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Detail Page: Concentration of Fire


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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Sep 18 2013 - 23:54

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The effect of a group of tanks concentrating on a single target is greater than the sum of its parts.
Incorrect:
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Correct:
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This is a recognized concept from naval strategies in the inter-war period but is something of a game mechanic in World of Tanks. Increases in survivability of battleships after rectifying most of the Jutland-discovered design flaws (i.e. the tendency of battleships to blow up rather spectacularly when hit) resulted in an acceptance that battleships would have to be battered into incapability over time, as opposed to simply being hit and destroyed. As a result, the strategists decided that it was better to rapidly reduce the overall firepower levels of the enemy a small amount, rather than spread the love over all the enemy units.
With the hit-points system in use in WoT, it is important to note that a tank at 1% of its health can still dish out as much damage as a fresh tank. The only way to guarantee a reduction in the amount of firepower coming your way is to destroy an enemy tank completely. The sooner this is done, the better, and that means everyone concentrates on one poor unfortunate.
This is probably best recognized by example.
Take two platoons of three identical tanks. Each tank is at full health, with 900hp apiece. Each tank is identically equipped with guns capable of dishing out 150hp damage on average with the same rates of fire. As you can imagine, if every tank picked an opponent and they started trading shots in pairs, the eventual winner is going to be a toss-up assuming equal skill levels.
Now, let’s start looking at some tables. Let’s assuming that the second tank on one side decides that he’s going to attack the target of one of his colleagues, tank 1.
First exchange:
_________________________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks______________________________ 750 ___________________750________________________ 750
Enemy Tanks _______________________________600 ___________________900 ________________________750
Second Exchange:__________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks ______________________________600 ____________________600_______________________ 600
Enemy Tanks _______________________________300 ____________________900_______________________ 600
Third Exchange: ____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks ______________________________450 ____________________450_______________________ 450
Enemy Tanks ______________________________Destroyed _______________900 ________________________450
Note that the enemy field is now able to dish out only 300 damage per salvo, whilst the friendly side can still fire a total of 450. At this point, our centre tank switches to the other end of the target array, and helps tank 3 shoot up its target. In the meantime, Tank #1 starts on the next nearest, the one shooting at Tank 2.
Fourth Exchange: ___________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks ______________________________450____________________ 300 _______________________300
Enemy Tanks ______________________________Destroyed________________ 750 _______________________150
Tank 3 is capable of finishing off his opponent, so our heroic Tank 2 switches back to the middle.
Fifth Exchange: ____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________450 ____________________150 ________________________150
Enemy Tanks ____________________________Destroyed_________________ 450 _____________________Destroyed
With only one target left, all three friendly tanks engage the last survivor, who’s probably cursing the ineptitude of his allies as he’s facing three tanks alone.
Final Exchange ____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________450_________________ Destroyed ______________________150
Enemy Tanks ____________________________Destroyed _____________ Destroyed ____________________Destroyed
Our heroic Tank 2 has sacrificed himself for the good of the cause, but the exchange was a victory because he ignored the threat to himself and doubled up on an enemy. Tank 3 isn’t feeling too great, and Tank 1 is down to half strength. Still, a win’s a win. 2,700 points of damage caused, to 2,100 received.
But they could have done better. Let’s do it again, except this time our friendly team concentrates all firepower on one target at a time, working left to right.
First Exchange____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________750___________________ 750_______________________ 750
Enemy Tanks ______________________________450 ___________________900_______________________ 900
Second Exchange: _________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks_____________________________ 600____________________ 600 _______________________600
Enemy Tanks _____________________________Destroyed________________ 900 _______________________900
After two salvoes, the enemy team is already down to just two tanks. All friendly tanks now focus on enemy tank #2.
Third Exchange ____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________600____________________ 450 ________________________450
Enemy Tanks ____________________________Destroyed _________________450 ________________________900
Fourth Exchange ___________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________600_____________________300________________________300
Enemy Tanks ____________________________Destroyed _______________Destroyed _____________________900
Two enemy tanks down, and one to go.
Fifth Exchange ____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________600____________________ 300 _______________________150
Enemy Tanks ____________________________Destroyed ______________Destroyed ____________________450
Final Exchange_____________________________Tank 1_________________ Tank 2_____________________Tank 3
Friendly Tanks _____________________________ 600 ____________________300_____________________Destroyed
Enemy Tanks____________________________ Destroyed_______________ Destroyed _________________Destroyed
As you can see, this time the team is a little bit better off. It’s still down to two tanks, but one of them still has most of its hp left, and the other can at least survive a hit. Or, in other words, in exchange for the 2,700 points of damage caused, the team only took 1,800 points.
Of course, this philosophy of concentration of force only applies when you’re actually capable of damaging the target. If you can’t effectively add to the pile-in, then consider either easier prey or just going and finding something else to do instead, such as finding artillery.
As far as selecting which target to pile on first, that’s more a matter of some debate. There is much to be said for removing the biggest, meanest enemy first and then mopping up the small guys, but on the other hand, there is also something to be said for swatting the annoyances out of the way first so that they can no longer contribute to causing your side damage whilst you continue to knock down the big enemy tanks. This latter particularly so when they’re capable of inflicting critical hits with HE, which could be damage out of proportion to their nominal effect.
It took until the American Civil War before people copped onto the concept that it was not necessary to mass forces in order to mass firepower. If you have a gun capable of stand-off shooting, there’s no particular need to join the melee up close. This is, in particular, artillery’s reason for existence.

