Overobviously, I haven't invented Q in the first place, nor do i claim to have re-invented it in a whatever new way, or even nor do I insist being a super-badass Q-er. This article only aims to be summarizing and illustrative. Thus, I deeply know and appreciate very much the work of former guidances - tho they are obviously included implicite, my outlining may differ in some points. For the sake of not writing academically here, i don't quote any tiny difference and mark it explicitly. Because of respect and honoring, the traditional milo-ehy-guide is quoted in-total at the very end of this article. Critics may compare both, if they like to.
Because of two reason i am writing this: First is to (hopefully) help upcoming players to improve faster and get complex information altogether. Second to get stuff in system in my own mind - some people need to write the shit down in an organized manner to get it internally :).
"Q more!" is a phrase i heard a lot when ´ve started this game. However, many players may say that phrase to ya, if you ask more specific, it is actually hard to get more information on it. This article is an attempt to find words and ways of explaining it to myself and others - to improve together.
The Hotkey Q has only one function, but two purposes! The function is to memorize move-click(s) and to follow the point(s) you clicked. You can call those points: q-points, waypoints or q-waypoints - doesn't matter. The essential function is only this: to memory waypoints.
The 2 purposes are: 1. to move along the memorized waypoint(s), and 2. to fire same time while moving along those points.
The first purpose is mainly (but not only) used in scouting. Like examply, select a riffle and click it to scout in a first corner, then scroll to another corner while holding Q and click there again. Now the scout will first move to the 1st corner, afterwards to the memorized 2nd corner.
The second purpose is well-known of tank-battles: basically one tries to fire on an enemy tank while keeping his own tanks moving with q-waypoints and so dodging enemy-fire and avoid the own tanks to get killed. That is the idea in general.
The question now is HOW to click Q ?
Sounds nub-silly, but isn't: it is tricky! While all guides say "hold Q then click, but hold down Q", it is not the correct answer. Actually you can do both: Select an unit or a group and...
a) HOLD down Q and click on the 1st point, and don't release your hold-down, hold, then click 2nd point. Similar with tanking: HOLD down Q and click on enemy tank, and don't release your hold-down, hold, then click away from it to keep ya tank moving while firing.
b) Just click on the 1st point and THEN HOLD down Q and click 2nd; or in tanking: Just click on enemy tank to start firing, THEN HOLD down Q and click a point away to keep ya tank moving.
The difference is the time to click and hold Q: from the first click-point/attack-point, or to do the first move without q-holding, and just use Q for the 2nd/3rd waypoints. It is delicate and I would like a broader readership to comment on it, what they use, and why. Personally, i guess the first way (holding always Q) as one main source of misclicks and misfunctionality. I had the honor to spec almost all recent goldmedal-winners, and days before they won it. And often I heard "I click Q again and again, but my tanks stuck or don't do it, or don't move so i want them to move". If I had a final proof on this, woulda say it, but haven't. However, I assume without offending anybody the first way of perma-holding as a source on mis-working.
Without willing to make it overcomplicated, this guide will from now on follow the 2nd way: click, then hold-Q. Reason? If u can do it both, why with an extra-q-hold? Keep it simply and clean. And under closer focus will only be the second purpose: Q-fighting. The first reason to scout with Q would be another article called Scouting-patterns.
Before regarding Q-fighting, other basal attributes of Q need to be mentioned:
Q-uantity. You can set over 10 q-points without a problem, but who does that? Nobody really.
Re-Q. You can re-select the unit or group, and then add new q-waypoints to the already existing ones.
De-Q. To stop the moving along q-waypoints, press S-button for stop or double-click at the ground.
Q-ability.You cannot use any unit for every Q-purpose. Not all types of units are equally q-able. Amongst all types, there are three different groups in regard on Q:
a) Un-q-ables: Units u cannot Q in any way at all, neither firing nor moving along waypoints
→ planes, helis.
b) Half Q-ables: Units u only can keep moving along waypoints, but not firing
→ infantry, dogs, submarines, transport-boat, bmt, artillerie and v2.
c) Full Q-ables: Units u can do all you want with
→ tanks, ships, jeep-rangers
Some reasoning: Half q-able units all have in common that they either have no weapon to fire, or they have a not-flexible weapon - meaning: the unit has to turn in order to change the target, whereas tanks and rangers can move their weapon without the whole unit has to turn itself. So, such units can't continue firing while moving. And so u cannot Q ´em fully.
Side note v2: It does not recharge, while moving lolololol.
2. Q-uality - what is a good Q in general?
Very generally speaking, the reason to Q is to gain an advantage in battle, through a damage avoiding damage giving.
According to this, one could suggest several guidelines and hundreds of tiny tipps et cetera. But we wanna talk here Q generally. A good-quality Q is winning the battles. That ezz. In order to get a good Q "generally", there are 3 principles to follow: a negative, a privative and a positive one:
a) Negative principle: don´t misclick!
Sources of misclicking while Q-battling can be many: Maybe mis-hold the Q-button, or mis-shifting, or mis-grouping, or mis-bookmarking, or mis-targeting, or mis-anything... . Avoid those mistakes, and if made one, try to learn from it and improve ya Q. Keep calm and tank, don't let some stress get make u unfocused and misclicking.
Aphorism I: Calmer Q is better Q.
b) Privative principle: avoid damage!
To avoid damage in the first place, u need keep ya units moving. But HOW and WHERE to let them move is the decider to avoid damage in the second place. Where-to-click will be topic in the next chapter Q-eometry, but to know the possible q-ways where to move, is key. All guides are true on this: u need to practice. No general answer can be given on where-to-click-best, it always depends. To avoid damage can even mean: use the map-area u are fighting on, use rocks or trees to separate the enemy group, go south to gain south-advantage of one square to deal more damage, or even switch to another tanking-skill (e.g. stacking, G-ing or X-ing). The true quality-badge is experience and using it!
