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  1. So, taking advantage of the current on-track, I recently purchased the IS-2. My results with it, though, have been less than stellar. [placeholder for recent stats once I screenshot them from home] First up, 2 acknowledgements: -- The crew is my worst overall crew. It is only at about 70% first skill, training 6th/gunnery (I'm too cheap to retrain) -- The tank is being ground from stock (I'm too cheap to use any of the 165K free XP I've built up). I only have the first 122mm unlocked, and still lack the top engine and turret. -- Equipment is GLD/Rammer/Vents HOWEVER, the reasons I'm struggling with this tank are: -- A distinct lack of usable armor. It is rather disconcerting when a KV-1 with AP rounds is punching every shot through your frontal armor. -- Poor dispersion on the move, coupled with guns with base accuracy ranging from bad (0.42 for the 100 mm) to LOLBAD (0.48 for the first 122), and glacial aim times (2.9-3.4s). -- Poor accuracy with 2nd-lowest for-tier penetration (ahead of the CBP, tied with Soviet 122s) and slow reloads means there are a lot of misses/bounces, and each miss/bounce costs you a long reload. When you combine the above, you are left with a tank that has to sit, exposing its poor frontal armor, often for 4 seconds to settle in your shot completely. In return, it takes a lot of hits ... most of which pen. The first 122 mm frustrated me no end. In fact, I switched back to the 100 mm stock gun, and have actually improved my results significantly with that gun, with its 2.9 aim time, faster RoF, better accuracy, and acceptable APCR round with 235 pen (comparable to the 122's 250 HEAT pen after normalization). I acknowledge that no-one fears the 250 hit the 100 puts on you, and it is the same gun the T-34-1 gets, in a less mobile, less camo'd chassis with a softer turret, but so far it is the only gun I can make work for me. I actually pulled a 2K+ Ace Tanker on this thing using the 100 mm. Questions: (1) Is the D-25-T that much better? On paper, it doesn't seem so-- slightly better RoF than the first 122, but still bad accuracy at 0.46 with the 3.4 aim time. (2) How do I make this package work for me? Should I load up all HEAT and not bother with aiming? A tactic less viable with 250 pen than with 300, admittedly. (3) On a scale of 0 to Meow, how sexy is Ziddy?
  2. Two nights ago I had the opportunity to platoon with sela for the first time (CrabEatOff was the 3rd). I had been playing well that day and the day before, but was starting to make some questionable decisions. As the night progressed, to Crab and sela's bemusement, then mortification, then borderline rage I proceeded to make uncharacteristically dumb decision after decision. I have always been streaky, with my above average games punctuated by the occasional derp and the occasional hard carry, but my derpiness reached new highs (lows?) that night, with enough potatoes to make the state of Idaho proud. As an act of public self-flagellation and as a self-improvement exercise, from which I hope someone learns something, I will post my replays from that night, with initial comments by me and invite the community to pick apart my crap play. And yes, Crab/sela, some of these games will seem even worse when you see them from my perspective. I was cringing on watching some of those replays: "You IDIOT, WHY did you peek there?" Game 1: Himmelsdorf, IS-3, Loss As we deploy, our team is noted to be... deep red. We initially plan to push down the 2-3 lines and cut in perhaps at the G line. As I push forward to support sela, Crab notes we have a mass of mid/lower-tier heavies heading hill, with only a Mutant6 guarding the 8-line. Crab flexes over, asks for support, and sela heads over to assist... but I fail to respond, and push further up, engaging four tier 6/7 tanks. In retrospect, I should have not pushed up nearly as far, and I had a window to disengage even late in the game, but my initial push up took me out of position. I do not think an 8-line deployment would've been suitable, probably better to deploy where Crab ended up going. Game 2: Mines, IS-3, Win A much better game from my perspective. sela and I tag-teamed hill effectively. My major mistake consisted in overestimating the extremely poor player in a Lowe sitting at the base-overlook noob sniper spot, trying to shoot at him from range resulting in 3 bounces, while the M48A1 flanks and destroy me. I should have rushed the Lowe, taken a hit or two (probably of HE!) and taken him out, allowing me better cover from the islands as well. Game 3: Sacred Valley, T69, Loss This one was frustrating: I'll chalk up to my lack of familiarity with the map, coupled with hanging back about 2 minutes too long, trying to decide whether or not base was going to hold. When I did go back, I took a wrong turn and ended up at a steep uphill climb which I could not negotiate in time to prevent the cap-out. Game 4: Westfield, T69, Loss A tier 10 battle again. I push up to what I think is a tactically advantageous spot on the downslope, near sela's deployment. However, they have more mediums than us and our Bat and T71 camp at a noob spot, I get lit and take fire. Sela drops back, but I make a major mistake: I do not move after emptying my clip, which could've allowed me to extricate myself far more safely, and potentially do more damage. It was likely a loss due to poor tier 10 play, but I could have made much more of an impact. Game 5: Port, T69, Win Pretty good play from me here, maybe some questionable mid/late-game target selection, but overall good damage output. Game 6: Ensk, IS-3, Win I had a poor early game, but lucked out as the KV-2 was firing HE, not derp HEAT. I bounced too many shots off the IS-6 I was dueling, but others came to my aid, and I cleaned up nicely late game. Rushed too many shots on the IS-6, but overall solid game. Game 7: Arctic Region, E-75, Win This was a monster game, and I generally did fairly well. We had a flood of tanks go to the south corner... but most of them flailed ineffectually as I held the enemies at bay. I may have seemed to push a little further down that most would prefer, but that spot allowed me to sidescrape effectively covering my lower plate, whereas a spot atop the hill would've exposed my lower plate a lot more than I'd have liked. The team failed to deal with the flanking T34, and if the 6 other tanks with me (IS-8, JT88, AT-15A, Tiger II, JP, T25AT) had been of slightly more use, I'd have held that corner comprehensively. As it is, those 6 tanks combined for ~3400 damage while I supplied the remaining 4300-odd. Game 8: Redshire, IS-3, Win This was all on sela and Crab, as they pushed up and supplied firepower and positional spotting, and I supported the attack. Not much wrong here either. Game 9: Murovanka, Object 268, Loss sela offered early lights through the magical forest, I pushed up to get shots, then failed to fall back, got spotted and triple-tapped early, taking my gun out of the fight 2 minutes into the game. Should have dropped back after my initial shots, forcing the enemy spotters to advance deeper for spots, and using terrain for cover. Game 10: Ensk, Object 268, Win Not much wrong here, as I power through the enemy team for top damage and top gun (despite sela's presence!!). The three of us worked well together here. Game 11: Erlenberg, T57, Loss Comments reserved for now, I need to think this game over further. Game 12: Karelia, T57, Win I peek twice at the SAME DAMN SPOT vs a 268 and get punished. Should have pulled back and dropped wider/lower to flank the mass of tanks straight ahead, but instead I poked like a pubbie. Game 13: Mines, Leopard 1, Loss I go island, overextend, get spotted, and a Bat 155 clips me out. Not much to say, was at the completely wrong spot, with no arty cover and didn't drop back fast enough after initially being spotted. I probably would have been better off charging hill and letting the chips fall as they may.
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