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  1. Hey guys, and welcome to the Smoke Break! In this article, I am going to be going over what tanks you're going to want to take into the World of Tanks Stronghold battles. I'll tell you why they're good for this specific game mode, and what your role is in these vehicles. This week, we're going to go over the big boys, the tankiest of the tanks- the Damage Sponges! Out of all the tanks you're going to see in the game, these, at this tier, are the best at deflecting hits, leading a charge into the fray, or blocking off an entire alleyway by just sitting at the end. If that sounds like you, stay tuned. If not, give this article a read so you know how to fight these tanks anyway! Let's begin with my personal favorite tank for Strongholds, the French ARL 44 heavy tank. French? Damage sponge? Smoke, you have to be drunk! Nope! This tank is a complete outlier in the French tech tree, vastly different from the rest of the French tanks. It has an incredible 120 mm of armor at the front, angled back at 30 degrees for 160-180 effective armor across the front plate. And the lower glasis? Oh, that's gotta be a weak spot, right? WRONG. From head-on, the lower glasis of the ARL 44 is an auto bounce. Even when coming over a rise, if the lower glasis is angled even in the slightest, it's always going to be an auto bounce. France got it right with this one, folks. The turret is a different story. While it's not as strong as the hull, and has a few extreme weak spots on the front, the gun mantlet is tough as nails. 200 mm of armor there. You won't pen that unless you have a higher tier tank. However, the turret cheeks around the mantlet are... 35 mm. Pathetic. However, they're relatively small targets. Hard to hit from far away... Which is exactly what this tank should be used for. Sit far to medium range away from the fight, while your brawlers and tankier tanks push ahead, while you give support. The ARL is relatively quick, and can move to intercept tanks that might be gunning around the side of your pushing friendlies. If you're going to drive the ARL, you have to realize it's a support tank. But support tanks are far from your normal healer or support in other games. Support tanks just mean you adapt to any new threats from behind, while your main force charges in ahead towards the enemy cap. This means you could very well do the most damage in a game! On to the next damage sponge, the second tankest tank at this tier, the O-I. This Japanese BEHEMOTH rolls onto the field with a disgustingly large gun, armor even more powerful than the ARL 44 at around 180-190 mm effective, and strangely comparable speed. What it lacks in comparison to the ARL 44 is the punchy gun, quicker reload, and high penetration that makes the ARL such an effective support tank. Therefore, with the O-I, you're going to be the charging force in the game, leading the way, and tanking the brunt of the enemy fire while your mediums and light tanks surround them. Angling your armor and side scraping are imperative tactics for this vehicle, to maximize the effectiveness of your tough as nails armor. What is side scraping, and how do you angle your armor, you ask? Let's just say it's a concept much easier explained in game, and we'd love to show you how it's done. Come down sometime to New Tankers Night, and any of us would love to be your teacher senpai for the evening. Now, on to the final damage sponge you'll want to play in Strongholds, and ladies and gentlemen, this one is a doozie. Roll out onto the battlefield, screaming the Queen's English and going on about tea and crumpets in the AT-8 tank destroyer! Seriously, this thing is a fortress. 203 mm of armor at the front? Most tanks of this tier hope to have a gun with more than 170 mm of penetration! This is impossible to attack from the front, and any fool dumb enough to sit in front of you and try to pump shot after shot into your bouncy front will be met with a terrible fate- your punchy 17 pounder gun with a fire rate of 14 rounds per minute! This little gun will tear through your enemies with 171 mm of penetration, and that quick fire rate will rip through enemy modules like no one's business. Only one problem. The tank has a top speed of 20 kmph. You're not going to be going very fast in this guy. The rest of your team will be set up, waiting for you to push ahead with the O-I's and the mediums. Still, once you're there? You can change the tide of battle by setting up in the right place. Tank destroyers are hard to get used to, as they don't have turrets. But the amount of armor you gain and the quality of your gun? Some say it's worth it. Some say it's not. Come try for yourself! World of Tanks is free, and we'd love to have you among our team as we power through to controlling the world map! - Combat Officer smoking0_0gun