World of Tanks is a massive multiplayer online computer game. This historically accurate tank warfare game is played by sixty million gamers worldwide. Each match consists of two teams, fifteen players per side in a fifteen minute strategic fight to the death. There are six nations (US, Germany, USSR, UK, France, China), each nation has four types of tanks (heavy, medium, light, and artillery), and there are ten tiers (levels) for each type of tank. As you play the game you will become familiar with all the tanks, and their attributes.
While there are so many aspects to pay attention to in game, I feel most of your focus as a new player should be on battle mechanics. The number one thing to keep in mind as a new player of World of Tanks is that there are no do-overs. If you die; you’re done for that game and are rendered useless to your team. The system of battle mechanics includes several areas: positioning, shooting, and teamwork. You should spend time studying the complex system of Battle Mechanics to increase your efficiency and ability to stay alive and assist your team.
Of these three groups positioning is the most important; knowing and learning how to use a camouflaged position, placing your tank in a hull down position, finding an artillery (arty) safe position, angling position so your hull will bounce incoming rounds, and finally knowing when to exercise a tactical retreat. Running around the battlefield willy-nilly in the wide open is just a recipe for certain death. Learning to use the environment around you to decrease your visibility on the battle field is extremely important; this is camouflage. The enemy can’t hit you if they can’t see you. Learning to use a grove for trees or some bushes is crucial to an ambush tactic, and will most definitely surprise the enemy possibly turning the tide of the battle in your favor. Placing your tank in a hull down position is also a great way to obtain a tactical advantage. With the base of your tank parked in front of a solid object with only your turret showing.
The enemy will not be able to hit the soft spots of your hull, thus only being able to shoot at the stronger turret. This will usually cause the enemy to relocate to obtain a better firing position giving you and your team the opportunity to shoot him while he is moving. Hiding your tank behind a building or large rock is a great way to become arty safe. The artillery will not be able to fire over the cover and hit your tank. The problem with this position is you are not able to fire back, thus forcing you to peek around the corner to get shots. Peeking unfortunately leaves your hull exposed to enemy fire.
This is where learning to angle your hull to the incoming fire becomes crucial. If you have to look around a corner you have to remember to keep your tank’s front at a 20 to 30 degree angle to the incoming fire. Angling increases the thickness of your armor and the likelihood that you will bounce any shots that hit you. The last part of positioning is knowing when to exercise a tactical retreat and find a better position. This can be the difference between a win and a loss for your team. For with every dead tank; your team loses a gun from the battlefield, so staying alive is truly the most important part of the game. Even if you are hurt bad, and your still alive you can always be a factor in the outcome of the battle.
It is the responsibility of every tanker on the battlefield to damage and kill as many enemy tanks as possible. The only way to be effective at killing and wounding tanks is to shoot them. Now anyone can point a gun down range and pull the trigger. The trick; is understanding which type of ammunition to use and where to hit the enemy tank to get the most bang for your buck. There are four types of ammo you can load into your tank, each of the have a specific purpose. Understanding each of them and when it should be use will save your life; I promise. Ammo types are as follows: Armor Piercing (AP) , Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR), High Explosive (HE), High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT). The general rule of thumb is; use AP on your own tier and below and HE for tanks higher than you.
You do not need to be as accurate with HE as a hit anywhere on an enemy tank will most likely cause even a slight amount of damage, and any damage is worth it. When mounting tier 6 guns and higher, you should consider using AP and APCR/HEAT more frequently, as these guns have enough penetration power to damage most tanks if you know which tank and what part of the tank you should aim for. Most parts of a tank are designed to absorb and deflect enemy rounds, thus minimizing the potential for damage. The other thing that all tanks have in common are soft spots, these are the cracks in the knights armor. Learning where these spot are can be difficult when people are firing back at you. The best places to look for are view ports, hatches, tracks, gas tanks, ect. A good rule of thumb is anything that is not a flat empty plate of steel; you will generally not do any damage there.
Lastly teamwork is a very important aspect of battle mechanics. Meaning it is virtually impossible for a single player to win the battle for their team on their own; each player must rely on their teammates to pull their own weight to some extent. If one team ends up with a bunch of players who run out into the open and die immediately, games can become very lopsided. By flukes of chance, you will sometimes end up in games like this many times in a row. Don’t get frustrated. If you realize that your team is in the midst of getting slaughtered, try something unique, take a risk. You might just turn the tide of the battle in your teams favor.
Tankers that think they can play like Rambo usually don’t live long on the battlefield. Even if you get the jump on someone, it will probably take you three or more shots to knock down their health and eliminate them. If you attack alone and start shooting someone, often you will find yourself getting shot by three or more enemies at once. In this scenario, the math is working against you, and you should execute a tactical retreat if possible. Instead whenever possible you need to work alongside your teammates when you are attacking and defending. That is why you have fourteen fellow tankers out there with you. Learn to work together to flank or overpower you enemy. Remember; no one can ever do it alone.
With so much detail to divert you attention in World of Tanks like all the different types, classes, and nations of tanks. The most important area to learn as a novice tanker is arguably: battle mechanics. If you plan or are hoping to bypass hours of frustration, a little time studying this area will benefit you immensely. Also accepting the fact that you are not Rambo who can destroy everything in his path, and learning to work with your teammates is imperative. In addition being familiar with all the different types of ammo, and knowing when and where they can be most effective will increase your damage output; thus becoming an asset to your teammates. Pay attention to the environment around you; just knowing how and where to hide your steel monster on the battlefield will the difference between becoming a burning hulk and a battlefield hero.
I wrote this essay in retrospect to myself; as a novice tanker, and to what I know now would have helped me the most in the beginning. I felt this could be my way to give back to the World of Tanks community. To give all the new guys/gals starting this incredible gaming experience a heads up to what I only wish I knew when I started. The intent is to minimize for them the hours of frustration I endured when I started playing, as it took me 2500 battles to understand how not to be a Rambo tanker. I tried to introduce and use some of the in-game language used by the community to help the newbie tanker fit in sooner. Without knowledge of Battle Mechanics you will be just another useless burning hulk of steel on the battlefield.