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★ ★ ★ Scorpion's Den: The Ultimate Light Tank & Scouting Guide ★ ★ ★

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Don't worry. I see that you are lost and confused, in need of guidance and support. Lucky for you, thou have stumbled into the Scorpion's Den; with guides aplenty. This particular edition contains The Ultimate Light Tank & Scouting Guide. If these are the drones you were looking for, sit back, turn on some pimping music and read away... all of your questions shall be answered here.

 

Light tanks - sometimes they seem more like Lambo's than combat vehicles. Rocketing around the battlefield somehow trying to survive in matches of higher Tier armored beasts. Your gun may seem like a magnum in comparison to the AR's and AK's pointing at you. And hitpoint wise, you're a cripple fighting MMA pros. So how do you get anything done? Appearances are deceiving; these little light tanks are truly the ninja assassins of any battle. This guide is here to help you unlock their true potential.

 

Prior to becoming a ninja assassin of the battlefield, you must first learn how to just be a regular ninja. That's one of the key aspects of light tanks - remaining hidden & stalking the 

enemy, spotting them for your allies to eliminate - better known as "scouting". There are two different kinds of scouting, both of which are covered. There's active scouting & passive 

scouting. As the names imply, one involves movement and seeking the enemy yourself, whilst the other is all about lying in wait for an unsuspecting opponent. Let's begin with active 

scouting, since the first thing you'll notice about light tanks is their incredible mobility.


Active scouting:

 

Active scouting is all about putting the full extent of your horsepower to good use, moving out further than your allies & spotting the enemy. Your task is to not only identify how the 

enemy has deployed, but also where they are hiding & locating sniper positioning. To begin, we'll identify the various manuevers and tactics a scout tank can employ in order to spot. 

Remember, we're only focusing on detection for now, not engagement. Once the various tactics have been identified & explained, we'll unify them into a fluid scouting run throughout a 

battle. THIS WILL BE AT THE END OF THE GUIDE HOWEVER, AFTER THE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SCOUTING TERMINOLOGY IDENTIFICATION.


Peeking over ridges (back and forth):

                                          

There's more to spotting than just running around in an open field like a headless chicken. You need to make usage of the terrain features around you in order to maximize your chances of survival. One easy way to spot the enemy is simply poking your head over a ridge-line just enough for your view port to glance over, and then pull back. If there is something behind the ridge, you will have detected it & immediately pulled back to safety. This has multiple purposes for aggressive spotting, just as detecting the entire west side of Sand River, or finding tanks on the Himmelsdorf hill. It's easy reconnaissance with minimal risk. There are several things to keep in mind when peeking over any sort of hill or ridge however:

 

  • Expose as little of your tank as possible. Remember, your gun doesn't need to be able to point at the enemy for you to see them. All what you need to do is reveal the very top of your turret so your view port sticks out, and immediately pull back
  • Before cresting the same ridge again, wait 10 seconds until you are un-spotted. During those 10 seconds, turn your tank around and begin to drive away from the ridge, using some wiggling motions to evade artillery fire. By driving in the other direction, the enemy may be tricked into believing that you have left; and won't be ready for your next peek.
  • Don't stick around at the same ridge for too long. Spotting the enemy is important, but once you've found them, then what? If your allies don't have shots at the enemies you're spotting by peeking, leave the ridge and find a new area to scout. Initial spots are essential, that way your allies know what to expect. Beyond that, if your allies can't shoot what you're spotting, there's no need to peek more than a couple of times. In addition, if your allies don't have shots, the enemy may just push over and kill you if you stick around for too long.

 

Here's an image of Laceylace in her AMX 30B peeking over a ridge - this is how much of her tank that she revealed, and she immediately pulled back. If the enemy isn't ready for you, 

they'll never be able to react in time to even aim in your direction, let alone shoot you. And even if they are pre-aimed there, so little of your tank is revealed for such a short period 

of time that chances are, the enemy will miss. It's essential to learn how to expose as little of your tank as possible:

 

Image: Minimal exposure 

 4sxTbRM.jpg

 

 

Driving on ridges (across, actively spotting):

 

Peeking over a ridge is one thing, driving near the edge of a ridge is an entirely different concept. When peeking, your view port is only in one place, and you may have a limited view of 

the enemy; especially if it's a large open map with various terrain features. However, if you're driving along side near the top of the ridge, cresting your view port and a bit of your turret across part of, or the entire length of a ridge-line, you will likely spot significantly more targets. So long as you've mastered minimal tank exposure, you be able to safely crest ridges despite the increased exposure time. Keep in mind however:

 

  • Your camera angle points down at your tank; centered to the gun's would-be line of sight at said angle. This means that there may be more of your tank revealed than you think. Take your tank's height minus 1/3rd of your turret size. That's how far down the top of the ridgeline your tank should be; so only the top of your turret + view port is pointing out.
  • You need to keep up speed. A slow scout is an easy target, and is also exposed for longer. If you lose speed maneuvering the turns looping around the slope, go back and gather up some momentum. The faster your tank is travelling, the more of the slope you'll be able to cross with less exposure time. In addition, even if the enemy manages to try to aim a shot at you, they will likely miss if you're travelling quickly.
  • Sometimes, the enemy is distracted and no guns are aiming at you. Assuming there is nowhere that a hidden TD could be lying in wait, you may be able to crest your entire tank over the hill to get a shot off. Keep moving as to not give the enemy time to aim at you, but if the opportunity arises, take a shot whilst spotting the ridge-line. Chances are, you would have been spotted either way, so taking a shot may benefit you. Keep in mind that you will be spotted and should still try to get into cover as soon as possible. You can't afford to take a hit most of the time, so you can't actually spend time aiming any shells you fire. If you are unable to get enough gun depression to shoot, don't risk it. If you can't take a shot and fall back in a matter of seconds, don't bother with shooting. Auto-aim may help with this; especially since you'll see your crosshair centered on & highlighting the enemy if your gun is in position to take a shot (less work for you, less time trying to line up a shot, less chance of you being hit)


Looking at the map; analyzing it:

 

This is one of the most important things for a scout - the mini-map. You must look at the mini-map often, and must make decisions based off of what you see. You need to be able to 

determine whether or not your allies have shots, if there are more enemies elsewhere that could be or need to be spotted, whether there are openings in map control that you can capitalize on, etc. These are the key things you should take from the mini-map:

 

1) When & where to position yourself and move up - How useful are you in your current location? Is there somewhere else that your scouting would have a greater effect? Can your allies 

shoot what you're spotting, are there better detection opportunities elsewhere, is it possible to advance to a better spotting location? Let's analyze these mini-map images:

 

Here's my T71, detecting a Tiger & a T110E5. Yet, my spotting is doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the battle! Here's why - notice where my allies are? On the other side of the 

map! Yes, I'm spotting enemies, but there isn't anyone to shoot those spotted enemies! Not only that, but now my allies on the other side of the map don't have any vision as to what's 

ahead of them. A glance at the mini-map in this situation would inform me that I should re-locate and spot elsewhere.

