Tanksmas – Yeah, not enough.


Flush with excitement, Monday night I began grinding the damage and kills needed for the WZ-111 mission.     By today, I am hopelessly behind and will clearly not meet my goals of six nation completions.

The USA should have been completed on Friday evening going on 30 kills/day, but I sit at the moment with 117.      For 30 kills/day to work, I have to rack up an overage, sometime during this and the following week.   This is because I’m not going to get to play much once I’m traveling between Christmas and New Years, so being behind at this stage means I’m sunk.

Not that I'm doing badly.   The M6 now has 5 high caliber and two steel wall medals total.

Not that I’m doing badly. The M6 now has 5 high caliber and two steel wall medals total.

So much for the beginning plan.   At this stage it’s all about doing USA, USSR, and Germans.     And we’ll just have to see where it all ends up later.    If I can manage that, that leaves me with a WZ-111 that costs $40, which is not very appealing at all.    Nine free days of premium sounds good – as does the obvious “Enjoy the game”, which I’m definitely doing.

But you know – you gotta visit family during the holidays.   I wouldn’t miss my kids Christmas concert for the world.    Gaming is a high priority, but anything but my highest one.

Fun tanks include the Easy 8 and its cousin the Fury, the M6, and the M103 which is pretty durable.   Even in the hard to play Tier 9 and 10 rounds, it holds up well and dishes out a lot of damage.    Hull down it is a fearsome predator.

"Push Down" status.   M6, Easy 8 are moving up the charts.

“Push Down” status. M6, Easy 8 are moving up the charts.

I now own both the Bishop, the AT1, and the Churchill Gun Carrier thanks to specials.    The Russians are on sale now, and I have all kinds of possible purchases, which I’ll just see how well I do earning credits over the next several days.     Probably the best thing to aim for is the the Tier VII TD’s, the SU-152 and the SU-100M1.    I could also buy the KV-13 but given the way I play the game, it’s kind of superfluous.    I’ll be going down the normal IS line, and the T43 line, so I’m not very interested there.


Lost Battles, but Winning the War


To win the war, you must take away the enemies will to fight.   Truer words were never spoken.

Discouraged by the loss of most of Burbank, I continued to fight against Amahoser as Doc Burbank of the Dark Burbank Nation (gang),  and I take the same squares over and over from him.    He upped the ante, and did both: take anything from me, which I had taken from him; and continued to expand across the town.     Seems however, that I’ve done something right – he hasn’t logged in for an entire week, and I’m hopeful that he’s quit the game.

Still lots of blue.   But lots of orange now too.

Still lots of blue. But lots of orange now too.

This has completely refreshed my motivation, and I find myself farming the men as fast as I can get them.     “Five” missions are a good bet, as is driving across Amahoser’s territory and rallying the men.    Now that he’s no longer repopulating his squares, that’s particularly effective – taking his men away from him, to be used to attack his remaining men.

The plan is to box off a square around his headquarters area for future destruction.     The freeway is the first priority, since I like having the connected territory with the rest of the I-5 freeway, up into Santa Clarita.    Second priority is “The Hills” of Burbank, northeast of the freeway.    After that I’ll try to clean up in “The Flatlands” and remove all of his territories.

Of course, the real life actions here are a bit strange.    I step back for a moment and think about what I’m doing, and it gives me pause.    Every lunch break is a drive across town to play the game.     Driving into Burbank means many detours now, just to hit him again or farm men.   I feel a feral hatred for this punk Amahoser – refusing all communication and accommodation, he simply decides he’s going to take me out.     He could have succeeded.

Probably, he asked himself a similar question and decided not to continue sucking up all of his time.  It might have helped that I got a tablet, and used that when possible to bring two accounts to the attack.   But my readers should know I’m psychotic about Burbank.    Of all the things to never challenge me on, this would be it.    So there’s little doubt that I’ll continue to claim the city, come what may.

The enemy could decide to come back, nothing is sure.    If he does I hope he’ll find himself covered with my territory, instead of his blue.

