First ask yourself: Why am I here? Well if you opened this thread, your probably want more XP in Random Battle. The tips here are pretty simple, and you’ve probably all heard them here in one form or another. Working on proper execution of your handle on game mechanics is the only real way to success, and it takes time. These tips will hopefully help speed up that process.
1] Stay Alive
This seems like a no-brainer, but quite simply it’s one of the best ways to get XP. After playing a bit you will probably get a handle on what situations you can survive and which you cannot, and you will be able to make the conscious decision whether or not to stay with it. However, this will not help if you do not practice your evasive techniques. If a battle looks like it’s going south, RETREAT! Save your tank! You have a gun on it, and that gun doesn’t do much if you’re dead. It may seem easier to jump into a battle, throw out your tank, then swap tanks and run another, but it is not the fastest way to get XP as opposed to just trying to stay in it to win it and surviving if you can.
Quite often what can happen is you get completely shattered at the beginning, losing 80% of your health, etc. The answer here is to MOVE YOUR BUTT TO THE BACK LINE, (and not the red line on the map). If you take another hit you WILL DIE, and furthermore, you WILL be targeted by the sheer fact that people will want kills, and see an easy one in you. You’re not shooting anyone if you’re dead. It’s bad luck to get blasted at the beginning, and with spotting the way it is you cannot always avoid it unless you want to camp. The situation can be handled however, and does not have to be as bad as you think.
If the entire team carries this mentality, they will be left with a pile of DAMAGED tanks. The enemy however will have to make do with a pile of DESTROYED tanks. Guess which one gets the win?
Which brings me to #2:
2] Visibility is everything (Don’t Camp)
OK, let me clarify what I mean by camp: Sitting in one location for long periods of time in the rear line or at the base, waiting for kills to come to you. Proper defense often isn’t so mindless, tanks are specifically positioned near cover objects, and will shift if the team senses the direction an attack may be coming from.
A common camper sits in or near the base in anticipation of an attack, this effect is strongly magnified if there is significant artillery opposition on the other team because, let’s face it nobody wants to get slammed by artillery. Theoretically this should provide an advantage to the defenders, but it quite often doesn’t, and here’s why.
If you camp in a small proximity, especially within 50-200m of your own team’s artillery you put everybody at risk. The attacking force will reveal many targets almost simultaneously, and enemy artillery (as well as supporting attacker tanks) will tear you apart. Proper defense involves spacing tanks so they can contribute firepower to spotted targets while not being lit up as a group. Defense is a compromise move, the closer the tanks are together, the more easily they can contribute firepower. Conversely, the more of a target they make. Because of the nature of random teams there’s unfortunately not a whole awful lot you can do if they decide to clump up in the base. If you have a platoon leading the way down a flank it might convince them, but it’s not reliable.
Visibility (to give an example) is extremely important in covered areas, such as the Murovanka forest. Solo or even platoon incursions into the forest are often killed fairly easily, and rightly so. The Murovanka forest is one of the hardest assaults in random batttles, simply because the defenders naturally disperse, and have to be revealed piecemeal. Attacking a forested area especially requires enough tanks to reveal targets, survive the wave of fire, and return fire for kills. Often this will require a forced coordination of more people than you can fit in a platoon, and most people are loathe to jump into a situation and get shot. Be polite, it gets better results.
3] Reinforcements are a force multiplier
Pit a KT against a KT of fairly equal skill and you’ll end up with one dead KT and one seriously hurting one. You’ve effectively traded tanks and that is not how you get ahead.
Pit 3 KT’s against the same KT and not only will the first one be dead, but the 3 tanks on the other team won’t have split 1KT worth of damage between them, they’d have only taken a third. Since the first guy isn’t alive long enough to fire much, this has maximized the damage difference caused between teams. Team B now probably has 3 perfectly function KT’s left with minor damages, and they’ve removed a gun from the fight.
What does this mean for you in a random battle? Well quite simply it means that you don’t want to be caught alone. Not only will you die quickly, but you likely won’t be able to get any kills or much damage. Stick with your team, even if you don’t know the guys it gives you someone who can take a bullet for you. Your job is to stay alive, and if you can do it by hiding behind other mooks and still get your shots off there’s no shame in that. Occasionally though, you’ll probably need to take the head, and for that we go to #6.
