Hills, buildings, rocks, and much more can be found near your tank on every battlefield. Proper use of abundant cover is an extremely important skill for new tankers to learn. By exploiting the cover available, your chances of survival can increase dramatically. Hiding behind obstacles will significantly diminish your tank profile, making it more difficult for the enemy to spot you. It will also provide protection from enemy fire, and if done right, make your weak spots impossible to target.
The best use of cover limits your tank’s exposure while still allowing you full offensive capabilities. The way that you fight from cover will depend on your tank's strong points. Below are some effective suggestions on how to fight from behind cover.
This position is one you will want to be familiar with, since it can be useful for all tanks, although tanks with good gun depression and thick turret armor will secure the most benefit. A tank in the hull-down position stops where only the gun and turret is exposed from behind cover. In this position, a tank becomes a very hard target -- it presents a much smaller profile to the enemy, has many of its weak spots protected, and exposes the turret, which is often the most heavily armored part of a tank. When encountering a tank in this position, you can aim for the commander’s hatch on top or relocate to a more advantageous position.
Angle Your Tank
If you are using cover such as a building or a rock that you cannot shoot over, there are other ways to fight with an advantage. Angling is another useful technique to protect yourself.
Sidescraping or Reverse Angling
This tactic works well for tanks with large tracks, and even better for tanks with decent side armor. This method is used to entice your enemy into making poor shots at the side of your tank that you intentionally expose. By lining up your tank near the edge of the cover you are using, and then slowly backing out at a slight angle, most shots directed your way will bounce off of your angled hull or hopefully track you for no damage. If done correctly, you can take your time to properly aim your own shot. The goal of this tactic is to prevent trading damage by nullifying enemy shells. This approach is dependent on your tank and may need some practice to perfect. Also, keep in mind that you will be susceptible to artillery fire, so while reloading, you should hug your cover.
This method of fighting from behind cover can be extremely risky. If caught peeking at the wrong time, you can be tracked and made an easy target. This tactic is best utilized by lighter tanks with quicker acceleration but can be used by any tank in the correct situation. The goal of this method is to pop out, take a shot, then retreat back to cover as quickly as possible. It is best to use this method to fire at enemy tanks while they reload or are otherwise preoccupied (such as dealing with fire from teammates). Learning the reload times of yours and other tanks will greatly help you to know when it is safest to peek.
Other Uses of Cover
Spotting from behind cover is possible in a couple of different ways:
In this position, the entire vehicle is behind cover, but the commander’s hatch can still observe the enemy's position. In this position, you only need to briefly expose the very top of your tank turret to spot enemies in range.
If the enemy is close enough, there is no need to expose your tank at all! Stay behind cover while keeping the enemy spotted for your teammates.