The ultimate 100% World of Tanks guide for successful casual tank combat

World of Tanks is a free (if you consider your time to be of no value) multiplayer online game where two teams of 15 tanks each meet battle. As the game is not too fast paced, a round only lasts for a maximum of 15 minutes and success demands more on brains than on fast reflexes, it is very attractive for older, casual players. Following are some thoughts on tactics, that, in my humble opinion, can help many players.

After joining some clan in summer of 2012, my win percentage went down to 47%, I am lucky to be up to 51% by February 2013. I am by no means a pro player with 4k games (my profile for sn_tell 1/2), just sharing some of my observations while trying to learn from my own mistakes.

You will not find any advanced tactics here, just stuff you should consider doing in single player random matches. Most of it is might be obvious for the majority of players, but I would have been happy, if somebody told me when started out playing.

Patience

Patience in fighting

The most important skill in the game. I am not talking about camping, but about not rushing in to feed. There are times to push forward and there are times to let the other guy make the move. Think about it at every moment and evaluate the situation at any time. Never loose your patience and rush forward without a plan, just because your team is two tanks ahead and you see no new targets. Oh, and patience is very important when you sit behind bush in your scout and light up enemies - resist the urge to shoot.

Patience in credit-management

Every tank up to tier VII is going to be on sale some time or the other. About four times each year, equipment is on sale. So are consumables. I always invest some 200.000 into consumables, when they are on sale. Think about it. I got my IS-3 and Tiger II on sale at 70%.

Patience in earning XP

The daily double-income for first win is just too good. When I want to progress in two or three certain tanks, I might just join real quick and try to get those daily victories. It works really well from time to time. And remember to get some play time, when there is 3x or 5x XP on some events.

Patience in spending gold

I bought gold for 6,95 to get more garage slots in order to profit on more tanks from the double XP for the first victory of the day. I did not know, they sell those garage spots for half prize about four times a year. I spend some of the leftover gold to transform extra XP into free XP

Patience in spending free experience

Never use your free XP to get that new tank (only exemption would be, if it is on sale). Always use it on new stock tanks to get some upgrades in order to ease playing in the beginning.

To cap or to defend?

Don't play the cap race game. If two enemies are capping or are going to cap, and a mate and you are close to be capping as well, one of you should go back to your own base, kill them if lower tier, or reset the cap with HE ammo.

Did you know only three tanks count to towards the cap count?

I just lost a game today where it was 7:3. Our side was capping with five tanks, enemy was capping with three tanks, and those two tanks going back to defend just were not enough to defend.

Tip of the day: watch out for enemy tanks - they are out to kill you!

Taking and dealing damage

Taking damage can be ok, as long as you light up enemies and your mates behind you are dealing more damage than you are taking. Otherwise trading damage is not to be done. Same with the peek-a-poo game. Try to get local superiority in numbers and concentrate all your firing power on one target after the other. See next ...

Surviving or rather: dividing damage among the team

An error I did often: when the battle is won, e.g. our side leads with five to two tanks and there is only clean-up-work to be done. And I continue fighting in first line as usual and I am low health. Guess what: I do not have to scout those last two tanks and get killed in the process. Just let my mates scout the enemies and you try shoot them from second line.

The same goes on a smaller scale: you are in a two tanks gang against one tank. The enemy and yourself is heavy damaged, my mate pretty healthy. Guess who should go around the corner and take the first enemy shot?

Holding a flank alone

Sometimes your mates ignore a flank and you might feel as if you have to defend that flank. Forget it. Stay back somewhere in direction to that flank, so you can light up their offense, but make sure you are close to some mates. Don't go alone and try to defend alone - you will die the (fast!) death of a martyr. It is actually pretty much impossible to stop or even postpone the advance of an attack group alone. Being in a group of two is another story altogether. Just stay back close to some mates and defend at your base if necessary, but don't try to hold worthless ground and die right away. If any smart, the enemy forces won't attack right away, cause they should be expecting an ambush on their way.

Hell don't even defend your base alone, give it up and retake it with some mates.

Retreat is always a valid option.

Momma always said, WoT matchmaking is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you will get.

Playing low tier

I heard the thesis on youtube by Nethervoid that he

  1. would prefer the matchmaking to only match the same tiers together. By that, the game would not be a sure loss, when the four morons in your team get the four high tier tanks on your side.
  2. he thinks the reason wargaming is not doing this, is in order to give the morons a reason and a chance to play the game at least some times with the big gun - and spend real money on the game in the process

I think it

  1. eases matchmaking a lot (avoiding wait times),
  2. for me it is very satisfyng to kill above my tier,
  3. but matchmaking still sucks balls regularly.

What in my humble opinion you should never do, is to think you have no impact on the battle and just throw yourself at the opposing forces, dying quickly in the process. You might not be able to penetrate the bigger enemy tanks, but you still have considerable combat value - you can:

When an enemy heavy wastes his time turning his gun in your direction, your mates can safely attack him from the other side!

Try to survive until about half of all tanks are dead and there will be plenty of open space to move around to: flank somebody, kill the enemy artillery and maybe do a visit to their cap zone.

