WoT Corner; Basic Platoon Guide

WoT Corner; Basic Platoon Guide

This week in WoT Corner we’ll lay out a basic platoon guide from creating a platoon to some gameplay advice.  The solo player grind is oft times a long, lonely, slog.  One of the best ways to improve your solitary World of Tanks experience is playing in platoons.  A platoon allows two to three tanks to work together; greatly increasing your combat power.  The benefit is twofold, play the game with friends which is always a plus, and more importantly enjoy a much more effective brand of teamwork from the standard public match with 15 strangers.  Even more significantly you take a bit of the random out of the random format, three of the players are known quantities.

There’re a few ways to make platoons.  One way is the relatively new dynamic platoon option.  Dynamic platooning allows you to invite other players during a match to join you in a platoon.  Dynamic platoons tend to only last through the match, I’ve rarely seen them go on to another match together as they’re typically made to complete missions and people then move on.  Still, it can be a good way to find platoon mates.  Another disadvantage is you’ll rely on in game comms (which are terrible) or nothing more than chat unless you can get into a communication channel like TeamSpeak.  That being said I’ve found quite a few people I now routinely platoon with in this manner.

Another way is to invite people from your friends list in the garage.  There is a selection to send an invite to all the friends online at the moment and that is a great way to gin up a platoon quickly.  Of course, there’s an option to selectively invite as well if you don’t want the all call to go out.  If you do spam out the mass invite, realize you may have all kinds of skill levels in your friends list, more on that later.

Probably the most common way is to work with your clan, typically using TeamSpeak or some other communication software to coordinate and create platoons.  Platooning is one of the greatest benefits of clans.  Most clans have a “platoon ready” room where you can find a platoon mate or two.  Of course, many players have regular friends they always platoon with.  You want to go where people know your name!  The game can be very enjoyable in a platoon, and doing it with people you actually like is even better.

Now that you know how to make a platoon, what should a platoon consist of?

You might be saying to yourself that’s a dumb question, because a platoon consists of two or three players, and that’s true.  But that begs the question of exactly what kind of skill, tanks and tiers should you platoon with?

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Things go better with friends.

We’ll start with player skill.  As a general rule, platoon with people of a similar skill or better (depending somewhat on your skill).  This discussion will touch on elitist aspects of the game, it’s not intended to offend, so bear with me.  If you’re not very good, it’s a bad idea to platoon with players of a similar skill or worse.  For one thing, it ensures your team has three bad players on it.  More importantly, you’ll learn little in this manner.  Strive to platoon with better players as much as possible, learn from them.  I’ll not get into the various numbers too deeply, I think for the most part people understand their relative skill levels.  Very good players can more effectively platoon with lower skill players especially if they are instructing and helping them.  Obviously have fun and platoon with friends when you want but keep in mind your effectiveness has consequences for the teams you’re matched with.

Skill level aside, what about tank and tier composition?

Let’s address the “fail toon” first.  The fail platoon is a grouping of tanks with significantly different battle tiers.  I avoid saying it’s just tier as the battle tier is what matters.  In general, selected tanks should be the same tier to avoid dragging lower tier tanks up to battles they’d not normally see.  For example, don’t platoon a tier 1 with a tier 5.  There’re exceptions such as preferred match making tanks which only see one tier above.  A tier 8, IS-6 can platoon with a tier 7 heavy because the highest tier a 7 can see is 9, and because the IS-6 is preferred, it too only sees tier 9.  Of course, this platoon will never see tier 5 battles, which the tier 7 could do alone, or with other tier 7s.  In general I don’t recommend this kind of thing.  It’s best to platoon with the same tier/battle tiers.  Scouts are another exception, scouts can platoon with tanks one tier above with no issues because they are +3 match making.  For example a tier 8 scout can happily platoon with a tier 9.

Now that we’ve an idea what skills and tiers to use; what kinds of tanks should platoon?

