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Archaic_One

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    Archaic_One reacted to Assassin7 for an article, The STB-1 - Panzer Vor!   
    Original article by @Assassin7
    The STB-1 - Panzer Vor!

     
    The STB-1 is the Japanese tier 10 medium tank. It is renowned for being extremely gorgeous to look at, having extremely high DPM, and shells that seem to enjoy hitting the ground on fully aimed shots. This creates a very strange tank, one that purely revolves around a gun with extreme strengths and weaknesses, therefore making the STB-1 a challenging tank for many players.
    The STB-1 was the first Prototype for the Japanese Type 74 Tank, a Japanese version based on the same chassis as the Leopard 1, the tank also has the same 105mm L7 gun common to all tier 10 NATO medium tanks. However, while being similar in design to the Leopard 1, it has several significant differences that define the tank as a unique tank to drive from the Leopard.
     
    Firepower:
    As has been already stated, the STB-1 has the best DPM (Damage per minute) of any 390 alpha medium, and the second best DPM in class - falling just short of the Russian Object 430.  At its most optimal setup, it has a reload of just 6.32 seconds. When coupled with your 390 alpha, this is a tank that can really lay down damage quickly. This often allows you to get up to 3 shots into tanks like the E100, or some tier 10 TDs, before they are able to reload one shell. The damage numbers stack up quickly: up to 1170 alpha damage in return for only one 750 damage shot from an E100. This is an advantage that other L7 armed tanks do not have, most often their reloads being 7 seconds or longer. The extra second means that they are likely to only get two shots into an E100 before he reloads, and sometimes not even two into tanks such as the IS-7, while the STB is able to get two into an IS-7 before he reloads.
    Of course, this advantage is not without its consequences: the gun has very poor handling. This does not show up on the ingame stats alone, the gun handling issues are in the soft stats for the gun. What this means is that when the tank is moving, or turning its turret, the reticule blooms to a much larger circle than other tanks. This in itself may sound fine, after all it only has a 2.3 second aiming time, however that is not the case. Since aim time actually shows the time the reticule takes to reach one third of its maximum size, this still means that when those 2.3 seconds are up, the gun is still much less accurate than most other tier 10 medium guns, even on tanks with the same aim time, since they have better soft stats for their gun. In practice, this means that the gun still has to aim that last third. making it very slow to aim and often not fully aimed in when the player fires. this leads to shells missing quite often, earning the tank its reputation for having a very derpy gun.
    Its not all bad though, when fully aimed in the STB is actually fairly accurate. it won’t win a sniping war with a Leopard or a Centurion Action X, but it’s accurate enough to hit the lower plates of heavies at longer ranges. - to an extent in fact that when set up with Vents, food, and BIA, the STB-1 is actually slightly more accurate when fully aimed than the Object 140. (0.32 vs 0.33)
    The STB-1 has one other party piece to bring to the table in the firepower department: Gun Depression. At -10 degrees this tank has extremely good depression, giving it a strong edge in ridge combat: when you poke a ridge you can expose only your turret, which is very small, to enemies to fire at them from over a ridge. This is an extremely useful advantage. but there will be more on that later.
     
    To sum up the firepower, it’s good. The gun is most effective at short-medium ranges where it can put the DPM to good use, but not have to spend ages aiming in on weak spots
     
    Protection:
    The STB-1 is a medium tank, so by definition it is not going to have amazing armour. This is even more true when it is based on the chassis of the Leopard 1. However, unlike the Leopard, the armour is actually able to bounce a few shots. the upper front plate is only 110mm thick, but it is also angled at an extremely steep angle, allowing you to promote bounces if you angle the armour. The side is a rather terrible 35mm thick, making sidescraping difficult, though not impossible, the STB can get some pretty troll bounces in an effective sidescrape, but as a rule don’t expect to bounce much off the hull in general.
    The Turret is far stronger than the Hull, and an extremely welcome upgrade over the previous tanks in the line. while only being 132mm thick, it is sloped at extreme angles making it very effective. there is however, an armor hole behind the gun meaning that shooting the STB directly where the gun is can do damage. the Turret is also very small, meaning that when sitting hull down abusing that glorious gun depression, enemies trying to shoot you back will have very little in the way of turret to shoot at, making them miss more often than hit. Even when they hit, the turret is armoured enough to bounce them frequently.
    The turret can still be penetrated; it is nowhere near as reliable as an Object 140s turret for example. But it is good enough for medium range engagements due to its size and angle, with its weak spot being small enough for enemies to reliably hit.  The DPM of the tank also makes it so that even when most tanks penetrate your turret you should be able to return at least 1 shot.
     
    To Sum up: its a medium tank. It is not supposed to rely on its armor to keep it out of trouble, but it is able to bounce lower tier shots if well angled and the Turret is strong enough to keep you safe in hull down situations, which is a very important aspect of the tank and a large fix to the problems earlier japanese tanks had.
    Setup - Crew, Equipment and Consumables
    When setting up a tank with crew and equipment the general idea is to either maximise the tanks strengths or minimize its weaknesses. For example, when setting up a light tank its main strengths are its camo and view range, so crew and equipment choices will reflect that – camo and view range skills, with Optics for equipment. For an IS-7 its main strengths are its strong armour, mobility, and high alpha damage on its gun. These things cannot be improved per se, meaning that crew and equipment setups will be based on minimizing its weaknesses – being the terrible gun accuracy, reload, and aim time.  It is not very common that you can enhance a tanks strengths while also minimizing its weaknesses. Luckily for us the STB-1 is one of those tanks where this is possible.
    The STB-1s main advantage is its incredible DPM, while its main weakness is bad gun handling. This means that the tank can be setup in such a way that capitilizes on the DPM while also attempting to negate the issues with the gun handling at the same time. This also makes, for myself at least, the STB a rather unique setup in terms of crew, equipment, and consumable choices.
     
    Crew
    The crew on the STB, in order to work effectively off the bat, needs to be at least completed the second skill and working on the third. Here is how I have it set up:

    Commander: 6th Sense, Brothers in Arms, repairs, Camo
    Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap shot, Repairs, Camo
    Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth ride, Repairs, Camo
    loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Repairs, Camo
     
    I said this was a unique setup for me. the reason for this is I generally don’t think BIA is a necessary skill until the fourth skill at least, as a medium player preferring gun skills, repairs, and camo as the first three. but when I retrained my type 61 crew to the STB, which was at the time just on its third skill, I picked BIA as the first skill. this is why the STB works best with 2 full skills at least, allowing you to use BIA and 6th sense. My reasoning behind BIA is again, maximising strengths and minimizing weaknesses. Its also there to compliment other setup choices I have made as well.
    Second skill, quite obvious, gunnery skills. Snap shot and smooth ride, very useful skills, also very much needed on a tank like the STB. I don’t feel as if I need to explain choosing sixth sense, as for the loader he obviously has a fairly limited number of useful skills, so safe stowage is always a welcome addition.
    Third skill: repairs. This is a very, very valuable skill. If nothing else, being able to get your tracks repaired and moving as soon as possible after being tracked is very useful. I generally train repairs as the first skill on most tanks, the fact I have it as the third skill here is a good indication of how much the STB’s crew has broken my trend.
    We are back to normal for the fourth skill: camouflage. the tank is a medium tank, and since it has low armor the best other way to stay safe is to stay hidden. If you can spot the enemy before he spots you, you gain the advantage of a free shot into him. If you can stay hidden AFTER firing, you have an even bigger advantage as the enemy cannot fire back at you.
     