 

Mini-map Image #1: 

 pqkTUpc.png

 

 

 

What about this image? I'm in the same spot, spotting enemies - this time there are allies with shots! Yet, this still isn't where I should be. The reason lies within the distance between 

my allies and the enemy - only 2 map squares; about 200m! This means that my allies are able to spot those enemy vehicles on their own, and me sitting in that bush isn't contributing 

anything either. See how they say that they are spotted in the chat? They're close enough that their own view range will do the job.

 

Mini-Map Image #2 + Chat: 

 GmbEPuQ.png

 

U2UuBw6.png

hAmaPsN.png

 

 

I would be much better off spotting the other side of the map here to make sure that there aren't any enemy vehicles trying to flank around. At the very least, I'd be useful flanking 

behind those two enemies, as to be shooting them and also distracting them. Sitting in that bush however, is accomplishing absolutely nothing.

 

2) Looking for flanking opportunities. Something else that the mini-map will be able to tell you is whether or not there is an opportunity to flank.

 

Over here, I was able to sneak through the middle of the map, get a few cross-shots onto the enemy, then fall back and finish my engagement on the 8/9 lines. In a Random Battle, this would work the same way, except I would fall back further to my own base (back the way I came from) before continuing an engagement on the 8/9.

 

Image #1: Shooting AMX 50 B 

9vXI2QT.jpg

 

Image #2: Returning to cover 

 tGDn5oL.jpg

 

Image #3: Finishing 8/9 line engagement. 

 Ub1cd6I.jpg

 

 

3) Looking for artillery hunting opportunities. One of the tasks of light tanks is to eliminate the enemy artillery. Many people believe that this can only be done towards the end of a 

battle; and light tanks kill the arty simply because they're the fastest and first to reach them after the engagement is over. However, light tanks actually have a very crucial role in 

disposing of the enemy arty in the heat of the battle. When the enemy has committed to their flanks, often times there's a route (typically near the middle of the map) which is entirely un-

defended. If you are able to identify such situations, you can easily sneak through enemy lines, kill the arty, and get out the same way you came from. If the enemy doesn't react to your 

ninja assassination of artillery, you can then proceed to spot the enemy snipers from behind, and get flanking shots as well. Many of my Pascucci's medals, as well as my Dumitru's and 

Burda's medal all came from sneaking through enemy lines and killing enemy arty in the heat of the battle.

 

There are significant benefits to killing the arty during the intensity of a battle - your allied tanks will not longer be taking massive damage shells from the sky, and your tanks now can 

sit still or be in the open safely, whereas the enemy still is vulnerable to your own artillery. In addition, you gain map control. Arty dens are hardly ever defended, thus you now have 

vision control in the very back of enemy lines; you can find a bush and detect their TD's without worry. Lastly, you are a significant distraction. Whether you flank, the enemy notices you 

in the arty den and pulls back to stop you, or perhaps you get on cap to get the enemy's attention, you will interrupt the enemy's tactics in additon to taking out some of their main 

firepower.

 

Take a look at this image. Notice how the enemy has committed to both flanks, with nothing guarding middle?

 

Arty Den undefended: 

 zjwxLbm.png

 

I am now able to go over the bridge, kill the arty and proceed to flank the town. This is how I got a Dumitru's medal in my MT-25, and turned a 5:11 match into a 13:14 one (enemy capped whilst I was still alive, it was close though).                   

          

4) Find ways to capture the enemy base. Those artillery hunting openings are the very same paths which lead to the enemy base. Often times, you can use this as an opportunity to sit on the cap long enough to split enemy forces entirely, or perhaps capture the base. If you see such an opening, especially when your team is losing, take it. If you can have some Platoonmates or allied lights / mediums join you, it's very well possible to win with a base capture. I've done this on numerous occassions, and I can say that it is exceptionally effective, and can be done a lot more often than is realized.

 

 

Be aggressive! You can't spot if you're too far back:

 

This is fairly simple. When you're active scouting, you need to be far enough ahead so that you'll be able to actually spot the enemy. Often times, that means moving to the half-way point of the map, perhaps even into enemy territory. This does NOT mean rush into the enemy. You must have extremely good map knowledge in order to actively scout in enemy territory. If you don't feel comfortable with such high-risk, high-reward scouting, you can hang around near the mid-way point of the map. Regardless, it is imperetive that you are close enough to the enemy to be able to spot them. The further back you are, the fewer tanks you detect; including reduced liklihood of spotting enemy scouts, snipers and on the rare occasion, artillery. No one needs a dead scout, but a camping scout is just as useful as a dead one.

 

I will discuss this in conjunction with the next section.

 

Leave an escape route:

 

When actively scouting, sometimes you may find yourself in an unexpected and very dangerous situation. You need to have a way back in case something goes wrong. Let's identify the various types of escape routes:

 

Ridges, depressions and hills: If you're scouting on high ground and need to get away, the easiest solution is to simply drive to low ground, where the natural elevations in the terrain will protect your tank from fire. For example, if you're spotting the 3 line on Prohorovka / Fiery Salient, chances are that you're on the high end of the ridge. If you're spotted, just drop right down into the lower ground. Their tanks won't be able to hit you, and only arty will pose any sort of a threat. Moving around and ziz-zagging will keep you arty safe, and nothing else will have shots at you. Once you're un-spotted, you can peek right back up driving along the ridgeline and repeat the process.

