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 The QSF Guide to Commanding Tier X - by phood

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PostSubject: The QSF Guide to Commanding Tier X - by phood   Fri May 29, 2015 1:30 pm

Hey team I thought I would throw down some of my thoughts and limited experience in command Tier X CW/TC's (some might apply to Tier VIII as well)   for reference or entertainment.

Anyone is more than welcome to add to, dispute, laugh-at, or cry with shame because it.

Please bare in mind that this is an art not a science, and I'm (at best) still learning it!

1. Micro & Macro gameplay

Some of you RTS/Moba players will know these terms, for everyone else here is a simple explanation to the best of my knowledge:

Macro
Basically macro play is looking at the state of the game as whole and   trying to predict what will happen next. It's really all about maneuvering units based on the best of your knowledge into a position where they will gain the maximum advantage. in worst case situations it's about damage limitation or choosing what resources you can and can't sacrifice.
Summary: Macro ~= Making the big generalized plays
WoT Example: realizing that a flank near your batchats is left open and pushing it to takeout their arty or power cap

Micro
This is basically about how well units are controlled in real time. Micro game play is all about the things you do to give your self an advantage on an individual unit scale. it's about min/maxing your output/input. Most micro plays on an individual level might not make much difference but, when added up across the whole game, might be the difference between a win and a loose. Some micro plays might be game winning on their own.
Summary: Micro ~= Making the small plays
WoT Example: Tracking an enemy tank instead of damaging it when it's out of position and you have focused fire or arty support.

The Commanders Role
The commanders role is to be the primary person in control of the macro play. Your job is to put players into good positions (not just at the start of the game) where they can make make the effective micro plays. Draw your players attention to make maximum use of their micro, and call them out when their actions interfere with your macro.

The Players Role
The players role is the micro play. WoT is a pretty weird RTS in this regard as all your units are controlled by players. For me trust is a big factor here, think of your players as AI units, tell them where to go and what to do and they will do it (you are in charge, you are the big dog, and they sure as hell don't want to be in your shoes). Rarely do I see anyone not responding to definitive commands, and more often than not our players specifically will pull something epic out of the bag and you will find your self in a better position that you thought you would.


Balance
All the good macro play in all the world will not save you if your micro play is poor, Similarly excellent micro play all round will likely not save you if your macro play is non existent. A balance is generally required, and I would suggest with this game specifically it's weighted far in favor of micro play.

Don't interfere with the micro: knowing when to shut the fuck up
It's very easy for commander to try and instruct players on how to play the micro in real time. 9 times out of 10 this is a terrible idea. Our players here in QSF on the whole are very good, they know how to play the game, and they will play the game better in first person than you ever can playing the game for them from the 3rd person. Trust, experience, and individual player knowledge are the prime factors both ways. Your job as a commander is to build these in reflection to your role. An ideal situation is when a good player will follow your instructions when they know it's about the macro, and will completely ignore you when they know it's a terrible idea about the micro. I don't want to encourage blind players here in QSF, and no commander can play 15 tanks at once while also trying to play the macro game.

Take advice from players on the Macro
They are on the ground, they have been watching the game, and they hopefully know what they are talking about. I personally have been trying to steer us away from the macro by committee style of play that we came from before as it wastes a lot of time, means that we can't be as reactive, and causes us to stagnate. That said you will never see everything, and you have 14 sub commanders there to catch all of the things you miss or don't think about. Listen to them when they talk, talk over them when you need to say something important, or tell them to shut up when you notice they have nothing to say. If anyone (including you) messes up you can go over it after the battle.

2. Map awareness & Control

This is the primary attribute and goal respectively for a commander.

Map Awareness
This is about knowing at all times where your players are, and where the enemy players are (or might be). Constant awareness of what's going on will allow you to push your advantages, use the opportunities, and defend against threats. It's important for a commander to be focused of the whole of the map most of the time, this is difficult because you also have to play your tank, learn to multitask or go home. It's quite easy to focus on the specific group of tanks that you are playing with and forget about other tanks in the game. Try and command the other groups at least at the macro level and trust them to play the micro.

Assume Nothing (lol)
Never take for granted enemy positions or, for that matter, your own teams positions or state of awareness. Check the map, check what you can see, talk to your players, and demand responses from key people, before you make any major move. That said you can never really "Assume Nothing" as you will never know every little variable of a situation, so be prepared to react, most times your assumptions will be wrong.

Map Control
Map control is all about controlling enemy options, this makes their reactions limited and easier to predict. Simply put you always want to be in one of two positions: a) An enemy has to push into your position of strength, or b) You can push into a position of enemy weakness. This isn't necessarily just about physical position either, it can be about time remaining, capture points, perceived threat, or any number of other things. Map control is about out playing the enemy commander and his players, it's quite difficult to quantify, and the balance is constantly in flux.

