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Guide: Advanced Arty Strategy & Tactics

Arty guide strategy tactics advanced

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Capitalist_Pig #1 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 18:45

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Going to write my first and probably my only guide in world of tanks as just about every other topic has been addressed at some level or another.  One area I find lacking though is advanced arty tactics, the stuff that tends to separate the men from the boys, a top 5 score and some help to your team, from a dude just knocking down kill steals and dealing 800 damage.

GARAGE STRATEGY:

What you do prior to getting into a game and growing experience with crew actually matters.  While I wouldn't consider this to be ADVANCED, it does need to be addressed because some people have no common sense.

CREW TRAINING:

See feedback & comments below.

IN-GAME STRATEGY:

So now we get to the game itself.

GAME START

Initial Set-up:

I have seen just about everything done in regards to this, but there are a couple of tried and true things that I know work at this point.

At the start of the game there are two things that are of most concern.
  • Scouts
  • Counter-arty fire
So how do you address scouts?  Well hopefully you have looked at the other teams config and have calculated the risk of scouts moving into your area.  Obviously the more speed, the more likely you will have to contend with an enemy.
  • Do NOT go to standard spots on the edge of the map.  This is a big no-no as about 90% of scouts move quickly along the edge of the map, or to areas where larger tanks will struggle to defend the space.
  • Pay attention to your team and what they can and can't defend.  Moving with your team to open the game and leveraging their dispersement on the map and ultimately their guns for protection can be a definitive way to stay alive.
  • Head for some cover.  You don't need to set up right away and start dropping shells on the enemy right away.  Letting your scouts do their work while waiting for a safe opportunity to shoot or getting nailed by counter-arty when spotted is a prudent measure.
  • IF they do get through, DO NOT move and wait for the right opportunity to inflict damage.  Usually you can disable them and your team mates can do the rest.
  • If you do get spotted, run FORWARD like hell, reverse is useless under those conditions.  Best to leverage the most speed your tank has.  (pretty basic but you would be surprised at how many people do this).
County arty fire on your position also has its challenges but is much easier to manage.
  • Do your best to mix up your positions.  I can't tell you how easy it is to find other arties just by looking in the same old holes. The first place I look is along the edge of maps because most arties are exceptionally predictable in their positioning map to map.
  • Use cover to your advantage.  If you know where most arties set up, you can essentially use cover to reduce the risk,  At this point you will most likely limit your shot options to half a battlefield, but if that is a main attack point it doesn't matter
  • If you feel like you don't have many options and you have to use the same old holes because that is your preference you can use one of two techniques that are tried and true
  • Shoot and move:  Not as effective as everyone thinks but required in some instances.  Shooting and moving forward is the best policy, so set up back and constantly move forward as speed is your friend.  Moving backwards rarely gets you out of the blast radius.  Only issue is that you can't apply a constant rate of fire once in position.
  • Counter their arty first:  Easier said than done, but if you are willing to forgo assisting your team in a game of chicken to see who fires first and exposes their position, then go for it.  Not my preference but it is a viable option.  Clearly the less arty in each battle the more effective this is.
ADVANCED POSITIONING:

This is probably the most important component of the game.  You have five goals in positioning:
  • Find a reliable spot that is not susceptible to counter-arty fire and can withstand any preliminary scout attacks.
  • Be able to slow down or support any major strategic tank avenues, sniper spots or enemy spotting positions that they may use.
  • Cover the most strategic real estate possible.  The more important the avenue or avenues, the targets possible.
  • Get as close as possible to the targets without getting spotted to minimize the distance your shell has to travel.  It makes if far easier to hit moving targets.
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, If possible set up in a position that offers the most potential to hit an enemy in the SIDE or REAR of their vehicle.  This is important because all tanks have the most armor in the front of their vehicle, the most damaging shots are made when penetrating weak armor on the sides or rear of the enemy's unit.
ADVANCED RETICLE SET-UP:

I think most people that have a tough time with arty don't understand how to set up their reticle properly.  Aiming at a target requires that you do not physically move your tank during the process.  If your turret reaches the edge of its limit, the tank is forced to move to meet the aiming demand.  If this does happen you essentially have to aim all over again wasting valuable time.  To stop this you need to understand your guns center line where your guns is at zero degrees in line with the tank.  

