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Beginners Guide to using Artillery (SPG)


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CommissarKharkov #1 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 18:08

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Introduction:

So you want to try artillery and rain death upon your opponents.  You get an arty tank and head out.  But something seems wrong.  You're not hitting much, whereas other arty are just pounding people. Something seems missing.  It gets frustrating.  Soon you resort to running around as an ungainly Tank Destroyer, as the arty ability seems worthless.

Here's what I learned by not doing it right for more than 100 arty games, and then finally stumbling across the important stuff.  Don't be a noob like I was - some of this stuff is not intuitive, so read all the points.



The Basics:

1).  To enter the artillery overview mode, hit the "Left-Shift" button.  Now you have a top-down view of the battlefield.

2).  In the top-down view, you can use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

3).  The green line represents what you can potentially hit.  The red lines show obstructed areas.  The gray line means it is out of range.

4).  The "Golden Rule of Arty Dots" - if you see an oval of dots in your top-down view, that's the area your shot will land in.  If you don't see the dots, it doesn't matter if there is a green line to the target, your gun is not facing the right way.  To resolve this, rotate the hull of the tank.  You may have to zoom out in top-down view to see the dots as they track around.  Note that in some tanks the hull will rotate automatically (abliet slowly) and the SU-26 is an exception as it has a turret (so auto-rotates).

5).  Once you have the dots showing in the target's area, hit "X" to stabilize the gun.  This will prevent the hull from moving but will increase the accuracy.

6).  Center the "oval of dots" over your target, adjust for any movement (it takes a second or two for the arty shot to get there), and shoot.  If the target is stationary, try to put the tank between the "crosshatch-mark" and the "center-dot" to increase the chances of hitting it.

7).  If you are following a target and the dots stop moving while you are tracking it, hit "X" to unlock the gun stabilization and allow the hull to turn.  Manually turn the hull if need be.  Then hit "X" to stabilize the gun once you have the target lined up.

8).  Rain death upon your opponents!!!


Some other tips:

- Find a good place to set up.  Hiding is good, like in a bush or behind a building.  Move away from your base a bit if possible to avoid getting shot up by base-rushers.

- If an enemy tank gets near:
-- switch back to normal view by hitting (Left-Shift), and get ready for a direct-fire "shotgun" attempt on them.
-- Use the attention function on the minimap to make your teammates aware of the problem (Hold down "Control", then mouse-click on the minimap).
-- As soon as the enemy tank is dealt with, you will need to immediately relocate.  Enemy arty will target your last known position and nuke you, so be sure to move away a bit.

- Upgrade to a good radio as soon as you can, as this means access to more target data from your teammates.

- If there are no targets showing to arty, feel free to ask your teammates to move up and light some up for you.


Final word:

- If arty is still frustrating after all this, see if you can get a SU-26 (Soviet SPG).  It's the games easiest arty to use and you can learn fast with it.  However, it's tier 3, so you have to stumble through the tier 2 SU-18 first....


Have fun!

CommissarKharkov

steelknight987 #2 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 18:23

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I had no idea what X did until this post! +1 for you!

Shang_Hai #3 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 18:58

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There have been times when my circle was as small as it was going to get. I fire and the shell lands far outside the circle (as if I had just targeted that area and the circle was wide). I also didn't know about the "X" button. Do you suppose that is why my shell landed no where near my target?

Edit:
Is there any indicator that you have the lock on?

CommissarKharkov #4 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 20:26

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View PostShang_Hai, on Apr 24 2012 - 18:58, said:

There have been times when my circle was as small as it was going to get. I fire and the shell lands far outside the circle (as if I had just targeted that area and the circle was wide). I also didn't know about the "X" button. Do you suppose that is why my shell landed no where near my target?

Edit:
Is there any indicator that you have the lock on?

Yes, there's an orange exclamation point that shows up in the box on the bottom left of your screen.  That indicates the stabilization lock is on.  It's the same marker that you see when using a Tank Destroyer when you go into "scope and spin in place" mode (likewise you hit the "X" to activate this in a TD).

