Have you ever wondered why you have got killed even before you have seen the enemy? Thought about why you can’t penetrate any tanks? Or perhaps you’re just returning to the game and forgot how the game works.
Anyway, this is a guide for the basic mechanics of the game and some initialization for strategies.
Table of Contents
- This Guide
- Game Mechanics
- Different types of ammunition (Mechanics)
- Armor Penetration (Mechanics)
- Visibility System (Mechanics)
- Game Strategies
- Different Tanks and Their Roles in the Team (Strategies)
- Using your team’s composition to your advantage (Strategies)
- Teamplay (Miscellaneous)
- Using Armor for Your Advantage (Miscellaneous)
This guide is divided into multiple parts, which are then divided into sections of different parts of the game. Each one of them contains some basic information of the subject. These parts are:
- Game Mechanics
- Game Strategies
This is not a guide about Researching, Credits, Experience or other similar things. This is a guide about gameplay, how to improve as a player, tanks, roles, strategies. All the information you will be using during a battle.
The first part of this guide will contain basic information of the game mechanics. Nothing too in-depth, just the basics that will allow you to significantly improve your performance in battle. In some of the sections you’ll find an official video linked to them. Check those out if you’re interested on the exact numbers, calculations and mechanics. These sections will only cover the necessary basics.
Knowing the basic game mechanics is an important part of your way to the top. You don’t need to know the exact rules, and the main information will be covered here. Remember that pure mechanical knowledge won’t make you the best at the game, it’ll also require a lot more. Most of it explained in this guide.
Different types of ammunition (Mechanics)
AP shells are the basic shell type, a good all-around ammo. Usually regular in all tanks and guns. AP shells can ricochet. As stated above, AP shells are the basic ammunition type for most of the tanks in the game. Every time there are no reasons to use different ammo types, you should be pumping these (or the alternative basic ammo type in your gun).
HE shells usually have bad armor penetration cabablities, but do a ton of damage when they do penetrate the enemy’s armor. HE shells can never ricochet. HE shells are generally only good to use when the enemy has paper-like armor, or when you can’t penetrate the enemy with AP, APCR or HEAT. You may do them a little bit of splash damage. It is very rarely a good idea to load your tank full of HE. It may work on tanks like the KV-2 or the SU-152. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly bigger number on average damage.
Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR)
APCR shells often offer a lot of armor penetration, sometimes with the cost of lower damage. Sometimes APCR can be the base ammo for a tank (e.g. T-62A). APCR can ricochet. Usually you want to be using APCR against tanks you can’t penetrate with your basic ammo. These shells are however costly, so you generally can’t go with your tank filled with them into a battle.
High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT)
HEAT shells often offer Increased armor penetration, but lose a significant amount of it when hitting tank tracks or screens. HEAT shells can never ricochet. Usually your tank consist of three different shell types, AP as the regular ammo type, APCR or HEAT as the premium ammo and HE with high damage and low penetration. APCR and HEAT are quite similar, you use them when you can’t penetrate the enemy with your base shells. Just remember to never shoot a enemy in the tracks with HEAT, it’ll almost always go wasted. HEAT shells do not lose penetration capabilities when firing afar.
What amount of different ammunition should you have when entering a battle?
This one might have some personal preferences into it. But a new player should take a look at these compositions. As for newer players, it is NEVER a good idea to load full HE just because the number presenting average damage per shot seems bigger than on AP. Usually it is a good idea to load something along the lines of:
- 70-90% of AP
- 5-15% of Premium (HEAT and APCR are often called as “gold” or “premium” ammo)
- 5-15% of HE
Again, you’ll be using AP for most of the time, Premium against heavily armored vehicles and HE for very lightly armored vehicles. This will maximize your damage count when you learn to use different shell types accordingly.
Armor Penetration (Mechanics)
Armor penetration is one of the most important mechanics of the game to learn. And also one of the more complex ones, too. In World of Tanks Blitz you can see the parts you can’t penetrate with your selected ammo type on the enemy highlighted in red. When HE is selected, red can also mean parts you can splash, but the shot won’t be effective. You can also see the areas where you can effectively splash highlighted in yellow. There are several different ways to not get damaged, which are as followings:
- Not getting shot
- Shells ricocheting
- Shells not penetrating
- Shells being absorbed
- HE and HEAT exploding at obstacles in your line of fire
Ricochets happen when you get shot in a well angled plates, and the shell gets no chance to penetrate your armor and just flies off. It is however possible to damage other enemy tanks with the shot if the ricochet hits them. Keep this in mind, as it is a reasonable way to kill a low-hp enemy tank lurking behind a corner. It is a very complicated trick to do, though. HE and HEAT shells can never ricochet, which means that they’ll always have a chance to penetrate, if the value is high enough. Alternatively you can try to splash your enemy with HE, either by shooting straight at them or under their tank into the ground nearby.
