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A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

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  • A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

    Lately I'm seeing a lot of bad tactics and etiquette from pickup gunners and engineers, and I thought I'd share some insight on some "dos & don'ts" when you're gunning, engineering, and even driving armor.
    TF21 uses these tactics in addition to our own armor strategies which results in smooth and safe gameplay and a minimum of fuss during intense combat.

    These are just the bare minimum tactics and protocol.
    Advanced combat tactics, combat strategies, and batteries are not included.

    Driver / Commander

    1) First rule when running an armor squad. Get an engineer. If you don't have one, you have no business taking the tank out of the base as the driver. Why?

    a. One hit from a HAT round or SABOT round in the green areas will in 90% of engagements track, turret, or do both to a tank. The other 10% will result in the complete destruction of the tank.
    This happens most often from slightly elevated shots onto the green area just below the turret on either side.
    The presence of an engineer greatly increases your survivability.
    b. Three sets of eyeballs are better then two, as situation awareness (SA) is crucial in a tank.

    2) Second most important rule of being the driver/commander is communication with the rest of your crew.

    a. Keep communication tactical and to a minimum. Comments such as "I almost had that guy" or "I can't believe I missed him!!!" or screaming the word "tank" over and over only adds to the hell and stress of a combat situation.
    b. Use the attack objective marker!!! I can't stress this enough. The greatest asset of the driver / squad leader is his ability to instantly place a marker on a target, reducing the need for verbal instruction to the gunner.
    While some gunners do well with verbal targeting, most do not and are visual based.
    c. When multiple targets are on the field, compliment visual markers and references with simple verbal references.

    i. For non-critical moments (when the target is at a distance, not engaged) when the marker is already on a separate target , the following verbal formula is straight and to the point:

    [target type (tank, infantry, jeep)] [direction (left, right) of marker] [radial compass bearing (in degrees)]

    Example: "Tank left of marker, 230. (As always, use visual markers first, and if needed use verbal instructions as a backup)

    ii. Critical moments (when the target is closer then 50m) when the use of a marker isn't fast enough can use the following verbal formula:

    [target type] [o'clock bearing (12, 3, 6)]

    Example: "Tank 3 o'clock.

    3) Background / 3 Second Rule.

    a. Make sure wherever you are you always have a fallback position you can reach in 3 seconds or less. Ditches, buildings, trees all work, but really any cover is crucial.
    b. Watch your background. The way the graphics work with the BF2 engine, any target that is without a backdrop past the average view distance of 1,000m will be perfectly silhouetted against the sky.

    4) Infantry Support.

    a. A tank is designed as a defensive platform. As soon as you take it on the offensive and leave your infantry support behind, you've discarded it's primary function and strength. Never go off with armor on your own without some kind of infantry support nearby.
    b. Let infantry clear the area in front of you while you hang back to cover.

    5) Keep the tank safe and with plenty of cover. Always try to make sure your six o'clock isn't pointed in the enemy's direction and isn't compromised to enemy infantry from cover (leaving your tank at the edge of a forest for example).

    6) Stay put! If there is no immediate danger to your tank and the gunner is engaging targets, do not move the tank. Moving constantly is unnecessary and causes the gunner to constantly adjust his aim. It is very, VERY frustrating for the gunner. 70% of the time spent as the driver is sitting still in a tank, because that's what it's designed as....a support platform.


    1) First rule of gunning is communication with the driver.

    a. Let him know what you see if the driver hasn't called it out yet. If you need to fire at something, give the location so the driver is aware of targets in that area/direction.
    b. Using simple tactical verbal formulas is best when describing targets to the driver. Most often I'll use the following:

    [target type (tank, infantry, jeep)] [direction (left, right) of tank's 12 o'clock position] [radial compass bearing (in degrees)] [direction of travel (right to left, left to right)]

    Example: "Infantry left 120 right to left."

    c. Let the driver know when you're firing, when you're reloading, and when the next SABOT/HEAT round is loaded. This gives the driver windows of time, letting him know when to hold still for gunner stability, when to retreat, etc.
    d. Announce if you're switching ammo type, and to what type you're switching it to. If you've got HEAT loaded and the driver thinks you have a SABOT loaded then proceeds to stand off with enemy armor, you're already at a disadvantage.
    e. Announce if the target is eliminated or not (most important when engaging enemy armor). Simply saying "target down" suffices.

    2) Wait for the tank to stabilize before taking a shot. Trying to shoot a target on the move is difficult with the current game mechanics. All it does is waste ammo, waste the element of surprise in some cases, and opens a window of vulnerability for you and your crew.

    3) Try to keep the back 180 degree arc of the tank clear of your barrel.

