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This section will cover general tactics that are equally suited for attack and defense. These tips are vital for your survival in the field.





Speed



Our current AFVs have one noticeable advantage over the allied AFVs - this is speed. We can easily out run all of their AFVs (except for the Panhard). Speed is our greatest advantage, and we should use it when at all possible. Speed allows us to cut across country quickly, and attack from unexpected angles - ensuring confusion and disorganization amongst the allied forces. When ever possible use speed, and patience to flank the enemy to obtain the perfect firing angle. You must also be alert, and ensure that you know the general location of the enemy units. In the absence of air recon, move from cover position to cover position quickly, and scan for the enemy - rinse, repeat. Remember that taking one hit from enemy fire, is one hit too many. Be smart and use the tools provided by your unit type.

For example, I would not pilot a Panzer 3 the same way I would pilot a 38t. The low silhouette of the 38t would allow me more freedom in terms of cover positions - while the Panzer 3 would allow me to close distances, and flank the enemy with much greater effect.

Also, firing on the move is much easier when piloting the Panzer 3. This would allow you (either while multi-crewing, or solo driving) to engage while moving, drawing the attention of one or more enemy AFVs, in order to allow axis units better firing opportunities. The nature of the 38t's suspension does not allow this advantage, unless you are good at timing shots - imagine trying to hit a target at distance while jumping on a trampoline - it can be done, but you are much better served to find cover and engage on your own terms.

Speed allows us to engage when we want to, and also allows us to withdraw quickly - potentially drawing the enemy into ambush situations.





Cover



Given the color of our tanks (neon gray), using cover is challenging for us, but it is because of the lack of camo on our tanks that this is so important. Bushes, tree lines, tall grass, blown out buildings, and half walls provide excellent cover for our tanks. Many of these also provide protection from enemy fire as well. When looking for cover you need to take all of this into account. Choose your position carefully, and do not settle for a mediocrity - your unit's life depends on it, and tanks are especially important with the attrition rules.

Be creative when choosing cover positions - place yourself in an unlikely location, ensure that you are not silhouetted against a background such as the sky, and attempt to locate a position the breaks up your outline. That is, place yourself so that you are harder to ID when the enemy is scanning. For example, set yourself up on the other side of a blown out house, so that you can fire through a doorway. Or place yourself behind a tree line. The reason being - I know this is what I do when scanning - is I look for the outline of a unit - you are much harder to ID when you use cover to obscure your outline.

Here are some other basic tactics to use:
  • Hull Down - Hull Down basically means that you place yourself so that the only target that you present to the enemy is your turret. You position yourself at the crest of a hill, and creep up to it, so that you have a firing solution on your target, while minimizing the target you present to him. The trick is not to silhouette yourself against the sky - this makes you easier to locate. Place yourself in a line of trees, or in the clumps of bushes that you can pass through. This breaks up your profile making you harder to see.

  • Turret Down - This is similar to Hull Down, while this tactic only presents your commander as a target. This does not allow you to fire on targets, but does allow you to recon the area while minimizing the chance that you will be taken out. Again, everything that was said about going Hull Down applies here as well.

  • Natural Cover - We have touched on this above, but I will go over it again. You need to understand the use of cover. Recon the area, and decide what your objective is - ambush, assault, etc., and use cover accordingly. For ambushes, find yourself a nice area at a 45-90 degree angle from where you expect the enemy to travel, and wait. Ensure that you are not visible by the people you want to ambush, go silent, and wait - bushes and forests make great ambush locations. If you are assaulting, decide on a path to town that does the best at hiding both your location, and numbers, and only show yourself when you want to show yourself. Work your way into town by covering each other, and by minimizing the time that you are exposed to enemy fire - use tree lines, hills, and high grass to accomplish this.

  • Cover in Town - Cover in Town is tricky. A well placed tank, who has infantry support, in a town is virtually impossible to remove. I have had missions of 100+kills because I did not settle for mediocre cover, but got myself the absolute best firing position. The beauty is that the enemy may even know you are there, but there is nothing that they can do to remove you. Infantry support in town is essential - whether on attack, or defense. Find blown out buildings that you can fire through, place yourself in an ally way, sandbag positions, behind half walls, etc., these are all excellent positions. I once placed myself in an enemy town, between buildings, went silent, and waited. It took them 30 minutes, and 30+ units to remove me from this position - and I finally died because the infantry that was supporting my tank died.



Make use of your commander position wisely. The magnification through your commander's binoculars is much greater than the magnification available through your gunner's sight. This also provides you with a quick 360 degree picture of your surroundings - providing increased situational awareness. Do not underestimate the value of using your commander - it is essential to your survival, especially in areas with large amounts of cover. These areas provide the enemy with large amounts of excellent cover, and using your commander to identify them will increase your ability to survive, and be successful in combat.





