Monday, June 3, 2013

The Secret of My Success

Well it's not so much a secret if I'm about to explain it, and as to how successful it is, I really don't know. I was asked recently how I managed to bring some degree of success to my Tiger II play so I thought I would attempt to answer. First let me say that being successful in a tank in which you previously sucked really, really bad in, is quite easy. Merely being average in the Tiger II means I am twice as good as I was!

I have played around 7k or so games since I first tried my hand at the Tiger II so to say I've learned a lot would be an understatement. That experience is critical to my better play. I know the maps better, I know enemy tanks better, etc, but there are a few patterns I tend to follow based on:

  1. Map.
  2. Position
  3. Enemy Composition

Where I am in terms of the line-up (top tank, middle, bottom) affects how I approach each map. If I am top tier, and there is a city-component to the map, I head for city. In my experience the top heavies usually battle in the city portion of any map. This is partly to avoid arty, and also to take advantage of cover and tactics such as side-scraping. I know the Tiger II is lethal at long range, but if you are the top tank and you sit back, or head for the open portion of the map, you are leaving your team imbalanced in town. The Tiger II is more than capable of handling itself in town, especially if you side-scrape. It really, really works and though it's something I am just learning (see, still a noob after 10k battles). I can't stress how effective this technique is- with any tank. Learn how to do it.

If I am middle tier I tend to look at the enemy teams composition. If there are a lot of mediums or fast heavies I would tend to go toward the open area of the map to assist our own mediums with long-range firepower. I don't obviously want to get too close to a pack of mediums as they will do the 'ole flank and spank on me but I wouldn't 'camp'. I'd move to where I could support the mediums/lights who engage the others. If there aren't a lot of mediums I'd likely go town to support our top tanks. Conversely if our top tanks aren't brawlers I may go city to beef up the armor (ie French Tanks on the top) with the hopes they go toward the open area (because they are fast).

If I am bottom of the pile (in a Tier X battle) I focus on long range support. The Tiger II really is lethal from a distance, especially if you are angled, or side-scraping (you can do this with terrain as well as buildings). I've wracked up nearly 3k in damage as a 'support' tank in these types of matches. I've also been face-rolled with only 300 damage inflicted.....

In general terms I think it's important to know your tanks capabilities. The Tiger II relies on armor- be it from a distance or by angling- for instance. The VK4502A relies on flanking and maneuvering, the IS4 relies on angling (I think, I suck with this tank atm) and getting the enemy to shoot your sides. You need to have a good idea where the enemy tanks are likely to go, and the best way to do that is to play all tank classes. I have over 3500 battles in medium tanks (obviously my favorite) but I also play Heavies (1700 or so), Tank Destroyers (1700ish), Arty (boo, hiss, 1500ish) and lights (1200). Know thy enemy!

Side scraping and angling are very important to your defence as well as knowing where you are weak (I didn't know enough to hide my lower plate when I first used the Tiger II). You Tube will provide help on this. As for your offence, you need to know those weakspots. I use the hit-zone skins from time to time to refresh my memory. I also carry at least 5 premium shells and use them whenever I need them. I have plenty of premium tanks for credit grinding so I have no problem losing money in a match, especially if it helps me win. Make sure your tank has all the bells and whistles (rammer, vents, first aid, repair, etc) and having all the top modules unlocked will certainly help so sticking with one nation for a while at least will help. Thanks to my horrific Tiger II grind way back when, I have enjoyed top engine/gun/radio modules in my Tiger P, E50, and others.

The last thing which I find is helping me immensely is my attitude. I am a stat whore and often get quite upset when I can't get wins in tanks I have a good efficiency with, or when I can't get my efficiency up in tanks I like, etc. I'll actually get pissed off if I start to lose a lot of matches and stubbornly keep playing, and wracking up the losses instead of stopping. In the Tiger II, because my stats are so bad, even if I go 50-50 (or a bit worse) on the night, I've still upped my stats! I know that I'm going to play the Tiger II until I have the E75 unlocked so I don't worry about how I do in any given evening. I need to play a certain amount to get it done before the On Track Event is over so I play them without worrying about wins/losses. I play around 5 battles with it a night and hope for 3k in experience to go along with it.

It's always nice to see an improvement and with stats as bad as mine on the Tiger II, it's not hard. With tanks I struggle with it's harder to keep a positive attitude when thing aren't going well. I've sold off a few tanks because they frustrated me and that's probably good. With my time as limited as it is I'd rather just play tanks I'm good with, but the desire to try something new always pushes me forward. I'll have 'projects' I'll work on (unlocking this and that), and then take some time to go back to older tanks, or better yet, muck about on the test server (when it's up) just to try everything consequence free!

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