RPGStylee's artillery guide Feb 14, 2016 0:39:52 GMT Violet Viper x, R35T NO MORE, and 3 more like this
Post by Atom Priest on Feb 14, 2016 0:39:52 GMT
This guide is horrendously out of date. I have not played World of Tanks for about a year now and haven't continued with this guide for over two. This guide will no longer be updated. Video series is cancelled because my channel has been banned on youtube. There were no back ups for the videos. You may still glean some tips from this post however please keep in mind that some things may no longer apply.
02 July 2018
WARNING! MASSIVE TEXT WALL INBOUND!
2. Which nation is right for you?
3. Equipment set up and crew skills/perks
5. General positioning tips
6. Helpful hints
This guide is primarily aimed at players, new and old, who haven't really played much in SPGs if at all. It isn't a step by step guide for dominating every map with every artillery piece in the game.
One of the biggest differences between arty and the other classes is the length of the grind. Because SPGs are found far away from a battle, most of your targets will be well outside your view range. This means that whatever damage you do to a target the xp from the damage will be split half and half between you and the spotter. If there are multiple tanks spotting then the xp will be split between all the tanks including you. This means at best you'll only be earning 50% of the xp you normally would.
The problem that arises from this is that while you only get half the usual experience another tank would get; the xp cost for SPGs and the packages for them have a rather high cost equal or greater than heavy tanks, especially in the higher tiers. This means that grinding an arty line takes a very long time. SPGs can also be among the most expensive tanks to buy and the same can be said about their packages too. Having premium time is a big help when compared to other classes of tanks for these reasons.
2. Which nation is right for you?
While arty has a linear play style, for the most part, each nation has their own little niche that they fill. It makes picking the right line a task all of its own especially if you intend on going right up to the tier X big boys; you don't want to get bored half way through a grind and quit out. If you do you will have wasted a lot of time, silver and some gold too.
Each nation is split into low tier, II-V, and high tier, VI-X. High tiers tend to be vastly different to the lower tiers in terms of what they can accomplish.
Considered the easiest line. This nation is the reason arty gets a bad rep for being easy mode; and to be honest it really is easy mode when compared to the other lines. That's MURICA for you.
Starting with the T57 at tier II; it is a pretty unique SPG. The gun isn't very accurate, takes a while to aim, and has okay traverse though it is no Lloyd GC. The most surprising aspect of this tier II gem is the armour; which it has a crap ton of. 29mm on the front would be good enough to bounce all the auto cannons at this tier, and maybe some other guns. It is also sloped back at a very good angle. it doesn't stop there either. the armour continues to be strong on the sides, at 25mm with a small bar on the top on the side that is also sloped, and 25mm on the rear giving all round protection. What this means is the T57, tier for tier, has the heaviest armour of any SPG in the game. it doesn't even have any weak spots. Only premium shells will go through your armour, and at tier II the enemy is unlikely to be carrying any(unless there is a dirty seal clubber in the game).
Now comes the Priest. Probably the second best tier III SPG behind the OP PoS American biased Sexton I (US). The Priest has a wide gun traverse, good damage and good RoF. It also has an excellent 700m range, is fairly mobile and has decent gun depression for self defence. The only true draw back to the Priest is that it is quite a big target; but this merely serves as practice for higher tier SPG's(of which nearly all are huge). The priest also has some armour but nowhere near on the scale of the T57. The lower portion of the Priest's hull has 100mm of armour, so if the enemy is bad you have a chance to bounce a shot.
The M37 which follows is largely the same as the Priest, though it gives up some RoF for improved gun stats.
The Tier V and VI essentially share the same gun; with the VI obviously having improved stats. Both
get access to stupid 240mm pen HEAT shells.
The M12 is a sort of bump in the line. Its definitely not a bad SPG, but just isn't as strong tier for tier as other American arty. It gets a bigger 155mm gun with more damage than the previous two. However it can be very troll for a lot of players. it also doesn't have a wide gun traverse arc like most American arty; though it isn't as bad as some German and Russian SPG's.
At tier VIII you get the M40/M43. The SPG retains the same 155mm gun as the M12 when stock; you must grind to the new gun, a 203mm howitzer, which can take a while. Fortunately the M40/M43 doesn't seem to be cursed with bad RNG like the M12 when using this gun. Once you get the howitzer you get a massive boost in power, but obviously worse gun stats over all especially accuracy.
