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the STB-1 – Panzer Vor!
STB1_garage

The STB-1 is the Japanese tier 10 medium tank. its renowned for being extremely Gorgeous to look at, having the highest Damage per Minute of any vehicle in the game, and Shells that seem to enjoy hitting the ground on fully aimed shots.

The STB-1 was the first Prototype for the Japanese Type 74 Tank, a Japanese version based on the same Chassis as the Leopard 1, the tank also has the same 105mm L7 gun common on most tier 10 medium tanks. However, while being Similar in design to the Leopard 1, it has several significant differences that define the tank as a unique and very different tank to drive from the Leopard.

 

Firepower:

As has been already stated, the STB has the best DPM (Damage per minute) of any vehicle in the game. In its most optimal setup, it has a reload of just 6.32 seconds, with an alpha damage of 390. This is a very potent combination, and can be used to your advantage, often allowing you to get up to 3 shots into tanks like the E100, or some tier 10 TDs, before they are able to reload one shell. The damage numbers stack up: up to 1170 alpha damage in return for only one 750 damage shot from an E100. This is an advantage that other L7 armed tanks do not have, most often their reloads being 7 seconds or longer. the extra second means that they are likely to only get two shots into an E100 before he reloads, and sometimes not even two into tanks such as the IS-7, while the STB is able to get two into an IS-7 before he reloads.

Of course, this advantage is not without its consequences: the Gun has very poor handling. This does not show up on the in game stats alone, the gun handling issues are in the soft stats for the gun. What this means is that when the tank is moving, or turning its turret, the reticule blooms to a much larger circle than other tanks. This in itself may sound fine, after all, it only has a 2.3-second aiming time, however that is not the case, since aim time actually shows the time the reticule takes to reach one third of its maximum size. This still means that when those 2.3 seconds are up, the gun is still much less accurate than most other tier 10 medium guns, even on tanks with the same aim time, if they have better soft stats for their gun. This means that the gun still has to aim that last third, making it very slow to aim and often not fully aimed in when the player fires. This leads to shells missing quite often, earning the tank its reputation for having a very derpy gun.

It is not all bad though, when fully aimed in the STB is actually fairly accurate. It won’t win a sniping war with a Leopard or an FV4202, but it’s accurate enough to hit the lower plates of heavies at longer ranges.

The STB-1 has one other party piece to bring to the table in the firepower department: Gun Depression. At -10 degrees, this tank has extremely good depression, this gives it a very strong edge in hill fighting, allowing you to only expose your turret, which is very small, to enemies to fire at them from over a ridge. This is an extremely useful advantage, but there will be more on that later.

 

To sum up the firepower, it’s good. The gun is most effective at short-medium ranges where it can put the DPM to good use, but not have to spend ages aiming in on weak spots

 

Protection:

The STB-1 is a medium tank, so by definition it is not going to have amazing armour. This is even truer when it is based on the Chassis of the Leopard 1. However, unlike the leopard, the armour is actually able to bounce a few shots. The Upper front plate is only 110mm thick, but it’s also angled at an extremely steep angle, allowing you to promote bounces if you angle the armour. The side is a rather terrible 35mm thick, making sidescraping difficult, though not impossible; the STB can get some pretty troll bounces in an effective sidescrape, but as a rule do not expect to bounce much off the hull in general.

The Turret is far stronger than the hull and an extremely welcome upgrade over the previous tanks in the line. While only being 132mm thick, it is sloped at extreme angles making it very effective. there is however, an armor hole behind the gun meaning that shooting the STB directly where the gun is can do damage. The Turret is also very small, meaning that when sitting hull down abusing that glorious gun depression, enemies trying to shoot you back will have very little in the way of turret to shoot at, making them miss more often than hit, and even when hitting it is likely to bounce.

The turret can still be penetrated, but it is nowhere near as reliable as an Object 140s turret, for example. However, it is good enough for medium range engagements due to its size and angle, with its weak spot being small enough for enemies to reliably hit.

 

To Sum up: it’s a Medium tank. It’s not supposed to rely on its armor to keep it out of trouble, but it is able to bounce lower tier shots if well angled and the Turret is strong enough to keep you safe in hull down situations, which is a very important aspect of the tank and one major downside of the tanks before it.

 

Setup – Crew, Equipment and Consumables

When setting up a tank with crew and equipment the general idea is to either maximize the tanks strengths of Minimize its weaknesses. For example, when setting up a light tank its main strengths are its camo and view range, so crew and equipment choices will reflect that – Camo and view range skills, with Optics for equipment. For an IS-7, its main strengths are its strong armour, mobility, and high alpha damage on its gun. These things cannot be improved per se, meaning that crew and equipment setups will be based on minimizing its weaknesses – being the terrible gun accuracy, reload, and aim time. It is not very common that you can enhance a tank’s strengths while also minimizing its weaknesses. The STB-1 is one of those tanks where this is possible.

The STB-1s main advantage is its incredible DPM, while its main weakness is its bad gun handling. This means that the tank can be setup in such a way that capitalizes on the DPM while also minimizing the gun handling at the same time. This also makes, for myself at least, the STB a rather unique setup in terms of crew, equipment, and consumable choices.

