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Vive Le Char ARL 44! March 12, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
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4 comments

It is tank of the week time, and this time around I managed to buy one while it was on sale.  World of Tanks this week is focusing on the French tree and have put several of the French tanks on sale for half price.  Unlike the Jagpanther, which I bought the day before it went on sale, or the KV-3, which I grabbed the day after a sale on it ended, I was ready and waiting for this tank.

I had already trained up the BDG G1B up to elite status and was just waiting for such an occasion.  So when the news item went up that some tanks in the French line were half price, I was ready to strike.  I soon had a tank with a barn on top in my garage, the ARL 44.

That is a big turret

That is a big turret

I was able to upgrade to the 90mm gun from the BDR right away, which gave this guy some hitting power.  But any upgrades after that would need some combat time.  I did not have much in the way of free experience sitting around, having dumped most of it into Jagpanther upgrades last week.

I was in luck, as the first few battles I was in, the ARL 44 was at the top of the list.  The big gun let me score a kill and some solid hits on the first battle.  I had already read up a bit on the ARL 44, which has very strong frontal armor, but is quite vulnerable on the flanks.  With this in mind, I used the built up areas of the map… I drew Ensk for my first run… to protect my flanks while punishing my foes.

The new ARL 44 in its first battle

The new ARL 44 in its first battle

Every time I brought the tank out in its stock form, somebody commented about the turret.

The barn again

The barn again

I claimed to have a family of gypsies living in the back of the turret.  I didn’t bother to buy the camo paint at this point.  I wasn’t sure that you could hide something so big.  And since the suspension and tracks couldn’t even support a camo net once I upgraded the gun, I figured I would leave it in the stock blue-ish color.

In a later battle, on Lakeville, I was again in the built-up town section of the map, where I discovered that the ARL 44 was tall enough that, on a gentle slope, I was able to fire over the Tiger that was in front of me.

After an evening of battles, I was able to upgrade the tracks and turret, and decided that, with its gun and frontal armor, the ARL 44 was a keeper.  So on went the camo paint and the official slogan of Les Chars de Combustion.

La Lutte Continue!

La Lutte Continue!

Now to get to the top 90mm gun, which will put holes in just about anything I will end up facing in this tank.

Kill of the Day – The Cliff Diving BDR G1B February 10, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks, YouTube.
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5 comments

The match maker frowned upon us, and put Earl, myself, and Potshot at the bottom of the list on everybody’s favorite map, Dragon Ridge.

Earl, in his Grille, could hang back.  But Potshot and I were rolling in BDR G1Bs and needed to get into the thick of things to make a contribution.

We followed a T29 down one flank, hoping that we could use him as cover to get in our own shots.  However we ended up facing a host of enemies, and things did not end well.

Direct link here.  Best watched in a larger format.  Available up to 720p.

At the 15 second mark you can see my BDR exploding vigorously.

And then what appears to be a Chinese T-34-1 comes around and sends Potshot (who tanks under the nom de guerre 9Ball) to his demise.

The most dramatic death yet for Les Chars de Combustion.  No fire, just lots of water.

World of Tanks – Les Chars de Combustion January 30, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, World of Tanks.
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Last week we came up short in the instance group so spent some time playing World of Tanks as a lark.  Earl downloaded the game and ran around with us in tier I tanks while trying to figure out what was going on.  By the end of the evening, things seemed to be going okay, but I did not detect any enthusiasm for the game.  I figured we might be back to Need for Speed: World as an alternative the next time this situation came up.

The week went by and come Saturday I logged in to WoT and actually saw Earl in game.  I checked his profile and he was just about to hit the 200 game mark.  That would be at least 190 more games since the previous weekend.

For comparison, if I play 100 games in a week, that feels like a lot of tank time.

Earl had clearly been bitten by the tank bug.

Potshot got on as well and we ended up playing off and on Saturday afternoon and evening, right up to start time for the instance group.

At that point, Giz was a bit iffy for the evening, but Jolly seemed interested in the World of Tanks idea.  He has agitated for something more shooter-like for the group now and again.  However, his internet connection is more on par with my own rather than Earl’s fiber optic speed, so his download was going to take a while, which ended up putting him out for the night.

