3. General hints and tips part II: The battle
This is a team game (15 versus 15) which means that you will win or lose as a team. The usual way to win is by destroying all 15 opposing tanks. However, you can also win by capturing the enemy base.
Destroying a tank: To destroy a tank, you need to drop its HP to 0 by shooting at it. There are other ways to kill a tank, but losing all HP represents at least 99% of tank kills in the game. More details are explained later in this page.
Capturing the base: You will earn capture points by sitting in the enemy base. If more than one tank is in the base, they all will get points and capture the base faster. NOTE: the total amount of capture points is the sum of the 3 tanks with the highest amount of points. If a fourth tank gets in the base, it will acquire points but this will not make the process faster. When a base is being captured, the time remaining to capture is displayed.
If a tank goes out of the base, or gets damaged, it's capture points are reset to 0.
Regular encounter: In this mode, each team spawns at its base. This game type lasts 15 minutes, and a team will win by either capturing the enemy base or destroying all 15 enemy tanks. If time runs out, the game ends as a draw regardless of the number of tanks destroyed on each team.
Domination: In this mode, there is only 1 base control point in the middle of the map. A team will win by destroying all 15 opponents tanks or by capturing the middle base. NOTE: If tanks from both teams sit in the base at the same time, they cannot obtain more capture points until there is no enemy tank in the zone. If time runs out, the game ends as a draw regardless of the number of tanks destroyed on each team.
Assault: The defending team will spawn around a base control point. Only the attacking team can capture this base. The attacking team must destroy the 15 tanks on the defending team, or capture the base in 10 minutes. If they fail, it is considered as a victory for the defending team when time runs out.
Team destruction: In this mode, there is no base to capture. When a team loses its last tank, they lose the match. If the timer ends before a team gets wiped out, then the team with the most tanks alive wins. A draw happens if the timer runs out when both teams have the same amount of remaining tanks.
Each team should have the same number of tanks per tier: for example, if a team has 10 tier V and 5 tier VI tanks, the opponent team should have similar values. There are some exceptions: some scouts have low tier values and sometimes the other team have one more scout. Some players can be in platoons with lower tier than usual, since the matchmaking takes always the highest possibilities. For example, if a player in tier V is platooning with a tier VI, they can meet from tier IV to tier VIII. And sometimes, the matchmaking is drunk and throws unbalanced teams in the fight (like 10 tier V and 5 tier VI against 7 tier 5 and 8 tier VI). This occurrence is fortunately very rare.
Tier I tanks can be matched against tier I and tier II
Tier II tanks can be matched against tier I to tier III
Tier III tanks can be matched against tier II to tier V
Tier IV tanks can be matched against tier III to tier IV
Tier V tanks can be matched against tier III to tier VII
Tier VI tanks can be matched against tier IV to tier VIII
Tier VII tanks can be matched against tier V to tier IX
Tier VIII tanks can be matched against tier VI to tier X
Tier IX tanks can be matched against tier VII to tier X
Tier X tanks can be matched against tier VIII to tier X
Scouts usually can see higher tiers than usual, so when you select a tank, please look at the highest tier you can face. It is indicated above your tank in the garage. Since each value is unique, I won't give details for all the tanks. However, to give you an idea, the M4 Stuart (Tier IV American Scout) can see up to tier VII and the Chaffee (Tier V American Scout) can see up to tier VIII. It is because those tanks are meant to spot enemies and not to kill them, so they are still extremely important, don't underestimate your power in those battles.
Check in garage
As mentioned before, if you have your doubts about any tank or any platoon look in your garage where it will display the highest tier you can encounter above your tank.
The platoon matchmaking always takes the highest values possible to find a matchmaking. It will try to balance teams, so if you pick a tier V and a tier VI, it will try to put you in a battle with at least tier V and tier VI. However, this is not always possible, and sometimes this platoon will find opponents from tier VI to tier VIII. This is why I recommend that you always pick tanks of the same tier, unless they are scouts.
Team composition, and small games
There is a difference between the PC and the 360 version. In the 360 edition, only light and artillery will be distributed equally in both teams. This means that (unless there are odd platoons and not enough players) each team will have the same number of scouts and artillery or 1 more / less than the other team. Medium, heavies, and tank destroyers can be unequally distributed. Also, there is no limitation for the same tank to appear in the battle: sometimes, you can have 5 or 6 times the same tank in a team, and very few of it in the other team.
