Tank hunting is a daunting task for new players, and the equipment you have can severely limit your ability to be effective. Do not expect to top the scoreboards as a tank hunter; instead measure your success by how far down the scoreboard the enemies' tankists are! Nevertheless, tank hunting is one of the more rewarding roles -- afterall, scoring a tank kill ensures lots of fireworks, a burning wreckage and a noticible and immediate hindrance to the opposing team. How many marskmen can boast of that? Nevertheless, it takes a bit of practice to start nailing tanks as an AT infanteer, although some of the advice will count for all classes now that TW has included equipment for that can blow tanks up (i.e. satchel charges) placed at ammo points on stock RO2 maps.
The equipment of an AT infanteer
Anti-Tank rifle: PTRS-41 / Pzb 784(R)
- The AT rifles are the stock in-trade weapons of the AT rifleman. They are both the same; the Pzb 784(R) being a captured version of the Red Army PTRS-41. Both weapons level separately, however. The weapon is extremely bulky and at low levels, your stamina will drop like noboady's business if you sprint. It cannot be fired from any position except the prone and supported (eg rested on a window) positions. It has a 5 round magazine, which cannot be reloaded until the magazine is empty. Historically the weapon was carried and operated in pairs, with one man helping lug it about, and sporting extra ammo and some defence for the gunner.
- Bulky and with a short range, AT grenades generally speaking can murder tanks with ease, provided you get them to land on the top of the tank, which is generally not too difficult. Great fun when you pull it off, since you have to sneak right up to the tank to crack it. The Germans get a magnetic anti-tank mine and the Russians get a more powerful, heavy stick grenade. Both function identially. They detonate on impact, and you can get caught by their blast.
Satchel Charges (at higher levels)
- Long-fused box of high-explosives. Can destroy objects such as walls or tank traps or pillboxes (assuming they highlight yellow when nearby), as well as tanks. Difficult to successfully use because of the long fuse.
- A side arm. Effective only really at close range, unless you've had a lot of practice, personally I would counsell ditching them in favour of a rifle picked up off the ground, especially if you're planning on using the AT rifle.
- For the AT Rifle. They can be used up close too (and is generally more effective), but the same principles apply.
- NEVER raise the sights of your AT rifle; instead get closer.
It is possible to get distance kills on tanks if you hit the correct spot, but the target area is harder to hit at distance.
- Avoid firing on the front of tanks; you can damage the treads and if you are lucky, kill a crewman (aim at the vision slits) but will rarely destroy it outright, and you only have 20 rounds unless you are of hero rank; instead approach a tank from the side or rear
and aim at its vulnerable areas. This usually means moving around creatively and utilising concealment / cover to fire at the vehicles.
- As a rule, an easy spot to score damage are between the 2nd and 3rd running wheels of the tanks from the side, and the exhaust on the back.
- Fire slowly, and aim each shot. If you successfully damage the tank, you will see a small and somewhat dubious explosion where the bullet shot. If you fail to damage the tank, you will see small sparks where the bullet bounced off, and hear a ping noise.
- It often takes a good few shots (I think I was able to knock one out in two shots, but the average was between 3-5) to knock out a tank, assuming each one does actually damage the tank.
- As has been said before, less obvious but not bullet proof is better than obvious but bullet proof in terms of cover
. Be original, tanks will look for the obvious AT riflement hiding positions, such as in the loftspace of Dom Pavlova or the Voyentorg Ruins (both on Pavlov's house map).
- Tanks have a poor field of vision -- exploit this!
If the hull is not pointing directly at you, nor the turret, you are unlikely to have been noticed and can get around the vehicle to damage it more.
Cpt Praxius has kindly let me link his guide on the vulnerable points on tanks
- Rather than retread old ground (but less well), see here for a comprehensive guide on just where you should be aiming to knock out tanks with the AT rifle.http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=144224938
Up close and personal: AT Grenades and Satchels
You need to be within 5-10m of a tank to knock it out with these.
Reaching the Tank safely
- Never run directly infront of its hull, or the front machine gunner will mow you down;
- Never run through the area where the turret is pointing for the same reason.
- Beware the T-34's periscope spotting you. It moves quickly and is hard to see moving.
- Use cover. Walls, buildings, slit trenches, bushes, undulations in the ground -- anything to remove the chances of being spotted.
- Beware enemy infantry, they're more of a threat to you. Never use the obvious route, and be methodical and patient. Sprint in bursts from decent bits of cover, if it seems like the enemy is paying attention elsewhere. Even be prepared to do a spot of crawling. On maps like Commissar's and Pavlov's house, it's often difficult to effectively use the AT rifle because of how tanks position themselves. Getting forward with the AT grenade is sometimes the only option. Use caution, use an cover -- even a shallow shell hole is better than nothing.
- Never crouch while sprinting in the open:
you need as much speed as you can.
- Get rid of unecessary weight.
If you are going in up-close and personaly, ditch the satchel if you don't need it; if you hate and cannot use the AT rifles, ditch them too and rely on the grenades.
- I have found a decent tactic to be to move past maybe 50m to the side of the tank before turning toward it. Remember, its field of vision is blinkered, and tankers have a tendancy to sit in spots away from infantry. You can easily catch it when it has no support (eg vast swathes of C on Pavlov's house [9th Jan Square] or the park on Commissar's house).
- Stop short of the target
- stop maybe 20m away from the target in a safe place and stand by to sprint. In this time, get the grenade out ready
- As you begin to make the last sprint, prime the bomb (i.e. pull the pin and hold it ready to be thrown.)
-When you're close (less than 10m), look up above the tank at a steep angle and throw. You need the grenade to land on the roof of the tank and not the side, otherwise it won't destroy the tank. Regardless of if you hit, run away immediately to safety!
You will likely be shot anyway, but the aim is to kill the tank, and if you survive, it is a bonus.
- Satchels will stay on a tank even when it drives off
. It is great watching a tank try to drive away from danger, but carrying a satchel charge with it.
- Try to get them when they're in a happy stationary position. Your grenade is an awful lot more likely to land on target.
Leveling, or: what to do when there are no tanks about
If tanks never seem to be about, you really need to behave just as a plain infanteer. Pick up a decent weapon off the ground and get to the cap-zones. If tanks are really rare, maybe ditch EITHER your grenades or AT rifle. Keep one though, as a means of destroy tanks if they appear, and keep which ever one suits the map, eg AT grenades on Red October Factory.