This sentence may sound a little strange to some players, but still worth repeating: in the bottom right corner of the interface is a map of current battlefield, where we are fighting now. If it is not visible, press M to activate it. + and - keys zoom in and out respectively. Each type of vehicles available in the game has its own symbol on the map:
The map is one of the most important sources of information about current situation on the battlefield. To take full advantage of it, you need to have the best available radio and the price we pay for it will return immediately. It is thanks to map that we are able to quickly determine which points need our support, which flank is too weak to stop the enemy or what is estimated location of enemy tank destroyers and artillery. By using combination of CTRL and LMB on the map we send ping to all allies which should call their attention on given square. It would be best to use the built-in chat to determine enemy forces in given point, right after we determine their positions. This information will allow our allies to take defensive or offensive action, because as mentioned earlier, knowledge about enemy forces location is essential for success in World of Tanks.
We use the map from the battle begin. It needs just few seconds to determine points where our allies driving to, what will allow us to strengthen weak points (if we play typically defensive vehicle) or support the offensive (if we play medium tank for example). It is worth to use the first moments of the battle to block all possible passages for enemy scouts and defend artillery. If the attack is not carried out in within about 2 minutes, we can leave defending of self-propelled guns to other vehicles and move to the fight. At this point it is worth reminding that the artillery is most important and we can't leave it without any protection. If we play on the map with limited paths of attacks (Sand River for example), we can try to move to more forward position. In case of more open maps (like Live Oaks) artillery should always count on support of other tanks.
Once we take care about the artillery, it is time to prepare to fight with basic enemy units. It often happens, that players group most of their forces in one point and then move this cluster toward enemy positions. This tactics is effective only if all tanks are able to attack the enemy simultaneously. Unfortunately, beginners are often afraid to take few hits and attack the enemy alone. In this case they lose all the advantage of having more tanks than the enemy. This mistakenly used tactics is called lemming rush, because usually it ends in defeat of the entire team. All players which take part in it are almost always "sentenced to death". Why? Suppose that group of 12 tanks moves in one direction to attack. By using the maneuvers previously described in this guide (shooting at tracks, correct setting of the hull), this attack can be blocked by using only 8 vehicles, forcing the enemy to attack alone. Other 6 vehicles can be used to break through poorly defended (or even undefended) flank and then capture the enemy flag or surround main enemy forces and destroy them in cross fire.
The above example shows us also, that the main task is to balance our forces on all front lines, since breaking it in even one point can lead to domino effect - other lines will be flanked and destroyed. Assuming that both sides set their vehicles on the battlefield evenly: hot to carry out the attack? In this case mainly individual skills of tankers count - ability to set the tank at the proper angle or knowledge about weak points of the enemy. A bit of luck also come in handy - accidental destroying the tank by blowing up its ammo rack can often break the deadlock. Once we get enough advantage in HP over the enemy, we can try more risky maneuvers, intended to breaking the front line faster which will allow us to flank remaining enemy forces and win the battle.
Tactics described here, which can be summed up as stop-flank-destroy, is the general example of gameplay in World of Tanks. This scheme works on most of available maps, but sometimes you have to improvise and invent new, more risky maneuvers. It is this way, when you can recognize a good commander: he is not afraid of new challenges and his commands, which even may seem illogical, ultimately lead to victory. Later on I'll try briefly describing tactics adapted to specific maps, which will allow polishing our leadership and individual skills.
Information about the crew and equipment
Both trained crew and properly selected equipment have gigantic influence on our performance on the battlefield. The tank with rookies will be slower, longer reload the cannon after the shot or have less accuracy than the one with experienced tankers. Additional elements like Camouflage Net or Binocular Telescope even more enlarge these differences. In the below chapter I'll put information on crew training and selecting proper equipment in order to increase our effectiveness on the battlefield.