Finally you reach the tier IX, the infamous M53/M55. This SPG blows its tier IX counterparts away. Most SPG's are good in some areas, but terrible everywhere else; the M53/M55 is good at everything. You must grind to the howitzer again though this isn't a problem considering its vastly improved stats; it is the most accurate gun on a tier IX arty, has the fastest reload speed and a good aiming time. it is perfectly possible to play this SPG with just the 155mm, but it does lack power against heavily armoured foes which you will undoubtedly have to shoot at some point.
With the howitzer the trend of excellent stats continues. You have the fastest reload at this tier on any howitzer-style weapon and decent accuracy. Hitting 700-900 damage rolls every 25 seconds gives this SPG one of, if not the best potential DPM's of any arty. The reload speed is enough for you to be able to carry games, out damage tier X and IX SPG's with ease, and switch between HE and AP(AP has 241mm of pen, good for shooting things in the side).
This arty also has a pseudo-turret with a very wide traverse arc, is the fastest SPG at this tier being able to move at 56 km/h, it even has good gun depression of 5 degrees. Much better than the 0 degrees that most SPG's have by now.
The tank is hilariously OP when compared to the rest of the tier IX SPG's. It is perfectly acceptable to simply keep this SPG and never buy the T92(but you will forever be known as a scumbag if you keep it).
Speaking of the T92; it is nothing like the arty before it. The T92 gives up everything, and I mean everything, for the largest calibre gun in the game. The tank is extremely team dependent. It is slow, has a very narrow gun traverse, takes a long time to aim, has a long reload time and a very poor shell trajectory not much better than the French artillery. This makes the T92 very difficult to position correctly in order to get it to work. If your team collapses you aren't going to get much damage. Self defence is also extremely hard with this vehicle. It has 0 gun depression and the gun is mounted high up on the chassis.
The T92 is also the only SPG, or even tank, in the game that I feel can be 'map screwed'. Maps with different terrain heights and hills mess up the aim if the T92 a lot. Westfield is probably the worst map for it. The T92 works best on flatter maps where you are on the same level as the target, or on maps with very obvious choke points like abbey or lakeville.
When the gun hits, it hits hard. you can one shot many opponents with a well aimed shot; despite the enormous inaccuracy the gun is not as troll and luck dependent as I thought. Rather it needs to be set up perfectly for it to work, and when it does the reds will know about it. Generally the T92 is considered to be outclassed by the CGC as that is more flexible; with much wider gun traverse, amazing shell trajectory and better mobility making it easier to position. The T92 does have a saving grace; the highest penetrating standard AP shell in the game. With a silly 370mm of penetration and 1800 average damage; you can one shot most tier IX vehicles, and reduce most heavies to near uselessness with a single shot.
Overall the line is extremely easy and OP except for the T92 which is kind of a let down, but can still be fun to use if you like to hit huge damage rolls. if you are new to arty or want an easy time this is the line for you.
German arty can be frustrating to say the least. Probably the longest line to grind out; it can be good in the right hands or be a nightmare in the hands of others. This line isn't for those with short tempers.
Low tier German arty play differently from the other nations. They suffer from horrible mobility due to overloaded suspensions and underpowered engines, have short ranges, slow rof and very narrow gun traverse arcs. They do however have superb accuracy, shot trajectories and stupidly high damage compared to the other low tier arty; they can one shot most tanks they come up against. The tier III bison does ridiculous amounts of damage provided you can land a hit; short range, poor mobility and tiny gun arcs make leading targets very difficult. They also have much higher aim times compared to other low tiers.
High tier German arty starts out with the Hummel and G.W Panther. These two are welcome oddities in the line, having wide gun arcs and good mobility. The panther has the best accuracy of the entire line and can be considered the peak of German artillery; it plays a lot like the M53/M55.
Unfortunately the G.W Tiger (p) comes along to set things as straight as its gun arc. It returns to the German norm of high damage and decent accuracy, but with horrific mobility, tiny gun traverse, glacial aiming times and non-existent camouflage. ROF becomes fairly slow. The excellent 21cm morser remains the top weapon from tier VIII onwards and does the most damage of any tier VIII and IX SPG, though it is bested by the Brits and Americans at tier X for raw alpha damage.
Most players will stop at the G.W Panther. This means that the tier X German, the G.W E 100, is pretty rare. This doesn't mean its bad however. It has good gun stats, large ammo capacity, adequate speed, high shot trajectory and unique side skirts that block splash damage from enemy arty players. Its also extremely heavy making it immune to ramming, pushing and trolling. Lastly with sloped 80mm front armour it may bounce some shots form an enemy scout.
German arty is quite difficult to play. If you want a challenge and don't mind spending a huge amount of time grinding then this is the line for you.
