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wuschel
2009-09-21, 17:16
FOR THE WIN
a killer tank guide



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4287633446_2cee887769_o.png

revision 1

text and pictures by Gibbon-6





This guide is not a step by step tutorial on how to drive a tank. If You are searching for such basic information, check the list a the bottom of this post. The text Your are reading now is a picturesque script to wake the killing mashine in Your brain and war instincts in Your belly and put You on the golden bloody path of highly positive kill/death ratios in armoured warfare operations: Become death on tracks in six steps!

How I became a tank whore had definatly something to do with the much more unforgivable tactics applied in armoured warfare. Now, after spending a long time in these steel coffins and having reached a high level of skill, I want to share with You the information in order to elevate competition a bit. Some things I learned by myself, many other I have learned from the best, for what I am very grateful.
When I started out, there were not many tank guides availible, and now I see that there are at least a couple of posts in this field. I like them, but in a way they do not mention what in my opinion is the core about armour vehicle operations.

1. First step to enlightment: What is a Zippo?

In PR, all armoured vehicles of the class of tanks and IVFs have a firepower and armour to their disposal that is able to turn the tide of battle. However, it does not mean that they are indestructable. Many players think that, and use their asset without any thought and proper usage of tactics. I call these players in their supposedly indestructable vehicles Zippos.
Zippos do not score much kills, or, more importantly, do not destroy many assets. They usually rush out into combat, a full six man squad of three tanks, confident of they gunner skills. They hit deep into enemy lines to "ambush" their enemy with their tank engines roaring like a mating dinosaur. With no backup and no information about enemy movements, they get spotted, lazed, bombed, ambushed, mined and blown up by all possible means of war. Usually You find them on elevated ridgelines, where they stand around for minutes to support the infantry in the bunkers of Kashan, without covering their back. Or You see them driving in a column in open spaces, seeking the frontol confrontation with their armoured counterpart. But, guess what, they all get flamed up, because, well, because they are Zippos.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2689/4286864477_6ba01a02bd_o.png

Are You a Zippo? Everyone is at the beginning. After all, beeing a Zippo is, in tank whore terms, just one step above newbie. You can drive and You can shoot, but You do not utilize any tactics. But luckily further steps can be taken to improve Your tank play. Your armoured vehicle is not only the deadly Terminator of the battlefield, cabable of destroying anything from infantry to airplanes, it is also a priority target for the opposing forces, worth 10 tickets, slow, and difficult to hide. Understanding the value of Your vehicle is one of the most important steps towards beeing a good tank or IVF operator. Experiment with tactics is the second, and leading a tank squad into a allmost flawless round with no losses is a distant but ultimate step to be taken.


2. Communication with the team and aquisition of intel

Apart from communicating with Your gunner/driver and squad mates, which should be handled with an efficient intra squad protocol, contact with the other squads is equally important. Tanks and APCs do not win the round, that is the job of the infantry. However, both are depending on each other.

Identify Yourself as tank squad and request information on OPFOR assets, namely tanks, IFVs, jets and attach choppers. Ask where Your team needs Your support, and check the map what the next hot zones are going to be, both in terms of defense and offense.


3. The Life of a Tank Whore, and his primary directive

The armoured vehicle tactics used in PR are very close to the tactics used in WWII. In prinicple, life and death of a tank whore is decided on how he dictates the terms of his engagement with enemy forces. Remember this whether You are a tank driver or gunner, for tank combat does not come down to simple and brainless shelling of Your opponent. It may seem like it sometimes, but it is definatly more than that.

If You spot Your enemy, try to find out if he has spotted You as well. If this is not the case, You still have all options open, be it retreat, ambush, frontal assault, sniping with the option to hide afte the shot, et cetera. Quickly develop a plan on how to dispose this enemy vehicle, and put it into action.
If he did spot You, however, then I will not congratulate You, for You just began an engagement without even trying to change its terms to Your favour. For, mark my words, unlike mentioned before in this forum, it is not definatly deciding whether You have one tank or three tanks, it is the way how You use the asset that decides the outcome of the battle.

That is the reason why the tank driver is as important as the gunner when it comes to armoured vehicle battles. While the gunner can light up the enemy, give some intel, communicate with the team, and comment tactical situations, it is the driver that creates tactical situations and gives the gunner the possibility to show his skills to his best.

