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Angling 101 - A Graphic Guide


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johndd1 #1 Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:54 PM

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New players often ask about angling. What is angling? How does it work? When should I do it and when should I not?


 

A variety of excellent guides on angling have already been produced by the WoT community, and I hope not to reproduce much of their work in this thread. I’ll include links to those guides in the appropriate section of this post and encourage anyone who wants to learn more to do some additional searching of their own.


 

My intent here is to provide a graphic 101-level course on angling your tank. This course is not meant to be exhaustive nor is it authoritative. It is simply designed to give a new/inexperienced tanker a quick reference guide to using angles to your advantage. A quick disclaimer: Any math or numbers in this guide are used only to demonstrate concepts, NOT necessarily known game facts or figures.


 

So, what is angling? The quick answer is: Rotating your tanks hull and/or turret in order to increase your armors angle of incidence relative to the incoming shell. Or, more simply, Angling allows you to increase the effective thickness of your tanks armor. How? See Figure 1.

Angles.jpg

In figure 1, we have two equal sized rectangles as seen from a top-down view. The yellow rectangle represents your armor and the orange rectangle represents your armor angled at 45 degrees relative to the enemy’s gun. Both rectangles are exactly 75mm in thickness. Now look at the red and blue lines. These lines represent the direction of travel of an enemy shell (from right to left). The red line needs to penetrate 75mm of armor in order to damage your tank (the yellow rectangle, remember, is 75mm thick). Notice, however, how much more of the orange rectangle the blue line has to travel through. In this example, approximately 25mm more! Even though the orange rectangle is the same thickness as the yellow, by simply increasing the angle of incidence, you’ve increased the EFFECTIVE ARMOR of your tank from 75mm to 100m.


 

So, how do you apply this knowledge on the digital battlefield? See figure 2.

Angles2.jpg

In figure 2, we have a building between three friendly (blue) tanks and two enemies (red). The driver of tank 1 knows his tank has good frontal armor, but his side armor is relatively weak. He has elected to engage the enemy tank from this angled position behind the building. Notice how he has pulled forward from the back of the building, yet carefully kept his front right tracks out of enemy line of fire. From this position, the enemy cannot engage blue 1’s weak side armor or tracks and must only fire at blue 1’s angled hull armor or his turret. I often refer to this as a "Battle Position" because it provides solid cover to pull back into while reloading, and limits the enemy’s ability to engage you effectively. A battle position allows you to indefinitely engage the enemy on your terms until the battle focus shifts to another part of the map.


 

Blue 2 is also in a Battle Position. However, his tank has several weak spots on its front hull that he would like to protect. He also knows his side armor is relatively strong. So, unlike blue 1, he has elected to BACK out from his cover at an appropriate angle. The enemy cannot engage his frontal weak spots from this position, and must only fire at his highly angled side armor or turret. Like blue 1, blue 2 can pull forward to get behind the building between shots.


 

Blue 3, however, is in a little pickle. His buddies have taken battle positions behind the building, and there is no room for him. Blue 3 decides he is going to engage the enemy tank while using Blue 2 as his cover. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, blue 3 needs to ensure he keeps a couple of things in mind. First, he needs to leave plenty of room between himself and blue 2. Never risk blocking your teammate. Never bump into your teammate. Bumping into blue 2 will disrupt his aim, and possibly push his weak spot out of cover. Always give the right of way to the friendly tank in front of you. If he begins to back up, you MUST get out of his way. Finally, blue 3 MUST continue to angle his tank as if blue 2 didn’t exist. This is because blue 2 is only providing unreliable, temporary cover for blue 3. If 2 moves, blue 3 could find himself square in the path of enemy fire. For this reason, 3 must still angle his tank while behind 2. I often refer to blue 3’s position as a "fighting position". He is in a position to engage the enemy, but he has temporary or unreliable cover. A fighting position should be used only temporarily until you can locate a battle position.


 

A competent tanker will know where the typical battle positions are for each map, and will always attempt to use them. A competent tanker identifies his next battle position prior to moving, and moves from one to another. He also has an idea of where his fighting position will be should he get caught moving between battle positions. A competent tanker checks the mini map often, and a REALLY competent tanker can tell you where every spotted enemy tank, and every friendly tank, is located at any given time. In short, a competent tanker is always evaluating his situation, the enemy’s situation and is thinking about his AND the enemy’s next move. Finally, the competent tanker angles his tank, all the time, every time.