TheBoogieMan91 #2 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 19:06

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Thats interesting, reminds me of clan wars... :smile:

Yakumo_san #3 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 19:08

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Focus fire and the maths of it is something very important that the average player should be aware of. Too many times have I seen an engagement lost because my allies prioritized the wrong targets and spreaded damage. Granted, this is also the cause of quite a few of my victories... but everything good thing has its bad in the end, I do suppose.  :trollface:

TreadBreaker37 #4 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 19:15

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So this is why people keep requesting fire during battle??

The_Chieftain #5 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 19:18

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View PostTreadBreaker37, on Oct 26 2013 - 19:15, said:

So this is why people keep requesting fire during battle??

Sometimes. It may also be because they have a problem that they can't deal with themselves, at least, not without taking unacceptable damage.

elQuanto #6 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 19:55

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I usually ping enemy targets precisely because I want it blown to hell and gone. So yes, I do try to communicate some sort of focus fire during pub matches. With mixed results obviously.
Sometimes it works though, so I keep doing it.

Brygin #7 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 20:03

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Nice post.  Maybe people will stop yelling kill stealing and instead realize that it is the concentrated fire that wins games!   :honoring:

Edited by Brygin, Oct 26 2013 - 20:20.


JPower #8 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 20:07

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View PostBrygin, on Oct 26 2013 - 20:03, said:

Nice post.  Many people will stop yelling kill stealing and instead realize that it is the concentrated fire that wins games!   :honoring:

View PostBrygin, on Oct 26 2013 - 20:03, said:

Nice post.  Many people will stop yelling kill stealing and instead realize that it is the concentrated fire that wins games!   :honoring:
Not likely. I would really like to see some sort of statistic about how many players read these articles. They're great btw Chief!

_WebcheF_ #9 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 20:26

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Great pointers here for the players new to tanks.. Keep em' coming Chieftain..

Frostopper #10 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 20:32

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This is why chokepoints kill, especially if they can get multiple angles on the enemy.
-Also, assuming nothing bounces. But they're just as likely and that's positional.

jgalantini #11 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 20:35

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¿Y como logro que todos se concentren en uno, si no hacen caso?

Mort #12 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 21:11

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Credit where credit's due: http://forum.worldof...y-tank-matters/

pappina #13 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 21:50

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I love the link to this from the main web site. This information should prove to be invaluable in battle for a new tanker.

Slayer_Jesse #14 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 23:10

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yeah, i concentrate whenever possible. and that's also why i avoid attackign chokepoints whenever possible.

minim8greyhound #15 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 23:22

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I prefer to take out the smaller tanks first, its the quickest way you can drop the enemy's damage output. Also some smaller tanks if they get on your flanks can do far more damage than the big bad tank in front of you.

Cause the goal is to lower the enemy's overall damage output while maintaining yours through distributing the damage taken across all tanks on your team. So if you can evenly distribute the damage taken across your team without losing tanks you will maintain maximum damage output. This will give you an advantage over your enemy as he loses 1 tank at a time.

Great post!  :tongue:

fsjd #16 Posted Oct 26 2013 - 23:29

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I had a match a while back where my team managed to pull this off to great effect.
about half of us had gone one way, but the enemy tanks came in one-by-one, so this poor hellcat tries to peek and hide, but he gets obliterated.
repeat for the 5-6 enemy tanks we met.

Mendoukusai #17 Posted Oct 27 2013 - 01:41

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These kinds of Chieftain's Hatch stuff should get their own link in the Game drop-down..
Like, something or other about "Tips" or something.
.
Since AFAIK I don't see anything like that; these Guides are incredibly informative, and would help newer players immensely given that new players would click under Game and read.
I mean, honestly, I don't really see these kinds of things about focus fire, angling, etc on the site.

Edited by Mendoukusai, Oct 27 2013 - 01:49.


LittleJoeRambler #18 Posted Oct 27 2013 - 02:44

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Add a tutorial with Chieftain as the narrator telling you how to play the game. Maybe we'd see a more engaged playerbase.

mecha_Bill #19 Posted Oct 27 2013 - 04:37

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As far as I know, modern tank warfare does not subscribe to concentration of fire theory since an M1A1 can usually kill a target with one round anyway.

However, this tactic *was* used by the germans and soviets in WW2. I think it was known as a "PAK Front". A group of 10 or so AT guns were put under the direction of a single officer who decided which tanks to hit with what guns.

bjshnog #20 Posted Oct 27 2013 - 08:13

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I just hope people pay attention to this. The game will be much more fun. :)




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