My commute is now completely covered by my squares, and I couldn’t get any more territory if I tried.     Commuting is once again pretty boring, but safer, given that I’m not poking on my phone as I drive.     And Santa Clarita continues to be conquered, little by little.

Monolicious, the other guy in Burbank, has also quit playing, while a new guy (who constantly changes his names) is in Pacoima.    As is usual in City Domination, he doesn’t want to be part of my gang, but he is expanding and I think we have an understanding – I’ll leave Pacoima alone and he’ll leave the freeway alone.     Harvesters of Sorrow, still holding the top spot in LA County, are not a concern and I’m friendly with their leader.

It’s the savage excitement of taking territory that keeps me playing this game.

Prepared for Tanksmas 2014


I ended up playing a lot of Tanks over the weekend.    Limited time beta didn’t appeal, not with a major event on the horizon that I needed to prepare for.    Wish I could say more.   I got a real kick out of the watermark placed in all screenshots, with some code number and my WoT email address, which would certainly get me in trouble if I posted anything.   I’m sure excited to see the final product – I played enough to know I’m going to love it.

Bought my Chi-Nu, the Tier V Japanese tank, and promptly sucked hard in it.    My win rate is 33% with 50 games, and I continue to pound my head against the wall with it, because I need the XP to unlock the Chi-To.    7k of 31k so far.    Spent no free XP on it and earned every module the hard way.

Slow and inaccurate, hard to play medium.

Slow and inaccurate, hard to play medium.

Once equipment sales are up, I’ll be buying a rammer, GLD, and attaching Binocs to it – these seem to be the best equipments possible for it.

Having realized I own the Churchill VII, I’m good on the British front, but I’ve been grinding out a lot of matches with the Crusader anyway.    Not likely I’m going to unlock the Cromwell tonight, but I can keep messing with it I suppose.

I’m so close to finishing the Alecto (11.5k out of 13.5k).     I’m not a fan of howitzer tanks, but this one is pretty good, and would probably be even better with a good crew (They’re currently 84%).

With enough free XP to unlock lots of stuff, I can enter the week ready to chase the big new tank.     I could own that Chi-To no problem immediately.   First, I’ll have to stay calm and just try to get some of the easier nations – like America.    That’s a good enough game goal for the moment.    Maybe just play the Chi-Nu enough for daily doubles etc.    And for once, it’s time to concentrate on my highest tier tanks, since the mission requires 150k damage and 150 kills.

This should be fun.

Holiday Grinding


The big “Christmas special” for World of Tanks is revealed as a hunt for a free Chinese heavy tank – a premium beastie worth perhaps 12,000 gold, the WZ-111.

Come at me, bro.

Come at me, bro.

This is an approximately $50 value if you’re willing to do a serious grind to earn one.

  • For each nation – Germany, Soviet, USA, French, British, China and Japan.
  • Destroy 150 vehicles and cause 150,000 damage
  • Tier VI and higher only

Now, right off the bat, you might say to yourself forget it, I can’t make that happen.    But you can make this happen : each of those seven missions earns you a “token”.   If you cannot complete one leg of the mission, just buy a token for $10 and you can finish the special.

Devious and well put together, I have to say.     My immediate thoughts without looking at my garage carefully, is I can make six of the seven happen.

  • France : AMX AC 46 still needs a lot of XP, I can probably use just this baby and get to the top.    Could also take out the ARL V39 and see if I’m still any good with that little guy.
  • America : M103 still grinding, hardly started the T-21 and the T25AT, and using the Easy 8 just for battle count.    Definitely could make this happen.
  • Germany : I have tons of tanks, plus two Tier X’s,  I’m sure I can do this.
  • Soviets : Lots of these too, including the ST-I, and a KV-2 with a brutally experienced crew.
  • British : The Churchill Gun Carrier is unlocked.    Then again, it’s said this is a miserable tank to drive.   I could probably get the Cromwell since I own the Crusader and have started its grind.
  • China : I haven’t bought my M5A1 Stuart yet.     This one ain’t gonna happen.
  • Japan : I’m ready to buy the Chi-Nu.    Grinding that to the Tier VI Chi-To sounds difficult, but who knows.