Brit arty is a mixed bag. Every tier brings something new to the table good and bad. Best way to describe the 'line' is with a brief description of each tank I think.
Loyd GC is pretty average and much like the other tier II. Has a good gun arc.
Sexton II is much like the priest but swaps some damage for greater range, ROF and faster aiming time.
Birch gun is unique in that it has a fully rotating turret. Accuracy isn't too great and damage is extremely poor, but ROF is high. Useless AP round and poor mobility.
Bishop has poor mobility and a horrible stock weapon. When upgraded has an extremely high shot trajectory; allowing for roof shots and hitting enemies behind some cover other SPGs can't shoot over, but suffers from a short range and tiny gun traverse arc. High health and good hull armour with high ROF and stellar accuracy.
FV304 'Bert' is a very fun SPG to play. It uses the same gun as the bishop and keeps the high arc but gives up health and armour for amazing straight line speed and a wide gun traverse arc. Not many SPGs can chase down a light tank. Amazing little thing Bert is and should be in anyone's garage.
The crusader SP is a strange machine indeed. One of the most jarring things about this piece is that it drives faster backwards than it does forward. This odd ability allows you to escape approaching scouts and mediums in a flash(other arty have to turn fully before they can bug out); you could also ambush an enemy around a corner then disappear before they fix their tracks. Unfortunately the SP loses the fantastic shot trajectory from the bishop and the Bert. The aiming reticle will almost always be a stretched ellipsoid(oval shape) and this reduces accuracy due to shells landing short; or far behind the intended target. Range however is improved greatly over the Bert.
The FV207 is the part of the line that finally has some consistency in terms of how its played and what to expect from the next tank. It has a much improved trajectory over the crusader SP though its still no Bert. With high accuracy, wide gun arc and quick aiming time it can be a good SPG in the right hands; however it remains average when compared to other tier VIII SPGs. It doesn't have the highest damage, nor the quickest ROF, nor the best accuracy or aiming time. Its also limited to a 29kph top speed, the lowest in tier. It does have a gargantuan gun traverse arc and somewhat good AP shell. The 207 and the two tanks after it are all massive and bulky making camo values very low; don't expect to hide in theses things.
The FV3805 has much improved damage on its top gun and an even better shot trajectory. It has a unique average damage, at 1,750, and has good accuracy and aim time. Reload speed isnt as quick as some of its rivals, namely the M53/M55, but it makes up for it by being able to land direct hits more often while retaining a good splash radius for the odd miss.
Finally you get to the tribal sky god known as the Conqueror Gun Carriage. On paper the accuracy looks horrific, but the shot trajectory is extremely good; on the level of the Bert and with twice the range. This causes the aiming reticle to become tighter and more circular than usual improving accuracy greatly.
The 234mm howitzer can one shot almost any tank if it lands on the roof or engine and is greatly feared by all the mud-tanks of the earth. With absurd splash radius almost on par with the T92 this SPG causes catastrophic damage even on misses and on multiple tanks. Its also fairly fast with good acceleration and has a strongly sloped, 152mm front upper plate that will bounce shots from inept enemies. This is the reason to play the Brit line to the end.
I haven't played the Russian arty yet so some of this may be wrong. From what I've heard they play a lot like american tanks but with better balance, or in other words more bad points.
Low tier Russian tanks are fairly standard. High ROF, low damage guns with similar traits to american arty such as below average accuracy, but otherwise are pretty good. Range isn't as big as the Americans but that's made up for by superior shot trajectories. Power increases rapidly but his comes with an unforeseeable cost; low ammo count. Running out of ammo is very possible in the Russian SPGs so make your shots count!
High tier Russians get a powerful weapon early on; 1850 damage at tier VII can only be described as pure overkill. Accuracy however suffers greatly though a good shot trajectory on most pieces, along with good splash damage, will help negate this problem slightly. Chassis size gets very big and so camouflage isn't very good. Despite their size most Russian arty can move around pretty quickly and since they are fairly heavy they can go for a cheeky ram against light tanks; if given the opportunity. What's head scratching about this line is that the ammo count for the 203mm remains low even though the Russian arty are massive.
The 212A however does have a large ammo count and much better stats on the 203. It has a very tiny gun arc which makes leading a target almost impossible. If you like high damage arty then you should stick with this; because the tier X object 261 is the polar opposite of the 212A.
