I'm a little late to the topic,I did not had Ethernet acces for the first few days of the event. I still see post about people struggling so I thought about sharing my strategy.
This is a screenshot with my performance in the Steel Hunter mode
56 battles 12 wins,took me about 8 hours of play time to finish the mode. In the first 20 or so I tried most of the builds on all 3 nations, and took spawns all over the map to know it better. The rest of 36 it's just me grinding chevrons.
I would rank the tanks like this:
The russian tank is the best because it's the fastest and you can escape early game fights.
The USA tank it's the worst early game,gets better late game but it's very underwhelming, you should only play it if you wanna have fun with the 5 shot T49 autoloader with 0.25 inter clip reload.
The German tank gives the most reliable performance(won't win late game but won't lose early game so you will always be placed in a decent spot on the leaderboard)
I mainly played the Russian one with the following build:
Tier II: accuracy on the move – because the Russian tank has a powerful engine it already has very good traverse speed so no reason to pick extra traveste speed.
Tier III: Radio range,just for extra information about the tanks around you when you need it. Most of the loot spawns in the same place every game and you can just learn where it is by playing.
Tier IV: Top speed, because you want to make sure you're fast enough to get most of the air drops.
Tier V: Alpha DMG and DPM, the way I play,the penetration upgrade it's just useless since you get a lot of HEAT.
Tier VI: The IS3 hull. It's the good old is3 but turbocharged,it goes like 60 ,has the troll side armor ,good traverse. It's the only hull that doesn't get crippled by the HE autoloaders.
Tier VII: The armored turret,the one with 201 mm. It's good for facehugging,you will do that a lot, because the hatches on top are really small and hard to hit. Also heat ammo won't go through the cheeks like other turrets.
Tier VIII: Depending on how many other tier 8 tanks are around you choose the alpha gun or the DPM gun. Alpha to smash poor lower tier to pieces and have fun. DPM to obliterate any tier 8 competition.
Now with all that covered,here's how I play:
I choose the spawn with easiest access to the middle trench or channel thing, however it's called.
I prefer to spawn on the very left or very right and make my way to the middle that spawn in the upper middle of the map or lower middle of the map where most tanks roam around.
You want to collect ammo and consumables along the middle trench, preferably be tier 3 or at least 2 when the airdrops drop.
Now that's your goal. The first airdrops are usually free since people just fight around in the north and south part of the map.
Use the speed booster and pick up as many as you can. I usually get at least 2 and up to all 4 sometimes.
If you are chased by someone on your way to the airdrop just get to it and track the guy so he can't push you out. After you collect it ignore him and head for the next one. You can use the radar to see if you can pick up other Airdrops or if other tanks are already close to it. Airdrops give a lot of HP back so you won't die if you collect em even if some random guy is still chasing you.
After you collected however many of the first airdrops you could you guard the middle while waiting for the next airdrops while also picking up ammo and consumables around. If picking up most of the airdrops is not an option then get 1 and avoid the people who got the rest and collect consumables and ammo ,you need the lvl 5 alpha gun upgrade.
Do the same with the next airdrops and so on. The idea is to not let others have airdrops so at the end of the game you have a huge advantage.
It is enough to collect the first 2 or 3 and a few ammo and consumables to get good upgrades and consumables and be super strong compared to everyone else.
Then most people will avoid coming to the middle to challenge you( or some will just face you and die).
Because you're strong people avoid you,you become even stronger by picking up the next air drops because people don't dare to get em. You want to pick em up even after you get to lvl 8,don't go hunting others and leave other people get airdrops.
Then just move with the map,kill people you meet in your way and face the last tanks, usually a few tier 4-6 tanks and a German tank that's at tier 6-7 from bullying the stock tanks while you picked up all the airdrops and got all the boosters and heat in the world.
I got a 7 win streak with this strategy and had a lot of fun.
Hopefully it helps some of the people still struggling. I will be answering questions in the comments if there are any.
As for teaming,it's really not a big deal,they will just bully people around but they can't be an effective team and be both upgraded at the same time. It's a pleasure to smash them when they randomly come to mid after you already got stacked.