Have You ever asked Yourself why You have lost a specific tank battle? What cardinal mistakes have You made?


Could it be that the opponent located You faster?
Was it an ambush? Did he hear You coming?
Was the intel not precise enough?
Have You used the terrain in a wrong way?
Did You not coordinate well enough with Your driver/gunner?
Did You utilize Your smoke properly?
Did You have an option for retreat?
Have You went to far out into enemy territory?
Did You have enough AA or Air support?
Have You been hit on the weakly armoured spots?
Did You underestimate enemy infantry? (What is this? A jet? Superman..? A HAT!)


4. The nature of the beast

The is a difference between IFVs and tanks when it comes to gameplay. While the latter has better optics and can take a hit, a fact, that makes it possible to continue operate under tactical disadvantage, the first will make fire and die. However, IVFs have one attribute that cancel out thir armor and optics weakness: The superman of tank warfare, the holy TOW missile. Used right, it can remove any of Your pesky armoured opponents with one single well aimed shot. Hear, hear! A one shot problem remover!
Thus, IFVs have to operated towards the extreme of ambush in the tactical spectrum of gameplay, while tanks usually tend to play in a more conservative way. Practically, this means that IFVs have to rely more on intel, terrain, group manouvers than tanks do in order to bring they ultimate weapon to use.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4010/4287619016_3209813d9c_o.png



5. Hearing is believing: The Ear-dar

Listening to the sound of armour engines has saved my crew and my dinosaur many times from anniliation. Especially in very bumpy terrain with short line of sight, the acoustic senses are a tool of utter importance for the tank driver. With the radar and the Ear-dar at my disposal, I could understand the tactical situation of a hostile encounter, and, believe it or not, take out numerically superiour forces without even taken a scratch. You may now laugh about this, but at the end, I will hear You coming, and I will nail You down. So better jump in the MG seat from time to time and get some fresh air into Your ears.

I tell You, in my PR gaming I have not encountered many things as thrilling as beeing in a well executed IFV/tank battle. Sometimes, it takes a couple of minutes for a one-on-one fight with an experienced opponent, with the sound of starting/fading engines, manouvering towards favourable positions, just to find out that the enemy was smarter, could lure You in a trap, position himself behind You and take out You down in a coup de grasse. And sometimes it is just like this: Within five minutes, me and my gunner allmost took the entire enemy carpark with one single BMP: a pair of Abrams tank went up in flames, one ambushing Bradley was smoked up, and three reinforcing Bradleys were located and shot to scrap. That is 84 tickets in five minutes. I have great respect with those armoured vehicles, for, of course, it can also go the other way around. But one thing is sure: Without the Ear-dar this had not been possible.

6. The Octopus move

Another important rule in tank warefare is: Always have a nearby option to retreat. If You see three tank barrels aiming at You, pop that smoke, hide behind a hill, and run. Never engage in a battle that is not in Your favour. You will loose.
That, of course, also applies to a TOW missile that was just fired upon You. If You see an infantrist or IFV gunner pulling the trigger of that super-projectile, pop smoke and run to cover. Often, You have 1-3 seconds to prevent a hit on Your vehicle or lessen its impact. If you have a couple of meters more to get into cover, instruct Your gunner to surpress the enemy with his big gun to prevent it from lazing or HAT-ing You to hell.

7. Summa summarum: Six cardinal rules of mortal tank combat



The driver is the tank commander, the gunner his right hand. Communicate effectively!

Choose Your theatre of engagement wisely with a clear preference to a situation of Your advantage.

Always dictate the terms of engagement. Only go forward when they are in Your favour or at least equal.

Use the Ear-dar.

Use a proper weapon, ideally the biggest calibre for vehicles, plains and helicopters.
Do the octopus!






Recommended articles

Unstoppable: A beginners guide to tanking (http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f139-armor-tactics/73349-unstoppable-beginners-guide-tanking.html) is a nice reference for basic tank operations.

Jigsaw's Mechanised Infantry Guide (http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f139-armor-tactics/62843-jigsaws-mechanised-infantry-guide.html) brings You good examples on how to cooperate with infantry

Stoffens tells You how to keep a BMP-3 alive (http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f195-map-strategies/65442-kashan-desert-keep-bmp-3-alive.html), and what other magnificent secrets these IFV have.