    Equipment
    Most tier 10 medium tanks use the standard Gun rammer, Vertical Stabiliser, and coated optics for their equipment setups. I do know players that use this setup on their STB, but I don’t think it is the best setup for the tank. I replace the coated optics with Improved Ventilation:

    My reasoning for this is again, maximising strengths while minimizing weaknesses. the Vents will help with the gun handling for the tank, while also improving the reload further. This effect stacks with Brothers in Arms, giving more reason to use that crew skill. neither of these are very effective on their own, but together they can make a noticeable difference on the gun handling, while lowering the reload from 6.9 seconds to 6.6 seconds. it also has the added bonus of increasing the often overlooked 410m view range the STB has, again stacking with Brothers in Arms.
    Consumables
    Following the trend of unique set-ups, my consumables for the STB are not very different from the crew and equipment setups:

    This is the only tank I run large repair and medkits in random battles with. I didn’t start off running them, but I got into many situations where the tank got ammo racked and tracked in the same shot, so to avoid having to choose between the two to repair (which usually ended up in the track being repaired due to reflexes) I instead put a large repair kit on. the Med kit was kept off for a rather long time, but the tank kept losing its driver twice in a row during games, so in order to diminish this effect I used a large medkit to get the bonus of giving crew members more durability that it gives.
    The third slot is also interesting; I run Onigiri as the third Consumable. I do this, once again, in the interest of minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strengths. Food gives a flat 10% bonus to all crew skills, aiding the gun handling while helping the DPM. With the combined effects of a Rammer, Vents, BIA, and food, the reload on the STB-1 is down to an astonishing 6.32 seconds. the difference between running food and not is actually very noticeable, so much that it surprised me how more accurate the tank felt. Food also gives the added bonus of taking the view range from a low 432 to the max VR (Not including camo burn) of 445.
    Obviously, this makes the tank very expensive to run. Fortunately for me, when running a premium account I am still able to break even on most games playing the STB, but it is perfectly understandable if you are on a budget and cannot afford to run this sort of setup, I recommend just running the standard Repair kit, med kit, and fire extinguisher. But if you are able to blow some cash, Food is the most important to pick, in all honesty the other two large kits are not essential and more for convenience purposes. I do find that the STB does not catch fire very often, if it does catch fire it is only through the back of the tank, and in general if you are exposing your rear to the enemy you are probably doing something wrong, so the most common way I get set on fire in the tank is from arty hits that go through my engine deck.
     
    For ammo loadouts, fairly simple. 33 AP, 15 HEAT, 2 HE. The HE is for emergency cap resets and Armourless tanks (such as the Rhoomba, WP4, and Grille 15). I Don’t actually fire much HEAT at all in my STB, even less than my other tier 10 mediums due to the fact that at longer ranges there’s a higher chance of the shell derping into some spaced armour. 
    Gameplay
    In Gameplay terms, the STB cannot really be compared to any one tank. Its a medium tank based on the Leopards chassis, but does not play like the Leo. The STB has much more holding power than the Leo – Holding power being the ability to stay in a position and fight it out before having to retreat to safety. The reason for this is not only because it has much more reliable armour than the leopard, but also because of its extremely high DPM. The fact it can get shots off far more frequently give it the ability to suppress enemies in a way tanks like the Leopard cannot.  The Leo is also more of a scouty medium, the STB is far less effective at scouting than the Leopard. It can scout, like all mediums can, but is not as good at the dedicated scouting role. It has less overall camo, and is not as fast. The STB is very much a combat medium, it works best getting stuck in and putting its gun to work from hull down positions, compared to the Leos style of Shoot ’n’ Scoot. The Leo cannot brawl to save itself, the STB can, and it is the key difference between the two.
     
    I have been going on a lot about hull down. That is because the STB is very, very good at it. Hull down, poking over ridges or hills at medium range is the single best thing the STB can do. You keep yourself in cover from direct fire, and can kill stuff on the other side of the hill that more often than not cannot hit you back. Brilliant examples of excellent places to use this are the north hills of Westfield, on top of the hill on Mines (especially from the south spawn) and the North of Pearl river, where you can get hull shots on most other tanks on the top side whereas they have to overexpose themselves to shoot you back.
     
    Here is an example of how you would use the gun depression:

    You can see me here cresting the hill in the north of westfield to get shots on the enemies. I spy a T-34-2. I very easily have a shot on him, in fact I have poked over a bit more than I need to.
    Easy shot, yes? But if he was looking at me this is what he would be seeing:


    There really is not much at all for him to shoot at there, and what there is to shoot at is either my turret or my upper hull at an extreme angle. If he fired at me the only way he would penetrate is to get lucky and go through the armour hole behind the gun. But because I could easily peek up above the ride, snap shot him, and back down with an absolutely tiny amount of my tank visible the window he would have with which to do that is very small.


    Later in the same battle, the poor guy in the T-34-2 tries to poke over to get a shot. Look how far he has to expose himself to even hope to get a shot on me:
    Hill crest 3
    The difference is, he is absolutely nowhere near able to get a shot on me yet, he would have to expose himself to my team behind (most notably the T110E3 sitting on the hill behind me) in order to have a hope in shooting at me. These are problems the STB just does not have to deal with, and are extremely useful advantages that should be abused whenever possible.
     
    here is a short Video demonstration of what can be done with the STB-1s gun depression. From the middle area on cliff, this is one of my favourite spots to use this tank in. the STB is always wanted in Clan wars for Cliff because of its ability to take this position and abuse it. there is also small demonstration of the DPM of the tank, as I cut down the Jagdtiger, the video also shows how well the STB can snap shot with This crew setup, it is surprisingly good at it at these sorts of ranges.
     
       
    I also have another video showing a full battle in the STB-1, on mines. being lucky enough to get into a game with no Artillery, I was able to get up on the hill and use the gun depression and DPM of the tank in order to harass all the enemy tier 10 heavies trying to take the hill. Please note that I am not a professional, or even amateur Youtube Commentator and my Microphone is also not very suited to this sort of thing so my Commentary is not the best in the world
     
       
     
    Replays:
     
    for the Replays used in this review, they are here if you want to watch them:
    Cliff: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066526#teams
    Mines: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066528#stats
    Westfield: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066531#stats  – Yes I did get a little bit mad at our M53 for shooting me, though it was more the fact he said “deal with it” than shooting me himself, I don’t advocate reacting the way I did.
     
    Thanks to @MagentaPanda for Proofreading and Minor edits
  2. Upvote
    Archaic_One reacted to kolni for an article, The Batchat 25t.   
    I'll start off by saying that this is a difficult tank to play well. The bloom and time between shells really kills any quick opportunity to deal a lot of damage that every other autoloader gets except for the Foch 155. What it does get in return is more mobility and a higher potential clip damage than the rest of the autoloader bunch (except for the Foch, once again) and that's what you have to play for, every single time. 
    Crew:
    The crew is small and the tank is fragile meaning you'll need a good crew to stay alive. I personally recommend camo over repairs if you're playing SH/CW as a batchat player but the other way around for randoms. Spotting means squat in randoms anymore so my suggested order of training goes something like this: 
    Repairs + sixth (survivability in general because getting tracked means that you're dead) Camo and respec to BiA once it's full (one could use gun skills or situational awareness but I don't see how they're more important at the moment this early) Camo once again (you could do the last repair skill for the commander if you want to) Situational Awareness/Snap Shot/Smooth Ride (even if the skills have surfaced as somewhat useless the gun is shitty enough for them to worth it, especially if you use it SH/CW where you'll have to run AFE instead of food) After that you can go with whatever you wish, I went with firefighting because I run food in randoms. 
     
    Loadout:
    You have a few options here. 30/0/0, 25/5 or 20/10. I personally run 20/10 as of now but I've been running 30/0/0 for ages and it's perfectly fine too. The point of this is simply the low ammo capacity and split clips. Running 15/15 (50/50 like I run in most of my meds that don't have 50+ shells) is simply too split when your ammo actually runs low. You'll have a clip of 4 shells and one with 1 when you needed them all. Your DPM goes trash tier from already shit tier. 
    The playstyle changes as well with the HEAT rounds. Lack of them means that you'll have to spend more time using the map to get shots you can actually pen instead of just engaging a E 100 frontally when he's on reload for 2K damage. 20/10 is the most flexible one in my opinion. I usually only fire 4 out of 5 shells before my shootable targets get safe and that adds up to an extra 4 shell clip simply by using experience on my end. 10 HEAT rounds means that you can shave off 4K HP off of the bulkier heavies frontally when there's situations you wouldn't otherwise be able to shoot them. (BC on Mali hill shooting early on an E 100 or any japanese heavy moving for example) so you don't have to constantly keep target selection at the back of your head wasting time thinking on what to do. 
    I know some of the better players run 25/5 because they fire that HEAT clip early and always fire them, then just switch to APCR for the rest of the game since they already sunk in 2K HP early in a heavier engagement before just rotating elsewhere. 
     
