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Unpopular opinion - I don't get the PTA - It's just a tad too slow to be fast. The dpm is good but the rof means you miss many shooting opportunities. Awkward tank
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Red is northwest spawn, blue is southeast
I normally don't play the south at all from the southeast spawn unless I'm certain that we're going to win it, so I almost always go to G6 first, get some spots on what is crossing and estimate whether we have a shot at winning the south
If yes then I will move to the defensive south to start and move up to J3/K3 and use it's bushes to lock J2 down and then move up to the aggressive play if I want to commit to it, otherwise I stay K4 until the enemy starts pushing further than J3, then I normally rotate it the rock at G6 and use its bushes to lock the push down a while. If enemy plays balcony I have shots, shots into south as well. If bridge is not contested I will fall back further into there if necessary after the rock to keep range and and remain able to deal damage. If totally doomed, there is a good spot that requires a bit of gun dep in K0 where you can remain unspotted and then just rape everything climbing up your hill trying to kill your arties/TDs up there, hill at H9 is generally a bad play IMO. Use the bushes along the road instead to double bush them and remain unspotted. They know roughly where you are but you just take away any chance of them hitting you back,
Northwest spawn my most common play is the spotting play, I rarely commit to the south unless I have workable turret armour, then I play standard south if we have a shot at winning it, defensive when unsure until I can move up to the standard, (not possible if enemy is doing the aggressive south play) then you need to stay on Defensive South to pin him down , move south of rock to pin that or north of it to check the chokepoint corner.
Otherwise I yolo bridge, knock down the trees from the south mountainwall as far to the left (from your driving perspective) you can and you will be able to double bush the tanks being there if the bridge is contested. I also do the bridge play whenever I have turret armour to work with. Be aware that you have an angle into the bowl from there where you have so many trees to camo even T10 heavies that'll stay unspotted firing at stuff at F3. Keep an eye on the iceroad while playing there as if they push you have basically an infinite hulldown until they push up to roughly C7 where they'll be able to shoot you back. Then I generally swap to moving forward from the bridge into killing the people playing next to the rock and anyone playing the corner and get them out. Then you have the choice of either moving into south for countinuing the fighting or or into the enemy base and kill sky cancer and you can start putting pressure., There's almost always a TD there but a TD + arties is not enough to kill if you just track the TD and kill the arties while hugging the side of the TD and using movement to keep him from shooting you.
Bridge is underrated as it's so easy to to rack most of your damage so early if they contrest it,but don't do it when they have FVs on the team, They will just tank and swar,m you so you need at least on tank on the firing line on either td hil or bridge
Thanks. Some great points for me. I never yolo the bridge in the PTA when on Red/Northeast spawn and will now read the lineups at the beginning looking for a team match up where I can give that tactic a try.
From Blue/Southeast I do try K4, and have had some success with it, and the move forward towards J2 and the bushes in between when I read the ebb and flow correctly. My problem with K4 and the move forward in the PTA is arty. I find playing those positions seems to attract arty fire. I guess I need to let the spot go off by retreating and then fire again from a slightly altered position to mitigate that risk.
You can use the trees to make yourself able double bush whatever's in front of you on the bridge if you do it right (need to knock all the trees leftward) and you can fire from about where the rock pocket is without getting lit (useful when fighting stuff with high HP like E 100 or Mäuse as it lets you get several shots of whether they ponder on pushing up to light you or pull back because you're not spotted doing it so they don't know when to fire back. You can cross into the other side of the rock if you have a window to do it safely when you are winning iceroad but about to lose bridge and you'll be able to drop down (takes some practice to do it without taking damage).
The play takes some practice in getting right in regards to lineup reads as well, tanks like T95 and E3 are very likely to come bridge from the southeast spawn and I would probably not do it case I think they're going to do that. You are likely going to fight something slow and armoured, or nothing at all (happens about a third of the time) and need to aggress further to spot whatever's playing the rock/spotting corner from the enemy spawn. Other option is to poke into the ice road for some cheeky damage if it's a losing flank from your team.