Do You think the BRDM-2 is a trash container? (http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f139-armor-tactics/55519-brdm-2-you.html) You may be right. But this article is a nice read that shows You that even a trash container does have a purpose in life.

That is it cupcakes, thanks for reading! Comments and discussion welcome.


Yours,

Gibbon-6

bearking19
2009-09-21, 17:56
Well written guide very enjoyable to read. Guess I fall under zippo but for now only for I have read your guide I will improve.

doop-de-doo
2009-10-10, 05:06
To avoid future ambiguity and exact proper attention to the subject: the main article above describes a careless use of team assets and unstructured deployment; whereas ZIPPO is a clan.

Also remember that one of the greatest assets to armored forces is their mobility, and speed. Study tank warfare from WW2. It expounds on how precious the need for quick & flexible (and well disciplined) tank formations were. That was one of the primary values of having tanks; otherwise, we would all be towing artillery guns behind logistics trucks. So to repeat just a part of what Dicta said: putting a tank on the top of a hill for use as a stationary gun is very poor strategy, unless you are positive that it is the only thing left to be done.

-cheers-

Wo0Do0
2009-11-10, 03:52
To avoid future ambiguity and exact proper attention to the subject: the main article above describes a careless use of team assets and unstructured deployment; whereas ZIPPO is a clan.

Also remember that one of the greatest assets to armored forces is their mobility, and speed. Study tank warfare from WW2. It expounds on how precious the need for quick & flexible (and well disciplined) tank formations were. That was one of the primary values of having tanks; otherwise, we would all be towing artillery guns behind logistics trucks. So to repeat just a part of what Dicta said: putting a tank on the top of a hill for use as a stationary gun is very poor strategy, unless you are positive that it is the only thing left to be done.

-cheers-

I can see your point in this argument, but if you can prove to me in-game that an unplanned or planned tank rush has proven more sucessful than a defensive one, I would have to ascertain the fact that although given more magnification, tanks should move swiftly only when necessary, as provided in the article above, and in the remainder time in battle study the landscapes and tide of the battle.

ma21212
2009-11-16, 16:34
as tank whore my self.... I find it impossible to tank with strangers, they are total ideots and dont know what to do. you need a friend who you can dommunicate easily with and if he fucks up you can get angry at them many times without hurting thier feeeeeelings (and vice versa). the driver has an equaly important role as the gunner he must also scan in every direction (take it from me when I drive my screen is spining around in circles like a radar). When you hop in your little MG seat...plz plz plz watch around you, sneaky inf. can and will crawl up to you and kill you easily I had it happen to me once when I was on a little hill I thought no one would come from the back but they did! luckily they missd their first shot, I trun around and see a whole damn squad looking at me, I shit my pants and jump back to driver seat and let my gunner have a nice cup of revenge. and lastly who cares about inf kills, you gotta pryoratize ur targets: attck helos > tanks > IFVs > AAVs > trans Helis > Humvee/ trans trucks > then inf.
any way i luv "zippos" cuz they fun to shoot at

wuschel
2010-01-19, 09:23
The guide has been updated a little, notably some pictures and text additions and corrections. After all, fresh zippos are coming in when 0.9 comes out!

I am also curious to see how tank combat will be on the new maps which are featuring more flat terrain than bumpy hills: Most likely there will be a possibility for confronation of constantly moving tanks, which will bring a second mode to tank tactics. But so far we have to wait and see..


sneaky inf. can and will crawl up to you and kill you easily I had it happen to me once when I was on a little hill I thought no one would come from the back but they did! l

True. But that is the risk of having a tactical advantage.

I can see your point in this argument, but if you can prove to me in-game that an unplanned or planned tank rush has proven more sucessful than a defensive one, I would have to ascertain the fact that although given more magnification, tanks should move swiftly only when necessary, as provided in the article above, and in the remainder time in battle study the landscapes and tide of the battle.

That is also my understanding of things. Of course, sometimes the game situation requires tanks to press hard as a measure of last resort, but too often such desperate moves end up in a situation of disadvantage.

Well written guide very enjoyable to read. Guess I fall under zippo but for now only for I have read your guide I will improve.

My pleasure!

General_J0k3r
2010-04-19, 12:11
this is a really nice guide. thank you!

shooting is easy, positioning the armor is way harder ;)