 

Crew

The crew on the STB, in order to work effectively off the bat, needs to be at least completed the second skill and working on the third. Here is how I have it set up:
Crew

Commander: Sixth Sense, Brothers in Arms, repairs, Camo

Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap shot, Repairs, Camo

Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth ride, Repairs, Camo

Loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Repairs, Camo

 

I said this was a unique setup for me. The reason for this is I generally don’t think BIA is a necessary skill until the fourth skill at least, as a medium player preferring gun skills, repairs, and camo as the first three. However, when I retrained my type 61 crew to the STB, which was at the time just on its third skill, I picked BIA as the first skill. This is why the STB works best with two full skills at least, allowing you to use BIA and sixth sense. My reasoning behind BIA is again, maximising strengths and minimizing weaknesses. It’s also there to compliment other setup choices I have made as well.

Second skill, obvious, gunnery skills. Snap shot and smooth ride, very useful skills, also very much needed on a tank like the STB. I don’t feel as if I need to explain choosing sixth sense, as for the loader he obviously has a fairly limited number of useful skills, so safe stowage is always a welcome addition.

Third skill: repairs. This is a very, very valuable skill. If not anything else, being able to get your tracks repaired and moving as soon as possible after being tracked is very useful. I generally train repairs as the first skill on most tanks. The fact that I have it as the third skill here is a good indication of how much the STB’s crew has broken my trend.

We’re back to normal for the fourth skill. Camouflage. The tank is a medium tank, and since it has low armor the best other way to stay safe is to stay hidden. If you can spot the enemy before he spots you, you gain the advantage of a free shot into him. If you can stay hidden AFTER firing, you have an even bigger advantage as the enemy cannot fire back at you.

 

Equipment

Most tier 10 medium tanks use the standard Gun rammer, Vertical Stabilizer, and coated optics for their equipment setups. I do know players that use this setup on their STB, but I don’t think it is the best setup for the tank. I replace the coated optics with Improved Ventilation:

equipment

My reasoning for this is again, maximizing strengths while minimizing weaknesses. The Vents will help with the gun handling for the tank, while also improving the reload further. This effect stacks with Brothers in Arms, giving more reason to use that crew skill. Neither of these are very effective on their own, but together they can make a noticeable difference on the gun handling, while lowering the reload from 6.9 seconds to 6.6 seconds. It also has the added bonus of increasing the often-overlooked 410m view range the STB has, again stacking with Brothers in Arms.

 

Consumables

Following the trend of unique set-ups, my consumables for the STB are not very different from the crew and equipment setups:

consumables
This is the only tank I run large repair and medkits in random battles with. I did not start with running them, but I got into many situations where the tank got ammo racked and tracked in the same shot, so to avoid having to choose between the two to repair (which usually ended up in the track being repaired due to reflexes) I instead put a large repair kit on. the Med kit was kept off for a rather long time, but the tank kept losing its driver twice in a row during games, so in order to diminish this effect I used a large medkit to get the bonus of giving crew members more durability it contains.

The third slot is also interesting, I run Onigiri as the third Consumable. Again, this is done in the interest of minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strengths. Food gives a flat 10% bonus to all crew skills. This means that when using food in game I am making the tank even more accurate, lowering the derpy gun handling even more, and increasing the reload even further. With the combined effects of a Rammer, Vents, BIA, and food, the reload on the STB-1 is down to an astonishing 6.32 seconds. The difference between running food and not is actually very noticeable, so much that it surprised me how more accurate the tank felt. Food also gives the added bonus of taking the View range, which is 432m without food, up to the maximum view range of 445m. Extra view range is never an unwelcome thing.

Obviously, this makes the tank very expensive to run. Fortunately, for me, when running a premium account I am still able to break even on most games playing the STB, but it is perfectly understandable if you are on a budget and cannot afford to run this sort of setup, I recommend just running the standard Repair kit, med kit, and fire extinguisher. But if you are able to blow some cash, Food is the most important to pick, in all honesty the other two large kits are not essential and more for convenience purposes. I do find that the STB does not catch fire very often; if it does catch fire, it is only through the back of the tank. In general, if you are exposing your rear to the enemy you are probably doing something wrong, so the most common way I get set on fire in the tank is from arty hits that go through my engine deck.

 

For ammo loadouts, simple. 33 AP, 15 HEAT, 2 HE. The HE is for emergency cap resets and Waffle turrets. I don’t actually fire much HEAT at all in my STB, even less than my other tier 10 mediums due to the fact that at longer ranges there’s a higher chance of the shell derping into some spaced armour.