Or, if money is no object, buy seven tokens for $70 and you’re done.     Me, I have a real possibility to buy one $10 token and earn the rest for free.     (I know, what an optimist I am).

There are plenty of additional fun specials and missions, and I’m pleased to see the variety here.    Festivities begin about 3:30 am on Monday.     This is good, because there’s another special event happening this weekend.

I don’t believe I’m permitted to disclose what it is.    It should be fun.    That’s assuming I can get in computer time between all of the family activities happening over the weekend, plus being dragged to two Christmas parties by my wife.    Sadly, no more information about the weekend’s non-WorldofTanks activities will be posted.    It may be recorded on my PC for future “disclosure”.

If I do any tanking, it seems the best plan is : Grind the Crusader, buy the Chi-Nu, and play just these two beasties.

Enjoying the New-ish Medals


After running match after match, I’ve gotten both the M3 Lee and the Jagdpanzer 4 past the 370 match mark, and retired both from primary tanks.     Elited the Hellcat, Churchill 1, and the Birch Gun by unlocking the next tanks.

Only a 45% WR with this baby, but it's going up.    And I definitely have great matches with it.

Only a 45% WR with this baby, but it’s increasing. And I definitely have great matches with it.    High Caliber, in a mid-tier TD.

Also elited the Valentine.    Had maybe 900 xp left over which I converted to free XP.     And less than a day later, I find out the Val may be needed to unlock the next tree for the British tanks coming with version 9.5.    Argh.

Mark of Excellence for the M44

Mark of Excellence for the M44.    I’m not bad with it, am I ?

Credits are piling up again, 3.3 million hoarded.     Probably want at least twice that – then I’ll break out the Tier IX’s again.   Really, the only need I have for credits at the moment is in case of credit-losing matches, with all of these tanks I have to attempt to elite.

So primary tanks include the Tetrarch, Sherman, and Easy 8 for match count, Ram 2 and Fury because American mediums, and the following grinding up :

  • M44 – Will be elite, M12 unlocked, after I write this post.
  • Alecto – 1k of 14k, just getting started.
  • PZ 3/4 – 4k of 27k.
  • SU-26 – 7k of 13k, halfway there.

I took my MT-25 crew and put three of them into the Tetrarch, because I know I want that LTTB at some point.     While I enjoyed having my MS-1 crew with BIA active in it, it would be good to get them started on a second skill.

After Tanksgiving


The X5 events have been very good to me.    Elited the SU-26 and started on the SU-5, for starters.

Finally unlocked the final engine for the AMX AC 46.    It drives MUCH better now with a little bit of pep.   It was a good battle when I did it.

Over 7,000 experience

Over 7,000 experience

Achieved this while being the only guy defending the low road on the Abbey.    That KV-1 either couldn’t pen my hatch, or didn’t target it.

I even managed to get a “Mark of Excellence”.

On the Churchill, of all things.

On the Churchill, of all things.

Then there was the unexpected Epic medal, Levaslaiho’s Medal.

And this, in the Lee.

And this, in the Lee.

I was pretty annoyed – once again at low tier, wishing that I was top tier and could clean up again.      It was the Swamp, went north, and the south got broken through.     Three tanks came up the road, I hid alone, and killed two and helped get one killed by spotting.    This was a very legit Jagdpanzer 4 kill, from 100% to zero, via flank shot.

Then it was time to head to the enemy base for the win, and a single side shot gets me the 3001P and the medal.

Also got the Lee "Stuck" and balanced on one track.      Hysterical !

Also got the Lee “Stuck” and balanced on one track. Hysterical !    Fjords map.

Other than X5’s, I’ve also seen some new things.     If you start a battle and don’t move, apparently this happens now :

oooo.   Scary.

