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  Home » Combat Strategies

SPG Guide

SPG Guide

World of Tanks SPG Strategy Guide

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-8) 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.

Continued... SPG Combat Strategies - Part 2