The Theory of The Crossfire
The crossfire is a tactic often unseen in World of Tanks Blitz, yet is crucial for a coordinated team’s victory. While varied locations of the green team is likely due to poor knowledge of maps, crossfiring isn’t simply spreading out a team. I’ll explain more later. Anyway, when an alert player recognizes a crossfire/poor position, they act in due process. The key point here is ‘good player’. The average player of blitz is rather bad (48% win-rate). They will make bad decisions, do dumb tactics, et cetera. These players are unlikely to recognize a crossfire and counter it/fall back accordingly. I can’t say that they will die with terror on their faces, mainly because they have no idea what is happening. How about just assume they are scared?
Fortunately for said noobs, crossfires don’t occur often. They are rare, or more commonly, poorly executed because the average player, as I said, is pretty bad. Pubbies are unlikely to apply this tactic well. This tactic will likely only work to its potential with you and a platoon mate.
“I only run solo” or “I rarely platoon.” Okay, I’m not here to criticize how you play. If you prefer to run solo, then do as you please. But how will you bring the essential crossfire to your team? You don’t have a mate to assist you with carrying your pubbie team, rather you must work with a unaware teammate. Usually, their ‘duels’ will consist of shot-trading. How about instead of being 10 meters to their left, go to a location that will create a crossfire without communication with your teammate. Spread out. This isn’t as effective as a platoon, but it still creates a crossfire, which is much better than the lack thereof.
“Well, if only 2 players can do a crossfire successfully, why did you write a guide?” Seeing as clan wars are probably in the not to distant future, with training rooms likely to be sooner, I thought that a guide on an essential strategy to teamwork should be published so everyone can at least gain a few basic ‘team’ tactics for their clan’s hopeful success. Most good players likely know what I’m talking about, and you see many of them do it regularly.
We all see those people on Castilla near the capture zone, and behind the rocks on Black Goldville. Those players are generally on the higher end of the skill level, because they realize, whether through knowledge or instinct, that the spot creates a crossfire that harasses the enemy team and creates opportunities for their team to succeed. Plus slaughtering pubbies’ sides is quite fun.
Sorry for that text wall. We all need a little reading anyway. You’re welcome.
Active Crossfire- A crossfire in which all involved allied tanks are firing at an enemy(s)
Baiting- trying to get an enemy tank to charge a low health/low tier (any tank really) and expose his side/back to the rest of the team. See passive crossfire.
Crossfire- the practice of spreading out tanks to combat an enemy, forcing turret-turning and increasing chances of a weak-spot appearing.
Crossfiring off a teammate- Using a teammate as a part of the crossfire. Usually the said player is a pubbie and will simply shoot at the enemy. Attack that enemy from a different location to create a crossfire.
Engagement- small conflict not necessarily involving the entirety of both teams.
Focus-firing (ff)- the practice of a team focusing out an important tank, or a skilled player. See link below.
Passive Crossfire- One or more (latter not recommended) tanks that refrain from firing in a crossfire, and act as bait for an enemy (possibly low health or bottom tier) as to expose that such enemy to other teammate’s guns.
RPM- rounds per minute.
Sidescraping- angling off a building/rock/whatever is convenient as to bait the enemy into bouncing your angled side. See below.
- I suggest platooning with a competent mate for complete effectiveness. Hopefully they will have read this or understand it already. Two tanks crossfiring is better than one tank shooting or one tank crossfiring off a teammate.
- An underline under something like tank A, or tank 3 implies to look at the correlated image for reference.
- If you have any questions, please ask on the comments, I will try to respond with what I know.
The key to a successful crossfire is the spacing between friendly tanks. Tell me, which is better, photo A, or photo B?
I would say B, don’t you? The red tank has to turn his tank/turret more to switch between the green targets, who can wait for the red tank to look the other way, pop out, and shoot. With image A, the enemy can more easily manage the situation because his turret has to turn less to counter both enemies.
The more spread out a team is that is engaging in a crossfire, the more likely a shot will penetrate. See the photos below.
Notice how tank B has side shots on the red tank? Tank A doesn’t necessarily need to be out in the open, it can be behind a rock/building/whatever. What if the red tank turns to attack tank B, like below?
Well, now tank A has side shots on the red tank! But what if the enemy tank tries to play it ‘smart’ and turn his turret and not his hull, like so…
Actually, this is an incredibly bad move! Now, both tanks can see weak spots. Tank A has the turret side to shoot at, and tank B has the side of the red tank. This means your crossfire is likely to be incredibly effective!
Assuming all tanks pictured above fire 7 rpm, the green tanks will take 7 rpm, while the red tank will receive 14 rpm! More damage is going into the red team. This brings up an important point, which will be discussed in the next section.
TL;DR- Space out your tanks for a more effective crossfire.
This section is quick and simple. Honestly, it’s rather logical. More tanks crossfiring > less tanks crossfiring. See the images, A and B. Which is the best crossfire?
