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The State of Play in Light Tanking / Scouting


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BlackFive #1 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 17:27

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Over the years the game has changed - but sometimes the 'prevailing wisdom' or class assumptions fail to keep up with the changes.

 

Nowhere is this more evident than with the Lights. 

 

So, to explain:  way back in the way back - there were 3 top tier light tanks that regularly saw Tier X matches.  They were all, by the way, Tier 5 tanks.  One of them was so good at early suiscout runs that it became a joke - the TeeFittyDeuce would spaz run the Reds as they deployed and Green arty would one-shot several tanks - it was, in fact, so OP that it was eventually removed from the game.  There was another (Chaffee) that had insane camo and was a brilliant passive spotter and high pen sniper, and yet another (VK) that had a crazy bloop gun that was great for counter scouting and late game cleanup - the absolute bane of arty or late-surviving TDs.  The maps of this era were heavily booshed and light tanks were necessary to locate campers and enabled teams to move forward.  Teams, by the way, could (and did) employ long range fires in support of scouts.  Snipers could snipe, and did.  It was a win-win for both the light player and the glass cannon.  Furthermore, good Light drivers could pretty much win games purely by their superior knowledge of maps and hiding spaces. Scouts were scouts, whether active, passive or a combo of the two.  This period defined the 'roles' of light tanks in most people's minds. 

 

The game changed. 

 

High tier Meds got insane spotting and survivability along with map changes that reduced not only booshes, but the efficacy of long range fires and arty.  During this time lights (and by now there were a lot of them) competed with Meds for spots and they were quite often better suited to rushing a few 'good booshes' and passive spotting for big numbers. Otherwise, they were pretty much better used in the 'Light Tanking' role (sniping and kiting) rather than as scouts.  People still called for Lights to scout, and they could - with some reward and success - but often the Light Tank player was better suited to pop-out sniping and damage dealing.

 

The game changed. 

 

Light tank damage was nerfed and Armor buffed and more booshes were removed.  Ridge running (active scouting) became the name of the game - except for the fact that no one was able to shoot for the scout because the maps had been changed again to minimize long range fires in favor of 50m face smash engagements.  Light Tanks of this period were actually better served doing an active run for early spots (+ zero to one shot in support) then some peek n poke /Ridge Running in competition with meds, followed by where they really profited - late game cleanup.   The over-all efficacy of light tanks went way down, and the rewards of Light Tanking and Scouting largely went away.

 

The game changed. 

 

Wheelies were introduced.  The play style mimicked that of the old TeeFittyDeuce - which had been gone from the game for so long that folks lost their minds (being unable to cope with a fast, never flipping, round eating scout).  Tracked scouts could not beat them to the passive spots nor out perform them in the active role. They were outclassed and many light players either adopted the new vehicles or had no idea how to play lights in an environment with wheelie-dealy scouts on the other team. Now, traditional tracked Lights are actually more powerful in the end game (once the wheels have been killed) and can be useful sniping, passive scouting or counter scouting in the early - mid game. 

 

Currently, the role of the scout is waaay different as a player than folks who want to camp think it is, or should be.  If you're driving a wheelie; you can spaz run the map, get lights (that no one can or will shoot) and watch your team crawl the redline or bush up near spawn and do very little.  If you are driving a tracked Light - the same thing occurs: no one gets to spots where they can shoot what you light, but you will (no matter where you are) get people who ping you and say "go scout"  .  But for what?  For whom?  The Redline crawlers are only interested in getting to their 50m face-smash w/o getting blapped by arty.  The Meds don't need you.  TDs are camping too deep to even see what you light.  Arty is... well, arty.  (Sometimes you get a good arty player and spotting damage - sometimes you get... what you get).  There are good, even great maps for lights.  There are even more that just plain suck.

 

The best I've found for traditional Lights these days is this:

Are there wheelies in the game?

  • If Yes:
    • Play counter-scout early; take a short run to light only the Red Scouts and hope the team helps you keep them honest / deny them the 'good bush'.
    • Play counter-scout / sniper mid-game and spot what you can / ridge run as best you can, but don't over-commit and try to beat the wheelie on his side of the ridge.
    • Wait for the wheelies to over-commit and die.
    • Profit (use your abilities to help teams move up / defend)
  • If No:
    • Get out and scout early - get your early lights / counter-scout to keep Red Lights honest (out of the good bush)
    • Ridge run constantly to keep Red tanks lit
    • Hide and survive when you get low on HP - snipe and maybe spot (safely) b/c you know you're more powerful as an end-game asset
    • Profit like crazy during the end game.

 

One truth that hasn't changed, however:  You either get an OP Light player on your team - or someone who should never, ever, under any circumstances play Lights again

 

 

 

(This post has appeared elsewhere, reprinted with permission of the author (me) for the heck of it)

 

EDIT: Replay showing 'Slow play lights when wheelies are present'

http://wotreplays.eu...five-t-54_ltwt 


Edited by BlackFive, Jan 21 2020 - 19:29.