 

Buildings, rocks, etc.: Perhaps your situation is more grave - you're scouting on Sand River on the 5 line, and out of nowhere you find a 152mm barrel of an Rhm staring down at you. Unless you're right at the edge of the ridge, you may not be able to drop down without getting hit. The next best thing at the time is a rock. Make a quick dart to the rock near you and stay behind it until you are no longer spotted (so long as the rock is covering your tank, you can expect not to be spotted as soon as the enemy Rhm disappears from view + 3 seconds). At that point, you have two options:

 

1) Stay at the rock and wait for backup or for the Rhm to fire or 

2) Begin to drive away, using the rock to cover the Rhm's line of sight. As soon as possible, relocate and get as far away from the Rhm. On Sand River, this would be done by first using the rock as cover to get close enough to the drop next to you and then carefully sliding down aforementioned drop. From there, you can safely move to a new location.

 

Either way, it doesn't quite matter if it's a rock, building or something else. Hug it, once you break contact with the enemy, use that same rock or building to block the enemy's line of sight as you're driving away. If there is no way to escape without getting re-spotted by the threat, you can at least use the rock / building to gather some speed & to have a stealth advantage; since you won't be spotted until you cross the enemy's line of sight again, which may catch them off guard. It really depends on your situation. The most important thing however, is simply breaking initial contact; seeing how as long as you're spotted, the enemy will be able to keep track of your every movement.

 

Allies: Sometimes, allied tanks are the best form of cover. I'm not saying cower behind an allied tank; but rather simply return to allied lines. This is most effective when there is a tank chasing you. If there's an enemy scout picking on you whilst you're reloading, lure him into allied lines of fire. The enemy will either a) Break pursuit early, realizing where you're going, b) turn back as soon as he sees another one of your allies or c) keep chasing you and be blown to oblivion by your allied forces.

 

Enemies: This is the worst situation to find yourself in, as well as one of the most situational. However, there are times when you think part of the map is clear and you end up coming across several enemy vehicles. Most of these camping enemy vehicles are turretless TD's - if you end up coming across an AT-15A and a Rhm (perhaps driving to the enemy base on Sand River to find those two on the base circle, active) and it's too late to turn back, go straight to the AT-15A. Not only is its gun not nearly as large of a threat, but it has no turret and is very slow. If you use it as cover, the Rhm won't be able to shoot you. Obviously, eventually the AT will end up turning around to the point where either a) you need to expose yourself to the Rhm or b) expose yourself to the AT's gun. As soon as you drive up to the AT, you want place your tank in such a way that the AT is blocking the Rhm's line of sight. At that point, begin driving in the opposite direction, watching the Rhm & AT. As you're driving, turn as needed to ensure that the AT remains an obstacle for the Rhm. You will likely soon be able to find an escape route such as a depression, building or rock, etc. and get away with your remaining HP. It's better to take a shell or two from an AT than a 128mm or 152mm Rhm shell.

            

Maneuvering: 

 

This is somewhat of an extension of the "escape route" section. When actively scouting, you want to avoid shells flying at you. However, there are times when it's inevitable. During those moments when the enemy is aiming & shooting at you, employ as many evasive maneuvers as possible.

 

The most important thing to maintain is speed. The faster you're travelling, the harder you are to hit. A slow target is a dead target. Obviously, speed will only get you so far however. Anyone can lead a target given enough time. That's why randomness is such an important factor. You want to ziz-zag, turn your tank in various directions; all in an unexpected, unpredictable manner. You can't just wiggle left and right. Throw the enemy off. Make sharp turns on occasion, but keep driving towards your escape route. Keep in mind that turning will likely reduce your speed. Unless you're in an MT-25 or LTTB, sharp turns can significantly slow down your scout tank (and in the case of the MT-25, can cause un-controlled drifting). Turn to the extent that you can and that is needed, but don't over-do it to the point of self-sabotage.

 

Distance is also key. The further away from the enemy you are, the more random turns will affect their ability to aim at your tank. Get further away from the enemy and keep driving away from its gun. Ultimately you're travelling to cover; not just running around like a headless chicken. You are a chicken... but a chicken with a purpose, and that's of survival. Running away isn't cowardice, sometimes it's the damn smartest thing you could do.

 

 

Passive scouting:

 

Active scouting seems simple enough, right? Smile_blinky.gif If you liked that, passive scouting is a whole lot better. Even amongst Unicums, I see players that think "Get Fiery Salient - Sit at E1 bush. Get any other map - farm damage" is how passive scouting is supposed to be. I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong that is. There are so many people that think that passive scouting roles are limited to very small and fast light tanks only on Fiery Salient & Malinovka; and even then limited to the spawn you get. There is so much more opportunity to be found.

 

Once again, we'll discuss basic terminology. This time, it's a bit more advanced however. Even though passive scouting seems easier than active scouting (after all, you're only sitting in a bush, right? WRONG.), it in reality has a lot more technique that goes into it. A good passive scout will be able to make use of a significantly larger majority of maps, game modes and spawns. In addition, even though some spotting locations seem to be too far into enemy territory for safety,t it all comes down to placement. Many good passive scouting locations seem un-conventional, and some really are, but all of them are accessible. Term time.

 

The first set of terms will be down to the various camo values that can be provided to you by the terrain, or will be listed by the extent to which your own vehicle's camo matters in those various locations.

.

In the open:

          

Obviously, sitting out in the open provides you no camouflage bonuses other than what your tank already has. When passively scouting, you want to avoid being in the open.

Exceptions are when a tank is slowly advancing in your direction from a distance away. If there is a slow tank coming towards you that you want to keep spotted (usually this comes into play on Encounter & Assault game modes, especially Assault), you may drive in the same direction that the enemy is, at the same rate of speed he is.

 

Perhaps there is an enemy approaching your allied base from the 1/2 lines. Find the distance at which you can spot him yet he cannot spot you, and keep your tank within that proximity of the enemy. Even though there are bushes you can use, if the enemy is advancing, those bushes won't do you much good when it comes to not getting spotted; as soon as the enemy drives by, you'll be lit. That's why staying at 370m-400m from the enemy as it crawls towards your base will be most effective. You will be able to keep the enemy spotted, as well as keep yourself hidden for the entire duration of the enemy's approach. Once you can no longer drive down the 1/2, it's easy to find cover at that point. Even though you're moving, this is still passive scouting - your tank is not spotted, nor is there risk of the tank being lit. (If the enemy has more view range, keep a larger distance. It's common sense. Also, don't fire your gun. If you're out in the open trying to passive scout, shooting your gun is a suicide wish.)