Non-penetrative shots happen when your shell’s armor penetration value isn’t good enough to penetrate the enemy tank’s armor value on the point your shell hit. Every shell has a maximum and a minimum armor penetration value, but the actual number varies on each shot. it can’t however be more than the maximum or less than the minimum, it has to be always between those two values. If it happens that your Shot has a 100 mm armor penetration value, and the enemy has 90 mm of armor (including everything that may affect the armor value) at the point you shot at and your shell didn’t ricochet, you’ll deal damage. However, if your shot only had a 80 mm armor penetration value, against the same 90 mm armor, your shot will not deal damage. However, if you shot HE, it might do a bit of splash damage.
Shells can be absorbed by the enemy tank’s tracks or other modules, like the gun. This may get quite frustrating, as some of the Russian tanks have little to no side plate, just tracks. Most Russian tracks are excellent for absorbing hits. You may also notice people trying to block each other’s shots by moving their gun in front of the enemy’s gun in hull-to-hull combat. This may sometimes work very well.
HEAT and HE exploding on contact
HEAT or HE can’t be shot trough any obstacles, even the ones you can normally destroy (e.g. fences, doors) as they explode right away. The explosion might still be able to splash some nearby tanks, but the damage will be minimal.
Parts of the front of Tiger II illustrated and named in different colors. The weakest parts of Tiger II’s front are the lower plate (in blue) and the front of it’s turret (in red).
Parts of the side of Tiger II illustrated and named in different colors, notice how the front and rear wheels are separated from the rest of the tracks, you have a good chance of deal damage to the tank and it’s tracks when shooting at those parts. Rest of the tracks are just going to eat your shells.
Here is a list of some of the ways armor penetration works:
- A tank’s tracks have a change to absorb a shot.
- AP and APCR have a high chance to ricochet off if you hit the enemy in a flat angle.
- HE and HEAT can never ricochet.
- Penetration decreases on long ranges (except for HEAT).
Many well armored tanks usually have so called “weak spots”, which are easy to penetrate. Often these might be the lower plate of the tank, the tank’s sides and/or rear and the cupola. Almost always the tank’s rear and sides are much weaker than the front. Also some tanks have their own exclusive weak spots. If you can’t penetrate the usual lower plate or cupola and have no access to their rear or sides, usually the weakest spots are not-angled parts, or the plates with the least angle in them. Normally it is a good idea to aim for plates with an angle of 70-110 degrees, the closer to 90 degrees, the better. If you have absolutely no chance to penetrate the enemy’s armor even with premium ammunition, seek for other weaker targets, or try to splash the tank with HE to make even the slightest amount of damage in order to help your team. In such cases never seek to take a shot at the enemy, wait for your team to help you.
Please note that these are simplified, the actual mechanics are A LOT MORE complex than illustrated here. Again, this is not a in-depth guide, this is just a guide to get you know the basics. If you’re interested in the Exact numbers and calculations, check out Wargaming’s video (above) on the topic.
Visibility System (Mechanics)
Spotting is a very straightforward mechanic, although it takes a while to memorize all the rules in connection with it. In Blitz, you’ll get to know when you’re spotted just seconds after the enemy gains vision of you, seek cover when you see the yellow light bulb pop up, that sign tells you when you get spotted. The enemy will be visible for you and your team right as they get spotted.
Visibility points on tanks and how do they work
Every tank has two points, which will spot an enemy if either of them has a straight line of sight with one of the enemy vehicles 7 points which allow you to spot them, and your view range and the enemy’s concelment value are to your favor. Those two points which allow spotting are on your tank’s cupola and at the base of your cannon. These two also work as two of the seven spotting points. The rest of them are scattered around the rest of your tank. Also you’ll always spot an enemy tank if you’re within 50 meters of it. Be prepared, they’ll also see you!
View range and concealment
Every tank has a base value of view range and concealment. The view range value can be affected by many things (e.g. Crew skill, damaged modules or wounded crew members). The concealment value will be reduced mainly by firing and moving and increased by staying behind a bush or a big fallen tree. Basically how the calculations work is that the spotting vehicles view range value will be reduced with the unspotted tanks concealment according to a complex formula (I have no idea how it works). And when the yet unspotted tank enters the imaginary calculated circle range of the spotter, he becomes visible to the enemy team.