Plays_With_Matches #2 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 17:43

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Long post but good read! +1

Comrade_XAM #3 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 17:52

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I have been trying to 3 mark the 100LT, and came to the same conclusion. 

 

Wheeled tanks and changed maps have made passive scouting almost obsolete. Knowing the map is now irrelevant, because regardless of your position, you will be proxy spotted by a clown car. 

While 100LT is great at taking out EBRs, being proxy spotted out of position (in the open), leads tracked lights to camp next to meds. 



Kramah313 #4 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:09

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As someone who definitely falls in the should never play lights again bucket right now, I appreciate this type of write up. I would like to be able to play lights some day, so like to get info about them when I can. Even as bad as I am in it, the LT-432 is really fun to use in frontlines. It’s fun flying around the map in general and spotting when it works. 

BlackFive #5 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:18

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View PostKramah313, on Jan 14 2020 - 18:09, said:

As someone who definitely falls in the should never play lights again bucket right now, I appreciate this type of write up. I would like to be able to play lights some day, so like to get info about them when I can. Even as bad as I am in it, the LT-432 is really fun to use in frontlines. It’s fun flying around the map in general and spotting when it works. 


Just have fun with it.  My statement was tongue in cheek; if you do well, people will complain you (or your tank) are OP... if you don't, people will tell you that you, and you alone are the reason for the loss.



ThaneTyrian #6 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:24

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Nice post OP.  I'm in the "probably should never play a light again" class, though the LT-432 can be played like a medium to some extent because of its armor, but if played thusly people yell cause the "Light" isnt spotting enough...

MiddleAgedNoob #7 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:29

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I would note that approaches are different at different tiers.  Mid tier lights don't experience the same kind of problems of view range saturation that high tier lights do.  One of the biggest problems I am experiencing is changing my approach to scouting as I move up tier.

 

GLHF


Edited by MiddleAgedNoob, Jan 14 2020 - 18:29.


BlackFive #8 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:51

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View PostMiddleAgedNoob, on Jan 14 2020 - 18:29, said:

I would note that approaches are different at different tiers.  Mid tier lights don't experience the same kind of problems of view range saturation that high tier lights do.  One of the biggest problems I am experiencing is changing my approach to scouting as I move up tier.

 

GLHF


Well - there's also a greater intra-tier difference in the abilities of sub-tier 8 Lights.  For instance, when I play Frenchies I rarely try to be the 'first out and spotting" guy - opting to get 'close' but use the gun to it's greatest effect, especially since I know I can get out-spotted by other nation's Lights.  Mid tier UK lights are also highly suitable to the early counter-scouting / passive counter-scout role, but not the 'traditional' scout role.  As with anything, it's all about knowing the capabilities of your tank and playing to the best of your ability (while having fun)



Cowcat137 #9 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 18:52

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 Great post, an exception where long posts are usually dull and pointless rambles.  

BlackFive #10 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 19:32

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View PostCowcat137, on Jan 14 2020 - 18:52, said:

 Great post, an exception where long posts are usually dull and pointless rambles.  


I shall strive for the next one to lack all punctuation, paragraph formatting and rational thought.  Perhaps something on Rigging and SBMM will do the trick?



Cowcat137 #11 Posted Jan 14 2020 - 19:44

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View PostBlackFive, on Jan 14 2020 - 19:32, said:


I shall strive for the next one to lack all punctuation, paragraph formatting and rational thought.  Perhaps something on Rigging and SBMM will do the trick?

Yes, and Begin with something like : " I don't care what anyone thinks...."



JackRaptor #12 Posted Jan 15 2020 - 16:26

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I believe the map changes is the primary reason why Lights are mostly obsolete. The EBR 105's are just made to counter the poor map designs and it shows from how effective they are.

 

I enjoy my Manticore, but i for the most part have to rely on dealing damage, because most maps make it impossible to gain any real spotting damage unless the enemy suicides into your lines.

 

So the only games you get are done in 4 minutes from how small the maps are, or last to near draw time from the fact that one team has to essentially commit suicide to push any where and ultimately causing their team to lose.



BlackFive #13 Posted Jan 21 2020 - 19:29

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http://wotreplays.eu...kfive-t-54_ltwt

 

 



Mikosah #14 Posted Jan 21 2020 - 22:48

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We would see a massive improvement to the situation simply by making the maps more scout-friendly. Just a few more viable positions for scouts to work from so that the ones already in play aren't so overcrowded and overused. In fact, I'll do you one better than that. There's another solution that doesn't require either the tanks or the maps to be changed at all- and that's simply to reduce the team counts to a 12v12, 10v10, or other similar formats. 

 

By using smaller team sizes on the existing maps, that essentially means there's more unoccupied space and therefore greater potential for movement and positioning. Sort of like a shortcut into the late-game phase of a match where light tanks' advantages finally get to shine. There's also the additional benefits of faster framerates from having to render fewer models and greater ease of communication within a smaller team. Best of all, smaller teams means each player is more influential and has better control over his destiny.






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