Update 9.21

1. Update 9.21 Preview

Updated

As the holiday season nears, we rejoice in the spirit of gift giving with an early reveal of the final update of 2017. It’s been an eventful year, rich in major improvements to the game’s core, and Update 9.21 continues on that route with balance tweaks to British TDs and the debut of a new alternate line of French heavy tanks.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of everything in store for you in December!

British Tank Destroyers

We heard from many of you that the non-turreted British TD line didn’t feel fun. Though the ATs never failed to get a lot of well-placed shots down-range, their fire rates were totally offset by low damage, and the notoriously huge hatches negated overall armor turning them into easy targets.

To up the worthiness of these sluggish beasts, we boosted their armor and 32-pounder guns. These steps should reinforce their strength as support vehicles that can soak up a few hits in a pinch, and rip into enemies with an immense fire rate.

A re-tuning of the line wouldn’t be complete without a proper Tier X vehicle, something that could be a natural progression from the Tortoise. The FV215b (183) didn’t fit into the "well-protected support fire" concept we formed for the line, so it steps down in "special vehicle" status and frees up a space for the all-new FV217 Badger. If you have the FV215b (183) researched and purchased, you’re keeping it and getting the newcomer when 9.21 drops.

Like its peers further down the line, the Badger equips a fast gun that easily pierces thick-skinned enemies. Its play style resembles the Tortoise in many ways, but the Badger outperforms its damage potential and protection, resulting in a more tangible step up from Tier IX. The FV217 Badger is all-out devastating as an enemy, but also proves to be a great ally when it dishes out tons of damage from afar.

 

Alternate French Heavy Tank Branch

The French Tech Tree gets a new line of heavy tanks starting from the AMX M4 mle. 45. If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that this trio will make you reconsider calling French tanks paper-thin autoloaders.

For starters, they have enough frontal and turret armor to take a few hits, and their guns all sport traditional reloads with exceptional accuracy, aim time, and stabilization. You'll just have to make a choice: a gun with higher alpha or with better damage per minute? No right or wrong, though; it all depends on your play style.

New Grand Battles Map: Klondike

In the weeks since Grand Battles rolled out, we've received a tremendous amount of feedback, and one of the louder bits involved wanting more maps. Well, now hear this: warm your engines, because winter is coming to Grand Battles.

Epic 30v30 fights are expanding to “Klondike” this December. This new 1.4x1.4km mixed-terrain map takes you to North America, where icy winds blow across vast expanses of open field and down the cold, empty streets of an industrial area.

We’ve also heard concerns about getting matched in a Grand Battle. We’re working to fix the issue, so thank you for your patience and understanding.

2. New French Heavy Tanks

Updated

If using “French” and “armor” in a sentence makes you laugh, wait until Update 9.21 drops this December. It reinforces the French Tech Tree, adding three heavy tanks at Tiers VIII–X: the AMX 65 t, AMX M4 mle. 51, and AMX M4 mle. 54. These heavyweights have it in them to crush several stereotypes about the French with flair and style.

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These new tanks are researchable from the AMX M4 mle. 45, and have enough frontal armor to dodge a few TD shells. And if having armor at all wasn’t un-French enough, they also equip traditionally loading guns. Each newcomer has two top guns: one with hard-hitting alpha, the other with faster firing lower alpha. Will you trade shots in close-quarters or rock it in the second line with a fast-firing gun? Experiment and see what works best for you.

Overview

Choice: You define your role the second you pick a gun. A high-alpha strike with a lengthy reload time will work best in close-range engagements. Pick a target and put your gun to work, using frontal and turret armor to deny enemy assaults. If you go for the DPM gun, keep to the second line, playing support. Wait until your target is distracted or reloading, then pop out and shoot.

Versatility: The blend of reliable armor, two top guns, and a respectable HP pool makes the new French heavy tanks extremely versatile. They can do anything from second-line support, to flanking, to close-range duels. Adapt as the battle rages to help your team tip the scales in your favor!

Durability: Strong frontal armor, a thick hull, and tough gun mantlet increase your chances of staying alive in the heat of the battle. The HP pool matches other “universal heavies,” further maximizing your survivability, while decent gun depression means you can use the terrain to hide your hull.

