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Why Do Tanks Split Up in World of Tanks Rather than Mass Forces?

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Mumbochicken #21 Posted May 14 2020 - 16:36

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I don't know if your clan does it or not, but I think you would enjoy strongholds and, when you get to tier 10, advances and clan wars.  Those are were you will normally see use of voice comms and strategies.

Serpentine_Shel #22 Posted May 20 2020 - 17:36

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The Chieftian -- Wargamings in-house tank expert and former US Army combat tanker -- says that it usually makes sense to mass firepower on the cap in Encounter, and also in Standard if you protect your own base sufficiently.  Watch the vids to draw your own conclusions, but my take away is that it is not optimal to always fight for the same "key" positions other than teh cap or split up tanks in the usual way.  He notes that once you take the cap the enemy must come to you and you can defend that position with everything you have.  See esp these two videos but all of The Chieftian's strategy videos are great (search for The Chieftian Teaches)

ps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsWrr7Am7zM

https://www.youtube....h?v=5iLeY-uCpV8

https://www.youtube....h?v=ClGMCld114I


Edited by Serpentine_Shel, May 20 2020 - 19:25.


The_Chieftain #23 Posted May 20 2020 - 18:13

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The maths in favor of concentrating your maneuver is incontrovertible.

 


 

There is, however, a major misconception (repeated above) that in order to mass firepower, one must also mass forces. Massing forces does, indeed, result in, for example, being a lovely target for artillery, but there is no need for everyone to be in the same place to shoot at the same target. You just need line of sight, (This was something which it took the US civil war to drive into actual military theoreticians)

 

Obviously, if a team chooses to concentrate its efforts on one area, it runs the risk of being the inferior force in another. They key to success is the “strong” part of the team understanding its force superiority and being aggressive, and the “weaker” parts of the map understanding that they are weaker and playing cautiously. This should not (emphasis on “should”require that there be a team commander, just a mutual understanding of the situation. If the individual team players, for example, do not realise that they outnumber that Jpz E100 by 5:1 and that -someone- is going to take a hit from it while they swarm it which will be well worth the damage (especially on corridor maps), which should not need someone telling them, then the team as a whole is going to lose because the individual players could not figure out on their own the nature of the battlefield situation.



TheGuardian050 #24 Posted May 20 2020 - 19:03

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 20 2020 - 12:13, said:

 

 If the individual team players, for example, do not realise that they outnumber that Jpz E100 by 5:1 and that -someone- is going to take a hit from it while they swarm it which will be well worth the damage (especially on corridor maps), which should not need someone telling them, then the team as a whole is going to lose because the individual players could not figure out on their own the nature of the battlefield situation.
 

 

Sadly, even when someone does realise that, says "Let's go!" and takes the hit, 50% or more of the time the other four will just keep hiding.



MrBeetleBumEntertainment #25 Posted May 20 2020 - 19:20

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View PostSerpentine_Shel, on May 11 2020 - 15:50, said:

I found some convincing authoritative answers from The Chieftian (Nicholas Moran):   The Chieftian -- Wargaming's in-house tank expert and former US Army combat tanker -- says that it usually makes sense to mass forces on a single approach to the cap in Encounter, and also in Standard if you protect your own base sufficiently.  Watch the vids to draw your own conclusions. See esp these two videos but all of The Chieftian's strategy videos are great (search for The Chieftian Teaches)

 

ps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsWrr7Am7zM

https://www.youtube....h?v=5iLeY-uCpV8

 

 

In WOT the conventional strategy is for Heavy Tanks to go one way and Mediums to go the other, regardless of map and team composition. Some tanks even go off on their own - usually a suicide mission.  (I am putting TDs and Arty to one side because they are special cases.) These choices are almost never discussed in game chat.  I know the HT/MT split follows long-standing tactics and can make sense because the types of tanks perform differently in different terrain. But a basic tenet of military strategy is to never split up your forces if you do not know the disposition of the enemy force, and to seek local superiority to defeat in detail.  See either of the excellent movies about the battle of Roarke's Drift for illustration.  Seems to me that on maps without small choke points it makes more sense for HT and MT to stick together as a single massed force.  Since the other team is likely to split, then the massed team would have local superiority and can reliably flank and defeat the opponents in detail. Some TDs with high armor could effectively join this "Deathstar" group as well.  Even in some cities with enough room to maneuver this could be effective. 