If the matchmaking doesn't have enough players to fill 2 balanced teams of 15, it throws a game with fewer people. It happens very often for tier I battles, or when very few players are waiting in the queue.
The life of your tank is displayed at the bottom left part of your screen, and it is also shown directly left to your reticule. It is displayed in green if you have almost all of your life, yellow if you are damaged, and red if you have few HP left. You have the numerical value at the bottom left of your screen. It is important to check in higher tiers the exact value, to know if you can take a hit from the opponent right in front of you or not.
Directly right of your reticule, you will find your reloading bar. If it is full (and green), you can shoot. If not, it is automatically reloading, and the bar (in red) will fill. Some tanks reload faster than others. If you have a tank with a barrel of shells, you can reload the full barrel by pressing the right button of the Dpad, even if there is one or more shells inside. The reloading time will still be identical.
This is a vital part of the interface, and I wish the minimap was as good as the PC version. Here, you have only your direct surroundings, but it stills shows a lot of information. Always look at your mini map and at your full map (press the in battle) to know where your opponents are, how many are spotted (and remembering all positions is incredibly helpful), where they are going, and who they are fighting. If you don't look at your map, you won't see if a flank is being breached, or who you would encounter on the battlefield.
The full map also shows the list of players, and people who are in a platoon. Remember those names because platoon players will play and support each other. If you find one, the others are probably protecting him if they are still alive. Also, they probably play more often so remember their names, and be cautious when you face them in the future.
The top part of the screen shows icons of all tanks in the battle. Obviously, the green are your allies, and red your opponents. If you are platooning with friends, all of you will appear in yellow. If someone couldn't connect to the game in your team (network issues probably), they will appear in grey. If they are dead, the icon will be slightly transparent.
Each kill will grant your team a point, so if you see 3-10, it means that your team killed 3 tanks and the opponent 10. Basically this means that this battle is almost lost and you should be prepared to be flanked. You can see the individual scores by opening the map. People with a lot of kills are dangerous and should be stopped, especially since they probably have lost some HP.
The consumables are shown at the bottom of the screen: you will see how many shells are left, and which consumables (like small repair kit) are still available. There is no need to check that often, unless your tank has naturally a low amount of shells. In this case, make sure that each one counts and don't try to shoot without shrinking the reticule.
Directly left of the consumable, the equipment that requires full immobility during 3 seconds to be effective will appear. They have a green outline if they are active, and as soon as you move the outline disappears.
Life (or HP) works the same as in classical games: when it comes to 0, your tanks explodes and you are out. However, since you don't respawn, your life is extremely important. It goes down if you get shot (obviously) but not only. If a tank takes fire, it will lose HP over time. If the ammunition rack of a tank is hit, it can explode and instantly destroy the tank. Also, if your tank goes in the air (like it jumps a bit over the ground, or if you fall), it can lose life. Usually, you don't want to go down a cliff, or if you must, go as slowly as possible.
It is possible to destroy a tank by killing all its crew members but this almost never happens: sometimes artillery can get lucky and kill many crew members. Also, if you don't extinguish fire, it will damage crew and modules. The last type of death occurs if you try to see if your tank can go underwater. It can, but for 10 seconds only. Afterwards, it is instantly considered destroyed. You can try to push a lighter tank to the water (like in Fisherman's bay), it is very funny!
A module is a part of your tank, like the gun, or the tracks. Each module has it's own HP value, and it can be damaged, or destroyed in battle. A single shell can damage both the tank and a module (or a crew member): this is called a critical hit. Each module can damaged from a specific angle: for example, the engine of German tanks can be hit from the lower glacis. Or the ammunition rack from most American tanks can be hit from the side of the turret. If a module is destroyed, you can use it as long as it's not repaired: if the tracks are destroyed, you can't move. When repaired, it will perform worse than usual, so be careful: a damaged gun will lose a lot of accuracy. If a module is damaged, you can fully repair it by using a repair kit (a consumable). However, you can have up to 1 per battle, so use it wisely. Tracks get often damaged, so use it on tracks only if you are immobilised while taking damage form other tanks.
