Malinovka and Serene Coast should be removed, deleted and overwritten 10 times, erased again and then every hard disk which has ever had them should be thrown into acid bucket. Same goes actually to Komarov also, but thank god it is out of map rotation.Unbalanced map designs doesn't bother me at all. What makes me angry is "playing" a game 15min without doing anything, or if I do, I need to wait the 15min to get my burning wreck ready for the next match.If I want to play a game where I can spend time without actually doing anything, I play EVE.
Given the number of maps in WoT this feature has been split in twain. The first half of the maps are available here. The remaining map analyses are presented below. Again, these analyses refer to random, standard matches and consider the maps balance for tank type and play style.
While this map has features that appeal to all play styles the central lake and isolation of routes means that if your flag is threatened while you are engaged it is unlikely anyone will make it back in time to defend. Since combat seems to bog down longer in the city, which is a difficult area to cover from “sniper hill” or the residential block, battles on this map seem to roll fairly decisively with little back and forth once one side has taken the edge. The concentration of heavies and flankers in the city, and snipers in the outlying North West area leaves the South East path a bit of a crap shoot. While anyone crossing the two midfield chokepoints is virtually guaranteed to be noticed, this map does cater to all play styles somewhere.
This map is jokingly referred to as Campinova for good reason. The large open field is a deathtrap to assault across at less than two to one odds, and the extended view ranges on high tier tanks mean nowhere that isn’t behind hard cover is truly safe. In high tier matches the Southern force will have a slight advantage with hard cover over the Northern forces trench and barricade. The map was flattened somewhat to give heavy tanks an easier time of it but the slog to the North East corner is still time consuming and leaves spotted tanks open to artillery sniper fire if they stray too close to the ridge. I believe there is now an upper tier limit on this map which is good because high tier spotting ranges mean everyone had to move immediately and get lucky not to be shot in the face as soon as the match started. Malinovka is a difficult map for dedicated flankers due to the open sight lines.
Mines is an exceedingly busy and well balanced map. There’s a lot going on here and while the map appears to be broken into four distinct lanes, there are ample cross checks to keep things from bogging down on any one of them. Somehow Mines seems to get everything right, offering opportunities for every type of armored vehicle and every play style somewhere.
Mountain pass is a map dominated by chokepoints and hemmed in ground. Artillery fire is somewhat restricted to defense or a single lane assault due to several exceptionally tall mountain ranges. There just aren't many places you can actually hit the enemy beyond half field unless they're cresting a mountain or oblivious. There are few places for dedicated snipers, and flankers are usually forced into frontal fire along with the heavies or burned to ash trying to cross the dry river bed which is exposed from several angles. This is another map where the heavy tanks generally split into two groups and when one falls it’s game over for that team. Due to the restricted movement and tight areas this is another map that hands the advantage to heavy armor and heavy firepower by restricting movement. It doesn’t feel as well balanced as most since snipers and scouts are often forced into close range combat and flankers are vulnerable from several angles when pushing through the river bed.
Battles at Murovanka seem to be bloody and short, but very well balanced. While the map is not small, it is still possible to catch glimpses of the enemy within seconds of the match beginning. Rolling hills to the West allow hull down firing, and many buildings in the center town give everyone cover to dodge behind and weave through. The buildings in Murovanka are spaced further apart and more irregularly than the towns on some other maps which will give snipers opportunities to fire that are usually denied between buildings. The “magic forest” in the East gives those with high stealth ratings a chance to set up ambushes or fire from relative spotting safety. It is difficult to ensure that every angle is covered in defense and players with good reflexes and situational awareness will have a distinct edge here. Flankers will generally have to wait until a few tanks are eliminated for a safer run but can do a great deal of damage and spotting once behind the enemy lines due to the open terrain.
Prokhorovka is a map so well balanced it almost looks boring. Almost perfectly symmetrical in features, this map offers many lanes of advance with only a few impassible features on the East side. Despite the desert-like feel it is considered a Summer map. The sparse vegetation is concentrated in clumps to provide good screening for direct approaches and driving through a hedgerow will often screen you and your opponent until you’re in each others lap. Though open maps usually favor light tanks and snipers, many bushes are large enough to hide heavy elements and flankers; and the ridges that break up the map's horizontal offer plenty of protection.
