The French Tiger
I am watching a promotional video. Old newsreels: bomber formations, pilots at their controls, men running towards their fighter aircraft. You have seen them a million times, and you know the song:
Live to Fly,
Fly to Live,
Do or Die!
In between the grainy stock footage are new images. It’s the same planes, only in luminous coloured high definition computer generated images. One of them even has old Eddie in the cockpit, just like the old Iron Maiden album cover.
It’s ingenious. As usual. This stuff is easy to do, and it’s appeal is immediate and very pervasive. As a kid, all I wanted to do was fly. Now, as an adult, it strikes me I could have done it a long time ago; any tame I wanted. All it takes is money. It also strikes me I did do it. I have flown.
Or have I?
It’s strange, really, I don’t play a game about aircraft instead of tanks, but either way, if someone had told me when I was a child there was going to be a computer game I could play on a small, flat, handheld screen, where I could drive dozens of different tanks against other people from all over the world once I reached middle age, I would have just went into hibernation and said “you can wake me when that happens. Everything before that will be meaningless.”
But it’s summer. Who has the energy to stare at a screen in summer?
If you have stared at the screen this summer, you may have noticed the French Tiger has arrived. I can’t help the internet, it’s the “French Tiger”, and to be fair, it’s an accurate description of the tank in question: the AMX M4 49.
I’ve not driven it an awful lot, and it’s been ages since I drove the Tiger II, but allow me to paint you a broad picture:
If you have driven French tanks, you will find this one familiar. It has a lot of French traits, plus one you are not familiar with, namely massive frontal armour. You will also get the famtastic 100 mm SA47; easily one of my top 5 favourite 100 mm guns in the game.
The mobility is curious, but again familiarly French. The extra armour means it feels heavy getting moving, but once it’s past 25 km/h or so, it starts to pick up. It feels quite frisky, actually.
So three tanks I feel this one reminds me of. First off, it’s like a cross between a german Tiger II and the American tier VIII Easter Island tank; the mighty EXP. Also, it’s like a Heavy tank version of the FCM 50t.
Why the Rapa Nui tank? It’s because of the armour profile. It’s super strong from directly in front, but once you get at the sides, you practically see right through the flimsy armour. Seen from 90 degrees, the M4 49 presents the same HE-friendly barn wall target most French tanks do.
I’s not cheap. And you would think they might have thrown in the “Liberté” camo at least in the top bundle, but that’s going to be extra. Still, it does look nice:
So should you get it?
I don’t see why not. It’s a nice drive, has some obvious strong points and very decent mobility. Me, I just blew my tank budget for at least a few months buying the WZ-111, so I won’t be getting one. But if you like French tanks like the FCM and the AMX 50 series, and you wish the M4 45 had better frontal armour, then this tank could well be a really good fit for you.
IrmaBecx says “Vive la Liberté!”