Shang_Hai #5 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 22:55

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View PostCommissarKharkov, on Apr 24 2012 - 20:26, said:

Yes, there's an orange exclamation point that shows up in the box on the bottom left of your screen.  That indicates the stabilization lock is on.  It's the same marker that you see when using a Tank Destroyer when you go into "scope and spin in place" mode (likewise you hit the "X" to activate this in a TD).


While in my TD, I hit X and nothing happens, both in my stug and my slugger. X does nothing!

defkeys #6 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 23:13

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There have been times when my circle was as small as it was going to get. http://www.spgames.info/g.gif

Mydragonsfly #7 Posted Apr 24 2012 - 23:38

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View PostCommissarKharkov, on Apr 24 2012 - 18:08, said:

  However, it's tier 3, so you have to stumble through the tier 2 SU-18 first....Have fun!CommissarKharkov
Or if you have enough free exp, use that instaid of grinding through the su 18.

Tank_Buster_ #8 Posted Apr 25 2012 - 00:13

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well i just got the Wespe and did not know about the X thing so let me try that out , ill give some feedback asap. thanks :Smile-izmena::Smile-izmena::Smile-izmena:

CommissarKharkov #9 Posted Apr 25 2012 - 00:34

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View PostShang_Hai, on Apr 24 2012 - 22:55, said:

While in my TD, I hit X and nothing happens, both in my stug and my slugger. X does nothing!

There's an additional catch to the Tank Destroyer "X" mode - you need to be in "scope" view to trigger it.  If you are not, it doesn't work.  Also, if you activate "X", then go out of scope mode and/or move, it automatically de-activates (which can be very annoying, to say the least).


Also, the turreted Tank Destroyers don't get the "X" mode option at all.


Some more info while we're on Tank Destroyers "X" mode:
-you can spin in place with it and not be detected by enemies as easily.  If you use normal movement, you can be detected.
-the spin rate is often faster than if you turned the tank by normal movement.


One more thing - it takes getting used to spinning the tank in "X" mode without zooming out.  It takes some practice.  Don't be surprised if you over-spin or under-spin at first. With practice it becomes more precise and extremely useful.

FlyingTanker #10 Posted Apr 25 2012 - 00:47

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Thanks so much man, I just started back to arty and I am not doing great, this will help.

GarethOfKelshim #11 Posted Apr 29 2012 - 03:28

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I was going to put something like this in myself. Since you already have this good tutorial up, I will simply add a few more tips to it.

1) Communicate with your teammates. Let them know what area you are covering.

2)Assuming you have the range to do it; counter-battery fire (targeting enemy arty) is always an excellent choice. *(note: whenever arty shoots, it leaves a vapor trail. If you see the end of this trail, there is an enemy arty there, even if you do not have visual)

3)Many arty players will always aim for the biggest enemy they can see. While in general this is good; if there is a less powerful enemy near the big guy which only needs one or two shots to kill, take it out first. That's one less gun for your teammates on the front to worry about.

AlbanY #12 Posted Apr 29 2012 - 04:23

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View PostCommissarKharkov, on Apr 25 2012 - 00:34, said:

Some more info while we're on Tank Destroyers "X" mode:
-you can spin in place with it and not be detected by enemies as easily.  If you use normal movement, you can be detected.
-the spin rate is often faster than if you turned the tank by normal movement.


wow. I'm new to this kind of trick. I always thought that your TD cannot spin when in locked hull mode. thanks +1
now i can ambush with my JGD4


View PostGarethOfKelshim, on Apr 29 2012 - 03:28, said:

2)Assuming you have the range to do it; counter-battery fire (targeting enemy arty) is always an excellent choice. *(note: whenever arty shoots, it leaves a vapor trail. If you see the end of this trail, there is an enemy arty there, even if you do not have visual)

3)Many arty players will always aim for the biggest enemy they can see. While in general this is good; if there is a less powerful enemy near the big guy which only needs one or two shots to kill, take it out first. That's one less gun for your teammates on the front to worry about.


I quite agree to this one. When an enemy SPG fires, even if not on visuals, it will leave some kind of transparent line thus indicating it's position. better fire to where that transparent line starts. also I target to the players who I can only kill with one shot. (KS mode  :Smile-playing: ). But it would help your team mates a lot if you target the bigger ones.


