Learner’s Leopard: The AMX 30 1er Prototype
So once again, you can risk your hard earned cash to maybe get a high tier Premium tank. This time it’s a tier IX French Medium tank, the AMX 30 first prototype.
And it looks good. I have to say the preview pictures don’t do it justice.
The numbers don’t look half bad either. What we have here is a fast Medium tank with a weak hull and a bit of a gun mantlet, a 100 mm SA47 and ten degrees of gun depression.
It’s the same weapon you get on the AC 46, the AMX 50 100 or the Bat Chat AP. It compares pretty favourably to the 62-100T and the D-54; most stats are along the same lines except notably the penetration, which is much better on the SA47: 232 mm.
But the WZ-120 and T-54 aren’t really what you want to compare the AMX 30 Prototype to, it’s much more reminiscent to the Leopard PTA. The AMX isn’t quite as fast, but has the same specific power, and you get a bit of armour instead of a 105 mm weapon.
This “bit of armour” is pretty much your gun mantlet. That may not sound like a lot, but with 10 degrees of gun depression, it can be ruthlessly effective. The little cone around the gun is 200 mm of spaced armour with 150 mm of armour behind it. You’ll get more than 400 mm of effective armour around the gun.
The upper front plate is angled at like 75 degrees, but it’s only 40 mm thick. That means a tier VIII tank with a 122 mm gun is going to overmatch it and go straight through. Sides of the hull are only 30 mm, so a 100 mm weapon will overmatch that.
So you can’t sidescrape most of the time. But you can hull down all day with that low, smooth turret, or shove the gun mantlet in peoples face and bounce pretty much anything.
In comparison to the Porsche Leopard, the AMX isn’t quite as fast, but it turns much better. It has slightly better specific power than the PTA, which in turn has slightly better ground resistances. Bottom line, the AMX turns about 10 degrees faster.
Ready for action!
Notes on Playstyle
So it’s no T-54. It doesn’t have the hull armour. But if you’ve driven tanks like the Comet, the Indien-Panzer, Type 61, T23E3, Centurions, Leopards, CDC or the Dracula, you’ll feel right at home. It’s the same type of highly mobile gun depression tank.
Actually, from the looks of it, it will probably end up being one of the better ones. A strong turret front is a very useful gimmick; once you get used to finding hull down spots anywhere and everywhere, you’ll be able to keep yourself relatively safe unless people push on you, and even then, you’ll have a good chance to take them down.
The AMX is going to outturn a lot of opponents, and like I said, if you make sure they are staring straight into your gun mantlet, you can mitigate a lot of incoming damage. You can even bounce an AP shell from a death star, but the HESH will hit you for maybe 4-500 damage.
The weapon is great. A long barrel French 100 mm with top notch penetration, good DPM and a quick aimtime. It won’t aim quite as fast as the WZ-120, but it can point the gun down twice as much instead, and it’s not far off; like a fifth of a second.
So you want to play the mobile support role. You can’t be too aggressive, but you can hold a position as long as you can hull down. Don’t let people rush you into taking hits too early; try to hold on to your hitpoints so you can use them for brawling later in the game.
If you have to fight up close early on and take some damage, you can still be effective playing the sidelines, and as long as they can only see your gun mantlet, you’ll be fine.
Remember to make use of your mobility, especially to run away from bad engagements. From any angle that isn’t looking at the front of the turret, you are still a big, soft target, and people will sit and wait to get a shot at you. Better to push off and pop up somewhere else.
Tier IX has some great Medium tanks already. The HESH-toting Cent 7/1. The Bias machine T-54. The “ram king” E50. But it doesn’t really have one like this one, because this is what the Japanese Type 61 probably should have been, a 100 mm tank that can bounce stuff off the turret front. Instead, you get a 105 mm that’s pretty much one big weakspot.
So as far as tier IX Mediums go, the AMX Proto is going to be a contender. It’s pretty straightforward to learn: mobility, gun mantlet, gun depression. Nothing to it. Also, it has put the 100 mm SA47 on my list of “favourite 100 mm guns”. There is nothing like a Medium tank platform to make a weapon really show what it’s capable of.
If you’ve read my previous review on the 121 B, you’ll know what’s coming.
I am not getting one.
I wan’t one, but I’m not getting one, and it’s because of the crates. I still cannot justify spending money without a guaranteed purchase, and I still don’t want to support that kind of business practices. Again, if you feel otherwise, I’m not going to stop you, and if you get lucky, I’ll freely admit to being a bit jealous, because I think the AMX Proto is a great drive. I like it. It can certainly hold it’s own among the tier IX Mediums; I think it really adds something to the lineup.
Just make sure you are understand that no matter how much money you spend, there is no guarantee you will get the tank.
Still, just like the 121 B, I feel Wargaming did a good job with regards to balance. If you manage to get a good deal, and you like the gun depression Medium playstyle, I think you’ll be very happy with the AMX 30 first prototype.
Me, I’m going to go drive my press account loan vehicle some more.
See you out there!