 

As with active scouting, you want to keep an escape route. Whether you're sticking near allies, a depression, rock, etc. it doesn't matter. Just make sure you have a plan B, in case you get spotted from another direction despite your precautions. How much can you rely on 6th sense in this situation? Trust the enemy's gun direction before 6th. If the enemy is looking straight at you, or looks as though he's trying to aim at your tank, activate Plan B. 6th sense has a 3 second delay, and there will be times when those 3 seconds are just what the enemy needs to hit your tank or perhaps even destroy it. Worst thing that will happen is that you begin scrambling for cover when you're not spotted; you'll still be safe. It's better to falsely presume that you're spotted than it is to falsely presume that you are hidden.


In a bush with gaps:

There are many bushes on quite a number of maps. However, some of these bushes don't actually cover your tank - they may be gaps in the bush's foliage which you will still be spotted from. It's important to be able to identify such situations. A visual example is below. It's Sand River, and I'm trying to passively spot. However, I got spotted. A close examination of the bush I was sitting in quickly reveals the problem; a giant gap in foliage on the bottom left side (bottom right in the image) of the bush.

 

Gap in the bush:  

 fc8IRXU.png

 

 

Using trees to cover the gaps:

 

Sometimes, there are trees nearby the bush which you can knock over to cover the gap in the hole. New image, now I've knocked down a tree and used its leaves as additional foliage cover. I am no longer getting spotted when driving into that location.

 

Using trees to cover the gap:  

 5SboA1M.png

 


In a small bush:

 

All bushes provide you with bonus camouflage values, however the size of the bush will affect how much camo you get. Very small bushes not only provide fairly low amounts of camo, but they also may not be able to cover the entirety of your tank. Assuming that your tank fits in the bush, you still need to keep your own tank's camo value in mind. Bushes usable by WZ-132's may not be viable for VK. 28. 01's. simply due to the difference in camo value. It all comes down to how far away from the enemy you are though. Most light tanks are able to make usage of any bush they sit in, so long as they're not too close to the enemy. It's other tanks which risk getting spotted by sitting in small bushes. Regardless, the bigger the bush, the better.

 

In a big bush:

 

Large bushes on the other hand, are exceptional at hiding your tank. Bushes which are thick enough can easily conceal any tank at all. An important thing to keep in mind however, is that just because there's a big bush, does not mean that you won't be spotted in it. Light tanks are 100% safe from being spotted in large bushes so long as they don't shoot. The less base vehicle camo you have however, the more likely you are to be spotted by enemies approaching you. Simply to demonstrate the effectiveness of large bushes, here's my 113 stalking... I mean spying on... I mean spotting Laceylace in her AMX 50 100.

 

My perspective: Swiggity Swooty, coming for dat booty  

 9zh2PZZ.jpg

 

From her perspective:

 

Her perspective: As the #1 Princess of the world, I own this lake.  

 j3wpkCW.jpg

 

Now, spotting is one thing. Shooting, is another. Tanks without camouflage values shouldn't rely on bushes to keep them hidden (better than nothing though). Light tanks however, have potential. In this location on Lakesville, where my 113 is (113 because I didn't take the screenshot in a light for... reasons), light tanks can not only spot any enemy which crosses, but also safely shoot at them without getting spotted (in most cases that is, there are actually two locations where an enemy light tank can spot you from, but this occurs in 1% of cases only). Since I'm 350m+ from any enemy whilst in that bush, they have zero hope of detecting my light tanks, even if I'm shooting.

 

Yes, you just saw this image. It had two purposes. =P  

 9zh2PZZ.jpg

 

 

In order to shoot from such bushes:

 

Since we're already discussing shooting, let's go into more detail. Other than the size of the bush, there are multiple factors that will determine your sucess or failure at shooting from bushes. Your own tank's base camouflage, camo skills, Vents, BIA, food, Camo Net, etc. will all assist you in staying hidden when it comes down to shooting. The distance from your bush also matters... and in many cases may guarantee not being spotted. Here's how:

 

It's called the "15m rule". If your tank is 15m away from a bush, you can no longer spot through the bush, but the enemy can't spot you through it either. The best way to employ this tactic is to find a bush, spot an enemy, then slowly back away from the bush whilst in Sniper mode. As soon as the bush becomes opaque (meaning you can't see through it; the leaves are no longer transparent), you are 15m away from said bush. You are now free to fire... in most cases. Here's the exception: Against vehicles with high view ranges, you must be at least 135m away from the enemy (150m+ for safety) to employ the 15m rule without getting spotted. For those of you light tank drivers wondering how some people manage to get large assisted damage values as well as deal actual damage, this is one of the ways. Keep in mind, that after 7-12 seconds of the bush being opaque, the enemy will disappear from view as well. This means that in most cases, you have to go back into the bush as soon as you've fired off a shot.

 

Warning: When backing away from a bush, make sure that you are not exposing your tank to being spotted from other sources. In addition, if you are backing up a hill, be wary - don't let the top of your turret stick over the top of the bush, otherwise you'll be spotted.

 

Here are some screenshots:

 

Here's me, shooting the Bulldog from 148m without getting spotted; by using the 15m rule. See how the bush (and tree) are opaque?  

 h5n4Kts.jpg

 

 

Now we've switched sides. The Bulldog is shooting my tracks from the bush without getting spotted. All he had to do was back 15m away prior to shooting. All the chaos on my screen, and I can't see where it's coming from! =)  

 J1idnEF.jpg

 

 

Disclaimer: The 15m rule does not work in the standard sense when using trees. It works, but in a different manner. More info later.


Spotting with trees:                                         

 

Standing trees (thick ones!):

 

Not much to explain here. As long as the base of the tree is touching the ground (thick pine trees), then the tree acts just like a bush in the standing position. However, most trees are not like this; which leads us to the next section.
                         
Fallen trees:              

 

Fallen trees are one of the the few mechanics which can make an enormous difference for light tanks; and will allow you to make usage of so many more spotting locations in a vast majority of maps. Fallen trees act just like bushes. So long as their leaves are on the ground and covering your tank, you will be hidden. It is important to keep in mind that most trees are not quite as dense as bushes, so some of them don't provide quite as much camo as bushes; but it still is a significant amount.

