Heavy tanks are big and heavy vehicles designed to turn the tide on a battlefield through irresistible force. Thick armor and powerful guns make each heavy tank a force to be reckoned with.
Most of heavy tanks are poorly maneuverable, among with mediocre camo values and view range; however in compensation they have thick armors and powerful guns. Heavy tanks are best utilized spearheading enemy attacks or holding key positions on the map. The main purpose of a heavy tank is to hold the front lines on the team. Due to the slow speed of heavy tanks, re-positioning quickly is usually not an option and moving to defend a different flank or position is often ineffective and exhausting. Because of their lack of speed heavy tanks are often committed to a route after moving a distance. While a very formidable vehicle, the sides and rears of heavy tanks are extremely vulnerable to long-distance snipers and fast vehicles that can outmaneuver their turrets. Although heavy tanks are great at spearheading attacks, they cannot do so alone, so it is essential that a heavy tank should move with support to protect them against multiple, smaller threats. Heavy tanks usually have a slower turning turret traverse speed than most medium tanks, meaning that heavy tanks cannot effectively handle several small mobile threats, which will often circle and lacerate a slow heavy to death, not even allowing him to aim. Some heavy tanks have the capacity to outrun other heavies, tank destroyers and some medium tanks due to their better speed and maneuverability. These heavy tanks are better played as medium tanks.
While all heavy tanks are generally designed to fight on the front lines of battle, there are different roles and types of play usable at the front line that different heavies are designed for. "Defensive" heavies, like the British Black Prince rely on their armor to stall the enemy team's push by holding choke points, using techniques like angling, side scraping, and hulldown. By holding chokepoints on the map and keeping a large portion of the enemy team occupied, a Defensive heavy buys his team time to win the other flank and catch the enemy team in a crossfire. "Assault" heavies are the foil of the Defensive heavies. Assault heavy tanks like the IS-3 are not as well armored as tanks like the British Black Prince but generally have high penetration, high alpha guns that trade damage extremely well. Because of their higher mobility and good guns, and IS-3 can take off 390 of an Black Prince's hp with every shot, and the Black Prince will only be able to take off about 150, if any at all. If a one to one shot ratio is maintained, the IS-3 will kill the Black Prince first. However, if the Black Prince bounces all of the IS-3's shots, and slowly whittles the IS-3's hp down by 150 per shot, the Black Prince will eventually come out on top. The Assault heavy tanks are better suited towards aggressive playstyles while the Defensive heavy tanks are better suited towards a war of attrition. Ultimately, what determines the result of evenly matched Defensive and Assault heavy tanks is individual player skill. However, in the overall sense of the battle, teamwork is one of the most important aspects of a battle if not the most important. If a push is not instigated on the flank where it is needed the game is lost, or won, most of the time. It is important to remember that tanks do not fall only into one of these categories, as these categories are a generalization and while a tank is often better suited towards a defensive or aggressive playstyle, sometimes Defensive heavies must play aggressively, and vice versa. Some tanks even do not gravitate naturally to either of these playstyles, but are equally mundane at both like the American Heavy Line. As US tanks have a tendency to be well rounded, with middling DPM, Penetration, Alpha Damage, armor, and speed, they lack specialization and are capable of facing any situation their team may require them to. The German E100 also can be used both as a Assault heavy and a Defensive heavy, leveraging its heavy armor to hold checkpoints and then outrading opponents with its huge alpha.
Due to their heavy armor, finding weak points and using flanking shots are often needed to penetrate the armor of the heavy tank. Drivers of heavy tanks should learn their own weak points and find ways to protect them. An example of this would be a KV-5 driving backwards to protect his "R2D2" frontal weakspots by instead presenting his still relatively strong back armor. Drivers should also develop map awareness so that they can know if they are about to be flanked and address the situation accordingly.
On the mini-map and as an over-head marker, heavy tanks appear as a red or green rhombus with two black dashes through them at a 45 degree angle.