Learning curve: The new heavy tanks provide smooth progression from Tier VIII onward. The AMX 65 t will prepare you for the Tier IX, and mastering the AMX M4 mle. 51 will give you a general idea of what you're in for at Tier X.

Gameplay Tips

  • Avoid sidescraping: Subpar side armor lowers the chances of deflecting incoming rounds when corner-fighting. Instead of opening your sides, meet the enemy head-on at a right angle.
  • Don’t expose your turret: Despite decent mantlets, there remain weak spots; just enough to make you a soft target for someone who knows where to aim.
  • Work ridges and leverage uneven terrain: The lower glacis plates are weak compared to the rest of the frontal armor. Keep them protected using objects and ridges!
  • Pick your battles: The DPM gun won’t take you far in close quarters. Keep to the second line and support friendlies from behind cover. If you opted for the hard-hitting alpha, then move in on the enemy with no second thoughts.
  • Stay close to the team: You lack mobility for swift zig-zags, and can barely avoid enemy shells when rolling in the open.

Summary

The new line offers a welcome getaway from the “classic” French HT gameplay. Rather than forcing hit-and-run tactics, the newcomers perform well in several roles and should strike a chord with fans of conventional heavy tanks. They aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they roll out and get the job done without demanding large skill caps or advanced maneuvers. Plus, you get new experiences thanks to the choice of two guns; just switch once you've had your share of battles with one.

We’re excited to see what you will do with the three when they roll out in Common Test. Take them for a test drive and share your impressions with us on the forum.

3. British Tank Destroyers

Updated

British non-turreted TDs are largely underappreciated due to their feeble armour. We address this long-standing issue as part of an all-around Tech Tree revision, increasing their protection to help them reclaim a place among conventional assault TDs. With thicker protection up front and on the sides, they no longer suffer from glaring armour weaknesses and can be an intimidating force leading the attack or helping allies. With that, let's dive into the details!

These TDs are currently being tested and their exact parameters might change. We'll be monitoring your feedback and game data to fine-tune the lineup by the time Update 9.21 hits production servers. We'll update you on the final settings; meanwhile, please jump in to test the TDs and share your feedback with us!

Why Revise Them?

TDs on the FV215b (183) line won't exactly set the Thames on fire (er, not that you'd want to) when it comes to mobility, but it's not their job to win races. These Brits pick their battles and have enough damage potential to put heavily-armoured enemies to sleep working as assault guns or supporting the team from the frontline. Thick armour, excellent DPM (over 2,000 at Tier V; sweet, huh?), a great fire rate, and easy gun handling let them meticulously destroy the opposition, compensating for below-average mobility.

However, this otherwise great picture is spoiled by chinks in their (figurative) armour. Though their (literal) armour seems solid on paper, we all know listed values don't tell the whole story. If you took them for a stroll, you must have noticed they're riddled with weakspots—the commander's cupola. And once you're spotted, you become target number one. Enemies don't even have to go the extra mile to send you to the scrap heap; just shoot the "head," and away you go. As a result, playing it safe works best for these TDs, which contradicts their "close-range assault guns" narrative. Update 9.21 should set them back on the right course.

What's Changing?

The AT 2 was quite formidable thanks to its armour. Opponents below Tier VII could hardly get a scratch on it. We took some of the AT 2's frontal, side and rear armour to keep it from being OP. It's now far less bouncy from the front. However, it's not all bad news for those who fancy this Brit: changes to side plates should give it an edge at sidescraping.

The large thinly-armoured section on the right side of the AT 8 made it extremely easy to cripple, even for low-tier opponents. Add to that three barely protected cupolas on its top, and there you have it—a soft target living on borrowed time. Update 9.21 boosted its efficiency by eradicating the massive weak spot to the right. Cupolas received better protection, too.

The AT 7 and AT 15 had little hope of soaking up damage from the front or when their gun mantlets and cupolas were targeted. We increased armour thickness for these weak spots to gear up there two for a more active role in close-quarters fights.

Feeble frontal armour and a thin gun mantlet made the Tortoise a soft target for Tier IX and X tanks. Update 9.21 improves both and gives the vehicles a thicker superstructure roof. It retains a vulnerable main gun cupola though, with a glaring weak spot at its center.