Is there a tactical reason I am missing why this is never done? Thanks for any advice. - S.S.

 

Thanks for the comments. To add some thoughts in light of some valid comments: 

"Massed" to me does not mean right next to each other -- to me it means able to help each other.   I agree that massing forces can lead to easy targets or being outflanked and capped.  Of course you need to not bunch up too close (so arty cannot get two for one shots) and there needs to be "security" for every advance in the form of light tanks, flankers and TD/slow tank over-watch.  What I am puzzled by is the splitting of forces so that they cannot help each other - on other sides of the map or separated by lakes/mountains, except where the map demands it.

 

 

 

Hey,

thought it would be easier to explain with visual, nice and short and just for you.

 

Cheers

 



Serpentine_Shel #26 Posted May 20 2020 - 19:30

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Thanks Mr. Beetlebum -- I really appreciate you taking the time to make and post the video.  I will follow your channel on You Tube!

Mr_BushyBeard #27 Posted May 20 2020 - 19:57

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Well, I have to go with the Chief on this one, and real experience as well. 

bad_73 #28 Posted May 20 2020 - 20:44

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Had a game..2 tanks on one flank ,lemmings the other way.Me in my tortoise and another heavy.We faced 3 tanks ,2 meds and another heavy,and my heavy only got 1 pen but just by staying alive,the heavy allowed me not to be rushed  and able to take the 3 tanks out.I would have been meat if not for the heavys presence.

Insanefriend #29 Posted May 20 2020 - 21:03

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View PostTheGuardian050, on May 20 2020 - 12:03, said:

 

Sadly, even when someone does realise that, says "Let's go!" and takes the hit, 50% or more of the time the other four will just keep hiding.


This happens quite a bit, though in the flip side you do get a lot of the yolo into a bad location crowd as well.



Serpentine_Shel #30 Posted May 20 2020 - 21:19

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 20 2020 - 17:13, said:

The maths in favor of concentrating your maneuver is incontrovertible.

 


 

There is, however, a major misconception (repeated above) that in order to mass firepower, one must also mass forces. Massing forces does, indeed, result in, for example, being a lovely target for artillery, but there is no need for everyone to be in the same place to shoot at the same target. You just need line of sight, (This was something which it took the US civil war to drive into actual military theoreticians)

 

Obviously, if a team chooses to concentrate its efforts on one area, it runs the risk of being the inferior force in another. They key to success is the “strong” part of the team understanding its force superiority and being aggressive, and the “weaker” parts of the map understanding that they are weaker and playing cautiously. This should not (emphasis on “should”require that there be a team commander, just a mutual understanding of the situation. If the individual team players, for example, do not realise that they outnumber that Jpz E100 by 5:1 and that -someone- is going to take a hit from it while they swarm it which will be well worth the damage (especially on corridor maps), which should not need someone telling them, then the team as a whole is going to lose because the individual players could not figure out on their own the nature of the battlefield situation.


Thanks Chieftian for dropping in on the conversation and for the further explanation.  What an honor to have your attention!  Please keep your excellent strategy videos coming; it's great to hear from someone who speaks with some actual experience and expertise!  Best wishes and thanks again, S.S.

 

 


Edited by Serpentine_Shel, May 20 2020 - 21:23.


The_Chieftain #31 Posted May 21 2020 - 01:01

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View PostTheGuardian050, on May 20 2020 - 12:03, said:

 

Sadly, even when someone does realise that, says "Let's go!" and takes the hit, 50% or more of the time the other four will just keep hiding.


Not only that, but when you are now behind the JPE100 and about to die because he has now rotated 180 to shoot at you, not only will they continue to hide instead of advancing at the JP’s rear, they will be busy on chat berating you for being a suicidal noob.



