torsdag 16. oktober 2014

World of Tanks: AMX 13 90 Guide

I'm having a great time scouting in Strongholds and Platoons for IRF Clan. I've got about 400 matches in AMX 13 90 now, so I thought I'd write a short guide to scouting with this excellent tank. I'll mostly be focusing on Random matches, since in Strongholds a lot depends on the overall team strategy, For example, the AMX 13 90 may be playing wolf pack with AMX 50 100s or fast mediums, in which case you should ignore a lot of the advice below.

AMX 13 90

Prepare your tank

Time to spend some of that hard earned cash.


First off, paint your tank. Every extra bit of extra camouflage helps.


Use the Automatic Fire Extinguisher - it's great. You will rarely be put on fire twice if you have this. I have it in on every high tier tank.

You rarely take enough module damage to need Large kits, but if it's an important team fight then it might still be a good idea.


I usually go with 24 AP, 6 APCR, and 6 HE ammo. The 24 normal rounds are enough for the entire match. The APCR is a backup if I get caught in a position where I just need some extra penetration - like I have to take out a damaged T10 heavy where even side or rear shots can bounce. This hardly ever seems to happen though. The HE is for emergency decapping, since it does almost guaranteed module damage.

Train Your Crew

Skills are pretty easy, Lights want better camo, spotting, driving, and dueling.

First skill: Camo

This is easy, Camouflage for everyone. Remember that camo still works when you are moving in a light tank.

Second skill: Sixth Sense, Off Road Driving, Snap Shot

Swap Camouflage for Sixth Sense on the Commander. Sixth Sense is great for checking if a place is safe to passive scout from (poke, pull back, wait 3 seconds - if it doesn't light up, you cannot be spotted). Also, in case an enemy scout (or TD) sees you, you will know - which is invaluable information to the team in Strongholds. When you gain some experience you will get a good idea about where the scout might is hidden, even if you cannot see him.

For the other skills, I chose Off Road Driving and Snap Shot since you will be driving all over the place, and you might be firing on the move when dueling other lights.

Third skill

I'm not there yet, but it will probably be Call for Vengeance, Dead Eye, and Clutch Braking. Fourth might be Brothers in Arms.

Useless skills

Repair and Fire Fighting are wasted on a scout. If you get tracked twice in a position where you can still be shot at, you are dead. The chance of being lit on fire twice - before taking 1150 damage - is near zero (it has never happened to me so far).


Vents and Optics together give you almost exactly the max view range (449 m), so there is no other choice for an active scout.

For the last slot I recommend either Enhanced Gun Laying Drive (for fewer misses in duels) or Enhanced Torsion Bars (to increase your chances of getting away if caught in the open). For Strongholds I'd go with the Torsion Bars, since being alive is much more important then getting a hit. For publish matches I switch to EGLD for that extra damage potential.


This is strategy for pub matches.

The basic strategy is "don't die". The AMX 13 90 has a fantastic late game, and being the only side with a living scout is a great advantage. If you are uncertain of whether you will live if you do something, it's probably better to wait and see.

If you take some damage early, which active scouts tend to do at times, be careful and play defensively until you reach the late game.

Early game

The AMX 13 90 is a good active scout. Make half circles across the field to try to spot enemy tanks, then dodge into safety if spotted. Use a mod to show your spot circle, so that you can keep enemy tanks near the edge of your spot range.

On some maps there are fantastic passive scout positions, in this case do some passive scouting in the beginning.

Note that since it will take 40 seconds before your clip loads, you cannot go duel scouts in places (like the center hill in Mines) which are less than 40 seconds away.

Mid game

The mid game starts when most enemy positions are known, except maybe some sniping TDs, passive scouts, and artillery.

If you cannot active scout safely, try to passive scout areas where friendlies will get clean shots, Keep enemy scouts or flanking mediums from getting to the arty by making sure there is nowhere to crawl though.

Look in the mini map for places where there is safe flanking, or for players in need of help. Drive behind them or from the side, unload the clip, run like a chicken.

Late game

I consider the late game to start when there are so few tanks left that you have fairly free range of movement.

This is where the AMX 13 90 really shines. Make sure you have a full clip, Fly through the openings in the lines, find the artillery, and destroy it. Go behind the enemy in any small skirmishes that are left, and clean up. You can force the enemy to turn around or lose by capping, and then run away before they get back.


These are some basic tactics to keep in mind,


Whenever a fight is over, and you don't know that there is a new target available right away, reload. Nothing is more sad than being one bullet short when trying to finish off the third enemy arty. It's usually better to wait a bit while reloading, go back into the fight only when you are ready.


Your gun is not very accurate. If you are in a position where no-one but your target can shoot you, it might be better to just stop and unload your clip, instead of driving towards them and risk having shots go wild.


Your camo values are amazing, both when still and when driving. This means that you can quite often spot the enemy while he cannot spot you. Remember that if you keep a bush between yourself and the target, and the bush is further than 15m away from you, it will still hide you when you fire.


Try to duel enemy scouts in places where you are safe from other enemy tanks, or (even better) run into places where other friendly tanks can support you.

Don't duel enemy scouts if you cannot kill your target (if every shot hits) before he kills you (if every shot hits). This can happen easily if you take a hit or two doing early scouting.

Hold Your Fire

Don't shoot if it will reveal you to heavier enemies while you don't have a safe spot to get to.

AMX 13 90. Scouter. Spotter. Murderer.

I hope this was useful. Good luck!

fredag 26. september 2014

My son is doing passive scouting

I have joined IRF Clan in World of Tanks, which has led to an increase in tanking in the evenings after my son has gone to bed. Unfortunately, it seems I nevertheless have been spotted whizzing around the battlefield in my trusty AMX 13 90 by my son.