Ooooo. Scary.

It was a typical problem – Start battle.    “Honeydo”.     Take off and see what’s needed, and come back and the match is over.     No idea how many of these becomes a problem.

Progress has continued on primary tanks, and unlocking the next step up.

  • Hellcat : 34k of 42k for unlock
  • M44 : 42k of 59k.
  • Churchill : 36k of 49k.
  • AMX AC 46 : 10k of 70k.
  • Valentine : 11k of 20k.

I’ve decided I like the Valentine better than the Birch Gun, and will drive that to unlock the Bishop.    Four matches in the Birch and I just don’t like playing it much.    Maybe it’s because I cheaped out and got a 50% crew, but I think it’s more that the SPG kinda sucks.

The SU-5 is just as annoying.    Then again, I haven’t finished the upgrades, but I can’t hardly buy a win driving the thing at the moment.

Tier IX’s got some progress for once, over the weekend.   The M103 is now on the track to T110E5 unlock; all upgrades are done.    The ST-I now has upgraded tracks, with a plan to not use free XP on this one.     E-75 is now 27k in towards the E-100 unlock too.     But I’m not going to concentrate on these guys, after blowing all my credits on equipment over the weekend it’s more about the primary tanks I’ve identified and the usual “Pass 370″ matches goal(s).

Facebook does Tanks



I tripped over a Facebook clone of World of Tanks.

It comes with a garage, and three starter tanks.

It comes with a garage, and three starter tanks.

This is the research screen for the first tank you get – the MS-1.    I have three tanks I can unlock from this guy, along with various upgrades for the tank.

Splash screen entering the battle

Splash screen entering the battle

The battle begins

The battle begins

I tried the worlds most basic strategy – flank them, shoot from behind, and destroy.   It worked each time I tried it.

Even got a medal, apparently.

Even got a medal, apparently.

This title is called Ground War : Tanks.    There’s probably plenty of them about, but I find it amusing that Wargaming’s cash cow is now a facebook clone, with a lot of the same attractions as the original game.

World of Tanks Update 11/22/14


The grind goes on, gloriously.

I’ve been concentrating on the M48 Patton event, and driving the Lee, M4, Easy 8, and the T20.     This is for a couple of reasons :

  • Somehow it’s fun to drive these tanks “for a limited time”.
  • Earning rewards is always good, even when meager.
  • I’m advancing them up the list to pass the VK 4502B.

Remember how much I hate that tank ?     Apparently, it’s gotten an upgrade and it is now considered overpowered.     You know, sometime I think life just hates me.     I will hold onto my hatred of the tank and keep it close to my heart anyway.    This means I must push it off the list of top tanks.

Moving them up.

Moving them up.   The M4, Lee, and JP4 are all working on passing 370 matches.

I’ve elited the Marder II, which I’ll clearly keep.    The crew is a bit XP’d up because the Jagdtiger 8.8 has used them for premium matches.    For the moment it’s off my list as I have plenty of tanking goals to pursue.    I’ve also purchased an absolute ton of tanks, and have a single open slot left at the moment – only because I sold one of my Chi-Ha tanks.

Aced the M4.   This was a fun match !

Aced the M4. This was a fun match !

Total matches are now over 18,000.     I’m not going to commemorate that number, but instead it’s more interesting to see what tanks end up as my “most/least” driven.

I’m trying to keep things more in perspective nowadays, and one of those is on the cost of premium accounts.     At the $50 gold package level, and 240 gold/dollar, premium costs less than $10 a month.    So I went ahead and bought premium, and I’ve been playing steadily for the last week.      If I get bored and quit, then it’s not worth it, but I can always justify blowing another $10.

See you on the battlefield.

Losing is hard


When playing a PvP game, you have to be prepared to lose.   Looks like that’s what’s happening to me in City Domination.

Burbank has me and one other serious player in it.    Amahoser.    Silent Bob, who refuses to communicate and recently declared war on Doc Burbank.     I am watching square after square fall to him and there’s not a lot I can do about it.      I can only assume that I’ll end up with a few squares around my workplace and that’ll be it – depending, of course, on the obvious factors.