 

Gameplay

In Gameplay terms, the STB cannot really be compared to any one tank. it’s a medium tank based on the Leopards chassis, but does not play like the Leo. The STB has much more holding power than the Leo – Holding power being the ability to stay in a position and fight it out before having to retreat to safety. The reason for this is not only because it has much more reliable armour than the leopard, but also because of its extremely high DPM. The fact it can get shots off far more frequently give it the ability to suppress enemies in a way tanks like the Leopard cannot. The Leo is also more of a scouty medium; the STB is far less effective at scouting than the Leopard. It can scout, like all mediums can, but is not as good at the dedicated scouting role. It has less overall camo, and is not as fast. The STB is very much a combat medium; it works best getting stuck in and putting its gun to work from hull down positions, compared to the Leos style of Shoot ’n’ Scoot. The Leo cannot brawl to save itself, the STB can. You can use this advantage. You can out DPM Russian mediums. Use this advantage.

 

I have been going on a lot about hull down. That’s because the STB is very, very good at it. Hull down, poking over ridges or hills at medium range is the single best thing the STB can do. You keep yourself in cover from direct fire, and can kill stuff on the other side of the hill that more often than not cannot hit you back. brilliant examples of excellent places to use this are the north hills of Westfield, on top of the hill on Mines (especially from the south spawn) and the North of Pearl river, where you can get hull shots on most other tanks on the top side whereas they have to overexpose themselves to shoot you back.

 

Here is an example of how you would use the gun depression:

hill Cresting
You can see me here cresting the hill in the north of Westfield to get shots on the enemies. I spy a T-34-2. I very easily have a shot on him; in fact, I have poked over a bit more than I need to.

Easy shot, yes? However, if he was looking at me this is what he would be seeing:

hill Cresting 2
There really is not much at all for him to shoot at there, and what there is to shoot at is either my turret or my upper hull at an extreme angle. If he fired at me, the only way he would penetrate is to get lucky and go through the armour hole behind the gun. However, because I could easily peek up above the ride, snap shot him, and back down with an absolutely tiny amount of my tank visible the window he would have with which to do that is very small.

 

Later in the same battle, the poor guy in the T-34-2 tries to poke over to get a shot. Look how far he has to expose himself to even hope to get a shot on me:
hill crest 3

The difference is, he is absolutely nowhere near able to get a shot on me yet, he would have to expose himself to my team behind (most notably the T110E3 sitting on the hill behind me) in order to have a hope in shooting at me. These are problems the STB just does not have to deal with, and are extremely useful advantages that should be abused whenever possible.

 

Here is a short Video demonstration of what can be done with the STB-1s gun depression. From the middle area on cliff, this is one of my favourite spots to use this tank in. the STB is always wanted in Clan wars for Cliff because of its ability to take this position and abuse it. There is also small demonstration of the DPM of the tank, as I cut down the Jagdtiger, the video also shows how well the STB can snap shot with this crew setup, and it is surprisingly good at it at these sorts of ranges.

I also have another video showing a full battle in the STB-1, on mines. Being lucky enough to get into a game with no Artillery, I was able to get up on the hill and use the gun depression and DPM of the tank in order to harass all the enemy tier 10 heavies trying to take the hill. Please note that I am not a professional or even amateur YouTube Commentator and my Microphone is not very suited to this sort of thing so my Commentary is not the best in the world

 

Replays:

 

For the Replays used in this review, they are here if you want to watch them:

Cliff: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066526#teams

Mines: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066528#stats

Westfield: http://wotreplays.eu/site/2066531#stats – Yes I did get a little bit mad at our M53 for shooting me, though it was more the fact he said “deal with it” than shooting me himself, I don’t advocate reacting the way I did.

Basic Scout Overview

Perhaps no other class in the game of World Of Tanks causes players as much frustration as playing Scout Tanks. Often featuring guns well under-powered without the use of a lot of premium ammunition, and now facing up to 3 tiers higher than its own (i.e. tier 4 Luchs fighting tier 7 Heavy Tanks) these tanks are often rushed through or played poorly just to get through them. A better fundamental understanding of how scout tanks could operate at a very fundamental level, however, will ease the pain and frustrations these tanks can cause.

Light tanks should not be confused with Scout Tanks in terms of match-making. Light Tanks do NOT see the same match-making that Scout tanks do, as they can only see +2 matchmaking. The British Light Tanks and the French Light Tank AMX 40 are examples of Light Tanks, not Scout Tanks. These tanks will have the additional benefits of standard matchmaking (+2) and will keep their camouflage on the move. The Japanese line also features Light Tanks instead of Scout Tanks. If you would like to know what your tank’s camouflage rating is while stationary or on the move, please visit WOTInfo here.

Where to Start: The Garage

Matchmaking and its Implications

First, we need to understand Scout Tank Matchmaking. Scout tanks from tier 4 onward have +3 matchmaking. As I stated earlier, a tier 4 Luchs Scout Tank can see up to tier 7 tanks, which feature tanks such as the American T-29, Russia’s IS, and the German Tiger for example. Tier 5 Scout Tanks can see up to tier 8 tanks, such as the Russian KV-4, Germany’s Tiger II, and China’s 110. This continues for each tier: Tier 6 scout tanks can see tier 9 tanks, and tier 7 & 8 scout tanks can see tier 10 battles. I highlight some of these tanks on purpose to show some of the heaviest armored tanks you might face and need to engage, as your scout tank may need be able to penetrate at some point in the battle.