    Equipment: 
    Vertical Stabilizer is an obvious choice, I don't think it's necessary to go deeper into why. 
    The remaining contenders are vents, optics and GLD. I've seen every combo possible out of these three and none of them are actually wrong and it mostly comes down to how you play your batchat and if you do competitive play or not. 
    Optics are arguably useless in randoms (although I've personally been getting bang for my buck running them lately) but at least they'll keep you up top on the spotting game. I reach 488 meters of viewrange in my BC running optics, food, BiA and situational awareness which is more than enough to always stay on the edge of spotting. Camo piercing might not seem like much, but if you ever get camosniped that extra viewrange will help you out more than you'd think. It'll also let you actually spot tanks at max viewrange. Every tank has camo values which means that spotting an O-I or a Maus at 445m (max view range) won't happen at exactly 445m away because of camo. Now this is probably just a few meters but when it comes to other tanks like TDs, the extra view range helps you spot them through piercing them at large distances. The most notable map I noticed for this is Fishermans Bay. With a VR specced BC I can spot the the northeastern corner from the middle when they fire and net myself and my team early damage. Now this might sound very situational and anecdotal but it's just an example of when optics actively contribute to winning games. 
    Vents are vents, small boost to everything and hardly noticeable (food is twice the boost). Good for people who play the BC for 100% gun or want to boost their VR even more (hardly necessary breaking 500, ever)
    GLD is what I run combined with optics. You'll actually make use of this because of the terrible aimtime and sitting still while dumping your clip quite often so the GLD will actually kick in more often than you'd think.
    Vert. Stab/Optics/GLD
     
    Gun:
    This gun is both good and bad. The clip potential is high and has the potential to kill some mediums in a single clip and shave 2/3 of any T10s HP pool, but that incredible strength is balanced by atrocious gun handling and long exposure to get those shells out. (It's about 10 seconds given aiming the first shell). The reload is long and renders you weak but at least it gives you decent downtime to look around and find new opportunities for the best way to approach an engagement. You'll be rotating a lot around the map simply because of the gun and running away like a little bitch whenever a flank might fail whenever you're on it. 
    The ammo capacity is low which means you'll have to think hard about how you load it. I recently switched from 30/0 to 20/10 because of increased SH/CW play where I'll need it but I personally didn't find the HEAT to be worthwhile in randoms. I always find myself running out of APCR before switching to HEAT now anyway in any given random battle anyway. The HEAT does give you the opportunity to engage heavies frontally whenever you'd need it (Malinovka hill is probably the only time I ever load HEAT because E5s are a thing) but it comes at the cost of split clips. Having 3 HEAT shells and 1 APCR makes for terrible late game cleanup possibilites (if you've fired that many shells you're probably having a decent game anyway, but it sucks to lose games because of this). I personally found APCR alone to be more than good enough for randoms since you'll spend more time deciding on what to attack than actually attacking so I end up with roughly the same damage anyway. 
    For competitive play it's a completely different story. The gun becomes a lot more dangerous here and it's a high risk tank. Missing a shell can kill you if you're playing a spotting game against another BC which is pretty goddamn easy to do considering the aimtime/bloom. But it can also shave off 2K HP of the enemy team in less than 10 seconds making it possible to enable pushes and allows it to solo scout/freeplay better than any other T10 in the game. 
     
    Armour: 
    In actual thickness it's non-existent. The UFP angle can bounce a shell once in a while but never something to rely on. What it does have as pseudo-armour is speed and decent camo. Engaging at range (sending mixed messages here with the terrible gun, but once you let it aim in fully it can hit pretty well at longer ranges as well) allows your camo to work if you'd be down on HP, in the clan CHAI or simply think it's the best course of action. The speed helps you dodge shells and move in close quickly or simply get out quickly if things went south. Mobility=Armour in this case. 
     
    Strengths/Weaknesses:
    The strength of the tank lies in the gun and mobility, one of them also being its weakness. It can put in quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time which makes it possible to turn games around. Autoloaders always have the lovely advantage of mitigating damage taken when clipping since people can't really deal enough damage back at you unless they're grouped up. Finding lone tanks in the endgame is easy prey for a BC and incredibly easy to outplay. If it's anything short of another autoloader you can pretty much just yolo in, clip fully and either kill them from scratch or simply just run away afterwards. I find it very rare that anything that can actually chase your BC down after clipping is usually too low on HP for it to really be worthwhile if you clip fully. Combine it with your 5 shots in 8 seconds for their 1-2 (maybe 3 if they chase you a bit). In the case of an E 50M or a 907 that can survive your clip and probably will you'll still be able to get out anyway or just simply hang back until support arrives. 
    You should also try to engage backwards as much as possible. You expose less and driving forward will be quicker to get away from corridor pokes than backwards (small thing but still useful). Driving backwards will also benefit more from terrain as you can use rubble and stuff to drive onto to get better depression angles. 
    The newest strength that completely breaks some maps: Climbing!
    Climbing sure as hell is useful. Mines gets completely destroyed by a single guy on the 0 line from either side and it also adds another layer of depth in the game. While it's mostly micromanaging it takes some time to figure the climbs out and climbing doesn't really get useful until you can do them consistently. 
    The weakness is pretty much the the long aim time that forces you to rush a shot or two because it simply won't aim in fast enough for the opportunities of damage to yield any fruit. Once again we have the long downtime between reloads and no armour whatsoever which means that you die if people catch you on reload. How you prevent this is by simply playing well guarded areas and making sure that you can actually run away and that anything chasing you will die trying, or simply playing passive for most of the game while seizing any overextensions done by enemy tanks for 2k damage. 
    You could also argue that the fragility of the tank combined with the speed is the cause for a lot of overextensions and while that is true it's not really a weakness itself, it's also easily preventable.
     
    Playstyle:
    I simply play this is a very opportunity seizing TD/LT. Whenever maps allow for it I'll try and be somewhat active for spotting (middle on Sand River for example) but I hardly see anyone having trouble on open maps with a BC. Problem's most likely city maps anyway. I simply pay a lot of attention to the minimap and try to figure out where I can deal the most damage while taking as little as possible. It shouldn't be too hard considering the reload times while clipping anyway. You have about 40 seconds before you even get to shoot again and that's plenty of time in a mobile tank like this to rotate if your current engagement won't pay off anymore. I'm very patient and once someone goes in the open I make sure that I'm there wrecking him. 
    In a bit more concrete example I'll take Himmelsdorf as an example. I rarely ever play the hill anymore because it's such a hit or miss engagement. I play the 3 line. I almost always just sit around waiting for people to expose themselves on the lower side around the castle. With the engagement range at 400m only T10 meds will be able to spot me back and actually put damage into me. I also have a 40 second downtime anyway that I can just waste waiting on people to show themselves. From the north this is a bit more viable since you can further up the 3 line without exposing and get sideshots on heavies crossing in the 8 line as well. From the south it's not as good but still a lot more consistent than playing the hill. You can simply poke early to get spots on people crossing so you get a general idea of how many people are playing the railroad and what to expect on the hill. You're also free to move into the middle windows for shots at the enemy windows. You can simply move up, rotate, and go wherever you want. It's my initial play for that reason. It's a low risk opening play with a decent reward. TL;DR is probably keeping engagements at range early on so you can use your HP diving in later on. Applying this on other maps haved worked very well too. It's all about knowing what a favourable engagement is anyway. 
     
    Overall Rating:
    I'd give the BC a solid 9/10. It's stupid good for a tank that really hasn't been taken into consideration of the tier 10 powercreep and it still remains one of the strongest T10s in the hands of gods while being absolutely terrible for worse ones. 
     