    The red arc is where your barrel should be in relation to the 12 o'clock position of the tank's hull. The reason for this is because once your barrel goes past the red horizontal hash marks, it can obstruct the driver's field of view.
    (***Likewise, swiveling the machine gun through the red dashed line can also obstruct the driver's view. This is more of an engineers note***)

    Sometimes however it's necessary to cover the retreat of your tank if the driver can't find cover in 3 seconds or less. During these situations protecting the tank's rear becomes very important.

    4) Limit your coax fire in the presence of enemy armor. Coax fire (fire from the machine gun mounted inside the turret) acts like a big arrow back to your tank. The tracer rounds are extremely visible at great distances, especially by enemy armor.
    If there are reports of enemy armor in the area, limit the usage of the turret's MG.

    5) Never, ever, ever get out of the tank. The turret warmup is 20+ seconds. The turret should always be manned and ready in the field.


    1) The number one rule of being the engineer is....yep, communication!

    a. Let the driver know if you have to get out of the tank for whatever reason.
    b. When repairing, make sure you're in the repair "safe zones."

    The green cones represent safe areas to repair the tank from. The cones with diagonal red lines shows where not to stand as the engineer. The driver may need to move foward/backup during combat while under repairs. Standing in the front and rear arc of a tank is a good way to get run over, leaving the tank without an engineer temporarily.

    i. When standing in the green cones, let the driver know exactly where you're standing. If the driver knows if you're at his front left, front right, rear left, or rear right, he knows which direction he can and can't turn if he needs to turn the tank at all.

    2) Stay in the tank unless otherwise specified by the driver. Getting out while the tank is on the move will result in your death. If the tank is at rest and you get out to stand on the top, the motion of the tank when the driver starts it forward again will result in your death.

    3) Never repair on top of the tank. Always have your feet touching ground. Any sudden moves the tank may need to make while you're standing on it will result in your death.

    4) Announce when the tank is fully repaired. Don't assume the driver will just "know" if he sees you stopping repairs for whatever reason.

    5) Use the hull-mounted MG sparingly for long range combat. Just like the coax, the tracer rounds point right back to the tank, compromising your location and ruining the element of surprise.

    __________________________________________________ __________

    There's probably more I'm not thinking of right now, but I'll edit this as ideas come to me.
    Hopefully people can use this short guide to improve their experience and gameplay while operating armor.
    Last edited by Halcyon; 04-10-2008, 11:01 PM.
    [TF21] Halcyon

  • #2
    Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

    Great post Hal.

    Using the engineer as a 3rd set of eyes greatly improves the survivability of your tank. Either have your engineer stay in the coax, or use him/her to scout around. S/he can hear tanks coming because of the loudness of the engine.

    Make sure to notify the tank once spotted. Especially direction of said enemy tank.


    • #3
      Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

      Beautiful Post..

      This is EXACTLY the kind of thread this forum is made for!!!

      somebody +rep this guy for me.. I must have given him some already!
      Last edited by llPANCHOll; 04-10-2008, 08:20 PM.


      • #4
        Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

        Sweet post +1


        • #5
          Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

          Good thing he didn't tell him about using the fuzzy dice.....oh shi-


          • #6
            Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

            halcyon, i might recommend you also posting this in the Tips and tactics portion of the battlfield 2 forum, i think it would make a great addition there as well!! Thanks for the great post though this is the exact type of posts i was thinking when i made my little rant!!!
            Randy = Ace ! - Warlab
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            Apophis - "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population.
            Tactical Gamer is not mainstream.
            We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers."


            • #7
              Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

              Nice post! I definatly agree with every point here. Should help anyone who reads it!

              Adding to all of the above I think people on the server need to remember that patience brings action - For every intense tank battle there are hours of dull moments. It's the nature of the beast and if you can't accept that you might have to sit and do nothing for most of the round you might be more suited to other roles :)

              Also, when I'm driving the tank and i'm calling out contacts I like to use the compass at intervals of 10 degrees of movement and also distance (measured long, medium, close being the three options ). This gives him a scan radius and eliminates the "other left" scenario ;)

              IE: infantry bearing 125, moving 135, long

              Or if he's not moving: infantry bearing 125, stationary, long

              So, hopefully, my gunner figures out the infantry is far away moving right from the original bearing. I'll then repeat the bearing starting with the contacts current bearing with the next closest bearing it's moving toward.

              So far it has worked wonders.


              • #8
                Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

                Zomg So Tahts How Dey 21tf Guyz Do It


                • #9
                  Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

                  Great tips! The part about keeping the gun facing forward is very important, it can really screw the driver's navigation when his view is obstructed.


                  • #10
                    Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

                    Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                    Zomg So Tahts How Dey 21tf Guyz Do It
                    We didnts tellz j00 all t3h sekrets!!!11


                    • #11
                      Re: A Guide to Armor: Tips & Tricks

                      I could tell you my secrets..."But then I'd have to kill you"
                      "Volatilis Quod Mactabilis"




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