Nothing is of course more fun than doing things one is not supposed to do - and being deemed too young to play, or even watch, World of Tanks is a pretty harsh fate indeed. Or in his words, "It's so unfair that all the coolest games are just for adults!" Which is true, I guess. So, it seems like my son has taken to, on occasion, sneak ever so quietly out of his room after bedtime, and watching me from the shadows (no mean feat, since there are no bushes around to enhance his camo value).

But, on the plus side, he has been inspired to design a very powerful tank!

Cool Tier XI Heavy Dragon Tank with Lava Shots and Magnifying Glass.

Not only does it have impenetrable heavy armor, it has very cool spikes and wings, and a magnifying glass to help it to spot better. To preserve game balance, the magnifying glass is also a major weak spot. I think that overall it's probably at least tier XI. Observe also the premium ammo - complete with lava cracks. I estimate the penetration value of these shots to be extremely high, but it should probably be kept well away from the fuel tanks. I would advise training Safe Stowage skill on the gunner.

Puny AMX 13 90 which Dad drives.
He also pointed out the unfairness that I should be driving around in such a puny tank while all he others are so big. Above is a size comparison of the tank I drive (AMX 13 90), compared to his lava-ball-shooting monster.

torsdag 31. juli 2014

Teaching kids Dominion

It's summertime, cabin time, and gaming time! But danger lurks. There are lots of excruciatingly boring games for children out there, and if you give them to your kids you're probably going to have to suffer through them on rainy days, repeatedly, ad nauseum. So, avoid the bad old "classics" like Monopoly, Risk, and Snakes and Ladders - and teach your kids some games that are actually fun to play every day!

If your kid can read a little and do some basic math, I would like to recommend Dominion. This is one of the best games ever made, with almost endless variety. Like most good, modern games it has relatively simple rules, and a lot of hidden depth. One of the things that makes Dominion a great game for playing with kids is that even if you are a decent player, there is some element of luck, so no matter what you do you will get your ass handed to you occasionally.

Six and six and six...
Here are some tips on how to make it easier to teach kids Dominion.

Start with simple Kingdom cards

In the beginning, hand pick the Kingdom cards. Start by using the simpler cards (like Smithy, Village, Market, and so on), and introduce the more complex cards and less straight-forward strategies after they have learned the basics. Most kids seem to love attack cards, so make sure there are some in the mix. Kingdoms that are heavy on Curse slow down the game a lot, so if the kids are too young or impatient to play a long game, it might be better to not use these cards in the beginning. If they have some favorite cards, have them in the mix!

Introduce new cards slowly

After you play a game, swap out one to three cards. It will make it way easier to learn the game if you keep the Kingdoms fairly similar in the beginning.

Play two or three player games

Two or three player games take way less time than four (or, horribly, five or six) players, so if the kids are impatient it might be a good idea to limit number of players to two or three. As they become better they will probably start playing the game faster, which will make it more fun to add in a fourth player.

Be patient

Dominion requires a lot of thinking, counting, math, and reading, so be prepared to spend much more time on each game than if you play with experienced players. Even so, I think it's important not to rush kids. Let them think and choose for themselves, but correct them if they happen to miscount, or break the rules! I think giving some occasional strategy advice is good, but make sure they get to do the decisions. Don't sit there and try to make them play every hand in the optimal way. In my experience, most people do not enjoy having other players play games for them, and most also find it annoying to be flooded with well-meant advice - and it might be easier to fall into this trap with children (who might not be inclined to tell you to just shut the fuck up and mind your own damn cards, thank you very much).

Play oddball strategies

I'm of the opinion that one should usually not deliberately throw games with kids. There are some reasons for this. First off, if they are smart enough to play Dominion they'll probably figure it out in no time, and no-one likes to find out they won like that. Also, I'll be taking away from them the joy of crushing me fair and square for the first time! In addition, it's quite simply very unsatisfying for me to not play a game to win, and the point here was to have fun with the kids. But even if you're way better than them there is a legit trick you can do in order to even the odds a bit, without deliberately throwing the game.

In Dominion, there are usually many potential ways to win. So, if I'm playing with kids, I use it as a nice opportunity to try oddball strategies. Often there will be some weird, long-shot strategy in the Kingdom! So skip that Smithy-Big Money and see if you can't find something crazy. Or just use a variant on a normal strategy and see what happens if you try to do it slightly differently. It could be a fun learning experience for you as well!

Basic strategies

After the kids have learnt the mechanics, these are some of the more important strategies that you might want to teach them.
  • Don't buy Victory cards in the beginning.
  • Buy some money in the beginning! Some silver and (later) gold is almost always a good idea.
  • Don't buy too many cards with no +Actions.
  • Start getting Duchies when the Provinces are emptying out.
Then, you might try to teach something about card synergy.
  • One-card combos (like multiple Laboratory and Market)
  • Two-card combos (like Smithy / Council Room + Money, or Smithy / Village)
Once they have learnt these things, you might find that you will have to start fighting harder to win! So, best of luck... to your kids! :D

tirsdag 18. februar 2014

Back after a year of making Trolls vs Vikings

I had plans to make more out of my WARMACHINE blog, play more games... and then I started the mobile game company Megapop Games with a friend of mine. So, in effect, all my hobbies got cancelled for the last year. But now we are live with our first game for iPhone and iPad! And it even has trolls!

You can find Trolls vs Vikings on the iOS App Store. It's currently soft launched in Norway and New Zealand while we iron out some more bugs, with the rest of the world soon to follow.

Also, since things are calming down at work, I'm taking my miniatures out of storage tomorrow, and then I will play with my little tin men for the first time in a year. :D