     
     
    Mines Boosting video for reference
  3. Upvote
    Archaic_One reacted to TheMarine0341 for an article, Scouting: Where to Start?   
    Original article by @TheMarine0341
    Basic Scout Overview

    Perhaps no other class in the game of World Of Tanks causes players as much frustration as playing Scout Tanks. Often featuring guns well under-powered without the use of a lot of premium ammunition, and now facing up to 3 tiers higher than its own (i.e. tier 4 Luchs fighting tier 7 Heavy Tanks) these tanks are often rushed through or played poorly just to get through them. A better fundamental understanding of how scout tanks could operate at a very fundamental level, however, will ease the pain and frustrations these tanks can cause.
    Light tanks should not be confused with Scout Tanks in terms of match-making. Light Tanks do NOT see the same match-making that Scout tanks do, as they can only see +2 matchmaking. The British Light Tanks and the French Light Tank AMX 40 are examples of Light Tanks, not Scout Tanks. These tanks will have the additional benefits of standard matchmaking (+2) and will keep their camouflage on the move. The Japanese line also features Light Tanks instead of Scout Tanks. If you would like to know what your tank’s camouflage rating is while stationary or on the move, please visit WOTInfo here.
    Where to Start: The Garage
    Matchmaking and its Implications
    First, we need to understand Scout Tank Matchmaking. Scout tanks from tier 4 onward have +3 matchmaking. As I stated earlier, a tier 4 Luchs Scout Tank can see up to tier 7 tanks, which feature tanks such as the American T-29, Russia’s IS, and the German Tiger for example. Tier 5 Scout Tanks can see up to tier 8 tanks, such as the Russian KV-4, Germany’s Tiger II, and China’s 110. This continues for each tier: Tier 6 scout tanks can see tier 9 tanks, and tier 7 & 8 scout tanks can see tier 10 battles. I highlight some of these tanks on purpose to show some of the heaviest armored tanks you might face and need to engage, as your scout tank may need be able to penetrate at some point in the battle.
    What this means is, you need to be willing to shoot a lot of premium ammunition. Some scout tanks such as the American T37 do not need as much premium ammunition as the American T21, based upon gun characteristics. Scout tanks such as the PZ 38A (Tier 4 German Scout) which feature very low penetration standard ammo but good premium ammunition will be forced to carry more premium ammunition in order to be successful with greater frequency.
    Be aware of the tanks you may face, and prepare accordingly
    Equipment
    Current Scout Meta and Equipment Implications
    With the slough of recent map changes to more of a “corridor” setting, the ‘good old days’ of bush camping (i.e. “passive scouting”) are fewer and further between. While I was grinding out my T21 scout tank a long time ago, it could see tier 10 battles pretty frequently and the map “Malinovka” was ALWAYS in rotation. 10k spotting games was the norm! This often meant that using a camo net and binoculars were acceptable for the majority of scout tank players. With the map changes, this thinking of equipment use needs to be changed. Active scouting is much more useful with the current meta, which means different equipment.
    I recommend, as a rule, using this equipment in order of priority:
    (Personal Holy Trinity scout setup)
    Coated Optics (+10% spotting range at all times)
    Vertical Stabilizer (20% reduction in accuracy penalty or the bloom of the reticle while the tank and/or turret are moving)
    Rammer (10% reduction in loading time)
    Some tanks cannot use this setup, such as the French Scout tanks such as the AMX 12t, AMX 13-75, and the AMX 13-90 which cannot use a Vertical Stabilizer. Here, I use for the French Tanks:
    Coated Optics
    Gun Laying Drive
    Vents
    The new USA Scout tanks feature auto-loaders as an option, which means a Rammer cannot be used. If a Rammer cannot be used on a Scout Tank, I recommend Improved Ventilation in its stead.
    An unique tier 8 scout tank is the American T49, a tier 8 scout featuring a 152mm HE cannon. This tank is… well, hilariously frustrating. To minimize the frustrations I use this equipment setup with my T49:
    Gun Laying Drive
    Vertical Stabilizer
    Rammer
    Consumables include Cola instead of an Auto Extinguisher.
     