What this means is, you need to be willing to shoot a lot of premium ammunition. Some scout tanks such as the American T37 do not need as much premium ammunition as the American T21, based upon gun characteristics. Scout tanks such as the PZ 38A (Tier 4 German Scout) which feature very low penetration standard ammo but good premium ammunition will be forced to carry more premium ammunition in order to be successful with greater frequency.

Be aware of the tanks you may face, and prepare accordingly

Equipment

Current Scout Meta and Equipment Implications

With the slough of recent map changes to more of a “corridor” setting, the ‘good old days’ of bush camping (i.e. “passive scouting”) are fewer and further between. While I was grinding out my T21 scout tank a long time ago, it could see tier 10 battles pretty frequently and the map “Malinovka” was ALWAYS in rotation. 10k spotting games was the norm! This often meant that using a camo net and binoculars were acceptable for the majority of scout tank players. With the map changes, this thinking of equipment use needs to be changed. Active scouting is much more useful with the current meta, which means different equipment.

I recommend, as a rule, using this equipment in order of priority:
(Personal Holy Trinity scout setup)

Coated Optics (+10% spotting range at all times)
Vertical Stabilizer (20% reduction in accuracy penalty or the bloom of the reticle while the tank and/or turret are moving)
Rammer (10% reduction in loading time)

Some tanks cannot use this setup, such as the French Scout tanks such as the AMX 12t, AMX 13-75, and the AMX 13-90 which cannot use a Vertical Stabilizer. Here, I use for the French Tanks:

Coated Optics
Gun Laying Drive
Vents

The new USA Scout tanks feature auto-loaders as an option, which means a Rammer cannot be used. If a Rammer cannot be used on a Scout Tank, I recommend Improved Ventilation in its stead.

An unique tier 8 scout tank is the American T49, a tier 8 scout featuring a 152mm HE cannon. This tank is… well, hilariously frustrating. To minimize the frustrations I use this equipment setup with my T49:
Gun Laying Drive
Vertical Stabilizer
Rammer

Consumables include Cola instead of an Auto Extinguisher.

Another notable exception, personally, is the newest German Scout Tank, the RU-251. With this tank, I run
Vertical Stabilizer
Rammer
Vents

Furthermore, for consumables I use Chocolate with the RU-251. Without Brothers in Arms, I have a 4.91 second reload, and with my current crew skills I have vision out to 444 meters, or 1 meter short of maximum spotting range.

Why Not Camouflage Net or Binoculars?

Camouflage Net: +10% Camouflage rating when sitting still to Scout Tanks

Binoculars: +25% View Range when sitting still.

Scout tanks, as a class, have some of the highest camouflage rating in the game. A camouflage net is ONLY active when the player has been sitting still for 3 seconds, and the bonus disappears as soon as the player moves. Meanwhile, per WOT Info.net, having a 100% camouflage skilled crew will add 81% effective camouflage at all times, whether shooting, moving, or sitting still.

The ability to train camouflage as a skill improves the tanks ability to go undetected without a camouflage net. Crew skills such as Recon, Situational Awareness, and Brothers In Arms along with Coated optics which are always active outweigh the benefits of +25% View Range while sitting still. Add Cola, Chocolate, or any other food item for another 10% crew skill (leading to around a 5% increase in actual view range), there’s simply never a need to use either a camouflage net nor Binoculars. Let’s do the math, using the RU-251 as an example.

The RU 251 has a base view range of 400 meters. With binoculars (+25% view range when sitting still), this means a player can effectively see out to 500 meters, being capped at 445 meter which is the max spotting range in the game. The player can spot most enemy tanks which might be moving in their view range. However, as soon as they start to move their view range shrinks down to 400 meters again, not assuming any crew skill or consumable bonuses.

Lets now factor in crew skills in use with Binoculars. We will use Brothers in Arms (+2.5%) and Situational Awareness (+3%) and the use of Chocolate (+5%). While moving, the RU-251 will have an effective view range of 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 = 442 meters. While sitting still for three seconds and the Binocular Bonus, this becomes 400 + 10 + 12 + 20 + 100 = 542 meters. This is certainly excellent, but again you must be sitting still.

Now we take the same RU 251 which has a complete 3 skill crew consisting of these skills and perks on the commander: Brothers in Arms (+2.5% to view range), Situational Awareness (+3% to view range), Coated Optics (+10% to view range), and Chocolate (+5% to view range). These all stack upon one another, meaning 400 + 10 + 12 + 40 + 20 = 482 meters view range, which is active whether or not the scout is moving or sitting still!

In my opinion, having 482 meters view range at all times outweighs the benefits of 542 meter view range when sitting still. While the max spotting range in the game is capped out at 445 meters, having effectively 482 meters spotting range at all times allows a player to “see” through an enemies camouflage much more effectively at longer ranges. This can mean the difference between spotting an enemy Tank Destroyer at 430 meters instead of 400 meters, which does make a difference in the game.

Personal Mission Note:

As some missions require the use of a camo net or binocs to be used to complete the secondary mission, just for those missions I would drop the Rammer or Vents. Scout tanks often feature excellent DPM to begin with, and a Rammer can be dropped temporarily in my opinion.

