The Second (and Final) Week begins!
Hello fellow commanders!
Hopefully you've been enjoying the week so far before I ruin it with my multitude of quips and jokes, as we take another wander down how we've gone at the start of the week, and what we've learnt in the last few nights as we start pushing towards the end game!
Of course we have to start off with a busy Monday night - which actually was a quiet night for me.
Some real life duties pulled me away from the PC, meaning that I was only on for three of the timezones instead of the entire night. Another tough night as we struggled to find some momentum early on, as we oscillate between victory and defeat with some of the tougher clans.
Personally, the fatigue is definitely starting to bleed in from multiple nights of ruined sleep, sitting in front of the PC for 15 hours a day (the classic Work From Home experience), and just gameplay where there is pressure to perform - so it's vitality urgent that I built a routine of resetting and taking care of myself.
And the best routine is stepping away from the PC, and doing some small exercises to ensure I don't waste away.
So Jacked and Cracked KaRath, what's your routine as you're not heading to the gym?
Some quick and simple exercises at home keeps me away from the PC for a bit, and definitely helps a quick mental reset after a competitive game.
The routine I normally complete is:
100 sit-ups, followed up 100 push-ups, 100 squats, and a quick 10km run Generally I like alternating with a quick routine which takes me away for a bit, with about ten pushups, ten situps, and just moving and stretching in general. Obviously it depends on the space and your fitness levels (I'm not quite fit right now, existing on a see food diet), but I definitely recommend at least stretching and getting up every hour or so to make sure your joints don't get too stiff!
The Eighth Night
A very short night as I only played three timezones - a very short night which was nevertheless successful.
During the period that I played, it was quite turbulent - with a mix of some great victories, and some rough defeats which stopped some our runs early on.
Nevertheless, we're keeping ahead of the competition, and even if we drop into the 200s or 300s on the leaderboard, we're still maintaining a solid buffer in the top 600, which means that with this effort we've had over the last week, we'll be in the clear relatively soon.
KaRath's Recommendation #3: You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take. Take a look at your ammo count, where it currently is in the battle, and sometimes, RNG will favour you
Day 8 Ranking: #268
Personal Fame Points: 2240
The Ninth Night
This is it - finally, a night where we can make another full push, and take some big dubs on the board and put up some serious numbers and damage.
And the start of the night was fantastic - we were on a high leading to the second half of the night with a multitude of victories on the board.
However, towards the latter end of the night - a bunch of tough defeats cost us what could have been a phenomenal night.
Two battles which could have been won - a fight on the knife's edge - lost due to some rare individual errors from myself and our captain in each respective battle.
Not to mention a foray into the Elite Front getting slapped down very, very hard by a strong team - meaning that we miss out on getting any clan or personal fame points in some of these crucial battles.
But that's the nature of tanks - when versing an oppressive moment, we needed to step up, and we failed to - more learning experiences in how to take strong positions, how to brawl, and how to take certain fights.
Day 9 Ranking: #252
Personal Fame Points: 2603
The Art of BrawlingExpand
In my last talk about basic strategies, I mentioned pushing as one of the vital parts of how you contest for map control against an opponent. When committing multiple tanks against their tanks, this is often referred to as a brawl.
You can have both smaller and large brawls that can occur simultaneously on different sides of the map - and it's very important that basic principles are adhered to.
Thanks to our very own Gloster from our ANZBL for helping out with this brawling guide that he has written in the past - he's given me permission to share this knowledge that was used to help other ANZ clans in the past!
In a brawl, tanks should always be moving, stationary brawling should only occur if you’re in the optimal position (once you found a hull down position, you have setup for a crossfire, or you are receiving a push). The key point of brawling is mobility, as tanks that have the speed to get out of the bottleneck and choke point while sustaining the least amount of hits will be the most effective tanks. Avoiding said bottleneck in a brawl is a key component to winning the brawl, and it lies on the first tank in a push to draw fire for the rest of the push to engage safely. This first tank, it doesn’t matter who, needs to know and accept that they’ll probably be dead by the second salvo. Therefore, they need make it harder for the enemy's second salvo to kill them. It’s the job of the others to use this opportunity to push past in the brawl. I’ve noticed players will bottleneck and swarm a single tank. This is good focus fire but leaves our tanks often in overlapping fire that chips and bleeds their hp and leaves them worse off for the second/third/ fourth focus during a brawl.
Therefore, a priority for players should be during a brawl to be constantly moving, and seeking cover whether through slight ground elevation/depression, tank wrecks, or enemies to mitigate damage.
Green tanks are called to push the two red tanks below and crush the brawl, as this forces a 4v2 scenario. Even though you take early shots from the tanks on the top, as you have more guns in the fight at the bottom, assuming equal player skill, you will win the brawl at the bottom, then have more guns to kill the two tanks coming in to reinforce in the brawl. However, we oftentimes see a brawl that will end up like the diagram below:
This nullifies your advantages in a push, and as a result you will bleed out more HP, making it harder to win what could be a game decisive brawl. So what should happen, in a perfect scenario, is a manoeuvre which allows all your tanks to take the low-ground effectively, like this:
Now the tanks have pushed past the two lower tanks, and by using the enemy and terrain effectively, will avoid the crossfire that the two red tanks that are higher up.