In the picture above, the enemy tank remains invisible for the spotter’s team, because they aren’t within the calculated view range of the spotter, even though the spotter’s view points have a clear line of sight to the enemy’s spotting points.
In this one, however the enemy gets spotted, as they entered the spotter’s calculated view range and are still in a straight line of sight with the spotter’s view points. Notice how the basic view range value is only one of the values calculated together to determine spotting.
How to Not get spotted?
Use cover for your concealment. When moving to a position in the start of the game, be aware of the enemy’s light tanks. They get to strategically important positions a lot faster than your heavy Tiger II. Avoid large open places, where the enemy might be hanging around. Travel behind structures and terrain so the enemy can’t spot you and get you killed during the first minute of the battle. When playing in tank destroyers. Hide behind bushes and fallen trees for their increase in your concealment and move only when necessary, because moving will lower your concealment significantly. You can also pull back right after firing, so the enemy won’t have time to aim at you if you got spotted right after firing.
Again, Wargaming’s video of the topic linked above
The second main part of this guide will be about strategies and game sense. Unfortunately, these two are not easy to learn, and are in fact more like nature for others. Someone may never learn complex strategies or be able to create them effectively, but that doesn’t matter. These are some basics you should always keep in mind to get your battles rolling. A few mentions before we get to the actual stuff. I’ll be calling parts of your team with these terms:
Every map currently in the game can be divided into three parts, Heavy and light sides (can also be called as North/West/South/East sides according to map) and the “neutral area”.
Both teams can then be divided into two flanks, that will be fighting their hostile twin. Then there is the middle of the map, that can be contested by individual players in order to gain access of the middle and thereby help either one of their friendly flanks. Usually the middle contains a strategically important position, but an entire team should never go for the neutral zone, as they will be effectively massacred in a from both pf the enemy flanks. After winning either of the flanks, your victorious flank should immediately rush to the aid of the other.
Game sense is in my opinion, the finest skill a player can have. A gamer with a good game sense will be able to clutch games much easier. And the feeling of outplaying your enemies for the epic Kolobanov’s medal is absolutely amazing. Anyone can guess what the enemy will do and what you should do, but it is a completely different thing to guess right.
This guide will be focusing on the basic strategies to not completely ♥♥♥♥ off your teammates, rather than game sense. I’ll consider making a whole new guide discussing game sense if you desire it.
Different Tanks and Their Roles in the Team (Strategies)
Currently, there are four different kinds of tanks in World of Tanks Blitz, each with their unique job and role in the team:
1. Light tanks
Most of the time light tanks are used for scouting or spotting, in Blitz however, scouting has become nearly obsolete because of the small size of the maps. Sometimes the tank destroyers in your team want somebody to spot for them afar, and that’s when yous should do so. Usually you just want to pair with the mediums in your team and fight against the enemy’s lights and meds. Light tanks often perform well when you get them to strategically important positions early in the game. Getting on a hilltop and firing a few shots at the enemy team’s slow heavy tanks across the map will surely make the battle go in your favor.
2. Medium tanks
Medium tanks are the very versatile good all-around tanks a skillful player can very well use pretty much in any role. Again, for the most part you’ll be fighting with the lights against the enemy’s similar flank. Sometimes you can go alone somewhere in the map and fire at the enemy’s sides what you can. Using your medium to create a crossfire is a sure way to make enemy panic and therefore easy to crush by the main forces of your team.
3. Heavy tanks
Heavy tanks are the easiest role to play in the game, as their armor is very strong and they have the best sustain of all of the tank types. The main objective for your heavies is soak up all the damage and crush your enemy on your side of the map with the help of your team’s TDs. Sometimes you can’t decide the battle on the heavy side, that’s when you want to wait for your team’s meds and lights to do their job and start flanking. Under any circumstances you should never try advance against superior enemy forces. Always wait for the flank and reinforces to arrive. Usually heavy tanks will be fighting against other heavy tanks maybe with the help of TDs or some more well armored meds. Keep in mind that all of your team should never be on the so called “heavy side” (Where the heavies are headed at the very start of the game) of the map. Especially not on the exact same hilltop. That’s never going to work, ever.
4. Tank destroyers
Tank destroyers are quite weird in blitz, as you very rarely get a chance to snipe from afar without getting spotted. The maps in Blitz are all unpleasantly small. Most of the time you’ll end up using the more well armored TDs to side up with the heavies in your team and the more light ones to side up with your team’s lights and meds. It’s really up to a personal preference whenn it comes to TDs, but every time you see the enemy team’s lights and meds outnumbering your meds and lights you should generally assist them, same goes both ways.
