Some thoughts on the strategic and tactical aspects of WoT
I probably should start with admitting that I’m not an expert on WoT. All the things I write here is according to my current understanding and might very well change as I get more experience. This is aimed at and for the singleplayer who plays random matches.
There are several different roles that you can take in the game. Before going into what role you “should” take (and as you will see, it isn’t as simple as you might think), let me quickly outline what some of those roles are:
A scouts main priority is recon. To search out the enemy and reveal him on the maps so other units can engage them and take them out. A good scout is the artilleries best friend. A scout should be fast and have a good radio (a good radio is necessary in order for the information to be transferred over a large map), light tanks are the prime example of an class that usually take this role. A scouts secondary priority is to stay alive. Third priority is to penetrate deep behind enemies lines and find and destroy enemy artillery.
Priority for upgrade is engine and radio.
A sniper is any unit who are good at taking out enemies at long range. Units with a good punch but weak armor tend to take this approach. Typical unit would be TD who can’t move particularly quickly, but usually have a powerful gun. A unit who plays sniper should not be in the front line if it can be avoided. Vulnerable to artillery due to (usually) slow movement.
Priority for upgrade is gun, engine.
The big guys . This are the units that have enough armor to take a punch or two in order to breakthrough a defensive position. Main attribute is endurance (eg. heavy armor). Typically the large tanks (but know your tanks, the russian KV is an awful smasher).
Unit killer in the game. Artillery usually hide somewhere close to their main (pending on map and startpoint) and constantly check the maps for targets. Artillery need good scouts to help finding good targets. It may be a good idea to not kill a target and instead go for wounding due to the fact that your crew get more training for it (uncertain, needs to be looked up). If the other side have good artillery units, move after each shoot or you will quickly learn what the term counter-artillery means . This should also be seen as an hint for you, if you get an chance to take out their artillery, do so!!
Priority for any artillery is to upgrade their guns for more power and range.
A defender is a unit who either stays (usually hidden) to cover your own flag or is helping holding a defense line where it’s suitable. Any unit can be a defender although artillery should try to avoid being defender.
As you can see from the above, these roles go into each other. They are not separate categories with iron walls between them, if you get my meaning. For an example it’s quite possible to be a sniper and defend the flag, or you could be supporting an attack etc etc.
Well, what should I do?
This is where it gets interesting . If your Artillery, the answer is simple – be artillery and keep those long range shells coming. Not much more to it really. For everyone else you need to first check the battlescreen when the timer starts – the lower you are on the list, the weaker your tank is relatively to the other units.
So if your on the lower part of the list, being an smasher isn’t on the table (your just to weak). Consider being an defender (hopefully they will have taken a beating before getting to you, so you can take them out) or go scouting or be an sniper. If your high on the list, you may want to switch your thinking around.
Another factor to consider is what kind of unit you play. A TD tend to be very slow (at least on the lower levels) and lack the maneuverability to lead a charge. Some tanks have a powerful gun, but lack the armor to be an smasher (T34-85, I’m looking at you) and due to that might need to be more careful. Know your units strength and weaknesses and use that knowledge to your advantage.
Warning – do NOT (!) get stuck on what class your playing. Yes, a light tank or later on, a medium tank is usually functioning as a scout. But, and T34-85 is a good example, tends to gain more from sniping over long distances and not be part of the charge or scout ahead. This is why I prefer talking about roles instead and not class. Add to that the randomness of the matchmaker that one round will make your unit the weakest one, and in the next round, you’re the most powerful unit (so you might be a smasher in a medium tank after all).
Finally, to misquote Stalin “Quantity is a quality in its own”. It doesn’t matter if you know exactly how this map should be played if the rest of your team decides to do something else. Go where everyone else is going, you can’t do much on your own anyway (scouts are sometimes the exception here since they still can spot for the artillery or penetrate deep to kill enemy artillery). However, if you do know the map, and have a good plan, please do use the in-game chat during start-up to try to organize your team (or support someone elses plan).
My experience is that if you just speak up "Lets push on the right and delay on the left" "3-4 units hold the left flank, rest follow me and charge right" etc etc a lot of people will actually listen. There are more teamplayers out there than you might think. Sometimes there arn't any teamplayers or they want to go with another plan - good times to practice your humility. And yes, sometimes I don't have the energy to speak up, or I just don't know what my new tank can do, or the map is new or....but this is a case of "do as I say and not as I do"
General thoughts on strategy for maps
For those who are history buffs, the basic pattern is the same that the Zulus used when they where fighting. One or two flanking strikes (horns!) while leaving a few defenders in the middle (or at base). Variants are all out on one of the flanks (high risk, but a lot of fun and fast) or all defense (slow but generally a lot safer).
Impatience kills me and everyone more than anything else. You know there is an enemy tank around the corner waiting for you, but instead of waiting for back-up, you (I) decide to push on, only to become a burning wreck. Learn from my fail, wait a little bit - patience is a valuable weapon in this game.
As always, comments and opinions are very much appreciated. My first effort to write an guide, so don't hesitate to disagree with me (I know we have more experienced players than me here).
Last edited by Gorhaut; 31.07.2011 at 10:27.