I recently re-watched the final battle scene of the original Star Wars (Part 4, A New Hope, etc.) and something stood out that completely changed my way of viewing the end of that movie. Because of this one tiny detail, my perception of the ending of Star Wars has forever been altered:
Darth Vader’s Thermos.
If Darth Vader hadn’t been so obsessed with opening his thermos for a quick sip of Rooibos during battle, he would have killed young Luke and subsequently saved his beloved Deathstar.
Before you start asking the obvious questions like, ‘what the f#%k are you talking about?’ and ‘Darth Vader’s Thermos?’, let me elaborate. During the final epic space battle, the Sith Lord is clearly seen twisting some kind of knobby-looking contraption in front of him. Of course many would assume that to just be some kind of Empire Tie Fighter standard issue targeting device, but come on – you are telling me that in a star fighter as advanced as Vader’s Tie-Fighter, they would ever install something as clumsy as a device that requires the pilot to repeatedly twist it during combat? I think not.
I think that what we have here is clear video evidence of Lord Vader’s unhealthy obsession with hot beverages.
Here first, is a scene that includes (albeit brief) evidence of his being distracted by his beverage obsession during a key moment of battle:
I have been a fan of the MMOG, World Of Tanks for about two and a half years ever since one of my Wife’s relatives introduced me to it during the late Summer of 2014.(The TV commercials for the game running at the time had already piqued my interest so the teenafe advocate really just pushed me into taking the tanker plunge) Since that time I have been a casual player of the game which of course means I am okay at it – not terrible, not great… just okay.
One of the problems I seem to have being an average player is that the game often feels stagnant to me because I am guilty of doing the same things over and over on some of the maps. I also find myself playing Light tanks or Arty since I lack the determination to drive for a (free) heavy tank. I am not into spending any real $$ on the game (just time, lol), so I have a roster of mostly middle tier light tanks and SPGs. I suppose I could try downloading and using one of the many World Of Tanks Mods that are out there but … I am just too lazy to install a World of Tanks Mod pack. (lame, I know, but true)
One aspect of the game that has caught my interest more recently however is the ability of tanks in the game to actually climb up on some areas of the maps that at first glance you would think are pretty much un-drivable. As an average player I have had- as you might expect, mixed results at climbing. Also a factor is that I got into this aspect of the game a bit … late. With the last few game updates, one of the casualties has been access to some of the more interesting climbs on the map; through terrain changes such as increased climb angles or even just dropping great big boulders in front of the key access points, many climbing spots are now off the books, so to speak, just before I stumbled across all of those how-to YouTube videos showing these great Goat climbing areas.
However, despite this revelation, I still was determined to explore and find some climbs that are easy enough even for me and I have had some success in that endeavor. I would now like to share with you the modest fruits of my WOT climbing labors.
Understand that I am of the firm belief that you need to first learn how to walk before you can run, so these climbs are all what I would consider easy/doable by anyone with the right vehicle – heck, at least two or three of these are usually done while I am playing an SPG so yeah, they are pretty easy to do.
Okay, so without any further ado, here in no particular order are some of the easy climbs I have been able to ‘achieve’ so far.(and in some cases they are not even ‘really climbs’ so to speak but more like a hop, skip and a jump upto some sneaky spots I consider low-hanging fruit, but the title of this post was long enough already, so…)
Okay, so with the Cliff map there are at least two areas that are doable out of the gate with almost any vehicle with at least some speed. From down near the South spawning location without much effort, you can reach a path up along the West side ridge that starts around near G1. You need to hit it with some speed to get over the initial ‘hump’ but after that it is mostly a matter of back and forthing up the ridge until you are travelling way up along the red line. Remember this gives you some view range BUT this will also make you an easy target if your team lets its Western flank collapse. (or forgets to have one in the first place, lol)
The other reachable spot is around A5, again not too far away from a spawning area (of course this time from the North spawn). Just head up the rise and with some speed and get yourself over the initial bump of the ridge and from there again it is a matter of back-and-forthing your way up to near the top of the minor ridge. From this point you will actually have a half decent view of tanks working their way up and around the lighthouse – but remember you will also be a potentially juicy target for them as well…
Okay so El Halluf is a map that I usually find kind of boring because it seems to be a map geared towards the Medium and Heavy tanks, with Scouts running around and hiding behind rocks hoping not to get tagged and torched halfway down a hillside during battle, and since I play mostly Lights this is not really the map for me … at least I USED to find this map boring; now I like it when I get on it with any of my SPGs and can make use of some easy to reach nooks and crannys.
On this map you can easily set up shop with your SPG on top of one of the many mini mesas along the North spawn side running roughly in a line from B6 to D8. They have depressions up top that let you sit there undetected while picking your spotted targets. Another spot good for those SPGs with longer range guns is the outcropping over at C0 to E0, just keep in mind that if the enemy scouts are going to push and make headway it is usually more on that side and you could be cut off pretty quick up there.
Finally, another fun spot fo0r your SPG are the mesas along the West border over at C1 and D1. These are fun if you can get to them in a more mobile SPG or Tank Destroyer. Personally, I have had fun getting up there in my FV 304 with its speed and its VERY vertical firing arc and lobbing bombs onto the heads of confused mediums and heavies who think they should be safe up against the cliff edges. Getting up onto these spots takes a bit of practise but is worth it. Just keep an eye on your teams movements in case they collapse ahead of you requiring you to beat a hasty retreat!
Sacred Valley is what I consider one of the gateway drug maps for me personally. It was on here that I completed my first ‘real’ climb when I rolled my Grille up to the top of one of the mountains on the North spawn area of the map. Being able to do that made me realize that climbing can be done without higher tier vehicles (yes!) and got me looking for my next climbing target.
There are several spots on this map that supposedly can be conquered but so far not by me. What is doable is the aforementioned climb up the mountainside just North of the Northern spawn area. Now I can only recommend doing this climb from the A9 area – just go through the steplike layers towards the mouintainside and start rocking your way back and forth up the hillside there. There is a ramp to the right of this spot but I can’t tell you that this is any better because I have just never needed to use it. I first became aware of this climb when I was spectating a random battle and realized I was watching through the viewpoint of a TD on top of a mountain ridge. I can vouch for this climb being doable with both an SPG (a Grille, an FV304 and an M12) and with a TD (both my M8A1 and my T67).
I don’t have much to offer here, just one easy climb up to the top of the hill/big mesa around the A7 to A8 range just Northeast of the Northern spawn area. This mini hike is not too tough once you get over the initial bumps and if you find the right angles to move up the slope. The view from up there is nice for anyone in a TD looking to pick off stragglers or for an arty but remember you are pretty much on display up there if you don’t hang back from the edge somewhat. So remember, if you get up there and start gloating about being the ‘King of the World’ and then get blowed up reeal good – you have been warned.
So hopefully at least a couple of these suggestions prove doable for you. As I finish up here, I would like to share a couple of videos that have to do with Goat climbing in WOT, these were put together by Xaneleon and I believe that they serve as great examples that can motivate you to search out climbs around the various battlefields. Of course a quick search of Youtube will get you a lot of fun examples of where to aim for on WOT.