When aiming at a set of tanks it is important to have your arty at or near the zero line to the target.  Should the tanks move in either direction (which they will), you won't have to bother re-aiming everytime and you can make a clean shot and maximize the amount of shells you cut loose with the potential to do damage.

For this, I highly recommend J1mB0's Crosshair Mod for artillary.  There are more advanced reticles out there, but none of them make you shoot any better.  The one thing it does offer though is a center-line in both sniper mode and god mode.  

For moving tanks you should set up your center line in advance of the tanks position so you can make an accurate shot when required.

ADVANCED SHOT MAKING:

There are three types of advanced skills that all arties should employe in game.
  • Shell Radius Damage
  • Hitting a moving target
  • Targeting enemies on the down slope of a hill
SHELL BLAST RADIUS DAMAGE:

This is by far the most underutilized shot by artillary in the game.  It is also one of the best shots you can make in game because more often than not it has two effects.  Now I am not talking about when a tank is in the open and your shot just happens to miss directly, I am talking about shooting at tanks that are behind cover.  

  • Does a decent amount of damage (albeit reduced) to the enemy tank AND
  • Renders the vehicle unmovable by tracking the vehicle.  This is easily the largest benefit of the two as a tracked vehicle is a sitting target for everyone to shoot at.
Waiting for vehicles to come out from behind a rock makes little sense if you have an opportunity to lay down a shell to their side that can cause splash damage.  Too many times I have seen arties wait for the clean shot, while I am dropping shell after shell right next to their tank and hitting them with 200+ damage over and over again.

Maximum damage isn't always a necessity when you can both damage and disable a vehicle because they refuse to come out from behind cover.  Anytime you can set down the center of your reticle within blast damage radius, take the shot.

HITTING A MOVING TARGET:

This one takes a bit of skill, but as I highlighted above if you learn how to anticipate where vehicles are moving you can make a fairly accurate shot on a moving vehicle with a well placed center line.  I would like to say there is a secret recipe here, but hitting an elc going full speed 900 meters away just takes some practice, So here is the information I digest before I take the shot.
  • My distance from the target: this is the most important piece of information.  You can get super technical with a table to judge flight time if you wish, or get a reticle that tells you specifically what it is, I just prefer feel.  It doesn't take long to know the difference in flight time of 900m vs. 400m vs. 100m.
  • The speed of the target:  This one is obviously a little harder to judge because you have to take into account acceleration, up hill / down hill trajectory of the target, etc.  Again, I use feel on this.
  • Defined path of target:  I rarely take a shot at a target if they are moving unpredictably.  Targets moving in straight lines are much easier to handle.  Especially if they go invisible on you.
  • My orientation to the target:  Obviously a straight on shot is far easier to make than one move perpendicular to your position
  • Critical nature / Situational need of the target: If I think I can make a difference by shooting at the target, then I am more likely to take the risk of shooting at a moving vehicle.
  • Potential for target to stop or slow down.  If a tank is on a ramming trajectory, sometimes the best course of action is to wait until it comes to a dead stop.  If a tank is moving quickly but I know topographically they have to move up a hill, I would rather wait until that point to take the shot.
TARGETING ENEMIES ON THE DOWNSLOPE OF A HILL:

Everyone knows that shells, when fired move in an arc to the target.  That can be beneficial when targeting enemies on the backside of hill.  By watching the length of your target zone on your reticle marker you can easily judge how a shell will fly on the backside of that hill.

If the target zone is uninterrupted by the peak of the hill on the down slope, and also shows the target zone elongated, it is more than likely that the shells flight path will be almost parallel to the downslope of the hill.  

So what does this mean?  By placing your center marker just beyond the target the flight path of your shell will "naturally" hit the target dead square on its downward flight path.  It is one easy and devastating shot to make, but rarely attempted for some reason, hence the reason I tossed it in the advanced section of shot making.

I always get someone telling me NS, when I do it, but I guess the secret is out now.  Just make sure you understand the height of the tank you are shooting at.  The higher the profile the better, but you can attempt it on smaller tanks just as easily if the reticle takes on an extreme elliptical shape.

COMMUNICATION:

Fairly undervalued as far as I am concerned. As a ranged unit with a slow reload, you easily have the opportunity to be the best communicator in a team. Since most people play Pubs let's just stick to the basics here sans teamspeak for platooning and CW.

