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Stopping bullets in World Of Tanks is more than just armor thickness; you can use armor slope to increase the chances of completely bouncing enemy bullets, meaning you take far less damage.

I'm wondering what kind of balance to strike between utilizing your armor thickness and armor slope so that you minimize how much damage you take. How should I be positioning my tank?

I did not find any place on the web that discusses using armor slope to bounce bullets. For example, would it be a good idea to turn your tank to a 45 degree angle so that the bullets directed at you have a higher chance to rebound? Even if it is preferable to get hit in the front because of how thick armor is there, maybe using something like a 20-30 degree angle would be perfect so bullets aimed at your sides bounce and bullets aimed at your front have a small chance to bounce but still do little damage because of the thick armor there.

I'm open to any Math-based or non-math-based answers as well as any experiments you can do!

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I believe frontal armor on tanks is much thicker than the sides or the back; angling the tank would expose a weaker side to give the enemy something to aim at. – Frank Mar 25 '13 at 17:23
up vote 20 down vote accepted

The formula for calculating the effective armor rating in world of tanks is:

Armor tickness/cos(impact angle) 

With an Angle of > 70% always leading to a ricochet, this leads to this table:

Impact Angle    Effective Armour Thickness
    0°                 100%
   10°                 101.54%
   20°                 106.42%
   30°                 115.47%
   40°                 130.54%
   50°                 155.57%
   60°                 200%
   70°                 292.38%
  > 70°                Ricochet

(source: world of tanks effective armor rating)

Which angle to chose depends a lot on the tank you're driving and how it is armored. But in general, having at least a slight angel towards your opponent is a good idea.

For example, if you're driving a tank with 100mm front armor and 80mm side armor, a 45% angle on both front armor would give you an effective front armor of 141mm and effective side armor of 113mm. In this example having the opponent hit your side at an angle would still give a lower chance of penetration than hitting the front armor at a straight angle.

However if the situation is the same, but the tank your driving only has 60mm side armor this means the effective rating of the side armor would be 85mm, which means your giving your opponent an opportunity at an easier penetration, in this case it would be still good to present yourself at an angle, but less than 45%. (a 30% angle in this case would give you 115mm front armor and 120mm side armor)

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Bravo! This was exactly the kind of answer I wanted! +1 – Sinity Mar 25 '13 at 17:55
I would add to this answer a few things: Keep your turret point towards the enemy or very slightly angled off. Don't be afraid to make some adjustments to your hull angle. Staying completely stationary allows the enemy to zero in on your tank's weakspots. You can also get the occasional bounces this way if they try to shoot your side while it is at a high angle. Finally there are some tanks with armor that is already well angled, so angling your tank will actually make things worse. This is mostly true for higher tier tanks though. – Granger44 Mar 26 '13 at 12:37
Side note: it's stupid to rely on your armor to stay alive, if you're in a light/medium versus medium/heavy tanks with same or better tiered weapons. You'll probably be better moving in unpredictable ways, to keep your enemy distracted. – Lysarion Apr 24 '13 at 7:47
Also remember Sidescrapping. With tanks that have turret relatively far in back (or front!) put your tank behind a cover that hides your front fully, and angle it so that your side is at 70% angle to the enemy. All enemy shots to your side will bounce. The only way to get you now is to flank you or use HE ammo. – SF. Oct 28 '13 at 14:00

You can experiment with different angles on this site and see how the effective armor changes:

This is Tiger(H) but all others tanks are there too.

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