Tank Academy: Pop Quiz - Tank Destroyers
After zipping around with the light and medium tanks for the last couple of weeks, you may be a bit tired. Now it's time to take it easy for a little while with some tank destroyers.
Tank destroyers are the snipers of World of Tanks Blitz. In the balance between speed, firepower and armor, tank destroyers typically focus on firepower and then frontal armor, with speed a distant third. While they lack the vision of light tanks, the speed of medium tanks and the raw size of heavy tanks, tank destroyers typically have access to guns one or two tiers higher than the other tanks do at their level. This extra punch enables them to land key hits and destroy enemy vehicles at range.
The key to success in a tank destroyer is to work with your team. Follow your light and medium tanks as they work to spot enemies, and land powerful shots of your on targets who often can't see you to fire back. Your goal is to preserve your health as you keep your gun in the fight from a distance and play second-line support.
Second-line support isn't the same as “camping” (remaining in and around a single location throughout the battle) as it involves active movement behind the main advance or positions of your team. You'll want to remain close enough to your allies that they can spot targets for you, and you can protect them and hit those targets consistently.
Tank destroyers benefit the most from teamwork and can work well in platoons with other tanks of any type: light tanks to spot targets, medium tanks to flank those targets, and heavy tanks to protect you and take hits up close.
If your first priority is dealing lots and lots of damage and you enjoy playing as a sniper, the tank destroyer is an ideal vehicle type to play!
Tank destroyer fundamentals can be learned by reading our instructional comic
For the purposes of this week's lesson, tanks destroyers can be sorted into three sub-classes: the Casemate, the Turreted and the Boom, which have unique strengths and playstyles that can be used to deal damage.
It's quiz time -- good luck!
This sub-class, which takes its name from a vaulted chamber in a fortress, references the structure that accommodates the main gun on a vehicle with no turret. Chief examples of these vehicles are British and German; well-armored up front, and mounting fast-firing, accurate guns with a limited traverse. Able to relocate quickly at middle tiers, these vehicles are versatile, hard-to-see and deadly at a distance.
Question 1) True or False?
You're commanding the German tier V StuG III Ausf. G and you have found the ideal sniping nest. Your team is spread out to the right, and is spotting the enemy at a distance. This is your sniper's nest and you won't need to move for the whole game!
Question 2) True or False?
If you are being approached by light and medium tanks with no teammates nearby, you should hold your fire and wait to brawl with them. Your gun can quickly knock them out of a fight when they get close!
US tank destroyers with turrets, historically known as Gun Motor Carriages, add flexibility over terrain to your arsenal. Because they have thinner armor and slower-rotating turrets with open tops, you should not treat these vehicles like tanks, and you should still snipe with them if you can. If you must, consider a turreted TD a more fragile medium tank that must engage an enemy from the flank or sides, firing from cover or over terrain.
While you can deal more damage as a medium tank, you must always be ready to pull back if the enemy gets too close.
Question 3) True or False?
Your US tier VI M18 Hellcat has just been blown up in urban combat at close range. Even though you had a turret and a faster firing gun than the KV-2 heavy tanks nearby, you should not have tried to outmaneuver them up close as the narrow streets of the city limited your movement and made it easier for them to obliterate your vehicle.
Question 4) True or False?
You should use your excellent gun depression over varied terrain like hills and valleys to ensure that only your turret armor is exposed to enemies when you pop out to fire.
Best exemplified by the Soviet assault guns which mounted artillery cannons on the chassis of heavy tanks, these TDs do not possess the same gun depression enjoyed by the American Turreted TDs, nor do they enjoy the precision of the Casemate vehicles. But that doesn't matter when you're firing a 152mm round the size of a small trash can at an enemy vehicle!
When they strike home, these rounds are able to decimate the HP of any enemy vehicle standing in their way.
A recommended tactic for this sub-class is to play a bit closer to the front line than other TDs, mitigating the lower accuracy, and sticking with your heavy tanks. Wait for an enemy to show themselves, or shoot an allied heavy and, when they are reloading, pop out of cover, wait for your aimpoint to shrink, and pump a shot into your target before retreating to reload.
Question 5) True or False?
Your Soviet tier VII SU-152 is in a good position and you do not need to relocate. You are near several friendly tanks, and your allies can see all of your flanks. You also have your frontal armor angled at the enemy, and are in an excellent position to deal some damage. For the time being, you should stay put and focus on dealing damage.
Question 6) True or False?
While it's recommended that most tanks use AP or Armor-Piercing shells as their main shell type, you are better off with a loadout of mixed HE (High Explosive) and HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) shells to take advantage of their greater damage, rather than trying to rely on AP shells that can simply bounce off.
If you have already responded to all of the questions, the correct answers are at the bottom of the page!
1) False: While you have a great position now, your teammates may not be there to spot for you all the time, and you may have to move to follow them, or avoid danger. You can't hit what you can't see.
2) False: While you can anticipate aim at longer distances and knock out light and medium tanks that way, you should always plan to retreat before they reach you. With that said, separating from your team is a great way to get outflanked.
3) True: The better option would have been withdrawing from the city and using hilly terrain and concealment to your advantage as you take shots at the heavy tanks who must fight you on your terms.
4) True: Your turret and gun depression can take excellent advantage of difficult terrain, and using it as concealment and cover against enemies is an ideal tactic!
5) True: Let the HE fly!
6) True: 152mm HE and HEAT can deal immense damage to the side or front of a vehicle, and in this one case, it is better to do some damage to the front than risk a shell bouncing off and having to wait a long reload cycle to fire again at an undamaged tank.