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Half the Battle: Become a Better Tanker!

Tanks often make the difference between victory and defeat — if they are maneuvered by capable hands, that is. Misused tanks are just big, dumb targets. But correctly employed, they are deadly and terrifying. This week I’ll give you some tips on how to get the most out of your armored Assault Team!

Meet the Family

Let’s get a quick overview of the playable tanks and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Here I must kill a misconception: German and American tanks were never intended to be equivalent. Heroes & Generals is not a “red vs. blue” game. This means that each type of tank has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, in a one-on-one situation, the Panzer I is no match for the Stuart, even though they are each the standard vehicle in their respective faction’s Light Armor AT. However there is a trade-off: in terms of Warfunds the Stuart costs more than the Panzer I, just like the Pershing costs more than the Tiger. The table in the next section lists the pros and cons of each model.

Know What You Are Driving: A Comparison

Tank Type Pros Cons
M5A1 Stuart Fast and versatile. Good against infantry, can seriously hurt lightly armored vehicles. Can also damage Panzer IIIs, with careful aim. Almost helpless against the StuG III and Tiger. Weak armor. Easily destroyed by portable anti-tank weapons.
Panzer I A Dual machineguns turn foot soldiers into ground beef, even at medium range. Perfect for infantry support fire. Inexpensive. No cannon. Cannot damage a Stuart head-on (find weak spots!). Weak armor. Easily destroyed by portable anti-tank weapons.
M4A3E8 Sherman Well-rounded tank. Can be used both as infantry support and tank-vs-tank. Easily destroyed by StuGs and Tigers. Slower reload time than Panzer III.
Panzer III J Well-rounded tank. Faster reload time than the Sherman. Inferior in firepower to the Sherman.
Panzer IV Tiger Big and tough and scary. 2 levels of zoom in aim mode. Devastating even at long range. Less expensive than Pershing. Slow acceleration, poor maneuverability. Good luck finding parking space.
M26 Pershing Highest cannon caliber in the game. More muzzle velocity than the Tiger. 2 levels of zoom in aim mode for long-range shelling. Most expensive vehicle in the game. Slowest of all tanks.

Tank Destroyers: A Class Apart

Perhaps you were wondering why I didn’t mention the M18 Hellcat and the StuG III yet. There is a good reason to discuss them separately: they are tank destroyers, vehicles dedicated specifically to anti-tank combat.

Most tank destroyers manufactured during WWII lacked rotating turrets, and were essentially just anti-tank guns mounted on tracks; such is the case for the Sturmgeschütz III (whose name really just means Assault Gun III). The StuG is forced to rotate on its tracks to face its target. However, the absence of turret means a lower silhouette, perfect for ambushing the enemy. Not only that: removing the turret allows to add more shielding, making the front armor of the StuG almost invulnerable to small cannon fire from the Stuart. This being said, the StuG is easily blindsided, as demonstrated on the screenshot at the beginning of this article (yes, both StuGs got toasted, and the Pershing didn’t get a scratch).

In complete contrast to the StuG, the M18 Hellcat was developed by the Americans after they witnessed the efficiency of German surprise attacks. US generals were persuaded that speed would be a decisive factor, so they came up with a tank destroyer which sacrificed armor for speed. At 65 km/h (in-game, even faster in real life), the Hellcat is the fastest armored vehicle on the battlefield. It handles corners like a racing car, and also carries a very powerful cannon with a fast rate of fire. But be sure to keep moving. The Hellcat will not withstand much abuse!

Guderian’s Way

Heinz Guderian wrote much of the theory which influenced German methods of warfare in WWII. He insisted that infantry should become motorized (or better, mechanized, meaning half-track vehicles), to be able to follow everywhere tanks went, and that tanks be equipped with radio transmitters. In Heroes & Generals, this means of course upgrading your Infantry ATs and pairing them with your Armored ATs, but also using the chat efficiently to coordinate your movements. Tankers should take advantage of the relative security of their vehicles and use a few seconds to keep their teammates updated on enemy troop movements.

Distribute the roles. Infantry can protect tanks while crossing a forest, and tanks can lead the charge through open areas where the infantry is exposed. Tanks can cross bridges without fearing enfilade fire, but should leave securing city streets to the infantry. Heavy tanks should avoid urban areas at all costs, but their long-range presicion makes them perfect as mobile artillery. Light tanks, with their superior speed, can patrol the perimeter around an airfield or a factory, barring the way for enemy troops.

If you’d like to share your tactical knowledge with the community, I’d be glad to hear from you. Just send me (Reto.Gargamel) a private message on the forum!

