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CarbonatedPork

The WZ-132 Challenge or: How I Learned to Stop Chasing Damage and Love the Binocs.

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I have an abysmal 39% winrate in my WZ-132, which is largely regarded as one of the best scout tanks in the game. Why is that? I've been trying to get early game damage to beef up my WN8 and getting myself killed.
 
Well, now it's time to learn2scout and rescue my winrate in the Li'l Weez. I'm going to keep my gun quiet until late game and abuse view mechanics to scout my way to victory. I'll post every game replay on my journey to the pantheon of scouting greatness and I'd love to hear your criticism on my play!
 
Some things I'll be changing in my WZ-132 gameplay:

  • Keep the gun quiet. On maps with good bush cover, this will keep me alive and spotting. On maps like Himmelsdorf, I'm going to try to stay out of the fight until mid-to-late game unless I see a good chance to harass (e.g. flanking on Mt. Himmelsdorf).
  • Move to another location if spotted. I'm going to try to scout on another flank if I'm ever spotted. XVM and Locastan's Last Known Location will be additional tools at my disposal.
  • Spot tanks that my team can shoot at. My teammates will be my weapon of choice. I will also try to abuse my camo and maneuverability to keep my team in invisishot range to the enemy.
  • Tweak equipment/crew for view abuse. I'm going to throw out the VStab and Rammer and run:
    • Coated Optics - naturally.
    • Binocs - for x-ray vision through bushes. The WZ-132 already has great camo and I feel this will work better than a camo net.
    • Vents - eke out a little more view range, on-the-go camo, and maneuverability.
    • 85mm gun - less weight and more useful in late game situations where I can circle a tank.
    • Regular med kit, regular repair kit, and 100 octane - will swap the gas for Improved Rations once I get BIA.
    • Commander skills - Sixth Sense and Camo.
    • Gunner skills - Designated Target and Camo.
    • Driver skills - Camo and Clutch Braking.
    • Radio operator skills - Camo and Situational Awareness.

Ultimately, I'm going to stop chasing damage as a primary goal. My goal for this challenge is "winrate über alles." The strange thing is that I bet my DPG will actually increase as I get more end game cleanup damage by surviving to deal that damage.
 
Please join me on this journey from bad2gud in scout play and critique my replays! I'm looking forward to hearing your criticism and will report the effect that your suggestions have on my gameplay.

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Either through skill or plain dumb luck I do very well in my 132. Possibly my favorite tank in the game. 

 

Your plan is sound. I've kind of settled into a rough pattern:

 

1. Possible early lights, depending on the situation, but with a clear eye on survivability and safety

2. Mid game passive spotting and possible engagement of targets of opportunity

3. Use of speed in the late game to assist in the breakdown of defences, plus mopping up bad guys

 

I use optics over binocs because I want the added view while moving. I tried the 85mm for a while but I found there just weren't that many situations where the added rate of fire was all that useful, so I've switched back to the 100mm for the added penetration and damage. It just feels like a better gun for the tank for me.

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I have an abysmal 39% winrate in my WZ-132, which is largely regarded as one of the best scout tanks in the game. Why is that? I've been trying to get early game damage to beef up my WN8 and getting myself killed.

 

 

 

Scouts aren't about early damage.  They're about mid to late damage.  Spotting in the early game is your gateway to having isolated targets to finish off and open holes to get at juicy artillery tears in the mid to late.

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Please join me on this journey from bad2gud in scout play and critique my replays!

 

This is my goal, too.  As you can see from the little doohickey to my left, I play a lot of light tanks.  It's not an easy life, but it's definitely a lot of fun.

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  • Tweak equipment/crew for view abuse. I'm going to throw out the VStab and Rammer and run:
    • Binocs - for x-ray vision through bushes. The WZ-132 already has great camo and I feel this will work better than a camo net.

You can't win games by using only vision abuse. You will need to deal damage in mid/late game. VStab is a must (you can leave vents instead of rammer if you insist). Binocs won't give you Superman's x-ray vision, so you still won't see through bushes :(

If you have 400m view range + optics, binocs are useless...

 

You have 1050HP which means you can survive quite a few hits (unless you run into 750+ alpha TDs). So, forget gasoline and leave Automated Fire Extinguisher.

