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Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

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  • Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

    Hello everyone!

    Mostly playing SPG's myself and since I have noticed that TG lacks some artillery players I wanted to write a few things down I learned while playing SPG's.
    Please keep in mind that all of the following is purely based on personal experience and/or found in multiple internet sources by myself and thus purley subjective.

    1. What is artillery in WoT?

    Unlike in reality artillery in WoT isn't placed in batteries where a large number of guns concentrate fire on a pre-defined area in hope of denying the enemy passage through said area. Instead think of yourself of some kind of "tank-sniper". You sure CAN deny a single enemy passage through a chokepoint but you won't be able to stop a rush - unless the enemy team is extremely wimpy.

    2. How does artillery work in game terms?

    You are a tank. A tank with a huge gun. You have no turret (SU-26 being the exception). You reload as fast as it might take to build a light tank in factory. You aim just as fast. If you get into close range combat and waste your loaded shot you are dead (exceptions apply). If you are spotted you are dead (exceptions apply as well). You are as durable as a cardbord box. You are as fast as an overloaded truck with flat tires. If your teammates suck you are dead.
    BUT where your shell hits nothing grows for the next 25 years and you have "god-vision".

    Unlike other tanks in WoT when an artilleryman/woman hits [SHIFT] it doesn't just zoom in, but instead you get a zoomable top-down 2D vision of the battlefield (maximum zooming out being about one quadrant of the map). Spotting applies for artillery as well (you still see an empty map from above if nothing can spot the enemy there). Tracers help in that case (blind-shot kills are the muhahha-omg-wtf-hahha moments for artillery), but they are disabled at the moment. The top down view enables artillery players to have a superior tactical view of the battlefield compared to "regular tanks" with the exception of locating the origin of tracers (even if they are enabled again) and guessing land elevation.
    Good SPG's provide useful tactical information to their teammates even without taking a shot or killing stuff.

    Playing artillery is more of a mind-game than a game for ppl with spider-like reflexes (not that that doesn't help as well).

    3. What SPG's are there?

    This question is hard to answer. Just like with every other tank there are a ton of different SPG's. But there are a few common traits that each nation's SPG share (comparing same tiers):

    - Long range for it's tier (already T3 Wespe can shoot whole map but above tier V doesn't matter anymore, since normally you then can hit the whole map from everywhere with everything)
    - Flat trajectory (hard to hit enemies behind cover)
    - High accuracy
    - Average damage
    - Average reload
    - Average ammount of ammo

    - Short range
    - Steep trajectory (nice if someone thinks he is behind cover)
    - Average accuracy
    - High damage
    - High reload
    - Low ammount of ammo

    - Average range
    - Average trajectory
    - Average accuracy
    - Average/Low damage
    - Fast reload
    - High ammount of ammo

    There's no way of saying what nation's SPG's are better. Depends on playstyle. And individual SPG. Don't hesitate to ask specifics. And exceptions proof the rule.

    4. I got arty. What shall I do?

    That's a problem. Because SPG's are very versatile it just depends on the situation you are in. Most important is know the map. Here are a few pointers :

    1. Know your map
    Decide in what general area you want to set up depending on the map you are playing. Know your shooting angles depending on the type of SPG you are driving and what chokepoints there are. Where are your teammates going and what could be weak spots (concentrate on those). Don't worry if you don't get that at first, you will learn soon (by blood/smoking metal).

    2. Set up
    Once you picked a general area find a place to set up. Try to not use the usual bush. You will find yourself in a smoking heap of metal faster than you think because of counter-battery. Often open area is better then the one and only bush there is. Depends on your SPG.
    KNOW your artillery. Everything above tier V is so huge, it has no camouflage value at all, so don't bother sitting in a bush. Everything below with a decent crew and camo-net can be fun. TD-ing a tank rushing your base from 4 meters away because he doesn't see you for example (see close combat below).

    3. Shoot things
    Harder than it sounds. At a certain level not just you, but the enemy as well knows common shooting angles. You might try to surprise them by setting up in uncommon places.
    Watch enemy before you shoot. You got a HUGE reload time. Make it count. Instead of shooting the first thing you see try to find patterns in enemy behavior (ducking in and out ov cover for example). Also try to analize battle situation as a whole (where is it likely that a flank collapses eg.).
    Again know your SPG. How far can you rotate your gun without moving your hull (moving hull results in complete reaim). HINT: Press 'X' (standard) to lock your hull in arty-view to avoid accidental hull movement.
    Don't switch targets randomly. Try to focus on one flank.

    Rule of thumb target priorities, subject to tactical situation:
    0. Self defense
    1. SPG
    2. High tier TD
    2. Heavy tank
    3. Possible kill (dead things can't hurt anymore)
    4. Low tier TD
    5. everything else.

