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Crusader Gun Depression - Much Vaunted But Depresses Me

crusader light gun depression

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FieldMarshmallow #1 Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:30 AM

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So here's an example, and hopefully some better players can explain what it is I don't understand.

Himmeldorf, climbing up the hill coming from the seaside as opposed to the countryside. I think to myself "now here's a chance to practice that technique I read about...". So I go into sniper view as I approach the top of the hill, and I inch forward. Nope, need a little more, my sights are still pointing threateningly at a cumulonimbus. Another inch, nope. The gun is as low as can be and still I only see blue skies. A few more inches, then a few more, and a few more. That's it, I'm in perfect position to shoot anything that comes from the other side while keeping as further back as I can. So I switch views and guess what, I've cleared the hill entirely and am sitting on the flat. And anyone who does come up the hill can see well past my turret and right up my skirts.

So what's the deal, what am I missing? because as far as I can tell that's a best case scenario as well. If this had happened on a proper up-then-directly-down hill there is no way in hell I could shoot anything on the low ground past the ridge without clearing it completely.

Edited by FieldMarshmallow, 06 June 2013 - 01:31 AM.


SzikraTheDragon #2 Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:01 AM

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Some tanks just can't aim downwards. Deal with it. Also I suggest you use 3rd person view on hills, as to eliminate the time spent with aiming due to camera bouncing.

sv3rre #3 Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:03 AM

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I think you fail to appreciate just how steep the hill up Himmelsdorf hill really is: Few, if any, tanks currently in the game are able to completely hull down in that particular area. The only ones that I can think of right of the bat that has any chance of successfully attempting a hull down maneuver in that spot are probably the american heavy tanks T29 and T32, and even they will have to expose some parts of their upper glacis. Furthermore, your problems are exasperated by yet another key issue: The Crusader does have VERY GOOD gun depression, but it is also a very low tank. Part of what makes the american (heavy) tanks so good at exploiting a hull down position is that they, in addition to their very good depression values and turret armor, are also quite tall. This makes it easier to "peek" over hills, exposing only their turret and gun. The Crusader, and other tanks in a similar position with good depression but very low profiles, are at a disadvantage when climbing up hills, as they simply are not "tall" enough to look over the hill. Do note, however, that this disadvantage is slightly mitigated when using hull down tactics when looking DOWN a hill.

Simply put: The hill at Himmelsdorf is too steep, and the Crusader is too small for the job. In any case, hulldowning in the Crusader might be a bad idea after all: There are two key elements to a successful hull down position: Gun depression and turret armor. While the Crusader has, as stated earlier, very good gun depression, the turret might as well be made out of paper. Play this tank not as a hulldown sniper/support, but rather as a stealthy flanker/scout.

Hope this answered some of your questions.

Edited by sv3rre, 06 June 2013 - 02:04 AM.


FieldMarshmallow #4 Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:27 AM

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It sure did, and I don't want to give the impression that I'm kissing arse but it's a damn fine reply so thanks for that.

I was actually part of an attack group at that point, I know better than to try to hold a spot alone in that baby by now. I just wanted to be an annoyance while the big guns banged the death drums. I actually had this cool little idea that because of my low height I would force the opponents to alter their aim vertically as well as horizontally to really slow them down. In the end I just drove past the corner and helped a 6er hold the church corner, which worked a treat. When he darted forwards I would too, then wait until he had fired and started pulling back to shoot my gun then retreat. We held off 3 that way, then kept our partnership going past the corner, where we finished a hetzer and another, then down into town. I would go first and light up the map as best I could, distract where possible while he positioned. It really worked well, he got 6 or 7 kills, I got one but I'm sure it was our teamwork that made it possible. A little off subject but a pleasant anecdote.

I'll continue practicing exploiting gun depression, I'm sure your clear picture will help me more than a little on my way.

sv3rre #5 Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:10 AM

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No worries, always a pleasure helping newer players out - we've all been there.


As you've already stated, that anectdote is a pleasant one: Not only is that (one of) the correct way(s) to play the Crusader, but it seems that you did a good job of it to boot. Just keep practicing those hull down positions, it will eventually become second nature. British tanks in general (I'm working my way through the Cromwell) have good gun depression, but slightly below average turret armor. They have low damage per shot, but a very high rate of fire. Therefore, british tanks in particular lend themselves to a sort of nervous, eclectic hull down strategy; racing from hull down position to hull down position, pumping shots into the enemy tanks when they're looking the wrong way. So far this tactic has worked out for me, but I have yet to find out how the higher level british tanks play.