Try to platoon tanks that will complement each other.  In general, you should platoon the same class of tanks, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.  While running a fast heavy for example you could platoon with a couple mediums and still work well together.  Some of the assault type TDs can easily work with heavies.  Essentially, similar speed and play styles are the best bet.

A platoon is more effective than a solo tank because it allows three guns and tanks to work closely together, which means you’ll want tanks that can move together and have similar capabilities.  The platoon is best when creating a synergy that’s much larger than the sum of the three tanks.  We’ll get into basic tactics in just a moment, but the big picture is that a TD camping on one side of the map, a scout working on the other and a medium pushing the middle is not a great way to play off each other’s abilities.  It’s just three friends who happen to be on the same map.

With a coordinated platoon consisting of similar tier tanks and a complimentary class set up how should you proceed in battle?

First and foremost, strive to work together.  You may think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve seen platoons just spilt to the winds.  I always expect to see the other members of a platoon in the same area as the fist one to be spotted.  Of course some situations may arise where you should split, but in general it’s much better to say together.

When working together a platoon’s strength is in focus fire, sharing damage and flanking.

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Go ahead, we’re right behind you!

Focusing fire is exactly what it sounds like.  Endeavor to shoot the same tank until it’s dead, and then move to the next one.  Three tanks firing at the same opponent will take it down very quickly.  Removing a gun from the enemy team is a big deal, and a platoon will allow you to manage that much faster.  If comms are available make sure to call out the target to focus the platoons efforts.  Make sure to not interfere with each other, blocking shots, bumping etc., use comms to do that as well.  Also keep track of each other’s shots and reloads ; wasting a shot on a dead tank just as your platoon mate kills it is bad technique.  Remember this though, while you’re dealing damage strive to manage your own platoons HP and preserve it if possible.

Sharing damage is a whole article in itself, we’ll just cover the basics.  On the surface it’s easy.  You want to keep your platoon mates from dying.  As noted above, losing a gun is bad for the team, so it’s best to preserve your mates.  The simplest tactic is to move into the lane of fire and shield the low HP tank with your own body.  Ideally do it smartly, use your best armor, try to bait a shot etc.  However, if the side of your tank is all you can get between you and your low HP platoon mate, do it.  More advanced concepts are things like tracking enemies to keep them from chasing your buddy or ramming an enemy to throw off their shot.  note that this does not mean throw yourself away trying to save a platoon mate that is over expended and unsalvageable.

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We all have that one platoon mate that drives backwards into battle.

While you’re maneuvering to get shots and defend each other take advantage of the platoon’s inherent ability to coordinate maneuvers.

Maneuvering coherently together is another long article, but as before here’s the basics.  A platoon can advance, push and even defend as a single unit which opens up many more options over the solo player.  Three tanks advancing together share damage, and more easily take advantage of multiple lanes of fire.  This means you can get around that pesky heavy tank with the hard front armor and quickly reduce him with side and rear shots.  In the strategic sense, three tanks moving to a deployment flank and working together can be extremely effective.  It’s hard enough at times for a solo player to deal with one tank, trying to fight three at once is near impossible.  Use that advantage.

Bottom line, leverage your platoon’s ability to coordinate three tanks at every opportunity.

Platoons offer many advantages over the typical solo play.  They can help you learn or teach the game.  The social aspect is of course a big advantage.  Gameplay wise, the benefits of coordinated play, in both offense and defense are significant.   Remember to platoon the same battle tiers, and pick tanks that complement each other; tanks that fight similarly make the best platoons.  Use this platoon guide and you could considerably improve your chances while enhancing your game experience.  Come in from the cold, solo player, and try a platoon!

Good Hunting!

Joe Granducci is a student of politics and military history.  He is a life-long gamer and a former fighter pilot.  Reliving his wasted youth, and starting his second career after retirement he enjoys reading, movies and computer gaming.  Joe plays way too much World of Tanks, and you can follow him on Twitch here or his YouTube channel here.  If you like what you see follow all of the NerdGoblins at NerdGoblin facebook and twitter @thenerdgoblin


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