The "Blue Guns" are him, pushing into my territory.

The “Blue Guns” are him, pushing into my territory.

In the meantime, my ownership of Santa Clarita is unchallenged, along with the 5 freeway down to the 170.   Past that point and I’m being challenged by Amahoser.    So I’m not exactly being completely squeezed out of the game – just out of the area I care about the most, naturally.

Most people playing the game end up bored and quitting.    So will he quit first, or will I ?   I suspect the war will play out until that point.    You can’t exactly have diplomacy with no communication.     I still have one more trick up my sleeve which I’ll try out this week, but it’s success is uncertain and dependent on how much time I want to dedicate to the game.    If you collect enough “5 missions”, you can really smack an opponent around, and that’s what I hope to do to this guy.    The large rewards quickly fill up your inventory, so you can immediately attack an area in force, regardless of how many men are defending.   The 5 missions take a minimum of 48 hours to be ready, and up to around 108, probably to prevent exactly what I’d like to do – have them all ready at exactly the same time.

Then again, I don’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of gaming.    I have a feeling this guy is about 21 years old and unemployed, or a student.     He must have gotten sick of me for whatever reason, and he’s willing to drive around to wherever and smack me down.  I can’t dedicate that kind of time to the game, so I’m expecting to lose.

Either that, the blitz will work out, or I’ll outlast him.    But it’s a bit less fun now, seeing my beloved city slowly slipping out from under my control.

A Return to Tanks


With a kick-ass new PC, I found myself playing World of Tanks once again.

My newest tank

My newest tank

Given that they were on sale, I purchased the well-known Marder 38T and the lesser-known Stug III-B.      I like the Marder and will try to elite it sometime soon.

I went ahead and spent the money for a premium account and have a whole gaggle of vehicles that I’m working on.

  • Lee, M4, and Easy 8 because of the M48 On-track event, along with padding their match count.
  • KV-5 and my brand-new Jagdtiger 8.8 for credits.
  • M44, M18 Hellcat, and the T20 trying to elite.
  • Also eliting the AMX AC 46, and the Churchill I.

I’m expectedly worse at the game having not played in a long while, and my efficiency rating has dropped to 922.    I think I’m doing well again, but my win rating is sliding.    Still, I’m having fun with the game and that’s what’s most important – and the more you win, the more fun it is, so don’t worry readers, I’m not falling off that cliff.

Hellcat has 10k of the 42k needed for the next vehicle, and so it’s the closest to eliting.    The AC 46 is probably still the farthest – haven’t gotten that final engine upgrade yet.    Also hoarding the credits in anticipation of the next sale, whenever that happens, for new tanks or for equipment.     I think I’ll be a bit smarter and stop buying new tank slots, instead, it’s time to sell some of them once I hit the limit.   Still have 5 empty slots.

Finally, I have Abrams medal 1st class.

Finally, I have Abrams medal 1st class.

One perk of buying the new PC was a free code for premium time, the JT 8.8 TD, and some gold.    I also picked up 1000 gold on a promotion for the Overwolf community tool, which was not something I found interesting at all.     With all that gold, it was not hard to decide to buy premium, given that I’m happily playing once again.    We’ll see if that lasts all the way to December 13th or so.    I still have enough to train some crewmen and move around equipment modules, thankfully.

Managed the new High Caliber medal first in the Lee, which amused me.

Managed the new High Caliber medal first in the Lee, which amused me.

There are a whole gaggle of new medals which I’m enjoying earning – I get so many that I’m sure anyone who’s kept playing is bored with them.     Nice to get a medal recognizing when you earn 4 or 5 kills as well – that’s not an everyday occurence for me.

4502B still in the top 20

4502B still in the top 20

At some point I’m sure I’ll push the thing out, but that’s not likely to happen for a long time yet.     I’m not giving up, however….


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