Try to remember where the shot hit your target when you do critical hits: you will be crippling your enemies faster if you constantly do critical hits.
Like modules, crew have their own life and location in the tank. If they die, it will perform horribly. If the driver dies, the tank will move incredibly slowly. You can either use a medkit, or have the perk "jack of all trades" to reduce the penalty. If your tank has an open turret (like the wolverine, the Rhm Borsig, or artillery), your crew will be more exposed. If you have a doubt, try to install a ventilation on the tank: if it doesn't appear in the list, then the tank has an open turret.
World of Tanks Armor Mechanics Guide
This page goes into the details of this complex mechanic. To make it simple, let's say that your shell has a penetration value. This value can vary each time you shoot, due to a random factor. Then, this value will decrease slightly with the distance. When it hit an enemy, we compare the value with the armor of the target, where it hit. If the penetration is higher, your shell will deal damage.
If the shell hits with an angle that is not 90°, the angle will make it harder to penetrate (the armor is thicker): the more angle, the harder to penetrate, so remember to minimise the angle at which you shoot your target. If the angle is inferior to 10°, the shell will automatically bounce.
If your shots keep bouncing, try a new area to hit (like the glacis, or the commander's hatch). Weak spots have less armor and can be penetrated easily if you have enough accuracy (or if you are close). You can also try to flank, because side and rear are never well protected on a tank. If all of this fails (for example, your target is 2 tiers above yours), retreat or pick another target. Don't waste your time and shells.
Spotting is probably the most vital part of the game. If you don't see your opponent, you will not be able to retaliate. Knowing where the entire team is at all times is the best way to win all the time. This is why scouts, and all agile tanks that can scout as well are incredibly powerful in the game.
Each tank will spot enemies from his turret (the commander's hatch to be accurate). The view range (distance to see opponent) is given by the turret, and you can check the value in your garage.Some equipment, such as the binoculars or the coated optics, will increase that value. Two skills will increase it as well. However, regardless of the final value, you will never spot further than 500m away. However, having a better value is far from useless, as explained in the next paragraph.
All tanks have a camouflage value, and will reduce the view range of opponents. The camouflage value is higher is they are not shooting, and immobile. Usually, moving will reduce your camouflage by half, and shooting will divide it by 4. This is why sometimes you get spotted as soon as you fire: you were out of sight because your tank was immobile or not shooting.
If your view range exceeds 500m, you will spot the camouflaged tanks with more ease, so the scouts should always try to maximise their view range.
The second part of this videos shows how camouflage, bushes and spotting works (starts at 3:20)
The first part is about angling your tank, and it's interesting as well.
When 2 opponent tanks collide, they will inflict damage to themselves. According to the speed, and the weight of both tanks, they will get damage. The heavier tank will deal more, and receive less damage, and this is multiplied by the speed of both tanks when they collide. There is a perk called ramming that will increase the damage inflicted and reduce the damage receive, if both tanks are moving.
If your tank is heavier that the opponent, try to ram him if he gets close, and avoid the collision if you are lighter. Also, the collision usually leaves one (or both) tanks immobilised, the tracks being damaged. You can use that to your advantage but in this case, try not to angle your tank (hit with 90° angle) to avoid being tracked yourself. Avoid ramming if you are a tank destroyer for that reason, because the most important thing is to keep your opponent in your gun arc, so move backwards and try to anticipate your opponent.
If you have enough experience, you can tell if a battle is won or lost just by looking at your map when the team deploys. Deployment is more or less 80% of the battle. Heavies should try to reach the hottest points of the battlefield, and make sure no one breach them. Medium and scouts should get the enemy position, and redeploy to flank or assist heavies. Tank destroyers should support from afar, but usually not from the base, they should take cover in a vantage position to hurt the tanks that deal damage to your allies in the first line. Finally, artillery should hide in a place where they will be spotted last, because as soon as they are spotted they will die.
Never let a flank open, so watch if all the map is covered, and never rush alone: check your map to see if it's safe to move up or not.Use the commands to get attention on a specific part of the map that would have been neglected by your team. Very frequently, people just go where they always go, and they don't care if half of the map is not protected. Don't do that, so fill the gap if you can, and spam for help (yes, spam, people are slow to react).