Sink_Stuff #32 Posted May 21 2020 - 02:28

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 21 2020 - 00:01, said:


Not only that, but when you are now behind the JPE100 and about to die because he has now rotated 180 to shoot at you, not only will they continue to hide instead of advancing at the JP’s rear, they will be busy on chat berating you for being a suicidal noob.

 

That brings up a some particular questions. Maybe you have answered this a dozen times sorry. 

 

* Since you are basically a solo player on a team of solo players usually in this game, what tactics from real life tank platoons actually do apply to this game?

 

* Is the lemming train the correct tactic?

 

* Are corridor maps designed to force players to work together? But aren't corridors bad places to go since the end point of all of them is a no mans land death zone?

 

*** I remember long ago where you posted about the tank platoon manual and it stated that a procedure for playing the game that I still use today which is.

 

1. Gather intel and evaluate (map, team makeup, enemy makeup, starting intel)

2. Formulate a plan

3. action on the plan

4. Gather new intel and make a new plan, repeat.

 

But the problem with this as a solo tanker, or even a small platoon on a larger team, is that many long time players say that you simply need to be patient and wait for the enemy to make mistakes. The mistake they usually make is simply moving forward at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Meaning to say that the game is actually played differently then the way the tank platoon manual specifies. instead, games go like this,

 

1. Find an area to camp

2. Wait for enemies to make mistakes and fire at them

3. re-evaluate current position

4. find a new place to wait for enemies to make a mistake

5. wait until you have superior fire power and then move to finish off facing enemies

6. Find a way to use your clear lane to flank some other fighting location

7. Clean up the stranglers. 

 

What I am getting at is do you have a method of action, plan of action, that actually follows what happens in the game? What would the Army manual version of playing this game?


Edited by Sink_Stuff, May 21 2020 - 02:33.


Burhead06 #33 Posted May 21 2020 - 02:50

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when theres some sembelance of organization and teamwork or cohesion , you can afford to group up and mass push one side while leaving afew tanks behind to get map vision and find out whats happening. but in random battles there is no large scale communication. theres no real teamwork a large majority of the time. you cant expect tank a b c and d to sitback and scout while the other 11 tanks push a objective. you also cant control tank composition to make a strat like that work. 

yes theres some anecdotal evidence that lemming train pushes sometimes work , but those are typically the exceptions to the rule and not the rule itself. most of the time if a large majority of tanks are on one side of the map they dont push together , they camp together. or at the very least they dont push together fast enough. they get surrounded and then they lose. because getting shot from all sides is worse than getting shot from one direction.

cavalry11 #34 Posted May 21 2020 - 03:06

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You normally have 15 individual players playing as individuals , you very rarely see good team play.

dunniteowl #35 Posted May 21 2020 - 04:16

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 20 2020 - 18:01, said:


Not only that, but when you are now behind the JPE100 and about to die because he has now rotated 180 to shoot at you, not only will they continue to hide instead of advancing at the JP’s rear, they will be busy on chat berating you for being a suicidal noob.

 

View PostSink_Stuff, on May 20 2020 - 19:28, said:

 

That brings up a some particular questions. Maybe you have answered this a dozen times sorry. 

 

* Since you are basically a solo player on a team of solo players usually in this game, what tactics from real life tank platoons actually do apply to this game?

 

* Is the lemming train the correct tactic?

 

* Are corridor maps designed to force players to work together? But aren't corridors bad places to go since the end point of all of them is a no mans land death zone?

 

*** I remember long ago where you posted about the tank platoon manual and it stated that a procedure for playing the game that I still use today which is.

 

1. Gather intel and evaluate (map, team makeup, enemy makeup, starting intel)

2. Formulate a plan

3. action on the plan

4. Gather new intel and make a new plan, repeat.

 

But the problem with this as a solo tanker, or even a small platoon on a larger team, is that many long time players say that you simply need to be patient and wait for the enemy to make mistakes. The mistake they usually make is simply moving forward at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Meaning to say that the game is actually played differently then the way the tank platoon manual specifies. instead, games go like this,

 

1. Find an area to camp

2. Wait for enemies to make mistakes and fire at them

3. re-evaluate current position

4. find a new place to wait for enemies to make a mistake

5. wait until you have superior fire power and then move to finish off facing enemies

6. Find a way to use your clear lane to flank some other fighting location

7. Clean up the stranglers. 

 

What I am getting at is do you have a method of action, plan of action, that actually follows what happens in the game? What would the Army manual version of playing this game?

