Map Tactics: How to Win on Mines from North Spawn
(Three videos are included in this Map Tactic article)
In this, the first of my series on map tactics, I’m covering off one of the maps you’ll see most often, as it’s one of the earlier maps you get at lower tiers, but is played all the way up to Tier X.
Mines is a smaller map, and there is a generally accepted tactic for this map that almost everyone knows: Win the Hill, Win the Game.
But, in reality it’s not so simple.
In general, the hill is easier to win from the North Spawn because it’s closer, but the South Spawn has generally better sniping positions. A lot of games are lost because tanks from the north get overexcited, try to get easy shot onto the South Spawn base area, and get totally owned by the TDs camping in the back.
However, the north spawn also has a huge advantage over the south which few people really take advantage of, and that’s the better positioning for a push along the 1-2 line on the eastern flank.
So, when you start off on the North Spawn, you have to look at your complement of tanks and think, do we have enough fast, high tier mediums and lights to win the hill?
If you do, then you should tell the team in chat to push hill with fast tanks.
One trick I’ve learned (especially in a platoon) is to go into the hill area together, and circle the ‘donut’ hole in the middle by going around it in a counter-clockwise direction. This prevents the enemy from having easy shots into the rear of your tank, which they would have if you go around clockwise.
Once on the hill, resist the urge to simply go up to the bushes in the south and spot their base. A smart team will have a tank proxy spotting from below the hill, and you’ll get wrecked by arty and TDs.
Instead, position yourself to hit tanks going into the village along the 8-9 line, or position on both sides of the donut hole to get flanking shots on enemy tanks that are dueling with your own heavies. Helping win that battle against the enemy heavies is key to winning on Mines.
I usually position myself on one side or the other of the Donut Hole (the big rock in the centre) or go to the entrance into the donut, and use those positions to fire into the sides of heavies who are, hopefully, being kept busy by your own heavies.
As well, if I see on the map that heavies are pushing into the village, I’ll scoot over and fire down onto their engine decks. Typically a tank with good gun depression like a Comet will really excel in this position.
Essentially, keep your eye on the map, take safe shots when you can, and don’t keep popping up in the same place. If you can do some damage and turn attention away from your own heavies, this is often enough to win the game.
So, what do you do if you know you can’t possibly win hill?
In that case, from the North Spawn, your best option is a Peninsula Push.
Your heavies and slower mediums should move to contain hill, and your faster flanking tanks should focus on a push down the peninsula on the East Flank (1-2 line). Lights can also spot from the bushes on the left (west) side of the peninsula, watching for tanks heavies crossing from their spawn to help get early shots.
Heavies will go to their regular locations near the village or along the ridge going up to the hill, and partly this depends on how much arty there is. If there are a lot of arty, your heavies may want to take cover behind the hill. Their job is to hold, while your flankers hopefully push through the East Flank to the south end of the map, where they can get shots into the rear of the enemy heavies, not to mention taking out the camping tank destroyers. that typically sit along the J and K lines.
The east flank push is especially powerful with tanks similar to an Object 140, that have speed and a very tough turret. If you succeed in taking out the enemies on the 1 line, you can position yourself on the beach area at I-1, J-1, and K-1, and show only your turret while firing on the flanks and rear of the enemy along their approach to the hill. You can even hit enemies on the hill from here, and there isn’t much they can do in return.
If your heavies are smart, they’ll realize the enemy is flanked, and start to push forward to take them from the other side. At this point the enemy really starts to fold because they can’t defend against fire from both flanks.
With enemy heavies in retreat, you can now probably push along the K line and start taking out the TDs that are camped in the bushes at the back of the map. Even keeping these TDs preoccupied will allow your heavies to win the hill battle, because they can now get up on hill and wipe out the enemy mediums and lights, without worrying about Heavy and TD shots taking them out.
Winning the peninsula push from the North is in many cases BETTER than winning hill, because it gives you both vision and flanking fire.
As well, if their tanks have taken the hill en masse, it’s very likely they won’t have many tanks on the peninsula. If you can convince your team to push hard and fast along that line, you can often negate the hill advantage completely, and collapse their entire flank.