 

Knowing how to use fallen trees is even more essential. Whether it's defending a base, spotting in an even more aggressive location, or in an otherwise impossible-to-stay-hidden spot, knocking down trees have nearly endless potential. Determining where you want them to fall is easy - simply glance around the tree's trunk and figure out where you would want a bush. The tree will fall the length of the trunk and presto, you have a bush (assuming the trees falls over entirely and the leaves touch the ground, some trees don't fall like this. Most do though.)

 

Knocking the tree down is a different story. You have to be very careful with how you touch the tree. Knowing how to knock down the trees will not only allow you to control the direction that the tree falls, but also will allow you to avoid getting spotted (which for say, E1 at Fiery Salient, is essential). Here's the simple stuff:

  • Tap the middle of a tree with the middle of your tank, it will fall forwards.
  • Tap the left side of a tree, it falls to the right
  • Tap the right side of a tree, it falls to the left

 

Rocket science, right? The hard part is maneuvering your hull to control the angle of the impact. Making a tree fall to the right is easy, a muppet could do it. But how far to the right do you want it to fall? All what I can say is practice helps... and:

  • Tap the back (the part you see, on the side of the tree) of the trunk to make it fall forwards, to the right or left
  • Tap the middle (of the side) to make it fall simply right or left
  • Tap the front (of the side) of the trunk (closer to the part you can't see) to make it fall back, to the right or left

 

Practice it in Training Rooms and learn how to control the impact of the tree! Once you master it, you will have so many more scouting opportunities. Since Sand River is one of my favorite maps for light tanks, here are some screenshots from Sand River, showing you two exceptionally effective locations to passively scout from; which otherwise would be impossible if it weren't for the usage of trees.

 

Right here is a perfect Assault mode scouting spot. I can spot, shoot, etc. It does wonders.

 

Sand River - Assault  

 A39U6wi.jpg

 

 

This second image may seem familiar to some people - the area in which I knocked the trees down used to have a bush there before the Sand River rework. Ths bush has now been shifted behind the elevation of the sand, meaning you can no longer spot from it. However, they added trees which can be knocked down. If you knock all three trees down in the manner in which I did, you now have a bush on flat ground to spot from, just like before! =)

 

 

Sand River - Standard Battle  

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From Sniper mode:  

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Shooting in trees is risky:

 

It's important to keep in mind that most trees are not as dense as bushes. Some are, but the majority... no so much. This means that they don't provide as much camo value, and thus you are more likely to be spotted when shooting from trees alone. However, using trees to enhance the thickness of a bush will make it even more difficult for the enemy to spot you.

 

Time to discuss the 15m rule for trees. It works, but not in quite such an intuitive manner. If you knock down a tree and back 15m away from the foliage on the ground (now serving as a bush), it will still be transparent. Rather than backing 15m away from the foliage, you have to back 15m away from the base of the tree; where the bottom of the trunk was originally planted into the ground.

 

Here are two images demonstrating this. In the first one, you can see my T71 having backed 15m away from the bushes. Yet despite the foliage of the trees being ahead of the bushes, it's still transparent whilst the bushes have become opaque. Because of this, I was spotted upon shooting.

 

15m away from foliage:  

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In this second image however, you can see how I backed up even further, to be 15m away from the base of the tree trunks. Now the trees are opaque as well, and I can shoot freely without worrying about being spotted.

 

15m away from trunk of tree:  

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Using trees to enhance your cover; hide gaps, etc.:

 

This has already been covered, but for some clarification - knocking down trees to create cover for yourself is always useful. The uses of fallen trees are many and plenty, including:

  • Covering gaps in your current bush
  • Expanding the cover the bush provides you
  • Creating an artificial bush in any direction you wish
  • Using the 15m rule to shoot; backing 15m away from the base of the trunk
  • Increasing the camo value of the bush you're in

 

Regardless of how you use trees, proper usage will give you a lot more potential on quite a few maps. On those maps or fields where you don't have any bushes, only clumps of standing trees - most people end up skipping the trees entirely thinking there's nothing they can do to keep themselves hidden to spot. Simply knock the trees down in the direction you want and presto - you have effective cover to passively spot from. Use them and love them.


50m rule:

 

This is a fairly simple spotting mechanic, and can be used for active and passive scouts alike. The 50m rule dictates that if there is an enemy vehicle within 50m of your tank, regardless of any cover it has solid or otherwise, the vehicle will automatically be detected.

 

The application of this rule is fairly simple as well - you know there's an enemy vehicle right around the corner or right behind the dune, you want to spot it but don't want to take return fire by exposing your tank. You may not have to! Simply hug the edge of the dune or corner. If the enemy is close enough, you'll spot it. If not, you may have to improvise.

To demonstrate how this works, and to provide a visual example of the distance necessary to spot the enemy, here's an image of my T71 spotting an enemy 113! =)

 

Image 1: From my perspective  

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Image 2: From an aerial perspective  

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Making sure the bushes & trees cover you entirely:

 

Originally I was going to leave this out to common sense, but... common sense isn't such a common commodity. So, here goes - in order for the tree or bush to conceal your tank, the entirety of your tank must be hidden by the foliage of fore-mentioned tree or bush. As I mentioned earlier in the guide, bushes with gaps in them are about as useful as camouflage on a rock. It's not.

 

Make sure that:

  • Your tank is not sticking out of the bush; turn your camera for this
  • The bush covers all enemy lines of sight, not just the front of your tank
  • The top of your tank doesn't stick out. Your view port itself won't get your tank spotted, but anything beyond it will. If any part of your tank sticks out of the bush, you'll be spotted
  • Your gun can be anywhere you want it to. So for you LTTB drivers that are worried your unusually long gun will get you spotted - it won't. The height of the tank however, might.

 

Here's a visual image on Sand River. The position I'm sitting in is one I actively use in battles on Sand River - Assault. I've knocked down the trees in a strategic manner, and have placed my tank in such a manner that there is foliage covering it from every possible line of sight the enemy has on my tank.

 

Sand River - Assault  

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Simple enough, right? Make sure the bush actually covers your tank and you'll be fine.