       
    Another notable exception, personally, is the newest German Scout Tank, the RU-251. With this tank, I run
    Vertical Stabilizer
    Rammer
    Vents
    Furthermore, for consumables I use Chocolate with the RU-251. Without Brothers in Arms, I have a 4.91 second reload, and with my current crew skills I have vision out to 444 meters, or 1 meter short of maximum spotting range.
    Why Not Camouflage Net or Binoculars?
    Camouflage Net: +10% Camouflage rating when sitting still to Scout Tanks
    Binoculars: +25% View Range when sitting still.
    Scout tanks, as a class, have some of the highest camouflage rating in the game. A camouflage net is ONLY active when the player has been sitting still for 3 seconds, and the bonus disappears as soon as the player moves. Meanwhile, per WOT Info.net, having a 100% camouflage skilled crew will add 81% effective camouflage at all times, whether shooting, moving, or sitting still.
    The ability to train camouflage as a skill improves the tanks ability to go undetected without a camouflage net. Crew skills such as Recon, Situational Awareness, and Brothers In Arms along with Coated optics which are always active outweigh the benefits of +25% View Range while sitting still. Add Cola, Chocolate, or any other food item for another 10% crew skill (leading to around a 5% increase in actual view range), there’s simply never a need to use either a camouflage net nor Binoculars. Let’s do the math, using the RU-251 as an example.
    The RU 251 has a base view range of 400 meters. With binoculars (+25% view range when sitting still), this means a player can effectively see out to 500 meters, being capped at 445 meter which is the max spotting range in the game. The player can spot most enemy tanks which might be moving in their view range. However, as soon as they start to move their view range shrinks down to 400 meters again, not assuming any crew skill or consumable bonuses.
    Lets now factor in crew skills in use with Binoculars. We will use Brothers in Arms (+2.5%) and Situational Awareness (+3%) and the use of Chocolate (+5%). While moving, the RU-251 will have an effective view range of 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 = 442 meters. While sitting still for three seconds and the Binocular Bonus, this becomes 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 + 100 = 542 meters. This is certainly excellent, but again you must be sitting still.
    Now we take the same RU 251 which has a complete 3 skill crew consisting of these skills and perks on the commander: Brothers in Arms (+2.5% to view range), Situational Awareness (+3% to view range), Coated Optics (+10% to view range), and Chocolate (+5% to view range). These all stack upon one another, meaning 400 + 10 + 12 + 40 + 20 = 482 meters view range, which is active whether or not the scout is moving or sitting still!
    In my opinion, having 482 meters view range at all times outweighs the benefits of 542 meter view range when sitting still. While the max spotting range in the game is capped out at 445 meters, having effectively 482 meters spotting range at all times allows a player to “see” through an enemies camouflage much more effectively at longer ranges. This can mean the difference between spotting an enemy Tank Destroyer at 430 meters instead of 400 meters, which does make a difference in the game.
    Personal Mission Note:
    As some missions require the use of a camo net or binocs to be used to complete the secondary mission, just for those missions I would drop the Rammer or Vents. Scout tanks often feature excellent DPM to begin with, and a Rammer can be dropped temporarily in my opinion.
    Consumables
    As a rule, I always start any new tank with this setup for consumables:
    Small Medical Pack (Number 4 on Keypad)
    Small Repair Pack (Number 5 on Keypad)
    Auto Extinguisher (-10% chance of catching fire, automatically stops a fire after 1 ‘tick’)
    If my driver dies, which murders a scout’s mobility, tapping ‘4’ twice allows for a very fast healing of the Driver. With ‘5’ being repairs, if I lose my tracks I can rapidly hit ‘5’ twice and heal the tracks.
    As I become more familiar with a tank and its ability, my consumables set-up will also change. The new USA scouts are not likely to catch fire in my experience, so dropping the Auto Extinguisher for Cola is a viable option. You’re far more likely to be ammo racked for full health then you are to catch fire. As well, the French Scouts can benefit from using Strong Coffee if they’re going to be used in an active engagement roll. French scouts have very POOR gun handling, and the Strong Coffee helps a LOT in this area. However, the Chinese Scout tanks will catch fire with seemingly regularity in my experience, so I tend to stick with the Auto Extinguisher. Be willing to experiment with whatever works for your tanks and your ability to make credits.
    Some personal setups for Consumables:
    RU-251
    Large Med, Large Repair, Chocolate
    AMX13-90
    Large Med, Large Repair, Strong Coffee
    WZ-132
    Large Med, Large Repair, Auto Ext
    M-41 Walker Bulldog (Autoloader)
    Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext
    With Single-Shot
    Small Med, Small Repair, Cola
    T37 American Scout (Single Shot)
    Small Med, Small Repair, Cola
    WZ-131
    Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext.
    Awful Panther (Tier 7 German Scout)
    Small Med, Small Repair, Chocolate
    Crew Skills
    Camo. Camo. Camo. Camo.
    Oh, there’s more? Ok!
    Crew skills and their management will make your scouting life just all that much easier. Screw these skills up, and you’re going to regret it later. I will break this down in stages, using a 4 crew tank as an example. After the 1st and second skills are trained, I will no longer retrain for credits and will use Gold to reskill. I will go over this first, but I will cover how I would train my crews using only credits afterwards.
    Stage 1: First Skill
    All camo. This is where your tank makes its money. While the camo values of your tank are already pretty high, this skill improves your tanks camo abilities significantly. When you reach 100%, retrain your commander for 6th sense for gold, and your loader for Safe Stowage. This then leads to the next set of crew skills. I would then start training the next set of skills as such listed here:
    Stage 2:
    Commander: 6th Sense, Camouflage or Situational Awareness (prefer camo, but view range is important)
    Driver: Camouflage, Smooth Ride
    Gunner: Camouflage, Snap Shot
    Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage
    I would train these skills to completion, and then start training my 3rd skills. I tend to start training repairs on most crew members, and camouflage or situational awareness depending upon what I decided to train as a 2nd skill for the commander. Once you’re about 50-60% into your third skill, in my opinion it’s time for a complete re-doing of skills for Gold instead of credits (waiting for crew retraining to be half off is a great idea here!)
    Stage 3:
    This is the time to break out the gold once more. Losing 10% of your crew’s experience at this point is a BAD thing, as it’ll take quite some time to get that experience back even in a premium tank.
    Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness
    Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride
    Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot
    Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Camo
    Stage 4:
    Very often, unless you’re actively playing a lot of scout tanks you’re not likely to progress beyond 3 crew skills. However, if you do make it to the 4th, I would set up my crew as the following
    Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness, Camo or Recon
    Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride, Repairs
    Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot, Repairs
    Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Adrenaline Rush, Camo
    I value safe stowage over repairs in the case of the loader in most situations, as I have found that healing tracks is more important than healing an ammo rack which is damaged. I like to mitigate the threat of being ammo racked in the first place and saving my repair kit for my tracks.
    However, not all players are able to use nor want to spend in-game gold for crew retraining. This will require much more foresight and planning. If I were going to skill a crew without the use of gold, I would go about as follows.
    Stage 1:
    Commander: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second
    Driver: Camo to 100%, select Smooth Ride as second
    Gunner: Camo to 100%, select Snap Shot as second
    Loader: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second
    Stage 2:
    When repairs reach about 60%, I will drop for credits (20,000 credits when not on sale, 10,000 credits when on sale)
    Commander (Re-skill for Credits): 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as third
    Driver (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Smooth Ride, Repairs as Third
    Gunner (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Snap Shot, Repairs as Third
    Loader (Re-skill for Credits): Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as Third
    Stage 3:
    By now, your grind should be complete and you should have Accelerated Crew Training turned on. When your 3rd skill gets to about 90%, I would now re-train my entire crew skills for Credits to the following. Please note, retraining for credits mean a loss of 10% of the crew experience.
    Commander: Brothers in Arms, 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as 4th
    Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth Ride, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th
    Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap Shot, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th
    Loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th
    Beyond this, the loss of 10% of your crew Experience to continue to retrain for Credits is just too massive. I would try to save gold through Wargaming Events such as Password Changes for 300 gold, or find a semi-successful Skirmish Team. On the US Servers, finishing in the top 50% of all teams will net a player 250 gold, and another 250 gold for participating in the Alpha playoffs. Waiting for crew retraining to be half off, and you will then be able to easily re-skill a crew for no crew experience losses.
    Basic Battle Mindset
    I personally break down the match into three separate stages: Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game (I lightly broke down these stages with my T37 review found here). I will expand upon this further.
    Early Game: Vision Control/Denial , Opportunistic Damage Dealing, Deployment to Key Terrain Features, and Anti-scouting
    Mission One is vision control, and map knowledge is the key. There are a few maps currently in rotation with great frequency such as Prokhorovka/Fiery Salient and Malinovka which have either *obvious* passive or active scouting runs/locations. These areas can enable a better early team deployment, enable early damage, and allow you to get some early “safe” damage as well. These locations can sometimes be used in Medium Tanks as well for early spotting/damage.
    Definitions of Active and Passive Scouting, per WOTWiki:
    Active Scouting
    Active scouting is very aggressive in nature, where the scout has to keep moving. This can take place anywhere on the map, which can be peeking around corners, driving on ridges, or just doing circles. The goal here is to try and keep the enemy spotted long enough for allies to hit them. A form of this is Half Court scouting, in which a scout runs several half circles around their side of the map, while not crossing the middle dividing line. Some maps are suited for this while others are not. For light tanks with good maneuverability and speed but poor view range or radios, active scouting is superior due to the bonus that designated scouts receive, namely that they keep the same camo values while moving and stationary.
    I will add to this as active scouting: Taking a position which will enable you to observe the enemy, while your tank is being “lit” by the enemy as well for a split second. Peeking over a small hill or ridge on many maps is active scouting even if only for a very short moment. Remember too, your commander’s hatch or view ports are always on top of your turret and that is all that needs to crest the ridge. This means that you can expose very little of your tank, and while you might not get a chance to shoot an enemy, you make yourself a very difficult target to shoot.
    Passive Scouting
    The opposite of Active Scouting. This is where a scout will sit in a location (usually concealed by bushes) waiting for enemies to move into their view range. It is best to find a position with a wide area that you can see without obstruction to get the best out of this. A passive scout should avoid firing in all but the most dire of circumstances as this will dramatically lower your camo values. Relatively unmaneuverable light tanks and fast medium tanks with good view range are considered ideal passive scouts
    Color Code:
    Light Blue = Active Scouting
    Grey = Passive Scouting
    Prokhorovka/Firey Salient

    Malinovka (Standard Mode)

    Please Note: Per “For The Record”, there are bushes in the game which are “fake.” Meaning, while they show up on your screen, they actually do NOT provide any additional camouflage to your tank. If you notice that you’re being spotted consistently in a certain bush, regardless of situation, it is probably a fake!
    Scout tanks are also typically the fastest tanks on the battlefield, meaning you’re able to rush to key terrain features VERY early into the fight to deny the enemy the ability to safely deploy to this location, and deny other scouts the ability to have a justifiable impact early in the game. Such examples are an active field run on Malinovka (deny scout tanks the ability to bush camp), Karelia Hill (especially from the south spawn)
    Color Code:
    Light Blue = Active Scouting
    Grey = Passive Scouting
    Karelia