The Churchill Gun Carrier was underappreciated because of its low alpha and unimpressive-for-its-tier penetration, often leaving players thoroughly underwhelmed in the heat of battle. After feedback, we went through the 32-pounder parameters. Alpha damage and pen went up, while DPM stayed as is. This Brit literally exists to carry a gun, and now it can carry it proudly! The AT 15 and Tortoise that equip the same 32-pounder benefit from greater pen stats and alpha strike, too.

Why Replace the "Death Star?"

This revision won't be complete without a rewarding experience at Tier X. With the entire line redesigned for close-range assault and support, we wanted the top tier to incorporate all the line's distinctive traits. This way, you can figure out whether it's worth the grind soon after you start the line.

No one would argue that a FV215b (183) staring at you is just about the worst thing any tanker can see on the battlefield. It's universally feared for its gun, capable of one-shotting most Tier IX and X tanks. However, its alpha damage comes at the cost of low speed, a long reload, limited accuracy and sub-par ammo count, which is nowhere close to the line's overall narrative. This is where the all-new FV217 Badger steps in, forcing the FV215b (183) to retreat as a special vehicle. Unlike the Death Star, it inherits a combination of decent armour, solid DPM, and excellent rate of fire from its brethren down line, but gets more of these in every department. Capable of dealing a whopping 4500 DPM, the Badger won't fail to put a round downrange with true British composure. Then, it'll move on to rain devastation on the next unlucky tanker...

How Will It All Work?

The FV217 Badger might be yours for the taking, no grind required, if you have the FV215b (183) researched and purchased when 9.21 releases. Read the transition details and look forward to a detailed overview!

4. New Customization Mechanics

Updated

Customization is the key to turning your vehicles into fully realized digital representations of you and your personality, achievements, and favorite parts of World of Tanks. That’s the vision, and now we’re laying down the foundation for it, marking the first step towards new ways to experience World of Tanks. It introduces visual effects and a significantly wider list of paints, camo, emblems, and inscriptions to pick from. Most importantly, we’re redesigning the way customization works, adding styles and mapping out a set of customizable areas on a tank.

The “Exterior” window gets five separate tabs, where you can apply predesigned style sets or create your own using paint, camouflage, emblems, inscriptions, and visual effects. Here we'll talk about all of it in more detail!

The new customization mechanics aren’t tied to Update 9.21. The Common Test marks the starting point in fine-tuning them, and its release timing depends directly on how well the test goes. We’ll release the new customization mechanics to production servers as soon as we’re sure that everything’s polished and works as it should. As always, we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.
Right now, our top priority is smoothing out bugs and performance issues. We want to focus on meeting a high bar of quality, and believe your input will be instrumental in this.

 

What's New

Style Sets. Customization items are now brought together in style sets designed to help you quickly personalize your vehicle. Preconfigured style sets might include a mix of paint, camo, emblems, etc., and automatically apply them in one click.

The prices aren't final. Check the game client for the full list of relevant prices when the feature releases.

Go for an authentic set or create your own styles. Plus, there's a rental style set available with Credits and useable for a number of battles.

Paint. Each Tech Tree now has a variety of paints to choose from. They differ across nations and can be applied separately to the hull, turret, gun, suspension, and gun mantlet. Also, you can choose the main colour theme for winter, summer, and desert maps.

How Paint Works

Coloring each module takes one can of paint; painting the entire tank takes five. Make sure you’ve got enough in stock before you get started.

Historically accurate and non-historical paint work differently. Having bought a can of non-historical paint, you can apply it for any season (one can per module). Historical paint is a whole other thing. With it, you need to buy paint separately for each season. In other words, you need 15 cans of historically accurate paint to fully color a tank for three seasons.
 

Historically accurate elements are visible to all players by default. If you’d like to see all elements, including designs that diverge from history, just un-check the “Hide non-historic elements” box in the settings (“General” tab). It’s checked by default.

The prices aren't final. Check the game client for the full list of relevant prices when the feature releases.

Camouflage. Camo is now divided into three skins. You can apply it separately to a vehicle’s hull, turret, and gun; put together a set from several camos for each season, and adjust camo sizes choosing from small, normal, and large—all of these for each area. For select camos, you can also tweak their looks, working within the set colour pallet.

Don't worry, vehicles can still be fully covered with the camo you already have. The new customization system just splits them into three parts.