A couple of things that may be valuable include:
  • Advise your team on the area that you plan on covering to start the game.
  • Advise your team on where you plan on sitting down
  • Call targets for focusing fire and for spotting purposes.  Hopefully your team mates know to look at their mini-map while firing on enemies.
  • Immediately called tracked targets for elimination
  • Call areas of concern by CNTRL clicking them in your map.
TIP: I have changed my targeting hot-key to my space bar.  It makes things so much easier and natural when calling out a target.  It is easily the first mod anyone should make on their keyboard.

ADVANCED SHOOTING IN SNIPER MODE:

In some rare instances on some maps it is quite possible to stay behind cover with ZERO chance of getting spotted using sniper mode.  Since Arty "sniper" mode is the standard set up for most tanks, you can use that to your advantage when squaring up targets behind cover.

Most people don't realize it but it is a distinct advantage that only arty gains because of the trajectory of arty shots and game mechanics related to the POV.

You will have to figure out the rest for yourself.

DEFENSE:

As stated above, there are no active defenses (plate armor / HP) on an arty so your stengths are very much your weaknesses in this piece of metal.  Everything you have defensively either requires active information gathering so you have to be aware of how the battlefield is playing out and move accordingly or movement.  So let's run them down
  • Sixth sense: your primary active defense system addressed above
  • Your mini-map: active intelligence on your team's movement and spotted enemies within radio range
  • Range of fire: being the furthest back on a battlefield is advantageous.
  • Movement: running like hell can sometimes get you out of a jam or sometimes you just need to adjust your position due to team breakdowns on one side of a map.
The important thing is to constantly understand your position relative to a friendly and a threat.  


BE UNPREDICTACLE & FLEXIBLE:

The more wide open the map, the more options you have in being unpredictable.  Obviously some maps just force you into certain areas for shot making, urban battlefields being the primary in that area.  But you don't always have to do what the next guy does.

Don't be a afraid to try something different and to mix up how you play a map.  You should always have a couple of options.

Also be sure to be flexible.  A spot on the map that at one point was not secure can become secure when your team clears an area.  Dynamics of battle and safe positioning change over time.  Moving to an area that was at one point threatened but now safe can be extremely beneficial to both you and your team.   Don't ever feel the need be fixed to one spot, it is about the worst thing you can do in a game


NOTE: Edits for poor grammar or spelling will not be made, live with it.

Edited by Capitalist_Pig, Mar 06 2013 - 14:59.


Canowicakte #2 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:02

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I like the guide the one thing I add is that at higher tiers BIA can be crucial in reload times as it can lower it 5-6 seconds which is a massive increase in damage done and shots fired

AdmiralCidron #3 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:17

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Be flexible.   "No battleplan survives contact with the enemy" (according to Moltke).    Or, put another way, the enemy tanks in world of tanks wont act according to your plan.  Be ready to adapt

Phelps #4 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:17

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First, you are way off on skills.

Deadeye -- this skill does not apply to HE shells.  HE is (or should be) the vast majority of the shells you fire.  Wasted skill.

Designated Target -- This skill doesn't apply to targets in Strategic View (the overhead arty view.)  That is where you should spend the majority of your time.  Wasted skill.

You are spot on for Sixth Sense.  I think you have undervalued Clutch Braking.  If anything, the T8 french arty needs it less than others, because he has a turret.  For getting on target quicker it is more valuable for a non-turreted arty.  Also, Snap Shot is a good skill to have, again to get aimed on target faster.

Behind 6th sense, though, the most valuable skill to have is a camo.  The best defense arty has is to not get spotted, and the second best is to know when they are spotted.  Get your camo factor up, get your sixth sense on, and then work on getting onto target faster.

Edited by Phelps, Mar 05 2013 - 19:19.


Hochtaloughie #5 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:24

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Excellent advice. I have a couple minor notes;.

a) Deadeye may not be that useful for the Gunner as it is based on AP type shells and doesn't work for HE (which is the shell type arty should use almost exclusively - I find AP, Heat, etc tend to bounce or get "pen no damage").

b) Even at low Tiers, do the "Shoot and Scoot". When the Scouts are coming in they can sometimes see your shell track before they light you. When you move after every shot, it is helpful to do a sort of "J" maneuver in one or another direction. Moving just forward or backward after every shot is predictable to the counter battery shooter. Your re-load time is usually long enough to relocate after every shot.

c) DO NOT find an area on the map to camp on for the whole battle. As the battle unfolds, you need to keep moving to avoid Scouts, Counter Battery fire, and to get better angles to support the attacks. I agree that an advanced arty player follows the main thrust of the attack whenever possible.

d) in "TD" mode you are more likely to get damage on an opponent if you aim at the ground in front of your target rather than directly at the target.

e) long range shots on moving targets is similar to Trap and Skeet shooting without the follow through.

f) NEVER sit still to watch where your shot goes after firing. While you're sitting there you can be easily CB'd.

