CMC107: Vehicles of Air Warrior
Instructor: Boa

general info - T-34
This is a preliminary class, check back in a few weeks for the completed version.

General Info

The most important lesson to learn about driving any vehicle (including jeep, flakpantzer, T-34 tank, and truck) is shifting.  This is very similar to the way you drive a stick shift, except there's no clutch.  One thing to remember: don't put throttle at idle, ever.  There's no reason to.  I keep it between 50% and 100% at all times.

There are 4 keys that you need for proper shifting:
A shifts down
D shifts up
S shifts to neutral or reverse
[spacebar] brakes

Below is a graph that shows

  1. the position of the shifter lever for each gear
  2. the keypress needed to go to specific gear

Note that to go from Neutral to Reverse or vice versa the vehicle needs to be completely stopped.

Use the brakes to stop, but make sure you're in neutral before you stop, or the engine will stall.  If you do stall, you must be in neutral to restart the engine.

Don't drive around in 1st gear, you're wasting time.  In 3rd gear your vehicle will move twice as fast as in 1st.

Most vehicles have multiple crew positions.  Unlinke a bomber, however, the driver can switch to any position in the vehicle.  This allows one person to control all the functions of the vehicle.

To switch between positions use [esc] followed by j followed by a one letter abbreviation for the position.  Thus to jump to the driver spot you would type [esc]jd[enter].

Vehicles cannot cross water, in fact they will get stuck if they touch water.  Avoid the water.  If you DO get stuck, and no one comes to kill you to put you out of your misery, you can use the /*iwanttodie command to suicide.

To cross rivers, vehicles must use a bridge.  These are elevated roads and most maps offer a way to cross rivers via at least one bridge.  Below are 2 pictures showing a tank driver's pov as the tank nears the bridge entrance, and a second showing the same tank crossing the bridge.  Make sure you enter and exit the bridge in 1st gear.  If you make a mistake, you could fall into the water.

A vehicle is very vulnerable on a bridge because it's path is predictable.  Therefore try and get across as quickly as possible.  In ETO, it takes around 4 minutes to cross a bridge in a T-34 tank at full speed.

Most people's vehicle experience is hopping into a Flak Pantzer and defending a field.  There's actually quite a bit more to it.  Fp's are pretty easy to kill right?  Wrong!  A vehicle can be quite an elusive target as long as the driver takes an unpredicteable course.  Now you may think that a vehicle crewed by only person can either fire, or drive elusively, but that's not true.  Try this trick next time you're under attack.  While you're the driver, push joystick to one side to cause the vehicle to begin turning.  Now while holding the joystick in this position use the [esc]jg command to jump into the gunner position.  The vehicle continues turning and you are now a much more difficult target.  This works with any of the AW vehicles.  Make sure you're away from any buildings when you do this as vehicle crashes are always fatal.

In general, ack is very deadly to ground vehicles.  Although some argue this as being unrealistic, in WW2 ack guns were so advanced that some German artillery engineers tried them against tanks and created a formidable tank killer.  In any case, call in some friendlies to take out the ack at your target area around 10 minutes before your arrival there.

Always take 100% fuel when driving.  Why?  Why not!  Your performance does not suffer one bit.  Having 100% fuel at the start is a great way to give yourself extra time in case you're hit and develop a fuel leak.

One final tip to make vehicle trips more rewarding.  Make sure you have a good connection!  If you are getting dumped, taking a tank to an enemy field is just going to be an excercise in frustration.  Consider that it takes a tank 15 minutes to go from Wolverine Limo to Moggy.

T-34 Tank

Top speed: 55mph on roadway or bridge, 45mph on level ground.
Ammo: Main gun (55 shells) and 2 machine guns (rounds unknown)
Crew Positions: Driver (jd), Hull gunner (jh), Main gunner (jg), and Upper gunner (ju)

The T-34 can be very devastating if used appropriately.  Most field objects require between 2 and 4 shells to destroy, so one tank could theoretically close an entire field.

The most difficult part of successfully creaming a target using a T-34 is using the main gun.  The main gun rotates 360 degrees and can move up and down.  The main gun is an ARTILLERY gun, meaning shells follow a ballistic path, they don't just travel forward.  Thus, the gunner can aim at a specific spot by rotating the turret and raising or lowering the angle on the barrel.

On the left, you can see the gunner is hitting just short of the target.  She needs to raise the barrel a bit.
On the right, the gunner has overshot the target.  She needs to lower the barrel a bit.

Note that hitting the target and hitting just in front of it look pretty much the same.  Therefore, the best way to make sure you're hitting the target is to hit behind it, and then "walk" the shells onto the target by lowering the barrel slightly with each shot.  The first time you the explosion in front of the target, you're prolly hitting it.  Most buildings will take 2-4 hits before exploding.

The tank is usually considered a vulnereable vehicle.  We've all killed tanks before, usually with 2 bombs.  A smart driver, or better yet, an entire crew can really make a fortress out of a tank.  First off, the driver should drive circles or a zigzag course whenever enemy are near.  If only one person is crewing the tank, use the auto-turning method described above.

Although the upper gunner's machine gun is a very capable a/c killer, it has a very limited range of motion.  However, the turret on which the gun is mounted can rotate 360 degrees!  Therefore, if the enemy is coming up from behind you, jump into the gunner position (jg) rotate the turret 180 degrees so it faces backwards, then jump into the upper gunner spot (ju) and let them have it!  I have successfully killed 4 fighter-bombers during one tank mission in this manner.

Finally, please don't drive over the sheep...

~Boa 12/9/97
last update: 12/18/97

Text and images ©1997 Julius Cisek aka "Boa"