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SPG grind >>> <<< Stug IV Campaign

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da_Rock002 #1 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 17:40


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OK.....   My one year anniversary is coming up and I thought I'd try something different.    First thought was WoWarShips....   :teethhappy:  



Seriously now....    I was just looking at CheeseHead's thread about the StugIV campaign and remembered that the SPG part of my StugIV campaign was just lying there empty....


So I've only messed with SPGs a very little but figured it might be different and informative.   (and just might be good training for WoWS...  :unsure:  ....really...)


So, right now I've a T18 HMC and a Lloyd GC to start with.    But figured I'd see if any SPG specialists would offer some advice.   I figure neither of those two would pull the train through the whole SPG campaign and a bit of grind would be required.   I got no clue what to look for to see if either of those two are on a decent tree to work while working toward the StugIV.   Maybe there is a better middle tier SPG for the job that's worth working from Tier1, or not.)  


Any specialists out there got a suggestion?    I figure it would probably take something like a Tier5 or so to solve the higher of those 15 missions, maybe higher.   Only thing is that arty is a science to itself and simply learning what to look for in each spg and then summing up all the trees, and knowing how high to look in each tree, and.....  


I figure someone with SPG experience would see through all that and have a fair idea which tree to climb and how high to climb (what gun to stop on).


Hey, you SPG specialists.....   please note I haven't said a bad thing about arty....   truth is, I'm glad it's in the game, just never got tired of haulin' butt and shooting on the run.....   thanks in advance and I will be able to pick honest advice out of the normal wot arty hate posts  (wot in this case means: waste of time)


tia again.    



Edited by da_Rock002, Nov 12 2017 - 17:41.

StoveBolt54 #2 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:14

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Tier 6 M44.




Crew, 1st skill train camo to 100%. Then reset for BIA and continue camo as 2nd skill. 


Mudman24 #3 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:24


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I think i did the Stug missions mostly with the M44. The American line is good if you plan to do any of the higher missions because the M53/55 is the best for most of the missions.

CapPhrases #4 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:32


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I'm using the M44 myself

one of the better SPG's

dfox709 #5 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:40


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Have completed both the Stug IV and T28 HTC SPG missions with honors - cycled through with the M44, GW Panther, and 105 leFH18 B2.  GW Panther is a beast, mobile, good re-load, and wide firing arc.


Good Luck!

CapnNoahJoJo03 #6 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:50

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Well I am in in agreement with everyone else. M44 is da bomb.

the_Deadly_Bulb #7 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 18:55


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Found the arty missions a real trial.

I don't play arty and had less than 80 rounds played before I tackled the StuG art missions.

As I don't play arty I had no arties (the only previous exp was the abysmal Sexton I got in a bundle :unsure:). What I did have was the KV-2 Elited. That meant I could buy the S-51.

So I bought it and upgraded it with some free exp. equipped it and put a 100% crew in it and started the StuG missions. It took 2 evenings and 42 rounds  for me to bumble my way through.

Can't say I recommend the S-51. Has very poor gun traverse and a reticle the size of Alaska whenever you so much as twitch the gun. I couldn't be bothered with the biggest gun, it had an over 50 sec reload.


The S-51 is parked for now, until I have to do more arty missions.


M44 sounds like a much better route, but you'll have to grind to it I suppose. :facepalm:


Good luck.

Edited by the_Deadly_Bulb, Nov 12 2017 - 18:57.

dunniteowl #8 Posted Nov 12 2017 - 22:31


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My go to units for the Stug IV SPG missions were:

Birch Gun (UK T4)

Pz Sfl IVb (Ger T4) &

M37 (US T4)


These units, though mostly the Pz Sfl IVb and then the Birch Gun, got me up to SPG-15, most of them with honors.  And then there was SPG-15, sitting there, laughing at me (as are the last missions in each of the classes atm) with my paltry tier 4 units ALMOST doing it like four or five times.


Then I got the Bishop (UK T5).  Two days later, SPG-15 w/honors and a female crew member came my way.


