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Playing your first Heavy Tank

Tiger Lessons Learned Heavy Tank First New Stock

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PanzerXO #1 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 19:15

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I had a steep learning curve going from medium and light tanks to my first Heavy.  I had played mini brawlers / flankers like the VK 3601 (H) and the VK 3002 DB in close enough proximity to heavies that I thought I knew what to do.

Boy, was I wrong.

I played the way I saw other heavies play, bullying up to the front, slugging it out face to face or playing peekaboo... And, well, that did not work.  FWIW I have run a 51% win rate for a while now (in strictly pub matches), but my win rate after the first 125 games in Tiger 1 was 42%.  Dismal.  I have stopped the bleeding, and increased my win rate to now be within 8 wins of 50%.  This means I am actually winning more than 50% of my games, - getting your win rate back up is hard to do if you wait as long as I did to figure out heavy tanking.  

When your new heavy is stock, or close to stock, you need to play CAUTIOUSLY.  You cannot succeed or help your team if you go Agro to the front lines.  You will get pounded and die.  Until elite, you will have a weak gun, and weak armor, and a weak engine compared to other heavies at your tier.  Hang back, hide, snipe and flank.  Work as part of a wolf pack with the goal of supporting those tanks.  You will do much better.  

Top Tiered:  If your tank is listed as one of the top three tanks on your team, before you have it elited, you are not top tank.  Just because MM says you have one of the top tanks in the match, thinking that you can overpower your opponents is what got me such a dismal win rate.  

Reevaluate the maps.  You will make contact at different places than you are used to.  You need to move from cover or concealment  as usual, but where you end up will be different.  You probably know where most of the Heavy Tank battles are - think about routes that you can use to Flank those places.

The good thing is that if you play cautiously from the start, you can still deal a lot of damage, thus gaining the experience and credits to upgrade your tank fairly quickly.

The Elite Heavy is a very capable and fun tank to play, regardless of MM matching.  You should retain your deliberate approach, still work with supporting mediums and other heavies.  In fact, when top tiered, I will often ask for medium support if I plan to go a different route from most heavies.  Team chatter is a key to a good win rate, IMO.  http://mwreplays.com...y/I78WY8A4NQPV/ In this replay, I got Top Gun, Mastery Badge "Ace Tanker" and Boelter's.

Remember your flanking skills used as a strong medium when facing other heavy tanks.  Tracked and flanked enemies are an easy kill.  Going face to face with a T29, T30 or IS in a Tiger is a recipe for disaster.  Tracking him, passing and flanking / rear shots increase your odds greatly.  Speed is as much a weapon as your main gun.  With Tiger and top engine you can actually go faster than some other heavies can traverse.  Very useful tactic.

Keep good situational awareness.  Make your minimap larger and watch where your teammates are.  If your supporting tanks get killed, and you have managed to survive, think whether it is a better choice to go after new enemies or the cap by yourself, or whether it might be best to cross to where a teammate is in contact and lend some flank support.  Often, you can save your teammate and the two of you have a better chance than either of you alone.

DON'T CAMP:  Your team needs your HP reserve, big gun and armor to succeed. You need to be in the mix - but not the first tank to die.
There is a significant difference between playing cautiously (smart) and camping.  You actually think aggressively, and move cautiously, and better, as part of a wolf pack.- using cover and concealment to move to flanking positions.  Playing cautiously basically means don't go in a straight line for the first chokepoint and get into a toe-to-toe match, just because you think that is what Heavy Tanks do.

Skills and Equipment.  Repair skill is a must, IMO.  I tend to go for Mentor with the commander until maxed, then switch to Sixth Sense, then put him on Repair.  All other crewmembers get Repair first off.  I also carry Fire Extinguishers, Toolbox and Small Repair Kit.  If you have a German Tank - you are going to need those when you get ammo racked.  So don't use the repair kit on your tracks, let the skills & toolkit help there.  Save the repair kit for your ammo rack, and occasionally, the gun.

TOP DAWG... When it does turn out that you have the best tank in the match, staying alive until midgame or the end is often the best thing you can do for your team.  I killed 7 tanks in one match, partly because I sniped most of the early fights.  In the next match, again as top dog, I went straight for the heavy slug fest, killed 3 tanks, died, and watched the team ultimately lose.  Even if you have the toughest tank, play smart.

