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SPG GUIDE!!!! a must READ FOR ARTYS

SPG (or arty for short) combat strategies are very different from tanks or tank destroyers. When used effectively and with proper support, a good SPG player can win the battle for your team.

SPGs are very powerful for their tier. Although they are slow and clumsy, but a SPG can kill a tank two tiers higher than itself with a single shot. Yes, I've one shotted a full health Panther, Tiger, Lowe, and even King Tiger in a single shot. Its really fun to watch these heavy tanks go down with a single shot. If you do very well, then prepare to be accused of cheating... I've had all kinds, from praises to hate messages!!! lol...

When I first started playing SPG, I found they were clumsy, slow to aim, and even slower to reload. They were highly inaccurate, and these made me wonder how to even get a hit in a SPG.

But once I understood the playing strategies, I found that getting multiple kills in a SPG is actually easier than in a tank or tank destroyer. As of writing this, I have won over 30 top guns and 15 confederates in a SU-26. Out of 345 battles, my winning score stands at an impressive 63%. I have seen players with as high at 75% winning ratio. I salute such good arty players who know how to capitalize on the strengths of SPG.

In this guide, I share my playing tips, strategies and experience playing as SPG.
Which SPG Tree to Climb

If youíre just starting the SPG tree, which SPG should you choose? German SPG, American SPG or Russian SPG?

Here are some differences and what to expect as you climb the SPG tree. Low tier Russian SPGs have shorter range that their German and American counterparts. The SU-18, SU-26 and SU-5 (tiers II, III and IV) have a striking distance of about 600 meters, which makes it necessary to constantly move forward in order to reach the far end of the map. Once you reach tier V (SU-Cool however, the range is sufficient enough for you to camp back at base. American and German SPGs donít have as much of this problem as they have a far greater reach.

The SU-26 (tier III SPG) is the only SPG with a rotating turret. This advantage is absolutely critical and vital Ė not to mention, its absolutely fun to play. By not having to turn its chassis, the SU-26 is so much more accurate, quicker aiming, and so much more lethal in short distance, face-to-face combat. By not turning its chassis, its also harder to detect when hiding in a bush. Despite its short range, the SU-26 is for me the best overall SPG in the game. I had great fun in this, and I do recommend you at least try out this arty.

As you climb the SPG ladder, youíll find that it gets painfully more difficult to score kills. This is because high level arties take a very, very long time to reload. And while the reloading time increase, but the game time still remains at 15 minutes. This means you can get off fewer shots during a single battle, severely limiting your ability to score many kills. Youíll feel this difference starting from tier V onwards.

If youíre going to play either as Russian or German arty, I suggest climbing down the medium tank branch, and then hopping over to the SPG branch. You need far fewer points to reach the same tier.
Russian SPG Tree German SPG Tree

Consider the Russian SPG branch. If you climbed the SPG tree :-
SPG Points Needed
SU-18 125
SU-26 3605
SU-5 13950
SU-8 47160
SU-14 112890 (tier 6)
Total 177730

If you climbed the medium tank path, and jumped directly from KV to S-51 (tier 6) :-

† †S-51 - 127320 points

You can reach a tier 6 SPG with just 127,320 points if you transferred from a KV. Compared to climbing the SPG tech tree, youíll need 177,730, or about 50,000 points more.

If you do the math, the same goes for the German tree. Climbing the German SPG tree will need 60,760 points to unlock the Hummel. But hopping over from a Panzer IV to Hummel will need only 35,400 points Ė about 25,000 less points.

The exception is for American SPGs though. Hopping over from a M3-Lee to a M7 Priest is far more expensive, than climbing the SPG tree. So for American SPGs, its better to just climb the SPG tree.

My recommendation is to climb the Russian SPG tree until you reach SU-26. The SU-26 is absolutely fun, so you just have to experience this. Thereafter, climb the medium tank path, and hop over from the KV to S-51. This means you skip the SU-5, SU-8 and SU-14. trust me, you wonít miss them.

Another advantage is this path prepares the way for you to climb to IS-7 Ė thatís crucial for clan wars.

If you really want to play the German tree, then jump over from the Panzer IV to Hummel.
Your Crew Skill Matters
100% crew efficiency

To be a good arty player, number one on your list is a 100 percent SPG crew efficiency. Donít try to play as SPG if your crew is not at 100 percent skill - you'll find it most annoying.