Using your team’s composition to your advantage (Strategies)
Your team and the enemy team look very rarely exactly the same. Usually you find that the enemy team has more lights and meds or heavies or TDs than your team, or vice versa. This can be used for your advantage. Sometimes it’s the play to go all on one flank, in order to crush half the enemy team by outnumbering them. Most of the time you should use this kind of strategy when the enemy has more meds/lights than you. Go all in on the light side of the map, this will result in the enemy losing half of it’s total firepower, thus making triumphing over the rest of the team much easier. If your team and the enemy team are somewhat equal, you should always consider just making the two flanks and winning the battle with just mechanical skill, or by helping either of the flanks from the neutral zone. If you order to go all on the heavy side, it happens quite usually that you get flanked by the enemy and therefore lose the battle 0-7. Generally it is a really bad idea to use light tanks and badly armored meds in crude damage soaking battle on the heavy line.
Never be the guy camping at the back of your starting base. Always seek for better positions on the map, play according to your teammates, or lead them to victory. Nevertheless never let them go alone into the midst of the battle while you stay back doing nothing. if you do so the enemy can just destroy your team one by one. It’s always much more effective to fight in a group. you can obviously stay in the back line as a TD, but make sure that you can always contribute to the battle.
Sometimes it is a good idea to retreat. If you find yourself against the entirety of the enemy team, you probably should not try to advance. Also never be the guy to go alone when your team has called to go all on one flank. This however doesn’t mean that you should never side with a single player, sometimes you joining the lone player can make somebody else in your team to come too. Pull back and let the other flank come help you.
Never be the guy to desert your flank if you see the other people in your designated flank going there. Sometimes you’ll see people leaving their two teammates alone in an upcoming 3 versus 3 flank fight, and turn a completely winnable flank into a 2 v 3 massacre. Always make sure to inform your teammates to run if the battle can’t end well.
World of Tanks Blitz is after all a team game. Realistically you can’t win battles alone, and time to time you feel like you’re the only one in your team doing work. This may make people get mad or toxic, which is actually quite understandable. You must however remember that it doesn’t magically increase your teammates skill level or win the battle for you. Here are some basic stuff you need to know when in corresponding situations:
Never start a battle in a toxic tone, that won’t help you at all and will in most cases just draw your team’s morale down. Keep yourself calm in every situation in order to earn people’s respect. You won’t be liked more if you call your team names after losing a battle.
Make suggestions and listen to your teammates calls at the start of the battle. Again, never go alone, unless you’re sure that you can beat an absurdly much larger enemy force or hold against them. If you see someone call a seemingly bad strategy, you can note of how it’s bad for your team.
Never leave your designated flank alone if you see them eager to fight on your designated flank. It’s every time very frustrating to see people leave an easy fight just to get completely annihilated by the other.
Using Armor for Your Advantage (Miscellaneous)
Always learn the strengths of your vehicle, thereby you can block most of the enemy shots. On the example pictures given, the green lines are representing enemy’s vision on you and the overdrawn parts are covered. Here are the two most common and easy ways to utilize your tanks strengths effectively:
Sidescraping is the most effective and common way of blocking damage intentionally. Basically you go behind a tall structure, preferably a building and only show your side angled to the enemy. When you finish reloading, you pull back so that you can have a shot at the enemy and then hide the front of your tank again. Sidescraping doesn’t work on all vehicles, as some have very weak side armor or their tracks don’t work well at soaking damage. This strategy tends to work best on the Russian tanks, but some heavies from other countries work well too.
Example of an excellent sidescraping position. On tanks like the Tiger II and E 100 You may also want to angle your turret, as the front of those is poorly angled.
Only exposing your turret
Tanks with strong turrets can be utilized insanely well in hilly maps and in maps with dunes. By positioning yourself right, you can almost freely sit behind a hill with no worry of receiving any damage from the enemy, until they get to flank you. You can also use fallen debris as a cover for your hull on maps where there are no hills.
T29 with it’s hull hidden behind an imaginary dune.
Well armored tanks usually have their weaknesses too. As you need to memorize all of your tank’s strengths, you also need to learn their weaknesses. Learn your tanks weaknesses and play accordingly. Remember that anything can be used as cover, destroyed tanks, buildings, hilltops, debris, anything is a cover if you’re smart enough.
One of the most common weakspots are your tank’s front plate, especially on German vehicles it tends to be an easily penetrable part. In the picture above, there’s a Tiger II shooting behind an imaginary window with it’s front plate covered.