    Because you’re often the first tank to deploy to key areas of the map, you’re often in position to do damage much earlier than most tanks. Early damage will make the enemy more tentative in their approach to battle. Even if you fail to penetrate several of your shots, just the simple fact that the enemy is being engaged can cause them to stop, look for the source of fire, and get struck by allies with better guns. Heavy tanks are very notorious for doing this as a class, as they will stop and attempt to orient their armor towards the source of fire. There is very little more satisfying than stopping a Heavy Tank in its tracks, getting them to attempt to engage your scout, and watch them be struck by Artillery and Tank Destroyers.
    Visions Denial
    Vision Denial is similar to vision control, but slightly different in its application. Instead of attempting to establish vision over a certain area, you’re instead denying the enemy from being able to establish vision of their own. Swamp, one of my favorite maps, is a great map for utilizing this concept both in medium tanks and light tanks. The West spawn has a better opportunity for this early, while the East Spawn is better suited late game. You deny by proximity and presence, rather than utilizing your view range.
    Denial By Proximity:
    If you are within 50 meters of an enemy tank, both tanks become “Visible” on the map and to other players. This is useful in City maps, where a scout can tuck in near a corner, and detect tanks without needing to expose themselves. This also works very often near a ridge line, where a scout can quickly run up near the ledge, without needing to expose themselves completely. Sand River is a great example of this,the ridge lines on Redshire and as I mentioned earlier, Swamp provides this opportunity as well.
    Denial By Presence:
    Enemy tanks will sometimes be afraid to move if they’re being detected every time they attempt to. This method is similar to “Passive” scouting, as a scout will attempt to not be detected, but their presence is known. A scout making an active run on a map like Redshire, will sometimes be able to “lock” tanks in place, as they wait to get another shot at the scout or they’re afraid to move. Even if you end up in a different area of the map, on the NA sever tanks will often deploy to one area and remain there for 2-3 more minutes waiting for your tank to re-appear. You’re effectively locking that tank in location, just by previously having a presence in this area.
    Also, please always remember that you have a VERY small health pool! Conserve your hit points as strongly as possible this stage of the battle!
    Mid Game: Positioning for Damage, looking for Opportunities to Assault
    While continuing your mission of vision control or denial, you should now look for opportunities to break a flank or destroy isolated tanks. Mid game is where scout tanks should really start to shine. Their mobility exceeds that of all but tier 10 mediums, but maintain their camouflage while moving unlike tier 10 mediums. This allows a scout to very quickly change flanks and angles, and gives them the opportunity to utilize their DPM (damage per minute/Rate of Fire) or their burst damage (Auto-loading scouts), and wreck heavy tanks and Tank Destroyers. I do NOT recommend trying to solo attack medium tanks of equal tier or higher without support from your team, they’re very low on health.
    Building this skillset requires a growth of the “Map Awareness” muscle, which will come only through practice. A Scout tank attempting to ambush an enemy tank needs to be aware of firing lanes (Is the enemy really isolated, or do they have Tank Destroyer backup?), aware of how many tanks are recently spotted (this tank seems alone, but three enemies have not been lit for over 2 minutes now) and aware of the tank they’re attempting to ambush/destroy. A scout player will quickly learn which tanks are easy to address and attack (i.e. Most turretless Tank Destroyers) and those which are difficult (215Bs, T110E5’s, tier 9 and 10 medium tanks).
    Preserving your health is still vital here. Take risk, but do NOT over-commit!
    Late-Game: Slowly/Quickly bleeding the life out of the Reds!
    Late game, with a mostly full-health Scout Tank, you should be the most feared tank in the game regardless of match-making. You’re more than capable of showing up at an unexpected angle and flexing across the map in a very short time. You’re equipped with a very fast firing gun, camouflage on the move, and the rage inducing ability to permanently track almost every tank you might face while doing damage. You’re able to get stealthy cap-resets, or cap the enemy base yourself if needed. Especially in lower tier scouts, you’re often equipped with better view range than most of the opponents you may face as well. And, if you’ve been careful, now is the time to maximise your risk taking for the win with your Hit Points. The end game scout tank is the ultimate vulture, picking clean the bones of the enemy tanks.
     
