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fablkak's advanced tips for arty in pub matches.

arty spg guide advanced tips

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fablkak #1 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 06:23

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Advanced tips for arty in pub matches
This guide is designed for people who already know the basics of arty and are looking to improve their win rate and become a true asset to their team.

Make the most of your team.
Due to the nature of artillery using indirect fire and being rather vulnerable they are more reliant on their team other tank classes that can make more opportunities for themselves. You have to make the most out of the team you have, they won’t be perfect, they won’t cover all paths to arty at all times and they won’t wait for you to get ready before they find targets but if you know this from the start you can try to make the most of it.

Team Tip#1: Setting up: Keep your eyes on the minimap!
Take some responsibility for your own safety when you set up and don’t expect your team to be an impenetrable fortress of imperviousnessnessness. If you team all goes east and your favorite arty hideout happens to be west you have two options, either you can go to your usual spot which isn’t protected at all then be spotted and killed in the first two minutes or you can adapt to the situation and go east where you will have some protection. Sure a flank is left open but this way you won’t be all by yourself and you won’t be the first to find out about a medium rush down that side, it also gives you some more time to react (i.e. run even further) when the inevitable push is made. Continuously relocating to areas of relative safety keeps your gun in the game and keeps the fear of arty in the enemy ranks. If you let your guard slip even for a second people like Taz who specialize in harassing arty will slip through and have their way with you.
  No matter how great your team’s defenses occasionally a scout will slip through to wreak havok. If you followed some of the advice above you have bought yourself some time and you saw them coming, this gives you time to improve your chances a little. If you can try running to some hard cover and point to the side where the scout will appear. Although you still have to take your chances with a scout you no longer have to worry about enemy arty hitting you also.

Team Tip #2: Don’t waste your early spotters.
You may have noticed that as you were getting into position some retarded suicide scout on your team has already found some targets and died. The scout will say something along the lines of “I did my job derrrrrrp” and the rest of your team will complain that you didn’t take out their arty while you had the chance despite the fact that you weren't ready. Here is the tip, are you ready? Be ready! If you notice a scout on your team running for it and you are only half way loaded just stop your dash to the promised land where arty is safe and targets abound and start aiming at the targets you do have while you are loading and only half way to your precious position. After you take the first shot of the match you can resume your march to that particular piece of ground you favor.
   It doesn’t have to be a light tank spotting either, many mediums will also try an initial low risk scouting run. So basically no matter what, if you expect to see targets early game then make sure you will be aimed down in their most likely location by the time you are loaded.

Team Tip #3: Expect the expected.
As your team advances down a road where they are likely to encounter enemy resistance make sure you are already aimed around 150 meters in front of them and ready to fire. This way you can hit targets as soon as they are spotted and you don’t risk them being lost before you’re even fully aimed at them.


Counter-Counter battery tips.
CCB Tip #1: Move before your shell even lands.
You should almost never die to counter battery! If you are in a popular arty spot you have to move EVERY time you shoot! As soon as you click soot just hit the W (or S)  key and stay in arty mode so you can run away and still see if your shell hit its mark.

CCB Tip #2: Location Location Location.
Another way to avoid being countered is to take up a position where enemy arty is unlikely to be looking, this is easy in some maps and modes and hard in others. If you are lucky enough to have an assault battle on Malinovka then the defending side pretty much knows the 50m square patch of grass where the defending artillery has to sit and thus they will be easy to counter and MUST move after every shot. Conversely the defending team has no idea where to look for the attackers arty, they could be in the field where they spawned or in either forrest. If you were countered in one of the 100 spots you could have hidden as a defender well... try picking a less obvious spot next time or move after every shot just to be safe.

CCB Tip #3: Down hill for the win.
Pro tip guys, tanks accelerate faster going down hill. If you set up where you can run down hill as soon as you shoot then you will cover a lot more ground in the three to five seconds you have before an enemy T92 shell lands right where you were sitting. Lets look at two arty players, both are equally good shots and when both players survive to the end of the match their total damage is about the same. Now consider what happens when the enemy team is CBing and both players are forced to use a well known arty hangout, player A sets up facing down a hill and moves before his shell even hits the ground. By the time an enemy shell lands where he was he is 50m away and well into the safe zone however player B set up on a slight incline and watches his shells land.... Basically player B will die and not be able to keep putting on the damage at the rate of player A.

CCB Tip#4: CB Alert!
If you know they are CBing and you have the room to move try and get at least a full zoomed out arty screen from where you last were. Also warn other arty.