Consumables

As a rule, I always start any new tank with this setup for consumables:

Small Medical Pack (Number 4 on Keypad)
Small Repair Pack (Number 5 on Keypad)
Auto Extinguisher (-10% chance of catching fire, automatically stops a fire after 1 ‘tick’)

If my driver dies, which murders a scout’s mobility, tapping ‘4’ twice allows for a very fast healing of the Driver. With ‘5’ being repairs, if I lose my tracks I can rapidly hit ‘5’ twice and heal the tracks.

As I become more familiar with a tank and its ability, my consumables set-up will also change. The new USA scouts are not likely to catch fire in my experience, so dropping the Auto Extinguisher for Cola is a viable option. You’re far more likely to be ammo racked for full health then you are to catch fire. As well, the French Scouts can benefit from using Strong Coffee if they’re going to be used in an active engagement roll. French scouts have very POOR gun handling, and the Strong Coffee helps a LOT in this area. However, the Chinese Scout tanks will catch fire with seemingly regularity in my experience, so I tend to stick with the Auto Extinguisher. Be willing to experiment with whatever works for your tanks and your ability to make credits.

Some personal setups for Consumables:
RU-251
Large Med, Large Repair, Chocolate

AMX13-90
Large Med, Large Repair, Strong Coffee

WZ-132
Large Med, Large Repair, Auto Ext

M-41 Walker Bulldog (Autoloader)
Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext
With Single-Shot
Small Med, Small Repair, Cola

T37 American Scout (Single Shot)
Small Med, Small Repair, Cola

WZ-131
Small Med, Small Repair, Auto Ext.

Awful Panther (Tier 7 German Scout)
Small Med, Small Repair, Chocolate

Crew Skills

Camo. Camo. Camo. Camo.

Oh, there’s more? Ok!
Crew skills and their management will make your scouting life just all that much easier. Screw these skills up, and you’re going to regret it later. I will break this down in stages, using a 4 crew tank as an example. After the 1st and second skills are trained, I will no longer retrain for credits and will use Gold to reskill. I will go over this first, but I will cover how I would train my crews using only credits afterwards.

Stage 1: First Skill

All camo. This is where your tank makes its money. While the camo values of your tank are already pretty high, this skill improves your tanks camo abilities significantly. When you reach 100%, retrain your commander for 6th sense for gold, and your loader for Safe Stowage. This then leads to the next set of crew skills. I would then start training the next set of skills as such listed here:

Stage 2:

Commander: 6th Sense, Camouflage or Situational Awareness (prefer camo, but view range is important)
Driver: Camouflage, Smooth Ride
Gunner: Camouflage, Snap Shot
Loader: Safe Stowage, Camouflage

I would train these skills to completion, and then start training my 3rd skills. I tend to start training repairs on most crew members, and camouflage or situational awareness depending upon what I decided to train as a 2nd skill for the commander. Once you’re about 50-60% into your third skill, in my opinion it’s time for a complete re-doing of skills for Gold instead of credits (waiting for crew retraining to be half off is a great idea here!)

Stage 3:

This is the time to break out the gold once more. Losing 10% of your crew’s experience at this point is a BAD thing, as it’ll take quite some time to get that experience back even in a premium tank.

Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness
Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride
Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot
Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Camo

Stage 4:

Very often, unless you’re actively playing a lot of scout tanks you’re not likely to progress beyond 3 crew skills. However, if you do make it to the 4th, I would set up my crew as the following

Commander: Brothers in Arms (BIA), 6th Sense, Situational Awareness, Camo or Recon
Driver: BIA, Camo, Smooth Ride, Repairs
Gunner: BIA, Camo, Snap Shot, Repairs
Loader: BIA, Safe Stowage, Adrenaline Rush, Camo

I value safe stowage over repairs in the case of the loader in most situations, as I have found that healing tracks is more important than healing an ammo rack which is damaged. I like to mitigate the threat of being ammo racked in the first place and saving my repair kit for my tracks.

However, not all players are able to use nor want to spend in-game gold for crew retraining. This will require much more foresight and planning. If I were going to skill a crew without the use of gold, I would go about as follows.

Stage 1:

Commander: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second
Driver: Camo to 100%, select Smooth Ride as second
Gunner: Camo to 100%, select Snap Shot as second
Loader: Camo to 100%, select repairs as second

Stage 2:

When repairs reach about 60%, I will drop for credits (20,000 credits when not on sale, 10,000 credits when on sale)

Commander (Re-skill for Credits): 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as third
Driver (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Smooth Ride, Repairs as Third
Gunner (No need to re-skill): Camouflage, Snap Shot, Repairs as Third
Loader (Re-skill for Credits): Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as Third

Stage 3:

By now, your grind should be complete and you should have Accelerated Crew Training turned on. When your 3rd skill gets to about 90%, I would now re-train my entire crew skills for Credits to the following. Please note, retraining for credits mean a loss of 10% of the crew experience.