Making sure you have lines of sights:

 

This also is somewhat common sense, but here goes - When choosing a bush, select one with which you will have a line of sight onto the enemy. If you're trying to spot TD's on the 1/2 line on Fiery Salient / Prohorovka, I can tell you that the E1 bush is useless. It's good for spotting advances, not TD's. Make sure that your tank is positioned in such a manner that there will not be foliage or obstacles blocking your line of sight to the enemy vehicles which you desire to spot. It's that simple.

 

Also, if you're not spotting anything where you're at; and rather just waiting for the enemy to make a move, sometimes they won't! That's when you need to relocate to a different bush, or perhaps switch to active scouting.


Mask your approach:

 

If you've ever driven into a bush and gotten spotted as soon as you sit in it, chances are that your approach wasn't concealed. When closing in on a bush or tree, make sure that the enemy doesn't have a line of sight on you whilst you're still in the open. This may seem simple enough, but even a tiny bit of exposed tank may be enough to get yourself spotted. In fact, there was this very interesting Thread a little while back about a Type 64 who was seemingly entirely in cover, yet got artied twice in the bush. Supposedly there was no where the enemy could spot him from. I took a closer look, and found that indeed there was an enemy scout who was able to spot him. The scout chose a fairly effective spotting bush, and indeed he spotted the Type 64.

 

Here's where the enemy Chaffee was spotting from:

 

Chaffee's spotting bush:  

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Here's a screenshot of the Type 64 climbing into the bush, taken from the Chaffee's line of sight. If the enemy Chaffee was anywhere else, the Type 64 would have climbed in safely. However, it was not so.

 

Spoiler  

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Be careful when climbing into a bush! Don't let any part of your tank stick out to potential enemy scouts or snipers. It takes time to understand where these locations are, however once you acknowledge them, you will be able to not only keep your tank safe, but also be able to enhance your scouting possibilities.

 

Combat in light tanks:

 

Even though a light tank's main role is that of a scout, it also serves combat purposes. Mostly, light tanks are support tanks when it comes to engagements. Regardless, they often times are very independent & opportunistic hunters. Here's a (relatively) quick description of a light tank's main battle potential.

 

Finding isolated targets & out-circling them:

 

Most light tanks have a massive speed advantage over any opponent. This makes them exceptional for finding a slower, isolated target and circling around it. So long as your light tank is fast enough, you can keep ahead of the enemy vehicle's gun & react to anything it does, evading its attempts to ward you off.

 

Wait for the opportunity to find such a target (careful analysis of the mini-map significantly helps with this!), and spring upon your target. If you can use ridge-lines, bushes or trees to mask your approach, the enemy is even more helpless. The most important thing is simply making sure that the enemy won't be able to intercept you. Make sure that there are no hidden sniper dens near-by that you may not have spotted. Also, if there are fast light or medium tanks on the enemy team, make sure you're far enough away from them to finish your assassination prior to interruption.

 

Pay attention to the map, check last-known enemy locations, which enemy vehicles haven't yet been spotted, etc. Make a logical analysis of all of the information & come to the conclusion: Is it safe to circle the target or not?

 

Flanking behind TD's:

 

This is similar to the previous one, except this is even easier. Most TD's have no turrets, and those which do have no armor (more on those later). There are a few psuedo-turreted TD's, which have turrets that don't turn all the way around, but all of them are very slow & can be flanked.

 

If you find an isolated TD, or an opportunity to flank behind one using the terrain & enemy's deployment, take it! Once again, make sure there aren't any tanks which can intercept you, and try to remain un-spotted until you're within circling proximity of the enemy. Stealth is key.

 

Once you're circling the TD, simply stay behind its gun's arc. Except, there's a key word there... behind. If a TD is nearby a building, a skilled player would back his TD up to that building, and ultimately squeeze you to his front. If you are behind the TD however, he can't do this. Even if the TD backs up to the building, your tank is there to prevent him from actually touching the building. Ensure that your tank prevents his TD from touching any cover, and you'll be fine.

 

What if you find a turreted TD though? It depends on many factors; in particular where the TD is, whether you have allied support fire, the mobility of your tank, and the mobility of the enemy. Trying to circle a Challenger or Charioteer may not work if your tank doesn't have top-of-the-line mobility. So how do you fight them if your tank can't circle? Catch them off-guard and put some shots in, but make sure you have an escape route and / or cover. They may have a turret, but they can't out-run your light tank. Regardless, it's situational even beyond that.

 

You don't want to put yourself in an isolated location engaging a turreted TD if the enemy can return to support said TD. It's better to avoid such engagements if you can't keep ahead of its turret. Find a slower target if necessary, or play vision games with the TD by using bushes & trees.

 

Hunting arty:

 

There are many, many times when artillery is un-defended. The hardest part is simply getting behind enemy lines to the arty den. Read the mini-map, make analyses & spring on opportunities you find. Please, please please make sure that you have an escape route and that the enemy cannot defend the arty. You're not trying to suicide, but rather capitalize on an opening in enemy lines and SAFELY eliminate the artillery pieces.

 

There are several things to keep in mind about arty: They have few hit points (thus are easy to kill), they are slow and turretless (for the most part), have extremely inaccurate guns and poor gun handling (in most cases) and have an exceptionally long reload. If you see an arty shoot, obviously it's safe to charge right at it (don't ram it....). However, assume that all artillery you find are loaded and ready for you. These are the most important things you need to know about hunting arty:

 

1) DO NOT shoot unless you know that the arty is aware of your presence. If you come across an artillery looking off to the side, don't shoot at it! Chances are that it's in arty mode paying 0 attention to the map. The moment you hit it with a shell however, it will react and realize that its being hunted. Sometimes, you can come behind several arty with none of them knowing you're there. Once you're behind them and have set up, then begin shooting.

2) If the arty is aware of your presence, shoot at will. Auto-aim can very much help. It's more important to be able to avoid the artillery's gun than spending time manually aiming each shot. Right click on the arty and shoot that way. Focus your attention on avoiding the arty's gun.

3) Never slow down when engaging arty, and never drive in a straight line. Zig zag, turn, keep up speed, etc. It's better to charge at full speed to the right side of an arty than it is to slowly backup over the ridge you just jumped over.