But the three of us pressed on with our Saturday of tanks right into instance group time.

Earl, who had bought some of the gold currency for the game, was keen enough on the whole thing to offer to pay the price for us to form a clan.

Potshot and I had previously discussed this, which followed our usual pattern of about 2 minutes of hastily exploring the actual benefits of forming a clan and several hours of discussing potential names for the clan.  So when Earl said he would set up the clan if we just gave him a name, I had a list at my finger tips.

They were all in French, as Potshot and I had been discussing the whole thing in the context of our run at the French tank line, but there were some amusing ones on the list.  Here are some samples, along with the tag we would get for each. (And a translation in some cases.)

  • Fair Play for Vichy Committee (FPFVC)
  • Les Freres Corses (LFC) –  the Corsican brothers
  • Ou Est Mon Bourbon (OEMB) – Where’s my Bourbon
  • Regardez la-bas (RLB) – Look! Over there!
  • Amerique du Nord Resistance Francaises (ANRF) –  North American French Resistance, plus the tag would be “a nerf!”
  • Le Grand Cerf (LGC) – From a French children’s song
  • Nous Abandonnons (NA) – we give up
  • Je m’abandonne (JMA) – I give up or I surrender
  • Pas de Pays Pour Viellards (PPV) – no country for old men
  • Les Viellards Qui Rit (LVQR) – The laughing old men
  • Les Epaves Qui Rient (LEQR) – The laughing wrecks
  • Les Chevaliers Mauritian – Because nobody is going to miss a Maurice Chevaliers reference

However, I had to use this opportunity to pitch my own favorite, which was:

  • Les Chars de Combustion (LCDC) – The Burning Tanks

That was picked up as our clan name though, due to an error transcribing, we ended up as:

  • Le Chars de Cumbustion (LCDC)

So now we must hang our heads in shame should any Frenchman bother to look up our clan.

LCDCWil

There is an option to pay some more gold to alter your clan name… but that feature is not functional at this time.

LCDCDisabledInBeta

I opened a support ticket about fixing our clan name, but I suspect that will come to naught.

[I got a response to my ticket. They are going to fix the typos! Yay!]

None of which really matters all that much because we got what we really wanted, which was the opportunity to put a clan logo on our tanks.  Potshot found this free image on a site offering free images (that were free):

burn_tank_Clipart_Free

Which we resized and altered to add in the French roundel.

LCDCLogo3

And so we have a burning tank logo on our often burning tanks.  The silhouette even looks vaguely Gallic in shape.  Mission accomplished!

Our Logo on a StuG III

Our Logo on a StuG III

And, that accomplished, we ran off to play. Which lead us to the next problem, which was what tanks should we all drive in order to play matches together without putting some of us at a disadvantage.

There is that whole match making chart to take into consideration.  We swapped around a bit, and ended up with Earl and Potshot in their tier III SP guns (a Wespe and a Lorraine 39) and me in my KV-1, which seemed to be about right to get us into matches where none of us were out of our depth.  When I was teaming up with them in my AMX 40, things were decidedly unpleasant for me. (Is there a “most bounced shots” medal?  A “Pinball Wizard” award?  If there is, I do not know why I didn’t earn it in the AMX 40.)

Later I swapped to my Churchill III because it has a cap on its match making that keeps it in tiers V and VI.  And then Potshot got out his Char B1 to work on that while keeping up the French aspect of our new clan.

And we seemed to do pretty well.  There were a couple of matches where Earl and Potshot were clear factors in the victory, reaching out and smiting all those who exposed themselves while I lumbered around spotting and peppering anybody I could catch with a rain of 6 pounder rounds.

With two of us in lightly gunned heavies, the burden fell on Earl to keep the destruction coming, but he was doing well in the arty role.

As the evening wrapped up, we created our own battle so we could take a group shot.  It is odd that you have to disband your platoon in order to do this.  Ah well.

The Final Trio in the Snow

The Final Trio in the Snow

And then, of course, we shot each other.

Going straight for the weak spot!

Going straight for the weak spot!

We will have to see if tanks remain the game of choice next week.  And if Jolly joins us, it will be back to tier I and II tanks for a while.