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Arty 101

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Your milage may vary, but these general rules seem to work for all:


Arty is the only indirect-fire on the battlefield.  Every other tank type, if they can shoot at you, you can shoot back.  As such, and because they can cause such immense damage, they are a (or perhaps THE) very high priority target.


What does this mean? 

On smaller or more constricted maps, where arty setup positions are fairly well known, Counter-Battery (CB) should be tried at the start of battle to try and nuetralize the enemy arty.  In every case, if an arty is lit up, that becomes the primary target until it is destroyed.


So Target Priorities:

First:  Self Defense (obviously)

Second:  Enemy arty (see above)

Third:  The heaviest hitters on the enemy team, High tier TD's or heavy tanks that are difficult kills are the natural prey of arty.

Fourth:  Tracked or otherwise immobile targets in open of any tier

Fifth:  Everything else on the map that's red.


Hope this helps those of you out there who enjoy being the "Steel Rain"

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I found my thread I had posted on this topic back in 2011 on the WoT forum.  Copied here for your enjoyment / edification:


Artillery (with very few exceptions) does not have a turret and utilizes a Howitzer firing HE.  The gun can be used in a direct-fire mode over "open sights", but is primarily used in indirect-fire mode using the "god-view" map (accessed by pressing the shift key).  Fire rates for artillery are very slow, as are the targeting speeds (the speed at which the target reticle tightens down for a more accurate shot).  As most arty has limited ammunition, shots should not be taken unless the target reticle has tightened down fully.

Arty is the only indirect fire weapon in the game.  Implications:  Any other vehicle type, if it can shoot at you, you can shoot back.  Against arty the only defense is hiding behind hard cover.  Therefore arty has a very high target priority for the other team.

Targeting priorities for arty:
I.  Self-defence.  Obviously, and almost always firing direct-fire at close-in targets.  Means your team has failed to maintain a secure perimeter.
II.  Counter-battery (or CB).  Kill enemy arty.  Much more difficult right now due to the tracer nerf, but this is supposed to be (eventually)fixed.  Arty goes to indirect view and observes areas where enemy arty is suspected.  When a tracer is spotted, fire a round at that location.  Right now the only method is to look for trees/ fences, etc being knocked down and firing on that.
III. High value targets.  Top-tier enemy tanks / TD's.  Pound on them to soften them up or take them out.
XXII.  Last and least.  Arty should not waste rounds shooting at heavily damaged tanks at the other end of the map unless there's nothing more worthy to shoot at.  Why fire a thousand-credit, 1200 damage round at a tier-5 tank with 10 hp?

Most obviously, set up somewhere with concealment and some hard-cover from the direction of the enemy.  
To avoid being CB'd (once tracers are re-enabled), move after each shot.
NEVER fire into a melee.  Target the furball, fine.  But don't fire unless the friendly dies.  Otherwise you're guaranteed to do friendly damage or Team Kill.  HUGE No-no.
If your team is making a push down 1 flank, position yourself at the back of the movement axis (ie if they are moving down the "1" column from the north, you should be set up in A1).  This allows you to move your targeting forward as your team advances without having to reposition your chassis... very important to keep your target reticle tight.

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