 

I cannot speak for the Chieftain, however, I do ascribe to that list above:

 

1. Gather intel and evaluate (map, team makeup, enemy makeup, starting intel)

2. Formulate a plan

3. action on the plan

4. Gather new intel and make a new plan, repeat.

 

 

When I started working to play better, the one thing I knew I needed was some sort of plan I could scrap and adapt from.  So I started getting my initial "intel" during the Load Screen phase, before the actually loading into the game and seeing the countdown timer.

 

In your settings in the General Tab, there is a section on the Loading Screen.  In the options available, choose: Show Mini Map

 

During your Load Screen, you will be presented with:

     Team Compositions of You and Them.  All types, tiers and tank names.

     A Large Version of your Current Map displayed as the Mini Map that has:

          Spawn Points in Red and Green

          The Cap Circle(s)

 

This lets you know basically what kind of tanks are on both teams, which should indicate to some degree where those tanks may or are likely to go, based on tier and tank class/type.  You now know what side of the map you're going to be on and pretty close to where you're going to spawn in.

 

At this point you can make a few plans of action, so that you can provide yourself with more than one path to a point where you might be useful or important.  You pick about two or three so that when you spawn in and it's not where you hoped, you still have a couple plans that get you going right away and not having to try to run over useless ground to get to that "one" spot from spawning in too far from your first choice.

 

Loaded into the Game/Countdown Starts

     Now you know exactly where you spawned in, who's near you and what the likely paths others might take and then you can modify your initial choices.  And in those two sections of time (usually about 30s load and 30s countdown) you have about a minute to think about where you think you can get to that might make a difference for your team, modified by the actions of your team mates and when contact is made.

 

 

That's how I spend my 'pre-game' loading and countdown time.  Of all the things I changed and learned during the process of learning how to play competently the one thing that made the most difference was, I honestly believe, that process of information collection and planning during the loading and countdown that prepared me so that I can move out immediately from where I am in order to achieve the best position I can manage in the time I feel I have before making contact.

 

None of the other stuff I was learning made as much of a single impactful difference than learning how to read that mini-map, before the game started and as the game progresses.  That mini-map should be like the rear view mirror of your car.  You should be checking that every three to five seconds in normal driving and when conditions are hectic or high tension, you need to be constantly checking it.  The mini-map should be treated the same way.

 

 

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Sink_Stuff #36 Posted May 21 2020 - 11:08

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View Postdunniteowl, on May 21 2020 - 03:16, said:

I cannot speak for the Chieftain, however, I do ascribe to that list above:

 

1. Gather intel and evaluate (map, team makeup, enemy makeup, starting intel)

2. Formulate a plan

3. action on the plan

4. Gather new intel and make a new plan, repeat.

 

That's how I spend my 'pre-game' loading and countdown time.  Of all the things I changed and learned during the process of learning how to play competently the one thing that made the most difference was, I honestly believe, that process of information collection and planning during the loading and countdown that prepared me so that I can move out immediately from where I am in order to achieve the best position I can manage in the time I feel I have before making contact.

 

I agree but the problem is that once the game starts and the battle begins the crucial next step is, ok you have new intel, now you have to possibly throw out your old plan or reevaluate if you should continue it. Analysis paralysis is something I think all of us have suffered a bit of once the spotting comes in and we see what's actually going down. This is the moment where most people who continue on the previous plan fail. They did this in real life in WW2 as well. Operation Market garden anyone, where we had new intel on enemy tanks but they told everyone that it's just children and old men defending. Yeah right. The entire Market Garden operation should have been canceled and a new plan made.

 

So what do you do then? The rest of the battle becomes a constant process of 

 

1.Hmmm maybe go here, maybe go there. 

