What is World of Tanks?
World of Tanks is a tank-based MMO of sorts. In this game, two teams of tanks are pitted against each other, usually in a 15 vs. 15 format, with the various goals involving either a tank-based capture-the-flag mode or team deathmatch mode.
The game features a variety of tanks spread over 10 tiers, with tanks and match-making based on tank type and tier. How do you progress through the tiers? By playing the gamegmae of course! Each game you play earns you XP points that you need to invest in your tank (to upgrade things like the engine, gun, radio, etc.) and to unlock your upcoming. Progression is fairly linear and so you can’t skip tiers.
Since you’re just starting out, let’s elaborate on tank types and their defined roles in the game. Understanding the role of your tank in your team will help you serve your team better, and also lead you to victory. One point to keep in mind is that while the tank roles are quite well-defined, they’re not set in stone. Use your creativity and your knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each tank to your advantage and you’ll come out victorious.
Heavy Tanks: These include tanks such as the German Tiger and Russian IS-3 tanks. These are, arguably, the easiest tanks to start playing with, but the responsibility of driving a heavy is also, arguably, greater. As a heavy tank, your duty is to take the fight to the enemy and/or hold ground as required. You are the backbone of your team. There are always exceptions, but a heavy is the most heavily armoured tank in the game and also comes with some of the hardest hitting guns (tier for tier). These tanks are brawlers, they’re primarily designed for close-range combat, relying on their armour to keep them alive.
Medium Tanks: Tanks like the M4 Sherman and T62 fall into this category. These tanks are usually weakly armoured compared to the heavies, but they’re also far more mobile and even if their guns are not as hard hitting, they usually boast of an impressive rate of fire. These tanks are the flankers, while your heavy tanks engage the enemy spearhead, the mediums must try to flank and support the heavies. Do remember that your armour and guns will usually prevent you from taking on a heavy tank head on. Flank, flank flank!
Tank Destroyers: These are armoured fighting vehicles and are usually the snipers (as always, there are exceptions). The speciality of a tank destroyer is usually its gun, boasting of the highest penetration in-game and also the highest damage output of any tank in its tier. These tanks will usually hug tree-lines, hide behind bushes and provide withering supporting fire from the safety provided by great range and camouflage. A well-placed tank destroyer can hold off an entire flank.
Light Tanks: This is a class of tanks that is the most difficult to master, but a lot of fun once you do. As their classifications suggests, light tanks are small, light, fast and nimble tanks with great view range (more on that in Part II of this series) and a very high stealth rating. Your duty is to spot enemy vehicles. Hide in bushes along enemy routes, find a vantage point or just whizz past the enemy tanks, putting your speed and size to good use. This class is hardest to master because it also requires the most patience and fire discipline. Bringing your guns to bear is usually not an option since you neither have the firepower nor the penetration to get through the front of the tank (and sometimes you can’t even penetrate the sides), but you can use your tank to distract opponents, keep them spotted for your team or shoot enemy tracks and engines to immobilise them.
SPG: Self-Propelled-Guns are easily the most reviled vehicles on the battlefield and whether that’s justified or not, they’re necessary for maintaining a proper flow to the battle. Since SPGs are artillery units, they specialise in indirect fire, not requiring line-of-sight to fire at an opponent. This class is purely for support, fire low velocity shells from large-diameter guns and are horrendously inaccurate. They are not usually very mobile and usually fire at a rate of 2-3 shells a minute and rarely, if ever, move very much. However, their capability of indirect fire is, many a time, the only thing that’s capable of turning the tide of the battle.
Hopefully, this rudimentary outline as to each class’s capabilities should put you on the right track to victory. Start your engines and roll out!
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