    OMG, stuff is rushing me, ARG!

    Self defense is one of the most underappreciated aspects of arty-play. Remember, you have a HUGE gun. Noone likes getting into a knife-fight while driving an arty, still it happens a lot and it's good to know what to do.

    Most important thing is to know when to switch to "TD-mode". Watch the tactical situation to know when to run (and where) or to fight.
    Second you have to know how to set up. In the most of the cases you have just ONE shot (remember, reload time.....) and it needs to count. Try to find a spot where the enemy has just ONE way to come at you. and you have the first shot (a cravesse or something like that). If you do it right you murder him just as he is driving at you smiling because of the "cheap" kill he's getting. All depends on timing and when you switch to defense mode.

    5. Tweaks and Tips

    - If you have a low ping press [CAPS]+[0](zero) to get a "server-crosshair". A blue hue will overlay your standard green target thingy. This is the real-time feedback crosshair from the server. THIS IS NO CHEAT ACCORDING TO WARGAMING. There is absolutely no gain if you have a ping <50ms because blue = green.

    - Know the "usual spots". Hit bushes and such where you know enemy TD's and such are hiding. You might get surprise kills.

    - You are dead meat if nothing is defending you. Try to cooperate with TD's/Meds defending your base

    - Know when to run.

    - Ignore "Arty should get nerfed" calls. They don't know what they are talking about.

    typos. if you still find some, keep them.
    Calling yourself Michael Wittmann in WoT is about as creative as calling yourself Gimli in WoW. Still there are hundreds of them! I fear for humanity....

  • #2
    Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

    Great write up man, thanks!

    Proud to have been an Irregular, HeadHunter, and a Siege Corps Engineers!


    • #3
      Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

      The only thing i might like to add to this is that Tracers are visibale but only after you have been spotted or the enemy tank has been spotted so at the start of a battle remember fellow SPGers your tracers are not visibale but once you think you have been spotted take 2 shots from a new location then move a bit.
      Le Mans 24 hour race attendee - 2010

      Former |TG-Irr| and |TG-18th| member and proud of each of them.


      • #4
        Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

        I wasn't going into tracers right now because the whole subject matter is going to change again soon. As soon as there is a more permanent mechanic implemented again I will try to add tracer, counter-battery and counter-counter battery strategies to this.

        For now let's just say to try to move after one or two shots.
        Calling yourself Michael Wittmann in WoT is about as creative as calling yourself Gimli in WoW. Still there are hundreds of them! I fear for humanity....


        • #5
          Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

          Honestly, I can only assume that there's not a lot of artillery players because most don't find playing SPGs to be very fun. I gave it a shot and found it to be pretty impersonal and boring.

          The "server crosshair" is an astounding tip, though. I didn't know such a thing existed.


          • #6
            Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

            Heard from old tankers, "shoot, move, communicate". A real world tanker that is.
            The Old Guy


            • #7
              Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

              Originally posted by kin3 View Post
              Heard from old tankers, "shoot, move, communicate". A real world tanker that is.
              This is something that is also a fact in the game. Or it's a solid tactic at least. Though a large part from the "communicate" section is done in realtime on the map/minimap.
              Calling yourself Michael Wittmann in WoT is about as creative as calling yourself Gimli in WoW. Still there are hundreds of them! I fear for humanity....


              • #8
                Re: Death from above (Artillery for artillery players)

                i have noticed i am one of a few that like SPG work. don't get me wrong i love grinding in my American T1 Heavy but arty was my first love.

                another thing for arty players. is stay connected (primarily in our battles as a clan. as this is some times impractical in random battles) a break down in communications is the first sign we have all ready lost. the more connected you are to your men and their actions the better prepared you will be. and the more effective you will be.

                IE: the enemy is in a tight defensive position and our friendlies are going to have a few break off and flank to their rear. BUT YOU CAN NOT GET A CLEAR SIGHT PICTURE FOR A SHOT ON THE NEW AREA!!!

                ALLY - We are going to split in to two and the second group is going to flank to C8.

                U - OK. hold your ground until arty gets repositioned.

                ALLY - OK make it quick.

                (reasoning I - for arty. arty is a support class. if you can not help your men by putting shells on the enemy you are worthless. regular tankers. if you rush the enemy with out direct fire support you are putting yourself at an increased risk. for you to land hits on an enemy you have to expose your self all most completely. and in a defensive situation you are all ready at a disadvantage. the first man to run in is either very brave or very naive.)

                U - arty is in place. go ahead.

                ALLY - OK moving out now.

                (reasoning II - make sure everyone moves at the same time and in a uniform fashion towards the same goal. by allowing the arty time to reposition you are leveling your odds in your favor. if you have the resources use them effectively. and coversely if you as a regular tanker need help ask for it. all most all arty players have no prob switching targets for a ally.)




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