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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WoT Map Analysis: Ensk

Each map in World of Tanks has some optimal places for tanks to go. No strategy is perfect and often times player skill rules, but a good strategy followed by a platoon can often times swing things in your favor. This series will hopefully lay out some ground work and give ideas on how best to tackle a map by analyzing the standard game play for each map.

Our fourth map that we will cover is Ensk. A mixture of city outskirts and suburban areas, bisected by railroad tracks. Plan your tactics to take advantage of defensive choke points and cover open areas with your vehicles. Artillery is great for deterring enemy breakthroughs, but remains almost defenseless when exposed to enemy vehicles attacking from cover.

Ensk is the first major city fight board of this series but does feature quite a few open areas and lanes that are not common the the other city maps. With any close quarters battle, thick armor trumps mobility as there is little room to maneuver and camping of corners is king. Because of this, the map layout becomes fairly standard with little deviation and quite often comes down to the team with the most patient players who lure unsuspecting tanks into their lair.

Routes in the open on this map consist of 3 major avenues that are well traveled by the mediums and scouts that are on the teams. The Red line is the furthest out in the "Woods" along the 9 and 0 columns provide the most maneuverability but less concealing terrain, a quick path most scouts take. A nice balance of maneuverability and some city cover features in the 7 and 8 columns, using the Green line through the "Lumber Camp." Typically a favorite of most mediums as it provides the best of both worlds and access to any of the other paths by simply breaking down a wall. The other major area, the 6 column, represented by the Blue lines in this section of the board is the "Train Tracks." This is where TDs with long sight lines can target tanks moving from side to side right as they spawn in, a favorite for a quick kill or two and potential ability to take out SPGs in the opening seconds to the match, a complete game changer if successfully done.

The main part of the city will see the most action with the heavies attempting to out duel each other while TDs lay-in-wait to hit the unsuspecting tank that rolls its way. The two main city blocks of G 2 and 3, and E 2 and 3, represented in the Red squares, are the main heavy tank camp sites. Tanks will primarily filter into these two city blocks and duke it out until one side prevails by either being out played and gunned, mistakes, or flanking actions. The Blue lines alone the streets show potential flanking movements, but also show the dangers of the TD lanes of fire with the typical TD camp spots shown in Orange triangles. Travel through these areas should be done cautiously and knowing full well that a tank may have you in their sights without you ever knowing it until you are already bailed out.

With any city map, SPG effectiveness will be limited based upon the location that the SPG commanders would locate to. Typical placements include the corners of the map and occasional areas along the back most boundaries. Taking educational guesses as to tank movements and being quick on the trigger will make the difference between hitting the target and hitting a wall. Most easy to hit targets will be the mediums and the paths they typically run, but the occasional heavy may present itself in the city and these shots cannot be passed up. As one of the easier city maps to play and SPG in, it creates a good practice field to figure out how to line up to be able to hit targets with heavy building cover.

Effectively plan around this analysis, use the route to your advantage to best take on what tanks to expect in each area, and always support where areas are lightly defended but be ready to reenforce as needed. With a good platoon at your side, and now knowing this map better, you should be able to bait tanks into a city block where they may find themselves surrounded and sent home packing.

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