Tanks & Tactics
All vehicles in World of Tanks are represented by five types that differ in tactics and purpose. Overall, the game boasts over 400 vehicles across nine nations.
In World of Tanks, the first vehicles you drive are Tier I light tanks. They can be used to learn many new skills and gain useful experience. With this type of vehicle, tank rookies will learn how to drive and fire, find an advantageous position, and cooperate with allies.
As you progress through the Tech Tree, you meet light tanks of higher Tiers. They sacrifice heavy armour and a hard-hitting gun for speed and manoeuvrability. Light tanks are the eyes and ears of the team, and they are great for scouting and reconnaissance.
The early stages of the battle are critical for spotting enemies and deciding the strategic attack and defence areas. You may see the light tanks rush to the enemy base right after they start their engines. In most cases, this daring charge ends quickly with the immediate annihilation of the scout and no benefit for the team. However, intimidation tactics, when vehicles appear unexpectedly in different sectors of the map, can be quite effective. The other popular technique is the so called “passive scouting”, when a vehicle takes up a position in dense bushes or in a hard-to-reach spot in the center of the map and spots targets for its allies.
The longer light tanks survive, the more profitable they are for the team. Patience and awareness can be rewarding and end in an effective breakthrough to capture the enemy base or destroy artillery batteries. Light tanks can also hunt tank destroyers, whose rears are vulnerable to even the smaller armament of light tanks.
As you can see, the light tank role is quite specific and its effectiveness depends on the map type and its team members, but it will always have its fans and admirers due to amusing and challenging gameplay.
Medium tanks represent an intermediate class, filling the gap between larger, burlier heavy tanks and smaller, nimbler light tanks. These multipurpose war machines can perform a wide range of roles, from swift lightly-armed scouts to deadly combat vehicles with powerful weapons.
As a rule, medium tanks are most effective when supporting friendly heavy tanks or when they form a “wolf-pack”. In most cases, they carry rapid firing guns with comparatively low damage and penetration. They cannot compete with heavy tanks and tank destroyers in frontal attacks and should only count on their movement characteristics when demonstrating their fire power.
Take advantage of detours and breaches in enemy lines for flanking manoeuvres or a quick rush to enemy batteries. Remember that there is safety in numbers, and one medium tank cannot conquer alone. So coordinate your attacks with allies or, preferably, gather a combat team and fight alongside your friends to make your game experience more entertaining and effective!
In World of Tanks, heavy tanks are represented by a vast variety of war machines: from large-tonnage, impenetrable and heavily-armoured brutes, to quick support vehicles with high maneuverability and some qualities similar to the lighter vehicles. As a result, these giants can fulfil different functions on the battlefield.
Solid and armoured heavy tanks usually act as the attacking vanguard and the first line of defence for the team. They encounter enemy vehicles first and define the battle. Depending on the line-up, their mission is to pierce the front line or contain the enemy. But tread softly, and plan one step ahead when playing in heavy tanks, as high speed and quick repositioning are not included in their list of strengths.
Offensive heavy tanks have a wide range of options: they can encourage allies in frontal attacks and swoop around a flank together with medium tanks. Also, it is not uncommon for them to take up and hold dominant positions on the map from the very beginning of the battle.
Remember that despite its thick armour, every heavy tank has its weak spots. Be careful and avoid open and busy zones. Even such giants cannot withstand crossfire for long. Make use of cover positions and allied support to survive and help your team win the battle.
A normal tank destroyer is a powerful artillery gun mounted on a tank chassis. The rotating turret is sacrificed for alternative fighting capabilities. Front line combat with tank hunters can be a dangerous endeavour because of their high single-shot damage, rapid firing, and excellent penetrating power.
The lack of a rotating turret makes a tank destroyer very vulnerable in a close-range fight. It cannot respond quickly to the flanking manoeuvres since it has to turn its hull, and damaged suspension means destruction is inevitable.
However, some tank destroyers do have rotating turrets. In these cases, tank destroyers usually trade their armour for mobility and even better firepower. As such, they can be described as "glass cannons" – powerful, but easily destroyed. For those TDs, stealth is usually the best approach.
Tank destroyers are extremely effective for defence and second-line support. But their natural enemy—artillery—can easily force them out of their hiding spots with barrage fire.
In World of Tanks, the SPG class is represented by the self-propelled howitzers. These vehicles act at long range, striking enemy tanks with barrage fire, and supporting allied forces on the forefront of the battle. The special artillery aim enables them to observe the battlefield from a bird’s eye view.
SPGs are equipped with large-calibre guns that help them heavily damage or destroy enemy tanks upon a successful hit. That kind of power has its drawbacks: they have poor accuracy and long reload times.
SPGs are able to radically change the battle outcome with just a few shots. They can keep the enemy players on the edge of their seat, but only as long as the battle stays in the distance. The moment your opponents rush to the firing positions, in most cases, the artillery is doomed. The truth is that the SPG’s armour is too thin for direct engagements. Even if the enemy attack is suppressed, losses may be incurred by attacks from the enemy SPGs.
When playing SPGs, it is critical to track activities on the minimap, so that you can provide immediate and adequate responses to changes on the face of the battlefield and assist allies in the high-priority directions. This will also help you change position if there is a risk of detection. Focusing your aim on a target can take quite a long time, so it is not recommended to switch between different targets too often so that you can save time.
Successful SPG gameplay requires attention and patience. Due to its peculiar nature, SPGs have as many admirers as they have detractors. It's a highly polarising vehicle class, but regardless of the side of the fence you sit, you can't deny the impact it has in battle.