One last and impt. tip: when some enemy scout spots you, change position imediately. Arty's most favorite targets are stationary artys since they can be killed through one hit.

Maitas #13 Posted May 09 2012 - 20:49

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View PostShang_Hai, on Apr 24 2012 - 18:58, said:

There have been times when my circle was as small as it was going to get. I fire and the shell lands far outside the circle (as if I had just targeted that area and the circle was wide). I also didn't know about the "X" button. Do you suppose that is why my shell landed no where near my target?

Edit:
Is there any indicator that you have the lock on?

In my case when that happens is becouse the shell hit a rock before getting to the target.

Maitas #14 Posted May 09 2012 - 20:50

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View PostShang_Hai, on Apr 24 2012 - 22:55, said:

While in my TD, I hit X and nothing happens, both in my stug and my slugger. X does nothing!
Sluuget has a torret, so X won't do a thing there, I don't know about stug

Maitas #15 Posted May 09 2012 - 21:02

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Other comments about SPGs. After Premium tanks, they are the biggest money making tanks in the game.

After 600 battles with my SU-26 I finally moved to a SU-5, which when fully upgraded it is much more fun to play. With SU-26 at the end, I got in tier7 games, and I couldn't harm any tier6,7 tank. With SU-5 I go to tier8 fights but I still can do a small damage to tier8 heavies, even KV-5.

I recommend the Russian branch becouse I prefer the high shotting that allow to shoot tanks hidding behind rocks. It is very important to have 75% and up crew. Keep playing the SU-18 until you have both crew member at 75% and save 20k when you upgrade to SU-26 to upgrade to 75% the gunner. With lower than 75% crew you will miss most of your shots.

SU-26 is really fun and easy to play, even in cities. I recommend to move to SU-5 only with 100% crew, since you only have 14 shells and missing a shot means you only have few more shooting chances.

I'm still with my SU-5 trying to get the XPs needed for the SU-8. I also own a premium heavy tier8 (Lowe) that is my main money making tank, but I need the XPs to develop the SU-8.

CommissarKharkov #16 Posted May 10 2012 - 21:29

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View PostMaitas, on May 09 2012 - 21:02, said:

Other comments about SPGs. After Premium tanks, they are the biggest money making tanks in the game.

I recommend the Russian branch becouse I prefer the high shotting that allow to shoot tanks hidding behind rocks. It is very important to have 75% and up crew. Keep playing the SU-18 until you have both crew member at 75% and save 20k when you upgrade to SU-26 to upgrade to 75% the gunner. With lower than 75% crew you will miss most of your shots.


Both the SU-26 (Tier 3) and SU-5 (Tier IV) are very good.  Not only that, as the above poster mentioned, one can make good money with them, which helps fund other tanks.

Edited by CommissarKharkov, May 10 2012 - 21:30.


Jarink #17 Posted May 10 2012 - 23:11

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View PostMaitas, on May 09 2012 - 21:02, said:

It is very important to have 75% and up crew.

This makes a huge difference. Reloads are faster, accuracy circle shrinks faster, overall much more effective vehicle. I started a T-57 with 50% crew and almost gave up on arty. I finally got enough credits to train the crew to 75% and WOW what a difference.

_Hawkeye_ #18 Posted May 11 2012 - 00:50

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My piece of advice, take it for what it is worth, let your aiming circle aim all the way in before you shoot.

fsjd #19 Posted May 11 2012 - 02:32

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im up to the GWP, hummel is among the best artillery in-game.

some further advice.

1: ALWAYS get a gun rammer and gun laying drive. reload, aimtime.
2: train your loaders and gunners first. these are the people you need with the highest skillset. reload, accuracy.
3: counterbattery is only good if theres a lot of arty on each side. otherwise focus on tanks.
3b: learn your targeting priorities.
4: if a scout gets close, if your first shot misses, you will probably die.
Hawkeye already stated number 6: let your aimcircle close all the way. see number 1.

McPacMan #20 Posted May 16 2012 - 19:46

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Hello All,

One question about arty aiming.  Can you lock on to a target like a regular tank can?

Richard