Easy gun handling, sloped armor, decent view range and other small stats earned American vehicles a name for being flexible and easy-to-use. The nation’s light tanks follow this concept to the fullest. No other Tech Tree fields vehicles as original and versatile as the M41 Bulldog and T49 in just one branch. By the way, we heard a great deal of feedback on these two during the test. Based on your input, we decided to keep their trademark features—autoloader and gun-launcher—moving forward. And that’s just some of all the tweaks in store for the American light tank line.
Today, we’ll get you up to speed on all of them, while also stopping to take a closer look at the Tier X newcomer, the Sheridan. Let's go!
Thanks to its explosive combination of speed, manoeuvrability, and firepower, the M24 Chaffee (Tier V) can fly around the battlefield, be where it needs to be, relocate in ways other light tanks could only dream of, and punch above its weight. An excellent view range and camo make it equally great at passive and active scouting. However, its armor proved too frail to withstand shots from Tier VIII heavies. The good news is that with the introduction of ±2 matchmaking this swift American no longer has to mingle with them in Random Battles. Plus, we reworked its combat parameters to better suit the revised tier spread, while also keeping its gameplay-defining characteristics intact.
Swift and small, the M7 has always played as a light tank disguised as a medium. In 9.18, we finally made it official, turning it into a Tier V LT. As a starter pack of sorts, it received a traditional light tank setup of a high camo rating, a more powerful engine to get to key positions on the map, and nicer gun parameters: considerably improved accuracy and shorter aim time. The rate of fire decreased to balance these improvements.
Just as all other Tier VI light tanks, the T37 won’t face Tier IX opponents, which should ramp up its chances at making a difference in combat. Following the rebalance, it retains its extreme maneuverability and will make a great scout and support fire, capable of supporting the push by sniping then distracting the enemy to help the team make offensive breakthroughs.
Revving its (now much more powerful) engine on Tier VI, the T21 takes less time to fully aim and is better at shredding enemies thanks to increased accuracy, which both came at the cost of a slightly worse rate of fire. Decent gun depression means it can poke ridgelines; a solid view range lets it scout for the team, while its improved speed lets it flank and acquire favourable positions faster.
If you take the Т71 (Tier VII) for a stroll once in a while, you’ll be painfully familiar with unfavorable duels against the likes of the Maus, IS-7 or T57 Heavy. The combination of a six-round autoloader, high camo rating and mobility makes it a threat to opponents of similar tiers, but won’t protect it against Tier X tanks. And it no longer has to: the T71 and Tier X vehicles won’t cross paths with the normal ±2 matchmaking. Now, the T71 will face at most Tiers IX and can truly shine if you play your cards right. To keep it from being overpowered, we slightly reduced its AP shell penetration.
The iconic M41 Walker Bulldog moves up a Tier, gaining a larger HP pool and a more powerful engine. It can fill a bunch of different roles depending on the situation: assist the team as a passive or active scout, circle turretless TDs, hunt down enemy arty or brawl. And most importantly, it still proudly carries the 76mm autoloader, now with six instead of 10 shells, but still capable of dishing ruly devastating damage.
Equal parts fun and hard to master, the T49 moves to Tier IX, receiving a larger HP pool, a boost in mobility and a better view range. Its massive 152mm gun-launcher is here to stay with no changes to its below average penetration with HEAT shells, notorious accuracy and rate of fire. So, where’s the fun? It’s in HE shells. Load it up, jump from bush to bush, check if you can get to the flanks and if yes, snipe from there, sending HE shells into enemy Grilles and Bat Chats.
Rolling out on Tier X is the Sheridan prototype. In a nutshell, it can do everything the T49 can do but better—much better. Just like its predecessor, it offers two guns to choose from: 105mm and 152mm. Again, HE shells will work better with the 152mm gun-launcher. Unlike the Tier IX, they are more likely to actually hit the target and send poorly armored enemies straight back to the Garage thanks to much easier gun handling. If you don’t want to hand your fate over to RNG and want more stable, predictable results, just go with the alternative 105mm gun.
What happens to modules, XP, Crew, emblems and camo you have on light tanks?
Configuration: If you have vehicles that changed a Tier in 9.18 and they’re researched to the top configuration, they retain it upon changing.
Crew moves with the tank: Fully-trained Crew is transferred back to the Barracks and re-trained to 100% for a new Tier. If you have Crew trained to 100% on a light tank that moves up a Tier, but don’t have this tank in the Garage at the update’s release, the Crew will be retrained for a higher Tier regardless.
Emblems and camo: Emblems and camo bought with Gold and mounted on Tier VIII vehicles that move up to Tier IX will be removed. But fear not; you’ll get the amount of Gold they cost you credited to your account. Temporary emblems and camo you have on vehicles that move up a Tier will be removed as well. In this case, you receive the amount in Credits proportional to their remaining duration. Unique emblems and camo are here to stay: they’ll get de-mounted from Tier VIII vehicles and you can apply them to any other tank.
Finally, changes to the branch structure won’t affect XP you’ve earned on light tanks. They stay at the Tier they were earned on.
In case you missed them, be sure to check out spotlights on the Soviet and French branches. And keep your eyes locked on our website for more details about Chinese and German light tank lines coming in the next few weeks.
Head over to the Common Test article for a deeper look at the rest of 9.18 including the improved matchmaker, new arty mechanics, and light tank revisions. Join to test drive these massive changes and let us know what you think!