Also, mandatory reading for every LT driver (my WR in both WZ-s increased by 5% after reading it) - http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/194844-jacgs-guide-to-being-totally-awesome-in-the-type-62-wz-131-and-wz-132-wip/

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Scouts aren't about early damage.  They're about mid to late damage.  Spotting in the early game is your gateway to having isolated targets to finish off and open holes to get at juicy artillery tears in the mid to late.

Definitely. I think I was lured by the reported awesomeness of the WZ-132 gun and the desire to improve WN8 by way of DPG to play this tank incorrectly. Hopefully this challenge shows me getting out of this potato mindset.

 

 

You can't win games by using only vision abuse. You will need to deal damage in mid/late game. VStab is a must (you can leave vents instead of rammer if you insist). Binocs won't give you Superman's x-ray vision, so you still won't see through bushes :(

If you have 400m view range + optics, binocs are useless...

VStab will definitely be more useful on maps like Himmelsdorf so I may switch between the two to figure out what works best for me. I know binocs aren't really x-ray vision but I've heard they help piercing bushes within the 440m max view range, which may be useful when trying to light other scouts and TDs in wooded areas like the Murovanka forest.

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On a map like campinova, fire only to 1) protect yourself, 2) track a target in the open, or 3) to kill a key, weakened target (arty, oneshottable 50B running for cover, etc).  Don't just spam APCR at an E-75 to pad you wn8.  On a map like hummelsdork, lighting and even tracking is largely useless.  On those maps you transform into a flanker, which really only works mid/endgame.  Early game, you just sit and twiddle your thumbs.

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If you have 400m view range + optics, binocs are useless...

 

 

 

Not strictly true. While binocs don't allow you to spot tanks outside of the 445m cap, it does help you spot tanks at the cap that you can't otherwise. With binocs, you will spot a tank with ~12% effective camouflage at the spotting cap of 445m. The same tank would have to be at 392m for you to spot it with optics.

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Here's the first couple of replays in my challenge!

  • Game 1: Win on Westfield - I kept the east side well lit but there weren't many from the opposing team to fight on that front. Center map didn't have a lot of defense so I nearly got ran over by a medium who stumbled across me. I tried to get some late game damage in but failed many shots.
  • Game 2: Loss on Murovanka - Tried to scout the forest in Murovanka and asked team to stay back but my team wound up YOLOing in and I was too hesitant with 3 scouts on the other team. I started to head back to the West hills to support that flank but circled back around to help the forest push. I got greedy and managed to take out a T-54 but derped trying to get an Obj. 704 that was on its last legs. I probably should have stayed on the northern part of the hill they were camped and continued to use our WT as protection.
  • Game 3: Win on Ruinberg - A wholly unremarkable encounter game on Ruinberg. I contributed very little except for a smidgen of distraction.
  • Game 4: Loss on Malinovka - Oh look, I potato'd trying to scout the swamp in Malinovka. I should've stayed on the Northern plateau since absolutely nobody on my team save arty was in a position to give me covering fire.

All in all, this has been a pretty horrid start to the challenge. I'm definitely looking forward to your advice, especially on games 3 and 4 where I contributed practically nothing to the result. What could I have done differently to contribute to a win?

 

My night's stats for the tank:

ZtCxKYz.png

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Westfield was fine, although I would of left field and moved into town quicker; that entire side of the map is near-useless, you were completely at the mercy of your team on that one.

 

Murovanka's early positioning was terrible. Don't sit in the back of the forest and don't go into the town. There are many positions at the edge of the forest where you can spot them as they drive to the flank; early yolo scouts are dangerous but its not too hard to just drive away when you see one coming. Later on you played footsies with a bunch of giant guns, greedy to get a couple low HP kills. No reason for that; you needed to drive to the edge of the forest and spot them from there. Hopefully the WTE would get the memo and back up a bit. Also, in artyless games you can play that depression at the very tip of the northern flank. That can be a good alternative to the forest.

