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Tracer1

TC Help Request (M1A1, M2A2)

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Hi Guys,

I'm going through the tutorials for the M1A1 and M2A2 and have a question if I could. If I want to play as TC what is the best way for me in game to spot targets? How do you guys handle these vehicles in game? I mean do you keep your head out of the turret and use the binoculars most of the time? I understand as TC your supposed to spot and slew the turret for the gunner until he says identified. But I am finding it difficult to spot targets not out in the open. Usually the gunner tells me there is a target and I then slew my binocs to where the turret is pointed before issuing the fire order. Is it recomended that I as TC override the gunner on the Sight so I can use the IR ability? Then pass on targets to him?

That is one of the reasons I like driving the Leopard 2 so much, the TC has his own IR viewer and can ID and assign targets so much better.

Yet when I take the gunners position the TC identifies targets that I am unable to see when in the TC position. It must just be complete newness on my part, hopefully its something that can be learned. Unless I run around in the gunners position and let the AI TC do his thing?

Any help would be appreciated. I also did a video search on this but am unable to find anything, can someone point me to a tutorial that explains how to drive these tanks, how to view what where, when to switch positions if there is one? I just don't want to pick up any bad habits and want to learn the right way the first time before I get back into an online session.

Thanks for any advice

Tracer

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With the M1/M2 you're basically going to want to switch between your binoculars and normal view, and keep scanning around. It will take you time, but eventually you'll start spotting targets easily.

When stationary I find it best to get into the binoculars, and scan mostly from there. The faster your vehicle moves, the harder it is to use the binoculars. At full speed over rough terrain you might be spending most of your time in the normal eye view hoping to spot dust, smoke, or even a muzzle flash from enemy vehicles firing at you. The muzzle flash would be the least preferable thing to see, but it can be enough to point your gunner in the right area and to start reacting to taking fire.

In closed in terrain, the eye view might be plenty to spot targets and your binoculars might just be a pain in the butt. Remember also that your gunner has thermals and stabilized optics, those give him a huge advantage in spotting targets visually.

Don't forget to use ALL of your senses when you search for targets! You've got stereo sound (and hearing, I hope), so use it! In close in terrain you might very well be able to hear enemy vehicles before you can see them, particularly if you're stationary. It's unwise in a turbine powered vehicle (which is quieter anyway), but in a diesel powered vehicle your might even shut the engine off for just a few seconds to have a listen.

Learn to recognize engine noises. By turning your "head" left and right, you can get an idea of the general direction they're coming from and what kind of vehicle it is. With a little practice soon you'll be able to tell the difference between a Leopard 2 or a T-72 or T-64. Sound alone isn't enough to spot targets, but sometimes it tells you to start paying more attention to a certain direction.

Edit: Also, don't be afraid to get up out of your hatch to scan. I like to get all the way up as high as I can and scan around. The increased risk of getting shot or exploded is more than offset by my better ability to see the other guy first.

Another player I know likes to use the overhead cover mode on the M1 hatch and scan from there. Personally I only find it usable if my tank is stationary and the terrain is mostly level since the area you can see from is so narrow.

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Also a good tactic (and one of the hardest things to do) is not look for enemy vehicles, but try to be aware of where enemy vehicles might be and look for those. Much of this work can be done in the briefing before you roll out but it is far from easy, as at first everywhere looks like it could hid a threat.

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Thanks for the helpful advice guys, I'll take it to my practice session tonight. I did buy a good headset and will try the engine tactic to see what I can hear. One thing I do as well to give me one less thing to do is for the most part drive by putting waypoints on the map of where I want to go. Then set my speed and then spend my time scanning for enemies along the way. if I spot one I instantly hit the E key and slew turret etc.

Can I assume its better to just jump into the gunners seat and fire myself? I am finding the M1A1 gunner very slow to engage. In an online game I assume that would be a death sentence.

What is the overhead cover mode? Is that the F8 external mode?

Oh and one thing I am starting to do as well is if in close terrain, I slew the turret in the direction I am looking to hopefully get the gunner to thermal the area in question, not sure if its a best practice but figured its a second set of eyes.

