Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Waltzing Matilda in WoT

I'm developing a real liking - perhaps naturally - for the British mid-tier tanks in WoT. My latest acquisition is the much maligned (as all British tanks were I suppose) Matilda Mk. II> Infantry Tank. I was so smitten with the idea of having this plodding beast that I actually purchased the Premium Soviet Mk. IV version first!

The British Matilda tank was supplied to the Soviets as 'Lend Lease' during WW2.
This version has the 76 mm ZiS-96 gun which is only so-so for it's tier (Tier V) but this is intended to help balance out the Matilda's very good survivability due to it's good armour. It has been said that the Matilda IV is a 'pocket sized KV-1', which is a generalisation but certainly you do find that you get a satisfying amount of bounces when driving this tank.

The down sides are it's torturously slow speed and it's guns lack of penetration. The ZiS 96 gun is a Tier V  gun with damage stats of 110/110/156 and penetration stats of just 86/102/38, but a rate of fire of 16.15 per minute.

However, there was something about the plodding 'I'll get there eventually' attitude of this tank that I liked and so I earned myself the British version, which is actually a tier lower at just IV.

No logic dictates that the British service (and non-premium) version of the Matilda should be a little inferior somehow. And while armour is the same, and so it the horendous speed, the gun ability of this tank makes it worth a look.

Now the gun I want to highlight is the British QF 2-pdr Mk. X (40mm) and its stats look like this:  Damage - 50/50/60, penetration -78/121/23 and rate of fire - 28.57. On the surface you would say that it is inferior to it's Soviet counterpart, but that rate of fire and penetration lift it's performance IF you happen to be one of the top tier tanks in the game you are playing (nothing changes if you are pulled into a higher tier match, you are still cannon fodder).

I think it's a mark of how good this tank is - when matched in a favourable tier game - that the YouTube World of Tanks commentator QuickyBaby actually did a tank review of this tank (and he never normally strays from higher tier monsters)...

Now while the attraction of the Matilda when matched favourably is obvious how to deal with the inevitable matchmaking disaster is less so obvious. This is mainly because of your speed - you cannot simply turn yourself into a Medium Tank come Scout for the big boys!

No, your best bet - obviously - is to 'buddy up' with a similarly plodding Heavy to provide some sort of support and hope you can chip away at modules and weak points with some nicely placed (or lucky) critical hits. But do get used to the sound of bounces!

My 'buddy' and I spot a flanking opportunity as the enemy tank is occupied
with our team-mates in the next valley.
The above screenshot show me in my Soviet Matilda acting as 'escort' for a KV-1 Heavy. You have to stick to your buddy like glue and even perform the unenviable job of meat-shield if the going gets bad, hoping that if he survives and you take the heat he can reload and take out the attacking enemy.

This is - nearly - what happened in the following screenshot...

Having flanked our target - a rather scary KV-2 'Troll-Cannon' - I kept popping out in order to draw his attention and fire (while praying not to get hit). Once the KV-2 ineffectually 'shot his load' at me and missed my KV-1 companion drove out and shot him in the ass! Job done!

WoT's New Personal Missions
Finally, I would just like to mention the recent addition of the personal missions to the game. Obviosul;y World of Tanks is fundamentally a multi-player game - there is no single-player campaign associated with it.

Mission name on the left of the panel and explanation of the task on the right.
 Now this is OK, the whole premiss and fun of the game is the person v person action and is enhanced when two of your friends get together with you to form a platoon. But there are times you like to have a spot of solo gaming and that's where the game's missions come in and add a bit of a spice and gives you some nice rewards too!

Here's a close-up of a particular task. This one is for Medium tanks.
While I call them 'personal missions' there are some that demand that you platoon-up to perform the tasks. This can be a little frustrating as it can impede your progress through the missions if your friends are not around or are unwilling to help you achieve your specific missions. (And this is why I call the personal missions, as some of the tasks are not entirely compatible with 'team play' tactics.)

There is a 'mission tree' for each type of armoured vehicle and the tasks get increasingly convoluted - and sometimes downright suicidal - as you rise through the mission list. In the end there is a nice prize for you if you complete all the missions in a mission section, in this case I might earn myself a nice StuG IV.

As I say, it's not a real single-player mode  as you are still playing normal WoT, with the same maps and the same number of real people playing against you. There's no campaign story, no NPC tanks and no ability to play the game 'off-line'. But still, it gives you something to be working for while you death-match your way through the opposing force!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy the personal missions, they have a very nice reward in credits and premium items. Going for the primary and secondary objectives can take some time. I think it's a nice addition to the game. Been more a fan of the cruiser tanks for mid and late tier. Working on my Centurion 7/1. They are by far my favorite mid-tier tanks to play.