CCB Tip#5: A miss for them is a win for you.
If they are trying to CB you and they are missing every time because you were following my advice then you have succeeded in taking one of their arty out of the fight because they are spending all of their time failing to hit you rather than taking out your tanks.

Counter Battery tip.
You have to consider risks vs rewards before you spend too much time CBing. Time spent CBing is time spent not damaging that enemy maus = time spent maus was damaging your team. For CB to be worth the time you have to have a pretty good chance of seeing a tracer and making a kill otherwise you’re just not being useful. This means that you should only focus on CB duty if they have a fair amount of arty and you have a reasonable idea where they will be OR if you have no other targets available and none in the foreseeable future then you may as well give it a go.

Right click tips
RMB Tip#1: Bloom reduction
To reduce aim time you can lock your gun in place with RMB before you traverse your SPG, then make sure you mouse over the little dot before you let go of RMB or your reticle will bloom like crazy anyway.

RMB Tip#2: Multiple target acquisition.
If you can see two stationary targets but you’re not loaded or not fully aimed and you fear that you are about to lose sight of said targets then you should do this: aim at one of them and hold RMB then put your curser over where you would like to aim at the second target. Then when you are loaded or aimed or whatever you were waiting for you can click LMB then release RMB and you will hit the first target then it will aim right over where you put your cursor where the second stationary target is waiting for you.


Target prioritization
TP Tip #1: Kill what needs to be killed, damage what needs to be damaged.
Once you have mastered the art of not being killed you should focus on the art of dealing damage where damage is needed. Some arty won’t shoot at targets on low health, others won’t shoot unless they are going to get a kill, both are idiots. Your job is to take out threats or deal as much damage as possible to them. Remember if you take out an enemy gun you are also conserving friendly hitpoints.
  In action this means it’s better to hit a T-95 on 10% health than it is to hit a T29 on 100%. The reason is simple, in a high tier game the t29 is going to struggle to damage anything while everything is going to damage him with relative easy, on the other hand the T-95 is likely to deal some real damage to your team before anyone manages to pen him.

TP Tip#2: If the threat is equal hit the target for the most damage.
Tanks with crappy armor make for more delicious targets. If you have the choice between an AMX 50B or a Maus, hit the 50B because you are likely to kill more crew and deal more damage. Secondly, you are much more likely to actually hit a stationary target so when I’m presented with  a moving t32 or a stationary t29 for example, as much as I would rather hit the bigger threat I’m going for the stationary target because the risk of missing may be too high. Alternatively aim for the moving target and use the RMB Tip #two to get get the stationary one too (You see what I did there? (Is it wrong that I felt the need to point that out? (If I keep nesting brackets will my computer get a bug?((ants!))))).


Safe fire tips.
SF Tip #1: Don’t shoot anywhere near you ally!
The shells follow a parabolic trajectory, the longer your shot the higher the parabola, it’s not rocket science (well, ok it is rather important for rocket scientists) . Shells don’t go straight up, wait for the earth to spin slightly then come straight down! If a friendly unit is in the line of fire, i.e. face hugging an enemy tank between you and the enemy then DON’T take the shot! If it looks like a friendly E50 is about to ram the enemy then don’t take the shot. This kind of thing happens all too often and there is no excuse for taking a shot that damages the hell out of a friendly unit. The artillery’s excuse of “don’t get so close” is not a valid one, if you are damaging your own team you are doing it wrong and you will lose games because you are useless and a bad person at heart.

SF Tip #2: Beware low flying shots.
If you’re shooting over a short distance make sure to leave arty view occasionally to check that no one is in the line of fire because your projectiles are going to be flying low, especially if you are shooting down to an area with lower elevation. I have even accidentally TK’d someone because they were on the crest of a hill somewhere between me and the enemy, that part of the crest just happened to be in my flight path. This kind of thing has only happened twice in my 11k games but it does happen and it can be hard to avoid because it happens off screen.

Misc
Aiming tips: Learn to aim and for Christ’s sake stop killing your own team!
Have you mastered the art of not killing people on your own team yet? Good, now we can start shooting at the enemy, the enemy being the red guys or occasionally green arty that has failed to master SF tip number one.
Do you recall our little chat about parabolic trajectories? When you aim at things you have a little green dot in the centre of your reticle, that is where your shell is trying to go, shells will be normally distributed about this point with the green outer line representing three standard deviations, this means 99.7% of your shots will fall within this area. Long story short you want to make sure you’re not aiming your little circle on the top of the enemy tanks turret because you will probably overshoot their tank. Your best bet is to place your little dot just past the enemy tank so that the tank is in the flight path of your projectile. There is an exception to this for artillery with very high arcs like the SU-26, with this little beast it’s actually advisable to aim right on the top of peoples engine compartments, where you might pen for full damage.