Flanking is the most efficient strategy of the game, but for that you need to have enough vantage points (so a good control of the map). Basically, most places in all maps can be shot by multiple other places. The more vantage points your team controls, the more places you can go to shot opponents from unexpected places. The idea behind flanking is to prevent opponents to have a cover (it's not common to have a cover that protects you from the rest of the map), and to shoot in the soft, side armour. Flanking is best for scouts and medium tanks, but in general for agile tanks.
To flank efficiently, you need to know where your team is, and where your opponents are. Of course, the entire team won't be always spotted, so you need to remember where the opponents were before they went out of spotting range. This way, you will know which route is safe, and which ones will get you a crap load of enemy shells. Take a safe road to reach a point where you can shoot enemies that are engaging with the rest of your team, and enjoy the chaos.
Breaching is a variant of flanking. The idea is basically to take a more dangerous road to go past the enemy lines. Of course, if a flank is wide open, it's not really breaching, it's just moving forward. The idea behind breaching is to move when there is little attention on your tank, or when you are fast enough to reach a cover past enemy lines without taking damage. This is very different than rushing, because you don't want to attract attention, or to get closer to an enemy tank. You just want to move up stealthily. The advantage is that you can surprise unaware tanks, but they must be engaged in a fight. Else, they will just turn over and shoot you. It can grant you access to the artillery (this is the main reason for breaching actually), or to finish a tank that won't have time to retaliate.
The best way to breach, is to know the map, and have enough information about the remaining enemies, so don't breach too early. Try to minimise the duration where you are exposed to enemy fire: you will increase the probability that someone will watch his map and notifications, and will ask for support against you. Also, never do that if you don't have a repair kit: if someone hits your track you are dead.
What is a good spotter? A good spotter is a tank that will give enough information on enemies so the team knows how to react, and shoot them. Spotting people that can't be targeted by your team is much less efficient. This is why rushing the enemy base at the beginning of the battle is not very smart. Also, a good spotter will stay alive, to spot during the entire battle. A dead scout will leave his team blind.
Best spotting strategies are to spot where you think most of the team will be. If there is no one, don't wait and redeploy. also, never spot from an open position: at all times, you should have a cover or a retreat, because you will attract a lot of enemy fire and you don't have any armour to sustain it.
I really like the "crest spotting": go up a hill, and as soon as you spot/get spotted, go backwards. The hill being between you and your opponents, they won't be able to shoot you. This is very effective in open maps like sand river, malinovka, prokhorovka. If there are no hills, use the pick a boo: go to a cover that is in the spotting range of enemies. Once you are not spotted anymore, quickly go out of cover, to spot. You will post and be spotted, so retreat to cover instantly. you can repeat if you go out from another position (like if it is a rock, go out by the other side). You need the 6th sense perk to make it work, if not you'll have to retreat instantly, even you you don't see ant warning.
Capturing the base
Capturing the base will grant you victory even if there are remaining opponents. It is useful in 2 situations only: if your team is outnumbered and you can capture before the opponent moves back to defend their base. Also, if the time is running out, it's better to capture than to find the hidden coward.
However, never capture the base when there is time to find and kill the remaining tanks: you will deprive your team from the chance to hunt cowards (it's always fun to watch them panic and sometimes commit suicide in the river) and valuable XP. Please don't be one of those people who just wait for the battle to be almost won from a safe place, and then capture the base before all opponents are dead, they are hated for a good reason.
I mentioned earlier that only the capture points of 3 tanks are taken into account: more tanks will not capture the base faster. However, it can still be useful to be more than 3 in the base: if a tank goes out of the base or gets hit by an opponent, it will lose all capture points. Imagine that 4 tanks are capturing, and the first tank (with the most capture points) gets hit: the 4rth tank would now be the 3rd in terms of amount of point so he would now count for the capture. Basically, it means than being more than 3 will not help to capture faster, but it would become harder for the opponent team to "reset" the base by hitting all tanks inside.