 

It is important to remember, angling your tank helps regardless of where the enemy fire is coming from. See figure 3.

Angles3.jpg


 

In figure 3, an enemy tank has flanked us and is now preparing to attack us from the rear. Our rear armor is weak, and the engine, gas tanks and other vulnerable modules are located there. We must deal with this guy, now. Many inexperienced tankers will panic, and attempt to immediately turn around to face this new threat. This is a mistake. By trying to turn around, you expose your flat, unangled side armor to not only the enemy behind you, but also to those enemy tanks to your front. Finally, once the turn is complete, you’ve now exposed your rear to the enemies who had previously been to your front! In figure 3, our tanker does not panic. He immediately angles his armor, with the engine facing in the direction of the nearest cover, and begins to back up into that cover. The idea here is to get out of the enemy line of fire as soon as possible before attempting to turn around. Don’t panic, maintain situational awareness, and use your head.


 

Now I’m going to demonstrate a rather advanced form of angling that I do not recommend you attempt until you firmly get the basics down. In the previous angle demonstrations, you more or less establish your angle early, and make some minor adjustments as the engagement progresses. They are, more or less, static forms of angling. In figure 4, I’m going to show you a much more active form of angling. I call it dynamic angling. Dynamic angling is extremely risky, and is therefore extremely situational. You should only attempt it when you are sure you will only be engaged by a single enemy tank. You should also have enough experience to have a good idea about how long it’ll take for your enemy to reload. And, finally, you should only attempt it when you have developed solid instincts regarding the skill level of opposing players on a tank-to-tank basis. However, when used in the correct circumstances (which are rare) it is an excellent tool to have in your skillset.


 

Dynamic angling involves continuing to rotate your tank well past the typical 25-40 degree mark you might normally use. In some cases, I’ve successfully dynamically angled as far as perhaps 60-70 degrees. It is best used when in a very close range engagement with a lone enemy tanker who has shown to be DETERMINED to shoot a weak spot on the front of your tank. Let me walk you through figure 4.

Angles4.jpg


 

In step 1, I begin to angle my tank as normal. As I rotate my tank clockwise, I immediately notice the enemy tank gun begins to rotate counterclockwise. Why? Because he is zoomed-in on a frontal weak spot, and as my tank rotates, my weak spot moves from right to left in his gun sight. He must, therefore, rotate his turret to his left in order to keep my weak spot in his sight. In step 2, I simply continue to rotate my tank as long as his gun continues to rotate in the opposite direction. As long as he is determined to shoot at my frontal weak spot, I continue to rotate my tank. Now, one of two things will happen: He will either shoot at my weak spot, which is now virtually guaranteed to be a bounce at such extreme angle, or he will realize he cannot pen me, and will try to shoot my side. If he tries to shoot my side, I’ll see his turret/gun rotate in the opposite direction as previously, and immediately begin to reduce my angle back to a more traditional angle, as seen in step 3. Here is where things get tricky, because as you see in step 4, if you do not react quickly enough to the enemy’s change of mind, your almost flat side armor is vulnerable to penetration. As you can see, you must have excellent awareness, instincts and hand-eye coordination in order to pull off a successful dynamic angle. However, I am able to use it from time to time. In the right situation, against the right enemy, it is an extremely good tool to have available for you to use.


 

I was going to write up a success story regarding my most recent game-winning use of dynamic angling, but the post started to get too long. If you want to hear a detailed example of how/when to use this, let me know and I’ll post it.


 

So, today I have described how to increase the effective thickness of your tanks armor through angling. I have demonstrated how to use angling in a couple of typical WoT battlefield scenarios. And I have also shown you a more advanced, and dangerous, form of angling for you to work on once you build up your level of knowledge, experience and instincts.

I hope you learned something. If you have any questions or comments, please post below and I’ll be happy to try to answer them. Good luck out there!

07


 EDIT: Pictures didn't come put as good as I'd hoped. I'll try to work on that


Edited by johndd1, 18 December 2014 - 12:18 AM.