In any case, using hull down tactics successfully is an art form in itself: Anything from slight inclines, rocks, rubble, buildings and even dead tanks can be used as a hull down position. Take note of wherever these pop up, and how to use them accordingly. And, again, a hull down position is only as good as the turret that is using it: A tank with a thinly-armored turret in a hull down position might damage the enemy team, but the tank with a strong turret will win the game!

Word of caution, however: Self propelled guns (aka artillery) loves hull down positions, if only for the reliable amount of stationary targets they provide. While the "regular" tanks of the enemy team might have a hard time damaging your properly positioned hull down tank, a clever enemy artillery player will in most cases be able to damage you with his high powered high explosive shells. This ultimately leads one to two conclusions:

1: Even the most perfect hull down position is never COMPLETELY SAFE.
2: Even a hull down tank in a fixed position needs to retain its mobility.

Simply reversing, turning, or driving forwards in a random pattern while hulldown (preferably whilst reloading your gun) will make you a much harder target for artillery and their slowfiring, but deadly guns, or enemy tanks aiming for your weakspots.

Simply put: Keep on doing what you're doing in your Crusader, remember that hull down positions require good turret armor but still aren't invincible, and above all STAY MOBILE AT ALL TIMES OR THE ENEMY ARTILLERY WILL BLAST YOU TO BITS.

Edited by sv3rre, 06 June 2013 - 03:11 AM.


FieldMarshmallow #6 Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:32 AM

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Man you have no idea how well-timed your advice is. I have three tanks I'm slowly nurturing as of now, basically the three branches of the British tree: The Crusader, the AT-2 and the Churchill I. I take breaks from those in my Elite Alecto and Matilda. I'm only working on the British tree because I figured instead of mowing the greener grass that must surely be kinder to the other nation's tanks' tracks, I'd nail one tree until I had all basics covered. And yesterday, in each and every tank, I got one-shotted by some invisible artillery. The AT-2, ho I got this baby figured now, concrete jaw and fast venom, I choose my choke point to hold and push and come face to face with a Hetzer. Ha ha, but now I've done a little reading, and I land two shots straight in his eye socket. He retreats very much orange, this is won for sure. I check the minimap, my mates are doing great. I press forward just as a fat bastard of a shell insta-bakes me into a one inch thick pancake. Repeat and change tank model where appropriate.

But I really think once I stop thinking so much about the finger mechanics that aspect of my game should improve quickly.

JohnnyMaverik #7 Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:59 AM

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As others have said, that hill is really just too steep, I doubt any tanks in the game can go properly hull down there although some of the American heavies could probably use it to only expose their turret and upper glacis, the Crusader has very good gun depression but it isn't magic :P. As for using hull down in this tank, it's good for making yourself a smaller target, it's bad for creating effective armour, so don't do it in close combat unless you feel you have no other choice and don't hold position, bounce a little to make it hard to take fire, come up to aim then shoot then down again. Personally I feel the Crusader has more weaknesses than strengths but it makes you a better tanker due to this and it isn't bad, sounds like you have the right idea, just keep in mind, when in doubt, just don't get hit, that's really the key to playing this tank, n.1 priority, don't get hit (with in reason of course).

In general I feel the british line is very good for teaching you how to work with both your tanks strengths and tanks that are on the extreme side characteristically, i.e. they have a ton of things that are great, a ton of things that suck and very few "just fine" aspects but at least unlike other nations lines it can actually vary from tank to tank.

Edited by JohnnyMaverik, 06 June 2013 - 04:00 AM.