Commander: Brothers in Arms, 6th Sense, Camouflage, Situational Awareness as 4th
Driver: Brothers in Arms, Smooth Ride, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th
Gunner: Brothers in Arms, Snap Shot, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th
Loader: Brothers in Arms, Safe Stowage, Camouflage, Repairs as 4th

Beyond this, the loss of 10% of your crew Experience to continue to retrain for Credits is just too massive. I would try to save gold through Wargaming Events such as Password Changes for 300 gold, or find a semi-successful Skirmish Team. On the US Servers, finishing in the top 50% of all teams will net a player 250 gold, and another 250 gold for participating in the Alpha playoffs. Waiting for crew retraining to be half off, and you will then be able to easily re-skill a crew for no crew experience losses.

Basic Battle Mindset

I personally break down the match into three separate stages: Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game (I lightly broke down these stages with my T37 review found here). I will expand upon this further.

Early Game: Vision Control/Denial , Opportunistic Damage Dealing, Deployment to Key Terrain Features, and Anti-scouting

Mission One is vision control, and map knowledge is the key. There are a few maps currently in rotation with great frequency such as Prokhorovka/Fiery Salient and Malinovka which have either *obvious* passive or active scouting runs/locations. These areas can enable a better early team deployment, enable early damage, and allow you to get some early “safe” damage as well. These locations can sometimes be used in Medium Tanks as well for early spotting/damage.

Definitions of Active and Passive Scouting, per WOTWiki:

Active Scouting

Active scouting is very aggressive in nature, where the scout has to keep moving. This can take place anywhere on the map, which can be peeking around corners, driving on ridges, or just doing circles. The goal here is to try and keep the enemy spotted long enough for allies to hit them. A form of this is Half Court scouting, in which a scout runs several half circles around their side of the map, while not crossing the middle dividing line. Some maps are suited for this while others are not. For light tanks with good maneuverability and speed but poor view range or radios, active scouting is superior due to the bonus that designated scouts receive, namely that they keep the same camo values while moving and stationary.

I will add to this as active scouting: Taking a position which will enable you to observe the enemy, while your tank is being “lit” by the enemy as well for a split second. Peeking over a small hill or ridge on many maps is active scouting even if only for a very short moment. Remember too, your commander’s hatch or view ports are always on top of your turret and that is all that needs to crest the ridge. This means that you can expose very little of your tank, and while you might not get a chance to shoot an enemy, you make yourself a very difficult target to shoot.

Passive Scouting

The opposite of Active Scouting. This is where a scout will sit in a location (usually concealed by bushes) waiting for enemies to move into their view range. It is best to find a position with a wide area that you can see without obstruction to get the best out of this. A passive scout should avoid firing in all but the most dire of circumstances as this will dramatically lower your camo values. Relatively unmaneuverable light tanks and fast medium tanks with good view range are considered ideal passive scouts

Color Code:

Light Blue = Active Scouting
Grey = Passive Scouting

Prokhorovka/Firey Salient

Malinovka (Standard Mode)

Please Note: Per “For The Record”, there are bushes in the game which are “fake.” Meaning, while they show up on your screen, they actually do NOT provide any additional camouflage to your tank. If you notice that you’re being spotted consistently in a certain bush, regardless of situation, it is probably a fake!

Scout tanks are also typically the fastest tanks on the battlefield, meaning you’re able to rush to key terrain features VERY early into the fight to deny the enemy the ability to safely deploy to this location, and deny other scouts the ability to have a justifiable impact early in the game. Such examples are an active field run on Malinovka (deny scout tanks the ability to bush camp), Karelia Hill (especially from the south spawn)

Color Code:

Light Blue = Active Scouting
Grey = Passive Scouting

Karelia

Because you’re often the first tank to deploy to key areas of the map, you’re often in position to do damage much earlier than most tanks. Early damage will make the enemy more tentative in their approach to battle. Even if you fail to penetrate several of your shots, just the simple fact that the enemy is being engaged can cause them to stop, look for the source of fire, and get struck by allies with better guns. Heavy tanks are very notorious for doing this as a class, as they will stop and attempt to orient their armor towards the source of fire. There is very little more satisfying than stopping a Heavy Tank in its tracks, getting them to attempt to engage your scout, and watch them be struck by Artillery and Tank Destroyers.

Visions Denial

Vision Denial is similar to vision control, but slightly different in its application. Instead of attempting to establish vision over a certain area, you’re instead denying the enemy from being able to establish vision of their own. Swamp, one of my favorite maps, is a great map for utilizing this concept both in medium tanks and light tanks. The West spawn has a better opportunity for this early, while the East Spawn is better suited late game. You deny by proximity and presence, rather than utilizing your view range.

Denial By Proximity:

If you are within 50 meters of an enemy tank, both tanks become “Visible” on the map and to other players. This is useful in City maps, where a scout can tuck in near a corner, and detect tanks without needing to expose themselves. This also works very often near a ridge line, where a scout can quickly run up near the ledge, without needing to expose themselves completely. Sand River is a great example of this,the ridge lines on Redshire and as I mentioned earlier, Swamp provides this opportunity as well.