Defending the base
Defending the base is not the same as camping at the base. Unless you are an artillery, you should never be close to your base (or to your artillery actually) and pretend to defend. If no one is attacking it, there is nothing to defend. That make some obvious and stupid, but I've seen so many players hiding behind a bush at the base that it needs to be said. Defending the base can be divided in 2 parts:
* reading the map, so you know in advance when the base is in danger. For example, if the enemy has won a flank, they will probably move up to your base in a couple of minutes. You should warn your team, and watch if there is any ally that is going to defend. You should defend now if you can make it in time (sometimes you can't because your tank is too slow). In both cases, spam the "attention to sector XX" and "defend the base" until someone takes the "hint".
If you are unsure of what to do when you have the choice of capturing or defending, always choose to defend your base. It's not only the safest choice, but also the more efficient, because you can capture after defending your own base (and mostly because your team will probably not defend correctly)
* when you are close to your own base, try to hit opponents that have the most points (if you know who they are), and then hit each tank once, to make it longer to capture. Also, use HEAT shells, even if they don't do much damage, they will reset the tank. If a tank has low life, try to finish him first, if there are no more than 2 other capturing tanks. If this is an encounter game mode, you can shoot and get closer to the base, because if you are inside you will prevent them to score more points. However, this is dangerous and I recommend to do that only if there is no other option.
Angling your tank
This is not a global strategy, but rather a hint to protect your tank. It's vital for almost every tank, except those who has virtually no armour, and there are some tanks that apparently works better without angle.
The idea is that if the enemy shell hits with a 90° angle your tank, it will penetrate more easily. If you have let's say a 30° angle, it will make your armour tougher to pierce (there will be more width to penetrate). The idea is to have a small angle so the enemy shouldn't hit your flank, that's why I recommend to have an angle of 30°. The frontal part of the turret is usually the most protected, so use it to face all opponents, there is no need to angle it.
This video explains it well:
Imagine that your tank is in cover behind a rock, and one or 2 enemies are waiting for you. You pop out of cover to shoot, and then you want to retreat as fast as possible. This strategy works if your tank is accurate enough on the move, because you don't want to wait for more accuracy. Also, the best way to use it is when an ally is doing the same from another angle. One of them shoots, while the other is retreating, or you can bait an enemy, and retreat without shooting, and then your ally can shoot them safely from his spot. To make it works, always rotate the camera to see where your opponent(s) is facing.
This one is very efficient when you have enough space behind you (so usually when you are alone). The idea is to stay behind a cover and pop out like for a peek-a-boo, but with a special angle. Indeed, you want to be facing you opponent (still behind cover), and reverse with a slight angle until he appears in front of you. He will only see your flank without a good angle, or a portion of your frontal armour. Usually, they try to take a shot at your flank, but since you are almost facing your enemy, it will bounce.
This video will show you how it works:
This one as well, from a very experienced player that I like a lot, unfortunately his musics incrustation, well... are not to my liking (to stay polite). Anyway, you need to watch it, and you can still mute...
Some tanks, like the T29 (Tier VII American Heavy), have a vulnerable hull, but a very tough turret. The idea, for those tanks, is to find a position that shows only the turret, so the enemies cannot penetrate your tank. This video shows it well, and it mentions as well other techniques:
The counter artillery is a powerful and rewarding strategy, that you can use when you are playing artillery yourself. As you may know, even if a tank is not spotted (so it's invisible), his shots are visible from everybody, including artillery. So when you play arty and you don't have any targets, you can always try to watch the trail left by the enemies, and shoot when the trail starts. You ca kill many opponents just by paying attention to their shots. Countering artillery is an advanced strategy that consists in guessing where the enemy artillery will be, and then wait for it to shoot. It can take a while, so you need patience, and more importantly you need to make sure that your gun isn't needed anywhere else on the battlefield.
Anyway, if you have time for it, try to trace the enemy artillery shots, and shoot a bit behind of it. This video will explain you why, and how to do it properly:
Destroying specific modules
As mentioned earlier, all modules and crew members can be hit during the battle. If you know the weak spots of your opponents, you will be able to penetrate more easily, and do more critical hits on them. Each tank is unique, but here are some general pieces of advice:
The lower glacis of German tanks are less protected, and you can damage the engine from there
The machine gun nest is visible on the front part of many tanks, it is always a weak spot.