Leading targets
In tanks the flight time of your projectile increases exponentially with the distance traveled. Basically hitting moving targets comes down to practice and luck. It's not easy to hit a target going at 40 kph with a four second flight time but with some practice you get better at it, i.e. you tend to get lucky more often. There are some mods out there that will tell you flight time, if you're really struggling with leading targets go try it out.

Ammo types.  
Most the time you want to use HE rounds, especially for CB however for smaller maps I have been having more success switching to AP, namely Ensk and Himmelsdorf. It comes down to accuracy, if your SPG is accurate enough to hit targets reliably then feel free to use AP more often.

Crew Skills:
Ideally you need two skills close to 100, firstly Brothers in Arms, secondly camo for everyone except the gunner who needs snapshot because this will reduce bloom during gun traverse, even if it says it’s only for turrets it works for all arty. Everything else is borderline useless.
Correction from CaptIceman:
"As for skill/perks, I would say it's absolutely a must to have "Sixt sense" on your commander and "Clutch Breaking" for your driver."
Your skills should look like this:
Commander: Brothers in arms, sixth sense, camo.
Gunner: Brothers in arms, snap shot, camo
Radio operator: Brothers in arms, camo then whatever you like
Loaders: Brothers in arms, camo then whatever.
Driver: Brothers in arms then either clutch breaking or camo.

Consumables:
If you’re russian get that remove speed governor happening and use it to set up and relocate. Don’t forget to turn it off or you’ll bust your engine.

Equipment:
Vents, rammer, gun laying drive. If you can’t equip vents maybe use a camo net.

Communication:
Tell your team where you are covering, ask for spots if you have to.

I’ll add more stuff when I think of it.

Before anyone asks I have recently been playing my Obj 212, M12, hummel and tier 5 AMX and I solo in arty 80% of the time. I don’t claim to be the best arty player out there just above average because of a lot of experience. My stats are:
obj 212 60% wins after 253 games.
SU-26  67% wins after 163 games. (you can call it stat padding, I call it fun)
M12  61% wins after 107 games.
Hummel   62% wins after 78 games.
AMX 13 F3 AM 66% wins after 32 games.

Please let me know if there is anything important I have missed or if there is some awesome secret to arty I don’t know about.
Also if you liked this guide you might want to check out my guide to light tanks:
http://forum.worldof...tical-scouting/

Thanks for reading, fablkak.

Edited by fablkak, Jul 25 2012 - 03:19.


crystalshatter #2 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 06:34

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Nice guide! However, I would like to point out something that might have some negative effects. (It happens to me all the time).

View Postfablkak, on Jul 19 2012 - 06:23, said:


Counter-Counter battery tips.
CCB Tip #1: Move before your shell even lands.
You should almost never die to counter battery! If you are in a popular arty spot you have to move EVERY time you shoot! As soon as you click soot just hit the W (or S)  key and stay in arty mode so you can run away and still see if your shell hit its mark.


I, for one, used to always hit W or S after firing while in arty mode. However, when you do this, you have to know what is around you at your location. Many times have I pressed S or W and hit a rock/map boundary without knowing, and was killed by CB fire.

So, If you are unsure of your immediate surrounding map objects, it's better to switch out of arty mode, move, and return to arty mode.

Evil_Monkey_Killer #3 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 06:50

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An excellent guide. +1 to you sir.

Edited by Evil_Monkey_Killer, Jul 19 2012 - 06:51.


mechvet #4 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:07

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Good guide, hopefully some more arty players will start to incorporate these TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, its a military thing) into their gameplay.

Rose_templar #5 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:08

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Awesome topic! Really good information in here. I'll just add a little nugget that I found a long time ago that works if people are more visual. IT doesn't have all of your wonderful tips in it but it explains how to read and position the reticule.

Again awesome post and I'm just adding to your well of information! +1

Posted Image

fablkak #6 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:25

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Thanks for the picture templar, it illustrates aiming better than my short explanation by a long way.

Most of the time it will look like the pic in the lower right, I actually recommend putting the dot just behind the tank rather than on it's edge like that. A lot of the time I try to put the tank in the way of my bullet rather than aim at the tank.

Denman #7 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:35

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Excellent advice. I only hope nobody else reads it.