Of course, once a brawl has been completed, there could be other fights you will then need to rotate your tanks towards. Therefore, you will need to consider your HP in the long run as well, while not baiting your teammates. Four tanks with reasonable HP is better than three tanks that are one shot and one tank that has all the HP in a critical battle.
Summary: When a push is called, push past and don’t bottleneck. Seek terrain and other obstacles that mitigate being shot from other angles. It isn’t a priority to save HP but a little self-preservation goes a long way in winning the game. Mobility and avoiding crossfire is an absolute must when attacking into an entrenched position.
Fighting fair, or rather, never fighting fair.
It should never be a fair fight. In theory, it should always be an over match (you have more tanks over the enemy) when a push is called, but reality is very different from theory. If a messy brawl breaks out where there are multiple tanks spread out, players should be considering what to focus fire to bring an advantage to their team at a sacrifice to their own personal advantage. For example, in the situation below: we have a 277 fighting a 279e (facehugging), with the 907 fighting against the Chieftain.
Individually, the brawls would lead to the demise of the 277 and 907 if left to their own devices. The 907 has little chance of winning against Chieftain bar a significant gap in player skill or RNG. Therefore, the 907 should instead be focusing on shooting the back of the 279E, helping the 277 win the brawl much easier. This then enables the 277 to take a better fight against the Chieftain with the 907, helping them commit into the overmatch. It is the role of the 277 or any friendly tanks in such position to remember that ramming an enemy tank into the open for allies is a valid tactic in brawling. Instead two separate 1v1s occurring simultaneously as it normally would, it would now be a 2v1 against the 279(e), as the Chieftain would need to relocate to the side of the 277 to get damage, or to chase the 907, who can relocate and focus down the 279(e).
When we are considering the opposite side on what the correct play would be to make, the Chieftain can deny shots to the 907 by reversing and blocking the rear of the 279(e). Often opponents will tunnel vision on hitting a target they’ve chosen, which costs precious seconds in a brawl when they readjust their aim for the opponent right in front of them.
Responding to Enemy Pushes
Games can be won or lost in a brawl by decisive mobility and counter-positioning. Oftentimes a great example is Serene Coast, where we can expect to see major brawls occur in the C1 corner of the map. Take the scenario below, where the north spawn has six tanks that arrive to the five tanks from the south spawn. You'll be feeling great as the two tanks on the side since you're not the focus - however, this means that there are six guns against three of your allies, and guess what's going to happen when your allies get melted?
Yeah, you just outright lose if the three tanks on the low ground do nothing, with the other two tanks flanking - this is an unfair fight from your side, and will lead to a loss.
So the best option is for the three tanks to push over to the other side, nullifying the effectiveness of tanks dumping over, and as a result, getting more of your own tanks into the fight:
Now when the enemy is re-pushing, they'll find themselves exposed to more shots when coming back up - thus equalising the situation, and potentially turning the tides to what could have been a defeat.
When push comes to shove, you'll need to relocate sometimes, even if means initial bleed. Fear of relocating into a better position means you bleed out slowly, then die as the number of enemy tanks overwhelm your own allies.
The Tenth Night
Starting to feel the hurt of losing some important battles, as we're unable to make some deep runs in some landing tournaments. Ultimately, the priority is to take some victories on maps, which requires the specific and necessary tanks (T95/FV4201 Chieftain, and the Object 279(e)), which does mean some less battles for myself. But ultimately, campaign is a team game. We need clan fame points to take some victories, and with some of our strats starting to be countered, we need to shake things up. A victory for the team is more important then individual battles and points, so although the buffer is reduced, we're still in a comfortable position moving ahead.
Day 10 Ranking: #281
Personal Fame Points: 2821
The Eleventh Night
The common trend continues for the second week! Apparently clans are starting to have a counter-strat to us and use boosters, which means they're probably not taking us for lightweights any longer.
Of course, this means that we'll need to bring out some of the heavy guns in the form of Chieftains and 279(e)'s, meaning we don't get as many battles where we needed CS-63's.
Although our performance may not be the same compared to the first week, thanks to the buffer we have, we are able to maintain a position within the top 600, so as long as we continue to gather points and keep at it, the earlier effort means that we will be spared some desperation grinding as we're coming to the endgame.
Day 11 Ranking: #341
Personal Fame Points: 3137
The Final Three Nights
The current trajectory is roughly 300 points a night - and with a 500 point buffer, we are currently in a decent position to have a few nights where we are having some rough nights.
3500 personal fame points look like the golden mark right now - as we are only around 370 points away, the next three days doesn't look too difficult. But we'll keep up the massive effort!
For now, we'll keep up the good work, and I'm sure I'll see you in the wrap-up campaign diary entry - next week!