Original article by @KraftLawrence
Understanding Game Flow
So here’s the situation. You’re an up-and-coming tanker, watching the superunicums stream. You’re trying to learn from them. You turn on sela’s stream and while learning to “eatdix”, you’re also seeing how all of his decisions make sense. “Oh look he’s pushing.” “Oh look he’s flexing to the other flank.” “Oh look he’s defending the base.” It all makes sense to you.
Excited and erect, you load up that pub game, eager to eatdix in your WT Pz.IV or what other OP tank you have. But you can’t achieve the same results. Your team melts on the flank you’re not on, and you’re suddenly down 1-5. The game snowballs out of control. This happens a couple more times, and you think to yourself - “wow fuck my teams are bad. well shit what could I have done better?” Well fear not, this article will hopefully guide you in your epic dix eating journey to not only understand the concept of game flow, but also how to use this knowledge to change the way you think about your play and – hopefully – win more games.
Game flow is World of Tanks usually goes something like this.
- People go to their initial deployment.
- Small skirmishes are fought upon those engagements. Usually the number of engagements is limited. As an example, in Arctic Region, usually there’s a “south” fight and a “north” fight.
- One of the engagements finishes, these resources are freed up. They are free to go do many things – cap, help other flanks, etc.
- This team gains a numbers advantage unless the other team can also deal with their flank before getting capped/surrounded. This usually leads to a win.
That’s how most of the games in WoT go. The team that can crush a flank early and get up on the scoreboard will usually win. I’d say comeback victories are much harder to accomplish. Once you go down 1-5, your chance to win drops dramatically (that is, your actual chance to win – not your xvm-bullshit-chance-to-win).
So how do we use this?
So how to you use this to your advantage? Well, there are various general situations you can get into at the start of a game (assuming a 2-flank map like arctic region, steppes, ruinberg, etc.):
- Most of your team went to a side that’s easy to push (think Lakeville city).
- Most of your team went to a side that’s difficult to push (think Lakeville valley).
- Your team split evenly.
Most of your team went to a side that’s easy to push
Your team sent 12 people to the city in Lakeville. You as the superunicum-to-be will need to make sure everything proceeds smoothly. By this, I mean you need to make sure your team’s tanks aren’t just floating around. If you recall the flow of the game model, there is a chance that your 3 tanks in the valley (because no one plays arty, right?) will lose to the opposing valley force really fast, and your team will have to dedicate resources to go back and deal with that.
So, you need to make sure your tanks are making shit happen. If they aren’t pushing, you need to lead the push. You’re in a medium? I don’t care.
Don’t be that guy camping and doing nothing while your team dies on another flank – then farm 3k damage and complain your team sucks. That guy is the worst.
An interesting scenario arises when your team actually cannot finish your flank before your other flank dies. A big mistake I see green and blue players do is to flex back to base far too early. They notice the other flank is falling, and they immediately head back to base. I cannot stress how big of a mistake this is. You REALLY need to focus on pushing your side as long as possible and delay your retreat back to base for as long as you can without getting capped out.
The reason for this is that flexing back to base is terrible for game flow! By retreating too early, you lower the amount of resources on your current flank. Given enough people do this (maybe 1 is all it took!), you incur the possibility of losing your current flank as well. Or at the very least, you slow down the rate at which they would have won the flank. The last thing you want to do is go back, delay the base capture before they even get to your base, lose the flank you were on, and then get shot from both sides. You may not even notice your mistake in game – this very often looks like your team was just shit.But if you analyze deeper, you will notice that there actually was no need to defend so early. The bigger the advantage you can create on the flank you were on, the more likely you will win that flank fast, and those tanks can help your team do something else – such as helping you defend, or go towards their cap.
Most of your team went to a side that’s not easy to push
Welp, your team sent 10 tanks to the valley in Lakeville. Swamp terrain, small choke points, etc. How should you react given the game flow model? Well, you’re a good player. You’ve read Okeano’s “where not to go” thread. You don’t go valley. But what do you do? Well it’s simple. You go to the most easily defensible location to slow down their city push. This may be taking cover outside the city near one of the houses. This way, when they push you, you will only get shot from one direction. Depending on what tank you are, you may want to abuse camo or abuse frontal armor, or abuse side armor. You might be doing a fighting retreat if you’re a med. This will all be tank-dependent – but the concept is the same.
Then you pray to Jeebus that you can hold out long enough for your valley friends to push through.
Your team split evenly
Now this is the part where things get slightly more complicated. Basically, in this situation you will play as either one of the above 2 methods. How you decide which way you’ll play is dependent on the enemy team’s deployment.
Do you think you have enough resources to win your flank? If you do, then lead a push and win as fast as you can.
An important thing to note is that both teams start out with the same amount of resources. This means that if your team has an advantage on your flank, your team also has a DISADVANTAGE on the other flank. This means that, assuming equal pubbie skill, your team will lose the other flank most of the time. This means that in order for you to win the game, you need to push your flank to win it fast and free up resources to help the other flank later. Easy logic? Easy logic.
Conversely, if the enemy sent more resources to the flank you are currently on, you may want to play less defensive. Your team is likely to win the other flank. Play defensively and hold out as long as you can. Trade efficiently – don’t push. Let them peek on you.
Hopefully through this article you have a better understanding of game flow and how you can apply game flow concepts to help you win more games.