ADDENDUM: If you’re playing in platoon, it’s in your best interest to keep your tiers matched or closely so. This may result in games where you are all at the top of the list and it is generally irresponsible to all fight in the same area. Additionally, since most enemy targets are smaller than you, you will probably want to split to at least some degree to maximize your individual XP and credit takes.
4] The Gun Does The Work
With exception for scouting/capping, right now in random battle what mainly does the work is your gun. Quite simple, the more guys you shoot the more XP you get. Most people with high XP figures are there because they regularly deal 100%-200% their tank’s HP worth in damage. In order to regularly do this you obviously need to hit the target and have good shot placement on target. Certain tanks therefore make the best XP generators, at least in my eyes.
Tier 7/8 tanks I often find are the best XP generators simply because they carry hard-hitting guns, can still benefit from the tier differential bonus in hitting 9’s and 10’s, often don’t get thrown into super overkill battles, and the t6-t7 gap can be quite significant. Medium tanks often work best for me, because they function well to reposition their gun to where it is needed. Tanks of this tier are also fairly handy at generating cash, (German and American 105’s exempted) which is an added plus if you don’t have (or don’t like) running a premium tank.
Weak spots in most lines are Tier 3, 4, and 6. T5 tanks often have decent gun selection, and do not find themselves in very hard battles. Tier 6 however can find themselves up against much worse odds, often with not much of a better gun. Landing shots however is entirely up to you, and comes down entirely to how well you can lead moving targets, shoot through cover (which often blocks your view of the terrain the target is traversing), and hit weak areas on tanks. Also, you should pretty much ALWAYS be using AP unless you know you can’t penetrate (and if you can’t, figure out a way to if at all possible). It saddens me every time I see an E-75 throwing 175 damage hits on an IS-4 because he’s afraid to lob AP.
Because you and your team get a bonus for all damage done to the enemy team, quick base captures rarely grant a lot of XP. It’s almost always better to secure the win than to lose, but if you can bag a few more kills without compromising the entire team you’ll be better off for it.
5] Cut Your Losses
You can’t win every game, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try but sometimes you just can’t. If you look like you’re about to use, by all means attempt to rally the team, go for a last ditch effort if you think it can help you. Towards the end of the game you need to be able to decide whether or not the game is winnable, and how that will influence your course of action.
If you can place a shot or two more on targets, that will raise your XP take and you will have to decide whether the bonuses for doing so are worth the hit to your repair bill (or survival stats if you care about that). Chasing a tank when there’s a bunch of heavy artillery still on their team probably isn’t going to net you anything, simply because you’ll be wrecked by the SPG’s.
If you’re getting capped out, NOBODY is at the base, and there’s no chance you can win, find the biggest target and throw some damage at it. Running back to base isn’t going to save you or anybody in this case, so you might as well get your points. The only real problem with this is when you mispredict your defeat, and cause it by doing so.
6] PLATOON WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This is the single best thing you can do to improve your win rates (and to that effect your XP rate). It also makes the game significantly more fun. If you’re not playing your random battles in platoons, suffice to say you’re doing it wrong.
An increased ability to stay alive, via teammates you can rely on (1)
An ability to force a push or inspire teammates
A force multiplier in engagements (3)
A variety of specializations, or the strongly increased effectiveness of a single one (Scout+2SPG, Medium Wolfpack, etc)
What a platoon’s best strength is is not to “stack” one team with 3 superior players. Although this does help, the strength of the platoon comes from the platoon’s increased ability to communicate, and stronger ability to focus fire and cover each other.
The best platoon you can play with is the one you can have FUN playing with and co-op actions effectively. Platoon is significantly less useful when all members are not on the same page with each other. The best platoon partners for you may not be the best players you know, but the best *teamplayers* you know. I could give less of a damn about a platoon member’s hit rate if they consistently run off and do their own thing.
To that effect it might make sense to set up someone in “command” of the platoon if that works for you. Rotate the command, so everyone can direct and be directed, it will help the situational awareness and problem solving capabilities of all the tankers involved. Find what works for you. We usually stick to just advising each other, keeping in proximity and assisting where necessary so we can all win the game and maximize our own credit/xp take. The “Command” option may be efficient, but is less flexible than traditional platoon play and may not respond as fast to changing conditions.
Platoons are most effective in full 3 form, but that’s not to say a platoon of 2 is not significantly more effective than a lone player. With free players now being able to set up their own platoon of 2 there is no reason not to. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.