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Hammer, introduced to the game on the 18th of December,2014, was the very first shotgun-type weapon introduced to Tanki Online and is currently the only one available. Hammer has a clip of 3 shots, after which the user must wait for it to reload. The reload time for the entire clip is roughly the same as the Railgun reload time, with each shot's damage dealing roughly the equivalent of Thunder's, and the reload interval per shot relative to Smoky's. Each individual shot is, in fact, multiple pellets, so the damage of each shot can vary greatly, depending on where you aim. The pellet spread also means that there's a fairly low chance of dealing notable damage to players at long ranges, and in combination with weak damage statistics rendering it even less effective at distances, the weapon is typically strictly used at close range.
The weapon was brought into Tanki Online close alongside Vulcan, to satisfy the long-held desires for new weapons which Tankers had gone on about for years.
Properly Pairing Hammer
In one of Tanki Online's famous V-LOGs, after giving Hammer enough time to settle down alongside other weapons after its release, Tanki announced that Hammer was the most popular turret for Tankers at Generalissimo level. Considering that the long-standing record had been held for Railgun for quite some time, this was fairly shocking news.
Of course, Hammer didn't just become popular due to its good looks. The title of one of the most universally effective and accepted combinations in the game goes to Viking / Hammer for a great number of reasons. Firstly, its high damage output per shot guarantees that with Double Power, a point blank shot will utterly cripple, if not kill in one shot, every hull bar Mammoth and possibly Titan of the same modification. This is an excellent testament to the sheer power of Hammer, making it ideal for Death Matches for effortlessly spiriting away kills from injured opponents or even powering through groups of tanks themselves. High damage is also useful in Control Points and Team Deathmatch, simply for the benefit of removing other tankers from the field quickly. In fact, the Tanki World Records topic shows that the most kills in 30 minutes (328) was achieved using Viking / Hammer.
Viking / Hammer is also suitable for Capture The Flag. Its high impact force in conjunction with the fact that you can fire three shots in quick succession allows users to knock defenders out of the way, enabling them to steal the flag. Viking compliments Hammer exceptionally, as it has high health yet relatively good speed. With some finesse and a Speed Boost, Viking / Hammer has the potential to take flags and cart them back single-handed.
Wasp compliment's Hammer's rapid shot succession nicely, being able to swiftly race around heavier tanks and blow them to oblivion. With this vehicle in particular, Hammer is granted an element that Viking could only dream of - surprise. With an acceptable camouflage paint and a good hiding place, Wasp / Hammer can catch players unaware and tear them apart before they have a chance to retaliate. With Wasp's speed, the tank has far more free reign, being able to cover ground quickly and potentially avoid damage from other proximity based weapons.
Of course, Wasp's claim to fame comes from its unsurpassed effectiveness in Capture The Flag mode, and Hammer augments its effectiveness here as well as it does with Viking. At this point, though, you already have plenty of speed on your side, so more effort can be focused on Double Damage and Mines to flick away potential pursuers. However, interestingly enough, capturing flags is not the best attribute of this combination.
Gold Hunting Using Wasp / Hammer
As noted earlier in the article, Hammer has a heavy impact force with all of the pellets making contact, making the gun useful for knocking tanks out of the way. This, equally, gives it a high recoil, tossing and rocking the hull beneath it with every shot. This recoil can be used for shooting one's self upwards onto other tanks. This ability is particularly useful when trying to catch a Gold Box that's been swarmed by a multitude of other tankers.
This trick is especially useful when the Gold box is falling on a flat piece of ground far away from ledges. As shown in the pictures, you can lean your tank back, and at the same time shoot. This will raise the front of your hull, allowing you to drive onto another tank (preferably Viking or Hornet, due to their low profile), giving you a height advantage to take the gold.
Vulnerabilities of Hammer
Hammer is most in danger from tanks far away from it, due to its limited range. Railgun, Vulcan and Shaft from long distances can dominate Hammers with their infinite range and damage, putting Hammer in a tight spot in large maps such as Dusseldorf and Lost Temple. However, if there are places to hide available, one can simply keep out of their line of sight. The buildings in both of these arenas suit this purpose incredibly well. In general, a primarily long-ranged combination, such as Hunter/Railgun or Titan/Shaft, will lose should a Hammer user sneak close enough to hit them with full force. With high impact force and a rapid firing rate working in tandem, most long ranged fighters are toast in close ranged skirmishes with Hammer.
Smoky and Ricochet are the real nightmares for a Hammer player, however, as they're effective from any range thanks to their respectable impact force decent damage output. As Smoky reloads quicker than Hammer, it can often shoot just before its adversary does, knocking off the Hammer's aim. If you're using Hammer and are required to go toe-to-toe with a Smoky wait for them to shoot first, then turn your turret and fire at the corner of their tank. If anything, you've just prevented a critical hit from striking you, and you've dealt a significant amount of damage in return.
A general rule for Hammer users module-wise is to use types that support both Railgun and Smoky resistance, both of which are intimidating for their ability to attack from a distance and high, concentrated impact force, respectively. Shaft and Thunder are always welcomed into this category for the same reasons.
Ergo, some of the best module families to search through are Grizzly, Shark and Griffon. However, several variants of the Kodiak and Lion families have proven effective for both long and short ranged counters alike.
Parkour with Hammer
Before Hammer was introduced to Tanki, Parkour was mainly limited to high recoil weapons like Railgun and occasionally Smoky. When Hammer arrived, it had the same recoil and impact force, along with the ability to shoot 3 times in quick succession. This made it ultimately better than Railgun in terms of Parkour, leaving the old Fear Machine completely outclassed in this aspect. This is only furthered by the steady increase of impact force granted to the shotgun over recent updates.
Another apparent benefit of Hammer is that it fires straight away; unlike Railgun, it does not need to charge up before firing, making solo Parkour worlds easier for the less experienced.
General Hammer Tips
- Sometimes, tankers make the mistake of leaving only one shot of their three-shot clip left. It's imperative to let that shot loose into a wall somewhere if there are no enemies nearby, as in the event that you should come across one, you'll be much closer to emptying three shots into them immediately instead of using your remaining shot, forcing yourself to suffer damage and potentially die, before you have a chance to fire again.
- If someone has high protection against Hammer, it would be a wise decision to avoid them unless you already know they've suffered previous damage. Hammer isn't one of those weapons that can make use of an opposing resistance like Isida or Twins, as their overall damage (i.e. Hammer's bread and butter) becomes incredibly ineffective against players with protection, thus rendering them underpowered drastically in such a situation. Since Hammer relies heavily on its ability to destroy opponents in a maximum of three shots, any form of resistance that can impede the path to that goal shorten's a Hammer's lifespan drastically.
- When you are reloading between clips, finding cover or evading other players should be your number one priority. Without anything to defend yourself with during those seconds, Hammer quickly becomes more of a liability than an aid, so searching out safety after every onslaught is recommended. This also happens to be one of the traits that allow Wasp/Hammer to perform top-notch in some CTF circumstances.
For more information, check out the Pro's advice on Hammer in the Tanki Online V-Log here.