I'll tell you, I play arty, because it's in the game.  Mostly I don't like it all that much.  I have to play it and other slow units a lot due to bad internet ping and a potato computer.  That said, it has grown on me.  It has allowed me a greater appreciation for cover and concealment as well as how to maintain a relatively unpredictable pattern of movement.


Arty can be as frustrating to play as to play against.  You can lob round after round and see your team mates kill a unit just before your shot lands -- or misses again and again and again.  And then, somehow, your team is just able enough to halt the enemy advance and the enemy is just slow enough to leverage their positions to allow you to just pound unit after unit.  I thought I did a really bad game a few matches back and turns out I got Confederate and over 1200 points of damage in my Bishop, even though I didn't last before half the other team was gone.


No matter what arty you play, follow these general guidelines:

1) Aim-in fully whenever possible.  Be patient.  Ensure the Dispersion Ring covers AS MUCH of the target as possible, you have a 25% chance the shot won't even land in that, so the smaller the better.


2) Shoot and then move.  You don't have to travel half the map, just a good fifteen to twenty yards.  You can do that while you reload.  I usually do this while still in overhead view.  Of course, this depends on the spot you pick.  If you pick a really tight spot, you might have to bug out after shooting.  *(Now is for "Honesty Time."  I don't usually move after I shoot if there is only one arty unit.  I hardly move if there are two arty units.  I usually move a bit if there are three arty. )


Look, counter-battery is a thing, but not much and for that reason I don't move as much as most counsel -- even myself.  The reason is that the longer you don't traverse and stay in that spot, the more accurate your fire becomes.  If the units you are shooting at have been spotted consistently for a while, your aim also gets better.  This is why aiming in fully is important and why sitting still as long as you feel you can is not a bad idea.  Better overall accuracy.


You have to counter this advantage with the fact that the longer you sit still lobbing shells, the more likely you are to be countered.  Most times, you are being countered, you are not directly hit the first time, you are splashed.  MOVE!  And recognize that if you don't move very far, your game will be pretty short after that.  You are being actively countered and you need to re-position entirely.


I spend a lot of time looking at the mini-map, which is a LOT like staring at the overhead view in arty, just a LOT smaller.  I have learned to drive quite well in short spurts by using my mini-map while driving in overhead map view for aiming.  This allows me to focus on my target, move to avoid being countered and keep my dispersion ring on my target as much as possible while doing so to minimize my aim time.


3)  Your dispersion ring is your friend, not your enemy.  You'll see this as you play:  Sometimes you get a very oval shaped dispersion ring on your target.  This is due to: Low firing arc (a gun that lobs low arc shells has a relatively "flat" trajectory) or cover such as hills, depressions, walls, etc.  This oval shape is actually a benefit to you in more cases than not.  You can now aim your "circle" over the target and make sure your "Target Dot" in the center is red and ACROSS your target.  This will ensure a greater chance of a flat HE strike against the exposed surface of the tank in the oval area that is Red Outlined Behind the Tank, which is what the "obstruction" is that blocks the circle's green outline.  You will also do better with this angle as it requires a low area of coverage, which also reduces the area of that 25% RNG overshoot, making a hit a bit more likely even with a 'missed' shot.


4) Predictability.  Are you good at seeing patterns quickly?  Can you find the image in the picture?  Good at timing things?  Then you just might make a good on-the-move arty lobber.  I watch folks move.  I see them pattern out in two or three reps of moves and they're done.  Then, based on their potential objective (some sort of cover, usually) and how they might best get there safely, I lay in a firing pattern ahead of them by as much as three or four seconds of total "hope it hits" predictive firing.  I get a lot of good hits that way.  People can be readily predictable very quickly if you can keep your head.


This is also just as true as overall patterns of battle.  Study heat maps if you like, or let your memory of what you've seen again and again be a guide on the minimaps while you play.  Set your unit up in a position to cover the area you deem best and present your gun arc in the most favorable position for a good aim or a short traverse.  This allows you to put your gun into battle and be effective more quickly based on likely paths of encounter on a map.