2. Oh i need to help this guy

3. Crap crap crap, bail NOW.

4. Whew I made it. Now what. 

 

Its even worse when someone is in a platoon because then they have even more collective force behind continuing to follow through with a failed plan.

 

How do you break into knowing what to do? How long does it take to "Get it". I have 16,000 games and sometimes i feel like a brand new player. Should I go to streamer school and focus on learning one tank at a time? Do i need 1000 games in one single tank before I develop the mindset for battle? Do I need to watch every single Skill4tu you tube video with a notebook until it magically starts to sink in? Is there nothing at all from the real military training that can help here? Is a 5 step list all that we have?


Edited by Sink_Stuff, May 21 2020 - 11:10.


dunniteowl #37 Posted May 22 2020 - 05:05

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View PostSink_Stuff, on May 21 2020 - 04:08, said:

 

I agree but the problem is that once the game starts and the battle begins the crucial next step is, ok you have new intel, now you have to possibly throw out your old plan or reevaluate if you should continue it. Analysis paralysis is something I think all of us have suffered a bit of once the spotting comes in and we see what's actually going down. This is the moment where most people who continue on the previous plan fail. They did this in real life in WW2 as well. Operation Market garden anyone, where we had new intel on enemy tanks but they told everyone that it's just children and old men defending. Yeah right. The entire Market Garden operation should have been canceled and a new plan made.

 

So what do you do then? The rest of the battle becomes a constant process of 

 

1.Hmmm maybe go here, maybe go there. 

2. Oh i need to help this guy

3. Crap crap crap, bail NOW.

4. Whew I made it. Now what. 

 

Its even worse when someone is in a platoon because then they have even more collective force behind continuing to follow through with a failed plan.

 

How do you break into knowing what to do? How long does it take to "Get it". I have 16,000 games and sometimes i feel like a brand new player. Should I go to streamer school and focus on learning one tank at a time? Do i need 1000 games in one single tank before I develop the mindset for battle? Do I need to watch every single Skill4tu you tube video with a notebook until it magically starts to sink in? Is there nothing at all from the real military training that can help here? Is a 5 step list all that we have?

 

Your questions about how to integrate that constantly changing information is the crux of the difference between ultimately being a help to your team over continually hoping that you have a good team this time.  They are the questions each player that wants to get better at the game should be asking themselves most of the time.  "How do I know when the time is right to rush?  How do I know it's time to retreat?  Is this the place I should be?"

 

And the answer is that you're going to have a lot of guessing to do over time.  The "quality" of that guessing you do will reflect in large part as a WR output.  Those things are only to be used to gauge your overall ability to successfully perform that guessing, combined with your overall knowledge of the tanks you meet, the tanks you're using and your overall awareness of what's going on across the map.

 

Each person is going to have to figure some things out, based on their observations during play and how they integrate those into changing or modifying their actions during play.

 

My own personal overall experience has led me to do my best to keep it as simple as possible while playing.  So I have what amount to 'checklists' that I go through on a regular basis.  No matter what I have learned, how many different tanks, tactics, techniques I have found that using the mini-map in the way I describe above and treating it like a car's 'rear view mirror' as you play is a critical step to maintaining most of what you need to know to make those choices in response to those questions.

 

As I play, I have all those same questions in my head.  I have learned over time (not just for this game) that being able to not freeze up over my choices, right or wrong is important.  Even if I screw up, I'm still right there where I am.  So, in those cases where I am still playing (not destroyed) my intent is to manage my situation in terms of what is the most important thing to do.  So I have a list for that and, oddly, that list was created based on many of the very smart and wise things others in the forums have said.  Without going into all the details, here's the list...  

 

                        The Mantra for Play:

 

          Survive

          Do Damage

          Help Your Team

 

Nothing else in any other order has made more sense than this little mantra to keep my priorities straight during play.

 

 

Honestly, this all boils down to the thing I attempt to get across to most people when I discuss this, which is this:

 

          Pay Attention to the Game On Purpose.