Denial By Presence:

Enemy tanks will sometimes be afraid to move if they’re being detected every time they attempt to. This method is similar to “Passive” scouting, as a scout will attempt to not be detected, but their presence is known. A scout making an active run on a map like Redshire, will sometimes be able to “lock” tanks in place, as they wait to get another shot at the scout or they’re afraid to move. Even if you end up in a different area of the map, on the NA sever tanks will often deploy to one area and remain there for 2-3 more minutes waiting for your tank to re-appear. You’re effectively locking that tank in location, just by previously having a presence in this area.

Also, please always remember that you have a VERY small health pool! Conserve your hit points as strongly as possible this stage of the battle!

Mid Game: Positioning for Damage, looking for Opportunities to Assault

While continuing your mission of vision control or denial, you should now look for opportunities to break a flank or destroy isolated tanks. Mid game is where scout tanks should really start to shine. Their mobility exceeds that of all but tier 10 mediums, but maintain their camouflage while moving unlike tier 10 mediums. This allows a scout to very quickly change flanks and angles, and gives them the opportunity to utilize their DPM (damage per minute/Rate of Fire) or their burst damage (Auto-loading scouts), and wreck heavy tanks and Tank Destroyers. I do NOT recommend trying to solo attack medium tanks of equal tier or higher without support from your team, they’re very low on health.

Building this skillset requires a growth of the “Map Awareness” muscle, which will come only through practice. A Scout tank attempting to ambush an enemy tank needs to be aware of firing lanes (Is the enemy really isolated, or do they have Tank Destroyer backup?), aware of how many tanks are recently spotted (this tank seems alone, but three enemies have not been lit for over 2 minutes now) and aware of the tank they’re attempting to ambush/destroy. A scout player will quickly learn which tanks are easy to address and attack (i.e. Most turretless Tank Destroyers) and those which are difficult (215Bs, T110E5’s, tier 9 and 10 medium tanks).

Preserving your health is still vital here. Take risk, but do NOT over-commit!

Late-Game: Slowly/Quickly bleeding the life out of the Reds!

Late game, with a mostly full-health Scout Tank, you should be the most feared tank in the game regardless of match-making. You’re more than capable of showing up at an unexpected angle and flexing across the map in a very short time. You’re equipped with a very fast firing gun, camouflage on the move, and the rage inducing ability to permanently track almost every tank you might face while doing damage. You’re able to get stealthy cap-resets, or cap the enemy base yourself if needed. Especially in lower tier scouts, you’re often equipped with better view range than most of the opponents you may face as well. And, if you’ve been careful, now is the time to maximise your risk taking for the win with your Hit Points. The end game scout tank is the ultimate vulture, picking clean the bones of the enemy tanks.

Various Scouting Tips:

-Light tanks aren’t the only scout tanks. Medium tanks or even fast heavy tanks can act as impromptu scouts during late-game stages if your team’s dedicated scouts have died. Remember that you won’t have as much camo rating and you will lose some of that already lacking camo rating on the move; abusing bushes is your best bet.

-Learn to aim in the third person: This can make tracking shots while driving MUCH easier!

-Auto-aim can be your friend. While working on learning how to track an enemy in third person, using Auto-aim and angle from your opponent can improve your chances of tracking an enemy on the move. You’re also better able to control your driving, which can increase your survivability as well. However, please be aware that this can lead to sloppy shooting, especially with Autoloaders. Use at your own risk, but certainly learn how to use it. Although an obvious tip, refrain from shooting if auto-aim points the gun at an enemy tank’s front armour; bouncing any shells may cost you dear HP.

-If spotted, do NOT use the same location to immediately attempt to spot the enemy. Situation can dictate, especially if you do not use that location again for several moments and were spotted in a different area. But as a rule, don’t.

-Utilize the enemy’s desire to rush your scout tank to pull them into range of your supporting allies. If you’ve been playing scout tanks long enough (i.e. 1 game with a tier 5 or higher scout tank), you know that the “Scout hard-on” is real!

-It takes 10 seconds to drop off the radar once you’ve been spotted and break the line of site. As a rule, double this time (20 seconds) to ensure you’ve dropped off. Again, situation can dictate but if you think you’re still being spotted, you probably are.

-Get a feel for when you’re spotted, regardless of 6th sense. I’ve ground out several scout crews without any sort of crew skills, knowing that you’re spotted is a life saver.

Additional Useful Links:

WOT Battle Mechanics
WOT Camo Value Calculator
WOT Wiki

Discuss this article on our forum.

Level: Yellow/Green

The phrase OODA Loop refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd.

Very often, we’ll see actions and behaviors which eventually lead to losses and a TON of frustration with how the game plays out. We then ask “What to do on map XYZ?” and often get the reply “Its situational.” What this should imply to the reader is that they need to improve and be aware of how to make decisions in the thick of a fight. I’ve based my YouTube channel off the concept of decision making and how it can lead to wins which might have otherwise not taken place. Today we’re going to look at a few “decision” situations: What decisions were made, how this lead to a win or a loss, and what could have been improved.