  1. Pvt_LarryPvt_Larry10-24-2013

    Nice post, hopefully this should help clear up some of the misunderstandings about tanks (the Pz 1 vs. Stuart rages for example) and also a nice bit on tactics. It sure would be pleasant to see tanks and infantry actually work together occasionally.

  2. smknsmkn10-25-2013

    When the time arrives that most random tankers and most of the random inf’s really work together, ill say “faith in humanity restored”!

    until then? gl with the tutorials and “commanding AT’s rather than owning them”…

  3. deathmachineptdeathmachinept10-25-2013

    The stuart is a light tank but so is the III J/1 it’s also more historical and even a fair match if this two were the two opposing tanks, the stuart is faster off/on road, it’s has green camo while the III J/1 has more 6mm of penetration it’s slower by 18km/h of road, has no camo and has generally better armor but Stuart win in turret+mantle armor thickness. I believe this too should be match if the damage model takes in account only armor penetration it’s a fair match.
    The Panzer 1A is generally regarded more has a Tankette since it didn’t even have any anti-tank weapons and was equipment with 2 MG 34 8mm.

  4. WarwulfWarwulf10-25-2013

    Why no the King Tiger? is obvious the americans tanks are overrated/overpowered.

  5. BonuxBonux10-31-2013

    Most important thing about tanks: they COST a lot and are rare. Don’t spawn more tanks than needed and prefer cheaper tanks for soft targets and keep the heavies for tank battles. Otherwise, your just wasting someone else’s warfunds and giving a lot to the ennemy.Worst scenario is when a team spawns 6 tanks at the beginning of a battle against infantry: this means less people to protect the tanks or cap the points and I oftenly see the tank ATs deplete faster. Guess what happens, opposite team finally gets tanks and yours are already gone!

    Sadly we see less Hellcats nowadays cuz most players use them like Shermans and die very quickly.

    I’ve played for a year now and TDs a great tanks that need practice.

    Hellcat is my favorite tank in game because it forces you to always be on the move. It is a wonderful flanker at all ranges. If you’re low on shells, that tank speed is a weapon! Be smart, sneak behind and run over unsuspected infantry! I’ve ran over 5 soldier in a row trying to H3 me and made everybody laugh not counting the kills my infantry mates did around me!

    The StuG is more a deadly sniper and Axis tankers often lose them by driving them in close range. That tank can take a lot of damage! Learn to locate impacts at you and quickly turn to face the ennemy firing at you (true with all tanks but StuG has no turret which is great for its defense). But there is a tiny weakspot there: the gun!! My pal GP56 stole one in the old moutain map once and kept it alive for 40 min. He was even was the only tank alive for 15min on our side (Epic battle that lasted 2h15min).

    One trick: TDs get less love from players because they lack an MG for the driver/gunner and have less HE shells. If you are fighting infantry with a TD, use HE shell only if a soldier is running. If he is standing still, use AP shell aiming at the chest. I even got kills at guys running with APs. Just AIM properly!

    TDs are cheap and come in larger numbers than medium tanks (Axis produced more than 85 000 StuGs alone during WWII) for more or less the same price. More tanks in a town battle to snipe over those hills and rivers. Think twice!

    Play TDs the proper way and discover a different way of tanking! It will help you improve your skills!

    Learn to hear when your get H3/sticky on you or Panzerfaust or Bazooka shots! Use a headset! Your ears can help you locate ennemy infantry/vehicles/shots/bombs close by. Usually drive away and change directions from time to time. Since Mansteins AT soldiers can carry enough to kill 2 to 3 tanks (even heavies in some cases) according to what and how they use their equipement.

    Only dare to bail out you tank when only the tank health is down to 5 to 10% health AND burning. Better die in it than giving it to the ennemy.

    If ennemy planes are looking for you, hide in the woods and ask your bow mg friend to cover your back (either turn the front of the tank around or ask him to hide behind a tree outside).

    Bow mg gunners, please DON’T shoot at targets above the 100m, you are just giving away the tanks position. Tankers, if your bow gunner is an idiot, turn around your tank or drive away for a while to safe spot and explain him or wait that he leaves your tank.

  6. MarshanMarshan11-10-2013

    The German tanks are in this game significantly weakened tank with machine guns is whip on infantry but his counterpart has a cannon which is a big advantage because these tanks will meet very often machine gun they have INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLES (panzer2 would be equivalent to the opponent). Panzer 3 again weak weak compared to its Cannon armor counterpart, place here 4 which was the Panzer in this class. Persing’s kidding this tank came much later it was tiger 2. The advantage of a cheaper acquisition is useless in combat and also from a tank that is about to destroy him without any problem it is clear (Shermen does not have a chance against Tiger

What are you waiting for soldier? We need heroes on the battlefield and generals to lead them!