Low Tiered:  In another match, I killed no tanks, but damaged 12.  I found a good sniping spot, backed up until I could not see through the bush, and shot red outlines.  When the fight moved away from me, I followed at a distance & continued to support.  We ultimately won, even if I did not get any kills.

Arty:  Arty is the nemisis of Heavies and TDs.  If you get spotted, start moving or find a covered spot to work from.  Don't stay hidden behind a bush, just because the scout that spotted you is now dead.  Arty drivers love Heavies who sit in one spot for long periods of time.

Hope this helps some of you avoid the mistakes I made.  

Good hunting!




Edit: thanks Bronco330 & bobobobly for good points.

Edited by PanzerXO, Aug 31 2012 - 21:19.


bobobobobiy #2 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 19:22

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Did you know that the Tiger has better dpm than the T29? If you can keep getting shots off on his hull, you should be able to win in a dogfight.

Avocet #3 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 19:27

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Some good points in there.

One thing I'd note though - there is a time to play cautiously (eg. when stock, or early in a match) but there also comes a time when the heavies need to use their hit points to bully the other team and carry their own team. I'm tired of seeing heavies hiding behind a rock playing carefully at the end of the match when they need to be the ones to spearhead the final assault on the enemy.

IndianaGeoff #4 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 19:52

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Agree.  Far too many players use heavies like they are super tough TD or Artillery.  That kills your team.  It's your job to take hits and give them.

PanzerXO #5 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 20:07

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View Postbobobobobiy, on Aug 22 2012 - 19:22, said:

Did you know that the Tiger has better dpm than the T29? If you can keep getting shots off on his hull, you should be able to win in a dogfight.

It does, but the T29 can bounce a lot of shots - especially if Tiger does not have the long 88.  My point is that a face to face match should be avoided when possible.

I kill more T29s by tracking them and passing them by when I can, than I do trading shots & reload times face to face.  Especially when the T29 manages to ammo rack me.

Murc #6 Posted Aug 22 2012 - 20:21

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Each heavy tank has its own role, and you need to learn those roles. Some quick searching in the forums will help find out what your particular heavy can and cannot do. Never try to force your tank into a role it is not equipped to handle, or it will be a very frustrating grind through that tank.

Noch #7 Posted Sep 01 2012 - 07:22

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View Postbobobobobiy, on Aug 22 2012 - 19:22, said:

Did you know that the Tiger has better dpm than the T29? If you can keep getting shots off on his hull, you should be able to win in a dogfight.

Are you a stranger to the term "facehugging"? LOL Tiger (h) versus a T29 in a dogfight, try it.

Lost_Tactics #8 Posted Sep 02 2012 - 21:01

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Thanks for this!

I_Robot #9 Posted Sep 02 2012 - 21:19

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View PostMurc, on Aug 22 2012 - 20:21, said:

Each heavy tank has its own role, and you need to learn those roles. Some quick searching in the forums will help find out what your particular heavy can and cannot do. Never try to force your tank into a role it is not equipped to handle, or it will be a very frustrating grind through that tank.

+1
General rule is that the heavies should lead the attack, but there are exceptions and the Tiger is one of them :)

Oh and +1 to the OP for the good advice. Man, I wish I would have known about this forum when I started playing ;/

jasonvoorheesrevenge #10 Posted Sep 02 2012 - 21:37

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The Tiger is really the only tank that should never lead a fight. its a high HP sniper with a good gun.

RRR3 #11 Posted Sep 02 2012 - 22:23

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Yes I agree highly, 1+

ZenislevSoma #12 Posted Sep 19 2012 - 12:32

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Unfortunately, due to the fact that I was able to get this game to run on a unit that is below the game's minimum system requirements... sniping red outlines is like opening your eyes for a split-second every 2sec or so...

ButlerianHeretic #13 Posted Oct 25 2012 - 17:36

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Unfortunately, I think a lot of heavy players see the advice to snipe and misunderstand what it means for a heavy. The difference between a brawler heavy tank and a sniper heavy tank is not that the sniper avoids the schwerpunkt where they might get their paint scratched, it is that a sniper snipes *on* the schwerpunkt from a safer distance while the brawler dives right in. But both tanks are participating in the battle at the schwerpunkt in their lane. If they aren't, they are wrong.