Thanks for a great post!

Edited by Hochtaloughie, Mar 06 2013 - 00:07.


DerangedShadow #6 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:29

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Very nice write up about arty.  One thing that you need to specify is that the skill Deadeye does not work with HE shells, they only work with AP shells.

warrends #7 Posted Mar 05 2013 - 19:56

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Very good. My take, however, on skills is thus:
1) As you begin your arty grind, start with camo for everyone
2) Next skill should be repairs
3) When you get to somewhere over 200% in skills (yes, in arty this takes a while), switch the skills to:
   - BIA for everyone
   - Then Camo for all but the Commander (he should switch to 6th Sense, since it is a perk), and Clutch Breaking or Off-Road Driving for the Driver, depending on the arty and your preference)
   - Then Repairs

Why?
   - BIA, especially in high tiers, will lower your reload AND your aim time time by a few seconds (note the T92 mostly). Going from the T92's ~40 second reload time to the high 30s, as well as a slightly faster aim time, is huge.
   - Camo is just essential for all arty. Arty must hide. If you are spotted, even in a fast French arty, you are most likely dead within 5 seconds. Many times I have just sat very still and quiet in a bush as a scout passed me by without seeing me.
   - Repairs: I have found that I seldom have any of my arty crew members hurt, but I do get tracked quite often (CB splash, scouts, etc.). So repairs allows you to fix that track ASAP and get the heck out of there.

Note that I have not tried Adrenaline Rush on any of my arty. I just think that the above are more important, as standard as they may sound.

And, yes, I have mucho experience in arty: several hundred battles in my T92, up to the Obj 212 and close to the 261, and have the French tier 6 whatever-it's-called, and will probably stick with that for quite a while as it is just an enjoyable piece of arty for me. So I do have several thousand arty battles under my belt.

Also note, something the OP didn't mention:
Per the camo value tables (they are around here somewhere), all tier 5 and below arty have very good base camo values. And ALL tier 6 and above arty have terrible camo values. I still grow all of my arty crew skills as above, but I mount a Rammer and GLD in every arty, and at tier 6 and above I use a Toolbox instead of Camo Net. I know this goes against what I said above about being hidden being essential, however I also see in high tier battles that CB is quite prevalent, as are much smarter scouts, and so I'd rather sacrifice that little bit of extra camo from the Camo Net for the 2-3 second lower time to fix my inevitably-tracked tracks so I can run.

seniorem #8 Posted Mar 10 2013 - 22:39

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Well I certainly learned some stuff, I keep forgetting about the shoot and scoot as I am trying to do damage to the enemy.  One thing I learned is that with multiple arty on both sides keep all your arty on same target and you can wipe out half the enemy in a short time with all skills being close to equal

KiteIgniter #9 Posted Mar 11 2013 - 14:40

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One thing I would add is utilizing the power of the long range radio of an SPG for late game scouting.
Say what?!
That's right, sure an SPG can be invauluable in the end game because of its ability to lob HE shells from a distance, however are some situations when it might be better for the success of the team for you, the arty player to scout.

1. Out of ammo. SU-5 will tend to run out of shells before the match is over
2. Your team, or what is left of them have been damaged so severely as to be unable to survive one more shot.
3. When there are only a few players left remaining on the battlefield.

You the arty player will have to decide when to make he judgement call to scout for your team rather than sit in the back lobbing shells every couple of minutes but here are a few things to help you:

1. SPG's tend to have long distance radio radio ranges.
2. They have the longest aim time of any AFV in the game.
3. They will tend to have higher camo values, at least in the upper tiers.
4. They might be faster than your friendly heavies
5. They might have better better view range than your heavies

Again, judgement call, but I have seen pub games that could have been won if the SPG had only taken one for the team and scouted for the more accurate, faster firing heavies/ TD's on the team that xould not survive one more hit.

warrends #10 Posted Mar 11 2013 - 17:34

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View PostKiteIgniter, on Mar 11 2013 - 14:40, said:

One thing I would add is utilizing the power of the long range radio of an SPG for late game scouting.
Say what?!
That's right, sure an SPG can be invauluable in the end game because of its ability to lob HE shells from a distance, however are some situations when it might be better for the success of the team for you, the arty player to scout.
...
...
...
Again, judgement call, but I have seen pub games that could have been won if the SPG had only taken one for the team and scouted for the more accurate, faster firing heavies/ TD's on the team that xould not survive one more hit.

