It is looking like World of Tanks week here, isn’t it? Ah well, I have a different topic set for tomorrow. But until then, it is still tanks.
And, in this case, it is about Potshot and I and our French tank plan, tentatively referred to as the French Resistance, which began to unfold last night.
After exchanging a few email messages during the day, we managed to get online at the same time and at a reasonable hour. We go into a platoon, which always takes me a minute to figure out, got the built-in voice working, and got into our respective vehicles.
I, of course, was back in the AMX 40, the tank I moaned about in some detail yesterday. Thank you to everybody who commented yesterday. There was a lot of good data in there, along with condolences about my vehicle choice. With the AMX 40 it is “La lutte continue” indeed!
If I appear to have ignored your advice, it might be because a few of the comments came in after we were already playing. Or, I might have ignored it.
I did drop the upgraded turret and gun in order to lighten the tank up a bit. I also loaded up 20 rounds of the APCR ammo for the 47mm gun, at 800 credits a round, so if I did have to break cover and shoot I would have a fair chance of inflicting some damage.
Meanwhile Potshot, after some consideration, opted for the self-propelled gun line on the French tree, which he had also been working on along with the tank destroyer line. So he was in the tier III Lorraine39 L AM, another one of those SPGs that look like it was made with extra parts at the tank factory.
Of course, that describes a lot of the French tank line as well.
And so we entered our first match as the French Resistance. And we won.
In fact, we went on to be on the winning side five times in a row before losing one and then winning another, giving us six wins in seven outings. Victory was ours.
Now the question is, did we do anything to influence those results, or did we just get lucky?
Some of our wins saw us at the top of the heap on the list.
That is a lot of platoons on one side. But the other side was equally we staffed by platoons.
We also had wins where we were very low on the totem pole as well.
It was about split on where we stood in the line up. And that shot above is actually from our one loss, but represents about how things looked when we got tossed in with the tier VI tanks. That loss happened on an encounter battle on the Sigfried Line map where our side just got swamped.
On the first match I think we actually did make a difference in the battle. Well, I know Potshot did, as he got his “Ace Tanker” mastery badge on that round. It was an encounter match on the El Halluf map, which is currently my favorite map/battle combo, and Potshot was dropping shells on everybody.
I got out there and tried doing the passive scout thing that I had read about previously. I got a decent overwatch on the cap where the push-pull battle tends to develop. Once the initial round of casualties fell, I started taking shots at reds who exposed themselves with my expensive ammo, a performance that earned me a second class mastery badge. I was particularly proud of getting a big hit when their arty peeked over a hill to find targets.
As the match built and we wore down the other team, I was close enough in to join the push on the cap so we could force the remainders to come out and defend.
That did draw the other side out and we were able to chop them up as they came at us one at a time. I was down at the cap and Potshot was up on the ridge dropping shells on them.
However, in looking at the match results, while Potshot scored by dropping death on unsuspecting tankers, my own score came mostly from expending 15 of my 20 APCR rounds. Very little of it came from spotting or hostiles getting hit after I spotted them. Scouting fail. Plus the round cost me more in ammo than I earned from it. Economic fail. At least I had no repair costs.
And it was a lot of fun, and maybe one of the best matches I have been in for a while. It was, by no means, one of those matches where you could see who was going to win two minutes into things. The other side exposing their arty, which got killed off quickly as soon as they were spotted, is what turned the tide for us.
It was a bit difficult to communicate during the battle. The built-in voice was clear, which we have come to expect from Vivox, who provides the voice software. but “push to talk” does require a bit of effort, even if it just means holding down the Q key. That might make Skype a better alternative for us. I think we can stand being always broadcasting, since that is the way we play every Saturday night.
The only problem I could detect with the built-in voice was a pause between when one pressed the Q key and when it would actually start transmitting your voice. This would lead to the first word in your transmission being cut off unless you hit the key, waited a moment, and then began to speak.
Success lead to success. By our third match, which was also an encounter battle on El Halluf, I had spent the gold to apply camo paint to the AMX 40 for that extra bit of concealment. We won again, though I took some hits this time around.
We also appeared to make a serious impact on the match that time around.
But other times things went on without us. Or without me. There was that match on the Abbey map where I was blown up during the clash of scouts in under two minutes probably less than 200 yards from my start point.
That first rush leaked through and Potshot got the chop as well.
However, that initial wave hit our main force and got torn apart and, like a failed Zerg rush, left the other side unable to withstand our counter attack. So I guess it getting in a few good hits, I contributed to victory. But it was pretty minimal.
We had a similar run on the Dragon Ridge map. We didn’t die quite that early, but the match was won in the end by other players while our own vehicles were burning wrecks.
So in our six matches, there were probably three where we made a significant impact on the battle… or at least Potshot did… and three where we did not, including the one loss. And it seems likely that the matchmaker, the over arching source of luck in the game, had more influence than both of us combined.
Anyway, we will continue down this path. Potshot is on track for the next French SP gun, the AMX 105AM, for which I have built a healthy respect/fear over the course of time. There is nothing like having a broken track out in the open when one of those is raining down on you.
Meanwhile, the challenge of the AMX 40 is not to be despised. I am still not playing it right, but I do not appear to be playing it as badly as I started, at least when trying to spot for Potshot.
If the French light line becomes too onerous, I can always swap out to another nation. And, by the time I get home, that will include China, as the 8.3 patch drops today on the North American server.