When the schwerpunkt emerges in a lane, any tank that isn't part of that action might as well be dead. Some of these will be light tanks that ran suicidal scouting runs - they really are dead. Some of these are heavy tanks that are camping at the flag - they will be dead soon, but they might as well be dead already because they aren't contributing to the schwerpunkt. An artillery unit that is out of range or didn't have an angle that could reach past obstacles to reach the battle would become similarly useless. In the same way, when a group of tanks runs down a lane (like down the low east road in the Abbey map) and they run as fast as they can but spread out with the light and medium tanks reaching the enemy before the heavy tanks can join in, they aren't using the principle. Even though they are all focused on the same point of decision, they are reaching it at different times so they all die if there is a strong defence because they don't have mass.

PanzerXO #14 Posted Oct 26 2012 - 06:03

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Agree with you ButlerianHeritic, entirely.

Too bad my old replays don't work in 8.0, etc.  I generally use the Tiger 1 as a second echelon heavy - only a bit behind the lead brawlers.  Whenever I see ANY tanks flank, I go for the shot - and the results are deadly.

Knowing enemy weakpoints is a key, too.  There are too many places on higher tier American and Soviet tanks frontal armor that Tiger cannot pen.

BUT

Tiger generally has better maneuverability than those tanks, and if you can flank (and let someone else facehug) you can get a lot of kills/ damage that really helps the team.

Using the tactics desctibed above, I took a dismal win rate tank to a real performer - and now have a 1476 eff. rating in it.

But your point about not treating Tiger like it is a weak sister is a good one.  You should not play it as you would Panther 1 or any other dedicated sniper.  It is a heavy, with decent armor, good hitpoints and damage, and in its class, decent maneuverability.  Brutal flanking shots and ram damage are a plus.

Loose_Stools #15 Posted Jan 18 2013 - 18:43

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I'm happy to read this and learn from someone who went through the experiences I'm having with my T32. It's been kind of demoralizing to see your credits drop, drop, drop every time I take the T32 into battle. I know my gun is pretty weak compared to other Tier 8s and even some Tier 7s. My main goal now is just to stay alive and try and help the team win. That way, I at least don't have to spend so many credits on rebuilding my tank.


I think your comment about playing aggressively but cautiously is excellent but hard to accomplish. I've learned that chasing after damaged tanks of your tier can be dangerous. They still have me outgunned and then I'm drawn into their artillery fire. And I'm the one usually destroyed.

This has been my most frustrating experience in WoT. And I made a huge mistake by upgrading to an IS-3 and then selling it after three days because, I thought, I was getting killed too often. Turns out I had a 55 percent win rate in it. I was expecting a tank that could slug it out with most anyone and survive. What a fool! I used the funds from the IS-3 sale to buy the T32 and I'm experiencing the same thing again.

There is much to learn.

jamsac #16 Posted Jan 28 2013 - 05:54

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I always feel bad hanging back, flanking at a distance and sniping in my Tiger because it feels like it should charge in and attack. I live with the 'idiot' and 'noob' comments because I understand from where they are coming. I do move in closer once the opposition #s have been depleated, and will always come to the aid of a teammate, ususally by trying to flank the opponent.
The tiger is just too dam expensive to be rebuilding every battle, though even winning with some good hits and maybe a kill or 2 you can lose credits in repair costs.

James

Arsozah #17 Posted Jan 28 2013 - 10:48

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to be honest, the Tiger is the cheap to run.... It's ammocost is like what? 200 per shot, or 400? Compare this to the 1k of the T29, 1100ish of the IS/KV3. The tiger is actually a tier7 heavy that can easily make money. A missed shot (how you can do this IDK) isn't as expensive.

Also, good point about the roll of hte Tiger.
OP, just don't forget that each heavy is a different tank with a different role. For example: the KT (Tiger 2) can much easier brawl then other tanks. It's more suited to lead then to flank or even snipe. It just doesn't have the topspeed for this and it actually has the armor to back this up (tho I hate gold rounds penning the upper glacis when angled >.>, and no it's not the MG-port they are hitting.)

Edited by Cpt_Ranger, Jan 28 2013 - 10:50.


PanzerXO #18 Posted Jan 28 2013 - 14:44

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I play the KT and E75 vastly different from the way I play Tiger.

With KT and E75 I am a full on bully (but a cautiously agro one).

Tiger demands a certain style of play, as outlined above; something I proved in December, when after a long hiatus I picked Tiger back up and tried to play it like an E75.

I got a 45% win rate for my troubles.

So I re-read this, went back a few days later and turned that around - getting a 68.8% w/r.

http://www.noobmeter...20130105_140656