The ammo rack can usually be hit from the middle part of the flank (German tanks), the flank of the turret (almost all tanks), and sometimes on the lower glacis (British heavies)
Tracks are vulnerable if you hit on the frontal part (anywhere near the frontal part actually), same goes if you shoot the rear part of the tracks. You can still damage the hull if you shoot the right part.
The commander's hatch is always vulnerable, and you can kill the tank commander or damage the optics.
Basically, try to hit any thing but the frontal hull unless it's not very protected (American frontal hulls are usually not hard to penetrate), prefer to shoot all the elements that stick out (lights, optics, gun nest ...)
This video will show you how it works on some tanks, but on the PC version they have skins to apply to your own tanks to see all the details. We don't have that on the 360 edition, so you will have to try, and remember where you shot when you did critical hits.
General strategies per type of tank
Light tanks have no armour, and rely only on their speed to protect themselves. They are meant to scout the enemy team, so your allies can shoot from a safe distance. A good rule of thumb is "an immobile scout is a dead scout". You want to use equipment and skills that will help toward this direction. I recommend 6th sense, and the two skills that gives you a view range bonus. Then you can go for brother in arms, repairs, camouflage (for passive scouts) and then driving skills. I suggest coated optics because very often you will not have the time to activate the binoculars. Then you can use ventilation and suspension bar, they work wonders.
Do not try to deal damage to a target, until the end of the match. You must not take a risk to get almost destroyed, to deal a very limited amount of damage. Leave that to your team, and stay alive to spot the enemies. Always look at your map, and try to understand where your allies are being damaged by invisible enemies. Spot them and you will return the situation. Do not try to spot anyone that your teammates can't kill. It's the best way to die alone, early, and without contributing to the victory. As well, do not suicide scout, i.e. rush the enemy base and get blown up. Your team knows where the opponent spawn, there is no need to tell them. It's better to spot enemies that are closer, and in position to hurt.
During the last part of the game, enemies can get isolated. Try to localise them, and hit them from the back if you can pen them. If you can't, keep going with the spotting. A classic strategy is to go behind them, and circle in they back in order to be always out of sight. It works better if you track them, so load explosive shells if the opponent is well armoured. Don't ram, and avoid being rammed, because that's an instant (and brutal) death for light tanks... Also, always remember that if your target is being cover by another opponent, use the first one as a shield (put him between you and the second enemy) or escape, because you can't fight 2 enemies at once.
A good light is a the eyes of the team, from the beginning to the end of the match.
As their name suggests, a medium tank usually has average values: they are good at anything, but in each situation, there will be another tank more suited. So how to play a medium, if they don't have the accuracy of TD, or the armor of heavies? The answer is simple: they must be where the team needs them most. A good medium will be able to spot for his team even if the light committed suicide by rushing the enemy base. They can flank and hurt all the other tanks, they can move to another spot to delay the opponent or to help someone else far away. A well played medium will switch his own role according to the situation, and they can be the deadliest threat on the battlefield.
I advise that you play the other categories of tanks first, to grasp the in and out of their role. Each tank has a weakness, than can make them useless or vulnerable (heavies are slow, tank destroyers can be flanked, and they are fragile, artillery is dead as soon as it is spotted). But medium tanks don't: they are mobile and can deal damage to anyone providing that you place them correctly on the battlefield. This is why they are hard to play, reading the map and knowing where you should be takes a lot o experience, so learn the other classes before trying to master the medium tanks.
The easiest to play are the American tanks, provided that you know how to use the hull-down technique. Accurate, fast, and with a good gun depression, they are very comfortable to play, and you can still damage opponents without taking too much risk. Also, I advise that you play in a platoon whenever possible because a pack of medium tanks, even if they are not individually the best, can kill any isolated or unaware tank.
If you want to improve as a medium tank, look at your map constantly and try to imagine where you are needed the most. Now, what is the safest path to reach it?
Heavy tanks have the most armour, and a decent gun. In 1VS1, they are supposed to win. If you want to be a good heavy, you want to reach a position to hurt the most enemies. Don't think that your armour is impenetrable and don't expose your flanks or weak spots. You just need to be a moving fortress, preventing the opponent from move up to your position. Heavy tanks can still efficiently use all the strategies mentioned earlier, such as side-scraping or the peek-a-boo: the longer you stay alive, the longer your team will stay alive. If you know how to angle your tank, you will be a huge pain to take down, it is vital that you master this game mechanic.
