Many of you have heard of him, others maybe not, but the name Garbad shouldn’t be unfamiliar specially for the NA Region players. He has recently contacted me in order to write a few articles for the blog, and I’ve haply accepted. From now on, you will see quite a few articles on how to improve your gameplay to tank reviews exclusively at The Daily Bounce. Enjoy.
I recently returned to WOT after a two year break and have been trying to shake off my rust. This guide has been part of the process of re-learning what it takes to win. I’ve also tried to use as many examples as I could of fighting tanks 2 tiers above. The purpose of this guide is to give you a set of rules to help you win games.
1. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Before you click battle, do your homework. Have a properly set up tank and crew. Research your common opponents and their weak points. Learn the basic game mechanics, especially the vision system and armor angling. Learn what tanks you can bully and what tanks you need to avoid. Learn what your tank can do – can you reliably snipe at 400+, can you scout, do you have usable camo, can you hull down, etc?
2. Have a plan.
Most tankers just pick a side and roll down it. This is not a plan. A good plan should have two elements – first, you need to think of a goal that will give you an advantage in winning the game and second, you need to have a feasible way to accomplish that goal.
In WOT, most maps are corridors and with so many tanks jammed into such a small map, flanking and other tactics are usually impossible early game. This means your early game plan should be to begin wearing down the opponent with good HP trades, free shots, and brawling from a favorable position. As a unicum, if you sit in back and chaii snipe so will your allies, but if you sieze a key area and start beating down the pubbies, your team will follow and fight on good terms despite themselves. As the field thins out, gaps will open all over the map, allowing you to isolate and flank pockets of resistance. This is when faster tanks can really turn the tide.
In the vast majority of games, my basic plan is something like this:
Move middle early for free hits and disruption; also allows flexibility when I relocate. This typically involves early scouting/sniping from camo.
Support the most essential area, ideally with flanking. This often involves straight up brawling/peekabooming and often costs me a lot of HP.
Once one flank is won, enable your pubbies to move and cap/wipe out other areas of the map. This typically involves scouting/eliminating base camping Tds.
As the hostile team crumbles, eliminate any remaining heros or cancer.
3. Have a backup plan, because the first one probably won’t work
Another key element of planning is to be able to adapt. If you are scouting, have an escape route already in mind. If you are vastly outnumbered on one side, learn to hit them a few times as you give up ground to regain an advantage. This can be a tricky art, and will take practice, but if you can delay or trade well you can overcome a large numbers disadvantage.
4. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
Most players in this game just drive around and hope something happens. Good players know that winning depends on you, and that the clock is ticking. I often feel like matches are a contest to see if I can do enough positive things to force my team to win before my teammates can die stupidly. I can’t just sit around and be content with doing my 2k damage, I need to decisively influence the game quickly before things start to collapse.
5. Keep your gun hot.
A wise pubby once said, “If you aren’t firing your gun or moving to a place to fire your gun with advantage at all times, chances are you are doing something wrong.” If you are steadily firing your gun, basically by definition you will get good results and these good results will create a positive flow for your team. EVERY member of your team should be constantly in action, constantly firing at the enemy or quickly moving to flank. You should never sit still for more than 30 seconds waiting for someone to come to you.
This means don’t sit in base and “defend.” Just like the defensive line in football, if the action is taking place near their goal you move up to midfield to provide shots and support yet still defend the base by being behind any possible attackers. Likewise in WOT, defensive Tds need to be close enough to fire the guns at the front lines yet also need to secure access to your cap or be able to RTB.
This is an essential principle – think how easily 6 tanks can destroy 3, and think of how often you see matches where multiple tanks are completely out of the action for one reason or the other. If all of those tank concentrated and were in the action, good things inevitably happen. When in doubt, concentrate your forces in an area, flank, and gang bang them to death.
6. Move away from your attacker – distance is your friend (lateral and diagonal preferred).
When under fire, your first instinct should usually be to back up and start angling your tank. It amazes me how often I get 2-3 shots on a target before the pubbie realizes they are hit and starts to move. Simply tucking in under fire will save a lot of HP, which can then be spent in better ways.
7. Use cover or concealment whenever possible.
Also, don’t drive your heavy tank into a swampy ditch. Seriously.
8. Flank the adversary. Protect yours.
No tank or group of tanks can withstand a crossfire for long. Two groups of tanks can peekaboom back and forth for several minutes with little effect, and when a tiny medium appears behind one group suddenly it becomes a rout. Thus, one of your key goals should be to create flanking opportunities whenever possible. As mentioned earlier, this often means waiting until the mid game and finding a hole to bang down.
On the other side, you also need to eliminate flanking risks. This is usually pretty easy to spot – if the other team has a medium or light who is constantly probing for a way through your lines, eliminate him. Lights/mediums that snipe or who brawl like heavies are typically just inferior versions of other tanks and can be ignored.
9. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
Use any tool at your disposal to win. This means spam gold right liberally, especially on some tanks. It means brutalize the poor tier 6s in your Defender. It means bring a platoon and gang rape pubbies. Anything within the rules should be leveraged to smash your opponents.
10. When the game ends no one will care about your Wn8, DPG, or tactics. The only thing that matters is who won.
Turn off your stats trackers. Seriously. Stop worrying about your color, your DPG, or your Wn8. Stats fetishism not only makes the game less fun but it also makes you play worse.
WOT is a team game. Like other team games, people tend to glorify the scorers, the guys who put up big numbers. The problem is this has led to having 15 people per team trying to take as many shots on goal as they can, regardless of their skillset, and regardless of defense. Meanwhile, the team that has better balance – some players focused on defense, some focused on assists, working on moving the ball for better shots – will always defeat them.
In this meta, team play is rare, because team play doesn’t min/max your DPG. But it does create an opportunity. In the land of the stat whores, the glue player is king. While Harden and Westbrook are circle jerking about their 30 ppg / 10 apg / 10 rpg their teams aren’t even championship contenders (and they also average record turnovers and crap shooting %). Meanwhile my boy Kawhi is putting up 26/7/4 with defender of the year stats, low turnovers, and has the best record in the west. Which of those would you rather be?
Likewise, in internet tanks don’t worry about your DPG. Be the guy willing to lead a push, scout, make a flanking move, out-brawl the hostile heavies in the key area, and more. Your win rate will skyrocket.