The Tank Commander’s Guide for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad – Part 1

Red Orchestra 2

You might be outgunned, outnumbered and surrounded. But if you know what you are doing you, and your tank will survive any critical situation, and come out on top.

Congratulations, you are inside a tank.Your very own Panzer IV or a T-34. Now you can drive through the ruins of Stalingrad and bring about the destruction of your enemies, main gun and machine guns blazing! You will run over enemy positions, forcing entire companies to flee from you, allowing your team to advance to victory, or hold back the Red/Fascist horde thanks to your indestructible steel plating and precise gun. Now, that we are done with this Fantasy, let us jump to the facts.

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The Basics

Being the Tank Commander or Crew Member at your disposal you will have a number of positions within the tank available to you between which you can swap at will. There are four positions in the T-34 and five in the Panzer IV. They both share the Gunner position, Radioman, Driver and Loader (which is not available to the player). The Panzer IV has an additional position of the Commander, meanwhile the T-34’s Gunner is the Commander at the same time. As long as a position is not taken by another player you can swap between them at will.
When a position is not taken by a Player there will always be an AI NPC controlling the slot. This also means they will for example, automatically fire at enemy tanks/infantry and listen to your orders when it comes to driving the tank around. Whether you ask the Driver to drive in a specific direction or turn (using the WSAD buttons) or ordering him to drive to a specific location (holding down the F key and pressing the left mouse button where you want the tank to move) the NPC driver will be highly obedient to your orders, although not nearly as efficient if a player was a driver.

When a crew member is dead on the Tank UI you will be able to see which positions are unmanned (there will be a red x over the slot). When you sit in a specific position you can shift to that slot leaving your old position unmanned but now a different position will be occupied. Whenever the Loader dies a random crew member will take him place (most often the Radio Man or Driver). In order to restore your crew members, or repair the tank you have to drive up to an ammo dump. Just like Infantry you will get back all of your ammunition as well as any damage done to the tank will be repaired. There is a recharge timer which does not allow you to use the Ammo Dump constantly, and often the Ammo Dump positions are open for flanking by enemy tanks or ambushes by enemy Tank Hunters.

With the basics discussed let us move on to discuss each specific slot within the tank, and how to use it effectively, or at least on the basic level.

Red Orchestra 2

When damaged or in need of some broader orientation the map is your friend. You know where you have to attack, you know where the critical ammo dumps are, and of course you know where you are. With the use of Recon you can also tell where the enemy is!

The Tank Slots


The Driver always occupies the area to the front and left of the tank. From the outside perspective you can easily tell where the driver is sitting due to the vision slot present in the hull. In both the T-34 and the Panzer IV the Driver operates on the same principles. You use the WSAD buttons to drive the tank forward, back and turn left or right. You have the option to drive the tank in two ways. One which I call the “Throttle” setting, and one which I call the “Car” setting. The Car Setting is what you start of automatically. When you hold down W you drive forward, steadily speeding up and the moment you let go of it the tank will steadily slow down. The Throttle setup means that when you press W or A you increase the amount of power to the engine. I personally prefer the Throttle Setting as it allows you to keep a more or less constant speed, both when the driver or on any other positions since the AI will follow the same principle. This also means you do not have to be bothered with holding down the W key all the time, and whenever you want to halt or set the Throttle to zero you press the space bar.

As the driver your job is to quickly or cautiously drive your tank to enemy positions, most often through difficult terrain and obstacles. When you are starting off you will very often hit against walls because you did not take into account the width of the tank, or you will fall into pits which you did not notice. Take into account when driving that it is very had to fire from the gun while the tank is moving. Very often even when the Gunner has taken aim he will lose it the moment you drive into a hole or over an obstacle. Stay in contact with the Commander/Gunner as they might suddenly spot a target and you will have to quickly position the tank and angle it in order to commence effective firing (more on Combat later).

Lastly, remember, some types of obstacles can be crushed by your tank. Lamp Posts, trees and other tanks can be pushed aside with enough speed. Stone walls and buildings cannot be smashed into, and there will be plenty of obstacles that you will not be able to cross over. With time you will learn what these are in full.

Red Orchestra 2

The inside of the T-34. Not as “nice” as that of the Panzer IV, nor are there any side slots to look through. In other words, it feels like a coffin

Hull Gunner/Radioman

Historically the Hull Gunner in RO2 is the Radioman. When you will look around the cockpit in this position you will often see the radio facing you. Your role is much more limited in RO2 however and you will be forced to pepper away at enemy infantry with your machine gun. There is a difference between the Panzer IV and T-34 however. In the Panzer IV you have many more vision slits and even a top hatch which allows you to be an effective additional spotter, whether against infantry or enemy tanks. The Panzer IV also has a handy scope in their machine gun which allows you to focus fully on what you see. The T-34 lacks either one of these benefits. Your only vision is provided by that small hole above your machine gun. Although you can zoom in with your Shift key (much like infantry) you will still be greatly impaired due to the hull of the tank blocking your sight.


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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