Hi all !
I have been playing online as a tanker on the Finnish Virtual site for a while (Great site btw !). The site restricts the tanks to the Pzr 3&4, and the t34 & M4. The following comments and words of questionable advice are things that I learned from a few hundred hours of game time.
1. Ammo choices. I usually use APHE and HE only, with mostly APHE . The HE rounds are good for eliminating soft skin vehicles and AA and camo tents. They will detonate if you hit a tree so targets require a clean shot. I never have HE in the chamber when moving as they are pretty useless against tanks.
APHE rounds can be used against soft skin tagets, but a direct hit is usually required to take out the target.
2. I usually use the T-34 over the M4 because of the better sights. Its also faster. Big drawback is tank commander is also the gunner, a big disadvantage in close in fighting.
3. On the axis side I almost always use the Panzer IV. Sometimes if you are feeling frisky you can give the Panzer III a try, especially if playing defense or cleaning up soft targets.
The Axis side has a big disadvantage in that the tanks are much slower off road than the Allies. You have to stick to the roads to go anywhere quickly. The other side knows this and will set up an ambush at the beginning of a round. Basically roads are deadly for both sides as pilots of both sides love to shoot up player tanks. On the server the red side is pretty aggressive. They will frequently bypass the closest enemy base and attack the artillery or other targets.
Playing either side avoid obvious ambush sites like sharp turns, hills, or bridges. Patients is the key (I’m guilty of this. Sometimes I stupidly rush in and get blown up).
If outnumbered play defense. Hide in a place the enemy has to travel. Shut your engine off and listen.
If you have a friendly tank work together. Don’t bunch up and try to cover each other. Working together is a huge advantage. If you are alone and against two or more try to wait until one is isolated or you are certain you get a one shot kill.
BTW if you miss your first shot use your machine gun if the other tank commander is exposed. If you kill the other tank commander it’s a huge advantage!
If you spot another tank let your side know.
When you finish an attack on an enemy targets I keep five rounds for the journey home. Nothing worse than no ammo when the enemy shows up.
Trees are your friends and enemies. You can hide from aircraft and tanks, especially if engines are off. Attacking ground targets from the woods or villages take a lot of patience and is dangerous because just a slight movement may open up a line of sight to an enemy combatant and bang, your dead. If you do get a few kills move away and attack from another position. You can be located from a long ways away and planes just love to whack tanks !
Generally I try to attack from long distance rather than poking through a forest. It’s not always possible as the enemy seems to be behind trees most of the time.
Well that’s my two cents on tank combat. I really enjoy it and it’s a fun break from flying IL-2s or 110s ! See you out there!