The prices aren't final. Check the game client for the full list of relevant prices when the feature releases.

Camo value bonuses are active when applied to the hull, and will decrease the enemy’s view range around your tank.

Emblems and Inscriptions. Now, you can view where an emblem or inscription will be before application. The revamped UI shows designated areas for these items.

All permanent camo, emblems, and inscriptions you purchased before the new mechanics release will be in your Storage when it drops. You spent money on them and they’re rightfully yours. Temporary camouflages will be withdrawn, but you'll have their costs reimbursed.

The prices aren't final. Check the game client for the full list of relevant prices when the feature releases.

Effects. You can give your vehicle a distinct look with aging and fading effects for paint and camo, going from sleek to aged or ancient.

Currently, new effects, paints, and purchasable styles are available only for Tiers VIII Premium vehicles and Tier X tanks. We’re working on bringing them to lower tiers. Camos, emblems, inscriptions, and rental styles can be applied to all tanks.

Pricing Revision

Fundamental changes to the customization system won’t work without a pricing revision. Right now, we're designing a uniform pricing model that will mesh with the new mechanics. The last thing we need is a rushed solution. So, we’ll take the time we need to do it right, and will offer you a full lowdown on the changes and the rationale behind them when we’re finished. To minimize any inconvenience the revision might bring, we’ll be giving everyone an exclusive nine-item set of camouflages. It consists of three season sets with skins for the hull, turret, and gun in each. “What’s so exclusive about it,” you ask? Well, unlike other, nation-specific camos, these special textures can be applied to absolutely any tank.

5. AMX M4 mle. 54 Overview

Updated

Three new heavy tanks reinforce the French line in 9.21, and today we're taking a closer look at their leader: the AMX M4 mle. 54 (Tier X). It easily switches gears between assault and support, which makes it a valuable asset for the team. Study its strengths and put them to work to lead the assault, rescue distressed allies, and devastate weaker targets up-close.

Solid Firepower

The AMX M4 mle. 54 stays true to the line's signature trait, offering two guns that are completely different in terms of gameplay:

  • 120-mm D. 1203 B: Go for it, if you enjoy playing as a front-line brawler, leading the charge into enemy territory. This gun is capable of dishing out steady damage thanks to high pen values, impressive ROF, and solid accuracy. The AMX M4 mle. 54's frontal armor means you don't have to be scared of taking a hit or two. So you can get in a few extra shots thanks to DPM, while your enemy's struggling to pierce your front plate. On the flip side, it has a lackluster-for-Tier-X alpha (400), labelling it ineffective at point-blank exchanges. Keep an eye out on the battlefield to know when and where your support is needed and take down distracted enemies from behind cover.
  • 130-mm/45 Model 1935: If you're into trading shots at close range, mount the 130-mm gun and close in on a potential target. With it, you will throw punches like a pro boxer! Admittedly, its ROF and accuracy are far from the best at Tier X, but the 560 alpha damage more than makes up for it. Besides, this gun packs AP rounds (base and premium options), providing better shell normalization. Pop out of cover to exchange shots leveraging your alpha, duck back in to reload and then repeat!

Tough Frontal Armor

Your upper front plate has 377-mm of effective armor and just loves to eat up damage, making you doubt if it's a French tank you're playing. The lower front plant has nothing typically French to it either and soaks up shells at ease with its 250-mm of effective armor. Bring it to bear by baiting the enemy into firing at your front plate, then follow up with a swift 560 damage slap in their face.

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Good Gun Depression

The AMX M4 mle. 54 gun depression is hardly groundbreaking, but you will respect what those eight degrees can do. You can hold your ground against multiple enemy tanks, hill-fighting and using terrain to hide weak spots. As long as you make your shots count and reduce exposure, you're doing a good job!

Gameplay Tips

  • Avoid sidescraping (unless you want to get several new view ports through your hull): Though your frontal plate and most of the hull stand strong like a true heavy, you have unreliable side and rear armor.
  • Move it, move it! Wiggle your hull like a worm to make it difficult for enemies to hit your hatches.
  • Keep your friends close: Rolling in the open alone will have a noticeable effect on your combat effectiveness. You just don't have the speed to quickly retreat to a safe spot.
  • Play to your strengths: Your gun choice defines your combat role. Stick to it!

