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Light/Medium Advice and Platooning

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This question is multifaceted. It deals with several of my shortcomings and my inability to figure out how to fix them at the moment.

 

Part the first: T71.

 

Poor performance overall: Defeat!, T71, South Coast, 7/29/13 8:13 PM: 334 nXP, 294 dmg

Poor scouting at the very least: Defeat!, T71, Airfield, 7/30/13 3:14 AM: 769 nXP, 1,580 dmg

Poor scouting, nearly got myself killed a few times had I been against competent players: Victory!, T71, Ruinberg, 7/30/13 3:49 AM: 1,662 nXP, 2,411 dmg

 

I've attached some replays (with links) above. I've had a few high damage games with this thing but never have I had a game where I truly felt I did well. I just feel lost in this tank, and I know several of the reasons I think, but not how to solve them: 1) I'm generally a poor scout to begin with. I don't know sight lines well enough, nor do I know proper deployment. I also don't know where to go after my first scout run, or after I find my first passive bush. This usually results in me getting less than 1k spotting damage (as I'm sharing the spots with everyone else I'm sure), very little direct damage (targets too close to fire without possibly breaking camo), and I fall in the middle of the pack on my team. 2) I have no idea how to use my mobility. I've been an arty main (yes, you may loathe me) and heavy tank specialist (KV-5 mostly) for almost my entire career. I tend to overextend very easily, get a few shots in, then have no exit strategy in mind. This is partially due to the fact that I don't know about 30-50% of the maps. I understand where to brawl with my heavies most of the time but that means I don't study the parts of the map more open to faster tanks.

 

What I need to understand, especially with the T71, is how to properly scout and when to pick my engagements (and how the hell to plot an escape route at the same time). Any advice I can get here is invaluable.

 

Part the second: Mediums. More specifically, the T-54

 

Yes, I actually have trouble with mediums. My problems enraged me to the point last week where I actually ragesold my T-54 to get the funds to continue progressing through other lines (T57 Heavy Tank line, AMX 50 B line). Simply put, I have no idea whatsoever how to play a medium. I don't know where to go, I don't currently understand timing, proper positioning, exposure time, vision control, anything. Something about playing mediums simply eludes me. Unfortunately I don't have any recent replays to put up for my T-54 so I don't know what specific advice I can request, or how much help you can be.

 

Part the third: Platooning and learning

 

The issue that complicates all of this is twofold. I tend to gravitate toward only platooning with a select few people that I feel comfortable with, and I don't know how to follow through on intense practice. The second part is rather embarassing considering I'm a musician and composer, but the fact remains. With regards to platooning, the people I tend to platoon with are good (one green, one purple), but I don't really grow at all playing with them. I've been stuck at my current level for months now. I know my 60-day stats are all green, but in reality I've been performing at the same general competency level (statistically and subjectively) for quite a while now. I don't know where to go to find people to help me (outside of these forums obviously), I tend to be way too timid about platooning with people, even in my own clan, and as a result I feel stuck. If I had the funds I'd pay Crab for a session with him, but, well, I'm a musician so I'm poor *grin*

 

I would appreciate any advice on ANY of these points from any of you. What do I need to improve on, how do I improve on it, and how do I get to the point where I can KEEP improving?

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