How do you balance patience with keeping your gun active?

These are two of the things I most often hear as things that are necessary for success in this game, I'm trying to improve with both of them but it also seems like they're contradictory on some level…

For example, let's say you're in a medium tank, preaimed next to some hardcover where TDs are typically expected to be. Your scout is kind of fucking around, maybe they have a bad crew, you don't know if they're really going to be able to trust them to spot the TDs — but, you know if they are spotted it's a huge tactical advantage to take them out.

On the other hand, you might have the option of maybe coming from a different direction, to meet some enemy mediums or spotting the TDs yourself. This is a riskier move, it's much more likely you will lose hitpoints with this option, but you also know you will have the opportunity to immediately influence the game by dealing damage to the enemy mediums.

So, do you only wait patiently when you are reasonably certain that something is going to happen (enemy will peek, they'll get spotted etc) even though you don't know how quickly it will happen? Does it just depend if there are other opportunities elsewhere on the map, and then on the risk/reward ratio? Something else entirely?

I hope this makes sense. Any advice or insight greatly appreciated.


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