Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In Depth Look : Crew Skills - Common

So it has been a very long time since I've made a public post, mostly due to me being very lazy along with the progression of updates slowly nullifying my older posts. So I've decided to start from the ground up and do a small in depth series on different things such as crew skills, consumables, maps, etc.

Starting it off I'm going to start with Crew Skills and go on specifically about the common ones that every crew member can use. Please note this will focus primarily on the first three or so crew skills, all skills and perks are useful at some point but certain ones I'd only get when my crew reaches 7 or so crew skills.


Value - Extreme

Type - Accumulative Skill
If your crew has 0%, 0%, 50%, 100% then the effective repair would be  37.5%.

Description - The repair skill decreases the time it takes to fix destroyed modules.

Suggestion - All tank roles besides artillery should get this skill very quickly and your priority on getting it depends on your survivability when getting tracked.

Why Use It -  In essence; survivability. When tracked you have two options, to repair it with a consumable or wait for it to come back. With a decent repair level you'll burn less repair kits on tracks so you can use them for more important things like ammo racks.

With Repair   Without Repair
Tracks    3~ seconds 10~ seconds
Gun 7~ seconds 15~ seconds
Turret 7~ seconds 15~ seconds

The worst scenario to be in without the repair skill is getting tracked right before your gun rounds a corner meaning you can't shoot back. I personally do this every chance I get in my tanks and if I'm in a tank with a 7 second or faster reload (auto loaders and mediums mostly) I'll have at least a 50% chance of destroying them unless they burn a repair kit. If they had repair at 100% only very fast reload tanks like auto loaders can keep them permanently tracked.


Value - Extreme

Type - Accumulative Skill
If your crew has 0%, 0%, 50%, 100% then the effective repair would be  37.5%.

Description - Improves your camouflage value decreasing the chance of  being spotted.
Because of an increased camouflage value, enemy tanks need to get closer to detect your tank.

Suggestion - All tanks should eventually get 100% camouflage, Tank Destroyers / Lights / Mediums should get them very early on as it compliments their play styles while Heavies and Artillery would benefit from them later on as both of them should use objects for cover instead of view range as their primary form of protection.

Why Use It - Camouflage improves one of the core game mechanics of the games meta, view range. The time you are visible to the enemy tanks the more your survivability will go up, and in a lot of cases it is by a huge margin. It improves sniping from range, advancing on a position, and so many other scenarios that it is hard to appropriately explain why it is so useful. However in random battles where you have to rely on your own ability to spot tanks before you're spotted, this is a life saver.


Value - Very Minimal

Type - Accumulative Skill
If your crew has 0%, 0%, 50%, 100% then the effective repair would be  37.5%.

Description - Decreases damage and duration of fire damage.
Fire damages your tank over a set time and deals a percentage of your health with each hit.

Suggestion - Since fire extinguishers are very cheap and automatic ones can be bought for credits, compounded with the fact that you rarely see double fires makes this skill relatively useless. I'd pretty much only put it on tanks with 5+ crew skills due to lack of useful options.

Why Use It -After you've collected all the very useful crew skills you'll eventually reach a point where the options become mostly perks, at this point giving a crew member firefighter becomes a valid option. If it decreased the chance of being caught on fire then it may gain a better standing on those tanks with very weak engines and fuel tanks however in 99% of cases you are better off with an extinguisher, let alone the alternative crew skills you could be using.

Brothers in Arms

Value - Debateable

Type - Special Perk
Your entire crew must have it at 100% and after an upcoming patch none of the crew members can be injured or else the effect is removed.

Description - Increases crew effectiveness by 5%
This is a buff to crew training and in effect influences everything from rate of fire to turn speed, camouflage value to view range, however the effect is closer to 3% when translated to actual effectiveness.

Suggestion - Because the commander has to learn it 100% aswell and it offers such a low buff across the board I only recommend it for artillery until you have a multiple crew skill crew. Probably around 4 or 5 skills each.

Why Use It - In the beginning of my tanking carreer I believed that BIA was extremely valuable for my tanks, and on certain ones I still hold that notion. However as I have matured as a player I have noticed the impact of getting crew skills that enhanced role specific functions over a uniform buff. My tank destroyers live longer and get greater damage with camouflage as their first skill while my brawling heavies stay alive in a brawl longer when I don't have to burn a repair kit to fix their tracks when I need to dodge in and out of cover or angle my armor for a greater chance of bouncing shots.