This is most annoying because an arty player will notice that it takes forever to aim, reload, move and so on. The reason is, unlike tanks and tank destroyers, you just canít perform with a 50% crew. You canít hit anything with such slow aiming and reload time.

So first on your list is to spend some gold and train every SPG crew to 100 percent. If youíre really on a budget with gold, then at minimum train the commander, gunner and loader to 100 percent. The driver and radio operator is not as important (but certainly recommended).

To save even more gold, you might opt to quickly climb to a tier 3 arty such as the SU-26 before spending the gold. It may not be worth it to spend the gold on a tier 2 arty as you can reach tier 3 very quickly. Or you can jump straight to a tier V arty from the medium tank branch Ė itíll save you lots of gold, and experience points as you completely skip tiers II, III and IV (Russian and German SPGs only).

You can jump to Hummel via Panzer IV, or S-51 via KV.

Your secondary skill should be placed on Camouflage. Donít bother with Repair or Fire Fighting skills as arty almost never catches fire, and usually donít survive more than a few hits.


Install the Artillery Shell Rammer and Gun Laying Drive (10% increase in aiming and reloading speed) on your SPG as soon as possible. This is a very, very high priority as it speeds up your targeting and reloading time. Also install Camouflage Net although that isnít as critical.

At higher levels (tier 6 and above), you will be able to install the Air Ventilator (5% increase to all crew skills), so choose that instead of the Camouflage Net. Also note that Russian SPGs have two gunners, and two loaders Ė so with the Air Ventilator adding 5% to each crew, you might just enjoy 10% increased efficiency in total loading and aiming efficiency. This however is not confirmed, but get the Air Ventilator anyway.

Donít bother installing any other equipment module as theyíre only a waste of credits.

For consumables, I like to carry the Small Repair kit and Small First Aid kit. If youíre going into a clan battle, then choose Chocolates, Extra Rations or Case of Cola as they increase all crew skills by 10 percent. These consumables cost 50 gold each, they last throughout the battle and are automatically consumed at the start of a battle.

When researching other equipment, upgrade the suspension, gun, engine and radio in that order. The suspension has to be upgraded first, or the other modules may be too heavy to mount.
Fighting in a SPG

SPG excel at indirect fire and act as force multipliers for your team. What this means is you can camp at the safety of your base and still kick ass. You provide extra firepower for your attacking teammate, so while your teammate is attacking an enemy, you too are attacking - effectively doubling your firepower.

However, you need to stay in a safe place, and avoid close range combat with your enemies. A humble light tank such as the Panzer II Luchs (tier III) can easily kill the Object 212 (tier 7 arty) at close distance.

Take up a safe fighting position, such as at the extreme corner of the map, hide inside a thick bush, behind a hill, on low ground (such as in a crater), behind your flag, or simply behind the defensive barrier formed by your team, and away from enemy eyes.

Note that if you are playing in a Tier 6 and higher SPG (SU-14, S-51, GW Panther), then you're giant sized vehicle that can be spotted from a mile away. Yes, it is very easy for the enemy to see you from a distance, so take extra precaution to stay well hidden behind rocks, buildings, etc...

You should not be spotted by the enemy. If youíre spotted, move and relocate immediately, as enemy arty would be targeting you. Hiding places vary from map to map. On urban maps, such as Himmelsdorf and Ensk, thereís simply no place to hide. It sucks to be arty on city maps like Himmelsdorf.

Here are the most common arty hiding positions :-
Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions
Abbey Cliff El Halluf Komarin Murovanka
Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions
Ensk Erlenberg El Halluf Himmelsdorf Karelia
Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions Arty hiding positions
Lakeville Malinovka Prokhorovka Ruinberg Sand River

Keep the combat away from you. Often youíll see groups of tanks engaged in combat, with each trying to breakthrough to the other side. So which group should you support?

Support the group that is most threatening to you Ė and thatís usually the group closest to your position. Its imperative that you stop the enemy thatís trying to advance to your base, because once they reach your base, your own survival is at stake. You need to stay alive, and youíre no good to your team if youíre dead.

If you see that the enemy has broken through your defenders, then relocate immediately. Donít wait until they reach your base because it would be too late. Abandon your position, and run to the other side of the map, or to the center, or somewhere far away, where you still can hit on players trying to capture your flag.