4) THIS is how to approach an arty. The most effective arty hunting tactic is... crossing its gun's line of sight. What? You drunk Scorp? Nope - arty has one shot and one shot only at you. They're also slow. It's very easy to convince them that you're going to try to beat its gun's traverse by driving to its side... and that's what most scouts do... however, randomly crossing the arty's line of sight at speed will bring you to safety. Please don't follow these words when trying to do that - but rather follow the image below! =)

 

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The image has text to explain what's going on. This does take practice to master... done correctly though, it works 99.8% (give or take .2%. Smile-tongue.gif) of the time.


Support fire to allies, basic assistance in engagements:

 

Light tanks have guns... not very powerful guns, but they're guns. If you see allies leading a push, whether up close or in the distance, try to provide some support fire. If the allies are up close, join them and flank around the distracted enemies. Make sure to evade their guns, if needed shoot between their reloads... regardless, you will not only distract the enemy, but also contribute to their destruction. And the sooner the enemy is destroyed, the sooner your allies can keep advancing without shells coming at them.

 

Alternatively, you may see your allies pushing (or the enemy pushing into your allies). If it's an open map, you should be able to provide some support fire (hopefully). This is more map-dependent and situational, but regardless you can contribute. If you're trying to passively scout, shooting may not be an option unless you use the 15m rule. Yet when possible, put your gun to work. Sometimes, those couple of shots into the enemy will make the difference between winning or losing a battle.


Long-ranged sniper fire:

 

This is somewhat of a continuation of the previous one. If you have the opportunity to (safely) shoot the enemy, take it. If you are spotting in a bush which doesn't provide the opportunity to use the 15m rule, then don't risk getting spotted. Alternatively, even if you can use the 15m rule, but you are in a high-risk location without an escape route, don't risk shooting either.

 

Make a proper analysis of the situation. If you can safely shoot the enemy, do so. If not, don't risk it. Ultimately, any damage you can deal without taking return fire will contribute to a victory.

 

(On city maps), cheeky peek-a-boom tactics:

 

This is also a continuation of the allied support fire - there will be times when you can't really scout due to the enemy's placement & the map (Himmelsdorf with the enemy having map control for example). At that point, put your gun to work. Between enemy's reloads, put a shot or two into them. Aim for weakpoints, and if needed, load some Premium rounds. Regardless, if it's impossible to scout, then you should be providing support fire. Just make sure you're aware of the enemy's reload - you don't want to be taking any shots in return! If you're uncertain of the enemy's reload, take one shot and pull back. With practice comes perfection - eventually, you'll be able to time your shots at the enemy flawlessly.

Also, pick your fights carefully. Make sure you have backup and aren't vulnerable to an enemy flex / reaction. Don't become this bird:

 

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Putting all information together; fluid integration of the tactics in a battle:

 

Now that we've covered the main terminology & basic information about passive and active scouting, it's time to integrate all of those splatters of words into a fluid, effective combat technique. This will be organized into a "tree" of information, with each branch indicating a possible battle scenario. If you can follow such a tree of thought in battle, you will be able to adapt to scouting very, very effectively.

 

Start of the battle:

 

  • Communicate with the team, ping the map, type strats in the chat, etc. Try to inform them where you are setting up!
  • Analyze the map. Which map, gamemode & spawn is it? Are there enough bushes or trees for you to passively scout, does the map require running around like a headless chicken, or will you have to provide support fire throughout?
  • What's the enemy's line-up? Are they a heavy force which allows you to easily flank, or are they very mobile & can counter aggressive scouting? How many TD's & arty do they have? Is the enemy likely to come to you (thus allowing for passive scouting), or is the enemy likely to camp (thus requiring active scouting)

 

Initial team deployment:

 

  • How is the team setting up? If they are lemminging (because that's a word Smile_harp.gif) in one direction, you'll want to spot the other side but allow for a very quick & safe escape route upon first contact with an enemy.
  • Alternatively, if your team has set up evenly, pick the side of the map which your scout is most effective at (by virtue of terrain features, foliage, etc.). If your team is camping, you'll have to scout for your team. 
  • Whether it's passive or aggressive, you want to make sure that you spot the enemy when they're within range of allied guns. If you're too far ahead, your campers can't support you.

 

Early lights:

 

  • One of the most important things for a scout is detecting the enemy's initial deployment. If you can figure out where the enemy is going, your team will be able to make some very important decisions.
  • When gathering initial spots, ask for allied arty & TD's to set up for shots. If you get your team's attention and can get early damage done to the enemy, that will significantly increase your team's chances of victory
  • Shooting at other light tanks. Sometimes, maps create scenarios in which two light tanks (one allied, one enemy) will come face to face. Try to avoid taking damage from the enemy light tank, but don't let it leave without a scratch! If possible, put a shell in! It will make the enemy scout more reluctant to repeat another such aggressive run.

 

Early engagement between allies and enemies:

 

  • This is the stage when allied and enemy vehicles are beginning to slug it out. Slower tanks may still be setting up, TD's and arty still getting ready, etc. This part of the battle is still crucial to spotting enemy set-ups. In addition, if you can spot a tank which is still positioning itself and put a shot into it (double bushing, virtue of distance, etc.), you will help to interupt the enemy tank dispersion. You will slow down their advances to flanks, cause damage to them that will lead to their destruction later on, etc.
  • Early spotting & early damage is what this stage is all about. Take advantage of the fact that the enemy is still setting up. They won't be ready for you.
  • Be very careful! If you take damage, especially significant damage, this early into the battle, it may entirely cripple your abilities to influence the battle later on, and to employ aggressive tactics. Conserve your HP! Early shots are important, but be careful. If you can do damage without taking it in return, you're setitng yourself up for victory.

 

Heat of the battle or stalemate:

 

After initial engagements between allied and enemy vehicles, battles typically split into two categories: 

 

1) A long, drawn out, slow-paced shot trading festival or 

2) An active, heated engagement with very aggressive & strategic play. Depending on what has happened, you will need to change your gameplay.