The 261 has less damage and ammo capacity for starters. It also has a very flat, almost horizontal shot trajectory; but has the best accuracy of all the tier X SPGs at 0.61 and a high penetration AP shell. With a wider gun arc and the second best movement speed it can be an extremely reliable damage dealer, and if it can't get a shot you can quickly relocate to a place where you can. Rather rare, this is an excellent SPG and I don't understand how it can be so unpopular. After I've done my German grind I'm definitely going to jum on this.
French arty has the best movement out of all the lines but sacrifice damage in the higher tiers. However they have good accuracy and the best ROF to compensate. French SPGs also don't require as much xp as other lines to unlock tanks and packages; they are also cheaper to buy too. This can make them easier and faster to grind out, but the pay off at the end isn't as good as the other nations; depending on your point of view.
Low tier French have high ROF as expected but are actually rather sluggish when you first start out. This and the gun range improve greatly. Special mention should given to the tier IV and V. These SPGs when equipped with the 105mm can be played like TDs. They also have retardedly good penetration with APCR rounds; so if your willing to pay the extra cost you can do serious damage to everything you come up against. All French arty suffer from rather flat shot trajectories which makes shooting over objects rather difficult.
High tier mobility becomes exceptional rather early. French arty play fairly similarly to each other up until tier IX, the bat chat 155 55. It has a fully rotating turret and good camouflage thanks to its small size making it a blast to play. Its good speed allows it to reach unorthodox positions and with the turret it can set up in a bush and cover the whole map without breaking camouflage; this also helps on urban maps where it can flank, fire, then speed away.
Damage is low and the HEAT round is useless so its best to rely on speed to avoid confrontations rather than shotgun.
The tier X bat chat 155 58 plays almost the same. It has a the bat chat chassis and a higher top speed. The biggest change however is that it is the only SPG to receive an auto loader. This gives it great damage potential by being able to fire every 6 seconds from a 4 round clip; keeping enemies perma-tracked or allowing this SPG to clean up multiple low health opponents, even wreck scouts who think they have an easy kill.
The reload on the bat chat arty is extraordinarily long. With BIA and premium food the reload can be reduced to about 62 seconds. This is a long time to sit around and watch your team derp. When I finally finish grinding to this SPG I presume that the reload will be the down fall of many a match. being unable too fire while watching you team get obliterated for over minute sounds incredibly infuriating to me.
The Bat chat arty line doesn't end up doing much damage, but if you want reliability and mobility then this is the line you want to go down.
3. Equipment set up and crew skills/perks
Gun rammer and EGLD on every SPG.
Now you have only one slot open. There are really only four choices that would actually be useful though you don't actually need anything in the third slot if you want to save silver. The four choices should be binocs, coated optics, camo net and vents.
Low tier arty tend to be smaller or of equal size to tanks of their tier, and so a camo net is a good choice for them. French arty also benefit from camo net throughout the whole line and with the tier IX and X having turrets the net won't break when acquiring a new target. Generally not worth it on other lines at the high tiers due to how big SPGs become.
Binocs can be considered for lower trier arty since view ranges tend to be smaller. It will let you spot danger earlier and get some spotting damage for your team in some cases. Optics would be the better choice at higher tiers. There are fast mediums and deadly scouts to look out for and you need to be relocating often to avoid counter-battery fire from opfor arty. This rules out binocs as more often than not you will be killed before it becomes active.
Vents isn't available for most SPGs as nearly all of them are open topped. Listed below are all the SPGs that can equip vents. If vents is available it must be equiped as it further reduces reload time and aiming time:
Tier V - Bishop
Tier VI - FV304 'Bert'
Tier VIII -FV207, SU-14-2
Tier IX - FV3805, 212A, M53/M55
Tier X - Conqueror Gun Carriage
A special case is the G.W E-100. Because it is based on the E-100 it can equip a super-heavy spall liner. Coupled with its side skirts it can negate splash damage from enemy arty and take very little damage from rams because of its weight.
Crew skills are fairly simple. You want to start with camouflage then swap it out for Brothers in arms. You absolutely have to reduce aiming time and reload time as much as possible. Train camouflage again and swap it for sixth sense, it is invaluable for keeping you alive but most of the time you won't get spotted, which is why BIA takes precedence. Train up camouflage again. Swap it out later if you wish or keep it if you are using french arty. Next train up snap shot; this will reduce accuracy bloom while traversing the gun which is helpful even for SPGs with narrow gun arcs.
Beyond that you really don't need anything else and will not need any perks. Focus on skills like off-rad driving, view range and radio operator skills.
Mentor is a waste in my eyes because you don't really need that many perks/skills. Once you have BIA, sixth sense, camouflage and snap shot you are good to go and any extra crew skills are gravy.