Excellent point. I do this very occasionally, based on the battle situation and which SPG I am driving at the time. Very good with most of the French SPGs as they are just fast. Even my T92 is faster than many heavies and even some mediums. My Obj. 212? Not so much.

If I have an empty slot in a low tier SPG I load binocs as well, btw. In low tiers Rammer usually helps but, depending o the SPG, GLD isn't always necessary. So Camo Net and Binocs. Allows me to see farther in those 1-in-every-100 battles where that makes all the difference.

SilverCams #11 Posted Mar 11 2013 - 23:34

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To restate an important point.  At T6 and above, given the horrible basic camo values of arty, using a camo net is useless.  One of the best defensive moves at this point is to understand that your arty is much heavier than any scout and unless you are damaged, you will win any ramming contest.  (Hopefully the scout is hurt so you can kill him with one collision.) However it is important to remember that if you turn your arty you BREAK what ever camo you have EXCEPT if your arty has a turret.  Turning a turret does not break camo.

I have actually pinned a scout behind me against the back line and kept ramming him (thus tracking him) until help arrived.  (I highly value my several kamakaze medals!) Be sure to have your help key programmed.

Junior48 #12 Posted Apr 05 2013 - 23:37

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Good stuff.


Starting next month, I would like to put together an arty centric Clan.  The idea being each member would have have an arty at a low, medium and higher tier, but would also have a fast, light scout and maybe a medium scout (like a T2 light and an M7).  A couple of mediums with heavy guns or heavies for arty protection would be a plus.  We would train in combined scout and arty drills AND practice using 3 (or very occassionally 4) artys to cover each other.  The idea of artys covering each other came to me in a battle today.  Three of us were strung out south to north.  I was the most forward.  I was in the process of taking out a tank and didn't notice a scout coming in from the side.  The arty behind me took him out.  Later another scout was coming in for him and the guy in the rear tracked him and I finished him off while he was reloading.  This was not planned, but worked out well.  Of course the ability to do this depends on the map.

Anyone interested?

Any comments on my proposal?

BTW - my favorite arty is the T57.  I know its only a tier II, but its fast (for a SPG), takes camo well, has a low profile and short reload time.  On the downside the 75mm gun is short range and it takes a lot of hits to take out a Tier IV.

baptank #13 Posted May 16 2013 - 01:44

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Junior; Not sure your clan idea is feasable but you could get togeather on practice maps and then platton. Clans are just too expensive. I would really be interested in either. Scouting and arty are fast becoming my favorite way to play.

Mydragonsfly #14 Posted May 16 2013 - 03:07

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View PostJunior48, on Apr 05 2013 - 23:37, said:

BTW - my favorite arty is the T57.  I know its only a tier II, but its fast (for a SPG), takes camo well, has a low profile and short reload time.  On the downside the 75mm gun is short range and it takes a lot of hits to take out a Tier IV.

800+ battles in my 57.

Seal clubber, no.
Fun lover, yes.

Would be happy to platoon with ya anytime. If you'd like to help me grind my M12 that would also be nice. :D

NightMist1 #15 Posted May 16 2013 - 16:52

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Since when did arty require strategy and tactics?

My understanding is:

1.  Hit shift key, use satellite view to see whole map
2.  Open a beer and grab a sandwhich
3.  When a Red dot appears on your satellite view, you point and click with your mouse hand while eating and drinking with the other.


Yeah its real tough

Junior48 #16 Posted May 18 2013 - 08:34

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Having second thoughts about starting an arty centric platoon / clan.  After the latest release, I rarely get a hit, let alone a kill above Tier IV.  My Tier V M41 is almost useless.  The only kill I made in the last several games was when I hit a tank next to the one I was aiming at.

commander_weippert #17 Posted May 30 2013 - 05:40

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ggreat write up informative