In such tanks as artillery it is indeed useful as a first crew skill since you don't really need any other crew skill to preform your role well since your primary concern is with accuracy and reload rates which none of the other crew skills usefully influence as much. None of my recent crews minus my new artillery crew will have BIA until they have around 4 or 5 crew skills since the commander has so many important skills to learn that it is just not useful to waste a crew skill slot on it.


Repair - First or Second skill on almost any tank.

Camouflage - First or Second skill on any tank.

Firefighter - Only get it when you run out of skills.

Brothers In Arms - Only useful early on for an artillery or a very select few tanks.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Team Battle Strats : Himmelsdorf

 2/3 line heavy push

Initial Setup for a 2/3 line push depending on what tanks you bring.

Main Force (3) : They go down the 3 line and either stop at the D / G entrance to the middle or continue down to J / B cap route. You have to time this and act accordingly because when the action goes down you want it to happen on your terms and not being sniped from far down the 3 line. There are a lot of places to duck into while pushing and depending on enemy locations you could go down the 4 line instead.

Flankers(1~2): Tanks like 50 100's, 30 90's, and the like I send to the 2 line and they play the outside, if they meet resistance they can duck into the buildings between the 2 and 3 line for some protection.

TD Support (0~1) : At the beginning I'd put em on the end of the 3 line and hold him there, when it is time to push I move him to the 2 line with the scout / 50 100 / whatever to push the outside with.

Tier 1's (1~2) : One goes hill while the other goes tank alley, if you are missing one then send your only T1 to tank alley to check if there are tanks on that line as tanks on hill will generally be ignored / base race.

Basic Strat

You can flip the positioning of the main and flanking tanks

Main Force (3~4) : They sit on tank alley and wait for enemy movements. Depending on how things go I'll either send them down tank alley or have them go support the tanks on the 3 line if they push that way.

Flankers(1~2) : Because of the greater options for maneuverability I like to place my flankers on the 3 line because they can duck into the different allies if I push them up, also if they get pushed I'd pull them back after a shot or two and flank the enemy through the middle or from your base while the heavies move up and hold them at the corner.

TD Support (0~1) : I'd probably set them at the end of the 3 line with a clear view down and a 50 100 or IS-3 to stop him from being pushed easily. Sadly I just thought of that

Tier 1's (1~2) : One goes hill while the other goes the outside of the 1 line, if you only have 1 then send him to the 1 line. The biggest reason is that if they go hill your main force doesn't care because they can't be hit but if they are pushing 2/3 line the light will give you that information.

Team Battle Strats : Cliff

Where I generally place tanks based on tank type.

Main Force (3-4) : Moves to the 6~ line and hugs the hill, they can poke around the rocks at E/F 5~6, for both spawns the ramp to get to the lighthouse offers a good spot to do a quick light to see where their tanks are going and if we have opportunities to poke and peek them down.

Tier 1's (1-2) : One goes to the 8 line and the other goes to the 2 line to watch for a push on cap or a flank on the main forces. Depending on enemy locations either could push to cap to provide pressure. The more important T1 is the 8 line on here if you have just 1.

Specialty TD (0-1) : Both spots are push deterrents, if the enemy force pushes any location the TD has almost instant shots on them when they reach your side of the map while being far enough back to avoid being lit.

Speciality Flankers / Auto Loaders (1-2) : I generally send them to the 3 line, my favorite for the fast ones is down the 2 line and up the path to the 3 line as it offers a very fast and direct path so you can get early spots and shots. From here they have a lot of shots on the F and E lines, and further back along with 1 line poke shots. For the south spawn a great thing is hitting tanks at C5 before they finish going up the hill and past the rock because you get side and ass shots.

Specialty Arty(0-0.5) : For the lols, these are just suggested spots for them and they rely on what your opponent has but they can definitely annoy your enemies main forces by spreading shots out so no one on their team is at full health.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

World of Tanks: Team Battles

So team battles is a recent addition to World of Tanks and it introduces the pro format seen in the leagues and tournaments into regular play. It is a skill based matchmaking where teams of generally equal abilities will face off against each other in a 10 minute match. At the time of writing this the skill based matchmaking is currently still in the testing phase so I've had the pleasure of fighting a wide range of unprepared teams punctuated by the occasional high skill level players. For those teams that aren't doing as well or those who want to know more about this game time I thought this would be the perfect time to write up an article about it.