FieldMarshmallow #8 Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:34 PM

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I agree with you that not getting hit, ever, is absolutely key. The Covenanter already made that clear, and I think it's because I worked through the Covenanter that I'm actually quite thrilled by the Crusader. The Covie I found beyond unforgiving, if I drove over a hedgehog I would lose a track, If I hit a mosquito full speed I would die. So being able to survive a hit or two in the Crusader and still backtrack to safety and harass somewhere else is great. It's really difficult but I find my adrenalin levels go through the roof in this thing. And when I do survive, it always makes for utterly epic battles. I've read through some of the Crusader threads and tons of people consider it worthless. I'm not one of them. I had this one winter game where I was sat in the middle confusing the hell out of the ennemies pushing left and right of me, always pinging away at their tracks, hitting their sides, when all of a sudden it turns critical. Our main attack group is about to enter the red cap zone, and the opponents' force has broken through our first line of defence and realized they should do the same. So there I am behind my little rock and a huge Jagdpanzer heads straight for our flag. And it's down to me to stop it. I know I can't, so I decide to stall him. I drive right next to him all guns blazing and park right next to him. He moves, I move, he turns, I turn. And I swear I was doing great, it was working so well, right until the point their AMX decided fun time was over, rammed me, shot me, and just to be sure, reversed over my dead carcass a few times. But...we won. Epic moments in this thing, not always with great results, never easy, but thrills,  thrills and more thrills.

obama69 #9 Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:47 PM

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yea very good depresion of 7°, compered to t 34 and pz4 useless depresion of 8° and shermans pathetic 12°

Kyphe #10 Posted 08 June 2013 - 05:41 PM

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View Postobama69, on 08 June 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

yea very good depresion of 7°, compered to t 34 and pz4 useless depresion of 8° and shermans pathetic 12°

frontal depression on the mk3 with 6pdr should be 12.5 and with any other gun be 15

http://www.wwiiequip...tanks&Itemid=56

WoT wiki is not always correct btw but I will look into it but I doubt the wiki is right just by playing both T34 and crusader and noting the difference of when you can hit a target from cresting a hill.

Edit just went in game for a quick look and there is a huge difference between the depression of the frontal 40 degrees and the sides and their is no real reason for it to be that way, its just that the tank is so low you never really notice, but to get best depression just turn 20 degs to one side

Edited by Kyphe, 08 June 2013 - 05:55 PM.


obama69 #11 Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:08 PM

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View PostKyphe, on 08 June 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:

frontal depression on the mk3 with 6pdr should be 12.5 and with any other gun be 15

http://www.wwiiequip...tanks&Itemid=56

WoT wiki is not always correct btw but I will look into it but I doubt the wiki is right just by playing both T34 and crusader and noting the difference of when you can hit a target from cresting a hill.

Edit just went in game for a quick look and there is a huge difference between the depression of the frontal 40 degrees and the sides and their is no real reason for it to be that way, its just that the tank is so low you never really notice, but to get best depression just turn 20 degs to one side

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JohnnyMaverik #12 Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:33 AM

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View PostKyphe, on 08 June 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:

Edit just went in game for a quick look and there is a huge difference between the depression of the frontal 40 degrees and the sides and their is no real reason for it to be that way, its just that the tank is so low you never really notice, but to get best depression just turn 20 degs to one side

I was always under the impression that all tanks worked like this? I know I seems to get more depression from an angle that when straight with a lot of my tanks.

Kyphe #13 Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:50 PM

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The way it is supposed to work in the world of WG is that their is one maximum depression value for the hull and then you get reductions forward and rear for any obstruction caused by the hull if applicable.

A tank like the Sherman for example has a sharply tapered front hull and so gets little or no reduction, where as a tank like the T34 has a turret depression is already low so that the hull is rarely a factor anyway.

I was not commenting that it happens ofc it it does, i was commenting on the stupidity of the amount of reduction on the crusader.

Edited by Kyphe, 10 June 2013 - 03:51 PM.


FieldMarshmallow #14 Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

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This is probably wrong and due to my inability to gauge things properly due to lack of experience, but I've been trying to use the depression more in-game, with some success. But it seems to me that to get the best result I have to park the tank sideways, parallel to the ridge line or as close as I can. Not ideal, but the 20° for me is hard to work out. It looks like the canon rises when pointing at the front wheel, or where the front wheel would be in a car, then decreases again when poiting hard left or hard right.

Instigator #15 Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:39 PM

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Good replies here, I hadn't thought the impact of angling on the Crusader would be so high but I do remember one of the nicest things about the Crusader when facing front was not the gun depression but how perfect it works in the small bomb craters found on many maps - particularly in roads in towns. The Crusader is so low in the first place you leave almost nothing to hit. I picked off a few PzIVs hitting the top of them knowing they couldn't see me to shoot back. of course that was one of the few times I have ever stayed remotely like still in a Crusader and if they advanced towards me with their derper guns I needed an escape rout to a wall nearby or I was dead.




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