Thanks for the help guys, its a good starting point for me to progress

Tracer

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The overhead cover feature of the M1 hatch is activated by first buttoning up (press the "B" key if the hatch is open) and then by moving up one level in your seat (press the "Q" key once).

The TC pushes the hatch up so that it is horizontal over his head, but raised up over the top of the turret and vision blocks so he can still see out. The upside is that you aren't exposed as much as you would be standing all the way up, and you have some protection from artillery and stuff. The downside is that if you are parked on a slope, you might not be able to see anything, and you've got a bunch of supports and junk in your way limiting your vision.

Really only useful if you're stationary in a defensive position, otherwise you're better off just popping the hatch.

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Can I assume its better to just jump into the gunners seat and fire myself? I am finding the M1A1 gunner very slow to engage. In an online game I assume that would be a death sentence.

If you haven't done the Tank Range mission for the M1A1, do that one until you become proficient (high hit %, low avg-time-to-kill). The Tank Range missions are special ones, in that your gunnery score carries over into other SP missions -- the AI is endowed with the ability you demonstrated in the Tank Range.

What is the overhead cover mode? Is that the F8 external mode?

No. If you are fully buttoned up in the M1 series, the first time you hit 'Q', the turret hatch lifts up about 6" or so, but remains in the horizontal position, centered over the hatch opening. As a result, you can peer out of the hatch but still retain a degree of overhead protection from the hatch cover. This is what the earlier poster was referring to as overhead cover mode.

If you hit 'Q' a second time, then the hatch cover opens fully and you (the TC) raise yourself more fully out of the turret. Better overall view (including greater height) but more exposed.

Note that if the TC is completely inside the turret but the hatch is open, the first 'Q' press raises you out of the turret, but with the eye level of about 6" above the hatch rim, as in the overhead cover mode, but without the overhead hatch cover. This still affords a greater degree of protection from small arms and shell splinters than with the TC fully elevated out of turret (a second 'Q' press).

Press 'Z' to lower your posture again, or 'B' to fully button up.

Oh and one thing I am starting to do as well is if in close terrain, I slew the turret in the direction I am looking to hopefully get the gunner to thermal the area in question, not sure if its a best practice but figured its a second set of eyes.

I dunno about this. My thinking is that, as TC, it's best to scan a different sector than the gunner, unless you are sure that the dual-covered sector is the only likely threat axis. Yes, the gunner's GPS gives him a better chance of detection, but the field of view is narrow. Even with your (TC) less effective eyes/binos, you still add more value looking elsewhere.

Edited by MDF

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Now I get top cover LOL. I have used it before from time to time. I tend to prefer to go full up to see better, but will work on lowering my TC more.

The only tank range missions I have done have been the tutorials and there was one for the M1A1 that I really liked called Tank Range Advanced or something, the one where you go from fire position to position and engage various targets. I do seem to recall in my last install of this sim my gunner reacted a lot faster, but since v3 came out I have a brand new install. That explains why it appears my gunner is texting and gunning LOL. My next stop will be the range as I had no idea that translated.

Great advice guys thanks so much. I've been coming to this forum for a while now and am still humbled by the expertise and real world experience a lot of posters have here. I'll take your advice to my practice sessions this week and will hopefully be ready for a TGIF in a week or two.

Tracer

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Now I get top cover LOL. I have used it before from time to time. I tend to prefer to go full up to see better, but will work on lowering my TC more.

IMHO, fully up out of the turret is exactly where you should be, unless people are shooting at you. The trade off in exposure is well worth the better visibility.

Now if you're taking fire and can't move to a new position, then you should be taking cover.

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The only tank range missions I have done have been the tutorials and there was one for the M1A1 that I really liked called Tank Range Advanced or something, the one where you go from fire position to position and engage various targets. I do seem to recall in my last install of this sim my gunner reacted a lot faster, but since v3 came out I have a brand new install. That explains why it appears my gunner is texting and gunning LOL. My next stop will be the range as I had no idea that translated.

