Poetry versus Pragmatism
When I was a kid we had a game we used to play where you would answer three questions, and the answers would say something about yourself you didn’t realise. A kind of psychoanalysis for children, so to speak.
Like, if you listed your three favourite tanks in order, the first one would represent the way you see yourself, the second would represent the way you appear to others, but the third one would represent you as you really are.
All this goes back to Freud and the idea of the subconscious; people aren’t always aware of what they are thinking, but those thoughts do still influence them in various ways. You can however make yourself aware of some of the things that are going on in your subconscious mind, this being of course the whole idea behind psychoanalysis. We may laugh at Freuds penis envy, but the subconscious is I think more or less universally accepted.
All that really means is that stuff you don’t really think about can be important. This is however tank philosophy we’re talking about, not tank psychology. And so how can this simple psychological experiment be translated into something useful for us?
Well, to the extent philosophy is useful at all, anyway…
I tried making the experiment answer the question which tank, subconsciously, is the best one for me, but it doesn’t really translate very well.
Also, it may sound like a simple question, but all it takes is a little philosophy and you can make it about as complex as you like, or think is necessary. It all comes down to what you mean by “best”, exactly, because whenever someone says “best”, there’s always a caveat.
So thinking about it, what I really mean is something like “the truest expression of me as a tank driver”. That is not necessarily the same thing as the “best tank for me”, although the two are very similar.
Those among you who; like parents and teachers and poets through millennia, pose these types of questions to children and the innocent, will of course know the experiment has already worked. It got me thinking. And that, really, is all it’s supposed to do.
Having cleverly figured that out, the curious child or nascent philosoper will then ask themselves “Okay, so what was this experiment supposed to teach me?”. Trying to repeat the experiment in a different context when you alreadt know how it works, isn’t going to work. You cannot knowingly trick yourself like that.
But there is a clear lesson to be drawn. My first choice in any situation may not be the one that, deep down inside, is the right one for me; or the one that I really, if I think about it, want to make.
So other than the mounting, paranoid fear the Object 140 may actually be the truest expression of me as a tank driver, and that I’ve therefore been a communist Medium tank driver all along, this is all starting to make some tank philosophy kind of sense.
I have actually argued a similar point earlier, in my paper on tier X tanks for noobs. I said for your first one, just choose whichever one you think is the coolest. It doesn’t matter, because you are also going to have to learn to play tier X in the first place. Once you’ve done a bit of that, you’ll be in a much better position to choose your second tier X tank, and that one is likely to be a much better fit for you.
Following the psychoanalysis angle, that would mean your third tier X tank is actually the one that is the best fit for you, and the one that represents you as you really are.
So let’s see what actually happened. My first tier X was the mighty brawler E50 Ausf. M. no surprises there, I would say; that totally is how I see myself. The second one was the Leopard 1. So that’s how people see me? A huge, fast HE target on tracks with superb gun stats? Seems likely. I wouldn’t argue against it.
But my third tier X tanks was the STB-1. I bought it for my birthday; that’s why i only have like nine games in the Type 61. I had been really impressed with the low tier Japanese, and was loving the Chi-Ri autoloader and the STA-1. I was also really into British gun depression Mediums at the time, and besides I think it’s one of the best looking tanks in the game. I figured it was just a Leopard 1 with a slimmer, bouncy turret, so it made total sense to me to get one.
That’s the truest expression of me as a tank driver? The STB-1?
Okay, let’s look at some statistics, and see how I am doing.
I’ve definitely driven the E50 M the most. Trying to be who I think I am, I guess. It’s not gone terribly well; 49% over almost 300 games with 1650 damage on average. Leopard 1 is doing worse, 42% after almost 100 games with about the same damage output.
STB-1? Looking a lot better. 54.55% wins after 55 games with almost 1800 damage per battle. Still missing the Ace but I hear it can be a difficult one to get. Also has the highest hit rate, survival rate, and spot rate.
So yeah, if I were to follow my subconscious, I should be focusing a lot more on driving the STB-1. That sounds pretty reasonable, actually. I hear gun depression Mediums are making a comeback.
Statistics are famously made up of 64% lies, and I’ve not checked the stats on my press account, but it should come as no surprise to anyone I do better in the STB-1 than in both the E50 M and the Leopard 1. It certainly makes sense to me, all three tanks being what they are.
And knowing how the experiment works doesn’t render it useless. Knowing the mechanism, you can turn it into a research question; something like this:
1. Which Tank Destroyer would I say is the best one?
2. Which one is generally considered or statistically proven to be?
3. Which one would I like it to be?
I will leave you all to ponder this or similar questions, and if you come up with something useful, do let me know.
Me, I am going to try and deal with the sudden nagging suspicion the Object 140 is my “totem tank”, or otherwise subconsciously significant. That’s psychoanalysis for you.
And yeah, it has Vstabs now.
See you out there.