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World of Tanks: MaxL_1023′s Strategy Series

Dark Green Level Tactic Guide #4: Module Targeting

 

The strategy series intends to help tankers build a comprehensive mechanical, tactical and strategic background. As opposed to a few large articles the focus will be on a series of smaller guides covering individual aspects of gameplay. Divided into three primary levels, the series articles will be tailored to players of varying skill to allow a smooth progression into the upper echelons of player ability. This is a dark green level guide representing material which is slightly more complex but is still within the realm of intermediate play. This level is intended for newer or intermediate players who are steadily progressing through the general set of green level material and have integrated most of the more basic skills into their play. This level is also suited for “Dark Green” players looking to begin a push towards Blue Level or “Light Blue” players who are weak in the area covered.  The subjects of this tactics guide is Module Targeting.

 Introduction and Background

Thanks to incredible advances in game development, processing power and internet infrastructure (few of which WG uses) WoT incorporates the ability to deal damage in ways other than simply removing HP. If you have made it this far into the strategy series, you (hopefully) know that to destroy a tank you need to reduce its HP to 0. You have also noticed that when taking fire, your vehicle often loses various aspects of performance. Your gun might be disabled, you might not be able to move, or your turret may stop turning. These are serious disabilities which substantially reduce your ability to fight. However, the correlation between these effects and HP loss may seem unclear. Sometimes, you are immobilized without taking damage, other times your turret randomly flies off. At this point, you understand why being able to inflict this kind of “status effect” would help you in game – a disabled tank is much easier to kill, and is less likely to shoot back effectively. The issue (which plagues players of many skill levels) is how to go about doing it.

“We’ve lost a track!”

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The WZ-111 is a tank that is the subject of much interest these days, and with good reason. It is the final reward for a lengthy month long grind. This article is designed to showcase the characteristics of the tank, and how it compares to its peers. Should you then decide that you are willing to grind a ridiculous 1050 kills for this glorious Chinese tank, this article will present everything I know about how to successfully play the WZ-111. I’m going to try and stay away from just copy-pasting values that one can look up ingame or on tank compare, and focus more on how those values play out in the field. So if you need to know the turret traverse or the hp/ton, take the time to look them up yourself. First things first, some quick answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked, and probably the ones you are wanting answered the most.

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World of Tanks: MaxL_1023’s Strategy Series

Green Level Tactic Guide #3: Weakspots 

 

The strategy series intends to help tankers build a comprehensive mechanical, tactical and strategic background. As opposed to a few large articles the focus will be on a series of smaller guides covering individual aspects of gameplay. Divided into three primary levels, the series articles will be tailored to players of varying skill to allow a smooth progression into the upper echelons of player ability. This is a green level guide intended for newer players who are not yet familiar with intermediate level play, or as a refresher for “greens” who feel that they are relatively weak in the area covered. The subjects of this tactics guide is Weakspots.

Author’s Note: This guide was originally intended to cover module targeting as well. However, in the interests of readability this subject was promoted to an individual guide topic to be released immediately subsequent to this guide. 

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World of Tanks: MaxL_1023’s Strategy Series

Green Level Tactic Guide #2: Target Selection


The strategy series intends to help tankers build a comprehensive mechanical, tactical and strategic background. As opposed to a few large articles the focus will be on a series of smaller guides covering individual aspects of gameplay. Divided into three primary levels, the series articles will be tailored to players of varying skill to allow a smooth progression into the upper echelons of player ability. This is a green level guide intended for newer players who are not yet familiar with intermediate level play, or as a refresher for “greens” who feel that they are relatively weak in the area covered. The subject of this tactics guide is Target Selection.

Please don't be this Player

Please don’t be this Player – Let me Help!

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Green Level Tactic Guide #1: Armor Facing

The strategy series intends to help tankers build a comprehensive mechanical, tactical and strategic background. As opposed to a few large articles the focus will be on a series of smaller guides covering individual aspects of gameplay. Divided into three primary levels, the series articles will be tailored to players of varying skill to allow a smooth progression into the upper echelons of player ability. This is a green level guide intended for newer players who are not yet familiar with intermediate level play, or as a refresher for “greens” who feel that they are relatively weak in the area covered. The subject of this tactic guide is Armor Facing.

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The Batignolles-Châtillion 25t, almost universally simplified down to ‘the Bat’ or ‘Batchat’ is the Tier X endpoint of the French Light/medium line. Hands down the fastest medium; since its rebalance to tier X, this French Assassin has maintained a comfortable niche in the end tier metagame for quite some time – thanks in no small part to the near universal experience of first reaching tier 8, and finding oneself clipped out by one, and wanting one. It’s the Paul Walker of tanks, and how you interpret that analogy is totally dependent on how you play it.

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T37

The latest, and perhaps greatest, addition to World of Tanks has been the introduction of the new Light Tanks. For the Americans, we’re given:

T37 (Tier 6)

M41 Walker Bulldog (Tier 7)

T49 (Tier 8)

I am going to start my light tank reviews on the American lights, as I am most familiar with these and their play styles right now and have played them the most. Today, we’re going to start with the new Tier 6 scout, the T37.

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