       
    Various Scouting Tips:
    -Light tanks aren’t the only scout tanks. Medium tanks or even fast heavy tanks can act as impromptu scouts during late-game stages if your team’s dedicated scouts have died. Remember that you won’t have as much camo rating and you will lose some of that already lacking camo rating on the move; abusing bushes is your best bet.
    -Learn to aim in the third person: This can make tracking shots while driving MUCH easier!
    -Auto-aim can be your friend. While working on learning how to track an enemy in third person, using Auto-aim and angle from your opponent can improve your chances of tracking an enemy on the move. You’re also better able to control your driving, which can increase your survivability as well. However, please be aware that this can lead to sloppy shooting, especially with Autoloaders. Use at your own risk, but certainly learn how to use it. Although an obvious tip, refrain from shooting if auto-aim points the gun at an enemy tank’s front armour; bouncing any shells may cost you dear HP.
    -If spotted, do NOT use the same location to immediately attempt to spot the enemy. Situation can dictate, especially if you do not use that location again for several moments and were spotted in a different area. But as a rule, don’t.
    -Utilize the enemy’s desire to rush your scout tank to pull them into range of your supporting allies. If you’ve been playing scout tanks long enough (i.e. 1 game with a tier 5 or higher scout tank), you know that the “Scout hard-on” is real!
    -It takes 10 seconds to drop off the radar once you’ve been spotted and break the line of site. As a rule, double this time (20 seconds) to ensure you’ve dropped off. Again, situation can dictate but if you think you’re still being spotted, you probably are.
    -Get a feel for when you’re spotted, regardless of 6th sense. I’ve ground out several scout crews without any sort of crew skills, knowing that you’re spotted is a life saver.
    Additional Useful Links:
    WOT Battle Mechanics
    WOT Camo Value Calculator
    WOT Wiki
    Discuss this article on our forum.
  4. Upvote
    Archaic_One reacted to Patient0 for an article, Superunicum Guide Series - How to Suck Less #1: Getting Started   
    Hello reader! If you don't know me, I'm Patient0, a player of clan BULBA.
    Quick Bio: I started playing 4 years ago, and improved from a lowly 800 WN8, to 4k+ recent WN8 today. When I joined the newly created BULBA back in 2014, I had a little fewer than 10k battles. I've always found enjoyment in performing my best while playing the game, never settling for what my current proficiency.
    I enjoy coaching others free of charge, but can't find enough time in the day to service everyone, so I'm starting this semiweekly article series dedicated to helping anyone of any skill level improve at the game. I won't go into specific tanks, since there already are dedicated guides. Rather, the information in the article can be applied to most tanks you play in the game. This article will go over what you should think about when starting a pub match.
    How to Suck Less #1: Getting Started
    So, you've found the courage to finally hit the random battle button. You should already be familiar with your tank's characteristics, its strengths and weaknesses. It is now your job to apply its strengths, and hide its weaknesses. A lot of you may wonder, "I know, but how do I do that?" Well, that's what I'm here to explain. Good players will always consider every single bit of information available to them from the start of the game. I'm going to assume that you are driving a reasonably fast tank (can go 40-50 kph consistently), has a gun that isn't complete trash, and has ok armor.
    Map Analysis
    First, consider the map. Where will there be optimum cover but also easy access and angles to all parts of the map? I won't go over specific maps, since the viability of positions vary heavily depending on the deployment of your enemies and teammates. Your intuition will improve through practice, so start thinking about which positions offer more angles to damage enemies, and less angles for them to damage you (i.e. places where you can hull down, windows, hill, etc.). Exo's Map guides are a good place to start from. Start from there, then practice and adapt.
    Analyze Lineups
    Second, consider the enemy lineup. How many mediums, heavies, TDs, and arty do they have? Are you top tier? Bottom tier?
    More mediums - Watch out for aggressive fast pushes that will wreck your flank in seconds. Lure them into some heavies who can take the punishment, or regroup with your teammates and over-match them. Just don't let them isolate you. More Heavies - slow down; pushing into them is what they want you to do. Find angles from which you can shoot their sides and rear. Facing them frontally means that they will use their superior health pools to out trade you. This is the best scenario because you know that they won't be going anywhere anytime soon, so take your time and farm to 7k damage. More TDs - Recognition of popular firing lanes is important. Generally I would play cautiously, as even one mistake could end up with you at half or 0 hp. Dealing with TDs should be about the same as dealing with heavies. they have low mobility and even worse firing rate, so take advantage of this and hit them after they've fired or flank. More Arty - For me, 1 or 2 arty is bearable, however, arty has a multiplicative effect where any number above 3 means that you are unable to time their reloads, meaning you aren't able to have moments of aggression in between reloads. Make sure to play carefully and not be spotted often. Control who they focus on. I might write more about reading, predicting, and influencing enemy movements in another article. Top Tier - You're top dog, so play like one. Don't be afraid to push with teammates. Not like an idiot though. Bottom Tier - You're weaker relative to everyone else, meaning that enemies will be more
    comfortable yoloing you if they want. Therefore, take a supportive role, stay behind the big boys, and farm that damage. Taking Early Positions
    One of the most important things you should do in any game. Taking early positions sets the tempo of matches, and early game damage influences the game the most. Catching that slow top tier out means that he will have less hp to work with for the rest of the match. Early damage is important, but it's also risky. For one, if you don't position yourself correctly, the enemy might get cocky enough to rush you and if you don't have sufficient support behind you, you will die. You will probably also be the first spotted, so it means that arty's first shot will be aimed at you. If you've ever played on Lakeville and you see players asking for the scout to passive spot mid, it's for a reason.
    Typically, it's wise to go with the majority so that you can win the flank rather than spend a hard time defending the other. Most maps only have two to three viable locations to go to, so make sure you have enough teammates with you before you go there.
    Some maps like Prok and Lakeville allow scouts to get really good initial vision on where the enemy is going, so when that happens, take advantage of the new information and adjust accordingly. If they are rushing a flank, don't go there. Take a position where you can punish their push from the side and from afar.
    Putting It All Together
    Image 1
    I'm going to use a replay of mine for an example. The map is Himmelsdorf and it is Encounter. We're South spawn. I go down in my E5. I typically don't go hill from South because there is no way to retreat from it once you start losing. Also, it's Encounter so even the heavies will go up a lot of the time. Lineups are about the same, no irregularities. There is a large number of low tiers, meaning that the game will be largely determined by what the top tiers do. I check the 8 line alley, don't see any big players there. This means that either they all went hill, or took a detour and went 1 line. The most probable event is the former. After about 20 seconds I start going west on D line. Why? So I can get shots into hill. Excellent plays result from reacting to information quickly and accurately.
    Image 2
    Here you can see me shifting quickly to Western D line at the 13:30 mark. This allows me to shoot up into the hill and deal out damage. In hindsight, if I had moved even earlier I could've reached where the Cent AX was and gotten even better shots into hill and better cover. Anyone on D line becomes trapped once the enemy is done fighting on hill.
    Something to note is that I could've gone hill in the beginning, and brawled with the everyone. Each player has their unique playstyle/opinions, and you will develop your own through experience and practice.
    TL;DR : Practice reading the information the enemy gives you at the start of every battle. They will help make the mid and late game easier.
    Afterword
    Grats on making it down here! This is my first article, so suggestions are welcome. If there are any topics you want me to cover in the next article, feel free to post in the thread and I'll get to it.
    I stream sometimes. Support me by following the stream: Twitch
  5. Upvote
    Archaic_One reacted to Patient0 for an article, Guide Series - How to Suck Less #2: Analyzing Purple Players   
    Analyzing Purple Players
    I see a lot of frustration these days from in game chat, mostly when a player sees a good player on the enemy. They look at XVM, see the WN8, look at the win percentage, then type "gg" before the timer even runs out. The problem that this creates is a negative mentality for you and your team. While it is true that a purple is statistically better, it does not guarantee that he will as well as his stats say in any given match. In this article, I will explore how purples tend to play, and give average players tips on how to play with/against better players.
    Characteristics of a Purple
    First, let's explore the general characteristics of a purple player.
    They play good tanks: Purples generally will play a tank that is good in at least one category: damage, armor, burst, mobility. Usually the tanks they drive will excel in two of these categories. So, it should be established that these tanks are formidable, and should not be taken lightly.
    They excel at dealing damage: There's really only one way to achieve purple status: high damage numbers. Through good mechanics, tactics, or a combination of both, purples excel at dealing more damage than they take. Their damage ratio will usually be above 2, and really good players won't lose any health until late game.
    They have good situational awareness: From my experience, players that have a strong grasp of tactics and strategy tend to be at least dark purple. They know when to relocate to avoid taking damage while also dealing better damage. They know who needs to be taken out first, and know when to use their hp to push. These players will punish you heavily for any mistakes you make.
    They think that they're better than you: This is a general assumption. Statistically, this is true, but in practice, anything can happen. A lot of the time, their arrogance can cause them to make mistakes or tilt because things aren't going their way.
    Purples on your team There are two kinds of purples that you will see on your team. One wants to win, the other wants to do damage. There are two philosophies among purples that I've seen on forums. The first is: focus on winning, and the damage and stats will come afterwards. The other is do a lot of damage, and the win will come from that. I won't bother arguing about these two opinions, but I'll talk about how you can cooperate with these two kinds of purples.
    Support your purples just like you would any other teammate. I'm a big supporter of increased teamwork in pubs, since keeping others alive usually leads to better results. However, you shouldn't try to save anyone who has overextended and doomed themselves to die. Aggressive purples may attempt this often and then rage at their team for not following them loyally. Most of the time, their death is entirely their fault. Either they're tilted, or they couldn't read the battle correctly. It's not your responsibility to babysit a purple the whole game. After all, he is only one tank of 15. Even if he pumps out 4k damage, it still would be worse than 3 other tanks doing 2k damage each. Passive purples are the worst kind that you'll find. They'll sit where TDs sit, farm useless damage, and have terrible winrate compared to their damage per game. Consider these players equivalent to green/blue players. He won't help you, so don't bother helping him.
    Purples as Enemies Probably a worse situation is when you meet a good player on the enemy team. However, don't be intimidated just by their color in XVM. While their skills should be respected, it shouldn't pressure you into making irrational moves. Even the best of players aren't immortal.
    There are many different exploitable habits that purples tend to have.
    They love to farm damage: Some purples get enjoyment out of the game from farming, so much so that they get antsy when they aren't able to deal damage for extended periods of time. If you lock down the firing lanes of a good player, they will become impatient and make mistakes.
    They are stubborn: Some purples decide at the beginning of the game to take a certain position whether or not their team supports them. Some also refuse to fall back, then blame their team for not supporting them. As a general rule, if you know a player is isolated, whether it be a purple or red, don't hesitate to jump on it.
    They think that they are better than you: Remember, a tank is a tank. All it takes for you to land a shot into him is for your gun to be loaded the moment he pokes over. Good players poke when either the enemy is not looking at them, or the enemy has just fired. If you're sitting with a couple of teammates in an alleyway, stagger your shots to keep the good player guessing your reload times. Assuming you have equal alpha, trading 1 for 1 with a better player will lower his potential carry ability in late game. Remember that purples can recognize and punish mistakes harder than average players can. So, if you're careful and consider all angles of attack, you negate the purple's ability to take advantage of you. Let him be the one to overextend and get nailed by TDs/arty, not you.
    Another thing good players sometimes underestimate is the power of platoons. I cannot count how many times a platoon of top tier heavies/mediums on my opposing team has ruined my team either by blitzing early positions to prevent our team from moving from base or rolling an entire flank faster than the other can react. It's very easy to win in platoons. If you give the purple the time to find the right angles and flank shots, there's a chance they can carry. However, a fast push will effectively negate the enemy player's ability to do more damage by shortening the overall game time. Of course, don't push like idiots. Some maps require patience, like Prok. A lot of purples I speak to LOVE Prok when it has no arty. That's because they can take their time and farm the map slowly, rather than have to worry about flanks collapsing.
    Conclusion
    Better players should not be feared, but treated with caution. Anyone has the capability to have a good game. Purples just happen to know how to be more consistent. Teamwork always beats a pubstar. Always. Some purples are obnoxious and rude, others are nice and friendly.
  6. Upvote
    Archaic_One reacted to PityFool for an article, From Zero To Not-Quite-Zero | Skill Development   
    I present to you, the first of hopefully many new collaborative articles produced by the Purple Poster team here at WoTLabs. Today's article is about how one goes about improving and developing their skill in the game and ultimately increasing the levels of enjoyment.
     
    @weenis Wrote:
    I'll start off, and make some of the paragraphs shorter than the response I made to the "skill stagnating" topic. I'd also like to state that it isn't something that happens overnight. This shit takes time, I'm talking thousands of games here.
    When I first started playing WoT, it was with 2 RL friends, we didn't know anything about mechanics, we just grinded Pz1c's and yolo'd arty. This was fun for about 500 games, at which point I started on the american heavy and TD line. I can't remember much more details, other than the fact that I was bad (really, really bad!).
    I kept playing, and joined a clan with some green players. In the beginning I stuck mostly with triple platoons with friends, and focused on enjoying the game. I wasn't worrying about efficiency/wn6/winrate/younameit. I guess I kept up this approach until reaching "green/blue" stats, at which point I wanted to improve more. I did this using a combination of the below points:
    Watch streams. This is how I got better. You start off with streamers that explain what they're doing(learn sidescraping/weakspots/map layout - can also be done reading forums), eventually move onto streamers that simply play the game. Really high-end streamers will do shit that average players don't even notice. Analyze your own gameplay. After a few thousand battles, everyone knows the basics such as leading shots, aiming weakspots, knowing where to start off on each map etc. The next step is figuring out when to play aggressive and when to play passive, learning map development, when to fall back, when to camp, when to push etc. Minimap/general awareness. Keep an eye on your minimap every few seconds. Try to spot openings and attempt to predict enemy movement. After a while you will start to correctly predict enemy movement, being able to deal with issues before they even arise. I.e. if you anticipate an enemy can pop up from your right whilst you're engage with a tank already move your tank to a position that has cover from crossfire. Just little things really. Tank selection has a strong influence on your stats, but at your current level I wouldn't worry too much about it. Play tanks you enjoy playing, and try to maximize your effectiveness in each class. Play the different classes, and figure out what you like. Most unicums prefer mediums due to the meta, and the fact that they have the highest impact on the game due to speed. You can easily flex all over the map, whether this involves flanking into enemy base, running back to reset cap, or pumping out damage from a double bush position to take out enemy heavytanks/td's. Finally, if you really want to tryhard, watch all your replays and analyze if/when you made a mistake. After 23k odd games I usually know what I did wrong the second I did it, but that may not always be the case. Always think "How could I have avoided that" or "What did I do wrong there" or "Could I have done something different". Sometimes it's as obvious as not rounding the corner into the waiting JPE100, but other times it may be harder to decide. A final point that I didn't add in my previous post, is that until very recently I always platooned. I tried to platoon exclusively with better players (and learnt a lot from those games). This can be kept up indefinitely, but once you reach a certain point, you realise that you need to play solo to give you the highest chance of consistently doing 3.5/4k dpg. In a platoon your platoonmates (especially if just as skilled as you) will effectively cripple your games.
     
