A World of Tanks Primer: Artillery
First, as an aside, apologies for getting this entry posted so far away from the other primers – Finals week for me, and it’s been like a potato in the exhaust.
Second: Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s….Raining explosive death? I now present you with a brief how-to on delivering artillery shells accurately across the map to leave the burning wreckage of your enemies wondering what just happened to them.
Where to Place Yourself:
The first step to playing artillery successively is to remember the first step of playing WoT well: Positioning. While you won’t be moving quite as much as you would be in other tanks, you still have to put thought into where you are going to set up your arty. More than anything you want to not be found as arty, as being found by the enemy typically equals death as your little spg can not dog fight with most other tanks.
I try to set up my spg behind a city if I can, far back enough to be able to shoot my shells over the buildings to hit things in a straight line from my tank. If you are stuck in a spawn that is mainly woods, just try to set up as far away from the enemy spawn as possible with your spg hidden in a bush or treeline – anything to reduce visibility of you.
As an aside, and I don’t recommend this for those still learning the spg, there is a technique to get a further shot. If you position the tank on a slope that puts the front of our tank higher than the rear, facing the enemy, you will get a bit of extra range for your shot. However, there are very few spots that offer this and suitable cover, so there comes extra risk with this.
Above is the basic reticule for the artillery of World of Tanks. When aiming at someone, you want to have the inner-ring of dots (the actually aiming part of the reticule) as tightly closed as possible to ensure a shot. Bear in mind that this circle shows shot variance, so positioning the cross-hair of the circle is very important.
If you are aiming at a tank that is facing you, put the cross-hair on the part of the tank closest to you as that gives you a chance to hit even if your shot scatters further than the cross-hair. Likewise, if aiming at the side of a tank, put the cross-hair on the edge of the side closes to you as I’ve found this gives you the best chance to hit even if you over-shoot a little.
Leading your shot is more a method of learning via practice than it is teaching as each tank varies in the amount. The lead space depends on the range, as the further back you are the longer it will take for your shell to hit the where you are aiming, meaning you have to lead the enemy tank more. Practice with this is all I can really suggest.