Tank Academy: Pop Quiz -- Lights
Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a good summer, now it's time to learn about tanks!
While you may begin the game with tier I light tanks, these specific vehicles are often slower and better-armed than higher-tier light tanks and, as such, can be played similarly to medium tanks. You can damage most of the tanks that you see but, on the flipside, you can also be damaged by them. You should not rely on your armor or assume that the enemy will not see you. The light tanks you will see at tiers II-IV are different.
Each tank design is a compromise between three key assets: speed, firepower and armor. Light tanks have the best speed, but they cannot take many hits, nor do they have the best guns. Mobility and camouflage are the best protection for this class, and their high view range is a battle-winning weapon.
Light tank fundamentals can be learned from our previous comic
For the purposes of this quiz, we're dividing light tanks into three sub-classes: The Passive Spotter, the Active Spotter and the Shootist, all of which have standout features.
It's Quiz time, good luck!
The Passive Spotter
Slower than the other two subclasses and exemplified by the early German Pz.Kpfw. 35 (t) and the Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) n.A., the Passive Spotter isn't as fast or well-armed as other light tanks, but it has one feature that makes it a benefit to the team: a long view range! While your fragility and lack of speed leave you vulnerable to rapid changes on the battlefield, you can "spot" enemies at a distance for allied tanks who have larger guns but may not be able to see as far as you can. As long as you are conscious of where your teammates are, and you are detecting enemy vehicles for them, you will rake in Credits and XP as those enemies take damage. While you will want to remain unseen as much as possible, you can also support your team by "tracking" enemies, effectively freezing them in place!
Question 1) True or False?
You're driving the German tier IV Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) n.A. and you've already taken some hits. There is a heavy tank at almost full health about to crest the hill, and ahead of you is a heavy teammate that's lost around half of its health. You should immediately go left and zip out of cover and concealment to get to the side of where you think the enemy tank will appear.
Question 2) True or False?
You should never, ever engage enemy light or medium tanks as a Passive Spotter. Always run away, even if the enemy is outnumbered and distracted.
The Active Spotter
Because "BT" is the Russian abbreviation for "Fast Tank," Active Spotters are best represented by the Soviet BT-2, and BT-7, with the A-20 prototype representing a transition between light and medium play. These tanks boast great mobility and fast-firing guns, but don't have much one-shot firepower. The key to success as an Active Spotter is to never stop moving and rarely move in a straight line, because if you can keep your speed up and avoid hitting any terrain or other vehicles, you will be able to keep an eye on the enemy team for the whole match. If you fire at them enough to annoy them into chasing you right over to teammates, that's a great idea too! At this point the enemy will need to split their focus between you and your teammates, so you can sneak around and start nibbling away at their HP while your teammates get their hits in.
Question 3) True or False?
Commanding the Soviet tier III BT-7 you have successfully spotted several enemy tanks for the teammates behind you, and one of the enemy vehicles is at low health and is almost destroyed. You should take some potshots at it, but mostly focus on keeping your speed up and your movements unpredictable, as you are providing a valuable diversion.
Question 4) True or False?
Using the Active Spotter's lightning speed to ram enemy tanks is an excellent tactic that will work every time you apply it!
Best exemplified by the British "Cruiser" line, Shootists may not possess the armor of their medium counterparts but, despite their small size, these fast movers bring some impressive firepower to the table. With enough visibility to spot enemies from far away, and enough speed to get you to unlikely places on the field, you have a unique opportunity to shape the battle. As the enemy point their fronts and turrets towards your better armored teammates, tanks in this sub-class can pop in and out of cover, putting their guns to work on the flanks and rears of enemy vehicles.
Question 5) True or False?
Commanding the British tier III Cruiser Mk. IV you approach two enemy tanks over a hill and notice that they are facing away from you and engaged with some of your allies. You should creep up to the top of the hill and fire on their weak side armor when you have the chance, but be ready to retreat if they turn towards you!
Question 6) True or False?
Autoloading guns feature frequently at low tiers, and fire multiple shots from a magazine before reloading. If you have retreated out of sight with a half-loaded magazine, it is a good idea to reload the magazine fully before you pop back up again.
If you have already responded to all of the questions, the correct answers are at the bottom of the page!
1) False: With low health and low armor you won't win a slugging match with a heavy tank, and losing the advantage of cover will put you at risk.
2) False: You don't always want to stay passive. Shooting or tracking that inquisitive light or medium tank at a key moment can shift the tide of battle!
3) True: Your mobility is one of your greatest strengths.
4) False: Sometimes ramming can be a fun or effective way to eliminate a low-health light tank if you have the HP to spend, but ramming a bigger tank will almost certainly end in tears.
5) True: A fast tank with an autoloading gun and distracted enemies can wreak a surprising amount of havoc!
6) True: Autoloading guns on lower-tier tanks reload quickly. If you have a couple of seconds, don't be afraid to manually reload the magazine by double-tapping the selected ammunition in the ammo menu before popping up to fire at the enemy again!