WoT: The First Radley-Walters

I have mentioned that I am trying to learn how to sidescrape in World of Tanks. This is where one angles one’s tank to make most use of the side armour – you try and mostly present your side to the enemy, heavily angled. It is a particularly effective tactic, I have read, on slower more heavily-armoured tanks. I think in part because simply those tanks have the necessary armour, but also because speed is not an essential part of the tank design. This is good because this tactic almost guarantees getting detracked.

The KV-5 is a tank with quite respectable side armour (150mm) and with quite meaty tracks which I believe can also “soak up” some of the penetrating power. It also has nice long sides, which mean one can make a relatively large target whilst still retaining a relatively large angle. Now, this particular tactic is one I am still learning how to use. Sometimes I manage it, and sometimes I absolutely fail, but tonight I managed it with spectacular results.

Ensk – Encounter mapmode, at the northern start position. A Tier VIII-VI battle with four Tier VIIIs on either side and one arty each (an AMX 13 F3 AM in both cases). I start to head out into the town, on the far western side. There are a few other tanks with me. No opposition is encountered until we reach the road at the south of the map – indeed I am already heading eastward along it from the far western side when I spot the enemy arty, well-position for a standard map but with almost no protection for an Encounter map. Two-shotted. A rather enjoyable gunfight then takes place with myself, and two or three other tanks on my side, versus a similar number on the opposing side including a Tiger and a T32. The KV-5’s gun is not great on the penetration front, so I bounce a fair few on the T32 and generally fire at other tanks when I have a clear shot as there is a better chance of doing damage. It manage to angle my hull properly and partially hide that glaring weakspot the KV-5 has, which means mostly their shots either bounce or just do track damage. The T32 I eventually shoot in the side through a gap in the ruined buildings – the Tiger someone else finishes off. I also quickly dispatch and M5 Stuart and a Jagdpanzer IV.

The last had caused me to move, and a M6 puts a few shots in my rear causing a bit of damage. Fortunately I am able to turn around (burning my small repair kit in the process) and myself and a M18 Hellcat finished him off. We are now at the corner where the southern east-west road intersects with that north-south road that runs through the centre of the map (ie, around the starting positions of the southern team of the Standard mapmode of the Ensk map, on the north-east corner of the southern base). An IS and IS-3 approach down that north-south road. The IS I further damage on the road, but he gets behind cover as the IS-3 starts to sneak around a building. I manage to notice this and once again manage to reposition, bounce a shell, push around the corner myself and manage to finish him off in two shots.

The overall shape of the battle has see-sawed a little bit. At the beginning our team had a slight lead, which we lost as the western flank failed utterly and we went 6-9 down I think. Now it has evened 13-13. Myself and a M18 Hellcat against a T25 AT and that IS. I move back onto the road, and see the IS rather invitingly showing its side to me and it takes just one shot to finish him off. The T25 AT meanwhile has killed the M18. I cannot honestly remember if he bounces a shot or not, but I put one straight through him and we win the game.

The final statistics for me are 25/28 shots on target – though a Tiger on our team gets the Sniper Medal. I also took 25 shots, though at the end retained 46% of my health. This easily gives me the Steel Wall medal, which is one of my favourite to get. The eight kills also gives me the Top Gun medal (and the extra 10k credits from the special offer) and also the Radley-Walters medal – the first time I have won it. A base of 1428 experience, which turns into 2142 on the premium account – and it was the first KV-5 victory of the day so this was then further doubled. During a special offer with doubled crew experience. That puts a big smile on my face. With premium I earned a total of 107k credits (97k without the Top Gun award), and after repair and ammo resupply this equates to 95k profit. No gold ammunition (paid with credits) was used. Finally this is also the battle in which I finally earn the Ace Tanker award on my birthday present.

I should stress that the above comes directly from memory (I have not yet watched the replay) so one or two minor details might be wrong. Also I do not usually play this well or this successfully – but nevertheless this shows the potential of the sidescrape manoeuvre. I soaked up alot of enemy shells. If I hadn’t – well, to begin with I would have died rather more swiftly. Given what happened to the other flank that would have meant we would have lost the match rather swiftly. Certainly it put a big smile on my face. What made, if anything, my smile even bigger was the guy on the enemy team at the very end accusing me of using gold ammo.

I really have to work out how to create WoT videos like Gank.

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