Province is available only in very low tier fights and plays somewhat like El Hallouf in miniature. Due to the short spotting distances on extremely low tier tanks it is difficult even with proper gear and crew skills to spot opponents across the valley. The map does tend to devolve into camping but gives new players a good taste of what’s available in other maps, just smaller. I'm told this map used to be open to higher tier tanks, and matches predictably resulted in the ( NSFW ) Mean Guns effect.
Redshire used to be all about sniping and spotting ranges before the revision. After the revision it has become impossible to spot vehicles from the opposing hill without a closer range spotting tank. Due to the superior cover available on the hills though this map has a tendency to remain a campfest with more aggressive players usually rounding the map edges to assault. Some brave or foolhardy few do advance through the town under the watchful gaze of the opposing team but it is a difficult approach, granting the defender plunging fire on the attacker who doesn't take proper cover. Once an aggressor is in position on the opposing base hill they can force their foe back by spotting for sniping teammates and artillery, and threatening with their own weapon. Despite the conservative approach usually taken here the map does offer a great deal of variety and is very well balanced for all types of vehicles.
Ruinberg makes an attempt at balanced play but falls short. The greenery on the East half is almost completely for show as the central East-West road is raised and cuts off line of sight from North to South. The additional buildings outside of the city proper only give brawlers more range to roam. Streets are wide enough to allow some limited artillery fire into the city or straight down an avenue but it is still restricted and requires the enemy more or less hand you the shot. Most of the time the artillery is busy trying to prevent their flag from being overrun from the field by lending fire to the fight for the small hamlet on the central East of the map. Snipers have precious few places to set up with limited sight lines. If you’re not some kind of brawler you’re probably going to have a bad time here.
Sand river may be the closest in game representation of combat in the North African campaign. It is one of the few maps where heavies have no distinct advantages over their lighter brethren. Tactics, focused fire, and maneuver are better keys to victory here than thick armor or an amazing gun. Flankers and scouts with high powered engines will find hit and run tactics highly effective while heavies usually focus on using the sand dunes as hull cover, favoring pop up tactics. Your shooting approach here is determined by the capabilities of your tank, as tanks with poor gun depression much fully crest a sand dune to obtain a firing position whereas those with good depression can drive up only enough to give the enemy very poor shots. Remember the adage “tanks go as the water flows” and stick to the valleys between dunes to maintain unseen. Sand river is a very well balanced, if unforgiving map.
I’ve seen this map called Seaport, but it comes up as just “Port” in the loading screen. Snipers and passive scouts do have very long sight lines available to them from the highways but they will be exceedingly exposed as there aren't any bushes up there. Artillery is hampered by the same obstacles tanks are here but also have the irritation of not being able to aim in the shadow of bridges. Expect the enemy to take advantage of this frequently. Highly mobile tanks will enjoy quite an advantage in the maze of steel and concrete on the North and South edges but this comes at the expense of snipers and artillery. Brawlers of all stripe are highly favored here.
Serene Coast is limited by the two very constrained paths through the center of the map. The fact that all assaults have to pass through this area barely 3/10 the total width of the map means you should grab a snack during the load screen; you’re going to be here awhile. This map is an exceedingly poor design for balance as sniping superiority is clearly in the hands of the Southern team. While both sides have hilltop bushes to hide behind the Southern team also has a hillside snipers nest that allows them spotting and fire into the town area which covers the Northern teams approach to the Eastern chokepoint. This nest is protected by some large rocks on the ridge, whereas the sniping positions available top the North team are all very exposed. The southern team can also get a fast scout into the alcove in the Northwest and make it nearly impossible to dislodge as any Northern forces assaulting it are forced to turn a broadside to all snipers on the Southern hill. The resulting corpse only makes the next attempt even more difficult. The ample sniping positions on the Eastern island are, I believe, an attempt to balance these advantages. However, those snipers can only threaten forces that expose themselves to the East of the rock formations along the coast, and have very restricted fire into the Eastern chokepoint. Advancing on the Western chokepoint uphill without complete local superiority is also exceedingly dangerous. This map heavily favors snipers and their spotters and the team that loses all long range, high stealth spotters first is usually in for a creeping death.