 

Ruinburg was much the same; very bad early positioning that locked you into a completely useless location. I know you want to learn to scout... but its ruinburg. Do a quick lap around E6/E7 and then back off; that's literally all you can hope to do as far as scouting goes early game. Sit behind the E6/7 road or behind the houses in town and slap people's wrists until a better location opens up. Also, you were way too afraid of that 44% conq. Just to the left of you was some cover you could use if a burst of competence hit him and he decided to fire back, but I'd doubt you'd even need it; he probably had some hardcore tunnel vision going on.

 

Annnd another on Malinovka, very bad early position. I don't play encounter, but that looks like a terrible position. People will be watching swamp because the cap is there, you have no sight on the majority of the map, theres no cover, and you had absolutely no one backing you up.

 

All in all, it seems like you have some major issues with early positioning in your light tanks. This is really hurting your ability to survive or be useful later on, because you're making little impact early on and losing most (if not all) of your hp in the process.

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Rexxie, thanks so much for taking the time to view and comment on these replays! I'll definitely try to focus on not getting pinned down in a crappy early game position for my next round of games.

Murovanka's early positioning was terrible. Don't sit in the back of the forest and don't go into the town. There are many positions at the edge of the forest where you can spot them as they drive to the flank; early yolo scouts are dangerous but its not too hard to just drive away when you see one coming. Later on you played footsies with a bunch of giant guns, greedy to get a couple low HP kills. No reason for that; you needed to drive to the edge of the forest and spot them from there. Hopefully the WTE would get the memo and back up a bit. Also, in artyless games you can play that depression at the very tip of the northern flank. That can be a good alternative to the forest.

Yeah, I played extremely terribly on Murovanka. Some things I need to keep in mind:

  • Since I'm kitted for vision abuse, I'll probably be able to outspot other YOLO scouts on the move so don't be quite as afraid of them.
  • Don't be greedy. I specifically said at the beginning of the challenge that I would keep my gun quiet. This is exactly the sort of situation where I should've backed off. I need to remember that I can run and hide in the bushes even after I've been spotted. For some silly reason, I think that I'm perma-lit and so I wind up pushing forward in disadvantageous situations like against the big guns I saw.
  • Middle of woods bad, edge of woods good. Can't abuse view range with a bunch of nontransparent bushes in front of me.

Ruinburg was much the same; very bad early positioning that locked you into a completely useless location. I know you want to learn to scout... but its ruinburg. Do a quick lap around E6/E7 and then back off; that's literally all you can hope to do as far as scouting goes early game. Sit behind the E6/7 road or behind the houses in town and slap people's wrists until a better location opens up. Also, you were way too afraid of that 44% conq. Just to the left of you was some cover you could use if a burst of competence hit him and he decided to fire back, but I'd doubt you'd even need it; he probably had some hardcore tunnel vision going on.

Yeah, I've completely forgotten the peek-a-view gameplay of the Type 64 that got me into higher tier scouting to begin with. On maps with no viable passive scouting lanes, I should keep moving and needle when a chance arises instead of getting myself pinned down. Good advice!

 

For what it's worth: I'm not running XVM so the only indication I had that the Conq was crappy was witnessing the tunnel vision first hand. I saw him lock in on the other dude but I didn't see the cover you mentioned while I was playing. I'll try to keep a better eye out for terrain and cover I can abuse to keep needling away.

Annnd another on Malinovka, very bad early position. I don't play encounter, but that looks like a terrible position. People will be watching swamp because the cap is there, you have no sight on the majority of the map, theres no cover, and you had absolutely no one backing you up.

Yes, that was ultra-potato position. Once again I ignored my original goal of only spotting where my team has guns pointing. I also need to pay attention to terrain's effect on my ability to view. This definitely affected my ability to spot usefully on Malinovka but it's the same sort thing you mentioned with respect to being on the edge of the forest in Murovanka. I need to find places that let me see more of the map and offer an avenue of retreat.

All in all, it seems like you have some major issues with early positioning in your light tanks. This is really hurting your ability to survive or be useful later on, because you're making little impact early on and losing most (if not all) of your hp in the process.

Yep yep! Will try to find better vision lanes in early game and stay moving on maps where the terrain discourages passive scouting. I'll also focus on retreating rather than crashing on the rocky shores of the enemy team when I get lit.

Once again, thank you so much for the advice and I'll record some more games that hopefully show some improvement while I take your advice to heart.

