On the battlefield, you might find yourself in a tight spot. Whether being pinned down by indirect fire, needing to advance with limited to no cover, or having enemy armor patrolling the area, smokes can help turn the tide in your favor. There are currently 3 different types of smoke implemented in-game: Smoke Grenades, Artillery Smoke Shells, and the US 75 Jumbo Smoke Rounds. All behave differently and in this post we will go over the raw data as well as some respective tactics so that you can use to elevate your game.
Infantry Smoke Grenades
The Smoke Grenade is a staple of the battlefield, but while lacking the destructive power of the frag grenade its usefulness in the right hands cannot be understated. Only Six roles have access to smoke grenades: Commander, Squad Leader, Assault, Medic, the second loadout for the Rifleman, and the second loadout for the Recon Spotter. Normally though, you will only see the Squad Leader, Assault, and Rifleman use smoke grenades for advances as the Commander and Recon will be away from the front lines and the Medic uses his smokes for reviving teammates. Whether Axis or Allies, smoke grenades perform the same way once it settles on a surface. A distinctive “pop” will be heard once settled and soon after smoke will start billowing from the grenade. The smoke from the grenade will be a grayish tone and last about 1 minute from the “pop” sound, after which it will quickly disappear instead of slowly dissipating.
Artillery Smoke Shell
The Artillery Smoke Shell is a bigger, yet more situational smoke screen that comes with the limitations of the artillery cannons that reside in the teams HQ. Artillery smoke shells are slightly costlier than its HE counterpart at 5 Munitions, but takes the same approximate 25 seconds to land. This smoke screen produced from the artillery shell covers a larger radius than a standard smoke and lasts around 2 minutes. It can be differentiated from smoke grenades from its bright, white appearance and billowing animation along with the “whistle” of an inbound arty shell. The smoke screen covers a “circular” area with the origin being the landing point of the artillery round. Towards the end of the 2 minutes, the plume will reduce in size and slowly dissipate with increasing transparency.
US 75 Jumbo Smoke Rounds
Currently the only mechanized vehicle equipped with smoke, the US 75mm Jumbo sports 6 M89 Smoke Rounds. The smoke rounds on the 75 Jumbo, coupled with its thicker frontal armor, is the spearhead of the Allied armor units. The smoke shell behaves the same in flight as the HE or AP rounds that the tank is outfitted with. The smoke plume centers around the point of impact and creates a massive cloud of white smoke similar to the artillery smoke shells. This cloud lasts for 2 minutes and is taller than the other two smoke types. While it does not cover a larger surface area than the Artillery Smoke, it spreads out further to the sides of the origin instead of a “circular” pattern. This, coupled with the increased height of the cloud, makes the cloud into more of a “white curtain” rather than a “thick fog.”
All three types of smokes have different visuals and behavior that allows us to tell them apart. By knowing the data and how to use it in the field, you can make the most optimal and effective strategy for most any situation you might find yourself in.
Infantry Smoke Grenade
Artillery Smoke Shell
75 Jumbo Smoke Round
Area of Coverage
All three smoke types appear to cover a similar area in a round-ish pattern around the origin. After some measuring of the covered area, this is found to be a bit more complicated. Below is a rough diagram of the coverage while deploying and once fully deployed. It should be noted that the smoke grenade plumes to the East or NorthEast while deploying depending on the map. The Artillery and Jumbo smokes cover the same area while deploying as fully deployed, but with more transparency. (Note that the position of the observer will affect the perceived shape of the smoke screen. This does not mean that different observers will have a difference of visibility, but rather the orientation of the cloud.)
Smoke Grenade Coverage: ~4m radius once fully deployed Height: ~4m
Artillery Smoke Shell Coverage: Distance from AB: ~17m Distance from CD: ~12m Height: ~5m
75 Jumbo Smoke Round: Distance from AB: ~13m Distance from CD: ~5m Height: ~10m
Smoke Deploying and Effective Time Values
Below is a spreadsheet of the recorded time values of all three types of smoke.
There are just a few more things to note of before wrapping up.
On Infantry Smoke Grenades, the plume while deploying tends to face E to NE depending on the map. Smoke Grenades are most effective when the smoke is between you and your target area, so Medics should throw smoke just past a downed ally instead of on them if able. Also you can push the grenade one the ground once it starts deploying smoke by crawling on top of it.
On Artillery Smoke Shells, since the up-time for a smoke shell is around 2 minutes you do not need to constantly fire smoke rounds on the target. If firing a smoke barrage onto the point for a advance its effective to mix a couple of HE shells between the smokes to soften them up. Also the optimal distance between Artillery Smokes is ~20m apart, any more or less will be overlapping clouds or leaving openings.
On 75 Jumbo Smoke Rounds, the smoke cloud produced is taller than other smoke types so firing close to your position is a great way of letting the enemy AT or Armor Teams know where you are. If you plan on smoking a enemy entrenchment then aim just before it so that the full cloud obscures their view. Also have the tank commander spot and mark the enemy tank before firing a smoke round on it. Whether you have the drop on it or need to reposition, the smoke will obscure their view and will either: be blind firing at your last known position, become a sitting target in a could of smoke, or will reposition itself giving your squad time to hunt it down or get out of dodge.