Mherex #8 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 07:35

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very nice guide +1

LaToUnGa #9 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 08:18

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Thx all for these tips. And thx fablkak to take time to write this. Very nice guide +1

Revenus #10 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 11:33

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I was trying to explain a couple things about arty to a friend of mine who is really struggling with that playstyle. So I played while he sat and watched, and he was amazed and dumbstruck by one of the things that I did. He's played about 5k games total, just as a reference. Here's one of the things that I do fairly often:

You're in god-mode, have just let off your round, moved a bit, and then you notice someone somewhere else on the minimap. Hold down RMB so that your cursor stays where you were aiming. Moving your mouse over the minimap "zone" where the enemy icon is. Now press CTRL+RMB, but keep CTRL depressed. Your minimap, and view, will now snap to that area so you can have a quick look at things. Because you've still got CTRL depressed, it's effectively frozen the RMB command in place, so you'll still be sighted where you were in the beginning.

If you let go of CTRL without RMB depressed, your artillery piece will start traversing to get a shot where you're currently looking.
If you let go of CTRL and still have RMB depressed, your view will still be "locked".
The only problem with doing this, is that you need to CTRL+RMB the zone you were previously sighted on to get back to where you were. Because it will centre your screen on that minimap block, you'll need to readjust your aim and let it zero in again. For tanks that have a 25sec+ reload time, you should usually be able to do this without sacrificing your next shot.

In short, the benefit of using this is situational awareness and checking to see if there is a bigger threat detected than the one you're currently aiming at.

P.S. Be sure not to CTRL+LMB, because that will just ping the area and you'll look like a bit of an idiot.

Tazilon #11 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 14:43

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This is a good guide overall but it contains one bias Scouts find extremely frustrating.

Quote

You may have noticed that as you were getting into position some retarded suicide scout on your team has already found some targets and died.

Thus highlighting how ignorant Arty is about Scouting. Food for thought for the advanced Arty player:  Scouts do more than provide eyes for you.

Believe it or not, Scouts exist for reasons other than arty - seriously!  If a Scout wants to do an early  Banzai Rush  - and there are maps/modes in which this is quite effective - in order to get a good grip on how the enemy team is deploying and he waits until Arty is set up, the enemy team will have spread out too much to see very many of them.  The goal of this type Rush is NOT to have Arty shoot what they see; rather, the goal is to see what the enemy is doing so the Allied team themselves can better deploy and prepare.

Maps like Prok Standard mode are perfet for this.  A Scout can easily catch 10-13 of the enemy team and not even be sighted or be so far off from them he doesn't take damage before retreating to safety if he chooses.  I understand saying stop and get ready to shoot but be aware many times, an Enemy Scout is doing the same thing as your Scout and if you stop to get ready for your Scout, someone like me is able to quickly stop and put a nice big HE shell in your exposed, non-moving self.  I get a fair number of Arty kills because enemy Arty stops and gets ready for their guy to expose people early on.  BIG mistake.

DerAufklaerer #12 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 15:40

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Nice, +1

fablkak #13 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 15:59

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View PostTazilon, on Jul 19 2012 - 14:43, said:

Thus highlighting how ignorant Arty is about Scouting. Food for thought for the advanced Arty player:  Scouts do more than provide eyes for you.

Don't jump to conclusions Taz, I assure you I am not just an ignorant arty player so please save your opinions on scouting for your own 200 page guide. I have far more scout games than I do arty games and if you had bothered to check that you would also see that my win rate in them is between 64 and 70%. In fact I'm pretty sure I wrote a guide on scouting a few months before you did and I have to admit I found that some parts of your guide look like they were clearly missing key references to prior work.... I'm just saying.

You do make a point though, on some maps it's not advisable to stop and take a shot before you have reached some kind of safety.

Also as the title states, this is the guide for pub matches. This isn't a guide for when I'm platooned with one of the few great scout in the game. As such in pub matches you can expect most of your scouts to run off and die like tards in the first few seconds because they are doing it wrong. Your average dumb ass suicide scouter only lights up targets for around 20 seconds and you have to be ready to take advantage of this.

pekiti #14 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 16:54

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When I play arty, I usually tell my team (while the countdown clock is ticking) how long I need to set up, and how far across the map I can reach (if I already know).

For example:
"If you're scouting, I need 30 secs to get into my firing position, and I can only hit out to the G row."

I also have my movement key already pressed so I get moving the instant the clock hits zero, without a lot of lag in my acceleration. Every second counts when you have no armor and slow loading gun.

