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How to Play: Heavy Tanks

Unrelenting walls of defense or vanguards during an offensive push? The roles of heavy tanks () vary, but they always play an integral part of the team and can help tip the scale in your favor.

What Makes a Heavy Tank?

It's hard to generalize heavy tanks because they vary wildly. Heavy tanks can be mobile or ponderous; lightly armored or almost impenetrable -- but for the most part, they always feature a potent gun. Eclipsed only by tank destroyers and artillery, heavy tanks rely on their guns to outlast the enemy and increase their shot at victory.


The heavy tanks are here!

Heavy tanks are often tasked with controling key points and routes of attack on the map.

Know Your Role and Shut Your Hatch

Always take a look at the composition of your team when the countdown timer begins. Figure out what the strengths of the team are, and what role you'll be required to fill.


Take time to learn which heavy tanks rely more on their armor, or their guns

Play To Your Strengths

Get to know your selected heavy tank as much as you can before battle. You can take your newly purchased heavy into a training room, learn more about it via the wiki, or visit the forums. Learn its traits like turret traverse speeds, reload times, armor values, etc. This will help you figure out what type of play style suits your selected heavy tank, thus increasing your odds of success.


Don't be afraid to get up close and personal with your enemies

Know your strengths:

  • Armor
  • Firepower
  • HP pools

In general, heavy tanks have the best all-around armor in game. Though their armor is usually in the front (like the majority of other classes), there are a few heavy tank "gems" throughout the tech trees with all-around thick armor armor (i.e.  VIII flag  KV-4 , X flag  E 100 ). However, the armor values of heavy tanks vary per nation. To reliably bounce incoming enemy fire, American heavy tanks usually have to use hull-down positioning and force the enemy to attack their tough turret mantlets. German and many Soviet heavy tanks need to be properly angled to increase their armor thickness, and Chinese heavy tanks, for the most part, must conceal their lower plate to avoid taking damage.

Much like their armor, heavy tanks also hold a variety of mid-to-high-caliber guns. Some heavy tanks, like the ones found in the British line, feature guns that boast excellent rates of fire at the cost of damage output per shot. Meanwhile, Chinese heavy tanks are almost complete opposites, with guns dealing high damage per shot but with lengthy reload speeds. Basically, there's plenty of heavy tanks out there to choose from for your play style of choice!

Despite their fighting prowess, heavy tanks are by no means invincible -- their added weight from reinforced armor and large guns means most of them are rather slow. Nevertheless, heavy tanks are durable and boast some of the largest HP available. They can take an absolute beating -- when not causing ricochets, they are usually absorbing hits. Consider that when attacking -- given your large amount of HP, it's common for heavy tanks to take the brunt of the attack and still come out on top.

Steel Walls

There are a few ways to play your heavy tank. Given their lack of speed, for the most part, they aren't as versatile as medium tanks, nor should you expect heavy tanks to play as scouts. Almost all of their roles are influenced by their armor thickness and gun potency.

Vanguard

This role centers on leading the assault, and is best filled by heavy tanks with the a decent combination of armor and firepower. With support from allies protecting your flank and rear, you should strive to deal massive amounts of damage while forcing an entry towards enemy controlled territory. While battling in the front, you'll have to pull out some tactics to help survive against enemy heavy tanks looking to crush your team.


Sloped armor is your best friend

When battling in close-quarters, you'll have to use refined "brawling" tactics to help survive against enemy heavy tanks. Depending on your heavy, you can use tactics like sidescraping or hull-down positioning to maximize your survivability while the battle rages. These tactics take patience to learn, but they make these encounters extremely satisfying. When you setup your defense, and you see the enemy setup their own, a battle of wits begins where the first to make a mistake takes the hit.

Support

Some heavy tanks lack the armor of their counterparts, and instead, rely on their firepower to support the team. Heavy tanks like the V flag  Churchill I   and VII flag  Tiger I  have less armor than other heavy tanks, but have accurate and powerful guns which allow them to fight at a greater distance. A support heavy can snipe from cover if their guns are accurate enough, or they can assist in an offensive assault by using tougher allies as cover. 


Some heavy tanks come with a sniper-esque armament

You may also consider a support role if you are of one of the lower tier heavy tanks in a battle. Accompany better-armored tanks and allow the enemy to focus fire on them while you take shots as they reload.

Defenders

A role best suited for the slowest heavy tanks that ideally have the toughest, frontal armor available. Deny enemy assaults by using your armor to deflect enemy fire and your gun to return the favor. By hiding your weak spots like your lower glacis or exposed commander's hatch, you can only increase your chances of success!


VII flag  T29  and its impenetrable mantle

Keep in mind that heavy tanks move slower than the rest given their large guns and plentiful armor. When the battle begins, choose your path wisely as you'll often be committed to that side of the map for the duration of the battle. Many battles have been lost when heavy tanks are forced to back-track back to base, or to the other side of the map, only to find the battle timer wind down to zero.

Heavy tanks are also some of the largest tanks in game, and they shouldn't be left alone. In the open, their poor camouflage values and maneuverability make them vulnerable to being outflanked, sniped and the focus of enemy artillery fire. Experiment and see what works best for you, and you'll soon field an impressive heavy tank fleet that matches your preferred playstyle.