Gore’s Medal

In World of Tanks, players may be awarded “epic medals” under certain extraordinary circumstances.  These medals are usually inspired by some historic military commander, hero, or event.

The other day, I acquired “Gore’s Medal” for the first time in my Hummel.

The other awards I won in that battle:

“Ace Tanker” mastery badge

Earn more base experience in a single battle than the average highest experience of 99% of all players in the same tank within the last seven days

“Fighter” honorary rank

Destroy 4 or 5 enemy vehicles in the course of the battle.

“Arsonist” token

Destroy an enemy vehicle by setting it on fire.

“Bruiser” token

Damage enemy modules and/or knock out their crew members at least 5 times in the course of the battle.

“High Caliber” battle hero medal

Awarded to players who dealt the largest amount of damage during the battle and where the total damage dealt is at least 20% of the total hit points of all tanks on the enemy team.

 

Mark of Excellence: Hummel

I earned my first Mark of Excellence on my Hummel the other day in World of Tanks.  These are special markings that are drawn on the barrel of a player’s tank which indicate exceptional performance.

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These in-game markings borrow from the old “kill rings” or “victory marks” tank crews would paint onto their tank guns to mark their kills.

kill_rings

Exemplary Performance

I’ve had some good games since I started playing World of Tanks again.  Here are some awards I recently earned:

The Arsonist award is not easy to get, especially with an SPG.  With a single shot, you have to almost destroy a tank and score a critical hit on the fuel tank and have the fuel tank rupture and catch fire and have the fire do enough damage to finish off the tank.

arsonist

I was wondering if I’d ever get the Bombardier award, as it entails destroying two tanks with one shot.  High-explosive artillery shells FTW!

bombardier

I was not expecting the Battle Buddy award; I had no idea it existed.  I guess it says something about an arty player since SPGs are typically not very accurate and often fire high-explosive shells which cause splash damage. It’s very easy to damage allies if one is not careful.

buddy

Destroying a third of the enemy team by yourself is a decent accomplishment.

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The Raider award is earned when you capture the enemy base — you have to make it to the enemy flag and stay close to it for a minute or two — and do it without ever being spotted by the enemy.  This is fairly humiliating to the enemy.  It’s especially so when the enemy does it with a terribly slow SPG.

raider

The game also has a campaign for each class of tank.  Each campaign consists of fifteen missions, and each mission consists of a primary win condition and a secondary win condition. These missions are just a goal you can set for yourself — you don’t have do them.

The reward for completing a mission is typically a pile of credits and/or some in-game consumable.  Completing a mission with honors (i.e. fulfilling both primary and secondary conditions) rewards additional credits.   The reward for completing every mission in a campaign includes a female crew member (and this is the only way to get them).

I had completed the entire campaign a few days ago, but the game gives you the option to retry any mission which you did not complete with honors the first time.  Tonight I managed to finally complete the entire campaign with honors.

recommendation

arty_campaign

The results of the game wherein I completed the final mission with honors:

exemplary

And, finally, here’s a photo of my favorite tank — the Hummel:

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More World of Tanks

I started playing World of Tanks again after a long absence. As usual, the quality of the graphics and sound have noticeably increased since the last time I played.

I play German tanks almost exclusively, focusing primarily on the SPG line (“self-propelled guns” — aka artillery, or “arty”). The highest tier SPG I have is the G.W. Tiger (tier 9), but I’ve kept the SPGs from the three previous tiers — G.W. Tiger (P), G.W. Panther, and Hummel — because they’re so much fun to play.

The Hummel is my favorite tank to play in the entire game.

wot_favorite_tank

I recently completed the final mission of the SPG campaign, which earned me my first female crew member.

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I also like the German tank destroyers, and am currently building experience on the Jagdpanther and Jagdpanther II. A second line of tank destroyers has appeared in the game’s research tree, so I’ve started along that one as well with the boxy Pz. Sfl. IVc (the “toaster”).

wot_ruins

I like the Jagdpanther, but the lower tier StuG III is probably my favorite tank destroyer.

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I used to play light tanks a lot, but they’ve fallen out of favor for me after I earned my Mastery badge with the VK 28.01 after I killed five tanks in one game with it a few years ago:

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I used to play medium tanks a lot, too, but that tapered off quite a bit once I researched my first heavy tank.  After discovering that I’m just not very good at playing heavy tanks, my focus moved primarily to SPGs and tank destroyers.

Here are a couple more photos from the game as it looks now:

And here are some videos I just made:

(Here’s my full World of Tanks video playlist containing older videos)

World of Tanks!

About a month ago I discovered a “freemium” game (free to play, with optional features you can pay for) called World of Tanks.  This Russian-made, multiplayer, online game is easily one of the best games I’ve ever come across.

The game itself is relatively simple.  It’s a WWII tank fighting game where you control a tank in a fifteen on fifteen match.

Every player has a garage where he keeps track of his tanks, their equipment, the upgrades, their crew, etc.  From the garage, players can buy new tanks, sell their tanks (not to each other), research new upgrades for each tank (using research points earned in battles), select the ammunition for each tank, buy consumables (these give temporary boosts to various gameplay aspects for one battle), buy extra equipment (like camouflage nets), and manage the crew for each tank.

From the garage, the player can select a tank with which to do battle and enter the queue for the next random battle.  Within a few seconds, the matchmaker system will put you into a team of fifteen tanks who will be squaring off against an opposing team of fifteen other tanks in one of two dozen maps.  The goal of each battle is to either wipe out all opposing tanks or to capture their base, which is done by sitting your tank in the enemy’s “base capture zone” for a long enough period of time.

Tanks controls are simple: WASD to move, mouse-look/aim, left click to shoot, right-click-and-hold to lock turret position.  That’s basically it.

But there is an underlying complexity to the game that really makes it engaging. Many things are taken into account with each shot.  The tank’s specs, the gunner’s skill, the location of the hit on the target, the thickness of the armor at the impact point, the angle of the hit, and the type of shell used all play a role in whether your shot misses, ricochets, or does damage to either the hull, a crew member, or a particular part of the tank.  A well placed shot can sometimes “track” a tank, that is, knock the tread off the wheels and temporarily prevent the tank from moving (making it a delicious target for artillery).

There are several different classes of tank, all designed to fulfill a specific role on the battlefield:

  • Light Tanks act as scouts on the battlefield due to their speed (and general lack of firepower)
  • Medium Tanks support heavy tanks and are best used in flanking operations
  • Heavy Tanks, with their thick armor, are the primary assault force, pushing forward to engage the enemy and sucking up enemy fire
  • Tank Destroyers with their (often frontally fixed) heavy guns excel at ambushes, sniping, and supporting heavy tanks
  • Self-Propelled Guns provide death from above, but they are very fragile and need to hide and be defended

Tanks are arranged into “tiers”; the higher the tier, the more powerful the tanks in that tier.  Individual tanks also have various upgrades that can be researched with experience points gained from battles: stronger turrets, better tracks, and larger, more powerful cannons.

Your tank’s crew members gain experience as you play, making them better at their jobs (which, in turn, affects how the tank handles in the player’s hands).  Commanders, gunners, loaders, and radio operators are all a crucial part of your tank, and performance suffers when they are injured or killed during battle.

There are a few minor quibbles here and there (especially with the broken “matchmaker” system which, for some reason, insists on pitting wildly outmatched tanks against each other), but, overall, this game is one of the best games I’ve ever played.

Also, two more games are in development by the same company: World of Warplanes and World of Battleships.  Sweet!