Tank Academy: Pop Quiz - Heavy Tanks
Heavy tanks are the big brothers of the playground. They typically have great armor, excellent firepower, and enough mobility to keep them from being sitting ducks for tank destroyers. In a heavy tank, your job is to be a good big brother by protecting the smaller tanks on your team, taking hits from the enemy that might otherwise destroy teammates, and delivering damage to the enemy forces.
A legacy of trench warfare during World War I, the heavy tank concept centered on surviving intense fire and creating a breakthrough in the enemy lines that could then be exploited by lighter, faster tanks. Ponderous and clumsy, you’re a hammer and the enemy is the nail. Your job is to keep as many hit points as you can so that you can in effect “spend them” in exchanges of fire where, through good positioning and timing, you are guaranteed to do more damage to the enemy than they can do to you.
Able to be enjoyed by beginners who want to play aggressively and survive them long enough to learn game fundamentals, as well as by Blitz veterans who know the maps cold and appreciate the extra firepower and toughness, these vehicles are great for learning and practicing tank tactics in. They're also fun to play!
Heavy tanks are the spearhead of any advance, the last bastion of a retreat, and well-suited to areas where the fighting is at its hottest. Capable of ramming light tanks and medium tanks who get too close while taking hits from powerful tank destroyers, heavy tanks are an essential part of any winning team.
If you like to get in close, deal massive damage and make the enemy react to your advance, the heavy tank is your instrument!
Heavy tank fundamentals can be learned by reading our instructional comic
For the purposes of this week's lesson, heavy tanks can be sorted into three sub-classes: the Brick House, the Gun in a Million and the Roadblock, which have unique strengths and playstyles that can be used to lock down zones and crush your enemies.
It's quiz time -- good luck!
The Brick House
Best exemplified by Soviet Heavy tanks, the Brick House is all about armor. You won’t win any races to the cap, but as you roll forward, you can hear the enemy’s cries of frustration as their shells bounce off your armor. Excellent teachers of effective armor use and basic heavy tactics, heavy tanks carry guns that, while not as accurate as those of other tanks, hurt a whole lot when they hit.
Best used in closed-in situations such as confined pathways or city streets, the Brick House will hold the line and then slowly move forward to secure victory!
Question 1) True or False?
You're commanding the Soviet tier V KV-1. An enemy Matilda medium tank is approaching through the narrow streets of a city. The Matilda can’t do much damage to you from the front, but you’ve bounced two AP shells off of its armor, and an enemy heavy is close behind it. If the enemy driver decides to come closer to you, this is the rare occasion where you should switch to an HE shell to knock off their last 58 hit points rather than firing AP and risking another bounce.
Question 2) True or False?
Because you are a heavy tank, you never need to take cover on your way to the enemy. It doesn't matter if there is a protected path, you can just drive through the open center of the map, and your armor will protect you!
The Gun in a Million
With representatives from the British and German tech trees, the Gun in a Million designation encompasses heavies that mount fast-firing and accurate guns. Your armor isn’t the thickest, so you won’t want to play as close to the front as the Brick House, but rather support from a midrange location like a tank destroyer with more HP; whittling down the enemy as they approach, with the help of your team. This sub-class is for the deliberate sharpshooter in all of us, but it rewards careful, patient play. Learn when to brawl and when to back away, and you'll be unstoppable!
Question 3) True or False?
Your German tier VII Tiger I is under threat from two enemy heavy tanks and a powerful Soviet tank destroyer. You are alone in your section of the map, but that doesn't matter because you are a fearsome Tiger I, armored with Krupp Steel! Surely you'll be able to stay right where you are and eliminate those three tanks with a few shots from your deadly 88mm gun!
Question 4) True or False?
Because the armor of tanks in this sub-class is not the greatest, you should always stay in the rear of the fight and avoid taking damage under any circumstances.
Transitioning from fast moving and fast-shooting heavies at Tier VII on the US line, the Roadblock has a unique playstyle. While it has less hull armor than the Brick and a less-precise cannon than the Gun in a Million, that doesn’t matter, because its turret armor is excellent, its gun elevation and depression are highly flexible over terrain, and its guns have good penetration and firepower. This means you can execute “Hull-Down” tactics, exposing your well-armored turret to frustrate your enemies as you pound them with high-damage hits:
See these tanks? The tank at the front is going right back to the Garage. The one behind him is surviving to earn lots of Credits and XP. Treat yourself - be the tank in the hull down position.
As the Roadblock, your job is to take favorable ground and hold it while the enemy comes to you, absorbing titanic punishment with your strong turret and the support of your teammates.
Question 5) True or False?
The US tier VII T29 you are commanding is in a good position behind a hill, but you cannot depress your gun enough to hit the Comet. Rather than risking your track being knocked off and your tank pinned without a means of retaliation, you should relocate to the flatter ground on the left which will let you depress your gun while protecting your hull; and present your well-armored turret to the enemy to bait their shot as you finish them off!
Question 6) True or False?
When moving up and down over a terrain feature to fire, it is a good idea to wiggle the front of the turret back and forth slightly when enemy tanks are shooting at you. This makes it more likely that you will bounce their fire.
If you have already responded to all of the questions, the correct answers are at the bottom of the page!
1) True: If you've had some frustrating bounces but an enemy has few HP left, an HE round is just the right shell to knock them out!
2) False: While you can take more damage than your teammates, you should always minimize your exposure and use terrain and distance to your advantage as you approach the enemy with your teammates.
3) False: Your Tiger is alone, with flat armor that cannot withstand a TD shell, and you cannot deal enough damage to destroy all three tanks before they get to you. Retreat to your allies, and combine your firepower to win.
4) False: While remaining in the second line is advisable if you are near the bottom of the team list, as a heavy tank in the middle or at the top of the list you have a large stash of hit points that you can use to absorb damage while trading with an enemy.
5) True: Minimizing hull and track exposure on Roadblock-style tanks is a key tactic. Your mobility is your weapon and even small moves can force the enemy react to you in a big way.
6) True: Slight wiggling without exposing the turret sides can change the armor angles of the turret's front, leading to frustrating bounces for the enemy. Just make sure to hold still and aim when you fire!