You are vulnerable to: tank destroyers with high penetration guns, especially if they are not spotted, agile tanks that can circle around you, enemies that can shoot at your flank (so watch always your map to see if it's dangerous to stay or to move up), and the artillery. As you are slow, they will make you their favorite target.
You can be a threat to: everyone. Seriously, no one will like to see a T29 in hull down position, or a angled E75. They will bounce, or flee. Or call artillery on you, watch out for those guys...
So pick a vantage point, make sure you don't go alone, and defend this place until you can safely move up or retreat to defend the base.
Those tanks are dedicated to deal heavy damage from afar. In addition of having advanced guns, they are deadly accurate. You don't want to be in their line of fire. However, they have some serious weaknesses that you need to overcome if you want to be useful on the battlefield. First of all, most of them are fragile and easy to kill, providing that you know where to shoot. You don't want to be spotted, if you are, you want to have a cover or an escape route ready. Since you have a good camouflage value, and that you will be immobile for a while, you will benefit a lot from the binoculars and the camouflage net. Learn all the aspects of the camouflage (how not to be spotted) to increase your life duration, and make sure that you can support the tanks that are in the first line. If you can't, you are probably too far away. You can take risk only if the enemy is about to be wiped out and then you can move up to the next position.
A good tank destroyer doesn't spot, but however it deals a lot of damage. If you are not the hardest hitter of the team, you can still improve (except if you are low tier or with the stock low penetrating gun of course). If you are spotted early on, then you were rushing. Just stay 200m behind heavies, or in an elevated position that allow to shoot from afar. If you kill people without being spotted, you are in the perfect position.
You still want to check your map often, either to relocate yourself (many TD's are fast enough to do that) and support another position, or to prepare yourself from a enemy that is trying to flank you.
This category is very different to play, so again, I recommend to play other categories of tank first. First of all, you will get a lot of hate. Because you can kill any tank, from almost any distance, without taking directly risk. It is a vital role, and watch out for people asking for support on an enemy tank, you probably want to take him down first. Prefer slow targets, and make sure you reticule is slightly off, so the warning doesn't come up (yes, this is evil, but it works wonders). Then, when you are ready to shoot, adjust your reticle on the enemy, shoot, and pray for him not to move while your shell is flying. Since you have a delay between your shot and the enemy, if he is moving, lead the target: shoot where he will be in 2 or 3 seconds (the time depends mostly on the distance between you two).
You can also watch positions where enemies are not spotted, but you know they are here because you see the shell trails. Shoot slightly behind the beginning of the trail, and wait for the medals to popup (as well as some insulting message, implying that you are cheating and they were not spotted. You just happened to be smarter, that's all...).
Also, if you are spotted, you are dead. Because every gun in the opponent team will turn towards your position, and they will try to see if they have an angle on you. Shells will rain on you, explosion will follow, don't just throw your controller, it's only justice after all. So the longer you remain undetected, the longer you can cripple the enemies that strongly believed to be behind cover.
Here is a webpage with strategies per map. It's interesting to know the classic routes, hiding spots, artillery spots ... The idea is to know how they are supposed to be played, and then you will come up with your own strategies.
When it comes to map positioning, I advise to never let a route open, because if the opponents advance without resistance, they will flank your team easily. Defend all the vantage points to ensure the domination on the map. If your team isn't covering a portion of the map, go there and spam the "help me!" command, and "attention to sector XX". They will help you probably not because they want to help you, but at least to make you stop the spam command. It works and it's better than leaving a flank open. Also, I recommend to play with friends, and take the whole platoon to the least defended point.
My own video guides
You can find here a link to my own video tutorials for the game. It's still in progress but I upload fairly often new videos and tutorials! I apologize for the poor sound quality in the early videos, but it gets better with time.
In depth guides
This topic keeps track of my released tutorials as well as the planned ones.
Find anything you think is wrong with this walkthrough? Help us fix it by posting in its Walkthrough Thread
This walkthrough is the property of TrueAchievements.com. This walkthrough and any content included may not be reproduced without written permission. TrueAchievements.com and its users have no affiliation with any of this game's creators or copyright holders and any trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.