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off topic: which driver skill should I prioritize first? Clutch Braking or Off-road driving? thanks

Clutch braking gives a greater bonus.

Off-Road if you want to go a tiny bit faster on grass.

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Clutch braking gives a greater bonus.

Off-Road if you want to go a tiny bit faster on grass.

 

Offroading > Clutch. Being able to turn faster does jack fuck when your main goal is to accelerate away from any med that comes to check your presence, especially when your tank already turns fast enough as-is

 

Scouts aren't about early damage.  They're about mid to late damage.  Spotting in the early game is your gateway to having isolated targets to finish off and open holes to get at juicy artillery tears in the mid to late.
 

Scouts are about using high maneuverability and stealth to leverage your limited damage dealing capability and create pockets of localised supremacy all over the map. Early damage as a scout can act as a strong deterrent against enemy heavies.

 

Scouts are in the prime position to take free shots at enemy heavies without being spotted, and should do so whenever possible to act as a check against them.

 

Binocs and camo on the move are  implements with which to exploit for opportunistic shots.

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I think I may alternate days when I record replays for this challenge. I only got 4 games in last night while trying to provide a snapshot of my play. I need to practice some of Rexxie's suggestions and take another snapshot after a day or two. The important thing is that I'm putting all my other tonks on hold and only playing the WZ-132. My WN8 will tank, but I should get really focused scouting practice this way.

 

Offroading > Clutch. Being able to turn faster does jack fuck when your main goal is to accelerate away from any med that comes to check your presence, especially when your tank already turns fast enough as-is

 

You might have a point here. I was running offroading on my driver for a while and I think the terrain resistance boost might be more useful than the hull traverse boost. If I'm having to rely on hiding behind hard cover w/ hull traverse maneuvering, I've probably gotten myself into a tight spot that I shouldn't have gotten myself into in the first place.

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So last night I played several more games and sucked out for most of them. I've come to the conclusion that binocs are a liability on the WZ-132. The WZ-132 needs to keep moving and relying on that light tank bonus to camo on the move. Passive scouting all day err'y day is not taking advantage of the WZ-132's strengths. Also: the "keep the gun quiet" ultimatum has really affected my ability to contribute to games. It's OK to take shots as long as you have a place to hide or you're not seen.

 

I swapped out the binocs for a VStab, the 85mm for the 100mm, and Designated Target for Snap Shot. Here's what I ran this morning:

  • Coated Optics
  • VStab - I've actually connected with a few 100mm Hail Mary snap shots on the move with the VStab. Nice!
  • Vents
  • 100mm gun - Better for one-off pot shots with the extra pen and APCR. I am in trouble if I wind up dueling an AMX 13 90 regardless of the gun choice. The 85mm still can't out-DPM one of those guys.
  • Regular med kitregular repair kit, and 100 octane
  • Commander skills - Sixth Sense and Camo
  • Gunner skills - Camo and Snap Shot
  • Driver skills - Camo and Clutch Braking
  • Radio operator skills - Camo and Situational Awareness

I only played two games this morning but I feel like I had much more impact on both games. I paid careful attention to escape routes and whether or not shooting would get me spotted. If I was in a position to do so, I plinked away with the 100mm and played the WZ-132 more like a scavenger that scurries away when the apex predators come around. Most importantly, now that I'm without binocs I keep moving and don't get pinned down. My camo does a terrific job keeping me hidden on the move, even in open fields.

 

I'm going to practice this more mobile, scavenger-like playstyle tonight and then record another ~4 game snapshot of my play Saturday. Hopefully I'm finally getting the hang of this tank, thanks in no small part to your advice. Looking forward to hearing more from you as I continue my "stop sucking in the WZ-132" challenge.

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From messing around with the -132 a bit and trying both guns it feels like the 100mm is only better early game where you are going to take fewer shots with less ability to choose the angle of attack so the higher damage/pen and longer reload make sense.  The moment you start playing a bit more aggressively-- flanking, cleaning up stragglers, etc.-- the 20% lower DPM on the 100mm is really noticeable.  I run the 85mm solely now and just spam HEAT if pen is an issue early game.

