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What Is Vision Control, And How Do You Use It?


Basically what the title says. I see people make posts like this:

I don't think it's a case of being a specialist. An excellent player is going to be very good at everything, and may perform slhgtly better in their preferred role.
For me this is scouting and vision control. That being said, it's not like I'm terrible at Heavies.


but I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "vision control". Is is just scouting? I'm guessing it's something like spotting enemy tanks while somehow keeping them from being able to spot your tanks, but is it, and if so, how do you do that?

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You are correct: Vision control is about spotting for your team while denying spots for their team.  Your goal is to keep the enemy lit while not getting shot and mostly firing on their scouts or vision specialists.  Note: firing reduces your camo rating to near-zero, meaning you'll be spotted/shot at.  Sometimes it's worth it to shoot and risk it, and other times it's not worth it.






The circles are all vision control areas, and the lines are all areas they spot.  Your job, as a vision control specialist: spot enemies in these areas and not get spotted/shot.  Shooting means you're visible to the person in the other circle, so that's something that should generally be avoided.  However, if you shoot and aren't spotted, keep shooting!  That's an easy way to tell that no one is in the corresponding spotting area.


In this example, you can spot enemies going up the hill for your team and arty.  If you have spots and the opposing team doesn't, it's nearly an auto-win.


Let's say the enemy team has some spotter opposite you, but your team wins the hill (for whatever reason).


Now the situation looks like this:




Orange is in a real bind: the bushes don't offer enough cover to hide from that many angles, so they have to retreat into the magical forest or die because of being in the open.  Blue can't spot them through the thick trees.  How will blue react?


Blue can move to proximity or close spot behind the church (suicide charge down the hill is pointless unless an overwhelming superiority):




The fire from the hill once spotted dooms orange to defeat.  Note that you can perform any of the roles in most medium/light tanks, but not in some heavy tanks because of limited view range.  


So if there's someone spotting up the hill, you can go and fight for the hill supremacy.  Once hill is won, you go BACK down towards your base and circle around to the church to proximity spot (again, don't suicide charge down the hill at the enemy hiding in the forest).


Vision struggles can also be because of tier rather than map


Tiers 1-5 are typically vision struggles because half the tanks are nearly blind.  Having optics/binocs on literally every tank can be a huge boon.  Tanks can be nearly invisible while hanging out in the open because of lack of view range.


Tier 10 is a special case: spotting them 1 second before they spot you means your arty fires first.  In the land of 1-shot-death, that's pretty huge.


Spotting distance is limited to 440m


If the closest tank to you is over 440m away, fire like crazy!  You won't be spotted.


If the closest tank to you is an IS-3 at 350m away, fire like crazy!  You won't be spotted because RU tanks generally have worse view range.


Invisible tank shooting


Creep in a bush, enough to see the enemy but not get spotted.  Fire, and retreat behind hard cover (rock, building, ridge, etc).  Wait until you drop off of radar (takes roughly 6 seconds), then move to the bush again.  Aim while unseen, fire, then retreat.  By the time you show up on his screen, you're already behind a rock.


There are a ton of tricks you can pull with the vision system.  I'd like to hear some others as well!

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You've figured out exactly what it is. 

Do you remember a malinovka match where at the start your team is getting railed and you can see no enemies, or you can only see a single scout? That is the most basic example of vision control. 


In its most basic form, vision control is essentially tied to the tank being used and the crew in that tank. A light tank sitting behind a bush with 100% camo trained is the pinnacle of vision control. A convenient bush is not always available however. This can be easily overcome so long as the aforementioned light tank stays outside the detection range of the enemy tanks while keeping them inside its own detection range. The effective detection range of the enemy tanks goes down as the camo rating of the tank being used goes up. This allows light tanks to get a lot closer to enemies than you'd expect. 

Vision control needs a good base camo rating, a well trained camo crew, and a working knowledge of the detection ranges of the tanks being used in this situation. Obstructions to line-of-sight also need to be considered, such as rocks, bushes, terrain and buildings. 

To be successful, you have to keep in mind the detection ranges of your enemies, the terrain features, your detection range, and possible enemy locations that are as of yet unknown. The ability to abuse vision control is quite possibly the most valuable skill at high tier play in the current meta of the game, with the amount of high alpha tanks and artillery at the higher tiers. The first strike is crucial, as is denying the enemy shots on your team. 


If you ask about specific maps and tanks, I can give you more detail. 

Edited by jacg123

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The worst part is that I had a game on Malinovka on my M7 that would have made a perfect annotated battle for Vision control.... only to find after that it was corrupted. It would have covered everything from


- Using bush cover

- Putting a distance behind a bush to spot (peek-a-boo with bushes

- Firing when ENEMIES are behind bushes

- Vision radii


I'll just play my AMX 75 and when I get a good battle I'll annotate it.

Edited by EchelonIII

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There's a decent example replay from a TC a couple weeks back.  Watch the spotted enemy vaporize, with no chance to return fire.  Watch and laugh at the end, as I screw up a maneuver and get fair and balanced for 6 modules and a fire.




That one is the next step up.  Vision control that enables you to deal damage.  ~1900 personal damage and ~4700 DUD. 


When done right, vision control may be the greatest tactical advantage you can give a team.  Sadly, most scouts have no idea how effective they can be, and most players have no idea how to properly utilize good scouting.  That frustrated me enough to make a that I had intended for the main forums, but chose to release here instead. 

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