Full Map Control All of the Time
Never going to happen! you have to fight for map control, sacrifice tanks, wait for clocks to run down, gamble, push cap circles, etc, and trust your players to get what you are trying to do. Remember regardless how well you play the enemy commander will always have options, and almost certainly one or more of those options will be bad for your map control.

3. Get Angry! (but be polite)

Anyone that steps out of line negatively effects your map awareness and possibly even your map control, be angry at them for this, they are making your job harder. If it's important make damn sure they know it, however being an angry aggressive know it all all of the time is unlikely to help you in the long run, be polite as often as you can afford it. We are all grown ups here and people (should) get that it's nothing personal if you call them out for something.

4. A Win is a Win is a Win

If you can take a win, regardless if it's dirty, makes you feel like dick afterwards, or people moan about poor doubles, take it. Losing sucks, as it was almost certainly your fault. Power capping, auto loader rushes, having 5 183's in the team, or running 4+ scumbags, etc are all viable tactics and if the enemy commander can't counter them in time it was his failure, not yours. That said try and take a clean win when you can afford it.

5. Play aggressively, reactively, and iterate

Aggressive play
It has be noted not just by my self that this clan as it stands right now, is bad at passive play. Aggressive play put things in the hands of the players, and as stated numerous times above, our players are generally better than the majority of players out there (this in my experience is even true when we play against top clans). It also forces enemy players and commanders to react and throw all of their previous plans out of the window, this is a massive psychological advantage and should not be ignored.

Reactive play
"best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray"
Try and avoid having a set plan or tactic for how the game is going to play out, no two games are going to be the same, and something that worked stunningly last time might end in horrible defeat this time. The way I   like to think about this at the start of the game is by having two groups in my mind, ~ 1/2 the team that are my pushers, and the other ~ 1/2 that are my reactors. My aim with the pushers are to gain map control, and my reactors are their to limit the loss of map control. as you gain map control you can shift more tanks from your reactors to your pushers and visa versa. try and have a varied selection of tanks as reactors, as you will never know what you need to react against. Playing set tactics over and over again will likely make your players unable to react well, and your win rate will suffer.

Iterative play
When something doesn't go as well as you like think about how you can iterate on or avoid a similar situation next time you come across it. Try and do this directly after the event and ask for opinions, take it from me you do not want to be scraping your collective memories for a move you made in game you played 2 months ago. It's much better to build a play book in your head and run by that. If something is working well still try and iterate off it and improve, you may find   something to your liking, or it might end in tears, either way your knowledge and experience has expanded making you a better commander.

6. Set up

Tank Companies
This the general set I aim for, but it's a good idea to let people swap tanks around when you can, if you have to play a couple of black sheep that's not a problem:

2xIS-7's
5xT110E5's
3xBatchat 25t's
2xT57's
2xTank Destroyers
1xArty

The IS-7's are your shield to your E5's which are your DPM hammer these are your pushers, the T57's and Batchats are your mobile reactors/eyes, and your TD's and arty are your stationary reactors. As mentioned above all of your reactors can be shifted to your pushing group, and most of your pushers can be shifted to your reactors if needed.

Clan Wars
The advantage here is you know what map is going to be played, and you know who has the advantage going into the game. I'm not going to list out all the possible combinations for every map that would be silly, but here are some general rules of thumb.

Close or flat maps require less arty, open or hilly maps require more arty.
Hilly maps, require more reactors, flat maps require more pushers.
Super Heavies on their own or in numbers can really shut down a tight passage.
E5's are good at going up hills, IS-7's are good at going down hills.
E5's will bring more DPM than IS-7's, but IS-7's will take more hits.
There is no situation where a Leopard 1 is an acceptable tank.
Some players are worth having in tanks that they excel at even if doesn't fit your game plan.
E3's are always preferable over E4's
T57's are great burst tanks, but are like wet paper towels against prem rounds.
In some rare occasions 50B's are preferable over T57's due to maneuverability. In most situations they are suitable (but non preferable) substitutes for T57's
Order of useful meds (decreasing by several orders of magnitude): Batchats->Obj140/T62a->E50m.
An IS-4 is a good substitute for an IS-7

7. Try your best
No one here is going to fault you for trying and the ONLY way to get better at this stuff is practice, you cannot learn it any other way (which kind of makes me think that all of the above is pretty pointless, but I have spent a long time writing it, and I'm fucked if I'm going to delete it now!).
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Callum347



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PostSubject: Re: The QSF Guide to Commanding Tier X - by phood   Fri May 29, 2015 3:24 pm

Nice, I'll think about this Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The QSF Guide to Commanding Tier X - by phood   Fri May 29, 2015 3:25 pm

I know you guys don't do tier 10 yet but this should help with tier 8 and maybe even tier 6.
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Callum347



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PostSubject: Re: The QSF Guide to Commanding Tier X - by phood   Fri May 29, 2015 8:20 pm

What tier 6's would you recommend for skirmishes + Tier 8's? Give me a bulleted lf possible:

Tier 6:
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Tier 8:
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