I would say image B has the best green crossfire. For explanation purposes, we'll say each tank has 7 rpm. That would mean that the green tanks are putting 21 rpm while the red tanks are… wait! Look at that! Red 1 & red 2 are setting a crossfire on green A! Green A takes 14 rpm, while red 2 takes none! This is in essence a one for one trade because of crossfiring. While 1 for 1s aren't great, the theory of a crossfire is shown well here. What can green do now?
Now green B & green C have a crossfire on red 2. Remember how green had three tanks in this engagement, with red only having two? Green was able to trade effectively because they focus fired in a crossfire and sustained tanks. More tanks does not necessarily guarantee a engagement victory, but it generally increases the chances of a win.
More tanks in a particular engagement generally implies a quicker small victory. Three tanks putting out 7 rpm for a total of 21 rpm, does more than two tanks with 7 rpm for a total of 14 rpm.
TL;DR- More tanks in a crossfire = good.
Crossfiring Off a Teammate
After reading through the guide, I realized I mentioned 'crossfiring off a teammate' in the dictionary, but never discussed it. While some people probably understand what I meant by that, I believe that a section is needed to explain.
This is mainly a tactic for solo players. Without a regular platoon mate to spread out and create a crossfire, you must create a crossfire by yourself. But you can't get your team to move to a good position. So what do you do? Let's look below. Assume Green A is your tank, and Green B is one of your teammates.
The position doesn't look bad for the green team. It's two versus 1. But what if you are both low health? What should they do to prevent tank 1 from simply bullying you two?
Your teammate (tank B) isn't likely to move any time soon. He will continue with his peek-a-boom strategy, trading shots with tank 1. How about you move to a position like the one [you] are in? That way, tank 1 is forced to turn his turret more to deal with both of you.
This is pretty much what crossfiring off a teammate is: using your team to crossfire. Pretty simple.
Some tanks are more perceptible to an effective crossfire. TDs are almost unanimously weak against a crossfire (there are exceptions), as they have only one traverse value (generally low as well), while normal tanks have two. But sometimes, a normal tank has low traverse values, even when combined. Matildas, Mauses, E-100s, etc. Their slow traverses make a crossfire incredibly effective, as often they can’t handle 2+ tanks at once playing a skilled crossfire. But why target those big slow tanks? Possibly because of their devilish guns. I sure wouldn't like to get hit by a 650-damage E-100 shell. So I get rid of the E-100 so it doesn't happen.
On the other hand, one could argue that a medium should be handled immediately when engaging in a multiple-enemy crossfire. They can move their turret the fastest and deal with many targets better than the others. I personally believe that TDs and heavies should be taken out first, but if you (and your platoon mate/team) feel that meds are a priority, then by all means, take them out.
As always, good players should be taken out quickly, as they are likely to be carrying their team.
Another point of notice is a player in a good spot/position Look below.
I know this image is probably quite confusing. Hopefully you can understand.
Which tank, from green’s perspective, should be crossfired upon? I would say red 3. He is in an advantageous position, and can sidescrape against tank C. I would recommend red 3 be taken out asap, with red 2 to follow.
What about red’s view? Admittedly, I didn’t set this image up for red to be in a good spot, but there is crossfiring opportunities everywhere, right? In this image, not really. Red is in a generally bad spot, which, while winnable, is mainly going to be individual duels. Red 2 and red 3 could crossfire green 1, but it would probably leave green C to shoot red 1 or the back of red 2. Alternatively, red 2 and red 3 could push, with red 1 preventing green A from helping, et cetera… All up to [you].
What about this image?
In case you aren’t aware of my magnificent drawing ability, red 2 is a TD. With that assumption, plus what I said earlier, I would suggest crossfiring red 2 with green B,C, and D. Slight problem with green B, however. Assuming red 2 is a good armored TD, like an E3 or Jageru, frontally assaulting it is probably a bad idea. So what can green B do to contribute? Read on!
TL;DR- Prioritize specific tanks depending on the situation.
Active and Passive Crossfires
This small action that can be seen in a crossfire is actually incredibly common in game. See image below.
See these two images for active and passive crossfires.
Well, if you read through all of that, a big 'thank you' from me. The guide took a lot of work, and while I'm sure I missed a couple things, I believe that the main points were covered. If properly applied, this should make you a better player through simply working with your team. As I mentioned, this is a valuable strategy in Clan Wars, but is irregardless important for success at all tiers in pub matches. It simply makes stomping puppies easier. And, in my opinion, more fun.
If you'd like to have me continue to make similar guides to this, please answer my poll with that opinion. I did not provide a 'no' category, and instead a 'change it' category- I don't intend to stop making similar guides. If you are going to select said option, please comment with your opinions. This is a written guide, and I don't believe shortening it would have the effect I desire, however I will try to make less text walls in the future.
Good luck, and ohseven.