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From messing around with the -132 a bit and trying both guns it feels like the 100mm is only better early game where you are going to take fewer shots with less ability to choose the angle of attack so the higher damage/pen and longer reload make sense.  The moment you start playing a bit more aggressively-- flanking, cleaning up stragglers, etc.-- the 20% lower DPM on the 100mm is really noticeable.  I run the 85mm solely now and just spam HEAT if pen is an issue early game.

I can definitely see this. I'm going to play some more practice games today with the 100mm and see how I do. I hypothesize that I'll get a better winrate with opportunistic early-game shots w/ the 100mm since early damage > late damage. That 85mm is really nice if you're able to chew someone in the back with it, though.

 

Edit: I'm still lolbad@132 so my hypotheses are nearly worthless

Edited by CarbonatedPork

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I have tons of replays on my T71 you could at least check out for map positioning. I'm by no means the best scout but it will at least give you some tips on where to go. Hopefully they help. I'm currently still working on the WZ-132 to unlock all the modules, when I do i'll try to upload some replays for you.

 

http://wotreplays.com/uploader/JoreyTK/id/284199

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I have tons of replays on my T71 you could at least check out for map positioning. I'm by no means the best scout but it will at least give you some tips on where to go. Hopefully they help. I'm currently still working on the WZ-132 to unlock all the modules, when I do i'll try to upload some replays for you.

 

http://wotreplays.com/uploader/JoreyTK/id/284199

Thanks, Jorey! Will give them a look and see how they help my game.

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Scouts aren't about early damage.  They're about mid to late damage.  Spotting in the early game is your gateway to having isolated targets to finish off and open holes to get at juicy artillery tears in the mid to late.

 

This is how I played scouts when I did play them(prior to 8.6). Hunting down isolated enemies in mid/late game situations can be a lot of fun. Its that sort of real tension I don't really get on the city/click-click/peek-a-boom maps for most of the game.

 

But mostly I just wanted to take the time to say CarbonatedPork is a great handle.  :thumbup:

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So, uh, I think I accidentally Weezy'd today:

JnGgc22.png

 

Was running 100mm/VStab/Optics/Vents and kept moving nearly constantly unless I found a really good passive spot overlooking a lane (e.g. bush in the middle of Highway overlooking the northern riverbed). Will record a handful of games tomorrow or Saturday to show how I'm playing this tank now. I really hope this isn't a statistical fluke due to the small sample size!

 

But mostly I just wanted to take the time to say CarbonatedPork is a great handle.  :thumbup:

Aww, thanks! :D

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Yesterday must've just been a really good day for me in terms of team makeup and map selection. Today was much shittier, but these challenge replays are exactly what need to be seen if I'm to step up my game. Here's the list of new replays in the challenge:

  • Game 5: Loss on Komarin - A potato game is a great way to kick off another snapshot of the WZ-132 challenge. I really don't know how to scout the western side of Komarin from the south spawn and there was a WZ-131 doing the job on the eastern side. I wound up floating in the middle and provided no benefit to my team.
  • Game 6: Win on Malinovka - Got into a game with Sela and Sov13t on the western spawn of Malinovka. Thought about scout rushing the southern road, but a scout on the other team did it first and got our team hit pretty hard. I passive scouted a bush on the southern road and most of the team pushed the mountain and plateau. Meh game stats-wise, but I kept the other team from sending any more tanks south and flanking us. A T32 tried but my camo saved the day.
  • Game 7: Win on Pearl River - Don't know how to scout this map at all and over-committed midfield. It wouldn't have been quite so bad if I didn't get lit on fire and panic. Need to keep a cooler head when I get myself in a bad spot.
  • Game 8: Win on Prokhorovka - Got a lot of peekaboo scouting in and my team's TDs did an excellent job of hitting my spots.
  • Game 9: Loss on Mountain Pass - It's not often that I fuss about windowlickers, but this game was pretty terrible. Too many TDs on the bridge and a solitary heavy too far out around the far road with no support. Would really love to hear your suggestions on how I could've played this game better!
  • Game 10: Loss on Himmelsdorf - #IOC_BEST_CLAN_NA. OK, yesterday's stats must've been an anomoly.

I'd love to hear advice on my play in these games, particularly games 7, 9, and 10.

 

Here's my stats for the night:

wtEuwWD.png

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