Furthermore it has a certain psychological value having more or an equal amount of tanks on your side.

Unfortunately playing decent as low tier as described above can still be time-consuming and frustrating - but also very satisfying when you can give tiers above you some beating.

Recent studies have shown that 83% of drivers of heavies have small dicks.

Playing high tier

Well, you have to lead the pack, draw the aggro, but try to stay alive. Your combat value is just too high. Stay in groups, you are not unbeatable. As a medium or scout, you can try to do some single action, but not as TD or heavy.

Fighting faster enemies as Heavy or TD

As a heavy being circled by a medium or a scout, try to get your back towards a stone or a building. As a TD you are often screwed. That's why you should not be alone.

Playing mobile tanks

If you feel stuck on one front and do not see the possibility to do any good there, do not be afraid to change to another front when you sit in a fast medium or light tank. Distances are short, and better do something good on another front 45 secs later, than dying without purpose, just because you did not want to reposition.

Maybe you get lucky and find some other mediums with some brains and you can build a pack for some fast, mobile combat, flanking and braking enemy lines.

You know what they say about the drivers of small tanks?

Playing scouts/light high tiers

Your first priority is to stay alive. If you do that, you can do everything else. Light up tanks, kill artillery, but most importantly: annoy your enemies. Circle them, menace their artillery, poke the heavies in their asses. By the way, it is no shame to use autoaim, when circling enemies.

My brain is small, but luckily there is artillery to drive!

Playing artillery

Not much to say - probably follow the flank, where most of your tanks went. Other than that:

I love the sight of exploding tanks in the morning!

High Explosive Ammunition

Load some HE ammo with you. Really, do. There is always space for at least a handful (~ 15%) of HE rounds in your vehicle.

  1. use it for fast and sure decap.
  2. Sometimes you are together in a pack, shooting a tank that is way too well armored to be penetrated by your AP-rounds. But you can take save shots as the enemy tanks focuses on the real threats to it. Well, take your shots, help your team, annoy the enemy tank.
  3. Sometimes you are alone against a stronger tank. Load those HE rounds just to annoy him and show him, you can actually do a little damage to him. Maybe even track him or destroy a module.
  4. HE does the same damage no matter the distance. Sometimes you got a perfectly save firing position and a precise gun but your AP rounds lost too much momentum and thus can't penetrate on long range - you know what to do.

Consumables

I always carry fire extinguisher, first-aid kit and small repair kit - even in tier I tanks.

This stuff is on sale about once a quarter. Stock on it then.

When should you use those things? They are 1.500 on sale. Those 1.500 can be earned pretty easily. It might be cheaper than a standard shell on certain guns. Just think about it: "do I have a decent chance to do some good equaling 1500 credits if I use this consumable?" If the answer is yes - go for it. Some scenarios:

Use

Not Use

Evaluate the situation, of course the higher the tiers, the cheaper the kit is compared to the credits that can be earned. It is also about the quality of your game time: get the most out of it, repair your vehicle and keep fighting.

I shall act always so as to increase the total number of choices (philosopher Heins von Förster)

Premium ammo

Since premium ammo can be bought for credits I adopted the habit of always carrying two or three shells with me. I rarely use them, but it is just another option to have. The same rules apply as in the point about consumables above, just that premium shells cost more. Evaluate the situation: can you get more or equal out of it than it costs*? Go for it!

Ever met an enemy tank with low health, way above your tier, in a lonely alley? Well pop in a premium round and teach the fucker some respect!

(*sometimes a smile on my face is worth a lot!)

Skills and Perks

As getting skills beyond the first one is extremely time consuming for the casual gamer, I recommend, when you want to get one of the perks that need a full 100% to come into effect, to go for those first.

Perks

For TDs, Scouts and Artilleries I recommend Sixth Sense for the Commander. Jack of all Trades is nice for Heavies and Mediums. I trained Deadeye some times, can not tell if it is worth.

Skills

Camouflage is nice for TDs, scouts and arties. Repair for heavies. Smooth ride for lights and mediums, maybe for fast heavies. Situational awareness and off-road driving is ok. Clutch braking for TDs, maybe arty. I have controlled impact but can not tell if it is worth it.

The tent and supplies in your base

Destroy them right away, they only provide cover for enemy tanks capping.

Add-Ons

I am using the xvm-stat module to see the stats from other players. I have a very bad opinion of players with less than 48% win percentage. I like the crosshair mod for the loading time in seconds and the enhanced arty HUD. I have some mod for a an enhanced map with the tank-types next to the symbols. I am analyzing my performance with the WOT_Statistics.

pls all have brain and some common sense!

Hold your temper with other players

When you see a mate being afk or playing like a total moron, don't get enraged. Take a deep breath and try to take some enemies with you. You are playing public games and that shit is just happening.

Summary, tl;dr

World of Tanks is usually not a fast paced game, but a game of brains. Think about your actions, it will be 80% of your success. And keep your guns alive.

Most important hint: when it seems you just can't win anymore, you don't have fun anymore and it seems, as if there are only morons online - leave the game and go to bed.

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