To join first choose your selected tanks, when using auto join or if a commander is picky you'll only be selected if they want the specific tanks you want to play in, so if you only wanted to play with your AMX 50 100 and not your IS-3 you can have just that one tank selected. However I don't generally suggest using the Auto Join option.

Instead I'd say just use the Search for Teams option and pick what team you want to join instead so you can select the team based on the skill level of the players. I'd suggest going for the same or slightly higher than your own skill level.


To choose your tank you don't actually use the garage carousel but a separate pop up menu from the vehicle (Select Vehicles if none are selected) next to your name. After you selected your desired tank and it has a crew you can hit the ready up button on the bottom of the team battle menu.

If you are a leader and you have less than 7 players, make sure you lock your 6th and 7th slot if they are empty so that you can instantly (or close to it) join a battle, if you do not then you'll sit in the lobby for about  3~5 minutes before actually being added to the pool of teams who are ready to fight.

Pro Format

The pro format (WG / 7-42 / etc) involves five tier 8's and two tier 1's as scouts. It blends a great compact core of five fighting tanks so a single brawl determines the outcome of the match instead of what flank loses first. As a side note if you do not have all 7 players you are limited to just 41 tier points.

 The main setup of the Tier 8's consist of 2~3 auto loaders and 2~3 single shot tanks. The auto loaders go into battle and unload their clips while the single shot tanks continuously apply pressure and when the auto-loaders are reloading the single fire tanks can keep the enemies force from having free kills on the defenseless auto-loaders. Too many auto-loaders means that as soon as everyone fires their shots and unless your team was good enough to stagger the reloads you'll all be defenseless when the enemy charges in to kill as many tanks as possible before your done reloading. Too many single shot tanks and you'll lose the chances where a burst fire gun could kill a tank before it gets into cover.

The use of the two tier 1's is to gain a greater map control by knowing enemy movements away from your main force and to apply pressure to the cap or delaying the enemy from capping by popping out of a well concealed bush to unload a clip into an enemies track to reset it. Generally any tier 1 can do but a good tier 1 is a fast one which is the T1 Cunningham.

Suggested Tanks

It is suggested that you bring 5 tier 8's and 2 tier 1's, however the tier 1's are not required they do make the game easier to play. I've seen teams with setups involving mostly tier 5's and 6's. Even though you'll get more tanks above tier 1, in most cases they should never be able to beat a team of 5 tier 8's. Please Tier 8 or 7 only as the main core, you're only doing your team a disservice if you go lower with your main core.

IS-3 / T32 = Bounce-able armor with continues shots so you always present a threat unlike the long reload times of the auto loaders, the T32 is map situational.

KV-5 / KV-4 / IS-6 = Alternatives to the above, situational.

AMX 50 100 / T69 = Having the burst damage to take out most of a tanks health very quickly can be very powerful on the battlefield. Their weakness is the reload time so when you notice one or more auto loaders reloading on the other team, it is time to push. AMX is generally preferred due to APCR vs HEAT

AMX 13 90 = A fast moving semi scout semi flanker. If you dedicate your forces to the middle or their side of the map this tank can swing around, pop some shots into an enemies side, and then run back to base to reset it without the base being capped out like if a slower tank was to return to base.

T1 Cunningham = Generally chosen as the best T1 due to its ability to clip out any other tier 1's and are the fastest tier 1's so they can apply cap pressure, reset a base, or even deal damage to lightly armored tanks you might see like AMX 13 90's / T71's, Hellcats. Their big use is spotting lanes, killing T1's, and capping.

Tier 8 Tips

  • Move in a group, this could be compact (same lane in a town) or loose (split into two) however they should not be far enough away that any Tier 8 can't reach their allied tier 8's when it hits the fan. 
  • A good example is 5 line push with heavies while a T69 and 1390 goes to the little town on Ruinburg while a bad example is sending two T69's to the 2 line while everyone else goes the 9 line.
  • F7 (Affirmative) when spotted and when in an auto-loader F8 (reloading) are great methods of keeping your allies on track on what is going on with your tank, also T'ing up (Request fire) on the tank you are shooting at helps improve focus fire.
  • Focus fire, 5 tanks shooting 1 tank will kill it faster and remove one more gun from shooting you then everyone shooting randomly. If it takes an extra second to shoot a lower health tank (and you won't die while waiting that extra second) then take that shot instead of the full health tank next to him
  • AMX 50 100's have 45~50 seconds reload (6 shots), T69's have 22~25 (4 shots), AMX 13 90's around 38~42 (6 shots). Counting them can tell you when you can run in and get free shots on them without being hit back.

