Peek-a-boom is the informal name given to the practice of using cover to reload, then popping out to fire. Peek-a-boom generally refers to guns that have long reload times with high damage per shot, as seen on the IS tanks. Given the long reload time, it is wise not to brawl with tanks up close unless they are low health and can be eliminated with your next shot.
Peek-a-boom can be done in a number of ways:
- Sidescraping off a building - reverse to clear the edge of the building to fire, then forwards back into the building to reload
- With tanks that have excellent gun depression, you can crest the top of a hill, exposing only your turret, shoot, then reverse behind the hill to reload.
Get to know the reload times of different tanks and guns. Know how much time you have before you reload, or they reload. Keep track of which enemy tank has fired, get your shot in, and then get into cover to reload. Enable and use the Lookout Bar to peek around corner of buildings or obstacles in arcade mode just as your tank approaches the corner. Check to see if your opponent is aimed at you - if not, get the shot and pull back into cover.
Some tanks, like the T29, have such strong turrets that as long as enemies are only directly in front of the turret and are not causing damage, can leave the turret exposed during reload. Others, like the KV-1S and IS, have comparitively weaker turrets and it's better to completely hide the tank during reload.