 

Campfest:

  • If the battle is now a campfest, it is your job to organize pushes, to spot enemy vehicles aggressively, and get something done. Communicate with your allies, spot tanks for them to shoot at, and try to coordinate fire or pushes. If you can spot the enemy's camping positions safely, then you may give your allies enough map knowledge to move up on one of their flanks.
  • If your team is too far back to do anything and they have no intention of moving, you still want to aggressively spot; perhaps get a few shots off if spotting mechanics will allow you to do so safely. However, as soon as either team makes a move (eventually one of the two teams will), you need to respond to it. If your team is beginning to move up, get ready to give them reconnassainse. If the enemy team is organizing a push, fall back to a passive scouting location where you are close enough to your allies for them to shoot the enemy as they move up, but also for you to be far ahead enough of your allies to spot the enemy push with enough lee-way for your allies to react.

 

Heated battle:

  •  If the battle quickly turns into an intense engagement, you have two options:
    1.  Look for flanking opportunities to kill arty, get on cap, etc. During heated battles, tanks are typically committed to a push, or aren't so much camping.
    2.  Support your allies. If the battle is close & intense, any support fire you can provide can make a significant difference. If you can't kill enemy artillery & TD's to reduce the fire your allies are taking, then you should at least be able to provide proper support fire.
  • Keep in mind throwing yourself into the middle of a heated battle in a light tank will only get you killed. If you put yourself into the enemy's line of fire, expect bad things to happen. Use heated battles as a time to provide distant support fire, and especially to flank for anything that happens after the battle. If your team wins the engagement, you flanking will spot any enemy TD's and campers for your now advancing allies to easily shoot down. Alternatively, if the enemy wiins the engagement, you are now safe behind their lines and can spot them from behind to give your remaining allies a chance to get the first shots off. In addition, by being behind the enemy territory, you're safe by virtue of unconventional placement. The enemy will think you've retreated to your remaining allies, when in reality you're in the last place they'd ever look.
  • Please remember that there will be times when your allies desperately need support, and your single tank is all what they need to win the engagement. Take a look at the situation, and if your team needs you, go there. Make your tank a distraction, carefully trade with the enemy, etc. Do whatever you need to, but give your allies that support they need. The easiest way to tell whether or not your team needs you there - how close is their engagement? How many tanks vs. how many tanks? What are the HP values, Tier spread, etc.? If those factors are fairly similar amongst both allies and enemies, that means your light tank is needed in the fight.
  • If the enemy is pushing, you need to spot the push before they manage to complete it. You cannot let an enemy force catch your allies by surprise. Make sure you can spot an enemy flank, attack, push, etc. ahead of time. That way your allies will get the first shots off, as well be able to react to it. You will thus eliminate the enemy's advantage of the element of surprise, and your team may very well survive the attack.

 

Aftermath, battle dying down:


At this point, either your team has won or lost the engagement. Either way, you should have been able to set up into a strategic location whilst the enemy was distracted. Now it's you that's using the element of surprise. This is where you analyze the situation yet again. How close is the battle? Here are the three scenarios:

 

1) Your team is winning by a large margin, and it's simply a cleanup. Move up, actively spot the remaining enemy and it's gg.

2) The battle is still close, HP values, tanks alive, etc. are close enough to the point where neither team can just push in. Strategy is key here, and now your spotting is more important than ever before. You need to detect the remaining enemy as well as be able to identify any tactics they may be trying to employ. In addition, your damage that you deal is exceptionally important. If both teams are low on HP, any damage you do can be game-changing. Just stay alive. Dying at this point will almost guarantee a loss.

3) Your team is going to be swarmed. At this point, any enemy campers have already began moving up, and the enemy team simply needs to clean off your remaining allies and win. Don't let that happen without a last attempt. If your team still has light tanks alive, or other fast tanks, have them follow you and lead a push into the enemy base. You MUST do this when the battle just begins dying down. If you let the enemy move up too far, they'll be too close to you for you to remain un-spotted. Use the terrain features & mini-map to organize a route to the enemy base which the enemy does not have a line of sight on, and which the enemy abandoned. 50% of the time, such a route will be present. If you can organize a good allied push with fast tanks into that route, you may get a win in. Will it happen often? Probably not; the enemy out-numbers you signifcantly and has almost the entirety of map control. Chances are, they'll be able to stop you. However, if sticking around for a defense won't do any good and has no chance, then pushing into the enemy base is at least an attempt which occasionally will yield results. Especially if the enemy team is slow, and / or has committed too far to their pushes to fall back and defend, it's possible for you to win by sneaking by enemy lines. I've done this times in the past several days alone. It adds up. If your Platoonmates are alive and are in fast tanks, it's even more likely to suceed. It won't work often, maybe 10% of the time. Yet if you're still alive & have properly planned out a route, you'll be surprised by what you may be able to do. (Best example of this I've seen was a 4:13 battle, won by two Platooned light tanks which snuck by the middle bridge on Highway, waited for the enemy to approach our cap, and then got onto the enemy's cap. 11 enemy tanks still alive, and the two light tanks won by capping.)

 

After the battle:
 

  • Analyze the battle! What went well? What mistakes did you make? What opportunties did you miss, why did you take the hits you did? Essentially, you want to figure out how to improve. Watch the replay if it was a close battle which was entirely in your hands, yet you lost. Or perhaps you should have been able to easily win, but you made a mistake that made the battle far closer than it should have been. Watch the replay, perhaps send it to some Unicum friends, and get some feedback; both from others and from your own analysis.
  • P.M. players that did something very well. If there was a person on either team that made a move that won the game for their team, or that nearly won it, let them know that they did a good job! It will encourage more good gameplay from them in the future! Who knows? Perhaps they'll be on your team later, and they'll remember that they were praised for such a move earlier, and they'll repeat the same game-winning tactic again. =)
  • Think about your equipment & ammo layout. If the tank you were driving is fresh out of the factory, and you're still trying to figure out the equipment & ammo layout you should have, think about how each battle goes - did you need more or fewer Premium rounds than you had equipped? Is your tank better suited for Optics or Binocs? Perhaps a camo net? Is the tank in need of a GLD or Vents? If something went wrong in the battle, or there were opportunities missed because of your layout, and such situations occur multiple times where you regret your set-up, then change it! Experiment & figure out what's best for your tank.

 

For now, that's it for this guide! I was originally planning to do a comparision of the light tanks in the game, listing their strengths & weaknesses, as well as display various tactics which can be used on different maps, but that will have to be seperate. When it's finished however, it will be added to or linked to this guide. Smile_Default.gif

 

I hope this helps! Good luck both on the battlefield and in real life, tankers! Smile_Default.gif

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