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So, aside from Eve Online, I like to play World of Tanks.  Strangely, over the last couple weeks the game has pulled me in, primarily due to the easy of PVP.  Recent failures on the part of my own Eve PVP experience has left me.. well.. drained a bit.

So, I fall back on World of Tanks to see how ineffectual.. err.. wonderful I really am.

I quit playing a couple months back after being frustrated with my failure to make any headway at all with the Tiger, and I was forced to sell it to buy back a VK3601.  Also, my battle records looked something like this (only slightly exaggerated):

  • Team Defeated – A billion shots fired, no tanks listed as destroyed or damaged.
  • Team Defeated – Lucky shot from Arty hits ammo rack, tank blowed up in first 10 seconds of fight.
  • Team Defeated – Last guy on Tier list, rest of the tanks are Level 9 or 10.  Disemboweled with one shot.
  • Team Victorious – Killed one guy (scout tank), damaged no one.. shot 30 rounds.  Lost $5,000 after ammo costs.
  • Etc..
  • Etc..
  • Team Defeated – Half of all shots fired at the Leichttraktor from  my Tiger bounce… even at point blank range.
  • Team Defeated – Same Leichttraktor is on the same side, accidentally shoots me from behind while going down a hill.. Tiger blows up.

But with only $10,000 left and trying to rebuild my coffers using a VK3601H was pretty.. pretty sad.  So I had to go back to something a little more affordable.  You know, Tier 1.   It took a bit of work but I climbed up the Russian, American, and even French tank lines for a little ways.  I stuck with the Russian TD ladder, but went back to German SPGs.  I finally got back into the Grille, while the SU-85 actually started to make me enough isk to rebuild by VK3601H to a top end machine (never, ever sell a tank unless you are moving up). 

Realizing the VK3001P

Now, while I chose the Vk3601H because I have a crew at 100% with extra skills, I never really liked it.  It never really performed well for me, even when fully upgraded and with extra advantages like the reloading boost and camoflauge.  But I kept using it, despite the fact that half the time I would lose money whether I was on the winning team or not.  When I finally got around to trying the VK3001P, brought about by a half off sale on Tiger (P) models, I was floored.  The tank performed so much better than the VK3601H.  It was faster, more compact, hit harder, bounced less, and took way more shots before I was down.  World of Tanks suddenly got fun again when I could race across the map and not die in a fire to a tier IV. 

This was most evident the first time I played on the Province map.  My VK3601H almost never lasted even to the halfway mark, whereas my VK3001P was almost always one of the last ones to die, if we were losing.  Its shorter profile and ability to not bounce as many shots just really made this tank so much easier to use and to enjoy the game on.

Hummel yourself

The Hummel.. yes, that lovely, lovely Hummel.  It seems like ages ago when I started working toward the Hummel.  Once I got the Grille again I was able to start really bringing in the money. It didn’t take too long and now that I have it.. I find that it is a very satisfying SPG to  have.  Though, there does seem to be some wierdness happening from time to time.  Like during most of my games, when I patiently home in on a target.. and it clicks.. and I fire.. it usually lands close to the center.. maybe out on the edges from time to time.  But, during some games.. it does the exact opposite.  And yesterday was a prime example of that:

Our forces were arrayed on the southern side of the Malinovka map.  When the timer dropped, I roam to a good arty location and half the team starts their slide up the hill.  We must have a pretty good spotter on the team because we get to see quite a few targets right off the bat.  I go into aerial mode and home in on a Heavy tank near the church up north.  The tank sits there and “click” best accuracy achieve.. and “FIRE!’.. right over the top of him.  He moves, but I get a bead on an E-75.  I hear the click, and I fire another round.  Which explodes harmlessly in front.

K.. I’m a little mad, but that happens.

But as the game goes on, round after round miss.  One shot had the target covered 95% on a Type 59.. and the shot hit on the side of a building  that was in the 5%.  In the end, out of 17 shots, only 2 hit.  Next game, got 2 kills, and six damages using the same technique.  Go figure.

The Hummel also forced me to change how I view targets.  In the Grille and earlier SPGs, my focus was on tank destroyers and medium to small tanks.  This was because I could do real damage and even destroy some of those tanks and get their scouting ability off of the field.  Now, with the Hummel, my focus is more on trying to hit the heavy tanks.. to wound them enough that it makes it difficult for them to get safe or get into a position of strength.

Revisiting the Tiger

When I first tried the Tiger, even when I won, I lost.  Hard not to hate a tank where you won’t ever make any money, especially for the upgrades you need to become more viable.   This second time however, was different.  I was able to get the Tiger and get it partially upgraded to a decent (though not fully trained) hull.  But as I mentioned before, these upgrades  didn’t change the fact that I was bleeding money fast.  It got so bad that I didn’t have the money to upgrade the tank.

However, with Wargaming.net cutting the price of some of the German heavy Tanks by half.. I figured I should try to make a go of it.  I sold my VK3601H, bought the Tiger and upgraded it as much as I had previously trained.  This got me the short 88, the second level engine, and top of the line radio.  It was still sketchy at first.. but I wasn’t losing money hand over fist anymore.  I recently picked up the 88 long, and that is like the hammer of Thor right there.  I finally can give Type 59s the ‘what-for’ and soon I should be able to get the final engine upgrade.. making me a very fast hammer indeed.  Already made Master Class in the Tiger once.

Pondering the Inponderables

Now that it takes more time to train up to the next Tier, I am spending more time pondering how to improve my skills/effectiveness on various maps.

Hummel:  The two maps that always give me trouble are the Himmeldorf and the Mountain Pass.  I found that both sides of the Mountain Pass map have a “typical” spot.. usually located on the mountain tops, but I found two other spots which provide both cover from the typical spots and place me in a position where I can bottleneck the enemy.  The only downside is that my team usually doesn’t recognize that where I am.  Once, after destroying both a heavy and a medium and damaging several heavies, I got called out for “not supporting” their side.. which was the very same side that I destroyed both of those tanks and where I was still damaging the heavies…

The Himmeldorf, on the other hand, has just two spots for both sides, and both are risky.  So, I’m still trying to find a good niche spot.. but that may not be possible.

My favorite has come to be the El Halluf map.  When you find the right spot, an arty can hit anywhere on the field and harrass any defensive and offensive point.  The downside is that your team’s scouts shouldn’t try and push any farther beyond the cliff until some of the enemy has been cleared away.

VK3001P:  I am still getting used to the South Coast map, though in my VK3001P I usually at least score 1 or 2 kills.  Its a new map so I am still feeling it out.  Another map, Live Oaks, is one that I think is difficult for all medium tank classes.  Heavy tanks either battle in the city area (which is protected from Artillery) or hide behind the train on the east side.  Both sides afford good protection for heavy tanks and makes advancing difficult if you aren’t fast or hardy enough.

Tiger:  I’m still pretty fresh in the Tiger, and to heavy tanks in general.  Unfortunately, the Tiger, while it has a great gun.. still has a tough time against Tier VIIIs like the Lowe and Type 59, both of which you will find in every battle.  My worst maps in this regard are the Karelia, Erlenberg,  and Murovanka maps.  I just don’t seem to have good placements on these maps and usually get stuck trying to defend against Tier X, IX, and VIII tanks and unable to get behind them to their weaker armor, or at very least, damage their treads, particularly on the Karelia map because the rough terrain usually covers up threads.