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
|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!
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!