6. FV217 Badger – The British Bully

Updated

Update 9.21 gives British non-turreted TDs thicker armour and punchier 32-pounder guns, reshaping them for close-range assault and support. To ensure the line offers distinct gameplay all the way to the top, we replaced the X FV215b (183)   with a new tank, the FV217 Badger.

Unlike its predecessor, the Badger builds on the skills developed from the line's Tier V–IX vehicles and provides a top-tier experience that is not only rewarding, but also feels like a natural step-up from the Tortoise. How does this new Tier X Brit stack up against the FV215b (183)? Let's figure it out together.

Why Are We Doing This?

Though tweaks to Tier V–IX vehicles didn't cause the FV215b (183) to lose its flair (it still makes makes nearby enemies flee in terror), they highlighted what a huge step away in playstyle it is from the Tortoise and the AT crew. "

Why not rebalance it to fit the line?" you ask. The FV215b (183) would no longer be a "Death Star", if we did. Besides, it has built quite an army of fans over the years, and they like it just the way it is. That's why we're making it a special vehicle, while also putting the FV217 Badger atop the revised line. It inherits a combination of decent armour, solid DPM, and excellent rate of fire from its peers, but outperforms them in the firepower and protection departments, which makes it right to claim the spot.

How Will It Work?

Meet the Badger

Mouse over the points to display the info on the vehicle
 

Protection

Fighting the Badger from the front is a complete nightmare. It can take a lot of hits with its 355-mm upper front plate and won't think twice before dishing out twice as much in return. However, Tier IX–X tanks don't need to try hard to punch through its lower front plates, unless you angle to increase effective armour values. If you stay at mid to long range, using your gun arc to boost lower front plate protection, most Tier IX–X guns will have hard time penning you.

Firepower

The Badger's most outstanding characteristic is its damage potential. Packing a powerful 123-mm gun with an excellent rate of fire, superb accuracy, great penetration and aim time, this Brit is capable of doing about 3,500 DPM in stock configuration. Put a little extra work into it, and this number can exceed 4,500!

Gun handling

The Badger thrives on hilly terrain and is incredibly hard to dig out of a defensive position thanks to impressive gun depression and elevation (-10°/+20°). The gun arc is 15° both sides meaning you don't need to turn your hull that often. Get into a position where you can sidescrape, use uneven terrain to hide your weak spots, or leverage its elevation arc to minimise exposure.

View range and camo

With a view range at 390 m, the Badger can spot enemies way before they're able to reach you. It leaves you with just enough time to sneak behind cover or send a few shells down range. Good camo values will come in handy, if you find an advantageous hiding spot somewhere in the bushes and decide to play in support.

Gameplay Tips

  • Plan ahead: With a top acceleration of 30km/h and 12 km/h reverse, the Badger just can't outflank the enemy or quickly reposition itself across the map. Heading the wrong way might leave you out of the main conflict with little to no opportunity to contribute. Figure out the most suitable locations on the map and plan your tactics before the battle countdown strikes zero.
  • Stay safe behind the frontlines: The Badger's large silhouette, poor mobility, and average traverse speed can make it an easy target at close range. Sit back from the main fight and wait for a target to be spotted so you can rain destruction upon them with your powerful gun.
  • Stick to the pack: Medium and most heavy tanks can get around to your sides if you are not careful and roll out all on your own. Stay away from potential flanking routes and make sure you have several friendlies in your area to protect you from being flanked.
  • De-track enemies: You have the rate of fire to tear apart almost any enemy in less than a minute. Damage their tracks and temporarily immobilise them, then exercise your firepower to put them to sleep. This way, they'll hardly escape your next shot, even if they manage to use a Repair Kit.
  • Leverage the fear factor: Once the Badger picks a target, the enemy won't escape without getting a backside full of lead. The very image of the Badger can cause enemies to run away in terror. Make sure you have your allies' support and rain destruction using your reputation to stop a push coming your way.

Get Yourself a Badger

You know the drill. Make sure you have the FV215b (183) researched and purchased when 9.21 drops, and the Badger's yours, no grind required.