Aphorism II: Experienced cleaner Q is better Q.
c) Positive principle: DO damage!
To do damage means to know WHERE and HOW to do it, called targeting. You can only find the best target possible, if u are focused like a falcon.
While rushing and using Q the focus need to rely on which key structures are worth to attack, which do most harm to your enemy to lose. Some of his 10 big powers? No. The Ref or the Cy? More likely. But again: it depends on the situation.
While tank fighting good targeting gets even more crucial: A good target can be a sidewinged tank slightly lonely, or inmid of an enemy tank group to gain splash-damage. Depends. Only real fix rule seems to be to not change your target until it is finished - a 90% killed enemy tank still shot at ya, when u don't finish the job ^^. Otherwise, some conditions force you to change you target, for instance a targeted tank moves back-line of enemy-group, then would most be stupid to follow it, because you would take too much damage.
To do even more damage in the long run, 2 senses of anticipations are needed: First to develop a sense, which target to kill next before the current target is killed. What target is in a good way victim for ya next attack. And second to develop a sense, when to attack the new target - meaning: although the current target isn't finished yet, your tanks have bullets-in-the-air already, which will kill finally the current target in 1sec, then it s time to foresee this and target something new while the already-shot-bullets will do the job.
Aphorism III: Focused Q is better Q.
-- Last but not least I want to mention and honor the best Q-hint I received by C|Beast as a newcomer:
Aphorism IV: Less Q is better Q.
Sounds contradictory, but isn't. The less Q-waypoints u set in tank-fight, the more control u gain with your tanks. More Q-points (meaning more than 2-3-4) will only cause kind of a memory-following-waypoint-chaos, will result in your tanks splitted up and not grouped well together. In this perspective to "q" less is to Q better :) -
3. Q-eometry - where and why to click q-away?
Now, some general notes on where-to-q-click. First you click at your target (supposedly better without holding Q), then with holding-Q u click-away, q-away from that target. But where to click?
There is some deeper reasoning behind, which moves are generally better than others. Separated, you can easily say X is better than Y. But in-game, many moves come together to a pattern. The Q-pattern can vary on many factors like area, tank amount, enemy etc. However, there are BASIC moves you can click, and those have general attributes.
Those basic moves are like basic geometry, therefore the names: front, up, down, back, diagonal, cross,...et cetera. And of-course-ly a mixture of all is used in experienced-individual Q-ing!
|Q-curved ⤿ / ⤾|
The reason FOR a certain geometrical move can situational be:
a) to avoid enemy fire: q-back, q-backup/down, q-down
b) to gain south-advantage of 1 square: q-down, q-backdown, q-crossdown
c) to distract the enemy: q-crossup/down, q-front, q-angular,...
d) to rush and move: q-front, q-cross
e) to fool the enemy: q-triangular, q-up-then-down
Or even more sophisticated: to q the way, new tanks will arrive and place themselves more likely in front, and already used tanks more likely back-group, to gain number-advantage, which one could call "intern-circulation" hehe.
Or q-angular: Go Q-point-up, than harsh down to form geometrically a triangle, can cause distraction and gain you south-advantage.
WHATEVER your personal view on this might be: Pros combine all those q-eometrical moves to their own style. And there are plentiful of them. This guide never wanted to achieve a TOTAL naming of them, but just to show the direction, on which path the really pro-tankers form their q-patterns of. And obviously many many more combinations and alterations of those basic moves are possible, and are under-use! Just one example: turn the C-curve around and u get a q-reversed-ᑐ. Under some conditions u can so maximize damage-doing while minimize damage-gaining. And more and more and more... .
4. Q-ombinations - Q with other Hotkeys.
Too make it even more customizably individual, u can combine the memory-Q with other hotkeys. But first of all i need to excuse. The information re-written in this chapter was already published, but false. In the meanwhile deleted article "The Art of Q" i described several combinations of Q with other hotkeys. Wrongly, because my premise was that Q is both: a move-order and an attack-order. Nope. Q is only a memory-move-order, not less not more. Nevertheless, part-right was that u can combine Q with other hotkeys - only the theory behind, why it works so and so was wrong assumed.
U can, for example you q-ed toooo far away, use S-button for "stop" then re-Q to fasten things up in a new direction.
QC/ to Q-Alt
With QC I mean to crash (force move: alt-click) a soldier etc, with a tank. Note: It is personalized because of MACissues to the button-C. Therefore the name. You can combine such a force-crushing-soldiers-move while Q-ing: Simply click on infantry-to-crush while holding Q and pressing C. This way it is possible to kill nasty infantry while remaining q-ing another target (tank or building). For example @p4 you can Q enemy tanks and kill a hidden eng. same time; or @ribbon q-fight enemy-tanks while crushing his infantry. An example:
F is the hotkey for formation. Unfortunately u cannot combine both: Q and F.
Called X-ing above. Pro-tankers sometimes (depends on situation) add +X for "scattering" units into their Q-ing. Seems to have a plus with big tank groups: Minimizes moving, but moves, while focuses fire.
QG = GQ
Is a complex thing on its own. How to do G and Q will be topic of the xmas-guide airing very soon :)
Finally, don't be a fool. Q is, always was, and always will be a very individual skill. FaQtors depending your Q are so broadly different and interactive, that one cannot talk more generally onto it. You may need to adjust your way of Q-ing to: your target, your enemy, your fraction and unit-sort, to the map-conditions, to your resolution, to your own speed, to your own production, to your own ore-management, to your own imagination! The factors are much too multiple to give any decent guidance, except the basal ones. But I hope, they helped also :).
Test, debate and comment bellow.
Q according to milo-ehy-guide: