Original article by @rocketbrainsurgeon
Armor armor armor makes up a tanks' defense, right? Not entirely.
For your tank to take damage, the following have to happen:
- Be spotted
- Be in line of sight
- Enemy turns tank/turret onto you, aims
- Shell has to hit tank
- Shell has to hit non-auto-bounce angle
- Armor Check
Each one of these steps is a chance to avoid damage! Notice that armor doesn't come into play until the very last step. There are so many things that can prevent armor from ever coming into play, and I highly recommend you try them.
WHAT TO DO AT EACH STEP TO AVOID DAMAGE
1. Being spotted
I won't go into all of the details of the camouflage system here, but here are a few tips:
- try to put your tank in a bush or tree while waiting for further developments. This can greatly reduce the range at which the enemy can spot you (100m+) and requires very little effort.
- firing will make you spotted. You don't have to shoot if it means a lot of pain!
- maximum view range is 445m: if there's no one within that distance of your tank, there's no way you'll be spotted!
- have a larger view range than the opponent
2. Be in line of sight
- back down a hill
- duck behind a building/rock/dead tank
3. Enemy turns tank/turret onto you and aims
- cut off line of sight
- go off radar and move
- angle armor to increase bounce chance
- move into cover before enemy aim time completes, forcing a snap shot
4. Shell has to hit tank
- presenting a small target to hit increases miss probability
- fighting from range increases miss probability
5. Shell has to hit non-auto-bounce angle
- keep turret pointed at incoming fire (even the softest turret has angles!)
- keep front angled at incoming fire
6. Armor Check
- frontal armor is tougher than side/rear armor
- turret armor is [usually] tougher than hull armor, usually the mantlet (area around the barrel) is incredibly thick spaced armor
- angled armor is tougher than non-angled armor
SEPARATELY THEY MAY BE SMALL BUT ADDING THEM UP MAKES YOU INDESTRUCTIBLE
Maybe you're looking at the "Armor Check" section and thinking: my AMX 13 90 has such low armor that angling is worthless. Not true! I've gotten Steel Wall on nearly every French tank I've driven! But it's because I constantly point the front of my tank and turret at the enemy rather than the flat sides and rear.
Let's say that each of the 6 steps above means another 5 shots out of 100 will miss, bounce, or not be fired at all: you're avoiding 30% of all damage! On tanks with a defensive trait to lean on, like a tough turret or good camo, avoiding 30% of damage is actually the minimum amount you can expect to avoid.
GOLD AMMO IS OVERRATED
Look at the prevention steps above, and you'll see nowhere do I mention armor thickness or effectiveness: these are all tactics to use no matter what the penetration level of the opponent! Instead of complaining about someone shooting gold at you, use smart positioning and movement to take gold ammo right out of the game.
IN YOUR NEXT GAME, THINK ABOUT EVERY SHOT YOU TAKE
Go through the checklist above: did you do everything you could to prevent the damage? Where could it have been done better?
QUICK WAYS TO TELL THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG
- You've been shot in the side or rear - need to point the front at the enemy at all times!
- You've been shot in the known weakspot like a driver port or hatch - wiggle to throw aim off the weak spot or hide it better with positioning
- You've been perma-tracked - try not to expose the front road wheels on corners
- You're shot primarily in the hull - expose less of your tank
OF COURSE, IT'S EASY TO SAY THAN DO
The tricky part is to combine all these defensive ideas into gameplay that includes scouting, or pushing a flank, or defending a cap, and [most importantly] keeping your gun active. However, it can be done: just peek at your tank now and then to see where you're taking damage and correct the mistakes.