7. Klondike - Take Over the North in Grand Battles

Updated

If you think winter is the time to retreat indoors with the heat cranked up, get ready for the Tier X action on Klondike. It gets real hot on this new winter map when two teams lock horns in Grand Battles. Excited? Let’s explore it together and learn how to snipe, splatter, and slay opponents battling in the deceptively serene North American wilderness!

NOTE: Klondike is a direct response to your requests to liven up 30v30 battles with a new map, and we hope everyone enjoys it! Community feedback will continue to fuel the evolution of Grand Battles, as we update the mode with new features and content.

 

Summary

  • Setting: North America
  • Sizes: 4x1.4km
  • Mode: Grand Battles (Standard and Encounter formats—be sure to pick “Grand Battle,” “Standard” and “Encounter” in the game settings to get matched in both)
  • Objectives: Capture the base (the enemy base for Standard mode, or a neutral one for Encounter), or destroy all enemy vehicles

Welcome to Klondike

Inspired by the adventure writing of Jack London, Klondike brings tank battles to North America, where dirty streets and crusty clapboard buildings of a mining settlement tell the story of the Gold Rush. Don't be distracted by the tranquility of the cold weather, though. Lone cabins, snow-sprinkled hill roads, and dusty riverbanks will reverberate with the sounds of battle when a firefight is in full turmoil.

Routes & Positions

Teams start in the southwestern and northeastern corners of the map, with three spawn points each, and three routes leading to enemy territory. Head north to a small mining town and attack the river bridge in the center, or venture into the abandoned settlement on an island to the south.

Whichever direction you defend or attack, stay focused on points of interest located in no man's land between the two camps. Expect to battle hard for these areas: claiming them provides a tactical advantage over nearby land. Once you have control over points of interest, move on to capture the enemy’s defensive positions.

Mining Town

The town to the north features lots of corridors, buildings, and tight spaces, making it a go-to spot for heavy tanks and other well-armored vehicles.

Class-By-Class Strategy

  • If you rolled into town in a heavy tank, stay alert and always keep an eye out for bypass roads. Losing sight of them might leave you under fire from a sneaky opponent who closed in and now keeps sending shell after a shell your way.
  • Mobile medium and light tanks should stick to the bypass roads to catch enemies off guard and provide cover for allies.
  • If playing as a scout, support the team by detecting enemies who venture to the heart of the conflict.
  • The likes of the Grille 15 and Strv-103B can support a push by wearing down enemies from defensive positions on the map's edges. If set up properly, snipers and SPGs that are likely to lay low there can greatly change the tide of the battle by stopping tanks dead in their tracks.
Island

The island south of the central bridge features vast uncovered areas, speckled with miner's cabins. It's best suited for mobile vehicles that rarely stay put, relocating a lot and attacking enemies from afar.

Class-By-Class Strategy

  • If you ventured into the southern flank in a heavy tank, head to the island leading the attack. If the situation calls for it, you can move to the center of the map or play in defense. Try to read enemy moves and choose what works best for you and your team.
  • Scouts can leverage multiple open spaces to detect enemies or hug cabins and use their view range to reveal enemy positions.
  • Medium tanks can really spread their proverbial wings by firing from behind cover or working the first line alongside heavy tanks.
  • Support vehicles will feel at ease on the second line. Pick a tactic that best suits your play style, but generally lay low and send shots from mid-range. If you thrive on riskier maneuvers, there may be room for some hit-and-run tactics.
  • As for arty, they should keep to the third line, picking off detected enemies.
Central Bridge

The center of the map will likely be rather static until later on. At the beginning, most of the action is likely to occur on the northern and southern flanks as both teams try to conquer them to get a direct route to base. Once control of the flanks is seized, teams will channel greater forces to protect the bridge or take it over, depending on who took the flanks.

Class-By-Class Strategy

  • If you're a heavy tank, your task is to stifle enemy attacks. As you draw shells, support-fire vehicles can assist friendlies in the town and on the island by putting pressure on the opposition hanging around there.
  • Mobile medium tanks can probe enemy defenses to find a breach or attack the other camp on the flanks.
  • Scouts should stay in the field, uncovering enemy positions and hunting down enemy LTs. Rolling in solo isn't feasible—coordinate with support fire vehicles by feeding them crucial intel.
  • As a support vehicle or arty, always keep an eye on the minimap. Analyze the situation and provide support where it's most needed, helping friendlies or suppressing enemy attacks.

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