(Incidentally, the picture on aiming, posted earlier in this thread is one I made a couple of years ago.)

Edited by pekiti, Jul 19 2012 - 17:44.


2_minutes_hate #15 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 17:08

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Classy I like it. Thought this might be a arty rage thread. CB I will tell other arty if i see tracers. Others dont want to share to much, might lose a kill. YES. ^^^^ Move before your shell lands EVERYTIME.

2_minutes_hate #16 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 17:12

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View PostTazilon, on Jul 19 2012 - 14:43, said:

This is a good guide overall but it contains one bias Scouts find extremely frustrating.

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Thus highlighting how ignorant Arty is about Scouting. Food for thought for the advanced Arty player:  Scouts do more than provide eyes for you.

Believe it or not, Scouts exist for reasons other than arty - seriously!  If a Scout wants to do an early  Banzai Rush  - and there are maps/modes in which this is quite effective - in order to get a good grip on how the enemy team is deploying and he waits until Arty is set up, the enemy team will have spread out too much to see very many of them.  The goal of this type Rush is NOT to have Arty shoot what they see; rather, the goal is to see what the enemy is doing so the Allied team themselves can better deploy and prepare.

Maps like Prok Standard mode are perfet for this.  A Scout can easily catch 10-13 of the enemy team and not even be sighted or be so far off from them he doesn't take damage before retreating to safety if he chooses.  I understand saying stop and get ready to shoot but be aware many times, an Enemy Scout is doing the same thing as your Scout and if you stop to get ready for your Scout, someone like me is able to quickly stop and put a nice big HE shell in your exposed, non-moving self.  I get a fair number of Arty kills because enemy Arty stops and gets ready for their guy to expose people early on.  BIG mistake.

This is only a difference in opinion and the choice of the particular scout. Some lights choose to light up enemy tanks in a passive while others try and kill enemy arty. Friendly arty can adjust to friendly scouts tactis.

Tazilon #17 Posted Jul 19 2012 - 17:39

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View Postfablkak, on Jul 19 2012 - 15:59, said:

You do make a point though, on some maps it's not advisable to stop and take a shot before you have reached some kind of safety.

So...you agree with what I said but manage to insult me 2-3 times in the process of saying you agree.  Well done!  The reason for my post was to get Arty to understand that Scouts who rush the enemy as soon as the game starts should not be instantly stereotyped as "dumbass suicide scouters" because they may have a much higher level of understanding of the game than such a label gives them credit for.

As for my Guide, you will note I DO list the wiki as contributing to the Guide in my credits.  It is the only written reference I used in writing my Guide other than the item data taken from the game.

fablkak #18 Posted Jul 20 2012 - 02:04

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View PostTazilon, on Jul 19 2012 - 17:39, said:

Arty to understand that Scouts who rush the enemy as soon as the game starts should not be instantly stereotyped as "dumbass suicide scouters" because they may have a much higher level of understanding of the game than such a label gives them credit for.

They may have, but most of the time they don't. Honestly though how many times have you seen a light tank rush straight into the enemy, spot 13 things and die in the first few seconds. Most of the time by this point arty is not in position or hasn't finished loading and the rest of the team doesn't have shots on so not only does the enemy take no damage after this but your team won't even notice the distribution of outgoing enemy forced and adjust accordingly. All I'm saying is that you have to expect the majority of people to be idiots. Tard scouts are probably in no higher proportion than tard heavy tanks however their rapid death is more noticeable. We are not in an ideal world with ideal players so you just have to make the most out of the tards you got.

Insulting? Me? No! Ok a little, I didn't take kindly to your presumption because I am primarily a scout driver myself and I was sick and tired of having very poor artillery support so I made a guide. Dedicated arty players probably do have a lack of understanding behind the power of light tanks however that isn't me.

garlock #19 Posted Jul 23 2012 - 19:06

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For the image Rose_templar posted, is the elongated oval case drawn right? Looks to me like you want to place the elongated part over the tank with the dot just beyond.

If you look at the side view of the elongated case, the tank's front edge is on the near (elongated) part of the oval. This makes sense in the sideview -- the tanks height is positioned to "catch" more of the incoming shot path.

Move over to the overhead view though and the tank is back on the rear part of the oval. Looks to me like this is opposite of the side view.

roadtoinfinity #20 Posted Jul 25 2012 - 01:29

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Nice guide i bookmarked :Smile_glasses: , there are some things i already knew but very nice guide,although i don't play arty often (i play to relieve stress like if a T34 1-shots me in a sherman 3 minutes into the game)





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