Consider the importance of what you're targeting.  Sometimes, you're going to want that juicy heavy way over yonder, but you really need to be getting some shell love on that roaming T67 out there harassing your Meds and Hvys from the side.  Sometimes, a missed shot is good enough to put someone into a mood to re-position away from your attention.



Lastly, SPGs are relatively hated here on the forums and you'll get plenty of crap from players in match, too, although I have had my fair share of LTs, Meds, and fast TDs coming out of their way to help me and take out a bad guy getting up against me while I have been pounding for the team.  They are not roundly hated and there are plenty of players out there who will help you if you are a good team player.


As to that.  Avoid pasting your team mates.  If you have to, just HAVE to fire at that tank right next to a team mate, make sure that dispersion ring is far enough off your team mate (even if it means a bare chance of a hit on the target) to not splash them.  There is no benefit to hitting an enemy unit if it damages/disables the guys you're supposed to be 'helping' with that shot.


People say arty doesn't take skill and this is just silly.  It takes a different sort of skill and that is not something a lot of folks will do, because it's like playing a completely different sort of game in the same game.  Most folks like a set of rules that don't require a lot of re-formulating of ideas and plans.  You can bank on that in arty if you can keep your head and not panic when the game goes into the crapper -- and it will, because Random MM -- and still try to get that last shot in and not just give up and let them take you out.


Hope all that helps from a person who has been designing games since he was 17 (57 now) and understands a lot more than he can always apply.  I promise, though, in this particular case, you could consider me somewhat 'inspired' by my experiences and relating that to the patterns and uses of SPGs in this game.



Edited by dunniteowl, Nov 12 2017 - 22:32.

da_Rock002 #9 Posted Nov 13 2017 - 02:47


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Thanks for a bunch of advice in a number of good posts.


Back before spring this year, I'd run up a few SPG tiers in a couple of nationalities before deciding there was too much to know to do SPGs yet, and I hadn't learned anything much in regular tanks and needed to do that.     I did find out that  I could start at the Tier4  Pz Sfl IVB for a fair amount of research expense and equipment costs.   Another option was the U.S. Tier5 M41 for no research cost for anything.  The only equipment cost would be for the tracks and radio as the stock gun is excellent for the tier and the optional engine only adds 30-some HP.    So.....


The M41 got some exercise this afternoon.    It's first outing was Ensk.   Yeah...  Ensk   Followed by Himmelsdorf.   IIRC, none of the SPGs on either side in those two battles killed anybody or racked up much DMG.    So things had to get better.    OK.....   so how about Widepark from the South.    Man, that is one high train embankment.   I couldn't remember ever seeing a position/route map of the place so drove around a bit trying to get angles.    Man, there are a lot of tall things on the south side.   I got off zero shots.    The other SPG on my side was in a faster SPG but spent most of his time running around.    So what's next.....   How about Ensk.   This time I watched the other allied SPG just sit there.   Anyway, I got to see Ensk from an SPG from North and South within the same session.     Man, SPGing is tough if you don't know any good spots on tough maps.     Also, I shoulda remembered today was a 5X  weekend day.    I finally called it a day when Mines showed up and the enemy ignored the open hill and went into the village.   From the south, that village gives pretty good coverage to the enemy.   I shot down a number of houses to help the team.   It worked.   For them more than me for sure.   I was pretty sure that Ensk was scheduled next, so went to the shop to work on the Tamiya R/C Pz IV F2/G.   That Tamiya 1/16 is awesome.  Can't wait to see the infrared gun work.


I'm figuring it's time some more open maps showed up.   Tomorrow will be soon enough.   

Edited by da_Rock002, Nov 13 2017 - 02:49.

Ken_McGuire #10 Posted Nov 13 2017 - 04:04


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I am sure there are other map guides out there with more info, but I have found https://www.o7gaming.com/maps/ to be a good source of up to date info. It is, of course, more based on higher tier play, but it does have some typical arty spots marked.

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