Welcome to The Game Plan! It's been a thrilling – and sometimes bumpy – ride in the WGL APAC. But our Gold Series teams are constantly surprising us with new strategies and new ways to play, and what better way to learn about them than from the eyes of a pro? So buckle up, and let The Coalition Zoo's Haku take you through the current favoured tank picks of the Season!
One of the differences in the current meta is the emergence of more specialist roles for tanks. In the previous season, teams drew from their previous experiences in the Tier 8 tournament meta to use a particular type of tank for many roles (IS-3 and T-54 LT). This led to them calling on their familiarity with the Object 140, IS-7, and T110E5 – tanks that could perform in any role required of them (heavy tank duties for heavy tanks, medium tank roles for medium tanks and so on), but did not particularly excel in any one role.
In contrast, this Season saw the emergence of different tanks to suit the teams’ needs, as they began experimenting with different line-ups on their own as well as drawing inspiration from CIS, EU and NA teams. The IS-7 is now relegated to defence duties, while the T110E5 has practically been replaced by the Chinese 113 heavy tank. Tier points previously allocated to multi-purpose heavies have been consigned to support, as a Tier 9 Russian T-10 heavy tank would be a compromise under the tier limits stated by the tournament rules.
Besides the shift from multi-purpose heavy tanks, there has been an added emphasis on armour and alpha (and consequently less focus on speed and DPM). E-100s became more prominent in their usage this Season, while tank destroyers are being used more often; the T110E3 remains the evergreen favourite for combining armour and firepower, while the new Grille 15 is a very popular selection due to its ability to keep up with medium tanks, and yet maintain the firepower and accuracy to stand up to its peers.
Another trend that really made itself known this season was the use of autoloaders. The emergence of the Bat.-Châtillon 25t AP allowed for teams to viably run all-autoloader line-ups where they could not before, due to the massive size and lousy concealment of the Lorraine 40t. As a result, on maps like Cliff, we see very cavalier match-ups focusing around the hill.
Like the heavy tanks, medium tanks have gone down a similar path; Russian medium tanks like the Object 140, T-62A and Object 430 have seen diminished importance compared to specialist mediums like the STB-1 (known for its hull-down capability) and TVP 50/51. The Object 140 and Object 430 have been relegated to support and defence roles respectively, while the T-62A has simply dropped off the radar entirely.
Of course, the other main difference that we see in tourneys this season is the number of boosts used to get to previously-unreachable places, but my teammate, Roby1Kanobie, has it covered – check out his video here!