Original article by @sr360
This game demonstrates some notable aspects of play on Malinovka: excellent vision control by dualmaster, nice use of 2-stage spotting dependency with me getting shots off on dualmaster’s spots, and patience to gradually wear the enemy team down over 14 minutes, with very few mistakes made by the two of us.
[This post is from sr360's perspective. Here is dualmaster333's perspective]
As we launch in, the teams look even. Our top 5 tanks are decent, and the enemy team has one good platoon (although in tanks unsuited to the map), but as always in Malinovka, the key is scouting.
In general, in Malinovka I usually head away from spawn to the hill/field area. Once there, my plan varies depending on tank: a fast medium would generally take hill or use camo bushes to get lights, and in a TD/support fire tank I play E7/8. Accordingly, I try to head to a support fire position in E7/8 to try to control the mid-field area.
Things go awry relatively early. Our scouts head towards the hill area, our 50 100 has connection issues, and one of their scouts gets early lights without being spotted. Our 50 100 dies, Ferdi takes significant damage, and T29 takes a hit. We now have a major disadvantage in HP. However, I took a relatively conservative route from spawn, pulling back and staying away from the field, and remained unspotted.
I move to a position near E7/8, in the little copse of trees which provides cover and a broad field of fire. Notice my fields of fire here.
While I could arguably get superior sweep of fire from a more exposed position nearer the water, at this location I have foliage for additional camo, and a small hill I can roll down behind if lit. I have good shots at D6-ish, on the tanks climbing to church which aren’t hugging the red line, and limited shots at tanks climbing up the hill. My limitations are mainly shots on top of the hill, and behind the ridge which runs roughly D4-B4-B5
Their MT-25 and our Leo rush at each other, and both die. Our ELC makes a suicide scouting run, we get the first tank he lights (a JP4) but all the others are out of draw range, and like most suiscouts, he accomplishes little. At this point, dualmaster does something very smart. As their MT-25 is dead, he guesses that he was being lit by a tank in the swamp. He proceeds to blind fire some of the popular bushes there, flushing out their passive scouting T71 who dies quickly. With our T71 still alive, we have the scouting advantage. We have also taken the hill (surprisingly, by the KV-3, who was unchallenged), so things look better for us. Most importantly, by killing the T71 in the swamp, we have established vision control on both sides of the lake.
With the T71 dead, dualmaster is free to make an aggressive move along the lakefront to D6. His tank is very well suited to this position, as he has good gun depression to be able to peek and shoot, acceptable camo, and excellent view range to burn through enemy tanks’ camo and light them for support fire. His fields of fire are good too, covering the enemy base, tanks climbing hill, and either side of church. However, he is somewhat vulnerable to shots from the enemy cap area.
I would generally consider this period of the game the “settling down period”—make slow positional plays, squeeze the enemy with vision, arty & cover fire, and beat them in. However, our team has different ideas, and they feel like all-out assault is the way to go. Our KV-5 and KV-3 charge the enemy, only to be shredded by the enemy AT-15/T34 platoon. Skruf’s Lowe gets lit by a tank from enemy spawn and he gets focused down. An enemy IS-3 charges across the field and takes out our IS-3. Things look grim as now we’re down 3 tanks—which soon become 4 as our T71 gets a little overaggressive with spotting.
Unfortunately, our team has thrown away a strong position, and dualmaster is now a little isolated, with only myself and a Nashorn covering him in case he gets rushed. The enemy now has superior map control. Luckily, their IS-3 who is attacking base dies, but we lose our Ferdi in the process, and we now have just the one tank in our cap area.
Now it is the turn of the enemy team to make a mistake. Their best player in the AT-15 starts to climb the hill, gets lit in the process, and dualmaster shreds him from a hull-down/camo position while being shielded from return fire. There was no need for him to attempt to take the hill—it is strategically unimportant with our only fast tank known to be at D6-ish. Furthermore, he would have been unable to fire down from hill without revealing himself, and once spotted on hill, he would have been fodder for our TDs and arty.
I relocate to the water’s edge, utilizing the Rhoomba’s excellent camo and view range to maintain vision on cap, while being able to cover cap and watch dualmaster’s back at the same time. Dualmaster continues to provide vision, but their T34 and AT-15 are behind the hill, and our only arty, an FV304 plinks away. My fields of fire at this point have changed: while I no longer can shoot near the church or tanks climbing hill very well, I can continue to cover the D6 spot where dualmaster is situated, and I have now opened lines of fire to the field, swamp, and cap area.
As I relocate, their T28 is spotted heading to our cap. As he sits in cover to me, he trades shots with the JT88, finishing him off. As he moves on, I get a solid 600+ damage shot into him, and he’s hurting. Dualmaster has moved up a bit, and spots a T25/2 heading across the field. Notice my position—I have view of the cap (since I have binocs and a 400 m base view range) with clear shots into most of the cap circle, but I still have excellent shots into any tank that could charge dualmaster at D5/6.
The importance of this position became evident, as seeing me put hits on the T28 and T25/2, the enemy platoon charges dualmaster. However, I have his back covered, and take out the AT-15 and hurt the T34 who our arty finishes off.
Beyond that it is cleanup on the last 4 tanks who find themselves out of position and outgunned by a Rhoomba in camo.
As a support fire platform on Malinovka, I was entirely dependent on my vision tanks to provide targets for me. Luckily, dualmaster was in a good tank for the map, and has a solid understanding of vision. In turn, it was my responsibility to be in a position to take advantage of the vision he provided. As a result, close to 2/3 of the damage I did was attributable to dual’s spotting. Conversely, our ELC blind rushed the enemy, not realizing that (a) most of the enemies were either out of draw range or firing range for his TDs, and (b) our only arty was an FV304 which is a VERY short range arty—a textbook example of bad scouting. Our Leopard charged an enemy MT-25 for no reason at all, and was a quick nonfactor in the game. Our T71 was trying to light, but the enemies were behind a ridge, which he ran once too often. This was another example of poor scouting, as there was no need to run the ridge so aggressively. Often times, peeking, lighting, and dropping back is more than sufficient.
As the summary screen shows, the team didn’t fare particularly well—other than dualmaster and me, only our JT88 crossed the 1K mark. However, the two of us combined for almost 8K damage, and outdamaged the other 13 players combined. Dualmaster spotted for 1/4th of the tam’s total damage output. The game was won as much by winning the vision war, as it was by sheer damage output.