 

All this means is you are in the game and you are aware of what's going on as much as possible around you as an intentional method to improving your ability to make those choices during play as to where to be, which target to shoot and when to move elsewhere.  (I know, right?  It's a pretty long sentence).

 

 

I don't think there is any ONE way to learn these things.  I also don't believe that there is any single action or technique that will make all the difference in any situation.  Mostly it's a sort of 'never give up, never surrender,' kind of mentality that provides you a more positive outlook, even when the chips are down.  The moment you give up in your mind, or decide you can't do anything, you'll end up unconsciously doing your best to make that true.

 

Following that logic, I have found that always intending to be in it to the very end has meant surviving and winning a few times more than if I would have just decided to give up and let them have me.  I don't have direct statistics on this exact thing, however, I can say that I do have a slightly higher than average WR at this point.  As much as my skills have grown or my understanding of the game mechanics has increased, the determination to not go down easy and to do my best to always come out on top has been just as important.

 

When is the right time to move up?  This depends.  Pretty much every single question you can ask yourself is situational in its answer.  So, you have to just do your best to make a choice and then accept that what you do might be wrong.  Even so, you have to be able to be 'all in' on your choices and then be able to modify what you might next do by observing as much as possible.

 

In some cases, you'll need overall battle field knowledge.  In many cases, you'll need to be supremely aware of what's happening right in front of you and how you can deal with it such that you come out of it intact.  In ALL cases, you have to be able to keep your head straight while everything else is shredding around you so you can make choices and not just be reactive.

 

And in the meanwhile as you do all that, learning WHILE you play, you get the excitement and fun of pretending to blow other tanks up, run through stuff and watch big booms.  So the rate at which you learn this should only matter to you and only if you care enough to want to improve on purpose.  To whatever degree that is, be patient with yourself and don't try to take on too much at a time.

 

 

I know this isn't game related SPECIFICS.  Those specifics are part and parcel of all that you have to learn over time.  Tanks, guns, map positions, spotting mechanics (<-- I happen to believe this is the single MOST IMPORTANT THING to learn as a specific) and things like angling, bushing up all will help you improve your survival rating, damage dealt and kills.  No matter what stuff you learn, it's applying it at the appropriate time that is impactful -- and to know when that is, you have to really be paying attention to your opponents' actions, timing and position as much as you must be paying attention to your own.

 

My improvement came at the expense of my pride and ego.  Each time I lost, got destroyed or felt like I was really having a hard time, I had to be able to tell myself, "What could I have done to make that better," and mean that as a method to critique, not criticize my own performance.  It was part of how I was able to improve over time.  

 

I'll stress I am NOT a great player.  I struggle to maintain my awareness at times.  I have my moments of asking myself those same questions you have and sometimes I do 'freeze' in those moments and end up having a choice made for me or just get rekt for my indecision.  I'm not a young person with quick reflexes anymore.  I don't see as well as I used to. All that and more, however, I consider my efforts to become just slightly above average worthwhile.

 


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warbonnet82 #38 Posted May 24 2020 - 06:51

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Look, in RANDOMS you are lacking the two key elements you need to do the things The Chieftain suggests (which IS correct in real life - but WoT isn't real life).    

Communications and Coordination (someone calling the shots).    Those are the domains of Clan play - not Random play.

Try as you might to think every Random game has this capability it doesn't - people play Randoms at vastly different skill levels, with vastly different objectives going in and most certainly with vastly different vehicle/crew configurations - even if the tanks were a 1:1 match on each side.

 



BaconMeLoveIt #39 Posted May 25 2020 - 04:22

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It may work for a 5-tank platoon. But nearly impossible to do on a 3... I think.

 

5-tank platoon when?


Edited by BaconMeLoveIt, May 25 2020 - 04:23.


Tomato_Powa_Is_Over_9000 #40 Posted Jun 04 2020 - 18:43

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Too many times I've seen 2-3 tanks hold off 5+ tanks.  Lemming trains stall too often for them to work, they see one tank in cover and then they sit there.  Meanwhile the flank is open because they are inspecting who has the biggest [edited]among them.





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