Tier 1 Tips

  • When watching base, find a bush far enough away that a tank sitting on it should not spot you without you moving / firing but you can see all of the cap. 
  • Camo net, vents, and binocs are suggested equipment along with a paint job, 6th sense, and camo crew skills.
  • Auto loaders are preferred like the T1's Hispano because it can single clip another tier 1 tank from full health and the reload is not very long.
  • If the enemy is capping the base and you are watching it, wait until the 50% mark before shooting their tracks so that your team has more time to return to base before you die. (if you shoot a T8 capping, they will shoot back and you will die with only giving your team 2 extra seconds instead of 30)
  • You are important, suiciding is not very useful and when you can try to stay alive so you can start capping the enemy base and force at least one tank to deal with you and before they reset the base everyone on that team will be at least partially distracted. 
  • Sometimes suicide is useful if it means all your T8's have enough time to focus fire an enemy T8 to death. Being up a T8 can give your team enough of an edge to win.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

World of Tanks: Ammunition

So after some changes to how your ammo works in world of tanks and through playing about 6,000 more battles since I wrote the Gold rounds and You! post, I've decided to rewrite my post about ammo.

Please note that using gold rounds is not cheating or being cheap. They've been part of the game for a long while and since APCR and HEAT has recently been nerfed a bit. I can't see why people would complain about someone using gold, to me it's as silly as someone complaining about someone using a repair kit or a fire extinguisher.

Types of Rounds

  • AP is the standard ammo and has a normalization of 5 degrees. Normalization by the way means that angling is just that bit less effective.
  • APCR is generally a premium ammo that has a normalization of 3 degrees. It has a greater penetration value of AP however it loses more penetration the further it flies. You'll only really notice this with across the map shots or when that piece of armor you hit is really angled.
  • HE is a standard ammo that explodes when its penetration value hits zero causing splash damage. It is most useful for artillery, resetting a base when you need to not bounce (aim for tracks), and dealing that last 1% of a tanks health that is hard to penetrate. (hull down T34)
  • HEAT is a premium ammo that has greater penetration then AP but automatically bounces off 80 degree or greater and has no normalization. It also loses a lot of penetration when it hits spaced armor so in certain cases it is more advantageous to use AP shells due to armor layouts.

General Ammo Layout

Standard Tanks

For my standard tanks I generally go with 60~80% AP, 20~40% Gold, and 0~2% HE. Some times I'm very lazy or a tank has a low penetration value for its tier so I equip more gold shells to better support it vs +2 tiering or those tanks I can't penetrate otherwise if I can't get along side them. Depending on how many rounds my tank carries I'll have a handful of HE shells loaded for last second base resets or dealing that last 20/1500 health on a tank I can't easily pen without exposing myself to too much enemy fire. As an example I carry about 10% gold in my ISU-152 just for some awkward shots vs Tier 10's and 2 HE shells because I never run out of AP and I might need them for a side scraping E-100 that is capping.


For those tank guns that uses only HE and HEAT shells like the KV-2's short barrel the standard loadout is about 50/50 HE and HEAT. In most cases vs lower tier tanks HE is enough to deal respectable damage but it falls very short vs same or higher tier tanks. Lets say your potential damage is 300 HEAT and 400 HE. You'll probably do 600 damage in 2 shots with HEAT while you'll probably only do 200~350 damage with HE for those two shots. This is mostly why I never play derp tanks anymore, and for the fact that my ISU-152's tier 10 gun is much more satisfying with AP.


  For artillery I generally load 70~90% HE and 30~10% Gold HE / HEAT and 0~3 shells of AP. For artillery AP and HEAT shells are rarely worth the chances of bounces / misses. Gold HE is great for when you have a lot of tanks clumped together so you are more likely to deal decent damage to all of them but your bread and butter is always HE.

Very small guns

And we can't forget them little tanks like a T-50 in a tier 9 match, pretty much you're not trying to shoot tanks unless they're other scouts but a good idea is enough AP / APCR to deal with other scouts and to harrass big tanks in the bum or some HE to peck at cappers / maybe dealing 0.1% of a big tanks health but generally I find myself equipping more HE then usual on these small tanks because what else can you do with them but tickle with those little guns.