World of Tanks - How to Thrive and Survive in the Newbie Tier

Perhaps the finest part of World of Tanks is that each ‘tier’ of tank battle is much different than the others.   As a newbie, you’ll come up against other newbie tanks and the occasional Tier 2 light tank and Tier 2 medium tank.  While mistakes are accepted and expected as a new player, with a few simple strategies you’ll have more fun, get more experience, and get the most credits out of your time spent on the battlefield.   So without further ado, let’s break down the strategies and tactics of the sissy light tanks, which are anything but sissy!

Traits of the Tanks

The Light Tanks of this tier of combat have very low hp and armor values for the most part.  Unless you’re landing shots from afar directly in the front of the vehicle, chances are your shots will land true and penetrate the targets.

You won’t come up against any Tank Destroyers or Artillery at this level of combat, so rest assured that you’ll have a fair shot against anything that shoots at you (mostly).  However, that isn’t the case once you upgrade so don’t develop any bad habits just because those threats aren’t on the field.

As a Light Tank, you can speed ahead of your allies and get good scouting information.  You can also be the first to die, since your speed is not a significant advantage in this tier.  Stick with the pack and fire on targets as a team!

Noteworthy Exceptions

One of the big assholes of this tier is the German PzKpWg 38H.  This tank has incredible armor for the tier, even on the sides, and most shots will ping right off its thick 34mm armor.  If you see these from afar, try and flank them or hide until they pass.  They lack speed as well, so if you’re piloting a speed demon such as the M2 Light Tank, you might be able to surprise them with speed and outmaneuver them for an easy kill.

Speaking of the M2 Light Tank, this bad boy is quick to unlock and can haul serious ass.  You’d think that the more you upgrade your tank, the slower it gets, but that much is definitely not true in World of Tanks.  The M2 has killer acceleration and top speed, and is an amazing scout and skirmish tank, especially against weaker players that can’t predict your movement.  If you pilot this, you can outrun your opponent’s turret turning speed and get in critical back shots for great penetration… which is necessary though.  This tank has a weak (by comparison) heavy machine gun instead of an actual tank gun.  Its accuracy suffers, and unlike normal main guns, fires in a burst that requires you to aim carefully to land the full payload.  You also have to resist the urge to drive like a damn madman through everyone like you’re playing Halo or Borderlands.  You WILL get hit.. and if your tracks get blown off as you’re doing this, heh, just exit the battle right there.

Light Tanks are the masters of flanking, even when the enemy is a Light Tank as well.  Drive hard and fast from behind, and light them up!  Chances are they'll die before they can even rotate to get a shot on you.

The Combat Flow

Since the super light tank tier is filled with newbies, you’ll run into a lot of silly tactics like driving along roads into the enemy base. Don’t be that guy.  However, you can use these guys to your advantage.  Follow them, but stay in trees and behind terrain and wait for them to spot enemies for you.  Take careful aim using Shift and zoom in using Mouse Wheel Up (default settings) and go for the direct hit.  At least by the time the charging guy dies, he’ll have given you intelligence on the enemy positions, and chances are they’ll have stopped to take aim on that brave soul—giving you the perfect opportunity for a shot.

Camping is rare in this tier, but possible in high traffic areas, such as the main roads to your flag.  The problem with this strategy is that your shots aren’t strong enough to instagib.  If the enemy survives your shot, which is highly likely due to weak armor penetration and simple bad luck, you’re going to take a shot back for certain.

Very few people hang back on defense in this tier of tanks.  Circling the outside of the map and swooping in on the base area of your opponent is a tactic that will net you a good flank, or the beginnings of a capture.  Even if you don’t get the capture, you’ll cause a panic that will make remaining enemies turn and hunt you down, and often times open them up to fire from your allies already engaging them.  So if you die on the flag, chances are it wasn’t for naught!

If you have a speed demon and enemies are remotely close, use it to your advantage!  Many people can’t keep up with a 40 kph tank at close combat, and forget to drive their tank at the same time to help them aim their shot.  If you can get behind them, it’s certain death in 2-3 shots.   The main problem with this is possibly driving into the firing arc of enemies trailing behind them, but that is less of a problem at this tier since armor penetration values are so low and fall off considerably with distance.

Just resist the urge to charge forward with guns blazing, and you’ll do great at this tier.  The brave die young, as the saying goes.  Just make sure you can use them to your advantage first!

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