    @Kolni Wrote:
    I spent my time just casually goofing around in tanks for about 12k games, being shit at the game and not having a care in the world. My only friend that played tanks were exclusively playing low tier prems (tier 2 and 3 with the occasional Churchill III) so we played that a lot. I got kind of good at maneuvering and I knew where tanks would go. so I was stomping tier 2 for my first year at the game, slowly doing doubles on other stuff and grinding up shit. Then I went on the official forums one day after I learned about XVM and WN8, and poked around for a bit. I saw that the T49 (now T67) and the Hellcat were godly for it and for improving your vision gameplay. So I pretty much spammed 1k games straight in the Hellcat, during which I learned that the higher tiers were much more of a challenge and honestly a lot more fun. I was still pretty bad at the actual game and I started to get frustrated when things didn't go the way I wanted. I met an EXNOM platoon that I whined at because they were always in the enemy team. They told me about the tank channel "stronk plutons" where I started hanging out and play with people. I remember the first guy I played with. Draz_H, a S3AL player that's now retired completely. The first game we played was a tier 8 pref game where he did 6,5k damage in the Type 59. I was a green and he was purple, so he made quite the impression for that first game. Seeing as I'd never played with someone that good before. I started reading up information about the game in general, mostly on the official forums but I started to find some useful stuff on WoTLabs as well. 
    I started putting what I had read about into practice and noticed a slow improvement, and I decided to go at it at tier 10. I got my BatChat and started yoloing around like a complete idiot for a clip a game. It was 2k damage roughly so I didn't feel like I was performing poorly but I noticed that I lost a lot. My survival rate was incredibly low as well and this is a remnant that's still around today. I kept getting better and got a blue recent after eliminating stupid mistake after stupid mistake, one by one. 
    Then I started watching EJ. This was probably the biggest change as I saw him play areas I've never really considered before. I was blind to matchmaking and kept going at it at areas I just knew how to play, regardless of what I played or what I might have faced. I noticed that he went about as aggressive as I did, but he stayed alive for much much longer. He didn't do one for one trades and instead focused on eliminating exposure and sink damage in where it was for free. I started putting this into practice and I got myself a 140. It was a bit rough at first but I quickly ended up getting better and better games. My winrate was positive even at tier 10 and I got some decent games pretty close in between eachother. I guess the biggest reason here was that I could finally see how the really good players did what they did and I tried to replicate it to the best of my ability. It mostly resulted in either being too passive or overextending but I got closer and closer, and am still approaching it. 
    After this I became active here on WoTLabs. I started playing CW with ZER0 for the second campaign and I finally got myself a purple recent. I was so satisfied. Thinking I was good at the game. However quickly realising that I still did mistakes that made me lose out on having even better games. So I kept trying. I joined KITTY and got around to playing with some of the better players and eventually I became dark purple recent. This is probably where I grew the most as a player in analysis and getting more consistent. I learned the way of E 50 and M46 there and I really had fun learning, doing it and actually three marked them eventually. This was still on a shitty macbook that crashed every third game. Summer last year (pretty much a year ago) I joined LAVA. I knew WaterWar from KITTY and he asked me if I wanted to join post leaving KITTY, and I took the offer up. Now, I finally got around to buying myself a PC and it just had a massive performance boost for me. I bought the T32 and 3marked it in 75 games. Thinking that crash eliminations and better FPS would help my game even more. I started getting really good at tier 8. Almost as good at it as I am now, but tier 9 and 10 was still a problem. Mistakes kept getting the better of me and I didn't know what to do to help it. With the death of LAVA I joined S3AL and stayed there pretty much until a week ago. I got better at T10 here, learning the ropes by players about as good as me, yet better at T10 but worse at lower tiers. I noticed I had some 3,5k DPG sessions and strived to keep them coming, ending up roughly around 3k and feeling just fine with that. 
    SHs became a thing and I noticed I could start using a bit more gold and prem consumables while still being able to keep up my credits. Now this probably sounds bad but goldspam actually helped me limit my exposure by nature and in turn taking waaaaaaaaay less damage. I got better at micromanaging and fighting face to face and that's pretty much how I ended up where I am right now. Forever improving but for different reasons. I joined FAME a few days ago which was the last goal I had for tanks. Now I felt like I could shut off and finally just enjoy the game for what it is. Bullshit. Game isn't worth anything to me without playing to play my best and that's where I'm currently in limbo. With the increase of skill came more and more frustration about the game, whether it be arty, the playerbase, meta, balance issues or map changes. I'm honestly not sure if it was worthwhile all the time I've invested into the game. I'm really glad that I was able to join the best clan in europe for game that I really do care about, but now I think it's more about the community here, the people I got to know and less about stomping pubs and feeling superior. 
     
    @Joyrider216 Wrote:
    You need to forget about stats. Right now, just drop it. See your long term stats as a wall, each brick is a game. How many of you take care of each and every brick,
    aiming to achieve complete perfection with each one you lay? 
    The percentage we're looking for here lies smack bang in the middle of 99.8 and 100. Being good isn't your padded DPG on a specific tank, nor is it you 75% win rate over 11k games. 
    Being good is taking care of every game that you enter,
    striving for success in it, taking/creating opportunities to get ahead and thus having a great influence on the game in your teams favour. 
    @Gashtag has said it better than I ever will be able to, but being good isn't the numbers, being good is a mindset and a set of skills. Those pretty numbers come as a result of that skill.
    1. Mentality: As with anything requiring any sort of skill, adopting the right mentality toward WoT was essential to improve for me. For a while my question I asked myself was "how can I do the most damage in this game". With this in mind, I sacrificed my winrate and platoon-mates for my damage quotas. What I came to realize was I asking the wrong question. What I should have been asking is this: "How can I influence this game enough to swing it in my favor and make it a victory"
    2. Awareness: This is something I still struggle with, but being able to use my minimap and be aware of my surroundings was the first step. Once I was in the habit of looking at my minimap, I realized I wasn't doing anything with that information. It is not enough to just be aware of the battle and your map, but you must act on this awareness to make the biggest possible impact on the game.
    3. Analysis: Whether it is you looking over your replays, or someone else providing feedback, there is no way to improve if you don't identify where you are weak. This falls into these general areas:
    1. Mechanical skills (aiming, leading, penetrating, movement) - 48%+
    2. Tactical skills (angling, camo, vision, positioning) - 53%+
    3. Strategic skills (map control, awareness, analysis) - 58%+
    4. Tank selection/loadout (proper equipment, gold rounds, consumables/prem consumables) - 48%+
    5. Platoon or solo; platoon composition (complimentary tanks) and quality of platoonmates - depends
    6. Mental state of player (tired/drunk/awake/distracted) - depends
    4. Watching Others: There will always be a bigger fish, there is always someone better than you are. The cool thing is that you can learn from them and improve yourself. This ties in with the last point. You now know what you are doing wrong, but you don't know what to do right either. By watching streamers (Like Zeven, Anfield, Straik, Vetro, and Weenis to name a few) you can see and get inside the heads of these players and apply what you see to your gameplay. Platoon with someone who is willing to call you out when you screw up, listen to that advice and learn from it.
     
    A big thanks to the authors @weenis, @Kolni, @Joyrider216.and @Gashtag
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