Sound Protocol



Minimize your sound signature at all times. When you are not on the move, shut off your engine - this does two things. It allows you to hear the enemy, and it keeps the enemy from hearing you. Additionally, do not fire needlessly - fire only when you have the best firing position. Firing otherwise alerts everyone around you to your location. If you have not been spotted, wait for the best shot you can get - we have to make our shots count.





Numbers



Engage the enemy with numbers whenever possible. When assaulting an enemy position, present as many targets as you can at once - this makes them decide on who to fire on - makes them give away their position if they are hidden - and should cause confusion among their ranks. Alternatively, when engaging in this manner, focus your fire on individual targets - systematically take one unit out at a time. Hopefully you'll have that 88 at your back that can ID and remove the enemy once they reveal their position.





Threat Identification



Decision time - You are presented with multiple targets, a Panhard within 100 meters just coming to a stop, infantry at 300 meters, an r35 looking away from you while moving east-west across your axis at 800 meters, and a Char at 1500 meters partially obscured in a tree line. What do you do? While the Char is ultimately the most dangerous, here is my solution. First inform allied units of the location of each - take out the Panhard, then the infantry - leave the R35, and the Char and find yourself some cover. At those ranges your gun is ineffective against those units, and only serves to give away your position - find cover and hope to ambush them.

Additionally, threat identification also means realizing that your unit is not the right one for the job. For example, whenever possible do not directly engage AT guns. If you encounter one, move to cover, and call out the position to air, and infantry units. These units are better suited to remove the AT guns.


 



Coordination with Infantry



When attacking a town, or suppressing a forward base it is essential to have infantry support. First of all, infantry are needed to take CPs, you are not of much use inside a town if you are not supporting infantry. Secondly, infantry by nature are much more aware of their surroundings - that is, they have a higher situational awareness than armored units. They are able to identify enemy positions, scout ahead, and most importantly, keep sapper teams off of your tank. The service that you provide for the infantry is to keep enemy tanks clear of the area, and provide cover and support for their operations.

I found this quote on the internet - it was taken from wartime tactics documentation:

"In combined operations with infantry or armored infantry, you must make certain that the arms stick close together; only so can they help each other and achieve success. Which of the two is leading is a secondary matter; what must be known is that it is the intention of the enemy to separate them and that you must prevent this in all circumstances. Your (armored units) battle cry must be "Protect the Infantry!" and the infantry's battle cry is "Protect the Tanks!"




 



Formations



This section will cover the various formations that can be used to great effect in this game. Feel free to improvise, but this section will help you to understand what is meant by a Wedge, Echelon, etc., formation.

  • The Wedge: This classic formation is used to localize pressure on a single point. That is to say that you want to break cover and rush a single point quickly. Each tank in the formation needs to understand its role. The lead tank needs to identify the target, and lead the others quickly and decisively to that target. Speed and fire control are the keys to this formation. Each subsequent tank is responsible for covering the flanks - as diagramed below. This formation is best carried out in multi-crewed tanks as stopping to fire should never be an option - this formation needs to close on the enemy quickly, get within their lines, to disrupt, and smash their units. Spacing should be between 100-250 meters between tanks.
  • The "Vee" formation: The Vee formation is the exact opposite of the wedge. You send your two tanks from the extreme flanks of your group to the front, and move this way. If done right, you may be able to draw tanks within the Vee, and be able to concentrate fire from multiple angles. Spacing should be between 200-500 meters between tanks.
  • Echelon Left/Right: The Echelon formations provide additional, focused fire to the right or left flank. All tanks are focusing on covering their fields of fire to the right/left. This is particularly effective when you know that the enemy lies on you flanks, or when performing a flanking maneuver yourself. This will leave your opposite flank exposed, but with proper recon, and excellent fire control, this brings 100% of your firepower onto the target. Spacing should be between 150-300 meters between tanks.
  • The Line formation: The line formation creates what I like to call the "Oh Sh*t" response in the enemy. The purpose of this formation is to break cover, and present as many targets to the enemy as possible, all at once. This requires the enemy units to make decisions in terms of targeting our tanks. On the other side, out tanks should focus on concentrate on taking out one threat at a time. I have been involved in formations that have literally made the enemy run away. 20+ tanks breaking the crest of a hill at the same time does that to a person. Spacing should be between 100-200 meters.
  • Column formations: Column formations are usually used for transit purposes. These should be used only when traveling long distances for an attack, or on resupply runs. As you can see, each unit in the column is responsible for their own field of view. This reduces the chance that the column could be ambushed. As for the staggered column. This should be used if the enemy has air superiority - there is nothing more juicy than a bunch of tanks lined up in a row - and also this is the default formation that you should fall to if the column is attacked - get to cover, and identify the enemy location. Spacing should be between 100-300 meters.
  • The Coil: Basically a defensive posture, used to guard a specific locations. This provides excellent 360 degree coverage for your position. Spacing varies based on the objective that is defended.
  • Herringbone: Again, another defensive posture that assumes that the enemy will be coming from a set direction. This formation places most of its firepower in one direction. Spacing varies.


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