The Siegfried line is tactically divided by the line of Dragons Teeth splitting the map in half. Snipers are favored by the sparse visual cover near hardened bunkers on the West half overlooking the killing field while the Eastern half of the map is dominated by the city. Artillery are well protected by a great expanse of positions to choose from, though fire into the city is highly restricted by tall buildings and uneven sight lines. Unlike Ruinberg there are no straight wide streets giving your shells a clean downward arc here, and artillery is usually focused at those attempting to take cover in the rear lines or Western side of the map. There are few crossings in the Dragons Teeth line and those crossings are highly exposed. The map is tactically well balanced as any force that completely ignores either side faces a flanking action.
South Coast offers many opportunities for crossfire between the restricted lanes of movement. The variation in relief causes mobility and target acquisition problems for both forces but exposes any tank driving straight at the enemy to fire from multiple locations. Due to the large mountains and aquatic region very little of the map is actually physically passable. These factors actually do lend a strange balance to the map as heavy elements intending to guard advances to their base will be easily outmaneuvered. Because there are so many of them the chokepoints on this map count for very little, but camping your own flag to concentrate force is a terrible idea since your artillery will be easily spotted and possibly killed before you can stop an attacker. Artillery fire isn’t as hampered as it would appear due to the North and South running nature of most of the mountain peaks. Snipers are afforded multiple positions but each offers limited targets to prevent them from dominating the map. Brawling elements will find a great deal of building cover to assault through and due to the separation provided by the mountains reinforcing failing fronts takes time, forcing a balanced assault and defence plan. Due to the spread out nature of this map combined with restricted sight lines, even a few mistakes by any team member can leave a front undefended and quickly roll up the entire team.
Steppes is actually classed as a Summer map despite the prevailing desert motif. The terrain is balanced well for every class except perhaps light scouts who will have an exceptionally difficult time avoiding fire unless dodging through the heavy playground on the West or through the slightly depressed road. Since most scouts take the road one can expect to find quite a welcome at the other end unless the opposing team is especially ignorant in their deployment. The gradually rolling nature of the central terrain actually allows a hull down position in several places if you don’t mind being exposed to artillery fire. The rocky, broken terrain to the West is typically inhabited by the heavy close range brawlers. Snipers generally make short work of any direct approach through the fields. Vegetation is sparse but well placed for long range sniper cover, and Artillery will usually spend more time nervously reloading and relocating than searching for targets given the very open, flat nature of the terrain. If a scout is willing to wait until enemy numbers have significantly thinned a run for the rear lines is much safer, but as usual the chances of the battle being decided already by this time are high.
Currently out of rotation, expect more hard cover to be added and sight lines for sniping cut to make this map more heavy and flanker friendly and less sniper and artillery friendly, if prior rebalances are any indication.
Westfields terrain is far less restricting than it first appears. The primary ridge is traversable in many areas, though the uphill is quite steep. The heavier elements tend to spawn on the hill and the lighter elements and artillery in the valley. Due to the steepness of this hill moving artillery out of the valley is a daunting task, but staying there, while providing an excellent field of fire is quite predictable and makes artillery easy to locate. The battle on the hill is joined quickly and requires that one make their tactical decisions at the onset or risk being out of position for the opening moves. While the areas obviously attractive to each play style are set up in lanes between the flags a hard push along one of them can overwhelm an opponents defenders. Given the time needed to climb or descend the ridge a team that siezes local superiority and eliminates even a few opponents in rapid succession can quickly turn fights here into routs. Overall, a balanced map that could benefit from a Topographical minimap option.
Another unbalanced map sloped in favor of heavies and flankers, and away from artillery and snipers. The center railway is high enough to obstruct both view and fire and essentially cuts the map into two halves. Once the halfway point is passed you are almost guaranteed to be spotted unless your side is completely abandoned. Artillery will be presented with a choice of extremely restricted firing angles, or certain death as soon as the enemy crosses the center rail line at any point. Sight lines are restricted and fast scouts can easily find themselves rounding a corner into certain death. Flankers that show restraint and let the heavies lead to make an opening to speed through can tip the fight very quickly in the maze of industry on the Southern map side.