If you can afford to do so you should use premium food consumables. This will lower reload and aim times by a hefty 10% for each while boosting almost everything else by the same amount. Other wise run with small repair and small med kit with 105 octane fuel. If you want to make money swap the food/fuel for a manual fire extinguisher.
The bat chat 155 58 cannot use 100 or 105 octane fuel because it uses a diesel engine.
For ammo you should be firing HE 99% of the time. AP, APCR and HEAT shells tend to be a waste of time because they are too much of a gamble and very expensive. Because of generally poor accuracy at the high tiers AP shells may hit angled armour, tracks or simply miss and do no damage(same can be said for low tier were penetration is lower, but higher ROF means that misses are less detrimental). When your reload can be up to 40+ seconds long you really don't want to waste your single shot. You should however carry one or two in case you need to protect yourself up close; requires good foresight though so that you have time to load the shell.
Premium HE explosive does no extra damage but instead has a higher splash radius than regular HE. Its only useful on SPGs that already have a high splash radius since the increases over regular HE tend to be much greater the higher the normal radius is. Premium HE are among the most expensive ammo in the game so use them wisely. SPGs aren't for making money though so feel free to load up as many as you want.
5. General positioning tips
Many arty players I see are lazy. Because of the great range of artillery many players will not move far, if at all, from the spawn. This is purely bad play on their part. The common laziness of these players is actually beneficial to more adept players however.
Most tanks, especially light tanks, will automatically think that you are camping in, around or behind the base/spawn and so will look to find you there. Enemy arty will also be looking for your tracers near the base/spawn as well.
By simply moving out of the base/spawn you can confuse a lot of the enemy team while discovering new angles of attack and keeping yourself safe from lights and counter-battery fire. If a flank falls and the opfor make it into the base they may also spend time looking for you rather than continue on or initiate a base capture; meanwhile you could be well over half way to the other side of the map poised and ready to shoot back at the opfor as they scurry around looking for you.
A useful, but fairly common location on most maps, is the corners of the map. The corner of a map can be used to make the most of your gun traverse without having to turn your hull as frequently, though SPGs with small gun traverse arcs don't benefit as much as wider arced SPGs; that will barely have to move their hulls thought the match.
The biggest problem with map corners is that if a scout is an route there isn't really anywhere for you to run to.
SPGs aren't normally the most mobile class because of poor terrain resistances and the lowest hull traverse values, though they can have blistering straight line speed such as the French artillery. Most however have adequate speeds between 30-40kph. Not super fast but fast enough to change positions if needed; though some like the G.W. Tiger (p) are extremely slow.
Get out there and explore the map to find better, safer firing positions. You're normally far from the battle so you are possibly the only class that can explore your side of the map, while still being able to provide support when needed.
There are some maps, like mountain pass, where options are limited when it comes to firing locations. On such maps you need to keep a keen eye on the map for enemy scouts, and the skies for incoming enemy artillery shells.
6. Helpful hints
- Try to stay on Flat ground as this keeps the aiming reticle as circular as possible
- Aim slightly behind a tank as this increases the chance of a roof shot
- Relocate often to avoid counter fire and confuse enemy scouts
- When in strategic(overhead) view there is a timer on the bottom of the reticle that shows, in seconds, how long it will take for your shell to land at the currently targeted location
- You can increase the range of an SPG by parking on an incline and facing uphill
- Conversely you can decrease the range by facing downhill while on an incline
- Damage is more important than kills, though if a particular tank is giving your team trouble try and take it out
- SPGs with narrow gun arcs work best when you pre-aim at choke points
- The G.W tiger and G.W E-100 can wade through deep water to reach spots that other tanks can't
- Accept the fact that if you are on a bad team that doesn't spot you can't do much to affect the outcome of the match
- When on an urban map set yourself up to ambush the enemy in the side if possible
- When using the tactical map(press the back button) while in strategic view you can instantly snap your camera view to any grid on the map by pressing the 'Y' button
I hope this guide helps you out with your arty. Now go farm hate mail and suckle on the delicious salty tears of the arty haters; you cheeky little scumbag. Please post your thoughts, opinions, and any information you find below as this will help to improve this guide further!
05 March 2016 - Completely re-written the American arty overview, and changed the last Paragraph of the French arty overview to include new information in the 'Which nation is right for you?' section; added new section 'Video series(unfinished)', moved my videos to there, all future videos will be moved into that section; added coloured section titles for prettiness, added change log at the bottom because reasons.