The Tank Range missions to which I referred are the ones accessed from the SB Main menu. First item on the list. Different than the Tutorial missions (many of which do also take place on the same tank range terrain).

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Thanks for the help. I did about 3 tank range sessions last night. My average time to kill was about 8 seconds with ok accuracy, around 90%. I'll definitely be going back trying to improve. I'll also dig around in the documentation to read up on gunner skills linked to the tank range, never knew that before.

I just have to get my gunner to stop shooting into the dirt at hull down targets : ). In such cases I end up jumping in and using the GPSE and doing it manually. In my mini learning scenario if I let the gunner shoot I die every time, but if i take over I survive around 75% of the time.

Tracer

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Thanks for the great advice guys. Since going to the tank range nightly my gunner can now see more than 10 feet past the barrel, although he still has issues for some reason seeing hull down vehicles. But still I can man the TC position longer and scan for other targets while my gunner is engaging. This should allow me to develop some target prioritizing skills.

Also to anyone new reading this, if your also having issues with situational awareness there is a great document in the downloads area called Situational Awareness - tips.doc. Its filled with a lot of great advice and I highly recommend you give it at least one read.

One additional question if I could:

When engaging multiple targets I am finding it very helpful to pop smoke and fight using the thermal. When I fight 3+ tanks the other way there is a much greater tendency for damage or being knocked out. Is this a strategy I should keep using when multiple targets are ID'd and engaging me, or is this an example of a bad habit?

Thanks

Tracer

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When engaging multiple targets I am finding it very helpful to pop smoke and fight using the thermal. When I fight 3+ tanks the other way there is a much greater tendency for damage or being knocked out. Is this a strategy I should keep using when multiple targets are ID'd and engaging me, or is this an example of a bad habit?

Thanks

Tracer

It works until you have multi spectral smoke on board then when you pop that both sides can't see through it.

Personally I prefer using it the way I was taught - to screen my withdrawal or relocation to another location.

But if you are not constrained by training and want have the entertainment factor as a key driver then using it as a protective cloak can work - to a point. ;)

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Hey Mark,

Great to hear from you again. I'm looking to drive like you guys do in the field and I get my entertainment by trying to drive as such, thats a big reason why I prefer milsims over first person shooters. I have limited experience on the ground side of the military and its been years ago for me so I'm just trying to learn to emulate real world tactics and apply them in game online. I know my questions are probably very basic and may sound stupid but I'd rather ask and learn here than make these mistakes or use poor tactics online :).

When I am driving manually I try to drive nap of the earth as I learned as an APC driver to use the terrain. I'll apply the method you suggest in my training offline and use it only when things heat up and I need to withdraw. I have seen it used in online videos as a cloak so needed to clarify.

Thanks again for the help

Tracer

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I think that shooting from behind a smoke screen is a dangerous habit, as you would quickly find out in team vs team multiplayer against other humans. The muzzle flash will usually shine through the smoke, and allow a general aim. The smoke doesn't protect you against laster range finders either - simply lase something in the vicinity (or enter a manual range, or use the battlesight) and shoot.

Smoke can also attract unwelcome attention from so far unseen enemy.

Pop smoke only if you also intend to move to a different location. If you remain in place, popping smoke won't even help you much with the concealment.

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Good point on the unwanted attention. From the amount of smoke put out I bet that can be seen a long way off. And I didn't know about the muzzle flash.

Thanks again

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Using smoke offensively is something that I find is done far better with artillery than with your own smoke grenades.

If I pop smoke in a defensive position, I am gone from that position within 30 seconds because I assume the other guy, even if he can't see me, is in his menu screen adjusting the settings on an artillery mission...

On the other hand, you can use artillery to call smoke on an enemy position and blind him without worrying about attracting attention to your position.

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Yhea, pretty much the same idea.

Unfortunately, the range on their smoke launchers is far too short. About 4000 meters too short in fact.

A better tool for that job, I think, are WP rounds fired from the main gun like with the Challenger or 105mm L7 armed tanks.

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