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Unitater #2 Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:59 PM

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Long guide. Good work. Plus 1

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johndd1 #3 Posted 01 November 2014 - 04:27 PM

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Thanks. Really should be in the guides and tutorial section, but I can't post there 

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johandelange #4 Posted 01 November 2014 - 04:31 PM

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Bumped up :)

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_Ax_ #5 Posted 01 November 2014 - 04:49 PM

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Great guide, especially on dynamic angling.  Thanks for the time you took in posting.


ghostbustr #6 Posted 01 November 2014 - 05:05 PM

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That really helped cuz my pershings armor sucks sometimes!!

johndd1 #7 Posted 01 November 2014 - 05:30 PM

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View Postghostbustr, on 01 November 2014 - 01:05 PM, said:

That really helped cuz my pershings armor sucks sometimes!!

 

while I'll never tell a tanker NOT to use angles, for a medium tank like the Pershing, using hull down battle positions, fire and maneuver tactics should always be your first thought. In short, if you're RELYING on angles in a medium tank, things could get bad for you quickly

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Braehead62 #8 Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:01 AM

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Superb post. Thanks! Should be pinned!


Looney999 #9 Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:45 PM

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+1

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johndd1 #10 Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:30 PM

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Thanks all. Hope it was helpful

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HisMaj #11 Posted 03 November 2014 - 09:46 PM

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great guide. +1!

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dementian #12 Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:44 PM

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Excellent guide! 


Lephturn #13 Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:21 PM

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Great explanation. Great additional content mentioned as well. This all works very well for German box tanks like the Tiger.

 

This gets really tricky driving a pike nose tank like my IS-3. It means in fighting positions (no good cover) I am usually better off facing head-on, especially if I can hide my lower plate with anything. It also means that when working a corner I need to be very careful not to give the enemy a shot at one of my front upper hull plates at too flat of an angle. That usually means reverse side scraping. Very powerful in both the IS-3 and especially the KV line. If you have a KV-5 it is essential due to the huge R2D2 weak spot on the right front.


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1991Syclone #14 Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:46 PM

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Awesome post, thank you.

johndd1 #15 Posted 07 November 2014 - 06:30 PM

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View PostLephturn, on 07 November 2014 - 10:21 AM, said:

Great explanation. Great additional content mentioned as well. This all works very well for German box tanks like the Tiger.

 

This gets really tricky driving a pike nose tank like my IS-3. It means in fighting positions (no good cover) I am usually better off facing head-on, especially if I can hide my lower plate with anything. It also means that when working a corner I need to be very careful not to give the enemy a shot at one of my front upper hull plates at too flat of an angle. That usually means reverse side scraping. Very powerful in both the IS-3 and especially the KV line. If you have a KV-5 it is essential due to the huge R2D2 weak spot on the right front.

All good additional points. Thanks. +1 to you.

I would add, however, that penning the pike nosed tanks from the front has never really been an issue for me. So when driving them, I actually DO angle them, but angle them with the intent of baiting a bounce off the side armor which is typically pretty good on those tanks.


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SkiFletch #16 Posted 10 November 2014 - 05:57 AM

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Reccomended angles for front and side armor of varoius tanks would be even better.  though this guide is very informative as-is.


Panbun #17 Posted 10 November 2014 - 08:14 AM

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That's an awesome guide. +1

 

Now if only more players checked the forums and learnt how to angle ans side-scrape. :justwait:



johndd1 #18 Posted 10 November 2014 - 04:19 PM

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View PostSkiFletch, on 10 November 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

Reccomended angles for front and side armor of varoius tanks would be even better.  though this guide is very informative as-is.

 

This would be tough for two reasons:

1- how much you angle greatly depends on what tank is shooting at you and what gun they are using

2- ive really never paid that much attention to it

 

As a general rule, if my gun barrel is above the front corner of my tank, i feel that is a pretty good angle....plus or minus a few degrees


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Principe_2014 #19 Posted 12 November 2014 - 03:52 PM

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Playing as the E75, though I angle as well as I can (gun over left or right corner) I notice I get penned by a lot of people, especially M103s and IS-8s. I don't like getting scared of being penetrated when angled in one of the best Tier 9s with the best armor of any heavy in its tier. 

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Lephturn #20 Posted 12 November 2014 - 04:20 PM

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I have taken to wiggling in the IS line with the piked nose and it seems to work well in other tanks. I'm angling, but changing the angle, just a bit, constantly and wiggling the turret a little to make it very tough for my enemies to hit a weak spot. It's especially important for the IS-3 as just going head-on seems to get me killed. I think most folks just load the gold and smoke me if I stay head on.

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