to predict where the heavies of the enemy will be, they're going to be on brawling areas, they're likely to win especially if your team has less heavies, is there somewhere you can go initially to get a few shots, and then react to them by shooting them at range?

 

For extra pointers, the SP can lock down a large open area down as well, especially if you run camo, and all vision perks, and cola. Nothing will have a fun time penetrating the SP at range. I've held down Tank Destroyers on MAlinovka many times using a hull down SP at 300meters+.

The SP can not push without allied support, and it can not hold a point unless it's supported, or covering a huge area. It is great for filling out the ranks however by responding to enemies while your allies are preoccupied doing something else.

APCR is needed on SP, you're not fast enough to get good flanks on enemies. I've played 700 matches on IS-6, and I only fire APCR and HE out of it, and that thing is faster than the SP.

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Raj is definitely far better than me at tonks, and he has a couple hundred more matches in the SP. Pretty much everything he said is very, very true, and more. 

As he stated, you really need to think about team compositions and who's going to your flank. Unless you can manage to go downhill both ways, flexing is not an option, and relocating will take a very long time. 

Think about your surroundings. As your flank begins to fail, get ready to press ff in advance. You should already have a good fallback point where it is harder to get flanked, or where friendly TDs have shots, etc. 

The DPM on the SP isn't bad, and you can get two shots for most heavy's single reload. Abuse this. 

Also, the frontal spaced armor is tougher than you might think. If you angle properly without giving up side armor, the APCR shell from an E75s 128 won't pen. The hull weakspot is only easy to hit if you sit still. Just poke out, shoot, bait a snapshot, get another shot, back up. 

Another thing on weakspots that Raj pointed out: stay at a comfortable range, especially on open maps. Let derpy heavies try to hit your weakspots at 100-200 meters. You should try to be the spearhead on certain maps and team compositions, but if you are going to have a drawn-out firefight you will much prefer staying at range. Given that weakspots will be a bit harder to hit, you'll want APCR for these situations, if nothing else.

As far as your two lines of thought, they at first glance seem to differ. However, you can try to combine the two. Expect nothing from your pubbies; they are meat shields unless you know explicitly that they are not brain dead. Nevertheless, the armor on the SP can take dozens of hits. Take the hits that you know won't pen so that your meat shields stay alive longer. Every shot that you bounce is another shot that doesn't do damage. Given your copious armor, you can also take shots very aggressively. The gun handling allows for reasonable snapshots. 

I played most of my games when the base pen was 170, which was enough for about 75% of the opposition. Modern superheavies and stupid premiums kinda made it a joke, hence the buff that doesn't change much. 22 pen doesn't exactly bridge the difference between barely penning the side of a KV-4 and flailing at an O-Ho. However, if you're actually semicompetent, you can shoot full gold and make money. No tank that you'll see laughs at 243 pen. If you're adverse to gold spam, learn all the weakspots. At close range, the gun handling is fine for hitting things like the E75 cupola or the lower glacis of everything. Gold will never fail to pen lower glacises (glacii?), and the 192 base should go through any actual weakspots. 

TL;DR: Use your DPM/good reload, abuse your troll armor, and plan very, very far ahead. 

Thanks for reading, go stomp some pubbie ass :minidoge:

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Nothing much i can add to the above response, except that the Super Persh got its pen buffed recently so the need for APCR has diminished a little since Raj has played. Since the SP's ammo capacity is freaking huge, run a lot of APCR and AP. ALWAYS switch ammo depending on what you are facing, if you can get away with plain AP use it but if you can't, keep your gun firing and doing damage by switching ammo types. 

 

It can still make creds with a prem account and constant ammo type switching. Switch before you engage so you have the right ammo loaded before you start getting shots and predict try to predict what you are going to face and load the appropriate ammo type. IS-3s for eg, don't bother taking the risk and fire APCR even though you might be able to pen with AP since at the distance you should be at in the Spersh, its better to not risk an IS-3 pike bounce. 

 

Of course if you couldn't give a shit about credits, just run full gold.

If the enemy have more heavies, try to get your team to go to a better defensive position which involves not getting outnumbered in a brawl and support them. If they don't listen, go the other way if things look really really dire by MM.

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I feel like the best answer here is just experience. Looking quickly at your record, you've mostly played a lot of faster low-tier stuff so it only makes sense there'd be a bit of a learning curve with some slower, higher tiered vehicles. 

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Awareness, awareness, awareness. That's what it boils down to. I'm sure you know this already though but perhaps you need more practice so that you are not being caught out as much on dead flanks. I know from my own personal experience that that is what always made me lose track of a situation and suddenly end up alone facing several enemy tanks because all my allies have either died or ran away. Plus with some tanks you really shouldn't be getting into these type of situations much at all to begin with like the Ravioli. As it's purely a support tank, you are for the most part playing more conservatively than you would play a super pershing. Only in the late game when you can be more aggressive, that is if you have enough hp to spare by that point.

Just my 2 cents.

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