Try to hide several hundred meters behind your team. This way you depend on them to spot for you, or even protect you while you fire from a safe distance. There are actually some good players who actually rush to artyís aid, but granted there are more than an equal number of noobs too who leave their arty to their own fate.
Use the T Button

When attacking a player, press the T button often to tell your team who youíre targeting. Youíll be surprised that good players actually pick this up, and if they know they have arty support, they may just retire to spotting for you while remaining behind cover - instead of putting themselves in the line of fire.
Targeting Guide

Fire only when the aiming reticle has reached its smallest. It takes a long time for a SPGís targeting reticle to reach its smallest circle - and an even longer time to reload. As a rule of thumb, fire only after your reticle has reached its smallest circle. This gives you highest accuracy.

Put off the temptation to shoot prematurely, and be patient. For me, I wonít shoot until the reticle has reached its smallest circle Ė even if it means missing an opportunity to fire. If you shoot prematurely, your shot will most likely miss, and youíll need to wait for a long reload. As a guideline, donít shoot prematurely. The exception is for self defense, when you need to get off that shot for your own survival.

Aim behind. Due to the shell trajectory, target a little behind the enemy. You have a better chance of hitting. See pics below :-
SPG targeting

Aim ahead. When hitting moving targets, it is necessary to anticipate where the enemy will be 2 or 3 seconds in the future and shoot at that spot. Depending on your distance to the target, your shell can land in 0.5 seconds, or in 4 seconds.

Accurately aiming ahead of a moving target comes with practice and skill, and with some luck, you can hit a moving target.

Fire Blind. Blind fire certainly works Ė especially against noobs, and tank destroyers, arty or even tanks hiding at base, and they hadnít realize they were spotted.

If you see an enemy comfortably settled, and if they didnít move from their spot, then you have a good chance to fire at that spot Ė even if you had to do it blind. You can even fire blind at moving targets and still score a kill.

When you see too many targets on the map, take a note where TDs and defending tanks are hiding. Remember which bush, and which rock. Then come back later and fire blind at those spots.

Blind fire works. It has worked too many times, got me too many kills Ė that any good arty player must fire blind when the circumstances look promising.
Use Splash Damage

Especially for higher tier SPGs, you can hit a tank even if you have no direct line of fire. Most arty players donít capitalize on splash damage Ė and I was one of them.

I really learnt the usefulness of splash damage when there were two tanks hiding behind a rock. Their path was blocked, but I let off anyway at the nearest point, and boom Ė I killed both of them in one shot. Since then, I began using splash damage to target enemies hiding behind rocks.

Once there was a Panther II hiding behind a house. He had about 65% of health left, and the house was shielding him. So I aimed as close to the ground next to the house as possible, and the splash damage killed him.

How far is the radius of your splash damage? It differs from SPG to SPG. Check your splash damage radius. The SU-14 splash damage radius is about 6.9 meters. The Tiger's length is about 6.3 meters. That means the splash damage of a SU-14 HE round is longer than the length of a Tiger. Since everyone knows how long is a Tiger, I too use that to measure the effective range of my splash damage.
Priority of Targeting

When presented with multiple targets, you need to prioritize whom to attack. Letís say thereís a light tank, tank destroyer, medium and heavy tanks, and SPGs. Some are moving, some are hiding. Some are almost dead, and some are at full health. So whom should you target first?

A word of advice. Donít waste time chasing that tank that is running all over the map. Its better to choose a stationary target. That's the first rule I use.

With all else being equal, enemy SPGs should be your first priority. Followed by tank destroyers, heavy tanks, and then the rest.

Also try to prioritize on nearly dead enemies. If a IS-7 is at 5% health, even splash damage is enough to kill it. So when possible, completely take out one enemy first, then move on to another.

Lastly, remember when there are multiple targets available and you can't hit them all. Quickly note where TDs and arty are hiding. After you have reloaded, come back at fire blind at those spots.
Not All Maps Are Equal

Know the map where youíre playing. Not all maps are equal. Some maps like Himmelsdorf and Ensk are among the worst maps for arty Ė and you will get different results based on the map youíre playing.

Some maps are 600x600, some 800x800 and some 1000x1000. Be familisr with arty hiding spots Ė watch where your arty hides, or play as arty yourself to know the maps.
Doodi

Su-26

I would be interested in reading what you think of the su-26 since the 8.0 patch? For me, while it still aims and reloads fast, it's damage has been seriously nerfed. I can barely kill t3 and t4 now -- via several direct hits. Tier 5 &,6 are all but invulnerable to su-26's now.

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